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My School of Music

FPP 3.00 - Probationary Faculty Review

Revised: February 21, 2002; April 16, 2009; April 19, 2012

1. Colleague Evaluation Committee
The goal of the Colleague Evaluation Committee (CEC) is to provide a complete and candid annual evaluation of non-tenured faculty (probationary faculty) as mandated by the Faculty Manual. The committee members will become thoroughly familiar with the candidate's work, so as to advise both the candidate and the dean of observed strengths and weaknesses. The committee will base its evaluation on formal and informal observations of the three major areas of professional responsibility: teaching, research/creative activity, and service. Non-tenured faculty will be reviewed by a Colleague Evaluation Committee in each year of their probationary period with the exception of the year in which they will undergo the Third Year Formal Review of Tenure Progress.

2. Committee Selection
At the beginning of the candidate's first semester, the dean, in consultation with the chair of the School of Music Tenure and Promotion (T&P) Committee, will appoint a three-person Colleague Evaluation Committee and select a chairperson of the committee. The committee will be comprised of three tenured, full-time faculty members and will normally include:

  • One member from the candidate's specific area of expertise
  • One additional member within the candidate's area.
  • One member from outside the candidate's immediate area.

In the initial appointment, one of the three members should be chosen from the search committee that recommended the candidate, if at all possible.

3. Terms of Membership
The total number of faculty evaluators over a six-year probationary period will normally be seven. Terms of membership will be staggered, when possible, as indicated in the table below. It is possible for a member who rotates off to be reappointed to the committee at a later date. Committee membership will remain constant during years one and two. The dean will appoint new members (and chair) as required above. Normally, when a member of the colleague evaluation committee is on leave for a semester, the membership will be two.

Membership Table

  • Year one: Faculty members A, B, and C
  • Year two: Faculty members A, B, and C
  • Year three: Faculty members A, D, and E
  • Year four: Faculty members D, E, and F
  • Year five: Faculty members E, F, and G

4. Procedures
Evaluation of probationary faculty will be based on all three areas of professional responsibility: teaching, research/creative activity, and service. CEC members will have access to the candidate's annual Faculty Activities Report. Faculty Activities Report will be due to the dean at least two weeks prior to the annual spring Tenure and Promotion Committee Meeting (approximately March 15). Committee members will, where possible, attend performances of the candidate, read professional papers, and generally keep abreast of the candidate's work in research and performance. Probationary faculty members will be responsible for keeping the CEC informed of these activities.

Each committee member will observe the teaching of the candidate. In the event the candidate teaches in more than one setting (e.g. applied lessons, classroom, or rehearsal), the committee will arrange to observe the candidate teaching representative courses in each setting. The observations should cover courses offered during the fall and spring semesters. Committee members will always consult with the candidate in scheduling teaching observations and will avoid the final two or three weeks of the semester.

5. Written Report
CEC members will confer privately prior to the annual spring T&P Committee Meeting, and the chair will write a CEC report. This summary report should be an amalgamation of the committee members' observations regarding teaching, research/creative activity, and service, and it should be structured to address specifically each area of activity.  Statements regarding the quality and quantity of teaching, research/creative activity, and service are appropriate.  A summary statement that relates the quality and quantity of activities to the probability of success in future tenure and promotion decisions is also appropriate.

6. Report Submission and Annual Performance Review Process

  • The Chair of the CEC will read the CEC report at annual spring T&P Committee Meeting.
  • A copy of the CEC report will be forwarded to the probationary faculty member and the dean within one week following the annual spring T&P Committee Meeting.
  • T&P committee members may write letters to the dean within two weeks after the Spring T&P Committee meeting expressing support or concern for individual probationary faculty members. The letters are informational as related only to annual evaluation and do not become part of the formal tenure and promotion file.
  • The dean will utilize the CEC report as part of his/her Annual Performance Review of the Probationary Faculty Member. The Annual Performance Review will include a statement indicating that the Probationary Faculty Member can author a response to the written review and have it attached.

7. Rating System
The dean and the Chair of the CEC will meet annually with the probationary faculty member to discuss the CEC report, and the dean's Annual Performance Review. The annual performance review will be considered:

  • Outstanding: The candidate's performance is far above the minimally effective level. In regard to research and scholarship, output is of very high quality, and a national/international reputation is evident.
  • Excellent: The candidate significantly exceeds the minimally effective level of performance. In regard to research and scholarship, output is already of high quality, and a national/international reputation is clearly possible, if not likely.
  • Good: The candidate;s performance is clearly above the minimally effective level. In regard to research and scholarship, he or she shows promise of high quality in the future.
  • Fair: The candidate meets the minimally effective level of performance.
  • Unacceptable: The candidate has accomplished less than the minimally effective level of performance.

8. Appeals Procedure
In the case of an unsatisfactory review, a probationary faculty member who wishes to appeal may do so by submitting a written statement of appeal to the Chair of the Select T&P Committee within the first two weeks of the fall semester. The Chair of the Select T&P Committee will immediately schedule a meeting of the Post Tenure/Annual Performance Review Appeals Committee (Appeals Committee) and the candidate in order to discuss his appeal. In the event that an elected member of the Appeals Committee also served as a member of the CEC for the grieving faculty member, the faculty member will be recused from deliberations on the Appeals Committee.

  • A written summary of the Appeals Committee's findings will then be sent to the dean. The Probationary Faculty member's written appeal will become a part of his/her permanent file.
  • The written summary of the Review Appeals Committee, along with the faculty member's Faculty Activities Report, and his/her written appeal statement will be available in the dean's office for review by the T&P Committee members for two weeks. T&P Committee members will have the option of reviewing the material and submitting a written position to the dean. Following this, the dean will determine whether the Probationary Faculty member's file is satisfactory or unsatisfactory.
  • In the case of an unsatisfactory appeal ruling from the dean, the faculty member may be directed by the dean to proceed directly to the implementation of a Development Plan, or may be terminated, according to the schedule in the USC Faculty Manual. Should a Development Plan be required, the process as specified in the School of Music Post Tenure Review Procedures (sections VII) will be followed.

9. Faculty Manual Precedence
The procedures outlined above are in compliance with regulations on Annual Performance Review established in the University Faculty Manual. Should discrepancies between these procedures and the Faculty Manual be identified, the Faculty Manual will take precedence.

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