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Staff Performance Evaluations


To provide requirements for the formal process of evaluating the performance of Unclassified Professional Staff (UPS) and University Support Staff (USS). 

Applies to: 

Unclassified Professional Staff (UPS) and University Support Staff (USS) appointed to regular positions.

Juniper Gardens
Policy Statement: 

Supervisors are required to provide each Unclassified Professional Staff (UPS) and University Support Staff (USS) member a formal performance evaluation via the University’s Performance Management System at least once a year. Evaluations are a mechanism to provide feedback and documentation about an employee’s performance through a defined time period, to provide clear communication of job expectations and goals, and to formally recognize staff contributions to KU. Performance evaluations also may serve as a constructive tool to assist with mentoring on areas of improvement and professional growth.

Required Components of Performance Evaluation
Each supervisor shall utilize the evaluation process, forms, submission requirements, and related deadlines of the University’s performance management system as specified by Human Resource Management (HRM).  The performance management system represents the official system of record for University staff evaluations.

Communicative dialog and interaction between the supervisor and employee is a part of the evaluation process. The evaluation process should include the following components:

  • A review by the supervisor of the employee’s position description for an accurate statement of duties and any changes in the duties and/or responsibilities of the position. The employee will have an opportunity to contribute to the review.
  • Establishment, with employee input, of goals/objectives and professional development plans for the coming year. The supervisor will make the final determination of goals and objectives. A discussion of professional development opportunities is strongly encouraged. A discussion should also occur about how the evaluation process and professional development plans should incorporate the University’s Core Competencies that will be evaluated at the end of the rating period.
  • A self-evaluation by the employee in advance of the supervisor’s evaluation.
  • Quarterly dialog on goals/objectives progress is strongly encouraged.
  • A formal evaluation of the employee’s performance based upon the position description, employee self-evaluation, assessment of University competencies, and performance of goals/objectives covering the evaluation period.
  • A current, completed performance evaluation must be available prior to the annual merit recommendation process

Evaluation Prior to Completion of Probationary Period
Prior to the end of the first 6 months of initial employment, supervisors will evaluate employees to determine if the probationary period has been successfully completed. The probationary employee will be designated as successfully completing the probationary period if the completed initial evaluation is not made available in writing prior to the end of the probationary period, or if the probationary period has not been extended in writing prior to its expiration.

In accordance with the University’s Policy on Probationary Periods, supervisors may, in the best interests of the University, extend the probationary period with approval from HRM.

Performance Improvement Plans and Special Evaluations
Performance improvement plans and/or special evaluations may also be conducted outside of the University’s annual timeframe at any point in order to recognize special contributions to KU, to identify professional development opportunities, provide official feedback to an employee, clearly define conduct-related issues, and provide the employee with clear documented performance goals, objectives and timelines.

Performance Improvement plans and Special Evaluations are not disciplinary actions and are not a required step prior to a dismissal due to unsatisfactory performance.  Placement on a Performance Improvement Plan or a Special Evaluation cannot be appealed.  Performance Improvement Plans and Special Evaluations are a communication tool for supervisors to document and communicate clear expectations for an employee’s performance as it relates to the position needs.

Unsatisfactory Overall Evaluation Rating and Appeals
An overall current evaluation rating of unsatisfactory will disqualify USS/UPS from receiving a merit increase. Merit increases should reflect the overall performance, compliance, and conduct of the staff member. Merit increases are not subject to appeal. In addition, an unsatisfactory evaluation rating may result in an accelerated review period, or a recommendation for suspension, involuntary demotion, or dismissal.

USS with an overall evaluation rating of unsatisfactory will also be ineligible for a longevity bonus and/or transfer to or interview for job vacancies at the University. USS with two or more unsatisfactory ratings completed a minimum of 30 days apart within a 180-day period or an indication of adequate counseling about which the staff member has been fully informed may result in a recommendation for involuntary demotion or dismissal.

A USS who has successfully completed a probationary period for the current position or on a promotional probationary appointment may appeal to HRM up to 7 calendar days after acknowledging the receipt of an overall evaluation rating of unsatisfactory by submitting an Evaluation Appeals Form to HRM.

An employee who has successfully completed a probationary period for the current position and wishes to appeal an overall performance evaluation rating of unsatisfactory may utilize the applicable University Performance Evaluation Appeal Process.

In the event an evaluation of any staff member is appealed and overturned, modifications to the existing evaluation will be documented in the University’s performance management system as appropriate.

Exclusions or Special Circumstances: 

Vice provosts and deans (or their designees) are responsible for their units’ completing annual evaluations for staff with the specified processes and by the annual deadlines and should hold supervisors accountable for fulfilling that responsibility.

Performance evaluation appeal eligibility, procedures, and probation extension timeframes or limitations for USS covered by a bargaining unit will be followed as specified in the applicable memorandum of agreement (MOA). 


As applicable, an overall evaluation rating of unsatisfactory will result in denial of salary increases; longevity bonuses; may disallow promotion and transfer; and may result in disciplinary action. 


Department of Human Resource Management
103 Carruth-O’Leary Hall
1246 W. Campus Road
Lawrence, KS 66045

Approved by: 
Associate Vice Provost for Human Resource Management
Approved on: 
Thursday, June 15, 2017
Effective on: 
Thursday, June 15, 2017
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)

Performance Improvement Plan (PIP): A PIP is not an evaluation, but is an evaluative tool used for Unclassified Professional Staff employees to identify performance expectations and document progress toward performance improvement.  A PIP must be at least 30 days long.  

Special Evaluation: A Special Evaluation covers a defined period of time as established by the supervisor in conjunction with HRM for a University Support Staff (USS) employee. A USS employee can be placed on a special evaluation at any time. A USS employee who is placed on a special evaluation will be notified of the duration and due date at the time a Special Evaluation period begins. 

Staff, unclassified professional staff, university support staff, review, performance, evaluation
Change History: 

04/11/2024: Updated Performance Improvement Plans and Special Evaluations and definitions.
05/31/2022: Removed ineligibility for across the board increases due to an unsatisfactory rating; clarified that the status of an evaluation must be current.
06/15/2017: Policy updated to describe required use of automated performance evaluation system and related processes for all staff.
11/17/2014: Policy formatting cleanup (e.g., bolding, spacing).
2009: This policy, approved in September 2009, supersedes the previous statement of C.4.f in the 1998 Handbook for Faculty and Other Unclassified Staff.
1994, 1995, and 1996: Revised. These policies and procedures were Section C.4 of the 1998 Handbook for Faculty and Other Unclassified Staff: evaluation procedures were described in C.4.f.
1979: A statement on performance evaluations was included in the policies and procedures for unclassified professional staff that were approved by the Chancellor. 

Personnel: Staff Categories: 

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