[Date changed–posted 2/21/17 (replaces 8/29/07 edition)]
Operating Policy and Procedure
OP 32.32: Performance Evaluations of Faculty
DATE: February 21, 2017
PURPOSE: The purpose of this Operating Policy/Procedure (OP) is to establish uniform guidelines and procedures for performance evaluations of members of the faculty.
REVIEW: This OP will be reviewed in February of odd-numbered years by the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs and the Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs with substantive revisions presented to the Provost/Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs (PSVPAA) by March 15.
Texas Tech University administrators and faculty conduct periodic evaluations of faculty performance when making decisions concerning tenure and promotion, merit salary increases, research support, development leaves, and teaching and research awards. The evaluation of faculty at Texas Tech University is continuous.
Students evaluate teaching, faculty members judge each other's work continuously as decisions on promotion and tenure are made, products of research and other creative activity are reviewed and critiqued, and award competitions are conducted. Moreover, evaluation of faculty members and the programs of departments and colleges occurs during reviews conducted by accreditation agencies, the Graduate School, and other concerned groups and individuals.
The responsibilities of the university dictate, to a major extent, the responsibilities of the individual faculty member. Therefore, faculty members are responsible for teaching, research and other creative activity, and service to the profession, university, and community. Performance in these three areas of responsibility will provide the basis for the evaluation of faculty members.
In making individual evaluations, consideration should be given to standards expected of faculty members in similar fields of study in institutions of higher education comparable to this university in terms of mission and status.
Standardized procedures will be followed by each college or school. These procedures include the following:
a. Each faculty member shall provide, according to a uniform format, a written record of achievements for the year immediately past (see Attachment A). This information shall provide the principal database for the evaluations. In addition to the annual report, the faculty member will provide a copy of the syllabus for each course taught during the year immediately past. This annual report will be provided to the department chairperson/area coordinator by January 20.
b. The administrator responsible for evaluating a faculty member shall provide written evaluations of the faculty member's performance for the preceding year. As one part of the evaluation, the chairperson will verify the inclusion in the course syllabi of the expected student learning outcomes and the methods used to assess those outcomes (as required by OP 32.06, Faculty Responsibility). In addition, the chairperson/coordinator will consider performance for the three previous years. This annual evaluation will be provided to the dean and the faculty member by March 1 with any unsatisfactory evaluation so noted. Both the administrator and faculty member will sign the evaluation.
c. Student evaluations of teaching ability will be conducted at least once each academic year by each faculty member using a standard university form (see Attachment B). Other evaluation forms may be used in addition to the standard one if the faculty member chooses to do so. These evaluations should not be available for review by the faculty member until after submission of final grades. The evaluations will be considered by the chairperson/coordinator in the annual performance evaluation of faculty members. Student evaluations should be retained in the department office for at least six years. Student evaluations should be retained or summarized for probationary faculty for use in tenure decisions.
d. Each year, the dean, in consultation with the chairperson/coordinator of each department/area, shall review each faculty member's evaluation. The dean may provide an evaluation or approve the chairperson/coordinator's evaluation. In those cases where the dean and the chairperson/coordinator agree that incompetence, continuing or repeated substantial neglect of professional responsibilities, or other good cause is present in the performance of a faculty member, the procedures outlined in section 5 shall be followed.
The dean will review with each chairperson/coordinator the process used for determining the merit of each faculty member's performance in order to assure compliance with all policies and procedures and to be certain that each faculty member has received fair consideration of his/her work.
e. Discipline-specific evaluation procedures such as goal setting, peer evaluations of teaching, or comparisons with mission and goal statements of the academic unit may be developed.
f. All units should have a procedure established whereby a committee of peers will be available to mediate disagreement between an individual faculty member and the chairperson/coordinator regarding an annual review at the faculty member's request. If the mediation is not successful, a copy of the committee's recommendation shall become part of the annual evaluation. This procedure and/or the possibility of filing a grievance provide the non-binding alternative dispute-resolution processes described in Chapter 154 of the Civil Practice and Remedies Code.
g. Such a peer review committee shall be chosen by pre-established procedures agreed upon by a majority of the voting members of the faculty member's academic unit.
Performance evaluations will provide data for use in the recognition of faculty for merit salary increases, research support, academic awards, development leaves, and teaching and research awards.
5. Development Procedures
Follow-up development procedures will also be standardized, although specific activities designed to improve performance may vary according to the individuals involved. These procedures are as follows:
a. Any faculty member whose evaluation reflects a pattern of incompetent performance, continuing or repeated substantial neglect of professional responsibilities, or other good cause as agreed upon by the dean and chairperson/coordinator, will be informed in writing of deficiencies in teaching, creative activity or research, or service.
A written program of development for a reasonable time, but no more than two years, will be established in consultation with the chairperson/coordinator and the faculty member. Each academic unit will develop pre-established procedures agreed upon by the voting members of the faculty member's academic unit for involving other faculty in the formulation of a written program of development when requested by the faculty member involved.
b. The faculty member and the chairperson/coordinator will continue to provide reports at the end of each semester summarizing progress toward development objectives. For the individual on a development program, the dean and the chairperson/coordinator will provide an evaluation report at the end of each academic semester to the individual, which will be reviewed by a committee of peers if so requested by the faculty member, and will be signed by the dean, chairperson/coordinator, and faculty member.
c. For any case in which the dean and the chairperson/coordinator deem that there has been a failure to improve performance to acceptable standards of competence within the allotted time, they will refer the matter to the PSVPAA.
6. Referral Decisions
Consideration by the PSVPAA may result in one of the following decisions:
a. The PSVPAA may determine that satisfactory progress has been made and take no further action.
b. The PSVPAA may determine that because of extenuating circumstances the development program should be extended for an additional year.
The PSVPAA may refer the case to the President for further action, including the possibility of resorting to pertinent provisions of the Texas Tech University Tenure Policy (Faculty Handbook, August 2004 edition, page 39, Appendix A). The Faculty Handbook is available online at http://www.depts.ttu.edu/officialpublications/facultyHB/HB_viewcat.php.
Prompt and full communication is essential. The following actions should occur:
a. The written evaluations completed by the chairperson/coordinator shall be given to the individual faculty member and signed by both as evidence that the evaluation is known to all concerned.
b. Any faculty member whose performance has been deemed incompetent by the dean and the chairperson/coordinator must be provided a meeting with the dean and the chairperson/coordinator involved in the evaluation. This conference will take place prior to any further action.
c. Evaluations indicating incompetence may be appealed to the next higher administrative level and must be initiated within 30 working days of the receipt of the evaluation specified in section 7.a. of this policy.
d. The PSVPAA must provide a written decision on any referral or appeal within 30 working days of receipt.
e. Administrative determinations made based on this policy are subject to faculty grievance procedures and to the tenure policy.
Any changes of procedure or criteria shall be developed to allow reasonable implementation dates. Proposed changes will be made only after faculty of the affected unit(s) have had time and opportunity to make recommendations or respond to proposals. Departmental or area changes must be reviewed and approved by the dean and the PSVPAA prior to implementation.
Annual faculty reports will be submitted to chairpersons or area coordinators by January 20 each year.
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