Policy Details

Date of Last Update

Approved By
  • Board of Trustees
  • Provost

Responsible Office
Office of the Provost


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Affiliate Faculty Evaluation Procedures and Promotion to Senior Affiliate Faculty

AFF 3.01

  1. Policy Statement
  2. History

Policy Statement

EFFECTIVE Fall Semester 2022

A.  About Affiliate Faculty:

      The work of Affiliate Faculty is described in Board of Trustees Policy 4.3.0 . The policy includes:

•     Categories of Affiliate faculty

•     Roles

•     Normal number of teaching credit hours per year

•     Other expectations

•     Availability of promotion to Senior Affiliate (process detailed in Section F)

B.   Focus of Affiliate Faculty Annual Reviews and Reviews for Contract Renewal

      As further detailed below, both annual reviews and reviews for contract renewal of most Affiliate faculty should focus primarily on their teaching and specific teaching-related assignments, as clearly defined by their unit and/or college. Performance of duties other than teaching may also be evaluated, subject to a description of those duties that is provided in writing.

C.   Affiliate Faculty Expectations and Evaluation Procedures - Generally

      As it pertains to Affiliate faculty, a unit or college may follow the written performance expectations and evaluation procedures referenced or described in this section, or it may develop alternate expectations and procedures (for annual performance and contract renewal), as approved by the Provost’s office. In either case, annually and by a date set by the Provost’s office, Affiliate faculty should be provided with a written document including a list of internal deadlines, expectations of documents to be submitted, and evaluation standards and procedures.

D.   About Review Procedures for Annual Evaluation

      An Affiliate Workload Plan (AWP) for each Affiliate faculty member will be finalized by the second week of each semester in which they are contracted to teach. Alternatively, only for those Affiliate faculty for whom it would be applicable, a Faculty Workload Plan (FWP) and Faculty Workload Report (FWR) may be used following the same process and timeline as Regular faculty. For all other Affiliate faculty (on an AWP), annually by February 1, each faculty member will also submit a written report of activity for the preceding calendar year. This document should address how the Affiliate’s activities and achievements comply with the general expectations of the unit, college/school, and the university. The annual workload plans and activity reporting will be reviewed by the Unit Head and the Dean of the college (or by a designee of the Dean) for consistency with unit and college expectations and may be made available to the unit faculty members (Regular and Affiliate).

E.   About Review Procedures for Contract Renewal

      i.    Recommended Timing of Reviews for Contract Renewal:

            Reviews for Affiliate faculty contract renewal typically occur during the Winter semester. Affiliate faculty on one-year contracts should be reviewed no earlier than their second semester. Fall reviews are permitted in order to balance the workload in units with many Affiliate faculty, or for some contract renewals done in tandem with promotion to Senior Affiliate status (see Section F).

      ii.   Recommended Review Procedures:

            A unit or college may follow the evaluation procedures referenced in this section, or it may develop alternate procedures, as approved by the Provost’s office. The recommended procedure for Affiliate faculty contract renewals is as follows:

            •     Each year, in each affected unit, the Unit Head may self-appoint as the “Review Coordinator” or appoint another Regular faculty as Review Coordinator. The Review Coordinator will be responsible for coordinating any Affiliate review team(s) for any Affiliate faculty eligible for contract renewal.

            •     The Review Coordinator will select one (1) Regular or Affiliate faculty member to serve on an Affiliate’s review team. Each Affiliate under review will choose one (1) other Regular or Affiliate faculty member as part of the individual’s review team. Depending on the number of Affiliate faculty to be evaluated, there may be one or more two-person review teams (or ‘reviewers”).

            •     Each two-person team will invite comments from faculty about the Affiliate’s performance of assigned duties. The reviewers will make at least one class visit to each Affiliate faculty eligible for renewal. Reviewers will take notes using the unit’s classroom observation document. If, based on their class visit or on faculty comments, the reviewers have questions or concerns, they should conduct a second class visit and/or request more materials prior to completing the review.

            •     As soon as practical, each review team will correspond with the Affiliate faculty member to discuss the class visit(s), the Affiliate’s current syllabi, and the Affiliate’s most recent course evaluations. Other teaching-related documents may be offered by the Affiliate or requested by the review team.

            •     The reviewers will use the classroom visit reports, workload plans and activity reports for preceding years, student teaching evaluations, self-evaluations of teaching, syllabi, letters of support, and any other teaching-related documents to prepare a brief draft report for the Review Coordinator that summarizes the review team’s observations. The draft report will also include a recommendation for a three-year renewal, a two-year renewal, a one-year renewal, or no renewal.  For Senior Affiliate faculty, the draft report will include a recommendation for up to a six-year renewal or no renewal. 

            •     The reviewers will send a copy of the draft report and recommendation to the Affiliate and then meet with the Affiliate to discuss both. Each Affiliate will have the opportunity to respond to any issues that may arise during the evaluation. If the Affiliate believes the evaluation was incomplete or unfair, the Affiliate may submit to the Review Coordinator a statement explaining the reasons for that belief.

            •     The Review Coordinator will consider the reviewers’ recommendations and the Affiliate’s statement (if there is one). If the Affiliate’s statement is compelling, the Review Coordinator may request a meeting with the Affiliate before making a final recommendation.

            •     Following the meeting between the reviewers and the individual under review, and any subsequent meeting between that individual and the Review Coordinator, the Review Coordinator will finalize the draft report, attach the Affiliate’s statement (if there is one), and recommend a three-year renewal, a two-year renewal, a one-year renewal, or no renewal. (For Senior Affiliate faculty, recommendations for renewal can be up to six years, per BOT 4.3.0.)  The report and recommendation will be forwarded to the Dean by the Unit Head. The department will store copies of the documents in the Affiliate’s file.

            •     After the review process is complete, an Affiliate may still avail themselves of the complaint procedure set forth in Board of Trustees Policy 4.3.4; although, typically, the Unit Head and Affiliate will waive step 1 in such circumstances.

F.   Promotion to ‘Senior Affiliate Faculty’ Status

      i.    Timing of Eligibility for Promotion

            After successfully completing seven (7) consecutive years at Grand Valley State University as an Affiliate faculty member, an Affiliate is eligible to apply for appointment as a ‘Senior Affiliate.’ Colleges are encouraged to communicate this eligibility to the Affiliate (see also section iii). There are not University-wide forms or procedures for promotion to Senior Affiliate Faculty, beyond what is expressed in this policy.

            To consider applications for promotion, Colleges should define internal, Provost approved procedures that are consistent with the guidelines above and in harmony with current practices for Affiliate faculty contract renewal. This includes setting internal deadlines, expectations of documents to be submitted, and evaluation standards and procedures. Deadlines should take into account that most Affiliates begin service in August of an academic year, although there are also a few that begin service at other times.

      ii.   Procedures for Applying for Promotion:

            •     To apply for promotion to Senior Affiliate status, the eligible candidate communicates their intention to the appropriate Dean, who notifies the Unit Head of the request.

            •     Documents that must be included in the application for review are classroom visit reports, student teaching evaluations, and the following provided by the candidate: self-evaluation of teaching, syllabi, and other teaching-related materials. Other documents (e.g. letters of recommendation) are also allowed, at the discretion of the Unit Head.

            •     The review for promotion may be done in tandem with a review for contract renewal, or separately. In either case, the department, or an appointed committee of the department - such as the Affiliate review team(s), described above – will review the candidate’s materials, focusing on evidence of successful teaching.

            •     By vote, the department or committee may recommend promotion to Senior Affiliate Faculty or recommend not promoting the candidate at this time. This recommendation is sent to the Unit Head, who transmits it to the Dean for final decision. The Dean shall provide the Affiliate with written rationale for the recommendation in the event the Dean rejects the recommendation for promotion. Note that for promotion, the decision of the Dean is final and cannot be appealed. However, in the event of a denial, the Affiliate is not precluded from applying for Senior Affiliate status in the future.

            •     Once a decision to promote is made, the Dean should provide a letter to the faculty member. Promotions are effective with the beginning of the next academic year appointment, but not before the beginning of the ninth year, and include an additional $5,000 (beginning summer 2024) added to the Senior Affiliate faculty member’s base pay. The promotion increment will be prorated for 9-month affiliates who are not 1.0 FTE and 12-month affiliates who are less than 0.75 FTE.

            •     For budgetary planning, by the end of Fall semester the Dean should report to the Office of the Provost the promotions under consideration. Promotions are reported to the Office of the Provost via the same Hiring Approval Form used when renewing a contract, and the promotion increment should be included on the salary spreadsheets that are completed in late Winter semester.

      iii.  Important Note that Applies to Affiliates in their Seventh Year of Service:

            If an Affiliate faculty member is reviewed for a new three-year contract during their seventh year of service, and the Affiliate faculty member is planning to apply for promotion during their eighth year, the Affiliate may submit materials for both purposes (renewal and promotion) at the same time. However, as indicated in Board of Trustees Policy 4.3.0 , the decision on contract renewal will need to occur by May 1, and the application for promotion can only be considered after the decision to renew the Affiliate faculty member’s contract is made. (Renewals of more than three years, per BOT 4.3.0, are only available to those Affiliate faculty who have already been promoted to Senior Affiliate.)




September 27, 2023 -- updated with information from FPPC 

March 17, 2022 - Changed Faculty Activity Plan (FAP) designation to Faculty Workload Plan (FWP)