Annual Review of Probationary and Non-Tenure Track Faculty

Faculty Review Form Processing: http://provost.uiowa.edu/faculty-review-form-processing

Purpose of Annual Reviews for Faculty

Annual reviews are required of all probationary- tenure-track, clinical-track and research-track faculty members - in at least the first three (or four) years of their contract. Additional annual reviews are required for tenure-track faculty members until tenure is awarded, and for clinical-track and research-track faculty as dictated by university and collegiate policies. Annual reviews are also required for all tenured faculty members (see: Annual and Five-Year Review of Tenured Faculty for related guidelines).

Annual and reappointment faculty reviews have two interrelated purposes. The first and generally more important purpose is developmental: to provide faculty members with substantial feedback and guidance regarding their progress toward meeting departmental and collegiate expectations for success. The second is evaluative: to provide an assessment of faculty members’ status for administrative decision-making. The evaluative component is most prominent in reappointment reviews and when important administrative decisions (e.g., tenure-clock extension) are being considered.

The process and timing of probationary and non-tenure track annual reviews differ based on the type of appointment (e.g., tenure-track, research-track, clinical-track) and the length of service. The guidelines below are provided to assist you in preparing annual and reappointment reviews of all probationary and non-tenured faculty members in your college at the rank of Assistant Professor and above.

  1. Conducting Probationary and Non-Tenure Track Faculty Reviews,
  2. Tenure-Track Faculty,
  3. Clinical-Track Faculty,
  4. Research-Track Faculty,
  5. Completion of the Probationary Faculty Annual Review Form, and
  6. Monitoring Compliance.

A) Conducting Probationary and Non-Tenure Track Faculty Reviews

The following guidelines shall be followed in conducting reviews of all tenure-track, clinical-track, and research-track faculty:

  1. Each academic unit is expected to develop detailed review criteria and processes consistent with the qualifications established in Section 10.4b and c of the Operations Manual.
  2. It is the responsibility of the Dean and the DEO (when applicable) to ensure the completion of the review process. It is expected that the annual review will be performed in consultation with the individual faculty member.
  3. The review of probationary and non-tenure track faculty faculty should be as complete and detailed as possible in order to provide sufficient feedback and guidance to the faculty member being reviewed. See the Provost Office website for Best Practices and Common Problems in conducting faculty reviews.
  4. If there are secondary/tertiary appointments, the review process should be guided by the original offer letter and/or the MOU, and evidence or description of the participation in the review by the department(s) must be provided and signatures obtained.
  5. Upon completion of the review process, the faculty member should be informed of the results of the review in the following ways:
    • Receive a written summary of the review, including documents sent forward by the DEO to the Dean for subsequent review by the Provost.
    • Be given the opportunity for a one-on-one meeting with the DEO or designee responsible for the review process.
    • Be informed of her/his right to respond in writing to the review. This response will then become part of the official record (see Faculty Review Application Guidelines).
  6. The forms will be automatically routed to the faculty member being reviewed after being entered by the Initiator into Workflow. This will enable the faculty member to “approve” the form, which will serve as an electronic signature to acknowledge that s/he has received the results of the review. The electronic signature will serve as documentation that the faculty member has been informed of the results of the review and was offered the opportunity to respond. The faculty member will not be able to edit the form, nor remove or edit attachments. All review documents, including any response from the faculty member, should be uploaded before it reaches the faculty member for approval.

B) Tenure Track Faculty

  1. First Year’s Annual Review: All probationary faculty members shall receive annual reviews; in their first year the review is conducted in the Spring semester (April 15th of each year). This review may be abbreviated and based on the faculty member’s limited record to date, but the first review should be used as an opportunity to introduce the process and criteria of annual reviews, review the faculty member’s goals, and develop a plan for achieving those goals in her/his probationary period.
  2. Reappointment Review: Most reappointment reviews are conducted during the third year (for colleges having a collegiate norm of a six-year tenure clock) or fourth year (for colleges having a collegiate norm of an eight-year tenure clock). This is a substantial review that takes “into account the faculty member’s proven teaching effectiveness and research productivity and potential. It also should include an evaluation of departmental, collegiate, and university educational goals and a determination of the likely role of the faculty member in achieving those goals” (Operations Manual, III-10.1a(4)(h)).
    1. If the reappointment review yields a decision to reappoint, that appointment should be for a time that will enable a tenure review, most usually three or four years, depending on the collegiate norm.
    2. If the review results in a decision that the faculty member is not performing satisfactorily, then a terminal appointment is given. The Office of the Provost should be notified as soon as possible if a recommendation not to reappoint is forthcoming.
    3. A Faculty Review Form must be submitted with the reappointment review, whether there will be reappointment or terminal appointment.
  3. Tenure Review: For the tenure review, the probationary faculty member undergoes a comprehensive review of teaching, scholarship or creative work, and service from the time of initial appointment. This review typically occurs in a faculty member’s final year of their pre-tenure appointment, unless extensions have been granted that have reset the tenure review date. For information about conducting tenure reviews, see the Office of the Provost’s Procedures for Tenure and Promotion Decision Making at The University of Iowa.
  4. All Other Years:- An annual review is required for all tenure-track probationary faculty in non-reappointment or tenure consideration years, as cited in the Operations Manual citation at the beginning of this section. 

C) Clinical-Track Faculty

  • Policy Guidance: Operations Manual, III-10.9
  • See college-specific guidelines for departmental and/or collegiate timelines and requirements
  1. Annual Reviews: Initial appointments for clinical-track faculty are one to three years in duration.  Annual reviews are required for all clinical-track faculty members until the final year of the initial appointment. 
  2. Contract-Renewal Review: Reappointment reviews are conducted in the final year of the initial appointment. As stated in the Operations Manual, this is a substantial review that takes into account “the faculty member's demonstrated effectiveness in fulfilling teaching and service missions.” It should also include “evaluation of the departmental, collegiate, and University educational and service goals and the likely role of the faculty member in the future in achieving those goals” (Operations Manual, III-10.1a(4)(h)).
    1. If the reappointment review yields a decision to reappoint, the clinical-track faculty member will receive a one- to seven-year appointment.
    2. If the review results in a decision that the faculty member is not performing satisfactorily, then a terminal appointment is given (see Operations Manual,III-10.9h for notice of non-renewal requirements). The Office of the Provost should be notified as soon as possible if a recommendation not to reappoint is forthcoming.
    3. A Faculty Review form must be submitted with the reappointment review, whether there will be reappointment or terminal appointment.

D) Research-Track Faculty

  • Policy Guidance: Operations Manual,III-10.10d
  • See college-specific guidelines for departmental and/or collegiate timelines and requirements
  1. Annual Reviews: Initial appointments for research-track faculty are one to three years in duration. Annual reviews are required for all research-track faculty members until the final year of the initial appointment. 
  2. Contract-renewal Review: During the third year of service, or prior to that if a promotion is contemplated, a full-scale, departmental-collegiate review will be made. According to the Operations Manual,“[t]his review should take into account the research-track faculty member's effectiveness in fulfilling the research mission and the ability of the research-track faculty member to obtain and sustain extramural salary support. It also should include an evaluation of the departmental, collegiate, and University research goals and the likely role of the research-track faculty member in the future in achieving those goals.” “Research-track faculty will be reviewed on a schedule commensurate with their appointments, according to written standards of compentence and performance defined by their college and departments.  Reappointments are to be made only if the research faculty member has a demonstrated record of successfully obtaining external support to fund the research-track faculty member's research.”
    1. If the reappointment review yields a decision to reappoint, research track faculty may be reappointed on a “schedule commensurate with their appointments, according to written standards of competence and performance defined by their college and departments”.
    2. If the review results in a decision that the faculty member is not performing satisfactorily, or for changed economic circumstances or program needs such that the position itself is terminated, then a terminal appointment is given (see Operations Manual, III-10.10h for notice of non-renewal requirements). Non-renewal for changed economic circumstances or program needs may only occur at the conclusion of an appointment and must carry appropriate notice. The Office of the Provost should be notified as soon as possible if a recommendation not to reappoint is forthcoming.
    3. A Faculty Review Form must be submitted with the reappointment review, whether there will be reappointment or terminal appointment.

E) Completion of the Probationary and Non-Tenure-Track Faculty Review Form

For information about initiating and processing a Faculty Review Form in the UI workflow system, please see Faculty Review Application Guidelines.

  1. As a reminder, the Probationary and Non-Tenure-Track Faculty Review Form does not constitute notice of non-renewal. Such written notice must be approved by the Office of the Provost prior to notifying the faculty member. For policies on non-renewal see:
  2. Departments are not required to maintain a paper copy of the documents attached in UI Workflow. If these documents are needed in the future, a print-out from the HR systems will be sufficient.
  3. Annual reviews of probationary faculty members must be completed and received by the Office of the Provost via UI Workflow no later than April 15th of each year.

F) Monitoring Compliance

To run customized compliance reports in the "Faculty Review Application," you can click on the "Workflow Status" drop down box to filter the workflow forms that are “Not Initiated,” “Routing,” or “Completed.”  The Office of the Provost will use the "Faculty Review Application" to monitor the completion of all faculty reviews, including tenured faculty reviews.

Any questions regarding the review process please contact Debbie Millsap, Office of the Provost, by email at deborah-millsap@uiowa.edu or by phone: 335-1187.

The Faculty Status Report: The database from which the report is drawn is available electronically at: https://provost.uiowa.edu/apps/facstat. Deans, DEOs and collegiate administrators automatically have access to this report with their HawkID and password. Access for other individuals may be requested by contacting Kris Yows at kristina-yows@uiowa.edu.