2016 Proposed MoA Revisions: Summary and Rationale from FAUW

Monday, September 26, 2016

Updated: The changes have been endorsed by FAUW members and approved by the University Board of Governors.

FAUW and UW administrators at the Faculty Relations Committee have negotiated a set of very positive but substantive changes to Article 13 (Faculty Salaries, Annual Selective Increases and Member Evaluation Procedures) of the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA). The changes will:

  • Reduce faculty and administrative workload by conducting performance evaluations for tenured faculty and continuing lecturers once every two years in odd years only. Faculty on probationary appointments and definite term contracts will continue to be evaluated annually.
  • Increase transparency and collegiality of the performance review process by:
    • Requiring Faculty Council approval and periodic review of Faculty performance review addenda,
    • Publishing all Faculty and department/school performance review addenda and guidelines on the Faculty websites,
    • Providing members with histograms showing the departmental and Faculty distribution of ratings (both overall and in categories of teaching, research, and service) with their performance evaluations, and
    • Harmonizing and removing discretion over review periods across units.

The full text of the proposed changes together with an FAQ addressing common questions and concerns are provided on this page for your review. The changes will also be discussed at the October 5 Town Hall Meeting.

The FAUW Board endorses these changes and believes that they are in the best interests of our members.

Approval process

The MoA requires that changes to Article 13 be approved by both FAUW and the University Board of Governors before taking effect. We are seeking the support of FAUW members through an online vote.

The poll will open on October 3 and close October 14. Eligible members of FAUW will receive an email with a link to the ballot.

Full text of proposed changes

Download a PDF detailing the full text of the proposed changes to sections 13.3.3 and 13.5 of the Memorandum of Agreement.


Why conduct all evaluations in odd years instead of evaluating half of tenured faculty/continuing lecturers in one year and the other half the next year?

It was deemed important to maintain consistency in the evaluation process by having the same chair/director, merit committee and dean for all members evaluated in a unit.

Will this make a poor performance evaluation rating more severe as it lingers for two years?

Perhaps, but now an excellent rating is more beneficial as it also lingers for two years. Teaching and service ratings will be based on a longer evaluation period and thus subject to less noise (e.g., the merit rating impact of one poor course evaluation is now much less). Scholarship becomes consistently rated on the evaluation period of two years (rather than the current period of two – four years, differing by department), although departments can still request longer periods of contextual information to account for disciplinary differences.

What period will I be evaluated for in the year that I am awarded tenure?

Evaluations of tenured faculty take place in odd-numbered years. In the ordinary course, evaluations will cover the previous two-year window. However if you are awarded tenure (or hired with tenure) in an even year, you may require an extra one-year evaluation to transition to the biennial cycle.  

FAUW recommends that each Faculty clarify its approach in its Faculty performance evaluation addendum so the approach is consistently applied by all units and so that faculty members are aware of what period they will be evaluated on before the assessment period begins.

I will be on leave for part of my biennial review period. How will my accomplishments be assessed?

Your performance will be evaluated over the two-year period with adjustment in expectations for quantity based on the type and length of the leave (see section 13.5.4 of the MoA). In any category where assessment is not possible at all over the two-year period, the average of your ratings in the previous three years will be taken. This enhances predictability by removing the chair’s previous discretion of using one, two, or three years to compute the average.

Will there be fewer Outstanding Performance Awards with a biennial evaluation cycle?

No. Outstanding Performance Awards will continue to be calculated and awarded on an annual basis using each individual’s most recent score.

When will these changes take effect?

The first biennial review will take place in 2019. The next few years will proceed as follows:

  • 2017 – ordinary evaluations of everyone covering performance in 2016.

  • 2018 – one-year evaluations of tenure-track and definite-term faculty, covering 2017

  • 2019 – two-year evaluations of tenured faculty and continuing lecturers covering 2017–2018; one-year evaluations of tenure-track and definite-term faculty covering 2018

We would not commence with two-year evaluations this January because faculty deserve to know what period they are to be evaluated over before the beginning of the evaluation period.