Faculty Evaluation Plan, Computational Biology Program
To articulate the standards and procedures for the annual evaluation of faculty within the Computational Biology Program.
Faculty within the Computational Biology Program.
The Computational Biology Program subscribes to the University of Kansas Faculty Code of Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct, as adopted by the Faculty Senate in 1971 and subsequently amended. Faculty duties are set forth in Article IV Faculty Responsibilities, and the Computational Biology Program expects its faculty to live up to those responsibilities. Within the context of the Faculty Code of Conduct, the duties and expectations of Computational Biology faculty and the means by which they are evaluated are presented below. The faculty of the Computational Biology Program at the University of Kansas is expected to demonstrate commitment to effective teaching, advising, and mentoring both in the classroom and with individual undergraduate and graduate students; to engage in professional research; and to provide service to the Program, College, and University, to local, national, and international communities, and/or to disciplinary and interdisciplinary organizations, and to work in a collegial and professional manner with Program colleagues, staff, and students. To obtain tenure and promotion in the Program, a faculty member must fulfill the criteria described in the Computational Biology Program Promotion and Tenure Procedures.
Statement of Performance Expectations
Program expectations in teaching/advising, research, and service: Time allocations for teaching, research and service normally follow the College and University-wide weighting of 40:40:20 respectively.
The amount of teaching expected of faculty following the 40:40:20 weighing is two courses per year. This is typically met by teaching one 3-credit undergraduate lecture course per year plus a lab, graduate level course, or special topics course. In addition to formal teaching commitments, faculty members are expected to serve on graduate student comprehensive oral exams, thesis and dissertation committees, and to mentor undergraduate and graduate students on a continual basis.
Advising: Advising is considered a normal function of every faculty member's teaching duties.
Research activities include writing grant proposals to fund research programs; guiding the work of students, technicians and postdoctoral scientists; writing papers for peer-reviewed journals; describing the results of the work; writing book chapters or writing/editing books; and communicating the results of work at scientific meetings. A typical 40% time annual research commitment would involve attainment of external research funding sufficient to support a research program, publication of high quality peer-reviewed papers in leading scientific journals, guidance of graduate students, technicians or postdoctoral scientists, and attendance at national or international scientific meetings in the field of study.
The service commitment includes activities on various committees, offices held, recruiting efforts and student advising activities. These commitments are expected to take place in the following categories:
- University (e.g. Faculty Senate, Chancellor's or Graduate Studies committees, University Boards, review committees, interdisciplinary committees, etc.)
- Community, state, national and international (e.g., grant review panels, editorial boards, conference organizing committees, advisory boards, review of journal articles, and involvement in professional organizations)
2.Standards for Acceptable Performance for Faculty Members
One of the results of performance evaluation is to identify areas of under performance. Faculty members are evaluated according to the variables and weights in the Annual Faculty Information Form. Should a faculty member score less than 4 in any of the categories of teaching/advising, research and service, the Director will explore opportunities for development with the faculty member and develop a written faculty development plan to address the areas of difficulty. The Director will be responsible for assessing the development of the faculty member over a period of three years with annual consultations with the faculty member. Failure to show progress during this period of intervention will result in a recommendation for dismissal.
3.Differential Allocation of Effort
The Computational Biology Program expects faculty to devote equal attention to teaching and research. When evaluating faculty performance, the program applies the weights of 40 percent for teaching, 40 percent for research, and 20 percent for service to the university, community, and profession. These weights are the same for tenured and non-tenured faculty, although the program recognizes that the specific contributions of faculty members to the program’s mission will differ depending on career stage.
Changes in the standards 40/40/20 allocation of effort for a set period of time can be initiated by the tenured faculty member or program Director. These changes can be short- or long-term and must correspond to changes in work-load not just evaluation criteria. Reasons for alterations can include short- term items such as funded research or longer term career-stage issues. Faculty members are not allowed to reduce their teaching or research to less than 10 percent on DAE agreements. Program needs take precedent over individual needs when making decisions to alter a faculty member’s allocation of effort; such redistribution must be consistent with the best interests of the unit. The most likely occasion for consideration of such changes is in discussion between the Director and the individual faculty member following annual performance evaluations, or sooner so that appropriate arrangements may be made at the unit level for the coverage of course offerings. Any individualized changes in faculty allocation of effort will be negotiated with the Director and documented in the faculty member's personnel file.
For 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).
Annual Evaluation System
Each faculty member submits their evaluation materials, using the PRO format, to the Department by the last day of February of each year. These materials are evaluated by the Director who is responsible for conducting the evaluation. The Director communicates the results of the evaluation to the faculty member in writing by the end of March. During the first two weeks of April, a faculty member may discuss the evaluation with the Director -- and prior to the timelines established for merit salary decisions.
2.Portfolio or Annual Report Preparation
NOTE: Faculty are responsible for annually maintaining their PRO record, which is also accessed by administration for reports such as the College snapshot of departmental productivity. PRO provides an annual activity report and faculty are advised to view and update their PRO reports before submission of the faculty member’s portfolio to the unit. In classifying your work as major and minor, please bear in mind the definitions in the unit’s Promotion and Tenure Guidelines.
The evaluation materials include: a completed calendar-year Annual Faculty Information Form, which solicits multiple sources of data to document the faculty member’s teaching/advising, research, and service; an updated curriculum vitae; and student teaching evaluation summaries. Much of this material may be provided via the KU PRO website.
3.Portfolio or Annual Report Review and Evaluation
Evaluations are made by the Director in each of the three areas of teaching/advising, research, and service using a scale of 0 to 10. A score of 5 is considered to be a norm for that category. In the research area, a score of 5 would be obtained by having external funding and publishing 2 peer-reviewed articles in leading scientific journals. In the teaching area, a score of 5 would be obtained by receiving student evaluations of 4 on a 1 to 5 scale. In the service area, a score of 5 would be obtained by serving on 2 (untenured faculty) or 4 (tenured faculty) committees in different categories. Some variables in this evaluation include the quality of journals in which articles are published, length of articles, the number of published articles, level and nature of research funding, attempts to secure funding, size and level of courses taught, time commitment in the course, number of students advised, number of committees, and time commitments to committee work. A score of 10 is considered outstanding work, far above normal expectations. This score is rarely given.
4.Annual Evaluation of Feedback Process
The Director will write a letter to each faculty member listing the scores for the three areas together with justification for the evaluation. The information in the letter will contain average values for the program and a reminder of what is expected by the program. The letter of evaluation will also indicate areas of strength, areas that may need development and improvement, and any information concerning progress toward tenure and/or promotion. The Director must meet with the faculty member to discuss the information submitted, the resulting evaluation of performance, and expectations for the future, including continued professional growth. A copy of the written evaluation is maintained in the faculty member’s personnel file.
5.Post-tenure Review and Integration into the Annual Evaluation Process
This section includes information for faculty members undergoing Post-tenure Review.
- The Computational Biology Promotion and Tenure Committee will be responsible for conducting the post tenure review in conjunction with and in full accordance with the Computational Biology Faculty Performance Evaluation Policy and Procedures.
- 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 director for his or her review. If the director 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 director 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 Computational Biology Program, 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
Input of additional information: In case of a disagreement over the evaluation, the faculty member shall have the opportunity to provide further materials to the Director to support her/his case and to expand on materials already presented.
Review process in case of disagreements: The faculty member may request an administrative review with the Director. If the difference is not resolved at this level, a three person program committee, chosen by the Director, shall attempt resolution. The review committee will issue a non-binding recommendation on the appropriateness of this conclusion to the Director. The Director may change the evaluation after receiving the committee's decision, or may choose not to do so. In any event, the report of the committee will become a permanent part of the faculty member's personnel file within the program and shall be available to the faculty member.
If a faculty member has been informed that his/her performance fails to meet academic responsibilities, the faculty member may request a review by a faculty committee designated to hear such matters in the College. The review committee will issue a non-binding recommendation on the appropriateness of this conclusion to the unit administrator. The administrator may change the evaluation after receiving the committee's decision, or may choose not to do so. In any event, the report of the committee will become a permanent part of the faculty member's personnel file within the academic unit and shall be available to the faculty member.
Program Directors 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 Computational Biology Program has developed a faculty mentoring program for newly hired tenure track Assistant Professors. As part of this program, senior, well-experienced and successful faculty members are paired with new junior faculty to act as mentors to assist those faculty members in developing effective teaching and research programs. Mentoring includes such things as help in developing effective teaching styles and strategies, and help in preparing research grant proposals.
- Associate Professors are paired with senior, well-experienced and successful full professors who act as mentors, assisting the associate professors with strengthening their teaching and research activities to help them be more competitive for promotion to the rank of full professor. The mentor and mentee will meet regularly to discuss strategies for enhancing the teaching and research programs to bring them to levels that garner international recognition commensurate with those expected for promotion to full professor.
- Current program faculty who are experiencing poor student evaluations of their classroom teaching will have experienced and successful faculty members attend their lectures to offer both verbal and written comments/suggestions to improve teaching effectiveness. In addition, the faculty member experiencing difficulties will be encouraged to contact the Center for Teaching Excellence for advice and help. The same approach is to be used in the case where a faculty member is having difficulty obtaining external grants to fund her/his research. Experienced faculty will provide advice and in some cases may offer to enter into a collaborative research arrangement with the faculty member.
- Research Intensive Semesters (RIS): CLAS offers all junior faculty members in good standing a reduced teaching responsibility at some point during the faculty member’s pretenure employment. Faculty members will be released from classroom teaching duties for up to one semester, depending upon the relevant departmental teaching expectations, and will be expected to concentrate on research intensive activities. Faculty members are eligible for a research intensive semester assignment up to and including the spring semester before their publication dossiers are sent out to external reviewers in June, with the latest possible Research Intensive Semester (RIS) assignment typically being the second semester of the fifth year. In Computational Biology Program, the teaching release that faculty members typically receive during their first year at KU serves as a research intensive semester. Faculty members in good standing who have stopped their tenure clock remain eligible for a RIS assignment. The actual decision of which year/semester the individual is assigned a research intensive semester will be made in consultation with the department chair. Note that paid leaves and fellowships do not take the place of a RIS. Once the unit director approves the RIS for the junior faculty member, the details concerning the RIS should be confirmed to the faculty member in writing and documented in their personnel file. The unit director also provides a copy of this authorization to the College Dean’s Office so that RIS data can be tracked. Faculty members who are granted a RIS are expected to continue to meet their usual duties regarding departmental advising and other service activities.
See Faculty Development Programs for information about additional faculty development opportunities.
Computational Biology Program
University of Kansas
2030 Becker Drive
Lawrence, KS 66045
12/20/2021: Converted from PDF to live text page.
05/02/2017: Converted to policy PDF page.
05/01/2017: Approved by the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor.
04/27/2017: Approved by the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.
11/03/2016: Approved by the faculty of the Computational Biology Program.
07/01/2016: New Section 5 on Integration of Post-Tenure Review into the Annual Evaluation Process was added by direction of the Provost Office. New Boilerplate text replaces the current text at the beginning of Section 6.
09/25/2015: Added PRO statement to Section III.B. Portfolio or Annual Report Preparation
06/25/2015: Removed “Under the University’s post-tenure review policy” language as unit has separate PtR policy.
04/02/2015: Fixed broken link to Board of Regents Policy Manual.
02/16/2015: Changed unit name to Computational Biology Program.
12/17/2014: Fixed broken BoR link.
11/20/2014: Technical edit to BoR link.
07/01/2014: Updated 'Approved by' to include correct title of approving official, standardized method of notation for dates in 'Review, Approval & Change History'.
06/20/2014: Technical edits - added outline formatting and updated links.
05/20/2014: Approved by Office of the Provost.
04/14/2014: Approved by Dean of the College.
04/09/2014: Approved by Bioinformatics Faculty.