Evaluation of Faculty

 
Effective date: 02-27-2013

Last revised: 12-18-2013

Last reviewed/Reformated: Summer 2020
 
Southeastern Green Seal

 

Policy Statement

Faculty have a crucial role in the accomplishment of the University’s mission. By encouraging and rewarding faculty excellence, Southeastern’s Evaluation of Faculty policy protects the quality of teaching and research provided by the University and provides guidance for mission-appropriate service.

 

Purpose of Policy

The University’s Evaluation of Faculty policy ensures individual faculty members contribute to the University’s mission of leading the educational, cultural, and economic development of southeast Louisiana, as appropriate given the faculty member’s discipline and rank. This policy aligns with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) Principles of Accreditation:  Foundations for Quality Enhancement standard 6.3, and the University of Louisiana System Bylaws, Part Two, Chapter III, Section X, D-1.

 

Applicability

This policy applies to all full-time and part-time faculty at Southeastern.

 

Procedures for Annual Evaluation

A complete evaluation of the performance of each full- time faculty member will be conducted annually. An evaluation of the teaching performance of each part-time faculty member will be conducted at least once per academic year.

The primary responsibility for evaluation of faculty performance rests with the department head, who will base the evaluation on all evidence available that is appropriate for use. Because the annual evaluation becomes a part of the faculty member’s permanent file, and because the annual evaluation is essential in determining tenure, promotion, reappointment, and merit raises, the department head shall make every reasonable effort to ensure that the evaluations are clear, honest, fair, and genuinely evaluative. Also, the department head must protect the integrity of the process by excluding any hearsay or undocumented information and relying instead on verifiable evidence from objective processes.  The dean and provost shall make every reasonable effort to ensure that the process is followed correctly.

 

To ensure that all relevant information is included in the evaluation, faculty members must submit by April 11 of each year, documentation that details their performance since the previous evaluation. The department head evaluates the performance of the faculty member and produces a written report. For each full-time faculty member, the annual evaluation shall include a conference between the faculty member and the department head, verified by signatures of the two parties, to discuss the findings of the evaluation. Both part-time and full-time faculty members shall be given a copy of the department head’s evaluation and may submit a response within five working days of the conference. The department head must respond in writing within five working days.

 

The department head shall give the faculty member feedback, including strategies for future improvement as necessary. Departments may wish to have faculty establish goals at this time or at the beginning of the academic year.

 

The department head shall take particular care in the counseling of tenure-track faculty members who are working to meet the criteria for tenure and promotion. In these cases, it is expected that the annual evaluation will contain a clear statement regarding the faculty member’s progress toward achieving tenure.

 

If the faculty member has received reassigned time for research, other professional activity, administrative duties, or special projects, the department head should evaluate the effectiveness with which this reassigned time has been used.

 

If the faculty member has responsibilities (including reassigned time) in more than one department, the evaluation will include input from all relevant supervisors, but one supervisor will have primary responsibility for conducting the annual evaluation. The dean will determine who has primary responsibility. If more than one college is involved, the Provost will determine who has primary responsibility.

 

A copy of the department head’s evaluation along with any response by the faculty member is submitted to the dean by May 151 of each year. By June 11 of each year, the dean will verify in writing to the Provost that the evaluation for each faculty member has been completed.

 

Departmental Evaluation Guidelines

The three areas to be evaluated will be teaching/job effectiveness, professional activity, and service. In establishing the weights of the three areas, department guidelines must reflect the primacy of teaching in the mission of the University. The faculty and department head in each department shall establish, with the approval of the dean and the Provost, a clear statement of the criteria to be used in the evaluation of teaching/job effectiveness, professional activity, and service. These criteria and the weight assigned to each of the three areas should take into consideration both the missions of the department and university as well as the nature of the teaching environment and professional activity

within the discipline. Departments shall establish instruments and/or weights appropriate to the different types of faculty positions in that department.

 

The statement of evaluation criteria, along with the weights assigned to each of the three areas of evaluation, shall be made available, in writing, to every member of the faculty. New faculty shall receive the statement of evaluation criteria at the beginning of their employment. Any changes in departmental evaluation criteria shall include involvement of the faculty in the department and reaffirmation by the dean and Provost.

 

Elements of Evaluation

In developing criteria for annual evaluations, departments should be cognizant of a necessity for reasonable consistency with university-level elements for evaluation of tenure and promotion as well as existing departmental guidelines for tenure and promotion. The faculty member’s overall rating will be derived from the elements presented below.

 

1A. Teaching

An individual’s achievements in Teaching should be measured in ways that engender high expectations and support for student learning and success, engage students’ active involvement in learning, encourage meaningful academic and career guidance, support students’ pursuit of educational and professional goals, and promote collaboration and interaction between students, students and faculty, and students and the larger community within which the university exists.

 

Evaluation of Teaching shall include, but not be limited to, the following2:

  • Evidence of activities that encourage interaction with other students, faculty, the University, and/or the community that support student success and demonstrates student learning in the classroom and/or in the pursuit of a career and/or graduate/professional school placement upon graduation (e.g., individualized instruction of students outside of the classroom; supervision of service learning; student research; internships, or field experiences; active participation in programs/activities designed to better prepare students for university-level work, such as high school/university dual enrollment programs)
  • Course syllabi and examination
  • Student Opinion of Teaching (SOT)
  • Grade Distributions
  • Student Enrollment Statistics/Patterns

 

Evaluation of Teaching may include, but not be limited to, the following2:

  • Evaluation of classroom instruction (visitation/observation by peers and/or department head)3
  • Contribution to course and curriculum development, particularly with regard to changes based on program assessment results, student learning, and student progression toward graduation

 

1B. Job Effectiveness

An evaluation of job effectiveness should include any assigned duties performed by the faculty member which do not fall within the areas of teaching, professional activity, or service. Such duties could include administrative or supervisory tasks. These duties should be detailed in a written job description, a copy of which should be given to the faculty member upon employment or assignment.

 

Specific guidelines for evaluation of Job Effectiveness shall be developed by the department or the immediate supervisor based on the job description for the position.

 

For each department head, the academic dean shall conduct a written annual evaluation of Teaching/Job Effectiveness, Professional Activity, and Service, based on the criteria and procedures for department head evaluation established by the department and approved by the dean and Provost. n the case of a director or similar position, the head of the department of which the director is a faculty member shall conduct the annual faculty evaluation of Teaching, Professional Activity, and Service.  The immediate supervisor of the director shall conduct the annual evaluation of Job Effectiveness.

 

(See The Categories for Evaluation of Tenure and Promotion section of the University Tenure and Promotion Guidelines.)

 

  1. Professional Activity

Professional Activity includes those activities requiring professional and/or academic expertise that support and advance a discipline pertinent to the candidate’s faculty position and student professional development through publications/performances/exhibitions.

 

Evaluation of Professional Activity may include, but need not be limited to, these faculty and faculty-student activities2:

 

  • Publishing refereed journal articles, book chapters, books
  • Publishing non-refereed journal articles, book chapters, books
  • Presenting papers
  • Submitting, obtaining, and administering internal and external grants
  • Refereeing manuscripts for publication
  • Editing periodicals
  • Gaining formal field experience
  • Engaging in professional development
  • Acquiring and maintaining professional certification or holding office in professional organizations
  • Chairing professional meetings
  • Receiving substantial scholarly/professional awards/honors

 

In assessing merit in this category, the recommending units should stress quality over quantity. Generally, quality of the item under consideration is most readily judged by faculty within the same field who are engaged in similar pursuits. In considering the quality of the contribution, the appropriate evaluators should weigh its scope, the prestige of its forum, and its relevance to the individual's professional field. In most cases, the broader and more influential the contribution, the greater would be its value. Judgments regarding the quality of works must be justified in the written evaluation of the peer review committee and department head.

 

An individual's achievement should be measured in proportion to the support opportunities (e.g., reassigned time, sabbaticals, equipment, library resources, grants, travel to professional meetings, research opportunities) that are available.

 

  1. Service

Service includes professional contributions made to the University, students, and the larger community within which the University exists. Within the area of service to students, important qualities include approachability, understanding, ability to listen, caring, willingness to guide, and general rapport.

 

Evaluation of Service shall include, but need not be limited to, activities in the following three areas2:

 

  1. The University: Committee work (University, college, department), Faculty Senate, special projects or programs within the University or sponsored by the University, etc. Creativity, leadership, service as committee chairs, a willingness to work, performance of assigned tasks, an ability to listen, preparedness and attendance at meetings, thoughtfulness, and teamwork are the hallmarks of outstanding university service.

 

  1. The Students: Academic and career guidance, course scheduling, active support of student organizations, availability, participation in and support of student activities.

 

  1. The Community: Involvement in organizations or activities in which the faculty member is acting in his/her professional capacity and/or as an official representative of the University, which contributes to the economic or cultural development of the community, region, and state; this includes services to the discipline, such as hosting professional meetings.

 

Levels of Performance

The results of evaluations in each department will include specific statements about the level of performance achieved by each faculty member in each area and overall. There shall be a minimum of four possible levels of performance, which must include:

 

  1. Excellence
  2. Distinction
  3. Adequacy
  4. Inadequacy

 

The definitions for the first three levels can be found in the Guidelines for the Evaluation of Candidates for Tenure and Promotion section of the University Tenure and Promotion Guidelines. Performance below these defined levels would constitute a level of inadequacy. When deficiencies are noted, the department head shall provide feedback to the faculty member in an effort to assist in improving performance. Non-reappointment of non-tenured faculty shall follow Board of Supervisors’ Termination and Notification rules as described the Termination and Notification policy.

 

Because Southeastern’s primary role is to teach students, faculty must be deemed at least Adequate in teaching to earn an overall annual evaluation of Adequate or higher. Faculty deemed inadequate in teaching will receive an overall annual evaluation rating of Inadequate. In the case of the Library, faculty deemed inadequate in job effectiveness/teaching will receive an overall annual evaluation rating of Inadequate.

 

Faculty members should note that the interim review and tenure decisions are summative evaluations and not necessarily an “average” of their annual evaluations. For example, while it may be possible to achieve a rating of “Distinction” in Professional Activity each year without any publications/ performances/exhibitions, the Criteria for Tenure stipulate: Professional Activity includes those activities requiring professional and/or academic expertise that support and advance a discipline pertinent to the candidate’s faculty position and student professional development through publications/performances/exhibitions.” See The Categories for Evaluation of Tenure and Promotion section of the University Tenure and Promotion Guidelines. Therefore, the summative evaluation would be “Inadequate” in Professional Activity.

 

Remediation of Tenured Faculty

If a pattern of deficiency in the performance of a tenured faculty member is documented through annual evaluations that indicate the faculty member’s overall performance is inadequate for a period of at least two consecutive years, or for three of any five consecutive years, a mandatory plan of remediation will result.

 

By June 1, the department head, working with the faculty member and in consultation with the dean, shall develop a mandatory plan of remediation designed to bring the faculty member back to an acceptable performance status. In no case will such remediation plan cover less than two years. The remediation plan should address specific ways of dealing with areas of significant weakness, measures of expected outcomes, and a timetable for accomplishing these outcomes.

 

If the faculty member does not agree with the plan, within five working days the faculty member may request that the department tenure committee make a recommendation regarding the makeup of the plan. The committee should hold meetings with the department head and the faculty member, review the appropriate annual evaluations, and then provide a recommendation regarding the nature of the mandatory plan by July 1. The committee’s voting and reporting procedures will parallel those used in making tenure recommendations (see the University Tenure and Promotion Guidelines).

 

The final plan, including measures of expected outcomes, will be detailed in a signed agreement among the faculty member, the department head, and the dean. A copy of the full text of this agreement will be submitted to the Provost. If the faculty member, department head, and dean cannot agree on the specific details of the plan, the Provost, based on all of the recommendations, including any by the department tenure committee, will formulate the final plan, which will be binding on all of the parties and become effective no later than the beginning of the ensuing fall semester.

 

A component of evaluations in succeeding years will specifically address progress toward meeting the goals outlined in the agreement. Failure to achieve significant progress toward the outcomes identified in the plan within the agreed-upon timetable may subject the faculty member to administrative actions up to and including academic dismissal.

 

Academic Dismissal of Tenured Faculty

Although tenured faculty receive automatic reappointment, they may be terminated for cause, financial exigency, or program discontinuance, pursuant to Board of Supervisors’ rules (see the University Tenure and Promotion Guidelines).  A tenured faculty who, because of unacceptable job performance, is under a mandatory plan of remediation may become subject to academic dismissal for failure to make substantial progress toward remediation during the time frame stipulated in the remediation plan. This would constitute one type of cause for termination.

 

A recommendation for academic dismissal of a tenured faculty member generally originates at the department level with recommendations passing successively to the dean, Provost, and President. The department head is responsible for notifying the faculty member by February 15 that a recommendation for academic dismissal has been submitted to the dean. Such a recommendation will automatically trigger a peer review by a faculty review committee comprised of the same members as the department tenure committee, which shall make a separate recommendation regarding dismissal.

 

Although the faculty review committee may establish its own specific procedures, it must hold a meeting with the faculty member who is the subject of the dismissal process and may meet with the department head who has recommended dismissal. Voting and reporting procedures will parallel those used in making recommendations for tenure decisions (see the University Tenure and Promotion Guidelines). The committee’s recommendation is due to the dean by March 5.

 

The recommendations of the department head, faculty committee, and dean, along with any response by the faculty member, will be forwarded to the Provost by April 1. A recommendation by the Provost for dismissal should follow the same university-level due-process procedures detailed in the Termination/Severe Sanction of Tenured Faculty for Cause policy.  

 

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1Dates for Library faculty are as established by the Library’s evaluation document.

2As per The Categories for Evaluation of Tenure and Promotion section of the University Tenure and Promotion Guidelines

3Classroom observations are required for the interim review and the tenure and/or promotion review, but not the annual review. By September 15, faculty intending to file for tenure/promotion shall notify their Department Head of their need for current classroom observation(s).