[Major revision–posted 3/11/21 (replaces 2/21/17 edition)]
[Updated reference to Senior Vice Provost–11/2/22; no additional change to OP]
Operating Policy and Procedure
OP 32.32: Performance Evaluations of Faculty
DATE: March 11, 2021
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 Succes with substantive revisions presented to the Provost and 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 and includes a mandatory Annual Performance Evaluation. The Annual Performance Evaluation includes the faculty member's Annual Report and Chair Evaluation, with or without an optional Annual Plan.
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 (hereafter "Annual Report") shall be submitted directly to the faculty member's department chair/school director/area coordinator (hereafter "Chair"). In addition to the Annual Report, any faculty member may provide a brief Annual Plan for the year then in progress, outlining expected professional activities in the areas of research, teaching, service, or community outreach and engagement, as relevant to the faculty member's specific appointment, in addition to outlining goals for professional advancement within the university. The Annual Report (required) and Annual Plan (optional) will be provided to the Chair by January 31.
b. The Chair responsible for evaluating a faculty member shall provide written evaluations of the faculty member's performance for the preceding year (hereafter "Chair Evaluation"). As one part of the Chair Evaluation, the Chair 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 Chair will consider performance for the three previous years, using the information provided in the faculty member's Annual Report as the principal basis for the evaluation. The Chair Evaluation, along with the Annual Report (required) and Annual Plan (optional), will be provided to the dean and the faculty member by March 31 with any unsatisfactory evaluation so noted. Both the Chair 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 Chair 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 Chair of each department/area, shall review each faculty member's evaluation. The dean may provide an evaluation or approve the Chair's evaluation. In those cases where the dean and the Chair 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 Chair the process used for determining the merit of each faculty member's performance to ensure compliance with all policies and procedures and to be certain that each faculty member has received fair consideration of their work.
e. If approved by a majority of the voting members of the academic unit, 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 Chair 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 to 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 to by the dean and Chair, 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 Chair and the faculty member. Each academic unit will develop pre-established procedures agreed to 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 Chair 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 Chair 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 requested by the faculty member, and will be signed by the dean, Chair, and faculty member.
c. For any case in which the dean and the Chair 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.
c. 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 (OP 32.01, Promotion and Tenure Standards and Procedures, and the Faculty Handbook).
Prompt and full communication is essential. The following actions should occur:
a. The written evaluations completed by the Chair 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 Chair must be provided a meeting with the dean and the Chair 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 the Chair by January 31 each year.
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