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Faculty Evaluation Plan, Department of Mathematics

Policy
Procedure
Purpose: 

To articulate the standards and procedures for the annual evaluation of faculty within the Department of Mathematics.

Applies to: 

Faculty within the Department of Mathematics

Campus: 
Lawrence
Contents: 
Policy Statement: 
  1. Introduction

    The Department of Mathematics is committed to teaching/advising, research, and service of the highest quality, the achievement of which requires regular faculty evaluation and dedication to faculty development. Faculty members have a personal and professional responsibility to maintain or improve performance and to initiate participation in professional development opportunities. The department has an equal responsibility to actively support these efforts. This faculty evaluation plan documents the Mathematics Department's (I) Performance Expectations, (II) Annual Evaluation System, and (III) Faculty Development Opportunities.

  2. Statement of Performance Expectations

    The typical distribution of faculty effort will be 40% teaching/advising, 40% research, and 20% service, except in individual cases where a differential allocation of effort (DAE) following departmental guidelines has been agreed upon between the tenured faculty member and the Chair. Tenure-track faculty will be expected to maintain the 40-40-20 allocation of effort until they receive tenure. The phrase differential allocation of effort (DAE) as used in this document refers only to the percentage allocation of effort in teaching, research and service, and not to the underlying reasons for the DAE.

    1. Unit Expectations
      1. Teaching/Advising

        All faculty members are expected to teach three courses (or the equivalent) of either undergraduate or graduate mathematics per academic year and to be active in advising. Faculty members in the Mathematics Department shall take their teaching responsibilities seriously and strive for excellence in the classroom. Associate and full professors are expected to direct the research programs of individual graduate students. Tenure-track faculty members are not ordinarily expected to direct Ph.D. dissertations. Such faculty members do occasionally advise M.A. students in their work on their research components. Advising and/or mentoring of undergraduate students should be a normal activity of all faculty members.

      2. Research

        Tenure-track faculty members are expected to develop and maintain an active research program which gains national recognition and is advanced substantially beyond the level of the Ph.D. dissertation. The research program and resulting publications should provide solid evidence that the faculty member is a dedicated scholar whose research will continue to develop in depth and importance throughout his/her career.

        The research of associate and full professors should achieve a level of maturity and excellence that results in a significant impact in the professor's field. It should be known and respected internationally by the best scholars in his/her field.

      3. Service

        All faculty members are expected to carry out service responsibilities. Associate and full professors are expected to provide substantial service to the Department, College, University and profession by serving on and playing an active role in departmental, College, or University committees. Other examples of professional service include organizing national conferences and meetings, participating in professional organizations, refereeing or reviewing manuscripts for research journals, reviewing grant proposals, active participation in departmental affairs and meetings, professional interactions with faculty from other departments and with people outside the University; and participating in math-related outreach activities.

        Overall service from tenure-track faculty is expected to be light. Service is expected at a level commensurate with rank. Tenure-track faculty are expected to participate in appropriate professional activities, such as attending department meetings, carrying out departmental committee assignments, attending national meetings or conferences, and refereeing or reviewing manuscripts for research journals. The service level for a tenure-track faculty member establishes a record that demonstrates professional responsibility and develops capacity for the faculty member to assume future departmental, college, university, and professional roles.

    2. Standards for Acceptable Performance for Faculty Members

      Each faculty member's effort in teaching/advising, research, and service should be judged to be acceptable each year by the department's Executive Committee as part of the annual evaluation process. The criteria used for these judgments are spelled out in detail below.

      Less than acceptable performance in any category (teaching/advising, research, or service) will trigger faculty development counseling in that area. The Chair and the faculty member will develop a written plan to address the area(s) of difficulty. Continued unsatisfactory performance for a period of three years in any category of endeavor (teaching/advising, research or service) may result in a recommendation for dismissal.

    3. Differential Allocation of Effort (DAE)

      The Department of Mathematics 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 standard 40/40/20 allocation of effort for a set period of time can be initiated by the tenured faculty member or Department Chair. 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. Departmental 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 most likely occasion for consideration of such changes is in discussion between the Chair 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 Chair 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 Chair 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

      Evaluation of faculty members is done by the department's Executive Committee. The Committee's evaluations of teaching/advising, research, and service are based on the contents of the annually updated faculty portfolios. The resulting evaluations later will be used to determine merit salary increases, to assist in determining individual goals and expectations, to aid in determining faculty readiness for promotion and/or tenure, and to suggest professional development activities.

      The resulting evaluation information about the department as a whole will identify opportunities the department can use to achieve its goals and demonstrate the need for resources.

      Tenure-track faculty are also subject to individual performance review by the tenured senior faculty every spring. At the spring departmental meeting, a representative of the mentoring committee presents an in-depth review of the year’s performance for each junior faculty member with a view toward the possibility of recommending the award of promotion and tenure. A written summary of the evaluation and discussion is provided to the junior faculty member. This summary is also available to the Executive Committee for consideration in the annual review.

      The annual evaluation timeline is as follows:

      • February 1: Memo to faculty reminding them to update their curriculum vita and portfolio and to provide a written report of the current and preceding two calendar year's teaching/advising, research, and service activities.
      • March 15-April 15: The Department Chair produces a written evaluation letter based on the evaluation results of the Executive Committee and sends it to each faculty member.
      • April 15-May 15: Discussions occur between the Chair and individual faculty members concerning their performance and future expectations.
    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.

      Each faculty member is responsible for developing a portfolio documenting quality, quantity, significance, and impact of effort in teaching/advising, research, and service for the Executive Committee’s review. It will be updated each year and for the previous two calendar years and assembled cumulatively throughout the faculty member's career. As much as possible it will be kept in duplicate by the department and the faculty member. It should contain:

      1. a current curriculum-vitae;
      2. curriculum and instruction surveys; student comment sheets should be stored by the faculty member until they are needed for tenure and promotion nominations, sabbatical leave applications, teaching award nominations, or other special purposes.)
      3. peer evaluations of teaching, especially for assistant and associate professors;
      4. annual report on teaching/advising, research/scholarship and service for the preceding two calendar years and the current year to the time of the report. The report should provide the following information, much of which should also be recorded in summary fashion in the curriculum vitae:
        1. courses taught, URL for course web site, and any other relevant information;
        2. mentoring, advising and research direction of graduate and undergraduate students;
        3. graduate student committee service and directed readings supervised;
        4. publications: refereed articles, books, and proceedings;
        5. grants submitted and grants awarded;
        6. recognition for teaching, research or service;
        7. presentations: plenary talks, conference presentations, colloquium talks, research seminars given. Documentation of especially prestigious presentations would be useful.
        8. department, College, University and professional service;
        9. innovative efforts in teaching research or service; and,
        10. description and documentation of any other activities which the faculty member believes may strengthen his/her credentials for evaluation.
    3. Portfolio or Annual Report Review and Evaluation

      The Executive Committee, the Promotion and Tenure Committee, and the Chair will use the portfolio information for the annual faculty evaluation process, for tenure and/or promotion consideration, sabbatical applications, award nominations, and for the awarding of merit, if appropriate. Information in the portfolio will be used to judge the quality, quantity, significance, and impact of the faculty member’s teaching, research and service, according to the departmental expectations outlined in the section on acceptable performance.

      The Executive Committee assigns a grade of excellent, very good, good, marginal, or unacceptable for each of teaching/advising, research and service. These ratings are then converted to a maximum of 10 points each for teaching and research, and 5 points for service: for teaching/advising and research, 10 = excellent, 8 = very good, 6 = good, 4 = marginal, and 2 or less = unacceptable; for service, 5 = excellent, 4 = very good, 3 = good, 2 = marginal, and 1 = unacceptable. Intermediate grades such as 9 = E/VG may also be used when appropriate. For faculty members with a time allocation different from the usual 40-40-20, the potential 25 points will be prorated according to the revised allocation. Ratings will be relative to the expectations of rank and any existing DAE.

      The evaluation of the portfolio will typically involve the following:

      1. Teaching/Advising

        Effective teaching refers to the faculty member’s dissemination of knowledge to enhance students’ skills, create understanding, and foster intellectual growth. Teaching will be judged based on the entire teaching portfolio of the faculty member in relation to departmental norms relating to the level of coursework and the type of course taught. Teaching excellence may be achieved in many ways including traditional classroom instruction and one-on-one teaching or coaching, and may be documented by several means, including the following:

        1. Systematic student evaluations must be provided for each course taught.
        2. Feedback from advisees, recent alumni, peer reviews.
        3. Teaching awards and commendations; external funding related to the improvement of teaching.
        4. Service on M.A. and Ph.D. comprehensive examinations and advisory committees, and quality advising and mentoring of graduate students. Chairing MA and PhD committees is particularly commendable.
        5. Course development that serves the needs of the Department and the University.
        6. Evaluation of advising is based on M.A. and Ph.D. student committees chaired, service on such committees, number of reading courses given, advising of undergraduates, and any other relevant information brought to the committee’s attention.
        7. Supervising undergraduate research projects.
        8. The level of contribution and performance in shouldering the departmental teaching load.
          1. Specific examples of criteria that might be used by the Executive Committee in evaluating teaching/advising:
            • Excellent: For instance, excellent evaluations, particularly creative and effective teaching methods, active supervision of more than the usual number of graduate students.
            • Very good: For instance, very good evaluations and higher than normal level of effort, effective supervision of graduate students.
            • Good: At the level expected of a faculty member in good standing.
            • Marginal: Evaluations indicate significant room for improvement; has not established good working relations with graduate students.
            • Unacceptable: Failure to satisfactorily carry out the teaching mission of the Department, either because of poor classroom performance or poor cooperation with the Department in meeting its teaching needs and obligations; neglecting to meet classes regularly; extremely poor teaching evaluations and serious student complaints without compensating information from the faculty member’s portfolio.
      2. Research

        In the Mathematics Department, peer-reviewed research publications constitute the primary evidence of scholarship. The expectation of the Department is that the faculty member will publish written work in appropriate books and research journals. Publications must be sufficient in both quantity and quality.

        1. Criteria for evaluating publications include the following:
          1. Refereed articles and research monographs. Anonymous peer review as a condition for publication shall be regarded as a sign of acceptance by colleagues in the candidate’s discipline when contribution to scholarship is the purpose of the journal and the criterion of the refereeing. Scholarly books and monographs will be considered important evidence of research capability. A sustained record of publication is a strong indication of an active and successful research program.
          2. Invited articles in significant journals also can be important scholarly contributions.
          3. The reputation of the journal(s) in which the candidate publishes will be taken into account by Executive Committee members in making their judgments. Publication in a prestigious journal is strong evidence of peer acceptability of the faculty member’s research and is highly commendable.
          4. Publication of research articles in refereed conference proceedings is evidence of peer acceptability of the faculty member’s work.
          5. Acceptance of a faculty member’s work may be measured to some extent by the frequency his or her work is cited by colleagues.
          6. Papers given at meetings. It is expected that faculty members will present papers at meetings of scholarly associations. Generally, unpublished papers will not be accorded the weight of peer-reviewed published articles.
          7. Active participation in research seminars and collaborative multidisciplinary research can be important scholarly contributions.
          8. Publishing reviews of scholarly articles and research monographs in review journals is also a form of scholarly contribution.
        2. Research funding

          The receipt of a research grant, especially from a funding source outside the University, is strong evidence of peer acceptability of the faculty member’s research and is highly commendable. Submission of research projects to funding agencies is a form of scholarly activity.

        3. Record

          The portfolio must demonstrate an established scholarly career, as reflected in such factors as a substantial and ongoing pattern of publication or creative activity, the faculty member’s national or international reputation, and other evidence of an active and productive scholarly career. The following variables are also taken into consideration when evaluating research:

          1. Evidence of a developed, important research program in the form of peer-reviewed journal articles and/or research monographs and scholarly texts.
          2. Evidence that published expertise in a particular area has led to such professional activities as: guest lecturers; research consulting; post-doctoral fellowships; requests to contribute to professional meetings, symposia, and scholarly collections; and national and international recognition and honors.
          3. The reprinting of portions of books and articles in the works of peers.

            Specific examples of criteria that might be used by the Executive Committee in its evaluation of research:

            • Excellent: For Associate and Full Professors, the kind of publication and funding record that would make a faculty member highly attractive to another university; a leader in his/her field who attracts prospective graduate students or other faculty applicants; for Assistant Professors, performance substantially exceeding normal expectations for the faculty member’s rank, which could result in recommendation for early promotion and tenure.
            • Very good: Above the level of normal research activity required for timely advancement within the system; timely publication and presentation of research results in major journals and at professional meetings.
            • Good: Normal level of research activity for a faculty member in good standing.
            • Marginal: Little research productivity; no recent publications.
            • Unacceptable: No research productivity for an extended period of time.
      3. Service

        Service can be provided to the Department, College, University, community, and discipline. It can be expressed through local, state, national, and international avenues. A faculty member must be able to document his/her activities in public and professional service. Such documentation can be provided by indicating the specific types of activities including:

        1. Membership and effective participation on departmental, College, University or Board of Regents committees;
        2. Election to and effective work in offices at the College or University level;
        3. Service to the profession in the form of reviewing grant proposals for external funding agencies and/or refereeing research articles for publication; also writing reviews of published journal articles for the profession;
        4. Consulting activity at the local, state, national, and international levels;
        5. Effective work in the community related to the mission of the department;
        6. Effective participation in positions with regional, national, and international professional societies;
        7. Journal editorships and editorial board memberships; and,
        8. Effective administrative work in Department, College or University offices.
          1. Specific examples of criteria that might be used by the Executive Committee in its evaluation of service:
            • Excellent: Maintains a high profile in the academic and professional communities; seeks involvement and occupies positions of influence at the university or professional level.
            • Very good: Above the normal level of service activity expected at the faculty member’s rank; seeks involvement at the Department, University and Professional level. Expectations will be lower for Assistant Professors than for tenured faculty.
            • Good: Normal level of service activity at the faculty member’s level.
            • Marginal: Performs at only a moderate level of effort and without distinction.
            • Unacceptable: Grudgingly accepts service assignments and performs poorly; less than an acceptable minimum level of service.
    4. Annual Evaluation Feedback Process

      The results of the evaluation will be communicated by letter from the Chair to the faculty member when the Executive Committee completes its work by the middle of April. The letter may include suggested strategies for improvement or renewal or any information on progress toward tenure and/or promotion.

      The letter will invite a response from the faculty member and a meeting between the faculty member and the Chair to discuss the information submitted, the resulting evaluation of performance, and expectations for the future. If the faculty member so requests, the matter will be referred back to the Executive Committee to determine if a re-evaluation is merited. Documentation of the committee’s response will be provided to the faculty member.

      In case of a judgment of unacceptable performance, in the absence of any mitigating circumstances, the Chair, in consultation with the Executive Committee, will work with the faculty member to create a mutually acceptable written faculty development plan to address the performance issue. The plan will include a procedure for the future evaluation of the faculty member that includes the goals identified in the faculty development plan.

    5. Outcomes of the Annual Performance Evaluation

      The annual evaluation process has multiple outcomes, including career and department planning, identification of the need for faculty development or renewal activities, sabbatical applications and awards, merit salary determination, documentation for special recognitions, personnel decisions such as tenure or promotion, reassignment of responsibilities, and designation of failure to meet performance expectations.

      1. Procedures for developing performance improvement plans

        If the Chair ascertains that a faculty member's performance seems to be failing to meet academic responsibilities, the Chair 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 Chair 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

        The faculty member may request an administrative review from the Chair. If disagreement with a faculty member persists after his/her meeting with the Chair, the faculty member may add comments to the evaluation documentation for reconsideration by the Executive Committee to determine if a re-evaluation is merited. Documentation of the Committee’s response will be provided to the faculty member. The Executive Committee will accept additional information from the faculty member throughout the evaluation period. The Executive Committee will submit a non-binding recommendation to the Chair. At any point doing this process, the faculty member has the right to write a letter documenting his/her objections. This letter will be made a part of the faculty member’s personnel file.

        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 department Chair. The Chair 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.

        Department chairs 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 Opportunities

      All faculty members are encouraged to become aware of and take advantage of development opportunities. These can be used to ensure that all faculty members achieve the highest possible level of performance. Faculty development will take on a variety of forms depending on the career stage of the individual faculty member.

      Having consulted with the faculty members involved, the Chair will assign to each tenure-track faculty member a tenured faculty mentor with a common or related research interest. This mentor will help orient the tenure-track faculty member and provide information about faculty development opportunities. Other faculty mentors with particular experience and skills will also be available to assist tenure-track faculty members on issues of teaching, advising, using technology and writing grant proposals. The Chair will communicate departmental expectations to all faculty members.

      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 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.

      All faculty members may have individual development interests that can be addressed by interaction with colleagues and the use of departmental, University and external resources. Examples of these are:

      See Faculty Development Programs for information about additional faculty development opportunities.

      • The Center for Teaching Excellence
      • External Proposal Development Workshop
      • Faculty Development Fund
      • Faculty Travel and International Travel Funds
      • General Research Fund, including the New Faculty General Research Fund
  4. Appendices
  1. Student Evaluation of Teaching

The Department of Mathematics utilizes the University’s “Student Survey of Teaching” as the instrument for this purpose. Student comment sheets (attached) are also used. The department has voted to use these comments in the evaluation process.

Instrument(s) Used For the Student Evaluation of Teaching

Student evaluations of teaching are an important part of the feedback that faculty members receive. Your comments are important to us.

Things the Instructor Did Well:

Suggested Improvement:

Contact: 

Department of Mathematics
University of Kansas
405 Snow Hall
1460 Jayhawk Blvd
Lawrence, Kansas 66045-7594
kumath@ku.edu

Mathematics Chairperson:
785-864-3651

Approved by: 
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
Approved on: 
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Effective on: 
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)
Keywords: 
FEP, Faculty Evaluation Plan, Annual Evaluation, Faculty Performance Review, MATH
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

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

07/09/2014: Technical edits - added outline formatting, updated links, standardized method of notation for dates in Review, Approval & Change History.

05/20/2014: Approved by the Provost

05/09/2014: Approved by the Dean of the College

05/09/2014: Approved by the Faculty in the Department of Mathematics

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