The University of Arizona

Faculty Annual Performance Review

Processes, Criteria, and Measures (as revised May, 2013)


Faculty members of the University of Arizona are evaluated with respect to all personnel matters on the basis of their performance. The annual performance review is intended to support faculty members in achieving excellence in the performance of their duties and responsibilities. It provides a basis for the assessment and enhancement of faculty performance as well as accountability to the people of Arizona.

The function of the review is both formative and summative: it involves faculty in the design of their own performance expectations within the context of the department's mission, and it provides a peer and administrative review process to evaluate the success of each year's work. More specifically, this formal review is intended:

  • To involve faculty members in the design and evaluation of objectives and goals of their academic programs and in the identification of the performance expectations central to their own personal and professional growth;
  • To assess actual performance and accomplishment in the areas of teaching, research/scholarly activity, and professional service through the use of peer and administrative review;
  • To promote the effectiveness of faculty members through an articulation of the types of contributions they might make that enhance the University;
  • To provide a written record of faculty performance to support personnel decisions;
  • To recognize and maximize the special talents, capabilities and achievements of faculty members; and
  • To assist faculty members in improving their contributions in any areas where performance is considered by their peers to be below expectations.

The purpose of this document is to specify the processes, criteria, and measures used in the Department of Mathematics to achieve the goals of the annual performance review, and to clarify the relationship of this review to the tenure processes which apply to tenure-eligible faculty and the post-tenure processes which apply to tenured faculty.

It is intended that this document be consistent with applicable portions of the Arizona Board of Regents Policy Manual (ABORPM) and the University Handbook for Appointed Personnel (UHAP). In case of conflict, the provisions of UHAP and of ABORPM shall prevail. In general, the annual performance review is covered by the ABORPM 6-211 and by UHAP 3.10.01 through 3.10.03. Promotion and tenure processes are described in UHAP 3.12, and post-tenure processes in UHAP 3.10.04 through 3.10.06.


A. Period of Review

Annual performance reviews for faculty are conducted each year beginning in January, with the written evaluation finished by April 1. The annual review will cover the previous five years of activity, with emphasis on the past one- to two-years' work for the evaluation of teaching. Each faculty member shall submit an annual report to the department head no later than February 1 of each year. The report shall list the objectives for the current reporting period as previously agreed to, describe contributions of the faculty member to the academic mission of the department during the previous five calendar years (or period of service if less than five years), and state objectives for the next calendar year. This report shall serve as the primary source of information for review by the peer committee and department head.

B. Performance Ratings

Faculty shall be rated in each of the three primary areas of responsibility (teaching, research/scholarly activity, and service/outreach) according to a five-level scale. The relative weight assigned to each of these categories shall be determined by the workload assignments (see item II.C below). An overall rating shall also be given according to the same scale. The term “satisfactory or better” refers to any of the top four ratings.




Performance Rating

Faculty Development: Improvement Action*

Compensation Action



Truly exceptional

Exceeds expectations

Meets expectations

Needs improvement


Departmental and UA support for growth and development


Departmental and UA support for remedial improvement of performance*


Eligible for available salary increases


May be eligible for certain salary increases


Overall Unsatisfactory

Unsatisfactory Mandated performance improvement plan for tenured faculty No salary increase unless required by State law

*Tenured faculty who are “overall satisfactory” but deficient in a single area must enter a faculty development plan.

C. Workload Assignments

The overall department goals for division of responsibility are 40 percent teaching, 40 percent research/scholarly activity, and 20 percent service and outreach. Because of the many and varied responsibilities of a department as large as Mathematics, workload assignments for individual faculty members are flexible; they are determined annually by the department head and the faculty member and are designed to assure completion of the department's mission.

It is expected that workload assignments will vary in accordance with the strengths and expertise of individual faculty members, and moreover may change as careers progress. For example, tenure-eligible faculty might reasonably be expected to spend more time on research/scholarly activity and less on service, and might be given special opportunities to teach research-related upper-division or graduate courses.

Periods of time spent on sabbatical leave or leave without pay for academic reasons are evaluated according to the success of the program outlined in the sabbatical application or leave request. Appointments with a substantial administrative component are subject to the common peer review in the categories of teaching, research/scholarly activity, and service/outreach, but that rating will be adjusted by the department head according to the demands of, and success in, the administrative duties.

D. Roles of the Peer Review Committee and Department Head

Because of the large number of dossiers to be evaluated every year, and the diversity of fields represented, the peer review committee shall consist of six tenured faculty members representing the composition of the department. Each of three general areas will be represented by two faculty members. Initially, these three areas are:

  • Algebra/Geometry/Number Theory
  • Analysis/Applied Mathematics/Statistics
  • Mathematics Education/Teaching-related Contributions

Each regular faculty member shall be independently reviewed by at least three members of the peer review committee, at least one of whom shall be a representative of that faculty member's general research area.

The department head alone will evaluate the committee members' dossiers, unless a member requests additional evaluation by the rest of the committee. The department head will be evaluated by the peer review committee in the categories of teaching, research/scholarly activity, and service/outreach, according to the common standards; this review is intended to provide information for subsequent administrative review by the Dean.

The peer review committee will normally serve for two years in staggered terms. Each April, one faculty member from each of the three categories will be elected by secret ballot during the annual departmental elections conducted by the voting officers. During the implementation phase of the continuing review process, the entire committee will be elected in January 1998 by secret ballot. The three members to be replaced in April 1998 will be determined by coin toss. Vacancies (due to leave or illness, for instance) will be filled by special faculty election. Normally, no faculty member would serve consecutive terms on this committee.

The department head calls the first committee meeting of each year, presides until schedules and procedures are agreed upon and a chair is elected, and thereafter only meets with the committee at its request.

The functions of the peer review committee are to maintain this document, as approved by the faculty, and to conduct the annual peer reviews of all faculty as required by University regulations. The peer review committee shall evaluate each faculty member on the basis of information provided by the faculty member, peer evaluators, students, and such other information as happens to be available. It is not, however, the committee's responsibility to search for information that might reasonably be expected from the faculty member, such as teaching evaluations or written student comments. A written report shall be prepared by the peer review committee for each faculty member and transmitted directly to the department head. This report shall include the faculty member's rating in each of the three evaluation categories, if appropriate under the workload agreement, and an overall rating weighted according to the workload agreement. If the primary reviewers collectively propose that a rating of T, N or U should be given, in any category, to a faculty member, then this shall be discussed and, if needed, voted upon by the entire committee. If the consensus of the committee is to approve this rating, then a brief written statement explaining why this evaluation is being recommended shall be composed and forwarded to the Department Head. Also, if the primary reviewers cannot agree upon a common rating, in some evaluation category, for a faculty member then this case shall be discussed and voted upon by the entire committee.  The peer review committee and the department head may meet to discuss ratings and resolve disagreements, should any exist. The department head shall provide each faculty member with a written evaluation as well as a summary of the peer review committee's evaluation.

The department head and faculty member meet no later than April 15 to discuss the head's written evaluation, and to agree upon goals, assignments, and expectations for the next annual review. The faculty member provides comments, signs the document, and returns it to the department head within 15 days of this meeting. Disagreements between the faculty member and the department head about either the evaluation or the work assignment shall be mediated by the peer committee. If this mediation process fails, an appeal may be made to the dean.


A. Teaching

The instructional function of the University requires faculty members who can effectively communicate the content of the current body of knowledge and the latest research results in the classroom, in other learning environments, with individual student contact, and through professional modes of publication in diverse media. Teaching is to be interpreted in the broadest possible sense consistent with the educational mission of the University.

Activities considered to be positive contributions to this mission may include, but are not limited to:

  • teaching regular course offerings
  • developing course materials
  • developing replicable systems of instruction (e.g. designing computer assisted learning modules or TA-instructed laboratories)
  • coordinating or team-teaching a multidisciplinary course
  • coordinating a multisection course
  • supervising independent study courses or seminars
  • running a Research Tutorial Group
  • supervising honors theses
  • supervising instruction by TA's
  • supervising undergraduate research
  • implementing innovative technology or methodology for instruction
  • developing and applying educational innovations in the classroom
  • providing meaningful and timely feedback to students on their work
  • helping students to improve communication and presentation skills
  • developing instructional or design projects
  • seeking external evaluation for improvement of teaching
  • obtaining grants, contracts or other external support for curriculum development and implementation
  • original computer software that enhances education, especially if it is widely used
  • widely disseminated and documented materials that supplement traditional instruction in courses at all levels

Measures used to assess the quantity and quality of these activities may include, but are not limited to:

  • published student evaluations
  • written student evaluations of teaching
  • follow-up interviews with students
  • peer and administrative review of material presented in the annual report and/or an associated teaching portfolio
  • self evaluation
  • peer classroom visits
  • opinions of teaching assistants
  • special honors or recognition for teaching excellence or innovation
  • support from directors of relevant interdisciplinary programs

The criteria for a rating of “meets expectations” in teaching are that the faculty member carry out his or her teaching assignments, that the preponderance of evidence from student, peer, and administrative assessments indicate competent performance of these duties, and that some of the other activities listed above be carried out.

The rating of “exceeds expectations” requires greater than average achievements in some of the above-mentioned activities, consistent with the faculty member's workload assignments and with the performance levels of other faculty in the department. Examples of some of these activities or recognitions that might lead to such a rating are: teaching awards, design of new courses, creative coordination of multi-section courses, extensive supervision or mentoring of undergraduate research.

A rating of “truly exceptional” requires major additional contributions, and would indicate that career milestones in teaching have been achieved. Examples include, but are not limited to: a major, university-wide or national teaching award; innovative course materials adopted at other institutions; consistently strong recommendations from students; documentation of students' success in later courses.

B. Research/Scholarly Activity

The research/scholarly activity function of the University requires faculty members to be actively engaged in the expansion of intellectual and scholarly frontiers, in the creation and/or application of new knowledge, in the synthesis of knowledge from different areas within a discipline or from different disciplines, and in the integration of the results of these activities both in university courses and outreach activities. Scholarly activity is to be interpreted in the broadest possible sense, consistent with the research mission of the University.

Activities considered to be positive contributions to this mission may include, but are not limited to:

  • engaging in ongoing programs of basic or applied research
  • investigating educationally relevant problems
  • obtaining grants and contracts or other outside support for projects
  • producing deliverable systems (e.g. hardware, software, algorithms, etc. as well as the technical reports describing these deliverables)
  • obtaining patents or royalties
  • publishing books, book chapters, journal articles, peer-reviewed conference papers, monographs, invited abstracts and reviews, and peer-reviewed contributions to electronic journals
  • presenting invited talks at conferences, workshops, colloquia, seminars, or poster sessions
  • to some extent, contribution of non-refereed publications, for example if these indicate invitation to programs with informal proceedings
  • articles in refereed, respected journals that describe and advocate better teaching practice or that present research results related to learning science or mathematics, improved methods and instruments for evaluation
  • direct supervision of graduate research including, but not limited to, Masters theses, and Ph.D. dissertations, in Mathematics as well as in Interdisciplinary Programs
  • scholarly activity in undergraduate education (following P&T guidelines established in: PerformanceCriteriaNew.pdf)


Measures used to assess the quantity and quality of these activities may include, but are not limited to:

  • peer and administrative review of material presented in the annual report
  • self evaluation
  • awards and honors
  • extent and frequency of external funding
  • adoption of curricular or teaching materials from other institutions
  • invitations to deliver short courses
  • seminars or lectures to external audiences

The criteria for a rating of “meets expectations” in research/scholarly activity are, for example, that the faculty member document sustained research/scholarly activity through publication as author or co-author of peer-reviewed documents (books, book chapters, journal articles, conference papers, etc.), supervision of graduate theses or dissertations,invitations to present one’s research in external venues such as conferences, colloquia and seminars, and/or participation in sponsored research grants or contracts (as PI or Co-PI). The quality and quantities or frequencies of these activities required to meet expectations should depend on the faculty member’s workload percentages as well as variations between different research areas and comparison with general trends in peer mathematics departments. For example, infrequent publication of comprehensive and/or high-profile papers in top journals might be judged equal to publication of a larger number of papers that document the stage-by-stage progress on a project. In some circumstances, evidence of the continuing impact of a faculty member's long-term scholarly activity, such as a sustained record of invitation to scholarly meetings, short- or long-term visiting appointments, seminars, or colloquia, may be taken into account in this evaluation.

The rating of “exceeds expectations” requires additional contributions in several of the activities described above, consistent with the faculty member's workload assignments and with the performance levels of other faculty in the department. Examples of activities and recognition that may lead to this rating include: consistent publication in high-quality refereed journals over a five-year period, combined with invitations to lecture on the published research; sustained participation in sponsored research grants or contracts (as PI or co-PI); multiple active research projects and awards; awards for scholarly activity from specialist societies. For faculty members with less than six years in a tenure-eligible position, a consistent record of publication in high-quality refereed journals may lead to this rating, as may the award of a national grant or contract or post-doctoral fellowship.

A rating of “truly exceptional” would indicate that career milestones in research/scholarly activity, as indicated by recognition from outside the department, have been achieved. National awards, addresses at the national or international level invited by established societies or programs, receipt of major grants, or multiple publications in journals of the highest quality may also be taken into consideration.

C. Service/Outreach

Service is often partitioned into areas of faculty service (participation in university activities other than teaching or research), professional service (voluntary activities with professional organizations in the faculty member's discipline), and public or community service (outreach). Service becomes an increasingly important activity as the faculty member advances through the professorial ranks. Outreach is a form of service which is particularly important to a land-grant institution; it involves delivering, applying, and preserving knowledge for the direct benefit of external audiences in ways that are consistent with University, college, and departmental missions.

Activities considered to be positive contributions to the service function may include, but are not limited to:

  • serving on department, college, and/or university committees or subcommittees
  • chairing any committee
  • serving in the faculty senate or in other faculty governance roles
  • serving as a sponsor for student activities and/or groups
  • serving as a full member of Masters or Ph.D. Dissertation committees including those for other departments and Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs
  • for faculty members with joint appointments: contributing to the host department in various ways, to be documented by a statement from the other department head
  • mentoring other faculty
  • recruiting students
  • recruiting faculty
  • activity in professional organizations in one's discipline, particularly in leadership roles
  • development of special relationships with industry
  • developing relations with business or industry
  • developing relations with other universities, colleges, or primary or secondary schools
  • developing external relations with government entities
  • serving on committees or boards for federal or state government agencies
  • organizing conferences or symposia
  • organizing activities that promote public awareness of one's discipline
  • serving as editor of professional books and journals
  • applying one's academic expertise in the local, state, or national community
  • advising undergraduate students on programs of study
  • advising/mentoring graduate students outside of direct thesis or research advising
  • mentoring post-doctoral faculty
  • obtaining grants, contracts or other external support for developing and enhancing outreach activities and for promoting professional development
  • reviewing, refereeing, and grant panel service

Measures used to assess the quantity and quality of these activities may include, but are not limited to:

  • peer and administrative review of material presented in the annual report
  • self evaluation
  • opinions of faculty and staff colleagues
  • opinions of university leaders, committee members or chairs
  • awards and honors
  • letters or certificates of public service
  • support from school districts, K-12 teachers, K-12 students or parents

The criteria for a rating of “meets expectations” in service/outreach are, for example, that the faculty member document a sustained yearly average of service/outreach activity through participation on faculty committees, in professional organizations, in outreach programs and/or student and postdoctoral mentoring and advising. The quality and quantities or frequencies of these activities required to meet expectations should depend on the faculty member’s workload percentages.

A rating of “exceeds expectations”, requires additional contributions in several of the activities described above. Examples of activities and recognition that may lead to this rating include: officer of a national society; service on editorial boards or associate editor of a national or international journal; frequent reviewer for journals; membership on a grant review panel; extensive mentoring; major contributions to the department not rewarded by administrative salary supplements.

A rating of “truly exceptional” indicates very unusual accomplishments in service, as indicated by recognition from outside the department. Examples of types of recognition which could indicate this rating include: head of a major unit or program on campus; president of a major national or international society; chief editor of a major national or international journal, or any unusual contribution in the areas listed at the beginning of this section (III.C).

D. Overall Rating

The overall rating assigned by the peer review committee and the department head shall be determined by the results of the three individual ratings consistent with the workload assignment and with the mission and goals of the department. Since the individual ratings are themselves influenced (with regard to quantity of production) by the workload assignment, a rating of “unsatisfactory” in two of the three individual areas would normally dictate an overall rating of “unsatisfactory”. It is important to note, however, that faculty can need improvement in one or more areas, but still may not be rated as “unsatisfactory” overall (see II.B. Performance Ratings).


A. General Expectations

Given the high quality of the department and its faculty, and the determinative role of the workload assignments agreed to in advance, it is expected that ratings of unsatisfactory in any of the three areas will be very rare and that an overall unsatisfactory rating will be even more unlikely. A small fraction of the faculty may be identified from time to time as needing improvement, and it is expected that faculty development support from the department and university, as well as mentoring by other faculty, will assist those individuals in quickly regaining the expected levels of productivity. While some faculty will from time to time receive a rating of truly exceptional in one of the three areas, an overall rating of truly exceptional would be unusual. Thus it is anticipated that the vast majority of the faculty of the department will meet or exceed expectations, in the individual areas as well as overall.

B. Rewards

As shown in II.B. Performance Ratings, those faculty members with overall ratings in the top three categories will be eligible for available salary increases as well as for support for growth and development and other rewards that may be made available. This applies to tenure-eligible faculty as well as to tenured faculty. The algorithm for determining allocation of these rewards will be decided upon by the department head in consultation with the associate head(s) and/or other faculty members as he or she may deem appropriate. This allocation shall be subject to any external constraints that may apply.

Those faculty members with an overall rating in the fourth category will be eligible for departmental and university support for remedial improvement of performance, and may be eligible for certain salary increases (e.g. cost-of-living raises). Faculty members receiving an overall unsatisfactory rating will not be eligible for any salary increases unless required by State law, but may receive departmental and university support for improvement of performance.

C. Relationship to Tenure and Post-Tenure Processes

Tenure-eligible faculty are required to participate in the tenure processes described in UHAP 3.12. The annual performance reviews are taken into account as part of the promotion and tenure process, but such evaluations are not determinative on promotion and tenure issues. Satisfactory ratings in the annual performance reviews do not necessarily indicate successful progress toward promotion and tenure. Progress toward promotion and tenure requires scholarly accomplishment over a period of years in the broader range of faculty responsibilities, and includes evaluation by external referees, which is not a part of the annual review process. Criteria and decisions with regard to promotion and tenure are detailed in UHAP 3.11.

For tenured faculty members, the annual review is NOT intended to be a re-tenuring process; it is simply an opportunity to assess progress toward the goals outlined in Article I of this document. Those tenured faculty members who receive a rating of unsatisfactory in any of the three individual areas, or an overall rating of unsatisfactory, however, are required to participate in the post-tenure processes described in UHAP 3.10.04 through 3.10.06.

D. Expectations for the Next Review Year

Criteria for annual performance must consider teaching effectiveness, research and scholarly activity, and service/outreach as balanced in the workload assignment. The evaluation criteria are intended to provide for recognition of long-term faculty activities and outcomes. Concentration of effort in one of the three major areas of faculty responsibilities over a period of time is permissible, and may even be encouraged if the effort furthers the overall departmental mission.

These guidelines are designed to be flexible enough to meet the objectives of the mathematics department, while at the same time advancing the objectives of the College of Science and the University. It is important that each faculty member have goals, assignments, and expectations for the next annual review, as agreed to according to the process specified in Article II, and that these agreements be documented in writing.

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