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Post-tenure Review Criteria and Procedures for the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Policy
Purpose: 

To articulate the criteria and procedures for post-tenure review for the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

Applies to: 

Tenured faculty in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Campus: 
Lawrence
Policy Statement: 

General Principles: In accordance with Board of Regents requirements (II.C.8), Article 7 Section 4 of the Faculty Senate Rules and Regulations, and the University Policy on Post-tenure Review, the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology hereafter referred to as the Unit (or EEB), has adopted these expectations and procedures for conducting post-tenure review. Post-tenure review is a process for periodic peer evaluation of faculty performance that provides an opportunity for a long-term assessment of a faculty member’s accomplishments and future directions in the areas of teaching/advising, scholarship, and service.

Post-tenure review must be conducted in a manner that respects the rights of faculty members involved, including academic freedom, tenure, and due process. In addition, all those involved in the evaluation process must recognize that it is a confidential personnel matter and take appropriate steps to protect confidentiality.

Period for Review: Faculty members will be reviewed once every seven years following the receipt of tenure with the review occurring in the unit(s) that conducts their annual evaluation. Post-tenure review covers the seven-year period leading up to the review, including the six prior annual evaluation letters and activities since the last annual evaluation. The cycle is restarted if a faculty member is evaluated for promotion or is awarded a distinguished professorship.  The time period when a faculty member is on medical or familial leave or that would otherwise be excluded when computing time in rank does not count toward this period. In addition, time serving as department chair, program director, dean or associate dean, or other administrative position subject to administrative review is excluded. The review may be postponed if it falls in a year when the faculty member is on leave. Faculty members on phased retirement or whose retirement date has been approved by the university will be exempt from review under this policy. The dean of the College will notify faculty members scheduled for post-tenure review no later than March 15th in the spring semester preceding the academic year of review. 

Unit Expectations: All tenured faculty members must meet academic responsibilities in the areas of teaching/advising, scholarship, and service. Unless otherwise specified by the job description or differential allocation of effort, the ordinary allocation of effort is 40% teaching/advising, 40% scholarship, and 20% service.

The Unit has defined its standards and expectations for teaching/advising, scholarship, and service in its annual evaluation procedures. The expectations for post-tenure review are consistent with these standards, with overall productivity commensurate to the seven-year period under review. The following specific criteria shall apply for purposes of post-tenure review.

Criteria for Meeting Expectations in Teaching/Advising:

Contributions of a faculty member to the teaching mission of EEB are judged on the basis of a number of teaching-related activities. Because measurement of teaching success can vary from year to year and may depend upon the nature of a particular course, judgments are based on performance during the most recent seven-year period. Each category of teaching activity focuses on different elements of preparing students and thus requires different measures. Students and peers provide perspectives appropriate to their ability to comment and evaluate.

  • Evaluating the conduct of courses should focus on
    • Clarity of course goals
    • Relevance and appropriateness of course content
    • Effectiveness of instruction in lecture, labs, discussion, and other activities
    • Appropriate relationship with students in which the instructor is available, challenges students, and supports their learning
    • Measures of student learning
    • Presentation of courses serving the mission of the Unit or University
  • Evaluating course preparation should focus on
    • Appropriate preparation of new courses or efforts to improve instruction
    • Continuing efforts to improve teaching
  • Evaluating teaching activities in addition to formal courses should focus on
    • Coordinating courses within a program, or developing a new course
    • Supporting teaching at the Unit level by developing new materials for general use; creating infrastructure for labs or field work; seeking grant support for teaching; recruiting students
    • Mentoring undergraduate research projects
    • Advising undergraduate students on degree options, post graduate plans, and career opportunities
    • Mentoring and supervising GTAs/GRAs
    • Directing graduate student research projects, ensuring appropriate support and progress toward degrees, and providing advice on career directions
    • Mentoring graduate students within and outside the Unit by serving on comprehensive oral exams and dissertations committees, and providing expertise for graduate research projects
    • Working with student groups
    • Supervising postdoctoral associates and providing advice on career choices and research directions
    • Mentoring new faculty members in their role as a teacher

Criteria for Meeting Expectations in Research and Creative Activity:

Contributions of a faculty member to the research mission of EEB are judged principally on the maintenance of a program of productive research, as evidenced by scholarly publications, communication of current research at appropriate professional meetings, and supportive funding. The assessment of a faculty member's success in achieving satisfactory performance in research is multifaceted and to some degree will be governed by the percentage of the appointment in other academic units (e.g., Kansas Biological Survey, Biodiversity Institute). Because research productivity sometimes varies considerably among years, the evaluation will include the seven most recent years. Members of the Post-tenure Review Committee will develop recommendations to the Chair based on evidence of performance that may include but not be limited to the following:

  • Quality and quantity of publications in peer reviewed journals
    • Evaluation of quality may include consideration of the “impact” and the regional, national, or international distribution of the journal
    • Number of publications varies with established subdisciplinary norms
    • Publishing scholarly articles related to teaching
  • Publication of major book projects may require years of preparation and thus are given special recognition
  • Quality and quantity of other publications may be evaluated based on
    • Proceedings from regional, national, or international meetings
    • Web-based publications or development of software
    • Publication of book reviews, letters, notes, etc. in major or minor journals
    • Book chapters from local, national, or international presses
  • Presentation of lectures, presentations, or posters evaluated based on the nature of the meetings; regional, national, or international
  • Proposals for intramural or extramural grants evaluated on competitiveness of granting agency, duration of support, comments from reviewers, prestige of award (e.g., career award, recognition award), receipt of funding
  • Evaluating contributions related to the scholarship of teaching should focus on
    • Teaching related presentations at KU or elsewhere
    • Attending or organizing teaching institutes
    • Serving as a guest teacher at other institutions, for outside associations, or in the community
    • Developing course materials, such as textbooks or websites
    • Applying for and receiving grants in support of teaching

Criteria for Meeting Expectations in Service:

Service contributions of a faculty member are judged principally on activities that provide service to the Department, University, local community, state and federal governments, and to professional and scholarly societies. These measures can vary from year to year, and judgments are based on performance during the past seven years. The evaluation should include discussion of quality. It is recognized that faculty members do not have control over their appointment to all committees and that the Department, College, and University bear some responsibility for assuring that faculty members are regularly appointed to serve on committees. Faculty members are expected to exhibit a level of service activities commensurate with their academic rank and with their assigned duties. Evaluation of service contributions may include but not be limited to the following:

  • Service to KU
    • Time commitment involved
    • Committee membership
    • Election to office
    • Nature of the service (e.g., member or chair; committee or task force)
    • Duration of the appointment (e.g., week, month, semester, year)
  • Service to profession
    • Committee service
    • Elected office
    • Time commitment associated with reviewing and/or editing
    • Nature of the meeting organized (e.g., regional, national, international), and size of the meeting
    • Nature of review panel (e.g., state, federal, international)
    • Nature of the institution involved in conducting reviews or external evaluations
  • Service to community
    • Time commitment
    • Level of service (e.g., state, region, national, international)
    • Level of responsibility
    • Nature of involvement (e.g., application of professional knowledge, expertise)
    • Participating in outreach to local schools (K–12) or other forums         

Relation to the Annual Evaluation: The unit’s post-tenure review will be conducted separately from the annual evaluation, but the post-tenure review file is incorporated into the documentation for the annual evaluation.

The committee report will be considered as part of the annual evaluation process and the chair will discuss the review with the faculty member in conjunction with that process.  This discussion should concentrate on the future professional development of the faculty member with an aim toward enhancing meritorious work and improving less satisfactory performance, including adoption of a performance improvement plan, if necessary. Any action on the review that is within the scope of the Faculty Evaluation Policy must be taken under that policy.

Joint Appointments. The faculty member will provide both units with copies of the Faculty Member’s Statement section of the Post-Tenure Review File (reflecting the representative effort in each unit) and a current curriculum vitae. The review goes forward with each unit preparing a separate committee evaluation summary and considerations by each chair and/or director to the dean. Each unit will submit their review materials directly to the College Dean’s Office. In the case of a jointly appointed faculty and unclassified academic staff member outside of the College, the primary unit is responsible for the administrative protocols of engaging the secondary unit in the solicitation and collection of feedback relative to the evaluation of performance expectations in the secondary unit.

Review Committee: Post-tenure review is conducted by the Post-tenure Review Committee, which shall consist of three tenured faculty members selected in accordance with the Unit’s by-laws.

No person may serve on the committee if his or her spouse or partner is scheduled for review. If the chair/director is the spouse or partner of the faculty member under review, the “Chair or Director Evaluation Summary” shall be conducted by the Divisional Associate Dean.  A committee member who believes that there may be a conflict of interest should withdraw from the committee. If a faculty member who is undergoing review believes that there is a conflict of interest, he or she may object to the inclusion of a member. If the member declines to withdraw, the remaining committee members shall consider the basis for the alleged conflict and decide the matter. If a committee member withdraws or is removed based on a conflict of interest, the chair will name a replacement.

Preparation of the File: Review will be conducted on the basis of a file that summarizes a faculty member’s teaching/advising, scholarship, and service. In contrast to evaluation for promotion and tenure, copies of publications and original student evaluations are not required. Also, outside reviews of scholarship should not be submitted.

Using the Faculty Member Statement, the faculty member under review shall provide a brief narrative statement of his or her accomplishments in teaching/advising, scholarship, and service during the review period as they relate to his or her long-term career path and goals. In addition, the faculty member shall submit a current curriculum vitae and a list of additional activities not covered on the curriculum vitae. The chair will furnish copies of the faculty member’s annual evaluation letters for the six years during the review period.

Evaluation and Report: The committee will review the file and evaluate the faculty member’s overall performance and his or her contributions in the areas of teaching/advising, scholarship, and service. Applying the expectations defined above, the committee will determine whether the faculty member’s performance in each area, as well as whether his or her overall performance meets expectations, exceeds expectations, or fails to meet expectations. In making its evaluations, the committee must bear in mind that (1) faculty members have differing responsibilities and make different kinds of contributions to the mission of the Unit, the College, and the University; (2) a faculty member’s activities vary over time according to his or her strengths, interests, and career path; and (3) innovative work may take time to reach fruition and may sometimes fail.

Using the Unit Committee Report, the committee will prepare a written report summarizing its evaluation. The report should provide a narrative description of the faculty member’s activities, an explanation of the committee’s ratings, and recommendations or suggestions for acknowledgement of contributions and future development of the faculty member. The committee will provide a copy of the report to the faculty member, who may submit a written response for inclusion in the post-tenure review file before it is forwarded to the chair.

Consideration by the Chair/Director: The committee’s report (along with any faculty response) will be provided to the chair. Using the Chair/Director Evaluation Summary, if the chair agrees with the report, he or she will indicate that agreement in writing to the faculty member and place a copy in the post-tenure review file. If the chair disagrees with the committee’s evaluation, (s)he shall explain the reasons for any disagreement in writing, with a copy to the faculty member and the committee. The chair may ask the committee to provide additional information or reconsider the review. If the chair disagrees with a positive evaluation by the committee, the faculty member may submit a written response. The chair will forward the file to the dean of the College. Post-tenure review files are due in the College Dean’s Office by no later than noon, on the second Friday of March.

Consideration by the Dean: The faculty member’s post-tenure review file, including the Unit committee’s report (along with any faculty response) and the chair’s agreement or disagreement, is forwarded to the dean. The dean will consider the report and using the Dean’s Evaluation Summary, express his or her agreement or disagreement in the same manner as the chair. Following the completion of review by the dean, if the dean agrees with the report, (s)he will indicate that agreement in writing to the faculty member and place a copy in the file. If the dean disagrees with the committee’s evaluation, (s)he shall explain the reasons for any disagreement in writing, with a copy to the faculty member and the Unit committee. The dean may ask the committee to provide additional information or reconsider the review. If the dean disagrees with a positive evaluation by the Unit committee, the faculty member may submit a written response. The dean will forward a summary of post-tenure review outcomes and copies of the post-tenure review files to the Provost, to ultimately be placed in the faculty member’s personnel file.

Appeals: Following the completion of the review by the dean, if a disagreement between the committee and the chair or dean cannot be resolved or if the faculty member wishes to appeal an evaluation of “fails to meet expectations” in the overall evaluation or any category of responsibility, the matter will be handled as an appeal under the Unit’s annual Faculty Evaluation Policy.

Report to the Provost: The dean will provide a summary of the results in the College and copies of the post-tenure review file to the Provost. The post-tenure review file will be placed in the faculty member’s personnel file.

Contact: 

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
University of Kansas
2041 Haworth Hall
1200 Sunnyside Avenue
Lawrence, Kansas 66045

Department Chairperson
785-864-5887

Approved by: 
The faculty of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Approved on: 
Thursday, May 15, 2014
Effective on: 
Thursday, May 15, 2014
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)
Keywords: 
Post-tenure Review, seven-year review, faculty review, EEB
Review, Approval & Change History: 

06/27/2016: Fixed broken link to the Board of Regents Policy Manual.

06/27/2016: The "Relation to Annual Evaluation" section was inadvertently left off when policy was originally posted.

10/12/2015: Per the Interim Dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, the following was added to the template under Committee Review: If the chair/director is the spouse or partner of the faculty member under review, the “Chair or Director Evaluation Summary” shall be conducted by the Divisional Associate Dean.  Also added Dean’s review/acceptance under “Rank/Status/Change/History.”

08/28/2015: Added new template language to “Period for Review.”

08/17/2015: Updated links to CLAS PtR Forms

04/24/2015: Updated CLAS PtR forms and added links to each form within the policy statement.

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

02/17/2015: Updated joint appointment section to include new boilerplate language.

12/18/2014: Updated to provide the current link to the Board of Regents Policy Manual.

11/20/2014: Updated to provide the current link to the Board of Regents Policy Manual.

05/19/2014: Reviewed and accepted by the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Dean’s Office.

05/15/2014: Approved by faculty vote of the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology faculty.

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