Assessing Service in Faculty Reviews: Mentoring Faculty and Developing Transparency

Nov. 26, 2009

Source: Mentoring and Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, Volume 17, Issue 4
(November 2009), pages 343 – 352.

Universities generally have clear expectations for teaching and scholarship, and often a faculty member's publications, research and scholarship are the primary factors in tenure and promotion decisions.

Many universities do include service as one component in annual reviews as well as in assessing progress toward tenure and promotion. Unfortunately, criteria for evaluating service are often not specified.

Having vaguely outlined expectations for service sends a message that service does not matter, ultimately doing a 'disservice' to faculty who need guidance on appropriate levels of service.
As much as possible, department chairs, governance bodies that represent the faculty, and administrators who are responsible for evaluating faculty need to ensure that faculty members understand how they will be assessed in the area of service and to make evaluation in this area as transparent as possible.

Updated: Feb. 21, 2010