Section E - Personnel Reviews of Administrative and Teaching Faculty
1. Review Process for Administrative Faculty
As professionals in higher education, the work of administrative faculty must be examined periodically to determine administrative effectiveness, recognize past accomplishments, and determine future goals and professional development. The ultimate goal of such reviews is to strengthen Earlham's ability to fulfill its mission by enhancing the effectiveness and morale of its administrative faculty. The following guidelines provide a structure within which such reviews shall be conducted.
The initial 90-day evaluation and the annual evaluation described below focus on the four criteria for appointment and evaluation for administrative faculty as described earlier in the Handbook: administrative effectiveness, quality of mind, contributions to the community, and institutional fit. The periodic review, while indirectly serving the needs of the institution by supporting administrative faculty, shall be primarily for the benefit of the faculty member undergoing the review.
a. Initial Ninety-Day Evaluation
Each new administrative faculty member shall have a formal meeting with the supervisor at or around the end of the first 90 days of work at Earlham College. The meeting shall focus on the faculty member's initial experiences, questions, and suggestions about needed areas of training or other aids to effectiveness, and on the strengths of and areas needing improvement in the faculty member's performance.
b. Annual Performance Evaluation
Each year, administrative faculty members shall submit written self-evaluations, using the form found in the Procedures section of this document, to their immediate supervisors no later than February 1st. Such annual evaluations will occur even in a year when a periodic review is conducted.
The self-evaluation provides supervisors with faculty members' thoughts and reflections on their performance as measured by the four criteria for evaluation. Candor and realism are important qualities of these self-evaluations. After a meeting between the administrative faculty member and the supervisor, in which this self-evaluation is discussed, the supervisor shall complete the summary evaluation form, found in the Procedures section of this document, and shall share it with the faculty member. Copies of these documents shall be submitted to the President's office no later than March 1st.
c. Periodic Reviews
Administrative faculty members may opt for a periodic review that follows the procedure for teaching faculty. Those who decide to use the administrative faculty periodic review procedure shall follow the procedure detailed here. Such faculty will, first, choose a focus for their periodic review — ranging from a routine review for those who are generally satisfied with and expect to continue in their present role to a reflective review for those who wish to explore possible changes in their professional role (either within their current employment or by seeking new employment options).
Each administrative faculty member shall have a periodic review after the first five years of employment as an administrative faculty member at Earlham. Thereafter, those administrative faculty who choose to follow the teaching faculty review process will be reviewed according to the timetable set for that process. Those administrative faculty members opting for the administrative faculty periodic review procedure will be expected to undertake a periodic review at some point chosen by that individual within each succeeding ten-year period.
The purposes of administrative faculty periodic reviews are:
(1) to support administrative faculty by providing them with a safe, nurturing process by which they can explore with colleagues their effectiveness at work and their work-related developmental goals and areas of personal concern;
(2) to provide a vehicle for soliciting feedback for administrative faculty members regarding their impact on co-workers, students, parents, and/or outside parties; and
(3) to offer an honest affirmation of the administrative faculty member's contribution to Earlham.
Periodic reviews are not intended to:
(1) provide a review of a person's daily performance, which should occur on an ongoing basis between the individual and her/his supervisor;
(2) substitute for annual performance evaluations that should occur between an administrative faculty member and his/her supervisor;
(3) provide only praise without critical comments or suggestions for improvement;
(4) focus on a critique of the structure of an administrative faculty position or unit;
(5) deal with conflict between an administrative faculty member and his/her supervisor; or
(6) generate unsolicited criticism of an administrative faculty member’s job performance.
The periodic review (unless the teaching faculty model is used) shall proceed as follows:
(1) The administrative faculty member will contact the convener of the Administrative Review Committee (ARC) to initiate a review process or, if the individual administrative faculty member has not initiated an initial five-year review or a subsequent periodic review after a ten-year period, the Provost, who will be responsible for monitoring the administrative review process, will initiate the review by contacting both the individual and the ARC convener.
(2) The Administrative Review Committee (ARC), composed of 12 administrative faculty members appointed by the Faculty Meeting upon recommendation of Nominating Committee, will appoint a sub-committee of 3 ARC members to work with the individual in planning and carrying out the periodic review. At the individual administrative faculty member’s request, a non-ARC faculty member from the teaching faculty may be appointed to serve on that person’s review sub-committee and, in that case, the ARC may opt to have only two ARC members on that sub-committee. The appointment of non-ARC faculty to periodic review sub-committees is expected to be exceptional.
(3) Administrative faculty may use the periodic review to gain a sense of how they are viewed by the Earlham community or by relevant subsets of that community.
(4) The ARC sub-committee will: a) meet with the reviewee to help that individual choose the review type and engage in a process of self-reflection, discernment, and goal-setting (which may or may not include a written self-reflection), b) consult with the reviewee regarding whom to solicit for feedback (such input should always be solicited from the individual’s supervisor) and the form of such solicitation (e.g. letters, survey, interviews), c) collect feedback as agreed, validate, summarize, interpret and edit that feedback, d) engage in an open-ended clearness or discernment dialogue with the individual, using the feedback results, including committee analysis, as well as the individual’s own ideas, and e) write a review report summarizing their work, in consultation with the reviewee.
(5) Copies of the review report shall be provided to the individual administrative faculty member, the individual’s supervisor (for information only), and the Provost.
(6) The Provost will read all individual review reports and conduct a follow-up with the administrative faculty member. The specific form of that follow-up will depend upon the specifics of the report, but it will always include a written response (shared with the individual) and a meeting of the individual and the Provost to discuss the review.
(7) The periodic review report, along with any written response by the Provost, will become part of the administrative faculty member’s personnel file.
2. Evaluation process for Teaching Faculty Contract Renewal and for Tenure Recommendations
a. Process Summary
Teachers appointed to full-time tenure track positions should expect to be evaluated for contract renewal in their second year of teaching (Fall Semester) and again in their fourth year of teaching (Spring Semester). Tenure decisions are normally made during the Spring semester of one's sixth year of employment. (For a definition of tenure, see Handbook Section J, for the review schedule for shared appointments; see Handbook Section K.
Faculty Affairs Committee, (FAC) and Student Faculty Affairs Committee (SFAC) evaluate the files of tenure track appointments during the second, fourth and (finally) sixth year of a colleague's employment with the College. FAC and SFAC attempt to formulate and make a consensus recommendation to the President based on the candidate's file.
The FAC recommendation in its finished form is a written "minute" describing the committee's reasons for its recommendation. This minute is written after FAC and SFAC have met and sought consensus on a file, but is written and approved by FAC only. A copy of the FAC minute is always shared with the faculty member. Minutes from previous evaluation processes become part of the faculty member's future evaluation files.
In preparing an evaluation file, a faculty member is assigned to a current member of FAC who acts as a liaison throughout the evaluation process. The FAC liaison is not a partisan or an advocate for the faculty member but a facilitator to the faculty member as he or she makes choices in constituting an evaluation file.
b. File Preparation
Faculty members up for review should construct their files in a way that provides a comprehensive view of their work for FAC, SFAC, and the President to consider in their assessments. The committees will be able to provide the most productive feedback and make the wisest recommendations when they are presented with the clearest possible picture of the faculty member's work in relation to the four criteria.
The committees do not expect "perfect files" with no criticism or negative student comments. Rather, they look especially for patterns of evidence of strengths and needs for improvement, with special attention to the perceptiveness of the faculty member's own reflections on one's work and the responses of others to it.
A few elements of an evaluation file are required for all evaluations. But faculty members also have considerable choice about what does and does not become part of the file.
A self-evaluation, a current vita, a departmental(and where relevant a program) evaluation, student course evaluations, selected course materials, and feedback from advisees, are all required elements of any file and are described more fully below:
Once the faculty member has determined what shall be in the evaluation file, the liaison will move the process along by asking the Dean's secretary to solicit letters as requested by the candidate. It is not the candidate's responsibility to solicit letters for his or her file. No unsolicited letters will be admitted to the faculty member's file anytime during the process without the faculty member's permission.
An example of the sheet a faculty member and his or her liaison use when constructing a file is included in the Policies and Administrative Procedures part of this document.
(1) Open and Closed Files
The College believes it should be up to the faculty member to choose to have an open or closed file. No file, whether open or closed, will be a perfect reflection of a faculty member's work. FAC and SFAC strive to read all files carefully and thoroughly regardless of their designation. Some people have strong preferences for open files, others for closed, and whether to have an open or closed file is for many a vexing question. Most of the evidence in a file is already available to a faculty member (teaching evaluations, self evaluation, [often] department and program letters). Thus, what is most directly at issue in the decision to have a closed or open file is the faculty member's ability to read letters from colleagues and students that have not otherwise been shared.
Student and colleague letters may be affected by knowing the file is open or closed, or they may be unaffected.If they are affected, there is no clear way to predict what the effect will be. Some letters may be more open, more pointed, more honest in a closed file. On the other hand, some letters may be more thoughtful, thorough, and less prone to generalizations in an open file. Some argue that colleagues and students should be able to write accurate and complete letters whether the file is open or closed; others claim this is unrealistic in a close-knit community like Earlham. Some faculty members find it important to see the evidence in their file to see if the judgment of the committees and FAC minute accord with their own reading of the file, and to learn from the assessments of their colleagues and the students. Others argue that a faculty member up for review may be unduly upset or hurt by reading criticisms in his or her file and should give students and colleagues the freedom to write without worrying about the faculty member's reaction.
It is finally up to faculty members themselves to choose whether their files are open or closed. The letter requesting contributions to a file, sent by the Dean's Office to those persons identified by the faculty member, indicates whether the file will be open or closed to the faculty member.
(2) Building the File
Each faculty member up for review must submit a written self-evaluation to FAC/SFAC. The self-evaluation provides FAC and SFAC with faculty members' thoughts and reflections on their performance as measured by the four criteria for evaluation. In addition, self-evaluations allow faculty members to write more generally about their intellectual interests and plans and about pedagogical issues that go beyond any particular course. In particular, it is useful for FAC and SFAC to hear directly from faculty members (though not necessarily at great length) about their intellectual and academic pursuits in a way accessible for non-specialists.
Such a presentation gives FAC and SFAC information about quality of mind beyond a listing of professional accomplishments and publications, though the latter is important as well.
Candor and realism are important qualities of these self-evaluations, especially with regard to teaching and working with colleagues. The committees do not expect that there will have been no challenges or failures. Rather, the committees are particularly interested in seeing the way faculty members respond to and evaluate patterns of feedback from students and colleagues.
Finally, faculty members should say something about their future development and aspirations.
(b) Department and Program Evaluation(s)
Faculty members will specify whether evaluations from their departments are to be in the form of a consensus letter or separate letters from each member of the department. Evaluations from members of programs to which the candidate makes integral contributions (not simply cross-listing a course) also should be included in the file. The exact nature of the program's assessment (e.g. a single letter from a faculty member in the program vs. a consensus letter from all members) should be appropriate to the contributions the faculty member makes to the program.
The most informative department and program letters provide honest evaluations of the faculty member with respect to the four criteria, including ways in which the faculty member fits into a department or program and its anticipated future.
Assessments by departments and programs based on clear and direct evidence of a faculty member's performance, such as class observations, team teaching, and department and program collaborations are most convincing. FAC and SFAC rely heavily on these components in assessing both the faculty member's quality of mind and specific fit of his or her abilities and interests with curricular and other needs. The
latter issue of fit is especially important for departments to address when the faculty member is filling the last open tenurable position in the department.
Departments and programs are encouraged to share assessments with the faculty member being reviewed to encourage, support, guide, and advise.
(c) Student Course Evaluations
All teaching faculty are encouraged to have their courses evaluated by students on a regular basis. During the probationary period preceding a tenure decision, teaching faculty must make available to FAC and SFAC all student responses to their teaching in all of the courses they have taught (on and off campus) since their last evaluation. Faculty members should keep all evaluations; a faculty member may wish to submit, and FAC may request, evaluations from courses prior to the last evaluation. In addition, letters from a sampling of students for whom the faculty member has been an advisor should be included in the file.
Earlham provides faculty members with a choice between the McKeachie evaluation form, and an "in house" evaluation form. Examples of both are included in this document in the Policy and Administrative Procedures section. Faculty members who wish to use a different form may do so with the advance approval of the Academic Dean.
Course evaluations are sent to the Registrar's Office where a record is made of which courses have been evaluated, the enrollment numbers for each course and the number of evaluations returned by students in the course. Sets of evaluations are then returned to teaching faculty. Faculty members should keep all their course evaluations and are responsible for seeing that evaluations are made available to FAC as part of their renewal and tenure files.
(d) Course Materials
Faculty members should include syllabi/course descriptions for their courses. In addition to the required syllabi, faculty members should also select additional course material (e.g. handouts, discussion questions, and writing, research and laboratory assignments) as appropriate.
(e) Colleague and Student Letters
Faculty members up for review are encouraged to include letters written by Earlham colleagues and students. Some people choose to include letters from persons at other institutions.
(f) External Review of Scholarship
As part of the four-year review and the tenure review file each faculty member is asked to suggest up to five outside individuals who might be asked to review the file, along with a brief explanation for each choice. People with whom the faculty member has had direct experience, for example a dissertation advisor, or a co-author should not be members of the list. The Academic Dean will select two for the fourth year review and three for the tenure review and has the option to ask for additional names from which to choose. The reviewers will be invited to read a package of the candidate’s work, which will include the self-evaluation, a cv, and anything the faculty member would like to submit for consideration. Individuals hired before 2013 who are on tenure track have the option of taking advantage of this opportunity.
Faculty will have the opportunity to respond to the evaluation of outside reviewers and that response will also become part of the file.
The external review of scholarship contributes to the evaluation of Quality of Mind, but other indicators also remain important to demonstrating Quality of Mind (see section B2b). "Scholarship" for this external review could include not only books, monographs, and published articles, but also conference papers, external grants, performances, exhibitions, and products of student-faculty collaborations as appropriate to the faculty member's position at Earlham. There is no specific numerical quota for the amount of scholarship that must be in the file; the emphasis instead is on the quality of that scholarship, as a demonstration of scholarly engagement within a faculty member's field and of overall Quality of Mind.
(g) Class Interviews
Occasionally people request that students in one or more of their courses be interviewed by a member or members of FAC. If this is done, a written record of the FAC members' interview with the class or classes will be part of the faculty members' file.
(h) Optional Materials
Other material or information may be included, as suggested by the faculty member. Examples might be copies of published articles, essays, books, or tapes of music or theater performances.
(i) Committee-requested information
FAC may find it desirable to request elaboration from the faculty members or a referee or to request that a letter be sent by a person familiar with the faculty member's work, but not asked by the faculty member to write. If a letter is desired, the faculty member will be consulted about the request. The committee will identify the concerns leading to the request and invite the faculty member to respond. If the faculty member refuses the request, FAC expects that an explanatory letter will be provided.
c. Decision Sequence
The foregoing evaluation material will be gathered by the Academic Dean's Office. These materials will be considered by the President, the Faculty Affairs Committee, and the Student Faculty Affairs Committee. They will strive to make a recommendation by consensus. (See also E.2 for more about this process.)
When the committees and the department or program reach opposite recommendations, the department or program may request a meeting to hear and respond to the reasons for the committees' recommendation.
If the assessment by the committees and the President of the teaching effectiveness of the faculty member differs critically from that of the department, and if the department has not already studied the evaluations [in reaching its recommendation], then the faculty member may permit the convener of the department (or other appropriate person chosen with the mutual consent of the department and the committees and the President) to have access to the course evaluation forms. If the representative strongly disagrees with the committee's interpretation of the student course evaluations, he or she may request that the recommendation be reconsidered.
Final responsibility for the decision rests with the President and (in the case of tenure decisions) with the Board of Trustees but with the advice, consultation, and seeking of consensus with the Faculty Affairs Committee and Student Faculty Affairs Committee.
Faculty Affairs Committee will minute in writing its recommendations and reasons or its reasons for being unable to reach consensus. A copy of this minute will be given to the candidate. If FAC and the President disagree, FAC will minute its own recommendation and reasons and will communicate this to the faculty member.
Following the evaluation process for contract renewal preceding consideration for tenure (usually during one's fourth year at Earlham), the faculty member will be informed of any questions which appear at that time to be relevant to the tenure decision. The Academic Dean will meet with the faculty member to discuss the minute.
3. Evaluations of the Teaching of Earlham Administrative Faculty Who also Teach
Many administrative faculty teach either regularly or on an occasional basis, and these faculty make important contributions to our educational program, even though teaching is not a formal part of their position description.
Faculty Affairs Committee undertakes the responsibility of reviewing the teaching of administrative faculty, not in order to arrive at a recommendation concerning contract renewal, but to provide a chance for collegial feedback. In some cases, FAC may recommend that the faculty member concentrate on their administrative duties. The normal cycle for review is every three years, or every five courses, whichever is least frequent. After one or more reviews on this cycle, the committee and faculty member may agree on another cycle better suited to the case.
The general format for collecting information for the file and for evaluation follows the pattern described for full-time teaching faculty in this section. Because fewer total courses are being considered, the quantity of material requested may be scaled back, and a subset of Faculty Affairs Committee, with or without Student Faculty Affairs Committee, may conduct the review.
Faculty Affairs Committee will send an evaluation minute to the faculty member and the faculty member's supervisor. A meeting of the faculty member and the Academic Dean concludes the process.
4. Evaluation of Part-Time and Adjunct Faculty
Continuing part-time faculty and adjunct faculty (see handbook section K for definitions of these roles) are evaluated according to the general guidelines for full-time teaching faculty outlined in this section of the handbook. Evaluations are scheduled for every three years or every five courses, whichever is less frequent. After the first such evaluation, the Academic Dean in consultation with Faculty Affairs Committee may establish a different cycle if one is more appropriate to an individual circumstance.
5. Evaluation of Visiting Faculty
From time to time, visiting faculty may stay at Earlham for more than a year. In such cases, Faculty Affairs Committee may ask them if they wish to be evaluated using procedures analogous to those for full-time teaching faculty. In such cases, the evaluation is for the purpose of providing useful feedback, and a minute of evaluation that can be used, if the faculty member wishes, in applying for positions elsewhere. Conducting such an evaluation is not for contract renewal, and no further position at Earlham is thereby being offered or assumed. Faculty Affairs Committee takes account of its workload in deciding whether these evaluations can be offered. They are not guaranteed. Evaluation of visiting faculty is required if the faculty member is being considered for an additional teaching assignment. (For a description of Visiting Appointments, see section O of this Handbook).