Evaluating Faculty Performance

Evaluating Faculty Performance

Evaluating Faculty Performance

Evaluating Faculty Performance


This issue brings new insights to faculty work and its assessment in light of reconsideration of faculty work roles, rapid technological change, increasing bureaucratization of the core work of higher education, and public accountability for performance. With practical advice and information about processes and tools for evaluating individuals as well as academic units, contributors examine evaluating individual faculty work roles in teaching, scholarship, and in outreach and service. They also discuss the changes to faculty work and its evaluation brought by emerging technology and the World Wide Web. Exploring successful methods that individuals, institutions, and promotion and tenure committees are using evaluations of faculty performance for career development, this issue is an indispensable guide to academic administrators and institutional researchers involved in the faculty evaluation process. This is the 114th volume of the Jossey-Bass series New Directions for Institutional Research.


This chapter examines the fundamental concepts,
principles, and practices that characterize the most
effective of contemporary approaches to the evaluation of
faculty teaching performance

Michael B. Paulsen

There are many comprehensive systems for the evaluation of faculty performance and guidelines for the development of such systems; each includes a substantial component devoted to evaluating faculty teaching performance (Arreola, 2000; Braskamp and Ory, 1994; Cashin, 1996; Centra, 1993; Johnson and Ryan, 2000; Richlin and Manning, 1995; Seldin, 1980, 1999a; Theall and Franklin, 1990). Contributors to this literature agree about key principles that promote effective faculty evaluation (Cashin, 1996). This chapter focuses on three principles: clarifying expectations of and by faculty, identifying the nature and sources of data to be used for evaluation, and clarifying the purposes and uses of evaluation data.

Clarifying Expectations

Clarifying the expectations that institutions and departments have for their faculty and that faculty have for their own performance are central to a successful faculty evaluation system (Arreola, 2000; Braskamp and Ory, 1994; Cashin, 1996; Seldin, 1980, 1999a). Expectations for faculty work responsibilities and outcomes are affected by institutional, departmental, disciplinary, and individual faculty priorities. These expectations also affect the methods, criteria, and the nature and sources of data used to evaluate faculty work. In recent years, both institutional and faculty expectations have begun to change because the nature of faculty work has changed. Redefinitions of faculty roles affect how the teacher role of faculty relates to the other dimensions of faculty work. Understanding long- and short-term changes in the teacher role will help clarify expectations for faculty work as a whole.

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