Section 7 Performance and Evaluation

7.1 PERFORMANCE EVALUATIONS

  • The annual evaluation of faculty performance is critical to the professional development of individual faculty members.  General guidelines and requirements for evaluations of various faculty are provided below:
  • For academic faculty the evaluation focuses on performance during the evaluation period in the areas of teaching, scholarship, and service, as appropriate.  The faculty performance evaluation is the primary source of information for employment decisions regarding compensation, promotion, tenure, appointment renewal and other performance-related employment actions.  All annual evaluations will be submitted to the appropriate Dean for review and approval.
  • For tenure-track assistant professors, a Preliminary Tenure Review, in accordance with paragraph 8.1.4 below, shall be conducted by the department promotion and tenure committee and the department head. 
  • For all tenure-track faculty, the department head's comments concerning the candidate's progress toward promotion and tenure shall be included on the candidate's annual evaluation form. 
  • For research professors of all ranks and for Graduate Faculty who are not otherwise included in another annual evaluation process, the faculty member’s direct supervisor shall conduct annual evaluations. For this evaluation, a research professor or a Graduate Faculty member shall provide their supervisor a current curriculum vitae and a memorandum highlighting assignments and professional activities completed over the past evaluation period. The supervisor shall review these and issue a performance assessment of either: meets expectations for the current position; or does not meet expectations for the current position. In the case of a performance assessment not meeting expectations, the supervisor shall provide a written explanation f, forward the entire package to the faculty member’s Department Head for review and comment, and then discuss the evaluation with the research faculty member. If the faculty member disagrees with the performance evaluation, they may appeal the review to the appropriate Dean.
  • For administrative and athletics faculty, annual evaluations shall be conducted in accordance with the process established through Mines Human Resources.   All evaluations will be reviewed by the next level supervisor.  Additionally, the appropriate Dean, Vice President or President may also be a reviewer.

7.1.1 General Outline of the Evaluation Process for Academic Faculty1

The following is a general outline of the academic faculty evaluation process at Mines. Complete details concerning the process, such as applicable time schedules and due dates, may be found in the Academic Affairs Procedures Manual, which is available on Mines’ website.

  1. Goal Setting                                       
    1. During the spring semester of each year, the department head shall confer with department faculty to develop department goals. he department head will convey to and discuss with the Dean the departmental goals. The Dean will discuss proposed goals with the Provost.
    2. The department head shall meet with each faculty member in a timely manner each calendar year to discuss individual goals and assignments for the upcoming evaluation period.  At this meeting, the distribution of effort among the three evaluation categories (see paragraphs 6.1.1 and 6.1.2) shall be discussed to determine whether any change in this distribution is appropriate.  In the case of research faculty who are supported over a multi-year period on continuing and new grants, the annual meeting should address the faculty member’s goals for research directions and grant procurement in the upcoming year.  The meeting should include the department head and research supervisor, if appropriate.  This meeting is not required for research faculty having short-term or intermittent contract appointments such that year-to-year goal setting is unrealistic.
    3. Goals and effort distribution should be placed in writing and can be revised with the mutual consent of the faculty member and the department head, and research supervisor as appropriate.
  2. Evaluation
    1. At the end of the evaluation period, the faculty member shall complete a Faculty Data Report and submit it to the department head.
    2. The department head shall review the Faculty Data Report and assemble student ratings, peer evaluations, external evaluations, and other appropriate data.  Based on the Faculty Data Report and the assembled data, the department head shall conduct an evaluative analysis and a formative analysis using the Faculty Evaluation Form.
    3. For the evaluative analysis, the department head shall assign only a performance rating of "exemplary," “exceeds expectations,” "meets expectations," “needs improvement,” or "unsatisfactory" for each of the applicable categories teaching, scholarship, and service.
    4. The formative analysis shall consist of an overall performance rating and a narrative summary of the evaluation, including a summary of progress toward tenure (if applicable), a summary of progress toward promotion, and areas for improvement, as appropriate.  In cases where performance of a tenured faculty member is deemed unsatisfactory, a Performance Improvement Plan is mandated as outlined in Section 7.3 below.
    5. The Department Head shall meet with the faculty member to discuss the evaluation.  Both shall sign the Faculty Evaluation form.  The faculty member's signature acknowledges the discussion, but it does not necessarily indicate his or her agreement with the evaluation.  The faculty member may also attach a rebuttal statement to the evaluation.
    6. The Faculty Data Report and the Faculty Evaluation Form shall be submitted to Academic Affairs for review and acknowledgement by the Associate Provost.  A signed copy shall be returned to the faculty member.  If the Associate Provost has questions about the evaluation, it shall be returned to the department head for discussion and further review.  The Associate Provost will alert the Provost to any especially noteworthy faculty evaluations during each evaluation cycle. The Office of the Associate Provost shall annually provide the Provost with a report summarizing the faculty evaluation ratings from each department/division.
  3. Rating Concepts
    The descriptions below are intended to convey general guidance regarding the characteristics of the various performance ratings defined in Section 7.1.3B.
    1. Exemplary - Performance that is consistently far above expectations, and clearly distinctive. This level of performance occurs rarely. Such “outstanding performance” often results in significant positive impact on community members, departments, or the university, and implies substantial contributions well beyond basic job responsibilities.
    2. Exceeds Expectations - Performance that is consistently above expectations. It is representative of excellent work having substantial impact beyond the individual. Performance reflects contributions beyond basic job responsibilities.
    3. Meets Expectations - Performance that represents satisfactory work. Faculty member’s work is effective, reliable, and of good quality. The faculty member meets obligations and performance expectations.
    4. Needs Improvement - The faculty member does not meet performance expectations in one or more of his/her basic job responsibilities. Improvement in performance is needed.
    5. Unsatisfactory - Performance consistently fails to satisfy basic job responsibilities, and urgent efforts on the part of the faculty member are required to improve performance.

An overall ranking of unsatisfactory performance requires a faculty member to participate in the formal performance improvement process set forth in Section 7.3.

7.1.2 Effect of Extended Leave on Evaluation Goals

If an exempt employee has taken an extended period of leave, he or she may request that his or her evaluation goals be temporarily redefined to reflect a reasonable performance expectation for the affected evaluation period.  When a request for amended evaluation goals is submitted, the employee and his or her supervisor shall attempt to negotiate appropriate evaluation goals for the affected evaluation period.  If the employee and his or her supervisor cannot agree upon the need for, or the specific content of, amended evaluation goals, the appropriate vice president shall review the matter and make a final decision on the issue of amended evaluation goals.

7.2 Professional Growth and Development

Mines is mindful of the important goal of attracting, supporting, promoting, and retaining quality faculty members and believes that professional growth and development is crucial to maintaining faculty quality. A Professional Growth Plan is mandatory for each new tenure-track and teaching faculty member to ensure that a clear understanding exists between the faculty member and Mines regarding their mutual expectations.  Any interested faculty member may propose a Professional Development Plan to his or her department head.  All Professional Growth Plans and Professional Development Plans must be prepared with the concurrence of the department head and submitted to the Provost for review prior to implementation.

7.2.1 Professional Growth Plans for Newly Appointed Faculty

During the first semester of employment, each new faculty member shall develop, in consultation with his or her department head, a Professional Growth Plan specifying goals and expectations.  For tenure-track faculty, it should cover the period, at a minimum, up to the Preliminary Tenure Review.  Faculty members may be offered developmental support as a part of their Professional Growth Plans or in conjunction with their initial employment contracts.  A faculty member’s Professional Growth Plan may be modified from time to time with the approval of his or her department head.  During the initial years of appointment, including year-to-year appointment renewals, the Professional Growth Plan shall be considered as part of the goal-setting exercise in Section 7.1.1.A.2.

  1. Categories of Available Support
    Formative evaluations, workshops, and senior faculty mentor programs may be utilized, as appropriate, to guide new faculty members in their professional growth.  Start-up packages may also include any of the following components: summer salary, special laboratory or office equipment, a lighter than normal teaching load, graduate student support, travel support, and research initiation support.  A faculty member must account to Mines for the use of this support, and any equipment purchased under such an agreement shall be the property of Mines.

7.2.2 Professional Development Plans for Faculty

Any faculty member may request developmental support with the recommendation of his or her department head through submission of a written Professional Development Plan.  This support is intended to assist those faculty members who desire to improve their teaching or research, or who wish to change their career directions at Mines. Professional Development Plans, which shall be submitted through the department head to the Provost for review, must clearly state the desired goals, justify the need for support and outline the expected areas of improvement.  A faculty member's success in achieving Professional Development Plan goals shall be included as part of his or her annual evaluation. 

  1. Categories of Available Support
    Any of the following types of support may be granted in conjunction with a Professional Development Plan: research initiation support, travel support, summer salary support, sabbatical leave, equipment, and other appropriate support as may be agreed upon by the Provost and the faculty member.  A faculty member must account to Mines for the use of this support, and any equipment purchased under such an agreement shall be the property of Mines.

7.3 Performance Improvement Plans 

A Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) is mandatory for any tenured faculty member whose performance is judged to be unsatisfactory.  A PIP is strongly recommended for any teaching faculty member and any administrative faculty member whose performance is judged to be unsatisfactory.  All of these PIPs shall be reviewed and approved by the Provost.  Mines may offer appropriate support to faculty members in conjunction with their PIPs as indicated below.

7.3.1 Performance Improvement Plans for Tenured Faculty Members

At the time annual faculty evaluations are prepared, Department Heads will identify tenured faculty members for whom a PIP is required.  An individual so identified will be required to cooperate in formulating a PIP, which shall include identified weaknesses, all actions perceived as necessary to correct those weaknesses, and performance goals.  The faculty member shall work with his or her Department Head to integrate the PIP to the annual faculty goal-setting exercise.

  1. Categories of Institutional Support Available
    Any of the following types of support may be granted in conjunction with a Performance Improvement Plan: research initiation support, travel support, summer assignments, equipment acquisition, and sabbatical leave.  Additional support in the form of career counseling, short courses, workshops, and internships may also be offered.  A faculty member must account to Mines for the use of this support, and any equipment purchased under such an agreement shall be the property of Mines.
  2. Time Limitations
    The Performance Improvement Plan shall be initiated within ninety days from the date of identification of the performance deficiencies.  The Performance Improvement Plan shall specify a time period of up to three years during which the necessary improvement must take place.  In exceptional circumstances this time period may be extended at the discretion of the Provost.
  3. Procedure for Implementation of Plan
    The Performance Improvement Plan, including all support offered, shall be reflected in writing, and signed by the faculty member, the Department Head, and the Dean.  If agreement cannot be reached, or if a faculty member refuses to cooperate in formulating a Performance Improvement Plan, the Department Head shall write the plan and convene the Departmental Promotion and Tenure Committee to obtain an opinion on the feasibility and appropriateness of the plan.  The recommendations of both the Department Head and the Department Promotion and Tenure Committee shall be forwarded to the appropriate Dean for final decision. The Dean may decide to implement the plan without the agreement or cooperation of the faculty member.  In such a case, the plan shall have the same effect as if the faculty member had fully cooperated in its formulation.
  4. Sanctions for Failure to Fulfill Plan Requirements
    If satisfactory improvement has not been achieved, as determined by the Department Head, Dean, and the Provost, by the end of the period specified, appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including termination for cause, may be invoked.

7.3.2 Performance Improvement Plans for Teaching and Administrative Faculty

At the time annual faculty evaluations are prepared, Supervisors will identify teaching and administrative faculty members for whom a PIP is recommended.  It is recommended that faculty so identified cooperate in formulating a PIP, which shall include identified weaknesses, all actions perceived as necessary to correct those weaknesses, and performance goals.  The faculty member shall work with his or her Department Head to integrate the PIP to the annual faculty goal-setting exercise.

  1. Availability of Institutional Support
    Institutional support is not normally granted to a teaching or administrative faculty member in conjunction with a PIP.  However, in unusual cases, such support may be granted with the written approval of the appropriate Vice President or Provost.  A faculty member must account to Mines for the use of this support, and any equipment purchased for such support shall be the property of Mines.
  2. Time Limitations
    The PIP shall specify a time period of up to one year during which the necessary performance improvements should take place.  In exceptional circumstances this time period may be extended at the discretion of the Provost or appropriate Vice President.
  3. Procedure for Implementation of Plan
    The PIP, including any support offered, shall be reflected in writing, and signed by the faculty member, his or her supervisor, Department Head, and the appropriate Vice President.  In the case of teaching faculty members, the Dean and Provost need to approve and sign the plan.
  4. Sanctions for Failure to Fulfill Plan Requirements
    If satisfactory improvement, as determined by the appropriate Vice President, has not been achieved by the employee at the end of the period specified, appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment, may be invoked.