Criteria, performance expectations, and Department/School procedures relating to Faculty Excellence Awards
Faculty Excellence Awards are established pursuant to the applicable CBA. Procedures and timelines for determining Faculty Excellence Awards for any given year shall be conducted in accordance with guidelines issued by the Office of the Provost.
A review of the achievements and productivity of the Faculty of the Department will be undertaken by the Faculty Advisory Committee (FAC) for the purpose of making recommendations to the Chair to be used whenever merit-based salary adjustments are available. The review is entirely voluntary and will be limited to those Faculty who choose to submit supporting documentation to the FAC.
The Department encourages substantial productivity and achievement in the two general categories: a) Scholarship, and b) Teaching and c) Service. In the Department of Physics there is an especially strong expectation that Faculty maintain a program of scholarship producing of a record of refereed publications and extramural grant support. Grants that provide stipend support for dissertation students are particularly important to the Department's mission.
Activities and accomplishments to be evaluated are not limited to those items mentioned here. Only achievements that have an activation date within the specified evaluation period can be considered. The activation date is the published date for papers, the beginning of the award period for grants, the presentation date for conference presentations, etc. Publications and conference presentations should have a KSU byline. A given item should be listed only once even if it satisfies multiple categories in a given year.
Regional Campus Faculty are evaluated and receive Faculty Excellence Awards through the Regional Campus System and not through the Kent Campus Department.
When provided for in the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Departmental Allocation of the Merit Award Pool shall be as follows:
To apply for a Faculty excellence salary adjustment, a Faculty submits to the Department a merit file of accomplishments for the merit period. That merit file is to contain all the data to be evaluated and the Faculty member is entirely responsible for the completeness of that file. The merit file can contain an introductory statement/narrative (typically one or two pages) that provides perspective and context; the rest of the file provides itemized accomplishments such as, but not limited to, those described below. Each individual FAC member should privately review each merit file and come to an initial evaluation and ranking of the files. Then the FAC should meet, discuss the evaluations and rankings submitted from each FAC member, and then vote to determine a net FAC recommendation and ranking. With this in mind, the Chair's recommendation is then made to the Dean, and communicated to the Faculty.
Typical characterizations of four levels of performance in scholarship are provided in Table 5. Such evaluation levels will attract consideration for an excellence award, but do not guarantee an actual award. It is also not guaranteed that the performance evaluations of all Faculty will meet or exceed the lowest level displayed. For each level, the listed characterizations are meant to convey a clear sense of standards; they not meant to be an exhaustive list or a mandatory check-list. It is recognized that individual cases can bring accomplishments in areas that can’t be listed ahead of time. Likewise, individual cases can sometimes display exceptionally high levels of accomplishment in some matters that outweigh lesser accomplishments in other matters. As footnotes to Table 5 (see next page), characterizations are given for the key terms: publications, grants, proposals, and recognition to indicate in more depth the standards that are intended.
The Department particularly values a publishing record, of both quality and quantity, in refereed journals, as well as significant extramural funding of a Faculty’s scholarly program. All Faculty members in the Department are expected to produce records of scholarship that reflect their disciplinary focus and the attributes of an individual Faculty member’s scholarly activity will vary across sub-areas. Accomplishments of new Faculty toward their research goals will be considered.
Table 5. Characterizations of Performance Levels for Evaluations of Scholarship for Faculty Excellence
Strong record of publications1 and grant2 support, invited Natn/Intn conference presentations, significant external academic recognition3.
Good record of publications and grant support, external grant proposals4, some Natn/Intn conference presentations, some external recognition.
Adequate publication record, no grant support but adequate external proposals, some external presentations.
Limited publication record or meeting presentations, no grant support, inadequate or no external proposals.
Note: definitions in footnotes below refer to the meaning of “publications,” “grants,” and “recognition”, and “proposals” throughout Table 5.
 Publications include: papers published in peer-reviewed journals, books and book chapters published with editorial standards that include peer-review, and patents granted. Quality of the journal or publishing house will weigh into the evaluation. Papers of exceptional impact, quality, and those appearing in a major review journal are given particular consideration.
2 Grants refers to extramural funding of a physics project that significantly reflects the Faculty’s role, typically at a co-principal investigator level, with the funds providing comprehensive support for the Faculty’s role in the project. Ingredients that will be weighed include graduate student support, postdoctoral support, travel, Faculty summer salary, research instrumentation, and potential for renewal.
3 Recognitions include citations of peer-reviewed publications; invited or keynote presentations at international/national conferences; awards, prizes and honors; election to office in academic/professional societies; membership of editorial boards; membership on advisory or program committees of national/international conferences or review panels of federal funding agencies, etc.
4Proposals refer to principal investigator (or co-principal investigator) of one or more proposals submitted for grants to support a Faculty’s research and scholarship. Weighting will depend on the number and potential of the grant proposals. Higher weight is given to external proposals that request stipend support for dissertation students carrying out part of the program.
Typical characterizations of three levels of performance in teaching are provided in Table 6, and that of three levels of performance in university citizenship are provided in Table 7. Such evaluation levels will attract consideration for an excellence award, but do not guarantee an actual award. It is also not guaranteed that the performance evaluations of all Faculty will meet or exceed the lowest level displayed. For each level, the listed characterizations are meant to convey a clear sense of standards; they are not meant to be an exhaustive list or a mandatory check-list. It is recognized that individual cases can bring accomplishments in areas that can’t be listed ahead of time. Likewise, individual cases can sometimes display exceptionally high levels of accomplishment in some matters that outweigh lesser accomplishments in other matters.
Course revision is defined as making a substantial modification to a course such as developing several new laboratory exercises, addition of distance learning options, effecting major change of course curriculum/format, etc. Other information such as written comments from students and Faculty shall be considered when available. Peer reviews and summaries of Student Surveys of Instruction (including student comments) may be submitted. Other relevant teaching material may also be provided for review.
Table 6. Characterizations of Performance Levels for Evaluation of Teaching for Faculty Excellence
Develop or lead major revision of courses or labs; excellent supervision of undergrads in Honors theses or Individual Investigations etc., as well as excellent research supervision of graduate students; graduation of PhD or MS students; excellent student reviews; teaching awards or other instructional recognition; instructional grant support.
Revise courses or labs; very good student reviews; effective research supervision of grad students or effective supervision of undergrads in Honors thesis or Individual Investigations etc; instructional grant proposal
Good student reviews; active in curricular revisions.
Indications of exceptionally good classroom teaching accomplishments are valued and can come from student evaluations, peer evaluations, or other sources. The exploration of innovative methods to enhance learning such as tutorial groups and other interactive techniques are encouraged and valued. Student advising is an integral part of the teaching mission. Activities and results from curriculum or research advising of undergraduate physics majors and graduate students are important to the Department. Graduation of PhD and Masters students is particularly valued. Supervision of undergraduate majors in Honors Theses and Individual Investigation projects is valued. Instructional development activities that establish a new course or a significant revision of curricular content for a formal class or laboratory class are valued.
Service and University Citizenship
Exceptional contributions to Department operation and administration through committee service and special tasks are valued, as are exceptional contributions at the College, University, and Professional level. Service to the Profession includes committee membership in professional societies (e.g., the American Physical Society), service to federal granting agencies on grant review panels, etc., service as journal editor or referee, service in administration to scientific conferences, service on program review committees for other institutions, service as consultant to companies, etc. Public service and outreach to the wider community locally or nationally can enhance the Department’s mission and reputation and is valued. Outreach to broaden the diversity of the discipline of physics through recruitment, retention, etc. to historically under-represented groups is valued
Table 7. Characterizations of Performance Levels for Evaluation of University Citizenship for Faculty Excellence
Significant role in Department, College and/ or University affairs as evidenced by activities such as: excellent service on committees, effectively chairing committees, effective completion of administrative assignments, significant public outreach, grant support for Departmental facilities or infrastructure, excellence in undergraduate advising.
Good role in Department, College and/ or University affairs as evidenced by activities such as: effective service on committees, or effective chair of a committee, effective completion of administrative assignments, participation in significant events, proposal for Departmental facilities or infrastructure.
Occasional participation in Department or College affairs or significant events, accepts an adequate share of Departmental assignments.