UT Dallas Policy Navigator :: Annual Review of Faculty :: UTDPP1089 (v1)

Annual Review of Faculty - UTDPP1089

Policy Statement

1. Purpose

This policy is not intended to alter the standards used in faculty reviews at UT Dallas.

The university conducts annual reviews of faculty in accordance with Regents' Rules 31102 and 30501. Annual reviews should focus primarily on individual merit in relation to the performance of assigned duties. A faculty member's duties are normally defined by university and school or department (unit) policies, but individual faculty members may negotiate a modification in duties with their dean or unit head. Such modifications must be recorded in the faculty member's file.

The primary purpose of the review is to compare the faculty member's performance with the assigned duties and to provide guidance to the faculty member accordingly.

In the following, the term "unit" shall mean university, school, or department. For example, standards for promotion and tenure may be defined at one of more of these levels. In the case of a particular faculty member being reviewed under this policy, the appropriate standards will be defined by existing and evolving standards as applied to all faculty members within the faculty member's immediate unit.

If merit increases are recommended by the Program Head, or the Dean of the School, the recommendations should be consistent with these evaluations.

2. Categories of Evaluation

Evaluations will be made in the same areas of activity as are considered in promotion and tenure: namely, (1) creative productivity and professional achievement, (2) teaching effectiveness and (3) university citizenship. If the faculty member has administrative duties, these should also be included.

Guidelines for what should be considered under each of these headings and the standards to be applied should be articulated by the faculty of each unit and included in the unit's bylaws. The guidelines should state the standards, the philosophy or purpose behind them, and the unit officers responsible for preparing the evaluation. Such evaluations will make use of directly known and objective information, ignoring hearsay and anonymous inputs. Faculty members are encouraged to call the attention of the Dean of their School to accomplishments or activities that they believe might be overlooked in order to assure that the information about these contributions are included.

3. Standards of Evaluation by Category and Overall

For each of the three areas considered, faculty members being reviewed shall be placed in one of the following categories: a. exceeds expectations; b. meets expectations; c. does not meet expectations; d. unsatisfactory. Expectations shall be set by each school according to the faculty member' s assigned duties, rank and discipline, in accordance with the following general principles.

  1. Standards in each category of evaluation:
    The following notes provide guidelines for assigning judgments. The examples given below are not meant to be exhaustive or strict. The standards prescribed by unit policies must be implemented with care and consideration for the importance of academic freedom and the good intentions of hard working faculty members.

    1. "Exceeds expectations": This judgment should reflect a clear and significant level of accomplishment beyond normal expectations for faculty in the discipline and unit. A judgment that a person exceeds expectations in creative productivity could reflect one or more important publications, research results, sponsored research activities, external recognition for scholarly or creative achievement, or other such activities that bring notable recognition or honor to the university.
      In teaching, a judgment of exceeding expectations should be based on multiple indices in addition to end of semester student course evaluation surveys, such as special accomplishments of students, winning a Unit, University, or UT System level award for outstanding teaching, and faculty peer evaluations.
      In service, this classification could reflect election or appointment to particularly noteworthy positions in the university or other organizations, or special commendations for service on university, outreach, governmental, or scholarly organizations.
    2. "Meets expectations": In any given year, most faculty members should meet expectations in accordance with their assigned duties. It should be understood that there is year-to-year variation in all faculty activities.
    3. "Fails to meet expectations": Such a judgment should indicate a failure beyond what can be considered the normal range of year-to-year variation in performance, but of a character that appears to be correctable. Indications of failure to meet expectations in scholarly productivity could be a consistent record of failing to publish with no record of significant work in progress, no other creative productivity, and no compensating production under way. Indications of failure to meet expectations in teaching would be an exceptional level of complaints, failure to meet classes, failure to update material for classes from time to time in order to assure adequate preparation of students for the field, unfavorable peer evaluation of teaching if the unit arranges for such evaluation, or failure to carry a normal teaching load. Indications of failure to meet expectations in service would be refusal to accept appointments or failure to exercise diligence and responsibility in carrying out appointments.
    4. "Unsatisfactory": This judgment would indicate a failure to meet expectations and doing so in a way that reflects disregard of previous written advice or other efforts to provide correction or assistance, or that involves prima facie professional misconduct or dereliction of duty.
  2. Overall Evaluations:
    Consistent with our requirement for promotion that a faculty member be "excellent" in either scholarly creativity or teaching and at least adequate overall, judgments in the annual reviews should also put more weight on scholarly creativity and teaching, but still require adequacy in service.

    1. An overall evaluation of "exceeds expectations" requires that a faculty member exceeds expectations in either scholarly creativity or teaching, and is at least adequate in service for the faculty member's discipline, rank, and assigned duties.
    2. An overall evaluation of "meets expectations" requires that a person meets expectations in at least two of the three evaluation categories: scholarly productivity, teaching, and service. Details of the expectations for scholarly productivity should be provided by unit guidelines.
      For faculty whose contractual obligations do not include scholarly productivity, failure to engage in such activity will not be judged in a negative way, but their file should provide evidence that they remain current and knowledgeable in their teaching discipline(s).
    3. An overall evaluation of "fails to meet expectations" requires that a person fails to meets expectations in scholarly productivity, teaching, or service, where such failure is clearly below the normal range of year to year variation in output that can be regarded as normal for the person's discipline, rank, and assigned duties. For faculty who are only expected to teach, "fails to meet expectations" would mean failure to teach the agreed upon course load and/or indications of teaching effectiveness consistently in the lower quartile, to the extent that such a measure is meaningful. For faculty whose duties include administration, expectations for the quanta of research output and teaching load may be appropriately reduced.
    4. An overall judgment of "unsatisfactory" should only be used if scholarly activity is persistently unsatisfactory and the faculty member refuses to agree to a suitable modification of duties, or if teaching is persistently unsatisfactory. UT Dallas faculty are expected and required to teach, and should demonstrate a commitment to doing it well. Good service should not be a replacement for unsatisfactory scholarly activity or teaching, although it should not be ignored. The unit policy should provide guidance on this weighting.

4. Evaluation Process

  1. Preparation of file by faculty member:
    Each February, each faculty member will prepare an annual report with information under the following headings. Further details for preparing the report, including suggested templates for different entries, will be posted on the website of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost.

    1. Name, School, Program or Field, Date of Submission
    2. A narrative of one page or less, giving your professional history, principal current professional interests, and most note-worthy accomplishments. This brief biographic profile should communicate the significance of what you do, what you have accomplished, and what you are planning to do in the future, to a varied audience, including prospective graduate students, new faculty colleagues, or outsiders searching for a prospective employee, consultant, expert commentator, guest columnist, speaker to a professional or non-professional group, etc. In composite, these profiles constitute the portrait of the University.
    3. Scholarly and creative activity, categorized and sequenced as follows:(PLEASE FOLLOW THE ATTACHED FORMATTING GUIDELINES)
      1. authored books
      2. edited books
      3. refereed publications
      4. complete articles in edited volumes
      5. refereed conference publications or abstracts
      6. juried exhibitions
      7. invited performances, colloquia presentations or exhibitions
      8. unrefereed publications
      9. unrefereed abstracts
      10. self-initiated exhibitions, lectures or performances
      11. submitted manuscripts, including when submitted and to whom
      12. U.S. Patents awarded
      13. other activities: lectures, speeches, presentations not documented in a publication
    4. Proposal and Grant Activity
      1. Proposals submitted: title, agency submitted, time duration, total requested.
      2. Grants received: title, agency granting, total requested, amount granted if different from total amount, start date, and time duration.
      3. Names of doctoral students (?30 graduate hours) and stipend amounts (does not include tuition or benefits) whom you supported on contracts and grants, e.g., Jane Smith $20,000.
    5. Teaching activities: list for each term, e.g.
      1. Organized courses: Semester/Prefix/Number/Course Name/Enrollment
      2. Individual instruction supervised
      3. Calendar year: names of graduated students upon whose dissertation committees you served.
      4. Calendar year: names of masters and doctoral students who graduated under your supervision.
      5. Calendar year: employer and position for doctoral students who graduated under your supervision in the previous calendar year.
      6. Calendar year: for each doctoral student (?30 graduate hours) by name under your supervision.
        1. number of discipline-related refereed papers/publications, e.g., Jane Smith 2
        2. number of juried creative/performance accomplishments
        3. number of book chapters
        4. number of books
        5. number of external presentations
    6. Learning Assessment Activities:
      1. narrative of assessment activities undertaken based on learning objectives of organized courses
      2. brief description of factors that may have influenced the results of those activities
      3. actions you intend to take to improve student learning, i.e. "closing the loop"
    7. Professional service activities:
      1. UT Dallas administrative duties
      2. school committees
      3. university committees
      4. outside Chair appointed by Graduate Studies for doctoral final oral exam
      5. special service contributions to program, school, or university
      6. service contributions external to UT Dallas, e.g., professional society officer, journal editor, conference organizer, etc.
      7. consultant activities
    8. Special professional recognition: internal and external honors, awards, citations, prizes, etc.
  2. The primary evaluation will be prepared by the unit administrator immediately responsible for the faculty member under review. School guidelines will specify who this is. The recommendation to be sent to the Provost for the school will be prepared by the School Dean, taking into account unit evaluations as well as considerations of equity and need across the school as a whole and the advice of other members of the Dean's administrative structure as might be appropriate in that School.
  3. Provision for corrections and objections. Unit guidelines should provide at least one opportunity for the faculty member being evaluated to see the draft evaluation and offer responses or corrections. The School Dean's evaluation will be shown to the faculty member evaluated, in writing. The faculty member will countersign to show that he or she has read the evaluation and signify his or her agreement or otherwise by checking one of two boxes marked, "Agree," and "Disagree." If the faculty member objects to the evaluation, he or she may describe that objection in writing within a period of two weeks (seven days). The Dean's evaluation will then be forwarded to the provost with the faculty member's objection, if any.
    Unit guidelines may also include provision for review of the recommendations by a faculty committee, such as a school Executive Committee or a peer review committee.

5. Uses of the Evaluations

Evaluations should be used to determine merit for merit raises.

One or more evaluations of "exceeds expectations" may also provide a basis for recommendation for special honors or for initiating consideration for more rapid or extraordinary promotion following the processes provided for in the university policy on promotion and tenure. Annual reports from previous years, that were carried out under a different policy from this one, must be integrated with current year' s findings with care. This would require much more complete and comprehensive documentation than is required for the annual review.

An evaluation of "fails to meet expectations" or "unsatisfactory" in any one category may be used to determine recommended remedial actions, such as teaching effectiveness assistance, counseling, or mentoring in research issues or service expectations. Remedial actions may include adjustments of assigned duties. Remediation efforts should be described in a written plan. Such plan may include provisions for monitoring progress.

A tenured faculty member whose overall evaluation is "unsatisfactory" for two consecutive years may be subject to a comprehensive periodic performance evaluation (post-tenure review), as provided for in the policy on periodic performance evaluations. The decision to undertake a comprehensive period performance evaluation shall be made by the university Provost in consultation with the Dean of the School.

6. Clarifications and Complaints

Faculty members are encouraged to seek clarification of their salary increases whenever they have questions or dissatisfactions concerning them. Pursuit of such questions or complaints fosters better internal university communications and improves operation of the mechanisms for setting salary increases. Queries should be lodged with the School Dean. In Schools where Unit Heads provide an initial merit increase recommendation for the Dean, a preliminary discussion should be held with the Unit Head. If the matter remains unresolved fifteen days after discussion with the Dean, it may properly be taken to the Provost and, if unresolved there within fifteen days, to the President.

The university grievance policy is applicable.

Policy History

  • Issued: 2012-09-19