Arts and Letters Peer Evaluations

Policy & Procedures Manual
PAGE: 306
DATE: 05/95, 02/01
SECTION: Arts and Letters Division — Peer Evaluations

Constitution of the Committee
Each Peer Committee shall be composed of at least two members of the Arts & Letters Division.  One member of the committee shall be appointed by the division chair on the reommendation of the peer to be evaluated; the second member shall be appointed by the division chair. The peer to be evaluated has the option of recommending a third committee member, who shall not necessarily be from the Arts & Letters Division, to be appointed by the division chair
In cases of tenure or promotion, the Committee shall comprise only tenured faculty.



A. Instruction

The Division acknowledges that excellent teaching is the single-most important measure of a faculty member’s value to the University.  The Division feels that a faculty member at UMM should be able to demonstrate excellence in instruction.  The following areas will be considered:

1. Command of material

2. Effectiveness of presentation

3. Encouragement of student involvement in the learning process

4. Responsiveness to students outside class

5. Level of student learning

6. Student satisfaction with that learning

7. Continuing development of successful pedagogy and improvement in areas where weakness has been identified

8. Continuing acquisition of knowledge in the field

9. Attention to pluralistic perspectives


B. Other Criteria

All members are expected to contribute to the University, Division, and discipline and conduct themselves in a professional and collegial manner.


In addition, all members are expected to display excellence in the contributions they make outside the classroom.  They will be evaluated on the following criteria:


1. Contributions to the campus – Examples include the following:

a. Active committee work

b. Activities that influence students: advising, field trips, special events, encouragement of student participation

c. Grant/fundraising activities

d. Activities that influence other teachers: colloquia, workshops, etc.

e. Representing the campus to non-university groups, e.g. guidance counselors, parents, the Board of Trustees, etc.

2. Professional or Scholarly Activities – Examples include the following:

a. Research or artistic activity in one’s field

b. Research or artistic activity in a new field that will expand one’s potential to contribute to the community

c. Structured activities to expand teaching abilities

3. Public Service – Examples include the following:

Public service is defined as involvement in programs or organizations that use professional knowledge relevant to the mission of the University as a regional institution.

a. Helping with programs in public schools

b. Community lectures and presentations



Each committee, on being notified whom they will evaluate, will be responsible for evaluating the peer in terms of the agreed upon criteria.  Evaluations should be limited to these categories.  As part of this evaluation the Peer Committee should:

A. Review the self-evaluation of the peer to be evaluated.Such self-evaluation should address specifically the evaluation criteria and, when possible, contain a summary of student evaluations of the last year, including all signed written comments.  Such a self-evaluation must be placed in the peer’s personnel file.

B. Review the personnel file which is placed in the Vice President for Academic Affairs’ office.

C. Review documents, such as syllabi, deemed by the committee of the peer to be pertinent.

D. Visit classes.

E. Either Peer Committee or peer may request an interview.  The peer evaluated should have the goals that have been set for him or her presented verbally before they appear in writing, with the idea that those goals should be mutually understood and, when possible, agreed upon.

F. In their report the Peer Committee should include goals for the peer, so that in the next year of evaluation assessment of progress can be made.


This Division conceives that the evaluation process is linear, and that the Peer Committee’s evaluation should be considered by the Division Chair in making her or his evaluation.


Deadlines and processes for submission of evaluation will be in conformity with the current AFUM agreement.


Finally, the Division of Arts and Letters is operating in this evaluation with the understanding that evaluation serves the purpose of faculty development, and that it is in the interest of teacher and institution alike to foster the process of growth among its members.  Although the Division realizes that evaluations are used in personnel decisions, we strongly iterate our belief that the clause of frank and prior appraisal is meant to allow the candidate for continuing employment to make progress toward the goals of excellence.