II:01:02 Faculty Evaluation Process for Academic Affairs

The faculty evaluation process is predicated on the fact that teaching is the highest priority for faculty of Volunteer State Community College. There are many other important activities in which faculty engage, but none is more important than the teaching function. Nothing should be emphasized through this process that would detract from this teaching function. Every effort should be made to insure that the setting of objectives and striving to accomplish these objectives do not lead to neglect of the teaching and enhancement of student learning. A great deal of the value of this evaluation process is based on the commitment and interest of the individual faculty member. Consequently, the self-evaluation component of this system is an important aspect of the process. By taking this process seriously, faculty members will be able to devote time and energy to the development of all aspects of their work.

It is the responsibility of Human Resources to initiate the processes involved in faculty evaluation. The Division of Academic Affairs administers the processes involved in faculty evaluations. The Office of Academic Affairs creates and maintains a yearly calendar on faculty evaluation and initiates appropriate Information Technology requests for student evaluations.

The primary goal of faculty evaluation is to improve faculty development. A comprehensive performance evaluation provides formative guidance and direction to facilitate the achievement of the individual goals. Each Division Dean is responsible for setting annual goals and objectives for his/her division and communicating the goals to the division in a manner that will assist faculty in their efforts to attain the goals.

The faculty evaluation shall, as a minimum, consist of the following components:

A. Student evaluation

B. Self evaluation

C. Peer evaluation

D. Supervisor evaluation

Components:

Student evaluation. Student evaluationswill be administered at a pre-determined date in Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters. Evaluation information will be disseminated in class and online to all students, and evaluations will be completed online unless a specific request for a paper evaluation is requested. The methodology of student evaluations will be periodically reviewed by the standing Instruction Committee of the College. The evaluations will be available to faculty, Department Chairs, and Division Deans after the final date for recording grades at the end of each semester. Individual faculty will have online access to their specific class evaluations; Department Chairs will be able to access all faculty evaluations within their Department, and Division Deans will have access to all faculty evaluations within their respective Division. Classes for all faculty will be evaluated by this process, including those taught by tenured, non-tenured and adjunct faculty. Student evaluation is an integral component of Teaching Excellence.

Self evaluation. The Self Evaluation, is one of the primary documents on which the supervisor makes an overall evaluation of a faculty member. The purposes of self evaluation are to use the faculty member's self-knowledge to acknowledge strengths, develop strategies for improvement and establish goals. It is the faculty member's responsibility to justify the level of accomplishment he or she wishes to attain by reporting on the activities and accomplishments listed on the Faculty Performance Evaluation form.

The performance evaluation includes the following areas of achievement:

Teaching Excellence. Teaching applies to the manner in which information is imparted so that others may learn and course objectives may be achieved. Teaching may include, but is not limited to, a variety of techniques including instruction, development of course materials and courseware, and development of effective approaches to teaching. This component includes course, curriculum and/or program development, development and application of effective instructional techniques, and documentation of efforts to achieve learning objectives. Documentation of efforts to stay current in the teaching field is an important part of this component. Student evaluations of the teaching performance are a necessary and important element. Completing recordkeeping obligations as required is a must.

Scholarship/Creative Activities/Research. This component includes pursuits in support of the discipline or the teaching profession, which may include typical professional development such as taking a class, implementing new teaching approaches, and/or other scholarly/artistic endeavors. Research applies to the studious inquiry, examination, or discovery that contributes to disciplinary and interdisciplinary bodies of knowledge.

Service/Outreach. This component includes service within the community as defined by the College's role and mission; service to the College, as in student advising and/or mentoring; and service within the bounds of the faculty member's academic discipline and budgeted assignment. This component could include active participation in a professional organization, especially as an officer of the organization; recognition by a professional organization. This component could also include service as advisor to student organizations; attendance and participation in College Committee work, including service as chair; peer evaluator; any special service for the College. This component could include participation in a community service club; service as speaker for clubs or organizations while representing the College; participation in community projects as a representative of the College.

Performance Strengths. This component allows the faculty member to reflect on accomplishments or improvements made over the past year based on established objectives.

Performance Objectives and Developmental Needs for the Coming Year. The faculty member sets goals to achieve during the upcoming academic year based on needed improvements and professional goals to enhance the teaching process and enhance the faculty member's professional growth.

It is conceivable that as faculty members and division deans work through this system, revisions will be required.

Each faculty member will keep the Division Dean apprised of the progress being made toward completion of the objectives. Annually, the faculty member will include in his or her self-report to the Division Dean the progress made toward the completion of objectives.

Peer evaluation. Peer evaluation is conducted to allow faculty to benefit from feedback from peers teaching in the same academic Division. Notification of completion of peer evaluation is sent to the Division Dean and to the Office of Human Resources from the peer evaluator. Written feedback is provided to the faculty member being evaluated. This provides an opportunity for sharing ideas, joint problem-solving related to student learning, and feedback between instructors. The evaluation process includes at least two classroom visits, review of course syllabi and materials, evaluation of student-faculty interaction and an overall evaluation of the instructor's effectiveness in the classroom. Constructive criticism is provided, as well, highlighting strengths and suggestions for areas of improvement.

Peer evaluation will be conducted by a three-member team which will maintain communication with the faculty member during the year of peer evaluation. The make-up of the evaluation team is provided by the Division Dean. Tenured faculty who are not eligible for promotion willundergo peer evaluation every three years. Tenured faculty who are eligible for promotion willundergo peer evaluation in the year of their eligibility. Non-tenure track faculty will undergo peer evaluation every year for the first five years of their employment and on the tenured-faculty schedule after that.

The report to the Division Dean should include only an indication that the peer evaluation process has been completed. Peer evaluation is meant to be a positive process for improvement of faculty member performance.

Adjunct faculty members will not be evaluated as part of the peer evaluation system. Adjunct faculty are evaluated by full-time faculty once every third semester they teach, and all new adjunct faculty are evaluated the first semester they teach. Notification of their evaluation is submitted to the Division Dean and the Office of Human Resources as well as to the faculty member.

Administrative Evaluation. Only those faculty who are serving in the role of department chair or program director will be evaluated using this process. This aspect of the evaluation applies to the manner in which the faculty member encourages professional development opportunity for faculty, staff, and students and serves as a departmental link between faculty and administration. The components of the administrative evaluation include facilitation of departmental meetings, support of teaching excellence and student success within the department, effectiveness as a communication link between administration and department faculty, the development of solutions to department concerns, and the monitoring and assessment of program quality and needed changes. This component, when used as a part of the overall evaluation, constitutes 1/3 (33.3%) of the total evaluation. The evaluation of the non-administrative components of scholarship/creative activities/research, service/outreach, and teaching in that case constitutes 2/3 (66.6%) of the total evaluation.

Supervisor Evaluation. The purposes of the supervisor evaluation are to provide the faculty member with information from a supervisory perspective, synthesize information from various components of the evaluation process, and assist in the development and implementation of a faculty members' professional development plan. As supervisor, the Division Dean will review the progress that a faculty member has made toward completion of the objectives. Ideally, this process will be ongoing and will culminate in the annual review during Fall Semester. This faculty member will submit his or her evaluation packet including all required documentation and make an appointment with the Division Dean to review the overall assessment. The faculty member will assess his or her level of achievement in one of five categories:

  • Outstanding. Performance of a level rarely achieved by others. Assignments and responsibilities are accomplished at the highest levels of performance. This level should be supported by strong student evaluations and other evidence of significant contributions or leadership roles. This level will support the granting of tenure and promotion.
  • Superior. The faculty member consistently exceeds job requirements with above average quality and quantity. Assignments and responsibilities are accomplished in a highly effective manner. This level should be supported by strong student evaluations. This level will support the granting of tenure and promotion.
  • Competent. The faculty member consistently meets performance expected of the experienced employee at relevant and similar levels of experience. Performs all aspects of the job requirements. Assignments and responsibilities are accomplished.
  • Needs Improvement. The faculty member normally meets job requirements but occasionally performs less than expected. Assignments and responsibilities meet or exceed the basic minimum performance but are not more than just satisfactory. Requires above normal supervision. Continued performance at this level may lead to discipline or dismissal.
  • Unsatisfactory. The faculty member does not meet job requirements. Performance is well below standard and not acceptable. Continual close supervision and direction is required. Results are inadequate and require immediate improvement. Continued performance at this level may lead to discipline or dismissal.

The overall rating on the Faculty Performance Evaluation form is noted on the signature page and is calculated by totaling the rating for each of the sections and dividing the total by the number of evaluation factors. No final numerical rating willbe assigned, but one of the five categories (O, S, C, NI, U) should be indicated. As teaching is the most heavily weighted area, aNeeds Improvement or Unsatisfactory rating in the Teaching area will prohibit assignment of an overall rating of Competent, Superior, or Outstanding and will automatically trigger a performance improvement plan. A rating of Needs Improvement or Unsatisfactory in any of the other three areas will trigger a performance improvement plan, but the overall rating could be Competent or above. A performance improvement plan is initiated by the supervisor, with the assistance of Human Resources, and agreed upon by both the supervisor and the faculty member.

Should there be a discrepancy between the faculty's self-reported level of achievement, using the five categories above, and the rating by the Division Dean, it is the supervisor's responsibility to document his/her reasons for assigning a different rating. If the faculty member wishes, he or she may rebut the evaluation with the rebuttal becoming a part of the permanent record of the employee.

Rebuttal and Appeals Process

A. Establishment of Objectives andMeasurement of Accomplishments

1. Rebuttal. The faculty member and supervisor should make every effort to resolve differences that might arise in the establishment and/or achievement of objectives. The faculty member may rebut the supervisor's final evaluation or approved new objectives on the Faculty Performance Evaluation form in the section labeled "Employee's Comments Regarding Evaluation" or on attachments, as needed. This should be done within 14 days of the evaluation.

2. Appeal. If differences cannot be resolved between the faculty member and the supervisor, the faculty member may appeal, in writing, to the Vice President of Academic Affairs. This should be done by the date indicated on the VPAA's Calendar. Any appeal must be based on factual errors only. Appeals can only be made of overall ratings of Needs Improvement or Unsatisfactory. Any appeal becomes part of the permanent record of the employee. After careful review of the information presented, the Vice President shall submit to the faculty member and the supervisor a decision related to the objectives.

B. Evaluation Reviewand Appeal

1. The faculty member and the supervisor should make every effort to resolve concerns by the date indicated on the VPAA's Calendar. At this point, every effort should be made to explore all aspects of the issue carefully, cooperatively and open-mindedly.

2. If the issue is still unresolved, the faculty member may appeal factual errors, in writing, with supporting materials, to the Vice President of Academic Affairs no later than the date indicated on the Calendar. The Vice President will then consider the facts presented and will communicate this decision to both parties no later than November.

3. If the faculty member or supervisor decides to further pursue the appeal, the Vice President of Academic Affairs must be notified, in writing, no later than the date indicated on the VPAA's Calendar. An ad hoc committee of three to five members will be selected by the faculty member from a list of faculty members prepared by the Vice President of Academic Affairs. This list shall include at least twice the number to be selected for the committee. The committee will conduct a hearing no later than the date indicated on the Calendar. At the conclusion of this investigation, the findings of this committee and a recommendation will be presented, in writing, to the President of the College. The President shall consider all the facts presented, will make a decision based on these facts, and communicate his/her decision to the faculty member, the supervisor, and the Vice President of Academic Affairs by the date indicated on the Calendar. The decision of the President is final.

TBR Source: TBR Meeting, April 2, 2004.

VSCC Source: January 1983, President; February 1, 1989, President; October 6, 2008, President's Cabinet.