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Comprehensive Review of Tenured Faculty - SL

School of Law 1.3.5.

(Adopted 4/97; amended 12/2005, 4/2006 and 11/2010)
Approved by President Bogomolny 11/30/10

I. Preamble

The Board of Regents of the University System of Maryland (USM) established the principle of faculty evaluation in its policy on Evaluation of Performance of Faculty (II - 1.20) and the principle of accountability for faculty workload and performance in its policy on Faculty Workload and Responsibilities (II - 1.25). To coordinate and implement these principles, as they apply to tenured faculty, the Board of Regents has required that each member institution establish a policy on the comprehensive review of tenured faculty, as well as procedures to implement such a policy. Pursuant to this mandate, the University of Baltimore has established such a policy, which requires that the School of Law develop procedures to carry out this system of review, and develop criteria for the assessment of faculty performance.

This Policy Statement constitutes such procedures and criteria for the University of Baltimore School of Law.

To facilitate continued professional development of the faculty, tenured faculty members shall undergo formal, periodic peer review of their professional activities.

The review process described below shall be conducted in a manner that is consistent with the preservation of academic freedom. This review process is separate from and may not be substituted, directly or indirectly, for the USM and institutional policies and procedures relating to the termination of tenured appointments, which are in no way amended by this policy.

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II. Membership of Review Committee

  1. The Post-Tenure Review Committee shall be composed of five tenured professors from the School of Law. To the extent practical, each year's committee shall contain at least two members from the previous year's committee.
  2. The Chair of the Post-Tenure Review Committee shall be appointed by the Dean. The Chair, together with the tenured members of the Dean’s Advisory Committee, shall nominate the remaining members of the Post-Tenure Review Committee. No member of the Dean’s Advisory Committee shall participate in the nomination of a candidate to the Post-Tenure Review Committee, if that candidate, once confirmed, will be a part of a Post-Tenure Review Committee that will review the relevant member of the Dean’s Advisory Committee. The membership of the Post-Tenure Review Committee must be approved each year by the entire Promotion and Tenure Committee. The Chair of the Post-Tenure Review Committee shall be a member of the Promotion and Tenure Policy Committee.
  3. No person shall serve as a member of the Post-Tenure Review Committee in a year in which he or she is to be reviewed under this policy.
  4. A faculty member may challenge any member of the Post-Tenure Review Committee for cause (bias or prejudice). Such challenge shall be made in confidence to the Dean. If the Dean sustains the challenge, the challenged member shall not participate in the consideration of the challenging faculty member, whose evaluation shall be conducted by the remaining members. Individual members of the Post-Tenure Review Committee shall also have the power to recuse themselves from consideration of any faculty member, if they believe they cannot render a fair and impartial judgment.

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III. Scope of Review

  1. The Scope of the review shall be teaching, scholarship and service.
  2. Faculty expectations shall be based on the standard that applies to promotion to the position held by the faculty member, with due regard to the allocations contained in the individual's workload allocation.
  3. Faculty productivity shall be evaluated in accordance with the law school's Faculty Workload Policy, with due regard to the allocations contained in the individual's workload allocation.

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IV. Process of Review

  1. Tenured members of the faculty shall be reviewed every five years, with the following exceptions:
    1. Separate reviews conducted for promotion shall substitute for faculty review under this policy;
    2. Two consecutive annual salary/workload reviews by the Dean that indicate that a faculty member is not meeting expectations shall occasion an immediate comprehensive review, which shall be in addition to those otherwise required by this policy.
    3. If a faculty member has been on unpaid leave of absence or medical leave for a period of one year or more, the period of unpaid leave or medical leave shall not be counted toward the five-year period. (Effective August 1, 2006)
  2. Each faculty member to be reviewed shall be notified in writing by May 1 of the previous academic year, by the Dean or Dean's designate.
  3. Each faculty member to be reviewed shall supply to the Post-Tenure Review Committee, by October 1, a comprehensive written report, detailing his or her teaching, scholarship, and service for the previous five years. That report should include the following:
    1. Based on student evaluation forms, comments from the Dean, and any other sources the instructor believes are relevant:
      1. What are the most common positive things said about the instructor’s teaching?
      2. What are the most common negative things said about the instructor’s teaching?
    2. Does the instructor agree with the comments? To the extent the instructor believes the criticisms are valid, what has the instructor done in response?
  4. In addition to the faculty member's report, the Post-Tenure Review Committee may consider other reliable sources of information, including, but not limited to: classroom visitations, any written materials associated with the faculty member's annual salary/workload reviews by the Dean, their annual workload allocation, scholarly publications, student evaluations, and consultation with student government representatives.
  5. Classroom Visitations – Two faculty members of the same or higher rank as the faculty member to be reviewed will be selected to each visit at least one class. The Chair of the Post-Tenure Review Committee will select one reviewer from among the Committee, who will serve as the “reporter;” the faculty member to be reviewed will select the other, which may be selected from the faculty at large.
    If both the faculty member to be reviewed and the reviewer s/he has selected agree, a video taping of a class can be used in lieu of the class visit. The classroom reviews will follow the guidelines of reviews for promotion and tenure. Additional classroom visitations may be scheduled at the discretion of a majority of the Committee.
    After both of the faculty reviewers conduct their class visits and review the student evaluation forms and other relevant material, the faculty member to be reviewed will discuss with them a plan for improvement.
  6. Reporter – The Reporter shall have the responsibility of examining the appropriate written materials and making one classroom visitation. Selection of the reporters must be approved by a majority of the Post Tenure Review Committee. The Chair of the Committee may also serve as a reporter. At any time in the process, the Reporter may be replaced by another member of the Committee, by vote of a majority of the other Committee members.
  7. The Reporter shall give a preliminary evaluation to the full Post-Tenure Review Committee. After discussion by the Committee, the Reporter shall submit a proposed report to the full Committee for its amendment and approval.
    For each area under review (teaching, scholarship and service) the report shall indicate whether the faculty member meets expectations or does not meet expectations and whether the faculty member meets the standards of the Faculty Workload and Responsibilities Policy or does not meet those standards.
    A report approved by a majority of the Committee shall become the Committee's preliminary report. If approval of any report is not unanimous, dissenting members may submit a minority report. The members of the Post-Tenure Review Committee shall sign the version of the report to which they subscribe.
  8. The Post-Tenure Review Committee shall give a copy of its preliminary report and any minority report to the faculty member under review by March 1.
  9. The faculty member shall have fourteen days to give a written response to the Committee, if he or she so wishes. In addition to a written response to the Committee, the faculty member under review may, but need not, amend his or her comprehensive written report to reflect the discussions held with the reviewing faculty.
  10. After giving consideration to the faculty member's response, the Post Tenure Review Committee shall issue its final report by April 15, supplying to the faculty member under review and to the dean copies of the Committee’s report(s), the faculty member’s comprehensive written report, and any response by the faculty member to the report.
  11. The Review Committee shall endeavor to keep all discussions confidential. The Committee shall keep its reports confidential, providing them only to the faculty member under review and to the Dean. The Provost and President shall have access to the reports upon request. The faculty member under review may waive the confidentiality of the report.
  12. If a faculty member's performance is judged as not meeting expectations, a specific development plan shall be worked out among the dean, department/unit, and the individual faculty member, consistent with the overall faculty development programs and resources of the individual campus. This plan shall include a procedure for evaluation of progress at fixed intervals and shall be signed by all parties.

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