Annual Review and Post-Tenure Review FAQs

Q1: How are annual reviews and post-tenure reviews connected?

A1: Strong annual review practices are key to having smooth, meaningful departmental post-tenure reviews. Effective annual reviews ensure that faculty receive timely, regular feedback on performance. They also ensure that post-tenure review is not the first time a performance concern is raised with a faculty member. One approach to strengthening annual reviews is to include time for a comprehensive perspective each year. During the annual review, the faculty member and department head can take an intentional look back, beyond just a year, to recognize lasting strengths and positive trends, as well as to intentionally plan for growth or improvement. Department heads may want to note each faculty member’s next post-tenure review date during their annual reviews. 

Q2: Are all faculty required to have an annual review?

A2: Annual reviews are required for all faculty except those with contract lengths of less than one year.  If your department typically hires professional faculty on nine-month contracts, then interpret this exception as less than one academic year. If your department typically hires professional faculty on 12-month contracts, then interpret this exception as less than one calendar year. 

Q3: Who can view the department head’s annual review assessments of faculty?

A3: The department head’s annual review of a faculty member, and any written response by the faculty member, are part of the faculty member’s personnel file. Without permission of the faculty member, the personnel file is viewable only to the faculty member and individuals in the faculty member’s chain of supervision at the university (i.e. department head, dean, provost and chancellor). Other individuals outside the university may review or access the non-public information contained in an employee’s personnel file under special circumstances. Read more on personnel files here.

Q4: Is there a required format for annual review assessments?

A4: NC State does not have a required format for annual review assessments. Annual review assessments should address the faculty member’s performance in each relevant realm of responsibility. Assessments highlight particular successes over the previous year and may also specify improvements needed in any realm and suggest or require that the faculty member pursue certain activities or resources related to those improvements (e.g. workshops, mentoring, etc.). Department heads and faculty are encouraged to view annual review assessments as opportunities to guide the faculty member towards success in his or her next major evaluative milestone, be it tenure, promotion or post-tenure review.

Q5: Is there a required format for faculty activity reports?

A5: NC State does not have a required format for faculty activity reports but does provide institutional support for Digital Measures, a web-based tool to maintain and report on faculty professional accomplishments. Training videos are available here, and individual faculty, departments, or colleges may contact the Office of Institutional Research and Planning for more information.

Q1: Are Professional Faculty reviewed every five years?

A1: The post-tenure review regulation requiring a five-year comprehensive review is specific to tenured faculty. Some departments also elect to perform comprehensive five-year reviews of professional faculty using the same or similar materials and procedures. Such departments are advised to document their procedures for the periodic comprehensive review of professional faculty in an existing departmental rule. This is typically either the department rule for post-tenure review or for professional faculty standards and promotion.  

Q1: When will Statements of Faculty Responsibilities be required for post-tenure review?

A1: The transition from Statements of Mutual Expectations (SMEs) to Statements of Faculty Responsibilities (SFRs) is well underway. Please read our fact sheet for details on this transition. The timeline for using SFRs in post-tenure review is the same as the timeline described for RPT in the fact sheet.

For additional information on SFRs see Statements of Faculty Responsibilities FAQs.

Q1: What should reviewers document in their post-tenure review assessments of faculty?

A1: We’ve created these letter templates to help department heads, department committees, college committees, and deans.

Should the department PTR committee reach its overall post-tenure review assessment by simply summing the total percent of realms that meet expectations?

In the same way that promotion and tenure decisions require nuanced evaluation, making a determination of whether a faculty member meets expectations in post-tenure review may not be as simple as adding up percentages. The central question of post-tenure review is whether the individual continues to meet the department and college standards for faculty of their rank and in the relevant realms of responsibility. Post-tenure review evaluators might ask: would a faculty member be promoted to this individual’s rank with this level of performance in the realm(s) of responsibility?  

Q2: Who determines if a faculty member is found to exceed expectations?

A2: The dean makes the final decision as to whether a faculty member will receive the “exceeds expectations” designation. In all cases, this designation must first be recommended by the department PTR committee.

Q3: Is there a limit to the number of faculty who can be found to exceed expectations?

A3: No; that said, our regulation specifies that the “exceeds expectations” designation is to be reserved for the most exceptional performance. College and/or department rules should define what constitutes the most exceptional performance to be recognized in this way.

Q1: Can a post-tenure review be postponed?

A1: The post-tenure review regulation states that the dean can grant an extension of up to one year when compelling circumstances place undue burden on the faculty member and/or department to complete the review during the fifth year. Examples may include but are not limited to serious personal or family health conditions, major disruptions in key services and support, and consideration for promotion in the same year. Department heads should document any approved extensions in the faculty member’s personnel file.

Q2: What should a faculty member planning to retire do to be excepted from post-tenure review?

A2: The post-tenure review regulation allows the dean to grant an exception to faculty members who submit a letter of intent to retire, resign, or apply for Phased Retirement Program (PRP) within two years from July 1 of the academic year of their review. The dean should document his or her granting of the exception for the faculty member’s personnel file. Deans are advised to clarify in this document the year the faculty member will undergo post-tenure review should he or she not carry through with the intent to retire or resign within the two-year timeframe.  

For example, a faculty member is up for post-tenure review in Academic Year 20-21 (July 1, 2020 is the anchor date). The faculty member submits a letter of intent to retire/resign/apply for PRP no later than June 30, 2022 (that’s within two years of the anchor date). The dean provides documentation noting the exception and that, should the faculty member not retire/resign/apply for PRP prior to June 30, 2022, he or she will undergo post-tenure review in AY 22-23.

Q1: What materials are required for post-tenure review?

A2: The materials required by the university for all post-tenure reviews are a current CV; Statement of Faculty Responsibilities; and all faculty activity reports and peer teaching evaluations since the last post-tenure review. A two-page candidate statement is optional unless required by the department. Departments may, in their rules, require additional materials beyond the minimum university requirement. It is important to consult departmental rules for any additional materials required by the department.   

Q2: Can our college/department require post-tenure review materials beyond those required by the University regulation?

A2: Yes, but any such additional required materials must be specified in your college/department rule as to apply consistently to all college/department faculty.

Q3: How many peer teaching evaluations are needed for post-tenure review?

A3: All peer teaching evaluations conducted since the faculty member’s last comprehensive review (post-tenure or promotion to associate/full) should be included in post-tenure review materials. Associate professors seeking promotion to professor must include two peer teaching evaluations in the promotion dossier; the same peer teaching evaluations can be used for both post-tenure review and the promotion dossier. Professors should have a peer teaching evaluation conducted every five years. See the Evaluation of Teaching regulation for more information.

Q4: What if the minimum number of required peer teaching evaluations for post-tenure review have not been conducted?

A4: REG 05.20.10 Evaluation of Teaching requires that Associate Professors and Professors have one peer review of teaching every five years. Therefore, every post-tenure review should include at least one peer review of teaching. The absence of a required peer review of teaching is not considered an exceptional circumstance that would merit a post-tenure review extension; instead, the department head should address the absence of the peer review in his or her assessment and facilitate the peer review of teaching as soon as possible.

Please visit our webpage on Performance Development Plans.

Q1: Do the written summaries of the faculty member’s meetings with the department head and PDP peer mentor become part of the PTR materials?

A1: Faculty on a performance development plan (PDP) are required to meet at least twice annually while on the PDP, with the department head and a peer mentor.  Summaries of those meetings are documented for the personnel file. However, the summaries are not included in the materials for the annual post-tenure review evaluation during the PDP. 

Q2: What is the departmental PTR committee evaluating for a faculty member on a PDP?

A2: The departmental PTR committee is evaluating evidence of the faculty member’s progress towards meeting the expectations of the PDP. Because each PDP is individualized, the evidence and materials provided to departmental PTR committees to evaluate progress towards meeting PDP expectations can vary from year to year (in a multi-year plan) and from person to person.  

Q3: If a faculty member has a 3-year PDP, with specific expectations detailed for each year, and does not meet expectations defined for the first year, can the faculty member still be found to meet expectations of the whole plan?

A3: Yes. In the same manner that a faculty member could complete all expectations of a multi-year plan in the first year, it is possible that some aspects of a multi-year plan may take longer than anticipated. Such flexibility should be employed when a faculty member is making continuous progress towards meeting all expectations within the overall timeline of the PDP.

Q4: Can a departmental faculty with administrative duties (e.g. associate department head, etc.) be a peer mentor to a faculty member on a performance development plan?

A4: Yes. The primary appointment of a peer mentor should be as a faculty member, although the mentor’s responsibilities may include administrative duties.

Q1: Who can receive an administrative review in lieu of the post-tenure review?

A1: Faculty appointed to the position of dean, associate dean, department head and vice provost are subject to other regulations that govern their regular review while serving in those roles. NC State Centers and Institutes, including their directors, are also required by regulation to undergo review every five years. Faculty directors of these centers and institutes may request from the dean that the center/institute review replace the faculty member’s five-year post-tenure review(s) during their appointment as director. The dean’s approval should be documented in the personnel file with copy to the department head.  

Q2: Consultations are suggested or required in several sections of the PTR regulation. Do these have to be face-to-face and include the entire departmental PTR committee?

A2: One-on-one consultations are not required to occur face-to-face; however, because these are personnel matters, care should be taken to ensure that electronically-mediated consultations are limited and confidential. When a department head or dean must consult with, or wants to consult with a departmental or college PTR committee, it is advisable to strive to consult with the full committee face-to-face and at the same time. 

Q3: What if the faculty member provides additional materials related to his or her performance, beyond those required?

A3: Post-tenure review evaluators are only required to consider the materials listed in the university regulation and any additional required materials as defined per college/department rules. The faculty member’s optional response, after the department committee and department head assessments, can be an opportunity for the faculty member to provide new information, correct errors or clarify issues in their required materials.

Q4: Do faculty members under review receive the assessments of the department committee, department head, and dean?

A4: Yes. The PTR regulation specifies that the faculty member under review is the recipient of each assessment. The optional template letters are written to reflect this. 

Q5: When and how should the faculty members under review receive post-tenure review assessments?

A5: When the new PTR Online module is complete, the tool will automatically facilitate these notices to the faculty member. Until then, the department head is typically the conduit for all information to the faculty member undergoing post tenure review. 

The department PTR committee does not give its assessment directly to the faculty member. Instead, the committee gives its assessment to the department head. The department head will provide the faculty member with his or her own assessment, as well as that of the department PTR committee, at the same time.  

The dean will always conduct at least one PTR assessment, which should be shared with the faculty member (through the department head) upon its completion. The Dean’s assessment should indicate to the faculty member whether the review is complete or whether materials are moving to a college PTR committee.

In the event that a college PTR committee is engaged, the dean will provide the faculty member (through the department head) with the college PTR committee assessment, as well as his or her own second assessment, at the same time. The Dean’s second assessment should indicate to the faculty member whether the review is complete or whether materials are moving to the provost for final determination.

Provost determinations will be provided to the dean and then, through the department head, to the faculty member.

Q6: Which post-tenure review documents do we send to the Provost’s office?

A6: PTR documents are only sent to the Provost’s Office in cases where a college-level PTR committee is used. If a college-level PTR committee is used, then its written assessment is to be shared with the provost. A complete set of post-tenure review documentation is only sent to the Provost’s Office in cases where the college PTR committee and dean’s second assessment differ. Then the provost must perform an independent review and make the final determination. For those cases, please contact us to arrange how files will be shared.

Q1: Where can I find my college and department rules for post-tenure review?

A1: Here’s a direct link to college and department post-tenure review rules. You can also use the search function at the top of the PRR website to search directly for your department or college.

Q2: What if our department/college wants to revise our post-tenure review rule?

A2: We’ve created this guide to help you. In short, download the current version of your rule from the PRR website. Make redline changes directly in that document. Obtain approval of the appropriate department and/or college voting bodies, department head and/or dean, and record the groups or individuals and the dates of their votes on a cover sheet. Send the completed cover sheet and redline rule to chthornt@ncsu.edu. The provost and university general counsel will review and approve before any revisions are posted. 

Q1: Who is required to complete PTR training?

A1: All evaluators in the post-tenure review process — including department PTR committees, department heads, deans, college PTR committees — are required to receive post-tenure review training per UNC system regulations.

Q2: Do I have to renew my post-tenure review training?

A2: Viewing the NC State or UNC system post-tenure review video one time fulfills the training requirement. We recommend a refresher, however, if your role in the process changes (e.g. a department PTR committee member becomes the department head) or if it has been more than two years since you have participated in post-tenure review as an evaluator. All faculty who viewed NC State’s post-tenure review training video via REPORTER can access that content at any time by logging into REPORTER; scroll down to Completed Courses; locate the course and click the View Details button to the right; click Access Online Content in the new window that opens. This should take you to the Moodle content and video for the post-tenure review training.

Q3: How can I confirm that I’ve completed the post-tenure review training requirement?

A3: All post-tenure review training completions should be recorded in REPORTER, NC State’s platform to track and report on required trainings. The Office of Faculty Affairs has been actively working to collect in REPORTER information on all faculty who viewed the UNC system post-tenure review video prior to the release of NC State’s video in 2018. To check your status in REPORTER, log in and scroll down to Completed Activities. Those who have completed the training should see Course ID PRV-OFA-PTReview among your list. If you watched the UNC system or NC State post-tenure review video but do not see Course ID PRV-OFA-PTReview under your Completed Activities in REPORTER, then contact Courtney Thornton at chthornt@ncsu.edu for assistance.