Faculty & Staff :: Faculty Handbook

Full-Time Faculty Evaluation and Merit Plan

The annual evaluation of faculty holding faculty rank is consistent with policies and procedures of the Virginia Community College System. Each academic school of the college conducts an annual evaluation of full-time faculty. Deans conduct the evaluations and discuss the results with each faculty member on a confidential basis. The faculty member and dean shall discuss the evaluation results in the interest of improving faculty performance.

The primary purposes for evaluation of faculty:

  1. To provide evaluation results and documentation for improvement of faculty performance and educational programs.
  2. To serve as the basis for merit recognition.

Merit Recognition

Merit recognition at Virginia Western consists of three components:

  1. Granting of a multi-year appointment (where applicable)
  2. Granting of a promotion
  3. Granting of a merit pay award
    1. Merit Salary Award - this component becomes a part of the faculty member's base salary and allows a faculty member's salary to progress to the maximum for the rank held. A merit salary award shall not cause the total base salary to exceed the maximum of the rank. Merit salary award is provided only to those faculty who receive "Excellent", "Very Good" or "Good" performance evaluations.
    2. Non-Cumulative Merit Salary Bonus - this component allows the total salary to exceed the maximum for the rank for the year that the non-cumulative merit salary bonus is given, but the non-cumulative merit salary bonus amount does not become a part of the individual's base salary. Non-cumulative merit salary bonus is provided only to those faculty who receive an "Excellent" performance evaluation.

Faculty Evaluation Plan and Merit Recognition

Faculty evaluation, as expressed by performance evaluations, is essential to the merit components of multi-year appointment, promotion and merit pay award.  Recommendations for faculty to receive merit components follow a sequence of several steps:

Multi-Year Appointment

Recommendation of a one-year or multiple-year appointment is initiated by the dean to the vice president of academic and student affairs for those faculty who receive a merit performance evaluation rating of "Excellent," "Very Good" or "Good." 

Recommendation by the vice president is provided to a standing committee of the college:  the Ad Hoc Committee for Appointments and Hearings (see Appendix II).  The recommendation of this committee is made to the president for final action. This committee is formed pursuant to VCCS Policy 3.4.0, Original and Continuing Appointment Policy.

Promotion

Consistent with "Normal Minimum Criteria for Each Faculty Rank" (VCCS-29) approved by the Virginia Community College System, a recommendation of promotion for a faculty member is initiated by the dean to the vice president of academic and student affairs.  The vice president in turn provides a second recommendation to the president for his action, which is final.

Merit Pay Awards

The State Board for Community Colleges approves guidelines on an annual basis for the development of college faculty salary plans. Plans are developed by the college and merit pay awards are applied as they may be funded through the state and system budget allocation processes and according to the college and VCCS guidelines. Once the college plan is developed, the president approves the final plan regarding merit pay awards for each eligible faculty member.  The action of the president is submitted to the Virginia Community College System for review and final approval. Upon VCCS approval, the college generates "Faculty Employment Agreements" according to the provisions of the faculty salary plan. The amount of merit pay award for each faculty member is determined by that faculty member's performance evaluation rating.  To receive a merit salary award, a faculty member must receive an evaluation result of "Excellent," "Very Good" or "Good." 

Merit salary increases are distributed to academic divisions by a "3-5-6" distribution plan.  Under this plan, faculty who receive a "Very Good" evaluation will be awarded a merit salary percentage increase equivalent to five-sixths (5/6) of the percentage increase that is awarded faculty with "Excellent" evaluations.  Faculty with "Good" evaluations will be awarded a percentage pay increase equivalent to three-sixths (3/6) of the percentage increase that is awarded faculty with "Excellent" evaluations.  A faculty member with an "Excellent" evaluation may not be able to receive all of the prescribed merit award increase because the increase would cause the person’s salary to exceed the maximum allowed for the person’s rank.  In this case, the portion of merit pay increase that exceeds the maximum salary limitation will be awarded as a one-time, non-cumulative merit bonus.  The college may provide salary increases or non-cumulative merit bonuses to redress salary inequities, to provide extra compensation for faculty who are assigned temporary, extraordinary duties that are above and beyond the normal expectations for their positions, and to award extraordinary accomplishments.  No salary increases will be given for cost of living.

Faculty who do not have a performance evaluation for the preceding year because they are returning from a one-year leave of absence will return in August at the same salary they had when they took leave.  Their last evaluation will be used to determine their salary for the following calendar year.

New faculty will be given an interim evaluation in October and a mid-year evaluation after the end of the fall semester.  The mid-year evaluation will be used to determine their salary for the following calendar year.

Frequency

The college plan shall require evaluation no less often than the following:  (a) at least two times during the first year of employment and (b) at least one time during the second and each subsequent year of employment.

Appeal

Teaching and administrative faculty, counselors, and librarians may appeal the results of their evaluation through the Faculty Grievance Procedure (VCCS Policy 3.13).

Review

The college plan of evaluation shall be reviewed periodically.  The review process shall provide for the involvement of all college personnel holding faculty rank.  Recommendations for change shall be approved by a majority of the college personnel holding faculty rank and submitted to the president of the college for final approval and implementation.  If the recommended changes are not approved, the president must submit recommended modifications to the proposed plan back to the college personnel holding faculty rank for further consideration and resubmission.  In the meantime, the existing plan would remain in effect. 

Academic Freedom

Evaluation shall not be used to restrain faculty members in their exercise of constitutional rights or academic freedom as set forth in the Statement of Academic Freedom and Responsibility adopted by the State Board on January 29, 1969.

VWCC Academic Freedom Policy (PDF)

Calendar for Evaluation of Faculty and Merit Recognition

Nov 1 - Jan 20 Evaluation of faculty completed by deans and supervisors, performance evaluation rating for each faculty member forwarded to the vice president of academic and student affairs.
Jan 20 - Feb 1 The vice president reviews dean's recommendation for each faculty member.  The vice president forwards his recommendations for promotion and merit award directly to the president.  The vice president’s recommendation of one-year or multiple-year appointment is forwarded to the Ad Hoc Committee for Appointments and Hearings.
Feb 1 - Feb 15 The Ad Hoc Committee for Appointments and Hearings meets to consider the vice president’s recommendations with subsequent committee recommendations to the president.
Feb 15 - Mar 1 The president concludes his actions for promotions, merit awards, and multiple-year appointments. The president may extend consideration of promotions and merit awards to no later than June 1 if circumstances warrant, such as, budget issues and to await final action of the State Board for Community Colleges on faculty salary planning guidelines.
March 1 By this date, faculty eligible for new multi-year must receive Appointment Proposals setting forth the new appointment period.
Mar 1 - Apr 1 The appeal process for any faculty member shall be concluded in March.

Evaluation Procedural Guidelines

The same criteria will be used by all deans in arriving at an overall evaluation rating of full-time teaching faculty.  Additional evaluation criteria may be used by a given division or department for improving a faculty member's performance; however, information derived from the use of those criteria will not be a part of determining the final evaluation rating.

The "Student Evaluation of Instructor" form (Appendix I) will be administered in all classes during the thirteenth or fourteenth week of either the fall or the spring semester each year.  Each faculty member will make the choice of semester, unless the dean feels that circumstances require a different choice.  Faculty should encourage students not to respond to criterion #10 (Conducts laboratories effectively) if the class has no laboratory sessions.

  1. Faculty salary increases will be awarded on a college-wide basis rather than on a divisional basis. In other words, all faculty at the college who receive a given overall evaluation rating will receive the same percentage of increase.
  2. Faculty who have as many as six credits of released time for performing administrative responsibilities will have their teaching and administrative responsibilities evaluated on a proportional basis.
  3. These procedures became college policy beginning with the 1996-97 evaluation period.

Performance Evaluations and Definitions

Teaching Performance - Student Evaluations

Excellent = An overall average of 3.50-4.00 on 17 criteria of Student Evaluation of Instructor form = 9 points

Very Good = An overall average of 3.00-3.49 on 17 criteria of Student Evaluation of Instructor form = 7 points

Good = An overall average of 2.00-2.99 on 17 criteria of Student Evaluation of Instructor form = 5 points

Fair = An overall average of 1.00-1.99 on 17 criteria of Student Evaluation of Instructor form = 3 points

Unsatisfactory = An overall average of .99 and below on 17 criteria of Student Evaluation of Instructor form = 1 point

Teaching Performance - Dean

Excellent = Consistently and substantially excels with respect to performance in the classroom; continuous updating, improvement, and innovation in teaching materials, methods, and assignments; maintenance of office hours; and advisement of students = 3 points

Very Good = Frequently and clearly excels with respect to performance in the classroom; continuous updating, improvement, and innovation in teaching materials, methods, and assignments; maintenance of office hours; and advisement of students = 2 points

Good = Performs satisfactorily with respect to performance in the classroom; continuous updating, improvement, and innovation in teaching materials, methods, and assignments; maintenance of office hours; and advisement of students = 1 point

Fair = Needs improvement with respect to performance in the classroom; continuous updating, improvement, and innovation in teaching materials, methods, and assignments; maintenance of office hours; and advisement of students = 0 points

Unsatisfactory = Needs substantial improvement with respect to performance in the classroom; continuous updating, improvement, and innovation in teaching materials, methods, and assignments; maintenance of office hours; and advisement of students = -1 point

Participation in Professional Activities

Extensive participation = 2 points

Examples of extensive participation (completes a course in one's program of study; delivers a paper at a professional convention; serves in a significant position of leadership in a professional organization; completes all professional certification requirements that are relevant to a particular business or technical discipline)

Moderate participation = 1 point

Examples of moderate participation (subscribes to a professional journal; attends a professional conference; attends 2 lectures or seminars in one’s field or a related field; reads 2 books about one’s field or a related field)

Needs improvement = 0 points

Example of needs improvement (participates to a lesser extent than that described in the examples listed under moderate participation) 

Participation in College Activities

Extensive participation = 2 points

Examples of extensive participation (has responsibility for a major college or department activity, such as program head, for which excellent results are attained; speaks to a minimum of four high school classes about a Virginia Western curricular program; serves as chair of Virginia Western’s Open House Committee; is sponsor of a student club/organization that engages in extensive extracurricular activity)

Moderate participation = 1 point

Examples of moderate participation (is a member of a standing or an ad hoc college committee; assists with College Day program; assists with Virginia Western’s Open House activities; participates in evaluations of curricular programs; participates in program or college accreditation studies; advises students)

Needs improvement = 0 points

Example of needs improvement (participates to a lesser extent than that described in the examples listed under moderate participation)

Establishment and Maintenance of Positive Professional Relationships with Colleagues, Supervisors, Students, and Community

Satisfactory = 1 point

Definition of satisfactory (maintains a professional attitude in dealing with colleagues, supervisors, students, and members of the community)

Needs improvement = 0 points

Example of needs improvement (has had difficulty in two or more instances in establishing and maintaining positive professional relationships)

Adherence to Policies, Procedures, and Regulations of the College and the VCCS

Satisfactory = 1 point

Definition of satisfactory (adheres to policies, procedures, and regulations of the college and the VCCS)

Needs improvement = 0 points

Example of needs improvement (has violated a policy, procedure, or regulation of the college or the VCCS)

Overall Evaluation

Excellent = consistently delivers outstanding performance, exceeding minimum of 16 points

Very good = clearly exceeds performance standards; 13 – 15 points

Good = performs satisfactorily, meeting performance standards; 10 – 12 points

Fair =  marginally meets performance standards; improvement required; 7 – 9 points

Unsatisfactory = fails to meet performance standards;  below 7 points

Additional Evaluation Plans

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