Purpose
Periodic Peer Review (PPR) is aimed at facilitating Faculty development and ensuring intellectual vitality and competent levels of performance by all Faculty throughout their professional careers. In both regards, the goal is to maximize the talents of tenured Faculty within the broad array needed for effective performance of the Institute and its Units. 

The Institute recognizes that the granting of tenure for Faculty is an important protection of free inquiry and open intellectual debate. This PPR policy defines a system of periodic peer evaluation of all tenured Faculty which is intended to enhance and protect the guarantees of tenure and academic freedom. It is recognized that PPR is most appropriately conducted by a committee of Faculty peers.

A Periodic Peer Review is both retrospective and prospective because it recognizes past contributions and provides the means for continuous intellectual and professional growth. It is recognized that, within the traditional mix of professional activities, different emphases may be appropriate at different stages in a Faculty member's career. As a Faculty development tool, PPR provides an opportunity to assist a tenured Faculty member in formulating a multi-year plan of professional growth and activity in teaching, research, and service based on his or her interests and the needs and mission of the Unit and the Institute. To assure professional competence, PPR provides an opportunity to assess the tenured Faculty member's effectiveness in teaching, research, and service over a multi-year period. Assessment of professional activities over a relatively long time span encourages Faculty members to undertake projects and initiatives that do not readily lend themselves to annual evaluation.

The outcome of a PPR may be a recommendation for a five (5) year review if the Faculty member’s performance is satisfactory or better; a three (3) year review if the Faculty member’s performance is less than satisfactory; or a referral of the matter to the appropriate Dean for further consideration.  A second consecutive recommendation for a three (3) year review indicates major and/or chronic deficiencies.

Evaluation Criteria

  • The criteria used may be those ordinarily used by the Faculty member’s Unit, or alternative criteria may be applied to reflect the varying emphases/roles senior Faculty may play.
  • The School Chair is responsible for formulating individualized alternative criteria, after consultation with the Faculty member; an understanding regarding such criteria must be reached and confirmed in writing prior to documentation submission.
  • If there is no agreement on criteria, the Faculty member may request a hearing by a committee established by the Faculty of the Unit. The Committee's decision on criteria is final.

Submission of PPR Package by the Faculty member
The Faculty member shall submit a PPR package, that contains:

  • A cover sheet
  • A copy of the approved individualized evaluation criteria, if applicable
  • A current curriculum vitae
  • A statement from the Faculty member, of up to five (5) pages
    • If the Faculty member is undergoing a second or subsequent PPR, the statement must include information on how goals from the previous review have been met.
    • The Faculty member should state his or her goals for the next five (5) years.
  • The Faculty member's teaching evaluations
    • For the Faculty member’s first PPR, all evaluations should be included
    • For subsequent reviews, only course evaluations from courses taught since the last evaluation should be included.
  • Summaries of annual performance evaluations (to include rebuttals) for the years under consideration. The summary shall be prepared by the Chair and reviewed by the Faculty member.

Chair's Assessment Letter

  • After receipt of the PPR package, the School Chair will prepare a summary and assessment based upon the agreed criteria.  The summary should be supported by the Faculty member’s annual evaluations and rebuttals, if any.  If it is not, the Faculty member should be given the opportunity to comment on the summary. The letter should also include a detailed assessment of the Faculty member's goals for the next five (5) years.  The School Chair should deliver these documents to the Unit PPR committee.

Unit Level PPR Committee

Composition

The Unit Faculty shall determine the composition of the committee, with the following limitations:

  • The committee must have at least three (3) members.
  • The committee shall be composed of tenured, Academic Faculty from the unit of the Faculty member's primary appointment.  If a candidate has a joint appointment with budget sharing, then
    • The majority of the committee members for such Faculty members shall be from the primary Unit; and
    • At least one (1) member of the committee must be from the non-primary Unit
  • The Chair shall not be a member of the committee.  Whether to include administrative Faculty members other than the Chair is up to Unit Faculty.  This decision shall be reviewed every five (5) years
  • A single committee may review all PPRs or, if approved by the unit Faculty, several committees may do so. 

The Faculty member to be reviewed may:

  • Provide input on the composition of the committee for consideration by the Unit Faculty
  • Select a member of the committee to serve as an "advocate" or choose to add another tenured Faculty member to serve as "advocate", with voice and vote.
  • Remove one (1) person from the committee

Review Process
The committee shall:

  • Examine the documentation provided by the Faculty member and the Unit Head
  • Assess the Faculty member’s performance based upon agreed criteria.  The assessment should be written, and should contain the information specified below, based upon the committee’s recommendation

Five (5) year review recommendation following a First review or subsequent Five Year reviews: Faculty member is making appropriate progress

The committee's report should contain:

  • Narrative text commending satisfactory or better performance
  • Critique of substandard performance (if any)
  • Recommendations for corrective actions (if any)
  • Recommendation for five (5) year review
  • Record of committee's vote
  • The signatures of all members of the PPR committee
  • Comments on Faculty development and resources appropriate for execution.  For Associate Professors, this should include activities to enhance prospects for successful promotion.

Three (3) Year review recommendation after an initial review or a five year review: Major or Chronic Deficiencies
The committee's report should contain:

  • Narrative text containing critique of substandard performance
  • Detailed recommendations for corrective actions (if any)
  • Narrative text containing commendation for satisfactory or better performance
  • Recommendation for three (3) year review
  • Record of committee's vote
  • The signatures of all members of the PPR committee
  • Comments on Faculty development and resources appropriate for execution.  For Associate Professors, this section should include activities to enhance prospects for successful promotion.

Five (5) Year Review recommended after Three (3) Year Follow-up Review: No Major Deficiencies; Significant Improvement Made
The committee's report should contain:

  • Narrative text explaining that no major or chronic deficiencies are present
  • Comments on what improvement(s) have been made, if any
  • Recommendation for five (5) year review
  • Record of committee's vote
  • The signatures of all members of the PPR committee

Three (3) Year Review Recommendation after a Three Year Follow-up Review: Deficiencies Still Present, but the Faculty Member is Making Progress
The committee's report should contain:

  • Narrative text citing deficiencies still present
  • Comments on any improvement made, as well as significant improvements not made
  • Recommendations for corrective action
  • Possible resources
  • Recommendation for Three (3) Year Review and for Dean to consider referral to Faculty Status and Grievance Committee (FSGC)
  • Record of committee's vote
  • The signatures of all members of the PPR committee

Communication of Outcome of Five (5) and Three (3) Year Reviews:
The committee shall submit to the School Chair and Dean:

  • PPR Committee report
  • Supporting documentation
  • Chair's assessment of Faculty member’s goals and performance

The Dean shall provide a copy of all documents to the Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Faculty Development; the Vice Provost’s Office, through Faculty Development, maintains all files of reviews.

The Dean (Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Faculty Development for Colleges without Schools) shall transmit a letter and all documentation to the Faculty member.

Faculty Development Plans
The Faculty member who receives a Three (3) Year Review is required to meet with the Unit Head and Dean to establish a development plan.

  • Initial Three (3) Year Reviews: The Unit Head and Dean will arrange a meeting with the Faculty member to discuss the plan in a timely fashion. The Faculty member, Unit Head, and Dean will work together to develop a formal plan for Faculty development.  The plan shall contain:  
    • Specific goals or outcomes
    • An outline of activities to be undertaken
    • A timetable
    • Mutually agreed monitoring strategies
  • Subsequent Three (3) Year Reviews:  The Faculty member, Unit Head, and Dean will meet to discuss progress and update the previous formal development plan.

Resources may be allocated to assist in Faculty development.  The plan shall be retained at the unit level and should be considered during the next review.

Decision of the Dean upon Committee Recommendation for a Second Consecutive Three (3) Year Review
If the Unit level committee recommends a Three (3) Year Follow-up Review to the Dean, the Dean has two (2) options:

  • Refer the matter  to the  FSGC, or
  • Schedule another Three (3) Year Review

If referred to the FSGC:

  • FSGC shall review the matter (see Grievances: Process and Procedures)
  • FSGC, after review, shall send a recommendation to the President
  • The President shall make the final decision
  • The President shall notify the Faculty member, in writing, of the decision

Appeals and Grievances
The Faculty member being reviewed may appeal the Unit level recommendation, or other grievances related to the PPR process, to the Faculty Status and Grievance Committee (See Section 3.1.9 Grievance: Process and Procedures). 

Colleges without Schools 

For Colleges without Schools, the Dean shall appoint a tenured, full professor from within the College, who is experienced in the annual evaluation of faculty members, to carry out, independently of the Dean, the duties of the School chair as listed in this section.