As an AAU head, faculty performance reviews are one of the most important obligations you discharge. A performance review is an opportunity to provide constructive feedback to a faculty member. An effective performance review will identify successes and accomplishments over the period being reviewed, as well as identify deficiencies in performance and suggest a path how those deficiencies may be remedied in the future. A performance review must be a fair and objective judgment supported by evidence.
A key to writing a fair and honest performance review is to have clear criteria and standards against which the faculty member is being reviewed. The criteria should lay out AAU expectations for teaching, research, and service so that the faculty member being reviewed can clearly identify for themselves how they measure against the criteria and can understand the comments expressed by the head in relation to those criteria.
For untenured faculty members, the performance review should clearly outline whether the faculty member is on track to obtain tenure. This is an opportunity to provide constructive feedback so that the faculty member will meet the department and university’s requirements for tenure.
For tenured faculty members, the performance review is an essential part of ensuring that the member under review is continuing to meet all his/her obligations with respect to teaching, research, and administrative duties. These duties do not diminish simply because a person has attained tenure.
Senate Bylaws and Collective Agreement Provisions
When does the performance review have to be completed?
Under Senate Bylaw 126.96.36.199, a faculty member who is untenured must have performance reviews conducted following the first, third, and fifth full year of employment. This means that in the first year of appointment, no performance review is conducted, but that in the second year of appointment (following the first year) the performance review is undertaken prior to October 1 of that year. A second performance review takes place in the fourth year of appointment and in the sixth year of appointment, both prior to October 1 of the year.
An untenured faculty member may also request a performance review outside the above periods, but must communicate that request to the head prior to September 15 of the year. (188.8.131.52)
Under Senate Bylaw 184.108.40.206 all tenured faculty must have a performance review completed every three years.
Ancillary Academic Staff and Librarians:
Ancillary academic staff and librarians are also subject to performance reviews every three years where they have permanence (see Collective Agreement Article 5.32).
What happens after I have completed the performance review?
After a performance review has been completed, and a copy of the review given to the faculty member being reviewed, the faculty member has a right to write a response and have it included in his/her personnel file. This response must be received prior to October 8. (Under the Collective Agreement Article 5.32, the member has five working days in which to respond to any performance review.) There is no obligation on the head to modify or change the original performance review in light of any comments received, but both the original performance review and any response must be filed with the Dean’s office by October 8.
What consequences flow following a performance review?
All performance reviews, together with any responses, become part of the faculty member’s personnel file and are made available to the renewal, promotion and tenure committee. (22.5.1.).
Tenured Faculty, Ancillary Academic Staff, and Librarians:
Where the three-year performance review is "unsatisfactory," a member is placed on annual performance reviews until such time as the performance moves back to satisfactory. (Collective Agreement 5.32).
A faculty member, librarian or ancillary academic staff who has received two consecutive ‘unsatisfactory’ performance reviews shall not be eligible to receive PTR increments in the following year, and until performance has returned to satisfactory. (Collective Agreement Article A.1.[a]).