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RSCC Policy PA-26-02; Faculty Evaluation

RSCC Policy PA-26-02; Faculty Evaluation

Roane State Community College
Policy Number: PA-26-02
Subject: Faculty Evaluation
  1. Introduction
    A comprehensive and flexible system for faculty evaluation has been developed and is linked with an objective planning system. The Roane State philosophy of evaluation complies with the TBR minimum criteria for tenure and promotion. A primary goal of the college is to provide a means for the professional development of each faculty member. Each faculty member can benefit from the feedback received from evaluation and from being provided specific ideas for enhancing his/her teaching and professional skills. Through the process of fair and accurate evaluation, both Roane State and faculty members can grow.

    Faculty members are evaluated by their contribution within specialty areas. The most desired employees are excellent teachers, maintain high academic standards, and are proficient in their chosen fields. In addition, they strengthen the institution through a variety of other contributions. The most desired faculty are resourceful in supporting the mission of the college. Ideal faculty serve the institution in multiple capacities.
  2. Faculty Evaluation Plan
    1. Purpose
      1. To provide an assessment of faculty performance for the evaluation period.
      2. To provide both positive feedback and constructive criticism to faculty that can be used in the development of a self-improvement plan, when appropriate.
      3. To provide information for use in determining:
        1. Tenure
        2. Promotion
        3. Retention
    2. Evaluation Criteria
      Objectives cover the three major components of evaluation: Teaching, Service/Outreach, and Scholarship/Creative Activities/Research. Faculty objectives should be related to the objectives of the division and the college. The faculty member and the supervisor will jointly develop appropriate evaluation criteria.
      1. Teaching Activities. Since RSCC is a teaching institution, over half of the faculty evaluation will be based on teaching. The faculty member and supervisor consider performance objectives, student evaluations, classroom visitations, review of materials, etc., when evaluating the teaching component. Numerical ratings from students are listed and included as part of the annual faculty evaluation summary form.

        Evaluation of teaching may be based on elements such as the following:
        1. Ability to organize and present subject matter in a logical and meaningful way
        2. Ability to motivate and stimulate creativity in students
        3. Statement of teaching philosophy
        4. Course materials (i.e., course syllabi, handouts, exams/evaluation instruments, instructional materials)
        5. Student evaluations of the teaching performance
        6. Curriculum and/or program development
        7. Development and application of current instructional techniques
        8. Development and application of current teaching methodologies
        9. Ability to stay current in academic discipline
        10. Other evidence of excellence in teaching or mentoring, or both
      2. Non-Teaching ActivitiesService/Outreach.
        1. Service/Outreach. Service and/or outreach encompass a faculty member’s activities in college service, outreach or public service, and professional service. Evidence of performance in one or more of the following activities should be submitted. The dean and individual faculty member shall have the responsibility for determining the emphasis as well as the responsibility for determining specific criteria.
          1. College service refers to activities other than teaching and scholarship performed at the department or college level. It is expected of every faculty member; indeed, colleges could hardly function without conscientious faculty who perform committee work and other administrative responsibilities. College service includes, but is not limited to, serving on departmental committees, advising students, and participating in college activities and on college committees. More extensive citizenship functions such as membership on a specially appointed task force, serving as an advisor to a college-wide student organization, and membership on a college search committee should be taken into account in consideration for tenure.
          2. Scholarship/Creative Activities/Research. Faculty must present documented evidence of their scholarship, creative activities, and/or research. Such evidence may include but is not limited to typical professional development activities such as presentations at a professional meeting, journal editorship, article and grant proposal reviews, performances, exhibitions, or other artistic creations, as well as completing books, journal articles, or monographs, and other appropriate activities. The dean and individual faculty member shall have the responsibility for determining the emphasis as well as the responsibility for determining specific criteria.
          3. Professional service refers to the work done for organizations related to the faculty member’s discipline or to the teaching profession generally. Service to the profession includes activities such as service on statewide or TBR committees, guest lecturing on other campuses, and other appropriate activities.
        2. The outreach or public service function is the college’s outreach to the community and society at large, with major emphasis on the application of knowledge for the solution of problems with which society is confronted. Outreach primarily involves sharing professional expertise and should directly support the goals and mission of the college. A vital component of the college’s mission, public service must be performed at the same high levels of quality that characterize the teaching and research programs.
          1. The scholarship of teaching is a valid measure of research capability. It goes beyond doing a good job in the classroom; creative teachers should organize, record, and document their efforts in such a way that their colleagues may share their contributions to the art of teaching. Authoring appropriate textbooks or chapters within a book, writing educational articles, making presentations, and using innovative contributions to teaching constitute scholarship of teaching.
          2. Performances, compositions, and other artistic creations are examples of appropriate creative activities. Documentation of such activities might include written reviews and evaluations by qualified peers.
          3. Publications in journals or media of similar quality are considered indicators of professional and/or scholarly activity.
          4. Publications that are reviewed by peers are more significant than those that are not subjected to such rigorous examination. It should be emphasized that quality is more important than quantity.
  3. Evaluation Process
    The period of evaluation is January 1 through December 31. At the beginning of the evaluation period and by February 1 of the evaluation year, each faculty member develops a set of objectives and submits them to his or her supervisor for mutual agreement. The faculty member has the opportunity to revise these objectives, if necessary, at the mid-year review. After the end of the evaluation period, the faculty member submits a summary of accomplishments. The supervisor prepares the evaluation narrative summary form. The results are shared with the faculty member and reported to the administration along with the supervisor's recommendations.

    Any individual who feels that his/her evaluation warrants internal review may submit a written request to the Vice President for Student Learning. A five-member panel composed of recipients of the Benroth Outstanding Faculty Award reviews materials and makes an independent non-binding recommendation to the Vice President for Student Learning.
    1. Tenure-Track Faculty
      1. Student Evaluations - Course evaluations are required from all classes, and results are averaged on a spring to fall cycle.
      2. Peer Evaluations
        1. Mentor
          A mentor (a tenured faculty member from within the affected department or division) is provided for each newly-hired tenure-track faculty member. Assigned by the deans for the length of the probationary period and announced to the division, mentors fulfill an important function as they provide integral support for tenure-track faculty. The mentor assists the tenure-track faculty member through such avenues as helping him or her learn Roane State procedures, answering questions, and offering guidance in such areas as classroom management, use of materials, and curriculum issues. Mentors seek feedback from peers and serve as conduits for communication between division members and the candidates. Mentors also encourage tenure-track faculty members to interact with their peers as a way to encounter multiple perspectives pertaining to job expectations and as a way to build camaraderie within the division.

          Mentors participate in monitoring progress toward tenure, providing a nurturing environment, and offering feedback to address deficiencies and/or validate perceived strengths. To facilitate meaningful feedback, mentors are allowed access to evaluation data such as student comments recorded on student evaluation forms, peer review group comments recorded during peer review group voting meetings, classroom observations, and material reviews. During fall and spring semesters, each mentor writes a narrative summary of the tenure-track faculty member’s progress and submits the summary to the dean while providing a copy to the faculty member.

          The mentor does not diminish nor usurp the evaluative responsibilities of the dean/library director or program director. In situations where problem areas are identified, a dean may ask the mentor to collaborate with the faculty member to develop a plan for improvement. The dean and vice president of academic services are required to sanction the plan.

          Mentors may draw upon a wide variety of materials to help assess a probationary faculty member’s performance. A few examples follow:
          1. Access to Form E comments
          2. Access to comments on student evaluations (optional)
          3. Preliminary portfolio (optional)
          4. Classroom observation (optional)
          5. Material reviews (optional)
          6. Video assessment (optional)
          7. Feedback from other peers (optional)
          8. Other means of evaluating methodology (optional)
        2. Peers (Optional)
          Peer evaluation for the teaching component is optional and may include videotaped assessments, reviews of course materials, options appropriate to a division or program, and classroom observations. The purpose of the classroom visitation is to describe performance in such a way that the observations can be used with maximum usefulness and effectiveness. An observation consists of looking for specific items and noting actual examples of positive teaching behaviors. The specific information obtained becomes both the source of direction for new efforts and the source of motivation for developing self-improvement plans. The observation report can be used in developing new performance objectives. Peer evaluation options are selected as part of the performance objectives prepared by faculty members at the beginning of the year. Faculty members may accept or decline multiple requests to serve as a peer evaluator.

          Peers may draw upon a wide variety of materials to help assess a probationary faculty member’s performance. A few examples follow:
          1. Classroom observation (optional)
          2. Material reviews (optional)
          3. Other means of evaluating methodology (optional)
        3. Ad hoc tenure review committee (Optional)
          At all times (regardless of whether problems are perceived or not) in consultation with his/her mentor, tenure-track faculty may request a preliminary review by an ad hoc tenure review committee prior to application for tenure as a mechanism to assess the progress of the candidate toward tenure. This committee shall be composed of the mentor (who serves as chair), one tenured faculty from outside the department, the dean of the department where tenure will be granted, and, if desired, one tenured faculty member from outside the division.
      3. Dean/Library Director or Program Director Evaluation
        The evaluations encompass an annual initial conference, a mid-year review, and an end-of-the-year faculty evaluation narrative summary and may include a multitude of instruments depending upon both the required and optional evaluative data for faculty as specified in the evaluative schedule. In the case of a tenure-track employee, the dean/library director or program director reviews the evaluation data in a meeting with the faculty member after each semester. The faculty member is informed regarding his satisfactory or unsatisfactory performance. If the data, including input from the mentor and other peers, reflect deficiencies in the faculty member’s progress toward tenure, the deficiencies are discussed during the meeting. The dean, in collaboration with the mentor and faculty member, devises a plan to remedy the deficiencies with sufficient time given for the faculty member to address the problem areas. The dean also seeks the vice president of academic services’ approval of the improvement plan. Once such a plan is in place, the dean/library director or program director monitors performance each semester and refines the improvement plan as deemed necessary. If, however, after an adequate amount of time has passed (no more than two years), the teacher does not improve or shows no willingness to do the things necessary to improve his or her instruction or service to the college, the dean should not rehire the individual.

        The dean/library director assesses a probationary faculty member’s performance through classroom observation and annual review as illustrated in the schedule below:
        1. Classroom observations
          1. Minimum two visits per year (first and second year)
          2. Minimum one visit per year (third and fourth year)
        2. Annual review
          1. Initial conference – completes faculty evaluation agreement
          2. Mid-year review – monitors progress and modifies objectives
          3. End-of-year faculty evaluation summary – assesses overall performance
          4. Committee participation feedback comments
    2. Tenured Faculty
      1. Student Evaluations – One class minimum per semester
      2. Peer evaluations (optional)
      3. Classroom observation (optional)
      4. Material reviews (optional)
      5. Other means of evaluating methodology (optional)
      6. Dean/Library Director or Program Director evaluation
      7. Annual review
      8. Initial conference – completes faculty evaluation agreement
      9. Mid-year review (optional) – monitors progress and modifies objectives
      10. End-of-year faculty evaluation summary – assesses overall performance
      11. Classroom observations (optional)
      12. Material reviews (optional)
      13. Other means of evaluating methodology (optional)
      14. Committee participation forms
  4. Faculty Development
    Each year all faculty members along with their supervisors formulate a faculty evaluation agreement. Through an annual review of the faculty evaluation agreement, improvement opportunities may be identified and improvement objectives may be set. For those faculty whose evaluation results indicate a problem that warrants special attention, a more formal development plan could include, but is not limited to, the completion of additional coursework, attendance at specific professional development seminars, assignment of professional readings, increased class observations or other appropriate activities.

    In the event that a faculty member and his/her supervisor cannot agree on the extent of the performance issue or on the content of the plan of development, an internal review may be pursued as outlined in Section III, Evaluation Process.

    Whatever deficiencies are identified must have some type of plan to address them using college resources as appropriate and/or available as outlined in TBR policy 5:02:01:05.

    In those cases where faculty members decline to participate in the creation of faculty development plans, do not follow the agreed upon plans, or do not succeed in correcting identified problems over time, it will be necessary for further review and action as defined in RSCC policy PA-22-01. (Access the complete detailed RSCC policy PA-22-01, Academic Tenure, at

TBR Policy Reference: 5:02:01:05
Revision Date Effective: 04/03/2006
Revision Approval By: Gary Goff, President
Original Date Effective: 01/11/1988
Original Approval By: Cuyler A. Dunbar, President
Office Responsible: Vice President Student Learning
Reviewed: 06/05/2014

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