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3.7.2 Evaluation of Faculty PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 04 September 2009 08:48

3.7.2 Evaluation of Faculty

The University regularly evaluates the effectiveness of each faculty member in accord with published criteria, regardless of contractual or tenured status.

Responsible Unit: Academic Affairs/Deans/Chairs

Compliance Judgment



North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NC A&T) regularly evaluates the effectiveness of all of its faculty in accord with published criteria, regardless of contractual or tenured status. As a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina, these requirements are specified in The Code, Section 602 [1] and the Board of Governors’ Policy Manual, Chapter 400.3.1.1{G} [2] which mandates that clear and specific statements of criteria for evaluation of faculty performance be provided in writing and discussed with each probationary faculty member before initial employment, at the beginning of the first term of employment, and with each candidate being reviewed for reappointment or tenure at the beginning of the year in which the review is scheduled to be made. Furthermore, the criteria for evaluation are to be prescribed at the institutional level, the college or school level, and the departmental level. The NC A&T Faculty Handbook addresses University-wide evaluation criteria and guidelines consistent with the above regulations. Appendix C-2 of the NC A&T Faculty Handbook [3] lists the general criteria for the evaluation of teaching, research performance, professional growth and, university service of faculty members. Appendix C-3 [4] lists minimum requirements and general criteria for promotion in rank and/or permanent tenure. In addition to the University-wide evaluation guidelines, each college or school and department or academic program has its own set of criteria upon which appointments, reappointments, promotion and tenure decisions are made, examples of which are in the supporting documents.

The details of the evaluation process may reflect the specificity and diversity of the faculty appointments and/or the disparity in responsibilities. Even so, in accord with published criteria, NC A&T regularly evaluates the effectiveness of all instructors in the classroom, regardless of their type appointment.

Evaluation of Teaching

The classification system for faculty at NC A&T is addressed in detail in Core Requirement 2.8. The classification system is established and governed by the North Carolina State Personnel Commission through the Office of State Personnel and the Board of Governors, of the University of North Carolina, of which, NC A&T is a constituent institution. Under this system, all faculty members at NC A&T are designated as EPA employees, individuals exempt from the State Personnel Act [5]. EPA positions are further subdivided into EPA Faculty or EPA Non-Faculty positions. “Regular faculty appointees” occupy “EPA faculty” positions. Such faculty members have academic rank and formal job descriptions which designates at least 50 percent of his/her employment responsibilities as teaching. They are considered full-time employees with a contract period of nine, eleven, or twelve months and are subject to the guidelines outlined under the promotion and tenure policies of the university. Other members of the faculty are designated as “EPA Non-Faculty”[6]. This employee classification includes: (1) senior academic and administrative officers, (2) professional, non-teaching, (3) researchers whose duties are in association with the academic enterprise and/or represents an extension of the educational experience, and (4) instructional employees whose duties represent significant involvement with students and/or or the educational process. Special faculty and part-time faculty teaching only one or two course with responsibilities generally limited to their teaching duties, would be classified as EPA non-faculty. Regardless of their faculty status, the teaching performance of all instructors of record at NC A&T is evaluated each semester for each course and section taught. The UNC Policy Manual Chapter 400.3.1.1[G] requires each institution in the UNC System to develop teaching evaluation policies for all teaching faculty members that include student and peer evaluations of teaching performance on a regular and ongoing basis [2]. Currently, NC A&T utilizes a web-based course assessment program, CoursEval, by Academic Management Systems for student evaluation of teaching. The survey questions are designed to focus on the student’s sense of: (1) the organization of the course, (2) preparation and mastery of course content, (3) communication and rapport and, (4) assessment and evaluation [7]. An additional area is provided for written student comments; students may input up to 1000 characters. Students are asked to rate their response to each question on a Likert scale of 1 (unsatisfactory) to 5 (exceptional). The program provides the faculty member with information regarding: (1) his/her own performance in a course section, (2) overall course results, and (3) a comparison of one’s own performance to all sections of the same course, all sections of other courses he/she has taught and to other faculty [8]. It provides the academic administrator information regarding: (1) the specific performance of all faculty members, (2) the overall results for all course sections, (3) a comparative analysis of an individual faculty member to other faculty within a given unit and institution wide, among all schools/colleges within the institution, and all departments within the institution. The departmental chairperson is responsible for reviewing the results of the survey with each faculty member as part of his/her annual review. Individual faculty members are expected to utilize the results of the survey to enhance teaching performance. The CoursEval program has been in consistent use by NC A&T since fall 2006. The student participation rate has ranged from a high of 50.3% to a low of 46.1% with an average student participation rate of 47.4% [9].

Tenure System Faculty

Chapter 602 of The Code [1] requires that the tenure policies and regulations of each constituent institution prescribe the procedures and general considerations upon which decisions concerning appointment, reappointment, promotion, and the conferral of permanent tenure shall be made and the intervals at which the review shall occur. Furthermore, these considerations must include an assessment of the faculty member's demonstrated professional competence, the faculty member’s potential for future contribution, and institutional needs and resources. NC A&T utilizes annual reviews, student evaluations, peer review, the reappointment, promotion, tenure review system, and a post-tenure review system for the regular evaluation of faculty.

Annual Reviews

Each May, at the end of the academic school year, each fulltime faculty member (including tenure-system and full-time non-tenure system) is required to complete and submit to the department chairperson an annual review of his/her professional activity over the past year. The authority governing the review of tenure and tenure tract faculty is consistent with the stipulations of UNC Policy Manual Section 400.3.3 [10] and for EPA Non-Faculty with those stated in the Index of Personnel Policies for NC A&T State University, Section VII [11]. Although the basic content of the report is fairly consistent, the actual written form to be completed varies among the different academic units [12] [13] [14] [15] [16]. The Annual Report generally includes information regarding the details of the faculty appointment, a list of courses taught, efforts to improve teaching effectiveness, attendance and participation at professional meetings, proposals prepared and or funded, research projects or other creative activities started and/or completed, publications, special honors and or awards, conferences or workshops attended, graduate student advisement, and university service or public service activities. The department chairperson reviews the Annual Report with each faculty member and uses it as part of the annual faculty evaluation review process. The results of the reviews are variously used in determining merit pay, and to identify faculty whose performance fails to meet general performance levels. It might suggest a requirement for advice, additional support or faculty development opportunities. The annual reviews are compiled and become part of the Annual Report of the school, college or division. Copies of the annual report and faculty evaluation remain in the faculty member’s personnel file in the respective departmental offices.

Peer Review of Teaching

Peer review of teaching as a component of the faculty evaluation process is addressed in Chapter 602 of the Code and the UNC Policy Manual Section 400.3.3, which requires that formal methods of peer review are included in teaching evaluation procedures [1] [10]. Peer review by departmental and other university faculty is an integral part of the reappointments, promotion and tenure process. External peer review is a component of the accreditation process.

A majority of the programs at NC A&T are accredited by discipline related external accrediting agencies and subject to peer review [17] [18]. Peer review of classroom instruction is a collaborative process between faculty members and is designed to provide additional feedback to instructors about teaching and learning in their classroom. At NC A&T the general process involves (1) a pre-class meeting between the faculty member being reviewed and the peer reviewer, a discussion of the course, course objectives, and details of the material to be covered during the observation, (2) classroom observation of faculty performance, and (3) completion of an evaluation form by the faculty observer/peer reviewer. The faculty observer may or may not be selected by the faculty member being reviewed. The results of the review may be utilized as part of the formative review to help instructors improve teaching and learning in their courses. The results of the peer review may also be utilized as part of a summative review in the formal reward system used for reappointment, promotion, tenure or pay decisions. A formal policy on the evaluation of teaching which focuses on classroom observation as part of the peer review process is not specifically addressed in the NC A&T Faculty Handbook. The classroom peer review process is not utilized by all academic departments at NC A&T and inconsistently utilized as part of the evaluation process in others [19][20].

Promotion and Tenure Review

The NC A&T Faculty Handbook, Appendix B-2, Section 3 [21] sets forth the general timelines and evaluation procedures for reappointments, promotions, and tenure at the University. Initial appointment to the rank of assistant professor is for a probationary period of two years with subsequent two-year and three-year appointments before a decision is made to recommend promotion and/or permanent tenure or not to re-appoint. A written decision to reappoint or not to reappoint is provided the faculty member at least 180 days before the end of each second year of the fixed term appointment. Any appointment to the rank of associate professor without tenure constitutes an initial appointment. It is associated with a probationary two-year fixed term appointment and a subsequent three-year term. Again, written notice of reappointment or non-reappointment must be given at least 180 years before the end of the second year of each fixed term. If reappointed, at the end of the three year term, the faculty member may be recommended for tenure at the same or higher rank. A promotion at any time from rank of associate professor to the rank of professor confers permanent tenure from the effective date of the promotion.

The reappointment, promotion, and tenure process is initiated by the faculty member seeking reappointment, promotion, and/or tenure. The faculty candidate does so by submitting the appropriate application and required documents to the department chairperson. The applicant may seek (1) a fixed or probationary term for two or more years, (2) promotion in rank, (3) reappointment to a fixed term and/or (4) reappointment at the same rank whether or not that reappointment recommends the conferral of permanent tenure. The process then involves a review of the application by committees at the departmental, school or college and university levels interspersed by review and recommendation by the appropriate administrator. The department chairperson convenes the Departmental Reappointments, Promotions, and Tenure(RPT) Committee which will prepare a written letter of their recommendation. This letter is signed by all the committee members and added to the candidate’s application. A copy of the recommendation is made available to the candidate who is given an opportunity to prepare a response. A copy of the recommendation and response is added to the package and submitted to the department chairperson who will submit the application package to the School/College Dean.

The Dean convenes the School/College RPT Committee. It will use the School’s/College’s current published standards for reappointments, promotion and tenure to review the application. Their written recommendation is added to the package and submitted to the Dean. The Dean reviews the applicant’s package judging the professional qualifications of the applicant, but also determining whether the School/College will have the resources to support the application, and whether a positive recommendation concerning the application will be consistent with the current School/College goals. The Dean makes his/her decision to approve or decline the application. A signed document containing the Dean’s decision with statements of justification, will be added to the application package and forwarded to the Office of the Provost/Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.


The Provost/Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs convenes the University RTP Committee. The University RTP Committee reviews the applicant’s professional qualifications in relation to the published university standards. A written recommendation containing the voting record and signed by all the committee members is submitted to the Provost. The Provost reviews the application and the University RPT Committee’s recommendation. If an applicant is seeking reappointment and tenure, the Provost’s review will judge the professional qualifications of the applicant, but also determine whether the University will have the resources to support the application, and whether a positive recommendation concerning the application will be consistent with current University goals. The Provost/Vice Chancellor’s letter of support or non-support is added to the package and the package is then submitted to the Chancellor. If the Chancellor shall concur in a recommendation that will confer permanent tenure, he/she shall consult with the Board of Trustees and, unless dissuaded, forward the recommendation to the President and Board of Governors for final approval. If the Chancellor shall decide not to recommend a reappointment, promotion, or permanent tenure, he/she shall send the candidate a letter with a simple, unelaborated, statement of that decision. The procedure outlined above applies to all resident tenure-track and tenured faculty, to candidates for new appointment at the ranks of Associate Professor or Full Professor, and to candidates for new appointments being considered for conferral of tenure. For a candidate for new appointment, timetable for review will be set consistent with the needs of the new appointment.

Periodic Performance Evaluation of Tenured Faculty (Post-Tenure Review)

In March 2004, the Faculty Senate of NC A&T, approved and which was subsequently approved by the Board of Trustees, a Post Tenure Review Policy which mandates a comprehensive formal review of all tenured faculty. This policy was developed in accordance with the UNC Board of Governors The Code, Chapter 602 [1] and the provisions of Chapter 400.3.3.1 of the Policy Manual [22], the purpose of which is “to support and encourage excellence among tenured faculty by (1) recognizing and rewarding exemplary faculty performance, (2) providing for a clear plan and timetable for improvement of performance of faculty found deficient, and (3) for those whose performance remains deficient, providing for the imposition of appropriate sanctions.” The review is to be cumulative, relative to the mission of the institution, college, and program, and to take place no less than once every five years. A review undertaken to grant tenure or to decide on promotion qualifies as such a cumulative review. The details of the Post Tenure Review Policy for NC A&T are found in Appendix B-3 of the NCA&T Faculty Handbook [23]. There, the general procedures to be followed during the PTR process, standards of performance, assessment outcomes, and the issue of appeals are addressed. All tenured faculty are subjected to annual review as well as PTR and the schedule of evaluation occurs every five years following the latest review or the conferring of tenure. Each department chairperson is responsible for selecting a performance review committee (PRC) of tenured faculty to conduct the PTR process. Within the guidelines published in the Faculty Handbook, each department is allowed to establish its own guidelines for the review portfolio and standards for Exemplary or Satisfactory in each of the categories of (1) Teaching Performance, (2) Research Performance, Professional Growth and Related Activities, and (3) Service to the University. At the conclusion of the process, the review must indicate one of three options: Exemplary, Satisfactory, or One or More Deficiencies. A finding of Exemplary or Satisfactory ends the review process for that cycle. A finding of one or more deficiencies requires the development of a Performance Development Plan or the assignment of additional duties, either of which will require periodic assessment. The faculty member will have opportunity to indicate disagreement with the findings of the PTR process at several stages. Irreconcilable disagreement is mediated via the procedures stipulated in The Code Chapter VI, Section 607, the UNC Policy Manual, Chapter 101.3.2 and the NCA&T Faculty Handbook Appendix F-2 [24], [25], [26].

Fulltime Non-Tenure System Faculty and Part–Time Faculty

Faculty members not part of the tenure system faculty are a valuable, integral, and significant component of the university faculty. Their roles may be primarily teaching or research in nature but their responsibility to the university is inclusive of those as for tenure system faculty. As such, most are subject to the same review procedures that govern the review of tenure-system faculty, however, the weights assigned to the different components may vary. It is the responsibility of the department chairperson and Dean, with the approval of the Provost/Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, to determine the specific job responsibilities of these faculty members.

Periodic Performance Evaluation of Tenured Faculty (Post-Tenure Review)

Fulltime non-tenure system faculty members include all those categories specified in detail in the response to Core Requirement 2.8. as Special Faculty. They include for example most of the clinical faculty in the School of Nursing and research faculty in the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. They include adjunct and research faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Engineering. Individuals whose primary function is administrative but who have a faculty appointment in an academic unit are inclusive among this group of faculty. This group of faculty are categorized by the State Personnel System as EPA Non-Faculty employees. All tenure system faculty are classified and appointed as EPA Faculty employees. The employment policies for EPA Non-Faculty employees are specified in the Index of Personnel Policies for NC A&T State University, Section II [27]. Section VII: Performance Management sets forth the requirements for the written annual evaluation of all EPA Non-Faculty employees [11]. The evaluation is conducted by the administrator of the work unit, which in this instance would be the department chairperson, and signed by the evaluated employee to indicate that the results of the evaluation have been communicated to the employee. The evaluated employee is given the opportunity to provide a written response to the evaluation; any such response becomes a part of the evaluation. A copy of the evaluation is provided the employee and a copy is filed in the departmental personnel file. Again, all faculty regardless of his/her status or type appointment have their teaching performance evaluated on the basis of criteria stipulated in the Faculty Handbook, Appendix C-2, Criteria for the Evaluation of the Faculty [28] and the overall evaluation and assessment for reappointment and promotion according to the standards and procedures for tenure system faculty. Furthermore, each course/section taught by these faculty members is subjected to the web-based CoursEval for student evaluation of instruction. Fulltime faculty members have other responsibilities beyond teaching that are considered in the evaluation process.

Faculty designated as “part-time faculty” are those who teach a limited number of courses or credit hours and whose job responsibility to the university is limited primarily to teaching. The department chairperson and the Dean are responsible for evaluating the credentials of these faculty members before hiring and signing a letter of verification for these and all new faculty hires [29]. The UNC Policy Manual, Chapter 300.2.3 indicates that a record of the verification remains as part of the personnel files of the faculty member [30]. Each is subject to annual evaluation as stipulated for EPA Non-Faculty individuals and the same university-wide evaluation of teaching policies as for tenure-system faculty including the web-based student evaluation of instruction. The results of the written evaluation are housed in the faculty member’s personnel file in the appropriate departmental office.

Graduate Teaching Assistants

The UNC Policy Manual, Chapter 400.3.5.1 [G] issues guidelines on the Training, Monitoring and Evaluation of Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) and establishes the conditions of service under which GTAs must operate [31]. These guidelines and those of SACS form the foundation for the employment and training of GTAs by the NC A&T School of Graduate Studies [32]. These conditions include: good academic standing, satisfactory and timely progress toward the appropriate degree, and enrollment on a full-time basis. All GTAs undergo an initial orientation session during which they are advised of the responsibilities and expectations of GTAs [33]. GTAs at NC A&T are not employed as the instructor of record for any course at NC A&T. They are therefore, not subject to the formal evaluation of teaching as are other faculty. Even so, each GTA is evaluated over his/her particular work experience by the Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies with input from his/her immediate supervisor. The record of this evaluation is placed in the personnel file of the GTA in the Office of the Assistant Dean, Graduate Studies [34].

Supporting Documents

[1] UNC-GA, Code, Chapter VI, Section 602

[2] UNC-GA, Code, Policy Manual, Chapter 400.3.1.1

[3] Faculty Handbook, Appendix C-2

[4] Faculty Handbook, Appendix C-3

[5] NC General Statute 126, EPA Employees

[6] UNC-GA, Code, Chapter 300.2.2.

[7] Course Evaluation Web-based Survey Questions/Instrument

[8] Course Evaluation Survey Results

[9] Course Evaluation Student Response Rate

[10] UNC-GA, Code, Chapter 400.3.3.

[11] Policies, EPA Non-Faculty Performance Evaluation

[12] Annual Report, College of Engineering

[13] Annual Evaluation, School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences

[14] Annual Report, College of Arts and Sciences

[15] Annual Report, School of Technology

[16] Annual Evaluation, Library

[17] Animal Sciences Response to USDA CSREES Program Review

[18] Accreditation and Memberships

[19] Classroom Peer Review Document, Form 1

[20] Classroom Peer Review Document, Form 2

[21] Faculty Handbook, Appendix B-2, Section 3

[22] UNC-GA, Code, Chapter 400.3.3.1

[23] Faculty Handbook, Appendix B-3

[24] UNC-GA, Code, Chapter VI, Section 607

[25] UNC-GA, Code, Chapter 101.3.2

[26] Faculty Handbook, Appendix, F-2

[27] Policies, Employment, EPA Non-Faculty

[28] Faculty Handbook, Appendix C-2, Criteria for the Evaluation of the Faculty

[29] Faculty New Hire Checklist

[30] UNC-GA, Code, Chapter 300.2.3

[31] UNC-GA, Code, Chapter 400.3.5.1 [G]

[32] Graduate Studies, Guidelines Graduate Teaching Assistants

[33] Graduate Studies, Orientation

[34] Graduate Studies, Graduate Teaching Assistant Evaluation Form

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 16 June 2010 07:44 )

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