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Compliance Certification Report
Comprehensive Standards 3.7.2

Last Updated August 13, 2004
(static edition)

Comprehensive Standards 3.7.2:

The institution regularly evaluates the effectiveness of each faculty member in accord with published criteria, regardless of contractual or tenured status.

The Institution Certifies Compliance:

Compliance report completed by: Audit Team 29

Statement of Rationale for Judgment of Compliance:

The Tennessee Board of Regents and university policy, outlined in the Faculty Handbook, [1] requires that department chairs evaluate all faculty in their departments annually and that the results of these evaluations be used as a basis for decisions relating to tenure, promotion and recommendations for salary increases. In addition, results of the annual evaluations are used as input to other personnel actions, including decisions regarding renewal of tenure-track appointments. The university's standard faculty evaluation instrument and planning document may be accessed on-line. [2]  

This annual review process is conducted in the spring semester and consists of two parts: (1) a review of the faculty member’s accomplishments using the previously agreed upon plan of activities for that year as the basis for review and (2) the establishment of a plan of activities for the next year. This process is linked to the university's effort certification process; in the fiscal year 2004, 94% of the institution's 860 nine-month faculty participated.

To assist in evaluations, the University of Memphis uses a standard curriculum vitae (CV) form. [3] Faculty members must submit an on-line copy of their updated CV each spring and are encouraged to update it throughout the year. The department chair, dean and provost have access to these on-line documents, as does the individual faculty member.

Evaluation of Instruction

In each semester or term, all faculty instruction is evaluated using the Student Instructional Rating System (SIRS), a survey completed by students at the end of each term. An evaluation is required for every course taught at the University of Memphis. Each faculty member receives an analysis of each course taught along with comparative data for the department and college. [4] The results of the SIRS are an important tool used by the chair and dean to evaluate the teaching ability of a faculty member. The SIRS evaluations must be included with applications for promotion and tenure. [5] Student evaluations also guide faculty in instructional improvement.  Information on SIRS can be found on the provost office website. [6]

Tenure and Promotion

The process for promotion and tenure is specified in Chapter 4 of the Faculty Handbook. At the heart of the tenure and promotion process is the need for all departments (a) to spell out specific requirements for tenure and promotion, (b) to communicate these criteria to the college committee, deans, and the provost, and (c) to inform faculty yearly as to their progress. Accountability for implementing this process begins at the departmental level with clearly defined standards for the evaluation of faculty for tenure and promotion. Specific written guidelines are developed at the departmental level, reviewed by a college-level faculty committee advisory to the dean, and are approved by the dean and the provost. Each department’s criteria and procedures are publicly maintained and published on the Office of the Provost’s website. [7]

The guidelines for evaluation used by the departments are developed by the departments and reviewed by the deans and the provost. The procedure for review and recommendations is begun by departmental committees that analyze and discuss each candidate and develop written recommendations. These recommendations are forwarded to the department chair or division director for a separate analysis and recommendation. These are both forwarded to college committees and to the appropriate dean for review and recommendations, which are finally forwarded to the provost. If there is a negative assessment at the provost level, the candidate may appeal to the university’s Faculty Tenure and Promotion Appeals Committee that makes a recommendation to the president.

Each faculty member is responsible for developing a dossier for review. The structure and content of this dossier has been standardized across the university and is described in detail on the provost office website under the heading “Tenure and Promotion Guides and Forms.” [8]

Mid-term Review

Faculty members in tenure-track appointments also receive a third-year or mid-term assessment of their progress toward tenure with recommendations, if needed, for improving their work. These reviews are conducted according to procedures outlined in each department’s tenure and promotion guidelines. [7] The results are forwarded to the appropriate dean for review and copies become part of the official tenure and promotion dossier.

Relevant Organizational Unit(s):

Provost; Academic Deans

Supporting Documentation and Evidence:

[1] Faculty Handbook, Faculty Evaluation, Evaluation by Chairs
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[2] Faculty evaluation instrument and planning form:

Faculty Evaluation Form for the 2003-2004 Academic Year

Faculty Planning/Effort Certification form

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[3] Standard Curriculum Vitae format
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[4] Sample SIRS report
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[5] Faculty Handbook, Student Evaluations
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[6] Student Instructional Ratings (SIRS) ( visit the live www site )
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[7] Departmental / College Guidelines for Tenure and Promotion ( visit the live www site )
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[8] Tenure and Promotion Example Dossier
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