IX. Processes and Procedures to be followed in the Evaluation of a Member of the Faculty

The work of the Faculty is outlined in Section VII. This work is expected to be done at a level of accomplishment that meets or exceeds the standard of excellence set by the College as detailed in Section VIII above. This section of the “Statement of Policies and Procedures in regard to Faculty” is a compilation of the procedures that govern the collection of information about the performance of a faculty member. It identifies those persons, committees, and administrative officers involved in the task of making assessments.

Assessments of Faculty occur periodically, based on the standing of a member of the Faculty. Probationary members of the Faculty undergo reviews at the Department/program level (A below), in their second year (B below), in their fourth year (C below) and in their sixth year (D below) of appointment. These reviews focus on progress towards and eligibility for a contract with tenure in the seventh year of appointment. Promotion to the rank of Associate Professor normally coincides with the awarding of tenure. Subsequent to the granting of a contract with tenure, members of the Faculty are reviewed every six years (E below). A special review applies to those members of the Faculty who are eligible and apply for promotion to the rank of Professor (F below).

Input into the assessment processes includes evaluations by students, by colleagues both within and from outside the department/program of the faculty member, and in some cases by faculty members at other institutions within the discipline of the faculty member.

Evaluation by students is achieved in two ways:

  1. Near the end of a course, a college-wide evaluation instrument, approved by the Faculty and the Vice President for Academic Affairs, is administered.
  2. Questionnaires are distributed in support of the fourth- and sixth-year reviews and in support of the review for promotion to Full Professor.

The college-wide student evaluations are administered in all courses taught by probationary faculty members and part-time officers of instruction, and in at least one course taught each semester by each tenured faculty member. In the latter case, evaluations should be administered to ensure that the variety of courses taught by each tenured faculty member is represented.

For each of the reviews outlined below, the special obligations of colleagues for assessments are noted. Colleague evaluations from within or beyond the Rhodes Faculty may be requested at any time should the department and/or program Chair(s) and the Vice President for Academic Affairs deem it necessary.

A shift in curricular requirements or a substantial change in enrollment patterns may make it necessary to change the definition of a position in the Faculty from tenure-track to temporary or to eliminate the position entirely. The tenure-track member of the Faculty in such a position will be informed about the possibility of a change in status as early as is reasonably possible. Reappointment or tenure may be denied if such shifts have reduced the need for a permanent position in the department/program of the faculty member.

Terms and definitions that apply to section IX:

Candidate – Any faculty member undergoing an evaluation.

CV – A faculty member’s CV may be disciplinarily specific but for evaluative purposes should include at a minimum all professional work accomplished by the faculty member and all records of service to the College and community.

Portfolio – For purposes of evaluation a portfolio consists of a current CV, annual Position Responsibility Statement(s) (PRS), a list of courses taught during the evaluation period, syllabi for each of these courses, and samples of assigned work and exams. Copies of all scholarly achievements (e.g., published work, sound recordings, images of artwork, etc.) should be included in the portfolio. The portfolio also includes a narrative statement (normally three-five double-spaced, pages) that discusses the faculty member’s performance and trajectory in the areas of teaching, scholarship, and service. Examples of types of information to discuss include: a description of teaching philosophy as it relates to courses taught during this period, a description of the feedback given to students on graded assignments, additional teaching experiences, new course development, major changes to existing courses, any initiatives taken to improve teaching, a description of scholarship that has been completed or published during the review period as well as a trajectory for ongoing scholarly activities, and a description of forms of service to the department/program, College, and/or to the wider community, and any other forms of professional activity within the faculty member’s academic discipline. Candidates should update their portfolios annually; these portfolios will be assessed at all stages of review during the probationary period and post-tenure reviews.

Position Responsibility Statement (PRS) - This is a narrative description of faculty responsibilities in teaching, scholarship, and institutional service created in collaboration by the faculty member, Department Chair, Program Chair, and Vice President for Academic Affairs. The PRS specifies teaching commitments to departments and programs, scholarship expectations for the candidate, advising and general service expectations, and evaluation personnel.

Scholarship –research and/or creative activity outcomes as specified in department or program scholarship expectations. All department and program scholarship expectations are approved by the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Each candidate’s scholarship or creative activity expectations are specified in the PRS.

Senior member of the department/program – A full-time, tenured faculty member in the department/program.

Teaching Evaluation Committee – A group of three or four colleagues appointed during the candidate’s first term with special responsibility for assessing classroom teaching during the second-, fourth-, and sixth-year reviews. The members of this committee will normally continue to serve during the candidate’s entire probationary period. Normally, these committees are comprised of the Chair of the faculty member’s home department or home program and two senior faculty members. For faculty with significant interdisciplinary teaching commitments, the Chair of the program normally will serve on the Teaching Evaluation Committee. In the sixth-year review, this group also includes a senior faculty member who does not reside in the candidate’s department or program. Where fewer than three senior members of the department/program exist, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, in consultation with the Chair of the Department/Program, will appoint ad hoc members to fill out these committees as necessary. Committee membership for all Teaching Evaluation Committees leading up to tenure will be specified in the PRS in the first year of the candidate’s appointment.

Tenure-track faculty member – A faculty member in her or his first six years of service at the College, who is on a tenure-track appointment but has not yet achieved tenure.

Special Provisions for Changes in Section IX of the “Statement of Policies and Procedures in regard to Faculty”

Modifications in the processes and procedures outlined in this section of the “Statement of Policies and Procedures in regard to Faculty” are operational matters. Modifications may be initiated by committees of the Faculty or by members of the College administration. All modifications must be approved by the Faculty and the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Modifications are then reported to the Committee of Student Learning of the Board of Trustees. The Committee may bring such matters to the attention of the Board of Trustees for further action as deemed necessary. As such, changes in this section (Section IX) fall outside the procedure for modifying the “Statement of Policies and Procedures in regard to Faculty” prescribed in Section I.