The primary purpose of the evaluation is to assist Faculty members in their professional development. It is also the key instrument for all decisions related to tenure, promotion, and other forms of recognition. The process of self-evaluation is a continuing process carried out by Faculty members in consultation with the appropriate department chair, Area Chair, and the Provost, through periodic visitation and informal consultation. Faculty members are encouraged to meet with their Area Chair or the Provost to discuss informally the evaluation procedures.
Each Faculty member to be evaluated prepares an evaluation notebook containing the following items:
The department and area chairs make classroom visits. These visits may be unannounced, although chairs often discuss appropriate dates to visit in advance. The Faculty member is encouraged to invite any other colleagues writing evaluative letters to visit one or more classes unannounced.
The letter written by the Faculty member being evaluated is meant to be a letter of self-reflection. The Faculty member outlines major achievements and addresses the criteria for evaluation. The Faculty member also states goals for the future and addresses how the goals are to be achieved.
The Faculty member to be evaluated receives a letter from the Provost informing the Faculty member about the evaluation process shortly after the commencement of the academic year. The evaluation notebook is delivered to the Area Chair by the date specified in the letter from the Provost. The notebook is protected by reasonable security measures, and kept in the department chair’s or area chair’s office. It is returned to the Faculty member after completion of the evaluation process. A copy of primary documents (current curriculum vitae and letters from the Faculty member, department chair, and Area Chair) is retained in the Provost’s office.
The department chair studies the documents provided and prepares an evaluation letter by the date determined by the Area Chair. The department chair consults with other members of the department before writing the letter. The letter is delivered to the Area Chair with a copy sent to the Faculty member at least one week prior to the conference.
Following the review of evaluation materials by the Area Chair, a conference is scheduled to include the Faculty member, department chair and Area Chair. The conference focuses on five topics:
- the accumulated analyses of the Faculty member’s strengths and weaknesses;
- the Faculty member’s response to these analyses;
- clarification and codification of the responsibilities required by the position which the Faculty member holds, from the points of view of the Area Chair, department chair, and Faculty member;
- the relationship between Faculty member and the long range plans of the institution, with particular attention to issues of curriculum and enrollment, for the department as well as for the College as a whole;
- the examination of specific proposals a) to enable the Faculty member to enhance strengths and minimize weaknesses, b) to enable the Faculty member to better fulfill the faculty member's responsibilities, and c) to enable the Faculty member to better fulfill the shifting responsibilities in the position according to any developmental changes envisioned for the department or area.
Following the conference, the Area Chair prepares a letter based on the material provided by the Faculty member, the department letter, classroom visits, evaluation conference, and other pertinent evidence. The Area Chair letter and the department chair letter becomes a part of the official evaluation notebook. A copy of the Area Chair letter is provided to the Faculty member at least two weeks prior to consideration by the Committee on Faculty. The Faculty member may choose to respond in writing to the departmental letter, evaluation conference, and/or Area Chair letter.
At the end of the evaluation process, then, the following documents are included in the Faculty member’s folder:
- Faculty member’s letter;
- current curriculum vitae;
- supporting materials;
- departmental chair letter;
- Area Chair letter;
- written response by Faculty member (optional).
Copies of the primary documents (all those listed above except the student evaluations and supporting materials) are forwarded to the Provost and the Committee on Faculty for consideration.
For evaluations not involving tenure and/or promotion, the Provost, at the conclusion of the evaluation by the Committee on Faculty, writes a letter to the Faculty member reflecting the decisions of the Committee on Faculty. Unless otherwise specified, the Area Chair letter serves as the summative letter for the evaluation process. A conference with the Provost may be arranged after the Committee on Faculty has evaluated the Faculty member. If the Faculty member so requests, a hearing before the Committee on Faculty is held. Any written materials generated during the conference or hearing is made available to the Faculty member under evaluation.
For evaluations involving tenure and/or promotion decisions, the Committee on Faculty’s recommendations are sent to the President by the Provost, who indicates concurrence or dissent, and forwarded by the President, with any recommendations, to the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees for final action. That process is outlined in the next section, D.5.