Faculty Evaluation System Policy

Hendrix College, Academic Affairs - Faculty & Administration
Policy # 01100
Effective: Monday, August 20, 2018

This policy describes the process by which faculty are evaluated.

Additional Authority

This policy applies to all tenure-track and adjunct faculty.

Responsible Party

Executive Vice President and Provost

1. D. Faculty Evaluation System

This chapter of the Faculty Handbook contains policies and procedures concerning the Faculty evaluation system.

When students are asked what they love most about Hendrix, they choose the faculty; when the same question is posed to faculty, they choose the Hendrix students. This complementarity is not surprising at Hendrix. The academic community is at the core of our mission, and that community is built upon the mutual love of informed learning that faculty and students share.

Hendrix is an intentional community in this respect. Because Hendrix is committed to building and maintaining this sort of community, invitations to join the Hendrix Faculty are extended with great care. As a highly interactive community, we value colleagues who are both deeply committed to their own disciplines and who exhibit an inquisitive nature that engages them with areas of learning throughout the College. We are especially interested in Faculty who share these broad-based interests with others and who manifest in their own behavior the pursuit of liberal education. Thus, as a community of teachers/scholars, we are eager to recruit those who share our mission in totality. Hendrix Faculty contribute to the community in unique ways—often as outgrowths of personal interests—but all share a love of knowledge, a dedication to teaching students, and a concern for and willingness to guide our students throughout their college years and beyond.

Because Hendrix goes through a highly selective process in recruiting Faculty, those who join our community should already understand and presumably share the values which define the College. Accordingly, the goals of our Faculty evaluation system are designed to be developmental in nature, rather than punitive. The College has a strong investment in the success of those who have been so carefully selected. Consequently, the evaluation process has a very strong nurturing component, together with more traditional criteria for measuring academic progress.

We hope to meet the following objectives through this evaluation process:

  • To assess a Faculty member’s overall development.
  • To provide the necessary support and guidance to help Faculty achieve their full potential at the College.
  • To ensure, through the tenure and post-tenure review processes, that the Hendrix Faculty continues to consist of individuals who hold the attributes discussed above.

2. D.1. Criteria for Evaluation

While the evaluation process considers a variety of criteria in appraising the success of Faculty, these criteria are not weighted equally.

Excellence in student development is clearly our first concern, as the communication of ideas among Faculty and students is at the heart of our mission. The classroom is typically the focus of this criterion.

Hendrix realizes that student development occurs in other contexts as well. Odyssey projects, undergraduate research projects, internships, and directed readings are all instances when teaching and learning occur. In addition, both in the formalized student advising process and through mentoring discussed in the Faculty Duties and Responsibilities section, crucial student development activities are carried out. Beyond this, informal conversations throughout the campus, over coffee, and even on the playing fields produce important instances of student development brought about by the activity of Hendrix Faculty.

In addition to excellence in student development, Hendrix focuses on aspects of professional development. We expect our teachers to be both engaged with and knowledgeable about their disciplines. Accordingly, the evaluation process looks for evidence of professional development in areas of scholarly activities, research where appropriate, involvement with professional organizations, and participation in disciplinary meetings.

Development of the collegiate community is the other major component of the evaluation process. Criteria for evaluation in community development include factors such as contributions to the work of the Faculty as gauged by the quality of performance on committees, and participation in the life of the College outside the classroom. This participation may be represented in diverse ways, which may include advising clubs or student organizations, participating in faculty forums, attending community sporting events, accompanying students to research conferences, listening to musical groups, and contributing to admissions-related activities. Clearly what we seek are Faculty who believe in and work to strengthen and support our liberal arts community.

3. D.2. Weighting of Criteria

The major criteria for Faculty evaluation at Hendrix College are as follows: (a) excellence in student development, (b) professional development in the form of work appropriate to the Faculty member’s disciplinary area, and (c) a record of service to the development of the college community and possibly beyond. In addition, some Faculty members have specific research obligations that must be met and factored into the evaluation process.

The exact weight of each of the criteria mentioned above is not quantifiable as their importance may vary based on the duties of the individual Faculty member and the particular stage of his or her career at Hendrix. Ideally, new probationary Faculty, in consultation with their department chairs and area chairs, develop a workable plan for professional development. In addition, tenured Faculty also have an opportunity during the evaluation process, undertaken every three years for associate professors and every five years for full professors, to assess their career paths and chart a course for their future professional development. In addition, all Faculty, both tenured and probationary, are expected to engage in multiple forms of service to the College as described in the preceding section.

Although all tenured Faculty are expected to demonstrate excellence in teaching, engage in some form of professional development, and compile a record of community development, individuals may choose to concentrate the bulk of their efforts beyond student development either in the area of professional development or in the area of community development. Thus, depending on their talents and inclinations, some tenured Faculty may elect to emphasize service to the College or wider community and focus the majority of their efforts beyond student development in these areas. Others, however, may decide to emphasize various forms of creative or scholarly activity. Accordingly, while all Faculty at Hendrix will map out a workable plan for professional development and community development, individual patterns of Faculty activity may vary to some extent, provided that these patterns mesh with the expectations of one’s department and the College as whole. Nevertheless, although community and professional development are certainly deemed important, the preeminent position of student development relative to professional and community development is clearly the defining feature of the Faculty evaluation system at the College.

In summary, Hendrix values teaching excellence above all. Dedication, effectiveness, and professional growth in teaching and its related activities constitute the central axis around which the diverse professional, scholarly, and service activities of Hendrix Faculty revolve. Regardless of the Faculty member’s duties and commitments, excellence in teaching is the one absolute requirement for tenure and promotion.

4. D.3.a. Student Development


Excellence in teaching includes the following key features:

  • sufficient planning, organization, and preparation;
  • mastery of, and enthusiasm for, one’s subject matter;
  • a willingness to provide students with regular feedback and encouragement
  • stimulation of student interest in the subject;
  • the capacity to foster both students’ critical thinking skills and their ability to learn independently;
  • a commitment to remaining current in pedagogy and discipline-specific knowledge;
  • the creation of an environment conducive to learning, one that includes concern and respect for students as individuals and members of a learning community.  A Faculty member will be approachable and available to students both in and out of the classroom;
  • finally, a modeling of the lifelong learning that we hope to inspire in our students.

For library Faculty, teaching is interpreted in terms of their interactions with patrons of the library, especially those activities involving engagement of students about library literacy and research assistance.

Assessment of Teaching

The following items will be provided as a means of assessing excellence in teaching:

  • evaluative summaries of classroom visits by chairs and, if relevant, other colleagues;
  • course evaluations by students including at least the most recent section of each course taught since the last evaluation.  If the number of distinct courses to be evaluated exceeds 7, then the Faculty member and Area Chair confer and select a representative sample of 7 course evaluations;
  • course syllabi for evaluated courses;
  • sample copies of examinations or other assignments used in evaluated courses
  • where applicable, summaries of independent studies and experiential learning projects.

In addition, candidates may submit letters written by on- or off-campus peers that address the candidates’ intellectual ability, the quality of their syllabi and other course materials, and their pedagogical skills. 


As emphasized in the previous section on Faculty Duties and Responsibilities, academic advising of students is a natural and important extension of the teaching role of Hendrix Faculty.  Effective academic advising exerts a powerful positive influence on student learning and development.  Given its import within the broader academic aims of the College, excellence in academic advising is an important component of the Faculty evaluation process at Hendrix.

Academic advising is viewed as a cooperative educational working relationship between advisor and advisee, grounded in mutual respect and the common goal of student growth and success—in its fullest sense—at Hendrix.  The advisor/advisee relationship respects the autonomy and intellect of the advisee, yet sees advisors as a central academic resource and mentor for their advisees.  As such, advisors are expected to provide advisees with appropriate academic information and guidance and to play a positive, supportive, proactive role in facilitating the processes of adjustment, learning, and intellectual and personal development requisite to successful college-level work.

All Faculty members are expected to advise students, beginning as early as their second year at Hendrix.  Faculty advising is done on an individualized basis, usually face-to-face, but also via e-mail, campus mail, and telephone.  All Faculty members participate, as requested, on the Council of New Student Advisors (CNSA).  In addition, Faculty members are expected to assume a relatively equal share of major advisees in their departments.

Assessment of Advising

The means of evaluation of excellence and effectiveness in academic advising include the following:

  • colleague and department chair evaluations of advising effectiveness, as appropriate;
  • participation in advisor development activities, appropriate to experience and ongoing development of effectiveness;
  • student evaluations of advisor effectiveness. 

The process, including the creation of evaluation forms used for the purpose of evaluating advising, is designed by the Executive Director of Advising and Student Success and reviewed by the Committee on Faculty.   Students have the opportunity each year to evaluate their advisors and the advising process. The inclusion of copies of advising student evaluations in the Faculty members’ evaluation notebook for the year preceding the evaluation is required.


As noted in the preceding Faculty Duties and Responsibilities section, Faculty may find opportunities to mentor individual students. Indeed, some of the most important Faculty/student relationships that produce vital development of students occur outside of the formalized academic advising process.  Faculty often forge bonds with non-advisee students who are departmental majors or who have their departmental homes elsewhere on campus.  Sometimes these mentoring relationships are extensions of academic work; sometimes they extend from the Faculty and student’s engagement in formal community development activities; sometimes they result from more haphazard interactions that often occur in a relatively small community.   Whatever their origins, mentoring relationships are appreciated by both Faculty and students and are an important part of student development at Hendrix.

Assessment of Mentoring

If distinctive mentoring relationships have developed during the time since the last evaluation, the means of evaluation of excellence in mentoring may include the following:

  • overviews of the nature, scope, and number of such mentoring relationships since the faculty members last evaluation, presented in his/her written materials.
  • at the discretion of the faculty member, student letters overviewing the nature and extent of the mentoring relationships and the manner that the interactions have contributed to the students’ ongoing development.
  • colleague and department chair letters recognizing the faculty member’s outreach to students through informal mentoring.

5. D.3.b. Professional Development

Professional development can take many forms, and Hendrix celebrates the diverse ways in which Faculty can enrich their scholarly lives. Below is an alphabetical list detailing common forms of professional development. Typically, faculty will participate in several of these activities, ensuring that at least some of their professional development activities extend beyond the immediate Hendrix community through engagement with their disciplines, the larger academic profession, or other external venues. The list is meant to be representative, not exhaustive.

  • artistic performances appropriate to one’s discipline (such as recitals or plays);
  • attendance at regional or national, or international disciplinary meetings;
  • continued intellectual growth as evidenced by involvement with areas outside one’s discipline;
  • curriculum development;
  • enhancement of capabilities in employing technology to support student, professional, or community development;
  • exhibitions of visual art;
  • involvement as an office holder in professional organizations;
  • paper or poster presentations at regional or national or international disciplinary meetings;
  • participation in symposia at regional or national or international disciplinary meetings;
  • participation in workshops or seminars devoted to the enhancement of pedagogy;
  • research that leads to the publication of books, articles in professional journals, or chapters in edited volumes;
  • service as a judge or reviewer in one’s discipline (such as peer review of scholarly articles, or judging musical competitions).

Faculty are encouraged to work with their department and area chairs to develop an appropriate plan for ongoing professional development.

Assessment of Professional Development

Professional development can be assessed in the following ways:

  • Faculty members can chart their progress in professional development in their own letters of self-evaluation. Ideally, one’s letter both outlines a future course for professional development and assesses the progress one has made since the last evaluation. Consequently, this letter constitutes a very important component of the evaluation process.
  • All Faculty will obviously submit an updated curriculum vitae reflecting recent activity. Faculty members can highlight specific accomplishments in the letter of self-evaluation.
  • Faculty members may wish to include in their dossier samples of scholarly writing either published or submitted, and readers’ reports. They might also submit copies of posters or talks presented at professional meetings.
  • Similarly, Faculty who have presented artistic performances or held exhibitions of their art might choose to present appropriate documentation of their work. Alternatively, department chairs and area chairs will be encouraged to attend such performances or exhibitions whenever possible.
  • Faculty who have applied for external grants may include their external grant application(s) and reviewers’ responses, even for grants not funded.
  • Off-campus peers who are familiar with a Faculty member’s professional activity could be asked to write letters assessing his or her professional contributions.
  • Letters from peers within the institution could also address a Faculty member’s professional accomplishments. Such letters might well be written by peers outside one’s discipline if the Faculty member wishes to document intellectual growth that has moved beyond disciplinary boundaries.

6. D.3.c. Community Development

When one becomes part of a community like the faculty, students, and staff at Hendrix, a typical component involves the genuine desire to be part of the process that makes and maintains that community. “Service,” then, is a natural outgrowth of campus life. Moreover, the community to which service is rendered may be on campus or more widely conceived, extending into the local community, state, nation, or world.

Hendrix seeks Faculty who aspire to model the College’s motto “Unto the whole person.” Clearly what we seek are Faculty who believe in and work to strengthen and support our liberal arts community. This participation may be represented in diverse ways. Accordingly, Hendrix Faculty typically seek to do many of the following:

  • Contribute to the collective work of the Faculty by engagement through committees and active participation at Faculty meetings;
  • Serving as needed as department, program and area chairs;
  • Help to oversee and direct the work of student organizations;
  • Support the life of the College through planning, participating in, and attending campus events and activities.

In addition, involvement in the community beyond Hendrix is recognized as “role modeling” service. It is seen as supplementing, though not supplanting, the commitment to remain engaged in the on-campus community. Thus, many Faculty become involved in service beyond Hendrix, and such service is recognized in the evaluation process.

Assessment of Community Development

  • Both the more and less visible forms of community engagement will be chronicled in the Faculty member’s self-evaluation letter. This is the primary source of information about the Faculty member’s contribution to the Hendrix community and, if the Faculty member so wishes, to the community beyond the College.
  • The Department Chair’s letter as part of the evaluation process will also evaluate the Faculty member’s commitment to the community through his or her work.
  • Colleagues with whom the Faculty member has had close working relationships on community-enhancing endeavors may be invited by the Faculty member to write evaluations of his or her service in a peer letter to be included in the evaluation materials.

7. D.4.a. Frequency

Faculty with special appointments for fixed terms of one year or less do not undergo formal evaluations. However, it is the responsibility of the department chair to monitor and assess the performance of all such Faculty in his or her department. In particular, the department chair will review student evaluations with adjunct teaching staff, and in addition, will review the mid-semester check with all classroom teachers in the first semester of teaching.

All probationary faculty and faculty with fixed-term appointments of more than two years will be evaluated during their second, fourth, and sixth years at the College. Accordingly, probationary Faculty with no prior credit toward tenure are evaluated three times prior to the tenure decision in the sixth year of appointment.

Library faculty and full-time Faculty holding ongoing special appointments as instructors are evaluated every two years through their sixth year, after which time they are evaluated on a three year cycle. Library Faculty with rank above instructor are evaluated for promotion according to the schedule appropriate to their rank. Administrative staff members who also hold ongoing special appointments as Faculty are evaluated according to the schedule appropriate to their rank and may be promoted but not tenured, unless other arrangements are made at the time of hire. If these Faculty teach at least half-time, they may stand for promotion according to the same schedule as full-time instructional Faculty. If they teach less than a half-time schedule, they are considered for promotion after a period not to exceed ten years for each rank.

In some cases, probationary Faculty with teaching experience may be granted credit toward tenure. Depending on the number of years of credit toward tenure that the Faculty member brings when joining the Faculty, the Faculty member undergoes either two or three formal evaluations before being granted tenure. No member of the Faculty undergoes more than three formal evaluations during the probationary period.

Examples: Years of credit for previous teaching - Years for formal evaluation

1 - 2nd, 5th
2 - 2nd, 4th
3 - 2nd, 3rd

Associate professors are evaluated on a three-year cycle, with the expectation that they stand for promotion to full professor in the second three-year evaluation with the promotion to take effect the following year. Faculty are considered for promotion only during their regularly scheduled evaluations. Exceptions in unusual cases can be requested from the Committee on Faculty through the appropriate Area Chair.

Full professors are evaluated on a five-year cycle.

8. D.4.b. Schedule and Notebook

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 the Faculty member in consultation with his or her 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:

  • self-evaluation letter from Faculty member;
  • current curriculum vitae for the Faculty member;
  • syllabi and sample copies of examinations or other assignments for those courses taught during the evaluation period;
  • evidence supporting excellence in teaching, professional development, and service, possibly including letters from Faculty and peer colleagues;
  • all course evaluations by students including at least the most recent section of each course taught since the last evaluation; (If the number of distinct courses to be evaluated exceeds 7, then the Faculty member and Area Chair confer and select a representative sample of 7 course evaluations.);
  • academic advising evaluations for the year preceding the year of evaluation;
  • student letters (optional).

The department and area chairs will 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 his or her classroom unannounced.

The letter written by the Faculty member being evaluated is meant to be a letter of self-reflection. The Faculty member will outline his or her major achievements and address the criteria for evaluation. She or he will also state goals for the future and address how the goals are to be achieved.

The Faculty member to be evaluated receives a letter from the Provost informing him or her 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 will consult with other members of the department before writing the letter. The letter will be 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 will focus 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 his or her strengths and to minimize weaknesses, b) to enable the Faculty member to better fulfill the responsibilities of her or his position, and c) to enable the Faculty member to better fulfill the shifting responsibilities of his or her 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, will write 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 will be sent to the President by the Provost, who will indicate concurrence or dissent, and forwarded by the President, with her or his recommendations, to the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees for final action. That process is outlined below.

9. D.5. Policy on Formal Evaluation for Tenure [Operating Procedure]

Section 19 of the By-laws states that a recommendation to grant a Faculty member an appointment with continuous tenure must be based on a formal evaluation process. The Operating Procedure on Faculty Appointments sets forth some of the policies relating to tenure decisions; the policy statement here relates to the formal evaluation process.

At the time the President recommends any person for promotion and/or tenure, the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees will have the following available to it:

  • a formal document stating that a committee of the Faculty has reviewed and evaluated the person's work and record and recommends the person be granted tenure and/or promotion;
  • a formal motion by the President recommending the granting of tenure and/or promotion to the individual;
  • evidence that the individual has undergone at least one formal evaluation while at Hendrix and that the individual has made or plans to make any changes identified as needed by that formal evaluation. The formal evaluation must consider the institutional needs as well as the individual’s plans;
  • a summary of the individual’s record demonstrating positive evidence that the person has fulfilled all criteria for tenure and/or promotion, and for tenure warrants a continuing contract;
  • a summary of the tenure statistics for the College, including a projection of possible or likely tenure decisions in at least the following two years; and,
  • a list of all those not being recommended for tenure and/or promotion, although they are eligible, the recommendations by the Committee on Faculty and by the Provost, and evidence that grievance procedures are available to those listed.

After the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees confirms promotion and/or tenure for a Faculty member, the President will notify the Faculty member in writing. After the Executive Committee confirms that a Faculty member will not receive tenure and/or promotion, the President will notify the Faculty member in writing and refer the Faculty member to the grievance policy in Section C.2.c. of this Handbook.


Date Change
5/20/2018 2018-2019 Handbook Publication