Dossiers for comprehensive review, tenure, or promotion must include multiple measures of teaching. The gathering of these multiple measures is a joint responsibility of the candidate and the unit; the candidate should make sure that they have in place all the multiple measures they find appropriate, and the unit should make sure that the measures it deems necessary for the evaluation of teaching on a regular basis are included. In order to clarify some issues around the gathering of such information, the Office of Faculty Affairs offers the following guidelines.

Peer Evaluation of Classroom Instruction:  

The most commonly used form of evaluation, peer reviews of teaching are an important part of a candidate’s teaching dossier.

We consider it a best practice that candidates and units work together to insure that there is  at least one peer evaluation per  year the candidate under review has taught; larger units may be able to do reviews on a semester basis. A few letters solicited during the final semester of the probationary period are not sufficient to give a sense of the candidate’s teaching and development as a teacher.

Student Survey Responses and Letters:

Student survey responses letters may become part of the file in a variety of ways: the unit may email students a survey/questionnaire or solicit letters, the candidate may solicit letters or include letters they have received from students, and students may send unsolicited letters to the unit. In most cases, the letters solicited by the unit carry the most weight. There are concerns on campus about the statistical validity of small sets of student letters, and units should keep this in mind as they gather materials for the teaching dossier. Use this suggested template for soliciting student feedback.

The dossier should make clear which letters fall into each of the categories mentioned above; it is best to have clearly marked sections for each kind of letter/comment.

Please note that the student letters/surveys/interviews are considered to be confidential materials and should be part of the “supplement to the dossier,” which is a separate PDF submitted along with the main dossier. Student names should be redacted from each letter. Undergraduate and graduate students, post-docs, and former students should all be considered as students (or trainees). A summary of these letters should be prepared by the primary unit evaluation committee and included in the primary unit evaluation committee letter; this letter is available to the candidate. While an attempt will be made to keep these letters confidential during the review process, students solicited for comment should be made aware that their anonymity cannot be protected completely in the last instance. Unsigned letters or other forms of anonymous information gathered from students may be included in the dossier and may be seen by the candidate.

The comment section of FCQ forms provide another source of anonymous student comments. All the forms from each course, including the student comments, should be submitted to the PUEC, which in turn certifies that all the forms were submitted for their analysis.

Units should make sure students know that their evaluation should focus on the faculty’s member’s teaching and advising; if students choose to provide information or allegations that are related to misconduct, for example, the policies addressed by Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance (OIEC), this information cannot be kept confidential by the department or unit and must be disclosed to OIEC or other appropriate university body. Students will receive a direct outreach from OIEC, though they are not required to respond. However, OIEC may not be able to take additional action if students choose not to speak to them. Students may report any concerns directly to OIEC by emailing or through the online reporting form.

If any of the review or evaluation letters and materials include information about a candidate that include allegations of misconduct, the allegations need to be reported to the appropriate university body (e.g., the Office of Institutional Equity & Compliance, Standing Committee on Research Misconduct, Campus Controller, Department of Internal Audit, or University Counsel). Such specific issues are to be handled by the appropriate campus experts and processes, as the tenure and promotion process is handled separately.

Teaching Portfolios:

Candidates may ask that their teaching portfolio be included in the dossier. Such a portfolio can provide a cross-section of a candidate’s work as a teacher. As AVC Gleeson wisely stated in 1998, “Candidates are strongly encouraged to be highly selective and concise in what is included in the dossier.  Only the most representative examples should be included. Candidates who overwhelm the dossier with portfolio material have the same effect on review committees that students who submit 40 page term papers have on instructors who made 15 page assignments.”

Pedagogical Publications:

Some faculty publish on pedagogy in their field. Such publications can be an important part of a file, particularly if a candidate is being considered for “excellence” in teaching. Candidates should consider carefully whether such publications should be counted in their research/scholarship/creative work portion of their dossier or in the teaching portion. In most cases, such items can not be counted in two places, though they may be part of a description of work in two areas.

Assessment of Non-classroom Teaching and Other Contributions to Teaching:

A great deal of education takes place outside the classroom; the mentoring of graduate students and undergraduate individualized instruction are particularly noteworthy. Faculty also contribute to the education of our students by developing new courses, creating special learning experiences, and so on. Candidates should be sure to document such efforts clearly in their dossiers. Units wishing to argue for “excellence” in teaching should note such efforts in making such a case.

Civic Engagement:

The campus's strategic plan, Flagship 2030, advances as one of its goals civic engagement by faculty, staff, and students.  Teaching is one area in which the faculty can stress civic engagement, which includes service learning pedagogy.  Faculty who employ service learning pedagogy or focus on civic engagement as an important part of one or more courses are encouraged to speak to these efforts in building their teaching dossier.  Such efforts speak not only to a faculty member's commitment and dedication to a core campus goal but also indicate that a faculty member is drawing on research literature on innovative teaching methodologies.

External Reviews of Teaching Material: 

Departments may wish to give candidates the option to have teaching materials (portfolios, FCQs, peer review letters, etc.) reviewed by recognized excellent teachers in the field. This option has not often been used, but it may provide important information, particularly when a candidate is being considered for “excellence” in teaching. Such reports from external reviewers would be held as confidential.

Other Measures:

This is not an exhaustive list. Candidates and units should include whatever measures of teaching they found useful and convincing.