Effective as of: 01.07.2019
Policy name: Faculty Evaluations
Policy of Publication
Policy Number: ACAD20190027
The purpose of the Faculty Development Plan and Self-Assessment is two-fold:
- to provide faculty with opportunities to identify and further their professional development in teaching, research, university/community service, and
- to provide information to the administration to facilitate their decisions on retention, promotion, and merit pay increases.
The Faculty Development Plan and Self-Assessment documents collected over the years become part of the dossier for promotion. For more information on this process, refer to the Policy on Appointment, Retention, and Promotion (https://policies.aua.am/policy/20). The Faculty Development Plan and Self-Assessment is just one document reviewed in the broader process of faculty promotion.
For the purposes of the Faculty Development Plan and Self-Assessment, the definition of faculty includes all instructors with teaching appointments in the academic programs including program chairs, but does not include the Deans who are reviewed as per the policy on the Evaluation of Deans (https://policies.aua.am/policy/47). The planning and self-assessment of faculty will take place annually for faculty with appointments of one or more academic years
At the end of the academic year, a conversation with the Program Chair takes place by June 15 (preliminary update), and the final submission is due by September 30. The documentation and conversations address the previous academic year and include the following summer (fall-spring-summer). Visiting faculty with part-time appointments of less than one academic year will be evaluated at the end of each contract.
Faculty submit their annual plan using the Faculty Development Plan and Self-Assessment template at the beginning of the academic year. At the end of the academic year, they update the form with a summary of deliverables specific to their plans. Faculty who are Program Chairs are to complete the same report for review by their respective college’s Dean.
Faculty should submit this form to one Program Chair only. A member of the faculty who is teaching in more than one program shall submit this form to the program in which they historically conduct the majority of their teaching. If this fact is hard to determine, the Dean(s) where the faculty has been teaching will assign the lead Program Chair for the review in consultation with the Chairs and faculty member. The form should include teaching and other activities performed in all programs and across the University. Program Chairs may elect to waive the evaluation commentary requirement for distinguished short-term visiting faculty. In regard to visiting faculty, Program Chairs should request written comments from the faculty member regarding his/her experiences while at AUA at the conclusion of their contract.
The Program Chair (Dean in the case of evaluation of Program Chair) makes an independent written evaluation of the faculty member based on the updates in the form, course evaluations, and other observations of the faculty member’s performance. The Program Chair/Dean discusses with the faculty member objectives for the following year. After discussion with the faculty member, the evaluation may include recommendations for professional and/or instructional development.
Faculty members receive the written evaluation, and have the right to respond in writing. This response is included as part of the evaluation documentation. Responses must be made within one week of receipt of the evaluation.
The evaluation is forwarded to the Dean after being signed by both the faculty member and the Program Chair. Evaluations of Program Chairs are forwarded to the Provost. Evaluations of faculty/ Program Chairs are placed in the faculty member's personnel file.
A primary consideration for academic appointment and advancement is creative scholarship, defined as the substantive contribution of new knowledge or significant new applications of knowledge in the following scopes: (1) scholarship of discovery, (2) scholarship of integration, (3) scholarship of application, and (4) scholarship of teaching. This definition aims to value a broad spectrum of scholarship which allows for AUA to recognize faculty activities and efforts that match the mission of the University and disciplinary foci within each academic program.
(1) Scholarship of discovery means the traditional concept of scholarship vetted in peer reviewed journals and monographs.
(2) Scholarship of integration values cross-disciplinary work which produces or presents new, creative and innovative perspectives, including textbooks and reference works.
(3) Scholarship of application values the application of theory to practice in a specific or novel context which results in a new, creative and innovative understanding of universal knowledge.
(4) Scholarship of teaching values creative and innovative pedagogical approaches to curriculum, instruction and assessment including curriculum design or other activities beyond routine teaching responsibilities.
A second consideration for academic appointment and development is excellence in teaching, whether in the lecture hall, at a seminar, at the laboratory bench, or in the field. Excellence in teaching connotes an objective, current, accurate, and balanced command of the field being taught, effectiveness in communicating its essence, and the willingness to interact and exchange views with students at the highest levels of intellectual integrity. Adequate English proficiency while fulfilling teaching responsibilities is a high priority at AUA. Should student evaluations or other indicators suggest that the faculty member's English language communication is not effective, the Program Chair works with the faculty member to develop a plan for improving the faculty member's skills in English language communication.
A third set of criteria is (1) active and effective participation in various administrative, advisory, and other responsibilities in the University (e.g., committees, working groups, taskforces both at the academic program level and University-wide), and (2) excellence in discharging professional service responsibilities in the community, to professional and other organizations, and to the international community, as well as the faculty member's national and international reputation as a professional and scholar.