I. General Policy
The University endeavors to provide faculty with performance reviews that highlight good performance, provide information to faculty that can aid them in improving performance or correcting deficiencies, and provide faculty with feedback that can contribute to enhanced excellence. This policy describes the process, schedule and criteria for reviewing all faculty positions at Rice University.
II. Roles and Responsibilities
The department chairs have the primary responsibility for the management and implementation of this policy. In schools where departments do not exist, the primary responsibilities for implementation of this policy will be with the deans or their designee.
III. Elaboration of Policy
As part of the continuing evaluation of the professional growth of members of the faculty, department chairs or direct academic supervisors will hold a performance review of their faculty according to the schedule detailed in this policy, including, but not limited to, tenured and tenure-track faculty, research faculty, teaching faculty, professors in the practice, lecturers, and instructors. Faculty reviews are conducted by the department chairs. In schools without a department structure, the deans or their designee will be responsible for conducting faculty reviews. For evaluations of non-tenured, tenured-track faculty in schools without department structures, the dean may delegate this responsibility only to the chair of the school’s promotion and tenure committee or to a member of the tenured faculty in the scholarship area identified in the candidate's appointment letter. Faculty who are serving as department chairs when their evaluation becomes due will be evaluated by their dean or dean’s designee. Copies of written reviews and any written summaries of face-to-face reviews will be provided to the faculty member evaluated.
Each department chair or direct academic supervisor will maintain in the departmental office documentation of any written evaluations and face-to-face meeting with the faculty member being evaluated as part of the evaluation process. Evaluations should be completed sufficiently early to enable them to be used in the reappointment and termination process (see Policy 201 for the timing of such decisions). Department chairs or direct academic supervisors will send copies of written summaries to deans at the end of each academic year for the evaluations completed in that academic year. Department chairs or direct academic supervisors will certify to the dean and provost that reviews have been completed according to the schedule below for faculty in a promotable track, listing the individuals reviewed and the dates of the reviews on the report.
Performance reviews of tenured and tenure-track faculty by department chairs or direct academic supervisors will evaluate teaching, research, scholarship (including as appropriate creative works in the arts and architecture), and service. Performance reviews of teaching faculty, professors in the practice, lecturers, and instructors will evaluate teaching and, where applicable, service. Performance reviews of research faculty will evaluate research and, where applicable, service. In all cases, evaluations of teaching by students and peers as relevant must be considered.
- Schedule for Reviews
Professors (including department chairs) will be reviewed at least every five years and associate professors with tenure (including department chairs) will be reviewed at least every three years. Assessments describing what each tenured associate professor should do to be considered for promotion to full professor will occur in the ninth year of service at rank for consideration by the provost and every third year thereafter. These reviews may be at more frequent intervals if requested by the tenured faculty member or if deemed to be in the best interest of the department by the department chair, dean or provost. Reviews of associate professors will be in person as well as in writing.
NON-TENURED FACULTY IN THE TENURE-TRACK RANKS
Each non-tenured tenure-track faculty member should receive an in-person and written annual performance review; additionally, faculty on a four-year contract should receive a more-detailed performance evaluation by the department chair between the beginning of the fourth fall/spring semester and the end of the first month of the sixth fall/spring semester of a first four-year contract term. Copies of this evaluation should be entered into the departmental files and forwarded to the dean and to the provost. The latter evaluation will serve as a partial basis for the departmental recommendation, later that semester, about renewal to a second term (see Procedures for Faculty Appointments, Promotion, Tenure, and Reappointments). The evaluation should be part of the departmental dossier relating to renewal.
FACULTY IN THE NON-TENURE-TRACK RANKS
Faculty in a promotable non-tenure track position should receive an annual performance review and a more in-depth review at least once in every 6 fall/spring semesters of employment (whether teaching in contiguous semesters or not) or prior to a year in which promotion is being considered. For these in-depth, or pre-promotion reviews, a minimum of two letters from those familiar with the teaching, research, and service (each as appropriate to the appointment) of the individual should be included. Copies of this review should be entered into the department files and forwarded to the dean and to the provost.
Each school should establish a schedule for evaluating faculty in non-promotable, non-tenure track positions, which also includes fully promoted, non-tenure track positions (e.g. full teaching professor, full research professor, senior lecturers, etc.). For such non-promotable, non-tenure track positions, the dean will have the discretion to establish different review schedules based on the faculty position type, position rank, faculty responsibilities, and contract length, provided that such schedule must comply with all relevant university policies and procedures. For term contract extension or non-renewal of all non-tenure track faculty, a copy of the most recent written performance evaluation will be forwarded to the dean with the departmental recommendation.
Such performance reviews are advisory in nature, are intended to provide constructive feedback, and are part of the overall review a faculty member receives about their performance, including verbal comments and teaching evaluations. Such performance reviews are also not determinative of future outcomes of promotion, tenure or retention decisions. In particular, the deliberation associated with a promotion and tenure case entails searching inquiry of a nature, range and depth that is beyond the scope of interim performance reviews and involves the consideration of many additional materials and sources beyond the interim performance review; thus, such deliberations may lead to outcomes not anticipated in prior performance reviews.
IV. Cross References or Related Policies
Policy 201 Faculty Appointments, Promotions, and Tenure
V. Responsible Official and Key Offices to Contact Regarding the Policy and its Implementation
Responsible Official: Provost
Other Key Offices: Deans; Chairs
VI. Links to Additional Information
Procedures for Faculty Appointments, Promotion, Tenure and Renewal of Contracts
David W. Leebron, President
December 9, 2019
March 25, 2003
September 16, 1996
September 10, 1982
September 14, 1979
January 31, 2023
October 31, 1975