Why good evaluation practices matter
- Evaluation ensures improvement of the academic planning process and the performance of faculty members and their research teams.
- Evaluation provides the basis for salary adjustments, retention, promotion, and tenure decisions.
What our survey data tell us about evaluation practices
- About 71% of tenured and tenure-track respondents agreed that performance expectations are communicated clearly in their department (Faculty Work/Life Survey 2005).
- About 75% of the tenured and tenure-track respondents agreed that faculty members at Virginia Tech are usually promoted or given opportunities based on good performance. Men are significantly more likely to agree to this statement than women (77% compared to 66%) (Faculty Work/Life Survey 2005).
- 94% of the pre-tenure respondents to the COACHE Survey indicated that periodic formal performance evaluation was important for their career progress, but only 68% felt that their departments were effective at this important practice (COACHE 2007).
- “The [evaluation] process seems to work quite well. Junior faculty are invited to serve on the evaluation committee early on in their careers, to get a clear sense of department standards.”
Beate Schmittmann, Department of Physics, VT
- While 71% of all tenured and tenure-track faculty members agreed that the requirements for tenure or promotion are clearly articulated in their department (Faculty Work/Life Survey 2005), pre-tenure faculty were much less likely to think so. Only 51% pre-tenure faculty found the tenure standards (performance thresholds) in their departments to be very or somewhat clear (COACHE 2007).
Guidelines for the evaluation process
This supplemental materials document contains information relevant to effective evaluation, such as: good practices for promotion and tenure; qualitative terms for use in faculty evaluation; a sample feedback letter; and pertinent sections from the Virginia Tech faculty handbook.