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Faculty Handbook

3.7. Faculty Review Process

Faculty performance is evaluated through two basic, interrelated processes: annual reviews and multi-year reviews. Annual reviews give an evaluation of the faculty member’s performance over one year within the context of the multi-year reviews. The multi-year reviews, involving multiple reviewers, are a more comprehensive examination of a faculty member’s role in and contribution to the department, college, and University. 
 
A. Format of Annual Review - FPA 
The annual assessment of a faculty member’s contributions to the University will be based upon his or her performance with regard to the items listed in the most recent year’s Faculty Performance Agreement(s) (FPA). The basis of this assessment is an annual review document (ARD) that is compiled by the faculty member to demonstrate his or her progress toward the FPA items. This document will convey accurate information by which the faculty member is to be evaluated, counseled, and judged in her or his professional performance at KSU and must address contributions not only in terms of quantity but also in terms of quality and significance. 
 
Since annual reviews form the basis for the distribution of merit pay raises, they need to be completed in a timely manner according to Board of Regents policies and schedules. The annual updating of the FPA needs to occur at the same time as the annual review, as the FPA is integral to the next annual review process. Together, the ARD and the FPA form a retrospective and prospective snapshot of a faculty member’s performance that aid all levels of reviewers in properly assessing the contributions of the faculty member.
 
Since the ARD addresses items in the past year’s FPA, the document must contain this FPA. The exact format and layout of the ARD and the FPA that a faculty member uses will be determined by his or her department. However, since the ARD and the FPA are integral to T&P decisions and must be consistent with the T&P criteria, the College Review Committee, the department chair, the dean, and the Provost/VPAA must approve these formats.
 
The first-level reviewer will comment upon the entire ARD, with the format of the comments determined by the format of the ARD. The ARD and any comments must be printed out and signed by the faculty member and the reviewer. The entire package then is forwarded to the next administrative level for review. Within 10 calendar days from the review decision, the faculty member has the right to submit a written response to the entire package and to subsequent responses by the next level or levels of review. Response letters are directed to the reviewing administrator and copied to the next level of review. The administrator will respond in writing to the candidate and copy the next level of review. This response may include the reversal of the original decision. Such responses become integral to the ARD in its movement to all subsequent levels of review.
 
ARDs, FPAs, and any additional comments, such as response letters, must be submitted with document material for all T&P reviews, including third-year reviews. 
 
The detailed annual review and evaluation of faculty performance adheres to the following schedule:
 
Annual Review for Faculty in Their First Year
In August, the Department Chair meets with first year faculty to develop an FPA, which must include the period of mid-August to December. In January, the Department Chair conducts a mid-year review based on the faculty member’s activity (provided in the ARD) in relation to the FPA goals for mid-August to December. The mid-year review is completed before the deadline for first-year nonrenewal decisions in February. During the mid-year review, development/updates to the FPA for the period of January to September occur. 
 
Annual Review for Faculty in Their Second Year
In October, the Department Chair conducts a one-year review based on the faculty member’s activity (provided in the ARD) in relation to the FPA goals for January to September. The one-year review is completed before the deadline for second-year non-renewal decisions in November. During the one-year review, development/updates to the FPA for the period of October to December (of the following year) occur. 
 
Annual Review for Faculty Beyond the Second Year
In January of each year, the Department Chair conducts an annual review of faculty member’s activity (provided in the ARD) in relation to the FPA goals for the previous calendar year. (The review period for 3rd year faculty is one year and two months (October to December).
 
B. Multi-Year Reviews 
Committee Structure and Process
Department committees are elected by the tenure-track faculty of the department. Department committees have a minimum of three tenured faculty members who must be tenured and have an FPA that specifies 30% or less in the area of Administration and Leadership outside the department. Participation in decisions for promotion to full professor is more restricted than other tenure and promotion decisions. For such decisions only faculty with rank of associate professor or above may participate in the decision process. In such cases, departments may elect ad hoc committee members from inside or outside the department to serve in reviewing full professor promotion cases (but not other cases that are up for consideration in the department). Specific departmental policies on electing ad hoc committee members for full professor promotion cases must be clearly stated in the departmental tenure and promotion guidelines. Individuals whose documents are under review do not serve on the review committee. A candidate under review for Post-Tenure Review can serve on the department T&P committee, since the candidate’s portfolio starts at the college level.  
 
For the purposes of tenure and review, the members of the college review committee are two tenured faculty members from each department. Members of the college committee are elected by the tenured and tenure-track faculty of the department. No person can participate in more than one stage of the review process. 
 
Departmental representatives to the College Review Committee serve two-year staggered terms. When a department does not have two tenured faculty members who are eligible to serve, it will elect tenured faculty from outside the department. Faculty whose documents are under review may not serve on their departmental or College Review Committee.
 
In special cases requiring deviations from the established structure, permission must be obtained in advance from the Provost/VPAA. Once permission has been obtained, the changes will be communicated to all affected parties.
 
Reviewers’ deliberations shall be based on whether or not the candidate has met the standards for tenure and/or promotion in the department guidelines, in light of the evidence presented in the candidate’s portfolio as well as the reviewers’ first-hand personal observations of the candidate. 
 
Votes of review committees are by secret ballot. All deliberations and decisions of reviews are confidential and may not be discussed with the candidates or with others outside the review committee’s membership. All reviewers should remember that e-mail is not a confidential medium; therefore, committee minutes, notes, drafts of review letters, or final letters may not be circulated by e-mail.

Tenure and Promotion Review (For Deans and VPs see sections below)
The review of tenure and promotion documents begins with the Department Review Committee. Documents are then reviewed in turn by the department chair and the college dean. Tenure and promotion of chairs begins at the level of the Department Review Committee, then proceeds to a committee of department chairs from the college, and finally proceeds to the dean with the remainder of the process to follow as ordinary cases of tenure and promotion.
 
Tenure and promotion portfolios without any negative decisions among required levels of review proceed from the dean to the Provost/VPAA. At the request of the candidate under review, in the event of any negative decisions among required levels of review, or at the request of any of these levels (department, chair, committee of department chairs, dean), the portfolio goes to the College Review Committee which serves as the appeals committee for tenure and promotion cases. The college committee may request written clarification from previous levels of review and will have access to all portfolios in the current year in that college to see examples of successful portfolios in that year.
 
After the review and decision of the college committee (when such a review is necessary), the portfolio proceeds to the Provost/VPAA for a decision. In cases where the portfolio did not go to the College Review Committee, the Provost/VPAA may choose to send it to the appropriate College Review Committee for review and recommendation. In cases where the Provost/VPAA is inclined to not support the previous levels of review, the Provost/VPAA will send the portfolio to the College Review Committee. 
 
Within 10 calendar days from the review decision, the faculty member has the right to respond to the committee’s or administrator’s decision and justifications by submitting a written letter to the reviewing committee or administrator and copied to the next level of review. This response will become part of the portfolio that will be forwarded to the subsequent levels of review.  The response letter should address the interpretation of the information in the portfolio but it should not include new evidence to be considered in the review process. The reviewer (committee or administrator) does not respond to this letter. The Provost/VPAA makes a recommendation, and the portfolio then goes to the president, who makes a final recommendation. If, after the Provost/VPAA review, a candidate for tenure or promotion believes that the process of review has been violated, he or she may request review under the provisions of the KSU Grievance Policy.
 
If a tenured faculty is under review for promotion and post-tenure review simultaneously, the portfolio is reviewed by the department tenure and promotion committee and the department chair only for the promotion review. The portfolio is then reviewed by the dean for promotion and post tenure review. The portfolio is subsequently sent to the Provost/VPAA for a promotion consideration. If the Provost/VPAA is inclined not to support a recommendation of previous levels for promotion, if previous levels of review are discrepant for promotion, or if previous reviews are consistently negative for promotion, the Provost/VPAA sends the portfolio to the college committee for a promotion and post tenure review. The Provost/VPAA then provides a promotion review and finally the president provides a promotion decision. If the president provides a negative promotion review and the portfolio has not been reviewed by the college committee for post tenure review, this committee will meet and provide this review during spring semester. 

If a non-tenure track faculty with professorial rank, including clinical faculty, is under review for promotion and sixth year review simultaneously, the portfolio is reviewed by the department tenure and promotion committee, department chair, and dean for a promotion recommendation and for a sixth year review. At the request of the candidate under review, in the event of any negative promotion recommendation(s) among required levels of review, or at the request of any of the review levels, the portfolio goes to the College Review Committee as an appeals committee for a promotion review and recommendation. The Provost/VPAA then provides a promotion recommendation and finally the president provides a promotion decision.
 
If a faculty member has a joint appointment in two or more academic departments or across two or more divisions, the faculty member’s joint appointment agreement, which delineates how the home unit and the sharing unit(s) will provide input during tenure and promotion processes, will be followed.
 
At each level, review committees and administrators must make a positive or negative decision on the question of tenure and/or promotion and must write a letter to be placed in the portfolio (copy to the candidate, copy to lower levels of review) (for administrative faculty, recommendation letters must be sent to the candidate’s academic supervisors (e.g., department chair, dean) and administrative supervisors) (e.g. Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, Global Institute, etc.). A copy of the letter is sent to the Provost/VPAA that includes the recommendation for tenure and/or promotion and articulates the strengths and weaknesses that contributed to the decision. Within 10 calendar days from the review decision at each level, the faculty member has the right to respond to a committee’s or administrator’s decision and justifications by submitting a written letter to the reviewing committee or administrator and copied to the next level of review. This response will become part of the portfolio that will be forwarded to the subsequent levels of review.  The response letter should address the interpretation of the information in the portfolio but it should not include new evidence to be considered in the review process. The reviewer (committee or administrator) does not respond to this letter.
 
Third-Year Review
For non-administrative faculty, the review of third-year portfolios begins with the Department Review Committee, proceeding in turn to the department chair and the dean. The third-year review portfolio of a department chair is reviewed by the Department Review Committee, followed by the College Review Committee, and then the dean. The third-year review for other academic administrators (deans, other college-level administrators, and administrators above the level of dean) will mirror the first three levels of review for the tenure and promotion process. 
 
At each level, review committees and administrators consider the progress of the candidate toward tenure or, in the case of instructors, toward promotion. A letter is written at each level of review outlining the strengths and weaknesses of the candidate with respect to this question. A copy of each review letter is sent to the candidate and a copy is placed in the portfolio. 
 
Within 10 calendar days from the review decision, the faculty member has the right to respond to the committee’s or administrator’s decision and justifications by submitting a written letter to the reviewing committee or administrator and copied to the next level of review. This response will become part of the portfolio that will be forwarded to the subsequent levels of review.  The response letter should address the interpretation of the information in the portfolio but it should not include new evidence to be considered in the review process. The reviewer (committee or administrator) does not respond to this letter.
 
Review of Deans
Review of deans begins with the Department Review Committee, proceeds to the College Review Committee, followed by a committee of department chairs from the college. The review of assistant/associate deans and college-level directors of centers and institutes begins with the Department Review Committee, proceeds to a College Review Committee, followed by a review by the dean. For the dean, assistant/associate deans, and college-level directors, documents are then reviewed by the Provost/VPAA and president. If there is a request for another review by either the candidate under review or in the event of a discrepant decision or at the request of any of the levels, the portfolio can proceed to a committee of deans who serve as the additional level of review for tenure-track administrators above the level of dean.
 
Within 10 calendar days from the review decision, the faculty member has the right to respond to the committee’s or administrator’s decision and justifications by submitting a written letter to the reviewing committee or administrator and copied to the next level of review. This response will become part of the portfolio that will be forwarded to the subsequent levels of review.  The response letter should address the interpretation of the information in the portfolio but it should not include new evidence to be considered in the review process. The reviewer (committee or administrator) does not respond to this letter.

Tenure-Track Administrators above the Level of Dean
Review of tenure-track administrators above the level of dean (e.g., vice presidents, associate vice presidents, assistant vice presidents, and university-level directors of centers and institutes) begins with the Department Review Committee, followed by the dean of the candidate’s college. The portfolio then proceeds to a special university-wide committee composed of the current chairs of the College Review Committees and two deans to be elected by the deans (the dean of the candidate’s home department cannot serve on this committee). The portfolio proceeds to the Provost/VPAA (for assistant/associate VPs and university-level directors of centers and institutes), and then to the president. If there is a request for another review by either the candidate under review, the department review committee, the college dean, the special university-wide committee, the Provost/VPAA (in the case of the assistant/associate VPs and university-level directors), the president, or in the event of a discrepant decision, the portfolio can proceed to a committee of deans who have not previously reviewed the portfolio.
 
Within 10 calendar days from the review decision, the faculty member has the right to respond to the committee’s or administrator’s decision and justifications by submitting a written letter to the reviewing committee or administrator and copied to the next level of review. This response will become part of the portfolio that will be forwarded to the subsequent levels of review.  The response letter should address the interpretation of the information in the portfolio but it should not include new evidence to be considered in the review process. The reviewer (committee or administrator) does not respond to this letter.
 
Post-Tenure Review
The review of post-tenure portfolios for faculty begins with the College Review Committee. Since the faculty member submits the portfolio to the college office, the dean’s office will notify the department chair’s office that the portfolio has been received. After the college committee’s review a letter indicating the college committee’s decision is sent to the department chair and the portfolio then proceeds to the dean. The dean then makes a summary decision. A letter indicating the dean’s decision must be sent to the department chair. If there is a request for a second review by either the candidate under review, the College Review Committee, or dean, the portfolio can proceed to a committee of current chairs of the Department Review Committees in the college.  Although the primary evidence considered by review committees/administrators for post-tenure review is the five most recent annual evaluations and a current curriculum vitae, faculty members for post-tenure review must submit all materials for Binder 1.
 
Within 10 calendar days from the review decision, the faculty member has the right to respond to the committee’s or administrator’s decision and justifications by submitting a written letter to the reviewing committee or administrator and copied to the next level of review. This response will become part of the portfolio that will be forwarded to the subsequent levels of review.  The response letter should address the interpretation of the information in the portfolio but it should not include new evidence to be considered in the review process. The reviewer (committee or administrator) does not respond to this letter.
 
Based on BoR policy (8.3.5.4), administrators who have tenure and who may also have some teaching responsibilities will not be subject to post-tenure review as long as a majority of their duties are administrative in nature. When an administrator returns full-time to the faculty, he/she will be placed into the post-tenure review cycle and evaluated in the fifth year following return to the faculty and at subsequent five-year intervals.
 
Note. The Academic Affairs webpage provides information on the distinction between college-level administrators and university-level administrators.  https://web.kennesaw.edu/academicaffairs/

Queries about Process and Ethical Violations
Proposed revisions to the process are directed to the chair of the Faculty T&P Process Review Committee. Committee membership consists of the chairs of College Review Committees from the previous year. Disputes about the T&P procedures, including structure and content (conflict of interest or conflicting guidelines for example), will be directed to the chair of the process review committee for investigation and resolution. Violations of process (e.g., late letters, committees not elected according to guidelines, etc.), should be reported to the Provost/VPAA as well as to all levels of review. In these cases, the college committee should make a recommendation to the Provost/VPAA as to an appropriate course of action. Potential ethical indiscretions during the tenure and promotion process should be directed to the Provost/VPAA.
 
Portfolio Guidelines and Contents 
All faculty members who are considered for tenure, promotion, third-year progress, or post-tenure review must prepare a portfolio for consideration by all involved in the formal review process.  On an annual basis (usually at the time of contract renewal), the Office of Academic Affairs will notify all faculty of the dates of their next eligible and their next required reviews.  
 
Failure by a faculty member to submit the documentation required for tenure, promotion, third-year progress, or post-tenure review shall be considered by the review committee as not achieving expectations.  In this case, a faculty development plan will be developed by the candidate and the department chair.  The plan must include a requirement to submit materials for post-tenure review the following year.  If, after one year, the tenured faculty member has not completed satisfactorily this faculty development plan, one of several consequences could occur as delineated for the case of a three-year developmental plan.
 
To initiate the review process, the faculty member submits his or her portfolio to the department office by the scheduled date in the fall semester. If in the course of its consideration of the portfolio, the review committee discovers what it deems to be an inadvertent omission of a required document, the committee will ask the supervisor or designee provide the missing item(s). During the review process, faculty members may have access to their portfolios, but such access must be solely for reference purposes, and only with supervision. For post-tenure reviews, sixth year reviews for non-tenure track faculty with professorial rank (including clinical faculty) and all reviews for lecturers/senior lecturers, there is only one binder, and there is no size limitation on that binder. For all other reviews, the portfolio consists of two or more three-ring binders: Binder 1 and Binder(s) Containing Supporting Materials with the major sections tabbed and clearly labeled. The candidate’s name and the type of review should be clearly labeled on the spine and front cover of each binder.  The candidate may not add documentation to the portfolio after the submission deadline.
 
The specific material required for inclusion in the portfolio can be found in the next two sections. Beyond the required material, all faculty members submitting portfolios for review should make their own decisions on what additional information to include, especially those materials relating to accomplishments at prior institutions and accomplishments since their last tenure and/or promotion review at KSU. Although material from other institutions may be considered, the quality of more recent past accomplishments at KSU are major considerations for review decisions. All materials that demonstrate the quality and significance of the faculty member’s work should be included in the portfolio and review committees should consider all of the materials included in the portfolio to make their recommendation.


 
Contents of Binder 1 
Binder 1 must contain the following indexed sections: 

  • Cover page (standard form available on Academic Affairs web pages)
  • Summary sheet (standard form available on Academic Affairs web pages)
  • Narrative (no more than twelve pages, double-spaced, 12-point type, with one-inch margins). Sample narratives are available on the Academic Affairs web page. The narrative describes the quality and significance of the faculty member’s contributions during the period under review in the following areas as appropriate: 
    • Teaching, Supervising, and Mentoring of Students
    • Research and Creative Activity 
    • Professional Service 
    • Administration and Leadership 
  • Vitae -

Vitae should be formatted to clearly demonstrate the quality and significance of the faculty members’ accomplishments, especially to those beyond the department. An example of a vitae template can be found on the Academic Affairs webpage.

  • Annual Review Materials (including ARDs and FPAs).
  • Faculty up for tenure and/or promotion should include all annual review documents and supporting materials since their last third-year, tenure and/or promotion review. 
  • Faculty up for third-year review should include all annual review materials since their start date at KSU.
  • Departmental guidelines (Administrative Faculty should include the guidelines from the department of their faculty appointment).
  • Third-year review letters (for tenure (at all faculty ranks) and for promotion (from instructor to assistant professor or lecturer to senior lecturer)).
  • Response letters from previous levels of review.

 

Contents of Binder(s) Containing Supporting Materials   

  • Teaching, Supervising, and Mentoring of Students

This section contains illustrative evidence of the quality and significance of the faculty member’s teaching, supervision and mentoring. These materials may include, but are not limited to, the following (college and department guidelines may be more specific):

  • Peer review letters
  • Course syllabi
  • Course materials
  • Evidence of student learning
  • Student evaluations
  • Student survey results           
  • Evidence of advising activities
  • Evidence of faculty development
  • (See also Section Three, Assessment of Teaching, Supervision, and Mentoring.)
  • Research and Creative Activities

This section contains evidence of the quality and significance of the faculty member’s research and creative activity. These materials may include, but are not limited to, the following (college and department guidelines may be more specific):

  • Excerpts from conference programs/proceedings
  • Conference presentation evaluations
  • Title pages and abstracts from professional journals or the full article
  • Title pages and tables of contents from books or the full books
  • Evidence of grant solicitation
  • Book, chapter and article reviews
  • Copies of exhibit and performance programs
  • Photographs of commissioned or exhibited art works
  • Professional Service  

This section contains evidence of the quality and significance of the faculty member’s professional service. These materials may include, but are not limited to, the following (college and department guidelines may be more specific):

  • Committee assignment documentation
  • Copies of meeting minutes
  • Copies of products developed           
  • Recognition by others of contributions
  • Evidence of statewide, regional, national or international professional service
  • Administration and Leadership  

This section contains evidence of the quality and significance of the faculty member’s administration and leadership. These materials may include, but are not limited to, the following (college and department guidelines may be more specific):

  • Documentation indicating leadership assignments
  • Evidence of program evaluation
  • Supervisor, peer and employee evaluations
  • Copies of products developed

Beyond the material provided in each indexed section, the faculty member may wish to include a one-page summary (in each relevant section) of activity not readily supported by documentation.

3.8. Multi-Year Review Schedules

 https://web.kennesaw.edu/academicaffairs/guidelines 

Tenure and Promotion Reviews, Tenure Reviews (for Tenure Track Faculty),
and Promotion Reviews (for Lecturers, Non-Tenure Track Faculty with Professorial Rank (including Clinical Faculty), Instructors, and Tenured Faculty with Professorial Rank)

Mid-August

Submit Portfolio to Department Office

Mid-August to Mid-September 

Department Review Committee review 
(see NOTE)

Mid-September to Early October

Department Chair review (see NOTE) (Department Chair review can begin earlier, but no Chair decision should be made before the end of the optional faculty response deadline)

Early October

Portfolio is Transferred to the Dean’s Office by the Department Chair

Early October to Early November

College Dean’s review (see NOTE)

Early November

Portfolio is transferred to Provost/VPAA’s Office (except portfolios with any negative decisions or requests for additional review go directly to College committee)

November to December

College Committee review (portfolios with any negative decisions or requests for additional review)

November-December-January

Provost/VPAA Review and Referral to College Committee as needed

January to Early February

College reviews as needed Based on Provost/VPAA’s request (see NOTE)

February and March

Provost/VPAA and President recommendations 
(see NOTE)

April

Submission to Board of Regents for their records

 
 

For Third-Year Pre-Tenure, or Pre-Promotion Reviews, Third-Year Reviews (For Lecturers and Senior Lecturers, Instructors, and All Faculty with Professorial Rank)
and Sixth Year Reviews (for Senior Lecturers and Non-Tenure Track Faculty with Professorial Rank, including Clinical Faculty)

Mid-September

Submit Portfolio to Department Office

Mid-September to Mid-October

Department Review Committee review (see note)

Mid-October to Early November

Department Chair Review (see note)
(Department Chair review can begin earlier, but no Chair decision should be made before the end of the optional faculty response deadline to the Department review)

Early November

Portfolio is Transferred to Dean’s Office by 
Department Chair

Early November to Early December

College Dean Review (see note)

For Post-Tenure Review (for Tenured Faculty)

Early October

Teaching Faculty Submit Portfolio to Dean’s Office

Early-October to Early November

College PTR Committee Reviews Teaching Faculty (see note)

Mid-November to Early January

College Dean Reviews Teaching Faculty (see note)

The exact dates for the tenure and promotion, third year, and post-tenure review schedules can be found on the Academic Affairs webpage at https://web.kennesaw.edu/academicaffairs/.
 
NOTE: Within 10 calendar days from the review decision, the candidate has the right to respond to the committee’s or administrator’s decision and justifications by submitting a written letter to the reviewing committee or administrator and copied to the next level of review. The reviewer (committee or administrator) does not respond to this letter.
 

References
 
Angelo, T. A., & Cross, K. P. (1993). Classroom assessment techniques: A handbook for college teachers. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
 
Brand, M. (Nov/Dec 2000). Changing roles in research universities. Change, 32(6), 42-46.
 
Boyer, E. L. (1990). Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate. Princeton, NJ: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
 
Boyer, E. L. (1996). The Scholarship of Engagement. Journal of Public Service & Outreach, 1(1), 21.
 
Kennesaw State University. (2005) View 21: Refining the public university experience for the 21st Century.