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Faculty Evaluation Plan, Department of Mathematics

Policy
Purpose: 

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

Applies to: 

Faculty within the Department of Mathematics

Campus: 
Lawrence
Policy Statement: 

INTRODUCTION

The Department of Mathematics is committed to teaching/advising, research, and service of the highest quality, the achievement of which requires regular faculty evaluation and dedication to faculty development. Faculty members have a personal and professional responsibility to maintain or improve performance and to initiate participation in professional development opportunities. The department has an equal responsibility to actively support these efforts. This Faculty Evaluation Plan documents the Mathematics Department's performance expectations, annual evaluation system, and faculty development opportunities. The Faculty Evaluation Plan is divided into separate sections for (I) tenured and tenure-track faculty (Professors, Associate Professors, and Assistant Professors) and (II) non-tenure-track teaching faculty (Teaching Professor, Associate Teaching Professor, Assistant Teaching Professor, Lecturer/Academic Program Associate).

I.TENURED AND TENURE-TRACK FACULTY

This section of the evaluation plan is intended to cover tenured and tenure-track faculty with the job titles of Professor, Associate Professor, and Assistant Professor. It documents the Mathematics Department's (A) Performance Expectations, (B) Annual Evaluation System, and (C) Faculty Development Opportunities.

  1. STATEMENT OF PERFORMANCE EXPECTATIONS

The typical distribution of faculty effort will be 40% teaching/advising, 40% research, and 20% service, except in individual cases where a differential allocation of effort (DAE) following departmental guidelines has been agreed upon between the tenured faculty member and the Chair. Tenure-track faculty will be expected to maintain the 40-40-20 allocation of effort until they receive tenure. The phrase differential allocation of effort (DAE) as used in this document refers only to the percentage allocation of effort in teaching, research and service, and not to the underlying reasons for the DAE.

  1. Unit Expectations
    1. Teaching/Advising

All faculty members are expected to teach three courses (or the equivalent) of either undergraduate or graduate mathematics per academic year and to be active in advising. Faculty members in the Mathematics Department shall take their teaching responsibilities seriously and strive for excellence in the classroom. Associate and full professors are expected to direct the research programs of individual graduate students. Tenure-track faculty members are not ordinarily expected to direct Ph.D. dissertations. Such faculty members do occasionally advise M.A. students in their work on their research components. Advising and/or mentoring of undergraduate students should be a normal activity of all faculty members.

  1. Research

Tenure-track faculty members are expected to develop and maintain an active research program which gains national recognition and is advanced substantially beyond the level of the Ph.D. dissertation. The research program and resulting publications should provide solid evidence that the faculty member is a dedicated scholar whose research will continue to develop in depth and importance throughout his/her career.

The research of associate and full professors should achieve a level of maturity and excellence that results in a significant impact in the professor's field. It should be known and respected internationally by the best scholars in his/her field.

  1. Service

All faculty members are expected to carry out service responsibilities. Associate and full professors are expected to provide substantial service to the Department, College, University and profession by serving on and playing an active role in departmental, College, or University committees. Other examples of professional service include organizing national conferences and meetings, participating in professional organizations, refereeing or reviewing manuscripts for research journals, reviewing grant proposals, active participation in departmental affairs and meetings, professional interactions with faculty from other departments and with people outside the University; and participating in math-related outreach activities.

Overall service from tenure-track faculty is expected to be light. Service is expected at a level commensurate with rank. Tenure-track faculty are expected to participate in appropriate professional activities, such as attending department meetings, carrying out departmental committee assignments, attending national meetings or conferences, and refereeing or reviewing manuscripts for research journals. The service level for a tenure-track faculty member establishes a record that demonstrates professional responsibility and develops capacity for the faculty member to assume future departmental, college, university, and professional roles.

  1. Standards for Acceptable Performance for Faculty Members

Each faculty member's effort in teaching/advising, research, and service should be judged to be acceptable each year by the department's Executive Committee as part of the annual evaluation process. The criteria used for these judgments are spelled out in detail below.

Less than acceptable performance in any category (teaching/advising, research, or service) will trigger faculty development counseling in that area. The Chair and the faculty member will develop a written plan to address the area(s) of difficulty. Continued unsatisfactory performance for a period of three years in any category of endeavor (teaching/advising, research or service) may result in a recommendation for dismissal.

  1. Differential Allocation of Effort (DAE)

The Department of Mathematics 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 standard 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 precedence 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 beyond one year), 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) [https://policy.ku.edu/provost/DAE].

  1. ANNUAL EVALUATION SYSTEM
    1. Overview

Evaluation of faculty members is done by the department's Executive Committee.

The Committee's evaluations of teaching/advising, research, and service are based on the contents of the annually updated faculty portfolios. The resulting evaluations later will be used to determine merit salary increases, to assist in determining individual goals and expectations, to aid in determining faculty readiness for promotion and/or tenure, and to suggest professional development activities.

The resulting evaluation information about the department as a whole will identify opportunities the department can use to achieve its goals and demonstrate the need for resources.

Tenure-track faculty are also subject to individual performance review by the tenured senior faculty every spring. At a spring departmental meeting, a representative of the mentoring committee presents an in-depth review of the year’s performance for each junior faculty member with a view toward the possibility of recommending the award of promotion and tenure. A written summary of the evaluation and discussion is provided to the junior faculty member. This summary is also available to the Executive Committee for consideration in the annual review.

The annual evaluation timeline is as follows:

December 15: Memo to faculty reminding them to update their curriculum vita and portfolio and to provide a written report of the current and preceding two calendar year's teaching/advising, research, and service activities.

February 15-March 15: The Department Chair produces a written evaluation letter based on the evaluation results of the Executive Committee and sends it to each faculty member.

March 15 - April 30: Discussions occur between the Chair and individual faculty members concerning their performance and future expectations.

  1. Portfolio or Annual Report Preparation

Each faculty member is responsible for developing a portfolio documenting quality, quantity, significance, and impact of effort in teaching/advising, research, and service for the Executive Committee’s review. It will be updated each year and for the previous two calendar years and assembled cumulatively throughout the faculty member's career. As much as possible it will be kept in duplicate by the department and the faculty member. It should contain:

  1. a current curriculum vitae;
  2. curriculum and instruction surveys (student comment sheets should be stored by the faculty member until they are needed for tenure and promotion nominations, sabbatical leave applications, teaching award nominations, or other special purposes);
  3. peer evaluations of teaching, especially for assistant and associate professors;
  4. annual report on teaching/advising, research/scholarship and service for the preceding two calendar years and the current year to the time of the report. The report should provide the following information, much of which should also be recorded in summary fashion in the curriculum vitae:
  1. courses taught, URL for course web site, and any other relevant information;
  2. mentoring, advising and research direction of graduate and undergraduate students;
  3. graduate student committee service and directed readings supervised;
  4. publications: refereed articles, books, and proceedings;
  5. grants submitted and grants awarded;
  6. recognition for teaching, research or service;
  7. presentations: plenary talks, conference presentations, colloquium talks, research seminars given. Documentation of especially prestigious presentations would be useful.
  8. department, College, University and professional service;
  9. innovative efforts in teaching, research or service; and,
  10. description and documentation of any other activities which the faculty member believes may strengthen his/her credentials for evaluation.
    1. Portfolio or Annual Report Review and Evaluation

The Executive Committee, the Promotion and Tenure Committee, and the Chair will use the portfolio information for the annual faculty evaluation process, for tenure and/or promotion consideration, sabbatical applications, award nominations, and for the awarding of merit, if appropriate. Information in the portfolio will be used to judge the quality, quantity, significance, and impact of the faculty member’s teaching, research and service, according to the departmental expectations outlined in the section on acceptable performance.

The Executive Committee assigns a grade of excellent, very good, good, marginal, or unacceptable for each of teaching/advising, research and service. These ratings are then converted to a maximum of 10 points each for teaching and research, and 5 points for service: for teaching/advising and research, 10 = excellent, 8 = very good, 6 = good, 4 = marginal, and 2 or less = unacceptable; for service, 5 = excellent, 4 = very good, 3 = good, 2 = marginal, and 1 = unacceptable. Intermediate grades such as 9 = E/VG may also be used when appropriate. For faculty members with a time allocation different from the usual 40-40-20, the potential 25 points will be prorated according to the revised allocation. Ratings will be relative to the expectations of rank and any existing DAE.

The evaluation of the portfolio will typically involve the following:

  1. Teaching/Advising

Effective teaching refers to the faculty member’s dissemination of knowledge to enhance students’ skills, create understanding, and foster intellectual growth. Teaching will be judged based on the entire teaching portfolio of the faculty member in relation to departmental norms relating to the level of coursework and the type of course taught. Teaching excellence may be achieved in many ways including traditional classroom instruction and one- on-one teaching or coaching, and may be documented by several means, including the following:

  1. Systematic student evaluations must be provided for each course taught.
  2. Feedback from advisees, recent alumni, peer reviews.
  3. Teaching awards and commendations; external funding related to the improvement of teaching.
  4. Service on M.A. and Ph.D. comprehensive examinations and advisory committees, and quality advising and mentoring of graduate students. Chairing M.A. and Ph.D. committees is particularly commendable.
  5. Course development that serves the needs of the Department and the University.
  6. Evaluation of advising is based on M.A. and Ph.D. student committees chaired, service on such committees, number of reading courses given, advising of undergraduates, and any other relevant information brought to the committee’s attention.
  7. Supervising undergraduate research projects.
  8. The level of contribution and performance in shouldering the departmental teaching load.

Specific examples of criteria that might be used by the Executive Committee in evaluating teaching/advising:

Excellent: For instance, excellent evaluations, particularly creative and effective teaching methods, active supervision of more than the usual number of graduate students.

Very good: For instance, very good evaluations and higher than normal level of effort, effective supervision of graduate students.

Good: At the level expected of a faculty member in good standing.

Marginal: Evaluations indicate significant room for improvement; has not established good working relations with graduate students.

Unacceptable: Failure to satisfactorily carry out the teaching mission of the Department, either because of poor classroom performance or poor cooperation with the Department in meeting its teaching needs and obligations; neglecting to meet classes regularly; extremely poor teaching evaluations and serious student complaints without compensating information from the faculty member’s portfolio.

  1. Research

In the Mathematics Department, peer-reviewed research publications constitute the primary evidence of scholarship. The expectation of the Department is that the faculty member will publish written work in appropriate books and research journals. Publications must be sufficient in both quantity and quality.

  1. Publications

Criteria for evaluating publications include the following:

  1. Refereed articles and research monographs
    1. Anonymous peer review as a condition for publication shall be regarded as a sign of acceptance by colleagues in the candidate’s discipline when contribution to scholarship is the purpose of the journal and the criterion of the refereeing. Scholarly books and monographs will be considered important evidence of research capability. A sustained record of publication is a strong indication of an active and successful research program.
    2. Invited articles in significant journals also can be important scholarly contributions.
    3. The reputation of the journal(s) in which the candidate publishes will be taken into account by Executive Committee members in making their judgments. Publication in a prestigious journal is strong evidence of peer acceptability of the faculty member’s research and is highly commendable.
    4. Publication of research articles in refereed conference proceedings is evidence of peer acceptability of the faculty member’s work.
    5. Acceptance of a faculty member’s work may be measured to some extent by the frequency his or her work is cited by colleagues.
  2. Papers given at meetings
    1. It is expected that faculty members will present papers at meetings of scholarly associations. Generally, unpublished papers will not be accorded the weight of peer-reviewed published articles.
    2. Active participation in research seminars and collaborative multidisciplinary research can be important scholarly contributions.
    3. Publishing reviews of scholarly articles and research monographs in review journals is also a form of scholarly contribution.
  1. Research funding

The receipt of a research grant, especially from a funding source outside the University, is strong evidence of peer acceptability of the faculty member’s research and is highly commendable. Submission of research projects to funding agencies is a form of scholarly activity.

  1. Record

The portfolio must demonstrate an established scholarly career, as reflected in such factors as a substantial and ongoing pattern of publication or creative activity, the faculty member’s national or international reputation, and other evidence of an active and productive scholarly career. The following variables are also taken into consideration when evaluating research:

  1. Evidence of a developed, important research program in the form of peer-reviewed journal articles and/or research monographs and scholarly texts.
  2. Evidence that published expertise in a particular area has led to such professional activities as: guest lecturers; research consulting; post-doctoral fellowships; requests to contribute to professional meetings, symposia, and scholarly collections; and national and international recognition and honors.
  3. The reprinting of portions of books and articles in the works of peers.

Specific examples of criteria that might be used by the Executive Committee in its evaluation of research:

Excellent: For Associate and Full Professors, the kind of publication and funding record that would make a faculty member highly attractive to another university; a leader in his/her field who attracts prospective graduate students or other faculty applicants; for Assistant Professors, performance substantially exceeding normal expectations for the faculty member’s rank, which could result in recommendation for early promotion and tenure.

Very good: Above the level of normal research activity required for timely advancement within the system; timely publication and presentation of research results in major journals and at professional meetings.

Good: Normal level of research activity for a faculty member in good standing.

Marginal: Little research productivity; no recent publications.

Unacceptable: No research productivity for an extended period of time.

  1. Service

Service can be provided to the Department, College, University, community, and discipline. It can be expressed through local, state, national, and international avenues. A faculty member must be able to document his/her activities in public and professional service. Such documentation can be provided by indicating the specific types of activities including:

  1. Membership and effective participation on departmental, College, University or Board of Regents committees;
  2. Election to and effective work in offices at the College or University level;
  3. Service to the profession in the form of reviewing grant proposals for external funding agencies and/or refereeing research articles for publication; also writing reviews of published journal articles for the profession;
  4. Consulting activity at the local, state, national, and international levels;
  5. Effective work in the community related to the mission of the department;
  6. Effective participation in positions with regional, national, and international professional societies;
  7. Journal editorships and editorial board memberships; and,
  8. Effective administrative work in Department, College or University offices.

Specific examples of criteria that might be used by the Executive Committee in its evaluation of service:

Excellent: Maintains a high profile in the academic and professional communities; seeks involvement and occupies positions of influence at the university or professional level.

Very good: Above the normal level of service activity expected at the faculty member’s rank; seeks involvement at the Department, University and Professional level. Expectations will be lower for Assistant Professors than for tenured faculty.

Good: Normal level of service activity at the faculty member’s level.

Marginal: Performs at only a moderate level of effort and without distinction.

Unacceptable: Grudgingly accepts service assignments and performs poorly; less than an acceptable minimum level of service.

  1. Annual Evaluation Feedback Process

The results of the evaluation will be communicated by letter from the Chair to the faculty member when the Executive Committee completes its work by the middle of March. The letter may include suggested strategies for improvement or renewal or any information on progress toward tenure and/or promotion.

The letter will invite a response from the faculty member and a meeting between the faculty member and the Chair to discuss the information submitted, the resulting evaluation of performance, and expectations for the future. If the faculty member so requests, the matter will be referred back to the Executive Committee to determine if a re-evaluation is merited. Documentation of the committee’s response will be provided to the faculty member.

In case of a judgment of unacceptable performance, in the absence of any mitigating circumstances, the Chair, in consultation with the Executive Committee, will work with the faculty member to create a mutually acceptable written faculty development plan to address the performance issue. The plan will include a procedure for the future evaluation of the faculty member that includes the goals identified in the faculty development plan.

  1. Post-tenure Review and the Annual Evaluation Process

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

  1. The Department’s post-tenure review (PTR) of each faculty member will be done by a PTR committee and is separate from the annual evaluations.
  2. 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.

Additional information can be found in the Department’s Post-Tenure Review Policy [https://policy.ku.edu/CLAS/post-tenure-review-mathematics].

  1. Outcomes of the Annual Performance Evaluation

The evaluation process of the Department of Mathematics, 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. Promotion and tenure decisions and post tenure reviews are conducted by committees different from the Executive Committee.

  1. Procedures for developing performance improvement plans

Following the expectations outlined in Part 1 above, if the Chair ascertains that a faculty member's performance seems to be failing to meet academic responsibilities, the Chair 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 Chair 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.

  1. Procedures for addressing failure to meet academic responsibilities

The faculty member may request an administrative review from the Chair. If disagreement with a faculty member persists after his/her meeting with the Chair, the faculty member may add comments to the evaluation documentation for reconsideration by the Executive Committee to determine if a re-evaluation is merited. Documentation of the Committee’s response will be provided to the faculty member. The Executive Committee will accept additional information from the faculty member throughout the evaluation period. The Executive Committee will submit a non-binding recommendation to the Chair. At any point doing this process, the faculty member has the right to write a letter documenting his/her objections. This letter will be made a part of the faculty member’s personnel file.

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 the Office of the Dean of the College.

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.

  1. 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.

  1. FACULTY DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES

All faculty members are encouraged to become aware of and take advantage of development opportunities. These can be used to ensure that all faculty members achieve the highest possible level of performance. Faculty development will take on a variety of forms depending on the career stage of the individual faculty member.

Having consulted with the faculty members involved, the Chair will assign to each tenure-track faculty member a tenured faculty mentor with a common or related research interest. This mentor will help orient the tenure-track faculty member and provide information about faculty development opportunities. Other faculty mentors with particular experience and skills will also be available to assist tenure-track faculty members on issues of teaching, advising, using technology and writing grant proposals. The Chair will communicate departmental expectations to all faculty members.

a) 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. For more information, see the College policy on research-intensive semesters [https://policy.ku.edu/CLAS/research-intensive-semester]

All faculty members may have individual development interests that can be addressed by interaction with colleagues and the use of departmental, University and external resources. Examples of these are:

The Center for Teaching Excellence [https://cte.ku.edu/]

Center for Faculty Development and Mentoring [https://facultydevelopment.ku.edu/] CLAS Faculty Travel Fund [https://collegetravel.ku.edu]

International Programs Travel Funds [https://international.ku.edu/travel-funds]

General Research Fund [https://collegedean.ku.edu/research/grf], including the New Faculty General Research Fund

II.NON-TENURE-TRACK TEACHING FACULTY

This section of the evaluation plan is intended to cover faculty with ≥50% FTE appointments who are primarily responsible for teaching duties, including the job titles in the Teaching Professor series (Teaching Professor, Associate Teaching Professor, Assistant Teaching Professor) as well as Lecturer/Academic Program Associate (Lecturer/APA). It documents the Mathematics Department's (A) Performance Expectations, (II) Annual Evaluation System, and (III) Faculty Development Opportunities.

  1. STATEMENT OF PERFORMANCE EXPECTATIONS

Per university policy [https://policy.ku.edu/provost/teaching-professor-job-title], the typical allocation of effort for faculty in the Teaching Professor series is 60-80% Teaching/Advising, 10-20% Research/Scholarly Engagement, and 10-20% Service. This allocation may vary in individual cases where a differential allocation of effort (DAE) following departmental and University guidelines has been agreed upon between the teaching faculty member and the Chair. Other categories in which teaching faculty are expected to expend effort, and in which they may be evaluated include Professional Performance and Academic Program Associate duties. These categories and the allocation of effort may vary among teaching faculty; evaluation for each teaching faculty member should be based on his/her official job description.

  1. Unit Expectations
    1. Teaching/Advising

Faculty members in the Mathematics Department shall take their teaching responsibilities seriously and strive for excellence in the classroom. Teaching faculty members are typically expected to teach at least three courses (or the equivalent) of undergraduate mathematics per semester and to participate in curriculum development efforts. For Teaching Professor-series faculty, one or more courses per year typically include coordinating large-lecture classes and/or team teaching with another faculty member. Teaching faculty members are not expected to advise graduate students in their research or to serve on Ph.D. or M.A. committees, but will often act as teaching mentors for graduate students. Advising and/or mentoring of undergraduate students should be a normal activity of teaching faculty members.

  1. Research/Scholarly Engagement

Teaching faculty members are expected to contribute to the mission of the Department of Mathematics primarily in the areas of course development and pedagogy. Areas of focus for scholarly engagement and presentations may include, but are not limited to: curriculum design; development of new teaching materials and methods; assessment; and integration of technology into the classroom.

  1. Service

All teaching faculty members are expected to carry out service responsibilities commensurate with their expertise and job description. Typically, these responsibilities will include serving on departmental, College, or University committees. Other examples of professional service may include organizing conferences and meetings; participating in professional organizations; active participation in departmental affairs and meetings; professional interactions with faculty from other departments and with people outside the University; and participating in math-related outreach activities.

  1. Academic Program Associate duties

Typically, the title Lecturer/APA denotes a senior teaching faculty member with primary duties in the Kansas Algebra Program (KAP). The APA portion of the job title refers to organizational duties within KAP, including providing uniform coordination for Math 002/101 instruction; training, supervision and evaluation of graduate and undergraduate teaching assistants in KAP; and ongoing development and assessment of KAP activities.

Typically, faculty in the Teaching Professor series will allocate their effort among the categories of Teaching/Advising, Research/Scholarly Engagement, and Service, while Lecturer/APAs will allocate effort among the categories of Teaching/Advising, Service, and APA duties. In this document, the phrase “applicable category” means one of the four categories of duties listed above that appears in the job description for an individual faculty member.

  1. Standards for Acceptable Performance for Faculty Members

Each teaching faculty member's effort in each applicable category should be judged acceptable each year by the department's Teaching Faculty Evaluation Committee, as part of the annual evaluation process. The criteria used for these judgments are spelled out in detail below.

Less than acceptable performance in any applicable category will trigger faculty development counseling in that area. The Chair and the faculty member will develop a written plan to address the area(s) of difficulty. Continued unsatisfactory performance for a period of three years in any applicable category may result in dismissal.

  1. Differential Allocation of Effort (DAE)

When evaluating a teaching faculty member, the Department considers the percentage allocation specified in that faculty member’s job description between the applicable categories listed above under “Unit Expectations.” Any change in these basic weights for a particular teaching faculty member is governed by University policies on Differential Allocation of Effort (DAE) [https://policy.ku.edu/provost/DAE]. If a teaching faculty member has a DAE agreement in effect, the Teaching Faculty Evaluation Committee will take it into account when conducting their evaluation.

  1. ANNUAL EVALUATION SYSTEM
    1. Overview

Evaluation of teaching faculty members is done by the department's Teaching Faculty Evaluation Committee (TFEC). The Teaching Faculty Evaluation Committee shall be appointed by the Chair from the tenured, tenure-track, and teaching faculty of the Department. The Associate Chair shall serve as chair of the TFEC. At least one member of the TFEC must be a member of the teaching faculty. Teaching faculty members serving on the TFEC will be evaluated directly by the Associate Chair.

The Committee's evaluations are based on the contents of the annually updated faculty portfolios. The resulting evaluations later will be used to determine merit salary increases, to assist in determining individual goals and expectations, to aid in determining faculty readiness for promotion, and to suggest professional development activities.

The annual evaluation timeline is the same as for tenure-track faculty, as follows:

December 15: Memo to faculty reminding them to update their curriculum vita and portfolio and to provide a written report of their activity in each applicable category during the current and preceding two calendar years.

February 15-March 15: The Department Chair produces a written evaluation letter based on the evaluation results of the Teaching Faculty Evaluation Committee and sends it to each teaching faculty member.

March 15 - April 30: Discussions occur between the Chair and individual faculty members concerning their performance and future expectations.

  1. Portfolio or Annual Report Preparation

Each teaching faculty member is responsible for developing a portfolio documenting quality, quantity, significance, and effort in each applicable category for the Teaching Faculty Evaluation Committee’s review. It will be updated each year and for the previous two calendar years and assembled cumulatively throughout the faculty member's career. As much as possible it will be kept in duplicate by the department and the faculty member. It should contain:

  1. a current curriculum vitae;
  2. curriculum and instruction surveys (student comment sheets should be stored by the faculty member until they are needed for promotion nominations, sabbatical leave applications, teaching award nominations, or other special purposes);
  1. peer evaluations of teaching, especially for Assistant and Associate Teaching Professors;
  2. annual report on activities in each applicable category for the preceding two calendar years and the current year to the time of the report. The report should provide the following information, much of which should also be recorded in summary fashion in the curriculum vitae:
    1. courses taught and/or coordinated, URL for course web site, and any other relevant information;
    2. mentoring, advising and research direction of graduate and undergraduate students;
    3. publications: refereed articles, books, and proceedings;
    4. recognition for teaching, scholarly engagement or service;
    5. presentations: plenary talks, conference presentations, colloquium talks, research seminars given. Documentation of especially prestigious presentations would be useful.
    6. department, College, University and professional service;
    7. innovative efforts in teaching, scholarly engagement or service; and,
    8. description and documentation of any other activities which the teaching faculty member believes may strengthen his/her credentials for evaluation.
      1. Portfolio or Annual Report Review and Evaluation

The Teaching Faculty Evaluation Committee and the Chair will use the portfolio information for the annual faculty evaluation process, for promotion consideration, sabbatical applications, award nominations, and for the awarding of merit, if appropriate. Information in the portfolio will be used to judge the quality, quantity, significance, and impact of the faculty member’s work in each applicable category, according to the departmental expectations outlined in the section on acceptable performance.

The Teaching Faculty Evaluation Committee assigns a grade of excellent, very good, good, marginal, or unacceptable for each applicable category (teaching/advising, scholarly engagement, service, APA duties). These ratings are then converted to a point score, out of a maximum of 25 points, based on the faculty member’s allocation of effort. For instance, if allocation of effort is 80% teaching, 10% scholarly engagement, and 10% service, then the following scale is used: for teaching, 20 = excellent, 16 = very good, 12 = good, 8 = marginal, and 4 or less = unacceptable; for scholarly engagement and service, 2½ = excellent, 2 = very good, 1½ = good, 1 = marginal, and ½ = unacceptable. Intermediate grades such as E/VG may also be used when appropriate. Ratings will be relative to the expectations of rank and any existing DAE.

The evaluation of the portfolio will typically involve the following:

  1. Teaching/Advising

Effective teaching refers to the faculty member’s dissemination of knowledge to enhance students’ skills, create understanding, and foster intellectual growth. Teaching will be judged based on the entire teaching portfolio of the faculty member in relation to departmental norms relating to the level of coursework and the type of course taught. Teaching excellence may be achieved in many ways including traditional classroom instruction and one- on-one teaching or coaching, and may be documented by several means, including but not limited to the following:

  1. Systematic student evaluations must be provided for each course taught.
  2. Teaching materials developed, including instructional aids (e.g., lecture notes, videos), assessments (e.g., tests, quizzes, homework assignments).
  3. Infrastructure (e.g., code scripts to manage Blackboard, gradebooks, online homework and gateway-exam systems).
  4. Activity with campus units such as the Center for Teaching Excellence
  5. Feedback from advisees, recent alumni, peer reviews.
  6. Teaching awards and commendations.
  7. Course development that serves the needs of the Department and the University.
  8. The level of contribution and performance in shouldering the departmental teaching load.

Specific examples of criteria that might be used by the Teaching Faculty Evaluation Committee in evaluating teaching/advising:

Excellent: For instance, excellent evaluations, particularly creative and effective teaching methods, outstanding contributions to creation of teaching material, course design, or infrastructure

Very good: For instance, very good evaluations and higher than normal level of effort.

Good: At the level expected of a teaching faculty member in good standing.

Marginal: Evaluations indicate significant room for improvement

Unacceptable: Failure to satisfactorily carry out the teaching mission of the Department, either because of poor classroom performance or poor cooperation with the Department in meeting its teaching needs and obligations; neglecting to meet classes regularly; extremely poor teaching evaluations and serious student complaints without compensating information from the faculty member’s portfolio.

  1. Scholarly Engagement

Scholarly engagement expectations for teaching faculty are substantially different from the research expectations for tenure-track faculty. Scholarly engagement for Mathematics Department teaching faculty is defined broadly as any activity involving documenting and disseminating the results of inquiry into improving teaching and learning, either by oneself or as part of a team.

The level of scholarly engagement expected from Teaching Professor-series faculty increases with rank. Scholarly engagement activities may include, but are not limited to:

  1. Participation at conferences or workshops focusing on teaching
  2. Delivering presentations at conferences and workshops focusing on teaching
  3. Publication of textbooks or other educational materials, particularly for use outside KU
  4. Publications (including newsletters, websites, or journal articles) of best practices in teaching and learning. Generally, peer-reviewed articles are accorded more weight than publications not undergoing peer review. Submission of a manuscript for publication is a form of scholarly activity.
  5. Research on teaching practices at other institutions and reporting them to the Department
  6. Funding. The receipt of a grant for teaching-related activities, either from internal KU sources (such as the Center for Teaching Excellence) or from external sources, is strong evidence of the teaching faculty member’s scholarly engagement and is highly commendable. Submission of proposals to internal or external funding sources is a form of scholarly activity.
  7. Conducting data-based inquiry into specific teaching practices (one’s own, a colleague’s, or the Department’s) and their impact on students’ learning.

Specific examples of criteria that might be used by the Teaching Faculty Evaluation Committee in its evaluation of scholarly activity:

Excellent: Performance substantially exceeding normal expectations for the teaching faculty member’s rank and experience. For example, recognition as an innovator outside the Department or University.

Very good: Above the level of normal scholarly activity expected.

Good: Normal level of scholarly activity for a teaching faculty member in good standing.

Marginal: Little scholarly activity

Unacceptable: No scholarly activity for an extended period of time.

  1. Service

Service can be provided to the Department, College, University, community, and discipline. It can be expressed through local, state, national, and international avenues. A faculty member must be able to document his/her activities in public and professional service. Such documentation can be provided by indicating the specific types of activities including:

  1. Membership and effective participation on departmental, College, University or Board of Regents committees;
  2. Election to and effective work in offices at the College or University level;
  3. Effective work in the community related to the mission of the department;
  4. Effective participation in positions with regional, national, and international professional societies;
  5. Effective administrative work in Department, College or University offices.

Specific examples of criteria that might be used by the Teaching Faculty Evaluation Committee in its evaluation of service:

Excellent: Maintains a high profile in the academic and professional communities; seeks involvement and occupies positions of influence at the university or professional level.

Very good: Above the normal level of service activity expected; seeks involvement at the Department, University and Professional level.

Good: Normal level of service activity at the faculty member’s level.

Marginal: Performs at only a moderate level of effort and without distinction.

Unacceptable: Grudgingly accepts service assignments and performs poorly; less than an acceptable minimum level of service.

  1. APA Duties

Teaching faculty with the title Lecturer/APA are responsible for organizational duties within KAP. The specific duties may vary between faculty with the Lecturer/APA job title and may include the following:

  1. Participation in the KAP team with other KAP lecturers under the leadership of KAP Program Director to provide uniform coordination of Math 002/Math 101 instruction and services for KAP students;
  2. Training, supervision, and evaluation of graduate and undergraduate teaching assistants at KAP;
  3. Providing supplemental resources for students in KAP, such as study group meetings and study skills sessions;
  4. Participation in self-evaluation of KAP activities, including assessment reports.

Specific examples of criteria that might be used by the Teaching Faculty Evaluation Committee in evaluating APA duties:

Excellent: For instance, leadership in coordinating KAP activities; outstanding mentoring of student teaching assistants; initiative in developing extra resources for students; recognition of excellence outside the Mathematics Department; outstanding work in preparing assessment reports and/or research studies on student learning.

Very good: For instance, higher than normal level of effort.

Good: Carries out all duties competently.

Marginal: Significant room for improvement.

Unacceptable: Failure to satisfactorily carry out organizational duties; lack of participation in coordination of KAP activities; ongoing failure to communicate with other KAP staff as necessary.

  1. Annual Evaluation Feedback Process

The results of the evaluation will be communicated by letter from the Chair to the teaching faculty member when the Teaching Faculty Evaluation Committee completes its work by the middle of March. The letter may include suggested strategies for improvement or renewal or any information on progress toward promotion.

The letter will invite a response from the faculty member and a meeting between the faculty member and the Chair to discuss the information submitted, the resulting evaluation of performance, and expectations for the future. If the teaching faculty member so requests, the matter will be referred back to the Teaching Faculty Evaluation Committee to determine if a re-evaluation is merited. Documentation of the committee’s response will be provided to the faculty member.

In case of a judgment of unacceptable performance, in the absence of any mitigating circumstances, the Chair, in consultation with the Teaching Faculty Evaluation Committee, will work with the faculty member to create a mutually acceptable written faculty development plan to address the performance issue. The plan will include a procedure for the future evaluation of the faculty member that includes the goals identified in the faculty development plan.

  1. Outcomes of the Annual Performance Evaluation

The evaluation process of the Department of Mathematics, 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, promotion decisions, and reassignments of responsibilities. And it provides documentation that may be used, at extremes, in support of either recognition or dismissal. Promotion decisions for teaching faculty are conducted by committees different from the Teaching Faculty Evaluation Committee.

  1. Procedures for developing performance improvement plans

Following the expectations outlined in Part 1 above, if the Chair ascertains that a teaching faculty member's performance seems to be failing to meet academic responsibilities, the Chair 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 Chair may call upon the University administration for assistance in constructing such a plan, including provision for additional resources, where needed. A teaching faculty member may reject any plan recommended to aid performance levels, but the teaching faculty member must understand that a sustained overall failure to meet academic responsibilities is a basis for dismissal.

  1. Procedures for addressing failure to meet academic responsibilities

The teaching faculty member may request an administrative review from the Chair. If disagreement with a teaching faculty member persists after his/her meeting with the Chair, the teaching faculty member may add comments to the evaluation documentation for reconsideration by the Teaching Faculty Evaluation Committee to determine if a re-evaluation is merited. Documentation of the Committee’s response will be provided to the teaching faculty member. The Teaching Faculty Evaluation Committee will accept additional information from the faculty member throughout the evaluation period. The Teaching Faculty Evaluation Committee will submit a non-binding recommendation to the Chair. At any point doing this process, the teaching faculty member has the right to write a letter documenting his/her objections. This letter will be made a part of the faculty member’s personnel file.

If a teaching faculty member has been informed that his/her performance still fails to meet academic responsibilities, the faculty member may request a review by the Office of the Dean of the College.

Department chairs shall consult annually with the Dean on the progress of any teaching faculty member who falls within this category of failure to meet academic responsibilities.

  1. FACULTY DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES

All teaching faculty members are encouraged to become aware of and take advantage of development opportunities. These can be used to ensure that all faculty members achieve the highest possible level of performance. Faculty development will take on a variety of forms depending on the career stage of the individual faculty member.

Having consulted with the faculty members involved, the Chair will assign to each Assistant Teaching Professor a tenured faculty mentor. This mentor will help orient the Assistant Teaching Professor and provide information about faculty development opportunities. Other faculty mentors with particular experience and skills will also be available to assist teaching faculty members on issues of teaching, advising, scholarly activity, and service. For KAP faculty with the job title of Lecturer/APA, the Director of KAP serves as the designated mentor. The Chair will communicate departmental expectations to all faculty members.

All faculty members may have individual development interests that can be addressed by interaction with colleagues and the use of departmental, University and external resources. Examples of these are:

The Center for Teaching Excellence [https://cte.ku.edu/]

Center for Faculty Development and Mentoring [https://facultydevelopment.ku.edu/] CLAS Faculty Travel Fund [https://collegetravel.ku.edu]

International Programs Travel Funds [https://international.ku.edu/travel-funds]

  1. APPENDICES

Appendix A. Student Evaluation of Teaching

The Department of Mathematics conducts student surveys of teaching as required by the University. The department has voted to use these surveys in the evaluation process for both tenured/tenure-track and teaching faculty.

Contact: 

Mathematics Department
University of Kansas
405 Snow Hall
1460 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence, KS 66045
kumath@ku.edu
785-864-7594

Approved by: 
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
Approved on: 
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Effective on: 
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)
Keywords: 
FEP, Faculty Evaluation Plan, Annual Evaluation, Faculty Performance Review, MATH
Change History: 

03/08/2022: Converted from PDF to live text page.
07/12/2021: Policy reviewed and updated; uploaded new PDF. 
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 and Sciences.
11/02/2016: Approved by the faculty of the Mathematics Department.
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.
09/28/2015: Fixed Promotion and Tenure Guidelines link to open in new window.
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.
12/17/2014: Fixed broken BoR link.
11/20/2014: Technical edit to BoR link
07/09/2014: Technical edits - added outline formatting, updated links, standardized method of notation for dates in Review, Approval & Change History.
05/20/2014: Approved by the Provost
05/09/2014: Approved by the Dean of the College
05/09/2014: Approved by the Faculty in the Department of Mathematics

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