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Evaluation of Faculty

As department chair, you can help set the tone for a departmental culture that helps all faculty grow professionally and support each other in that growth.  Positive, constructive feedback to faculty can help prevent serious problems down the road.  Be sure to thank faculty individually for their contributions to the mission of the department.  Just because faculty are doing their jobs doesn’t mean you shouldn’t notice and thank them.  All faculty want to feel that they are contributing to the progress of the department and that their contributions are noticed and appreciated.  It’s really quite remarkable how positive a little recognition can be for morale.

When problems arise with a faculty member, there may be a temptation for you to address the issue in a general way publicly, or to make a rule that everyone has to follow in order to “solve” the problem.  (For example, maybe you realize that students legitimately can never find a member of your department, so you make the rule, “all faculty must post and spend ___ office hours per week.”  You quite possibly have made life more difficult for faculty who go out of their way to be accessible to students, and you have probably not solved the “problem.”  Or perhaps you realize that a faculty member is relying on a final exam alone to establish grades, but your department’s understanding of best practice requires multiple assessments.  So you say all faculty must give at least ___ tests per semester.” You have make life difficult for a faculty member who is using creative alternative assignments (papers, etc.) in lieu of in-class tests, and, again, you have probably not solved your “problem.”)  Dealing with people one-on-one is much harder than making a bunch of generic rules, but what is needed is for you to have a courteous and frank discussion with the faculty member.  You may even find out that there were extenuating circumstances of which you were unaware. 

For new faculty, APSU has a faculty mentoring program. Guidelines for the mentoring program can be found here:  https://www.apsu.edu/academic-affairs/faculty/faculty_resources/Mentoring_Guidelines-final_Fall_2019.pdf.   Mentors and mentees are eligible for $300 each in professional development funds (details in the Guidelines document).  Give careful attention to how you assign mentors for new faculty.  You may find that a meeting of faculty mentors to discuss best practice is helpful.

Although used for RTP decisions and in the merit pay system, faculty evaluation should also be seen as one aspect of mentoring for professional growth.  The various required evaluations are outlined below.

This chart (https://www.apsu.edu/academic-affairs/faculty/faculty_resources/type_of_instructor.pdf) details the required evaluation frequency for faculty in each category and gives links to the process descriptions and forms.  The chart is organized by faculty category.  Below is a list organized by evaluation form.

 

Academic Affairs issues a Calendar for Faculty Personnel Actions every year, published here  https://www.apsu.edu/academic-affairs/faculty/faculty_calendar/index.php It is your responsibility to make sure that your departmental RTP committee meets the deadlines for departmental committee and chair recommendations.  There is usually a short turn-around time between the time at which the RTP dossiers are due and the time when the departmental evaluation must be complete.  Training for RTP procedures occurs every fall, and policies and procedures are well-documented and will not be detailed here.  Links to policies, procedures, criteria by department, and the necessary forms can be found here:  https://www.apsu.edu/academic-affairs/faculty/faculty_resources/index.php.  The Faculty Handbook also gives detailed information:  https://www.apsu.edu/academic-affairs/faculty/faculty_handbook/Faculty_Handbook_2019-2020_FINAL.pdf

The process is described here:  https://www.apsu.edu/academic-affairs/faculty/faculty_resources/links/PTI-review-Process.pdf

Most of these evaluations are required once per year, but check the chart linked above for details.  These evaluations use forms under “Part-time Instructor Review Process and Forms” at https://www.apsu.edu/academic-affairs/faculty/faculty_resources/index.php.  Note that there are forms for on-ground instructional observations and on-line instructional observations.  The instructional observations of instructors in these categories may be delegated to senior faculty in the department.

At APSU most GTA’s do not serve as instructors of record.  Those who do must be evaluated each semester.  Here are the relevant forms:

APSU Policy 2:053 Annual Faculty Evaluation Review concerns the annual faculty evaluation review.  This is a separate process from RTP and is required for all full-time faculty.  For faculty eligible for consideration for performance and merit pay, this evaluation is used in the calculation of merit pay.

The policy gives a detailed process, which will not be repeated here.  The review period for these evaluations is January 1 – December 31, and the review occurs in the following spring. The schedule is published annually by Academic Affairs here: https://www.apsu.edu/academic-affairs/faculty/faculty_calendar/index.php    

Links to forms may be found on the Academic Affairs Web Page and are also given here

The current merit process is relatively new (as of this writing, Fall 2019).  Details can be found here:  https://www.apsu.edu/human-resources/compensation/faculty-merit.php