November 7, 2019
The best way to approach faculty evaluations
Topics in Higher Education | Interfolio Review, Promotion & Tenure
Full-time faculty members are consistently evaluated based on the progress they’ve made in their own professional development, as well as their performance as an instructor at a higher education institution. Faculty reviews and evaluations involve looking closely at different information surrounding individual educators, including:
- Quality of teaching
- Usefulness as an academic adviser
- Professional service and academic productivity, including publication of academic papers and books
- University and community service
Faculty evaluation is a critical component in maintaining accreditation and preparing for tenure evaluations. Accredited universities must ensure they are employing high-quality educators and that they are supporting equitable and efficient hiring and tenure review processes. As there are multiple parties involved in the faculty evaluation process, it is crucial to have evaluation systems that are accessible to all stakeholders. Many colleges and universities would argue that an online faculty evaluation system is the best, most accurate way to approach faculty reviews.
Stakeholders in faculty evaluation
A number of professionals are involved in faculty review. The following individuals play a significant role in the faculty evaluation process:
- Faculty members: As the ones being evaluated, faculty members are involved in each step of the evaluation process, either directly or indirectly.
- Department chairs: At the beginning of the faculty evaluation process, department chairs will review semester summaries of each educator’s teaching evaluations.
- Dean of the college: After the department chair has given their evaluation of each faculty member’s performance, they will send this information to the dean of the university for review.
- Administrators: An individual on the staff, typically a member of the Office of Academic Affairs, receives the results of the faculty evaluation from the dean. They will review this information and ensure that it is stored in a secure environment.
Most universities require department chairs to have at least one evaluation interview with each non-tenured faculty member in their department. This interview is comprised of discussions on teaching effectiveness, course syllabi, professional and academic development, and overall citizenship to the department and university as a whole. After this meeting, department chairs will send the results to the school’s dean, who will review the materials, then to an administrator who is in charge of making sure this information goes to the right place.
Transform evaluation with Interfolio’s Faculty Activity Reporting
While some universities have succeeded without technological resources designed to centralize and streamline the faculty evaluation process, the increase in data and proliferation in campus technology systems has made it necessary for colleges and universities to integrate digital processes in the faculty evaluation and activity reporting processes.
Interfolio’s Review, Promotion and Tenure software is a comprehensive online platform that strives to improve faculty reporting and evaluation. It allows higher education institutions of all sizes to make their activity and evaluation information available to users operating on any type of device and in any location. In addition, Interfolio’s Review, Promotion and Tenure allows universities to develop reports on faculty data in customizable formats that can be used in different contexts, such as in gaining and maintaining accreditation.