Policy Number: E07.0

Policy Name: Annual Review and Development of Faculty

  1. Preamble

Rochester Institute of Technology is committed to promoting academic excellence. As stated in our mission, teaching, scholarship, and service are our central enterprises, and effective teaching continues to be the hallmark of RIT. This policy assumes the dignity and academic freedom of individual faculty members and its implementation shall be guided by mutual trust.

This policy on Annual Review and Development of Faculty establishes guidelines for the evaluation of the performance of each full-time faculty member against established university criteria and in accordance with the mission and goals of each faculty member's department and college. The results of the review will be used to:

      1. Encourage and foster continued professional development;
      2. Provide part of required documentation as specified in other policies;
      3. Promote the improvement of individual performance; and,
      4. Inform annual merit increments.

An underlying principle of this policy is that faculty review and development are closely related and work in concert to help faculty meet individual and institutional goals.

  1. Review Process

    1. All full-time faculty at Rochester Institute of Technology will participate in an annual performance review.

    2. The criteria for the review shall be consistent with the performance criteria in the university policies for tenure (E5.0) and promotion (E6.0). The application of specific criteria and their weighting may vary among academic units and among faculty members.

    3. The performance categories for evaluating all faculty members shall be: Outstanding, Very Good, Satisfactory, Needs Improvement, and Unsatisfactory.

    4. The time frame for the period of review shall be January 1 through December 31. Each college shall provide a published timeline to ensure that the overall process is completed by April 15 or the next business day.

    5. Each college's review process must include the following elements:

      1. Plan of Work

        1. A 17-month plan of work generated by the faculty member that outlines the faculty member's goals for teaching, scholarship, and service for the period from January 1 through the end of spring term of the following academic year. The third semester is a long-range plan and may be modified as part of the following year's evaluation process. The third semester long range planning would not be considered part of the current year's evaluation.

        2. Faculty may also include how the plan of work goals fit with their longer term performance aspirations.

        3. Each college or department may have their own published guidelines for developing a plan of work.

        4. Each faculty member's negotiated plan of work will include specific performance criteria and how it will be applied and weighted.

        5. The plan of work shall be approved by the department chair and dean and shall be available for inspection by members of the department.

      2. The faculty member's written self-evaluation and evidence of performance against the criteria specified above (II.B) and the elements of the plan of work that overlap with the review period. Evidence of performance should include at a minimum the following:

        1. Results from the core questions on the university-wide student rating of instruction survey for all sections taught during each semester, accessible through the RIT Student Rating System at a disaggregated level. Student ratings shall not be the sole source of data used to evaluate teaching effectiveness. Response rates should be taken into consideration when reviewing student ratings. Other possible teaching effectiveness data may include alumni ratings; peer ratings; self-assessment statements; syllabi and other course documents; examples of student work; and teaching portfolios.

        2. Evidence of scholarly achievement and quality as defined by the faculty member's college and department for the review period.

        3. Written confirmation of participation on college and university committees and self-assessment of performance on those committees and professional service activities.

      3. An annual written evaluation from the department head based on the time period of January 1-December 31. The evaluation will entail assignment of one of the five performance categories to the faculty member's performance in each of the following areas: teaching; scholarship; and service; as appropriate. The evaluation will also assign one of the five performance categories to the overall faculty member's performance. Faculty shall be evaluated on the basis of objective criteria as applied to their own performance, expectations within their college, and norms within their field and not on the basis of their relative performance vis-a-vis the performance of others in their academic unit. This evaluation should include an indication of progress towards promotion and/or tenure when appropriate.

      4. A joint meeting between the faculty member and the department head to discuss the results of the annual review and the proposed plan of work for the next review period. Based on this meeting, the plan of work may then be modified by the faculty member to address concerns raised in the annual review. In addition, the department head may choose to amend the annual review. The faculty member has the opportunity to include a response to the annual review that becomes part of the official documentation.

      5. Faculty members who believe that this policy has been unfairly or improperly implemented are referred to the policies on Faculty Grievance (E24.0), Appeal Committee on Faculty Salaries (E14.0), and Discrimination and Harassment (C6.0).

  2. Faculty Development

    1. Each faculty member whose approved plan of work identifies areas of development which address the university's educational goals, or department, college or university strategic plans shall be eligible to apply for professional development assistance from the university. Examples of assistance include but are not limited to collegial mentoring, opportunities to take courses, release time, financial assistance, tutoring, or supplies. Requests for such development assistance should follow the process outlined below in C.

    2. Tenure-track faculty who are rated as Needs Improvement or Unsatisfactory in either teaching or scholarship shall be eligible for funds from the Faculty Improvement Fund (FIF). Each faculty member eligible for FIF funds must work with their department head to develop and implement an appropriate plan of improvement. The funds will be distributed by the dean.

    3. Tenure-track faculty and senior and principal lecturers are eligible for funds from the Faculty Education and Development (FEAD) fund. These funds will be appropriated by the university to each college in proportion to the number of tenure-track faculty and senior and principal lecturers in each college. Disbursement of these funds will proceed as follows:

      1. Each college will establish a FEAD Committee to consist of no fewer than three members, elected from and by the tenure-track faculty of the college. If a college has another committee whose membership complies with these specifications, the faculty of the college may designate it as the FEAD Committee.

      2. The FEAD Committee will initiate a request for proposals from eligible faculty members. Proposals will be due by a date to be established in each college.

      3. Proposals for FEAD funding must include a statement from the department head indicating support for the proposal.

      4. The FEAD Committee will review proposals and make funding recommendations to the dean of the college. If the dean of the college does not concur with the recommendations made by the college's FEAD Committee, the dean shall communicate this objection to the committee and an informal resolution shall be pursued. In situations where the dean and the committee cannot reach a resolution regarding a FEAD award, the provost will be the final arbiter.

      5. The dean of the college shall be responsible for the disbursement of faculty development awards.

Responsible Office: Academic Senate and Office of the Provost. Inquiries can be directed to:

Academic Senate

Office of the Provost

Effective Date: Approved October 24, 1996

Policy History:
Revised May 15, 1997
Revised October 23, 1997
Revised May 16, 2013