4.3.5 Evaluation of Faculty Members


Annual evaluations provide administrators, faculty, professionals, and staff an opportunity to meet with their immediate supervisors for a personal review of activities and accomplishments and a planning session for future objectives and goals. Leadership at the unit level can have a most direct and significant effect.

Peer evaluations, which come less frequently, attempt to put wider resources into the review processes, resources that are represented by one's colleagues and their collective experience and wisdom. Since promotion and tenure recommendations are heavily dependent on peer evaluations, it is essential that candidates have early indications from their colleagues regarding their progress in the areas of teaching, research and creative activity, and service. The chair's role in these latter activities is to facilitate and coordinate the processes and to provide leadership wherever appropriate.

Annual Evaluation of Faculty

The intent of the annual evaluation procedure is to:

  • Provide the faculty member and the chair with an opportunity for personal review
  • Provide an accurate means of planning and evaluation of a faculty member's professional growth and development
  • Provide each faculty member and the University with timely and documented information concerning the faculty member's achievements and goals.

In addition to the above, these appraisals form the basis for merit pay increases. Annual appraisals are not intended to take the place of either development or committee evaluations for promotion or tenure or of the periodic peer review of faculty.

Each year, the department chair meets in person with each faculty member in the department, including permanent part-time faculty, to discuss the faculty member's development during that year and plans for the coming year. The period covered in this meeting is the twelve-month period of time since the last appraisal.

Prior to their annual meeting, the chair and the faculty member complete a draft of the Faculty Appraisal and Planning Form. During the discussion, the faculty member is shown a copy of the mid-ratings (median) for the entire department as established by the chair's preliminary evaluation of the department's faculty. In some cases, the rating of an individual faculty member may be changed as a result of this discussion. After all faculty have met with the chair, final mid-ratings (median) for the entire department are calculated and recorded on each faculty member's form. If the faculty member takes exception to any of the chair's ratings, the faculty member's rating for that item is also recorded on the form. After the interview has been completed, the chair and the faculty member sign the final copy. The faculty member's signature does not indicate agreement or disagreement with the appraisal, but simply that it was discussed in detail with the chair.

The data required at the top of the form are self-explanatory. Full-time is checked if the person is full-time with the University and if all University responsibilities are being evaluated in the appraisal and planning form even though the individual may not be 100 percent funded by the department. Part-time personnel, or personnel whose appraisals and planning form covers only part of their University responsibilities, are designated by indicating the proportion that is devoted to the department and is being appraised. For faculty with joint appointments, their appraisals and plans are combined on one form, after the evaluating chair has consulted with the second chair. Otherwise, two separate forms, based on separate evaluations and requiring separate interviews must be prepared.

For each of the three areas (teaching, research and creative activity, and service), the percent of the faculty member’s workload assigned to that area is indicated. These percentages are very important because readers, in interpreting these appraisals, weigh each area according to the percent of effort assigned to that area for the individual faculty member.

For each area or item, the chair writes a narrative appraisal of the faculty member's relevant activities and then rates the person's performance on that activity. The criteria to be used as the bases for these judgments are the criteria for performance of faculty members at each rank as codified under the promotion criteria accepted by the department, college, and University promotion and tenure committees, and by the Provost's office, and should take account of the individual faculty member's particular responsibilities

A 9-point scale for the ratings anchored at the end points with the terms unsatisfactory and outstanding is utilized. N/A (Not Applicable) should be used only in those cases where there is no requirement for that individual to engage in that particular activity. In other cases, N/R (Not Rated) may be used. For example, a new Ph.D. might be given N/R in research and creative  activity because that individual's research program is too new to be evaluated meaningfully, but should not be given N/A because assistant professors, even new ones, are expected to engage in scholarly activity.

Faculty members may add other materials to support their ratings on their activities, especially where they believe that a different appraisal should have been given. Chairs also may add materials they consider appropriate. Along with a copy of the Faculty Appraisal and Planning Form, copies of additional materials should be provided to the faculty member, the chair/department, the dean, and the provost.

It is recognized that no chair or any single individual can duplicate the judgment of several committees, nor can performance during a single year determine one's promotion, nor can these procedures match the extensive and intensive evaluation that takes place when a person comes up for promotion. Faculty appraisal and planning sessions provide an opportunity: 1) for faculty members to inform their chairs more completely and accurately about their activities; 2) for chairs to give the faculty their best judgments on how well the faculty have fulfilled their responsibilities during the year prior to appraisal; and 3) for the faculty member and chair to discuss the faculty member's plans for the coming year. The intent is to determine mutually acceptable goals that develop the faculty member's strength or correct any weaknesses. ( Rev 4/24/19)

Peer Evaluation of Faculty

On recommendation of the Faculty Senate and approval by the administration, "faculty members at all ranks should be subject to periodic reviews at reasonable intervals of time." The recommended intervals are at least every two years for instructors and assistant professors, every three to five years for tenured associate professors, and every five to seven years for full professors. These reviews are to be conducted by duly established committees of faculty.

In addition, the department chairperson reviews annually each department member on a Faculty Appraisal Form. This review is discussed with the faculty member, and the form is signed by both the faculty member and the department chairperson.  

Principles Guiding the Peer Evaluation of Faculty Members: Faculty members at all ranks should be subject to periodic reviews at reasonable intervals of time.

Reviews of individual faculty members will normally originate with the individual department.  Such reviews should involve a substantial number of faculty members but not the chairperson.

Faculty members under review have the right to supply such evidence that they feel may be necessary to a fair evaluation of their merits. This should not preclude departments or others properly involved in the review process from soliciting and using other evidence, but in every such instance, the faculty member should be informed of the source of that evidence.

Appropriate administrative officers may make independent evaluations within the review process.

Upon completion of the review, the faculty member will be apprised of the results. Faculty members shall be required to include their contract renewal reviews as part of their dossier for promotion and tenure; this should include the evaluations or reviews conducted by the established committees of the faculty and by the corresponding administrative office (e.g., department chair). (Rev. 5.10.07)

Faculty members are fully entitled to the rights of appeal. Reviews of individual faculty would not be a substitute for competency hearings of tenured faculty. They may serve, however, as a basis for instituting such hearings. In the event of a competency hearing, due process would be observed, with the burden of proof residing with those instituting the hearing.

Periods of Peer Evaluation: Instructors and assistant professors should be reviewed at least every two years but normally no more often than once a year. Not later than the fall of the sixth year of service, assistant professors should be reviewed for promotion.

Tenured associate professors should be reviewed at least once within every three to five year period of service but normally not more often than every two years. Non-tenured associate professors should be reviewed in the year prior to their eligibility for tenure.

Full professors should be reviewed at least once every five to seven year period of service, but normally not more often than every two years.

Departmental Responsibility: The department chairperson organizes and coordinates reviews of faculty.

Reviews of instructors and assistant professors should be conducted with the participation of associate and full professors in the department. In no case should faculty members be reviewed without the participation of at least two members of their department, one of whom, if possible, must be a rank at least one step higher than the person under review.

Associate professors should be reviewed by professors in the department. In those departments where fewer than two professors are available to conduct such a review, the chairperson of the department may request professors from other related departments to serve on the review body.

Full professors should be reviewed by a committee of at least three of their peers. In small departments, professors from other related departments may be asked to serve at the request of the chairperson.

These provisions specify minimum requirements. A department may choose to constitute the whole department, or any other designated authority, to serve as a review body. A department may choose to include in the review body faculty members at the same rank or lower rank of the person being evaluated so long as such persons do not constitute a majority of the body.

Submission and Evaluation of Documents and Other Evidence: The faculty member under review should assemble a dossier of materials that he or she regards as appropriate and convincing evidence of his or her abilities in the three major areas of evaluation (see below). The faculty member should be notified of the date that the dossier is required by the chairperson. This date should be in sufficient time before the review date, which should also be specified.

The review body or the chairperson of the department may request additional evidence from: (a) the faculty member under review; (b) other sources within the University, such as experts in related fields, committee chairpersons, and colleagues; (c) similar sources outside the University. In all instances under (b) and (c), the faculty member should be informed that such evidence is being requested. If any evidence is requested in confidence, the faculty member must be told the source of such confidential information. He or she may then communicate to the review committee in writing his or her position as to the qualifications of that source.

The review body should evaluate the evidence and the faculty member's abilities in each of the three major areas. A report summarizing the reasons for or against a favorable judgment should then be forwarded to the dean of the college along with the chairperson's independent evaluation. A copy of the report of the review body, of the chairperson, and of any other administrator may be delivered to the faculty member under review upon request.

Administrative Evaluations: Appropriate administrative officers, such as chairpersons, deans, provost, vice-provost, and president may review the dossier of each faculty member reviewed whenever a recommendation for sabbatical, promotion, and/or tenure is made by the department, or whenever there is a significant and substantial change in the status or conditions of employment of any faculty member. Further evidence may be solicited in accordance with the same procedures stipulated under "Submission and Evaluation of Documents and Other Evidence" above.

Reporting Results of Reviews: Each faculty member is entitled to a personal interview with the chairperson of the department and, upon request, a written report of his or her review. Wherever possible, the interview and report should carry specific indications where evidence has been satisfactory or, when it has not been, specific recommendations for improvement before the next review.

Appeals: A faculty member may appeal the decision of the review body by requesting another review within a semester of the first review, and he or she may request a new committee. This request may be rejected by the department, but is subject to appeal to the appropriate college and University committees. (6/95; 5/07)