Performance Expectations1

The performance expectations for faculty differ, depending on their position and terms of employment. Faculty members will be evaluated annually in the following three areas as appropriate to their position and/or terms of appointment: (i) research/scholarship/creative activity and/or professional development; (ii) teaching; and (iii) service. In addition, faculty members will be evaluated on contributions to the quality and effectiveness of their unit, their college, and the university in the light of Northeastern’s mission. The university recognizes that every faculty member offers a unique combination of accomplishments relative to the criteria listed above, depending on academic field, specialized scholarly interests, varying professional opportunities, and responsibilities for teaching, laboratory and field work. However, while relative weights may vary, all faculty members are expected to be active in each of the three areas over time, or as specified by the terms of their appointment and their unit’s workload policies.

Performance criteria in the areas of research/scholarship/creative activity and/or professional development, teaching, and service shall be clearly delineated in each unit’s documents concerning merit review, reappointment, and promotion. Units should have in place appropriate guidelines for both tenured/tenure-track and non-tenure-track faculty that make clear the distinct expectations and relative weight of each of the categories of performance. Documents governing tenured and tenure-track faculty shall make clear to those faculty members the unit’s criteria for tenure and promotion to associate professor, and the standards for promotion to full professor. Documents governing promotion for non-tenure-track faculty should similarly specify the criteria at each level. Each unit’s policies are subject to review and approval by the dean of the respective college and by the provost.

  1. Scholarship/Research/Creative Activity and/or Professional Development

    All faculty members are expected to engage in research/scholarship/creative activity and/or professional development as defined by their disciplines and appropriate to their position and terms of appointment. Units shall develop and make available their own criteria of productive scholarship, research, and creative activity and/or professional development consistent with the expectations in the discipline, their position, and with the Faculty Handbook.

  2. Teaching

    Through their teaching, faculty members are expected to transmit knowledge, extend their students’ understanding and vision, and develop in their students the ability for critical and independent thinking. In their roles as teachers, faculty members are expected to maintain and reflect currency in their discipline and to enable students to understand and appreciate the material of the course. Teaching effectiveness includes the following indications:

    1. Clearly stated course objectives;
    2. Adherence to professional standards in the development and delivery of subject matter, approach, and evaluation methods;
    3. The creation of an engaging learning environment responsive to student needs and developments in the field;
    4. Implementation of multiple, mutually independent mechanisms of evaluation, at least one of which is based on input from students.

    Performance expectations in teaching include a faculty member’s adherence to university policies and requirements with respect to an instructor’s interactions with students and to meeting scheduled and assigned obligations, including those governing distribution of syllabi, scheduling of examinations, submission of grades and return of student work.

  3. Service

    The effective operation and development of the university significantly relies on the service contributions of the faculty. Performance expectations in service, as in teaching and scholarship, include the faculty member’s adherence to professional standards. Full-time faculty members are expected to perform service activities within the university and to the profession. Internal faculty service responsibilities may include administrative duties, committee work, advising student organizations, and involvement in other roles that contribute to the unit, college and university. Professional service activities include participation in professional organizations, seminars and colloquia relevant to the individual’s academic interests or to the education process. Faculty members also serve by contributing their disciplinary knowledge to the general community. As with the other categories above, expectation of service contributions vary based on the faculty member’s position, the unit’s needs and workload policies, specifics of the faculty member’s term of appointment, and relative weight and productivity expectations of other performance duties.

  1. Approved by the Faculty Senate on 11/06/19, by the Provost on 11/07/19 and by the Board of Trustees on 12/06/19.