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Faculty Policy Series #14

Evaluation of Faculty

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  1. Faculty shall be evaluated in the fall of each year to establish qualifications for recommendations for reappointment, increase of salary, promotion and tenure.
    This evaluation shall be so conducted that the faculty member cooperates in the initial stages of compiling evidence, is informed of the progress through channels of his/her recommendation and is enabled to register agreement or disagreement with the recommendation of his/her chair and academic dean.
    Department chairs will, to the best of their ability and after consulting the tenured members of the department and the appropriate dean, try to give the faculty member some indication of the prospects for obtaining tenure. If a chair feels that he/she cannot make such a judgment, he/she should explain the reasons to the candidate.
    When a chair is newly appointed (since the period of the last evaluation), the academic dean of that area shall decide whether the evaluation shall be conducted by the chair or whether the dean shall appoint an individual or group of individuals to perform this task. When the academic dean is newly appointed, the evaluation shall take place in a manner prescribed by the Provost.
    Faculty in their terminal year need not be evaluated by chairs.
  2. Guiding Principles for Faculty Evaluation
    Teaching, professional activity, service to the University, and service to the community are all of value to the University and should be considered in evaluating faculty. The relative order of importance of these activities is the same as that indicated above, as listed on the standardized evaluation form.
    Since it is unlikely if not impossible for any individual to perform extensively in all four evaluation areas within a given academic year, each faculty member should be evaluated primarily in connection with the tasks in which he/she is engaged. Thus, if an individual is burdened with heavy committee assignments, his/her evaluation should be largely in terms of the extent and calibre of the fulfillment of these assignments. The faculty member who is not so burdened might be expected to engage more fully, for example, in professional activity. The faculty member who has invested heavily in reworking his/her courses, or is engaged in substantial departmental curriculum revision, is entitled to be evaluated in terms of the extent and calibre of these efforts. Within limits, these choices must not be charged against him/her if we are to encourage the best possible teaching and curriculum. Differences among faculty must also be recognized. An individual may be an important asset to the University without performing in all the above-mentioned areas even over the long run. Even the highest esteem for original research does not require that an entire faculty be so engaged. In fact, some balance between research and other functions may well be necessary to the University's welfare. For example, a good instructor who carries his/her work into the community, informing a larger audience as to his/her field (through lectures, popular and semi-popular writings, television and radio performances, etc.) may be a great asset to the University. Such activity may also serve as an important contribution to one's discipline, even though it is not an original contribution. Similarly, a quality teacher who does a regularly high-quality job within the University -- for example, with significant student activities or with curriculum -- may be making an important contribution. In both types of cases discussed above, high quality teaching is assumed. No case is made for the poor teacher. Nor is a case made for the person who restricts himself/herself entirely to his/her assigned tasks.
    In addition to these general considerations, there are some additional concerns which should be borne in mind in evaluating individual faculty members:
    1. The new instructor who is working on his/her doctorate must be recognized as a special case for purposes of evaluation. Little should be expected of him/her, over and above his/her teaching, besides progress in doctoral work. This holds, of course, only within reasonable time limits. Some agreement should be reached between the instructor and his/her chair at the time of first employment as to what would constitute a reasonable rate of progress and a reasonable expectation as regards completion of the degree. Such an agreement might well be written out and placed in the instructor's folder. For good reasons such an agreement might be reviewed and revised.
    2. Although some benefits may nebulously accrue to Hofstra as faculty become pillars of their communities, general participation in and service of one's community is not an appropriate criterion for professional evaluation. Thus, the "community" service category for evaluating faculty should include only those types of service which are clearly related to one of the other three evaluation categories. For example, if and only if a speech is related to the professional work of the faculty member, should it be relevant to his/her professional evaluation.
    3. Finally, all relevant activities and contributions should be evaluated in terms of quality as well as quantity. Despite the difficulties of qualitative assessment, to sanction quantity of activity as sufficient condition for favorable evaluation is to invite an inferior product.
  3. Procedures for Processing of Evaluation Forms
    1. The dean fills out Section B of the Evaluation Form and turns it over to the faculty member.
    2. The faculty member then fills out Section A of the Evaluation Form listing his/her activities during the past academic year.
    3. The faculty member then meets with his/her chair for discussion and clarification of his/her entries on the form.
    4. The chair enters his/her evaluation of the faculty member's activities in Section C.
    5. The chair shows the form, now containing his/her recommendation, to the faculty member, who signs either with agreement or disagreement.  If the faculty member chooses, he/she may make comments in the space provided to which the chair may respond. (Section D)
    6. In the event of disagreement, a three-way review of the case will be held among the academic dean, chair and faculty member, each of whom shall sign at Section E.1, or waived in which case the faculty member shall sign at E.2.
    7. The Dean shall either: (a) sign the form without comment and forward it to the Provost with a copy to the faculty member; or (b) add comments (required in case of a three-way review) and return the form to the faculty member for signature and possible comment.  If (b), the faculty member shall sign the form, add comments (if desired) and return it to the dean, who shall forward it to the provost.

FPS #14
(rev. 2006)