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Faculty Annual Performance Review Policy

The goal of this policy is to provide a general common framework applicable to ALL academic departments at the University of Houston (UH) within which they will conduct and manage their faculty annual performance review (F-APR) process. This policy is intended to outline an open, fair, and transparent F-APR process. The F-APR results should inform and guide decisions on merit-based adjustments. Additionally, for tenured faculty members, not meeting expectations in the F-APR will initiate a post-tenure review (PTR). In enacting this policy, the Office of the Provost does not intend to dictate to individual departments or disciplines the relative importance of one specific activity compared to another. However, in creating individual department/unit F-APR policies under this policy, it is incumbent upon the department/unit to ensure that the faculty activities identified as being of value are also clearly aligned with the strategic goals of the department/unit, college, and university. The F-APR process, including review and completion of the faculty dispute process (see number 11 below), must be completed by the last business day of February each year.

Under this policy, each department/unit is required to develop its own F-APR process and documentation that satisfies the following requirements:

  1. Written Department/Unit F-APR Policy: Each department or academic unit must have a detailed written F-APR policy document describing all aspects and provide a detailed timeline/calendar of the F-APR process utilized within the department/unit. The written policy document must describe the process for conducting F-APRs not only for tenured and tenure-track (T/TT) faculty members but also for all non-tenure track (NTT) faculty members (including all “instructors of record”) in the department/unit.
  2. Performance Categories: The F-APR department/unit policy must explain the performance categories of Excellent, Good, Fair, and Not Meeting Expectations. Numerical performance ratings may also be used, with the numbers corresponding to each of the four performance categories specified. For example, a department/unit that uses a four-point scale could indicate that 4=Excellent, 3=Good, 2=Fair, and 1=Not Meeting Expectations. Other scales, such as a 10-point scale, may indicate numerical ranges for the performance categories, such as “8-10=Excellent, 5-7=Good, 3-4=Fair, and 0-2=Not Meeting Expectations.”
  3. Performance Expectations: To the maximum extent possible, the departmental/unit F-APR policy should provide detailed performance expectations and examples that would fall into each performance category. Performance rated in the Not Meeting Expectations category should be clearly distinguished from the other categories.
  4. Alignment with Faculty Appointment and Workload: For all faculty members (tenured, tenure-track, non-tenure track) and instructors of record, the review criteria, performance expectations, and scope of the F-APR process employed shall be appropriate to and aligned with the professional roles and responsibilities of the type of faculty appointment held within the unit. The review must be conducted in the context of each faculty member’s workload distribution (refer to the UH Faculty Workload Policy). Within a department/unit, the F-APR process shall be consistent, as much as possible, for individuals having the same faculty title/position, rank, and professional responsibilities.
  5. Performance Data Submission: The department/unit F-APR policy should describe expectations for faculty member submission of performance data relevant to each faculty member’s professional responsibilities during the review period. The policy should clearly provide the pre-determined, standard format and deadline for submission of the performance data. Faculty who do not submit their F-APR performance data by the deadline established by their department/unit policy will be identified as Not Meeting Expectations. It should be noted that the extent and format of the performance data required as part of the F-APR process may differ depending on the roles and responsibilities of each faculty title/position but shall be consistent, as much as possible, for individuals holding the same faculty title/position, rank, and professional responsibilities.
  6. Performance Data Timeframe: F-APR data must be collected by the department/unit in a consistent fashion year to year, regardless of whether the unit chooses to aggregate faculty performance data collected over a relevant period of time to generate annual performance ratings. The choice to aggregate faculty performance data over multiple years to create an annual performance rating/score will be at the discretion of the department/unit, except that the time period should be no less than one calendar year. Special consideration should be given to the appropriate number of years to aggregate (not to exceed three years).
  7. (Tenured Only) Not Meeting Expectations Estimate: By the last working day in January, department chairs/unit heads or other appointed persons must complete a preliminary assessment of tenured faculty and submit to Faculty Affairs in the Provost’s Office an estimated number of faculty who are likely to be rated as Not Meeting Expectations in any professional domain in which they have responsibilities.
  8. Peer Review: The department/unit F-APR process must incorporate peer review. The department/unit F-APR policy should describe the form and role of peer review in the F-APR process.
  9. Department Chair: With the incorporation of peer review, the department chair/unit head determines the final performance categories and numerical ratings, as relevant, for each faculty member APR in all domains in which each faculty member has workload assignments. The department chair/unit head should ensure that F-APR results include a clear written description of the faculty member’s achievements and deficiencies according to the expectations of their department/unit for their position. At their discretion and supported by evidence, the dean may trigger the initiation of a PTR process, as warranted, for a particular faculty member.
  10. F-APR Results: The final F-APR results will be disseminated to each faculty member in the department/unit by the department chair or unit head. At a minimum, each faculty member will receive a final F-APR performance category rating of Excellent, Good, Fair, or Not Meeting Expectations that reflects their performance in each of the professional domains in which they have responsibilities (e.g., research/scholarship, teaching/instruction, patient care, program administration, and service as appropriate). In the event that a faculty member is deemed as Not Meeting Expectations, the final evaluation must articulate, in writing, the reasons for this determination. Faculty who are rated in the Fair category in any domain are encouraged to collaborate with their department chair/unit head to clarify performance expectations and how to elevate their performance.
  11. Disputing F-APR Results: The department/unit F-APR process must provide an opportunity for a faculty member to dispute their F-APR results. The department/unit F-APR policy should detail the appropriate departmental/college grievance process available to the faculty member.
  12. F-APR Policy Posting: The department/unit F-APR policy must be made available to all faculty members in the department or academic unit, whether through posting on a website accessible to all faculty members in the department or academic unit or through some other means.

At the time of its adoption, the department/unit F-APR policy must be approved by a) majority vote of the eligible voting faculty in the department or academic unit, b) the Dean of the relevant college, and c) the Office of the Provost. Subsequent changes to the department/unit policy should follow a similar approval process of a) majority vote of the eligible voting faculty in the department or academic unit, b) the Dean of the relevant college, and c) the Office of the Provost.

  University of Houston Provost's Faculty Annual Performance Review (F-APR) Policy