Criteria for Personnel Actions

Department of English


The kind(s) and quantity of a faculty member’s responsibility for teaching, for research and creative activity, and for service shall be defined annually in the Annual Work Plan agreement (AWP) that the department makes with each of its members.  Such agreements are intended to reconcile the professional talents and interests of the individual faculty member and the needs of the department in fulfilling its total mission with reference to its BA, MA, and PhD programs; to the College of Arts and Sciences, the Graduate School, and the University; and to the professional disciplines represented in the department.  Judgment of evidence of performance shall be by intramural peer evaluations, by published extramural reviews where available and, where initiated in keeping with the College of Arts and Sciences Personnel Policy, by unpublished extramural peer evaluations.  All contributions must be judged on their merits, in terms both of their quality (of which success in reaching an intended audience is one measure) and of their significance to the department’s mission.   While individual AWP agreements will necessarily vary, the English department requires and values faculty work in all three categories: teaching, research and creative activity, and service.


1.  Proficient teaching stimulates active learning and encourages students to be critical, creative thinkers.  It is carefully planned and continuously examined.  Regardless of its setting, proficient teaching uses faculty expertise to deepen the way students understand the subject matter.  Course syllabi and other instructional materials, student evaluations, peer reviews, and evidence of mentoring students, and other appropriate evidence may be used to demonstrate proficiency in teaching.

2.  The English Department recognizes teaching as that category of activity principally directed toward the instruction of students: the conveyance of knowledge and of the skills for acquiring knowledge of the disciplines represented in this department.

3.  Although any instructional activities may be negotiated between the department and the faculty member, they ordinarily fall within the following categories:

a. The conduct of regularly scheduled courses, including team-taught courses, sponsored by the department, the division, the college, or other academic unit within the university.

b. Participation in regularly scheduled courses by way of guest lecturing; sharing in the development of new courses, programs, or teaching techniques; and the like.

c. Direction of or participation in such formal instructional activities as independent studies, honors essays, culminating projects, and graduate theses and dissertations.

d. Student advisory duties directed toward the instruction and advancement of students in an academic discipline and/or including their professional development.

e. The preparation, direction, and evaluation of departmental prospectuses, area exams, projects, and the like.

f. The preparation of instructional materials and/or technologies.

g. Publication of textbooks and/or instructional software.

h. Direction of and/or participation in the processes of designing, implementing, and/or evaluating the instructional programs of the department.

i. Attendance and participation at meetings or conferences concerned with pedagogical practices appropriate to the faculty member’s teaching.

j. The preparation and submission of proposals for grants or other support for teaching activity.

k. Design and implementation of, or participation in, faculty development efforts to improve instruction.

l. Direction and mentoring of new teachers.

4.  The quality of a faculty member’s performance of his or her teaching responsibility shall be judged according to the criteria of the English Department Policy on Peer Evaluation (see Appendix).  Ordinarily such judgment shall be based on the following categories of evidence.

a. Instructional materials and technologies:  print and online course descriptions, syllabi, exercises, examinations, handouts, outlines; course webpages, listservs, and other instructional services that reflect the faculty member’s professional and pedagogical expertise.

b. Evidence of student performance:  papers, webpages, creative writing, bibliographies, examinations, awards, publications, and other material reflecting on the faculty member’s contribution to the development of student performance.

c. Quantitative student evaluations of teaching performance.

d. Direct observation of teaching as delineated in item 4 of the “English Department Policy on Peer Evaluation of Teaching” (see Appendix).

e. Intramural or extramural prizes, awards, honors, or other such significant testimonies to the success of work in this area.

f. Other such evidence as is appropriate and/or is agreed upon in the Annual Work Plan.


1.  The English Department recognizes research and creative activity as the contribution of knowledge or the advancement of the state of the art of one’s discipline in a form accessible to one’s professional peers.  Such activities ordinarily fall within one or another of the following categories:

a. The publication of professional activity in journals, books, or electronic media, which either are or can be refereed by professional peers.

b. The presentation of professional activity before international, national, or regional groups of one’s peers.

c. Invited public readings of professional activity.

d. The publication of essay reviews, reviews, position papers, translations, interviews, or other such items insofar as these contribute to knowledge to a discipline represented in this department.

e. Editing of collections of essays, anthologies of creative activity, professional publications, insofar as such editing contributes to knowledge in the field.

f. Publication of textbooks and/or instructional software insofar as these contribute to knowledge in the field.

g. The production of manuscripts to be submitted for publication or for reading before groups of one’s peers.

h. The preparation and submission of proposals for grants, fellowships, and the like support of research activity for oneself or for one’s professional peers.

i. Professional activity of an extended nature clearly directed toward the preparation of manuscripts to be submitted for publication or for reading before groups of one’s professional peers or for invited public reading.

j. Conception and planning of conference programs, organization of conference sessions, planning of lectures and lecture series and creative readings and reading series, and the like, for specialist or non-specialist audiences, insofar as these draw together, interpret, and/or contextualize original research or creative activity.

k. Serving as a professional consultant insofar as such work contributes to knowledge in the field.

l. Other professional activity that can be reviewed by professional peers.

2.  The quality of a faculty member’s performance in research and creative activity shall be judged ordinarily on the basis of the following categories of evidence:

a. Research or creative documents: publications in book, serial form or electronic form; manuscripts or abstracts accepted or submitted for publication or for presentation in a professional forum; proposals for support of professional activity; notes, drafts, or similar documents that reflect the progress of an extended activity; broadcasts; and the like.

b. Evidence of the circulation of the products of the professional activity:  correspondence with publishers or referees, rejection and acceptance notices, conference programs, and the like.

c. Intramural or extramural prizes, awards, honors; published reviews; or other such significant testimonies to the success of work in this area.

d. Other evidence as might be appropriate or as agreed upon on the AWP.


1.  Service includes those tasks that are required for the functioning of the department, college, university, community, or profession. Community work that draws upon one’s professional expertise is included.

2.  Activities in this area usually fall within one or another of the following categories.

a. Service to the department, college, and the university.

i. Administrative and legislative positions within the department, college, or University.  Note:  Some of the duties attached to administrative positions must also be considered as contributions in the category of Teaching (see I.3.g-l above).

ii. Membership on and chairing of standing and ad hoc committees.

iii. Departmental duties such as recruiting; aiding students in the pursuit of employment, scholarships, and admission to graduate or professional school; organizing special events; participating in departmental governance; and other service to students and colleagues.

iv. Faculty development efforts not included in II.2 above.

v. Participation in such non-departmental duties as regular and special meetings or divisional, collegiate, and graduate school activities.

vi. Interviews in the press, media appearances, and the other extensions of university interests into the community.

vii. Other recognized service to the institution.

b. Service to the Profession

i. Work on professional conferences, meetings, or publications not included under research and creative activity.

ii. Work in professional organizations, such as holding office, performing administrative duties, serving on committees and the like.

iii. Consulting services to academic departments or organizations, extramural reviews, and the like.

iv. Other recognized service to the profession.

c. Service to the community

i. Any service performed outside the university or profession that draws on the professional expertise or achievement of the faculty member.

3.  The quality of a faculty member’s performance in service shall be judged ordinarily on the basis of the following categories of evidence:

a. Written evaluations of service by appropriate parties.

b. Relevant grants, programs, documents, etc.

c. Faculty member’s self-report on the work involved.

d. Thank-yous or testimonials.

e. Awards granted for service.

f.   Other evidence as might be appropriate.


1.  Effective collaboration with colleagues and students is expected of every faculty member.

2.  The English Department understands a faculty member to be collaborating with colleagues and students when he or she is making an appropriate contribution to the department.  Faculty members are presumed to be meeting their obligation to collaborate with colleagues and students when they meet the obligations set forth in their Annual Work Plan.


1.  Professional conduct and integrity are expected of every faculty member.

2.  In the absence of evidence to the contrary, the English Department presumes that successful performance of professional work through which a faculty member contributes to the department constitutes evidence of integrity and adherence to standards in a professional context.  Allowing for flexibility within reasonable boundaries, fulfillment of AWP commitments will be a primary measure of such successful performance.


1.  All reviews in these categories are governed by relevant sections of the College of Arts and Sciences’ “Personnel Policy and Procedures.”



Each academic year, English Department members must submit dossiers documenting their annual performance during the calendar year under review and the two years preceding it.  The dossiers must be organized into separate files for teaching (student evaluations from every class taught at U. of L. must be included), service, and research and creative activity.  Dossiers will also include a Curriculum Vitae in the form required by the College of Arts and Sciences, copies of AWPs for three years, a summary list of all activities organized according to AWP categories; and, if the reviewee wishes, a memorandum on any aspect of the file.  The reviewee is responsible for compiling the file in a timely fashion and in a form useful to all evaluators.


The CRITERIA FOR PERSONNEL ACTIONS, DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH (revised Fall 2002) describes appropriate evidence and the criteria that will be used in annual review decisions.

Chair Review

The chair will have his or her administrative service reviewed annually as part of his or her normal merit review.  Input will be requested from persons interacting with the Chair in his or her administrative capacity.

The department Chair, together with the department personnel committee, will be responsible for identifying such individuals.  The form of such reviews will follow the Dean’s Guidelines.

Standards and Evaluation System

To recognize various levels of contributions to the department’s efforts in achieving its mission, the department will use a 4-point holistic scale--0 (not proficient), 1 (proficient), 2 (highly proficient), 3 (exceptional)--which evaluates faculty performance in relationship to their AWPs.  A 0-point determination indicates that a faculty member has not fulfilled the obligations required by his/her AWP and is not entitled to a share of the department’s annual allotment of funds.  A 1-point determination indicates that the faculty member has fulfilled the obligations of his/her AWP and is entitled to a full share of the annual allotment for the department. Normal expectation for every faculty member will be a 1-point rating.  A 2- or 3-point determination indicates that the faculty member has contributed beyond the obligations required by his/her AWP.  A 2-point determination will be worth 110% of a full share of the department’s annual allotment. A 3-point determination will be worth 125% of a full share of the department’s annual allotment. Multiple ways of achieving determinations are in keeping with the holistic nature of the college’s personnel policy. All determinations for all levels of the scale shall take into consideration the faculty member’s specific AWP responsibilities. Reviewees should be advised that ratings of “proficient” in annual reviews do not guarantee positive actions on promotion and tenure decisions.


As of September 9, 2011, the Department will allot its PESD funds as lump sum raises, with all those receiving the same score receiving the same dollar amount. This practice will be continued through the next three years in which merit raises are available, after which this policy will be reassessed by the Personnel Committee.

Supplemental Funds

Faculty members who receive a 3-point determination will be eligible for recommendation to the dean for supplemental funds.  The chair, in consultation with the personnel committee of the department, may recommend additional persons for supplemental funds based on career patterns of accomplishment.  In addition, any faculty member may recommend himself or herself.  In all avenues of request to the dean, all affected parties (the faculty member, the personnel committee, and the chair) shall receive a copy of the request.