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Faculty Evaluation Plan, Computational Biology Program


To articulate the standards and procedures for the annual evaluation of faculty within the Computational Biology Program.

Applies to: 

Faculty within the Computational Biology Program.

Policy Statement: 
  1. Introduction

    The Computational Biology Program subscribes to the University of Kansas Faculty Code of Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct, as adopted by the Faculty Senate in 1971 and subsequently amended. Faculty duties are set forth in Article IV Faculty Responsibilities, and the Computational Biology Program expects its faculty to live up to those responsibilities. Within the context of the Faculty Code of Conduct, the duties and expectations of the Computational Biology Program faculty and the means by which they are evaluated are presented below. The faculty of the Computational Biology Program at the University of Kansas is expected to demonstrate commitment to effective teaching, advising, and mentoring both in the classroom and with individual undergraduate and graduate students; to engage in professional research; and to provide service to the Unit, College, and University, to local, national, and international communities, and/or to disciplinary and interdisciplinary organizations, and to work in a collegial and professional manner with Program colleagues, staff, and students. To obtain tenure and promotion in the Program, a faculty member must fulfill the criteria described in the Computational Biology Promotion and Tenure Procedures.

  2. Statements of Performance Expectations
    1. Unit Expectations

      Center expectations in teaching/advising, research, and service: Time allocations for teaching, research and service normally follow the College and University-wide weighting of 40:40:20 respectively.

      1. Teaching/Advising

        The amount of teaching expected of faculty following the 40:40:20 weighing is two courses per year. This is typically met by teaching one 3-credit undergraduate lecture course per year plus a lab, graduate level course, or special topics course. In addition to formal teaching commitments, faculty members are expected to serve on graduate student comprehensive oral exams, thesis and dissertation committees, and to mentor undergraduate and graduate students on a continual basis. Advising: Advising is considered a normal function of every faculty member's teaching duties.

      2. Research

        Research activities include writing grant proposals to fund research programs; guiding the work of students, technicians and postdoctoral scientists; writing papers for peer-reviewed journals; describing the results of the work; writing book chapters or writing/editing books; and communicating the results of work at scientific meetings. A typical 40% time annual research commitment would involve attainment of external research funding sufficient to support a research program, publication of high quality peer-reviewed papers in leading scientific journals, guidance of graduate students, technicians or postdoctoral scientists, and attendance at national or international scientific meetings in the field of study.

      3. Service

        The service commitment includes activities on various committees, offices held, recruiting efforts and student advising activities. These commitments are expected to take place in the following categories:

        • Program
        • College
        • University (e.g. Faculty Senate, Chancellor's or Graduate Studies committees, University Boards, review committees, interdisciplinary committees, etc.)
        • Community, state, national and international (e.g., grant review panels, editorial boards, conference organizing committees, advisory boards, review of journal articles, and involvement in professional organizations)
    2. Standards for Acceptable Performance for Faculty Members

      One of the results of performance evaluation is to identify areas of under performance. Faculty members are evaluated according to the variables and weights in the Annual Faculty Information Form. Should a faculty member score less than 4 in any of the categories of teaching/advising, research and service, the Director will explore opportunities for development with the faculty member and develop a written faculty development plan to address the areas of difficulty. The Director will be responsible for assessing the development of the faculty member over a period of three years with annual consultations with the faculty member. Failure to show progress during this period of intervention will result in a recommendation for dismissal.

    3. Differential Allocation of Effort (DAE)

      The Computational Biology Program expects faculty to devote equal attention to teaching and research. When evaluating faculty performance, the program 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 program recognizes that the specific contributions of faculty members to the program’s mission will differ depending on career stage.

      Changes in the standards 40/40/20 allocation of effort for a set period of time can be initiated by the tenured faculty member or Program Director. These changes can be short- 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 precedent 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 most likely occasion for consideration of such changes is in discussion between the Director and the individual faculty member following annual performance evaluations, or sooner so that appropriate arrangements may be made at the unit level for the coverage of course offerings. Any individualized changes in faculty allocation of effort will be negotiated with the 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 Director of the unit. For permanent DAE agreements (lasting one year or beyond), approval must also be sought from the appropriate contact dean in the College. All Differential Allocation of Efforts are reported annually to the College Dean's Office. For permanent DAEs, the supporting documentation is also provided 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

      In January, the Director of the Program sends out a call to the faculty to solicit the Annual Faculty Information Form and any related materials for the Faculty Evaluation Plan. Each faculty member submits to the Program Director in February of each year, a Faculty Information Form describing the activities of the past calendar year (see Appendix B). The Information Forms are evaluated by the Director who is responsible for conducting the evaluation. The Director communicates the results of the evaluation to the faculty member in writing by the end of March. During the first two weeks of April, a faculty member may discuss the evaluation with the Director -- and prior to the timelines established for merit salary decisions.

    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 Faculty Information Form includes a full description of the teaching/advising, research and service activities including multiple sources of data to document this activity, of the faculty member (provided in the prescribed format shown in Appendix B). The faculty member also provides a current vita, student teaching evaluation summaries, and copies of newly published or near-published work.

    3. Portfolio or Annual Report Review and Evaluation

      Evaluations are made by the Director in each of the three areas of teaching/advising, research, and service using a scale of 0 to 10. A score of 5 is considered to be a norm for that category. In the research area, a score of 5 would be obtained by having external funding and publishing 2 peer-reviewed articles in leading scientific journals. In the teaching area, a score of 5 would be obtained by receiving student evaluations of 4 on a 1 to 5 scale. In the service area, a score of 5 would be obtained by serving on 2 (untenured faculty) or 4 (tenured faculty) committees in different categories. Some variables in this evaluation include the quality of journals in which articles are published, length of articles, the number of published articles, level and nature of research funding, attempts to secure funding, size and level of courses taught, time commitment in the course, number of students advised, number of committees, and time commitments to committee work. A score of 10 is considered outstanding work, far above normal expectations. This score is rarely given.

    4. Annual Evaluation Feedback Process

      The Director will write a letter to each faculty member listing the scores for the three areas together with justification for the evaluation. The information in the letter will contain average values for the program and a reminder of what is expected by the program. The letter of evaluation will also indicate areas of strength, areas that may need development and improvement, and any information concerning progress toward tenure and/or promotion. The Director must meet with the faculty member to discuss the information submitted, the resulting evaluation of performance, and expectations for the future, including continued professional growth. A copy of the written evaluation is maintained in the faculty member’s personnel file.

    5. Outcomes of Annual Performance Evaluation

      The Program views the evaluation process as yielding several outcomes. These include initiation of discussions influencing career and program planning, identification of faculty development or renewal activities, data for merit salary determination, documentation for special recognition, and cumulative data supporting personnel decisions such as progress toward tenure and/or promotion, changes in the usual 40:40:20 distribution of effort, and risk of dismissal for failing to meet performance expectations.

      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 director 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

        Input of additional information: In case of a disagreement over the evaluation, the faculty member shall have the opportunity to provide further materials to the Director to support her/his case and to expand on materials already presented.

        Review process in case of disagreements: The faculty member may request an administrative review with the Director. If the difference is not resolved at this level, a three person program committee, chosen by the Director, shall attempt resolution. The review committee will issue a non-binding recommendation on the appropriateness of this conclusion to the Director. The Director 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 program and shall be available to the faculty member.

        If a faculty member has been informed that his/her performance 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 Director 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
      • The Computational Biology Program has developed a faculty mentoring program for new tenure-track faculty. As part of this program, senior, well-experienced and successful faculty members are paired with new junior faculty to act as mentors to assist those faculty members in developing effective teaching and research programs. Mentoring includes such things as help in developing effective teaching styles and strategies, and help in preparing research grant proposals.
      • Current program faculty who are experiencing poor student evaluations of their classroom teaching will have experienced and successful faculty members attend their lectures to offer both verbal and written comments/suggestions to improve teaching effectiveness. In addition, the faculty member experiencing difficulties will be encouraged to contact the Center for Teaching Excellence for advice and help. The same approach is to be used in the case where a faculty member is having difficulty obtaining external grants to fund her/his research. Experienced faculty will provide advice and in some cases may offer to enter into a collaborative research arrangement with the faculty member.
      • Research Intensive Semesters (RIS): 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 unit director 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 unit director 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 Used for Student Evaluation of Teaching: The Computational Biology Program utilizes the “Student Survey of Teaching” as this instrument.

  2. Faculty Information Form

Annual Faculty Information Form

 Computational Biology Program

Faculty Member NAME:
Period Covered: January 1, ____ to December 31, ____

  1. Teaching
    1. Courses Taught
      1. Average Overall Evaluation
        Course # Semester Name % Involvement #Evaluations/#Enrolleda Courseb Instructorb
        1. Provide the # of evaluations vs. # of students enrolled in the course
        2. Student evaluation forms changed in 2004: provide the two “average overall evaluation scores” - i.e., course vs. instructor (shaded boxes at the bottom or your summary page)
    2. List current graduate students and degrees sought, post docs, and research assistants in your laboratory:
    3. List graduate student oral comprehensive and dissertation committees on which you serve, other than those of your own students:
    4. Have you received or been nominated for any teaching awards during ____?
    5. Do you have any special comments about your teaching contributions during ____?
  2. Research
    1. List papers published during ____ (give title, journal, author(s) and complete pagination):
    2. List papers in press or submitted in ____ (give title, journal and author(s)):

      *designate non-peer reviewed papers with an asterisk

    3. List papers/abstracts presented at meetings in ____ (give title, author(s) and meeting name):
    4. List your research support (provide funding agency, grant # and title, Principal Investigator, Co-investigator(s), project period, direct costs for ____, and % funds under your control):
      • Current:
      • Pending:
      • Submitted but not funded:
    5. List invited lectures/seminars (include title, date and host institution/department):
    6. Have you received or been nominated for a research award during ____?
    7. Do you have any special comments about your research contributions during ____?
  3. Service
    1. List committee(s) you served on during ____:
      • Program:
      • College:
      • University:
    2. List service contributions made outside the University including committees in professional organizations, review panels, and other activities:
    3. How many papers and grant applications did you review during the calendar year? List the journal(s) and granting institution(s):
    4. Do you have any special comments about your service contributions during ____?

    NOTE: Please attach a copy of your updated CV, student teaching evaluation summaries, and copies of newly published or near-published work with your annual report. THANKS!


Center for Computational Biology
The University of Kansas
2030 Becker Drive
Lawrence, KS 66045

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)
BIOF, Bioinformatics, Faculty Evaluation, Annual Evaluation, FEP, Computational Biology
Review, Approval & Change History: 

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

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.

02/16/2015: Changed unit name to Computational Biology Program

12/17/2014: Fixed broken BoR link.

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

07/01/2014: Updated 'Approved by' to include correct title of approving official, standardized method of notation for dates in 'Review, Approval & Change History'.

06/20/2014: Technical edits - added outline formatting and updated links.

05/20/2014: Approved by Office of the Provost

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

04/09/2014: Approved by Bioinformatics Faculty

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