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3.7.2 Faculty evaluation

The institution regularly evaluates the effectiveness of each faculty member in accord with published criteria, regardless of contractual or tenured status. (Faculty evaluation)

Judgment of Compliance

Sam Houston State University regularly evaluates its faculty members in accord with published criteria, regardless of contractual or tenured status. Chapter V, paragraph 4.28 of The Texas State University System Rules and Regulations requires an annual evaluation of all faculty within The Texas State University System [1]. These annual reviews cover tenured and tenure-track faculty, non-tenure track faculty, and graduate teaching assistants. Whereas the tenure/tenure-track faculty will be reviewed on the basis of their teaching effectiveness, scholarly or creative accomplishments, and service, the non-tenure track faculty will only be evaluated on their assigned duties. The reviews involve face-to-face meetings with supervisors (e.g., deans, department/school heads, and/or program coordinators). The results of these faculty evaluations are housed and available in the respective chair’s office with summaries available in office of their dean [2].

The evaluation processes are designed to fit the specific faculty appointments that exist at Sam Houston State University and take into account that faculty consist of tenure/tenure-track faculty and non-tenure-track faculty [3]. The University’s teaching evaluation policy [4] also governs the procedures and processes for evaluating the effectiveness of all instructors. All of these policies are published in the Faculty Handbook and Academic Policy Manual which are available online through the Faculty Section and the Academic Affairs homepage [5] [6] [7].

Faculty members are evaluated based on the specific duties assigned to them, according to criteria established in the Faculty Evaluation System: (1) effectiveness in the classroom and their ability to teach those courses to which they have been assigned (teaching effectiveness is an integral part of the evaluation process for all faculty); (2) research productivity as measured by publications, presentations, research activity, grants, and other recognition of quality in research; and (3) school, university, or professional service [8]. A faculty member’s performance in these areas serve as the basis for determining merit raises for tenured and tenure-track faculty, as well as faculty development, promotion in academic rank, contract review for probationary faculty, and retention of non-tenure track faculty [8]. Additional evaluation criteria are used in making tenure and promotion decisions of tenured/tenure-track faculty [9].

Evaluation of Teaching
The teaching performance of all faculty members, regardless of their status in the university and all teaching assistants who are instructors of record is evaluated each semester, using the nationally-normed IDEA Center’s Survey Form – Student Reactions to Instruction and Courses adopted in 2005 [10]. The course evaluations allow students the opportunity to provide feedback to instructors regarding accomplishment of course objectives and course effectiveness.

Evaluations may be conducted online or in class during the last few weeks of the semester. Evaluations administered in-class are conducted during the first 20-25 minutes of the period. The instructor is required to read a prepared statement on the importance of teaching evaluations, buy may not be in the classroom while evaluations are performed. A student or colleague per department/school/college guidelines is appointed to distribute, gather, and deliver the evaluation forms to the department/school chair’s office. Federal and state law protects each student’s privacy rights. For this reason, the class instructor does not have access to completed individual survey forms or score summaries until after all grades have been submitted to the Registrar. Even then, any information on the forms that identifies a student is redacted prior to being provided to the instructor [11].

The course evaluations ask students to rate the efficacy of the instructor and course materials on a five point scale. A sample evaluation is included in the supporting documents [10]. All completed forms are sent to be scored at the IDEA Center, housed at Kansas State University. Summary reports for each class, as well as composite reports , are returned to the University several weeks after the semester for distribution to individual faculty, department/school chairs, and deans.

The information gathered in the evaluation process is used by department chairs, program coordinators, and deans in their annual reviews of their faculty [4]. The summary data are housed in the individual departments/schools and colleges as well as the Office of Institutional Research.

Evaluation of Tenured Faculty (Post-Tenure Review)
Chapter V, paragraph 4.28.2 of the Rules and Regulations of The Texas State University System implements Section 51.942 of the Texas Education Code which requires that the performance of all tenured faculty members be reviewed and that the reviews should “be directed toward the professional development of the faculty member” [12] [13].

In accordance with Academic Policy Statement 980204 “Performance Evaluation of Tenured Faculty” every tenured faculty member will be given a comprehensive performance evaluation every fifth year after receiving tenure, a promotion, returning to a faculty position following an administrative assignment, or after a previous comprehensive performance evaluation [14]. Exceptions to this schedule can be made by the chair when there is a sufficient reason (e.g. illness) to do so, but the period must not extend beyond six years.

The comprehensive performance evaluation will normally begin in the spring with written notification by the chair to the faculty member. The date for this notification is specified in the policy along with the dates involving the secret ballot vote of the assembled Department Promotion and Tenure Advisory Committee (DPTAC). The periodic comprehensive performance evaluation focuses on helping the faculty member improve performance in the conduct of professional duties.

Information gathered in the Faculty Evaluation System is used as support data during the Performance Evaluation of Tenured Faculty process. The Post-Tenure Review process makes use of FES records for the five most recent years. If a simple majority of the tenured faculty determine that the faculty member exceeds the accepted minimum standards of the unit, then that faculty member is certified as satisfying the Performance Evaluation of Tenured Faculty and no further actions are required. Members of the tenured faculty who for good cause cannot be present for voting may submit an absentee secret ballot to the chair of the department.

A faculty member, who has been judged to be performing below the appropriate minimum level as a result of a negative vote in the Periodic Comprehensive Performance Evaluation, is required to formulate and follow a Plan for Assisted Faculty Development (PAFD). The goal of the PAFD is to aid in restoring the faculty member to a level of performance that meets or exceeds the appropriate minimum. The PAFD delineates the specific sort of activities or accomplishments necessary to bring about the restoration of adequate performance. The PAFD is developed promptly and in consultation with peers as well as the chair. Although each PAFD is tailored to specific circumstances, each plan will:

• identify specific deficiencies to be addressed.
• define specific goals or results necessary to remedy the deficiencies.
• outline the activities to be undertaken to achieve the necessary results.
• indicate the criteria used for assessing progress in meeting the plan.
• identify reasonable institutional resources to be committed in support of the plan.

The chair and the faculty member should sign the PAFD to indicate their agreement with the terms of the plan. If the chair and the faculty member are unable to come to agreement on a suitable plan, they consult others, including the dean, in an attempt to reconcile their differences. If there is still no agreement, then the faculty member will be required to adhere to the PAFD as formulated by chair. A copy of the plan shall be sent for information to the dean of the college and to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs [14].

Annual Reviews
In accordance with timelines established by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, all faculty at Sam Houston State University are required to submit, for review, to their respective department/school chair an annual report of the faculty member’s professional activity. This report includes an updated curriculum vita, a narrative of the faculty member’s scholarly, research or creative accomplishments, and service activities for the most recent calendar year [15]. The results of the reviews are used in determining salary adjustments and the extent to which additional faculty support might be necessary to optimize faculty development. At the same time, for tenure-track faculty, the accumulated reviews over the entire probationary period provide critical data for tenure recommendations. Deans and department/school chairs also use the annual reviews to determine merit recommendations and to identify faculty who do not meet the general performance levels of their unit and to provide these individuals with advice and support. Additionally, the reviews of non-tenure-track faculty provide a basis for re-employment decisions [6]. All faculty evaluations are filed in the faculty member’s personnel file in the respective department/school office.

Third Year Review
In addition to their annual review, all untenured tenure-track faculty are required to undergo an extensive third-year review. As part of this third-year review, each untenured faculty member’s teaching performance, research productivity, and service is evaluated. The third-year review is conducted by the departmental tenure committee (DPTAC). The DPTAC relies upon information provided by the candidate including evidence of teaching performance, research productivity, and service. The chair of this committee reports to the dean.

The primary purpose of the review is to provide the candidate and the school with guidance concerning the likelihood of the candidate obtaining tenure. If the faculty member’s performance is not meeting departmental expectations, guidance is provided as what needs to be done to increase the likelihood of a successful tenure decision. Written faculty comments also are solicited. The general result (whether the vote was favorable or not favorable) is reported to the probationer by the department chair and dean. A written summary of the DPTAC’s assessment and the department chair’s review is kept in the probationer’s tenure file [16].

Promotion and Tenure Review
Tenure and promotion review procedures at Sam Houston State University are published in the Sam Houston State University Faculty Handbook and Academic Policy Statement 900417 as revised September 6, 2006 [5] [17]. The process requires the formation of the appropriate DPTAC to review faculty credentials for promotion and tenure decisions. The DPTAC shall be an advisory body composed ordinarily of all of the tenured faculty members appointed in the tenure unit. The dean shall appoint the chair for this committee. The full DPTAC shall limit its recommendations to tenure decisions. Decisions about promotion should be made by all members of the DPTAC holding at least the rank for which the candidate is being considered for promotion. All votes by the committee shall be done by secret ballot. A separate record of the vote count for tenure and/or promotion from the DPTAC members shall be transmitted to the appropriate administrator and to the Standing Faculty Tenure Committee [18]. Decisions of the committee are based upon a review of the teaching, scholarly and/or creative accomplishments, service record and collegiality of the candidate, who submits a tenure and/or promotion file for the committee’s deliberations. To be recommended for tenure and/or promotion, an applicant must document a sustained pattern of professional competence and effectiveness in each of the categories of performance (i.e., teaching, research and/or creative accomplishments, and service). The results of the vote of the DPTAC are transmitted to the chair of the Standing Faculty Tenure Committee and the chair of the corresponding department/school. The recommendations of the chair are then forwarded to the dean of the college and subsequently the Provost for further review and recommendation. The final university recommendation is made by the President who, in compliance with Chapter 5, paragraph 4.21 of The Texas State University System Rules and Regulations [19], forwards the university recommendation to the Board of Regents who makes the final decision.

Administrative Faculty
Should a faculty member receive an administrative assignment (see APS 790601, Section 4.01c), [20] the faculty member will receive a separate evaluation for the administrative assignment utilizing FES X (see APS 820317, Section 1.06) as well as the standard evaluation described above [21].

Supporting Documentation
Documentation Reference
Document Title
[1] The Texas State University System, Rules and Regulations, Chapter V, Section 4.28
[2] Academic Policy Statement 820317 – The Faculty Evaluation System, Section 6
[3] Academic Policy Statement 800114 - Academic Instructional Staffing, Section 5
[4] Academic Policy Statement 820317 – The Faculty Evaluation System, Sections 2 and 3
[5] Faculty Handbook, SHSU
[6] Academic Affairs, Division of, Webpage
[7] Faculty/Staff, Webpage
[8] Academic Policy Statement 820317 – The Faculty Evaluation System, Section 1.01
[9] Academic Policy Statement 900417 - Faculty Reappointment, Tenure and Promotion, Section 5
[10] IDEA Student Reactions to Instruction and Courses Form
[11] Academic Policy Statement 820317 – The Faculty Evaluation System, Section 3
[12] The Texas State University System, Rules and Regulations, Chapter V, Section 4.28.2
[13] Texas Statutes Education Code, Chapter 51, Section 51.942
[14] Academic Policy Statement 980204 - Performance Evaluation of Tenured Faculty
[15] Academic Policy Statement 820317 – The Faculty Evaluation System, Sections 4 and 5
[16] Academic Policy Statement 900417 - Faculty Reappointment, Tenure and Promotion, Section 7.05
[17] Academic Policy Statement 900417 - Faculty Reappointment, Tenure and Promotion
[18] Standing Faculty Tenure Committee, SHSU
[19] The Texas State University System, Rules and Regulations, Chapter V, Section 4.21
[20] Academic Policy Statement 790601 - Faculty Instructional Workload Policy, Section 4.01c
[21] Academic Policy Statement 820317 – The Faculty Evaluation System, Section 1.06


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Sam Houston State University
Huntsville, TX 77341
(936) 294-1111