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7.5.5.c Sources of Relevant Information

Approved by Academic Council, Faculty, Administration; revised April 16, 2014

Unit guidelines should indicate that evaluations for promotion, for appointments with tenure and for fifth year evaluations of tenured faculty, will be based on written reports, whenever possible, or on interviews from at least the following sources: 

  1. the faculty member being evaluated; the faculty member should provide a curriculum vitae and a report (with supportive materials) of his or her teaching, scholarly activities, and professional service.
  2. students (both past and present) and advisees; where feasible, graduates should also be consulted. At least one evaluation of each course the faculty member teaches will be conducted using a procedure specified by the guidelines.
  3. colleagues of the faculty member, including all members of the department in which the faculty member holds an appointment (or all members of the faculty in schools in which the faculty make decisions as a committee of the whole).
  4. the Dean of the unit.
  5. at least two external letters evaluating the quality of the candidate's scholarship and contribution to the discipline.

7.5.5.c.1 - Evaluation of Scholarship and Teaching
The record of previous peer review relating to scholarly and artistic activity should also be included in the dossier considered by the committee. The academic unit shall require (and individual candidates may request) two letters of review by peers in related professional areas outside the University in evaluations for promotion, tenure, and fifth year evaluations of tenured faculty. Unit guidelines should be designed to bring about agreement between the candidate and the committee concerning the choice of extramural peers. The candidate should have the opportunity to suggest names of such peers and to comment on the suitability of peers proposed by the committee. The final decision on the choice of an external peer is to be made by the committee. If the reviewer has a relationship with the candidate, an explanation should be included in the unit evaluation committee report stating why the reviewer is the most appropriate person to review the candidate's scholarship.

External letters should be requested by the chairperson of the evaluation committee or other relevant unit committee or individual, e.g. an evaluation review committee, and selected from a list compiled by the Department Chairperson. The candidate should see the list and have the opportunity to veto for cause a potential letter writer, but should not know who is ultimately requested to write a letter. All letters should be confidential and the candidate
should only view redacted letters that do not identify the institution or individual who wrote the letter. In the dossier, the external evaluation letters should be separated from the other letters of support.

Summary data for all courses evaluated by students during the evaluation period should be included in the dossier. The summary of evaluations should compare the candidate's scores with the norms in the unit, if the unit compiles unit norms.  The summary and comparison should be completed by a member of the evaluation committee. The candidate's dossier should also include a sample of student evaluations, including student comments. The student evaluation sample of courses will be submitted by the evaluation committee for inclusion in the dossier. The sample should represent a significant sample of the depth and breadth of the courses taught during the evaluation period.

The Third Year Review shall be included in the candidate's dossier.

7.5.5.c.2 Evaluation Committee Reports
The evaluation committee report should reflect the agreed conclusion of committee members on whether the faculty candidate meets the tenure and/or promotion standards for each section; teaching, scholarship and service. If the evaluation committee cannot reach agreement on an individual section, both the majority and minority views on whether the candidate meets tenure and/or promotion should be included in the document. A recommendation from the committee does not constitute a vote.  A faculty member should only be allowed to vote once.

The evaluation committee report should include information that assists the P&T Committee members from other disciplines in understanding the discipline evaluation criteria standards. For example, in the scholarship section, when relevant, the report should discuss the quality of the journals and presses published in, or conferences presented at, and the significance of co-authorships, including first and last authorships, in the discipline.

Evaluation committee reports should provide objective evidence of teaching, such as student evaluations and peer review. Evaluation committee reports should clearly state the method of any peer teaching evaluation. Units should employ a process that allows peers to base their evaluation on direct evidence, e.g. direct observation, review of video of faculty candidates' teaching and/or review of teaching materials rather than hearsay reports from students or other colleagues. Generally individual student letters regarding teaching shall not be considered.

7.5.5.c. 3 Unit Consideration Of Promotion and /or Tenure
In most instances, a meeting to discuss the dossier and share information prior to taking the actual vote of the group is the most effective process. In cases where a group discussion is not possible, the unit must determine a process for sharing of opinions and incorporate this into the evaluation for Promotion and Tenure. Units should adopt a practice to capture the basis for negative and positive votes by eligible unit faculty.

The department chair should prepare a transmittal memorandum that includes the vote by eligible unit faculty and summarizes the basis of majority and any minority views about whether the candidate meets the standards for teaching, scholarship and service.  The summary of majority and minority opinions should be based on the discussion in the unit meeting or other process that the unit employs to gather eligible unit faculty views.  The transmittal memorandum should not disclose or be drafted in a way to identify the opinions of individual faculty members. The transmittal memorandum should be included in the dossier.

7.5.5.c.4 Dean's Letter 
The Dean reviews all the evidence including the Chairperson's transmittal memorandum and writes a letter communicating a recommendation based on an independent review. The letter should clearly describe the Dean's assessment of the candidate's contribution to the field. Additionally, if areas needing improvement were identified in the third-year review, all efforts applied to address these should be included. To preserve the independent evaluation required at each stage of the tenure and promotion process, the Dean should not be present at the unit level discussion meeting. New information not reviewed by the unit evaluation committee shall not be included in the Chairperson's transmittal memorandum or the Dean's letter.

The dossier, including the chair's letter and the evaluation committee report shall be submitted electronically to the Provost's office.