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COVID Impacts: Considerations for Evaluation and Review

Our review processes have, and continue to, focus on excellence in scholarly, research, and creative work; instructional; service; librarianship, and extension activities as articulated and defined in unit policies, procedures, and criteria. As we emerge collectively from the COVID-19 pandemic, the University recognizes the impact of the pandemic on our faculty members. While some faculty have had their careers accelerated due to the pandemic, or perhaps pursued new lines of inquiry only made possible due to the pandemic, others have faced both personal and/or professional challenges that have altered their anticipated trajectory. We must accept that our inferences about a candidate’s potential could be based on different, or less, information than in the past, and that our traditional milestones and markers may not fully reflect a faculty member’s potential contributions. Units will need to exercise judgment in assessing faculty performance and trajectory, balancing unit criteria and the personal and professional impacts of the pandemic faced by their faculty members. 

The below actions and guidance documents, in conjunction with the COVID tenure delay, were developed with extensive input from the campus community that included: open forums with faculty and administrators in every college and the Libraries; discussions with academic leaders (deans, directors, and chairs); and a presentation to and discussion with the University Senate. 

Guidance and Modifications to Reviews

In recognition of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the University is providing guidance and modifications to its annual, third-year, merit, promotion, tenure, and comprehensive periodic reviews:

Optional Candidate COVID-19 Impact Statement

Introduced for the AY 2021-2022 tenure and promotion (PTK, Librarian) cycle, the use of the COVID Impact Statement has been expanded to include annual, merit, third-year, and other review processes. The optional candidate COVID-19 Impact Statement enables faculty members to articulate the personal and/or professional impacts of the pandemic on their faculty activities. If provided, the candidate COVID Impact Statement statements will remain internal to University promotion and review processes. COVID-19 Impact Statement: Read More

Field Impact Statement

Academic units (departments, schools within colleges, and non-departmentalized colleges or schools) must develop a Field Impact Statement for inclusion in promotion dossiers and review processes (e.g., annual, merit, third year, periodic/post-tenure). The Field Impact Statement is designed to provide additional important context that informs review processes in light of unit evaluative criteria and expectations. Field Impact Statements will remain internal to University promotion and review processes. Field Impact Statement: Read More

University COVID-19 Actions Timeline

The University took a number of actions related to campus operations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic between March 2020 and June 2021. While these actions served to ensure the health and safety of our faculty. Staff, and students, the measures also impacted the ability of faculty to engage in their expected responsibilities. This timeline of University actions will be included in the materials sent to external evaluators. University COVID-19 Actions Timeline: Read More

Unit Head and Promotion and Review Committee Guidance

This document offers unit heads as well as promotion and/or review committees guidance on the conduct of reviews (e.g., annual, merit, third-year, comprehensive) and/or promotion review processes given the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Unit Head and Review Committee Guidance: Read More

Modifications to External Letter Request

The external letter review request language acknowledges the COVID-19 pandemic, and references and includes the University COVID-19 Actions Timeline.

Expectations for the Future

The University anticipates that COVID-19 pandemic promotion and review measures will be in effect through the 2026-2027 academic year. University issued guidance will be reviewed annually by the Office of Faculty Affairs for any necessary and appropriate updates.