Annual Performance Review

Annual Review Policy Change (2021)

Revisions to UHAP Policies 3.2 and 4A.2 are intended to increase the consistency and efficiency in the annual performance review process.

Please review the Annual Review Policy Change Proposal presented to Faculty Senate for a summary of the drafted changes

In your first year, you should schedule a meeting with your head or program director to discuss your workload assignment and the promotion criteria for your college and unit.  Your head or director should provide you with a copy or a link to your unit’s and college’s criteria for promotion.  Your workload assignment establishes the basic expectations that will be used to evaluate your achievements.  You should use the questions that are included below to specify your job duties and explore how they line up with the criteria for promotion.  For example, will you be teaching graduate courses and other courses that line up with your research interests?  Should you teach a range of courses to prepare for promotion, or can you concentrate on several courses to improve your effectiveness and save time by reusing course materials?

You should use your meetings with your head and other senior faculty to discuss your duties and related resources, including any mentoring support that may be available.  These meetings are crucial opportunities to clarify teaching, research, and service and outreach expectations.  You should use these discussions to review your department’s experience with candidates going through promotion.  In these discussions, you should realize that some questions about promotion cannot be answered with specifics.  For example, no one will be able to specify how many articles are expected because quality is more important than quantity.

From your first year, you should seek out multiple perspectives, though you should not be surprised if you get differing assessments.  Multiple viewpoints come into play in the process of reviewing Dossiers.  Dossiers are read by about twenty reviewers, including three to eight external reviewers, departmental and college committees, heads and deans, the University Committee, and senior administrators and the Provost, who makes the final decision on promotions.  Your best sources of information will be recently promoted colleagues and senior colleagues who have recent experience reviewing Promotion Dossiers.  

At the end of your first year, and every year thereafter, you will prepare an annual report for the Annual Performance Review (APR). Your teaching, research, service, and professional performance will be reviewed by a peer committee who makes a recommendation to your head, who then makes the final assessment. Your head should meet with you to discuss your work and your progress.  Beyond these basic requirements, the procedures for APRs vary across departments.  The annual review process will provide you with feedback on your progress toward promotion, and you will also be able to get feedback on the documentation that will be used in your Promotion Dossier. For example, you should prepare your curriculum vitae according to the format required for the dossier, and the report you write on your research, teaching, and service is a shorter version of the Candidate Statement that will be a key part of your dossier. You will use both documents to outline your program of work and characterize its significance. 

For more information on mentoring, visit the Faculty Affairs Mentoring website: 


Annual reviews may be considered during promotion reviews, but good annual reviews do not guarantee promotion. Use annual review meetings to get as much specific feedback as possible:
  • Annual reviews focus on one year.
  • Annual reviews do not include external reviews.
  • As a result, publications are not assessed in as much depth as in promotion reviews.
  • Annual reviews do not include assessments from faculty from beyond your discipline.
  • Get assessments of your teaching.
  • Use input on your annual report to prepare the Candidate Statement.
  • Get input on your upcoming plans.
  • Welcome frank assessments to get suggestions on how to improve.

Here are some questions to clarify expectations and get feedback from mentors: 


  • How do you assess the impact of my scholarship?
  • Do the strands in my research program seem to be clearly defined and related?
  • Do you have concerns about my research?  For example, do you see that I have “independence” from senior collaborators?


  • How is teaching effectiveness assessed in our department?
  • Will I be able to teach a range of graduate and undergraduate courses?
  • Will my mentoring, clinical and other instructional work be assessed?


  • What service commitments are most highly valued in our department?
  • What committee assignments do you think will help me to learn more about our department?
  • How can I align my service expectations with my professional interests?
  • What sorts of professional service will help me learn more about our field?

Position Effectiveness

  • How should you prioritize your duties?
  • How is your impact to be assessed?
  • What outcomes are expected?

View The Guide To The Promotion Process


Formative Approaches to Annual Review Meetings

Please read the following Formative Approaches to Annual Review Meetings between Faculty and Department Heads: 

  1. Start with positive feedback and strengths. Make sure this is a two-way conversation.  Ask faculty to highlight 1-2 of their accomplishments during the past year.  
  2. Ask questions for an honest conversationabout how teaching, research, service, or other activity was affected by COVID-19 pandemic or the racial pandemic. (See handout from Malish et al., 2020 for specific questions related to teaching, research and service in regard to pandemic alterations in workload
  3. Take an expansive view of what counts.Consider preparatory work that will lead to future activity, acknowledge quick changes to address pandemic topics (COVID-19 or racism), recognize additional service activities related to workgroups for topics of COVID-19 or racism pandemics.  
  4. Make and refine goals for the coming yearand discuss long-term plans over a 3-year period for each section of their workload. This process can help faculty set and prioritize work goals for 2021.  
  5. Discuss how short-term goals will lead to long-term outcomes. Taking a long-term vision helps to contextualize the current year’s activity. Quantifiable aspects of productivity fluctuate over time, which at times may leave faculty feeling unappreciated. Many faculty activities require several years to reach completion, and thus annual metrics may be misleading if they are not placed within a longer-term context.    
  • Useful Reading on Best Practices for Faculty Performance Reviews:  
  • For Malish et al. (2020) article see this link: 
  • For articles on how Gender and Race have been impacted by Pandemics: