Michigan State University
Michigan State University
Department of Linguistics & Germanic, Slavic, Asian and African Languages
Criteria and Procedures for Peer Evaluation
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Criteria and Procedures for Peer Evaluation

(Revised:  4/29/94, 2/24/97, 4/18/97, 3/28/00, 1/22/14, 12/5/14, 4/10/15, 2/25/18, 4/27/18, 9/18/18)

Criteria and Procedures for Peer Evaluation PDF

Part I:  Criteria and Procedures for Peer Evaluation of Tenure System Faculty

This document functions in two ways: a) it describes the value that the Department places on a variety of activities and, b) it sets forth the manner by which each member of the faculty is to be evaluated. The activities are: teaching, scholarship, and service and outreach. 

I.  Criteria and Evidence

Faculty should present evidence for evaluation in a concise manner, adhering to the guidelines below. 

A.  TEACHING

1.  Definition

Teaching encompasses the development, preparation, and presentation of scheduled courses. Teaching also includes direction of instructional programs (including study abroad), teaching assistants and instructors themselves as well as supervision of theses, dissertations, and independent studies. 

2.  Supporting Documentation

(See Appendix: Guidelines for Peer Evaluation Fact Sheets)

3.  Committee Evaluation

The Faculty Evaluation Committee should consider the appropriateness of the syllabus, materials, and assignments, as well as student evaluations and other evidence of effective teaching. In addition, the committee should be sensitive to the burden imposed by new course preparation and extenuating circumstances as noted by the faculty member. Committee members should also consider the amount of individual student supervision and other instructional obligations in their overall judgment of a faculty member's teaching performance. 

B.  SCHOLARLY ACTIVITY

1.  Definition

Scholarship is the creation of new knowledge or insightful commentary on existing knowledge. 

2.  Supporting Documentation

(See Appendix:  Guidelines for Peer Evaluation Fact Sheets)

3.  Committee Evaluation

The Faculty Evaluation Committee should consider the scholarly activity of the faculty member, both with regard to its quality, quantity, and type. For published works, the committee should consider only those items which have actually appeared in print by the end of the calendar year being evaluated. Grant proposals should be considered for the year in which they are accepted or rejected. 

C.  SERVICE AND OUTREACH

1.  Definition

Service consists of contributions, beyond the categories mentioned above, made to students, the university, the profession, and the public at large. It is understood to refer to those contributions relating to one's professional competence. 

2.  Supporting Documentation

(See Appendix:  Guidelines for Peer Evaluation Fact Sheets)

3.  Committee Evaluation

The Faculty Evaluation Committee should take into account both the amount of time devoted to the service activity as well as the importance of the activity itself. 

II.  Procedures

 A.  The following procedures will be used by the Department to determine merit increases that will be effective in the subsequent academic year. 

B.  Preparation and submission of documents for evaluation will be accomplished in the Spring Semester according to the following procedures: 

1.  Each faculty member shall submit a Fact Sheet and supporting materials to the department by the first Monday in February. These sheets shall summarize information for the past calendar year (January 1 - December 31), and shall follow the format and guidelines laid out in the document Guidelines for Peer Evaluation Fact Sheets.

2.  Faculty shall upload to a FERPA compliant file-sharing program a copy of their current Fact Sheet, the preceding year's Fact Sheet, and a pdf of their FAIS  to serve as supporting materials. There should be three files uploaded: 1) the current year's Fact Sheet; 2) the preceding year's Fact Sheet; 3) the pdf file generated by FAIS

3.  The purpose for including the Fact Sheet from the preceding year is to give a broader perspective on each faculty member's accomplishments and to help rectify possible anomalies, as well as to allow recognition of a monograph or similarly substantial piece of work in both the year of its appearance and the subsequent year. 

C.  The work of the Faculty Evaluation Committee and the Chair will consist of:

1.  A preliminary FEC meeting to discuss and establish guidelines and procedures by February 15. 

2.  A careful review of faculty records including Fact Sheets, the student evaluation forms, and other relevant material included in faculty members' files. 

3.  Each FEC member shall submit comments on and provide a numerical evaluation of the file of each faculty member (excluding his/her own file or that of a spouse/significant other) according to the following scale:

FEC Merit Scale.PNG

Within each of the three areas of production--teaching, scholarly activity, service and outreach--each faculty member's merit will be evaluated according to the 0-5 scale. The overall rating, which also uses the 0-5 scale, reflects assessment of the faculty member's performance as a whole. 

In evaluation of faculty, the following shall serve as general guidelines for the awarding of numerical rankings. The examples given are not intended to be exhaustive, but rather as some possible indicators of a specific level of performance. The bottom and top rankings of 0 and 5 are reserved for extraordinary cases. 

0 - No merit

Teaching - Significantly below departmental standards: e.g., evidence of neglect of regularly assigned teaching or advising duties, lack of attention to course design or development, consistently poor student evaluations. 

Scholarly Activity - No evidence of an active research agenda: e.g., no publications, conference papers given, conferences attended, grant applications. 

Service and Outreach - Significantly below departmental standards: e.g., negligible contributions to department, university, community, or profession. 

2 to 3 - Merit

Teaching - Consistent fulfillment of regularly assigned teaching and advising duties. Evidence may include, e.g., satisfactory student evaluations, satisfactory course syllabi and other materials. 

Scholarly Activity - Evidence of an active research agenda: e.g., articles, book reviews, conference presentations, grants awarded. 

Service and Outreach - Fulfillment of regularly assigned duties: e.g., departmental, college, and/or university committees, professional and/or community involvement. 

 5 - Exceptional merit

Teaching - Evidence of outstanding performance in teaching: e.g., special recognition of excellence (awards, etc.), significant contributions to curriculum development. 

Scholarly Activity - Outstanding research productivity and quality: e.g., major publications (e.g., a book or several major articles), major research grants or fellowships. 

Service and Outreach - Exceptional service to institution, community or profession. 

4.  The Chair's final recommendation to the dean will involve careful and serious consideration of the FEC's recommendations. 

5.  By July 15, the Chair will inform each faculty member, in writing, of the results of their evaluation including their ratings in each category. They will also be informed of the average ratings for department faculty as a whole, for purposes of comparison. Whenever appropriate, such evaluations shall contain constructive and explicit recommendations and clarify expectations of what is needed to make additional progress in the tenure system. This information shall be given in a timely manner, and after receiving it individual faculty members will have an opportunity to discuss their evaluations, as well as their professional progress in general, with the Chair. 

D.  If, after receiving the written review, the faculty member disagrees with its content or chooses to provide additional documentation or comment, the faculty member shall have an opportunity to respond to the review. Any additional written faculty comment and/or documentation which is submitted within one month of the written review shall become part of the documentation for the review. 

E.  Faculty will be evaluated in terms of their performance and achievement in the areas identified in Section 1 of these Procedures. 

1.  TEACHING

2.  SCHOLARLY ACTIVITY

3.  SERVICE AND OUTREACH

F.  The Chair will also take into account other considerations in accordance with University policy and as indicated by the Office of the Provost; for example: 

1.  contributing to Lifelong Education

2.  affirmative action

3.  structural adjustments in the salary scale

4.  salary anomalies

G.  A copy of the written review, and the faculty member's response (if any), will be placed in the faculty member's departmental personnel file. The full documentation will be retained in the department office. The electronic copy of the Fact Sheet and FAIS pdf file will be archived by the department office.  

Part II:  Policy for Yearly Evaluation of Fixed-term Faculty

The following procedures will be used by the Department to determine merit increases for fixed-term faculty who are appointed for a full year if eligible for merit increase. 

A.  Procedures

Each fixed-term faculty member to be evaluated shall submit a Fact Sheet and supporting materials to the Department by the first Monday in February. These sheets shall summarize information for the past calendar year (January 1 - December 31 or August 15 - December 31 for those in the first year of appointment). 

1.  List courses taught, number of students, SIRS average, new courses developed, and TAs supervised. 

2.  Other activities may also be listed as applicable and in accordance with contractual obligations, for example, advising, study abroad activities, sponsorship of student activities, conference presentations, publications or other activities related to their teaching responsibilities. 

B.  Evaluation

Evaluation takes place by the Departmental Fixed-term Evaluation Committee (FTEC) and separate subcommittees for each person being evaluated. 

C.  Duties of the Subcommittees, FTEC, and Chair

1.  One member of each subcommittee is responsible for visiting each fixed-term faculty's class during the month of February. Following this visit, a written report will be submitted. This will become part of the evaluation document. Each subcommittee member reviews the Fact Sheet and other relevant material, fills out a comment sheet, and submits that to the Chair. 

2.  The FTEC will use the materials submitted and the report of the subcommittee to conducts its evaluation in the Spring Semester according to the following procedures: 

Rating of the teaching of each fixed-term faculty member using the following scale: 

 FEC Merit Scale.PNG

Using the same scale, FTEC members will give an overall rating to each fixed-term faculty member. 

3.  The presentation of the above ratings to the Chair no later than April 15. 

4.  The Chair will make a final determination of merit increases for fixed-term faculty, giving full consideration to the FTEC's recommendations. 

5.  The chair will inform each fixed-term faculty member in writing of the results of their evaluation by July 15. 

E.  If, after receiving the written review, the faculty member disagrees with its content or chooses to provide additional documentation or comment, he or she shall have an opportunity to respond to the review. Any additional written faculty comment and/or documentation which is submitted within one month of the receipt of the written review shall become part of the documentation for the review. 

The following procedures will be used by the Department to determine merit increases for fixed-term faculty who are appointed for only one semester. 

1.  The faculty member's supervisor will observe at least one class in the first half of the semester. if necessary, the supervisor will provide a written evaluation to the faculty member and send a copy to the chair. 

2.  If there is no supervisor, the chair or associate chair will do the observation and write the evaluation.

3.  If the faculty member has taught for at least two semesters, the supervisor may decide that no observation is necessary.