• Home
  • Faculty Evaluation Plan, Humanities Program

Faculty Evaluation Plan, Humanities Program


To articulate the standards and procedures for the annual evaluation of faculty and unclassified academic staff within the Humanities Program.

Applies to: 

Faculty and Unclassified Academic Staff within the Humanities Program

Policy Statement: 
  1. Introduction

    The faculty of the Humanities (HUM) Program at the University of Kansas seek to promote excellence in teaching and advising, research, and service. Regular faculty review helps maintain a vital and productive program. Given the interdisciplinary nature of Humanities, and the fact that most faculty either hold joint appointments or work closely with other disciplines, it is essential to recognize that HUM faculty have responsibilities and demands in teaching, research, and service that may and typically do go beyond those of faculty who are entirely in one unit.

    The purposes of evaluating faculty are to assess performance, to support effectiveness, to strengthen the program, to help out with difficulties, and to assure sound and fair personnel decisions. The foundation of evaluations is the annual faculty review. We view systematic evaluation as a continuing responsibility of the director and colleagues, those closest to the day-to-day performance of duties. The annual evaluation process provides an opportunity for the director and faculty to review performance in the context of individual, program, and institutional goals, and to identify strategies for development and renewal. Underlying the process is the assumption of collegiality and mutual respect.

  2. Statement of Performance Expectations
    1. Unit Expectations

      The Humanities Program expects that faculty will normally devote equal attention to teaching/advising and research. When evaluating faculty performance, the program applies the weights of 40 percent for teaching/advising, 40 percent for research, and 20 percent for service to the University, community, and profession. These weights are the same for tenured and non-tenured faculty, although the department recognizes that the specific contributions of faculty members to the program’s mission will differ depending on career stage.

      1. Teaching

        Each member of the faculty is expected to engage in teaching and advising activities. Full-time faculty members teach two classes per semester. Consistent with the instructional mission of the University, teaching effectiveness is essential in the evaluation of a faculty member. Effective teaching refers to the faculty member’s ability to disseminate knowledge, foster intellectual discovery and growth, and enhance communication skills. As a largely undergraduate, interdisciplinary degree program grounded in the liberal arts and home to a core element of general education at KU, Humanities views teaching as central to its mission. Teaching ability can express itself in a variety of approaches and methods, and ranges over everything from lower-level introductory courses, including large lecture classes involving GTA supervision, to specialized courses for majors and independent study for the senior essay.

      2. Advising

        Advising, in the broad sense of assisting students regarding a broad range of academic matters and curricular and career choices, is the responsibility of all faculty, and it is assessed as part of the annual faculty evaluations. Faculty generally are expected to be familiar with the appropriate catalogs, timetable, and program requirements; keep scheduled office hours; assist students in making academic and career choices; and refer students to campus support offices when appropriate. To further a community of scholars and students, faculty members are responsible for mentoring students. Mentoring establishes a trust between faculty and students in which confidence-building and the fruitful exchange of ideas can take place. Advising in the narrower sense of assisting HUM majors in selecting their courses during the advising and reenrollment period each semester is the primary responsibility of the Majors Coordinator assisted by designated HUM faculty.

      3. Scholarly Research, Presentation, and Publication

        Each member of the faculty is expected to engage in scholarly research. Since Humanities is not a field of study or discipline but a broad interdisciplinary program, individual faculty may conduct discipline specific or interdisciplinary research or both. In the Humanities Program, scholarship is defined as contribution to one or more of the disciplines in the humanities and social sciences as measured by, for example, publication of articles in appropriate academic journals, monographs, chapters in books, participation in academic conferences, substantial book reviews, editorship of journals, citation by other scholars, and academic awards. Although rate of publication varies widely among the disciplines of the humanities and social sciences, within a six-year period an HUM faculty member may normally be expected to have a monograph under contract or in press with an academic publisher or the equivalent in short works (e.g., articles, book chapters, editorship of book or special journal issues) in print or accepted for publication.

      4. Service

        As an integral part of the University’s mission, service is important in a faculty member’s evaluation. Service can be provided to the program, College, University, professions, and community. It can be expressed through local state, national and international venues.

    2. Standards for Acceptable Performance for Faculty Members

      The criteria for the evaluation of teaching/advising [or professional performance] (40%), scholarship (40%), and service (20%) are “excellent,” “very good,” “good,” “marginal,” or “poor,” defined as follows:

      • “Excellent” means that the faculty member substantially exceeds disciplinary and program expectations in teaching, research, or service.
      • “Very Good” means the faculty member exceeds disciplinary and program expectations in teaching, research and service.
      • “Good” means the faculty member meets disciplinary and program expectations in teaching, research, or service.
      • “Marginal” means the faculty member falls below disciplinary and program expectations in teaching, research, or service.
      • “Poor” means the faculty member falls significantly below disciplinary and program expectations in teaching, research, or service.

      We recognize that faculty members in Humanities represent a range of disciplines and have different strengths and goals that may vary at different points in their careers. An “acceptable” level of performance is a function of cumulative multiple factors that exist in unique combinations, depending on the faculty member. To yield an “acceptable” performance these multiple factors of teaching and advising, research, and service must attain at least a “good” rating in each category of the annual review.

      1. Process for failure to meet academic responsibilities

        If a faculty member falls below an overall “good” rating in any of the responsibilities of teaching/advising, research, and service, the director consults him/her regarding ways in which he/she might improve in whatever areas are weak, and together they agree on a plan for improvement over the evaluation period. If after a renewal process of three years the faculty member’s level of performance is not deemed acceptable, the director, in consultation with the tenured members of the Faculty Development Committee, may initiate a dismissal process.

      2. Unclassified Academic Staff

        Evaluation of unclassified academic staff will follow the procedure described above, with the qualifications that (1) the present position is primarily a 12-month administrative and teaching position, (2) the normal allocation of time and effort, prescribed by contract, is not the same as for tenure-track faculty, and (3) the procedures for promotions, as described in the KU Faculty and Staff Handbook, are different, although the standards for promotion in rank are the same.

    3. Differential Allocation of Effort (DAE)

      The Humanities Program expects faculty to devote equal attention to teaching and research. When evaluating faculty performance, the department applies the weights of 40 percent for teaching, 40 percent for research, and 20 percent for service to the university, community, and profession. These weights are the same for tenured and non-tenured faculty, although the department recognizes that the specific contributions of faculty members to the department’s mission will differ depending on career stage.

      Changes in the standards of 40/40/20 allocation of effort for a set period of time can be initiated by the tenured faculty member or director. These changes can be short-term or long-term and must correspond to changes in work-load, not just evaluation criteria. Reasons for alterations can include short-term items such as funded research or longer term career-stage issues. Faculty members are not allowed to reduce their teaching or research to less than 10 percent on permanent DAE agreements. Program needs take precedence over individual needs when making decisions to alter a faculty member’s allocation of effort; such redistribution must be consistent with the best interests of the unit. The occasion for consideration of such changes normally takes place in discussion between the HUM director and the individual faculty member following annual performance evaluations, or sooner, so that appropriate arrangements can be made for the coverage of HUM course offerings. Any individualized changes in faculty allocation of effort will be negotiated with the HUM director and documented in the faculty member’s personnel file.

      For temporary DAE agreements (one academic year or less), the DAE is ultimately approved by the HUM director. For permanent DAE agreements (lasting one year or beyond) approval must also be sought from the appropriate contact dean in the college. All DAEs are reported annually to the College Dean’s Office. For permanent DAEs, the supporting documentation is also provided by the HUM director to the College and the Provost’s Offices. Agreements for long-term DAEs must be reviewed every three years.

      For additional information, please see the University Policy on Differential Allocation of Effort (DAE).

  3. Annual Evaluation System
    1. Overview

      The annual faculty evaluation is conducted by the Promotion & Tenure Committee in consultation with the director who is an ex-officio member of the committee. By the second week in February, each faculty member must submit an annual report outlining teaching, research, and service activities over the previous calendar year (accompanied by supporting materials as appropriate). The Promotion & Tenure Committee then meet and evaluate the portfolios and issue written letters of evaluation no later than the first week in March. Faculty members electing to meet with the director concerning their evaluation and to write a response must do so by the third week in March. This schedule is subject to revision based on deadlines set by the Provost and Dean of the College, but in any case, faculty must have two weeks to respond between the issuing of the letter and final decisions regarding any awarding of merit salary.

    2. Portfolio or Annual Report Preparation

      NOTE: Faculty are responsible for annually maintaining their PRO record, which is also accessed by administration for reports such as the College snapshot of departmental productivity. PRO provides an annual activity report and faculty are advised to view and update their PRO reports before submission of the faculty member’s portfolio to the unit. In classifying your work as major and minor, please bear in mind the definitions in the unit’s Promotion and Tenure Guidelines.The director and Promotion & Tenure Committee review each faculty member’s portfolio, applying the standards for teaching, advising, research, and service stated in this document under Standards for Acceptable Performance. A portfolio will ordinarily include the following:

      • A report of activities for the previous calendar year;
      • A current curriculum vitae;
      • Courses taught, including class size and syllabi for each course;
      • Student evaluations for all courses (numerical and narrative). For HWC these are available in the program office and need not be included. Faculty with joint appointments should include evaluations of their teaching in their home unit;
      • A list of independent readings students supervised and comprehensive examination, thesis, and dissertation committees served on;
      • A list of advisees, if appropriate;
      • Copies of scholarship published and papers presented; and
      • A list of service activities and the roles played in that service.
    3. Portfolio or Annual Report Review and Evaluation
      1. Teaching

        The effectiveness in teaching may be achieved in many ways, and may be documented by several means, including those listed below.

        1. Student evaluations

          All HUM instructors are required to administer the University’s “Student Survey of Teaching” at the end of each semester (see Appendix A).

        2. Peer evaluations

          HUM faculty are required to have colleagues regularly evaluate their teaching, including an examination of syllabi and other class materials and classroom visitation, and write an assessment for the file. Pre-tenure faculty and full-time lecturers are evaluated annually. Tenured faculty members are evaluated bi-annually. Faculty and faculty reviewers should refer to Appendix B for instructions regarding the peer evaluation.

        3. Teaching awards and commendations
        4. Written appraisals

          Written appraisals from current and former students, GTAs supervised, and faculty colleagues.

        5. Other evidence

          Other evidence might include such activities as development of new courses and/or teaching methods.

      2. Advising/Mentoring

        The effectiveness of faculty members in advising and mentoring is evaluated through informal and formal surveys of students, recent graduates, and peers.

      3. Scholarly Activity/Excellence

        Although rate of publication varies widely among the disciplines of the humanities and social sciences, within a six-year period an HUM faculty member may normally be expected to have a monograph under contract or in press with an academic publisher of the equivalent in shorter works (e.g., articles, book chapters, editorship of books or special journal issues) in print, under review, or accepted for publication. No absolute or rigid set of criteria can measure scholarly activity and excellence, but it may be documented in several ways, including those listed below.

        1. Publications

          Ordinarily, faculty members are expected to publish in order to engage in scholarly discourse. Publication includes articles, books, and book chapters as well as curated exhibits, catalogues, electronically disseminated work, and films, or other forms of creative work. One evaluative measure is the acceptance of a published work by peers, which may be documented through the methods listed below.

          1. Refereed books and journal articles authored or co-authored;
          2. Editorship of books and special journal issues;
          3. Invited articles in journals and chapters in books;
          4. Documented creative activities in the arts (e.g., play direction, painting and sculpture, architectural design). Critical appraisal of such activities is important;
          5. Review essays, book reviews, and encyclopedia articles;
          6. Published reviews of a faculty member’s scholarly and creative work;
          7. Citations in other scholars’ work;
          8. Reprinting of articles or excerpts in anthologies; and
          9. Awards and other forms of recognition for scholarly achievement.
        2. Papers presented at meetings

          Papers accepted for professional meetings are important evidence of scholarly research, frequently providing an opportunity to submit for peer discussion research that will later be published.

        3. Research applications and funding

          Both internal and external research applications and funding will be considered.

        4. Report of work in progress

          Provide accompanying documentation if possible.

      4. Service

        Evidence of effective service work can include:

        1. Appointment or election to and active service on committees and in offices at the program, College, and University levels.
        2. Administrative work in the HUM program (including Study Abroad), College, or University.
        3. Activity in the profession, such as review of manuscripts for journals and academic publishers, journal editorships, editorial board memberships, and holding office in or being involved in program planning for professional organizations.
        4. Service to the local community, the state, the region, the nation, or the international community.
    4. Annual Evaluation Feedback Process

      The director communicates by letter to each faculty member the summary of his/her annual performance evaluation in the three areas of teaching, research, and service. The letter informs the faculty member that he/she has the right to file a response and to add any additional information if he/she disagrees with or wishes to correct or expand on anything in the evaluation, and the right to meet with the director to discuss his/her evaluation. At the end of the letter the faculty member is instructed to confirm that he/she has received the letter by signing and returning a copy to the director.

    5. Outcomes of Annual Performance Evaluation

      The faculty evaluation process yields multiple outcomes. After the completion of the annual performance evaluation, the Faculty Development Committee meets to review the program needs for the coming calendar year, and to make recommendations to the director and Program Committee. Such recommendations may include faculty hiring priorities, research assistance, and curriculum development.

      In addition, the evaluation process provides information on personnel matters including promotion and tenure reviews, differential allocation of effort, and merit salary matters, as well as strategies for improvement.

      1. Procedures for developing performance improvement plans

        If the director ascertains that a faculty member's performance seems to be failing to meet academic responsibilities, the administrator and the faculty member shall develop a written plan of methods to improve the faculty member's performance. The plan may include appropriate provisions for faculty development, such as campus opportunities for faculty continued renewal and development, or for other appropriate interventions. The chairperson may call upon the University administration for assistance in constructing such a plan, including provision for additional resources, where needed. A faculty member may reject any plan recommended to aid performance levels, but the faculty member must understand that a sustained overall failure to meet academic responsibilities is a basis for dismissal.

      2. Procedures for addressing failure to meet academic responsibilities

        In the event that a faculty member, after meeting with the director, disagrees with his/her evaluation, he/she may request that a committee of the faculty be appointed by the director to review his/her performance. The result of this review will be sent in writing to the director and the faculty member and be a part of the review document.

        If a faculty member has been informed that his/her performance still fails to meet academic responsibilities, the faculty member may request a review by a faculty committee designated to hear such matters in the College. The review committee will issue a non-binding recommendation on the appropriateness of this conclusion to the unit administrator. The administrator may change the evaluation after receiving the committee's decision, or may choose not to do so. In any event, the report of the committee will become a permanent part of the faculty member's personnel file within the academic unit and shall be available to the faculty member.

        Program Directors shall consult annually with the dean, and the dean shall consult annually with the Provost on the progress of any faculty member who fails within this category of failure to meet academic responsibilities.

      3. Sustained failure to meet performance expectations

        Based upon the judgment that there has been a sustained failure to meet academic responsibilities, the Dean may recommend to the Provost that a tenured faculty member be dismissed. In making this determination, the Dean shall consider the nature of the failure to meet academic responsibilities, the reason or reasons for this failure, the number of years that the faculty member has failed to meet academic responsibilities, the level of discernible improvement in the faculty member's performance after being notified of any failure in performance, and the extent to which the faculty member has complied with the terms of any plan developed to improve the faculty member's performance. The Provost will review the case and, if the Provost agrees with the Dean's recommendation, the Provost will recommend to the Chancellor that the faculty member be dismissed. If the Chancellor agrees and recommends dismissal, this recommendation will go to the Faculty Rights Board.

        Should any recommendation to dismiss be brought against a tenured faculty member based exclusively or in part on grounds of sustained failure to meet academic responsibilities, both the report(s) of the review committee(s), the annual written evaluation(s) of the unit administrator concerning the faculty member, any outside evaluations, and any germane written response by the faculty member to the charges shall be made available to the Faculty Rights Board.

    6. Faculty Development Initiatives
      • One of the most important aspects of faculty development is the mentoring of untenured faculty members. These evaluations help the program keep in close communication with the progress of its faculty. They help recognize both the achievements of new faculty as well as areas that may need some work in order to assist new faculty to excel in all three areas of evaluation.
      • In terms of faculty renewal or improvement, these evaluations can help the evaluator intervene early in situations where faculty members have difficulties, such as ineffective teaching or inactive research programs. Through discussion, the director can communicate the needs of the program as well as offer helpful suggestions to the faculty member (e.g., how to apply for grants for the improvement of teaching, information on paper presentations, help to attend conferences, assistance in the application process for research scholarships and grants, a discussion of temporary alteration of the 40/40/20 formula).
      • Development opportunities include but are not limited to:
        • Opportunities to sit in on classes conducted by master teachers both within and outside the program;
        • Opportunity to examine syllabi and examinations of master teachers both within and without the program and to discuss effective teaching methods with them;
        • Opportunity to gain teaching expertise through the Center for Teaching Excellence;
        • Opportunity to attend workshops on teaching effectiveness, research methods, and grantsmanship;
        • Support for applying for external funding or for Hall Center for the Humanities or Keeler Fellowships or other intra-University support; and
        • Encouragement to participate in ongoing interdisciplinary faculty seminars.
      • New Faculty Mentoring Program
        • To further assist and support new faculty members, the program has a mentoring system that links a new faculty member with a tenured faculty member. The mentor assists the new faculty member in understanding the mission, requirements, and standards of teaching, research, and service excellence of the program and the University.
      • Additionally, the CLAS offers all junior faculty members in good standing a reduced teaching responsibility at some point during the faculty member’s pretenure employment. Faculty members will be released from classroom teaching duties for up to one semester, depending upon the relevant departmental teaching expectations, and will be expected to concentrate on research intensive activities. Faculty members are eligible for a research intensive semester assignment up to and including the spring semester before their publication dossiers are sent out to external reviewers in June, with the latest possible Research Intensive Semester (RIS) assignment typically being the second semester of the fifth year. Faculty members in good standing who have stopped their tenure clock remain eligible for a RIS assignment. The actual decision of which year/semester the individual is assigned a research intensive semester will be made in consultation with the department chair. Note that paid leaves and fellowships do not take the place of a RIS. Once the chair approves the RIS for the junior faculty member, the details concerning the RIS should be confirmed to the faculty member in writing and documented in their personnel file. The chair also provides a copy of this authorization to the College Dean’s Office so that RIS data can be tracked. Faculty members who are granted a RIS are expected to continue to meet their usual duties regarding departmental advising and other service activities.
      • See Faculty Development Programs for information about additional faculty development opportunities.
  4. Appendices
  1. Student Evaluation of Teaching

    Instrument(s) used for the student evaluation of teaching; the HUM Program utilizes the University’s “Student Survey of Teaching” as well as the program’s “HUM General Student Feedback Form” for this purpose. The program has voted to use the student comments in the evaluation process.

    Evaluation for Courses in Humanities (HUM)

    Department and Course Number: ______________________
    Instructor: ___________________________________
    Semester and year: _________________________________
    Class Number: _____________________________________

    What aspects did you enjoy most about this class?


    How would you suggest the instructor improve the class format?


    Which writing assignments was the most helpful and why?

  2. Guidelines for the Evaluation of Teaching

    Guidelines for Evaluation of Teaching (Peer or Faculty Review)

    The Humanities Program is committed to encouraging excellence in teaching. Faculty and peer reviews of teaching are designed to foster collegial discussion of pedagogy and to be mutually beneficial. Reviews of teaching should be based on a teaching portfolio composed of multiple sources of information (e.g., syllabi, sample assignments and examinations, sample graded student work, lecture notes or power point presentations where appropriate), and a classroom visit. The following guidelines address (A) the teaching portfolio and (B) the classroom visit.

  1. Guidelines for Evaluating the Teaching Portfolio
    1. Syllabus

      Is the syllabus comprehensive, explaining the intellectual goals of the course, requirements, grading standards, attendance policy, policies on academic misconduct, dates and descriptions of assignments and exams, office hours and similar matters?

    2. Intellectual goals

      Are the intellectual goals for students well-articulated and congruent with the course content and mission?

    3. Course requirements

      Are the requirements for the course appropriate to the level, goals, and content of the course?

    4. Grading Standards

      Are the criteria for assigning letter grades clearly explained and appropriate to the level of the course, both for individual assignments and for the final grade?

    5. Assignments

      Are the assignments appropriate to the intellectual goals and the content of the course? Do the assignments actively engage the students in the material?

    6. Student Performance

      Is the work asked of students appropriate for the course goals and the level of the course? Are students informed of opportunities outside of class for furthering their course-related knowledge and skills?

  2. Guidelines for Classroom Visits (approved April 3, 2009)

    Name of Instructor visited _______________________________
    Date and Time of Visit _______________________
    Course HUM 204 HUM 205 Classroom _________________________

    1. Special Interests or Concerns of the Instructor (discussed prior to the visit):
    2. Classroom activity observed (lecture on _____________________; discussion of ___________________)
    3. Classroom environment
      • Did the instructor arrive at the class on time?
      • Were the students on time for the class?
      • Did the instructor take roll or otherwise acknowledge the students’ presence? Did administrative announcements or other preliminaries precede the primary activity or presentation?
      • Did the instructor have a well-organized activity or agenda for the class period?
      • How was the activity communicated to the students?
      • Were the students attentive or actively engaged during the class period?
      • Was there evidence of disciplinary problems or distractions during the class? (If so, how did the instructor respond?)
      • What sort of rapport existed between the students and the instructor? Do the students seem to view the instructor as an authority figure, a coach, a participant?
      • What measures did the instructor take to ensure that students understood the material or were involved in the class activity?
      • Was the instructor’s delivery or instructional method suitable to the material under discussion?
      • Did the instructor make effective use of visual aids (the blackboard, overheads, handouts) or other devices (music, in-class writing) to enhance the presentation or activity?
      • Did the instructor leave time for questions or allow for interaction during the class period? (If so, what sort of interaction: student-instructor, student-student?)
      • Was the full class period used for the presentation or activity?
      • How was the class period brought to a close? Was it clear at the end of the class period what had been accomplished, what the next assignment was, or what the instructor expected the students to prepare for the next class?
      • Did students remain involved and attentive until the end of the class meeting?
      • Was there student-instructor interaction at the end of the class period?
  3. Reviewers’ Overall Reaction to the Visit
    • What was the atmosphere in the classroom—intense, friendly and relaxed? Did the classroom atmosphere contribute to learning?
    • Did the students appear to respect the instructor? Did the instructor appear to know and respect the students?
    • Did the classroom space and equipment (if any) contribute to or hinder the students and instructor?
    • Did the instructor make reasonable use of the space and equipment available (or work around problems)?
    • Did the instructor appear to be confident and well-informed throughout the presentation or activity?
    • Did the instructor take an unusual or interesting approach to the presentation or activity?
    • Were there any exceptional weaknesses or strengths in the instructor presentation or planning?
  4. Other comments and suggestions

Humanities Program
University of Kansas
Bailey Hall
1440 Jayhawk Blvd., Room 308
Lawrence, KS 66045-7574

Program Director

Approved by: 
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
Approved on: 
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Effective on: 
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)
FEP, Faculty Evaluation Plan, Faculty Evaluation, Annual Evaluation, Performance, HWC
Review, Approval & Change History: 

09/28/2015: Fixed Promotion and Tenure Guidelines link to open in new window.

09/25/2015: Added PRO statement to Section III.B. Portfolio or Annual Report Preparation

09/01/2015: Changed unit name from HWC to Humanities

06/25/2015: Removed “Under the University’s post-tenure review policy” language as unit has separate PtR policy.

04/02/2015: Fixed broken link to Board of Regents Policy Manual.

12/17/2014: Fixed broken BoR link.

11/20/2014: Technical edit to BoR link.

07/10/2014: Technical edits - added outline formatting, updated links, standardized method of date notation in Review, Approval & Change History.

05/20/2014: Approved by the Provost

04/14/2014: Approved by the Dean of the College

12/11/2013: Approved by the faculty of the HWC Program

Personnel: Faculty/Academic Staff Categories: 
School/College Policy Categories: 
Additional Policies

Can't Find What You're Looking For?
Policy Library Search
KU Today
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times