Faculty Personnel Policies
Faculty Handbook Revision Effective - September 2001, distributed via e-mail and posted on the website
Distributed again via e-mail ? October 2006
The performance of a faculty member is subject to periodic review by the department chair and by others including the Dean and Personnel Committee. The purposes of review are two: to provide information for decisions on reappointment, promotion, and salaries, and to provide information to assist faculty members with their professional development.
All faculty members are reviewed each year in connection with decisions on salaries. More extensive evaluations are done when consideration is given to renewal of appointment or to promotion in rank.
The official Knox College statement on the criteria for evaluating faculty follows.
As an undergraduate college, Knox is primarily concerned with the effectiveness of the teaching of its students and the maintenance of an academic environment and educational programs which promote learning for student and faculty colleagues alike. Among the aims of utmost importance at the College is that of securing and retaining a faculty characterized by the highest standards. Excellence in teaching, appropriately informed by research and other creative work is a necessary requirement for favorable evaluation. But effectiveness in teaching is not in itself sufficient for the highest evaluation; rather the individual should demonstrate as well superior performance in scholarship and appropriate service to the institution.
A favorable evaluation for tenure requires not merely a judgment that the candidate is satisfactory but a high degree of enthusiasm for the candidate?s qualifications. The case made should not be merely reasonable; it should be compelling beyond reasonable doubt. The demonstration of scholarly competence is an important criterion for the granting of tenure and evaluation will be sought from recognized scholars in the faculty member?s field who are not colleagues on campus.
- Teaching Effectiveness
A faculty member must show superior capacity to engage students in the pursuit of knowledge through study and research. In this regard, the qualities sought include command of and enthusiasm for the subject, expository ability, understanding of and empathy for students, and an ability to excite intellectual curiosity. Part of effective teaching is the willingness to participate conscientiously and responsibly in the guidance and advising of students, in the development of courses and instructional materials, and, where appropriate, in the mentoring of student research.
- Scholarship and Other Creative Work
Scholarship, research and creative work inform good teaching and foster the continuing growth and quality of mind necessary to maintaining a stimulating intellectual environment. Publication is the most obvious demonstration of significant research, but presentation of papers at professional meetings, scholarly consultant reports, art exhibitions and slide talks, musical composition and performances, theatre productions and performances, literary readings, etc., are also appropriate evidence of the recognition of quality by the higher education community beyond the campus. The work should demonstrate originality, felicity of expression and control of material. Other qualities sought might include incisiveness, sophistication of mind and a sense of craft.
- Institutional Service
Knox College expects and values constructive and cooperative participation in the faculty governance structure necessary for the running of the College. This includes service on committees and responsibility for certain department affairs, and contributions to student life. Public service or similar activities may be considered in this area of performance.
- Institutional Need
It should be emphasized that to the individual qualities alluded to above there must always be added a judgment of past performance and the potential for the faculty member as they relate to the projected needs of the College in specific areas of the educational program and in academic leadership. Included in a consideration of the needs of the College will be numbers of faculty with tenure appointments both within a given department of instruction and in the College as a whole.