Annual Review Policy - Geology & Geophysics

Revised April 9, 2012
Approved by Dean of Faculties September 10, 2012

Introduction and Purpose

The annual review (3G) is the accepted instrument of evaluation for faculty performance in the College of Geosciences and is used by the Department of Geology and Geophysics. The annual review provides a measure of accountability for each faculty member. In addition, the 3G also provides the opportunity to acknowledge an individual faculty member for a job well done, as well as a means of identifying areas of improvement and steps to improve performance.

Faculty performance is evaluated on an annual basis by the Department of Geology and Geophysics in accordance with Texas A&M University Rule 12.01.99.M2. The purpose of the review is to assess the accomplishments and performance of each faculty member in regards to four areas: teaching, research, and service (within the department, college, university, and external to the university). International and interdisciplinary activities are incorporated in the evaluation.

Process and Steps in the Evaluation

All ad loc faculty members of the Department are evaluated on an annual basis. The department head in concert with the Executive Committee of the Department of Geology and Geophysics perform the annual review process. Executive members are assigned, as pairs, to evaluate each faculty member’s 3G. The two members for each faculty member present the 3G evaluation to the whole Executive Committee for discussion and consideration. To ensure a common reading of all the 3Gs, the same two executive committee members reading more than one 3G in common is avoided. After discussions, the Executive Committee agrees on the evaluations and reports these to the department head. The department head engages in the discussion by the whole Executive Committee. The evaluation is conducted during the Spring Semester of each year and encompasses the calendar year January – December of the previous year.

The evaluation is separated into three components: teaching, research, service. Each component can be scored as: Outstanding (O), Satisfactory (S) or Unsatisfactory (U). In addition to the three broad categories plus (+) and minus (-) are used to refine the instrument. An over all score based on the three categories is normally computed by assigning weights of 40% for teaching, 40% for research and 20% for service. That a a faculty member’s contributions will change over the course of a career is recognized. Thus, the previously listed percentages can be adjusted by mutual agreement between the department head and the faculty member prior to a 3G reporting period.

Upon completion of evaluations, the department head presents a written assessment to each faculty member, followed by a one-on-one discussion of the outcome of the individual faculty member’s performance during the previous calendar year. A copy of the evaluation is signed by the faculty member and department head and kept on file in the faculty member’s personnel file.

Evaluation Rubric

The quality and effectiveness of each ad loc faculty member’s performance, using the modified 3G, teaching evaluations and additional materials (e.g., teaching portfolios, etc.) that the faculty member chooses to provide are evaluated based on an accepted rubric and determined as outstanding (O), satisfactory (S) and unsatisfactory (U).

In the event of an unsatisfactory score in one or more categories, the annual review provides the opportunity to specify the necessary steps for remediation of the unsatisfactory performance that resulted in the unsatisfactory score.
The evaluation rubric used does recognize the dynamic nature of a faculty member’s career such that the focus and role of a faculty member may change over the length of the career resulting in a shift in emphasis toward or away from one of the four categories (teaching, research, and service). In such cases the department head and the respective faculty member will meet to define an accepted emphasis on each respective category. It is understood that this will result in clear expectations for the faculty member and the department head.

In addition to the aforementioned steps for all faculty, the annual evaluation for untenured faculty will serve as an evaluation of progress toward tenure and promotion. Non-tenured faculty submit a modified 3G, curriculum vitae, teaching evaluations and any additional materials (e.g., teaching portfolio), and a report on classroom visits by senior faculty will be part of the evaluation. Success in teaching, research, and service are the primary evaluation criteria, and areas of concern should be identified at this time. Based upon these deliberations, the department head in consultation with the Executive Committee and the Tenure and Promotion Committee makes a determination that the candidate is making outstanding, satisfactory, or unsatisfactory progress towards tenure and/or promotion. Again, the sum of individual faculty activities is taken into account.

Post-Tenure Review

All tenured faculty members of the Department are evaluated on an annual basis. The department head in concert with the Executive Committee of the Department of Geology and Geophysics perform the annual review process. The evaluation is conducted during the Spring Semester of each year and encompasses the calendar year January – December of the previous year.

Each tenured faculty member completes a modified Form 3G, provides an updated curriculum vitae and any additional materials the faculty member chooses to provide for consideration. In addition, teaching evaluations are used to assess teaching effectiveness.

An overall unsatisfactory evaluation for tenured faculty is triggered either by an unsatisfactory evaluation in teaching, or an unsatisfactory evaluation in research and service. An annual review in which an unsatisfactory performance is determined shall state the basis for the ranking in accordance with the criteria.

If three unsatisfactory evaluations occur, the steps outlined in University Rule 12.06.99.M1 is followed.

Suggested Indicators for Evaluation

The evaluation of each category is based on numerous indicators. The indicators listed below do not constitute a finite list, but rather are presented here for illustrative purposes. Indicators for outstanding, satisfactory and unsatisfactory performances are listed below for each category assessed annually (teaching, research, and service). A faculty member’s contributions that exceeds the satisfactory performance standards is evaluated as outstanding, whereas a faculty member’s efforts that fail to meet the satisfactory standards is evaluated as unsatisfactory. Teaching and leadership in interdisciplinary and interdepartmental programs, such as the undergraduate Environmental Programs or the interdisciplinary graduate programs in Water Management and Hydrological sciences, are assessed with the same criteria used for teaching and leadership within the department.

Teaching

Excellence in teaching and mentoring is a goal of the Department of Geology and Geophysics, whereas unsatisfactory teaching is contrary to our mission and a serious violation of the public trust.
Satisfactory teaching performance is defined as:

  • the presentation of accurate, up-to-date, well organized information and concepts
  • demonstrating interest in the course subject and the process of teaching
  • receiving acceptable or better teaching evaluations
  • satisfactory resolution of student complaints
  • timely graduation of and/or achievement of appropriate progress to degree on the part of mentored graduate students
  • use of technology and active learning methods in the classroom
  • efforts to implement pedagogy and course content likely to be effective with and supportive of students with diverse backgrounds and learning styles
  • mentoring students from groups under-represented in the Geosciences.

Examples of outstanding performance in teaching include:

  • design and successful institution of new courses
  • extensive implementation of new laboratory exercises 3
  • receipt of external grant support for teaching/learning projects
  • excellent student evaluations or other indications of excellent instruction
  • authoring of textbooks or other instructional materials
  • expanding or enhancing opportunities for international studies
  • selection for a University or professional society outstanding teacher award
  • placement of graduate students or post-doctoral fellows into significant academic, scholarly or professional positions
  • purposeful mentoring of students from groups under-represented in the Geosciences
  • successful implementation of innovative pedagogy including course content likely to be effective with and supportive of students with diverse backgrounds and learning styles.

Factors for judging teaching performance as unsatisfactory include:

  • persistent negative student evaluations
  • regular and unresolved student complaints
  • indifference to teaching
  • presentation of out-of-date or incorrect information
  • disorganized presentation of course materials and poor communication of course requirements
  • persistent lack of progress to degree on the part of graduate students being mentored
  • unwillingness to mentor graduate students
  • persistent inattention to university requirements including timely posting of current course syllabi, curricula vitae and student grades
  • routine refusal to teach courses central to the department mission
  • excessive cancellation of class.

Unsatisfactory student evaluations, occurrence of unresolved complaints, or complaints made to the DH about teaching of out-of-date or incorrect information may necessitate a comprehensive review of teaching. A teaching review committee of three faculty members will be appointed by the DH, in consultation with the faculty member. The committee will review the faculty member's syllabus, exams, course notes, and other materials provided by the faculty member and will perform classroom visitations. As appropriate, the review committee will interview graduate students who are not making progress to degree. The DH will use the report of the teaching review committee, together with student evaluations, to determine whether the faculty member's teaching is satisfactory.

Research

The generation of new knowledge through research is the hallmark of a world-class university and an integral part of our departmental culture.
Criteria for judging research performance as satisfactory include:

  • regular publication in peer reviewed journals, chapters in books, edited volumes, monographs or special papers
  • successful pursuit of extramural research support
  • the performance of other scholarly activities such as attendance at scientific meetings, authorship of review articles, or electronic publications.

In addition to the above, outstanding research performance may include:

  • publication of ground-breaking research
  • leadership in obtaining funding for large- scale, interdisciplinary or multiple-investigator projects
  • receipt of major fellowship or research award
  • frequent citation of publications.

By contrast, unsatisfactory research performance may include:

  • lack of publication in peer reviewed journals, chapters in books, edited volumes, monographs or special papers
  • inability and/or unwillingness to obtain extramural research support
  • the absence of other forms of scholarly activity.

Service

Service to the department, college, university, and the community at large is recognized as an essential component of good academic citizenship. Criteria for judging service performance as satisfactory include:

  • regular attendance at faculty meetings and participation in other faculty activities such as student and faculty recruitment
  • substantive contributions to departmental, college, or university committees
  • performance of substantive service to the larger scientific community such as through manuscript and grant reviews or active participation in professional
  • societies
  • active participation in scientific societies
  • academic program enhancement that improves the graduate or undergraduate education experience
  • serving in an administrative role at Texas A&M University
  • contributions to enhancing or expanding the diversity of faculty, students, and staff.

Outstanding service activity may include:

  • shouldering a large or pivotal service role without reduction in other responsibilities
  • performance of service to the larger scientific community through leadership in professional societies
  • editing of journals or membership on advisory boards
  • serving on a major governmental commission, task force, or board
  • leadership in enhancing or expanding the diversity of faculty, students, and staff
  • effective outreach to K-12 community and general public through informal
  • learning and summer programs
  • communication of applied research results to the general public.

Conversely, an unsatisfactory service performance would include:

  • failure to attend faculty meetings regularly
  • refusal to serve on departmental, college, or university committees
  • lack of contributions to departmental, college, or university committees on which the faculty member is serving
  • Persistent insensitive or discriminatory comments and/or actions toward individuals or groups based on individual identity.