Department of English & Modern Languages Evaluation is approached with two objectives in mind. The first and foremost objective is that of improving the teaching effectiveness of the faculty member. The second objective is to provide administrators and board members with consistent, relevant, and objective information regarding the performance of a faculty member for purposes of reappointment, promotion, tenure, professional leave, etc. At the heart of an effective evaluation system lies the moral imperative that a faculty member diligently seek self-improvement and that evaluators responsibly interpret results and carefully support their comments and recommendations.While the faculty member’s performance in one area might be outstanding and compensate for a solid but not outstanding performance in another, candidates for promotion and tenure must demonstrate a continuing commitment to and effectiveness in each of the three areas of evaluation: teaching, scholarly activity, and service. In all areas, both qualitative and–where appropriate–quantitative comparisons should be made which will demonstrate the candidate’s performance in relation to other departmental and MWSU faculty. Data presented should be analyzed and explained. The significance and quality of activities and accomplishments used as evidence for promotion and tenure should be emphasized over quantity. Activities and accomplishments listed under one area of professional responsibility may also be relevant to other areas; in such cases the candidate should indicate the relevance of items to each area. It is the candidate’s responsibility to show that s/he is qualified to be promoted or tenured.
The candidate must be able to document a consistently strong performance as a teacher. Failure to maintain high quality of instruction (meeting requirements established by the department and institution, demonstrating satisfactory teaching performance, setting reasonable standards for course work, and maintaining respect for students) may disqualify a candidate for promotion and/or tenure.Cautionary Note on the Use of Student Evaluation Data in the Evaluation of Instruction: In evaluating instruction for the purpose of promotion and tenure, the data obtained from student evaluations should not be used as the only criterion. Data from student evaluations should be used and interpreted in conjunction with data from other sources. The following is a partial list of other sources and evidence. This list is not meant to be exhaustive, nor is the use of any particular item obligatory. This list is not in any order of importance or preference.
a. Course syllabi and handouts
b. Course grade distribution
c. Classroom visitations
d. Student enrollment in faculty member’s course(s) as a result of the exercise of elective options
e. Peer evaluation from colleagues
f. Student performance on course-relevant examinations other than constructed by the faculty member alone (e.g., departmentally constructed exams over subject area, nationally standardized exams).
g. Long-term follow up of students’ subsequent use of course-relevant knowledge
h. Faculty members’ self evaluation
i. Course size
j. Retention levels
k. Level and type of course(s) (e.g., upper level, lower level, developmental, FIG, subject matter.)
l. Reading and participatory experiences relevant to areas of expertise and teaching
m. Thoughtful and innovative course design, implementation, and materials
n. Meaningful revisions and augmentations of course design, implementation, and materials
o. Student work samples
p. Number of preparations
q. Amount and quality of student writing collected, commented on, and evaluated
r. New technology and teaching aids used
s. Fulfilling responsibilities as an advisor
t. Personal letters and evaluations by students
u. Evaluation by Chairperson
v. Availability and student-instructor interaction
w. Overall self-assessment of instructional role(s)
x. Professional growth application to classroom
y. Recommendations/assessments from faculty members outside the department
z. Coteaching with others
aa. Participation in programs that promote intellectual growth and instructional development
bb. Sponsorship of learning opportunities beyond the classroom but relevant to the discipline
Active, constructive participation in departmental and institutional affairs is expected. Because of the qualitative nature of service, the candidate should carefully document the value as well as the extent of their service contributions.
Cautionary Note on Professional vs. Nonprofessional Support:
Any general community service that a faculty member wishes to be considered must be demonstrated as having relevance to the institution, department, or the faculty member’s field of specialty or development as a professional.
The following is a partial list of evidence of departmental, institutional, and professional support. This list is not meant to be exhaustive, nor is the use of any particular item obligatory. This list is not in any order of importance or preference.
a. Value and extent of departmental and institutional committee participation
b. Special services
c. Willingness and initiative in reaching departmental and institutional goals
d. Relevant community services
e. Peer evaluation of contributions to the department
f. Departmental forms or reports from departmental faculty committees
g. Recruitment of majors and students generally
h. Participation in tenure and promotion reviews
i. Reviewing colleagues’ course materials and manuscripts
j. Mentoring junior colleagues
k. Serving as departmental advisor on library acquisitions
l. Actively working to build library acquisitions in one’s area of expertise and teaching
m. Acting as consultant to other faculty members or administrators in an area of teaching expertise
n. Providing service to a disciplinary organization
o. Representing institution or field on external boards or commissions
p. Being interviewed as a professional on subjects of public interest
q. Advising campus organizations and clubs
r. Participating in parents’ or alumni events
s. Attending departmental and institutional presentations and workshops
t. Collegiality and professionalism
u. Offering faculty or student workshops in areas of one’s professional expertise
v. Establishing or working on a community literacy project
w. Organizing events, professional conferences, or conference panels
x. Evaluation by chairperson
y. Collaboration in course design, implementation, and materials
z. Providing guidance for a student project not associated with assigned workload
aa. Providing out of class seminars to students on academic and student affairs topics
bb. Sponsorship of independent student work
cc. Editing a professional journal or serving as a reviewer/juror
dd. Serving as an elected or appointed officer of a professional association
The candidate must demonstrate that s/he has kept current with advances in areas of expertise and teaching duties and has maintained significant professional growth. Scholarship, whether of discovery, of integration, of application, or of teaching, is by definition knowledge resulting from study and research. Knowledge gained by faculty in order to be current and competent in their areas of instruction is therefore the essence and goal of scholarship. The material byproducts of scholarly activity are of value only insofar as they appropriately and effectively document or disseminate such knowledge. Reviews by one’s peers judging scholarly activity to be meritorious and significant is a necessary form of documentation.
Cautionary Note on the Use of Publications in the Evaluation of Scholarly Activity: Publications, if submitted for consideration in evaluating scholarly activity, should not be used as the only criterion. Moreover, the value and relevance of the scholarly work to the candidate’s professional expertise and teaching, as well the importance of the material to the field, should be given precedence over the number of any publications submitted, the number of pages published, or the form and place of publication. Candidates should also provide peer evaluation if a publication is not in a refereed journal.
In addition, publication of books or journal articles should not be singled out as specific requirements for promotion and/or tenure, so long as faculty carry a full twelve hour load each semester. As stated in ADE guidelines, “English teachers should spend no more than twelve hours per week per semester in the classroom,” and “Institutions that require faculty members to publish for tenure and promotion should lower teaching loads, especially for junior faculty members.” Second, these courses (in both literature and composition) are larger than the maximum recommended as professionally responsible (20 students maximum in composition courses; 15 in developmental courses; and 25 in writing-intensive literature courses) (74). Third, as stated in ADE guidelines, the hours spent in the classroom constitute only a fraction of an English teacher’s responsibility. That responsibility includes time spent in organizing and preparing material to be used in the classroom and in responding to work students have done inside and outside the classroom, whether in literature or in composition courses. It also includes hours spent in the office working with students individually and hours spent in the professional study that is necessary for keeping up with current scholarship. (74)
Fourth, publication should not be a requirement for promotion and/or tenure because of the distinct limitations of the institution’s financial, material, and personnel resources for supporting research generally. Fifth, publication should not be a requirement for promotion and/or tenure because of the institution’s primary emphasis on the quality of teaching. As expressed in Missouri Western’s mission statement, we are “a learning community focused on students as individuals and as members of society.” Sixth, the valuation of and opportunities for publication vary widely from one area of expertise to another, even within the same department.
In sum, requiring of all faculty any single professional growth activity, such as journal article publication, either for its own sake or as an abstract expectation divorced from the larger context of serving students and the people of the region, detracts from MWSU’s mission and distorts the range and value of other scholarly and professional growth activities. All scholarly activity will be valued for purposes of promotion and tenure according to its value in maintaining currency and competence in the candidate’s area of instruction.
The following is a partial list of evidence of scholarly activity. This list is not meant to be exhaustive, nor is the use of any particular item except for peer review obligatory. This list is not in any order of importance or preference.
a. Further education
b. Accounts of appropriate and productive travel
c. Reading and preparatory research for teaching or presenting on new/emerging subjects
d. Presentations at professional conferences
e. Participatory experiences relevant to disciplinary knowledge
f. Publications (to include books, articles, book chapters, review articles, edited volumes introducing new topics and ideas, creative writing, computer software, translations, external documents with scholarly content such as grant proposals and consulting reports, concordances, textbooks, bibliographical essays, monographs, works in professional and popular publications which demonstrate high standards of disciplinary practice, etc.)
g. Audience and scope of presentations
h. Relevance of presentations to teaching assignment
i. Recommendations/assessments from faculty members outside the department
j. Preparing, presenting, and attending workshops
k. Speaking engagements calling on professional expertise
l. Collecting and distributing information through electronic forums
m. Substantive participation in electronic lists
n. Editing of journals and journal issues
o. Actively working to build library acquisitions in one’s area of expertise and teaching
p. Meaningful revisions and augmentations of program design, implementation, and materials based on significant scholarship
q. Learning and using new technology and teaching aids
r. Scholarly service to a disciplinary organization
s. Reviews of others’ scholarly work
t. Development of instructional materials or pedagogical innovations
u. Substantial and documented reading of current scholarship in one’s areas of instruction
v. Studies on methods, assessment procedures, and improvement of teaching
w. Creation and maintenance of professional websites and databases
x. Citation of one’s work by other scholars
y. Faculty sponsored student research
z. Reviews and commentaries on colleagues’ manuscripts or teaching materials
Boyer, E. L. “Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate.” Princeton: The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 1990.
The Chair’s Reference: ADE and MLA Guidelines and Committee Statements. ADE Bulletin 132 (Fall 2002).
Diamond, R. M. “Defining Scholarship for the Twenty-first Century.” Scholarship in the Postmodern Era: New Venues, New Values, New Visions. Ed. K. J. Zahorski. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2002.