Faculty evaluation

Purpose

The purpose of this Policy is to establish criteria and procedures for the annual evaluation of individuals granted faculty status at Lynn University.

Policy

The rationale of annual evaluation procedures is to encourage and commend the faculty, to bring about improvement in the quality of performance, to recognize the contributions of the individual member, and thus, to promote the excellence of the University. In addition, this annual assessment serves as a basis for decisions regarding, retention, reappointment, and advancement in rank.

The University’s primary commitment to quality education requires ongoing planning and evaluation of instructional effectiveness. To this end, various means of evaluating instruction are used including classroom visits, regular student evaluations, and the Faculty Performance Effectiveness Review, which is conducted utilizing the online interface. Course syllabi, assignments, and tests are also regularly reviewed by the Deans and the Vice President in Academic Affairs as a means of assessing instructional effectiveness.

Definitions

Not Applicable.

Procedures/Guidelines

I. Student Evaluations

Student evaluations are completed utilizing the online interface and will occur after completion of two thirds of each term. It is the responsibility of every faculty member, including but not limited to part-time and special status faculty members, to ensure strict adherence to this guideline in order to insure effective evaluation of their teaching.

II. Full-time Faculty Performance Effectiveness Review

To assist in annual faculty evaluation, each full-time faculty member will be asked to summarize their professional and educational activities for the year via the designated online application. This in essence is a faculty self-evaluation performance review.

The appropriate College Dean will assist in developing and reviewing the faculty member’s faculty performance effectiveness review via the designated online application. Strengths in all areas will be noted. Areas requiring improvement will be identified and strategies to improve will be initiated.

The purpose of the self-evaluation is to promote professional excellence, provide a basis for the review of performance, and improve academic skills.

The annual faculty performance effectiveness review has the following objectives:

  • To provide a basis for discussion of academic performance, specific needs in the discipline, and the means of improvement if indicated.
  • To provide information helpful in selecting faculty members for special assignments, conferences and workshops.

A. Criteria for Professional Self Evaluation

The faculty performance effectiveness review is divided into four categories, each contributing to the overall Lynn University definition of what constitutes an effective full-time faculty member and teacher. Specifically, an effective teacher is actively involved in multiple roles and activities related to their knowledge area and integrated into their teaching methods in unique ways. The University purpose and goals provide the direction toward which faculty fulfill its mission. Each of the four categories listed below encompass a range of teaching roles, responsibilities and methodologies and provide guidelines for helping our faculty to improve, thus contributing to overall institutional effectiveness.

B. Elements of the Faculty Performance Effectiveness Review

Four elements serve as the context for the Faculty Performance Effectiveness Review submitted via the designated online application with the assumption that: (a) faculty development is an ongoing process; and, (b) each section or element is a component of teaching effectiveness, defined as the degree to which energies and activities are dedicated to fulfilling the purposes and goals of the University. The Faculty Performance Effectiveness Review is to be completed via the designated online application by every full-time faculty member on or before May 31 each year.

Teaching Effectiveness Profile: In accordance with the criteria for the faculty advancement in rank, this profile facilitates the assessment of teaching effectiveness. Consideration of the following encompasses this evaluation: enthusiasm in presenting the subject matter, clarity in presentation, concern for student learning, clarity of expression in course objectives and course organization, diversity in presentation, appropriate use of testing and evaluation procedures, and current knowledge of the subject matter.

Advising: A faculty member’s evaluation of his or her effectiveness as an advisor may consist of the following parameters: accessibility, accuracy in keeping records of students’ course work, advising students to take appropriate courses, making proper referrals, maintaining appropriate contact with parents, responding to student needs, projecting a positive attitude.

Scholarly Activity and Research: Scholarly activity of the faculty will be reviewed by current research including publications and scholarly work. Consideration of any of the following that may also be relevant: attendance at conferences, membership in professional societies, consultant practice(s), acquiring professional certification related to the teaching area, writing grant proposals, writing/reviewing textbooks, and involvement in course or program development.

Service to Lynn University: In evaluating effectiveness as a member of the faculty, consideration: will be given to service on University committees, participation in student activities and other school functions, presentation of faculty workshops, presentation of lectures for a series, involvement in fund raising or acquiring physical resources for the University.

III. Evaluation of Part-time and Special Status Faculty

Part-time and special status faculty members are evaluated according to the following guidelines:

  1. Student Evaluations: All courses, every semester must be evaluated by students via the designated online application. See Section I above for additional information.
  2. Supervisor Evaluations: The applicable College Dean, or designee, will observe the instructor’s teaching effectiveness during the first term he/she teaches an assigned course. Thereafter, observations will occur annually. In the absence of the Dean, the Vice President for Academic Affairs or designee will assume the responsibility.

Consideration of the following encompasses the supervisor evaluation: enthusiasm in presenting the subject matter, clarity in presentation, concern for student learning, clarity of expression in course objectives and course organization, diversity in presentation, appropriate use of testing and evaluation procedures, and current knowledge of the subject matter.

IV. Performance Evaluation Criteria

As faculty members at a learning-centered University, the primary responsibility of the full-time faculty is teaching. All full-time faculty should be invested in teaching excellence and prioritize student learning as paramount. The primacy of teaching however does not diminish the importance of research and service. Through scholarly and creative productivity faculty members demonstrate their commitment to active and engaged participation in their discipline and/or profession. Service to the University and to one’s profession further distinguishes the role of faculty within the professoriate and at the University.

The “scholarship of teaching” for Lynn faculty is intrinsic to our understanding of teaching in a learning centered University. At Lynn, excellence in teaching includes scholarship in pedagogy, curriculum, and other areas essential to teaching and learning.

Given our mission, therefore, members of the full-time faculty are expected to engage in scholarship in both teaching and research/creative activities. Above all, the criteria for appointment and advancement in rank at Lynn University recognizes that teaching, learning, scholarly and creative productivity, and service are all essential to academic excellence.

A. Definition of Teaching

  1. Teaching is facilitating the engagement of the learner in a process to acquire competencies in the form of knowledge, skills, attitudes and values. At Lynn University, teaching requires using a variety of instructional methods, varying venues of delivery, direct and indirect assessments of learning in courses and of programs, and innovative, international, and individualized approaches. Please refer to the links at the end of this Policy for additional information regarding Lynn University’s Philosophy on Instruction. Lynn University recognizes the following as essential to teaching:
    1. Academic quality, standards, best practices, and excellence.
    2. Flexibility and adaptability.
    3. Innovation, creativity, and discovery.
    4. Professional development.
    5. Responsibility and accountability to self, students, and the Institution.
    6. Technology enhancement.
    7. Effectiveness and continuous improvement.
  2. Excellence in teaching is depicted by acquiring the expertise of knowledge, skills, and abilities to develop and implement the best practices in pedagogy and learning. These include professional development activities that enhance teaching, active membership in professional organizations, preparation, presentation, and adjudication of student performances both on and off campus, conference presentations, publications, and master classes. Lynn University recognizes excellence in teaching is premised on embracing certain values and demonstrating competency and commitment in implementation of the professoriate role of professor of practice:
    1. Teach courses, facilitate student learning, advise and mentor, guide qualifying papers, theses, dissertations, recitals and performances.
    2. Use pedagogy based on principles of excellence in teaching.
    3. Promote individualized and collaborative learning.
    4. Facilitate and document student problem solving, critical thinking, ethical reasoning, breadth of knowledge and core competency development, knowledge and competencies for the major, civic responsibility and engagement, service learning, self-responsibility and accountability, global awareness and multicultural sensitivity.
    5. Demonstrate excellence in teaching using evidenced based practice that is documented in referred research journals, books, and professional conferences.
    6. Engage in educational evaluation including: assessment, analysis, and recommendations for improvement of best practices in teaching and student learning.
    7. Participate in faculty development and training.
    8. Seek certification and/or credentialing based on competence in instructional technology, curriculum development, and/or discipline knowledge or expertise where applicable.
    9. Participate as a contributor and active member of the discipline through service, research, and other scholarly activity.
    10. Critique and embrace change that promotes continuous improvement.
  3. Assessment of teaching including currency in the field is measured by administrative, peer, student, and self-evaluation:
    1. Seek, obtain, and maintain licensure and/or certification.
    2. Document scores on CEU programming tests related to discipline (these are available online).
    3. Perform in public concerts, present master classes.
    4. Publish (or present) papers that have been peer reviewed by discipline experts, and thus represent currency and innovation or creativity in the discipline.
    5. Provide peer review comments from discipline experts and colleagues.
    6. Serve as a reviewer of papers or conferences, or books, or as an adjudicator at competitions– assumption of currency in the field.
    7. Document post graduate course work (via passing grades).
    8. Receive peer review letters (department, college, or University).
    9. Consult in program development related to discipline.
    10. Develop (designs) and /or present professional development programs in the discipline.
    11. Reads professional journals and integrates new information in course and curriculum – professor constantly rewrites course material making it very consistent with recent advances in the discipline.
    12. Course may show connections between other fields – thus putting a course into a larger context than the specific discipline.
    13. Course evaluation tools include general assessment, and questions about “currency” such as the degree to which the faculty:
    14. Helped students discover new information about the course topic;
      1. Spirited students to find out more;
      2. Used or discussed current information from the field.
    15. Implements student-centered assessment, emphasizing the outcomes or results of the educational process (that is, what students are able to do as a result of what teachers have provided).
    16. Implements student-centered assessment, emphasizing the outcomes or results of the educational process (that is, what students are able to do as a result of what teachers have provided).
    17. Implements student-centered assessment, emphasizing the outcomes or results of the educational process (that is, what students are able to do as a result of what teachers have provided).
    18. Uses a variety of assessment tools, including direct and indirect measures of learning at the course and program level.
    19. Provides curriculum revision (or transformation) at the program level.
    20. Syllabi reflect constant development – revisions– and contain current learning resources.
    21. The teacher recognizes self to be a learner of the practiced discipline.
  4. Teaching Portfolios. In order to demonstrate teaching excellence and effectiveness, Lynn University faculty are required to submit documentation of the professoriate role in a teaching portfolio, which is developed, submitted, and reviewed on an annual basis. Teaching portfolios reflect the manner in which the professor engages learners in a process to acquire competencies in the form of knowledge, skills, attitudes and values and shows implementation of the best practices in pedagogy and learning. Teaching portfolios serve the purposes of enhancing personal and professional development and documenting competency for annual reviews and/or and advancement in rank, and thus are both formative and summative. Portfolios include but are not limited to:
    1. Teaching philosophy, goals, strategies, and assessments.
    2. Reflections on teaching experiences and responsibilities.
    3. Goals (past, present, and future).
    4. Examples of implementing the best practices in pedagogy and learning (see items under excellence in teaching).
    5. Course syllabi, course materials, assignments and their rationale (an explanation for the rationale behind the assignments), and descriptions of the way instructional methods and materials facilitate student learning.
    6. Materials documenting student learning.
    7. Summarized evidence of teaching effectiveness including summary of student ratings other forms of student feedback, alumni comments, peer, and administrative evaluation.
    8. Teaching awards and recognition, and contribution to the teaching profession.
    9. Professional development related to teaching and learning.
    10. Current Curriculum Vitae.

B. Definition of Scholarship

The professoriate at Lynn University is expected to engage in scholarship - which includes research or other creative activities - and to demonstrate competence in this area. Scholarly productivity in its various forms is an indispensable ingredient in the continued development of Lynn University and its professoriate. Scholarship is defined as the development and dissemination of unique contributions to the advancement of knowledge in an academic field of study.

Common forms of scholarship include (but are not limited to) empirical investigations, theoretical monographs, and composition or performance in the arts.

Clearly, various examples of scholarly activities exist, and these will differ across the academic disciplines. A structure for defining and measuring research activities will be created within the context of each field of study. In other words, each college or unit will develop discipline-specific criteria for evaluating scholarship (please see links at end of this Policy for additional information). Some consistent principles, however, should be considered:

  1. These contributions should rise to the standards recognized and accepted by our respective peers. Peer review is the process of subjecting an author’s scholarly work to the scrutiny of others with noted expertise in the same field. The consensus of a community of experts is considered essential to ensuring that scholarship conforms to the standards of academic rigor or artistic quality. Peer review seeks to limit the dissemination of irrelevant findings, unwarranted claims, unacceptable interpretations, substandard methods, and personal views.
  2. Criteria in each college/unit should conform to the industry standard in each discipline.
  3. Faculty members are expected to publish peer-reviewed work or its artistic equivalent in order to be promoted to the next rank. Steps toward achieving that goal should begin in the first year of hire with the development of a scholarly agenda, and subsequent yearly contracts should include designated steps toward achieving that goal. Each year the dean will review progress toward the goal, creating a system of accountability and mentorship.

C. Definition of Service

Service is fundamental to the Lynn University mission, and helps create an environment that is individualized, innovative and international. At the core of service is a sense of commitment to the University community and to one’s profession. Service to the University fosters identification with the values and goals of the institution. Service to the profession furthers the connection between the University and professional fields. Overall, service enables faculty to be productive and participatory citizens of the University and the profession.

Service includes service to the University, to one’s college or department and to the profession.

  1. Examples of service to the University:
    1. Serving on University committees;
    2. Chairing University committees;
    3. Serving as secretary to University committees;
    4. Serving as faculty advisor to student clubs and organizations;
    5. Writing accreditation reports;
    6. Grant writing for the University (not research);
    7. Recruitment, fundraising, marketing;
    8. Mentoring colleagues in research, service and/or teaching;
    9. Organizing University events such as student symposia, drama productions, concerts, showcases, competitions, conferences, guest speakers, etc.
  2. Examples of service to the college and department:Serving on college committees;
    1. Chairing college committees;
    2. Serving as secretary to college committees;
    3. Organizing college events such as student symposia, drama productions, concerts, showcases, competitions, conferences, etc.;
    4. Participating in college events such as judging student work, presenting at symposia, poetry readings, playing concerts, directing plays, etc.;
    5. Mentoring colleagues in research, service and/or teaching;
    6. Providing experiential learning opportunities for students out of the classroom, including community service that fostering the University mission with the community.
  3. Examples of service to the profession:
    1. Chairing panels at conferences;
    2. Serving on professional associations’ committees;
    3. Serving as planner for conferences;
    4. Reviewing conference submissions;
    5. Editing professional newsletters;
    6. Providing students with opportunities to engage the profession (attending/presenting at conferences, supporting student research, off campus performances and creative endeavors, engaging in chosen profession, etc.);
    7. Promoting students in their pursuit of fellowships, scholarships, graduate study, festival participation, competitions and service learning or volunteer opportunities.

**Paid administrative positions such as chairing programs or departments are considered administrative duties and therefore do not constitute University service.

To learn more about this policy or the supporting procedures, please contact Academic Affairs. Details of the Institution's Philosophy of Instruction and examples of Discipline Based Scholarship may be found on My.Lynn.edu.


Policy updated on: Oct. 24, 2018