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Annual Performance Reviews of Continuing Status and Continuing-Eligible Academic Professional Employees

Policy Information

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

Policy

This section applies to annual performance reviews of continuing status and continuing-eligible academic professional employees. In accordance with Board policy, 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.

Continuing status and continuing-eligible 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 continuing status and continuing-eligible 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 continuing status and continuing-eligible 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 through the use of peer review.
  3. To promote the effectiveness of continuing status and continuing-eligible academic professional employees through an articulation of the types of contributions they might make that enhance the University and will lead to greater personal and professional growth, recognition, and rewards.
  4. To provide a written record of continuing status and continuing-eligible academic professional employees' performance to support personnel decisions.
  5. To recognize special talents, capabilities and achievements of continuing status and continuing-eligible academic professional employees. 
  6. To correct unsatisfactory ratings in one or more areas of responsibility through specific improvement plans designed to correct the deficiencies in a timely manner.

All continuing status or continuing-eligible professional employees who are found to be performing overall as meeting expectations in the annual performance review may be eligible for salary increases and other awards that may exist or be established at the unit, college, or University levels.

Continuing status and continuing-eligible 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 continuing status and continuing-eligible academic professional employees in achieving excellence in the performance of their duties and responsibilities.

Annual performance reviews follow specific procedures outlined in Section 4A.2.01. For continuing-eligible academic professional employees, the mandatory successive renewal process, which occurs in the third and sixth years, follows procedures outlined in Promotion and Continuing Status (Section 4A.3.01).
 

4A.2.01 Annual Performance Review Process

Each continuing status or continuing-eligible academic professional employee's 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 continuing status or continuing-eligible academic professional employee to express performance expectations. Procedures and instruments for evaluation of continuing status and continuing-eligible 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 continuing status or continuing-eligible academic professional employee's performance will include an assessment by the immediate administrative head.

  3. The evaluation of the continuing status or continuing-eligible academic professional employee's past performance and expectations for the future will be discussed with the continuing status or continuing-eligible academic professional employee. A written statement recording the sense of this discussion will be provided to the continuing status or continuing-eligible academic professional employee. The continuing status or continuing-eligible 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 continuing status or continuing-eligible academic professional employee's performance in the employee’s department consistent with that department's responsibilities, University, and Board policies. For continuing status and continuing-eligible 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 will include an evaluation by both a peer review committee and an assessment by the immediate administrative head. The peer review committee will be elected unless decided otherwise by the members of the unit. Deliberations, evaluations, and recommendations of such committees are confidential, as are any evaluations or recommendations they may receive. However, upon request the immediate administrative head will provide the continuing status or continuing-eligible academic professional employee a summary of the peer evaluation.

B. Procedures for the Performance Evaluation

The following procedures are involved in the annual performance review of continuing status and continuing-eligible academic professional employees:

  1. The first step is information gathering, where the continuing status or continuing-eligible academic professional employee provides information to the immediate administrative head and peer review committee in a timely manner. In the area of teaching, student evaluation of classroom performance in all classes is required.

  2. Peer evaluation, through procedures and criteria determined by continuing status and continuing-eligible academic professional employees and the immediate administrative head, is required. The information gathered in 4A.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 continuing status or continuing-eligible academic professional employee on the basis of information provided by the continuing status or continuing-eligible academic professional employee, peer evaluators, students, and such other information as is available, including findings that the academic professional employee has violated codes of professional conduct, as detailed in the Statement on Professional Conduct in UHAP 7.01.0. The immediate administrative head then provides the continuing status or continuing-eligible academic professional employee with a preliminary written evaluation.

  4. The immediate administrative head meets typically with the continuing status or continuing-eligible 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. If the continuing status or continuing-eligible academic professional employee so requests, the discussion at this meeting will include a summary of the results of the evaluation conducted by the peer review committee. If the employee is continuing-eligible, then this meeting will include a discussion of the continuing-eligible academic professional employee's progress toward continuing status and promotion.

  5. As soon as possible thereafter, the continuing status or continuing-eligible professional employee will receive the final written evaluation. The continuing status or continuing-eligible 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 4A.2.01.b.4 above. The final written evaluation will become a part of the employee's departmental records.

  6. If the continuing status or continuing-eligible academic professional employee receives an overall unsatisfactory performance rating, a plan for remediation and/or further action may be developed in accordance with the procedures outlined below.
  7. If the continuing status or continuing-eligible 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 4A.2.03.
  8. If the continuing status or continuing-eligible academic professional employee disagrees with the evaluation, he or she may appeal as detailed in Section 4A.2.03.

If the continuing status or continuing-eligible academic professional employee fails to provide annual performance review information to the immediate administrative head and peer review committee by the established deadline after receiving appropriate notification, the continuing status or continuing-eligible academic professional employee will receive an overall unsatisfactory performance rating unless the immediate administrative head determines that good cause exists for an exception.

When an individual holds an appointment that involves an administrative assignment, the related duties will be assessed by the appropriate administrator, while the faculty duties will be assessed by the peer review committee.

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

 

4A.2.02 Annual Performance Review Criteria for Continuing Status and Continuing-Eligible Academic Professional Employees

Written evaluation criteria will be developed through participation of continuing status and continuing-eligible academic professional employees within each department or other organizational unit, together with the immediate administrative head, to express their performance expectations. The recommended categories for evaluation are truly exceptional, exceeds expectations, meets expectations, needs improvement, and unsatisfactory. The stated expectations will differentiate between satisfactory and unsatisfactory performance and must be in accordance with the mission and goals of the department and college or division, within the norms of the discipline, and must be approved by the college dean or division administrator 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 a continuing status or continuing-eligible academic professional 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 will constitute one component of the evaluation.

Each annual review will include the past review year of the continuing status or continuing-eligible academic professional employee's performance. The review period may include the past three to five years of performance, with substantial emphasis on the most recent year for evaluation of teaching. The time period will be determined by the unit.
 

4A.2.03 Appeals of Annual Performance Reviews for Continuing Status and Continuing-Eligible Academic Professional Employees

Continuing status and continuing-eligible 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 within 30 days from the date that the final 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 continuing status or continuing-eligible academic professional employee and the immediate administrative head involved in the initial annual performance review.
 

4A.2.04 Unsatisfactory Ratings of Continuing-Eligible Academic Professional Employees

If a continuing-eligible academic professional employee 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 employee’s immediate administrative head, in consultation with the peer review committee, may either develop a remediation plan for the continuing-eligible academic professional employee, which includes specific benchmarks to improve the continuing-eligible academic professional employee's performance over the next review period, or may initiate other actions in accordance with University policy, which could include termination.

4A.2.05 Less Than Satisfactory Ratings of Continuing Status Academic Professional Employees

If an academic professional with continuing status receives a performance review rating of overall satisfactory, but with an unsatisfactory rating in any single area of performance (for example, teaching), the employee’s immediate administrative head, in consultation with the peer review committee, will develop a remediation plan. This plan will include benchmarks to improve the employee’s performance over the next review period or may redirect the employee’s work responsibilities to areas of particular strength.

Academic professionals with continuing status who receive overall annual performance review ratings of unsatisfactory are required to enter directly into a Performance Improvement Plan. 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 continuing status academic professional employee's failure to provide annual performance review information to the immediate administrative head and peer review committee by the established deadline, unless the administrator has extended the deadline for providing that information based upon good cause.

a. Objective and Process for a Performance Improvement Plan

The objective of the Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) is to enable the continuing status academic professional employee to become a fully contributing member of the employee's department. The continuing status academic professional employee must take responsibility for meeting to develop the PIP and submitting any necessary materials in a timely manner, and for following the PIP once it is developed.

  1. Within 30 days of receiving the annual performance review rating or outcome, the continuing status academic professional employee and the immediate administrative head will develop the PIP in consultation with the peer review committee and with approval by the dean or division administrator.
  2. The PIP 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 unsatisfactory annual performance review rating. For deficiencies in any area (teaching, service, or research), the PIP will generally 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 PIP may extend beyond one year but in no event will a PIP exceed three years in duration. The Provost must approve any PIP that exceeds one year in duration. The PIP 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 PIP;
    • Address the resources needed to facilitate the PIP; and
    • Describe any alteration in job responsibilities that may be necessary to implement the PIP.
  3. The University will make reasonable efforts to provide appropriate resources to facilitate the PIP's implementation and success.
  4. The continuing status academic professional employee's performance within the context of the PIP will be evaluated as early as possible, but no later than one year after the PIP is put into effect. This special evaluation will be carried out by the immediate administrative head and the peer review committee in place at the time of the evaluation, and approved by the dean or division administrator.

b. Outcomes of the Performance Improvement Plan

The PIP concludes when any one of the following occurs:

  1. The continuing status academic professional employee achieves overall satisfactory performance as required by the PIP and as documented by the special evaluation and approved by the dean or division administrator.

  2. The continuing status academic professional employee fails to demonstrate adequate progress relative to the PIP'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 continuing status academic professional employee fails to participate in developing the PIP 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 8/23/2016

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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