Comprehensive Standard 3.7.2
The institution regularly evaluates the effectiveness of each faculty member in accord with published criteria, regardless of contractual or tenured status. (Faculty evaluation)
The University of South Carolina Upstate (USC Upstate) conducts evaluations of all faculty members in accord with published criteria, regardless of contractual or tenure status. All teaching faculty at USC Upstate (referred to in the current faculty manual as the University of South Carolina Spartanburg [USCS], the previous name of our campus) are evaluated through both student and administrative evaluations. The Faculty Manual defines faculty members as “the president, the chancellor, other USCS administrators with faculty status, professors, associate professors, assistant professors, all full-time instructors and full-time lecturers in baccalaureate and associate degree programs, visiting faculty members, emeriti professors, librarians, associate librarians, assistant librarians, and such other persons as the faculty sees fit to elect”.
The Faculty Manual outlines the criteria, process and timeline for evaluating faculty for all full-time faculty members. As shown in the example provided, each unit maintains discipline specific criteria.
Review Criteria for Full-time Faculty
Faculty are evaluated by the rating administrator who may be a chair, assistant or associate dean, or dean (evaluations available for onsite review). All faculty receive ratings of outstanding, more than satisfactory, satisfactory, less than satisfactory, or unsatisfactory in the areas of teaching, scholarly and/or creative activities, and service. In addition to a rating for each of the areas, each faculty member is also given an “overall rating” that represents a compilation of the component ratings.
Teaching: Of the three basic areas of faculty responsibility, teaching effectiveness receives the major emphasis and forms the core of a performance review. All faculty members are expected to reach and maintain a high level of teaching effectiveness. At a minimum, this involves preparing course syllabi, keeping course materials current, grading responsibly, returning student work in a timely fashion, being in class regularly and on time, motivating students to learn in and out of class, maintaining office hours, and counseling or advising students as appropriate or needed.
Scholarly and/or Creative Activities: Faculty members are expected to stay current in their area(s) of disciplinary expertise and to pursue research, scholarly,and/or creative activities in accordance with their professional interests. USC Upstate values and supports a broad range of research, scholarly, and/orcreative activities. Scholarly pursuits are considered as vital to professional growth as externally-funded research. USC Upstate is an institution whose primary mission is teaching; therefore, research, scholarly, and/or creative activities that are connected to an instructor’s teaching are encouraged. In any endeavor, the quality of the work is more important than the quantity.
Service: Faculty members are expected to engage in service. This may be at the unit, University, community, and/or professional level. Documentation of service activities may include letters, awards, and/or citations.
Review Process for Full-time Faculty
Every new full-time tenure track faculty member must be formally evaluated in the initial year of their appointment. All successive evaluations for full-time faculty are conducted on an annual basis. As part of this annual evaluation, each faculty member provides a self-appraisal of performance with appropriate documentation in the areas of teaching, scholarly, and/or creative activities, and service. Documentation of effective teaching includes the results of student opinion polls (SOPs) (actual results are available for review onsite) that are completed anonymously for each class,regardless of delivery method, by students through a standardized institutional process.
Faculty members are responsible for creating and maintaining thorough, up-to-date files and/or portfolios for use in the review process. Files contain, in addition to the curriculum vitae, summaries of activity related to teaching; research, scholarly, and/or creative activities; and service as noted above.
The rating administrator and the faculty member sign and date the completed evaluation to show that a performance review has been conducted. All faculty members receive copies of their annual evaluations. Signing does not imply agreement, and the faculty member is at liberty to challenge the evaluation. Faculty members who dispute any part of the annual evaluation may submit a rejoinder to the Senior Vice Chancellor (SVC) for Academic Affairs.
The SVC evaluates Deans on the basis of their annual documented self-reports. Deans have the same opportunity to submit a rejoinder as that outlined for full-time teaching faculty members; in their case, the rejoinder would be submitted to the Chancellor. The Deans evaluate chairs and assistant or associate deans. Chairs and assistant or associate deans have the same opportunity to submit a rejoinder as that outlined for full-time teaching faculty members; in their case, the rejoinder would be submitted to the SVC.
Post Tenure Review
Tenured faculty members participate in Post Tenure Review every six years. The faculty member’s Post Tenure Review portfolio is evaluated by a unit Peer Review Committee and the rating administrator. The recommendations, with rationales, are forwarded to the SVC who reviews the file and makes a recommendation. If the post tenure review indicates unsatisfactory performance, the faculty member is required to work with his or her academic unit head to design a professional development plan outlining the strategies for improvement. The faculty member has a maximum of three years to satisfy the goals of the professional development plan.
It is the responsibility of the Deans/Chairs to evaluate all adjunct faculty during their first year of teaching at USC Upstate and periodically thereafter. The evaluation is based on a review of syllabi, sample tests, and assignments; reports of classroom observations; and results of SOPs of teaching submitted each semester for every course taught. The Deans/Chairs keep records of these evaluations on file as documentation of the adjunct faculty member’s performance of those duties specified in the contract letter and provide a copy to the faculty member being evaluated. Since the primary responsibility of adjunct faculty is teaching, the areas of service to the school and community and professional achievement (scholarship) may have a lessercomponent in the evaluation.
Faculty Manual Changes
Continual improvement is fundamental to excellence at USC Upstate. Therefore, the Faculty Manualhas been revised and is awaiting the University of South Carolina Board of Trustees approval. Examples of changes include addition of wording to recognize that librarians’effectiveness differs from that of teaching faculty, andacademic units can best determine the contents of faculty files for administrative review. Teaching effectiveness, scholarly and/or creative activities, and service remain the guiding principles of faculty evaluation and teaching effectiveness remains the major emphasis in the revised faculty manual.