Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost

Academic Faculty Annual Evaluation Procedures

Posted: December 6, 2013

TO: Deans, Associate Deans, Department Chairs and School Directors
FROM: John Valery White, Executive Vice President and Provost
DATE: 3 December 2013
RE: Procedures for Annual Evaluations of Academic Faculty – Calendar Year 2013 

In this memo, please find relevant information to share with your faculty concerning CY 2013 annual evaluations of all full-time, academic faculty in your college/school. In addition to standard information about process and deadlines, this memo also addresses related processes of faculty self-reporting of achievements on which supervisor evaluations are based and some (though not definitive) procedures concerning merit pay rankings. Changes in procedure are noted in bold in the memo below. 

Evaluation forms are available on the Executive Vice President and Provost’s website in the forms library, under “Annual Evaluation”: http://www.unlv.edu/sites/default/files/24/Provost-AcadFacultyAnnualEvalForm.pdf 

  1. Evaluation period. The evaluation period is 1 January 2013 through 31 December 2013. Because the impact of academic work, especially in research and creative, is cumulative, supervisors need not restrict all comments to the achievements of that period and are encouraged to address the year's achievements in an appropriate context. 
  2. Supervisor fields identical to past forms. The fields to be completed by the supervisor are identical to forms used in previous years. New fields have been added for faculty members to submit a rejoinder to the evaluation and for faculty members to request a peer review (ie appeal) of the evaluation, and for supervisor to attach a remediation plan in case of an unsatisfactory evaluation or an evaluation finding a need for significant improvement. Rejoinders or requests for peer review may be submitted within 15 days of "notification" of the faculty member, which has been interpreted to be the date the evaluation is transmitted by the supervisor to the faculty member.
  3. Enhanced features of interactive Adobe PDF form. Evaluators may identify (via pull down menu) the type of faculty being evaluated (tenure-track, tenured, or non-tenure track), and the form will display appropriate fields for evaluation of that faculty type. Thus, there is no longer a need for separate forms for each faculty type or for completed evaluations to be printed on colored paper to designate the faculty type. (Note that the traditional color-coding scheme is retained in the font used to describe the faculty type at the top of the form).
  4. Digital signature of evaluations Faculty members, evaluators and deans should sign the evaluation using the Adobe digital signature feature, which will also time-stamp the signature. Note that electronic signature for annual performance evaluations has been approved by the UNLV General Counsel (and the Board of Regents are considering requiring this). For instructions on creating an Adobe digital signature and signing an Adobe interactive form, please consult http://www.unlv.edu/provost/policies-forms/adobe-digital-id.
  5. Guidance and instruction on document management available before beginning of spring semester. Before the start of the spring semester, the Provost’s office will provide to deans, chairs and faculty a written guide on how to save, receive and transmit these forms via a secure file sharing system that is being established in conjunction with OIT. With this system in place, chairs and deans' offices will be able to receive, sign and save, and transmit completed evaluations securely, and there will be no need to print, photocopy or transmit hard copies of signed evaluations to the Provost. (Note there is no prohibition on deans, chairs or faculty members printing completed forms for review or record-keeping, however, the Provost’s office will expect to receive from deans digitally signed, electronic evaluation forms. This procedural change will considerably reduce paperwork for support staff in all offices. As noted, written instructions for completion of the Adobe interactive evaluation forms, including guidance on affixing digital signatures of faculty members and chairs, naming files, receiving and transmitting the files electronically, will be available in January. In the meantime, please address any questions to the Office of Faculty, Policy and Research, care of Wonda Riner, Faculty Support Coordinator, Wonda.Riner@unlv.edu.
  6. Completed evaluations due from deans to Provost April 4, 2014. Because of the considerable time savings we anticipate from this new procedure for processing evaluations, the deadline for deans’ offices to submit completed and signed Annual Evaluations of academic faculty members for calendar year 2013 be submitted to the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty, Policy and Research has been pushed back to 5:00 p.m., Friday, April 4, 2014 (one month later than the traditional March 1 deadline).  Each deans’ office may determine with chairs/ supervisors and in turn faculty appropriate unit-level deadlines for faculty self-reports and department/school level evaluations. This expanded time frame should also allow faculty who may need special assistance with work reporting to obtain necessary support and, if appropriate, extensions for submitting self-reports to the supervisor.
  7. Evaluations for academic faculty serving in administrative roles on A contracts. Evaluations for academic faculty serving in administrative roles on A contracts -- such as department chairs, school directors, assistant or associate deans – may be submitted using the tenured faculty evaluation form, the administrative faculty evaluation form, or as a narrative. Deans’ evaluations of chairs and directors must be informed, as per NSHE code, by faculty comment on the chair/ director’s performance. Each dean may use her or his college procedures or instrument for soliciting and receiving faculty comment.
  8. Evaluations of Administrative faculty Information regarding annual evaluation procedures for administrative faculty will be sent to department chairs and school directors by Human Resources.  Chairs and directors are asked to please forward electronically all unsatisfactory evaluations of non-teaching professional staff to the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty, Policy and Research, for review by the Executive Vice President and Provost. These evaluations will then be forwarded to Human Resources. Satisfactory evaluations for administrative faculty should be forwarded to directly from the relevant dean or vice president to Human Resources.
  9. Evaluations of Research faculty Information regarding annual evaluation procedures for faculty designated as "research faculty" will be sent to department chairs and school directors by the Vice President for Research and Economic Development.  Chairs/ directors are asked to please forward electronically all unsatisfactory evaluations of non-teaching professional staff to the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty, Policy and Research, for review by the Executive Vice President and Provost. These evaluations will then be forwarded to Human Resources. Satisfactory evaluations for research faculty should be forwarded to the Vice President for Research and Economic Development.
  10. Supervisors advised to meet with all faculty Once the chair or other supervisor has completed a faculty member’s evaluation, it is advisable for chairs / supervisors to meet and discuss the evaluation with each faculty member at all ranks and discuss the past year’s achievements, and plans for the coming year. Such meetings may provide an occasion for the faculty member to seek counsel on career development strategy concerning course development and instructional workload, research program, outside professional opportunities, and UNLV service opportunities.
  11. Relevant provisions of the NSHE Code (Title 2, chapter 5.12 – 13) and UNLV Bylaws (Chapter III, Section 8.1-3), which are to be followed by evaluators include:
    1. A director/chair who identifies unsatisfactory performance or finds significant need for improvement in the written evaluation of an academic faculty member must include, per UNLV Bylaws, Chapter III, Section 8.5, a remediation plan for improvement.
    2. Per UNLV Bylaws, Chapter III, Section 8.3, as part of the evaluation of all tenure-track faculty, the chair is asked to initial that he or she has met with the tenured faculty and incorporated into the evaluation the sense of the tenured faculty on the progress of the candidate toward tenure and promotion.
    3. Per NSHE Code  Title 2, 5.12.2, tenure-track and untenured faculty are to be ranked using the four-point scale (“Excellent,” Commendable,” “Satisfactory” and “Unsatisfactory.”) UNLV bylaws allow for, and established practice is, for tenured faculty to be evaluated on a two-point scale of “satisfactory” and “unsatisfactory.”
  12. Faculty achievement reporting to supervisors for evaluations. As in years past, academic faculty members are asked to submit a self-report to department chairs, school directors, associate deans or other supervisors by January 31, 2014. The Provost’s office has developed, through consultation with deans, chairs and senate, a revised Academic Faculty Achievement Report Form and Instructions, available now on the Executive Vice President and Provost’s website in the forms library, under the heading “Annual Evaluation”: http://www.unlv.edu/provost/policies-forms#A
  13. Unit-specific instructions for faculty self-reports. College deans and department chairs/ school directors should provide appropriate unit-specific instructions to faculty on how to complete the Academic Faculty Achievement form to facilitate performance evaluation. Colleges or departments which have in the past or this year wish to request additional information from faculty should do so. (In particular the professional schools have not used university faculty annual work report forms in the past and need not dispense with existing procedures). 

    Data entered on interactive Adobe PDF version of the Academic Faculty Achievement Reporting Form can be captured, transferred to Excel and then loaded into the Digital Measures faculty achievement tracking database. The Office of Faculty, Policy and Research will continue its on-going consultation with deans’ offices and the Faculty Senate to identify potential challenges for certain units or faculty members in completing this form and will continue to identify solutions that will enable those units or faculty to record achievements with minimal burden.
  14. Use of faculty annual work report forms for merit rankings. Deans shall determine whether faculty interested in being considered for merit pay increments in the spring 2014 rankings (pay increments effective academic year 2015) should complete the Achievement Reporting Form for calendar year 2013 achievements or some other instrument for merit pay rankings.

    The Provost’s office has offered provide support technical support and custom-made forms to any dean or college which would like to use either the 2013 Achievement Reporting Form or another instrument as a basis for reporting faculty achievements from the period 2008 through 2013, for purposes of merit pay rankings and/or capturing data of faculty achievements across the entire period.
  15. Merit rankings principles. Please see the related statement, being sent under separate cover, by the Executive Vice President and Provost on principles to be adhered to in the 2014 merit pay rankings, which endorse the recommendations of the Faculty Senate and address additional questions. A full set of merit procedures including updated forms for faculty members seeking to be considered for merit, unit and college committees, and deans will be available by the start of the spring semester. 
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