The Assessment of Tenured Faculty in Connection with the Career Development Program

Faculty and Professional Staff Handbook »

The parties to this agreement recognize that the William Paterson University program of assessment of tenured faculty in connection with the Career Development Program set forth in Appendix II of the State-Union agreement should be positive in nature and is best achieved in an atmosphere of trust and cooperation. Assessment shall be based on the evidence of an individual’s professional performance as reflected in the faculty member’s comprehensive folder and interviews. Furthermore, this assessment should be utilized solely for the purpose of enhancing the instructional experience. The parties further agree that no personnel actions involving punitive procedures shall be based on or in any way use the results of the review within the career development program.

        I.          Implementation

  1. Beginning with the Spring 1996 semester, and each succeeding year thereafter, one-fifth of the tenured faculty in each department shall be reviewed by the process described herein beginning with the most senior fifth in the first year and continuing in order of seniority for each succeeding year. The process shall take place and be completed during the spring semester.
  2. The faculty members who are scheduled for assessment while on sabbatical leave, or any other approved leave, will be assessed when they return to regular service and will be included with the next group scheduled to participate in the process.
  3. The faculty members who indicate that they intend to retire within three (3) years shall be exempt from the review. In the event the faculty member withdraws his/her application for retirement, he/she will be included in the next group scheduled to be reviewed.

    II. Department Assessment Committees (DACs)
  4. Structure
  5. Each department, at a departmental meeting, shall elect a DAC. The DACs shall consist of no fewer than three (3) tenured faculty members who are not being assessed. This committee may be the department personnel committee.
  6. A faculty member teaching in more than one department or program may be assessed by the three (3) member committee which may include a faculty member from the other department in which he/she teaches.
  7. If more than one member of a department is a candidate for assessment, the department, at its discretion, and based upon the desire to match disciplines, competencies and interests with those of the faculty being assessed with those of the DAC members, may structure separate assessment committees.
  8. The chairperson of the Department will serve as a member of the DAC if he/she is elected, or selected as a substitute by the assessee.
  9. Members of DACs shall serve one year.

    B. Selection
  10. DACs shall be elected on or before October 1st of each academic year by all the full-time faculty of the department.
  11. In cases where the department does not have sufficient numbers of tenured faculty members to compose a committee, such committee shall be composed of tenured faculty members from the particular department and tenured faculty members from other departments in related fields. In such cases, the faculty member, after consultation with the chair, shall nominate tenured faculty members from other departments in related fields to the Faculty Senate for confirmation.
  12. The assessee, if he/she so chooses, shall have the right to substitute one tenured faculty member for one of the members elected as set forth above.

    III. Scope of assessment of faculty

The scope of assessment as established by the University is appended to this document as Attachment I. The activities listed in Attachment I shall not be used as checklist. The contribution of each assessee will be considered on his/her own merits rather than against a fixed standard. In addition, the assessee is not expected to fulfill each and every activity listed under the various categories on the scope of assessment.

IV. Assessment documentation

Based on the scope of assessment set forth in Attachment I, the faculty member undergoing assessment review will submit to the Department Assessment Committee a folder, which shall include:

  1. Self-assessment. The faculty member shall prepare a self-assessment statement which consists of an overview of his/her professional performance in regard to the instructional experience.
  2. Peer assessment. The assessment folder shall include signed reports of two (2) class observations. These reports may be the reports that have been generated as a result of the faculty member’s promotion application during the preceding two (2) years or they may be reports of observations that were conducted for this assessment. If the latter, the class or classes to be observed and the date(s) of the observations shall be mutually agreed upon between the individual and the observer(s). These observations may be performed that spring or in the preceding fall. The observer shall then furnish the individual with a copy of his/her proposed report and the individual shall have an opportunity to confer with the observer before the report is finalized. A copy of the final report shall be furnished to the individual, who shall have the opportunity to append his or her written comments, if any, prior to the report’s forwarding to the DAC.

If the individual so desires, one of the class observations may be conducted by a tenured faculty member chosen by the individual, who is not an elected member of the DAC. However one observation must be done by an elected member of the DAC. Both observers shall be chosen by the faculty member.

  1. Student input

Student opinions shall be considered in this review as set forth below:

  1. The students will provide input by responding to questionnaires. A questionnaire will be developed by the Faculty Senate, Faculty Development Committee. This questionnaire will then be sent to each department which may add, delete or modify questions. Departments shall submit copies of their questionnaires to the University Administration and the Union for review. The purpose of the review shall be to ascertain whether the questionnaires conform to, and are not in conflict with, the provisions of the agreement. Departments shall have the option of revising their questionnaires in succeeding years. Such reviewed questionnaires shall be subject to the same process of review cited above.

The sole purpose of the questionnaire shall be to provide feedback to the faculty member, who will use the results to modify his/her teaching when in his/her professional judgment such modification is appropriate. The results will, in no way, be considered an evaluation of the faculty member’s teaching.

The procedure for distributing and collecting the student questionnaires and delivering them to the Data Processing Department shall, at the option of the individual faculty member be one of the following:

  1. The faculty member will carry out the procedure himself/herself.
  2. The faculty member will ask another faculty member, a student or a department non-teaching staff to carry out the procedure.
  3. Where there currently exists a different procedure in a department, that procedure may continue.

This procedure shall take place between the fifth (5th) and twelfth (12th) week of each semester on a date or dates chosen by the faculty member. Upon receiving the questionnaires, data processing will tabulate and prepare a single report for all classes and forward such report to the faculty member within ten (10) working days. The report for the classes in the fall semester shall be solely for the information of the faculty member, however, if he/she so desires he/she may provide it to the reviewing chairperson during the conference in the spring semester. Neither the data nor the report shall be retained by the Data Processing Department on computers, on paper or in any other form.

2. Student questionnaires shall be completed in classes taught by chairpersons in the same manner as in the classes taught by other faculty members.

3. In cases of applicants for promotion, the results of the student questionnaires used in those procedures may be used in place of the above-mentioned student questionnaires.

4. During the spring semester of each year, the faculty member shall have a conference with the department chair. Such a conference shall take place within fourteen (14) days after the faculty member receives the report of the student questionnaires for the spring semester. At the time of the conference, the faculty member shall provide the report of the student questionnaires for the spring semesters to the department chairperson. If the faculty member so desires, he/she can be accompanied to this conference by another faculty member of his/her choosing. The chairperson shall not keep any records of the report or the conference. However he/she may make oral recommendations(s) relating to the enhancement of the faculty member’s teaching effectiveness to the individual concerned. Only one such conference shall take place in any year.

5. In the case of a department chairperson who shall have a conference with a tenured chairperson of another department, and in the case of other faculty members who would like to have a conference with a chairperson of another department, the individual being reviewed will provide the President or his/her designee with the name of that chairperson in writing before the student questionnaires are distributed. Such alternate chairperson shall be a tenured faculty member. If the President or his/her designee does not accept the chairperson requested, the President or his/her designee will enter into discussions with the Union to agree on a mutually acceptable chairperson to review the results of the student questionnaires and confer with that individual. Such chairperson will be agreed on before the questionnaires are distributed to the students.

6. After the conference between the faculty member being reviewed and the reviewing chairperson, the latter shall provide written confirmation to the faculty member’s College Dean of the name(s) of the faculty with whom he/she conferred. A copy shall be sent to the faculty member(s).

7. In the case where a department is chaired by a probationary faculty member, faculty members in that department shall follow the procedures outlined in Section 5 above for a conference with the chairperson.

8. The faculty member shall submit the data processing summary of the student questionnaires of two (2) of his/her classes during the proceeding five (5) year period to the DAC.

V. Interview with the DAC

If the DAC, or the individual, requests an interview, the DAC shall meet with the individual being assessed to discuss the materials in the assessment folder submitted and to solicit from the individual such additional evidence, information and materials as may be deemed necessary to the DAC’s deliberations. The faculty member may add any supporting materials if he/she so desires.

VI. DAC report

  1. The preliminary DAC report shall be due by April 15.
  2. The DAC report shall be comprehensive and shall include:
  3. A review of the faulty member’s professional performance according to the scope of assessments established as set forth in Attachment I.
  4. An identification of the individual’s strengths and areas suggested as appropriate for career development.

    C. Review and transmittal of the DAC report
    1. At least seven (7) days prior to forwarding of the DAC report to the College Dean, the DAC Committee shall provide the faculty member with a draft copy of the proposed assessment report.
    2. Within five (5) days of the receipt of the report, the individual may request a conference with the DAC. Such a request shall be honored no later than April 30 shall. The report may be modified as a result of the conference.
    3. The final DAC report will be forwarded to the College Dean with a copy to the individual faculty member by May 10. The faculty member may forward to the College Dean a written response to the DAC report which may include materials submitted to the DAC. Such responses shall be attached to the DAC report.

VII. Deans Review

Upon receipt of the DAC recommendations and any response to the DAC report, the College Dean shall:

  1. Review the assessment report for the individual faculty member.
  2. Confer with the individual, if the individual or the Dean requests a meeting, if clarification is needed prior to preparing a written statement. This process shall be completed no later than May 20.
  3. Prepare a written statement setting forth areas of agreement with the DAC report. In the case of disagreement, the Dean shall provide the reason(s) for such disagreement(s). This statement shall go to the individual.
  4. Subsequent to receiving the Dean’s written report, the faculty member may request an interview with the College Dean to address the record and/or provide additional information. Such request, if made, shall be honored. If the faculty member so desires, he/she can be accompanied to this interview by another faculty member of his/her choosing. In all such cases, the faculty member will inform the Dean of that desire at least five (5) days prior to the interview. The Dean, at his/her option may also have an individual of his/her choosing at the interview. At his/her option, the Dean may then modify his/her position in a new written statement to the faculty member.
  5. The College Dean shall submit a copy of his/her final statement to the individual for his/her information. The faculty member may submit a written reason, which will be appended to the Dean’s report.

    VIII. Use of documents generated in assessment process
    1. If the assessee does not apply for Career Development Award, all the documentation shall be kept in the Dean’s Office. At the request of the faculty member, copies of documents shall be made available to him/her.
    2. If the assessee applies for Career Development Award, he/she may submit the relevant assessment documentation, or any part hereof to the Career Development Committee.

      IX. State/Union agreement – appendix II

The procedures outlined in Appendix II of the State/Union Agreement will apply, except where such procedures have been modified by this agreement.