VCU branded angle-motif letterhead

Annual Assessment of Faculty Performance

  • Responsible Office: Faculty Affairs, Office of the Provost
  • Current Approved Version: 05/22/2017
  • Policy Type: Administrative

Policy Statement and Purpose

This policy establishes the criteria, implementation, and procedures by which to carry out the annual assessment of faculty performance. An annual evaluation of all faculty members is conducted on a universitywide basis.

The annual evaluation is useful on multiple levels. The evaluation provides a continuous performance record for every faculty member, and it informs decisions pertaining to assessment and improvement of faculty performance. It provides substantive feedback to the person being evaluated by acknowledging and recognizing excellence, by pointing out areas for improvement, and by identifying productive uses of a faculty member's talents. It further provides important feedback to the person conducting the evaluation in terms of their leadership, guidance, and support. It enhances faculty development by promoting self- assessment, which can provide an occasion for reassessment of the role a faculty member is playing, depending on the evolution of the role throughout the faculty member’s career. The evaluation can provide information for the determination of salary. Finally, the evaluation serves as a means of ensuring that the diverse talents of the entire faculty are effectively applied to the many responsibilities of the university.

Noncompliance with this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination. VCU supports an environment free from retaliation. Retaliation against any employee who brings forth a good faith concern, asks a clarifying question, or participates in an investigation is prohibited.

Who Should Know This Policy

The following groups should know this policy and familiarize themselves with its contents and provisions:

  • Vice presidents
  • Vice provosts
  • Deans
  • Department heads
  • Unit heads
  • Teaching and research faculty : tenured, probationary (tenure-eligible), term (non-tenured) or adjunct (non-tenured)
  • Clinical faculty
  • University administrators responsible for faculty personnel

Definitions

Unit

A unit is defined as a college or school, department, interdisciplinary center or specialized program.

Contacts

The Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs officially interprets this policy and is responsible for obtaining approval for any revisions as required by the policy Creating and Maintaining Policies and Procedures through the appropriate governance structures. Please direct policy questions to the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Policy Specifics and Procedures

An annual evaluation of each faculty members is conducted on a universitywide basis. At the beginning of the evaluation year, it is required that each faculty member be given clarification on how effort will be allocated among scholarship and professional growth, teaching, service, and/or clinical activity. The dates of the evaluation year will be determined by each school or unit. As part of the annual evaluation, each faculty member submits to their supervisor an annual report that summarizes the faculty member’s scholarship and professional growth, teaching, service, and/or clinical activity for the reporting period as well as other information deemed relevant by the department chairperson or unit head. The evaluation will be conducted at the departmental level by the department chairperson or unit head in each unit as appropriate. The evaluation addresses the previous year's performance, and also takes a longer view, one that is consistent with the cycle of academic performance and change.

Responsibilities are not the same in every unit; the balance among teaching loads, scholarship, emphasis on research, and expectations for service, and/or clinical activity may vary. It is the responsibility of the unit and of each dean, department chairperson, or unit head to publish written policies (e.g. unit bylaws) describing how and when the performance evaluations are performed, as well as the standards upon which the faculty member is to be evaluated, to ensure that faculty evaluations occur in a meaningful manner. The differing roles and functions of collective units must be clearly articulated so that faculty can be evaluated using standards appropriate to the units. Faculty work roles are flexible, keyed to the work unit's mission, and consistent with promotion and tenure criteria.

Criteria and Implementation

Discussion of work plans and the measures of criteria regarding roles and standards of excellence are provided in the VCU Faculty Roles and Rewards policy. Unit and departmental guidelines also provide more unit/discipline specific criteria which are to be consistent with the VCU Faculty Roles and Rewards policy.

The criteria for the evaluation of faculty are provided in the VCU Faculty Promotion and Tenure Policies and Procedures policy. Unit and departmental guidelines also provide more unit/discipline specific criteria which are to be consistent with the VCU Faculty Promotion and Tenure Policies and Procedures policy.

Overview of the Process of Annual Reports and Departmental/Unit Evaluations

As is set forth below, each faculty member submits to their supervisor a written annual report of the faculty member’s professional activities for the past year. An evaluation report is then prepared by the department chairperson or unit head in written form which considers the faculty member’s annual report and other criteria (“Source of Evaluation”). Faculty may respond in writing to the evaluation report and may appeal their evaluations. Faculty are expected to sign their evaluation reports. These evaluations, including any comments added by the faculty member, become part of the department or unit file on that faculty member and form the basis for constructive efforts to enhance all facets of the faculty member's performance, are included in promotion and/or tenure review processes, and affect compensation and/or bonus awards. The specific processes associated with these evaluation steps are described below.

Sources of Evaluation

The department chairperson or unit head’s evaluation of a faculty member’s performance may include data from the following sources where appropriate.

  1. Student Evaluations: Students evaluate teaching and, when appropriate, other university duties performed by the faculty member. Note: Student evaluations should not be the sole criterion for evaluating teaching effectiveness.
  2. Peer Faculty: Each unit develops procedures for peer evaluation (colleagues from within or outside home unit) of faculty members’ teaching, research or creative activities, service, and other university duties when appropriate.
  3. Self-Evaluation: Each faculty member provides an evaluation of each area of their own performance and submits the evaluation along with any appropriate substantiating evidence to the department chairperson or other administrative unit.
  4. Other university officials and administrators
  5. Individuals with whom the faculty member collaborates in the course of a service assignment
  6. University staff and professionals
  7. Resident staff
  8. Personnel committee

Annual Assessment of Deans and Department Chairpersons

Administrators at or below the level of dean who hold faculty rank are evaluated in the performance of both their faculty (academic) and administrative functions. The annual evaluation is conducted by the next higher level administrator with the appropriate student/faculty input.

Departmental faculty members are also invited to provide input into the annual evaluation of the department chair to the dean of the school or college. The dean meets with the chair annually to discuss job performance based on a summary of the evaluation of the departmental faculty and the evaluation of the dean.

Clinical-Track Faculty

Clinical track faculty evaluations take into account the faculty member's demonstrated effectiveness in fulfilling teaching and service missions as well as in patient care. They also include a discussion of the departmental, school, and university educational and service goals and the likely role of the faculty member in the future in achieving those goals.

Research-Track Faculty

Evaluations of research-track faculty take into account the research-track faculty member's effectiveness in fulfilling the research mission and the ability of the research-track faculty member to obtain and sustain extramural salary support. They also include a discussion of the departmental, school, and university research goals and the likely role of the research-track faculty member in the future in achieving those goals. Research-track faculty are reviewed on a schedule commensurate with their appointments, according to written standards of competence and performance defined by their college and departments.

Faculty on leave or limited appointments

Faculty members on leave for professional purposes, such as sabbatical, professional development, or research leave, are evaluated at the conclusion of the leave based on a report of the accomplishments made during the leave. Departmental evaluation guidelines should ensure that members on approved leave are not penalized in the evaluation process.

Joint appointments

A faculty member holding joint appointments is evaluated in each department with copies of both evaluations, marked concurrent, in the faculty member’s one evaluation file. Each department chair or unit head will evaluate the faculty member only with respect to the duties within that unit. Concurrent summaries, in their totality, should address each aspect of a faculty member’s annual performance. Such concurrent summaries will be forwarded to the dean, department chairperson, or unit head in which the faculty member holds the primary faculty position.

Appeal of Faculty Evaluation

A faculty member who disagrees with the evaluation of their annual performance, in part or in whole, is permitted to appeal the evaluation by following the appeal process described below.

The appeal process begins with a meeting between the faculty member and the department chairperson or the faculty member’s immediate supervisor* within ten (10) working days of the faculty member making the appeal. If the matter cannot be resolved by this discussion, the faculty member submits a written appeal to the dean or to the head of the appropriate unit with notice to the department chairperson or supervisor. The written appeal must be submitted to the dean or unit head within ten (10) working days of the meeting with the department chairperson or immediate supervisor. The written appeal of an evaluation must specifically state the basis for the appeal and provide documentation to support that appeal. Upon receipt of an appeal from a faculty member, the dean or unit head schedules a meeting to discuss the appeal with the appealing faculty member and a separate meeting with the supervisor of that faculty member. These meetings are expected to take place within ten (10) working days of receipt of the appeal. The dean or unit head dean can then convene a joint meeting to attempt to resolve concerns. The dean or unit head may also form a small committee from the unit to review the appeal and to ask for their recommendation.

*In the case where the dean is the direct supervisor of the faculty member making the appeal, a small committee should be formed to review the appeal. This committee is elected by the faculty.

If these individual and/or joint meetings, or the committee’s recommendation, do not resolve the concerns, the dean or unit head shall then make a decision on the validity of the appeal and inform the faculty member and department chairperson whether the appeal has been upheld or denied.

Upon receipt of the decision of the dean or unit head, if the faculty member still is in disagreement with the decision, the faculty member is permitted to appeal to the respective provost or vice president within ten (10) working days of receipt of the dean or unit head's decision. A decision to appeal to the respective vice president can be made only on the following grounds:

  1. The defined procedures, as specified in this document, school/ unit guidelines, and department guidelines were not followed. The specific guidelines must be cited in the appeal.
  2. Factually incorrect information was provided by someone other than the faculty member, and utilized in the review process.
  3. The evaluation process was tainted by discrimination based on race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, sex (including pregnancy), political affiliation, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or disability. In such cases, the provost or vice president shall refer the matter to the VCU Office of Equity and Access Services for investigation and potential remediation.

Unless referred to Equity and Access Services, the respective provost or vice president's office will review the statement of appeal to ensure that the process for the appeal was handled appropriately and then rule on the appeal. The vice president’s decision is final and there is no further review or appeal within the university. Annual reviews and evaluations are not grievable under the Faculty Mediation and Grievance Procedure policy.

Forms

There are no forms associated with this policy and procedures.

Related Documents

  1. VCU Policy: Faculty Roles and Rewards
  2. VCU Policy: Faculty Promotion and Tenure Policies and Procedure
  3. VCU Policy: Faculty Mediation and Grievance Procedure

Revision History

This policy supersedes the following archived policies:

  • Initial Approval July 19, 1984, Annual Assessment of Faculty Performance
  • From Faculty Handbook July 1984
  • Web version created September 1996 by Office of Institutional Research and Evaluation

FAQ

There are no FAQ associated with this policy and procedures.