Faculty undergo several types of performance assessments throughout their career. Faculty members most rigorous assessments relate to tenure. Tenure procedures at UMSL require a departmental committee to review probationary faculty annually until they attain tenure. Probationary faculty can be terminated at the end of any academic year if the department determines that they are not making adequate progress toward tenure. The tenure standards are high and hold for faculty at all University of Missouri campuses.

Department chairs also annually review the performance of each faculty member. The outcome of that review normally relates to salary, but they also constitute data for five-year post-tenure reviews.

Some of the data used for assessing faculty performance come from course evaluations. The university's policy states, "Student evaluations of every section of every credit-bearing course with six or more students enrolled are to be conducted each semester, including all summer sessions. All evaluations must include a question concerning the competency of the instructor in spoken English." The Center for Teaching and Learning has several resources to help faculty enhance their teaching and improve their course evaluations.

Following the 1999 Council of Deans recommendation to adopt a five-year review of endowed professors, the Provost added Curators Professors to the review schedule beginning in AY 2006-2007.* The intent of the review is to learn whether and how the professor is meeting the goals of the appointment. Ideally, the review coincides with the Five Year Program Review of the unit(s) where the professor holds appointments. If this is not possible, the professor may request an alternative schedule for the review in consultation with the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

To initiate the review, each professor submits electronically to the Office of Academic Affairs a three-part document that includes:

  • The original position description defining the endowed professorship or, for Curators Research and Teaching Professors, the initial letter appointing you to the professorship.
  • An up-to-date curriculum vita.
  • A five-page (maximum) document responding to the relevant to the professorship.

The Materials should reflect the unique nature of each professorship. 

  • Identify how the goals of the professorship have been met in the past five years. Include, as appropriate, activities which support the UMSL mission such as:
    • Research, external funding, and scholarship
    • Other external funding including grants, gifts, and fee for service programs
    • Teaching and mentoring students
    • Community partnerships and service
    • Campus service
  • Describe how the annual resources (include funds and stipends, space, equipment, scholarships, etc.) have been used over the last five years to meet the goals of the professorship. Append a financial report.
  • Recommend three UMSL colleagues who have knowledge of your work and an understanding of how your work meets the goals of the professorship. These colleagues should hold curators or endowed professorships and/or be full professors. The Provost will invite two to be Peer Reviewers.
  • Provide (endowed professors only) contact information for three colleagues from the community partnerships who have knowledge of your work and an understanding of how your work meets the goals of the appointment.
  • Describe your plans for the next five years, explaining how the plans meet the goals of the endowment or professorship, the action plan and mission of the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and the strategic plan and mission of the University of Missouri System.
  • Recommend enhancements for the professorship and, for endowed professors, the endowment. In what ways, if any, should the position be redefined to reflect changes, in your discipline, society, or other factors that affect the professorship?
  • Address other relevant issues that should be considered during the review process.

* Approved December 4, 2003 by the Council of Deans. Revised January 2005 to reflect changes in the administrative organization in the Office of Academic Affairs. Revised May 2005 by the Council of Deans. Adapted March 2007 and February 2008 to apply to Curators Professors

The Review Process

The review process includes both a peer review and an administrative review as follows:

  1. The Provost selects two peer reviewers after consultation with the professor, his/her dean(s), and director(s).
  2. When the peer reviewers confirm their availability to participate, the Provosts Office sends them the documents submitted by the professor in preparation for the peer review meeting.
  3. The professor under review arranges a meeting date, time, and location for the peer review. This is a 60 90 minute meeting with the professor to discuss the degree to which the goals of the professorship are being met. The meeting coincides, when possible, with the Academic Program Review of the unit, so that the external reviewer may participate in the review. Peer reviewers may confer with one another following this meeting.
  4. Peer reviewers summarize the results of the review in a letter signed by both colleagues (writing individual letters is an option) and submitted to the Provost (426 Woods Hall) within one week of the meeting. 
  5. The letter(s) address(es):
    • Whether and how the goals of the professorship are being met;
    • How the plan proposed for the next five years is consistent with the campus and System mission;
    • Recommendations and suggestions about the future direction of the professorship;
    • Recommendations and suggestions about the review process.

Administrative Review

The administrative review is completed by those to whom the professor reports and culminates in a meeting with relevant academic officers.

  1. The Dean, Director, or Vice-Provost for Research submits a letter to the Provost evaluating the professors record by:
    • Reviewing the documents submitted by the professor;
    • Reviewing the letter(s) submitted by the peer reviewers;
    • Reviewing the professors annual reviews;
    • Consulting with the department chair(s) and/or other appropriate administrators;
    • Consulting with the professors community and/or campus colleagues as appropriate.
  2. Copies of the letters from the peer reviewers and the dean(s) are sent to the professor under review.
  3. The Provosts Office convenes a meeting to discuss the review and its recommendations with the professor. Others attending include the appropriate chair(s), Center director(s), and/or the Vice Provost for Research, the dean(s), and the Provost.
  4. Before the end of the spring semester, the conclusions of this meeting are conveyed in a letter from the Provost in which the Provost affirms the continuing appointment of the curators or endowed professorship or initiates action to modify the terms of the appointment.
  5. The professor may submit a letter in response to the recommendations to the Provost or a letter to the Chancellor requesting an appeal of the recommendations.