Kent State University at Stark Criteria for FTNTT Faculty Three-Year Term Performance Review

Per Article X, Section 7 of the Full-Time Non-Tenure Track Faculty Collective Bargaining Agreement, FTNTT faculty members completing three or six consecutive academic years of annually renewable contracts shall be subject to a Full Performance Review during the third and sixth year respectively, before an additional appointment can be anticipated or authorized. While acknowledging the varied contributions and responsibilities of FTNTT faculty members, classroom instruction is the principal responsibility of an FTNTT faculty member in the Instructional Track, so the goal in the three-year Performance Review is to document excellence in teaching. Such excellence may be evaluated in multiple ways, including, but not limited to, effective course design and teaching materials, a pattern of positive written comments on student evaluations, supportive peer evaluations, ongoing efforts to reflect upon and improve the act of teaching, and consistently positive SSI scores. Fulfilling those minimal expectations and responsibilities required of all faculty members as delineated in Section II is necessary—but not sufficient—for teaching excellence.

1.    The Full Performance Review file will normally include the following items:

a.    Past Performance Review letters, if any;

b.    A self-evaluation providing an assessment of the candidate’s teaching during the period under review, as well as the candidate’s performance of other responsibilities, if any;

c.    An up-to-date curriculum vitae;

d.    The syllabi for courses taught during the period under review;

e.    The Evaluation Summaries of Student Surveys of Instruction (SSI) for all courses taught during the period under review. SSI summaries include both numerical data and student written comments; and

f.    One peer teaching review each year during the period under review.

2.    At the candidate’s discretion, the Full Performance Review file may include other materials that will clarify and/or enhance her or his record of excellent teaching, including but not limited to:

a.    Samples of examinations, assignments, study guides, and/or other course materials;

b.    Evidence that the candidate has remained current in the pedagogical theory of her or his discipline;

c.    Details of innovations in teaching, e.g., service learning or the use of learning technologies;

d.    Documentation of teaching awards or nominations;

e.    An account of scholarly or professional activity necessary to maintain professional standing in the discipline; and

f.    Assessments of other contributions beyond the contractual expectations for FTNTT faculty members.

3.    Evaluation Process Overview

Each year the performance review process necessarily has new FTNTT candidates and new Performance Review Committee members who may be unfamiliar with the process and how to operationalize the criteria in reviews. This section provides a guide to how this can be done—without prescribing how it must be done—to facilitate evaluation consistency and to clarify expectations as committee recommendations are made to the Dean.

A candidate’s teaching performance can be evaluated using a three-rank scale of excellent, satisfactory, and unsatisfactory. Because of the differences among disciplines—and acknowledging the varied contributions and responsibilities of FTNTT faculty members—it is inappropriate to quantify absolutely the scale noted above. Based on the standards of the relevant discipline, the testimony provided by the candidate’s file and peer reviewers, and the discussions during the committee meeting, each member of the Performance Review Committee must necessarily apply her or his own professional judgment in the review to make a vote of “yes,” “yes with concerns,” or “no.” Usually, a record of performance judged to be excellent receives a “yes” vote, while an unsatisfactory record receives a vote of “no.” A vote of “yes with concerns” may be warranted if a candidate’s record of performance is judged to be satisfactory in most respects, but is problematic in others. Examples of problematic aspects of a candidate’s record include, but are not limited to:

a.    A poorly organized or incomplete file, e.g., files lacking peer teaching evaluations when appropriate;

b.    SSI scores on various dimensions of a candidate’s performance evidencing a recurring problem, e.g., showing disrespect to students or being unavailable for student consultation;

c.    A recurring kind of student written complaint left unaddressed in the self-evaluation, e.g., “It took weeks to get our papers back”;

d.    Poorly crafted syllabi evidencing an inadequate number or kind of evaluations of student learning; and

e.    Evidence that the candidate’s courses are insufficiently rigorous.

FTNTT candidates undergoing a three-year performance review are strongly encouraged to acknowledge these facts as they prepare their files and to explain fully why they think their teaching performance should be considered excellent or satisfactory.