UNC Charlotte Academic Procedure: Tenured Faculty Performance Review

I. Introduction

There is no introduction for this procedure.

II. Procedure Statement

The Tenured Faculty Performance Review provides for the periodic and comprehensive review of all aspects of the performance of faculty members who have tenure and whose primary duties are teaching, research, and service. The purpose of such a review is to promote faculty development, productivity, and excellence by:

  1. Recognizing and rewarding faculty performance that exceeds expectations;
  2. Providing for a clear plan and timetable for improvement of faculty performance for those faculty who do not meet expectations; and
  3. Providing the imposition of appropriate sanctions for faculty who continue to not meet expectations.   

Faculty performance is examined relative to the mission of UNC Charlotte and that of the college and department of the faculty member. 

Applicability of Review Process

The Tenured Faculty Performance Review process is applicable to all tenured members of the faculty who have been on a continuous contract for a period of five years or more since their last cumulative review. A faculty member shall undergo a cumulative review no less frequently than once every five years.  Department Chairs, Deans, and other administrators whose primary responsibilities are not teaching and research are exempt from a Tenured Faculty Performance Review while they are serving in their administrative posts. Upon returning to full-time faculty duties, they are subject to a Tenured Faculty Performance Review. A faculty member may request postponement of a scheduled Tenured Faculty Performance Review for extenuating personal circumstances, such as health problems. The request for a postponement must be in writing and submitted for approval by the faculty member's Chair and Dean.

Relationship between Tenured Faculty Performance Review and Review for Promotion

Tenured Faculty Performance Review will be coordinated with the review of a faculty member for promotion in the following ways:

A departmental consideration for promotion five years after a faculty member receives tenure satisfies the requirements for the faculty member's Tenured Faculty Performance Review. One outcome of the promotion review could be a requirement that the faculty member prepare a development plan as described below.

If a faculty member postpones the application for promotion five years after receiving tenure, he or she will undergo a Tenured Faculty Performance Review. The Tenured Faculty Performance Review, in this case, would satisfy the requirement of a promotion review five years after the award of tenure.

Review of Procedure

This procedure will be certified annually by the Provost to ensure all aspects of the post-tenure review process are in compliance with this procedure and any associated guidelines adopted by the President of the University of North Carolina.  In addition, UNC General Administration will conduct a review of the post-tenure review process every three years in compliance with UNC Policy Manual 400.3.3.1.

Procedures

Training and Support of Institutional Decision Makers

All post-tenure review evaluators, including Department Review Committee, Department Chairs, and Deans, are required to complete the UNC training module prior to review of a Tenured Faculty Performance Review file. 

Initiating the Review Process

Whenever a Tenured Faculty Performance Review is initiated, the Chair shall first consult with the faculty member and then shall establish a schedule for the conduct of the review by the Review Committee (see definition below). Ordinarily, a faculty member should be given at least four months’ notice that one is to be reviewed.  The faculty member should discuss with his/her department chair a five-year plan consistent with the expectations of post-tenure review.  This plan can be modified annually by the faculty member, in consultation with the department chair, as deemed appropriate by changes in institutional, departmental, or personal circumstances.  This plan should indicate milestones aligned with annual performance evaluations. 

Review File

To initiate the review process, the Department Chair, in cooperation with the faculty member, shall construct a Tenured Faculty Performance Review file containing only: (a) copies of the faculty member’s last five annual review letters from the Department Chair; (b) a current curriculum vitae; (c) a current five-year plan and set of goals with related milestones; and (d) an optional statement describing his or her professional accomplishments in teaching, research and service. If necessary for clarification, the Chair or Review Committee may request further information.  All aspects of faculty performance will be evaluated.

The Review Committee

The Department Review Committee or a special committee elected by the tenured members of the department shall conduct the review of the faculty member's performance. The Committee shall be elected according to the department, college and University procedures. The faculty member being reviewed will not have the option of selecting members of the Review Committee.  The Review Committee shall review the file and may meet with the Chair and the faculty member, either together or separately. The Committee may consult other sources of information not included in the file, if deemed appropriate, with the approval of the Chair. In accordance with the schedule for the review established by the Chair, the Review Committee shall make a written assessment of the faculty member’s performance, including, where appropriate, recommendations to the Chair intended to enhance the faculty member's contributions to the unit and the University. The Review Committee Report is advisory to the Chair. The Report shall include an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the faculty member's performance. This written assessment shall conclude with one of the following findings:

“Exceeds Expectations:”  The faculty member exceeds expectations.

“Meets Expectations:”  The faculty member has no substantial and chronic performance deficiencies.

“Does Not Meet Expectations:”  The faculty member has substantial and chronic performance deficiencies. The Review Committee shall state the faculty member’s primary responsibilities and describe the performance deficiencies in its Report as they relate to the faculty member’s assigned duties and the goals established.

The standards for determining "Does Not Meet Expectations" shall be determined by the faculty in each unit, and, when approved by the appropriate Chair and Dean, and by the Provost, shall become part of the unit's Tenured Faculty Performance Review procedures.

The Chair shall provide the faculty member being reviewed a copy of both the Review Committee report and the Chair's recommendation. The report and any response from the faculty member shall be made a part of the faculty member's permanent personnel record.

Review by Chair and Dean

Review by the Chair

The Review Committee submits its written evaluation to the Chair and the Chair conducts an evaluative review.  In the event that the Chair’s evaluation differs from that of the Review Committee, the Chair will communicate in writing to the faculty member, the Dean and the department Review Committee.  A recommendation for sanctions to be imposed on the faculty member related to his or her lack of performance under the terms and expectations of a previously agreed upon performance improvement plan will be described in the Chair’s written statement.

Review by the Dean

The Chair submits a written appraisal to the Dean. The Dean conducts an evaluative review in addition to the review conducted by the committee and the Chair.  The Dean's response and written evaluation shall be provided to the faculty member, the Chair, and the Provost, and shall include the plan for improvement or sanction imposed, if applicable.

Faculty Grievance or Hearing

Following the final review and determination of the Provost, a faculty member dissatisfied with the results of the Tenured Faculty Performance Review may pursue any option otherwise available to faculty members relating to matters that affect their employment status. If discharge or other serious sanctions are imposed as a result of a seriously deficient post-tenure performance review, University regulations for hearing procedures outlined in Section 8 of the Tenure Policies, Regulations and Procedures of The University of North Carolina at Charlotte will apply.  For lesser actions, a faculty member may pursue a grievance through the UNC Charlotte "Procedures for Resolving Faculty Grievances Arising from Section 607(3) of The Code of The University of North Carolina."

Development Plan

When the Chair and the Dean agree that the faculty member's performance does not meet expectations, the Chair will require that the faculty member have a written development plan designed to improve the faculty member's performance in clearly identified areas over a specified time period. The development plan will be prepared jointly by the Chair and faculty member and will include at a minimum: (a) the expectations of the Chair as to how the faculty member can remedy the deficiency or deficiencies in performance or enhance the faculty member's professional accomplishments and contributions to the unit; (b) specific performance goals and objectives, timetables for achieving such goals over a two-to-three year period, and the criteria to be used in measuring progress toward the performance goals; (c) the resources or developmental support, if any, the Chair is willing and able to provide the faculty member to assist in implementing the plan; (d) any adjustment in workload, assignments or responsibilities of the faculty member in order to enhance his or her performance and contribution to the mission of the unit; and (e) clear statement of consequences should deficiencies not be corrected within the designated timeline.  Progress meetings with the department chair or academic unit head must occur on at least a semi-annual basis during the specified timeframe. 

The development plan will be reviewed by the Dean, who may make suggestions for improving the plan. When the plan has received the final approval of the faculty member, the Chair, and the Dean, it will be implemented by the faculty member. 

Monitoring and Re-evaluation of Performance

Progress towards achieving the goals and timetables set out in the development plan will be reviewed in subsequent annual reviews by the Chair, who will provide detailed feedback to the faculty member and a copy to the Dean. At the end of the time period specified in the development plan, the Chair, in consultation with the Department Review Committee, will review the faculty member's performance and make one of the following recommendations:

The faculty member has improved his or her performance, and no further action is necessary pending the next regularly scheduled Tenured Faculty Performance Review;

The faculty member's performance has improved but not at the expected level. The Chair may require an adjustment in the development plan or in the faculty member's workload in order to improve further the faculty member's performance; or

The faculty member's performance continues to not meet expectations. The Chairperson may recommend the imposition of appropriate sanctions. Any decision to recommend imposition of serious sanctions should occur only after the widest consultation with the tenured faculty in the department; whether this involves a poll or other mechanism is left up to the department. However, the department is expected to transmit the outcome of such consultation with the tenured faculty to the Dean. The Chair's recommendation is forwarded to the faculty member and the Dean.

Dean's Review and the Possible Imposition of Sanctions

The Dean reviews the recommended action:

  • If the Dean agrees with a departmental recommendation that no further action is necessary, the review process stops pending the next regularly scheduled Tenured Faculty Performance Review.
  • If the Dean agrees with a recommendation for a workload adjustment, the adjustment is implemented and the review stops pending the next regularly scheduled Tenured Faculty Performance Review.
  • If the Dean agrees with a departmental recommendation for the imposition of serious sanctions, the Dean forwards this recommendation to the Provost. Serious sanctions may be imposed only in accord with Section VI, of the Tenure Policies, Regulations and Procedures of The University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Chapter VI of The Code of the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina.  Serious sanctions that may be imposed include demotion, salary reduction and, in the most serious cases, may include a recommendation for discharge. A faculty member retains full rights to seek a hearing if the decision is made to impose serious sanctions.  Neither a negative review nor an insufficient improvement from a development plan will necessarily result in the imposition of sanctions; such sanctions may be imposed only upon grounds specified in Section VI of the Tenure Policies and Chapter VI of The Code of the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina.  In the imposition of serious sanctions, the burden of proof is on the University to prove that the serious deficiencies on the development plan constitute incompetence or neglect of duty.
  • If the Dean disagrees with the departmental decision, the departmental and Dean’s recommendation are forwarded to the Provost for review.

III. Definitions

There are no Definitions for this procedure.

IV. Procedure Contact(s)

V. History

  • Revised:  March 26, 2015
  • Revised:  March 23, 2016 [minor clarifying edits in the Faculty Grievance or Hearing (formerly Faculty Appeals) section]

VI. Related Policies, Procedures, and Resources

VII. Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who is responsible for the written five-year plan and the associated set of goals and milestones? 
A: The faculty member under review is responsible for their five-year plan.  The plan can be modified annually by the faculty member in consultation with the department chair. 

Q: Once a faculty member on a development plan reaches "acceptable" level, when is their next review? 
A: The faculty member continues to be reviewed on their original review schedule.