IX. C. The Fourth-Year Review

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  • Amended by Faculty action, February 16, 2011

Overview: The fourth-year review is both formative and summative. It considers the same three areas of Faculty performance as the second-year review, but is broader in scope in that it includes all tenured departmental faculty members in the written assessment of a candidate. The fourth-year review is particularly crucial for determining the likelihood of success during the tenure review for a faculty member at the College. The fourth-year review is also done with attention given to the College’s needs for the position in the faculty member’s discipline.

The fourth-year review takes place in the fall semester of the candidate’s fourth year of service to the college. The review process is initiated in August, with data collection early in the fall semester. It concludes in December with a meeting attended by the candidate, department Chair, and Dean of the Faculty.

The Process: By the first day of the fall semester, the candidate will submit to the Dean of the faculty an updated portfolio, a list of six students to whom a questionnaire on teaching effectiveness is sent, and a list of six students to whom a questionnaire on advising effectiveness is sent.

At the same time the Department Chair will prepare and submit to the Dean of the Faculty a list of names for a proposed Teaching Evaluation Committee.

During the fall semester the Dean of the Faculty’s office will distribute questionnaires to be completed by a representative sample of students who have completed a class (or classes) with the candidate during his or her first six semesters of teaching at the College. The representative sample will include both male and female, major and non-major, and higher and lower performing students in these classes (grades of A through D-). The six students chosen by the candidate are included in this pool. If the Dean believes more information on teaching performance is needed, the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and the Department Chair will co-conduct interviews with selected students. The Dean’s office will also send questionnaires to all of the candidate’s advisees, and will collect copies of all of the candidate’s college-generated teaching evaluations.

Senior departmental faculty members will review the candidate’s portfolio and visit at least one class. Those who are members of a Teaching Evaluation Committee will visit a minimum of three classes during the first semester of the candidate’s fourth year. Senior faculty members will meet as a group with the department Chair to discuss the candidate’s performance in teaching, scholarship, and service over the four years, his or her suitability for renewal, and suggestions for possible improvement, where necessary. Each senior member writes a letter of his or her assessment of the candidate; this letter is submitted to the Dean of the Faculty, and a copy is sent to the department Chair. In addition to his or her independent assessment, the department Chair’s letter to the Dean addresses any problems raised by the senior faculty members taking part in the review.

The candidate has the option of soliciting from non-departmental faculty and staff members letters that focus on the candidate’s service performance, campus citizenship and/or extra-departmental teaching. These should be sent to the Dean of the Faculty with a copy to the Chair. The remainder of the review, which culminates in December, is carried out by the Dean of the Faculty and the department Chair. A final assessment of performance in the areas of teaching, scholarship, and service is given in writing to the candidate at the review’s conclusion.

A faculty member found to be doing work that is not meeting the College’s standards and/or not making adequate progress toward tenure in any area of evaluation (teaching, scholarship, or service) following the fourth-year review will not have his or her contract renewed after the fifth year of appointment. This candidate does not undergo a sixth-year review. The fifth year constitutes the twelve months’ notice of non-reappointment.

The materials compiled during the fourth-year review will be maintained in the Dean of the Faculty′s Office and will be available to the Faculty Committee on Tenure and Promotion upon request during a tenure review.