2007 Reaffirmation Teams
3.7.2 - 2007 Reaffirmation Teams
The institution regularly evaluates the effectiveness of each faculty member in accord with published criteria, regardless of contractual or tenured status.
The University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas) regularly evaluates its faculty members in accord with published criteria and regardless of contractual or tenured status. Evaluation processes are designed to fit the specific and diverse faculty assignments that exist at UT Dallas and take into account that faculty consist of tenure-system faculty (tenured, tenure-track faculty) , and nontenure-system faculty (senior lecturers, clinical professors, etc.) . The university’s teaching evaluation policy  also governs the procedures and processes for evaluating the effectiveness of all instructors in the classroom. All of these policies are published in the UT Dallas’ Handbook of Operating Procedures (HOP)  on the president’s webpage, the Faculty Handbook  on the provost’s webpage, and the policy memoranda website .
In accordance with the specific duties assigned (which may vary from category to category), faculty members are evaluated based upon the following criteria: (1) effectiveness in the classroom and their ability to teach those courses to which they have been assigned (teaching effectiveness is an integral part of the evaluation process for all faculty); (2) research productivity as measured by publications, presentations, research activity, grants, and other recognition of quality in research; and (3) school, university, or professional service. These categories and a faculty member’s performance therein, serve as the basis for determining merit raises  as well as retention and promotion  .
Series 30501 of The University of Texas System (UT System) Board of Regents’ Rules and Regulations requires an annual evaluation of all employees, including administrative, faculty, and classified employees within UT System . These annual reviews cover tenure and nontenure-system faculty, part-time faculty, and teaching assistants. The reviews involve face-to-face meetings with supervisors (e.g., deans, department heads, and program heads). The written results of the tenure-system and full-time nontenure-system faculty are housed and available in the Executive Vice President and Provost’s Faculty Records Office; the evaluations of part-time faculty and teaching assistants are housed in their respective dean’s office.Evaluation of Teaching
As required by Policy Memorandum 94-III. 21-60, Student Evaluations of Teaching , the teaching performance of all faculty members, regardless of their status in the university (tenure-system, nontenure-system, and part-time), and all teaching assistants who are instructors of record is evaluated each semester, using evaluation instruments first adopted in 1999 and subsequently updated as necessary. The Committee on Effective Teaching (CET) in each of the seven schools may add questions to the evaluation forms which are tailored for the type of instruction involved, e.g., large lecture classes, seminars, or labs. The primary purpose of the course evaluations is to allow students the opportunity to provide feedback to instructors regarding course effectiveness, but the process also allows students to benefit from the reviews of other students who have completed the course . UT Dallas posts the course evaluations on the university’s website .
The course evaluations ask students to rate the efficacy of the instructor and course materials according to a five point scale ranging from (5) excellent to (1) unsatisfactory. A completed sample evaluation is included in the supporting documents . Eight to 12 weeks after administration of the evaluations, the results are transmitted to the individual faculty, deans, and program/department heads, and the results are used by each school’s CET to review the performance of the faculty in the classroom.
In accordance with the bylaws in each school, the dean appoints the school’s teaching effectiveness committee to ensure that the university’s policy of effective teaching is met as stated in the aforementioned university-wide teaching evaluation policy  (a sample appointee list from the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences is available in the supporting documents .) This policy requires each school to have “written objective standards for evaluating teaching performance.” The charge of the School of Arts and Humanities’ Committee on Teaching and the accompanying memo to the faculty illustrate the standards that are applied within the school and the procedures for gathering appropriate data . In addition to providing school-specific standards, each school’s teaching effectiveness committee is charged with mentoring and providing advice to full-time and part-time faculty regarding teaching quality. The information gathered in the evaluation process is examined by the deans and program/department heads within the school in addition to the school’s teaching effectiveness committee. The Bylaws on Governance and Organization of the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences  and the School of Management’s Annual Faculty Review Policy  detail how the data is used to evaluate the performance of faculty. The School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences has noted serious improvement in teaching effectiveness since the review process was initiated . The material is used in the annual reviews of faculty members by program/department heads and deans, and the reviews are housed in the individual schools as well as the Faculty Records Office  .Tenure-System Faculty
Section 51.942 of the Texas Education Code (TEC) requires that the performance of all tenured faculty members be reviewed and that the reviews should “be directed toward the professional development of the faculty member .” Series 31007 (which relates to tenure ) and Series 31102 (which governs the evaluation of tenured faculty ) of Regents’ Rules put TEC 5.942 into effect.Annual Reviews
Each February, faculty at UT Dallas (including both tenure-system and full-time nontenure-system faculty) are required to submit to their respective dean and to the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost an annual report of the faculty member’s professional activity. This report includes an updated curriculum vitae, a narrative of the faculty member’s scholarly, research, teaching, and service activities, a discussion of her or his success in meeting learning assessment goals, a record of publication or other creative productivity, an account of proposal and grant activity, and a list of courses taught and students supervised . The results of the reviews are used as a factor in determining salary adjustments as well as assessing the extent to which additional faculty support might be necessary to optimize faculty development. Deans, program/department heads, and the provost use the annual reviews not only to determine merit raises  but also to identify faculty whose performance does not meet the general performance levels of their unit and to provide these individuals with advice and support. This support may include participation in programs provided by the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT)  and/or warnings as appropriate. The faculty members submit their annual reports to the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, where these are filed with each faculty member’s other credentials and appointment letters. All faculty evaluations are also stored in the faculty member’s personnel file in the respective school and department or program offices.Third Year Review
All untenured faculty on the tenure track are required to undergo a third-year review in which the untenured faculty member is evaluated for performance in teaching, research, and service over the two years following appointment to his or her academic position . The third-year review is carried out by a committee appointed by the dean of the school, in consultation with the provost. The committee reports back to the dean and relies upon information provided by the candidate including evidence of teaching performance, research productivity, and service.
The primary purpose of the review is to provide the candidate and the school with guidance concerning the likelihood of the candidate obtaining tenure, and, if the case is problematic, what needs to be done to increase the likelihood of a successful tenure decision. Written faculty comments also are solicited from colleagues in the candidate’s school. The file containing the recommendations of the committee and the dean’s own assessment is forwarded to the Committee on Qualifications (CQ)  for its evaluation of the candidate and then on to the provost for a final decision (more information is provided below about the role of CQ and the overall procedures governing the review process). The CQ makes an annual report (as does the provost) to the Academic Senate with regard to the progress of third year faculty and those faculty under review for promotion to the associate and full ranks      .Promotion and Tenure Review
Procedures at UT Dallas for tenure and promotion are published in the UT Dallas Faculty Handbook  and Policy Memorandum 75-III.22-3, General Standards and Procedures: Faculty Promotion, Reappointment, and Tenure . The process requires the formation of an ad hoc committee “to review faculty upon the recommendation of the Faculty Personnel Review Committee, or upon a request of a faculty member, on the recommendation of the Dean.” Ad hoc committees are composed of five tenured above-rank faculty members nominated by the dean and appointed by the provost. Four members of the faculty are from the school of the person under review and, in order to ensure impartiality, one member is from another school. Decisions of the committee are based upon a review of the teaching, research, and service record of the candidate, who submits a tenure and/or promotion file for the committee’s deliberations. The committee also uses written comments provided by external peer reviewers from other institutions as well as school or program faculty who are invited to submit letters evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of the candidate to the file. The ad hoc committee writes a forthright evaluation of the candidate (the committee is charged to be neither adversary nor partisan), and subsequently, the program faculty meets to hear the recommendation of the ad hoc committee and a vote is taken concerning the recommendation of the committee. The results of the vote become part of the file. The recommendations of the ad hoc committee and the attendant evidence are forwarded to the dean of the school for further review and for a faculty vote of persons of higher rank and then on to the CQ. The CQ is the faculty body that “is charged with reviewing all recommendations from faculty ad hoc committees and School Deans regarding the initial hiring, promotion, and promotion to tenure of members of the faculty ”. The CQ adds its recommendation to the file, and the file moves to the provost for consideration and recommendation. The final university recommendation is made by the president who, in compliance with Series 20201 Section 4.45 of the Board of Regents’ Rules and Regulations , forwards the university recommendation to the Board of Regents who makes the final decision.Periodic Performance Evaluation of Tenured Faculty (Post-Tenure Review)
Section 51.942 of the TEC and Series 31102 of Regents’ Rules   mandate comprehensive performance evaluations for all tenured faculty, which must include a peer review element, at least once every six years and no more frequently than once per year; therefore, all UT Dallas tenured faculty are subject to a periodic performance evaluation of their teaching, research, and service record. UT Dallas conducts comprehensive performance evaluations of tenured faculty, including administrative faculty, on a six-year cycle. In accordance with Policy Memorandum 97-III.22-79, Procedures Governing Periodic Performance Evaluation (PPE) of Tenured Faculty , the PPE file consists of a curriculum vitae, a summary of achievements, a list of the approved range of duties, results of annual evaluations over the previous six years, and evaluations of teaching. The dean is responsible for reviewing the material in the PPE file and for writing a preliminary evaluation. That evaluation is sent to school’s Peer Review Committee for its evaluation and back to the faculty member under review for possible rebuttal. The dean is responsible for determining one of two findings for each file: advisory or adverse. An advisory finding may be approbative or it may offer suggestions for improvement. An adverse finding may be grounds for dismissal or may require remedial action (which may include working with CELT ) to improve teaching or research.Fulltime Nontenure-system Faculty
The role of nontenure-system faculty, whether full-time or part-time, is valued by the university.
Their roles may be primarily teaching or research in nature. It is the responsibility of the schools, in conjunction and consultation with the executive vice president and provost (provost), to determine the precise contractual obligations of these faculty members. All nontenure-system faculty members are evaluated on the basis of teaching, research, and citizenship, but the weights assigned in evaluating performance, just as with tenure-system faculty, may vary. In accord with directives of Series 31001 of Regents’ Rules , contracts for appointment of nontenure-system faculty whose responsibilities are primarily teaching (including senior lecturers and clinical and research faculty) may not exceed a period of three academic years. Such contracts are subject to renewal upon satisfactory performance of duties as determined by the head of the relevant administrative unit in consultation with the provost.
As mentioned above, nontenure-system faculty such as senior lecturers and clinical professors are subject to many of the same review procedures (in particular, annual reviews) that govern the review of tenure-system faculty. The reviews for nontenure-system faculty are conducted by program heads and deans and the results are housed in the Faculty Records Office. The hiring and review process for nontenure-system faculty is governed by the procedures put forth in Policy Memorandum 07-III.22-96 . Some schools such as the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences  and the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences , use classroom visitations as part of the evaluation process. In all cases, a school committee (normally the committee on effective teaching) reviews the teaching performance of the nontenure-system faculty member. Beyond the teaching evaluation, the policy states that “each School or Department should develop a process for review of nontenure-system faculty involving tenure system and above-rank nontenure-system faculty…” Policy Memorandum 07-III.22-96 is a relatively new policy, and no nontenure-system faculty have been reviewed and promoted under the auspices of this policy. Until the advent of this policy, all promotions and reviews have relied on information gathered by local committees on effective teaching and annual reviews as specified above.
The review process for research faculty is governed by Policy Memorandum 07-III.22-95, Research Faculty . According to this policy, “the annual evaluation process will follow the procedures established for the annual reviews of tenured/tenure-track faculty, and the written results will be forwarded to the Executive Vice President and Provost at the end of each Spring semester.” Research faculty members are expected to develop independent research programs and also be involved with activities traditionally thought of as professorial. In hiring and evaluating researchers with professorial titles, UT Dallas expects the faculty member to be engaged in the academic and scholarly life of the university. Such contributions can take many forms, including but not limited to the following examples: performing collaborative research with academic faculty; organizing, attending, or presenting at seminars and colloquia involving academic faculty and students; teaching courses; supervising undergraduate or graduate student research; serving on school committees. Currently, there are only a very limited number of research faculty at UT Dallas, but the implementation plan  for the strategic plan, “Creating the Future ,” envisions adding 25 research faculty, and the policy is in place to guide their hiring and their evaluation.Part-time Nontenure-System Faculty
Series 31001 of the Regents’ Rules  provides a discussion of different faculty classifications within the UT System and sets the parameters for duties of part-time faculty. Part-time faculty hiring and evaluation is described in Policy Memorandum 06-III.22-93, Hiring and Evaluation Procedures for Nontenure-System Faculty . The dean and program/department head are charged with evaluating the credentials of these faculty members and with developing a search plan that results in a pool of candidates. The search plans are submitted to the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost each semester. Because these individuals are charged primarily with teaching, this policy directly links the procedures to the university-wide teaching evaluation policy . The review material of these faculty members is housed in his or her respective dean’s office.Administrative Faculty
Faculty serving in administrative positions are evaluated on an annual and two periodic bases. The periodic performance review (post-tenure review) , which can result in removal from office, is in addition to the annual review which takes place as part of the budget process. As discussed in the response to Principle 3.2.10 , Policy Memorandum 96-III.30-68, Evaluation of Academic Administrators , requires that faculty, staff, and student input relating to administrators’ performances be collected and used in a rigorous review process. The comments collected remain confidential, but the comments are summarized and analyzed by the provost for discussion with each of the administrative faculty who is reviewed. The provost annually reports the results to the president and to the Academic Senate (or in the case of when the president presides over the review of the provost, the president reports the results to the Academic Senate ).Graduate Teaching Assistants
Graduate teaching assistants occupy a separate job classification from other part-time faculty such as lecturers. Evaluations of the performance of graduate teaching assistants, including those who have grading authority, are required each semester and are administered by the respective academic unit. Samples of redacted evaluations for the School of Arts and Humanities , School of Natural Science and Mathematics , School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences , School of Management , and the School of Engineering and Computer Science  are supplied in the supporting documents.
Policy Memorandum 76-III.25-4, University Policies Related to Graduate Student Teaching Assistants and Graduate Student Research Assistants , establishes the “conditions of service” under which teaching assistants must operate. These conditions include: “be in good academic standing with the Department and/or School and the University; be making satisfactory and timely progress toward the appropriate degree; be enrolled on a full-time basis (minimum of 9 credit hour enrollment each regular (long) semester); have been evaluated by supervisor as having performed satisfactorily on assigned tasks in accordance with Department, School and University policies and procedures; and have been in compliance with all requirements specified in the form, ‘Responsibilities of Graduate Student Teaching Assistants and Graduate Student Research Assistants’ .” All graduate teaching assistants who are instructors of record are also subject to the requirements stated in Policy Memorandum 94-III.21-60, Student Evaluations of Teaching , requiring student evaluations to be administered in each class taught every semester. Additionally, as specified by UT Dallas’ credentialing policy and credentialing form, all teaching students who are instructors of record must be supervised by a full-time faculty member . Instruments for semester evaluation of graduate assistants by academic and administrative supervisors are administered in the schools ; however, these evaluations are housed in the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost to ensure that the policy is being followed.