Non-Tenured Faculty Observation (Peer Review Process)

Guidelines for faculty

The concept of peer review of teaching in college/universities has evolved significantly based on research that has occurred over the past decade or so. We are modifying the College of Music peer review system to encompass that research and to make our peer review process more reliable, repeatable, and fair.

The evaluation that takes place through the College of Music Teaching Observation Procedure is inherently summative.  Junior faculty members can solicit formative feedback at any time outside the official procedure.  Mentors, other colleagues in the College, and the Academic Advancement Network are all good resources.

The Office for Undergraduate Studies will notify Area Chairs responsible for observations within the first week of the semester. The Area Chair, or designee, will serve as the committee chairperson. During the first three weeks of the semester, the Office for Undergraduate Studies, the junior faculty member, and the committee chairperson will assemble a committee of three faculty members and schedule two observations.  By the end of the second week of the semester, the junior faculty member may submit to the committee chairperson a list of class meetings or lessons that are inappropriate for observation, along with a reason for each.  The first observation will take place no earlier than the fourth week of the semester and no later than the end of the eighth week.  The second observation will take place at least one week after the first.  By the end of the third week of the semester, the two dates will be communicated in writing to all parties.  Videotaped observations are not permitted; all committee members must be physically present for both classes, or both lessons.

At least one week prior to the first observation, each committee member will receive the following:  (1) lesson plans, syllabi, assignments, and other course materials (provided by the junior faculty member), (2) the committee chairperson’s letter and the junior faculty member’s self-reflection from the immediately preceding semester (provided by the Office for Undergraduate Studies).

Worksheets are provided for the reviewers to fill out as desired; they are designed to be helpful reminders of what we as a college define as hallmarks of good teaching. Only the faculty members of the review committee will see those worksheets.

Between the two observations, the junior faculty member may request informal feedback from the committee chairperson.

Following the second observation, the chairperson will assemble the reactions of all committee members.  At this time, the junior faculty member may also choose to submit a brief self-reflection on the two classes or lessons.  Once all of this information has been gathered, the chairperson will write a summative letter and deliver it to the Office for Undergraduate Studies no later than one month following the second observation.  A copy will be provided to the junior faculty member both digitally and in hard copy.  In response to the letter, the junior faculty will write a self-reflection and deliver it to the Office for Undergraduate Studies within one month after receiving the chairperson’s letter.

Both letters, one from the committee chairperson and one from the junior faculty member, will be placed on file.  Both will be considered annually (alongside SIRS forms) as part of the merit pay evaluation process, as well as for reappointment and tenure decisions.  Each subsequent observation committee will read the two documents from the previous one semester prior to the first observation.

Area Chair Checklist for Non-Tenured Faculty Teaching Observations