Collaborative Work Continues on Revisions to Faculty Evaluations Processes

Collaborative work continues for revisions to annual review and post tenure review processes, as required by the University System of Georgia (USG) Board of Regents at their October 2021 meeting. Because of the scope of the project, deadlines for components vary, with changes to annual review processes going into effect beginning in AY 2023-2024.

The policy changes impact all USG institutions. At Georgia Tech, faculty and administrators are working together to ensure that the revised policies protect academic freedom and maintain faculty oversight, and that the post-tenure review process retains peer review as an essential element. The work is being led by a steering committee of faculty leaders from across the Institute. Steering committee members include Michelle Rinehart, vice provost for Faculty, Dawn Baunach, associate vice provost for Faculty, Bonnie Ferri, vice provost for Graduate and Postdoctoral Education, Jon Colton, chair of the Faculty Statutes Committee, Karie Davis-Nozemack, chair of the Faculty Executive Board, and Rhett Mayor, secretary of the Faculty.

Steering committee members have collected input and involvement from a broad spectrum of the community including students, faculty, and administrators. They held working and focus groups, met with people in colleges, labs, and units, and disseminated Qualtrics surveys. The committee has newly revised drafts based on the first round of faculty feedback.  The committee continues to seek feedback to further refine the proposed language for the faculty handbook and supplementary guidance documents. Part of the communication process includes clarifying which elements have been required by the USG and which ones provide flexibility for customization.

Steering committee members are meeting with academic units and faculty groups to explain the process and help ensure that administrators are attuned to faculty needs and goals. In preparation for the new faculty evaluation process going into effect in AY 2023-2024, each unit or school will need to create its own rubrics. There is an element of local control of rubrics, designed through a partnership of faculty and administration.  

The overall process is partitioned into several topic areas that can be separately reviewed and revised as needed. Topic areas include annual reviews, post tenure review and corrective post tenure review, reappointment, tenure and promotion, administrative review, and student success activities. The steering committee encourages faculty to use the new student success category to highlight the good work they are already doing for students, along with providing colleagues with new ideas for supporting students and student learning.

Georgia Tech recently shared a status report with the USG, including estimates of completion for the various documents required. The student success activities and annual review process revisions are 76-99% complete. The policy revisions are in progress based on feedback from faculty and administrators, but the final forms have not yet been approved by faculty governance. The post-tenure review process is 51-75% complete. These percentages are estimates based on the committee's anticipated work, and the committee continues to seek feedback to incorporate into the proposals. The committee seeks to produce proposals that address faculty needs as much as possible within the parameters established by USG. Once approved by the Faculty Senate in October 2022, the USG will review, make any comments, and approve the final versions of these policies.

For updates, details, and resources, go to the revision of faculty evaluation processes pages on the Faculty Affairs website.

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