5e.1. How are faculty evaluated? How regular, systematic, and comprehensive are the unit evaluations of adjunct/part-time, tenured, and non-tenured faculty, as well as graduate teaching assistants?
Candidates evaluate faculty through UAA’s IDEA course evaluation system every semester. In addition, UAA has established a comprehensive evaluation process for faculty.
Pursuant to the Collective Bargaining Agreement (Article 9 Faculty Status), faculty are evaluated regularly and in writing. “Evaluations shall appraise the extent to which each unit member has met the performance [workload] assignment, the extent to which the unit member's professional growth and development has proceeded, and the prospects for the unit member's continued professional growth and development. Evaluations shall also identify changes, if any, in emphasis required for promotion, tenure and continued professional growth and may result in the initiation of processes to improve performance” (9.2). Faculty annually provide CVs and Annual Activity Reports for review by department chairs and deans.
The evaluation processes for tenure-track and tenured faculty occur on a specified schedule; are systematic in that they are consistent across all UAA campuses and the processes and requirements are delineated in the UA Board of Regents Policy, UAA Faculty Handbook, UAA collective bargaining agreements, and college/school handbooks; and are comprehensive in that they require a review of all aspects of the faculty member’s workload and involve multiple levels of review by peer committees and administrators.
Non-tenure track (term) faculty are evaluated annually during their first 3 years of employment and then no less than every 3 years thereafter, or upon written request by the faculty member. The department chair or dean may initiate an evaluation by giving written notice at any time during the period of employment. Term faculty provide current CVs and self-reviews to the department chair and dean as part of the evaluation process.
Evaluation of the performance of adjuncts and part-time faculty is the responsibility of the department chairs or directors and is conducted annually. Results from candidates’ course evaluations, input from program or department faculty, and the quality of completed work assignments all help to determine if continuing adjunct or part-time appointments should be renewed.
Standard 5E Exhibit 7 describes the promotion and tenure policies and procedures at UAA and within COE. Standard 5E Exhibit 8 provides samples of faculty evaluation forms.
5e.2. How well do faculty perform on the unit's evaluations?
Standard 5E Exhibit 9 displays all faculty evaluation results referenced below. Tenure-track and tenured faculty tend to perform well with regard to the unit’s evaluations. The Summary of 2006-09 Promotion and Tenure Decisions demonstrates that 87% of faculty who were evaluated were successful.
The IDEA course evaluation system was implemented in 2007 and candidates and faculty are still adjusting to the new format. Although COE achieved the highest response rate across UAA colleges in the first year of implementation, the average response rate for COE candidate course evaluations remains below that suggested for dependable results. However, the IDEA Group Summary Report (also titled Student Ratings of Instruction) suggests that candidates have a positive perception of the quality of instruction provided by COE faculty. When compared to the IDEA database, the teaching effectiveness of COE faculty appears to be superior, overall teaching effectiveness appears to be highly favorable, and overall instructional effectiveness is interpreted as unusually high. Similarly, when compared to other UAA faculty, the average scores for teaching effectiveness for COE faculty exceed those of the institution’s faculty and the instructional effectiveness is interpreted as unusually high.
Some program areas request that candidates evaluate their school-based mentors and clinical faculty. Some also ask the school-based mentors to evaluate the University’s clinical faculty. As indicated in the exhibit, both mentors and clinical faculty tend to receive very good ratings.
5e.3. How are faculty evaluations used to improve teaching, scholarship, and service?
Faculty evaluations are an important mechanism to improve teaching, scholarship, and service. The department chairs meet with each faculty member in the spring semester to determine workloads for the upcoming academic year. This process allows individual faculty members, in partnership with the department chair, to develop workloads that balance the particular skills and interests of each faculty member with the teaching and service demands of the department.
Candidate evaluations of instruction and courses via IDEA allow faculty members and the department chair an opportunity to jointly examine faculty/course strengths, and to discuss areas requiring additional focus. This is a collaborative process and serves as a specific mechanism through which these discussions take place.
Faculty evaluations related to promotion and tenure require a more in-depth review and analysis not only of teaching and service, but of scholarship as well. At the beginning of each academic year, faculty must submit an Annual Activity Report summarizing their workload activities of the preceding year. This process provides an opportunity for individual faculty members and the department chair to work together in a collegial manner to plan activities for the future that support individual faculty growth around teaching, scholarship, and service.
In addition to the collegial processes with department chairs, the dean provides specific feedback to tenure-track and tenured faculty indicating whether they have met the standards for success in the tripartite or bipartite workload for their particular rank. They are advised of the expectations for their continuation at the current rank as well as promotion to the next level and are offered suggestions on strategies for meeting those expectations.