Department of History
September 17, 2008
All ranked faculty in the Department of History are expected to participate in three broad areas of activity: Teaching, Research, and Service. All evaluations of ranked faculty, for whatever purpose, will be made in these three areas. All faculty members are expected to carry out their activities in a manner consistent with the American Historical Association’s statement on Standards of Professional Conduct.[*]
1.0 Performance Reviews – Overview
1.1 Period of review
All tenured faculty, probationary faculty, and renewable instructors will submit annual performance reports to the department head. Performance evaluations shall be carried out on an annual basis for all faculty members.
1.2 Establishing weightings
Each year, based on a schedule determined by the CHPA, all History Department faculty will discuss with the Department Head the desired percentage weightings to assign to each of the three areas of activity. Those weightings should be consistent with guidelines provided by the University and the College.
1.3 Merit Evaluation Committee
- Only tenured faculty members are eligible to serve on the Merit Evaluation Committee.
- Faculty will not serve consecutive terms unless no other faculty members are eligible.
- All ranked faculty are eligible to participate in Merit Evaluation Committee elections.
- The department head will hold an election for the Committee during May.
- The Committee will consist of five members with two-year staggered terms.
- All ranked faculty will vote for three at-large members of the Committee
- The Professors and Associate Professors will elect one member each to the Committee.
- New Committees will hold their organizational meeting within two weeks of election.
- The Committee will select its own chair.
- Committee members will not discuss Committee activities or their own activities on the Committee with anyone outside the Committee.
- Members of the Committee who believe that the Committee itself is acting unfairly should discuss this issue with the Committee chair. If the issue is not resolved, members may bring such issues to the department head, dean, provost, or the Equal Opportunity Officer.
- The charge of this Committee is to:
- Provide the department head with narrative evaluations of the performance of each faculty member.
- Provide the department head with performance rankings of each faculty member.
- Suggest changes to this Compensation Plan to the department as required by the University or College, or to improve the plan.
1.4 Evaluation procedures
1.4.1 Each faculty member’s performance will be evaluated in each area by all five members of the Merit Evaluation Committee.
1.4.2 The overall evaluation in each area will be taken as the median (not average) of the five rankings.
188.8.131.52 Each committee member will be evaluated by the chair of the Personnel Committee together with the four other committee members.
1.53 Committee members will submit their evaluations anonymously through the departmental secretary. Evaluations should be accompanied by a brief narrative assessment explaining the ratings assigned for each area, justifying any rankings other than “3”.
1.4.3 The department secretary will provide copies of the rankings and narratives to the chair of the committee.
1.4.4 The Committee will meet to discuss evaluations for which there is no consensus and allow Committee members to change their rankings and narratives if they choose to do so.
1.4.5 Each individual Committee members’ narrative assessments and rankings will be forwarded anonymously to the department head.
1.4.6 The Merit Evaluation Committee will evaluate faculty members exclusively on their performance with respect to this document.
1.4.7 First-Year faculty members have a choice to participate fully in the compensation system or choose to receive an average of the percent raise in his or her quartile provided satisfactory performance is evidenced as part of the annual tenure review in January.
1.4.8 Individual committee members will not seek out additional information, but the Committee as a whole may do so.
1.5 Department Head review
1.5.1 The department head will utilize narrative assessments and rankings from the Merit Evaluations Committee, as well as consultation with Committee members, as a component in assigning rankings.
1.5.2 The department head will use weightings for each area of activity to construct a single composite number for each faculty member.
1.5.3 The department head will provide the evaluated faculty member with:
- Copies of the Merit Evaluation Committee’s narrative reviews and the Committee’s ratings in the three performance areas
- The department head’s own narrative review and ratings
- A written rationale for any differences between the Committee evaluations and the department head evaluations
1.5.4 The department head will forward his/her evaluations to the CHPA Dean.
The decision-making process for assigning annual salaries should foster an open and encouraging environment for faculty performance. Accordingly, faculty evaluations shall observe the highest standards of collegiality, be based on coherent, published policy and administered fairly. To ensure transparency, faculty shall be allowed to review the departmental evaluation process and his or her resulting performance ratings as well as provide a written response to a performance evaluation. A faculty member who is dissatisfied with his/her performance rating(s) may appeal the rating(s).
Only a faculty member's final composite performance rating may be appealed.[†]
1.6.1 A faculty member who is dissatisfied with his/her final composite performance rating should first request a meeting with the department head to discuss the processes and underlying rationales by which the performance rating was determined.
1.6.2 After meeting with the department head, the faculty member may request a formal review of the rating by submitting a written appeal to the department head stating the reasons for questioning the rating.
1.6.3 The department head must provide to the faculty member a written response to the appeal. At the request of the faculty member, the appeal, along with the department head response and other supporting materials, is forwarded to the College Compensation Committee.
1.6.4 At any time, any employee who believes that they have been discriminated against under this policy for any reason not related to job performance may directly consult the Office for Equity and Diversity.
2.0 Evaluation guidelines
2.1 Basic Required Materials
All faculty members are expected to submit to the Merit Evaluation Committee the following basic materials:
- CHPA Faculty Activity Survey
- Narrative self-review of teaching, research and service
- All syllabi
- Student statistical evaluation scores of teaching
- Evidence of publications
- Evidence of ongoing research
- Evidence of service
To support ranking 4 or 5 in certain areas, additional evidence may be required as detailed in the sections 3.0, 4.0, and 5.0.
2.2 Expectations for rating of 3 (Competent):
For a rating of 3 for a category, the faculty member should perform well in the basic responsibilities outlined below, without any major deficiencies in any of these basic responsibilities. A rating of “3” will be the normal starting point for each evaluation, with faculty rankings adjusted up or down depending upon the evidence provided.
2.3 Expectations for rating of 4 (Commendable) or 5 (Exceptional):
For a rating of 4 or 5 for a category, the faculty member should perform well in all of the basic responsibilities outlined in below, and should, in addition, demonstrate significant contributions in several of the meritorious activities as indicated below. A rating of 4 indicates overall performance significantly above the basic responsibilities. A rating of 5 indicates overall outstanding performance.
2.4 Rating of 1 (Unsatisfactory) or 2 (Development needed):
Ratings of 1 and 2 reflect an assessment that the performance of the faculty member is significantly deficient. A rating of 2 for a category will normally indicate a significant deficiency in performance of at least one of the basic responsibilities outlined below. A rating of 1 for a category normally indicates significant deficiency in at least two basic responsibilities.
2.5 Special exceptions:
The examples of meritorious activities listed in this document do not include all possible meritorious activities. Faculty members whose professional activities do not fit readily into the examples contained in this document may request special consideration from the Committee in any area. Such requests must include appropriate documentation.
3.0 Teaching Evaluation
3.1 General principles:
Historians believe that good teaching entails accuracy and rigor in communicating factual information, and strives always to place such information in context to convey its larger significance. Integrity in teaching means presenting competing interpretations with fairness and intellectual honesty. Doing so supports the most important goal of teaching: exciting the interest of those who are encountering a new historical topic for the first time, leading them toward the insight that history is a process of living inquiry, not an inert collection of accepted facts.[‡] Teaching includes, but is not limited to, all activities involving instruction of students in the classroom or delivered through electronic media, advising of students, direction of undergraduate and graduate research, independent readings, revision of courses and teaching methods, and participation in workshops and seminars devoted to instruction of students. Teaching also includes the design of new courses, course materials, methods, and the offering of the department’s required courses. Grants which fund any of these activities are included as well.
3.2.0 Evaluating teaching effectiveness:
3.2.1 To evaluate teaching effectiveness the Merit Evaluation Committee may use four kinds of evidence:
- Student statistical evaluations of teaching
- Student written comments
- Peer review of teaching materials
184.108.40.206 Student statistical evaluation:
Research indicates that student evaluation scores are reliable indicators of those characteristics of teaching which students can judge. The current evaluation instrument includes five questions which are likely to be both valid and reliable:
- The teacher came to class well prepared and conducted the class in an organized fashion
- The teacher presented the material for this class in a clear and understandable manner
- The teacher treated students with respect
- The teacher was accessible to students outside the classroom
- The instructor is an effective teacher
220.127.116.11 Student written comments:
The student evaluation instrument contains space for written comments. Student comments may provide an explanation for the statistical evaluation. Faculty members claiming levels 4 or 5 may submit written comments as evidence in support of their claims. Faculty members producing composite scores weaker than 2.5 for any course must submit all student written comments to the Merit Evaluation Committee.
Faculty members claiming level 3 in teaching should provide the Merit Evaluation Committee with a brief self-review showing how they meet each of the characteristics of an effective teacher. Those claiming more meritorious levels will be expected to submit a more nuanced review of their teaching effectiveness discussing how they meet level 3 and addressing at least several characteristics of level 4 and 5. Self-review may also include descriptions of special assignments meant to diversify student experiences, the way in which courses meet accreditation goals, teaching awards, commendations, news stories, etc. and curricular grants.
18.104.22.168 Peer Review
The Merit Evaluation Committee will review the following items to determine teaching effectiveness:
- All syllabi
- Sample graded student assignments for each course to support claims of highly effective teaching
- Student written comments when appropriate under 22.214.171.124
- Copies of all advising notes when special claims are made for meritorious advisement
- Documentation of awards, grants, or other materials addressed in the self-review as part of a claim for highly effective teaching
3.3.0 The evaluation process
The Merit Evaluation Committee will use the four kinds of evidence listed in 3.2.1 to determine the appropriate level of teacher effectiveness. Claims of level 4 or 5 normally require evidence of meeting at least two of the criteria 3.4.2.
3.4.0 Characteristics of effective teaching
3.4.1 All effective (competent) teachers are expected to:
- Prepare appropriate syllabi (including General Education goals where required) and teaching materials for all assigned classes
- Meet classes reliably and on time
- Notify the department head in advance about any class period that he or she must miss due to professional commitments or personal reasons
- Competently communicate appropriate material to classes. Lecture material should be up-to-date and instructor should be aware of relevant developments in the field
- Provide fair and timely feedback to students by returning exams and assignments in a timely manner
- Exhibit quality teaching as reflected in evaluations by students. Evaluation may include student evaluations for all statistically-evaluated courses over the period of merit evaluation. Note that numerical course evaluations should not be a primary criterion for determining teaching rankings because those are affected by many factors besides teaching quality (e.g., by class sizes, majors versus non-majors courses, difficulty level of courses, etc.
- Competently advise undergraduates
3.4.2 Highly effective (commendable and exceptional) teachers:
- Offer a new course or courses which they have not offered previously
- Successfully redevelop courses in new media such as television, online, and DVD
- Teach departmental courses such as Writing II, Historiography, or the Senior Seminar
- Receive superior statistical teaching evaluations together with strong written comments from students
- Show innovation in teaching and/or in preparation of teaching materials. This might derive from attending workshops and teaching seminars. Attending workshops is not in and of itself meritorious.
- Actively supervise undergraduate student advanced reading, internships, or research
- Actively supervise graduate research.
- Submit one or more grant applications to support teaching activities or receive funding to support teaching activities
- Publish a textbook, or accept a contract to write or edit a textbook
- Win internal or external awards for teaching
- Prepare undergraduates for graduate or professional schools
- Train students to analyze primary sources and think critically about history
3.5 Characteristics of ineffective teaching
3.5.1 Weak statistical evaluation scores suggest the possibility that the instructor is ineffective (level 1 or 2). Such scores need to be explained in the self-evaluation.
3.5.2 Failure to comply with the expectations listed under 3.4.1 may lead to ranking of level 1 or 2 depending on the severity of the deficiency.
4.0 Research Evaluation
4.1.0 General principles:
The process of research is understood as the production and formal communication of original creative, scholarly work. Research both advances knowledge in a particular specialized academic field and encourages individual faculty development; it enhances the quality of education students receive.[§]
4.2.0 Evaluating research:
4.2.1 To evaluate research the Merit Evaluation Committee may use:
- Products of effective research, e.g. books, articles.
- of progress in research, e. g. research materials, grant applications, drafts of articles or chapters
For a new project, a faculty members will submit a brief narrative (1-2 pages) explaining what they are working on and why it is historically significant, citing previous major works and suggesting how their project will stand in relation to them. The narrative should also include a tentative research agenda which might include archives visits required and estimates of how much time will be needed for research (i.e., “the next three summers”) and for writing (i.e., “two summers”).
In the following year(s) faculty members will submit an update: a brief narrative describing what has been accomplished, where the project stands in relation to completion (including where it is in the publication process), and any modifications of the scope and nature of the project.
4.3.0 The evaluation process
The Merit Evaluation Committee will use the three types of evidence listed in 4.2.1 to determine the appropriate level of research effectiveness to be assigned to faculty.
4.4.0 Characteristics of effective research
4.4.1 To receive a ranking of “3” in research, a faculty member should demonstrate significant progress in ongoing scholarly research that has the potential of peer-reviewed publication or dissemination in a venue appropriate to the subject. Faculty may demonstrate such progress through any one of the following activities:
- Engaging in significant reading of new secondary literature in their field of research at the beginning of a project
- Conducting research in primary sources
- Writing and/or revising drafts of articles or book chapters
- Delivering a paper at a state, regional, national or international conference
- Receipt of an internal research grant
4.4.2 Expectations for rating of 4 ( Highly Meritorious) or 5 (Exceptional): For a rating of 4 or 5 the faculty member should perform well in all of the basic responsibilities and should also demonstrate significant contributions above those expected for a rating of 3. A rating of 4 should indicate overall performance significantly above the basic responsibilities. A rating of 5 should indicate overall outstanding performance.
Level 5 – (Exceptional) The following merits consideration for a ranking of 5
- Publication or unequivocal acceptance of a scholarly monograph within the last three years
- Publication or unequivocal acceptance of two or more scholarly articles in referred journals or chapters in scholarly monographs, or equivalent work.
- Level 4 – (Highly Meritorious) The following merits consideration for a ranking of 4:
- Publication or unequivocal acceptance of a scholarly article in a referred journal, a chapter in a scholarly monograph, or equivalent work.
- An advance contract for a scholarly monograph in progress (requires evidence of progress)
- Principle Investigator in receipt of an externally funded grant.
- Submitting a major external grant application or applications
Note: Publication of a scholarly article, chapter, receipt or submission of a grant, or equivalent work is the minimum required for consideration for a ranking of 4 under this compensation policy. The author may claim a higher ranking based on considerations such as the quality of the journal, or receipt of an award or other special recognition.
4.5.0 Characteristics of ineffective research
Faculty members merit a rank below Level 3 if deficient in the area of research. Faculty members merit Level 1 by failing to engage in research. Faculty members merit Level 2 by failing to demonstrate significant progress in ongoing scholarly research that has the potential of peer-reviewed publication or dissemination in a venue appropriate to the subject.
4.6.0 Faculty with 6 and 12 hour teaching loads
Tenured and tenure track faculty members normally have 3 hours of reassigned time for research. Those faculty members with 6 or more hours of reassigned time in research should be more productive than those with 3 hours. Performance expectations for those with 6 hours of reassigned time should be correspondingly greater than those with 3 hours of reassigned time for the assignment of merit. The expectations for those who do not receive 3 hours of reassigned time for research will be correspondingly less.
4.6.1 Faculty without reassigned time for research
Faculty members without reassigned time for research are expected to keep current with their fields of specialization. Expected activities might include:
- Book reviews
- Conference attendance
- Conference papers
- Minor publications
- 4.6.2 Faculty with 6 hours reassigned to research
- Faculty members with 6 hours reassigned to research are expected (level 3) to maintain a research agenda leading to significant publication. This may be demonstrated by:
- A contract to publish a monograph through a leading scholarly venue
- The publication or unequivocal acceptance of articles at an average of two every three years in leading scholarly journals
5.0 Service Evaluation
5.1.0 General principles
Faculty service in the History Department serves three purposes: to support the academic tradition of shared governance, to support the professional and organizational needs of the discipline, and to bring the products of department work to the public for its benefit.
University service in support of shared governance includes, but is not limited to, service on program, departmental, college and university committees and task forces. Professional service includes but is not limited to, contributions to professional organizations within the field of history. Public service includes the use of professional skills and expertise to serve community, state, national or international public constituents.
Faculty members are sometimes reassigned time to permit concentration on a particular service activity. Because reassigned time should allow the faculty member to be more productive in that activity, the performance expectations should be correspondingly greater for the assignment of merit. Having reassigned time for service, per se, should in no way detract from the faculty member’s ability to receive a meritorious rating for the activity. The faculty member’s record of accomplishment should, however, reflect an increased level of achievement commensurate with that reassigned time.
5.2.0 Evaluating service
5.2.1 To evaluate service the Merit Evaluation Committee may use three kinds of evidence:
- Self review
- Products of Service
- Peer review (for levels 4 and 5)
Faculty claiming level 3 in service should provide the Merit Evaluation Committee with a brief self-review showing how they met each of the criteria for level 3 of service. Those claiming more meritorious levels will be expected to submit a more nuanced review of their service discussing how they meet level 3 and at least some of the criteria for level 4 and 5. Self-review for those claiming level 4 or 5 should include more than merely a list of committees or other service tasks. It should address duties, efforts expended in and accomplishments resulting from such service.
126.96.36.199 Products of Service and Peer Review
The Merit Evaluation Committee will review the following items for faculty claiming level 4 or 5 in service:
- Products of service (reports produced, policies established, reviews completed, etc.)
- Evaluations of faculty service produced by committee chairs, community organizations, student organizations, etc.
5.3.0 The Evaluation process
The Merit Evaluation Committee will use the two kinds of evidence discussed in 5.2.1 to determine the appropriate level of service to be assigned to faculty. Faculty seeking level 4 or 5 in service should demonstrate highly effective performance in activities comparable to those listed in 5.4.2.
5.4.0 Characteristics of effective service
5.4.1 To achieve level 3 in service, faculty members should
- Regularly attend department meetings
- Actively participate on department committees
- Display a willingness to serve on college and university committees
Frequently participate in department-sponsored activities such as History Day, History Bowl, the Mid-America Conference, the alumni dinner, etc. (Faculty need not attend every department function to be judged competent in the area of service.)
5.4.2 Examples of service worthy of level 4 or 5 include but are not limited to highly effective service
- As chair or member of a particularly labor-intensive department committee (e. g. Personnel Committee, Merit Evaluation Committee, search committee)
- As chair or member of a particularly labor-intensive college or university committee (e. g. PEC, CGEIP, Faculty Senate) As the main organizer for a significant academic conference (e. g. Mid-America, Missouri Conference, and other comparable conferences)
- As the primary coordinator of History Day, History Bowl, or the Alumni Dinner
- Of a professional nature beyond the University such as professional editorial duties, serving as an officer in a professional society
- Principle Investigator in receipt of a grant in support of professional service
5.5 Characteristics of ineffective service
Faculty members merit a rank of 1 or 2 if deficient in the area of service. A merit ranking of 2 indicates a level of service that is noticeably below expected levels. A merit ranking of 1 indicates a negligible level of service. Examples of service indicative of merit ranking of 2 include:
- Often miss department meetings without cause
- Often ignore departmental committee responsibilities
- Often refuse service related to all department sponsored activities such as History Bowl and History Day
- Often refuse invitations to serve the University or discipline in a professional capacity
Habitual refusal to perform any of the services mentioned in 5.4.1 indicates a level of engagement worthy of a merit ranking of 1.
[†] Faculty Handbook ¶5.3
[‡] Adapted from the AHA Statement on Standards of Professional Conduct, 2005
[§] Faculty Handbook, Section 188.8.131.52