Members of the Department of Psychology recognize the importance of peer evaluation for all faculty members. They agree to adhere to the Faculty Code of Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct. The Faculty Evaluation Committee is responsible to provide an evaluation on a yearly basis. The members of the Committee are nominated by the chairperson and approved by a majority vote of the faculty. Committee members serve two years. Terms are staggered so that half the committee members are new each year and half have had a year’s experience to provide some continuity. The department chairperson chairs the Faculty Evaluation Committee.
Statement of Performance Expectations
The normal allocation of effort assigns 40% to teaching and advising, 40% to research, and 20% to service. Below are descriptions of performance expectations in each of these areas.
1. Unit Expectations
The expected teaching load for every faculty member is two courses per semester. Often this takes the form of one graduate and one undergraduate course each semester, but patterns may vary. The two course teaching load is based upon an assumption that the faculty member is carrying on an active research program and that he or she shares in the service responsibilities of the department faculty. If these assumptions are not met, an increased teaching load is expected for tenured faculty. For each course, faculty members are expected to supply students with a syllabus indicating the requirements of the course, reading list, examination dates and other pertinent information as applicable. Faculty members are expected to attend each class period or to make other arrangements when outside professional duties (e.g., conference presentation, etc.) prevent their attendance. Graduate Teaching Assistants or other faculty or guest speakers are appropriate substitutes. In rare cases it may be necessary to cancel a particular class, but this should be an infrequent exception (e.g., sudden illness).
Department of Psychology uses a uniform course evaluation instrument and procedure in all undergraduate and graduate courses taught each Fall and Spring semester. The instrument used for this purpose is the University’s Student Survey of Teaching (SST, see Appendix A). The procedure followed in administering this questionnaire in a class consists of the following:
- The SST is administered during the final two weeks of the class.
- At least one week before the administration date, the instructor informs students of the day on which evaluations will be conducted.
- On the day of administration, the instructor brings the envelope of SST questionnaires and a supply of pencils to class, and asks a student to serve as an assistant. Attached to the envelope is a set of instructions to be followed by the student assistant in administering the SST.
- The envelope is given to the student assistant and the instructor (and any teaching assistants for the class) leaves the classroom while the SST is being administered.
- The student assistant distributes the SST, reads a standard introduction to the class, and oversees the rest of the administration. Sufficient time (at least 15 minutes) is provided for administration of the SST.
- The student assistant places the completed forms in the envelope and returns the envelope to the department office. The student assistant is asked to complete and sign a Verification of Procedure form when he/she returns the materials to the office.
- Results are tabulated by the Testing Service. Instructors are provided with the evaluation forms and a copy of the tabulated results for their class after final grades for the class have been submitted and as soon as the tabulation is completed. A second copy of the tabulated results is kept in the Department of Psychology.
Every faculty member is expected to maintain regular, posted office hours each week. He or she should provide the departmental office with a schedule of office hours and an indication of the acceptability of being telephoned by students at home. At present, a minimum of three office hours per week should be available in which student advising can occur. During enrollment periods, faculty members are expected to schedule five hours when they can advise so that all hours are covered during the entire enrollment period. Usually several faculty are available at any given hour.
The Department of Psychology recognizes the need for advisement of graduate and undergraduate majors as well as undergraduate non-majors. For non-majors, freshmen and transfer students, psychology faculty members fulfill their responsibilities to the Undergraduate Advisement Center upon request. Each of the more than 100 graduate students in the department is assigned an advisor/mentor.
All faculty members are expected not only to be engaged in research and to disseminate scholarly findings, but to develop a significant program of research or scholarship. Every scholar and scientist has a responsibility to transmit his or her findings and conclusions to colleagues or to the public at large. Journal articles, books, book chapters, internal and external grants, scholarly presentations, reviews and workshops are typical means to disseminate scholarly work, but weighting of these activities is dependent upon a variety of factors such as the nature of the scholarly activity, the goals of the faculty member, and the stage of career development.
All faculty members are expected to carry out their share of the service duties necessary to facilitate the efficient operation of an active department in a large university. In addition to departmental service, faculty may provide service at the College and University levels; in regional, national and international activities of the discipline; and in the community. Overall, the quantity and quality of the above expectations may vary on the basis of such factors as rank, time since Ph.D. and individual strengths and expertise.
2. Standards for Acceptable Performance for Faculty Members
The Department of Psychology recognizes that faculty members have different strengths and goals and that these may vary at different points in their careers. The vast majority of faculty members are highly likely to exceed the minimal acceptable performance standards. However, if a faculty member achieves a rating (on the 0-4 scale described in Portfolio Review and Evaluation (section 3.C below) of 1.0 or below
(i.e., in the Marginal or Poor category in the annual evaluation) in any of the three areas of teaching/advising, research, or service, this will be considered to fall below minimally acceptable performance. At this point, the faculty member and the department chair will develop a written plan to improve performance in the area in which the low rating occurred, or to consider a differential allocation of effort. If the faculty member continues to show a rating below 1.0 (Poor) in any of the three areas during two of the subsequent three years, the faculty member is subject to procedures leading to dismissal from the University.
3. Differential Allocation of Effort
The Department of Psychology 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 shortterm items such as funded research or longer term career-stage issues. Faculty members are not allowed to reduce their teaching or research to less than 10 percent on DAE agreements. Departmental needs take precedent over individual needs when making decisions to alter a faculty member’s allocation of effort; such redistribution must be consistent with the best interests of the unit. The most likely occasion for consideration of such changes is in discussion between the chair and the individual faculty member following annual performance evaluations, or sooner so that appropriate arrangements may be made at the unit level for the coverage of course offerings. Any individualized changes in faculty allocation of effort will be negotiated with the Chair and documented in the faculty member's personnel file.
For short-term DAE agreements (one academic year or less), the DAE is ultimately approved by the unit director or chairperson, with a copy of this endorsement sent to the contact associate dean. For long-term DAE agreements (lasting one year or beyond), approval must also be sought from the appropriate contact dean in the college. All DAEs are reported annually to the College Dean’s Office. Agreements for longterm DAEs must be reviewed every three years, although either the faculty member or chairperson/director may request an earlier review in response to changed circumstances or performance. At that time, the agreement may be revised, terminated, or continued.
The selection among these options should be made following the guidelines and process for approval of long-term DAEs contained in the University Policy on Differential Allocation of Effort (DAE).
Annual Evaluation System
As indicated above, the Department of Psychology recognizes the importance of peer evaluation for all faculty members. The Faculty Evaluation Committee is responsible to provide this evaluation on a yearly basis. The members of the Committee are selected by the department chair, to be representative of the substantive areas that characterize the department: Clinical, Cognitive, Developmental, Quantitative, and Social. The department chairperson chairs the Merit Evaluation Committee. Early in the Spring semester, faculty members submit an updated vita and a standardized database which includes a listing of their activities in teaching, advising, research and service for the previous three calendar years, as described below. The Faculty Evaluation Committee completes its initial evaluation and gives written feedback usually by the third week in March. Appeals are concluded by the first week in April.
2. Portfolio or Annual Report Preparation
NOTE: Faculty are responsible for annually maintaining their PRO record, which is also accessed by administration for reports such as the College snapshot of departmental productivity. PRO provides an annual activity report and faculty are advised to view and update their PRO reports before submission of the faculty member’s portfolio to the unit. In classifying your work as major and minor, please bear in mind the definitions in the unit’s Promotion and Tenure Guidelines.
The following information is submitted by each faculty member in the early Spring of each year at a time announced by the Department Chair:
• An updated curriculum vita.
• Student evaluations for each didactic course with more than 4 students.
• A database containing the following information:
o Time Period (Three Calendar Year Window)
o Publications & Presentations
Publications (articles, chapters, and books)
Materials in Press
Submitted Grant Proposals and Grants Awarded
Books in Progress
Other evidence of teaching effectiveness
Multiple sources of information are required for the documentation of teaching. Student assessments of teaching are required for all portfolios, but faculty should also include information about course innovations, and letters from senior faculty observers are requested for assistant professors’ portfolios.
Thesis and dissertation committees
Theses and dissertations chaired
o Service (suggested categories)
3. Portfolio or Annual Report Review and Evaluation
The portfolios of all faculty members are available to members of the Faculty Evaluation Committee early in the Spring Semester. When committee members have completed their review of the portfolios, the department chairperson convenes the committee. Each member of the committee independently rates each faculty member’s portfolio based on the following five-point rating scale:
4 - Excellent: Performance substantially exceeds departmental and/or disciplinary expectations of performance
3 - Very Good: Performance exceeds departmental and/or disciplinary expectations of performance
2 - Good: Performance meets departmental and/or disciplinary expectations of performance
1 - Marginal: Performance falls below departmental and/or disciplinary expectations of performance
0 - Poor: Performance falls substantially below departmental and/or disciplinary expectations of performance.
Ratings are done separately for teaching (and advising), research, and service. The ratings are placed on the chalkboard for the portfolio being discussed without reference to the rater. The committee discusses the strengths and areas needing improvement and offers both qualitative and quantitative feedback, which the chairperson records in writing. The portfolio is again rated in the same manner but with the additional information available from the discussion. This is repeated for each faculty member. The committee looks at all ratings and determines the final cutoff scores for the five evaluation categories (Excellent, Very Good, Good, Marginal, and Poor). When a committee member’s portfolio (or that of the member’s spouse) is evaluated, that committee member is excused from the room. The chairperson prepares a letter based on the committee’s final ratings for each faculty member. The letter indicates which of the five categories the portfolio achieved for teaching (and advising), research, service, and overall. Qualitative feedback is also given including strengths and areas of suggested improvement (if appropriate).
Evaluation of the quality of teaching and advising takes into consideration a faculty member’s course evaluations (the SST), the number of credit hours a person has taught, peer evaluations, participation in CTE activities, and teaching innovations (new courses, internationalizing a course, etc.). Advising is judged by the faculty member’s participation in general undergraduate advising, Independent Study students directed, and honors theses directed. Graduate advising is assessed through the number of theses and dissertations directed, and the number of thesis and dissertation committees on which the member has served.
Evaluation of research considers productivity as measured by the quality of articles published in peerreviewed journals, books and book chapters, and presentations at national or international meetings. Attempts to secure extramural funds to support the research program, and especially success in obtaining such funds, are weighed in the evaluation as well.
In evaluating service, the committee considers contributions to the department (standing or ad hoc committees, faculty search committees, etc.), the College and University (College committees, governance, etc.), and the community. Nationally, the committee considers amount of journal reviewing, editorial activities (as member of an editorial board or serving as an editor or associate editor of a journal), participation in grant reviewing, and leadership positions in national organizations.
4. Annual Evaluation of Feedback Process
The Faculty Evaluation committee provides two types of feedback.
First, categorical ratings (Excellent, Very Good, Good, Marginal, or Poor) are provided in the areas of teaching and advising, research, service, and overall. Second, a summary of the qualitative feedback is also given including any information on progress toward tenure and/or promotion. Both these types of feedback are given first in the form of a letter and second, in an invited annual interview with the chairperson (all assistant professors are expected to meet annually with the chair). In the interview, the feedback is also integrated into a discussion of future goals and objectives. A copy of this written summary is retained in the faculty member’s personnel file.
5. Post-tenure Review and Integration into the Annual Evaluation Process
This section includes information for faculty members undergoing Post-tenure Review.
- The post-tenure review will be conducted separately from the annual evaluation, but the posttenure review file is incorporated into the documentation for the annual evaluation. The committee report will be considered as part of the annual evaluation process and the Department Chair will discuss the review with the faculty member in conjunction with that process.
- The Post-tenure Review committee will provide a copy of their report to the faculty member, who may submit a written response for inclusion in the post-tenure review file before it is forwarded to the chair for his or her review. If the chair agrees with the report, he or she will indicate that agreement in writing to the faculty member and place a copy in the post-tenure review file. If the chair disagrees with the committee’s evaluation, he or she shall explain the reasons for any disagreement in writing, with a copy to the faculty member and the committee.
- Unit procedures for how Post Tenure Review will be integrated into the Annual Evaluation Process as outlined below in #6.
Additional information can be found in the Unit’s Post-tenure Review Policy.
6. Outcomes of the Annual Performance Evaluation
The evaluation process of the Department of Psychology, 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.
Department and individual goals. When the faculty member meets with the chairperson to discuss the most recent evaluation, a part of that discussion will be on the long-range goals of the faculty member. Similarly, the chairperson will discuss with the faculty member the long-range goals and directions of the department. Through this discussion both the faculty member and the chairperson can coordinate teaching and advising, research, and service to further both the individual's goals and those of the department. A similar discussion will take place periodically with the graduate program director around graduate program goals.
Faculty renewal and development. Although faculty renewal and development is an ongoing process, the conference with faculty members following the annual evaluation offers a constructive opportunity to assist faculty renewal and development. First, the annual evaluations identify areas of accomplishment and excellence, offering an opportunity to allow greater concentration of time in those areas. Second, they may identify areas that need special attention, such as improvement in teaching effectiveness or a more effective research program or closer mentoring of graduate students, or development of new teaching or research areas. The chairperson will work closely with faculty members to assist them in renewal and development. Outcomes might include temporarily altering the 40 percent teaching and advising, 40 percent research, and 20 percent service formula, or encouraging and assisting in grant applications for research or teaching, or assistance in developing new courses for tenured faculty. Of special importance is the mentoring of untenured faculty and new faculty in the program, regardless of status. The annual evaluations help identify areas of excellence as well as areas that need improvement. Ideally we would like faculty to excel in all areas. The chairperson will provide special attention to new faculty in the department.
Faculty reassignment and other personnel decisions. The annual evaluations are closely linked to such personnel decisions as promotion and tenure. The discussions between faculty members and the chairperson involve not only annual assessment of performance but also long-range goals of promotion and/or tenure to Associate and Full Professor and excellence in performance. For tenured faculty members, reassignment by changing the 40/40/20 formula is a possible outcome (see above section on DAE). This and other aspects of personnel decisions are inherently linked to the annual evaluations.
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
Each faculty member has a right to appeal any evaluation rating given by the Faculty Evaluation committee. The faculty member may submit her/his concerns in writing, provide additional information, and may appear before the committee at the faculty member’s discretion. The committee then reevaluates the portfolio again as described above.
If a faculty member has been informed that his/her performance fails to meet academic responsibilities, the faculty member may request a review by a faculty committee designated to hear such matters in the College. The review committee will issue a non-binding recommendation on the appropriateness of this conclusion to the unit administrator. The administrator may change the evaluation after receiving the committee's decision, or may choose not to do so. In any event, the report of the committee will become a permanent part of the faculty member's personnel file within the academic unit and shall be available to the faculty member.
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 falls 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
- Opportunity to sit in on classes conducted by “master teachers” both within and without the department.
- Opportunity to examine syllabi and examinations of “master teachers” both within and without the department and to discuss effective teaching methods with them.
- Opportunity to attend workshops on teaching effectiveness, research methods and grantsmanship within and without the university.
- Opportunity to participate with another faculty member’s research team: including discussion and planning of research methods, data collection and analysis and writing for publication of the research.
- Opportunity to receive mentoring with “master grant-getters” both within and without the department.
- All opportunities available at the College and University levels.
- Faculty Mentoring Program:
- All assistant professors are assigned a senior faculty mentor within their specialty area program according to the junior faculty member’s research and teaching interests in consultation with the respective program director and department chairperson.
- 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. All of the opportunities noted above under faculty development are open to all faculty members.
See Faculty Development Programs for information about additional faculty development opportunities.
Appendix A – Student Evaluation of Teaching
Appendix A – Student Evaluation of Teaching Instrument used for the student evaluation of teaching; The Department of Psychology utilizes the University’s “Student Survey of Teaching” as this instrument.