Other Faculty Duties
Peer Evaluations of Teaching
A candidate for Reappointment, Tenure, or Promotion is encouraged to invite colleagues to evaluate at least one class per year. The Chair and/or Program Coordinators or their representatives will visit at least one class, preferably during the candidate’s second year. In the third or fourth year and thereafter, a candidate must be reviewed through a specified Peer Evaluation Process leading to a summary report of the teaching. The process will emphasize the report of an Ad hoc Subcommittee of Evaluators, which should make use of whatever earlier peer evaluations are available.
Each Ad hoc Subcommittee shall comprise two tenured faculty members of higher rank than the candidate. One shall be chosen by the candidate, and the other appointed by the Chair. If the evaluation involves a graduate class, both evaluators must have graduate faculty status.
It is the responsibility of the candidate to initiate the process by contacting the person of his or her choice, advising the Chair, and making all necessary scheduling arrangements for the class visits and the examination of papers, syllabi, handouts, and tests.
Since the Subcommittee’s report is intended to assist the Promotion and Tenure Committee in the evaluation process, it must be included in the candidate’s promotion, reappointment, or tenure file.
Duties of Subcommittee of Evaluators
- To visit at least one undergraduate or one graduate class and to review course syllabi, handouts, etc., in order to judge the quality of the course content.
- (Optional) To interview up to three students (suggested by the candidate) who have done individual research/study on the graduate or undergraduate levels (including Writing Certificate portfolios, Honors theses, etc.) in order to assess the quality of the candidate’s supervision.
- To review recent student evaluations.
- To review previous peer evaluations.
- To submit a confidential report of its finding first to the candidate and then, after sufficient time for a response, to the Promotion and Tenure Committee, including the response if the candidate desires.
- The Subcommittee, in order to ensure uniformity, should work toward a standard format modeled on previous reports, making improvements wherever possible. This format should specify certain elements of teaching that need to be assessed, such as organization of materials, effectiveness of handouts, ability to answer questions and elicit discussion, the helpfulness of written comments on papers, grading practices, and manner of presentation.
Evaluation of Temporary Faculty
The performance of temporary faculty – including PT instructors and PT lectures – will be reviewed regularly. Since the nature of their appointments is almost exclusively instructional, the primary focus of evaluation will be teaching. Scholarship and service, though not required of temporary appointees, also will be considered when the activity is relevant to the appointment, although they are given less weight than teaching in the overall evaluation. Procedures and policies for evaluation of Temporary Faculty are in Section 5.
- The following items are minimal expectations of any college instructor. For the most part, they involve actions and procedures easily undertaken and readily assessable.
- Regular and reasonable office hours consistent with departmental policy and the needs of students. Faculty are expected to schedule each semester at least one office hour per week for each 3-hour class taught. Full-time TT and NTT faculty should schedule a minimum of three (3) office hours per week.
- Provision of syllabus for every course taught, which must include the following:
1. Course number with prefix, title, and section number.
2. Semester and year of this course offering.
3. Instructor name and contact information – phone number, email address, when and where office hours occur.
4. Statement of course objectives and expectations.
5. Statement for courses that fulfill the university requirements – Kent Core, diversity, writing-intensive. Suggested wording by URCC:
For Core courses: This course may be used to satisfy a Kent Core Requirement. The Kent Core places emphasis on students being able to use, apply and explore knowledge in meaningful ways that support a deep approach to learning. The new requirements are centered on the four principles of Kent State’s 21st-century undergraduate philosophy: knowledge, insight, engagement and responsibility.
For Diversity courses: This course may be used to satisfy the University Diversity requirement. Diversity courses provide opportunities for students to learn about such matters as the history, culture, values and notable achievements of people other than those of their own national origin, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, age, gender, physical and mental ability, and social class. Diversity courses also provide opportunities to examine problems and issues that may arise from differences, and opportunities to learn how to deal constructively with them.
For WIC courses: This course may be used to satisfy the Writing Intensive Course (WIC) requirement. The purpose of a writing-intensive course is to assist students in becoming effective writers within their major discipline. A WIC requires a substantial amount of writing, provides opportunities for guided revision, and focuses on writing forms and standards used in the professional life of the discipline.
6. Required and optional textbooks and materials.
7. Course prerequisites, including a statement that students in the course who do not have the proper prerequisites risk being deregistered from the class.
8. Statement on enrollment/official registration. Suggested wording:
The official registration deadline for this course is **(insert last date to register). University policy requires all students to be officially registered in each class they are attending. Students who are not officially registered for a course by published deadlines should not be attending classes and will not receive credit or a grade for the course. Each student must confirm enrollment by checking his/her class schedule (using Student Tools in FlashLine) prior to the deadline indicated. Registration errors must be corrected prior to the deadline.
9. General class calendar indicating the lecture topics, including important dates and deadlines for assignments, tests and/or projects.
10. The course withdrawal deadline
11. Clear statement of grading policy and grade distribution/percentages for all class requirements.
12. Statement concerning cheating and plagiarism. Suggested wording (should include as much detail as the instructor wants):
University policy 3342-3-01.8 deals with the problem of academic dishonesty, cheating, and plagiarism. None of these will be tolerated in this class. The sanctions provided in this policy will be used to deal with any violations. If you have any questions, please read the student cheating and plagiarism policy and/or ask.
13. Statement regarding students with disabilities. Suggested wording:
University policy 3342-3-01.3 requires that students with disabilities be provided reasonable accommodations to ensure their equal access to course content. If you have a documented disability and require accommodations, please contact the instructor at the beginning of the semester to make arrangements for necessary classroom adjustments. Please note, you must first verify your eligibility for these through Student Accessibility Services (contact 330-672-3391 or visit www.kent.edu/sas for more information on registration procedures).
- Punctuality in starting and ending classes.
- Reasonable notification of assignments, examinations, changes in syllabus.
- Provision of reasonable make-up procedures for legitimately missed exams or other graded work.
- Evaluation of work with adequate and constructive comments written on students’ papers or orally to the whole class as is appropriate to the character of the test or assignment.
- Evaluation of work within a reasonable timeframe that allows the student to benefit from the instructor’s comments prior to the next assignment.
Although the intellectual and judgmental skills essential for acceptable teaching are more open to interpretation than class management techniques, the following items are presented as constructive suggestions for the improvement of teaching.
- Content, assignments, and approach should be keyed to the level, aims, and nature of the course.
- Appropriate teaching techniques should be employed.
- Each class session should reflect thorough preparation, including knowledge of and currency in the subject matter. It is the responsibility of faculty to remain current in the material covered in their courses and to be knowledgeable about developments in the disciplines, especially as regards changes in cognate courses within the Department or University curriculum.
- The administration shares this responsibility, first in providing time and encouragement for professional development, and, second, in responsibly managing class assignments appropriate to the knowledge and background of the individual faculty.
- Testing and grading practices should relate directly to course content and assignments.
- Methods of communication should be appropriate to the level of students and subject matter of the course. It is largely the responsibility of the Chair to identify a problem area in an instructor’s communication skills through appropriate screening procedures and in response to complaints made against an instructor. A plan for faculty development should be prescribed and then appropriate class assignments made for the instructor.