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Faculty Evaluation Plan, School of Public Affairs and Administration


To articulate the standards and procedures for the annual evaluation of faculty within the School of Public Affairs and Administration.

Applies to: 

Faculty within the School of Public Affairs and Administration

Table of Contents: 
Policy Statement: 
  1. Introduction

    The School of Public Affairs and Administration aspires to meet the highest standards of teaching/advising, research, and service. As a school with a national reputation for excellence, we expect all of our faculty members to achieve high levels of performance. The school’s national prominence is built on three pillars: the provision of professional education of lasting value to our graduates, research and scholarship that is recognized for its contribution to the field, and service to the profession and community.

    The Annual Evaluation process yields multiple outcomes including but not limited to school planning, merit salary decisions, progress toward promotion and/or tenure, and strategies for faculty development.

  2. Statement of Performance Expectations
    1. School of Public Affairs and Administration Expectations
      1. Teaching/Advising

        Basic responsibilities in the area of teaching include the following:

        • Teach graduate and undergraduate courses as needed by the school. These courses may be offered on one of three campuses (Edwards, Lawrence, Topeka) or online.
        • Courses must be designed to meet the curriculum of the school.
        • Course outlines and syllabi must be provided for each course. These documents should clearly state course objectives and relate those objectives to the students overall preparation in the degree program (i.e. competencies for MPA, etc.)
        • Faculty members must prepare and present course activities in the classroom or online utilizing accepted educational methods.
        • Faculty members must be available to students for advising and consultation either in person or online.
        • Faculty members must provide students with clear course evaluation systems, change those systems mid-course only when appropriate, and provide students clear feedback on their performance in the class. Grades must be posted in accordance with university policies and procedures.
        • Treat students with courtesy and respect. Act in accordance with student rights, including, but not limited to, academic freedom and those rights as outlined in the Student Code of Rights and Responsibilities.
      2. Research/Scholarship

        Basic responsibilities in the area of research/scholarship include the following:

        • Faculty members are expected to remain current in the research and scholarly literature in public administration and their sub-field. Evidence of such currency is found in an active and productive research program but is also seen in up-to-date course syllabi and in the participation in professional associations and research conferences.
        • Maintain an active research program of scholarly publication and presentations.
        • Seek research grants to support scholarly activity.
      3. Service

        Basic responsibilities in the area of service include the following:

        • Faculty members must share in the work of the school, including attending faculty meetings and participating in school administration and committees. Service assignments are coordinated by the school director.
        • Faculty members must be active in the profession through service to associations, governmental or non-profit organizations, or on editorial boards or as academic or grant reviewers.
        • Faculty members are encouraged to contribute to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the University through professional service. Through research, consultation, or other uses of one’s academic expertise, faculty members are encouraged to serve the community, state, nation, and/or international community.
        • Faculty members must treat colleagues with courtesy and with respect for their rights, including, but not limited to, academic freedom.
    2. Standards for Acceptable Performance for Faculty Members

      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 school uses a five-level scale to evaluate faculty performance in teaching, research, and service. The scale ranges from “excellent” to “very good”, “good,” “marginal,” and “poor.” We aspire to have all of our faculty perform consistently at the level of “excellent” and “very good,” with anything less than such high levels of performance prompting some effort to support a faculty member’s efforts to achieve our expectations. While the review is done annually, faculty members are evaluated on a three-year basis in order to ensure that longer-term projects are properly credited. Three consecutive years of a marginal or poor rating in any of the categories of teaching, research, or service may lead to the implementation of the University dismissal policy as specified in the University Council Document on Faculty Evaluation.

      1. Teaching Minimum Quality and Quantity

        A faculty member must exceed all the minimum quantity and quality teaching performance standards listed below.

        • Two courses per semester, unless assignments are changed by school director.
        • Attending class is expected unless ill, at a professional conference, or fulfilling some other professional obligation as agreed upon with the school director. When unable to attend class, a faculty member is responsible to make sure that the absence does not detract from students’ academic progress.
        • Maintain at least an average rating on the University course evaluation survey administered at the end of the course. The school utilizes the University “Student Survey of Teaching” and, in addition, asks two free text questions (What did you like about this course and/or instructor's teaching? What could be done to improve this course and/or the instructor's teaching?)
      2. Scholarly Activity Minimum Quality and Quantity

        A faculty member must demonstrate two of the four listed activities to be considered above minimum in quantity.

        • Publication of books, journal articles, book chapters, and book reviews. If nothing is accepted for publication during the three-year period, the faculty must show evidence of manuscript submission.
        • Presentation at a professional conference. May include serving as discussant and/or panel member.
        • Submission of research grant application.
        • Participation in a scholarly or applied research project that has the potential to contribute to the academic literature or to produce a policy report or monograph.
      3. Service Minimum Quality and Quantity

        A faculty member must demonstrate two of the three listed activities to be considered above minimum in quantity.

        • Faculty members should serve the school either on committees or as part of school administration.
        • Faculty members are expected to demonstrate some activity in local, national, or international professional and scholarly associations.
        • If asked, faculty members are expected, during the period of their employment, to bear their fair share of committee work in the College and University.

      Faculty members are expected to demonstrate professional respect for colleagues and engage in behavior that supports academic freedom.

    3. Differential Allocation of Effort

      The School of Public Affairs and Administration expects faculty to devote equal attention to teaching and research. When evaluating faculty performance, the school 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 school recognizes that the specific contributions of faculty members to the school’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 school director. These changes can be short- or long-term and must correspond to changes in work-load not just evaluation criteria. Reasons for alterations can include short-term items such as funded research or longer term career-stage issues. Faculty members are not allowed to reduce their teaching or research to less than 20 percent on permanent DAE agreements. School 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 school. The most likely occasion for consideration of such changes is in discussion between the director and the individual faculty member following annual performance evaluations, or sooner so that appropriate arrangements may be made at the unit level for the coverage of course offerings. Any individualized changes in faculty allocation of effort will be negotiated with the Chair and documented in the faculty member's personnel file.

      For temporary DAE agreements (one academic year or less), the DAE is ultimately approved by the director of the unit. For permanent DAE agreements (lasting one year or beyond), approval must also be sought from the appropriate contact dean in the College. All Differential Allocation of Efforts are reported annually to the College Dean's Office. For permanent DAEs, the supporting documentation is also provided to the College and the Provost's Offices. Agreements for long-term DAEs must be reviewed every three years.

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

  3. Annual Evaluation System
    1. Overview

      The school director performs a review process for each faculty member annually as requested by the College and the University. In late December faculty members are requested to supply a summary of their work for the previous calendar year to the school director, utilizing the form provided. The school director reviews these reports and makes qualitative judgments about faculty performance in the areas of teaching, research, and service.

    2. Portfolio/Annual Report Preparation

      Each faculty member must provide the following items as part of their portfolio for the previous calendar year.

      • An updated curriculum vita
      • A paragraph summarizing the teaching experience of the past three semesters, including information about course development and evaluation (including student evaluations).
      • A summary of scholarly activity in the following categories:
        • Major publications (accepted or have already been published)
        • Minor publications (accepted or have already been published)
        • Works submitted or ready to submission
      • Electronic copies of all publications (not previously submitted) and work in progress
      • A list of professional presentations in the following categories:
        • Major presentations
        • Minor presentations
      • An electronic copy of any grants submitted and/or received
      • A list of advising activities in the following categories:
        • Undergraduate research program
        • MPA program
        • PhD program
      • A list of service activities in the following categories:
        • School service
        • College service
        • University service
        • Professional service
        • Community service
      • A listing of any awards

      In addition, each faculty member must deposit course syllabi in the school record system.

    3. Portfolio/Annual Report Review and Evaluation

      According to the calendar set by the College, the school director reviews the summary of activities for each faculty member and evaluates the work. These evaluations are based on the quality, quantity, significance and impact of the work. These judgments are communicated in writing to the individual faculty member and merit salary recommendations are forwarded to the Associate Dean/Dean. The school director makes merit salary recommendations to the Associate Dean/Dean based on the review of performance since the last review. The school’s policy for the faculty merit review process is based on 40-40-20 percent weighting of teaching, research and service, unless a faculty member’s distribution of effort has been changed (see above). The school uses a partially redistributive formula for merit allocations. One half of the pool of merit money is distributed on an “equal dollars” basis: individuals with equal merit review ratings will receive equal dollars from one-half of the merit pool allocation. The other half of the merit pool allocation is distributed to faculty on an “equal percent” basis: individuals with equal merit ratings will receive equal percentages of merit increases from one-half of the school’s merit pool allocation.

    4. Annual Evaluation Feedback Process

      The school director provides each faculty member with a written review of their performance prior to the submission of merit salary recommendations to the College. This summary will address performance in teaching/advising, research, and service areas in relation to the expectations set in this document, in the Promotion and Tenure Procedures, and Criteria for Promotion in Rank and/or Tenure. The written summary will invite all faculty members to meet and discuss the results of the annual review with the director. A copy of this summary will be placed in the faculty member’s file.

    5. Outcomes of the Annual Performance Evaluation

      There are five routine outcomes of the annual performance evaluation: 1) the acknowledgement of the accomplishments of the faculty member, 2) to provide data for the merit salary recommendations, 3) an opportunity to review of the faculty member’s teaching, research, and service goals, 4) an opportunity to discuss ways the school and university can assist a faculty member to achieve the highest standards of performance in teaching, research, and service, and 5) discussion of current standing with regards to promotion and tenure.

      A rating of “good” or even “very good” may invoke some effort to encourage improved faculty performance but does not imply the initiation of the University procedures for the removal of tenure. If a faculty member receives an annual evaluation of performance as “marginal” or “poor” in any of the categories of teaching, research, or service, he or she will be provided a detailed explanation of the rating and its decision basis by the school director. For any area of performance that is deemed “marginal” or “poor,” the director will specify the basis for the judgment and recommend remedial action to improve the performance. In addition, if any area of performance is deemed “marginal” or “poor,” the contact Dean in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences will appoint a panel of two public administration faculty members to review the portfolio. The purpose of this second evaluation is to provide a second rating opinion. In cases where the performance is deemed “marginal” or “poor,” the director will meet with the faculty member to develop an action plan to improve the faculty performance. Meeting and exceeding the performance expectations of the school are, nonetheless, the responsibility of the faculty member.

      1. 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.

      2. Procedures for addressing failure to meet academic responsibilities

        Faculty members have the right to appeal the evaluation and/or merit salary decisions to the school director. The faculty member may add additional information as appropriate. The school director will review the additional information and the initial judgment and respond to the faculty member in writing.

        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.

        Directors shall consult annually with the dean, and the dean shall consult annually with the Provost on the progress of any faculty member who fails within this category of failure to meet academic responsibilities.

      3. 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.

    6. Faculty Development Initiatives

      The School of Public Affairs and Administration provides robust faculty support for development. Official mentors are assigned for each non-tenured faculty member. Associate Professors are assigned a mentor as needed. Each faculty member’s support is reviewed every year during the evaluation process to determine if additional support is needed. Support includes travel funds, and research support (administrative assistance, survey support, etc.) In addition, the school engages in a number of activities to assist faculty in their development each year including a scholarly research seminars, discussions focused on the improvement of teaching, and other developmental activities.

      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 unit director approves the RIS for the junior faculty member, the details concerning the RIS should be confirmed to the faculty member in writing and documented in their personnel file. The unit director also provides a copy of this authorization to the College Dean’s Office so that RIS data can be tracked. Faculty members who are granted a RIS are expected to continue to meet their usual duties regarding departmental advising and other service activities.

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

  4. Appendices
  1. Instrument(s) used for student evaluation of teaching

    The School of Public Affairs and Administration utilizes the University’s “Student Survey of Teaching” form as this instrument. In addition, the school utilizes additional questions posed to students. The school has voted to use these comments in the evaluation process.

    The School uses the following two questions in course evaluations:

    What did you like about this course and/or the instructor’s teaching?

    What could be done to improve this course and/or the instructor’s teaching?


School of Public Affairs and Administration
University of Kansas
4060 Wescoe Hall
1445 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence, KS  66045-3177

School Director

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

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.

07/10/2014: Technical edits - added outline formatting, updated links, standardized method of date notation in Review, Approval & Change History.

05/20/2014: Approved by the Provost

04/14/2014: Approved by the Dean of the College

03/14/2014: Approved by the Faculty of the School of Public Affairs & Admin

07/22/2009: Approved

02/02/2006: Endorsed by faculty

11/08/2000: Endorsed by faculty

07/09/1997: Revised

01/27/1997: Revised

12/11/1996: First plan approved

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