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Need-to-Know Info for Probationary Faculty Evaluations

The Need-to-Know List for Faculty Evaluating Probationary Faculty

This list will be updated as revisions or corrections are needed.

  1. Generally, the TERB Coordinator communicates with the TEC Chair and humbly requests that the TEC Chair relay that communication to the rest of the TEC (faculty and Dean and, if part of TEC, the VP).
  2. Here are the documents you need for the Probationary Evaluation Process [link]. Scroll down to find your Probationary Faculty member’s name and their forms.
  3. Probationary Faculty members must serve at least 75% of the academic year (fall and spring, not including intersession or summer) for the year to be counted toward tenure. Thus, leaves of absence resulting in the Probationary Faculty member missing more than 25% of the combined fall and spring semesters can delay their tenure process. Reach out to the TERB Coordinator (currently: llawson@palomar.edu (Lawrence Lawson)) to discuss options in this regard related to the tenure process.
  4. Probationary faculty members are evaluated each fall and spring of their first, second, and third academic years and the first semester of their fourth academic year. (That means no evaluation activity in spring of Year Four, the semester tenure would be conferred by the Governing Board.) An academic year starts in fall, so probationary faculty members who begin full-time work in spring are not evaluated until fall–and that spring is not counted in the “four years to tenure” calculation.
  5. The Tenure and Evaluations Committee (TEC) for the Probationary Faculty member is made up of the Department Chair (or designee), a second member from the department (or a related discipline), a tenured faculty member from outside the department, and the division Dean. Department Chairs may submit some of this information to the Tenure and Evaluations Office using this form [link].
  6. Only tenured faculty members may serve on a TEC as Chair, Second Member, or Outside Member.
  7. The Vice President (Instruction or Student Services) is not natively on the TEC, but they can be invited to join the TEC by any member of the TEC or by the evaluee themselves. A request expressing that desire should be sent to the TERB Coordinator (currently: llawson@palomar.edu (Lawrence Lawson)) so he may initiate the process and alert all parties to the request. We suggest that with a Probationary Faculty member under Improvement Plan, the VP be invited to participate in the TEC.
  8. The Probationary Faculty member may challenge the second or outside member with a written statement to the TERB Committee, submitted it to the TERB Coordinator (currently: llawson@palomar.edu (Lawrence Lawson), within ten days of their positions being set or within ten days of the start of their second year of their tenure process.
  9. The Probationary Faculty evaluation in fall consists of  classroom/workplace observations (three are required but four are permitted), student evaluations (in all classes up to contract load) and/or matrix evaluations for release time work (if requested or appropriate), a self-reflection document by the evaluee, the evaluee’s most recently completed PD contract, a letter from the Department Chair, and the written review report. Here are the documents you need for the Probationary Evaluation Process [link].
  10. The Probationary Faculty evaluation in spring consists of student evaluations (in all classes up to contract load) and/or matrix evaluations for release time work (if requested or appropriate) and the spring confirmation form.
  11. The Tenure and Evaluations office uses the PNSR report to find the classes up for evaluation and consults with the TEC Chair to refine the list to ensure completeness. TEC Chairs may also submit this type of information to the Tenure and Evaluations Office using this form [link].
  12. In fall, classroom/workplace observations are conducted using the relevant classroom/workplace observation form during the observation/evaluation window (usually October for full semester classes). See calendars for timing for other courses–but you’re aiming for the middle of the term for observations and evaluations. Again, three observations are required but four are permitted.
  13. In the online environment, evaluators for courses have two options for online course observations. (A) gain Canvas access to the evaluee’s course and observe the course for a maximum of two weeks (including watching a live course if one occurs during the two week window) or (B) sitting down with the evaluee and looking through the online course with the evaluee and asking questions relevant to the observation (any recordings available on the online course can/should be viewed). Evaluators hoping to watch a live course are encouraged to opt for (A).
  14. The method of observation is intended to be collaboratively and collegially decided upon between the evaluator and evaluee.
  15. While full reports are not shared until after grades are posted (to ensure student comments are not shared before grades are posted), it is good practice to meet with the evaluee soon after an observation to note positive observations and constructive criticism based on the observation. Please don’t leave an evaluee hanging with anxiety by not sharing some thoughts from the observation in a reasonable timeframe following the observation.
  16. Previously, evaluators requested Canvas access via ADAs or the Instruction Office. Now, the evaluees themselves are the ones who grant the observer access to the Canvas shell and then revoke that access when Option (A) is chosen. This is done using the evaluator’s full Palomar email address (e.g., llawson@palomar.edu–this is an example; do not add me to your Canvas).  This happens in the “People” tab of the evaluee’s canvas course, and ATRC helpfully has created a video for how to do that [link]. An evaluator should communicate with the evaluee about when the two-week observation window will begin (within or near the evaluation window of October for full-term courses or during the middle-point of the term for shorter term (FT1, FT2, etc.) courses). Then, the evaluee must give the evaluator the role of OBSERVER (and only OBSERVER) and then revoke the role after the two week observation period.
  17. In the online environment, the Tenure and Evaluations office proctors the student evaluations; the office sends the results to the TEC Chair when complete.
  18. In fall the TEC works together to draft the evaluation report based upon the collected data. This drafting culminates in a TEC Meeting where the TEC meets to finalize the report. To schedule this TEC Meeting, the TEC Chair should consult the schedules of other TEC faculty (including the outside member) and then work with the Dean’s office to schedule the TEC Meeting. These TEC Meetings typically happen in November and December–see calendars.
  19. In fall, each discrete item in the report gets a separate rating. The final rating is not necessarily an average of the discrete items. Instead, the final rating is the evaluation of the Probationary Faculty member’s overall performance–using information from all the items. However, differently that with Part-Time or Tenured (Peer) Evals, if any single discrete item is rating as “Needs Improvement” or “Unsatisfactory,” an Improvement Plan is automatically triggered. (This means that an overall rating could be “Standard” despite a single item being “Needs Improvement” or “Unsatisfactory” and an Improvement Plan would still be required.)
  20. In fall, the finalized report, including any improvement plan and accompanying materials, is then sent to the Vice President, if they were not on the TEC, to review and (a) sign or (b) request a meeting to discuss concerns before signing. Concerns may or may not lead to revisions depending on the result of the discussion; it depends on what the group of five decides collaboratively.
  21. In fall, some TECs may wish to facilitate that document pass off with the VP themselves; some may with the Tenure and Evaluations Office to assist. Both scenarios are fine. Just reach out to the TERB Coordinator (currently: llawson@palomar.edu (Lawrence Lawson) if you have need of assistance for this part.
  22. In fall, once the VP signs the report, the rest of the TEC signs the report.
  23. In fall, once the report is signed, members of the TEC (usually the Chair and Second) meet with the evaluee to review the report and ask for signature.
  24. In fall, the evaluee has 10 business days from the date of their signing to write a response and submit it to the TERB Coordinator (currently: llawson@palomar.edu (Lawrence Lawson)); they should indicate if they’d like anyone else to immediately receive the response. The response becomes part of the evaluation packet.
  25. The complete, signed packet is due to the Tenure and Evaluations Office by the second Friday in February (earlier, if possible). The reports (including any improvement plan and/or evaluee response) is then sent to the President/Superintendent for review. The President/Superintendent then communicates a recommendation to the Board for 1st, 2nd, and 4th year Probationary Faculty  in time for their regular March meeting. As the President/Superintendent needs time to read the reports, it is essential to hit the February deadline. (Second year faculty receive a two-year contract, so there is no Governing Board decision for 3rd Year Probationary Faculty.)
  26. For any part of the signing process, Adobe Sign is preferred but not required. If you have other means of signing digitally, please do so. If you’d like to use Adobe Sign but are unsure how to do it, the TERB Coordinator can help route the documents for signature. Please email llawson@palomar.edu with that request.
  27. In spring, student evaluations are conducted in all classes up to load and/or matrix evaluations for release time work (if requested or appropriate) are completed. That data is included in the spring confirmation form, and the TEC Chair and another TEC member (could be any other TEC member) meet with the evaluee to review the confirmation form and collect signature. The spring confirmation form is sent to the Tenure and Evaluations office using this link.

Observation and Student Evaluation Period for Courses: October [last week of September and first week of November permissible if necessary]

Observation and Student Evaluation Period for Counseling/Library Sessions: Weeks 4-14 of the semester

Probationary TEC Meetings: Last four working weeks of the semester

Fall 2020 Probationary Packet due to Tenure and Evaluations Office: Thursday, February 4th, 2021

Fall 2020 Peer and Part-Time Evaluation Packets due to Tenure and Evaluations Office: Monday, March 1st, 2021

Link to full calendars