A continuing review is a performance review of a faculty member who is on a continuing lecturer appointment. It is con­ducted primarily by the department, with the help of the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment and the Office of the Provost, with partici­pation by a member of the Faculty Personnel Committee and consultation with the Provost. The first Continuing Review is normally conducted during the faculty member’s third year of teaching at Carleton, with subsequent reviews in the faculty member’s sixth year, twelfth year, and every ten years thereafter. NB: The actual decision to reappoint a continuing lecturer, is made by the Provost and based on enrollments and college needs and priorities, is independent of a recommendation to reappoint that may come from the department, as the outcome of a review.

The goal of the review is to assess the faculty member’s performance in their job based on evaluation of all relevant aspects of that specific position. For example, for a continuing lecturer in the languages these might consist of 1) classroom teaching of language courses; 2) supervising teaching assistants in the language courses; and perhaps 3) developing teaching materials for use in the classroom, the language laboratory, or for individual assignments.

Such assessment will be made through:

  • A prospectus submitted by the faculty member to the Provost.
  • Polling of student and graduate opinion through evaluation questionnaires sent by the Office of the Provost to students selected by the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment and the faculty member under review in the way customary for regular third-year and tenure reviews. These are read (with identifying material redacted) by the candidate, participating department colleagues, and the participating FPC member.
  • Visits to the classroom, laboratory, Teaching Assistant (TA’s) supervising session, etc., by at least three tenured colleagues, normally including the department chair and agreed upon in advance by the candidate, department chair, and Provost; these colleagues should provide constructive feedback to the faculty member being reviewed.
  • Any course or other materials (scholarly or pedagogical) the faculty member being reviewed wishes to submit.
  • Other procedures, if appropriate to the position, as agreed upon in advance.

The process is as follows:

  1. The faculty member and department chair meet with the Provost and agree on a plan for con­ducting the review and devise a schedule (see Checklist for Continuing Review Committee Chair and Record of Procedures Followed). The Office of the Provost and department chair will keep a record of the progress of the review and specific steps completed.
  2. Students and graduates are polled either during the summer or during the winter break; the candidate submits names and the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment generates a random list. Names and addresses are redacted from returned questionnaires by the Office of the Provost staff. 
  3. When appropriate, the Office of the Provost also writes to some of the undergraduate Teaching Assistants and/or lab assistants supervised by the faculty member under review to solicit letters evaluating the supervision they received; names of all TA’s and/or lab assistants supervised should be submitted by the faculty member in consultation with the department chair. Names and addresses in letters will also be redacted by Provost’s Office staff.
  4. Each participating tenured faculty colleague visits at least two, but normally not more than five, classes, labs, or TA ses­sions and gives constructive feedback. This should occur before the candidate or the colleagues read the dossier. See the LTC’s suggestions for best practices in classroom observation.
  5. The faculty member submits the C.V., the prospectus, and any teaching and scholarly materials they wish to include to the Office of the Provost. There they are assembled with the name redacted student evaluation questionnaires and other evaluation letters (if any) into an electronic dossier. The committee chair, who oversees the remainder of the review, will be given access to the electronic dossier. The faculty member under review will schedule a time with Becky Krogh in the Office of the Provost to read the student evaluation questionnaires and TA or other additional letters. Afterwards the committee chair and the candidate discuss the letters, prospectus, and other submitted materials.
  6. Participating tenured faculty members (after completing their class visits and feedback session) read the dossier (prospectus, evaluation questionnaires, letters, and materials submitted) and convene (with the FPC member, see #7) to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the fac­ulty member’s teaching, to decide whether or not to recommend renewal of the appointment, and to determine what sort of feedback and suggestions to offer. Other members of the faculty member’s department or program may also make their views known to the committee through the committee chair.
  7. One member of the Faculty Personnel Committee is designated to partici­pate in the review to oversee the process. The FPC representative does not visit classes, but reads the full dossier, consults with the chair before the meeting of participating colleagues to be sure all procedures have been followed, meets with the colleagues as a non-voting participant to discuss the candidate’s record, and then consults with the chair on the wording of the letter.
  8. A tenured faculty member on the review committee who is off-campus during the review must participate in it. They should complete class visits before leaving and can participate in the committee discussion via teleconference.
  9. If the recommendation of the committee is against reappointment based on the findings of the review, the chair and FPC representative will meet with the Provost to discuss this recommendation. If the Provost concurs, the chair and FPC representative will meet with the faculty member to inform them of the decision and the reasons for it.
  10. If the committee decides to recommend reappointment, the chair, with the advice of the FPC representative, drafts a letter to the faculty member summarizing the findings of the review and offering advice for the future. The draft should be circulated to the tenured faculty who have participated in the review and then shared with the Provost, who may suggest revisions to the summary letter. After needed revisions are made, the candidate is invited to read the letter and makes notes. Then the chair and the FPC representative meet with the faculty member to discuss the contents of the letter. After the meeting, the chair may make clarifying revisions before sending the final version to the candidate, with copies to the Provost and to all tenured members of the department (not just the committee members).
  11. If the committee cannot achieve consensus about recommending reappointment, the chair and the FPC representative meet with the Provost to summarize the discussion and the points of agreement and disagreement. The Provost will meet with the department and the FPC representative before deciding the outcome.

Outcomes of the Continuing Review may include:

  1. A decision not to reappoint. The final decision is the Provost’s;
  2. A mandate that the candidate be reviewed again after a set period of time;
  3. Setting specific goals to be met before the next review;
  4. Constructive suggestions and feedback for improvement of teaching and/or colle­gial participation in the department;
  5. Mapping plans for growth and develop­ment by the faculty member based on self-assessment and the information generated by the review.