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Annual Performance Reviews of Academic Professional Employees

Policy Information

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Last Revised Date: 
August, 2016
Policy Number: 
UHAP 4B.2
Responsible Unit: 
Division of Human Resources
Phone: 
(520) 621-3660

Policy

This section applies to annual performance reviews of academic professional employees. In accordance with ABOR-PM 6-304, such employees are expected to participate and cooperate in evaluations to assess and enhance their performance. These employees will have an opportunity to participate in the preparation of evaluation guidelines and in the evaluation review process. The evaluation system should permit sufficient flexibility to adapt procedures to individual or organizational unit circumstances.

Academic professional employees are evaluated with respect to all personnel matters on the basis of excellence in performance. The annual performance review is intended to support academic professional employees in achieving excellence in the performance of their duties and responsibilities.

The evaluation procedures should pursue the following objectives:

  1. To involve academic professional employees in the formulation of objectives and goals related to their program areas and their own personal and professional growth.
  2. To assess actual performance and accomplishments in the areas of the employee's responsibilities.
  3. To promote the effectiveness of academic professional employees through an articulation of the types of contributions they might make to the University community that will lead to greater personal and professional growth, recognition, and rewards.
  4. To provide a written record of academic professional employees' performance to support personnel decisions such as reappointment, merit increases, transfers, reemployment, and promotions.
  5. To recognize special talents, capabilities, and achievements of academic professional employees.

Academic professional employees are evaluated with respect to all personnel matters on the basis of excellence in performance. The annual performance review is intended to support academic professional employees in achieving excellence in the performance of their duties and responsibilities.

Annual performance reviews follow specific procedures outlined in Section 4B.2.01.
 

4B.2.01 Annual Performance Review Process

The University is not required to provide performance reviews for employees with appointments the University has indicated are not intended to extend beyond six months. Other academic professional employees' performance, personal progress, and future potential will be evaluated in writing on a scheduled basis at least once every 12 months.

A. Elements of the Performance Evaluation

Elements of the evaluation will include, but will not be limited to, the following:

  1. Written evaluation criteria will be developed through participation of the academic professional employee to express the employee's performance expectations. Procedures and instruments for evaluation of academic professional employees will be developed by departments and organizational units. Evaluation procedures within organizational units will be flexible enough to meet the particular objectives of the unit without undermining the uniformity of the whole system.

  2. An assessment of the academic professional employee's performance will include an assessment by the immediate administrative head.

  3. The evaluation of the academic professional employee's past performance and expectations for the future will be discussed with the academic professional employee by the academic professional employee's immediate administrative head. A written statement recording the sense of this discussion will be provided to the academic professional employee. The academic professional employee will be given the opportunity to add comments to this statement as a part of the official record.

  4. The annual performance review will evaluate the academic professional employee's performance in the employee's department consistent with that department's responsibilities, University, and Board policies. For academic professional employees whose responsibilities include teaching, the annual review will include peer and student input, including student evaluations of classroom performance in all classes, and other expressions of teaching performance.

  5. The assessment of performance may include an evaluation by a peer review committee of the unit, as well as an assessment by the immediate administrative head. The peer review committee will be elected unless decided otherwise by the members of the unit. Peer review committees may be composed to utilize consistent standards in evaluating all teaching and independent research. Deliberations, evaluations, and recommendations of such committees are confidential, as are any evaluations or recommendations they may receive. However, upon request a summary of the results of any peer evaluation will be communicated to the individual by the employee's immediate administrative head.

B. Procedures for the Performance Evaluation

The following procedures are involved in the annual performance review of academic professional employees:

  1. The first step is information gathering, where the academic professional employee provides information to the immediate administrative head in a timely manner. In the area of teaching, student evaluation of classroom performance in all classes is required.

  2. Peer evaluation may be included by following procedures and criteria determined by academic professional employees and the immediate administrative head. The information gathered in 4B.2.01.B.1, and any other materials that may be deemed relevant, are utilized in the peer review. Results of the peer evaluation are transmitted directly to the immediate administrative head confidentially.

  3. The immediate administrative head evaluates the academic professional employee on the basis of information provided by the academic professional employee, peer evaluators, students, and such other information as is available. The immediate administrative head then provides the academic professional employee with a preliminary written evaluation.

  4. The immediate administrative head meets typically with the academic professional employee by March 31, if possible, to discuss the immediate administrative head's written evaluation, assignments, and expectations for the next annual review.

  5. As soon as possible thereafter, the academic professional employee will receive the final written evaluation. The academic professional employee provides comments as desired, signs the final, written evaluation, and returns it to the immediate administrative head within 10 days of the meeting described in 4B.2.01.b above. The signed, final evaluation will become a part of the employee's departmental records.

  6. If the academic professional employee is found to be performing in an unsatisfactory manner or fails to provide annual performance review information to the immediate administrative head by the established deadline after receiving appropriate notification, the academic professional employee will receive an overall unsatisfactory performance rating unless the immediate administrative head determines that good cause exists for an exception.

  7. If the academic professional employee receives an overall unsatisfactory performance rating, a plan for remediation and/or further action may be developed, or the immediate administrative head may take other actions in accordance with University policy.

  8. If the academic professional employee disagrees with the evaluation, the employee may appeal within 30 days of receipt of the final written evaluation as detailed in Section 4B.2.03.

Annual performance reviews may be considered in the promotion process, but such evaluations are not determinative on promotion. Satisfactory ratings in the annual performance reviews do not necessarily indicate successful progress toward promotion. Progress toward promotion requires excellence in performance over a period of years in all the duties and responsibilities assigned to the individual, and may include evaluation by external peer reviewers, which is not a part of the annual review process. Criteria and decisions with regard to promotion are detailed in Promotion (Section 4B.3).
 

4B.2.02 Annual Performance Review Criteria for Academic Professional Employees

Written evaluation criteria, as established in Section 4B.2.01, will differentiate between satisfactory and unsatisfactory performance and must be in accordance with the mission and goals of the department, college, or division; within the norms of the discipline; and must be approved by the college dean or appropriate vice president and the Provost.

Depending upon assigned responsibilities, criteria for annual performance may consider teaching effectiveness, research and scholarly growth, creative activity, academic professional activity, and service and outreach. Evaluation criteria may provide for recognition of long-term activities and outcomes. Concentration of effort in one or more of the duties and responsibilities of an employee during a particular year is permissible, and may even be encouraged. Guidelines and evaluation procedures within departments will be flexible enough to meet the particular objectives of the department without undermining the uniformity of the whole system. When teaching effectiveness is evaluated, a systematic assessment of both student and peer opinion, if applicable, will constitute one component of the evaluation.

Departments will establish review periods that must include the past year of the academic professional employee's performance but which also may include the past three to five years of performance. Such time periods will be established by the department and will apply to all academic professional employees in that department. For academic professional employees whose responsibilities include teaching, substantial emphasis will be placed on the most recent year for evaluation of teaching.

 

4B.2.03 Appeals of Annual Performance Reviews for Academic Professional Employees

Academic professional employees who disagree with their annual performance reviews may appeal their review to the next administrative level. Such appeals must be made in writing to the next administrative level within 30 days from the date the final written evaluation was received and must state with specificity: (a) the findings to be appealed; (b) the points of disagreement; (c) the facts in support of the appeal; and (d) the corrective action sought.

The administrator reviewing the appeal will consider the facts in support of the appeal and develop any additional facts deemed necessary. The decision on the appeal will be completed in writing within 30 days, with copies provided to the employee and the administrative head involved in the initial annual performance review.
 

4B.2.04 Unsatisfactory Ratings of Academic Professional Employees on Year-to-Year Appointments

If an academic professional employee holding a year-to-year appointment receives an overall annual performance review rating of unsatisfactory or fails to complete an annual review in a timely manner when provided with appropriate notification, the immediate administrative head may initiate actions in accordance with University policy, which could include termination.
 

4B.2.05 Less Than Satisfactory Ratings of Academic Professional Employees on Multiple-Year Appointments

An overall unsatisfactory rating may result from (a) two or more areas of performance rated as unsatisfactory; (b) one area of performance rated as unsatisfactory, depending on the emphasis assigned to that area or the extent of the deficiency; or (c) the academic professional employee's failure to provide annual performance review information to the immediate administrative head by the established deadline, unless the administrator has extended the deadline for providing that information based upon good cause.

If an academic professional employee on a multiyear appointment receives an overall unsatisfactory rating, the employee's immediate administrative head may initiate appropriate action in accordance with University policy, which could include termination. If an academic professional employee on a multiple-year appointment receives an annual performance review rating of overall satisfactory but receives an unsatisfactory rating in any single area of performance (for example, teaching), or a needs improvement rating in one or more areas of performance, the employee's immediate administrative head also may initiate appropriate action in accordance with University policy, which could include termination.

A. Objective and Process for a Remediation Plan for Academic Professional Employees on Multiple-Year Appointments

If an academic professional employee's immediate administrative head directs an academic professional employee who has a multiple-year appointment to enter into a remediation plan based upon a less than satisfactory rating on the employee's annual performance review, the academic professional employee must take responsibility for meeting with the employee's immediate administrative head to develop the plan and submitting any necessary materials in a timely manner, and for following the plan once it is developed.

  1. Within 30 days of receiving the annual performance review rating or outcome, the academic professional employee and the immediate administrative head will develop the plan with the approval of the dean or division administrator.
  2. The plan will specify its anticipated duration, and will be implemented as soon as possible after it has been developed but no later than the semester following the overall less than satisfactory annual performance review rating. For deficiencies in any area (teaching, service, or research), the plan generally will be effective no longer than one year. In those rare circumstances where the nature of the deficiency cannot be fully remedied in one year, the plan may not extend beyond the current appointment period. The plan will generally:
    • Describe specific deficiencies;
    • Provide a list of reasonable outcomes needed to correct deficiencies;
    • Describe the process to be followed to achieve outcomes;
    • Provide the timeline for accomplishing the process, including at least annual or more frequent reviews;
    • Describe benchmarks and expectations;
    • Describe the criteria to be used in evaluating progress in the plan;
    • Address the resources needed to facilitate the plan; and
    • Describe any alteration in job responsibilities that may be necessary to implement the plan.
  3. The University will make reasonable efforts to provide appropriate resources to facilitate the plan's implementation and success.
  4. The academic professional employee's performance within the context of the plan will be evaluated as early as possible. This special evaluation will be carried out by the immediate administrative head and be approved by the dean or division administrator.

B. Outcomes of the Remediation Plan

The remediation plan concludes when any one of the following occurs:

  1. The academic professional employee achieves overall satisfactory performance as required by the plan and as documented by a special evaluation that is approved by the dean or division administrator.

  2. The academic professional employee fails to demonstrate adequate progress relative to the plan's benchmarks and performance goals, which will constitute just cause for dismissal and result in a recommendation for dismissal, in accordance with ABOR-PM 6-302(G) and (I).

  3. The academic professional employee fails to participate in developing a plan if directed to do so or fails to submit required materials when requested, which will lead to a recommendation for dismissal, in accordance with ABOR-PM 6-302(G) and (I).

Related Information*

Revision History*

Revisions approved August 23, 1016

All sections revised July 2014

* Please note that sections titled Frequently Asked Questions, Related Information, and Revision History are provided solely for the convenience of users and are not part of the official University policy.

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