The Arlington School Board, completing its annual evaluation of Superintendent Charles E. Nunley, decided last night to retain the controversial administrator for the remaining two years of his contract.

Although it is known that some board members are still dissatisfied with aspects of Nunley's performance, Board Chairman Evelyn Reid Syphax said last night: "We have completed our evaluation and he will work for us."

Asked if Nunley would fill out the rest of his four-year term, Syphax said, "Unless something happens next year."

Nunley declined to comment, except to say, "Evaluations are not public information dealt with in the press. I sure hope to be around for a couple of years . . . I thought we had a good evaluation session. They always are."

The board was completing its annual evaluation of the 54-year-old Ohio native, as required in his contract. But the evaluation began earlier than usual this year in the face of criticism from the public, teachers and board members themselves.

Earlier this year, some board members sought legal advice about the possibility of removing Nunley from the post he has held since 1981 when he came to Arlington from the Lorain, Ohio, school system.

Much of the criticism of Nunley revolved around his handling of school closings. Citizens complained that he had limited access to public school documents and was generally not receptive to Arlington's traditionally high level of public participation in influencing school policies.

Board members complained that some of his reports lacked supporting rationale and were late. They were also critical of him last fall when he prematurely named schools that could be closed. Parents were upset when he suggested considering the marketability of school property as a factor in deciding which schools should be closed.

Nunley also came under board fire for shifting on paper as much as $15,000 within school budget categories without informing the board.

But Nunley, who has worked in education for 30 years and has a doctorate in school administration, has also been cited for such accomplishments as involving the business community more in educational programs.

Board members contacted last night declined to comment on the evaluation of the superintendent, who earns $58,800 annually as head of the 14,000-student school system.