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Faculty Handbook

3.3. Basic Categories of Faculty Performance

The basic categories of faculty performance at KSU are teaching, research and creative activity; and professional service. The Faculty Performance Agreement delineates the relative emphasis of an individual faculty member’s activities in these three areas. Although some faculty may choose to engage in professional activities in all performance areas, faculty members are not necessarily required to do so. The typical faculty member will focus his or her work in the specific areas that reflect their knowledge and expertise in advancing the University’s mission. In all cases evaluation of faculty performance will be based on evidence of the quality and significance (see Section 3.4) of the individual faculty member’s scholarly accomplishments in his or her respective areas of emphasis.


A. Teaching,
This category of faculty performance refers to a wide variety of instructional activities that engage faculty peers and others to facilitate student learning. By definition, scholarly teachers (see Section 3.4) demonstrate mastery of the current knowledge and methodology of their discipline(s). Teaching effectiveness at KSU shall be assessed and evaluated not only from the perspective of the teacher’s pedagogical intentions but also from the perspective of student learning. Such assessment may employ multiple methods, including a variety of classroom techniques. Instruments to assess student perceptions of their own learning should not be the sole means but may be used in conjunction with other instruments.  Depending on the faculty member’s situational context, evaluation of teaching and curricular contributions shall not be limited to classroom activities but will also focus on the quality and significance of a faculty member’s contributions to larger communities, for example, through activities such as curricular development, community-engaged teaching practices, program assessment, student mentoring and supervision, public lectures and workshops, teaching abroad and international exchange, and academic advising.

In addition to documenting teaching effectiveness in terms of student learning, faculty should provide other measures of teaching effectiveness, such as some, but not necessarily all, of the following: teaching awards, evidence of handling diverse and challenging teaching assignments, securing grants for curriculum development or teaching techniques, accomplishments involving community-engaged pedagogy, peer observations, and contributions to the achievement of departmental teaching-related goals.


B. Research and Creative Activity
Research and creative activity at KSU is broadly defined in the institution’s mission statement as a wide array of activities that contribute to the advancement of knowledge, understanding, application, problem solving, aesthetics, and pedagogy in the communities served by the University. These professional activities become recognized accomplishments when the work exhibits the use of appropriate and rigorous methods, is formally shared with others and is
subject to informed critique and review (peer-review). Documentation and evaluation of accomplishments in research and creative activity shall focus on the quality and significance of the work. Merely listing individual tasks and projects does not address quality and significance. Faculty members are encouraged to disseminate their best teaching practices to appropriate audiences and to subject their work to critical review.

College and departmental guidelines must identify the specific criteria for determining quality and significance of research and creative activity appropriate to that college’s and department’s disciplines and scholarly contexts.

Accomplishments shall be judged in the context of their use of current knowledge, their impact on peers and communities who are stakeholders in the processes, and the products of the research and creative activities. In evaluating scholarship, the faculty are expected to demonstrate the quality and significance of the faculty member’s accomplishments.

In certain fields such as writing, literature, performing arts, fine arts, architecture, graphic design, cinema, and broadcast media or related fields, distinguished creation should receive consideration equivalent to that accorded to distinction attained in more traditional areas of research. In evaluating artistic creativity, an attempt should be made to determine the quality and significance of the faculty member’s accomplishments. Criteria such as originality, scope, richness, depth of creative expression, and recognition by peers may be used to evaluate quality and significance. In disciplines such as music or drama performance, including conducting and directing, design, choreography, etc., are evidence of a candidate’s creativity.

Contributions to the development of collaborative, interdisciplinary, cross-institutional, international, or community-engaged research programs are highly valued. Documenting collaborative research might involve evidence of individual contributions (e.g., quality of work, completion of assigned responsibilities) work facilitating the successful participation of others (e.g., skills in teamwork, group problem-solving); and/or the development of sustained partnerships that involve the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources. KSU recognizes publishing in pedagogical journals or making educationally focused presentations at disciplinary and inter-disciplinary gatherings that advance the scholarship of teaching and curricular innovation or practice.


C. Professional Service
Professional service involves the application of a faculty member’s academic and professional skills and knowledge to the completion of tasks that benefit the University, the community, or the profession. For example, faculty members might draw on their professional expertise to engage in a wide array of scholarly service to the governance and professionally related service activities of the Department, College, or University. Service is a vital part of faculty governance and University functioning, and evidence of the quality and significance of institutional service can support tenure and promotion. Governance and professionally related service create an environment that supports scholarly excellence and the achievement of the University’s mission. Those faculty serving as administrators may engage in service activities such as faculty development, fundraising, fiscal management, personnel management, and public relations.  Whatever the individual’s relative emphasis in the performance areas, all faculty members are expected to devote at least  10% of their time to professional service activities essential to the life of the institution (See Section 4).

Scholarly service to communities external to the university is highly valued and frequently enhances teaching, research and creative activity. Service to the community should be related to the faculty member’s discipline or role at the university. For example, a faculty member might engage in professionally related service to a community agency, support or enhance economic development for the region, provide technical assistance, or facilitate organizational development. Likewise some scholarly service activities might rely on a faculty member’s academic or professional expertise to serve their discipline or an interdisciplinary field. This type of service might also include developing linkages with partner institutions both locally and globally.

In all types of professional service, documentation and evaluation of scholarly service shall focus on quality and significance rather than on a plain recitation of tasks and projects. Documentation of the products or outcomes of professional service should be provided by the faculty member and considered as evidence for the evaluation of his or her accomplishments. Documentation should be sufficient to outline a faculty member’s agreed-upon responsibilities and to support an evaluation of effectiveness.

Faculty will be expected to explain and document the quality and significance of their service roles. The faculty member should provide measures of his or her role such as:

  • an explanation of the scholarly work involved in the service role;
  • copies of minutes, number of hours met;
  • copies of products developed;
  • measures of the impact or outcome of the service role and/or
  • an explanation of the unique contribution of leadership roles or recognition by others of contributions.

For those in administrative roles, they should demonstrate the quality and significance of their leadership and administration, especially how effectively they foster the requisite fiscal, physical, interpersonal, intercultural, international, and intellectual environment (e.g., improving the quality and significance of research or service in their unit).  In sum, administrative faculty act as leaders by assisting colleagues in their unit to achieve and surpass University, college, and departmental goals in teaching, research and creative activity, and professional service.