Annual Evaluation Policy and Procedures

6.2 ANNUAL EVALUATION POLICY AND PROCEDURES

6.2.1 The Role of the Department The chair of each department will be responsible to ensure that a specific evaluation plan is approved by the department and the dean. The plan must evaluate the individual faculty member in the areas of teaching, professional activity, and service. It must also include the following elements:

.1 Each departmental faculty member, including the chair, will make available to fellow department members for peer review the Faculty Annual Activities Report (FAAR, see Appendix A), syllabi for all courses taught in the evaluation period, and other materials designated by the department, but excluding data from student course evaluations (see §6.5.1.4).

These materials will help to ensure transparency of the review process and may be used for peer review if peer review is part of an approved department evaluation plan.

.2 In accordance with the approved department evaluation procedures the chair will write an annual performance review (APR) for each faculty member that includes a rating, as listed above in §6.1, determined according to the department’s defined procedure. The APR should include individual ratings indicating evaluation levels for teaching, professional activity, and service, and assign an overall merit level of satisfactory or unsatisfactory. This rating shall be thoroughly justified in the commentary and ratings for the aforementioned areas. In each instance, a copy of the review shall be provided to, reviewed with, and signed by the faculty member prior to the chair’s consultation with the dean. Any changes made to the performance ratings assigned to a faculty member by the dean in accordance with §6.2.2.2 will be identified and appended to the faculty member’s APR.

.3 When the University awards sabbatical or other leave to a person for a semester or a year, it recognizes the person’s contribution to the institution. A faculty member on leave will automatically receive an overall rating of “Satisfactory.” The faculty member may, however, elect to participate in the annual evaluation process for consideration of a higher evaluation rating. In such cases, the person must complete the departmental requirements for peer review and include a report on progress made and accomplishments completed during the leave period. Participation of the person on sabbatical leave in the annual evaluation process does not replace the report requirements attached to the awarding of the sabbatical leave.

.4 In departments using a peer review process, the chair reviews all members of the department after the peer review process is concluded; therefore, the chair should not participate in the departmental peer review process as a peer. Department members will review their chair anonymously in the areas of teaching, professional activity, service, and administration on a separate form distributed from and collected by the dean. (See Appendix A, “Department Chair Evaluation Commentary” form.) The chair will provide each of the documents specified in §6.2.1.1, which department members will then consult for their evaluation of the chair.

.5 In order to provide formative feedback for faculty, departments will conduct a pre-tenure and/or pre-promotion review for tenure-track faculty who will be applying for promotion or tenure, and for RTAs who will be applying for promotion. Procedures for this review will be developed by each department or college and approved by the dean. The procedure must include, but is not limited to, the following: The faculty member shall provide a pre-promotion credentials file, submitted at the beginning of the spring semester of their third year or by a deadline established at the time of hire if the probationary time frame has been shortened. This pre-tenure, pre-promotion file will include evidence of effective teaching, professional activity, and service. These materials shall be reviewed by a pre-tenure, pre-promotion review committee, consisting of tenured faculty members, as defined by the department or college. The department or college shall provide formative written feedback to the candidate about whether the candidate is on track to be successfully recommended for tenure and/or promotion at the end of the probationary period, and send a copy of this review to the dean by March 1st.

.6 Different disciplines, departments, and colleges may have varying definitions of what constitutes professional activity. Individuals should familiarize themselves with these expectations.

6.2.2 The Role of the Dean and Provost

.1 The individual department plan, approved by the dean, offers the most accurate means for rating individual faculty members within the department. Except for rare instances, it is not the dean’s responsibility to adjust the rankings within the department.

.2 The dean’s primary function in the evaluation process is to ensure equitable scoring across the College, across departments, and in rare circumstances within a department. When the dean determines that a department is out of line with the college norm, the dean will, in consultation with the chair, raise or lower the department’s rating of its faculty members. Part of the dean’s role is to ensure that individual faculty members are compared with their colleagues across campus to determine their rating and that they are not penalized if they happen to be in a department with many outstanding colleagues. Should the chair disagree with the dean’s recommendation, the provost will review the materials and rule in the case. In rare cases, should the dean determine an inequitable ranking within the department, the dean will discuss the matter with the chair. Should they fail to reach agreement, the matter will be presented to the provost, who will rule in the case. The decision of the provost is final.

.3 The dean will incorporate results from department chair evaluation commentaries submitted by department members in the writing of special assignment performance reviews (SAPR) for chairs and any others with special assignments supervised by the dean (see also 6.4.5).

.4 If, as a result of actions described in §§6.2.2.1–3, an individual’s rating is changed after the individual has signed the APR completed by the chair (§6.2.1.3), the dean will write to that individual, explaining the change.

6.2.3  Appeals Process 

.1 Any faculty member may submit to the dean, with a copy to the chair, a letter of exception regarding any portion or all of the APR completed by the chair, and/or any portion or all of the dean’s letter of explanation. The individual is entitled to a written reply from the dean. If dissatisfied with any portion or all of the written reply, the individual may submit a further letter of exception to the provost, with copies to the dean and chair. The individual is entitled to a written reply from the provost. The decision of the provost is final.

.2 Any chair or other person with a special assignment may submit to the provost, with a copy to the dean, a letter of exception regarding any portion or all of the SAPR completed by the supervising administrator. The individual shall be entitled to a written reply from the provost. If any individual’s APR or SAPR is not received by the stipulated deadline (see §6.6), the individual retains the right to file a letter of exception once the evaluation is received. The deadline for submitting letters of exception in these cases will be set by the dean or provost as appropriate.

.3 In a case where the dean has changed a faculty member’s evaluation rating from what was submitted by the department chair, the faculty member may appeal by writing a letter of exception to the provost. The individual is entitled to a written reply from the provost. The decision of the provost is final.

.4 At the request of a faculty member, department chair, the dean, or the provost, the dean or provost shall schedule a conference with the parties to examine the causes of their differing judgments. The dean or provost shall summarize in writing the points discussed in the conference and outline the positions taken by the parties, including the dean and/or provost, with respect to those points. All parties shall sign and retain copies of the summary. Nothing in this provision shall preclude an individual’s right to pursue appeal through the letter of exception provision (§§6.2.3.1–3).