Faculty Performance

It is the responsibility of department heads to monitor the teaching performance of all faculty within their department. 

Monitoring First-time Instructors of SPH Courses 

Department heads are responsible for closely monitoring the teaching performance of individuals representing the following:

    1. All instructors teaching for the first time within SPH

    2. All instructors granted course-specific teaching privileges [refer to Approving Non-SPH Principal (Tenure-track) Faculty policy] and teaching a new course within SPH (e.g., instructors who have taught other courses for the School but who are contracted to teach a new course)

Individuals teaching for the first time (or teaching under new course-specific teaching credentials) within the School must be evaluated a minimum of three times over the course of the semester.  Specifically, department heads (or designee from among the principal departmental faculty) are responsible for the following: 

    1. Observing classroom teaching during the first 2-4 weeks of the semester

    2. Eliciting mid-semester student evaluations of the instructor’s teaching and the course in general 

    3. Assuring the completion of student evaluation of teaching at the conclusion of the semester

In the event that the instructor’s performance is deemed marginal or unsatisfactory (either as a result of the observation or the student mid-course evaluations) the department head must notify the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and the chair of the SPH Curriculum Committee as soon as possible.   

Procedures

    1. Written summaries of the first two evaluations outlined above will be developed by the department head and provided to the instructor being reviewed within 7 business days of completion of the initial evaluation (or observation). 

    2. A final written evaluation of teaching performance (using each of the three evaluations conducted over the course of the semester as described above) will be developed by the department head at the conclusion of the semester, to be signed by the department head and faculty member in question. 

    3. Copies of the evaluation are to be included in the faculty member’s (SPH) personnel file with a summary of the evaluation to be provided by the department head to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and the chair of the SPH Curriculum Committee.

Faculty Annual Review Process

The annual review of faculty provides valuable information to the department head, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and the Dean regarding the faculty member’s accomplishments and to the faculty member regarding the department head’s assessment of progress in the discipline and in meeting departmental and school goals.  Annual reviews are to be conducted in the spirit of openness and collegiality, with an emphasis on constructive development of the individual faculty member as well as the institution.  Annual review of the performance of faculty members accruing credit toward tenure is crucial in the development of an academic dossier for promotion consideration.  Annual review of department heads will follow the same steps and dates as in the annual review of faculty summarized below, except that department head reviews will be conducted by the Dean and will be based on both the department head’s annual review form summarizing personal accomplishments as well as the summary report of the departmental accomplishments for the year.   

Procedures

    1. Each faculty member will submit the annual review form by March 15 each year.  Faculty members may also submit additional materials as they see fit.

    2. Department heads will write an evaluation for the year in a memorandum or annual report to be transmitted to each faculty member no later than April 15 each year. 

    3. Upon reviewing the department head’s annual report the faculty member will acknowledge receipt by signing the document.  The document will be entered into the faculty member’s departmental personnel file and forwarded to the Dean for review.  Department heads may choose to conduct face-to-face individual meetings to review the contents of the report with faculty members. 

    4. Faculty members may choose to respond in writing to concerns raised in the department head’s report.  This written response will be included in the faculty member’s personnel file and will be forwarded to the Dean for consideration. 

    5. Included in the department head’s report to the Dean will be a recommendation regarding merit.  Each faculty member’s performance will be assigned a rating of “exceptional,” “good,” “satisfactory,” or “unsatisfactory.”  The Dean will consider this recommendation when determining merit raises for faculty.  The department head will also provide the Dean with a summary of departmental activities based on the collective faculty reports.  This information will be submitted to the Dean no later than May 1 each year. 

    6. Following the review of the individual and departmental report, the Dean will meet with each department head to review the merit recommendations.  Before the start of the next fiscal year the Dean will inform each department head about allocations for faculty pay increases.

Required Form: Faculty Annual Report form

Joint and Adjunct Faculty Annual Review Policy

An individual granted either an adjunct or joint appointment with the School of Public Health shall be reviewed annually to assess his/her contributions to the School.

Procedures

    1. Each adjunct or joint appointed faculty member will submit an annual review document by March 15 each year.  

    2. Department heads will write an evaluation for the year in a memorandum or annual report to be transmitted to each faculty member no later than April 15 each year. 

    3. The department Head’s review will be forwarded to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs by May 1 for recommendation to the Dean of an appointment renewal.

Adjunct Faculty Compensation

The Texas A&M School of Public Health employs adjunct faculty to deliver core courses as well as to increase the number of other course offerings.  It is often the case that adjunct faculty bring a special expertise to the classroom that might not be available from the roster of permanent full-time faculty.  Continued fiscal stringencies coupled with growing enrollment and increased demand for course offerings requires the School of Public Health to continue its reliance on adjunct faculty and to provide adequate compensation for their services.

Adjunct faculty selected by a department to provide instruction as instructor of record shall be paid at a base rate of $6,000.00 per course.

Procedure

For compensation above the base rate the following is required for review by the Executive Committee:

A written request to the Dean through the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs requesting the increase in compensation including a justification for the increase, the number of courses previously taught by the adjunct faculty member and the number of years the adjunct faculty member has participated in the academic program.

Post Tenure Review

Overview

All tenured faculty members are required by the State of Texas law to complete a comprehensive performance evaluation process that is to be conducted not more than once every year but not less than once every six years after tenure is granted. 

Post‑tenure review within the School of Public Health applies to tenured principle faculty members and is comprised of annual review of performance and, in case of unsatisfactory performance as delineated in this policy, the construction of, and subsequent review of, performance in a Professional Development Plan.

Voluntary Post‑Tenure Review

A tenured faculty member desirous of the counsel of a professional review committee in evaluating his or her career may request such counsel by making a request to the department head. 

Evaluation of Teaching Effectiveness

Overview

Teaching includes a wide range of activities, such as: classroom instruction, student advising, supervision, mentoring, and the development of innovative teaching techniques.  As a result, a broad range of approaches are available to measure and strengthen teaching effectiveness and assess the quality of teaching as part of faculty development and evaluation processes. 

Techniques to assess teaching effectiveness include:

    1. Review of course syllabi including list of topics to be covered during the semester, specific course objectives, types of activities for the course, student evaluation procedures, and required reading assignments

    2. adherence to Texas A&M HSC, SPH and departmental policies

    3. peer observation of classroom performance

    4. video-taping of classroom performance for review and analysis by faculty

    5. portfolio assessment by departmental review committee

    6. assessment of the integration of new technology into teaching

    7. per students, employers of graduates, and faculty in graduate and professional schools attended by graduates

    8. rating of the quality of instruction, professor, and class by current students 

Policy

At a minimum, each course taught by faculty of the SPH must include student evaluations of the quality of the course and instructional materials and techniques.  In addition, faculty are strongly encouraged to collect multiple sources of information, such as those listed above, that may be used to improve the quality of teaching, and to document teaching quality for annual performance reviews, merit, promotion, and/or tenure.

Copies of student ratings of teaching will be provided to the faculty member and the head of their department, and will be placed in the faculty member’s file located in the Office of Academic Affairs.  However, information other than student ratings of teaching that are collected by faculty are the property of the faculty member, and are used at the faculty member’s discretion. 

Department head’s may also collect other sources of information on teaching effectiveness in consultation with their faculty.

Each academic unit within the School will develop and follow departmental guidelines for evaluating teaching effectiveness of departmental members.  Each department is encouraged to employ multiple indicators of teaching effectiveness (as enumerated above).  Data collected regarding teaching effectiveness should be reviewed for merit increases as well as considerations for promotion and tenure.

Procedures 

Student evaluations of teaching will be conducted on or before the last day of class. 

    1. CoursEval® system will be used to deliver the course/instructor evaluation via the internet.

    2. Responses to the questionnaires will be anonymous and students will be informed that teaching evaluation information will not be provided to the instructor until after grades have been submitted.

    3. Once the course evaluations are complete, the faculty and department heads will be notified that they are ready to review and download.

Faculty Merit Program

It is important for the School of Public Health (SPH) to establish procedures for recognizing outstanding faculty accomplishments in teaching, research, and/or service as well as increased duties and responsibilities.  The School will participate in the Texas A&M HSC Faculty Merit Payment Program (Rule 31.01.08.Z1.01).  This program provides an additional mechanism whereby faculty members of the School may receive merit payments for outstanding achievements in teaching, research, and/or service as well as increased duties and responsibilities. 

Pre-Tenure Evaluation (also known as Midterm Review)

The School APT Committee will review each non-tenured, tenure track faculty member following their third annual review.  Department Heads will provide the School APT Committee with copies of the faculty member’s up-to-date curriculum vitae and annual reports submitted by the faculty member from the preceding three years.  The School APT Committee will provide a written summary and recommendations to the Department Head, the departmental review committee, and the faculty member under review.  The School APT Committee report will summarize the faculty member’s performance in each of the areas of teaching, research, service, and outreach, and provide recommendations for improvement.  The School’s APT Committee recommendations will not be included in the faculty member’s personnel file.