Faculty Supervisor Annual Evaluation Guidelines

If your role includes supervision of one or more full-time faculty members (including postdoctoral faculty, tenured or tenure-track faculty, clinical faculty, research faculty, and teaching faculty), you have the responsibility to prepare an annual evaluation for each full-time faculty member you supervise.  Faculty evaluations are intended to be both formative (contributing to ongoing professional development of the faculty member evaluated) and summative (contributing to reappointment, promotion, tenure, and salary adjustment decisions).  The evaluations you write are therefore important.  

Below are a few best practices and references for relevant professional development readings related to preparing meaningful faculty evaluations.

Evaluation Best Practices

  • Communicate Process Logistics

    • Provide advance notice of any unit-specific information you will need faculty to report on prior to the end of the fall academic term.

    • Review your evaluation queue and communicate reminders as deadlines approach (and immediately after they pass).

    • Schedule one-on-one evaluation & planning meetings to occur after faculty have an opportunity to review their evaluations

    • Ensure faculty acknowledge their evaluations (and provide comments if they wish) so that the evaluations can be reviewed by the approver (your supervisor)

  • Be Forward-Thinking

    • A key outcome of the faculty evaluation process (supported by both your written evaluation and your one-on-one discussion of that evaluation with your faculty member) should be clear goals for the future.

    • Make sure to discuss any planned changes in workload distribution and the basis for that planned change.

  • Be Honest

    • Since the faculty evaluation is intended to be a mentoring tool that assists in the ongoing professional development of each faculty member, it is important to identify weaknesses that, if addressed, will assist faculty members in reaching their professional goals and in making more meaningful contributions to their unit.

    • Since the faculty evaluation is also used in a summative fashion, it is important to provide meaningful scores.  Consider developing a rubric for each content area
      • Rubric will need to account for workload differences – someone with 20% effort assigned to research should not be expected to have the same quantitative productivity as someone with 60% effort assigned to research, for example.

  • Be Positive and Constructive

    • Different phrasings of a criticism can produce dramatically different emotional responses, which may impact subsequent implementation of recommendations.

    • Be clear and evidence-based

    • Relate both praise and constructive criticism to specific data in the faculty member’s annual report or your own observations.



Recommended Professional Development Resources

Buller, J. L. (2012). Best practices in faculty evaluation: a practical guide for academic leaders. John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

Buller, J. L. (2006).  The essential department chair: a practical guide to college administration.  Anker Publishing Company, Inc.