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Thomas Jefferson University Post-Tenure Review Policy

Tenure is a guarantee of an opportunity for employment. That guarantee, however, is accompanied by the responsibility of each tenured faculty member to continue to contribute to the goals, objectives and missions of the University and the faculty member's College or School, including by performing assigned research, educational, administrative and clinical responsibilities at the functional level expected by virtue of the faculty member's status and rank.

After being awarded tenure, a faculty member's performance and contributions will be evaluated using the following process:

Annual Performance Review

Consistent with applicable College or School policy, each tenured faculty member will receive an annual performance evaluation from the faculty member's supervisor². The faculty member will be provided with a written report of the evaluation, including a summary performance rating of "satisfactory" or "unsatisfactory" for the review period. The evaluation report will be copied to the appropriate Office of the Dean if the performance rating is unsatisfactory.

Periodic Evaluation

Each tenured faculty member will also receive a periodic performance evaluation or "periodic evaluation" as further described below. The general purposes of the periodic evaluation are to:

  • Provide guidance for continuing and meaningful faculty development;
  • Assist faculty in enhancing their professional skills and goals;
  • Refocus academic and professional efforts, when appropriate; and
  • Assure that faculty members are satisfying their responsibility to contribute to the goals, objectives and missions of their College or School and the University.

As described in greater detail below, the tenured faculty member's supervisor will have initial responsibility for conducting the periodic evaluation. The University Tenure Committee (the "Committee")³ will review the supervisor's evaluation and will provide an independent evaluation of the faculty member’s performance. If either the supervisor or the Committee determines that the faculty member's performance was unsatisfactory during the review period, the matter will be referred to the Dean of the College or School for further recommendations and/or actions.

Department Chairs, Deans and other senior administrative staff are exempt from the periodic evaluation process during the time they serve in such roles.

Timeframe for Periodic Evaluation

Periodic evaluation of tenured faculty will be conducted at five-year intervals following the initial award of tenure. In addition to these mandatory five-year periodic evaluations, a supervisor may conduct a periodic evaluation of a tenured faculty member prior to the end of the five year timeframe if the faculty member has received more than one unsatisfactory annual evaluation since the faculty member was awarded tenure or since the faculty member's last periodic evaluation, whichever was more recent. Any supervisor planning to perform an earlier periodic evaluation must notify the Committee, so that the process can be coordinated with the regular cycle of periodic evaluations.

The Committee will establish timeframes and procedures for 1) submission of supporting materials in connection with a periodic evaluation, 2) the conduct of the periodic evaluation and, 3) the issuance of the written evaluation report, including a summary performance rating for the faculty member (each as described below). For each faculty member undergoing periodic evaluation, the goal will be to complete the periodic evaluation and issue a final report and performance rating no later than the end of the academic year in which the periodic evaluation process began.

Initiation of Periodic Evaluations and Collection of Supporting Materials

At the beginning of each academic year, in conjunction with the Colleges and Schools, the Committee will identify (a) all tenured faculty members entering the fifth year since their initial award of tenure (b) all tenured faculty members entering the fifth year since their most recent periodic evaluation and (c) any tenured faculty members for whom earlier periodic evaluation will be conducted by the faculty member's supervisor. The Committee will notify each faculty member subject to periodic evaluation and his or her supervisor concerning the process and schedule for the evaluation.

The faculty member's supervisor will assemble and consider the following materials in connection with the periodic evaluation:

  • The annual performance evaluations since the award of tenure or the last periodic evaluation, whichever was more recent.
  • Documentation of the performance goals established for the faculty member during the review period, the supervisor's assessment of the faculty member's success in achieving those goals and the supervisor's overall assessment of the faculty member's contribution to the goals, objectives and missions of the College or School and the University during the same period.

The faculty member will be asked to provide:

  • A copy of the faculty member's updated curriculum vitae.
  • A statement of the faculty member's accomplishments during the period since the award of tenure or since the last periodic evaluation, whichever was more recent.

Issuance of the Supervisor's Periodic Evaluation Report

After having considered the supporting materials described above and having met with the faculty member, the supervisor will prepare a written report of the evaluation, including a summary performance rating of "satisfactory" or "unsatisfactory" for the review period. In rating the faculty member's performance, the supervisor will consider:

  • Whether the faculty member has succeeded in achieving the goals established for him or her by the supervisor during the preceding review period; and
  • Whether the faculty member's performance during the review period reflects continued contribution to the institution's goals, objectives and missions, including by performing the faculty member's assigned research, educational, administrative and clinical responsibilities at the functional level expected by virtue of the faculty member's status and rank.

The supervisor will deliver all supporting materials considered in the evaluation process, as well as the evaluation report, to the Committee. The faculty member will receive a copy of the supervisor's evaluation report.

Performance of Independent Periodic Evaluation by the Committee

The Committee will review all materials delivered to it by the supervisor and will provide an independent evaluation of the faculty member's performance, including issuing its own summary performance rating of "satisfactory" or "unsatisfactory" with respect to the review period. The Committee may request additional materials either from the supervisor or the faculty member in order to complete its evaluation and may request to meet with the supervisor and/or the faculty member as part of its evaluation process. The Committee will prepare a written report of its evaluation, a copy of which will be delivered to the faculty member and supervisor.

Results of Periodic Evaluation

If both the supervisor and the Committee determine that the faculty member's periodic evaluation is satisfactory, the Chair of the Committee will send a notice of satisfactory periodic evaluation to the faculty member, with copies to the faculty member's supervisor and the appropriate Office of the Dean, and no further action will be required. In addition to providing a summary performance rating for the faculty member, the Committee may make recommendations for the faculty member's continued professional development to the supervisor with a copy to the appropriate Office of the Dean and the faculty member.

If either or both the supervisor or the Committee determines that the faculty member's periodic evaluation is unsatisfactory, the Chair of the Committee will send the evaluation reports of both the supervisor and the Committee, as well as all supporting materials considered in the evaluation process, to the appropriate Dean for further action as described below. If the supervisor and the Committee disagree as to the summary performance rating for the faculty member, the Dean will make the final determination as to whether the rating is satisfactory or unsatisfactory. In the event that the performance rating is ultimately determined to be unsatisfactory (either by consensus opinion of both the supervisor and the Committee, or by the Dean's final decision in the event that the supervisor and the Committee disagree), the Dean will work with the supervisor to develop a written remedial plan, including goals and plans and dates for the accomplishment of the goals, to address the performance deficiencies identified in the periodic evaluation. A copy of this written remedial plan must be reviewed and signed by the supervisor and the faculty member and forwarded to the Dean and the Committee within 60 days after the issuance of the unsatisfactory performance rating.

Subsequent Review after an Unsatisfactory Performance Rating

For any faculty member whose periodic evaluation results in the issuance of an unsatisfactory performance rating, the next periodic evaluation of the faculty member will be conducted no more than two years after the issuance of the unsatisfactory performance rating (an "interim periodic evaluation"). The interim periodic evaluation will be conducted using the same process described above for periodic evaluations, subject to adjustments required for the modified timeframe.

If the supervisor and the Committee conclude, as a result of an interim periodic evaluation, that the faculty member's performance is now satisfactory, the faculty member will be returned to the five-year schedule for periodic evaluations and will next be subject to periodic evaluation in the fifth academic year after the interim periodic evaluation, except that a supervisor may conduct a periodic evaluation of a tenured faculty member earlier than every five years as described above.

If the supervisor and/or the Committee conclude as a result of an interim periodic evaluation that the faculty member's performance remains unsatisfactory, the Committee will refer the matter to the appropriate Dean for further disposition. If the supervisor and the Committee disagree as to the summary performance rating for the faculty member, the Dean will make the final determination as to whether the rating is satisfactory or unsatisfactory. If the performance rating is ultimately determined to be unsatisfactory (either by consensus opinion of both the supervisor and the Committee, or by the Dean's final decision in the event that the supervisor and the Committee disagree), the Dean may either (a) recommend another interim performance evaluation to occur no more than two years after the most recent interim performance evaluation or (b) recommend to the supervisor that the faculty member be dismissed for cause in accordance with the relevant College's or School's Bylaws. Any tenured faculty member charged with dismissal for cause on the basis of unsatisfactory post-tenure performance will be entitled to all applicable procedural rights afforded under the relevant College's or School's Bylaws with respect to faculty members who are charged with dismissal for cause.

  1. Applicable to faculty members tenured under the TJU Tenure Policy that became effective as of September 18, 2006.
  2. For purposes of this Policy, a faculty member’s “supervisor” will be the faculty member’s Department Chair, Division Director or Program Director, as applicable, or, in the event that the tenured faculty member is a Department Chair or other senior administrative staff member, that individual’s identified supervisor.
  3. The Dean of the College or School of the faculty member under review will not participate in the post-tenure review process except as described in this policy, so he/she will be available to provide an independent evaluation if the supervisor and Committee disagree on the summary performance rating.