Faculty Handbook
July 1999

Appendix M Procedure for the Sixth-Year Review of a Tenured Faculty Member

General Information: The University of Tennessee Policies Governing Academic Freedom, Responsibility, and Tenure

The Board of Trustees' policy on tenure stipulates that there shall be comprehensive, formal, cumulative, performance reviews of all tenured faculty members to promote faculty development and to ensure professional vitality (Faculty Handbook, Section 4.14.4). At UT Memphis the following policies and procedures ensure that these reviews include peer evaluation and take place with sufficient frequency. Called the Sixth-Year Review, a cumulative performance review of each tenured faculty member will be performed every six years, except when promotion has occurred during the previous six-year period or the faculty member has submitted to the Chair a letter of intent to retire or resign within the next 12 months.

The Sixth-Year Review is a peer review and evaluation process, conducted by the tenured faculty peers and the Chair and summarized in a combined report (Faculty Handbook, Section 4.14.4). Peer reviewers are tenured faculty members, holding faculty rank(s) equal or superior to that of the faculty member whose performance is being reviewed (Faculty Handbook, Section 4.14.4). If less than three tenured faculty members, holding the appropriate rank(s), are available within a department to participate in the Sixth-Year Review process, the College Promotion and Tenure Committee shall do so (Faculty Handbook, Section 4.14.4). In large departments (e.g., Medicine, Pediatrics, etc.), the Chair may divide the tenured departmental faculty by divisions in order to form several committees composed of five or more tenured faculty members.

The Sixth-Year Review should be flexible enough to acknowledge different expectations in different disciplines and changing expectations at different stages of faculty careers (Faculty Handbook, Section 4.14.4). The focus of the Sixth-Year Review will be the faculty member's accomplishments made since the award of tenure or the previous cumulative review. This review offers a way of evaluating tenured faculty members that supports professional development as well as professional responsibility. The fundamental criteria for a positive cumulative review are fulfilling and meeting the distinctive requirements, established in writing by the department for the faculty position that the individual fills, and possessing a record of academic achievement at UT Memphis that indicates successful development of his or her academic career (Faculty Handbook, Section 4.14.4). For an individual faculty member the key aspect of these reviews is establishment and fulfillment of the professional expectations, established at the departmental level (Faculty Handbook, Section 4.14.4). The basic standard for appraisal should be whether the faculty member under review discharges conscientiously and with professional competence the duties, goals, and objectives appropriately associated with his or her position, not whether the faculty member meets the current standards for the award of tenure, as those might have changed since the initial granting of tenure (Faculty Handbook, Section 4.14.4). A sample summary document for the Sixth-Year Review (Form 0003) is attached.

Process for the Initial Cycle of Sixth-Year Reviews

The initial, staggered cycle for these reviews will be determined by taking a random sample of the tenured faculty members, eligible for these reviews, stratified by faculty rank and proportional to the size of the college. The UT Memphis Chief Academic Officer will present the list of selected faculty members to the Dean, who will exclude those individuals having announced their intentions to retire or resign. The Dean will forward the selected names to the appropriate Chairs, who will inform the selected faculty members.

Definitions and Applications of Faculty Performance Ratings

On June 17, 1999, the Board of Trustees approved a five-category scale for faculty performance ratings (i.e., Outstanding, Highly Satisfactory, Satisfactory, Needs Improvement, and Unsatisfactory). Please read carefully the following definitions, as these will be applied for this year's Sixth-Year Review.

OUTSTANDING: This rating designates that during the evaluation period the individual achieved and consistently exhibited unique and highly meritorious levels of professional performance beyond the agreed-upon goals and objectives. This rating will be assigned to an individual who achieves uncommon levels of meritorious performance in his or her field; and makes meaningful and significant contributions to the mission, goals and objectives of the department, college, and university, as well as to his or her professional field.

HIGHLY SATISFACTORY: This rating designates that during the evaluation period, the individual achieved and consistently exhibited a level of performance that exceeded the agreed-upon goals and objectives. This rating will be assigned to an individual whose valued performance exceeds the standard of professionalism and proficiency within a given field.

SATISFACTORY: This rating designates that during the evaluation period the individual achieved and consistently exhibited a level of performance that met the agreed-upon goals and objectives. This rating will be assigned to an individual whose competent performance exemplifies the standard of professionalism and proficiency within a given field.

NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: This rating designates that during the evaluation period, the individual exhibited a level of performance that did not consistently meet all the agreed-upon goals and objectives. This rating will be assigned to an individual who may require some assistance or feedback in achieving and sustaining a level of professional performance necessary to meet the agreed-upon goals and objectives. This rating is intended primarily as a means of formally communicating that a special effort must be made in addressing specific performance deficiencies. When this rating is given, it should be accompanied by a commitment by the Department Chair, or other appropriate university official, to assist the individual in identifying the mechanisms for overcoming the detected deficiencies, as deemed appropriate. This rating is a negative rating. The Chair and the faculty member must develop a written plan with a specific time frame, whereby the faculty member can meet the departmental expectations within the next year; this plan must be contained in the summary of the Annual Performance-and-Planning Review. A faculty member whose performance is rated as "needs improvement" shall be ineligible for rewards (including salary increases), and must provide to the Chair a written Interim Progress Report of remedial steps taken on his or her performance in area(s) noted as "unsatisfactory", with copies forwarded to the Dean.

UNSATISFACTORY: Unsatisfactory Performance in Teaching, Research, or Service is defined as adequate cause for termination of a faculty member's appointment and includes the following:

  1. failure to demonstrate professional competence in teaching, research, or service; or
  2. failure to perform satisfactorily the duties or responsibilities of the faculty position, including but not limited to (1) failure to comply with a lawful directive of the Chair, Dean, or UT Memphis Chief Academic Officer with respect to the faculty member's duties or responsibilities; or (2) inability to perform an essential function of the faculty position, given reasonable accommodation, if requested.

    This rating is a negative rating. The Chair and the faculty member must develop a written plan with a specific time frame, whereby the faculty member can meet the departmental expectations within the next year; this plan must be contained in the summary of the Annual Performance-and-Planning Review. A faculty member whose performance is rated as "unsatisfactory" shall be ineligible for rewards (including salary increases), and must provide to the Chair a written Interim Progress Report of remedial steps taken on his or her performance in area(s) noted as "unsatisfactory", with copies forwarded to the Dean.

Procedure for the Sixth-Year Review

The Department Chair may delegate his or her responsibility for the Sixth-Year Review to other individuals. The procedure for the Sixth-Year Review should include the following elements:

  1. The Chair should counsel the faculty member concerning updating his or her curriculum vitae and the identification of supporting documentation to be submitted to the tenured faculty peer reviewers (Faculty Handbook, Section 4.14.4). The faculty member, in consultation with the Chair, should compile a dossier containing all documents to be submitted for review. The tenured faculty member's dossier must include at least the following items (Faculty Handbook, Section 4.14.4):
    1. Current Curriculum Vitae, in the form required by UT Memphis;
    2. The faculty member's annual accomplishments and goals for the last five years; and
    3. Summaries of the last five Annual Performance-and-Planning Reviews, written by the Chair and the faculty member's optional responses, if any, that correspond to the annual accomplishments and goals of item 2 above.
    In addition, the faculty member should include a summary of activities and accomplishments for the preceding academic year (Faculty Handbook, Section 4.14.3). The faculty member may also include in the dossier any other documents that he or she believes may enable the tenured faculty peers to make a more informed recommendation (Faculty Handbook, Section 4.14.4). Such documents may include, but are not limited to, sample publications or summaries of student teaching evaluations, as well as other indicators of teaching performance.
  2. The first part of the Sixth-Year Review is the tenured faculty peers' review of the faculty member's dossier (Faculty Handbook, Section 4.14.4). If the faculty member or the tenured faculty peers so request, the dossier may also be reviewed by individuals external to UT Memphis (Faculty Handbook, Section 4.14.4). The tenured faculty peers must complete their review(s) and write their report(s) before the Department Chair (or designee) begins the Annual Performance-and-Planning Reviews.

    The tenured faculty peers will review the dossier and meet for the purpose of recording a formal vote on the recommendation concerning the individual's cumulative performance (Faculty Handbook, Section 4.14.4). A quorum shall be fifty percent (50%) of the tenured faculty eligible to vote on a given candidate or issue, and a positive or negative recommendation shall be decided by a simple majority of those tenured faculty members present (Faculty Handbook. Sections 4.3.2 and 4.3.3). Following the review of the candidate's dossier, the tenured faculty peers will rate the faculty member's cumulative performance according to the faculty performance scale listed above, record a formal vote on the recommendation, and write a report to the faculty member's Chair (Faculty Handbook, Section 4.14.4). The faculty peers' report shall contain the following: a list of the tenured faculty members in attendance, the majority and minority views, if relevant, and the summary vote.

    The Chair reviews the Sixth-Year Review dossier(s) and considers the recommendation(s) of the tenured faculty peers (Faculty Handbook, Section 4.14.4). Then, the Chair makes a decision on the cumulative performance of each faculty member under consideration. In a case in which the rating of the Chair differs from that of the tenured faculty peers, the Chair prepares a letter to the Dean in which he or she states the reason(s) for his or her opinion (Faculty Handbook, Section 4.14.4
  3. The Chair requests from each tenured faculty member for whom the Sixth-Year Review is required: (1) a summary of activities and accomplishments for the previous academic year beginning July 1, [year], and (2) a summary of the faculty member's proposed academic goals for the year beginning July 1, [year]; these are to be completed by May [day], [year].
  4. During May and June [year], each tenured faculty member must meet with the Chair (Faculty Handbook, Sections 4.14.4). This meeting with the Chair constitutes the second part of the Sixth-Year Review. The purpose of this meeting is four-fold: (1) to review the faculty member's performance in achieving previously established academic goals during the period under review, including the preceding academic year; (2) to present and discuss the tenured faculty peers' report; (3) to receive the work assignment for the coming academic year; and (4) to mutually establish the academic goals to be achieved by the faculty member during the coming year (Faculty Handbook, Sections 4.14.3 and 4.14.4). The Chair discusses with each faculty member his or her performance in teaching, scholarly activities, service, and/or patient care (if applicable). This discussion must include the tenured faculty peers' report (Faculty Handbook, Section 4.14.4). The Chair should, when appropriate, comment upon outstanding performance, or ways in which the performance can be improved. In this review, the Chair should consider the following criteria, if appropriate:

    Teaching - Quality of instruction and instructional materials, interaction with students, level of participation, number of courses, number of contact hours, case loads, etc. Review should be obtained from all programs (both intra- and inter-collegiate) in which the faculty member participates;

    Patient Care - (if applicable) Quality and quantity of patient care, consultant role, etc.;

    Scholarly Activities - Research completed, research in progress, grants received, presentations delivered, papers published, continuing education activities, etc.; and/or

    Service - Committee participation, administrative assignments, consultantships, assistance of colleagues in research activities, offices held, etc.

    In addition, the Chair should include in the performance review a discussion of the UT Memphis Statement on Faculty Service Responsibilities dealing with faculty workload (Administrative Policy 1.110).
  5. The Chair prepares a narrative summary of the discussion, including assessment in each category, and his or her expectations of the faculty member for the next academic year beginning July 1, [year]. Thus, written feedback to the tenured faculty member takes the form of a combined report, that includes the separate reports from the tenured faculty peers and the Chair. The Chair attaches his or her narrative summary and the faculty peer reviewers report to Form 0003.
  6. As soon as possible after the discussion, the faculty member should be provided with the Chair's review, including summary document (Form 0003), narrative summary, and next year's goals and expectations (Faculty Handbook, Section 4.14.4). A period of five days is suggested as a guideline for this requirement. If the faculty member disagrees with either separate report or both, he or she has 10 days in which to file a written response (Faculty Handbook, Section 4.14.4). This optional response, if any, should be attached to the summary document (Form 0003).
  7. The mutually established goals for the next academic year, with the Chair's comments, if required, should be attached to the summary document (Form 0003).
    1. The summary document (Form 0003), with all attachments, must be signed by both the Chair and faculty member (to acknowledge receipt of the review document) (Faculty Handbook, Section 4.14.3). The original should be retained in the departmental office with complete copies provided to the Dean and the faculty member by June [day], [year].

      Ratings of the tenured faculty peers and the Chair determine how the Sixth-Year Review is handled beyond the departmental level (Faculty Handbook, Section 4.14.4).
      1. If the tenured faculty peers' and the Chair's ratings are "outstanding", copies of the combined report (Form 0003 and all attachments) and the faculty member's dossier will be forwarded to the Dean, who will forward the materials to the UT Memphis Chief Academic
      2. If the tenured faculty peers' and the Chair's ratings are "highly satisfactory" or "satisfactory", the combined report of the tenured faculty peers and the Chair (Form 0003 and all attachments) is forwarded to the Dean.
      3. If the tenured faculty peers' and the Chair's ratings are negative (i.e., "needs improvement" or "unsatisfactory"), the Chair and the faculty member should develop a written plan, whereby the faculty member can meet the departmental expectations within the next year; this plan must be contained in the summary of the Chair's report (Faculty Handbook, Section 4.14.4). The combined report (Form 0003 and all attachments), the faculty member's optional response, if any, and the written plan will be forwarded to the Dean.
      4. If any review is controversial (i.e., contains evidence of substantial disagreement at the departmental level), the combined report (Form 0003 and all attachments), as well as the faculty member's dossier, will be forwarded to the Dean. The Dean may elect to send the materials to the Collegiate Promotion and Tenure Committee (CPT Committee) for recommendations.
    2. Upon completion of the review process, and no later than July [day], [year], the Chair should forward to the UT Memphis Chief Academic Officer a signed Certification of Faculty Review (Form 0004).

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