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Sample Faculty Performance Review Letters



Sample letter for an untenured assistant professor, prior to reappointment:

Date

Untenured Assistant Professor
Department of XXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Campus

Dear Untenured:

In compliance with university policy and department bylaws, it is my responsibility to annually evaluate the performance of each tenure-system faculty member, and to prepare a written performance review, taking into consideration input from the department advisory committee. For complete information on this requirement, please refer to the Faculty Handbook, Section IV and to the attached section of the department bylaws.

It will be helpful to you to refer back to the letter of offer you received prior to your tenure system appointment. That letter identifies those activities and accomplishments which are expected of you during this first probationary appointment. To some extent, the following assessments follow the expectations identified in that letter.

Teaching: In the area of teaching, your primary assignment has been to teach the first year theory sequence (XXX 150 and 151), and you also taught a graduate seminar (XXX 888). Teaching the first-year theory sequence has been a considerable challenge. We have talked about the SIRS forms in which your overall ratings for these courses is 20% below the department mean. The comments indicate that your lectures seem to lack variety in teaching techniques and could be better organized. The large class setting posed particular difficulties that you continue to work to overcome. Your willingness to consult with others who have experience teaching large required undergraduate courses was valued, and I hope, helpful. I did notice an improvement in the SIRS scores in the spring semester. The comments indicated that the introduction of group assignments may have been a useful addition. It was clear that you know the material you are teaching very well and that you are dedicated to the learning that takes place in the classroom. I suggest that you examine closely the comments made by the peer review teaching committee (see letter of July 4, 1998) in a continuing effort to strive for teaching effectiveness with students at all levels. Members of this committee would individually welcome a dialogue with you about these issues. I would also encourage you to continue videotaping class sessions in the coming academic year. With respect to XXX 888, all indications from SIRS forms and student comments suggest that you did an excellent job. While it is difficult to use the same teaching strategies that work so well in this graduate seminar, you should consider ways in which you might adapt some of your XXX 888 teaching strategies.

Research: With regards to research, the advisory committee and I agree that you made good progress toward reappointment this year. Your article in print in Journal of MMM and the one accepted in the Journal of RRR, but not yet published are a good start for you. These are key journals in our field and you should continue to publish in them. In looking ahead, however, the advisory committee and I believe that you need to establish a thematic focus and a research agenda that will be cumulative in building your national reputation. Our review of your "work in progress" section leaves us, at least at this point, unable to discern that focus or theme that is likely to lead to the substantial body of work published in our key journals that is necessary to be awarded tenure. We have confidence that you either already have the focus and need only to better articulate it or that you will soon find that focus. I will ask the mentoring committee to help you in this process.

Service and Outreach: Your active participation in faculty meetings and on the department's admission's committee has been very positive service. Also, serving as a panel member at this year's major outreach conference was helpful and well received. This is a good level of service for a faculty member in the beginning of her/his probationary appointment.

Summary and Suggestions, Progress Towards Tenure: As you see, while the evaluation of your performance includes both accomplishments and areas in need of improvement, overall you have made a good start to your career here at Michigan State University. As indicated, you will have to continue to work to improve your teaching in the theory sequence; good teaching is required for tenure within the department. Because the tenure decision takes a cumulative look at the total body of your work and its impact on the field, it is imperative that you articulate your research focus and theme more clearly. The mentoring committee and I will be glad to help you with this.

Merit Rating: You are being awarded an average merit increase. The amount of this increase will depend on University budget decisions and you will notified of the amount of the increase and your new salary when acted upon by the Board of Trustees.

Conclusion: We can discuss this evaluation and how your colleagues and I can provide help when we meet next week.

Sincerely,

BBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBB

Professor and Chair

---------------

I have received a copy of this annual performance review letter.

 

______________________________ _________

Untenured Assistant Professor              Date

Note: A signature page like this may be unnecessarily legalistic. They are provided here only as examples.]

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Sample letter for a full professor with performance problems:

[Note: It is assumed that this faculty member has had prior conversations with the chair about her/his performance. A letter with this tone should not be the first time that a faculty member hears of such concerns.]

Date

Professor Full
Department of XXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Campus

Dear Full:

In compliance with university policy and department bylaws, it is my responsibility to annually evaluate the performance of each tenure-system faculty member, and to prepare a written performance review, taking into consideration input from the department advisory committee. For complete information on this requirement, please refer to the Faculty Handbook, Section IV and to the attached section of the department bylaws.

Teaching: In undergraduate and graduate teaching you perform at a nominally acceptable level. Your SIRS ratings are at the department mean. A review of course syllabi indicates little initiative in doing anything new or different; the syllabi have not changed in the last five years. Despite our new computer lab, you have not incorporated computer assignments into your teaching. Student comments indicate that your case studies seem dated. It seems that new methodologies should be considered, including discussion panels, guest lectures, and simulations. Students have also remarked negatively about your extensive travel, the use of research associates to cover classes and lack of accessibility. As I have mentioned to you in last year's performance review letter, this must change. You are expected to cover your classes and office hours to be a minimally acceptable faculty member. By next year, the department expects that you will take the initiative to improve our XXX 350 course. I am prepared to discuss with you ideas for support in this endeavor. For example, I am willing to facilitate faculty members in developing their teaching skills by sending then to workshops related to instruction, but I would first like to see an interest, commitment, and faculty effort.

Research: You have not written the articles you had planned to write this year and your activities report indicates no research project underway. You realize that to be considered research active you must engage in at least one of these two activities. In fact my review of your annual activities reports over the last five years indicate no publications. This is unsatisfactory and must change. Again, I will be happy to talk with you about ways to turn some of your activities into publishable materials; I can also suggest some of your colleagues with whom you might make valuable research contributions.

Service and Outreach: Your public service has been acceptable. You have been involved in technical committees, in reviewing papers and in patent activities. However, your institutional service has been modest at best. Last year I identified concerns with respect to your "department citizenship duties." There has been no improvement on this front. Your visibility within the department is still poor, and it is still difficult to contact you when necessary. You seem to be around only during scheduled class, office and meeting times, and are generally absent otherwise. You do not participate in commencements and other student events. It is important, that as a senior faculty member, you contribute to the well-being of the department. Additionally, given your consulting experience, devoting some of your efforts to department outreach programs would benefit you and the department. I would like to talk to you about a conference we could bring to campus that seems to link nicely with your some of your experiences.

Summary and Suggestions: Your performance this year was below par. You must improve your teaching quality and accessibility, and the Department must see you producing research output in the form of publications and/or grants. Your departmental citizenship must improve, and we must explore outreach activities as a possible mutually beneficial contribution you can make to the department.

We need to meet in the next few weeks to explore options. Think about developmental activities that would give you a new set of skills in teaching and outreach. Consider training opportunities, structured visits, use of sabbatical, etc. If it were a short leave, I would work with you to try and find funds to support you in a set of activities that could offer significant career development and bring back to the Department important new contributions where you could take the lead. Think also about how you would like to allocate your time between teaching, research and outreach/service during the next few years and/or the remainder of your career. Perhaps we can change the expectations so that you focus on a more limited set of responsibilities within the mission of the department, e.g., teaching and outreach.

Merit Rating: The advisory committee recommends and I concur that you have earned no salary increase when merit increases are allocated. If your performance continues at this level, you should not expect a salary increase next year.

Conclusion: If I have failed to mention or consider accurately any of your activities or have misrepresented our conversations, please feel free to contact me immediately in order to correct the situation. I will call you within the next two weeks to schedule a meeting not only to talk about last year's performance, but also to discuss your plans for the upcoming year and beyond, what the department needs and expects from you, and how we can work together to help you to make important contributions. I welcome your input and suggestions before or during that meeting.

Sincerely,

BBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBB

Professor and Chair

------------------

I have received a copy of this annual performance review letter.

______________________________ _________

Professor Full Date

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Sample letter for professor (any rank) performing well.

Date

Professor
Department of XXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Campus

Dear :

In compliance with university policy and department bylaws, it is my responsibility to annually evaluate the performance of each tenure-system faculty member, and to prepare a written performance review, taking into consideration input from the department advisory committee. For complete information on this requirement, please refer to the Faculty Handbook, Section IV and to the attached section of the department bylaws.

Teaching: Your graduate and undergraduate teaching has again been very strong. Students continue to sing your praises during the exit interviews that I conduct with graduating students. They comment, and the SIRS forms confirm, your creative approach to presenting subject matter in ZZZ 301 that many undergraduates, especially non-majors, find difficult. Your use of case studies with visits from practitioners are frequently singled out. Your SIRS ratings are once again near the top of faculty in the department.

You have done a very good job as thesis advisor to Mary Smith. Because I was also on her committee, I have observed first hand the guidance you have given her in her work. Her defense clearly demonstrated the research skills you have honed in her. Your work as a student advisor and advisor to the student chapter of the Association is also acknowledged and appreciated by me and important to the department. The departmental advisory committee has given your teaching the highest rating and I concur.

Research: You continue to be research active and successful. Your NSF grant was a major accomplishment and the grant proposal submitted to the state, while not funded, was creative and well done. Your publications are aimed at the right outlets and the two that appeared in the Journal of zzzzzzzzz last year have already been frequently cited. Your are progressing well and along the lines that you discussed with the mentoring committee and included in your career development plan. My only concern is with the two articles that we thought would be published and were not. I understand the changing editorial board of the Review, but we need to consider how that work can be refocused while the data is fresh. With the NSF grant you should have a new stream of data to keep your work moving for the next few years. Let me know if I can be of further help. I will continue to pursue leads with the state and will keep you informed of my progress. The departmental advisory committee has rated your research performance last year in the second highest quartile and I concur..

Service and Outreach: Your department service has been very good. Working with the student association is an important contribution. Your active participation in the search committee, including personal requests to encourage minority and female candidates to apply was especially helpful.

As you know, outreach is an important new initiative in our department. While we have not expected much from faculty in the past, for next year you need to find outlets for the fine work you do among practitioners. Having had more experience in this area than anyone else on the faculty, I will be glad to help you. Let's meet in about a month to discuss some strategies. In the meantime, give some thought to ways your aaaaaa research could be the basis for a workshop at our annual alumni conference. The departmental advisory committee has rated your service/outreach performance as outstanding.

Summary and Suggestions: Your performance this year was been very good. You are progressing well, along the lines to which you agreed with the mentoring committee. Keep up the good work. I will have Pat call you to schedule a meeting about outreach.

Merit Rating: The advisory committee recommends and I concur that your overall rating is above average. The amount of the salary increase will depend on University budget decisions and you will be notified of the amount of the increase and your new salary when acted upon by the Board of Trustees.

Conclusion: If you have any questions about any of the issues addressed in this letter, please let me know. Thank you for another fine year.

Sincerely,

BBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBB

Professor and Chair

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