Comprehensive Periodic Evaluation of Tenured Faculty

Handbook of Operating Procedures 2-2150

Comprehensive Periodic Evaluation of Tenured Faculty

University of Texas SealEffective March 10, 2016
Executive Sponsor: Executive Vice President and ProvostPolicy Owner: Sr. Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs
I. Policy Statement 

The University of Texas at Austin (“University”) is committed to periodic evaluation of tenured faculty intended to enhance and protect, not diminish, the important guarantees of tenure and academic freedom.  Periodic evaluation is conducted to provide guidance for continuing and meaningful faculty development; to assist faculty in enhancing their professional skills and achieving their professional goals; to refocus academic and professional efforts, when appropriate; assess whether the individual is making a contribution consistent with that expected of a tenured faculty member; and to assure that faculty members are meeting their responsibilities to the University and the State of Texas.

II. Reason for Policy 

In accordance with Texas Education Code, Section 51.942, Regents' Rules and Regulations, Rule 31102 requires each component institution to establish a comprehensive periodic performance evaluation process for all tenured faculty.

III. Scope & Audience 

This policy applies to all tenured faculty, deans, department chairs, and other academic administrators.

IV. Definitions (specific to this policy) 
None
V. Website (for policy) 
https://policies.utexas.edu/policies/hop/2-2150
VI. Contacts 
Contact Details Web
Office of the Executive Vice President and ProvostPhone:512-471-4363Website:Email:provost.office@utexas.edu
VII. Responsibilities & Procedures 

Evaluating Tenured Faculty

 

  1. Quality of Faculty. The University is a constitutionally mandated “university of the first class,” recognized nationally and internationally for the outstanding quality of its faculty. The faculty are thoroughly vetted when they are hired, retained, promoted, and tenured. Therefore, it is to be expected the results of the annual reviews will show that the vast majority of faculty meet or exceed expectations.
  1. Importance of Tenure. The University affirms the time-honored practice of tenure as an important protection of free inquiry, open intellectual and scientific debate, and unfettered criticism of the accepted body of knowledge. Academic institutions have a special need for practices that protect freedom of expression, since the core of the academic enterprise involves a continual reexamination of ideas. 

Nothing in this policy or the related review guidelines will be interpreted or applied to infringe on the tenure system, or on faculty members’ academic freedom, due process, or other rights.  Nothing in this policy will be interpreted as establishing a new term-tenure system or requiring faculty members to reestablish their credentials for tenure.

 

  1. Comprehensive Periodic Evaluations.  Comprehensive evaluations for tenured faculty are required by Texas Education Code, Section 51.942 and will be conducted pursuant to the Guidelines for Comprehensive Periodic Review of Tenured Faculty.
  1. Scheduled Reviews. Comprehensive evaluations will be performed no less often than every six (6) years.  The evaluation may not be waived for any tenured faculty member, but may be deferred in rare circumstances where the review period will coincide with approved leave, comprehensive promotion review, or appointment to an endowed position. No deferral of review of an active faculty member may extend beyond one year from the date of the scheduled review.
  1. Notice of Evaluation. Reasonable individual notice of at least six (6) months of intent to review will be provided to a faculty member.
  1. Conducting Reviews. The initial evaluation may be carried out by a faculty committee established and overseen by the departmental budget council, extended budget council, or executive committee.  The initial review must be reported to the chair and dean for review.
  1. Peer Review. Comprehensive periodic evaluation of tenured faculty will include peer review. The members of peer review committees will include representatives of the college/school or department and will be appointed, on the basis of their objectivity and academic strength, by the dean or chair in consultation with the tenured faculty in the college/school or department or pursuant to other process as defined in institutional policies. The faculty member will be provided an opportunity to meet with the committee or committees.
  1. Responsibilities Reviewed. The evaluation will include review of the faculty member's professional responsibilities in teaching, research, service; and when applicable, patient care, and administration. Institutional policies will detail the criteria and factors to be evaluated.
  1. Materials Submitted. The faculty member being evaluated must submit a curriculum vita, including a summary statement of professional accomplishments, and must submit or arrange for the submission of annual reports and teaching evaluations. The faculty member may provide copies of a statement of professional goals, a proposed professional development plan, and any other additional materials the faculty member deems appropriate.
  1. Review Categories. Each faculty member being reviewed will be placed in one of the following categories: a) exceeds expectations; b) meets expectations; c) does not meet expectations; or d) unsatisfactory. Expectations will be set according to the faculty member’s rank, discipline, and department or unit. These ratings will be based on a holistic review and overall judgment of the faculty member’s activities.
  1. Communication of Results. Results of the evaluation will be communicated in writing to the faculty member, the department chair/dean, the provost, and the president for review and appropriate action. The faculty member may include a written statement, which will be added to the official record.
  1. Developmental Assistance. Individuals whose performance indicates they would benefit from developmental assistance will be placed on a developmental support plan and referred to available institutional support, such as teaching effectiveness assistance, counseling, or mentoring in research issues/service expectations. 
  1. Unsatisfactory Performance. Individuals whose performance is unsatisfactory will be placed on a developmental support plan and monitored by the department in consultation with the peer review committee.  Failure to make sufficient improvement may result in further review and/or disciplinary action under VII.D below, if appropriate.
  1. Appeals. An unsatisfactory rating may be appealed according to the procedures set forth in the Guidelines for Comprehensive Periodic Review of Tenured Faculty.
  1. Termination or Other Appropriate Disciplinary Action.  If incompetence, neglect of duty, or other good cause is found, the dean will consider appropriate disciplinary action up to and including termination under the Regents’ Rules and Regulations, Rule 31008.
  1. Monitoring.  In its role as overseer of the faculty evaluation process, the Committee of Counsel on Academic Freedom and Responsibility will monitor this review process and report its findings annually, will receive and advise on such problems or issues referred to it by any member of the faculty, the provost, the president, the Chancellor, or the Board of Regents, and will make whatever recommendations it considers appropriate to improve the process. 
XI. History 

Last review date: Month 2015

Next scheduled review:  Month 2017

Previously: HOP 3.14, originally issued November 13, 1997