Texas Tech University

Post-Tenure Policy

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Statement of Policy

All faculty at Texas Tech University are evaluated in a continuous and rigorous manner. Students evaluate teaching performance through the student course evaluation process, peers judge their colleagues through their votes on tenure and promotion, and unit administrators and, in some units, peers assess the performance of faculty through the annual review process and annual salary decisions. In addition, the university makes awards for teaching, research and service which serve to recognize outstanding performance. The legislatively mandated Comprehensive Performance Evaluation process requires an additional level of evaluation for faculty who are tenured or who have been promoted in rank at Texas Tech University. This evaluation is directed toward professional development, but it may lead to termination of tenure if a faculty member is found to exhibit a pattern of incompetent performance.

Inasmuch as all faculty members covered by the Comprehensive Performance Evaluation procedures are subject to rigorous evaluation prior to receiving tenure and/or promotion, there is an assumption that they continue to be competent and attentive to their professional responsibilities. Therefore, the burden of proof in establishing a pattern of incompetent performance for revocation of tenure lies with the academic unit, the college, and the university.

The standard for dismissal or severe sanction remains that of adequate cause, and the mere fact of successive negative reviews does not in any way diminish the obligation of Texas Tech University to show cause for dismissal as specified below and in the university grievance procedure and tenure policy. Evaluation records are admissible but may be challenged as to accuracy. The administration is required to bear the burden of proof and demonstrate through formal proceedings as specified above that the negative evaluations rest on fact and also that the facts rise to the level of adequate cause for dismissal. The faculty member must be afforded the opportunity to confront and cross-examine adverse witnesses.

The guidelines set forth below are designed to provide a framework within which the academic departments and schools of the College of Visual and Performing Arts will develop procedures for conducting Comprehensive Performance Evaluations of their faculty. It is understood that these guidelines must cover academic units which encompass a very wide range of missions, goals, and performance standards. These guidelines are intended to implement University O.P. 32.31.

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Charge to the Comprehensive Performance Review Sub-Committee

Comprehensive Performance Reviews are conducted through the College of Visual and Performing Arts Personnel Actions Committee, members of which are appointed by the dean. Four regular members of the committee who have not voted on a dossier in the home unit constitute a subcommittee that evaluates unit decisions on the Comprehensive Performance Review, based on documentation and assessment of individual tenured and promoted faculty members forwarded by the college academic units.

Comprehensive Performance Evaluation Forms and any supporting documentation should be sent to the Office of the Dean of Visual and Performing Arts. This material will be reviewed by the Visual and Performing Arts Comprehensive Performance Evaluation Committee and its findings will be submitted to the Dean of Visual and Performing Arts, who will complete the college recommendation.

The Personnel Actions Committee is responsible for drafting and maintaining College policies for Comprehensive Performance Evaluation, and for reviewing Comprehensive Performance Evaluation policies drafted by the academic units of the College.

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Guidelines for Drafting Unit Procedures

  1. Any faculty eligible for Comprehensive Performance Evaluation in an academic unit may be involved in the process of drafting Comprehensive Performance Evaluation procedures for the unit.
  2. Schools should work toward consensus in developing evaluation procedures.
  3. Evaluation procedures should take into account the stated mission of the department or school and the particular expectations of the unit conducting the evaluation.
  4. Procedures must be approved by a 2/3 majority vote of the faculty eligible for Comprehensive Performance Evaluation.
  5. Each academic unit will forward its Comprehensive Performance Evaluation procedures to the Dean of Visual and Performing Arts for approval. Any subsequent changes in academic unit procedures should be submitted to the Dean for approval.
  6. Each faculty member will have a Comprehensive Performance Evaluation once every six years.
  7. Faculty to be evaluated must be informed no later than September 1 of the academic year in which they are to be evaluated, with the evaluation to begin no earlier than February 1 and end no later than May 1. Schools must forward the Comprehensive Performance Evaluation form to the dean on or before April 1.
  8. The attached Comprehensive Performance Evaluation form must be completed for each faculty member who is evaluated. All completed forms must be forwarded to the Dean of Visual and Performing Arts.
  9. Refer to Section IV for additional information.
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General Procedures

  1. Notice of Evaluation
    1. Faculty to be evaluated must be informed no later than September 1 of the academic year of the evaluation.
    2. The Comprehensive Performance Evaluation must begin no earlier than February 1 and end no later than May 1 of the academic year in question.
    3. An eligible faculty member who refuses to complete the Comprehensive Performance Evaluation process will be subject to sanction under the terms of legislation covering Comprehensive Performance Evaluation.
  2. Constitution of the Unit Peer Evaluation Committee
    1. The legislation governing Comprehensive Performance Evaluation mandates that peer review must be a component of the process. For purposes of evaluation, peers include those faculty members who are eligible for Comprehensive Performance Evaluation.
    2. Peer review committees must have a minimum of three members, to be chosen annually by the faculty eligible for Comprehensive Performance Evaluation.
    3. A School may be too small to comply with B. 1 and B.2 above. In such cases, the director, in consultation with affected faculty and the Dean of Visual and Performing Arts, shall appoint an appropriate peer evaluation committee for review of the specific case or cases.
    4. Unit administrators are not eligible to serve on peer evaluation committees, nor are faculty who are subject to evaluation in the same year. Members of a peer evaluation committee who have a conflict of interest with an individual under evaluation should recuse themselves from evaluating that person.
  3. General Guidelines
    1. Copies of the faculty member's annual report and the director's evaluations for the past six years are the primary component of the evaluation process and should be included in the faculty member's Comprehensive Performance Evaluation dossier. Unit procedures may stipulate additional supporting documentation as may be deemed useful for the evaluation process such as reprints of articles, copies of books, teaching evaluations, and course syllabi. A faculty member may include written evaluations by up to three specialists in his or her area of teaching and/or research who are not members of the academic unit. Faculty may add to their dossiers any other relevant supporting material or information they wish.
    2. The Comprehensive Performance Evaluation is to be based on the faculty member's normal responsibilities, which may include teaching, research, service, and any administrative or other duties she or he may have.
    3. The evaluation should take into account changes in research emphases, shifting of effort among the three areas of teaching, research, and service (including consulting and other outside activities), conduct of administrative duties, and other changes that may occur over the course of an academic career. The basic standard for appraisal should be whether the faculty member under review discharges conscientiously and with professional competence the duties appropriately associated with his or her position, not whether the faculty member meets the current standards for the award of tenure as those might have changed since the initial granting of tenure.
    4. The evaluation should take into account different emphases from among the areas of activity being evaluated. For example, a faculty member who performs well with graduate students in seminars may receive weaker evaluations from students in large undergraduate lecture sections; an emphasis on research may be reflected in fewer classes taught; conversely, a faculty member who regularly teaches large undergraduate lecture sections may have a weaker publication record but still be professionally competent and making an important contribution to the department and university.
    5. Incompetence should be reflected in a long-term pattern of behavior, not the product of a short-term lapse in publication, weak teaching evaluations in a few instances, or other short-term variations in performance. Periods of outstanding performance should be considered in the evaluation process.
    6. If a faculty member's performance is found competent by either the unit Peer Evaluation Committee or the unit administrator or both, only the Visual and Performing Arts Comprehensive Performance Evaluation Form will be forwarded to the Dean. Where a faculty member's performance is found incompetent by both the unit Peer Evaluation Committee and unit administrator, the entire dossier will be forwarded to the Dean.
    7. The burden of establishing a pattern of incompetent performance lies with the administrative unit conducting the evaluation.
    8. A faculty member may attach to his/her Comprehensive Performance Evaluation Form a statement challenging the findings of the evaluation, and may include letters of support from outside of Texas Tech University.
    9. In the case of a finding of incompetence by a split vote within the unit Peer Evaluation Committee, a minority statement should be appended to the Comprehensive Performance Evaluation Form.
  4. Faculty Performance Improvement Programs
    1. If a faculty member's performance is found to be incompetent, the school's director and the dean will develop with the faculty member a plan and timetable for improvement. At the close of the period set, the director and the dean will review the faculty member's progress and inform the faculty member in writing of their findings.
    2. The form and duration of improvement programs should be negotiated between the faculty member affected and the responsible administrators (director and dean).
    3. Performance improvement programs should focus on bettering faculty performance in deficient areas. They should not be disciplinary in nature.
  5. Appeal procedures
    1. Schools are encouraged to develop an appeal procedure whereby a faculty member may request review of a finding of incompetent performance. Such procedures should provide for review by a committee that is independent of and with different membership from the committee that conducted the original evaluation. Faculty may also challenge a finding of incompetent performance through the university grievance procedure.
    2. A finding of a pattern of incompetent performance by the Dean of Visual and Performing Arts may be appealed by following the procedure specified in Section VII of the Texas Tech University Tenure Policy.
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Comprehensive Performance Review Form

Download the Comprehensive Performance Review Form

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