Faculty Activities Reporting (FAR)/Annual Reviews Suggestions for Lecturer Faculty
Article 13 of our CBA spells out the process of annual performance reviews of Lecturer Faculty.
What is the FAR? Each Lecturer is required by May 15 of each year to submit a faculty activities report (FAR) to our department chair. This report needs to contain all teaching, service, and administrative activities we have performed in the prior academic year. An important part of the FAR is a self-assessment narrative of the past year and our plans for the future.
Colleges and/or departments may provide guidance on what and how to prepare the FAR. In the event that you have not received college/department guidance, suggestions are provided below to help you prepare your FAR.
What is the annual review process? Once per academic year, Lecturers will receive a written performance review from their Dean by June 15. This review will be informed by a separate written evaluation provided by their department chair or their designee. The FAR that each individual writes should be part of this evaluation written at the department level to then inform the Dean’s review.
Prior to the written evaluation going to the Dean, the chair or designee should meet with the Lecturer to discuss the review, provide feedback, and document the outcome of the evaluation. A Lecturer can opt out of this meeting, but should still sign the evaluation to acknowledge having received it.
What if I disagree with the evaluation? You have the right to submit a written rebuttal to the contents of the evaluation letter. The rebuttal letter must then be attached to the evaluation that goes to the Dean’s office and must also be included in the Lecturer’s personnel file.
Do I have to have a classroom observation of my teaching every year? Once per appointment period, each Lecturer will have an announced observation of their teaching. (This is a change from the prior CBA when we had a classroom observation every year.) The details of the observation can be found in Article 188.8.131.52 of the CBA.
What about student course evaluations this year? On November 2, 2020, Faculty Senate passed a motion that affected the way students provide feedback on their courses. In the fall semester, faculty could have used the standard Student Evaluation of Teaching (SET) process and/or they could have used a survey with a set of Senate-approved questions. In either case, the motion had a hold harmless provision noting that student evaluations are only used in annual reviews if the faculty member chooses to include them. The specific language of the motion reads: “Neither the surveys nor the standard evaluations are to be used in assessments for renewal, promotion, or tenure decisions unless the faculty member explicitly asks for them to be admitted into the process.” You should talk to your chair if you do not want to have your course evaluations considered this year.
What should I include in my FAR? Before you begin your preparation of an annual report, ask your chair and/or dean if there are department or college guidelines for you to follow.
If there are not specific guideline to follow, consider including the following information about teaching and service in your FAR narrative:
An overview of your teaching activities for the prior calendar year (spring 2020, summer 2020, fall 2020, J-term 2021, and spring 2021.) List the courses you taught and any special information about them (such as WI, online, honors, etc.).
Curriculum development and new pedagogical strategies you used: did you develop a new course? Did you learn new ways of teaching? Did you change assignments?
An overview of your service work: include service to the University, College, Department, and professional organizations.
A self-assessment of your year and your plans for the upcoming year
What are some examples of service work I might consider including?
Attending University events -- new student orientation, Wildcat days, department open house, student extracurricular activities, graduation, honors convocation, etc.
Attending and/or presenting at pedagogical forums, workshops, seminars, colloquia
Attending and/or presenting at professional conferences
Delivering guest lectures and invited seminars (both at UNH and other institution)
Attending or organizing events for students or alumni of the department and college
Curricular/program development, revision and assessment
Participation in program accreditation/re-accreditation processes and program reviews
Direction of undergraduate theses, field studies, internships, experiential learning activities, and independent study projects
Writing letters of recommendation for students
Administration and assessment of placement exams
Judging graduate and undergraduate research presentations or posters
Providing musical accompaniment for faculty or student performances
Participation in relevant professional training opportunities
Maintenance of professional certifications, certificates, and credentials
Providing service to professional associations/organizations
Participation in University-sponsored trainings related to legal compliance or University policies.
Attending department and/or program meetings
Attendance at events for students or alumni of the department and college
Membership in departmental, college, and university committees such as search committees, admissions committees, scholarship awards committees, thesis or dissertation committees
Serving on the Lecturers Council, Faculty Senate, Executive Committee of UNHLU-AAUP, Negotiating Team, Department Union ombudsperson
Assigned formal mentoring of new and fellow faculty and/or staff
UNHLU-AAUP is the union for lecturer faculty at the University of New Hampshire. The views and opinions expressed are those of UNHLU-AAUP and do not imply endorsement by UNH.