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Faculty Evaluation Plan, Department of English


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

Applies to: 

Faculty and Unclassified Academic Staff in the Department of English

Table of Contents: 

Statement of Performance Expectations
1. Unit Expectations
2. Standards for Acceptable Performance for Faculty Members
3. Differential Allocation of Effort
Annual Evaluation System
1. Overview
2. Portfolio or Annual Report Preparation 
3. Portfolio or Annual Report Review and Evaluation
4. Annual Evaluation of Feedback Process
5. Post-tenure Review nad Integration into the Annual Evaluation Process
6. Outcomes of the Annual Performance Evaluation
7. Faculty Development Initiatives
Appendix A: Instrument(s) Used in the Evaluation of Student Teaching
Appendix B: Departmental Forms Use in Faculty Evaluation
Appendix C: Faculty Evaluation Rubric

Policy Statement: 


The Department of English at the University of Kansas endorses the "Statement on Professional Ethics" approved by Committee B on Professional Ethics of the American Association of University Professors, adopted by the AAUP Council in 1987, and endorsed by the AAUP at its seventy-third annual meeting. Moreover--and more specifically--the Department is governed by the provisions of the Handbook for Faculty and Other Unclassified Staff.

Annual evaluation is required of all tenured and tenure-track faculty and unclassified academic staff, to ensure adequate performance of responsibilities that are consistent with expectations for faculty in the English Department at the University of Kansas.

Amendments to the Plan must be by super-majority, which shall be defined as two-thirds of the total vote cast, in person or by proxy, at a regularly-announced meeting of the Senior Staff.

Statement of Performance Expectations

1. Unit Expectations

Teaching/Advising expectations Course expectations

  • Tenured and tenure-track faculty in the Department are normally expected to teach two courses per semester. Distribution of effort is normally 40%.
  • Unclassified academic staff teach the number of courses specified in their contracts. Distribution of effort is likewise adjusted according to contracted number of courses.

Conduct of courses (minimum expectations)

All instructors in the Department will:

  • Submit a course description and an order for books (when appropriate), in advance of each semester.
  • Distribute a syllabus which includes class and relevant department policies, a schedule of readings, and information about grading, including what major assignments will count and what weight they will have in the final grade. The syllabus should adhere with reasonable fidelity to the content and objectives of each offering as it is described in the catalogs and other publications. It is important that expectations and policies be clearly outlined (a clear syllabus is the best defense in cases of grade appeals or other grievances, for example).
  • Attend all assigned classes on time or arrange a substitute. Canceled classes must be approved by the Chair or the Director of First- and Second-Year English in advance. In case of emergency, the instructor should attempt to contact students by e-mail.
  • Maintain communication with the students outside of class by holding office hours and responding to e-mail messages, other communication methods, such as Blackboard or a class distribution list, are encouraged). All instructors must maintain an active e-mail account: this is now the University’s key method of communicating important policies and information to faculty, staff, and students.
  • Mark and grade all major assignments and return to students in a timely manner so that students have some idea of their standing in their courses throughout the semester.
  • Distribute departmentally-approved student evaluation forms (see Appendix A) to the students during a class period near the end of a semester and designate a student to return the forms to the Department office, where they can be tallied and kept safe until grades are turned in. Instructors must not remain in the classroom while students are filling out evaluation forms; evaluations may not be distributed during a final exam. Teachers will not have access to student evaluations of their instruction in any given course until grades for that course have been turned in. Student evaluations are tallied and recorded by Department staff and kept on file. The evaluations themselves are returned to the faculty member, who must keep them for annual evaluations, preparation of dossiers for promotion and tenure, teaching awards, and other potential uses. The English Department has voted to use student comments as part of faculty evaluation.
  • Calculate accurate grades based on a variety of assignments and submit to the Registrar’s Office using the appropriate online form.
  • Submit an annual portfolio including student evaluations and other materials (as described in Annual Evaluation System below).

Qualitative expectations for and review of teaching:

  • The Department requires each member of the teaching faculty, whether teaching freshman composition or directing dissertations, to know to an adequate or greater extent his/her field and the recent developments therein, encourage his/her students' interest, help them to think critically and to apply their knowledge, point them toward the broader implications of their study, and generally encourage their development as perceptive readers and articulate writers.
  • All new faculty members at the rank of assistant or associate professor are reviewed by at least two other tenured Department members, including the assigned faculty mentor for teaching, who not only visit one or more classes, but also examine syllabi, assignments, graded papers, evidence of student learning, or other appropriate teaching materials and hold one or more conversations with their new colleague about his or her teaching practices and philosophy. The reviewers then file written reports evaluating the teacher’s performance, and these reviews are used in later decisions about the teacher’s progress towards tenure review and promotion and/or tenure. Except under extraordinary circumstances, classroom visits are not made without prior consultation with the teacher as to what class will be visited and when. After the reviewers’ reports are submitted, the teacher will receive from the Chair a summary of their remarks and opinions. At least one review is conducted in the spring of the first year of the teacher’s employment with others occurring in the second through fifth years. See the instructions on the CTE website for information on how to carry out peer evaluations.
  • For guidelines on promotion and/or tenure, please see the Department of English Promotion and Tenure Procedure and the Provost Office’s Faculty Evaluation Policy.

Advising expectations

All faculty members are expected to participate in the advising of English majors and graduate students, though formal advising of undergraduates will be performed by the Undergraduate Director, Associate Undergraduate Director, the Department’s assigned advisor, and the Undergraduate Committee. As advisors, all faculty members are expected to be familiar with pertinent requirements, policies, supporting agencies for advisees, and the like; and they are expected, as opportunity arises, to serve as mentors for students with whom they share common disciplinary interests. All faculty members are also expected to mentor one or more GTAs each year.

Expectations for Scholarly or Creative Activity

Each tenured or tenure-track faculty and unclassified academic staff member must actively engage the questions, issues, or practices that vitalize his or her field--that is, s/he must contribute to the enlargement, enrichment, synthesis, and/or dissemination of knowledge in that field as a domain of learning or creative endeavor. Such contributions promote the depth of understanding, derived from experiences of investigation and discovery, requisite for the best teaching. Individual accomplishment in this area is best judged by the quantity and, especially, quality of publications or performances--in terms of their impact on the field, aesthetic excellence, durability, and the like. Achievement may also be judged by the number of conference participations and presentations, guest lectureships, or readings and the prestige of their venues.

The Department values the engagement of its members in collaborative research. Candidates who participate in collaborative work should specify their own contributions to such work, in terms of the conception of the research idea, the research effort, the writing of the final publication and other relevant factors. The extent to which scholarly accomplishment is supported by funding external to the University is also a factor in evaluating performance. Manuscripts in progress are evidence of scholarly activity. In brief, each faculty member should:

  • Develop a research plan that is appropriate to the field and its professional expectations
  • Publish or otherwise disseminate the results of research or creative activity in a public forum on a regular basis
  • When appropriate, apply for funding or grants to aid in research or scholarly activity, which counts toward research in evaluations
  • Normal distribution of effort for scholarly or creative activity for tenured and tenure-track faculty is 40%, unless a different percentage is negotiated with the Chair.

Service Expectations

Faculty should participate regularly in activities necessary to the successful functioning of the Department, College, and University. Normally, each faculty member will serve actively on at least two departmental committees (this may be altered if the faculty member is contributing substantial service at the College, University, or professional level). Faculty and unclassified academic staff are also expected to attend department meetings and participate in department decision-making.

Contributions to the profession or his/her discipline within it at the local, regional, national, or international level also constitute valued service. Such service may include--but is hardly limited to-- memberships on committees or task forces, memberships on editorial or advisory boards, student recruitment, administration of various kinds, reviewing grant applications, judging academic awards competitions, offices in professional organizations, conducting ad hoc workshops, and fund raising. Unclassified staff will serve on committees in their area of responsibility as needed. Distribution of effort for service will normally be 20% unless negotiated differently with the Chair (tenured faculty only).

Expectations for Unclassified Academic Staff in Professional Performance

In the case of unclassified academic staff, professional performance may be evaluated in addition to teaching/advising, research, and service. Instead of the normal combination of teaching/advising, research, and service. In the English Department, unclassified academic staff members are expected to meet similar standards of excellence in teaching/advising, research, and service, but in different proportions than tenured and tenure-track faculty. The weight given to professional performance, teaching/advising, research, and service may vary with the position.

2. Standards for Acceptable Performance for Faculty Members

Tenured faculty members should be aware that “Tenure… does not accord freedom from accountability… Sustained failure of a faculty member to carry out his or her 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 Code of Conduct for such actions” (Faculty Council, Chancellor, and Board of Regents, 1996). In general, tenured faculty members should perform at or above the level of teaching/advising, research, and service that is expected of tenure-track faculty. All tenure-track and tenured faculty must keep their teaching/advising, research, and service contributions updated on PRO. In the evaluation of its faculty, the Department of English utilizes the scale of inadequate, marginal, adequate, very good, and excellent in the areas of teaching/advising, research and service.

Teaching/advising expectations

  • Tenured faculty should continue to develop and improve their teaching and advising skills. Associate professors who plan to be considered for promotion to full professor should arrange to have their teaching reviewed between the third and fifth year in rank, or in the two years preceding the promotion process. Associate professors should have at least 3 letters in their file since the last promotion when they go up for full professor. It is recommended that all tenured professors be reviewed by their peers, as described above, at least once during the period before post-tenure review.
  • Either a marginal or an inadequate yearly evaluation in teaching/advising is cause for concern. The Chair and the faculty member will develop a plan to address the area(s) of difficulty. Teachers who do not meet the minimum expectations outlined above (I.A.1 and 2) will be considered inadequate. Teachers who meet the minimum expectations but whose teaching/advising, as evaluated by the Faculty Evaluation Committee, is judged to be of poor quality by several of the measures outlined below (III. Portfolio or Annual Report Review and Evaluation) shall receive a rating of marginal or inadequate.

Research expectations

  • Tenure is granted to faculty members with the expectation that they will continue to be active researchers. Post-tenure faculty should maintain a scholarly or creative record consistent with expectations for the English Department at the University of Kansas. While tenure enables faculty members to pursue more long-term projects, which may not bear immediate fruits in publications or other public venues, such public distribution of major research or creative works—or other evidence of scholarly productivity--is expected within the seven year period prior to post tenure review.
  • Either a marginal or an inadequate yearly evaluation in scholarly or creative activity is cause for concern. The Chair and the faculty member will develop a plan to address the area(s) of difficulty. Post-tenure faculty who are not actively producing scholarly or creative work may be asked to increase their teaching load or to take on additional major service activities. Faculty members who do not publish or otherwise disseminate their scholarly or creative work over a sustained period, defined as three years, are considered inadequate in the area of research. A marginal rating will be assigned when a faculty member has only minimal scholarly activity to report, such as a reprint of a formerly published article, with no evidence of progress toward current or future scholarly contributions.

Service expectations

  • Tenured faculty members are expected to contribute more substantial service to the Department, College, University, and profession than are untenured faculty. This includes chairing departmental committees; serving as department administrators; serving on College, University, and governance committees, panels, task forces, etc.; performing editorial or administrative work for journals, presses, professional associations, or conferences; or performing significant outreach work that is related directly to one’s profession.
  • Either a marginal or an inadequate yearly evaluation in service, especially in conjunction with low evaluations in teaching or research, is cause for concern. The Chair and faculty member will develop a plan to address the concern. An inadequate rating will be assigned to a faculty member who reports no applicable service activities. A faculty member who does minimal service, but falls below the standard for adequate service defined below (in III. Portfolio or Annual Report Review and Evaluation) will earn a marginal rating.

3. Differential Allocation of Effort

The Department of English 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 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 permanent 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 subsequent endorsement of the contact associate dean.] 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 following consultation with and input from the department chair and the faculty member. 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.

For additional information, please see the University Policy on Differential Allocation of Effort (DAE)

An unclassified academic staff member’s allocation of effort is determined by her/his individual contracts and is not normally subject to change.

Annual Evaluation System

1. Overview

The annual-evaluation process in the Department of English, which is conducted by the Chair and the Faculty Evaluation Committee, is structured and scheduled to allow sufficient time, prior to merit-salary recommendations, for discussions with faculty members concerning their performances in the past cycle and the expectations for their performances in the cycle ahead. Furthermore, the process also provides sufficient time for discussions of merit-salary recommendations themselves, though the data that drive such recommendations are only one of many outcomes of the evaluation process. Although the evaluation process takes place annually, the faculty member’s performance over a three-year period is taken into consideration.

The process functions on the basis of the calendar year as follows:

  • December: The Chair issues to all tenured, tenure-track, and other Senior Staff faculty members a memorandum requesting that annual evaluation portfolios (including a letter summarizing the year's professional activities and an updated CV) be assembled in final form and submitted.
  • January-March: The Faculty Evaluation Committee and the Chair review all materials in those portfolios and compile tentative evaluations for the annual-evaluation cycle (the previous calendar year).
  • April: The Chair issues to all faculty members tentative evaluations of their work during the previous year (see Appendix B-3); consults with them as appropriate concerning questions about that evaluation and/or the goals and expectations for their work during the ensuing evaluation cycle; finalizes the tentative evaluations and any plans for the future projected from them (see Appendix B-4).
  • It should be noted, of course, that the Chair's reviews of and responses to all manner of materials relevant to the portfolios proceed continuously--though they come to an annual culmination with the end of the calendar year.

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.

Faculty members are urged to build their portfolios continuously through the evaluation cycle, which consists of the calendar year preceding the evaluation process, including in them multiple sources of information that document the quantity and quality of teaching/advising, scholarly or creative activity, and service. Because the Department has voted to use its own student evaluation forms, each portfolio must include student evaluations of all courses that enrolled more than three students taught during the preceding year. These data must be provided by the instrument designed by the Department (see Appendix A), which instrument may be supplemented by any additional instruments the instructor deems useful (including the University’s “Student Survey of Teaching”). The portfolio must also contain a letter, preferably containing bullet pointed items, summarizing the year’s activities. Normally, the letter does not exceed 3 pages in a standard font and size (no smaller than 11-point). Although it is not necessarily expected, the portfolio may also include any combination of listed materials in each (appropriate) category:


Self-evaluations of teaching; peer evaluations; notifications of teaching awards; syllabi and other course materials; accounts of honors tutorials and/or honors essays; an account of advising activities; list of theses and dissertations read or directed; letters from students; evidence of success of former students; mention of voluntary overloads and advising or mentoring undertaken. Faculty members may want to consult the CTE website sections on Documenting Teaching and Developing Peer Observations.

Scholarly or Creative Activity

Copies (if practicable) of books, essays, articles, short stories, poems, plays, reviews, and the like published, accepted for publication, completed, or in progress during the evaluation cycle; information on the quality of journals or presses in which work appears; accounts of participation in or papers presented at colloquia or conferences or in seminars, creative work read at readings, participation on panels, dramatic productions, professional honors and awards for scholarly or creative work; reports of applications for external or internal funding (sabbatical leaves, Hall fellowships, and the like), invited lectures, editorial projects or editorships, consultantships; citations by others; memberships in reading groups or on discussion lists; correspondence relevant to productivity;


Mention of roles on Departmental standing committees, search committees, ad hoc committees, and the like; accounts of professional service to the College, University, discipline, community, state, nation, and world; letters relevant to service accomplishment;

Professional Activity (for Unclassified Academic Staff)

List of activities performed; significant publications, documents, memos, and letters relevant to professional duties; self-evaluation of administrative duties; letters from supervisor or director; other relevant materials.

3. Portfolio or Annual Report Review and Evaluation

Unit procedures for portfolio review, including the variables (e.g., quality, quantity, significance, impact, etc.) considered in evaluating each area of responsibility over the specified evaluation period are defined below:


All reviews of portfolios are conducted by the Chair of the Department of English and the Faculty Evaluation Committee January through March of each year. The quantity and quality of performance in each area are evaluated within the context of each individual faculty member’s contracted distribution of effort for the year under consideration and with due sensitivity to any special arrangements for improvement or renewal during that period. Preliminary evaluations are prepared by the Chair and the Department’s elected Faculty Evaluation Committee. The Chair, however, has final say in evaluation. The procedures for reviewing files are listed below:

  • The Chair and Committee will meet to discuss standards for evaluation. The Chair will offer guidelines to the Committee for each rating in each of the three categories: teaching/advising, research, and service (or professional activity).
  • The Committee will split up the files and each member will read a set. Committee members will have a copy of the previous year’s evaluations. Committee members will not review their own files or those of their domestic partners.
  • Each member will write a brief narrative and suggest ratings for the files they have been assigned.
  • The Chair will look at all files and review the Committee members’ narratives and ratings.
  • The Chair and the Committee will meet to discuss the files, focusing particularly on achieving consistency and reviewing difficult cases.
  • The Chair will make the final evaluations and distribute to the faculty.

Variables considered:

Please see Appendix C for evaluation rubric.

4. Annual Evaluation of Feedback Process

Subsequent to the Chair’s and Faculty Evaluation Committee’s review of portfolios, faculty members are informed in writing of the results of that review (see Appendix B-3). Individual conferences that follow, though they may initially center on questions of fairness or misunderstanding, usually become discussions of the substantive aspects of the individual evaluation and its implications for future expectations and professional growth; moreover, both the Chair and each faculty member engaged in a conference normally sign a written record of that conference and of any agreement concerning future performance consequent to it (see Appendix B-4). Further conferences relevant to such matters, including the current year’s distribution of effort, may, of course, be held at other times during the evaluation cycle. A copy of the written evaluation is retained in the faculty member’s file.

5. Post-tenure Review and Integration into the Annual Evaluation Process

This section includes information for faculty members undergoing Post-tenure Review.

  • The post-tenure review will be conducted by the Faculty Evaluation Committee (excluding the department chair) pursuant to the faculty evaluation policy. Therefore, post-tenure review and annual evaluation are combined into a single process. In the Department, the Faculty Evaluation Committee, excluding the department chair, will constitute the Post-tenure Review Committee Any action on the review that is within the scope of the Faculty Evaluation Policy must be taken pursuant to that policy. Accordingly, unless the review indicates the failure to satisfy a performance improvement plan that was previously in place and performance that constitutes sustained failure to meet academic responsibilities, a recommendation for dismissal cannot follow from post-tenure review. (See University Post-Tenure Review policy)

Additional information can be found in the Unit’s Post-tenure Review Policy.

6. Outcomes of the Annual Performance Evaluation

Description of outcomes:

The evaluation process of the Department of English 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 signal recognition or dismissal, as per Faculty Code of Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct for the KU Lawrence Campus, September 15, 1016.

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

Department administrative review process: Should there arise a conflict concerning a faculty member’s evaluation, the Chair and the Faculty Evaluation Committee will study the portfolio again, allow additions to its materials by the faculty member, and meet with the faculty member in an attempt to arrive at an equitable concurrence. If no concurrence is forthcoming, the faculty member who receives a rating of “Inadequate” for teaching, research, or service (or professional activity) may appeal to the elected members of the Advisory Committee or their designees and receive a hearing within two weeks.

Appeal of evaluation: A faculty member who is still unsatisfied with his/her evaluation after going through the above procedure may seek an administrative review at the College level. The review process must be initiated well before the recommendation for awarding of merit salary increases is due to the College.

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

General Faculty Development

  • Though its funds are limited, the Department nonetheless strives routinely to create faculty development opportunities through a number of strategies: by encouraging faculty members to broaden career interests, especially interdisciplinary ones, or the exploration of cutting-edge ideas; by guiding the professional growth of new faculty members through the faculty mentoring program; by encouraging applications for external and internal funding; by encouraging faculty to participate in Hall Center seminars and department-sponsored conferences, and thereby share their work with colleagues, students, and the general public; by encouraging the design and teaching of innovative courses; by aligning teaching assignments with research interests; by granting the Fry and Conger-Gabel Teaching Awards to recognize extraordinary teaching; by promoting team teaching; by enhancing library holdings crucial to new territories of inquiry; by awarding the Shirley cundiff Haines and Jordon L. Haines Faculty Research Fellowship in English, the Stiefel Professorship for Excellence in Teaching, Research, and Service, and in other ways. Much less routinely, because of its budgetary constraints, the Department also tries to create faculty development opportunities through other, more costly, but high-priority strategies: by providing classroom technology for faculty members who wish to experiment with multimedia pedagogy; by supplying assistants to those who are undertaking extensive research projects; by providing graders for those who assume unusually heavy teaching assignments; by assigning support staff to those who take on key service roles; and in other ways. And, of course, the Department encourages and supports all faculty members who wish to avail themselves of University-wide opportunities for development, which opportunities, as well as its own, the Department strongly urges the central administration to fund as generously as possible and, in the case of faculty members in serious need of development, on a non-competitive basis.

Pretenure faculty

  • Mentoring: During his/her first semester in the Department, a new faculty member and the Chair will agree upon two tenured faculty members who will serve as mentors and, at the appropriate time, will assist the Chair in preparing the evaluation document for the progress toward tenure review. From that point on, these senior faculty members will, if agreeable to both the candidate and the Chair, continue in a mentoring role until the tenure year, when they will assist the candidate and the chair in collecting material and preparing the blue form for the promotion- tenure process. One mentor will be assigned for teaching and the other for research. Both should be available for consultation and should read research and/or teaching materials and visit the classes of the assigned pretenure faculty member.
  • Research Intensive Semesters (RIS): CLAS offers all pretenure 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 chairperson. 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.

Tenured associate professors

  1. Individual associate professors should aim for achieving promotion in approximately 6-9 years, as per MLA recommendations; the Department should also have this goal for its Associate Professors and lend appropriate support. However, Associate Professors who, for personal or professional reasons, take longer than the norm, should be encouraged and supported in their efforts to reach the necessary benchmarks for promotion. Faculty who undertake major administrative roles should also add three years to their projected time-to-promotion. Major professional service obligations (such as serving as president of a large professional organization) should also be taken into account. Associate Professors should not be expected to serve more than three years in an administrative role.
  2. A mentoring system like that already in place for assistant professors should be set up, though one mentor should be sufficient at this rank rather than two. The Chair, in consultation with the Associate Professor, should assign a mentor in the Associate Professor’s field or one closely related to it, if possible. The Chair may need to draw on emeritus faculty, who may be willing to serve in this role, especially until the Department reaches the goal of having sufficient Full Professors.

Mentors should give guidance to associate professors by:

a. Working with the associate professor to devise and implement a promotion plan;

b. Helping with strategic decisions about such things as what type of books, which journals, importance of minor publications, etc.;

c. Read and comment on scholarly work (if appropriate) or give advice on finding someone else to do this;

d. Observing classes and evaluating teaching well in advance of promotion application;

e. Consulting about which and how many service obligations to take on, including major leadership roles;

f. Providing information and advice about grant applications, reduced teaching possibilities, and other means of tangible research support.

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


Appendix A – Student Evaluation of Teaching

Appendix B – Departmental Forms used in Faculty Evaluation

Appendix C – Faculty annual evaluation rubric

Appendix A – Instrument(s) Used in the Evaluation of Student Teaching

The Department of English utilizes the Department’s “Course/Instructor Evaluation” as this instrument. The department has voted to use these comments in the evaluation process. In addition, the faculty member may choose to submit online evaluation forms from CODL, Study Abroad forms from OSA, mid-term and other supplementary evaluations, or the University’s “Student Survey of Teaching” form.

Course/Instructor Evaluation

Note to the student: Because we are interested in assessing our courses in terms of student interests and needs and in providing instructors with a way of evaluating their teaching, we request your comments on your experience in the course you are now taking. Student evaluations of teaching are made available to the faculty member and to the Chair of the English Department. These performance evaluations are considered each year in the allocation of merit salary increases and, when applicable, during promotion, tenure, and sabbatical decisions.

These forms will NOT be given to your instructor until after the end of the semester when grades have already been submitted. Please, therefore, respond frankly but responsibly.


Instructor:                                       Course:   ____________



  1. Please circle one response for each of the following:


I am currently a:







I took this course because:


Required for major


Required for degree

Personal interest or curiosity

Course was not full (open)


Course met at convenient time

This course meets      times per week. I have missed approximately      class meeting(s) while taking this course.


     times per week


    classes missed




The grade I expect in this course is:






The grade I think I deserve is:






I conferred with the instructor outside class about my work:

3 or more times








How often did you complete the assigned readings/coursework before each class?


Nearly always


More than half the time


About half the time

Less than half the time


Seldom or never

At this time my overall G.P.A. is:

3.5 - 4.0

3.0 - 3.49

2.5 - 2.99

2.0 - 2.49

Less than 2.0

  1. What were the strengths of this course and the instructor? What changes would you suggest for this course and the instructor?
  2. Please mark one choice only: 5 = strongly agree, 4 = agree, 3 = neutral, 2 = disagree, 1 = strongly disagree








Classes were held regularly and the instructor was prompt and well prepared.






The instructor set and met clear goals and objectives for the course.






The instructor was willing to meet with students outside of the classroom.






The assignments were clear and understandable.






The instructor provided sufficient and useful comments on papers, tests, presentations, etc.






The instructor stimulated interest in the subject matter.






The instructor's classroom methods helped me learn.






The instructor dealt fairly with student opinion in class.






I learned from the writing assignments in this course






My critical reading and thinking skills have improved in this course.






What this instructor expected of me was intellectually challenging.






In terms of the instructor's standards and expectations, I think the grades I have received have been reasonable.






  1. Please circle one response to the following question:

Compared with courses at a similar level, I would rate how much I learned as:






Appendix B – Departmental Forms Used in Faculty Evaluation

B-1: Individualized Differential Allocation of Effort Plan

(This is a record of negotiations between the Chair and a faculty member in advance of the yearly evaluation cycle)

TO:       [the Chair] FROM:                  

I would like my professional effort for the          faculty-evaluation cycle to be evaluated in terms of the following percentage distribution (40/40/20 being the standard distribution):



Goals and rationale for any variation from the normal departmental expectation of 40-40-20:

Additional activities to be undertaken by the faculty member in any of the three areas during the upcoming year:


Signature of faculty member:                                            Date:              

Signature of department chair:                                           Date:               



B-2: (SAMPLE) Call for Annual Performance Evaluation Portfolios

December 8, 20  

To: Senior Staff and Full-time Lecturers From:           [the Chair]

Re: Annual Faculty Evaluation

Since the end of the semester is close, I should tell you of my plans for conducting the annual faculty evaluation for this calendar year–that is, from 1 January to 31 December 20 . If new circumstances arise over the next several months, a supplementary memo will be issued. Note that Regents require an annual evaluation even if there are no salary increases for the year. The timetable for the evaluation runs as follows:

  • January 2008: By this date you should submit to me the portfolios to be used in the evaluation, including a letter summarizing your professional activities for the period above and a copy of your updated CV. Any relevant additions will be accepted until the end of the month.
  • 27 January – 3 April: Faculty Evaluation Committee and I will review portfolios.
  • 8 April - 10 April I will distribute tentative evaluations to you.
  • 10 April - 17 April Individual conferences concerning tentative evaluations will be held.
  • 20 April I will regard tentative evaluations–with whatever adjustments and plans may have been negotiated and agreed to–as final evaluations.

Remember that departmental student evaluations of all courses enrolling more than four students in 2008 must be included in your portfolio. You may also include the university’s standard form, and other student evaluations; if you decide to include other types of evaluations, however, you should describe the conditions under which they were administered.

You must submit at least some of the following (or other relevant materials) as evidence for evaluation in the three areas of teaching, scholarly or creative activity, and service:

  1. self-evaluations and peer evaluations of teaching; notification of teaching awards; syllabi (may be annotated), lists of goals, or other evidence of reflective teaching ; accounts of honors tutorials and/or honors essays; a listing of theses and dissertations with which you have been involved (as director or otherwise); mention of voluntary overloads you have taught in the spring or fall of 2008, and advising or mentoring you have undertaken;
  2. list of books, essays, articles, short stories, poems, reviews, etc. published, accepted for publication, completed, or in progress during this evaluation period; accounts of papers presented at colloquia or conferences, poetry or fiction readings, participation on panels, dramatic productions, professional honors and awards, reports of successful or unsuccessful grant or sabbatical-leave applications, invited lectures, editorships or editorial projects, consultantships, etc.; citations of your work by others; correspondence evidencing your productivity; reviews of recent books.
  3. mention of participation (as a member or chair) on Departmental standing committees, search committees, ad hoc committees (as a member or chair), etc.; accounts of service to the College, University, community, state, nation, and world (community outreach efforts should be directly related to your research or teaching expertise); letters concerning service accomplishments.

If you are uncertain as to what materials I have in your current file–all of which I will incorporate into your portfolio–please check with my assistant or me. And please act in advance of the 27 January deadline if you possibly can.

If you have any questions, please get in touch.

B-3: Tentative Yearly Evaluation


TO:                                                                                                                                                                                         [date]


FROM: [The Chair]

The notations below indicate my assessment, based on the evidence presented in your portfolio, of your particular contributions in the specific areas of teaching, scholarly or creative activity, service, and, where appropriate, professional activity for the year under review (1 January 20 to 31 December 20 ).






(very good)     (excellent)





2                        3










































Justification for the ratings above, in terms of the weightings contracted for this evaluation cycle:

Teaching: Research: Service:








You have the right to meet with the Chair to question or discuss this evaluation. If you intend to do so, please make an appointment with the Chair as soon as possible. Remember that, when evaluations are used for making salary recommendations, one of their several uses, some other considerations, such as equity, promotion, past achievement, and potential, may be taken into account. Remember also that tentative evaluations, subject to whatever changes may be appropriate, will become final evaluations on [date].

B-4: Annual Individual Faculty-Evaluation Conference Form

Faculty member:



Reason for conference:

Summary of conference:

Modifications, if any, of tentative evaluation:

Recommendations concerning future expectations and strategies for improvements, renewal, or correction: Chair’s signature:                                             Date:              

Faculty member’s signature:                                                      Date:              


Appendix C: Faculty Evaluation Rubric

Guidelines for Writing Evaluations of Annual Portfolios

The Committee should use the following notes to help determine faculty contributions to teaching, research, and service. Of course quantification can never be a complete grounds for evaluation and the committee is expected to use its judgment and experience in applying the rubric to individual faculty reports.


In addition to the required self-evaluation of teaching in the letter and student evaluations, various sources, including syllabi, course materials, peer evaluations when available, teaching awards and nominations, etc., may be weighed. Numeric data from student course evaluations should not be the only basis for the assessment of teaching, but they also should not be ignored, especially as we have now revised our student evaluation form to reflect areas that students should be able to assess (e.g. their learning compared to other courses at that level).

In teaching, as in research, the full range of the merit scale should be used, and we should be able to make distinctions, difficult as these may be, between those who deserve an “outstanding” rating (+++) and those who merit a “very good” rating (++).

Numeric Data from Student Course Evaluations – Generally we are looking at the overall record, not at just one course with lower numbers; everyone has a less successful class now and then. Numbers in the top third of the 4s range are generally considered “outstanding”; numbers in the 2nd third (e.g. 4.3 to 4.5 or so, or somewhere around the dept. mean) can fairly be considered “very good.” The department is currently tabulating means (by course level and type) for some of the questions on the survey. However, an “average” set of course evaluations for the department does not necessarily translate to an “adequate” merit rating, as the department has many very strong teachers, raising the average. It is certainly possible for a teacher to get scores that are around the department average and get an “outstanding” on teaching, if this is warranted by the other materials.

On the other hand, scores that are well below the department mean (e.g. in the 3s) suggest a cause for concern from the student point of view, even if other materials indicate a conscientious and knowledgeable teacher. In other words, the various sources of information all need to be considered and balanced with each other.

Types / Range of Courses Taught – Does the faculty member teach needed “service” courses (e.g. surveys, FSE, etc.) as well as topics courses and graduate courses? Also, consider whether there a correlation between the type of course and student evaluation responses. (FSE honors courses, for instance, often draw more analytical and critical comments.

Survey courses may well draw lower average numbers than “topics” courses. Graduate courses in topics often have higher numbers.)

Student Comments – No single positive or negative comment should be focused on; we’re looking for a pattern of positive or negative comments. It’s helpful to pull out some positive comments to refer to in the summary and to note patterns in negative ones to suggest improvements.

Self-analysis – Look for goals and self-awareness, improvement, special activities undertaken (CTE, workshops, et.), new methods or ideas, a focus on student learning.

            Curriculum development – Did this person teach a class that was new or new for him/her?

Instructors should not be penalized for teaching the same courses, particularly if these are courses that the scheduling officer has identified as especially needed. But credit should be given for developing new courses and rethinking/retooling old ones.

Syllabi/assignments – Are these well-developed and thorough? Do they show creativity and let students know what is expected?

Peer evaluations – Faculty should be encouraged to ask colleagues to observe their classes and write letters for their file. Credit should be given for arranging an observation of a class.

Out-of-classroom teaching and advising – Note the number of graduate and undergraduate thesis committees, directed readings, etc. Credit for graduate advising should be given, but faculty should not be penalized because graduate students are not working with them.

Faculty should identify any informal advising/mentoring they have done during the year.


+++ (excellent)

Multiple sources suggest effective, rigorous, and innovative teaching. Student feedback is positive and conveys a sense of a productive and stimulating learning environment; there is evidence of a challenging classroom. Other evidence of excellence may include graduate advisees, new course preps, variety of courses taught, teaching awards, or other outstanding contributions; other indicators (peer reviews, self-assessments, course materials) suggest a teacher that revises based on feedback and works to improve and expand on teaching.

++ (very good)

Information suggests conscientious and effective teaching on the whole, although not at the level of “excellent.” Syllabi, course materials, and peer reviews suggest effective teaching, and student evaluations are positive on the whole. Evidence provided suggests that students are learning in and challenged by the course. There may be slightly less variety in courses taught, some problems reflected in student evaluations, or less evidence of self-reflection and revision in teaching.

+ (adequate)

Information suggests that the teacher is responsibly meeting the duties associated with teaching (syllabi, class preparation, responsible grading, etc.) and is, on the whole, an effective teacher. Evidence provided suggests that students are learning in the course. Student evaluations and/or peer evaluations may reflect some causes for concern in terms of effectiveness of classroom activities, helpfulness of grading, or other issues. Self- reflection suggests some awareness of these issues as they come up and willingness to address them.

0 (marginal)

Information suggests problems with responsible and effective teaching (e.g. insufficient class preparation, lack of helpful comments and/or lateness with grading; class activities are not conducive to learning; class time is not used effectively).

-1 (inadequate)

Information suggests significant problems with responsible and effective teaching. Class preparation may be inadequate; class time may be used poorly; written feedback and comments on graded assignments may be insufficient or unhelpful; students may not be receiving feedback in a timely manner; basic responsibilities such as a timely beginning to class, adequate communication with students outside of class, and holding of office hours may not be met. Problems in previous annual evaluation cycles may not have been adequately addressed.


While research productivity must be evaluated on an annual basis, faculty may wish to articulate the research agenda and achievements across a three-year timespan (previous, current, and subsequent year).

Major publications in the form of articles and equivalent are counted twice, once when they are accepted and then when they are published. Faculty should be clear in their letters about when they received the acceptance and whether they have already had credit for it.

Minor publications (reviews, encyclopedia articles, short essays etc.) and equivalent receive credit only at the time of publication.

Conference participation does not normally take the place of publication, but the committee may weigh conference presentations in the overall profile. Only one conference a year is expected since only one is funded; extra credit will not be given for multiple conferences other than in exceptional circumstances such as an invited lecture or keynote.

In keeping with our Promotion and Tenure policies, collaborative research should be given equivalent credit with single authored work, at least where the faculty member is a major contributor.

+++ (excellent)

Authored book = 3 years credit, usually

Once for acceptance, second for revision and production process, third for actual appearance & reviews

2 articles^or perhaps 1 article published in a very prestigious journal like PMLA Edited book published*

One article plus substantial progress on a book manuscript An article and multiple reviews/encyclopedia entries

-Stories, essays, short plays, and/or quite a few poems published in different venues

-Chapbook published

Substantial progress on a novel or memoir under contract

-A major production and/or publication of a play

Major external research grant (or major internal grant plus a major publication or several minor publications)

Invited lecture(s) plus active publication (a major publication or several minor publications)

^ Articles receive credit once for acceptance and once for publication

*Since an edited collection normally includes an article-length introduction, the collection should also earn article-equivalent credit at the time of acceptance.

++ (very good)

Substantial progress on a manuscript (1-2 chapters for a scholarly project) as long as there is clear progress toward publication (faculty must submit evidence)

1 article

Some combination of reviews, articles, & encyclopedia entries accepted and/or published

-A significant story, essay, short play, or poems published, or the publication of multiple minor creative works in different venues

-Substantial progress on a book manuscript or play with clear progress toward publication/production

-A small/regional production of a play

+ (adequate)

1 minor publication

A conference presentation alone may be grounds for an evaluation of adequate as long as there is evidence of some publication within the current three-year period

Article manuscript

Manuscript of short creative work/s, or some progress on a larger creative manuscript

-Minor creative publication

Some progress on a book manuscript (but of course, this cannot go on indefinitely) 0 (marginal)

Some minimal evidence of research

-- (inadequate)

No evidence of research


+++ Major service contribution: Contributes substantial and significant service time. Examples of substantial service might include administrative positions, labor-intensive service involving the reading of many files, chairing a substantial department committee, etc; that is, generally, significant departmental, College, University, and professional service or outreach. Think about total time spent; this should be a visibly major service contribution. Particularly for tenured faculty, service contributions at all three levels

(dept, institution, national/professional) should generally be expected in the absence of major administrative service.

++ Very Good service: Contributes significant service at two or more levels (dept, institution, national/professional).

+ Adequate service: Served actively on 2 department committees.

0    Marginal: One department committee or other very light service

--    Inadequate: No service reported

Professional activity

Professional activity will be assessed according to the job description and duties in the unclassified academic staff member’s contract (as outlined in section I.D.) above. Performing the minimum activities described there will earn an “Adequate” rating, while such things as developing important new teaching or program initiatives, completing unusual or periodic major tasks, producing high-quality department publications, or doing the expected duties in an especially meritorious manner will contribute to an “Excellent” rating.

Additional Notes for FEC Members:

  • review last year’s evaluation for the individual
  • consider allocation of effort in evaluation
  • clarify voice (avoid “I” and mostly use passive voice)
  • make a distinction between a later reprint (based on high sales) and a dual hardback/paperback contract
  • don’t review lecturers’ research
  • Membership in two departments requires attendance at twice as many faculty meetings and solicits attendance at twice as many department-sponsored events. Joint faculty members have to have adjustments to their service load yet not be penalized for doing less than the standard share in each department.

Department of English
University of Kansas
1445 Jayhawk Blvd., Room 3001
Lawrence, KS 66045

Department Chairperson

Approved by: 
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
Approved on: 
Friday, October 7, 2016
Effective on: 
Friday, October 7, 2016
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)
Faculty Evaluation Plan, Annual Evaluation, Faculty Review, ENGL, PtR, Post-tenure Review
Change History: 

07/06/2023: Updated Annual Evaluation section. 
02/22/2022: Converted from PDF to live text page.
11/01/2016: Uploaded approval docs. on back-end.
10/13/2016: Converted policy page to PDF/DOC/Link page. 
10/07/2016: Approved by the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
10/07/2016: Approved by the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
10/02/2016: Revision to DAE policy (to correspond with the University’s DAE policy) approved by faculty vote.
09/20/2016: Revisions approved by faculty vote of the unit.
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.
09/25/2015: Added the following statement to Section III.B. 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.

09/20/2016 Revised version approved by the Voting Department and Senior Staff
09/09/2014: Approved by the Provost
09/09/2014: Approved by the Dean of the College
09/02/2014: Revised version approved by the Senior Staff
09/02/2014: Revised version approved by the Voting Department
02/22/2011: Revised version approved by the Senior Staff
10/19/2010: Revised version approved by the Senior Staff
09/19/2010: Revised version with mandated technical changes approved by the Chair
05/05/2009: Revised version approved by the Senior Staff
04/03/2007: Revised version approved by the Senior Staff
03/15/2006: Approved by the Provost
03/15/2005: Reaffirmed by the Senior Staff
06/27/2001: Approved by the Provost
12/14/2000: Reaffirmed by the Voting Department
09/05/1997: Approved by the Provost
12/10/1996: Approved by the Voting Department

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