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2021 CBA Article #7 Summary Report

Summary

Article 7 (Evaluations) was one of the articles that members expressed the most interest in updating in UPM’s Collective Bargaining Survey from August of 2019.  In fact, membership used a variety of words to describe the current system, from “meaningless” “not robust” “not-rigorous” “unfair” “awkward” “needless” “time consuming” to name a few.  In addition to these criticisms, many members expressed concerns that the evaluation process was too dependent on the administration’s input and did not provide room for faculty to contribute to the process.  Article 7 has been significant with UPM memberships criticisms and suggestions in mind.   

Below please find a bullet point list highlighting some of the various charges made to Article 7 during this round of negotiations.  

  • Purpose – Previously, the opening section of Article 7 was vague. It stated that the purpose of the evaluation services was to improve unit member’s professional services.  The language is now more specific, making clear that the evaluation system exists to assess the unit member’s WORK performance, provide feedback, and help in providing corrective action where needed.
    • This new language makes clear that the goal/purpose of the evaluation system goes beyond assessment but is designed to provide greater support to faculty.
  • Evaluation Team – In the previous contract, the evaluation process was largely up to the administration. This was of great concern to membership, the critique being that many administrators lack the disciplinary specialty to effectively evaluate unit members teaching.  To that end, all evaluations will now involve an evaluation team.
    • Tenured Faculty and Probationary Faculty –
      • One permanent/tenured faculty selected by the member (either a specialist in the field or reasonably related area)
      • Chair
      • Administrator (typically the supervising dean)
    • Part-Time Faculty –
      • One permanent/tenured faculty member
      • Administrator (typically the supervising dean)
  • Evaluation Timeline/Frequency – For the most part, Evaluations remain on the same timeline as always.
    • Tenured Faculty –
      • In person evaluations to be held every three years
      • Key Difference: Previously, tenured faculty evaluations alternated between a self-evaluation and a Performance Observation.  This is no longer the case.  Every three years, the unit member will be evaluated by an Evaluation Team.    
    • Probationary Faculty –
      • Evaluated every year during their probationary employment.
      • No change.
    • Part-Time Faculty –
      • Evaluated during the first, third, and sixth semester of employment
      • Key Difference: Previously, Part-Timer faculty could achieve ETUM after three semesters.  Time to ETUM has been extended to six members.  An additional evaluation has been added in the sixth semester to be consistent with the change
    • Junior ETUM –
      • Evaluated once every five semesters
      • Previously every six semesters
    • Senior ETUM –
      • Evaluated once every six semesters
      • No change.
  • Evaluation Forms/Tools – As noted earlier, membership shared a number of critiques of the Evaluation process outlined in the prior contract. UPM has tried to address these concerns by developing new Evaluation Forms/Tools that more accurately measure what members do in their day-to-day working with students.  This includes:
  • Classroom Observation Plan Form – The instructor will use this form to advise the Evaluation Team what they plan to teach, what strategies they plan to use, and the overall goals of the class on the day the Team plans to visit.
  • Classroom Observation Form – This form compliments the Observation Plan Form and is largely used to assess whether the unit member met their stated goals for that day.
  • Student Feedback Form – The new Student Feedback Form that will be administered online in all classes for all faculty, every semester.
    • This is consistent with what is done in most colleges and universities.
    • UPM also believes that this empowers membership. Previously, Student Feedback was collected from one class every three years.  This is well below the threshold for statistical significance, rendering this data meaningless.  More data means, more accuracy.  Simply put, small problems that might exist within one class no longer have the power to skew the Evaluation process.
  • Self-Evaluation Form – This form is exclusive to permanent faculty and is to be completed as part of the three-year evaluation cycle process. The form focuses on:  1) Classroom Teaching and Methodology; 2) Professional Responsibilities; 3) Professional Development; and 4) Needs and Goals.
  • Teaching Portfolio – This form will be used by Probationary Unit Members and Part-Time Members during their sixth semester (before achieving ETUM). The purpose of the portfolio is to get members thinking critically about their pedagogy and overall professional goals.  Members are asked to:  1) Discuss their Teaching Philosophy; 2) Address Equity in the classroom; 3) Provide examples of some of the materials used in their classes; and 4) Discuss their professional development outside the classroom both within and outside of CoM.
    • This is similar to what probationary members are already asked to do now. However, unlike the current system which is ambiguous and unclear, resulting in tremendous variation in quality between faculty members.  The new system is much clearer and pointed.  There are no ambiguities.  Members know exactly what is being asked of them and what they are being evaluated on.   
  • Team Evaluation Form – This is form will be prepared by the member’s Evaluation Team. It’s designed to summarize all of the pieces of information drawn from the forms outlined above.  Simply put, it is the summary report.
  • Evaluation Outcomes – By and large, there are two evaluation outcomes: 1) Satisfactory; and 2) Unsatisfactory.
    • Satisfactory – The evaluation will be deemed complete and will be evaluated in the next evaluation cycle.
    • Unsatisfactory – If a member receives an unsatisfactory evaluation the following will typically happen:
      • The member will be provided a Development Plan Form, outlining ways in which they can improve on their teaching.
      • It is expected that the member will implement the plan and be evaluated again the following semester.
      • To be clear, however, the district can dismiss part-time faculty who have not yet achieved ETUM status if their evaluation was particularly problematic – that is, they earned an unsatisfactory evaluation because of multiple deficiencies.

Specifics –  

There are no specific changes/additions/deletions to make note of in this article as it was a full rewrite and is composed of entirely new language. 

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