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Questions concerning annual appraisals of probationary faculty should be directed to the Office of the Associate Dean for Faculty.


2009/10 Submission Deadline - 26 February 2010


Changes Effective 2009/10

Effective academic year 2009/10, the review period corresponding to the annual appraisals of probationary faculty has been standardized across the college to cover the previous spring and fall semesters (or fall semester only for new tenure-track appointments). 

Annual appraisals of probationary faculty conducted during academic year 2009/10 will cover spring semester 2009 and fall semester 2009 for all units (or fall semester 2009 only for new tenure-track appointments).

The college has adopted these changes to provide for consistency in the review period across the college, to enable a review based on a complete semester of activity, to provide for better facilitation of the review process, and to bring the timetable of the annual appraisals of probationary faculty into alignment with the annual review of faculty performance.


General Information

The tenured faculty of each academic unit annually reviews the progress of each probationary faculty member toward satisfaction of the criteria for receiving tenure. The head of the unit prepares a written summary of that review and discusses the candidate's progress with the candidate, giving a copy of the report to the candidate. (Faculty Tenure, 7.2)

Governing Documents

Faculty Activity Reports & Curricula Vitae
Submission Deadline – 26 February 2010

Faculty activity reports and curricula vitae must be submitted for all tenure-track faculty, including any tenure-track faculty not in residence for any portion of the academic year (e.g., tenure-track faculty on approved single semester leaves or on authorized unpaid personal leaves, etc.).

Faculty activity reports and curricula vitae must be submitted electronically as separate pdf files via the CLA projects drive no later than Friday, 26 February 2010. Unit administrators should contact the Office of the Associate Dean for Faculty with any questions.

Appraisals of Probationary Faculty (Form 12)
Submission Deadline – 26 February 2010

The annual appraisals of probationary faculty are conducted in accordance with the University's Procedures for Reviewing Candidates for Tenure and/or Promotion: Tenure-Track and Tenured Faculty and are recorded on the Appraisals of Probationary Faculty form.

The Appraisals of Probationary Faculty forms and any attachments must be submitted in hard copy to the Office of the Associate Dean for Faculty in 212 Johnston Hall no later than Friday, 26 February 2010.

Appraisals that include a recommendation to continue a probationary appointment shall include the unit head's written summary of the annual review of the probationary faculty member's progress toward satisfying the criteria for tenure.

Appraisals that include a recommendation to terminate a probationary faculty appointment prior to the promotion and tenure decision year must be accompanied by complete documentation concerning the candidate's record of scholarship/creative activity, teaching, and service. Recommendations to terminate probationary faculty appointments are reviewed initially by the CLA Promotion and Tenure Review Committee, then by the dean.


Guidelines for Appraisals of Probationary Faculty

The following guidelines are taken from: Procedures for Reviewing Candidates for Tenure and/or Promotion: Tenure-Track and Tenured Faculty. Candidates, chairs/directors, and unit faculty are strongly encouraged to consult the Procedures in their entirety.

Actions at the Beginning of a Probationary Appointment

Explaining the Process to the Candidate
In the first year of the probationary appointment, the unit head must review the terms of appointment with the probationary candidate. This includes:

  • Making certain that credit for prior service has been granted and appropriately recorded, and that there is a common understanding about the maximum length of the probationary period (Faculty Tenure, section 5.4).
  • Supplying the candidate with copies of Faculty Tenure, these Procedures, and the unit statement about tenure expectations (Faculty Tenure, section 7.12). If the candidate is unsure about the application of the criteria, the head should seek to make that as clear as possible.
  • Informing the candidate about the procedures used by the unit to review teaching, research, and service. The candidate must be informed about the annual-review process and made familiar with the annual report on Appraisal of Probationary Faculty that will be completed. The candidate must also be informed about his or her right to inspect the file and right of access to information.

The unit head must make a written summary of this meeting, including the time and date it took place, and include it in the candidate's personnel record. The probationary faculty member must sign and date this summary. The unit head must forward a copy of this signed summary to the dean or chancellor and to the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost.
(Procedures, II.B.4)

Annual Review During the Probationary Period

Elements of the Annual Review Process
The process of reviewing a candidate's progress is continuous. It is intended to be encouraging and nurturing, although it is necessarily evaluative. Especially in the early years of the probationary period, the annual tenure review is intended to point out to the candidate his or her strengths and weaknesses, so that the strengths can be built upon and the weaknesses remedied. Three elements are essential to this process: information gathering, deliberation, and consultation with the candidate. The review is always to be conducted in accordance with the unit statement required by section 7.12 of Faculty Tenure.
(Procedures, Section II.C.5.)

Collecting Information on the Candidate's Performance
The unit head has the responsibility to ensure that the unit gathers data annually about the candidate's performance on all relevant criteria and must make the assembled file available to the candidate for his or her review. These functions must be performed by the unit head or by a designated member or committee of the tenured faculty and may not be delegated to staff or students, although they may play appropriate supporting roles. The candidate must assist in the preparation of the file if asked to do so.

In the case of a probationary faculty member with a joint appointment, the candidate's annual appraisal of research, teaching, and service should be prepared in consultation with the chairs of all the units where the appointment is held. See CLA's guidelines on Joint Appointments – Tenured and Tenure-track Faculty for additional information.

The annual review file should include as appropriate:

  • The candidate's current curriculum vitae and annual activity reports;
  • Summaries of the candidate's teaching assignments, and student and peer evaluations;
  • Copies (or descriptions) of the candidate's scholarly research and/or appropriate representations of other creative work;
  • Summaries of the candidate's service activities;
  • Copies of the Appraisal of Probationary Faculty forms for the current and previous years; and
  • Any other relevant material.

The file may also include evaluations of the candidate's scholarly research or other creative work by persons inside and outside the University.

The probationary faculty member has not only the right but the responsibility to inspect the annual-review file. The candidate has a right also to submit written comments and to add relevant materials to the file. Material provided by a candidate should be identified as such.

The annual-review file is only one part of the candidate's personnel file in the unit and contains only those materials that are relevant to an eventual tenure decision. It is accessible to the candidate and to all of the tenured faculty members in the unit, while other portions of the candidate's personnel file are accessible only to the candidate and to those who have reason to have access to particular information contained in it.

Faculty eligible to vote at the unit level may request of the unit head copies of any relevant materials not included in the file. The new material becomes part of the candidate's file. The unit head shall notify the candidate of the addition. The candidate must have the opportunity to respond to any new material before the unit vote.
(Procedures, II.C.6.)

Annual Review by Tenured Faculty
The tenured faculty members of the unit must review the progress of each probationary faculty member annually, either at the annual tenure meeting or at a separate meeting. The files for the probationary faculty members must be made available to the tenured faculty a reasonable time in advance of the meeting. The annual review does not require a formal ballot or recommendation of the faculty, but units may take a vote, if they wish, as specified in section 2(d). If there is balloting, the procedures must be specified in the unit 7.12 statement. Probationary faculty appointments are automatically renewed annually until the maximum probationary period is reached, unless there is an earlier recommendation for granting tenure or terminating the appointment.
(Procedures, II.C.7.)

Annual Conference with Candidate
The unit head must discuss annually with the candidate his or her progress toward achieving tenure. The unit head also reports to the candidate the sense of the meeting of the tenured faculty, and any recommendations made by it. If the candidate has not reviewed the individual evaluations of performance contained in the file, the unit head summarizes them. It is important that this conversation be candid and that the candidate be clearly told if there are areas in which performance needs to be improved. The candidate must be given a copy of the annual Appraisal of Probationary Faculty report, which must reflect the major elements of this conversation, as well as a written summary of any additional matters discussed. The annual Appraisal of Probationary Faculty report must state clearly the concerns of the tenured faculty regarding the candidate's progress toward tenure and must provide guidance for addressing any weaknesses that have been noted. The review of the probationary faculty member by the tenured faculty, the conference with the probationary faculty member, and the final written report must reflect the criteria and indices of performance in the unit's 7.12 statement. If the candidate has questions about the application of the criteria or about what he or she is expected to do, the unit head must explain the criteria. If the candidate has stopped the tenure clock according to section 5.5 of Faculty Tenure, the annual report must clearly report that fact.

The head of the unit must place in the candidate's file each year the Appraisal of Probationary Faculty and a written summary—with date and time specified—of any additional matters discussed. This report is signed by the candidate and the unit head, and evaluated and signed by the dean, and by the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost.
(Procedures, II.C.8.)

Consideration of Candidate for Tenure or Termination

Decision on Tenure
A decision on tenure may be made in any year of the probationary period, including the extended probationary period of a candidate who has stopped the tenure clock according to section 5.5 of Faculty Tenure.

A probationary faculty member may request an early tenure review; the unit will decide whether to conduct it. Because the process of conducting a formal review involves a number of steps, including external evaluations, and because there is a fixed time schedule for review of unit recommendations, a decision to conduct a formal tenure review must be made well in advance of the date on which a vote will be taken. In most cases, it will be necessary to initiate the process during the summer preceding the academic year in which the vote will be taken.

A candidate must be considered in a formal tenure review no later than in the last year of the probationary period; that is,

  • in the sixth year of an ordinary probationary period, or
  • at the designated time in a shorter or longer probationary period; or
  • at the end of the extended probationary period for a candidate who has stopped the tenure clock according to section 5.5 of Faculty Tenure; or
  • at the time required by special contract.

A formal review may be initiated at any earlier time by the unit head or by vote of the tenured faculty of the unit.

Candidates must be told that the outcome of an early tenure evaluation may be a recommendation for (1) promotion and tenure; (2) continuation of the probationary appointment without tenure and promotion at this time; or (3) termination.
(Procedures, II.D.9.)

Decision to Recommend Termination
A decision to recommend termination may be made in any year of the probationary period, except that faculty members who have stopped the clock according to Section 5.5 of Faculty Tenure may not be terminated during the year in which the clock is stopped except as otherwise specified in Faculty Tenure (e.g. fiscal emergency, disciplinary action, etc.).

A unit may recommend termination of a candidate's appointment if his or her overall performance is so clearly below the standards required by the unit's 7.12 statement that this course of action is necessary, or (2) performance on any of the primary criteria is so deficient that positive evaluation of the other criteria would not warrant continuation of appointment. The reasons for this action must be clearly documented in a written evaluation.
(Procedures, II.D.10.)


Extension of Probationary Period

As provided by Faculty Tenure, Section 5.5, the maximum period of probationary service will be extended by one year at the request of a probationary faculty member:

  1. On the occasion of the birth of that faculty member's child or adoptive/foster placement of a child with that faculty member; or
  2. When the faculty member is a major caregiver for a family member [2] who has an extended serious illness, injury, or debilitating condition. A faculty member may use this provision no more than two times; or
  3. When the faculty member has an extended serious illness, injury, or debilitating condition.

The request for extension must be made in writing within one year of the events giving rise to the claim and no later than June 30 preceding the year a final decision would otherwise be made on an appointment with indefinite tenure for that faculty member.

Effective academic year 2010/11

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