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. The development of this policy was guided by the central principle that faculty members not only deserve but should expect an open, fair, and transparent annual performance review process that, in turn, will be used to inform and guide decisions on how they should be rewarded. In enacting this policy, the Office of the Provost does not intend to dictate to individual departments or disciplines those faculty activities which they should value or reward, nor to determine the relative importance of one specific activity compared to another. However, in creating individual unit/departmental F-APR policies under this policy, it is incumbent upon the unit/department to ensure that the faculty activities identified as being of value and worthy of reward are also clearly aligned with the strategic goals of the unit, college, and university.
Under this policy, each unit/departmental is required to develop their own F-APR process and documentation that satisfies the following requirements:
- Each department or academic unit must have a detailed written policy document describing all aspects of the F-APR process utilized within the department/unit. This document must include any scoring rubrics or quality measures employed as part of the review and a detailed time-line/calendar for the F-APR process;
- 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 unit/ department;
- For all faculty members (T/TT and NTT) 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 faculty member within the unit (i.e. T/TT, NTT, lecturer, instructor of record). However, the F-APR process shall be consistent (as much as possible) for individuals having the same faculty title/position, rank and professional responsibilities;
- The F-APR process for all faculty members will begin with collection of performance data relevant to faculty member’s professional responsibilities during the previous year. Annual data must be collected by the unit/department in a consistent fashion year to year, regardless whether or not the unit chooses to aggregate faculty performance data collected over more than one year (e.g. up to 3 years) to generate annual performance ratings and/or scores;
- All faculty members in a particular department or academic unit (including “instructors of record”) will be required to submit their performance data in a pre-determined, standard format by a specific deadline codified in the written departmental F-APR policy document;
- 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;
- The choice to aggregate faculty performance data over multiple years to create an annual performance rating/score will be at the discretion of the unit/department, except that the time period should be no less than one academic year. Special consideration should be given to the appropriate number of years to aggregate when assessing the performance of NTT faculty members as compared to T/TT faculty members;
- Regardless of who nominally performs the actual performance review, any individual or group that provides input to the review process at either the departmental and/or college level, be it informally or formally, must be clearly identified and their role(s) described in the written departmental F-APR policy;
- At a minimum, each faculty member will receive a final F-APR evaluation that reflects their overall aggregate performance in the professional domains in which they have been reviewed. Regardless of the form and presentation of the final evaluation, the evaluation should provide the faculty member with a clear description of their achievements relative to the expectations of their unit/department with regard to the roles and responsibilities of the faculty title/position they hold;
- The F-APR process must provide an opportunity for a faculty member to dispute their performance evaluation and detail the appropriate departmental/college grievance process available to the faculty member.
- The 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, this policy must be approved by a) majority vote of the tenured and tenure-track 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 initial F-APR policy must be approved by a) majority vote of the tenured, tenure-track and promotion-eligible, non-tenure-track faculty in the department or academic unit, b) the Dean of the relevant college, and c) the Office of the Provost.
Download a copy of the policy here.