Overview: A tenure-track member of the faculty undergoes a second-year review in the spring semester of the second year of the first six years of his or her appointment. As both formative and summative, this review provides feedback on progress towards a successful tenure review and identifies areas that require attention prior to a tenure review.
The Process: The second-year review is conducted very early in the spring semester (January) by the tenure-track faculty member’s department/program Chair. The candidate prepares an updated portfolio for this review. The department/program Chair reviews materials on teaching, scholarship and service included in the candidate’s portfolio. The department/program Chair (or, with the approval of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, a designated senior colleague in the department/program) will also observe three of the candidate’s classes in the fall semester prior to the review. Additionally, the department/program Chair will review the candidate’s college-wide student evaluations and grade distributions for all classes taught during the review period.
The department Chair will receive input from at least two senior members of the department. The program Chair will receive input from at least two senior faculty members in the program or faculty designated by the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Faculty housed in departments but engaged in significant interdisciplinary scholarship or significant and regular teaching in interdisciplinary programs will be evaluated by the department Chair and two other senior faculty, normally the program Chair and a senior faculty member designated by the Vice President for Academic Affairs in consultation with the Chairs. These senior members of the department and/or program will be identified in the fall of the candidate’s first year of service at the College and designated in the PRS. When possible, the senior faculty who participate in the second-year review will remain in place through the tenure review in order to ensure continuity of observation and feedback.
Input from these senior department/program members will be informed by observations from class visits during the previous two semesters (at least one class session during the first year and one class session in the fall semester of the second year) and a review of the candidate’s portfolio. These senior members of the department/program will meet as a group with the department/program Chair to discuss their observations and findings.
The department/program Chair then makes a determination regarding the candidate’s progress in each category of evaluation using the description of performance described in the previous section (Section VIII). The department/program Chair then meets with the candidate to discuss the Chair’s assessment as well as the candidate’s plans for future work.
The department/program Chair’s written assessment of the candidate’s progress in each category of evaluation (including the reasons for the assessments) and the candidate’s portfolio are sent to the Vice President for Academic Affairs, usually late in January. The Vice President for Academic Affairs will have an initial meeting with the department/program Chair to discuss the Chair’s assessment and the Vice President’s assessment of the candidate’s progress. This is followed by a meeting with the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the department/program Chair, and the candidate to discuss his or her progress. The Vice President for Academic Affairs will provide a written summary of the outcome of the review focusing on the candidate’s progress in the areas of teaching, scholarship, and service with recommendations for improvement when necessary. If progress is deemed to be insufficient, the Vice President for Academic Affairs will communicate this in the letter as well. This letter will become part of the official record examined during the fourth-year review. After the meeting with the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the department/program Chair will have a follow-up meeting with the candidate to discuss the feedback from the review process and to assist the candidate in identifying strategies to foster an ongoing positive trajectory in each category of evaluation.
In the case of departments/programs with fewer than three senior faculty members, an ad hoc department/program committee for a tenure-track faculty member will be constituted in the first year and specified in the PRS. One or two ad hoc department/program committee members will be designated by the Vice President for Academic Affairs in consultation with the senior members of the candidate’s department/program and the candidate. Ad hoc department/program committee members will be expected to engage in regular classroom visitations, as well as have a conversation with the candidate concerning teaching and scholarship expectations. Normally, the ad hoc department/program committee will continue to evaluate the candidate through the tenure review, even if the department/program grows to more than three senior members between the candidate’s first and sixth year. This will help to ensure continuity of observation and feedback throughout the probationary period.