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DRAFT
SYSTEM OF PERIODIC FACULTY REVIEW

OFFICE OF THE PROVOST
COMMUNICATION NO. ___

Draft of March 1, 2000

Draft Prepared by Faculty Review Implementation Committee:

Cleora D'Arcy Edwin Herricks Steve Portnoy David Daniel James Kirkpatrick Robert Rich Tanya Gallagher Peter Nardulli Donald Uchtmann Susan Fahrbach Dianne Pinderhughes _________________________________________________________________________


Footnotes

1 The language comes from XTI.99.03, Recommendations of the ad hoc Tenure Issues Committee regarding a System of Periodic Faculty Review, UIUC Senate, April 19, 1999.

2 Policy Statement Regarding a System of Periodic Faculty Review, adopted by the UIUC Senate on May 3, 1999, at paragraph I.A (hereafter, this Policy Statement will be abbreviated as "PS").

3 PS I.B.

4 PS I.C.3.

5 PS I.A. The language "and of the campus" contained in the Policy Statement has been eliminated. This resolves an inconsistency between Policy Statement I.A (units to review faculty contributions to mission of the "unit and . . . campus") and Policy Statement I.C.2 (showing connection between faculty member's activities and the "unit's" mission and expectations). The fact that the Provost Communication requires that the unit's mission and expectations be written broadly (see note 10 and accompanying text) obviates the need to refer explicitly to mission of the "unit and campus."

6 PS I.B.

7 This annual faculty review process should not be blindly rigid. Circumstances could arise where requiring the annual faculty review process makes no sense, e.g., where a faculty member has just joined the unit. It is difficult to foresee in advance all the appropriate exceptions, so its best just to leave this to the discretion of the UEO, subject to the general guideline that such exceptions be infrequent.

8 PS I.C.

9 PS I.C.1.

10 The concept of a unit mission and expectations consistent with the academic freedom is especially important where one's academic work, even work of the highest quality, is outside the mainstream as viewed by one's departmental colleagues. The concept prevents a majority in a unit from narrowly defining the unit's mission to exclude the methods or fields of inquiry of a minority. To the extent the annual review process, particularly when it includes the broader review described later in this Provost Communication, is analogous to a formal post-tenure review, the minimum standards for good practice articulated by AAUP are relevant: "Post-tenure review must ensure the protection of academic freedom . . . . The application of its procedures therefore, should not intrude on an individual faculty member's proper sphere of professional self-direction. . . ." See Post Tenure Review: an AAUP Response at IV.B.1 visited November 3, 1999.

11 PS I.C.2

12 PS I.C.3. The written procedures should also identify the roles of the UEO or others in making assessments of how well the faculty member is meeting expectations; hence, the additional language.

13 PS I.C.4. It should be noted that this provision also is in harmony with the AAUP minimum standard for confidentially of faculty evaluations (Post Tenure Review: an AAUP Response at IV.B.6 visited November 3, 1999), at least to the extent allowed by Illinois Law. The faculty member has access; the faculty committee conducting a broader review has access; and other appropriate college or university persons or bodies have access for limited uses, under the language describing the file as a personal record available for internal use. Beyond this limited access, the faculty member being evaluated can release his/her copy of information at his/her discretion, but the university will protect confidentially to the extent allowed by law.

14 PS I.D. The additional sentence will allow the college to review the unit's procedure and confirm that the unit-specific procedure complies with campus wide criteria identified in the preceding sentence. Such confirmation should occur before the unit-specific procedure is actually used.

15 PS I.D.1.

16 PS I.D.2.

17 The Senate Policy used the word "judgment," rather than "reasoning and conclusions." The broader review, triggered by either the faculty member or the UEO, is focused primarily on collegial problem solving and professional development. The words "reasoning and conclusions" are consistent with the word "judgment" but they convey a more collegial concept than "judgment" in this context. Also, the reasoning behind the conclusion may be more valuable than the conclusion itself (e.g,. the reasoning might note "outside funding in this area has dried up, leaving the faculty member without research support"); hence the need to expressly include the reasoning as well as the conclusion in its report.

18 See the discussion of unit/campus mission and expectations contained in note 10. Remember that a definition of "campus expectations" is developed in the definitions section.

19 This language was not included in the Policy Statement, but it certainly is not in conflict with that statement. Furthermore, the inclusion of this statement is in harmony with the AAUP's "minimum standards for good practice" for a formal post-tenure review system. See Post Tenure Review: an AAUP Response, at IV.B.8 visited Nov. 3, 1999.

20 This language, implied in the Policy Statement, brings this provision clearly into harmony with AAUP "minimum standards" requiring that the faculty member be involved in the development of such plans. See Post Tenure Review: an AAUP Response, at IV.B.7 visited Nov. 3, 1999.

21 The language of this paragraph comes from PS I.D.3,except as described in the preceding notes.

22 PS I.E.1.

23 The first sentence of the paragraph comes from the Policy Statement. PS I.E. 2. The additional sentences are appropriate elaborations.

24 The last phrase was not included in the Policy Statement, but its insertion is not inconsistent with the Policy Statement. Furthermore, insertion of the phrase is in harmony with the AAUP's minimum standards for good practice for a formal post-tenure review system. See Post Tenure Review: an AAUP Response, at IV.B.1 visited Nov. 3, 1999.

25 PS I.E.3. Note that the paragraph also is in harmony with AAUP's minimum standards. See Post Tenure Review: an AAUP Response, at IV.B.7 visited Nov. 3, 1999.

26 PS I.E.4. The reference to the University Statutes also brings this paragraph within the spirit of the minimum standards. See University Statutes at X.1.e (procedures for seeking dismissal of tenured faculty) and Post Tenure Review: an AAUP Response, at IV.B.9 and 10 visited Nov. 3, 1999. Adding the phrase about appeal procedures helps to make explicit the fact that sanctioning proceedings and their appeal processes are outside the scope of this Provost Communication.

27 The Policy Statement is generally silent on how grievances should be handled, implicitly deferring to existing general grievance procedures. The inserted language makes explicit the deferral to existing procedures. Relying on existing grievance procedures seems to be a better approach to accompanying grievance matters than building a separate grievance structure to deal with grievances arising under these faculty review procedures.

28 Adding this requirement means that a unit's written general faculty review procedures and any written unit-specific procedures for a broader review are available to the dean shortly after they are adopted. This allows a dean to monitor progress toward college-wide implementation of faculty review procedures, it facilitates the sharing o f good ideas, and provides an opportunity for units to get early feedback from the dean's office if the unit's written procedures fall short of campus-wide requirements. If the initial written procedures fall short, this should be discovered sooner rather than later. It could be years before the unit is reviewed under the procedure for periodic evaluation or each unit.

29 PS II.A.


Appendix A

System of Periodic Faculty Review Adopted by the UIUC Senate on May 3, 1999

A fair, effective, and efficient system of periodic faculty review, separate and apart from the rigorous tenure decision, is important in many ways. Such a system is essential to effective administration of merit salary increases, appropriate recognition of outstanding faculty in other ways, early detection of developing problems and constructive follow-up, timely and collegial assistance to faculty considering changes in academic emphasis, and to assure the public that faculty are accountable in ways appropriate to a university community. The system of faculty review described below should be implemented by the provost.

University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign Senate
Appendix to XTI.99.03 (Second Reading, April 19, 1999)


Background and Explanation
(Not part of Resolution Passed by Senate - Included Here for Informational Purposes)

The ad hoc Tenure Issues Committee offers the following background and explanation for the policy statement recommended above:

Why are recommendations regarding a System of periodic faculty review being presented to the Senate for adoption?

Systems of faculty review, including various versions of "Post Tenure Review," have been adopted or are under consideration at many universities. (See "Summary: Licata and Morreale on Post Tenure Review: Policies, Practices, Precautions" located on the following web site: http://www.uiuc.edu/providers/senate/tenure.asp .) The public at large, university boards of trustees, and the academic community all have a keen interest in issues of faculty review. It is the sense of the ad hoc Tenure Issues Committee that our existing system of faculty review can be improved, and that the most effective improvements to that system can be fashioned from within the UIUC academic community as represented by the Senate.

Why did the ad hoc committee reject the idea of including a formal review of every tenured faculty member (with a few exceptions) every five to seven years?

The committee spent considerable time identifying and debating the advantages and disadvantages of these systems, in the context of this unique campus. The committee also invited feedback from the academic community on a thoughtful draft proposal which would require a formal review of tenured faculty every five to seven years. In the end, a majority of the committee members concluded that a system mandating an additional faculty review every five to seven years should not be recommended at this time. Such a system would be largely redundant, its costs would exceed its incremental benefits, it would encourage less rigor in the all-important tenure decision, and the benefits of such a system could be captured in other less costly ways. The committee noted that other universities, e.g., the University of Michigan, have not adopted such a system. The committee found virtually no support for such a system among faculty and unit executive officers, and believes that acceptance of such a system at the unit level would be essential in order for such a system to provide any benefits.

Why did the ad hoc committee reject the idea of simply recommending a continuation of our existing procedures?

The committee gathered data about the existing faculty review processes on this campus, queried faculty and administrators about how these systems were functioning, and reflected on the collective experience of committee members with these existing systems. The committee observed that annual reviews associated with salary increment decisions were working well in most, but not all, units. The committee concluded that this campus could be more effective with faculty review, building on existing strengths, and that merely recommending a continuation of existing procedures was not an appropriate recommendation. The committee also noted that systems of faculty review are undergoing increased public scrutiny; therefore, moving forward with well reasoned and appropriate improvements is especially timely.

How does the recommended system relate to other existing mechanisms of faculty review and accountability?

Other review mechanisms help to ensure the continuing quality of UIUC faculty. These review mechanisms begin with the initial hiring decision, a process designed to select strong candidates for tenure. UIUC data for three Academic Years (1992-1994) suggest that only about 1% of the applicants for tenure track positions, and less than 20% or the finalists, are actually appointed as assistant professors. (Report of the University of Illinois Seminar on Tenure, Part IV - The Operation of Tenure: Academic Practice, February 1997.)

The tenure process is another review and quality control mechanism of enormous significance. A UIUC assistant professor encounters at least one full-scale review during the probationary period. And at the time of the promotion and tenure decision, the review of teaching, scholarship, and service is extensive, matched only at the point of promotion to professor. The combined effect of these rigorous hiring and tenure-related reviews is significant - tenure is earned only by those faculty members who show promise of becoming nationally and internationally renowned in their fields. For those who earn tenure, an important obligation continues - to demonstrate high standards of academic and professional conduct, and to discharge one's university duties responsibly, throughout one's academic career.

A third review mechanism has been imbedded in the salary administration process. In most units, faculty members complete annual reports of accomplishments which are reviewed and evaluated. These evaluations provide the basis for any merit salary increase. The very nature of academic work also subjects faculty to continuing internal and external evaluation. Faculty teach in a highly public arena, involving constant student, and often peer, evaluation. The proposals, ideas, and conclusions of faculty engaged in research are constantly undergoing peer review. Faculty who carry significant public service responsibilities are also subject to continuing appraisal by the public.

The System of Periodic Faculty Review herein recommended is intended to complement, not duplicate, existing faculty review mechanisms noted above. It recognizes implicitly that faculty participating in the faculty review system either are in their probationary period, thereby undergoing intense review, or have been granted tenure, thereby having demonstrated promise of excellence in their academic careers. The purpose of this System of Periodic Faculty Review, therefore, is not so much to "weed out" the incompetent or those unlikely to succeed in academe. Rather, its purpose is primarily to provide an information base for salary decisions, encourage appropriate recognition of outstanding faculty, foster early detection of developing problems and effective remediation, provide timely and collegial assistance to faculty considering potential changes in academic emphasis, and to assure the public that faculty are continuously accountable in ways appropriate to a university community. To achieve these multiple goals, the recommended system builds on the existing strengths of the salary-related annual review process rather than duplicating it through another layer of review.

Why did the committee recommend what it did?

Mandated Annual Reviews. Although existing systems of annual faculty review work quite effectively in most units, several improvements need to be made if these systems are to provide an adequate basis for salary decisions, faculty recognition, early recognition of problems, and collegial problem-solving. Few units have formally articulated their expectations for faculty; not all units have a formalized system of gathering information about faculty accomplishments; little formal guidance is provided about possibilities where early follow-up could be helpful; suggested procedures for additional reviews by faculty peers are generally not included.

The recommendation is intended to address each of these opportunities for improvement. The recommended policy requires that each unit have a written annual faculty review process which meets campus-wide standards. One such standard, the explanatory link between accomplishments and the unit's mission and expectations, will assist the UEO to recognize this connection and help the faculty member think about accomplishments in the context of the unit's mission and expectations. The recommendation also recognizes that different units have different cultures and allows much "local choice" regarding details of the unit's annual review system. It outlines potential follow-up steps which can be taken by the UEO, once again with the goal of fostering effective problem-solving at the unit level. It provides for an additional, broader review, either initiated by the faculty member or the UEO, to be carried out by faculty. Because a UEO already has the authority to initiate such a review, the committee has not attempted to identify the exact conditions under which the suggested broader review procedure would be triggered; this is expected to be a judgment call made by the faculty member or UEO, with oversight by the elected faculty body. This broader review could address perceived problems ranging from under-recognition of achievement to under-fulfillment of expectations for faculty, and its primary focus should be collegial problem-solving. Describing such a procedure provides guidance to the UEO and encourages early intervention while problems are still solvable. Providing for a broader review (coupled with the periodic review of each unit as described below) is intended to capture the benefits, both to the faculty member and to the institution, of the more traditional "post tenure review" process. Therefore, this provision helps to assure the public that the System of Periodic Faculty Review is just as effective as other kinds of "post tenure review," but this is accomplished without the high cost of subjecting all faculty to a special process every five to seven years.

Periodic Review of Each Unit's Faculty Review System. A unit's annual faculty review system must be procedurally rigorous, fair and even-handed in application. Only then can the UEO (and, in some units, the elected faculty body) be fully informed of the degree to which faculty have satisfied the institution's educational, research, and public service objectives; only then can the evaluation be a meaningful basis for salary decisions and, if appropriate, additional follow-up; and only then can the public feel assured that faculty are accountable in ways appropriate to a university community. The recommended periodic review of each unit's faculty review system is intended to assure that the system is being properly administered at the unit level. Such a periodic review of each unit every five to seven years is a far better use of the institution's limited resources than the more onerous task of conducting an additional review of every tenured faculty member every five to seven years.

How costly will these recommendations be when adopted?

The costs will be minimal for units with an effective annual review process already in place. Units will need to review their procedures in light of the minimum campus standards, but these standards are not onerous and would be good practices in any event. Many units will need to develop a statement of mission and faculty expectations; these are probably implicitly understood already. The written procedures for annual faculty review will need to be formally adopted, but this requirement assures they are acceptable to the faculty. For individual faculty, following these procedures should not be any more burdensome than the current practice of submitting annual reports of accomplishments. And for a UEO the routine administration of the system should not be overly burdensome either. By building on the existing system of annual faculty reviews, the proposed System of Periodic Faculty Review minimizes the additional burdens on both faculty and administrators, and this is in sharp contrast to the burden of other faculty review options. The periodic review of each unit is a new activity but it should be accomplished efficiently, perhaps in the context of other periodic reviews. And it does help assure that the system of faculty review is being carried out effectively at the unit level, and this should mean that other problems surrounding salary administration, etc., are being avoided or otherwise resolved more expeditiously. The benefits should exceed the additional costs.

What process has led to the recommendations being presented?

The process has been thorough, deliberative, open, and inquisitive. The committee was constituted with broad academic representation, including cross-membership with the Senate's Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee, General University Policy Committee, Senate Council, and Senates Conference. The committee and Senate Council have solicited insights from senators, department heads & chairs, deans, and the entire UIUC academic community. Three "Committee of the Whole" discussions have been or will be held on the Senate floor. The experiences of other universities have been reviewed. Alternative strategies have been identified and debated. The existing processes of faculty review at UIUC have been examined. And out of this deliberative process a consensus recommendation has emerged within the committee. See the earlier reports of the committee:

XTI.98.01 First Report of the Senate Council ad hoc Tenure Issues Committee, March 30, 1998;
XTI.99.01 Report of the Tenure Issues Committee, September 14, 1998;
XTI.99.02 Tenure Issues Committee Update and Draft Recommendations, February 15, 1999;
XTI.99.03 Recommendations of the ad hoc Tenure Issues Committee Regarding a System of Periodic Faculty Review, March 22, 1999 (First Reading);
See also the web page created early in the process and maintained by the senate office:
Post Tenure Review at UIUC: a Document Index, http://www.uiuc.edu/providers/senate/tenure.asp


Responses of the ad hoc Tenure Issues Committee
to Issues Raised at the Committee of the Whole Discussion on March 22

Issues and suggestions raised during the March 22 "first reading" of XTI.99.03 and the accompanying Committee of the Whole discussion, are summarized in the following seven questions. The committee's response follows each question.

1. How should a unit's written faculty review procedures (including the statement of the unit's mission and faculty expectations) be approved? Paragraph I.B provides for approval by the unit's faculty or the unit's faculty advisory body. This is confusing.

Approval language in I.B has been changed to read "These procedures shall be approved in accordance with the unit's bylaws . . . ." Conforming editorial changes have been made in the Background and Explanation.

2. What is the expectation of confidentiality for the faculty member's permanent file referred to in paragraph I.C.4? Confidentiality is needed to make the system work.

This file, in the nature of a personnel record, is intended to be an internal file used for purposes of faculty review and evaluation, including review by academic peers under paragraph I.D. Its contents should be protected from public disclosure to the maximum extent allowed by law. Accordingly, the language of I.C.4 has been expanded to include the following sentences: "This file is a personnel record intended for internal use, including review by academic peers. Its content is to be protected from public disclosure to the extent allowed by law."

3. The phrase "elected faculty advisory body" refers to the executive committee and the advisory committee. Is there a shorter, more neutral phrase?

The phrase "elected faculty advisory body" defined in paragraph I.B and used throughout the document has been changed to read "elected faculty body."

4. When are the provisions of the Broader Review (paragraph I.D) activated?

The following sentence has been added to the answer to Question 5 in the Background and Explanation: "Because a UEO already has authority to initiate such a review, the committee has not attempted to identify the exact conditions under which the suggested procedure for a broader review would be triggered; this is expected to be a judgment call made by the faculty member or UEO, with oversight by the elected faculty body."

5. How many units are not currently in compliance with the procedures as recommended?

A review of the survey information suggests that few units would currently comply. Very few units have formally articulated their expectations for faculty as would be required by paragraph I.C.1; most units appear to have a formalized system of gathering information about faculty accomplishments, but few would meet the campus-wide standards required by I.C.2 and I.C.3; few units currently incorporate guidelines for a broader review or suggestions for UEO follow-up, as described in paragraphs I.D. and I.E; no colleges are currently conducting periodic reviews of units as would be required by paragraph II.A. Nevertheless, the costs of complying with these recommendations should be minimal for units with an effective annual review system already in place. See the answer to Question 6 in the Background and Explanation.

6. In paragraph I.C.2 should faculty be required to include a self-assessment of how well the faculty member is meeting departmental expectations? Its value is questionable.

The self-assessment was intended to provide an explanatory link between accomplishments and the unit's mission/expectations. The committee now understands that the term "self-assessment" has different meanings to different people and a special meaning within the field of personnel management. Paragraph I.C.2 has been changed to read as follows: "Require each faculty member to provide . . . a brief explanation of the connection between his or her activities and the unit's mission and expectations." In addition, the following sentence has been incorporated into the answer to Question 5 in the Background and Explanation: "One such standard, the explanatory link between accomplishments and the unit's mission and expectations, will assist the UEO to recognize this connection and help the faculty member think about accomplishments in the context of the unit's mission and expectations."

7. Are the recommended procedures too complex and bureaucratic? Are they just addressing a public relations problem which would be better handled outside the senate?

The recommendation has been modestly revised by combining several paragraphs and simplifying language. For example, paragraph II.B has been reworded and reformatted, and the following sentence was added: "The goal [of the periodic review of a unit] is to assure that the unit has met the criteria specified in paragraph A, or to assist the unit by identifying changes needed to bring the procedures into compliance." Most of the remaining complexity is intended to assure fairness and appropriate faculty involvement. Because of the close connection between systems of faculty review and academic freedom and tenure, the committee prefers to prescribe certain procedures in detail even at the cost of apparent complexity. Nevertheless, we should remember that the periodic review of each unit is far less bureaucratic than a full scale review of each faculty member every five to seven years - a procedure required by alternative forms of "post tenure review."

Regarding the public relations issue, the committee believes the actual presence of a system of periodic faculty review which is fair, effective, and efficient is important irrespective of public relations. And the adoption of such a system is clearly within the province of the senate. The committee also recognizes that misunderstandings do exist between the academic community and the general public about the operation of universities and their unique value to society. Accordingly, the committee urges the provost, chancellor, and president to continue and increase their efforts to help the public better understand the university and its valuable and unique contributions to society; the committee also acknowledges an important role for faculty and others in this effort.

The committee recognizes that reasonable minds may differ regarding the wisdom of its recommendations, and the accuracy of their underlying assumptions. But the committee genuinely believes that adoption of the recommended System of Periodic Faculty Review is a needed step for the Urbana-Champaign campus at this time.