Article 14 Pilot:
MOU Article 14A,
regular faculty evaluations,
& article 14B,
adjunct faculty evaluations:
know your rights & understand the process
Lynn Harenberg Miller, Adjunct Faculty, Communication Studies
Jack R. Wegman, Regular Faculty, Economics
On September 6, 2011 AFA and the District signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) implementing a one-year pilot project with respect to Article 14, Faculty Evaluations. In negotiating the details of this pilot, the fundamental guiding principles for AFA and the District were (a) to insure that all faculty are evaluated using identical processes regardless of employment status, and (b) that the interests of the faculty, District, and students are fairly represented as per Ed. Code requirements [70902(b)7]. This update provides important highlights of this pilot project. For more specific information about these highlights, please see the actual language of the MOUs (click here). For the first time, evaluation forms are available online (click here).
As in the old Article 14, department chairs will schedule regular faculty for either a fall or spring evaluation, and adjunct faculty with right of assignment will be evaluated every sixth semester of employment.
Although the pilot article is similar to previous versions of Article 14, there are a number of important differences.
One important change that you will see in the pilot pertains to the evaluation timeline. To make certain that the evaluations are completed in a timely manner, the pilot article includes a number of suggested deadlines, and timelines are identical for both regular faculty and adjunct faculty. Both timelines are semester based. (To see the timelines for MOU Article 14A, Regular Faculty Evaluations, and MOU Article 14B, Adjunct Faculty Evaluations, see sections 14A.06 and 14B.06 of the MOUs: http://www.santarosa.edu/afa/mou.shtml)
In addition to the pilot's "suggested deadlines," there are also three mandatory deadlines. Meeting these mandatory deadlines is essential, as failure to do so may make an evaluation null and void.
Week 2, All Faculty: Notification of Evaluation (District Obligation). By the end of Week 2 of the semester, the District must notify those instructors who are being evaluated. Failure on the part of the District to meet this deadline may result in cancellation of the evaluation at the request of the evaluee.
Week 5, Regular Faculty: Submission of syllabi, teaching schedule, and self-assessment to department chair. This material is due by the end of Week 5 of the semester. Regular faculty will be evaluated in four areas: student contact, District and department service, professional development, and other required duties (for example, turning in grade rosters on time and maintaining office hours). The new article eliminates the requirement for informal student evaluations each semester.
Week 5, Adjunct Faculty: Submission of syllabi and teaching schedule to department chair, due by the end of Week 5 of the semester. Adjunct faculty will be evaluated in two areas: student contact and other required duties (for example, turning in grade rosters on time and maintaining office hours). The MOU specifically states that adjunct faculty are not required to submit a self-assessment, nor are they required to do work on curriculum, Student Learning Outcomes, or other college service for which they are not compensated (Article 14B.03). Adjunct evaluations do not include an option for self-assessment.
Week 5, All Faculty: Department chair notifies evaluee of those individuals who will conduct a classroom observation. The new article allows for both the department and/or the supervising administrator to observe the classroom. The chair and supervising administrator may waive that right. The department chair and supervising administrator must indicate their intent to observe by the end of Week 5.
Week 16: Meeting with Evaluee (District and Evaluee). The supervising administrator and evaluee meet no later than Week 16 to discuss the final report of the evaluation outcomes. The evaluee may ask the department chair to also attend the meeting.
COMPOSITION OF EVALUATION TEAM
For all faculty, the evaluation team is comprised of the evaluator, department chair, and supervising administrator.
Evaluator: The evaluator is the individual who conducts the in-class observation. This person is also responsible for distribution and collection of student evaluations. The evaluator writes a report summarizing the classroom observation experience along with a summary of the student evaluations.
Department chair: The department chair is the conduit of communication between the evaluee and the supervising administrator. The department chair gives the evaluee the name of the instructor who will conduct the in-class observation. In addition, the chair informs the evaluee as to whether the chair and/or the supervising administrator will also conduct a classroom observation.
Supervising Administrator: The supervising administrator collects all evaluation materials and meets with the department chair and evaluee.
Regarding the evaluation team, there are four basic points to note. First, for all evaluations, there must always be two faculty members between the evaluee and the supervising administrator. That is, there must always be a faculty evaluator and department chair. Under no circumstances can a single individual serve the role of both the evaluator and chair, and each member of the team performs only one role. This is new and different from previous articles.
Second, one of the main differences between the current MOU and previous versions of Article 14 is that the evaluee may no longer request a team evaluation, as the team always consists of three individuals: faculty peer evaluator, department chair, and supervising administrator. This is new and different from previous versions of the article.
Third, both regular faculty and adjunct faculty with assignment priority (that is, adjunct faculty who have successfully completed the probationary process) have the right to reject the first evaluator selected from the department rotation list. An evaluee who rejects the first evaluator is then required to accept the next name on the rotation list. This is consistent with previous versions of the article.
Fourth, as previously stated, both the department chair and supervising administrator are members of the evaluation team and have the right to conduct a classroom observation. This is a change from the previous version of Article 14.
FINAL REPORTS & EVALUATION COMPLETION: Week 16 Deadline
To complete the evaluation process, observers prepare their observation reports and then meet with the evaluee to review and sign the observation reports. The evaluation team will then meet to confer about ratings (see below), the department chair and supervising administrator prepare and sign the Final Report, and one member of the team will write a narrative specifying any needed improvement. Finally, the department peer and evaluee meet to sign the Final Report and any Minority Reports.
Ratings and the Final Report
By the end of Week 13, the department chair and supervising administrator meet to agree upon ratings for the evaluee, prepare the Final Report, and determine whether any Minority Report is needed.
Ratings for regular faculty pertain to student contact, college service, professional development, and "other required duties." For adjunct faculty, ratings pertain to student contact and "other required duties."
There are now four ratings rather than the three specified in previous versions of Article 14. The four ratings are "commendable," "satisfactory," "improvement needed," and the new rating of "satisfactory, with minor improvement needed." "Satisfactory, with minor improvement needed" does not trigger a follow-up evaluation, but a brief narrative is required that describes the necessary improvements. The department chair will write a narrative if an "improvement needed" rating is given in any category.
The Final Report and any Minority Reports are then ready for evaluee review and signature.
If all categories are "commendable," "satisfactory," or "satisfactory, with minor improvement needed," the department peer meets or confers with the faculty member to review and sign the Final Report and any Minority Reports.
If any category is rated "improvement needed," the supervising administrator meets with the evaluee to review and sign the Final Report and any Minority Reports. The chair may choose to join the meeting.
To complete the evaluation process, the supervising administrator determines that the evaluation file is complete and then submits it to Human Resources. And now we can get back to doing the job for which we were hired, and that is to provide our students with an excellent education!
Remember that this update provides an overview of the changes to Article 14, and we strongly encourage all faculty and supervising administrators participating in the process to read the actual MOUs. As always, please contact AFA if you have any questions about the new process or feedback on the pilot program.