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Classroom Observation Policy for Faculty Members on Full-time Term and Part-time Appointments

See also Peer Observations of Faculty Members in Probationary Tenure-Track Positions (See Article IIB of the Personnel Policies.)

For term and part-time faculty members, peer observations serve a developmental purpose. They can also serve as evidence of teaching effectiveness when considering a request for an extension of the term or part-time appointment.

No single faculty member shall do a majority of the observations. At least half of the observations shall be done by tenured faculty members. The timing of classroom observations shall be arranged by the Chair, Director, or Dean in consultation with the faculty member being observed. The courses observed shall reflect the range and type of courses normally taught by the observed faculty member.* Each observation shall cover an entire session of the class. Following the observation of each course, the observing faculty member shall provide both written and oral feedback in a timely fashion to the observed faculty member. The observer shall also provide a copy of the written feedback to the Chair, Director, or Dean and to the Vice President for Academic Affairs to be placed in the observed faculty member's personnel file.

Faculty members may request additional observations; faculty colleagues are encouraged, but not required to honor such requests. Departments wishing to conduct more classroom observations than the required number shall do so only with the written consent of the faculty member.

A. For Full-Time Term Appointments

  • For an initial one-year term appointment, observe two courses in the fall semester. For any subsequent term appointment, follow the schedule for a tenure-track appointment (see Article IIB of the Personnel Policies.).
  • For an initial multi-year term appointment, observe two courses in the fall semester of the first year and then observe according to the rules for a tenure-track appointment.
  • Spring semester observations are not required for a faculty member who has resigned or whose appointment will not be extended for the following year.

Observers shall be selected from the full-time members of the faculty eligible to serve on the Department’s or School’s personnel committee.

B. For Part-Time Appointments

For a faculty member holding a part-time appointment observe one course in each of the first five semesters in which the faculty member is teaching. Thereafter, observe one course in every fifth semester of teaching.

Observers shall be selected by the department chair from the full-time members of the department, program, or school.

* In the sciences, labs may count for one of the course observations

(Revised and effective December 4, 2011)