Reinhardt University SACSCOC Compliance Certification

3.7.2 Faculty Evaluation

The institution regularly evaluates the effectiveness of each faculty member in accord with published criteria, regardless of contractual or tenured status.  (Faculty evaluation)

Judgment check box Compliance

Narrative

Evaluation of Full-Time Faculty

Full time faculty at Reinhardt are reviewed both annually as part of the annual performance review and through comprehensive multi-year performance evaluations.

Annual Evaluation of Faculty Performance

The Faculty Handbook Section V.3.0 provides guidelines for Annual Evaluation of Faculty Performance. [1] This process is used for all full-time faculty, including administrative faculty, who are being considered for reappointment, regardless of contractual or tenured status (A separate procedure applies to adjunct, short-term, or part-time faculty). The purpose of the annual evaluation is to encourage and facilitate the professional growth and to ensure that a consistently high quality of educational effectiveness is being maintained throughout the University.

Each faculty member is required to create and maintain a professional portfolio, which is annually updated on a calendar-year cycle. As part of this process, the faculty member completes an annual self-evaluation using the form entitled “Faculty Annual Self-Assessment” adopted by the Faculty Senate and approved by the administration. The self-assessment part of this form provides the faculty member an opportunity to address his or her accomplishments and achievements in the three areas of Teaching and Advising; Professional Growth and Development; and Service to University and Community.

Achievements in these areas need to meet the criteria as enumerated in the Evidentiary Sources section of the Faculty Handbook Section V. 7 and are supported by documentation as listed, to be added to the portfolio. [2] These also include the assessment of teaching effectiveness through online course evaluations [3] as set forth in Faculty Handbook section II.14.0 (Assessment of the Quality of Instruction) and a Dean’s Instructional Observation Report, based on classroom observation. [4]

After the faculty member submits his or her self-assessment to the appropriate School Dean, the Dean uses the same instrument to record his or her evaluation of the faculty member’s performance as either exceeding, meeting, or falling below expectations in each of the three key areas (teaching, professional development, and service). The evaluation also includes a statement by the Dean of the faculty member’s progress towards tenure (if tenure-track), promotion to the next academic rank, or contract renewal (for faculty members with fixed-term contracts). This Dean’s evaluation is followed up with a supervisory conference between the faculty member and the supervising Dean, at which time goals for the coming year are set, performance improvement plans are made to address any deficiencies, and any changes in assignment for the coming year. The Dean and faculty member each sign the review form. If the faculty member disagrees with the Dean’s evaluation, he or she has the opportunity to attach an addendum to the evaluation before it is submitted to the Provost. Signed copies of the annual review form, as well as any performance improvement plans, are sent to the Provost for review and signature and are placed in the faculty member’s personnel file in the Human Resources Office. These reviews may be used as the basis for merit pay increases. An example of a completed evaluation for a full-time faculty member is provided in the supporting documentation.  [5]

The standard for annual evaluation of faculty members is measurable progress toward achieving the next highest academic rank (or sustained excellence for those who have achieved the professorial rank).

Comprehensive Reviews for Tenure Track Faculty

In addition to the annual performance reviews, faculty on tenure track undergo comprehensive reviews as they apply for tenure or promotion in rank. Policies regarding Promotion in Rank are outlined in the Faculty Handbook Section V. 4.0, including criteria for eligibility for promotion and the promotion review process. [6] “Minimum Criteria for Appointment to Rank” are set forth in Section V.2.1.8.  [7]

Policies regarding Academic Tenure are set forth in Section V.5.0. [8] Academic tenure presupposes a mutually beneficial, long-term relationship between the faculty member and the University. Tenure recognizes demonstrated teaching effectiveness and academic achievement as well as assumes a deep personal and professional commitment to the heritage, mission, and future of the institution. Tenured faculty members continue to be evaluated annually and are expected to grow as teachers, scholars, and contributors to the University and community.

The University also provides for a Pre-Tenure Review Process, which generally takes place at the beginning of the faculty member’s fourth year of teaching.  [9] During this process, the faculty member’s credentials and portfolio are reviewed by a committee individualized for the faculty member but including the supervising School Dean, two faculty members from within the School and two from outside the School, as selected by the School Dean from a list nominated by the candidate.  The committee writes a report identifying areas of strength and weakness and meets with the candidate to discuss the report and to develop a faculty development plan, with goals, to ensure that the candidate is making satisfactory progress toward tenure.

Review for Promotion and/or Tenure occurs at several levels at Reinhardt. Faculty members who are eligible for candidacy for either or both, as determined by the eligibility requirements set forth in the Faculty Handbook, may notify the Provost of their intent to apply and follow the instructions and guidelines for application. Candidates are responsible for submitting professional portfolios that verify professional experience and include teaching effectiveness commentaries such as course evaluations, peer evaluations, School Dean observations; evidence of professional development such as transcripts, journal articles, proof of conference attendance, photographs of art works; and letters from colleagues attesting to committee involvement and campus leadership. Along with these, the candidate submits a comprehensive self-evaluation.

These tenure and promotion portfolios are reviewed first by members of a School-level Tenure and Promotion Committee, which deliberates and makes an evaluation of the candidate, and then the University Tenure and Promotion Committee, which also produces an evaluation. Both levels of review culminate in a formal written report and recommendation. Subsequent evaluations are also made by the Provost, the President, and in the case of tenure candidates, the Board of Trustees. If promotion or tenure is approved, the contract issued for the following year shall reflect the award. If a tenure application is denied, the candidate may be offered a one-year terminal contract or a three-year renewable contract.

Reinhardt also conducts reviews of faculty after tenure has been awarded (post-tenure reviews). Guidelines for post-tenure reviews are included in the Faculty Handbook, Section V 5.3.5. [10]

Comprehensive Reviews for Non-Tenure Track Faculty

A three-year renewable non tenure-track appointment entails an initial probationary period of three (3) years and a comprehensive multi-year performance evaluation in the third year.  As a result of this evaluation, the University may offer the faculty member another three-year term appointment.  This appointment may be renewed at the end of each subsequent three-year period, following a comprehensive performance review.

The comprehensive multi-year performance evaluation of a faculty member contracted on a three-year renewable basis takes the place of the annual performance review every third year of the faculty member’s employment. Guidelines for the comprehensive reviews are included in the Faculty Handbook, Section V 6.0. [11]

Evaluation of Adjunct Faculty

Adjunct faculty are employees who are hired for a specific semester or academic year to provide instruction for a specific course(s). These faculty members are given limited faculty privileges and responsibilities in their letters of appointment; they are not eligible for academic tenure or promotion in rank, are not generally assigned responsibilities for student advisement, do not serve on faculty committees and are not members of the Faculty Senate.

The University has established an Adjunct Handbook, which outlines the policies, regulations, and procedures related to the hiring, orienting, supervising, and evaluating of adjunct faculty.  According to the Adjunct Handbook, adjunct instructors must receive a written teaching evaluation each academic year from the school in which they are assigned. [12] The Deans or their designees evaluate the adjuncts based on a review of the syllabi, students’ grades, and students’ evaluations of teaching, classroom observations, and the instructor’s course reflections. The supporting documentation includes examples of a completed Adjunct Instructional Observation Report [13] and a completed Adjunct Evaluation. [14] Adjunct evaluations are stored in each Dean’s Office and the Office of Human Resources.

 

Supporting Documents

[1] Faculty Handbook, Annual Evaluation

[2] Faculty Handbook, Evidentiary Sources

[3] Course Evaluation Example

[4] Instructional Observational Report for Full-Time Faculty Example

[5] Full-Time Faculty Annual Evaluation Example

[6] Faculty Handbook, Promotion in Rank

[7] Faculty Handbook, Minimum Criteria   

[8] Faculty Handbook, Tenure  

[9] Faculty Handbook, Pre-Tenure Review

[10] Faculty Handbook, Post-Tenure Review

[11] Faculty Handbook, Three-Year Renewable

[12] Adjunct Faculty Handbook, Evaluation

[13] Adjunct Instructional Observation Report Example

[14] Adjunct Evaluation Example