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Intranet: Departments: Crop & Soil Sciences: Departmental Information

Performance Expectation and Evaluation Information for Faculty

Performance Expectations for Faculty

Faculty are expected to make significant accomplishments each year in their assigned responsibilities for components of the department's instruction/research/outreach programs. Criteria for performance or categories of accomplishments are as follows:

  1. Innovation and creative delivery and improvement of classroom and laboratory instruction
  2. Coordination of assigned function(s) or program area(s) and management of associated resources
  3. Participation in interdepartmental research and teaching activities
  4. Publications, presentations and patents
  5. Procurement of extramural funding
  6. Participation in graduate programs
  7. Participation and leadership in professional societies
  8. Activity and leadership in University governance
  9. Delivery and impact of service programs
  10. Professional development

Performance Evaluations of Faculty

During December of each year the faculty member updates the Staff Activities Report and submits it to the Department Head. During the following January the Department Head and the Campus REI coordinator meet individually with the faculty members to discuss progress in their assigned areas. The progress includes not only the previous year but a period of 3-5 years. In discussion with the faculty member, the Department Head fills out the annual faculty performance document (attached in this section). At a later date the department head again meets individually with the faculty members and Campus REI coordinator to discuss strengths and weaknesses of the faculty member's performance and provide suggestions for improvement.

Each Assistant Professor receives a comprehensive evaluation at the end of his/her third year of appointment. Faculty members without tenure and Associate Professors can request a third year evaluation. The faculty members to be reviewed prepare a mini-dossier for distribution to the tenure track faculty at the appropriate rank for review. At the spring department meeting the eligible faculty discuss the progress of those faculty members toward tenure and/or promotion. A summary report is written and the faculty member is provided with the results of the assessment and his/her strengths and weaknesses relative to the progress toward tenure and promotion.

In addition to student evaluations for the quality of instruction, the department developed, in 1994, a policy requiring peer review of all undergraduate courses on a regular basis. With 16 undergraduate courses in the department to review per semester, it will take about 8 years to complete a cycle. Each semester the Department Head decides which courses will be offered and reviewed that semester with a view toward ensuring that courses taught by faculty coming up for promotion or post-tenure review are completed in time to include the review in the faculty member's dossier. The Department Head appoints a panel of three faculty members to review each course. The course instructor submits, to the panel, current course materials (including syllabus tests, homework assignments, and handouts) along with student evaluations from the past three years. The panel reviews the material to determine if the course content and the level of testing is adequate. They also mail the material to three faculty members teaching similar courses at other universities for evaluation. The Department Head sends a letter to a representative sample of the students enrolled in the course in the previous three years asking for their evaluation of the course. Each member of the panel sits in on at least three lectures during the semester. After completing the review of the course material, student evaluations, lecture observations and external reviews, the panel submits a report in the form of a letter to the Department Head that contains their evaluation of the course and includes any suggestions for improvement. The report is used by the Department Head in counseling the instructor and as documentation for teaching performance in promotion, tenure and post-tenure dossiers.

This policy has been in effect for three years and we have reviewed six courses. To our knowledge this is the only mandatory peer-review of teaching programs in the University. The program has been popular with the faculty and the reviews have proven to be especially useful in documenting teaching performance in dossiers. It has also led to a better understand among the faculty of what is being taught in courses offered in our department.

In accordance with the Board of Regents Policy on Post-Tenure Reviews the Department of Crop and Soil Science developed a policy (attached in this section) for the conduct of these reviews. A schedule has been developed for the review of all tenured faculty over a 5-year period beginning with tenured full professors.