Evaluation and Promotion of Tenure-Track Faculty at Williams

This document is intended to provide an informal explanation of the processes of faculty evaluation and promotion at Williams and does not in any way supersede the relevant provisions and policy statements contained in the Williams College Faculty Handbook.  In the event that there is any inconsistency between this document and the Faculty Handbook, the Faculty Handbook controls.  For additional information, the evaluation guidelines prepared by each department and program also should be consulted.  

Please direct any questions either to the Dean of the Faculty, to a member of the Committee on Appointments and Promotions (CAP), or to the chairs of the academic departments and programs.  Suggestions for improvements or amendments to this document are welcomed by the Dean of the Faculty.

(note: download a complete copy of Evaluation and Promotion Guide 2.22.18)

Table of Contents

  • The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) defines tenure as “an indefinite appointment that can be terminated only for cause or under extraordinary circumstances such as financial exigency and program discontinuation.” (See also the Bulletin of the AAUP for report and policy documents). Tenure is thus a permanent contract for employment that can be terminated only for adequate cause, discontinuation of a program, bona fide financial exigency, or mental or physical incapacity to perform.  It provides faculty members with a degree of economic security, and safeguards their academic freedom such that they can pursue new lines of research and pedagogy, and challenge existing ideas and dogma, without fear of losing their jobs due to reprisal from colleagues, administrators or students.  Tenure also imposes a set of responsibilities on those who hold it: to practice and promote the ideals of academic honesty and integrity; to remain active and responsible as producers and disseminators of knowledge; and to participate constructively in the mentorship and evaluation of junior colleagues.

    Indeed, the tenured faculty at Williams are expected to communicate effectively with their junior colleagues regarding the criteria for promotion within the professoriate and the methods of evaluation to be employed.  While there is no single set of achievements that lead inevitably to tenure, nor a checklist of standards to be met, the evaluation process itself is meant to be transparent.  The evaluation process is also meant to be collaborative and to promote faculty career development no matter what the outcome of the reappointment and tenure reviews may be.  In assessing the performance of their junior colleagues, those with tenure can draw on their know-how as teachers, scholars and mentors—and on their experience of having come up through the ranks themselves—to offer helpful advice.  

    Even though the evaluation process is an ongoing one and of great importance, its impact on the assistant professor should be kept in reasonable perspective.  The tenured faculty and the members of the Committee on Appointments and Promotions (CAP) take their responsibilities as decision makers very seriously, but it would be wrong to assume that evaluation is overwhelmingly pervasive in the culture of the college, the academic departments, or the interdisciplinary programs.  In normal day-to-day interactions and routines, sizing up the tenure potential of junior colleagues is generally the last thing on the minds of the tenured faculty.  Evaluation is necessary, but not constant.   

    Achieving tenure is clearly an important milestone in a faculty career.  Faculty members should try to maintain a healthy outlook on the process, however, whereby the pursuit of tenure is deliberate and thoughtful and not burdened by anxiety.  Assistant professors should focus primarily on becoming excellent teachers and scholars with the confidence that professional achievement and growth will pave the way to a successful academic career.

  • At Williams, tenure-track faculty members are nearly always appointed at the rank of assistant professor following a national search.  The tenure clock normally starts at the onset of the initial appointment (regardless of whether one has completed a Ph.D. or other terminal degree) and runs for six years.  The probationary period is divided into two contract terms.  The first assistant professor contract is normally for a term of three years with a reappointment review scheduled in the fall of year three.  Those who are not reappointed either leave Williams at the end of that year, or sometimes they are offered a fourth and final year in rank.  Those who are reappointed are granted a second assistant professor contract for a term of four years.  They become eligible for an assistant professor leave in year four and then stand for promotion to the rank of associate professor in year six.  Those who are promoted assume their new title and tenured status in year seven.  Those who are not promoted may choose to serve a seventh and final year at the rank of assistant professor; they cannot stand for promotion a second time.    

    The tenure clock continues to run during the assistant professor leave whether it is for one year (the standard term) or for the maximum allowable leave term of three semesters.  A three-semester assistant professor leave can be beneficial in terms of carrying out research, publishing, and/or producing artwork, but it results in less teaching and less available data on teaching effectiveness during the tenure review.  Junior faculty members should therefore carefully consider these competing interests when planning their time away.  Those needing to strengthen their teaching records might forego an extended leave in order to gain more experience and skill in the classroom.  Conversely, those needing to bolster their scholarship might find the extra time away from the classroom to be a worthy trade-off.

    A delayed tenure review is possible for faculty members who require extra time as the result of maternity leaves, parental leaves, or medical leaves.  Those who take one or more maternity leaves may elect to delay the tenure decision by one year (i.e., one year total, not one year for each maternity leave).  Those who take more than one parental leave also may elect to delay the tenure decision by one year.  Finally, adjustments to the tenure clock for those who need to take a leave of absence for medical or other reasons are worked out with the Dean of the Faculty on a case by case basis.  (See Faculty Handbook, Section III.S for detailed policy statements.)

    An accelerated tenure review is also sometimes possible, for instance in cases of assistant professors who come to Williams after already having served for several years in a tenure-track position at another college or university.  It is very rare, however, that an incoming assistant professor would be credited with more than four years of service on the tenure clock.  It is also very rare to advance the tenure clock for any other reason, including unusual achievement in scholarship or artistic production.  Accelerated tenure reviews are conducted only by mutual agreement of the candidate, the home department or program, and the Committee on Appointments and Promotions (CAP), and only after careful consideration of structural and equity issues within the unit and at the assistant professor rank.  Such an agreement for an accelerated review does not presuppose a positive tenure decision.  Assistant professors whose tenure decisions are negative are not entitled to stand again for tenure in a subsequent year, and they normally will be eligible for only one more year of service at Williams, unless otherwise negotiated in advance. 

  • As described in the Faculty Handbook, Section II.C:

    The criteria by which the CAP judges a candidate for reappointment or promotion in the professorial ranks are the following: (1) above all, interest in and talent for sound and effective teaching of undergraduates and promise of continuing growth in ability to do so; (2) demonstrated capacity to contribute to the arts or to scholarship in the appropriate field and a perception of its relation to liberal learning; (3) significant usefulness and contribution to the College community - student advising, committee service, and so forth. Given the shifting needs of the College and the differing circumstances of departments, no precise “weights” can be attached to each of these three areas. Of the three, however, it may be said that the first two are of central importance, and exceptional strength in both is usually a requirement for appointment to tenure.

    The decision on whether to recommend promotion to tenure for a faculty member is a comparative and prospective one. There is no presumption in favor of reappointment with continuous tenure; recommendations must be seen as part of the College’s effort to identify and retain the best-qualified faculty within its means. The decision reflects a comprehensive judgment about past performance and future potential based on the particular combination of strengths demonstrated by the individual in relation to the College’s needs.

    Quite apart from the merits of individual candidates, decisions affecting tenure are subject to such structural considerations as the College’s future curricular needs, including the requirements of special strengths within a field and shifts in student interests, the number and age of tenured professors already in the department, the overall demand for staff in the College’s total program, and budgetary considerations. The College does not, however, have a tenure quota, and structural considerations are rarely the overriding factor in a negative tenure decision. Still, the standard of evaluation for teaching, scholarship, and service does become stricter when structural factors do not favor appointment to tenure. Should it become clear at any point in the career of a non-tenured faculty member that a stricter standard will most likely need to be applied, the faculty member’s yearly letter of evaluation will include a statement to that effect. For these reasons, as well as those noted in the paragraph above, a decision not to make an appointment to tenure in a particular case should not necessarily be taken to reflect a negative judgment of an individual’s performance.

  • The college’s methods and protocols for evaluating teaching, scholarship, and service are described in full in the Faculty Handbook, Section II.L.  In addition to those policy statements, all academic departments and programs and, where applicable, Evaluation Committees, issue a document of their own to describe their particular approach to evaluation (see also Section II.C of the Faculty Handbook).  These documents are distributed by the departments, programs, and evaluation committee chairs to their non-tenured faculty members each fall, with changes noted whenever they are made.  

    The Evaluation of Teaching

    Student opinion and peer review are both important in the evaluation of teaching.  Units must therefore use three different methods to evaluate the teaching of untenured faculty members. 1) The Student Course Survey (SCS); 2) A method, other than the SCS, for gathering individual student opinion; 3) a method of peer review that involves observation of the untenured faculty member’s teaching.

    On the student side, the college mandates use of the Student Course Survey (SCS) for every course.  It consists of a page of questions to which students give numerical ratings and a page inviting descriptive commentary (“blue sheets”).  Some departments substitute their own list of questions for the generic blue sheets, and individual faculty members can choose to substitute for or supplement the blue sheets with their own more specific questions.

    In addition to the SCS data, the departments variously make use of student interviews, senior student exit questionnaires, and letters from alumni/ae to gauge the teaching effectiveness of their junior colleagues.  The exact protocols for gathering student data using these techniques are described in the department and program statements on methods of evaluation.  

    Assistant professors often ask how much weight is given to student teaching evaluations in reappointment and promotion decisions.  There is no easy answer to this question, nor a formula for weighting effectiveness in different categories.  SCS scores are surely an important source of data, and while there are limits to the ability of students to evaluate the professional competence of their instructors, SCS results can be helpful in identifying teaching strengths and/or areas of concern.  They also serve to give a sense of how an individual’s performance compares with that of other faculty in the department or program and the college, and over several years they may show meaningful trends.  Still, the departments and programs, and the Committee on Appointments and Promotions (CAP), recognize that SCS scores are part of a bigger picture; they do not stand alone as the sole indicator of pedagogic skill.

    Although student opinions are given serious consideration in the tenure decision, the evaluation of non-tenured faculty is largely based on the judgment of their tenured colleagues who are in the best position by far to assess professional growth and promise.  Each department and program is required in its annual Staffing Report to give an interpretation of all available data on the teaching effectiveness of its non-tenured members.  Such data would include not just SCS scores but also syllabi and other course related materials.  Departments and programs also schedule class visits, and in some, tenured and non-tenured faculty regularly exchange visits to each other’s classes.  Other departments and programs have opportunities for team-teaching or faculty seminars and colloquia in addition to opportunities for interaction at regularly scheduled meetings.  The chairs also collect evaluative commentary on an annual basis from the chairs of any other departments or programs to which the non-tenured faculty member contributes.  By such means the departments and programs have a context for interpreting student opinions.

    The Evaluation of Scholarship

    Depending on disciplinary context, “scholarship” can include research activity, artistic productivity, scholarly or creative publication and/or works in progress, grant writing, public lectures, conference presentations, performances and exhibitions, external reviewing of manuscripts and grants, curatorial endeavors, consulting, academic prizes and awards, and service to professional associations, among other things.  Notwithstanding this broad spectrum, each department and program has its own expectations for what constitutes scholarship within a tenure dossier.  Each assistant professor should discuss their department’s, program’s, or evaluation committee’s definition(s) and specific expectations of their scholarship with their senior colleagues, as well as the form and scope of a tenure dossier in their respective field(s).

    The quality of scholarly effort and productivity is typically more important than is quantity, but in making their reappointment and tenure recommendations the departments, programs and the CAP also look for evidence of sustained scholarly effort and accomplishment.  There are no quotas to meet or publication schedules to follow, but it is necessary to remain active and engaged in one’s field of study, and to demonstrate an ability to contribute significantly to the growth of knowledge.  The college also hopes that faculty members will attempt to involve students in at least some of their original research, when appropriate, and recognizing of course that this is standard practice in some fields and not in others.

    Senior faculty within a department or program—in consultation with senior faculty in other departments and programs, when appropriate—work together to evaluate the scholarship of their non-tenured colleagues.  They describe progress made each year in the annual Staffing Report submitted to the CAP and they conduct an especially thorough analysis at the time of the reappointment and tenure reviews.  They take note of the quality and originality of the work; they measure the faculty member’s contribution to it, in the case of co-authored or collaborative efforts; and they assess the initiative of the faculty member to develop a line of research or creative work that is independent.  Published reviews and citations of the faculty member’s work are also taken into account in forming a complete picture of the scholarly record.

    Finally, in the spring or early summer prior to a tenure decision, department and program chairs solicit outside reviews of the candidate’s scholarship and/or creative work (See also Appendix C).  The purpose of the reviews is to provide high-quality, impartial assessments of a candidate’s scholarship, in order to give the tenured members of the department or program, as well as the Committee on Appointments and Promotions (CAP), a sense of how the scholarship measures up to the standards of the relevant discipline or disciplines.  To assure the credibility of the external reviews, dissertation and postdoctoral advisors, co-authors, and others with a vested interest in the candidate’s scholarship are not asked to serve as evaluators except in exceptional circumstances.  The external reviews, along with any reviews that have appeared in professional or other publications, are submitted to the CAP along with the department’s or program’s recommendation and any interpretation it wishes to place on the reviews.  Outside opinion is a supplement to, and in no sense a substitute for, the department’s or program’s own careful appraisal of the work.  

    The Evaluation of Community Service

    While community service is of lesser weight than teaching and scholarship, non-tenured faculty members are nevertheless expected to be active and responsible as citizens of the college.  

    The contributions of faculty members in carrying out department, program, and college activities are summarized and discussed in the annual Staffing Report.  The departmental activities to be considered include such things as the faculty member's contributions to advising majors, concentrators, and other students, recruitment activities, curricular development, and co-curricular activities.  The campus-wide activities to be considered include such things as first-year advising and participation on college committees, forums, and interdepartmental program advisory committees.  The leadership potential or abilities of faculty members are also noted. 

  • It is in the interest of the college and all members of the faculty that there be open and productive communication between chairs and the non-tenured colleagues in their departments or programs.  The purpose of such communication is at least twofold:  to help non-tenured faculty realize their full potential as teachers and scholars, and to keep them apprised of the judgments being made of their work.  To this end, at the end of each academic year, each faculty member is encouraged to write a self-evaluation document in which the faculty member reflects on their year’s progress and challenges. The self-evaluation should be submitted to the relevant department, program, or evaluation committee chair.  The departments, programs, and evaluation committees then submit written performance reviews of their non-tenured members to the Committee on Appointments and Promotions (CAP), typically in the fall.  Those reviews are referred to as Staffing Reports (also informally called Staffing Memos).  After the CAP’s reading, the departments and programs are then required to send a letter to each of their non-tenured members, summarizing the assessments conveyed in the Staffing Report.  Those letters are referred to as Fuqua letters.  This system of annual reviews and mandated communications is described in detail in the Faculty Handbook, Section II.F. (See also Appendix A below for a standard timeline of the reappointment and promotion process).

    Fuqua letters serve as an important, but certainly not the only, official point of communication between the departments or programs and their assistant professors.  Faculty regularly (and optionally) submit Annual Activity Reports to the Dean of Faculty.  The chairs also meet with their junior colleagues at least once a year, to discuss the Fuqua letter and to offer constructive feedback and guidance.  In these conversations and in the Fuqua letters, departments, programs and evaluation committees have a responsibility to communicate clearly regarding their expectations for reappointment and tenure, but it is not their responsibility to provide a recipe for success.  Nor, given the comparative and prospective nature of the decisions involved and the variety of factors bearing upon them, is it possible or appropriate for a department, program, or evaluation committee to convey a faculty member’s prospects for reappointment or promotion with any certainty.  

    While the college and evaluating units set out their expectations for reappointment and promotion as clearly as possible, it is important to note that the non-tenured members of the faculty must take responsibility for educating themselves as to the standards for tenure within their own field of study, and for understanding what it means to achieve “exceptional strength” in teaching and scholarship.  Though tenured colleagues are most willing to help and should certainly be asked for advice, candidates must finally decide for themselves how best to develop their own professional career within the Williams community.

    In years when a decision about reappointment or promotion is to be made, the departments or programs, where relevant, submit a recommendation as part of their Staffing Report.  At that point the role of the CAP is an active one.  It does not simply “register” departmental recommendations, but has a right and an obligation to reach its own independent judgment.  After considering the recommendation, the accumulated Staffing Reports, the merits of the case as a whole, and the broader needs of the college, the CAP transmits its own recommendations to the President, who in turn makes recommendations to the Board of Trustees for final action.

    Members of the faculty are asked to keep their personnel files in their home department or program and in the Office of the Dean of the Faculty up-to-date with respect to both their extramural professional activities and their college responsibilities.  Substantial statements of self-evaluation are required as part of the reappointment and tenure dossier in years three and six, respectively.  But even during years when no reappointment or promotion decision is pending, non-tenured members of the faculty should submit a brief report to their department or program chair during the summer.  Another point of self-reporting comes each year in January when the Dean of the Faculty requests an Annual Activity Report (though these are not part of the materials the CAP reviews).  The Dean of the Faculty or one of the Associate Deans of Faculty also meets with each assistant professor during the first, second, third, and fifth years in rank, to discuss all matters related to professional development.

  • Most departments and programs require their non-tenured faculty members to submit an annual report on their professional activities, which typically include an updated CV and a self-evaluation, in either the late spring or summer, every year.  This differs from the brief Annual Activity Report that is voluntarily submitted each January. In non-decision years, those reports are not meant to be overly time-consuming or burdensome to produce, but rather summary descriptions or lists of one’s progress and accomplishments over the past academic year.  For the reappointment and tenure review years (see Appendixes B and C below), faculty are asked to produce a more substantive self-evaluation and to submit copies of their scholarly work.  Whether in a summary form or a more extended document, the Committee on Appointments and Promotions (CAP) finds it especially helpful to hear from candidates, and the the self-evaluation is an important mechanism for communicating with the CAP.

    The tenured members of the departments or programs review these dossiers and submit them to the CAP with their recommendations, together with the other packet items listed below.

    Reappointment packet

    • The recommendation and report from the tenured members of the department or program
    • A complete set of the candidate’s SCS scores (provided by the Provost’s Office)
    • A complete set of the candidate’s Fuqua letters (provided by the Dean of Faculty’s Office)
    • The candidate’s curriculum vitae
    • The candidate’s self evaluation
    • Assistant professor leave proposal
    • An assessment and recommendation on the candidate’s Assistant Professor Leave proposal
    • One copy of scholarly work, if any
    • Copies of any reviews of scholarly work that may have been published
    • Letters, if any, from tenured faculty on leave commenting on the candidate
    • Letters, if any, from untenured faculty
    • Other relevant material the department or program wishes to submit

    Tenure packet

    • The recommendation and report from the tenured members of the department or program
    • A complete set of the candidate’s SCS scores (provided by the Provost’s Office)
    • A complete set of the candidate’s Fuqua letters (provided by the Dean of Faculty’s Office)
    • The candidate’s curriculum vitae
    • The candidate’s self evaluation
    • Assistant professor leave report
    • One copy of the candidate’s scholarly work in the form that it was considered by the senior members of the department or program
    • Copies of any reviews of scholarly work that may have been published
    • Letters and CV’s from external reviewers assessing the candidate’s scholarship
    • Copies of letters to external reviewers soliciting assessments of the candidate’s scholarship
    • Letters from tenured faculty on leave commenting on the candidate
    • Letters, if any, from untenured faculty
    • Letters, if any, solicited by the candidate assessing his or her scholarship
    • Letters, if any, from students or former students commenting on the candidate’s work
    • Other relevant material the department or program wishes to submit 
  • Immediately following renewal, reappointment, or promotion decisions by the Committee on Appointments and Promotions (CAP), the chair or the Dean of the Faculty notifies the non-tenured faculty member of the decision.  The Dean of the Faculty stands ready to discuss the decision with the non-tenured member. 

  • In the event of a negative reappointment or promotion decision, should the candidate feel either that improper or inadequate consideration (as modeled on AAUP statements and defined in the Faculty Handbook) has been given to the case, the college has established a set of special review procedures.  These are described in detail in the Faculty Handbook, Section II.D.

  • Any questions?  Please ask.  Questions are welcome; they are expected; and they are frequently solicited.  We encourage you to seek clarification on policies and practices related to evaluation, reappointment, and promotion.  It is absolutely desirable to create and maintain open lines of communication on these subjects, and non-tenured faculty members should feel welcome to seek advice from their chairs, their senior colleagues, their divisional Committee on Appointments and Promotions (CAP) representatives, and/or the Dean of the Faculty.

  • Year 1

    • initial appointment to a three-year assistant professor contract
    • receive copy of Department or Program “Statement of Methods of Evaluation” in the fall semester
    • conversation about performance with department or program chair, late in the spring semester
    • The Dean of the Faculty meets for lunch with all first-year assistant professors to discuss any relevant matters related to professional development

    Year 2

    • “no decision pending” staffing report submitted to the CAP in mid-September
    • assistant professor receives Fuqua letter, typically in December, followed by meeting with chair to discuss Fuqua letter
    • The Associate Dean of the Faculty meets for lunch with all second-year assistant professors to discuss any relevant matters related to professional development

    Year 3

    • reappointment dossier due to department or program chair in early August
    • assistant professor leave proposal due to department or program chair in early September
    • reappointment staffing report and recommendation submitted to the CAP in early October
    • assistant professor receives Fuqua letter, and notification of the CAP’s reappointment decision, typically in December, followed by meeting with chair to discuss Fuqua letter
    • The Dean of the Faculty meets for lunch with all third-year assistant professors to discuss any relevant matters related to professional development
    • College trustees vote to approve CAP reappointment recommendation, typically in January

    Year 4

    • commencement of four-year assistant professor contract, pending successful review in year 3
    • assistant professor leave of absence, most often in year 4
    • “no decision pending” staffing report submitted to the CAP in mid-September
    • assistant professor receives Fuqua letter, typically in December, followed by meeting with chair to discuss Fuqua letter

    Year 5

    • assistant professor leave report due to chair within one month of completion of leave
    • “no decision pending” staffing report submitted to the CAP in mid-September
    • assistant professor receives Fuqua letter, typically in December, followed by meeting with chair to discuss Fuqua letter
    • list of potential external reviewers for tenure review due to department or program chair by end of spring break, unless earlier date specified by department (note that to assure the credibility of the external reviews, dissertation and post-doctoral advisors, co-authors, and others with a vested interest in the candidate’s scholarship should not be suggested as external evaluators except in exceptional circumstances)
    • The Associate Dean of the Faculty meets for lunch with all fifth-year assistant professors to discuss any relevant matters related to professional development

    Year 6

    • tenure dossier due to department or program chair by July 1
    • external scholarship review typically occurs during summer months
    • tenure Staffing Report and candidate dossier submitted to the CAP in mid-October
      • redacted staffing report made available to candidate shortly thereafter
      • candidate response, if any, within two weeks
    • assistant professor receives notification of CAP’s tenure decision
    • College trustees vote to approve CAP recommendations

    Year 7

    • promotion to associate professor with tenure, pending a successful tenure review in year six; or, in the event of a negative tenure decision, final year of employment 
  • March 2017

    TO:      [reappointment candidate]

    FROM:        Denise K. Buell, Dean of the Faculty

    Re:               Reappointment

    Your reappointment decision will be made in fall 2017.  You will need to submit the following material to your home department, program, or evaluation committee:

    By August 6th:

    A self-evaluation discussing your development as a teacher, scholar, and community member, your goals for the future, and any other matters you would like the department, program or evaluation committee to be aware of.

    An updated curriculum vitae, which should include a complete list of the courses you have taught at Williams, of your publications and other scholarly contributions (reviews, conference, etc.) or creative work, and of your service to the College community.

    Scholarly writings (published and unpublished) or creative work that you would like the department, program or evaluation committee to consider.  Please include an index of these materials, indicating where there are substantial overlaps between, for example, an article and a book chapter.

    Other materials which are automatically requested by the department, program, or evaluation committee, including course syllabi and instructional course materials

    On the Wednesday after Labor Day:   

    Assistant Professor Leave Proposal. The proposal should be prepared in a form suitable for submission to outside funding agencies and should include a project description four to five pages long, as well as a list of those agencies being approached for support.

    Thank you.

    c:   Department/Program/Evaluation Committee Chair 

  • To:        [Tenure Candidate]

    From: Lee Park, Dean of the Faculty

    Your tenure recommendation will be made in fall 2018.  You will need to submit the following material to your department, program, or evaluation committee.

    By the end of Spring Break (or earlier if specified by department, program, or evaluation committee):

    1. A list of three to six potential reviewers you think would be particularly well qualified to judge your scholarly and/or creative work.  Typically just one reviewer will be chosen from your list, and you should specify what relationship, if any, you have with each person on the list.  You may also inform your chair or the Dean of the Faculty if there are individuals who, for personal or professional reasons, might be unlikely to provide impartial, reliable review of your work. Please bear in mind that excluding more than 3-4 potential reviewers may impede the department, program, or evaluation committee from successfully acquiring four external reviews. To assure the credibility of the external reviews, dissertation and post-doctoral advisors, co-authors, and others with a vested interest in your scholarship or creative work should not be suggested as external evaluators except in exceptional circumstances.  The department, program, or evaluation committee in consultation with the Dean of the Faculty will make the final choice of four evaluators, and the identities and opinions of these evaluators will be held in confidence.  See Faculty Handbook, II-L  (“The Evaluation of Teaching and Scholarship”) for details on the selection and solicitation of outside reviewers.

    By July 1 (or earlier if specified by department, program, or evaluation committee):*

    1. A self-evaluation, discussing your development as a teacher, scholar, and community member, your goals for the future, and any other matters you would like the department, program, or evaluation committee to be aware of.  (These self-assessments are not normally sent to the outside evaluators, but if you think that all or part of this should be shared with them, you should let the department, program, or evaluation committee know.)
    2. An updated curriculum vitae, which should include or be accompanied by a complete list of the courses you have taught at Williams, of your publications and other scholarly contributions (reviews, conference papers, grants earned, etc.) or creative work (if appropriate to your appointment), and of your service to the college community and profession.
    3. One copy of the scholarly writings (published or unpublished) or creative works that you would like the outside evaluators and the department, program, or evaluation committee to consider, including those you may have submitted for the department’s, program’s, or evaluation committee’s review at the time of your reappointment decision.  Please include an index of these materials, indicating where there are substantial overlaps between, for example, an article and a book chapter.
    4. One copy, as the Faculty Handbook states, of “any reviews” of your scholarly or creative work “that have appeared in professional or other publications.”  You are also welcome to include other kinds of reviews of your work such as readers’ reports on manuscripts or grant proposal reviews.
    5. Course syllabi and relevant course materials.**
    6. Any other materials or information you would like the department, program, or evaluation committee and/or outside reviewers to consider.  Only material related to your scholarly or creative work, however, will be sent to outside reviewers.***

    *Additional material related to your scholarly and/or creative work submitted after July 1, but by August 15, will be assessed by the department, program, or evaluation committee and CAP but not in most cases by the outside reviewers.  There is no guarantee that material submitted after August 15 will be assessed, but you may present the department, program, or evaluation committee and the CAP at any time with evidence of any changes in the status of your scholarly or creative work.

     ** Syllabi and other relevant course materials for your upcoming fall courses may be submitted, but no evaluation information for these courses can or will be considered either by the department, program, or evaluation committee or by the CAP.

    ***Tenure eligible faculty and department, program, and evaluation committee chairs might find sections of the Guide to Evaluation and Promotion of Tenure-Track Faculty at Williams to be a useful document to review.  

    Thank you.

    c:  Department/Program/Evaluation Committee Chair 

  • Adequate Cause: Conduct or behavior that is materially related to the faculty member’s fitness as a teacher, researcher, or colleague. Adequate cause is one of very few grounds for terminating the permanent contract for employment.

    Annual Activity Report: The Annual Activity Report, which is due in early January of each year, is a communication to the Dean of the Faculty, the Provost, and the President that describes any noteworthy achievements and contributions in the areas of teaching, scholarship, and service during the previous calendar year. The report, which can be in the form of a narrative, an updated CV with key entries highlighted, or both, is the best mechanism to keep your files in the Dean of the Faculty’s Office up to date. Submission of an Annual Activity Report, which is typically due in early January, is a requirement to be considered for a merit increase. The Annual Activity Report is not part of the materials considered by the CAP in its annual evaluation of untenured colleagues.

    Evaluation Committee:  On occasion, assistant professors with joint appointments, or those in new interdisciplinary fields, are assigned a special committee comprising senior colleagues with appropriate expertise from two or more academic units who evaluate their scholarship, teaching, and service for the tenure and promotion processes. In these cases, the methods of evaluation are communicated in a separate document created especially for those assistant professors. Evaluation Committees are established by the Dean of the Faculty.

    Fuqua letter: Annual letter from the department, program, or evaluation committee chair to non-tenured faculty are based on the information gleaned from the Staffing Report and that convey the department’s or program’s assessments to each non-tenured faculty member. Named for Charles J. Fuqua, Professor Emeritus of the Classics Department.  While active on the faculty, Professor Fuqua led the effort to mandate that these annual communications be sent to all assistant professors.

    Self-evaluation: The self-evaluation document, which is typically prepared in the late spring or summer at the end of each academic year, discusses your development as a teacher, scholar, and community member, your goals for the future, and any other matters you would like the department, program or evaluation committee to be aware of. One constructive way of thinking about the Self-Evaluation is that it is documentation of one’s ongoing development as a teacher, scholar, and community member. As such, its length might well build over time, and be more brief in non-reappointment and non-promotion years. The self-evaluation explicitly informs and helps shape the annual Fuqua letter.

    Staffing Report (staffing memo):  The annual written performance review of non-tenured members submitted by the departments, programs, and evaluation committee to the Committee on Appointments and Promotion (CAP).  These reviews are typically submitted in the fall, and are based on a dossier of the candidates CV, self-evaluation, and all additional methods for evaluating the teaching, scholarship, and service of academic faculty as authorized in the Faculty Handbook. The Staffing Report is the information upon which the summarized information presented in Fuqua letter is based.

    Student Course Survey (SCS): The survey instrument that consists of a page of questions to which students give numerical ratings. The college mandates use of the Student Course Survey (SCS) for every course.