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FAQ for Renewal, Promotion, and Continuing Appointment

1. What is the candidate’s responsibility?

It is the candidate’s responsibility to make their case effectively in the documentation of File A and File B. Evidence in File B is expected to support the assertions of File A. As the criteria of DOPS are referenced in the evaluative process, it may be to the candidate’s advantage to provide evidence of meeting as many of the criteria as possible and appropriate.

2. Should I apply for early promotion and continuing appointment?

Candidates interested in applying for early promotion or continuing appointment should discuss this with their department chair and dean. The college is not obligated to award early promotion and tenure and will consider each case on its own merit.

3. What is the structure of the departmental personnel committee?

The structure of the personnel committee should be specified in departmental bylaws. It should not include untenured faculty.  If there are too few tenured departmental faculty members to constitute the committee, secure membership from another department in A&H or beyond, as appropriate.
4. What should be included in the content of committee and chair evaluations and recommendations?

Committee and chair should review previous evaluations to ensure consistency and continuity of evaluations and recommendations from review to review.  Specifically identify any areas for improvement and state them in such a way that the candidate knows they should be addressed by the next review.  Note progress in the subsequent review.  Requirements for change should be clearly articulated well before the final review. 

The committee recommendation must show xc (copy to the candidate) and be mailed to the candidate’s home in hard copy via regular mail one week before the date the materials are due at the next level to allow one week for candidate response.  An additional copy may be handed to the candidate or placed in the candidate’s campus mail box.

The chair recommendation must show xc (copy to the candidate) and be mailed to the candidate’s home in hard copy via regular mail one week before the date the materials are due at the next level to allow one week for candidate response.  An additional copy may be handed to the candidate or placed in the candidate’s campus mail box. 

If recommendations are for non-renewal, non-promotion, or non-continuing, the letters should be sent by regular mail and certified mail, documenting date of delivery.

5. How many peer observations are needed, and how are they structured?

It is the candidate’s responsibility to obtain an ample number of peer observations of teaching. One observation per semester or two or three a year is suggested. Groups of faculty should not observe at one time in order to preserve the normalcy of the classroom learning environment as much as possible. The candidate is to receive a written record of the observation, which should describe the instructional period and evaluate the instruction according to the criteria of teaching excellence described in DOPS. The content of the written review should be discussed with the candidate soon after the observation as a means of strengthening teaching.  

6. What are the requirements for analysis of student course evaluations?

DOPS requires that the department committee and chairperson must do a critical analysis of data to identify the candidate’s strength and limitations. Course evaluations are expected from the entire class for each section that is taught.  The candidate is to include in File B a data summary sheet for each course taught, along with students’ written comments.

A&H: This analysis is facilitated by a summary of data. The format could be a table horizontally listing the 11 questions vertically listing all courses, with a final column showing the course average score. Graphs or other formats may be utilized to illustrate the actual scores.

7. How do I obtain peer observation of online teaching?
If members of the personnel committee do not have experience teaching online, it is helpful to include someone who has, perhaps from another program or department.  Peer observation of online instruction may require reviewing course progress over several days to effectively note faculty/student interaction.
The Directory of Policy Statements (DOPS, Policy Number: IV:07:00 ) addresses review of faculty teaching online courses:

Policies in place for issues such as establishing class size, evaluating staff, and making assignments apply to courses taught in a distance education format and do not need to be altered simply based on the technology associated with the instruction. However, until distance education is more widely practiced at Buffalo State College, tenure and other reviews of faculty/staff with extensive involvement in distance education will include input from individuals with distance education expertise to the extent practicable.

8. How do I administer evaluation of online student course evaluations?

The procedure for use of LOR's for student course evaluations follows:

  • The online instructor should contact the department to verify that a LOR has been created. If a LOR has been created, the chair or secretary can publish the survey into the instructor's Blackboard Learn course site.
  • If the department does not have a LOR for course evaluations, they should contact Meghan Pereira in Instructional Resources at 878-3877 to request one.
  • Meghan will create the LOR and contact the chair/secretary for training. Training will include creating survey, publishing survey into Blackboard Learn, and exporting data from survey.
  • The department chair can publish the survey into the Blackboard Learn site.
  • Students will complete the survey within their Blackboard Learn course site.  Results will be sent back to the department LOR.
  • The chair or secretary will have access to export the results and to share with the instructor after the faculty after grades are due.

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School of Arts and Humanities

Buffalo State •  1300 Elmwood Ave  •  Rockwell Hall 222
Buffalo, NY 14222  •  Phone: (716) 878-6326 •  Fax: (716) 878-6914