20 Jun Know Your Contract – Evaluations
- Faculty are entitled to a formal yearly evaluation with a defined, transparent process
- Evaluations must be considered in major decisions including raises and promotion
- Student feedback (SIT Scores) cannot be used in isolation as a basis for evaluation
- Faculty have a right to review and add to their permanent file where evaluations are kept
- This entry refers to Articles IX, XVII of the NTT contract and TT contract and Faculty Affairs Policies, Procedures and Guidelines Section 701 and Section 702
At UIC, evaluations play an important role in faculty members’ lives, and for that reason, ensuring that they are conducted appropriately and used in the ways they were intended is equally important to UICUF. As a faculty member, you have a right to timely and appropriate evaluations, and to having these evaluations considered in critical decisions about your employment conditions at the university.
In this update, we will explain the policies and guidelines governing evaluations, and try to answer some of the most common questions. This entry is not intended to cover these topics exhaustively, and if you have further questions or concerns about evaluations, you are encouraged to contact us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com.
How Often Are Evaluations Required?
Per our contract and university policy, faculty with at least 50% appointments must be evaluated annually. Since evaluations may be relevant to decisions concerning merit raises, promotion, retention and tenure, UICUF considers a failure to perform timely evaluations to be potentially harmful to faculty members’ standing and long-term career prospects at the university. We therefore highly encourage members to actively participate in their yearly evaluations, and to contact us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com if you have any concern about the timeliness of your evaluation.
How Are Evaluations Performed?
As in many cases regarding procedure across diverse academic units, each department’s full evaluation process will be unique to that unit. However, per university policy FPPG Section 701 all units must allow faculty to include a self-assessment, must include an assessment by the unit’s executive officer, and must submit the final evaluation to the faculty member in writing. Further each unit must describe in writing their procedure for evaluations, which itself must be reviewed every 5-7 years with input from faculty.
This procedure should be transparent and available to faculty members, so UICUF encourages faculty to request information on these procedures from their own academic unit. If you have any trouble obtaining information on how your annual review is to be performed, or are concerned that the written process is not being followed, contact UICUF for assistance.
Can Student Evaluations Be Considered In My Evaluation?
Yes, but within limits. University policy (FPPG Section 702) states at length the concerns surrounding the reliability of such measurements. As such, student evaluations may not be used in isolation as an instrument for evaluation. Our contract further stipulates that these metrics can’t be used in isolation to make decisions regarding raises, promotions or the awarding of tenure.
What Can Evaluations Be Used For?
It is important to note that evaluations not only can be considered in decision-making, they must be considered for certain decisions. Per Article IX.D.1 of our contract:
“The purpose of the annual evaluation is to recognize and record the accomplishments of each member and to make judgments regarding the significance of these accomplishments, which judgments shall form part of the basis for assigning salary increases, recommending promotion, and the awarding of tenure.”
Faculty can and should expect their evaluations to be used for decisions regarding raises, promotion and tenure, which is why it is important that evaluations be performed in a timely and appropriate manner. Faculty who do not receive evaluations risk losing recognition for their work and accomplishments when these key employment decisions come up.
Can I See My Evaluations?
Yes, faculty are entitled to access, and to add comments to, their personnel files, which should contain the record of their annual evaluations. Faculty members can request access to these files from the campus Human Resources office.
Can I Contest Or Grieve A Bad Evaluation?
No, you can’t contest or grieve bad evaluations, though you may be able to contest or grieve an evaluation that is performed inappropriately, or a decision made without consideration of an evaluation. Essentially, you can contest process, but not outcome. If you feel your evaluation was not performed appropriately, contact UICUF at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com ASAP for assistance.
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