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X. Visiting Professor and Adjunct Merit Reviews

Visiting and adjunct faculty who have been at Vassar for three consecutive years and have taught more than one course in at least one of those years shall undergo a merit review in their third consecutive year of employment if, at the time department chairs or program directors establish department or program staffing plans for the following year, they determine, in consultation with the tenured members of the department or program, that there is the possibility of further employment for the visitor or adjunct.

Adjuncts or visiting faculty members who are not required to be reviewed may request a review from departments or programs in which they have taught, provided that they have taught at least six courses over the course of three or more years of service at the college.

The merit review shall be an evaluation of performance.  The Visiting Professor or Adjunct under review shall submit copies of their c.v and Personal Statement to the dean of the faculty and the home department or program by February 1. These materials, along with student evaluations, annual activities reports, and the department or program recommendation, provide the Faculty Salary Committee (FSC) with evidence of the individual’s continuing engagement in teaching and other particulars of the individual’s job as described in both the candidate’s Personal Statement and the department recommendation.  In making merit determinations, FSC shall consider performance across the different areas of the individual’s job, while also recognizing that patterns of focus may vary at different points in the career of a Visiting Professor or Adjunct.  The categories of merit are distinction, high merit, merit and no merit.

Procedures for Visiting Professor and Adjunct Merit Review

  1. Merit reviews for faculty on non-tenure track take place after approval by the dean of the faculty for continuation of the line as part of the regular review of annual staffing plans. Merit reviews are completed by no later than April 1, giving departments and programs sufficient time to determine whether or not the faculty member being reviewed will be offered a further contract or a new hire should be sought.  Merit reviews for all non-tenure track faculty members except visiting or adjunct full professors are conducted by all tenured members of the department or program. Merit reviews for visiting or adjunct full professors are conducted by the full professors in the department or program.
    (Amended by Faculty September 14, 2011)

  2. A visiting or adjunct faculty member holding the rank of professor may, but need not, request an evaluation by the full professors in the department or program.  If the department chair or program director is not a full professor, ordinarily the most senior eligible full professor shall serve as chair. 

  3. When a Visiting Professor or Adjunct so requests, they shall receive a merit recommendation also from other departments and from multidisciplinary programs in which they have participated during the period of service under review (but not from the Independent, Interdepartmental, or College Course Programs).   

  4. The consideration of scholarship, artistic activity, or other relevant accomplishments shall ordinarily be limited to works whose dates of publication or presentation lie within the review period.  

  5. All department and program reviews shall result in a letter that shall not call for a specific amount of increase but shall recommend a category of distinction, high merit, merit, or no merit. 

  6. The recommendation summarizing points of view presented shall be written by the chair, after consultation with tenured members of the department or program.  All participants in the review shall be afforded the opportunity to sign the letter.   

  7. Faculty participating in the review shall maintain confidentiality concerning all aspects of the review. 

  8. Copies of any recommendation letters shall be given to the Visiting Professor or Adjunct under review and placed in their files in the respective department or program as well as in the Office of the dean of the faculty. 

  9. Above the departmental or program level, reviews shall be conducted, in the first round, by the dean of the faculty and FSC.  In a second round, the president shall join the dean and FSC. 

  10. Members of FSC participate in the reviews conducted by their departments or programs, not by FSC. 

  11. The merit recommendation and salary figure shall be communicated to the Visiting Professor or Adjunct in writing.  A record of the final merit recommendation, but not the salary figure, will be sent to the departmental chair or program director.
    (Approved by the faculty May 14, 2008)