Dean of the Faculty

Faculty Handbook

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II. H. FACULTY EVALUATION

(Source: Resolution of the Faculty, April 11, 1994 and amended by the Faculty, April 12, 2010 and December 3, 2012)

Section II. H.1. Schedule for Evaluation: Non-tenured, continuing members of the faculty will normally be evaluated by the Committee on Advancement and Tenure every two years in the Fall semester.  For those faculty members on a tenure-track appointment, the tenure evaluation date will be set in accordance with the procedures described in the Faculty Constitution, Article IV, Section 3.  Tenured members of the faculty will be evaluated by the Committee on Advancement and Tenure every four years in the Spring semester.  For faculty members who have just received tenure, the first post-tenure evaluation will occur two years following the tenure decision.

Section II. H.2. Evaluation Actions: For non-tenured, continuing members of the faculty the evaluation will result in either reappointment or nonrenewal of appointment.  A single increase in rank normally accompanies reappointment.  In the case of nonrenewal for a tenure-track appointment, a fixed-term appointment of one year will normally be granted.

For tenured members of the faculty the evaluation will result in either a single increase in rank, a double increase in rank awarded over consecutive years, or a hold at rank.  If the evaluation results in a single or a double increase in rank, an automatic single increase in rank will be given at the third year of the four-year evaluation cycle.  If the evaluation results in the faculty member being held at rank, an automatic single increase in rank will still be given at the third year of the four-year evaluation cycle.  However, if at the subsequent evaluation the faculty member is once again held at rank, then she or he will also be held at rank at the third year of that four-year evaluation cycle.  In this instance the faculty member or the Committee on Advancement and Tenure will have the option of requesting an additional evaluation at that third year.  This evaluation could result in an increase in rank.

As outlined in the Faculty Handbook II.J, rank 63 is the normal top rank of the salary scale.  There are two additional ranks in the scale, 64 and 65, but promotion into each of these ranks “should be limited to faculty members whose performance over the years has been unusually distinguished and whose recent performance has continued to be outstanding. Even in such cases, it is understood that advancement into these ranks should generally occur more slowly than normal merit increases.”   Once a faculty member has reached rank 63 there will be no automatic rank increase given at the middle year of the four-year evaluation cycle.

Section II. H.3. Criteria and Standards for Evaluation: Decisions about the performance of individual members of the Faculty are by necessity matters of judgment, as they are based on standards of performance that cannot be measured precisely. They result from the deliberations of the Committee on Advancement and Tenure and the President, conducted according to criteria and procedures approved by the Faculty (see below).  Every faculty member is expected to submit a self-evaluation at each review, assessing his/her own performance.  In the absence of a self-evaluation, the Committee on Advancement and Tenure will proceed with an evaluation based on the written materials in the file; however, the faculty member will not be eligible for an increase in rank. The Dean of the Faculty discusses the results of the evaluation with the faculty member in a timely manner and conveys any suggestions, comments, or requirements decided upon by the Committee on Advancement and Tenure.

With each successive evaluation leading to the tenure decision, evidence of excellence and potential for continued development must be consistently or increasingly strong. Evidence for a positive tenure decision must be clear and convincing. Performance which may be described as good but not exceptional is not enough for a positive tenure decision. The granting of tenure requires a compelling affirmative case; it reflects outstanding achievement and the promise of continuing distinction throughout the candidate's academic career.

The criteria for appointment and evaluation of faculty are stated in Article IV of the Faculty Constitution:

Section 1. The mission of Reed College is to provide a serious and systematic program of undergraduate education in the liberal arts and sciences. Academic faculty at all ranks are appointed initially on the basis of their potential for outstanding contribution to this goal, based on the criteria of Article IV, Section 2. Academic faculty are evaluated for advancement (continuation of appointment, promotion in rank and salary, orgranting of academic tenure) on the basis of demonstrated achievement and promise of continuing contribution to this goal, basedon the criteria of Article IV, Section 2.

Section 2. The criteria for academic Faculty appointment and advancement are listed below, in rank order of importance. Demonstrated achievement in both teaching and scholarship as defined below is expected of all Reed faculty. Community service is a secondary consideration; high levels of achievement on this criterion alone are not sufficient for advancement. However, unsatisfactory community service can be sufficient for denial of advancement. All of the criteria below require performance conducted in a professional manner.

  1. Effectiveness of teaching, including, as appropriate, conference leadership, lecturing, laboratory teaching, studio teaching, curriculum development, thesis advising and general academic advising.
  2. Scholarship, defined as knowledge and understanding of, and active engagement with, the materials of one's discipline and, where appropriate, of related disciplines.
  3. Service to the Reed community (and to external communities where relevant) through department and committee work, or through activity that fosters and enhances the quality of the intellectual community.

Candidates who have not completed the terminal degree in their field at the time of the tenure decision shall not normally be eligible for tenure.

Letters from colleagues provide important evidence regarding all of the above criteria. These letters are most useful when they contain evidence based on first hand knowledge of and experience with the candidate's work and when specific examples are provided. Indirect evidence may be useful when the sources of the information are indicated. Every faculty member is expected to participate conscientiously in the evaluation of his/her colleagues.

Effectiveness of teaching is judged by the Committee on Advancement and Tenure also on the basis of:

  1. Syllabi, curriculum proposals and other materials relating to teaching, provided by the Faculty member whose work is being evaluated. When appropriate-and always at the time of the tenure review-such materials will be submitted by the Committee on Advancement and Tenure for external peer review and evaluation.
  2. Systematic surveys of student judgments of their experiences with individual members of the faculty for every course taught for credit including conferences, lectures, seminars and labs, using instruments approved by the Faculty and administered by the Dean of the Faculty.
  3. Systematic surveys, requested by the Dean of the Faculty, of all thesis advisees.
  4. Letters received by the Office of the Dean of the Faculty from individual students.

Reed is an intellectual community, in which the primary purpose of scholarship is the enrichment of the curriculum and the stimulation of the intellectual life of the community at large. One important indicator of scholarship is written material or, where appropriate, performance or exhibit that has been subjected to peer review. This includes both substantive contributions to the field and pedagogical works, such as textbooks. However, publication is only one form of scholarship, and superior scholarship can manifest itself in various ways. Externally reviewed publications, performances or exhibits are neither necessary nor sufficient for demonstrating scholarly excellence. In the absence of externally reviewed materials, however, there must be some other compelling evidence of superior scholarship. When appropriate-and always at the time of the tenure review-external peer review and evaluation of scholarship will be solicited by the Committee on Advancement and Tenure.

Reed is a self-governing intellectual community, and every Faculty member is expected to contribute in some way to its enrichment. The most familiar forms of community service are participation in departmental and divisional work and participation on standing and special committees. The President and the Committee on Academic Policy and Planning are responsible for appointments to committees and for assuring that every member of the Faculty has sufficient opportunity to serve. The quality of contribution is judged on the basis of testimonials by colleagues and committee members and any written materials that contributed to the work of the department, division, or committee. Other forms of community service include participation in professional organizations and performance, exhibit, lectures or the organization of these and similar activities. Lectures, performance and exhibition are understood to be important components of scholarship as well.

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