Several colleagues have asked questions regarding the evaluation process, so we hope to address any confusion in this edition of Know Your Contract.
It is important to know that for the overwhelming majority of part-time faculty, the evaluation process will be an opportunity to reaffirm our contribution to our students and our programs – as well as receive feedback to further improve our teaching. A basic rundown of the evaluation process follows.
WHY: The Rationale for Evaluations
Evaluations are included in our contract to address four key issues:
Please offer suggestions if you want to have any input into the evaluation process in your department. The contract requires that “the Department Chair shall meet with part-time faculty members to discuss the department’s policy regarding [evaluations] prior to implementing any changes to current policy.”
WHAT: The Evaluation, Itself
Each department will designate a faculty peer review committee. Your department’s policy about the make-up of that committee should be determined in consultation with your department chair. The results of the review are to be indicated in a comprehensive written review.
Faculty are free to add comments at each step. The final decision is the Dean’s to make. (see Article 12, section 2 a.)
WHEN: Evaluation Timelines
Some evaluation may occur at regular intervals. For example, a review of student evaluations is continuous throughout your years of employment, and your Department Chair may visit the classroom of a faculty member under his or her supervision.
The Annual Review
During each of the first four years of employment at Tufts, there will be an annual review to determine whether a contract for the following year will be offered. This may range from a simple review of student evaluations to an in-class observation to assess teaching effectiveness. Article 12, Section 1 a, b and c describe in more detail the protections built in to that process.
The Formal Reappointment Comprehensive Review
The contract stipulates that there will be a Comprehensive Review scheduled in the spring semester of a faculty member’s fourth, sixth, and eighth year, and in the spring semester of the last year of a multiyear appointment. In these more extensive periodic evaluations, a faculty review committee will produce a comprehensive report. Implementation of this process may vary department to department.
Exceptions During this Initial Phase-in
In order to avoid too many evaluations happening all at once, several one-time exceptions were made. Faculty members who have already been at Tufts for 6-15 years will not need to undergo the Comprehensive Review unless there is a reasonable cause to do so — reflected, for example, in student evaluations. (Article 11, section 9a and b).
IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHY YOU’VE BEEN SELECTED FOR A REVIEW
The contract allows for the discretion of the university to review the performance of faculty if there seems cause for concern. Comprehensive reviews for the one-time exceptions mentioned in the paragraph above can be initiated…
“only if, in the judgment of the Dean, there is a reasonable basis for doing so based upon the faculty member’s performance or conduct as demonstrated by the student course evaluations, and/or other performance evaluations and/or complaints in previous academic years.” (Article 11, section 9 a and b).
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES DOES OUR UNION REQUIRE REVIEWS
The contract, mutually signed by the Part-time Faculty Union and the Tufts Administration, represents agreed-upon conditions under which evaluations occur.
If you have questions regarding your selection for a Comprehensive Review – or need additional information on the review process – please contact your Union Departmental Representative or email Carley Russell as soon as possible so we can work with and support you.
Tufts Faculty Forward
P.S. Please continue to suggest other topics of particular interest to you – just send us an email. The goal is for all of us to know and protect our rights!
Welcome to the inaugural issue of ‘Know Your Contract!’ This series will highlight bits of useful information in our new contract to help inform Part-Time Faculty in the School of Arts & Sciences at Tufts and the Museum School. The first topic we’ll cover is Salary Scale.
CLEAR & TRANSPARENT COMPENSATION CHART
The improved salary structure, as a result of our contract, is clear and transparent. If you haven’t yet had the chance, you can download a full copy of the Tufts Part-Time Lecturers’ Contract on our website at TuftsFacultyForward.org. To find your salary (from Spring 2015 through Fall 2016), go to the compensation chart at the end of the contract – pages 28-29.
In the compensation chart, locate your department and the number of years you’ve taught at Tufts:
*Any Part-Time lecturer whose salary is off-step will either advance to the next step or receive an increase of $300 each year, whichever is greater. Part Time Lecturers in group 3 receive a minimum increase of $300 plus a step increase if they complete the 4th or 8th year of teaching at Tufts. Everyone in our bargaining unit has seen increases no matter where they started before the contract went into effect.
Track your annual increases by finding the amount per course at the intersection of your Department, Semester and Years of Teaching.
The three groups indicated down the left side the chart represent levels of pay that existed before our contract went into effect. Various departments were grouped into different amounts of entry-level pay. Our negotiated settlement shows the effort to raise those on the lower end of the pay scale more quickly, offering those in the middle significant increases and those in the upper end regular annual increases.
DUES & AGENCY FEES
Dues for union members (or agency fee for non-members) have been deducted from our most recent paychecks. Keep in mind that this current amount represents a one-time retroactive deduction for pay periods since the beginning of the semester – when our contract took effect.
Take the time to make sure the amount you are receiving seems accurate. If you see any discrepancy or want to verify your calculations, contact a union representative in your department or email Carley Russell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FUTURE ‘KNOW YOUR CONTRACT’ TOPICS
We picked salary as the first topic to address, since it affects us all. Please feel free to suggest other topics of particular interest to you – just send us an email. The goal is for all of us to know and protect our rights!
Tufts Faculty Forward