2.5 Faculty Evaluation: Policy, Criteria, and Evidence

Faculty members are evaluated throughout their careers at the college [university]. They have the right to regular evaluation to identify their areas of excellence and to target areas where improvement is appropriate. Judgments concerning the quality of each faculty member's performance are necessary to make college [university] decisions with respect to the renewal of term appointments, the continuation of probationary appointments, as well as the granting of tenure, promotions, and sabbaticals. Although the criteria for evaluation address different aspects of professional life, faculty members are expected to meet these criteria within an integrated professional identity in which the values of teacher and learner are interwoven into ongoing career development. Evaluations

Formal evaluations of ranked faculty are carried out by the Rank and Tenure Committee during the third year of full-time appointment, during the sixth year (resulting in a decision on the granting of tenure), and before promotion in rank. Procedures for these evaluations are described in Sections 2.6, "Tenure," and 2.7, "Promotion." Periodic review of tenured faculty occurs in accord with Section 2.8, "Post-tenure Review." Although tenured faculty are not formally evaluated annually, they should periodically consult with the department chair [and/or the dean of the School of Theology] concerning their programs of professional development. (See Section 2.9.1, "Planning for Professional Development.")

Department chairs [and the dean of the School of Theology] are expected to arrange annual evaluations of probationary members of their department in a detailed manner. (See Section 4.2, “Annual Evaluation of Probationary Faculty Members.”) The chair sends a letter of evaluation to the divisional dean, with a copy to the candidate. The divisional dean may participate in this evaluation if appropriate and is responsible for ensuring that department chairs complete these reviews annually. Procedures for the annual evaluation of probationary faculty members are outlined in Section 4.2. The chair [and/or the dean of the School of Theology] is also responsible for a less formal annual evaluation of term-appointment faculty.

If desired, untenured faculty may seek out (for example, with the help of the department chair or the Learning Enhancement Service) the participation of a nondepartmental senior faculty member or outside consultant to be part of a formative evaluation process. This person would not later be part of any summative evaluation of the candidate unless the candidate requested his or her participation.

In order to gather student reaction and recommendations for improvement, faculty members survey student opinion at the end of their courses. Such course surveys are the property of each faculty member, but they are routinely submitted to the Rank and Tenure Committee at times of evaluation and to other individuals and committees where appropriate at the faculty member’s discretion. Departmental Guidelines for Evaluations

The Rank and Tenure Committee must apply the evaluation criteria below to candidates from diverse departments. Consequently, departments shall develop, and periodically review departmental guidelines for evaluation that interpret from the perspective of a particular discipline the criteria and forms of evidence described below. Departmental guidelines shall be developed in consultation with the academic Dean [or the Dean of the School of Theology] and the Divisional Head and shall be placed on file in the Office of Academic Affairs for advisory use by faculty evaluation committees. The guidelines shall also be communicated to new faculty members at the time of hiring and inform departmental discussions of candidates for third year review, tenure, and promotion. Faculty members shall consult these guidelines when drawing up their professional development plans. These departmental guidelines supplement but do not supersede the criteria and forms of evidence stipulated in Section 2.5 below.

2.5.1 Teaching Effectiveness

Excellence in teaching is the most important goal of a faculty member at the college [university]. In all applications for third-year review, tenure, and promotion, teaching effectiveness should be addressed as the most important basis for seeking a positive review of the application.

Candidates should present evidence of effective teaching from any classes that they have taught, including department courses, department courses with core designation, core courses, outside their department, and other courses outside their department. Although most teaching occurs in the context of a course, important teaching also occurs in moderating individual learning projects, honors theses, internships and in mentoring and/or apprenticeships. Consequently, a candidate may wish to include evidence related to these forms of teaching if appropriate.

The attributes and qualifications which should be considered and documented in assessing teaching effectiveness include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:

  1. command of one's field and its ongoing development as related to curricular needs;
  2. ability to identify course‑appropriate student learning goals;
  3. integration of effective pedagogies and course materials to promote student learning;
  4. frequent use of student feedback to improve goals, pedagogies, and materials;
  5. integration of college [university] and departmental goals and values into course goals and methods, as appropriate;
  6. ability to help students relate one's discipline to other areas of knowledge and to the liberal arts tradition;
  7. skill in communicating with students;
  8. ability to provoke and broaden student interest in subject matter;
  9. redesign of existing courses and development of new courses appropriate to the mission and goals of the college [university] and department; and
  10. ongoing pattern of effort to improve teaching effectiveness;

A faculty member ordinarily demonstrates effectiveness by assembling and presenting a teaching portfolio that may include the following types of evidence:

  1. reflective statement describing personal teaching philosophy, strategies, and objectives, as well as progress toward one's professional goals;
  2. evaluation by department chair, [and/or the dean of the School of Theology,] and/or appropriate program directors;
  3. evaluative statements from departmental/program colleagues;
  4. review of course syllabi, course materials, and exams by peers inside or outside the two institutions;
  5. the student course surveys, together with the candidate's summaries and analysis of those surveys, and a description of any changes in one's courses as a response to student reaction;
  6. continuing education in one's field or areas related to one's teaching responsibilities; and
  7. participation in seminars, special courses, or workshops, whether sponsored by the college [university] or other organizations, on the development of teaching and learning skills.
2.5.2 Scholarship and Creative Work

Scholarship and creative work are essential to the life of each faculty member to contribute to teaching effectiveness and to enhance an understanding of the world around us. Evaluation of this area of faculty responsibilities is especially challenging, however, because the form, emphases, and methods of these activities vary among disciplines. The Rank and Tenure Committee is aided by departmental guidelines for evaluation (see Section, especially if these are available from departments where scholarship and creative work may include distinctive elements.

The essential and constant element across disciplines and among the four criteria identified below is public accessibility. Scholarly work requires the individual's participation in a publicly accessible conversation about the knowledge that is generated by the scholar's work. Creative work requires public presentation and availability to critique by professional peers. Consequently, some evidence of scholarly engagement (e.g., attendance at professional meetings, scholarly writing as yet not presented and unpublished or creative work not presented, or professional consultation services not subject to outside review) demonstrates only the commendable first steps toward scholarly work as described below. Such activities require the faculty member's scholarly knowledge and/or creative ability and are professionally stimulating in important ways. In and of themselves, however, these activities are at best preliminary evidence for scholarship and creative work in academe.

Scholarly and creative work includes the following:

  1. contribution to the advancement of knowledge and creativity related to one's disciplinary area(s);
  2. integration and interpretation of disciplinary knowledge across fields of scholarship;
  3. application of scholarly or artistic learning in actual settings to issues related to the human condition; and
  4. innovative transformation of scholarly or artistic ways of knowing into student learning.

Demonstration of scholarly excellence may include, but is not necessarily limited to, the following evidence:

  1. publications subject to peer review;
  2. slides, recordings, or portfolios of artistic works or performance;
  3. other relevant publications;
  4. presentations of scholarly and/or creative work at professional meetings;
  5. on-campus presentations of scholarship and/or creative work;
  6. evaluation by department chair, program director [and/or the dean of the School of Theology];
  7. evaluative statements by professional peers; and
  8. award of grants, patents, prizes, or commendations. Scholarship in the School of Theology

Because of the particular importance of ongoing research to graduate teaching in particular, the assessment of excellence in scholarship for members of the School of Theology faculty is made in light of the expectation that at a minimum such faculty will also publish their work periodically in scholarly or professional journals and that they will be active in at least one professional society.

2.5.3 Advising

In this residential, liberal arts, college [university] established in the Benedictine tradition, faculty members should place a special significance on helping students to plan and integrate educational and career choices. In collaboration with the offices for academic advising, the residence hall staff, personal and career counseling services, and other college [university] student support offices, faculty members are expected to advise students concerning the following goals:

  1. exploration of life goals;
  2. development of an educational plan consistent with the accomplishment of education objectives appropriate to life and career goals;
  3. selection of a major/minor;
  4. selection and scheduling of classes, internship experiences, independent study, and course work abroad;
  5. identification of other college [university] services appropriate to a student's needs and goals; and
  6. reflective progress in an education plan toward identified life goals.

Evidence of excellence in the performance of the faculty advising responsibilities includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  1. self-evaluation;
  2. student letters;
  3. evaluation by department chair;
  4. evaluation by colleagues, if any, who have directly observed the candidate's advising;
  5. contribution to group advising events;
  6. participation in workshops and training sessions designed to improve advising skills; and
  7. evaluations by alumnae and alumni.
2.5.4 Service

Faculty members are expected to contribute to the governance, operational, and community concerns of their departments and the college [university]. Specific activities will vary, but faculty service should ordinarily:

  1. contribute to the college [university] commitment to community and the common good; and
  2. call upon the faculty member's academic or professional expertise. Service to the College [University]

Each faculty member's obligation to participate in governance and in other forms of service to the college [university] is rooted most fundamentally in the faculty's joint responsibility for the academic programs of the college [university] and for the common good essential to their vitality. Faculty members are not expected to serve on a college [university] standing or ad hoc committee before the year in which they apply for third-year review.

Service to the college [university] may include, but is not necessarily limited to, the following:

  1. ongoing service on departmental [and/or School of Theology] committees, effective participation in meetings and in decision-making, curriculum development, and assessment processes of the department;
  2. effective participation in faculty assemblies, on college [university] standing committees, and on other faculty committees (e.g., for planning, assessment, accreditation);
  3. leadership roles in governance, faculty development, curriculum design, and/or other activities of the college [university];
  4. service as chair of a department, a division, or a committee;
  5. service as director of a program; leader in other faculty, professional or college [university] programs or associations; and/or
  6. representation of one or both institutions to the local, regional, national, or international community.

Demonstration of service contributions to the college [university] should include, but is not necessarily limited to, the following types of evidence:

  1. self-evaluation of activities and their relationship to one's professional identity;
  2. evaluations by department chair [and/or the dean of the School of Theology], appropriate program directors, and/or other appropriate colleagues and administrators (e.g., committee chairs);
  3. work products or summaries of work completed. Service to the Students

Faculty members are encouraged to provide other service to students, which may include, but is not necessarily limited to, the following:

  1. serving as advisor to a student organization;
  2. serving as moderator or facilitator of student activities;
  3. planning and/or participating in co-curricular enrichment activities; and/or
  4. serving as faculty resident.

Evidence of effectiveness in service to students may include, but is not necessarily limited to, the following:

  1. self-evaluation of the contribution by the faculty member;
  2. evaluations from students; and/or
  3. evaluations by the department chair [and/or the dean of the School of Theology] and/or program director(s). Service to the Profession

Faculty members are encouraged to support professional organizations appropriate to their profession and/or discipline. Service activities in support of the profession include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:

  1. leadership positions in professional organizations;
  2. service on a professional editorial board; and/or
  3. other service to professional organizations.

Evidence of service to the profession/discipline may include, but is not necessarily limited to, the following:

  1. self-evaluation of activities and/or
  2. evaluation statements from professional peers. Professional Service to the Community

Faculty members are encouraged to provide to the general community service related to their professional expertise. Professional service to the community may include, but is not necessarily limited to, the following:

  1. appointment in a professional capacity to a state, regional, or national post; and/or
  2. professional service as a consultant or resource person to a nonprofit organization or community group.

Evidence of professional service contributions may include, but is not necessarily limited to, the following:

  1. self-evaluation of activities and their relationship to professional identity;
  2. evaluations by leaders or representatives of community groups;
  3. awards and recognition; and/or
  4. summaries or examples of service or work done. Other Public Service

Faculty members often provide service to the community in activities unrelated to professional or academic expertise. Although not as important for professional evaluation as other criteria listed in Section 2.5, such community participation is a real contribution to society and a part of the mission of the college [university]. Such activities may include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:

  1. leadership position or other public service in church or community activities or organizations.

Documentation of such public service may include, but is not necessarily limited to, the following:

  1. self-evaluation and/or
  2. awards or recognition.
2.5.5 Professional Identity

The professional life of a faculty member should be more than a series of unrelated activities. Ideally each faculty member has and continues to develop a professional identity that integrates the activities of teaching, advising, scholarship/creative work, and service with the individual's personal qualities, personal professional goals, and the mission of the college [university]. Personal Qualities

The strength of the college [university] depends in large measure on the character of its faculty. Faculty members are expected to demonstrate the following qualities:

  1. love of learning and the free interchange of ideas;
  2. personal integrity;
  3. personal and social maturity; and
  4. respect for colleagues, students, and other members of the college and the university communities.

Demonstration of personal qualities may include, but is not necessarily limited to, the following:

  1. self-evaluation; and
  2. evaluations by colleagues, students, or other members of the college [university] communities. Professional Development

Commitment to lifelong learning and growth should be important to faculty members and to students in the liberal arts and the Benedictine tradition. Faculty members are expected to engage in planning for and documenting the ongoing development of their professional skills and performance in all of the major areas identified in Section 2.5. Professional development plans should demonstrate how the individual's development is related to the needs of the department, the college [university], and/or one’s profession. (See Section 2.9, "Faculty Development," for policies and procedures for professional development.)

Criteria for professional development include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:

  1. reflection on roles and responsibilities in the department [and/or the School of Theology] and the college [university];
  2. identification of goals targeted for professional growth during the next three to five years; and
  3. frequent engagement in activities appropriate to the achievement of goals targeted.

Evidence of excellence in professional development includes, but is not necessarily limited to, the following:

  1. self-evaluation of areas previously targeted for professional growth and the results achieved to date;
  2. an up-to-date program for professional development; and
  3. evaluation by department chair [and/or the dean of the School of Theology] of the faculty member's development and the value to the department of the faculty member's progress achieved and planned. Support of the Mission of the College [University]

The college [university], in close cooperation with Saint John's University [the College of Saint Benedict], seeks to provide a residential liberal arts education in the Catholic tradition within the context of the Benedictine values of its sponsoring monastery. It is expected that all faculty members will respect this mission. (For reference purposes, current mission statements of the college [university] are published in the Academic Catalog.)

Demonstration of respect for mission may include:

  1. a statement describing ways in which the different aspects of one’s professional life (see Section 2.5) as a faculty member of the college [university] contribute to the mission of the college [university];
  2. supporting comments in letters included in the file of materials; and
  3. evidence of commitment to intellectual life and learning.

The college [university] welcomes into the academic community scholars from different cultural and religious backgrounds whose varied personal experiences and perspectives enrich intellectual and religious dialogue and who believe that scholarly pursuits should be undertaken with full confidence that knowledge and truth will not be diminished by rigorous examination of all points of view. Given this diversity of origin and the wide variety of academic pursuits in which the faculty engage, it is recognized that the extent to which Christian, Catholic and Benedictine values will affect each faculty member will vary and that faculty members may contribute in many different ways to the overall mission of the college and university. Respect for the college’s [university’s] mission does not impinge on academic freedom (see Section 2.10.1). The college [university] is deeply respectful of the privacy of the individual conscience in matters of religion, so a specific response to the religious aspects of the mission is not expected.