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Institutional Assessment

Update on the Spring 2018 Institutional Assessment

As part of the university’s 2018 Institutional Assessment, the Board of Trustees invites all members of the Yale community—faculty, students, alumni, staff, and others connected to the institution—to share their thoughts about Yale, discuss the opportunities and challenges for the university, and offer suggestions for its leaders.

The trustees are particularly interested in reflections on the following questions:

  1. Reflecting on the university over the past five years, what have been Yale’s most significant accomplishments, initiatives, and successes?
  2. Again reflecting on the university over the past five years, what could Yale have done better?
  3. Now looking to the future, how do we ensure that Yale is one of the world’s leading universities for the century ahead?

We invite you to provide your thoughts on these questions by May 11 using this webform. Your comments will be shared with attribution only with the trustees (excluding the president) and the very few staff who are assisting the board of trustees. In addition, the trustees will review the trends and themes with the president and other leaders in the university, but without individual attribution to specific comments.

By the end of the summer, the trustees will share with the Yale community the board’s general reflections.

April 30, 2018

Plans for the Institutional Assessment in Spring 2018

Senior Trustee Donna Dubinsky and Trustee Catharine Hill are co-chairs of a committee of the board who will spearhead the next assessment. With the input and support of President Salovey, the committee has decided to follow much of the previous precedent while enabling more members of the Yale community to give their perspectives.

As with prior institutional assessments, a broad range of campus leaders and members of the Yale community will be invited to meet individually with two trustees at the end of the spring semester. Faculty, students, alumni, and staff will be interviewed. 

In addition, the board will offer all members of the community the opportunity to share their thoughts about Yale, to outline the opportunities and challenges they see for the university, and to offer their suggestions for its leaders. Next spring, as we start the assessment process, we will create a website for comments to be submitted.

At its regular meeting next June, the board will discuss the insights gleaned during the process. By the end of next summer, the trustees will share with the Yale community the board’s reflections.

We hope that many members of the community will participate in the process next spring. We believe that it is important to Yale, its future and our role as its stewards.

Donna L. Dubinsky ‘77
Senior Trustee

Catharine B. Hill ‘85 Ph.D.

September 5, 2017


In 1993-94, the Yale Corporation and then President Richard Levin decided to introduce a periodic evaluation of the university. The concept was to take stock of the institution approximately every five years to help the board gain insights into Yale’s strengths and challenges as well as to gather suggestions as to how the leadership team could better serve Yale. These institutional assessments are not to supplant the regular and important work of academic goal-setting that takes place within schools and departments, but rather to take a step back, and consider the performance of the university overall and its longer term trajectory.

Institutional assessments were undertaken at the end of the second semesters in the following years: 1998, 2004, and 2009. When President Levin announced that he would retire in June 2013, the trustees undertook an extensive “listening tour” of the campus as part of the presidential search process. That process was similar to, and satisfied many of the goals of, an institutional assessment.

To gather input for the institutional assessments, a committee of Yale trustees interviewed approximately sixty individuals, including vice presidents, deans, members of the faculty and staff, students, alumni leaders, and community leaders. Participants’ comments were shared with all trustees. The trustee committee prepared an executive summary for the president that did not include personally identifiable information in order to protect confidentiality of those interviewed.