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Peer Observation of Faculty Members in Probationary Tenure-Track Positions

See also Classroom Observation Policy for Faculty Members on Full-Time Term and Part-Time Appointments (See Article XIII of the General Policies.)

In the first year, peer observations are voluntary. If done, observations shall be initiated and arranged by the probationary faculty member. After visiting a class or classes, the observing faculty member should arrange a meeting with the first-year faculty member to provide feedback. Any written materials provided to the first-year faculty member based on these class observations shall be under the sole control of the first-year faculty member.

Peer observations are required after the first year of the probationary period. Required course observations shall be conducted by tenure-track faculty members who are appointed by the department chair in consultation with the DPC. Observers shall be from the probationary faculty member's department; in exceptional cases, as deemed appropriate by the chair, faculty members from outside the department may be chosen for this purpose. No single faculty member shall do a majority of the observations. At least half of the observations shall be done by tenured faculty. The timing of classroom observations shall be arranged by the department chair in consultation with the faculty member being observed. The courses observed should reflect the range and type of courses* normally taught by the observed faculty member. Each observation should 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 will also provide a copy of the written feedback to the chair and the Vice President for Academic Affairs to be placed in the observed faculty member's personnel file and in the decision file for interim and tenure reviews.

In the second year, two courses shall be observed in each semester.

In the third, fourth, and fifth years of the probationary period, a total of four courses (at least one course each year) taught by the probationary faculty member shall be observed.

Probationary faculty can always request additional observations. Departments wishing to conduct more classroom observations than the required number shall do so only with the written consent of the probationary faculty member.

If the probationary period is three years or fewer, peer observations will be required in the first year and will follow the process outlined for the second year.

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

(Revised and effective November 3, 2003)