Senate Document Number    2412S


Date of Senate Approval      02/09/12


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Statement of Faculty Senate Action:


FWDC 2:                       Merit Categories for Annual Evaluation of Faculty
                                    (Faculty Handbook 3.4.3)

Effective date: 

This document establishes and defines new categories for evaluating the merit of faculty work in the annual faculty record.

Both members of the faculty and chairs and program directors who evaluate them have expressed concerns arising from the fact that the current categories that we use (no increase, merit, high merit, exceptional) are not defined.  As a result, there is a widespread belief that there are differences in the meaning of these categories across departments and program areas and consequent inequities in the annual evaluation process. 

This document establishes new categories for evaluation, with some definition of their meaning without being overly prescriptive, so as to provide guidance but still preserve room for judgment by those who evaluate faculty.

The faculty handbook indicates the minimum standard of activity in each of the three areas of faculty activity; furthermore, it indicates that these “are stated in a broadly-defined sequence of priority, with recognition that the "mix" for any individual may vary.”  The standards stated in the faculty handbook are as follows: Teaching

The faculty member is expected to show clear, positive evidence of effective teaching. This is the primary and constant consideration in all personnel decisions. Scholarship and Creative Activity

The faculty member should demonstrate continued efforts toward professional development. This can take the form of contributions to one's academic field through scholarship, artistic activity or an active role in professional organizations. At minimum it requires demonstrated effort at professional self-development through teaching improvement and keeping abreast of the state of the art in one's field. Service

The faculty member should be an active contributor to the university community. Service needs and opportunities will vary with program requirements, allocations of financial and personnel resources, changing patterns of student demand, etc. Therefore, the priority of this consideration varies from program to program.


This suggests three important points for faculty evaluation:

1) First, effective teaching is the most important of the three areas of faculty responsibility. 

2) Second, all faculty members are expected to have some level of activity in all three areas.

3) Third, different members of the faculty will have different strengths and levels of activity in these areas.

The definitions of the following categories reflect these principles.


Insert in Faculty Handbook 3.4.3

3.4.3 Merit Evaluation Categories

The following categories will be used in evaluating the work of faculty members in annual evaluation:


Below Standard:  This category is for faculty members who are not fulfilling their primary responsibility to deliver effective teaching and meet minimum expectations in scholarship and service, as defined in Section 3.3.3.  Faculty members in this category are not eligible for merit-based salary increases.


Standard:  For faculty members who are fulfilling their job responsibilities by being effective teachers and meeting minimum expectations in scholarship and service, as defined in Section 3.3.3, as well as in any administrative assignment.


Accomplished:  For faculty members who have significant accomplishments in at least one area of faculty activity and who fulfill expectations in all others, including any administrative assignment.


Superior:  For faculty members who have significant accomplishments in teaching and in at least one other category of faculty activity, including any administrative assignment.


Exceptional:  For faculty members who have significant accomplishments in all areas of faculty activity or who have significant accomplishments in teaching and an extraordinary accomplishment in scholarship or service.  It is expected that this designation is given to a very small number of faculty members and will be granted only in consultation with the Provost.


A faculty member with Professional Development Leave, an endowed Professorship, or any other assignment which removes him or her from any teaching responsibilities will be expected to have correspondingly greater accomplishments in scholarship and/or service to compensate for a lighter teaching load.