Academic Leadership Toolkit

Annual Evaluation/Progress Toward Promotion and Tenure


  • All faculty members (except for those on personal leave during the period) must be evaluated each spring semester.


  • Faculty evaluations have several purposes: assessing performance in areas of assigned activity; communicating that assessment in specific and constructive ways to the faculty member; aiding the faculty member in improving that performance; and developing a performance improvement plan in some cases.
  • The Assignment of Responsibilities forms the basis of all faculty evaluations.
  • Faculty members may appeal their evaluations to the Vice President for Faculty Development and Advancement and in some cases, to the Provost.

Authority and Responsibility:

  • Faculty supervisors (typically chairs) conduct faculty evaluations.
  • Departmental (or unit) bylaws must include a peer-review element in their evaluation process.
  • Merit evaluation procedures are distinct from regular evaluation procedures and are also detailed in the unit’s bylaws.
  • Deans review and approve (or modify) each evaluation prepared by a chair or other first-level evaluator. 

Common Pitfalls:

  • Holding back from providing constructive feedback that could help the faculty member improve their performance.
  • Faculty evaluations are performed on a different schedule than staff evaluations; they are based on the faculty member’s evidence of performance for the preceding spring, summer (if applicable), and fall semesters.
  • Not respecting the two-week notice to the faculty member required for classroom observation.
  • Not offering the faculty member the opportunity to discuss the evaluation with the chair (or other evaluator).
  • Not differentiating the third-year review and the annual progress toward promotion and/or tenure letter from the annual evaluation summary form. Annual Progress Towards Promotion and/or Tenure letters are required for all faculty who have not yet achieved the highest rank.