Faculty Assembly approves revised guidelines for annual faculty reviews

The Senate Faculty Affairs committee has been working on revised guidelines for the annual review of faculty for more than a year and finally brought the document to Faculty Assembly on June 9 for its approval.

After some discussion about including language about how to appeal an annual review, the new guidelines were approved. Because it is only guidelines and doesn’t involve staff or students, it did not have to be approved by Senate Council.

The committee worked with Laurie Kirsch, outgoing vice provost for faculty affairs, development and diversity, to establish the guidelines, which are listed below.

Revised Guidelines for the Annual Review of Faculty

1. All faculty should be notified annually about the annual review process, including timing, procedures and information they should expect to provide and receive in their formal annual evaluation.

2. Evaluations must include an overall assessment of performance, as well as more detailed assessment of specific performance areas.­

a. For tenure-stream and tenured faculty, performance in teaching, research, scholarship, and service should be addressed; the weighting of these areas may vary by unit and individual faculty role, and this weighting should be specified in the evaluation.

b. For appointment-stream faculty, performance in specific relevant areas should be addressed.  These areas may include teaching, research, scholarship, and service as well as other job functions as outlined in the faculty member’s appointment contract or letter of appointment.   Faculty may not have formally defined responsibilities in each area and the weighting of the relevant performance areas should be specified in the evaluation.

3. Evaluations need to identify achievements and accomplishments of the faculty member.

4. If there are areas of performance that are judged to be deficient or in need of improvement, they should be explicitly identified and specific guidance should be provided about how these problems can be remedied. Guidance may include departmental, unit, university, and external resources, along with a recommended timeline for demonstrable improvement.

5. Faculty should state future goals in their own evaluations. Annual evaluations should note these goals and address whether they are appropriate for departmental or unit goals, and whether they are appropriate for promotion. This feedback is especially important for untenured and appointment-stream faculty.

6. Where relevant, progress towards promotion and/or tenure should be noted in evaluations. Recommendations regarding accomplishments, inadequacies, and areas for improvement that may affect promotion/tenure should be clearly communicated. Resources to assist faculty promotion/tenure should also be provided as needed.

7. Evaluations should include any changes in job duties or expectations for the coming year.

8. Evaluations should invite the faculty member to meet with the letter writer (or appropriate supervisor or administrator) to discuss the contents of the evaluation. Individual meetings are especially important for junior and early-career faculty in the tenure and appointment streams, and when problems need to be addressed. The timing of this meeting will vary across units, but should occur within a reasonable timeframe after the faculty member submits their annual evaluation material.