December

Quick Overview

  • Discuss mandated communications – See Evaluation below
  • Collect written documentation of class visits conducted during the fall semester
  • Insure that student interviews for non-tenured colleagues have been conducted, as appropriate (fall and/or spring)
  • Monitor course enrollment figures for the spring semester
  • Refer to the Hiring Guidelines for guidelines on recruiting, conducting interviews, writing offer letters, and other faculty search procedures.
  • Receive annual instructions on Curricular Revisions due the registrar’s office and begin planning for February submission
  • Submit budget requests
  • Finalize Bolin Fellow review process and submit nominations to the Associate Dean of the Faculty.

Evaluation

Once the mandated communication has been approved by the dean of faculty and sent to the non-tenured faculty member, the chair should meet with the faculty member to discuss the content of the letter. For more information please see the part on Mandated Communuication in the October section of the Chair’s Handbook. Ideally, discussion of the letter (by phone if the faculty member is away) should occur at most one month from the time that it was sent to the faculty member. The dean of the faculty asks to be notified when these meetings have taken place and a signature page is used for this purpose. (If the faculty member is away, please have him/her send an email to Barb Pietras stating you have discussed the letter.) These discussions should occur as soon as possible as they reflect on a faculty member’s performance in the previous academic year.

(also January) Obtain written comments from tenured members of the department who have visited non-tenured faculty classes. As described in the Faculty Handbook: “The visitor should discuss his or her observations with the untenured faculty member after the set of visits. A written statement of the strengths and weaknesses of the classes observed and suggestions for improvement should be given to the untenured faculty member and to the chair.” (Section II-L Faculty Handbook)

Some departments will conduct student interviews for non-tenured faculty members at the end of the fall semester. Other departments, however, may wait until the end of the academic year to do all interviews, including those from fall semester classes. Refer to the Section II-L of the Faculty Handbook or to your department evaluation methods for details.

Staffing/Hiring

With respect to scheduling CAP interviews, please remember that these are required of all candidates for tenure-track and/or tenured positions. Please contact Justine Beringer  in the dean of the faculty office to schedule appointments for the interviews. A CAP interview is not required for visiting positions, unless expressly requested by the department chair.

Please note that the department chair or a departmental representative should accompany all candidates to the CAP interview to provide moral support but not to participate in the interview process.

When scheduling other activities for the candidates’ visits, we have been notified by the Director of Instructional Technology (Jonathan Morgan-Leamon) that it would be helpful to meet with any faculty candidates to learn about their potential needs and expectations.

Curriculum

You will receive annual Curricular Revision instructions from the Registrar’s Office. Your Curricular Revisions report is due to the Registrar on February 1. Therefore, it is important to consider the following sometime in December or early January:

a) Ask members of your unit about their course preferences for the following year. This can also serve as a moment to confirm your understanding of their leave status and courseload expectation for the upcoming year. Keep in mind that this includes all new courses from current and incoming faculty.

b) Consult with chairs of other academic units to which you have already made commitments (as laid out in the previous year’s Staffing Report, Part I) as to how you wish to realize those commitments.

c) Consult with chairs of departments and programs with which you cross-list courses to confirm that the appropriate cross-listing will appear in each department/program’s course packet.

d) Remember that the CEA will review all significant changes to the course packet prior to those changes being presented to the full faculty at a spring faculty meeting

e) Check course enrollment figures for the spring semester.

Budget

Budget requests for the following academic year are due mid-December.

Other

In December, the Dean of the Faculty solicits annual activity report updates from all faculty, with a due date in early January. Faculty are asked to give copies to chairs. The annual updates facilitate spring semester conversations between each chair, the dean of the faculty, the president, and the provost. See February for details.