Guidelines for the evaluation process
- Keep the evaluation focused on the major responsibilities of faculty members. Make sure that all of the evaluation procedures are in writing, are in accordance with the departmental bylaws, and are consistent with the Faculty Handbook.
- Involve faculty. Careful deliberation in developing and running an evaluation ensures its acceptance by faculty, whose involvement in the evaluation process promotes support of the project.
- Discuss expectations. The faculty should know what is expected from them and how their work will be judged. Assignments should be consistent with the Faculty Handbook and equitable within the department.
- Communicate openly. Every faculty member should know and understand the evaluation procedures, criteria, and department standards, as well as institutional policies and procedures with regards to performance evaluation.
- Develop and refine an evaluation instrument. Constant and continuous modification of the evaluation instrument is most important in promoting the fairness and success of the process.
- Be flexible. The nature of research, teaching, service, and outreach is discipline-specific, and variable assignments within a discipline are common. It is prudent, therefore, in evaluating faculty, to account for an individual’s contributions to the mission of the department, college, and university.
- Be judicious. Implementation of a new evaluation system will be threatening to many faculty. Be honest, consistent, and fair in the implementation. Avoid discussions about other faculty members’ productivity with other faculty members who are not involved in the evaluation process. Expect one or two years for the process of acceptance and implementation.
- Set a context for the individual’s understanding of their performance. Several department heads provide summary data for all faculty as part of the evaluation feedback. This allows the individual to better understand their accomplishments in relation to others. See a sample letter of this type in the Supplemental Materials.