Two- and Four- Year Reviews
Please refer to AR 3:10 (see p.3, B.4).
While evaluation and coaching of tenure-track faculty members should be an ongoing process, the importance of timely and thorough Two-Year and Four-Year Progress towards Tenure Reviews cannot be overstated. These reviews are an important part of the progression of tenure-track faculty members and attention to them, both by the chair and the faculty member undergoing review is essential. These reviews constitute a major assessment of the faculty member’s record of achievement and give tenure-track faculty members time before sixth-year dossier preparation to address any areas of deficiency.
Chairs conduct these reviews before the end of the second and fourth years of the probationary period of tenure-track faculty. Reviews should be completed no later than 30 days before the second and fourth anniversary date of initial appointment, unless the faculty member has been granted a Delay of Probationary Period. For information about these delays, see the UK Office of Faculty Advancement webpage. For example, faculty members granted a one-year delay, the two-year review occurs 30 days before the end of three years and the four-year review occurs 30 days before the end of five years.
If for any reason (other than a granted delay) the two-year review is not completed 30 days before the two-year anniversary of the initial appointment, the date of the four-year review is not affected. In other words, the four-year review must be conducted 30 days before the four-year anniversary date, regardless of when the two-year review occurred. Late reviews should be avoided.
Two-year and four-year reviews are conducted for regular, extension, special, and librarian title series faculty members; that is, all tenure-track faculty. Reviews are not required for non-tenure track faculty members: those in the research, clinical, lecturer, and adjunct title series or are visiting or temporary. Reviews are not conducted for faculty members who, for whatever reason, have appointments that are not being renewed. Chairs receive automated emails reminding them of when reviews are due at the 180, 90, and 30 day mark ahead of the end of a faculty member's second or fourth year. Chairs are ultimately responsible for identifying faculty members for whom a review is due and conducting the reviews in a timely manner.
- With a minimum of 60 days’ notice before the chair intends to complete the review, the chair notifies the faculty member in writing about the time line for the review. The chair solicits from the faculty member an updated CV in a format agreed upon by the faculty member and the chair, a narrative statement about his or her teaching/research/extension activities, and (as appropriate) a teaching portfolio. These materials are to be made available to all tenured faculty members in the unit at the time they are informed that the review is under way and their comments are solicited.
- For the four-year review, the chair shall solicit e-mail or written comments from all tenured associate and full professors in the department. Assistant professors may be invited to comment, but should not be required to do so. For the two-year review, the chair shall consult with the faculty, but this may take the form of discussion with an advisory committee or appropriate representatives of the tenured faculty. Please note, email or written comments from senior faculty members and other faculty members invited to comment are not shared directly with the faculty member under review but are "discoverable" should the faculty member being reviewed request the materials.
- The chair reviews the comments solicited from faculty members and prepares a review summary. This is normally provided in the form of a letter to the faculty member being reviewed. If the review does not report satisfactory progress or considers a terminal appointment, this draft review summary and the CV are sent to the dean prior to the chair’s presentation of the letter to, and discussion of progress with, the faculty member. If the review reports satisfactory progress, the chair may discuss the review with the faculty member before the letter is forwarded to the dean.
- The chair meets with the faculty member being reviewed and discusses the review summary. After the chair and faculty member sign the document, the faculty member receives a copy.
- The chair sends an e-mail to the Associate Dean for Faculty Resources, Planning and Assessment with the final, signed review summary and the faculty member's CV attached. All other documents regarding the review remain in the departmental file.
- The signed review statement is placed in the Standard Personnel File in the Dean’s Office, and recorded as completed in the Faculty Data Base.
Conducting reviews for faculty members employed outside academic units
UK regulations require that the academic chair provides leadership to conduct two-year and four-year reviews, as well as provide the final step at the department level. The department chair is required to collaborate with the administrator of the faculty member’s center or other home. In other words, both are involved in this process and both have a say in the evaluation.
- One option is that the academic chair initiates the process and solicits documented input from the director.
- Or, it is possible that the director is responsible for initiating the process, forwarding recommendations to the academic chair, who then forwards a recommendation to the dean. In the latter instance, the academic chair writes an additional letter, which could be very brief if there is concurrence and both those are forwarded to the deans’ level.
- Regarding faculty consultation, for two-year reviews input is solicited by the director of the working unit and may include only faculty from the working unit. For four-year reviews, the academic chair solicits consultation from faculty members at both locations.
Language Choice for Chair's Review Summary
The chair’s review summary must not include explicit prediction of the likely outcome of a future tenure review. Instead, include constructive suggestions for addressing areas of deficiency. Statements such as, "There can be no doubt that you will receive enthusiastic support for promotion from the faculty,” or "You only need one more article to qualify for tenure," could later be construed as misleading. Express concluding or summarizing statements in terms of progress towards tenure or stage of program development, e.g., “Your research productivity after four years is consistent with the expectations of your faculty peers.” Use appropriate qualifiers such as, “In the judgment of the faculty I have consulted…” Never include comments about personality, personal life, or individual attributes, e.g., “Some faculty doubt that you have the intellectual capacity or energy to succeed in this research area.” Focus on the act of “collaboration,” or the functions of “service” or “leadership,” not the characteristic of “collegiality.” Evaluate performance as documented in the record.