Annual Performance Reviews

An annual performance review of all faculty members is conducted by the dean, department chair, or unit head. This review includes student evaluations of each course taught, supplemented in appropriate cases by teaching portfolios, peer attendance of classes, or other measures of teaching performance. As part of this review, each faculty member must submit an annual report in a prescribed format that summarizes teaching, research, service, and outside consulting activities for the reporting period as well as other information deemed relevant by the provost, dean, department chair, or unit head.

An annual performance review that incorporates reviews of teaching, scholarship, and service provides information for determinations of salary, but it can and should be much more. Done correctly, it is a good personnel practice, providing an occasion for self-evaluation and reassessment of the role a faculty member is playing, which may evolve significantly during the course of a career. It is an opportunity to acknowledge and recognize good work, point out areas for improvement, and, in a few cases, identify productive new uses of a faculty member's talents. It is a means of ensuring that the diverse talents of the entire faculty are productively applied to the many responsibilities of the University. In addition, performance reviews can help identify resource targets - places where additional resources could energize a faculty member whose energy or morale has run low or could lift an already productive member to new levels of achievement.

To be most effective, the review should, at least periodically, not only deal with the previous year's performance, but also take a longer view, one that is consistent with the cycle of academic performance and change. There should be a clear link between annual performance reviews and faculty rewards. In the event that improvements in performance are necessary, the faculty member and her or his supervisor should develop an appropriate response. In the event of more serious deficiencies that render the faculty member's performance unacceptable in one or more respects, the supervisor will take measured steps to require that performance be brought to an acceptable level within a prescribed period of time or, if performance does not improve to an acceptable level, will impose appropriate sanctions in accordance with procedures outlined below.

It is the responsibility of each school or unit to publish written policies describing how these requirements will be implemented and of each dean or unit head to ensure that they are implemented in a meaningful manner.

Renewal, Promotion, and Tenure

The executive vice president and provost of the University publishes written policies governing promotion and tenure decisions and the renewal of term appointments. In addition, each school publishes written policies for promotion and tenure decisions and for renewal of term appointments that apply uniquely to the school. These documents are available on the Internet and through the offices of the provosts and the school deans.

Faculty elections and appointments that from the beginning are intended to be of short or limited term do not require prior notice of nonrenewal. For example, visiting professors and part-time appointments of one year or less do not require formal notification of nonrenewal.

For additional information, please review the University's Promotion and Tenure Policy.

Sanctions for Unacceptable Performance

In cases where the annual review reveals unacceptable performance in any area of the faculty member's responsibility, the dean, department chair, or unit head will meet individually with the faculty member to discuss appropriate remedial measures, and will actively monitor the situation during the ensuing academic year and in subsequent annual reviews. In cases that are difficult to evaluate, the dean, department chair, or unit head may choose to appoint a peer review committee to conduct an in-depth review of the faculty member's performance and, if the review warrants, to recommend appropriate remedial action. If a peer review committee is appointed, it should include representation from a field, department, or school other than the one to which the affected faculty member is assigned. It may include representation from another university. In all cases of unacceptable performance, it is the responsibility of the department chair to keep the dean informed (and of the dean or unit head to keep the provost to whom she or he reports informed) of the nature of the deficiency, any proposed remedial action, and the results of subsequent monitoring.

Depending on the context and the severity and duration of the unacceptable performance "appropriate" remedial action might include the development of an agreed-upon work plan, a reassignment of duties and responsibilities, written notice that performance in named respects must be improved, or other actions designed to improve the faculty member's performance within a prescribed period of time. In more extreme cases where the unacceptable performance has not been or is not likely to be corrected by such action, the faculty member may be suspended or terminated from University employment in accordance with the Policy on Disciplinary Suspension or Termination of Academic Faculty or the Policy on Employment of Non-Tenure Track Faculty.