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Faculty Evaluation Policy for Tenure-Track and Tenured Faculty Members

Policy
Purpose: 

To describe the annual evaluation process for tenure-track and tenured faculty

Applies to: 

Tenure-track and tenured faculty members, University of Kansas, Lawrence

Campus: 
Lawrence
Edwards
Parsons
Juniper Gardens
Yoder
Topeka
Policy Statement: 

Preamble

The University of Kansas is committed to recruiting only those faculty who show clear promise of success in the academic setting. The University is committed to the principles of academic freedom and, within those principles, to the system of tenure. Tenure is an important part of academic freedom, but does not accord freedom from accountability. Just as the University is committed to recruit excellent faculty and to insure the excellence of their performance, so, too, is the University dedicated to faculty renewal and development. Thus the concept of regular, rigorous faculty review is a part of the University's commitment to providing support to all its faculty. Therefore we resolve the following:

Policy Statement

The Faculty Senate of the University of Kansas (Lawrence Campus) hereby recognizes, as outlined in the Faculty Code of Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct, that the relationship between a faculty member and the University requires adequate performance of certain duties by the faculty member. Tenure, in its protection of academic freedom, while it shields faculty from discriminatory, unfair, arbitrary or capricious dismissal, is not designed to shield them from the consequences of inadequate performance or non-performance of their duties.

Every faculty member's performance is subject to review to determine whether each faculty member has fulfilled the faculty member's duties. Sustained failure of a faculty member to carry out academic responsibilities, despite the opportunities for University faculty development or other appropriate interventions, is a ground for consideration of dismissal from the University of Kansas, by the procedures adopted by the Faculty Senate for such actions.

Implementation

  1. Evaluation process

    Each unit (department or school if a school has no departments) will adopt by a vote of the faculty a modified process of annual evaluation. The process will include a statement of the overall acceptable level of performance that meets faculty academic responsibilities, a system for annual evaluation of faculty, a provision for faculty development, other measures of institutional support, and a statement of a faculty member's right to due process in the event any disagreement should arise in the course of the evaluation. After approval of the process by the dean and Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor (Provost), the policy shall be distributed to all faculty and members of the unit to which it applies. Each unit shall review its evaluation process at least once every three years and any changes shall be adopted by a faculty vote and approved by the dean and Provost. A current copy of each unit's evaluation process shall be kept on file in the Office of the Provost and the Office of University Governance.

  2. Individualized goals/expectations

    Consistent with the Regents' policy, the University of Kansas policy provides for differential allocations of effort among tenured faculty in the areas of their academic responsibilities.

    The individual's performance expectations for the period are determined by the allocation of effort and the departmentally-established responsibilities in an academic area. This will then serve as the basis for the individual's annual reviews.

  3. Evaluation

    Each faculty member shall be evaluated annually by the unit administrator (department chair or school dean if a school has no departments) using criteria and methods appropriate to that unit for teaching, scholarship, and service. The administrator may utilize the advice, services, and counsel of a faculty committee for this purpose. The evaluation shall be provided to the faculty member in writing prior to its final adoption.

    The administrator shall invite faculty to submit a portfolio of relevant information for the purposes of evaluation. Multiple sources of information must be used to evaluate teaching. The portfolio shall include students' ratings of instruction and such additional sources of information as may be appropriate.

    If the evaluation reveals that a faculty member's performance requires improvement in some areas, the written evaluation shall be specific in describing those areas and ways for improving performance in each such area.

    During the annual evaluation, the unit administrator will also review the assignment of differential effort with the faculty member and they will decide what changes are appropriate and practical. If a faculty member's performance requires improvement in any area, the unit administrator will explore, with the faculty member, reallocation of effort from problem areas to areas where performance is more satisfactory, subject to the necessity for the unit to meet its teaching, research, and service obligations and the need for all faculty members to contribute appropriately. Changes in the distribution of effort will be documented in the faculty member's personnel file.

  4. Appropriate interventions, including faculty development options

    Faculty development is the term used for the University's investment in its faculty. While primarily relied upon to promote development, it may be utilized for corrective action.

    If a unit administrator 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, reassignment of duties, or a change in teaching assignments. The unit administrator 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 based on articulated performance criteria is a basis for dismissal.

  5. Determination that academic responsibilities are not being met

    If a faculty member has been informed that overall performance fails to meet academic responsibilities, the faculty member may request a review by a faculty committee designated to hear such matters in the school. 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.

    Department chairs shall consult annually with the dean, and deans shall consult annually with the Provost, on the progress of any faculty member who falls within the category of overall failure to meet minimum academic responsibilities.

  6. Recommendation for dismissal

    Based upon the judgment that there has been a sustained overall failure to meet academic responsibilities, a 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 recommendation will go to the Faculty Rights Board (FRB) for a hearing as specified in Procedures of the Faculty Rights Board for Hearing Appeals Involving Dismissal for a Tenured Faculty Member.

    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 in the dismissal proceedings.

    The finding of sustained failure must not abuse academic freedom or be used as a cover for discriminatory, unfair, arbitrary or capricious dismissal. If on the basis of the faculty member's presentation of the evidence FRB concludes that such factors were considered in formulating the recommendation to dismiss, FRB shall recommend to the Chancellor that the proceeding to dismiss be terminated.

Contact: 

University Governance
785-864-5169
govern@ku.edu

Vice Provost for Faculty Development
785-864-4904
provost@ku.edu

Approved by: 
Faculty Council [now Faculty Senate], the Chancellor, and the Kansas Board of Regents
Approved on: 
Thursday, August 29, 1996
Effective on: 
Thursday, January 1, 1998
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)
Background: 

In May 1996, the Kansas Board of Regents requested that the faculty evaluation and development policies adopted in April 1992, December 1994, and March 1995 be fully implemented by the Regents universities with a report on their implementation in October 1996, The University of Kansas, Lawrence, policy on Faculty Evaluation was approved by the Kansas Board of Regents on October 17, 1996. [Source: Kansas Board of Regents Agenda and Minutes, October 17, 1996]

Keywords: 
annual faculty evaluations, faculty review, professional development, differential effort, redistribution of effort
Review, Approval & Change History: 

12/14/2016: Fixed typo.

11/08/2016: Updated to correct policy names and links, add University Governance contact information, and substitute Provost for Chancellor in referral of dismissal recommendations to the Faculty Right Board (for consistency with Board of Regents Policy and Faculty Rights Board procedures).

09/22/2016: Updated broken KBOR link.

07/08/2016: Updated to remove gendered pronouns.

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

12/17/2014: Fixed broken link to Board of Regents Policy Manual.

11/24/2014: Policy formatting cleanup (e.g., bolding, spacing); added link to Board of Regents Policy Manual.

02/16/2010: Revisions approved by the Provost and the Chancellor.

02/08/2010: Updated by the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor in consultation with the Office of the General Counsel, Human Resources, and Faculty Governance to reflect current nomenclature for Faculty Senate (formerly Faculty Council), Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor (formerly Provost), and Faculty Rights Board (formerly Faculty Committee on Tenure and Related Problems).

10/17/1996: Approved by the Kansas Board of Regents.

09/06/1996: Approved by the Chancellor

08/29/1996: This document was formerly section C.2.b of the Handbook for Faculty and Other Unclassified Staff, 1998. It was approved by Faculty Council [now Faculty Senate].

Personnel: Faculty/Academic Staff Categories: 
Performance

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