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Sustained Performance Evaluation Policy
Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing
Florida Atlantic University


An excellent faculty is essential to the core teaching, scholarship, and service missions of Florida

Atlantic University (FAU). The Sustained Performance Evaluation (SPE) is a periodic review of tenured faculty that is designed to foster sustained excellence and professional development, and to recognize and reward outstanding achievement. The SPE is separate and distinct from annual and other employee evaluations in that the evaluation will focus on long-term accomplishments over a period of multiple years. Its main objectives are to:


  • provide a forum for a regular, constructive conversation regarding each faculty member’s role in his or her academic unit and College, the University, and discipline at large;
  • identify ways in which the University can help facilitate faculty success;
  • recognize and reward sustained excellence in scholarship, research, teaching, public service, or academic leadership; and
  • identify and address unsatisfactory performance in these areas.


Most importantly, the SPE process has been designed to uphold the University’s fundamental principles of tenure, academic freedom, due process, and confidentiality in personnel matters.


  1. Evaluation Cycle

The SPE will follow a seven-year cycle for each tenured faculty member, with the following exceptions:

  • Any successful application for promotion from Associate Professor to Professor resets the applicant’s seven-year cycle. If such an application is unsuccessful, then upon request of the applicant the University Provost may, at his or her discretion, add one extra year to the faculty member’s SPE cycle.
  • Faculty members on phased retirement, in DROP, or whose retirement date the University has accepted are exempt from the SPE.
  • Faculty holding special positions that require regular reviews beyond the standard annual evaluation — such as named chairs, endowed chairs, and Eminent Scholars — are exempt from the SPE.
  • Time a faculty member spends serving as a Department Chair, School Director, Dean, Associate Dean, or in any other full-time administrative position subject to regular administrative review may not count toward the SPE cycle. The faculty member may choose, upon returning to a non-administrative faculty position on a full-time basis, whether his or her seven-year cycle either restarts or resumes.
  • Time a faculty member spends on medical or family leave may be included or excluded in the SPE cycle at the request of the faculty member.
  • The SPE may be postponed for one year for faculty who will be on leave (including sabbatical) during the year when it is scheduled to occur.


The Administrative Assistant for the Associate Deans of the College shall maintain a schedule of SPE evaluations listing all tenured faculty members in the College. This Administrative Assistant shall notify faculty members of upcoming Sustained Performance Evaluations no less than three months in advance of the due date for the evaluation file. All SPE records will become part of the faculty member’s file stored in the Office of the Dean.


To avoid an overwhelming number of evaluations in a single year, the SPE policy will be phased in over its first seven-year cycle. The first Evaluation of each faculty member who received promotion to Associate Professor or Professor prior to August 2011 will occur in the year determined by the last digit of his or her Z-number, as follows:


  • 0 or 5: AY 2018-19
  • 1 or 6: AY 2019-20
  • 2 or 7: AY 2020-21
  • 3 or 8: AY 2021-22
  • 4 or 9: AY 2022-23


This first Evaluation will examine the previous seven years of the faculty member’s activities. The first Evaluation for tenured faculty members who were promoted to Associate Professor or Professor after August 2011 will occur seven years after their most recent promotions.


        B. Evaluation File

The SPE will be conducted based on a file containing a brief summary of the faculty member’s

activities during the entire seven-year period under review. The file should contain:


  • a current curriculum vita that clearly highlights accomplishments in teaching, scholarship, and service during the period under review,
  • copies of the faculty member’s last seven annual assignments and annual evaluations,
  • a copy of the report of the previous SPE, if available,
  • a copy of the published Performance Expectations from the faculty member’s academic unit (see below), and
  • a brief (2 page) narrative from the faculty member that addresses the Performance Expectations for rank.

These are documents required throughout the University. The contents of each SPE file are to be kept confidential throughout the Evaluation process.


    C. Peer Evaluation Process

The faculty member shall deliver his or her SPE file to the Dean’s office by February 1 of the year set for evaluation. The Dean will pass all collected SPE files to the Peer Evaluation Committee, which will be a three-member subcommittee of full professors on the Appointment, Promotion and Tenure (P & T) Committee of the College of Nursing. The P & T subcommittee will be named at the first P & T committee of the academic year. The subcommittee will review each SPE file in light of the College’s P & T performance expectations for the rank of associate professor and professor, and assess whether those expectations have been met. Indicators of achievement in research, teaching and service for the rank of associate professor with tenure and professor are briefly described with further detail in the College of Nursing Promotion and Tenure document.


            Performance expectations

            Associate professor with tenure

            Indicators of research achievement:

  • Consistent record of scholarly publication. This shall include but not be limited to publication of data-based and/or scholarly manuscripts in recognized peer reviewed journals on an annual basis. ChP & Ters in scholarly books, scholarly edited or original books are recognized but do not replace the expectation of data-based, peer-reviewed works;
  • Presentations of peer-reviewed scholarly work at local, regional, state and national professional conferences;
  • Grant submissions and/or funding consistent with a focused and progressive program of research.

Indicators of teaching achievement:

  • Demonstration of the effective use of diverse teaching modalities;
  • Active mentorship of student scholarship;
  • Recognition of teaching expertise and effectiveness by students, peers, communities, and faculty evaluations.

Indicators of service achievement:

  • Consistent, active membership on College of Nursing committees;
  • Consistent active participation in University committees, task forces, initiatives or governance;
  • Representation of the College of Nursing on boards, planning committees or organizations.



Indicators of research achievement:

  • Sustained scholarly publication record at the national and international level in peer-reviewed journals and invited publications, publication of scholarly books either authored or edited;
  • Presentations of data-based, peer-reviewed and scholarly work at national and international professional conferences;
  • Grant submissions and/or funding consistent with a focused and progressive program of research.
  • Invited speaker locally, regionally, nationally and/or internationally.

Indicators of teaching achievement:

  • Sustained evidence of teaching ability reflected in student, peer, community and faculty evaluations;
  • Effective use of diverse and emerging teaching modalities;
  • Evidence of active mentorship of student scholarship, practice and/or service;
  • Commitment to curriculum development in an area of expertise to advance the college teaching mission;
  • Engagement in local, state and national organizations that focus on teaching and mentoring nursing students

Indicators of service achievement:

  • Consistent leadership of university and/or college committees, task forces or governance;
  • Leadership in the University community including policy formation, chairing or actively participating on task forces, initiatives or governance;
  • Demonstrated skill in consensus-building and the facilitation of collaboration toward the task of building community;
  • Leadership at the state, national, or international levels, including professional and community situations which advance nursing science and practice.


In reviewing applicants for sustained performance, the P & T subcommittee members will use the appropriate promotion and tenure indicators as the foundation for consideration with attention to the idea that:  


  • faculty members have varying responsibilities within their academic units, as reflected in their annual assignments,
  • faculty can make essential contributions to the University’s mission in various ways,
  • the nature of an individual’s contributions may vary over time,
  • innovative scholarly work may take time to bear fruit, and may sometimes fail,
  • unusual or unpopular scholarship, teaching, and service are not by themselves sufficient cause for a negative evaluation, and
  • faculty are evaluated annually on their annual assignment


When the subcommittee members agree on the evaluation designation (Exceeds Expectations, Meets Expectations, Fails to Meet Expectations), their decision with a brief report of supporting evidence will be forwarded to the full P & T committee by March 1st. When there is disagreement among subcommittee members or the subcommittee determines that the faculty member “fails to meet expectations”, the full P & T committee will be engaged to discuss the evaluation. The Dean of the College (or his or her designee) may meet with the Committee if requested during its deliberations. Following full P & T committee engagement the full P & T committee decision will be made with a substantive report that includes supporting evidence for the decision. The P & T Committee will return all SPE files to the Dean, no later than April 1.


      D. Administrative Review and Appeals of Outcomes

The Dean of the College will also review the SPE files of all faculty members along with the subcommittee and full P & T Committee reports. If the Dean concurs with the Committee recommendation, the decision will be final. In case of disagreement about the recommendation, the Dean shall meet with the full P & T committee to discuss the case and attempt to reach a shared recommendation. If a shared recommendation cannot be reached, the Dean shall add a letter to the SPE file citing specific reasons for his/her recommendation and final decision.


The faculty member may appeal the final decision to the University Provost. The faculty member will be allowed one week (7 business days) after receiving the Dean’s written decision to prepare a written response to it. After reviewing the SPE file, the Provost (or his or her designee) will meet with the faculty member and the Dean of the College to discuss the outcome of the SPE. The Provost will prepare a written decision, which is not subject to further appeal. The faculty member shall receive a copy of this written decision.


Regardless of the outcome of the SPE process, the Dean will meet with each reviewed faculty member to discuss the final outcome. The discussion should center on the faculty member’s future professional development, with the goal of enhancing meritorious work and/or improving performance in areas identified by the Evaluation. The faculty member shall receive copies (paper or electronic) of the Committee’s report and the letter from the Dean regarding the outcome of the SPE at or before this meeting.


      E. Performance Exceeding Expectations

Any faculty member whose performance Exceeds Expectations in the judgment of both the Peer Review Committee and the Dean of the College shall receive a 3% performance increase to his or her base salary. This concludes the SPE.


     F. Performance Meeting Expectations

Any faculty member whose performance Meets Expectations in the judgment of both the Peer Review Committee and the Dean of the College shall receive a 1.5% performance increase to his or her base salary. This concludes the SPE.


    G. Performance Failing to Meet Expectations

Any faculty member whose sustained performance Fails to Meet Expectations shall work in concert with a designated mentor to draft a Sustained Performance Improvement Plan (SPIP) setting specific annual milestones that the faculty member will be responsible to meet over a period of no less than three and no more than five years. The Dean of the College must approve the draft SPIP before it becomes final. The faculty member has the right to appeal the contents of a SPIP that has been approved by the Dean of the College to the University Provost. The Provost will meet with the faculty member, the assigned mentor and the Dean of the College to finalize the Sustained Performance Improvement Plan.


The performance targets laid out in an SPIP will be implemented through a series of annual Performance Improvement Plans. For in-unit faculty, the relevant section [currently 10.3(c)(4)] of the Collective Bargaining Agreement will govern these annual Performance Improvement Plans. Satisfactory performance in meeting SPIP targets should result in positive Annual Evaluations during this period, but the faculty member will continue to receive annual Performance Improvement Plans until all targets of the SPIP have been met or until the three- to five-year term of the SPIP ends.


At the end of the SPIP, or when all of its specific targets have been accomplished, the faculty member will prepare a written summary of how and when those targets were achieved. The Dean, in consultation with the assigned mentor and the Associate Deans who evaluate the faculty member will decide whether the targets laid out in the Plan have substantially been achieved, or whether some of those targets should become the basis for further Performance Improvement Plans in subsequent annual evaluation(s).


    H. Reporting and Record Keeping

Once all Sustained Performance Evaluations are complete, the P & T Chair will forward all complete SPE files to the College Dean’s office. The Dean’s office will prepare a report to the University Provost listing all Evaluations in the College that year, and the result of each. The University will store the SPE files in accordance with its general policies for evaluation files. In all cases, however, the Dean’s office should retain copies of all Performance Improvement Plans for consultation during the annual evaluation cycle.



      I. Establishment of College-Wide Evaluation Policies

In all cases, any person with a plausible, perceived conflict of interest in evaluating a particular faculty member cannot serve on the SPE subcommittee in the year of that faculty member’s SPE. No College policy may conflict with a University or Provost’s policy. Accordingly, the Provost must approve the original or any amendments to the College SPE policy prior to its implementation. The Provost may either approve the College policy or send it back to the College committee with instructions to modify it.


As with other policies for faculty evaluation, the expectations for sustained performance must be approved by the Dean of the College. Once approved by the Dean, the original and then, amended sustained performance expectations will be submitted to the University Provost for final approval as noted above. The sustained performance policy will be available to faculty on the College website.


    J. SPE Policy Committee

The Provost shall convene a broadly representative ad hoc committee of faculty every three years, or more frequently if needed, to review the SPE policies and procedures described above. The SPE Policy Committee will examine the outcomes of SPEs conducted since it last met in order to assess the policy’s effectiveness in fostering continued professional development and outstanding achievement among the University’s tenured faculty. The Committee may recommend changes to the Provost’s SPE policy to make it more effective. The SPE Policy Committee has no oversight role, however, over the findings of individual Evaluations, or over the contents of individual Performance Improvement Plans.


Approved by the College of Nursing November 27, 2017

Approved by Florida Atlantic University April 1, 2018