Faculty Evaluation, Contract and Promotion

Term Faculty

Mason would be unable to thrive without our term faculty. Term faculty contribute to campus life and institutional success in a wide variety of ways, such as teaching, advising students, providing administrative leadership, university service, and more.

Mason Korea is committed to supporting faculty excellence in the classroom and providing faculty with a path toward long-term contracts and merit-based promotion. With these development goals in mind, it is critical to create and maintain an environment that values our faculty members' work and contribution to Mason Korea.

Faculty Evaluation at Mason Korea- Annual Review and Contract Renewal

Purpose

Mason Korea is committed to supporting faculty excellence in the classroom and providing faculty with a path toward long-term contracts and merit-based promotion. With these development goals in mind, this document describes the process for performance evaluation and contract renewal and at Mason Korea.

Evaluation of Teaching

Performance evaluation is multi-dimensional. It considers the appropriateness and craft of course design and curricular materials, the learning outcomes, assignments, and assessments designed to promote student learning; the students’ work and faculty member’s feedback on assignments and assessments; peer teaching evaluations, student evaluations of their learning experiences; and the faculty member’s participation in pedagogical development activities. It never relies on student evaluations alone.

Faculty performance in yearly evaluations will be judged either Outstanding, Excellent, Good or Unsatisfactory. Faculty evaluated as unsatisfactory will develop a performance improvement plan and will not be eligible for annual raises.

Faculty evaluation is performed by the Annual Review Committee, a standing committee of the Mason Korea Faculty Assembly.  See the most recent Annual Review Committee evaluation rubric and timeline for specific details on the Committee’s documentation requirements and process.  

Contract Lengths and Review – Full-time Faculty

Contracts will be renewed based on teaching performance, curricular need and enrollment demand. Though research and service can bear weight in promotion decisions, for the purposes of contract renewal no amount of strong research or service can substitute for the failure to achieve at least satisfactory teaching (“Good” or above). Faculty members who fail to meet the standard of satisfactory in any annual review should be prepared to create a plan to improve their teaching to the satisfactory level.

Contracts for Mason Korea faculty will be provided according to the following schedule: two 1-year renewable contracts, followed by 3-year renewable contracts. Only instructional (term) professors are eligible for 5- year contracts. Mason Korea will follow the process for multiyear contract renewals as documented in the George Mason University Faculty Handbook. Multiyear contract renewal dossiers are to include annual review documents from each of the relevant academic years under the current contract, along with a summary narrative.

Mason Korea’s approach to teaching evaluation is developmental. If a faculty member has one unsatisfactory review, he or she will be renewed, unless the teaching record fails to demonstrate basic learning, responsibility, ethics, or safety in the classroom. The faculty member will be provided with information and support to improve the areas of concern in the teaching.

If a faculty member has a second unsatisfactory review following the first, he or she will not be renewed. Faculty on one-year contracts who have three unsatisfactory reviews out of five in a five-year period will not be renewed, even if those unsatisfactory reviews are not consecutive.

A 3-year contract will be issued after the faculty member has had at least two consecutive satisfactory annual contract evaluations in a 3-year period. A faculty member who does not have two satisfactory yearly contract reviews will receive 1-year contracts and again become eligible for a 3-year contract after two consecutive satisfactory yearly contract reviews. A set of tables may be of help with regard to this requirement.

Evaluation

A faculty member on a 3-year or 5-year contract whose teaching is unsatisfactory three or more times during the length of the contract will not be renewed. Following the first unsatisfactory review, the faculty member will be provided with information and support to improve the areas of concern in the teaching. Two unsatisfactory reviews during the length of 3-year or 5-year contracts will result in the faculty member being put on a 1-year contract at the time of renewal. Faculty will be returned to their longer contracts (either 3 or 5-year, depending on the contract the faculty member was previously on) once they meet the requirements for new faculty on 1-year contracts, above.

Note that while these schedules are meant to provide probationary or developmental periods for faculty members, George Mason never has the obligation to renew a contract, if the teaching record fails to demonstrate basic learning, responsible or ethical behavior or safety in the classroom. In addition, even where teaching meets the standard of satisfactory or above teaching, a contract may not be renewed if enrollment demand and curricular needs do not warrant the renewal.

Tenured and tenure-track members of the George Mason University faculty are evaluated by their home departments.  Faculty on terminal one-semester appointments may opt out of this scheme but will not be renewed without evaluation of teaching as described above.

Contract Lengths and Review – Part-time Faculty

Contracts for part-time (adjunct) will be renewed based on teaching performance, curricular need and enrollment demand.

Adjunct faculty who teach a single semester for Mason Korea may opt out of evaluation, but will not be renewed for future semesters without a teaching evaluation. Though not required, Mason Korea recommends that such faculty do participate in the evaluation process, both for the inherent value in the process and also so that there will be an evaluation available in case there were interest in the faculty member teaching past one semester.

Part-time faculty who teach or will teach for Mason Korea for more than one semester must be evaluated on an annual basis. Though such review does not imply the awarding of any full-time or multiyear contracts, this review will be structured in the same manner as for full-time faculty with respect to both renewal and the schedule for peer class evaluation. Thus, for example, a part-time faculty member whose teaching is found unsatisfactory for two consecutive years will not be renewed.

Guidance for Classroom Observation 

Classroom observations may be conducted by the program coordinator, or a designee for the coordinator approved by the local academic unit, the program coordinator, and/or the Associate Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs. The class observer submits a written report to the Office of Faculty Affairs and should share with the faculty member in an effort to support the faculty member’s professional development.

The example rubric below may help evaluators with their report. The rubric, however, is not required, and can be modified or not used, as the evaluator finds appropriate. Once the faculty receives the class observation report (which should be within two weeks of the observation), the faculty member is free to respond to the report in an addendum letter. The report (along with any response) will become part of the material for annual review and contract renewal.

Wherever possible, classroom observations will be conducted face-to-face but may be conducted remotely in the absence of a suitable local option. Faculty teaching classes using an online format should provide the faculty observer with administrator access to the course website and arrange to discuss the course with the faculty observer.

- Classroom evaluation schedule

Class visits will be performed according to the following schedule:

Class Visit Schedule

Mason Korea reserves the right to conduct additional classroom observations if the need arises.

Procedures for Observing Teaching

  1. The observer will get in touch with the person to be observed and work out a mutually agreeable time to for the class visit. The faculty member should give the observer a copy of the course syllabus and copies of any handouts relevant to the day’s activities. The observer and the faculty member should briefly discuss (whether in person or over email) the faculty member’s plans and objectives for that day before the observer attends the class.
  2. After the class visit, the observer and faculty member briefly discuss their reactions to the class: what were the perceptions of each about how the class went? This is also an opportunity for the observer to ask any questions about class activities. 
  3. The observer then writes a report on the class. A copy of the report should be sent to the faculty member and the original submitted to the Office of Faculty Affairs to be placed in the faculty member’s file. 
  4. The faculty member has the opportunity to write a response letter, also to be included in the file, if they disagree with the letter or thinks that additional information is needed.
  5.  

Sample Classroom Observation Rubric

This is a sample rubric that class observers may use. Rubrics may vary depending upon prevailing standards in main campus academic units.

Spring Classroom Observation due date: Last day of April

Fall Classroom Observation due date: Last day of October

Date of Last Revision: July 28, 2022

 

Guidance for Annual Review and Faculty Appointment

Performance evaluation is multi-dimensional. It considers the appropriateness and craft of course design and curricular materials, the learning outcomes, assignments, and assessments designed to promote student learning; the students’ work and faculty member’s feedback on assignments and assessments; peer teaching evaluations, student evaluations of their learning experiences; and the faculty member’s participation in pedagogical development activities. It never relies on student evaluations alone.

Casebook/Portfolios for evaluation are due on July 15 of each calendar year, or the Monday after the 15th if the 15th falls on a Saturday or Sunday.

- Mason Korea Faculty Annual Review 2021-2022

- Term Faculty New Appointment AY 2022-2023

 

Guidance for Term Faculty Promotion

In accordance with section 2.7.3.1 of the Faculty Handbook, Term Faculty may be considered for a promotion with a new multi-year appointment, normally after five years of service. Promotion may occur within the period of a multi-year contract.

Term faculty whose primary area of focus is teaching should be evaluated in relation to their contracted position responsibilities. Candidates for promotion from term assistant to term associate professor must demonstrate at least high competence in teaching. Applications for a candidate’s promotion are evaluated by the local academic unit (LAU), the Dean, and the Provost. Colleges and schools may elect to include a second level review. LAUs are responsible for developing and communicating standards for high competence in teaching to their faculty and those involved in each level of review.

All full-time term faculty members are expected to be engaged at the LAU and/or school/college level. Expected participation and service includes, but is not limited to, such activity as attendance at faculty meetings and participation in committees or activities relevant to their negotiated roles and responsibilities.

Each college/school has a customized, comprehensive tenure and promotion guideline to set consistent teaching, research and service expectations within the unit. Guidelines recognize disciplinary differences and connect to the annual assessment and reappointment processes.

- Term Faculty Information

- Term Faculty Promotion with a new Multi-year Appointment AY 2022-2023

- University Promotion and Tenure Guidelines

- MK Promotion Guidelines

- Review, Promotion & Tenure (RPT) Tool

- Faculty Handbook

Casebook due date for promotion are normally August 26th of each year.

Others

- Faculty Program Affiliation Change Notice Procedures