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Employee Relations: Administrative Faculty

Administrative faculty are employees whose primary functions are professional in nature and not academic instructional work.

Governing Rules and Regulations for Administrative Faculty

Academic faculty are subjected to the rules of conduct outlined in the NSHE Board of Regents Handbook, UNLV Bylaws, and department or unit bylaws.

NSHE Board of Regents Handbook

The Board of Regents Handbook provides the governing documents and policies for the Nevada System of Higher Education.

NSHE Board of Regents Handbook

UNLV Bylaws

UNLV Bylaws govern the university, and it is the responsibility of the senate through the University Bylaws Committee to review, update and monitor implementation. Changes to the UNLV Bylaws are first considered in the Faculty Senate. If approved, changes are sent to the entire faculty for approval. If approved, the President of the University may accept or veto the change. If accepted, the change is forwarded to the chancellor for approval.

Unit Bylaws

Unit bylaws go into effect when ratified by the faculty of the unit and approved by the president or his/her delegate, and the president is mandated to keep on file the bylaws in effect for each unit. The catalog of unit-level bylaws below provides access to the faculty of those bylaws considered to be in effect.

Unit Bylaws

Position Description Questionnaire (PDQ)

A Position Description Questionnaire (PDQ) is an important part of establishing job performance expectations and providing information about assigned duties and responsibilities. It is a roadmap to success.

All administrative faculty should have a PDQ on file. A compensation specialist is the best resource for writing or revising a PDQ. There may be a sample job description of similar positions on campus or from another NSHE institution. To request a copy of the PDQ, contact the HR Compensation team at HRFacCompChange@unlv.edu or the designated compensation and classification specialist of your college or department.

Annual Performance Evaluation Process

The Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) requires all administrative faculty to be evaluated in writing annually. With the exception of the Division of Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement, who evaluate staff for the fiscal year (July 1 through July 30), all administrative faculty are evaluated for the calendar year (January 1 through December 31) during the first two months of the following calendar year. Evaluations must be completed, signed, and submitted to the HR Employee Relations office by March 1 annually.

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Actions and Timeline
Date Action

January

Employee reviews their PDQ and previous year’s goals and begins drafting self-evaluation.

January - February

Employee submits self-evaluation and supervisor completes the employee’s evaluation

January - February

Supervisor arranges meeting with employee to discuss evaluation

March 1

Supervisor submits the final signed copy of the evaluation to HR Employee Relations

Performance Evaluation Appeal Process

If an administrative employee disagrees with an evaluation, they may proceed with submitting a rejoinder and/or requesting a review by a peer review committee. Both processes are available to the employee.

1. File a Rejoinder
A rejoinder is a statement attached to the employee’s evaluation that expresses disagreement with the evaluation rating or comments provided by the supervisor. The purpose of the rejoinder is to allow the employee the opportunity to address specific points made in the evaluation regarding their performance and present additional relevant information that was not mentioned in the evaluation. The employee has 30 calendar days from when the evaluation was issued to file a rejoinder and submit it to the Employee Relations office.

2. Peer Reviews
A peer review consists of a committee that reviews the evaluation and makes a recommendation to the appropriate vice president or dean to either uphold or make changes to the original evaluation rating. Although the following outlines the general peer review process, it should be noted that individual units or departments may have established bylaws that deviate from this process. The entire peer review process should remain confidential and only be discussed with persons who are not party to the proceedings.

Making the Request

The employee has 15 calendar days from when the evaluation was issued to request a review. This review must be submitted in writing to the college dean or appropriate vice president or college dean. If the employee does not report to a college dean or vice president, they must address their request for a peer review committee directly to the president. Once the president has appointed a designee, the request should be addressed to the designee.

Committee Composition

The peer review committee will consist of three nonacademic faculty members including the chair of the committee. The chair is responsible for submitting the final report to the college dean, vice president, or president designee. The Office of Human Resources will provide a list of the members of the Faculty Senate Appeals Committee to the employee. From this list, the employee will appoint one person and the department will appoint one person. The chair of the committee will be selected from this pool by the college dean, vice president, or president designee.

Creating the Peer Evaluation File

Within 30 days after requesting a peer review, the employee will create a peer evaluation file that includes materials pertinent to the matter being evaluated. The department heads will establish categories of evidence to be included in the peer evaluation file. The categories include the following:

  • Original performance evaluation issued to the employee
  • Position Description Questionnaire (PDQ)
  • Other documents used in support of the evaluation (e.g. special assignments, letters of instruction, written warnings, letters from campus constituents)

The Review

After the peer evaluation file has been created, the committee will begin the peer review process. The review may include written materials submitted by the department head and the employee. The department head and higher levels of review may also use the peer evaluation file in addition to other sources The review may also include interviews with the supervisor and the employee. The parties are interviewed separately and are only interviewed for information regarding the appeal. At its discretion, the committee may request interviews with other personnel. However, interviews are limited to persons who have direct bearing or knowledge of the evaluation or intimate knowledge of the employee’s work. Character interviews are not allowed. The committee should complete the review no later than the end of the B-contract period. The specific date for the end of the B-contract changes each year. For information on the exact date on which the B-contract period ends, please contact the Office of Human Resources at 702-895-3504 or at hr@unlv.edu.

The Report

The report is comprehensive and is normally no more than two to three pages. It includes the following:

Introduction
This section contains:

  • The employee’s position
  • The employee’s issues with the evaluation
  • The resolution requested by the employee
  • A brief summary of the department evaluation points of contention

Committee Findings
This section details the committee’s findings of evidence which are the basis for the committee’s recommendation.

Committee Conclusion
The committee must avoid conclusions based on hearsay evidence or emotional displays. The report must state and explain ratings it believes should be amended.

College Dean or Vice Presidential Review and Decision

The original evaluation and the recommendation of the peer review committee will be forwarded to the college dean or appropriate vice president. Both evaluations will be placed in the employee’s permanent personnel file. The college dean or vice president will make the final decision about the evaluation. The decision must be presented in writing and addressed to the employee’s supervisor. The employee will receive a copy of the vice president or dean’s decision. A copy will also be placed in the employee’s permanent personnel file.

Additional Resources for Performance Evaluations

It is the responsibility of the supervisor to ensure that the evaluation has been thoroughly reviewed and provides meaningful feedback to the employee regarding their job performance. Below you find resources for supervisors about how to properly complete the performance evaluation  and tips on how to prepare for upcoming evaluations.

Jump to Evaluating Recently Hired Administrative Faculty
Jump to Unsatisfactory Rating in Performance Evaluation
Jump to Performance Improvement Plan

Evaluating Recently Hired Administrative Faculty

Employees with four or more months of service (hired on or before September 1 of the previous calendar year) should be evaluated on job performance and accomplishments. Supervisors do not need to complete evaluations for employees with fewer than four months of service during the previous calendar year. However, it is necessary to establish goals and objectives so the employee can be evaluated for the following calendar year. Use the evaluation form to document these goals and objectives.

Unsatisfactory Rating in Performance Evaluation

An “Unsatisfactory” rating indicates that the employee is failing to meet job performance expectations. If the employee receives an unsatisfactory rating at any point on their evaluation, appropriate and constructive feedback must be provided to them in the evaluation. The feedback should be clear on what areas of job performance should be improved. After the employee and supervisor have met to discuss the unsatisfactory rating, the evaluation must be submitted to Employee Relations. It is important to note that the rating and feedback presented in the evaluation should not come as a surprise to the employee. The supervisor is responsible for coaching and counseling the employee if job expectations are not being met. If performance is poor, this should be clearly and promptly communicated through informal or documented conversations prior to issuing the evaluation.

Performance Improvement Plan

After the evaluation has been submitted to Employee Relations, the supervisor may issue a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP). The PIP is intended to inform the employee that their performance fails to meet the minimum requirements of the position and provide the employee an opportunity to improve job performance in the specific areas described. If the employee fails to improve their performance and meet the required standards by the specified time period, the employee may receive a performance rating of “Unsatisfactory.” and may be subjected to consequences outlined in the progressive discipline process for administrative faculty. If an “Unsatisfactory” rating is to be issued to the employee, the supervisor may contact their designated Employee Relations Specialist for further information or guidance.

Guidelines on How to Complete the Performance Evaluation

The following guidelines will assist supervisors in conducting an effective evaluation of the employee’s performance for the calendar year and set clear, measurable goals and objectives for the upcoming evaluation period.

Area 1

The area 1 rating assesses the employee’s job performance based on the essential functions that are outlined in PDQ. The employee’s main areas of responsibility should be listed in this section. Additionally, the supervisor should list specific areas that the employee has done well as well as areas that need to be improved. A rating of Excellent, Commendable, Satisfactory, or Unsatisfactory must be assigned for the current evaluation period. The rating must be consistent with the supervisor’s comments.

Area 2

The area 2 rating assesses the employee’s job performance based on whether goals and objectives were met for the current evaluation period. The supervisor should list these goals and objectives in detail and provide comments. Moreover, the goals and objectives for the following evaluation period should be listed. A rating of Excellent, Commendable, Satisfactory, or Unsatisfactory must be assigned for the current evaluation period. The rating must be consistent with the supervisor’s comments.

Professional Development Plan

This area is intended to provide the employee with professional development opportunities that enhance the employee’s skills, expertise, and professional network. The supervisor can point the employee to on-campus training sessions, online seminars, or additional training resources that are specific to the employee’s position. The supervisor should provide comments regarding the Professional Development Plan for the current evaluation period, if applicable, and the next evaluation period.

Related Factors

This area is an opportunity for the supervisor or units to provide additional statements or comments regarding other factors that may have contributed to the employee’s rating for the current evaluation period. The supervisor should provide comments for the current evaluation period, if applicable, and the next evaluation period.

 
Tips for Conducting an Effective Performance Evaluation

A properly completed evaluation that provides meaningful feedback to the employee is integral to the performance management process. Evaluations that fail to provide enough information or do not properly communicate the performance expectations for the position can exacerbate performance management issues down the road. Below are informative tips for ensuring a successful, streamlined performance evaluation process. Using these tips will ensure that evaluations are completed correctly and help avoid evaluations being sent back to be revised and/or reissued to the employee.

1. Use the Most Current Version of the Evaluation Form

Prior to conducting an employee evaluation, please download the most recent version of the performance evaluation form for administrative faculty from the HR Forms page.

2. Complete the Performance Evaluation in its Entirety

When completing the evaluation, ensure that each area is completed. If there are areas in the evaluation that are not applicable to the employee, (e.g. the employee is a new hire and the evaluation is only establishing goals and objectives for the next evaluation period), the supervisor should make a note of this in the evaluation as opposed to leaving the area blank.

3. Provide Examples

To ensure that the employee has a thorough understanding of each area of performance, best practice is to include examples and explanations regarding why an employee received the rating (e.g. Excellent, Commendable, Satisfactory, Unsatisfactory).

4. Beware of Biases

When speaking to the employee’s performance, the supervisor should be mindful to avoid the following biases:

  • Halo Effect – The tendency to allow positive impressions of one aspect of an employee’s performance to influence our overall impression of them.
  • Horns Effect – The tendency to make a snap judgment about someone on the basis of one negative trait, and rate the employee lower than circumstances warrant.
  • Recency Bias – Allowing outstanding work (or unsatisfactory work) immediately prior to the evaluation to offset an entire year of performance.
  • Cookie Cutter Approach – Not focusing on individual specific performance and instead providing all of your employees or groups the same rating.
  • Self-Evaluation Acceptance – The tendency to accept what an employee has written regarding their own performance to avoid conflict or uncomfortable conversation, even if the self-assessment is inaccurate.

5. Issue the Evaluation by the March 1 Due Date

Evaluations should be signed, presented to the employee, and routed to  Employee Relations by the due date. Completing the evaluation on time will ensure that the employee receives applicable feedback regarding what is being done well, what needs improvement and what the expectations are going forward. It is important that each employee’s evaluation reflects their actual performance. Employees who are exceeding standards should be acknowledged for doing so. If the employee is not meeting standards, the supervisor should have the necessary documentation on file to reflect their unsatisfactory performance.

6. Obtain the Required Signatures

The performance evaluation form requires three signatures:

  • Employee
  • Rater (or Supervisor)
  • Reviewing officer / Appointing Authority.

If these signatures are not included in the form when it reaches Employee Relations, it will be sent back to the employee’s department to obtain the proper signatures.

7. Review the Position Description Questionnaire for the Upcoming Year

Supervisors should take this opportunity to review the Position Description Questionnaire (PDQ) to determine whether revisions are necessary and forward any revised PDQ forms to Employee Relations.

8. Establish SMART Goal Objectives

SMART objectives have been shown to help with the goal setting process. It can help the employee focus their efforts and increase the chances of large, long-term projects to be achieved more efficiently. Supervisors are encouraged to establish SMART goal-oriented objectives, incorporate them into the performance evaluation, and review them with the employee:

  • Specific – Define your goal in detail.  Be clear and specific.  Defined goals provide focus and lead to easier achievement.
  • Measurable – Measurable goals can be tracked, allowing you to see progress toward specific outcomes. Consider using metrics.
  • Achievable – Goals need to be genuine and realistic.  Ensure the employee has the time, resources, and support needed to achieve the goal.
  • Relevant – Choose goals that are high priority, well-timed, and have short and long-term impact.  Consider how related factors may change.
  • Time-Based – Setting deadlines helps employees prioritize tasks and stay motivated and focused.

Corrective Action and Progressive Discipline

Corrective action and discipline clarifies expectations for behavior and performance, identifies opportunities for improvement, changes behavior, and helps the employee be successful. It is the policy of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas to encourage fair, efficient and equitable solutions for problems arising out of the employment relationship and to meet the requirements of state and federal law.

Each employee is expected to acquaint themselves with performance criteria for their particular job and with all rules, procedures and standards of conduct established by the Board of Regents, the institution, and the employee’s department or unit.  An employee who does not fulfill their responsibilities, meet their performance criteria, or follow the rules and procedures of conduct may be subject to adverse personnel action.

To determine if corrective action is needed, supervisors should ask themselves the following:

  • Have we had previous conversations with the employee?
  • Is the employee aware of expectations?
  • Does the employee have the necessary tools and resources?
  • Are there ongoing performance issues?
  • Did a major policy violation occur?

If the answer to any of the above questions is “yes,” supervisors should contact their designated Employee Relations Specialist to discuss the appropriate next steps.

Levels of Corrective Action and Progressive Discipline

Progressive discipline generally starts at the lowest level and then progresses to higher levels, if necessary.  However, there may be cases where a higher level of discipline is issued and imposed on a first offense. The discipline issued should be consistent with the situation, policy guidelines, and past practice.

All corrective action or formal discipline should:

  • State the specific reasons for the corrective action/discipline.
  • Identify the gap between the performance standard and actual performance or identify misconduct.
  • Include facts and details such as who, when, where, and what.
  • Provide a clear picture of what occurred and avoid subjective statements.
  • State how unacceptable performance or behavior affects departments or campus operations.
  • Set the expectations moving forward.
  • Identify consequences of further performance issues and/or misconduct (Not applicable for Letter of Instructions or Dismissals).
Non-Disciplinary Action

Non-disciplinary corrective action includes conversations, coaching, or counseling sessions. While these efforts are an important way to document conversations, outline performance and behavior expectations, and address performance concerns, they are not considered part of the formal disciplinary process.

Letter of Instruction

A Letter of Instruction (LOI) is a formal letter or memo that provides the employee with information and directions regarding responsibilities or expectations with respect to a particular situation or set of circumstances. The letter is intended to assist the employee in performing effectively and meeting job performance expectations while maintaining appropriate work-related behaviors. Given that they are not part of a formal disciplinary process, LOIs are not housed in the employee’s permanent personnel file.

Letter of Instruction Template

*Contact Employee Relations for a Word version of the Letter of Instruction template.

Formal Disciplinary Action

Prior to issuing any of the following levels of discipline, contact your designated Employee Relations Specialist for consultation. Employee Relations will review and determine the appropriate next step, provide guidance concerning legal risks, and ensure appropriate verbiage is contained in the document.

Chapter 6 Disciplinary Sanctions Process for Administrative Faculty

The following sanctions are applicable to administrative faculty of the Nevada System of Higher Education for conduct prohibited by Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) Code 6.2. Depending on the severity or egregiousness of the misconduct, the sanctions may be applied in any order:

Warning

A notice, oral or written, that continuation or repetition of prohibited conduct may be the cause for more disciplinary action.

Written Reprimand

A formal censure or severe reproof is administered in writing to a person engaging in prohibited conduct.

Restitution

The requirement for the employee to reimburse UNLV for a loss due to defacement, damage, fraud, theft or misappropriation of property. The failure to make restitution shall be the cause for more severe disciplinary action.

Reduction in Pay

A reduction in pay may be imposed at any time during the term of an employment contract upon compliance with the procedures established in the NSHE Board of Regents Handbook Chapter 6 Code.

Suspension

Exclusion from assigned duties for one or more workweeks without pay, as set forth in a written notice to the employee.

Dismissal

Termination of employment for cause. A hearing held under the procedures established in NSHE Board of Regents Chapter 6 Code (Section 6.11) and other applicable provisions shall be required before the employment of an employee may be terminated for cause.

Revocation of a Degree

The Board and its institutions reserve the right to withdraw academic degrees in the event that a case is brought after graduation for material academic misconduct that impacts the reputation of the institution, including misrepresentation of academic credentials or material falsification in an application, if the act occurred before graduation and during the time the student applied to, or was enrolled at an NSHE institution, but a complaint had not been filed prior to graduation.

Notice of Contract Termination or Notice of Non-Reappointment

The Notice of Contract Termination (NCT) and Notice of Notice of Non-Reappointment (NNR) are mechanisms to end employment contract terms by providing non-tenured faculty (Administrative and Academic) the notice period they are entitled to under the provisions of the NSHE Code. At UNLV, the NCT or NNR are issued to employees for justified performance, behavior, and financial concerns that may not necessarily rise to discipline under the Chapter 6 processes. They are also issued when grant funding has been eliminated or redirected, when a position is eliminated, and for other associated reasons.

Employee Rights for Notice of Contract Termination or Notice of Non-Reappointment

Upon receipt of the NCT or NNR, the employee may request the following:

  1. Statement of Reasons
    A statement of reasons outlines the reasons for the decision to not renew or terminate the employee’s contract. If the employee is to request a statement of reasons, they have 15 calendar days from the date the NCT or NNR was issued to do so.
  2. Reconsideration
    The employee can request a reconsideration once they have received the Statement of Reasons for the issuance of the NCT or NNR. To submit a request for reconsideration, the employee must provide a written request to their supervisor within 15 calendar days of receiving the Statement of Reasons.

For more information regarding the NCT or NNR, please contact your designated Employee Relations Specialist.

Filing a Grievance

Grievances from faculty are given very serious and timely consideration. Employees should make their concerns known to their supervisors and every effort to resolve disputes through informal discussions. If informal discussions do not resolve the dispute, the employee can choose to file a formal grievance petition through the Office of Faculty Senate. Per the NSHE Code 5.7.2., a grievance may be filed due to an “adverse impact on the employment conditions of a faculty member relating to salary, promotion, appointment with tenure or other aspects of contractual status, or relating to alleged violation of the code or institutional bylaws.” A separate appendix of the Faculty Senate Bylaws details the important deadlines. For additional information regarding the grievance process for administrative faculty, please refer to the Administrative Faculty Committee page on grievance procedures.

Grievance Petition for Academic and Administrative Faculty Faculty Senate Bylaws

Separating Employment from UNLV

Employees separating from UNLV should:

  •  First discuss their separation with their supervisor
  • Write a resignation letter and include the date the separation will take place
  • Initiate their resignation in Workday and upload their resignation letter

For more information on this process, refer to the Separating from UNLV webpage.

The Human Resources Exit Survey is available to employees who would like to provide insight about their experience working at UNLV. It also allows the university to obtain information that can be used to maintain and improve future recruitment and retention efforts. For more information on the exit survey, visit the Employee Offboarding page.