Academic journal article Academy of Educational Leadership Journal

A Proposed Model to Evaluate Faculty Research Productivity

Academic journal article Academy of Educational Leadership Journal

A Proposed Model to Evaluate Faculty Research Productivity

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

Faculty annual evaluation is one of the most important responsibilities of academic administrators, as annual evaluation results are generally used to determine merit pay raises for faculty. Without an effective evaluation system in place, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to assign the proper monetary rewards to faculty. This paper explores the issue of research evaluation and proposes a model that may be used to quantitatively determine research productivity level of faculty. The aim of this article is to remove one of the most pressing problems facing college deans and department chairpersons today by coming up with an objective and yet easy-to-understand approach to conduct annual reviews of faculty research. The proposed model considers not only quantity of publication, but it also takes quality of publication and degree of individual scholarship into consideration.

INTRODUCTION

Faculty annual review is one of the most, if not the most, crucial tasks of college and university-level academic administrators, since annual evaluation results are almost always used to determine merit pay increases for faculty and, for longer term, to make promotion and tenure decisions. Without an effective evaluation system in place, it is very hard, if not impossible, to assign proper monetary rewards to faculty. The failure of the compensation management system can lead to numerous costly administrative problems later on. These problems include the departure of many outstanding faculty members to other institutions, as they doubt that they have been properly compensated via annual merit pay raises. Other serious consequences are low faculty morale and short tenure of administrators.

There are generally three major areas of evaluation employed by institutions of higher education: teaching, research, and service. Teaching and research are routinely viewed as the most critical components among the three. Depending on the type of institutions, either teaching or research may be considered as the most important factor in faculty annual evaluation. An overwhelming amount of research has been published on the subject of teaching evaluation and effectiveness. Abrami et al. (1982) examined the relationship between student personality characteristics, teacher ratings, and student achievement. Wright et al. (1984) reviewed the research findings on validity and reliability of student ratings. Eiszler (2002) conducted a study to test whether the use of student evaluations of teaching effectiveness had contributed to a trend of grade inflation in colleges and universities and found that such a relationship was supported. Ho and Shalishali (2001) examined the issues of grade inflation and grade variation and developed an effective approach to measure student competencies. Other research related to teaching can be found in Centra (1979), Hildebrand et al. (1979), Doyle (1983), Fairweather and Rhoads (1995), Greenwald (1997), and Greenwald and Gillmore (1997).

Faculty publishing productivity is often used as a barometer of departmental and institutional prestige and is strongly associated with an individual faculty member's reputation, visibility, and advancement in the academic reward structure, particularly at research institutions (Creamer, 1998). Moreover, Root (1987) pointed out that there is a generally held view that "publications are paramount" in the determination of salary and promotion. This viewpoint is supported by the fact that faculty salaries in research universities are higher than those in teaching universities. There are a lot of articles written on faculty research performance. Baird (1991) studied publication productivity in doctoral research departments and found that there were substantial variations in publishing rates among and within disciplinary groups, as well as across programs. Hattie and Marsh (1996) studied the relationship between research and teaching and found a negative relationship between faculty time allocated to teaching and time allocated to research. …

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