Faculty Evaluation Plan, Department of African and African-American Studies
To articulate the standards and procedures for the annual evaluation of faculty within the Department of African and African-American Studies.
Faculty within the Department of African and African-American Studies
The Department of African and African-American Studies is an interdisciplinary academic unit in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The Department seeks to deepen the knowledge and enrich understanding of the history and culture of African peoples in Africa and the Americas as a necessary and desirable end in itself, but also as a useful background for professionals whose careers may involve them in any of these geographical and cultural areas. Essentially interdisciplinary, the major provides students with a basis for interpreting the historical and contemporary experiences of African peoples in Africa and the Americas, both broadly and in relation to a particular region, historical period, or cultural manifestation.
Faculty evaluation criteria, procedures, and instruments shall be developed through faculty participation and express the performance expectations for faculty in the areas of teaching/advising, research, and service. The departmental policy for faculty evaluation (including future amendments) must be adopted by a majority vote of the Department faculty. The evaluation process is designed to yield multiple outcomes including data for merit salary decisions, progress toward tenure and/or promotion, post-tenure review, strategies for renewal or faculty development, criteria for disciplinary action or dismissal, and information for departmental planning. This faculty evaluation plan falls within the Department's commitment to the principles of academic freedom for faculty and students, and within those principles, to the system of tenure. The Department is also committed to the University of Kansas, Faculty Senate Rules and Regulation’s Faculty Code of Conduct. However, although tenure protects faculty from discriminatory, unfair, arbitrary, or capricious dismissal, it is not designed to shield faculty from the consequences of nonperformance or chronic under- performance. Accordingly, the process of regular and rigorous faculty review is part of the Department's responsibility. It also expresses the Department's commitment to provide support for its faculty as appropriate.
Statement of Performance Expectations
The Department, within budgetary limitations, determines general policy concerning teaching loads. Reductions may be made for Departmental administration, phased retirement, or sponsored research. However, each full-time Department faculty member normally is asked to teach four courses a year. This teaching load is based upon an assumption that the faculty member is carrying on an active research program, and that he or she shares in the service responsibilities of the Department faculty. Faculty positions also will allow for the supervision of thesis work at the master's and doctoral levels, as relevant to areas of faculty expertise, and participation in the preparation and assessment of written and oral examinations. Each faculty member also directs individual readings and research as students' needs require. Faculty members are also expected to maintain regular, advertised office hours each week and to share student-advising responsibilities with other members of the Department; advise non-majors, freshmen, and transfer students upon request.
Each faculty member is not only expected to engage in research appropriate to his or her area of expertise, and disseminate the results through presentations and professional publications, but also to develop a significant program of research or scholarship. Faculty members are encouraged to seek external funding, wherever appropriate, and to support individual and/or collaborative research.
Each faculty member is expected to: serve on at least one Departmental Standing Committee each year and render service beyond the Departmental level as opportunities permit. It is understood that minimal service on one or more of these areas may be balanced by extensive service in another or others. Of further consideration in this Department is outreach activity that promotes the aims of the Department's educational mission outside the ambit of the classroom; it is expected that every faculty member will be credited for his or her outreach activities (lecture, performance, or other creative endeavor) conducted outside the classroom.
On the basis of the guidelines set forth here, the Department uses a standard University weighting of 40- 40-20 (teaching/advising-research-service) for the basis of the faculty performance evaluation process. A tenured faculty member may request that his/her ratio vary in consultation with the Department Chair in the fall preceding the year reviewed as provided for under the differential allocation of effort policy, see below.
2.Standards for Acceptable Performance for Faculty Members
The Department of African and African American Studies adheres to the guidelines on faculty academic responsibility established in the “Faculty Code of Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct” section of the Faculty Senate Rules and Regulations Code of Conduct on Faculty Responsibilities (Article IV) and Proscribed Conduct (Article V). All faculty members must meet their teaching/advising, research, and advising responsibilities; participate in professional activities; and provide service to the Department, College, and the University consistent with these guidelines and established individualized goals and expectations.
Evidence of marginal or “poor” performance in any of the areas of teaching/advising, research, or service responsibilities during any given year will lead to intervention, and this evidence sustained over a period of three years will trigger the process for failure to meet academic responsibilities. Sustained failure placing an individual at risk for dismissal is failure to show progress following a period of corrective action or intervention.
3.Differential Allocation of Effort
The Department of African & African-American Studies expects faculty members 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 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 DAE agreements. Departmental 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 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 short-term DAE agreements (one academic year or less), the DAE is ultimately approved by the unit director or chairperson, with a copy of this endorsement sent to the contact associate dean. For long-term 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. Agreements for long-term DAEs must be reviewed every three years, although either the faculty member or chairperson/director may request an earlier review in response to changed circumstances or performance. At that time, the agreement may be revised, terminated, or continued.
The selection among these options should be made following the guidelines and process for approval of long-term DAEs contained in the University Policy on Differential Allocation of Effort (DAE).
Post-tenure faculty may meet with the Department Chair to define an individualized set of goals and expectations for future merit evaluations. The differential allocation of effort (DAE) must support the overall teaching/advising, research, and service obligations for the Department, and the need for all faculty members to contribute appropriately. Any individualized changes in faculty effort will be negotiated with the Chair, reported to the College Dean’s Office, and will ultimately be documented in the faculty member's personnel file. DAEs that are permanent or lasting beyond a year will also be reported by the College Dean’s Office to the Provost Office.
Annual Evaluation System
The performance evaluation process is initiated each December in the department through notification from the chairperson for submission of evaluation portfolios to be examined by an evaluation committee.
The faculty member is responsible for developing a portfolio documenting the quality and quantity of effort in teaching/advising, research, and service for the previous calendar year using appropriate instruments prepared by the department (see Appendix B, Annual Faculty Activity Report).
The individual portfolios are to be submitted to the evaluation committee, as the entity responsible for performing faculty evaluations, by the end of January.
During the months of February through mid-March, the evaluation committee reviews all the portfolios of each faculty members. The committee evaluates and provides narrative comments in each of the responsibilities of teaching/advising, research, and service, as well as the corresponding ratings for each category. This information is given to the Chair by March 15th.
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 calendar year evaluation portfolio will consist of:
The teaching component includes course syllabi, student evaluation, peer assessment of teaching, teaching awards, student advising and mentoring, and any other pertinent data.
Student Evaluation. Student evaluation using appropriate departmental instruments is obligatory for all regularly scheduled courses. The department utilizes the University’s “Student Survey of Teaching” for this purpose.
Peer Evaluation. Peer evaluation will be conducted once every academic year for assistant professors, and once every three years for associate and full professors. The department chair will ensure that arrangement for peer evaluations are made by the faculty members. Workshops at departmental outreach activities will be honored.
Academic Advising. Academic advising is part of the faculty's regular instructional obligation, and each faculty member will maintain a record of advising activities.
Research component will include any of the following:
- work in progress
- publications; refereed or not
- research grant’s applied for/awarded
- paper presentation
- manuscript submitted for publication
- manuscript accepted for publication
- artistic or creative work
- unpublished research
- professional honor/award
- published reviews
The service component includes a record of activities related to departmental, College, and University programs and governance, as well as participation in local, state, national, and professional fora that enhance the individual's excellence of academic standing.
3.Portfolio or Annual Report Review and Evaluation
The faculty evaluation committee entrusted with the review process will consist of no less than three - two senior and one junior – faculty members chosen by the Department. The committee membership will rotate among faculty. Senior faculty members will serve a two-year term, and rotate chairing the committee. Junior faculty will serve a year-long term. No faculty member, on either level, will serve a new term until all members on their level have rotated through their time of service.
On the basis of information provided in the evaluation portfolio, the committee will assess each faculty member in teaching/advising, research, and service on a scale of:
- 100-90 points: excellent
- 89-80 points: very good
- 79-60 points: good
- 59-50 points: marginal
- Below 50 points: poor
The committee will also provide written comments on teaching/advising, research, service, and overall performance, and submit these to the department chair together with the scores, for each faculty member.
The chair shall develop a three-year profile of faculty evaluation based on the quality, quantity, significance, and impact, considered in evaluating each of the following areas of responsibility for each faculty member.
Variables considered in the evaluation of teaching include:
- Student evaluations, which consist of numerical assessments, which are tallied and averaged for each faculty member.
- Course syllabi and sample exams.
- In-class peer observation.
- The number of students taught and the degree of input by the faculty member (in case GTAs are also involved).
- The degree of difficulty, newness, or innovation in the subject being taught.
- The teaching of overloads.
- The reception of teaching/advising awards.
- Report of advising activities by the faculty member
Scholarship or creative activity
Variables considered include:
- Quantity and length of works in progress and produced.
- Degree of difficulty and of innovation.
- Whether refereed or not.
- Quality of journal or publication house.
- Published reviews
- Scholarly or creative honors, awards, or recognition.
In any of the following areas:
- work in progress
- publications; refereed or not
- research grant’s applied for/awarded
- paper presentation
- manuscript submitted for publication
- manuscript accepted for publication
- artistic or creative work
- unpublished research
- professional honor/award
- media reports/interviews
- journal editorships (as editor or guest editor)
All faculty members are expected to contribute to the successful functioning of the department, College, and University. Variables considered in the evaluation of service include:
- Work on committees at departmental, College, or University levels, ad-hoc tasks related to functioning of the department, formal administrative duties, and service in professional organizations.
While every faculty member at the assistant professor rank is expected to participate in one or two service activities each year in order to be considered for promotion, associate and full professors are expected to make more substantial contributions in this area. Participation in service work should be willingly undertaken. Service to the community – city, state, regional, national, and international – will also be considered as a valuable component of service.
4.Annual Evaluation of Feedback Process
In March of each year, the Chair will review the evaluations from the faculty evaluation committee and will communicate the results (the scores and written comments of each area of responsibility in relation to expectations) in writing to each faculty member, adding, if necessary, his/her comments about the individual’s strengths and weaknesses. In addition, any information on progress toward tenure and promotion and/or tenure reviews is also provided. The Chair will invite each faculty member to schedule a meeting to discuss the evaluation.
In cases where improvement in a faculty member’s performance is warranted, the Chair will indicate, in specific terms, in writing, where the faculty member’s evaluation is “marginal” or “poor.” The faculty member and the Chair will meet to discuss any extenuating circumstances associated with the marginal or poor evaluation and develop a written plan outlining strategies for self-improvement or external intervention and development strategies. A copy of the written evaluation is also retained in the faculty member’s personnel file.
5.Post-Tenure Review and Integration into the Annual Evaluation Process
This section includes information for faculty members undergoing Post-tenure Review.
- For the Department of African & African-American Studies, the 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 Post-tenure Review committee will provide a copy of their 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 for his or her review. 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, he or she shall explain the reasons for any disagreement in writing, with a copy to the faculty member and the committee.
- Unit procedures for ensuring that as part of the annual evaluation process, results of the post- tenure review assessment are used to determine annual evaluation outcomes are outlined below in #6.
Additional information can be found in the Unit’s Post-tenure Review Policy.
6.Outcomes of the Annual Performance Evaluation
The evaluation process of the Department of African &African-American Studies, seen in all its aspects, yields multiple outcomes. It acknowledges faculty accomplishments or shortcomings and makes them matters of record. It initiates discussions that influence the planning of both individual career development and unit evolution. It assists in the identification of opportunities for faculty improvement and renewal. It provides annual as well as cumulative data for merit-salary recommendations, sabbatical-leave and grant applications, tenure and promotion decisions, post-tenure review, and reassignments of responsibilities. And it provides documentation that may be used, at extremes, in support of either recognition or dismissal.
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 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.
Procedures for addressing failure to meet academic responsibilities
Due Process: The Department provides a means by which faculty due process in evaluation is guaranteed. The process shall include the opportunity for a faculty to add comments to the evaluation documentation as part of an official record. The process allows the faculty member who disagrees with the evaluation to request a review. For such a review, the chair will advise the individual to present his/her case to the faculty evaluation committee and the chair. The committee and the chair will hear the individual, review his/her portfolio a second time, and make the decision. If there is consensus between the faculty evaluation committee and the chair in the second review, the decision will be final. In the case of a disagreement, the chair can further evaluate the portfolio to reach a final decision.
If the faculty member disagrees with the evaluation, the member may add written comments to the evaluation and submit these for further consideration by the chair.
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.
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.
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.
7.Faculty Development Initiatives
The Department of African and African-American Studies provides and/or encourages a variety of faculty development opportunities. The objectives are (1) to provide faculty with options supporting professional development, enhancement, and renewal, and (2) to support flexibility within the department and general institutional environment in response to changing faculty career aspirations and shifting departmental and institutional priorities.
The chair and other faculty members give extra attention to new faculty in order to be apprised of this progress and to suggest areas of improvement, if need be.
The following are identified development opportunities for the faculty:
- 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.
- Formal faculty mentoring of assistant and associate professors.
- Opportunities for faculty outreach experiences.
- Occasional endowment and College support for travel expenses for faculty attendance at conferences in their area of specialization.
- Occasional departmental faculty colloquium at which faculty present papers for review and discussion, (e.g. Kansas African Studies Center seminars, Langston Hughes Center seminars, etc).
- Major visiting lecture series tied to the subject-matter of faculty-taught courses each year e.g. the Langston Hughes Visiting Professorship, and the Marwa Africana Lecture Series.
- Strong support for interdisciplinary teaching within the constraints of discipline-oriented regular teaching in the department.
- Opportunities for faculty exchange and/or visitation at national and/or international institutions.
- Encouragement and support of faculty to apply for external funding, internal funding, Intra- University Visiting Professorships, Center for Humanistic Studies Fellowships, Collaborative Research with appropriate University Institutes and Centers, etc.
- The University of Kansas Distinguished Professorship Lecture Series, the Humanities Lecture Series, etc.
- Annual faculty evaluation review and feedback.
- Participation in appropriate professional membership and organizations (e.g., African Studies Association, The Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History, and Phi Beta Delta International Scholars.)
- The Regents Sabbatical System
- Support of faculty to utilize the services of the Center for Teaching Excellence
See Faculty Development Programs for information about additional faculty development opportunities.
Department of African and African-American Studies
University of Kansas
1440 Jayhawk Boulevard
Bailey Hall, Room 9
Lawrence, KS 66045
12/20/2021: Converted from PDF page to live text page.
01/26/2017: Converted to policy PDF page.
09/25/2015: Added PRO statement to Section III.B. Portfolio or Annual Report Preparation.
06/24/2015: 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.
11/20/2014: Technical edit to BoR link.
07/01/2014: Updated 'Approved by' to include correct title of approving official, revised 'Review, Approval & Change' to standardize method of notation for dates.
6/20/2014: Technical edits - added outline formatting and updated links.
05/20/2014: Approved by the Provost.
05/14/2014: Approved by the Dean of the College.
05/09/2014: Approved by faculty vote of the Department of African and African-American Studies.