Section I: Guidelines

Effective December 1, 2000
Revised November 28, 2006
Revised January 07, 2008
Revised August 27, 2008
Revised July 1, 2010
Revised July 1, 2014
Revised May 18, 2018
Revised September 7, 2018

A. Introduction

General information on the process, committees, roles, responsibilities, and definitions related to Extension Faculty Performance Evaluation is located in this section. All Faculty members should review these guidelines before creating a personnel action packet. Personnel actions include reappointment, promotion, continuing contract, and post tenure compensation.

The performance areas, criteria, indicators, and standards used to evaluate a Faculty member’s performance for reappointment, promotion, continuing contract, and post-tenure compensation are located in Section II.

The format required for all personnel action packets is located in Section III. Post Tenure packets should be organized as described on the Section III: Post Tenure Application Format page.

The evaluation form used by the PRC to provide written comments to the Faculty member is located in Section IV. Extension Administrators have the option of using this form or providing their comments in a narrative format.

The template used by the Faculty member’s Supervisor to solicit letters of support for promotion and continuing contract is located in Section V.


B. Responsibilities of the Faculty Member

The Faculty member’s responsibilities are to:

  • Understand the Faculty Performance Evaluation and personnel action processes and timelines
  • Report accomplishments on Maine Planning and Reporting System (MRPS) in a timely manner
  • Select members of their Peer Committee (PC)
  • Convene meetings of their PC as appropriate
  • Work with their Peer Committee on an ongoing basis to prepare a high quality packet
  • Provide MPRS data to their Peer Committee as requested
  • Meet with their Supervisor as necessary
  • Discuss preparation and content of personnel action packets with their Supervisor prior to submission
  • Submit personnel action packets according to the timeline in Table 1
  • Request a meeting with the Promotion Review Committee (PRC), if necessary, to present information that was mistakenly omitted from the packet; in addition, this meeting could provide an opportunity for the Faculty member to ask or respond to questions regarding the clarity of the information submitted; meetings between the PRC and the Faculty member can take place in person, by telephone, or using video-conferencing or other electronic means
  • If the Faculty member chooses not to meet with the PRC, the Faculty member should provide the PRC chair with their contact information in case the PRC has questions of clarification

C. Responsibilities of the Supervisor

The responsibilities of the Faculty member’s supervisor are to:

  • Discuss preparation and content of the Faculty member’s packet
  • Review Faculty member’s entries in the MPRS reporting prior to proceeding with personnel action requests
  • Evaluate the personnel action packet, provide feedback to the Faculty member, and make a recommendation on their request for reappointment, promotion, continuing contract or post tenure compensation

D. Peer Committee (PC)

1. Primary Responsibilities

  • Guide the Faculty member in compiling their personnel action packet using Section II and Section III.
  • Provide feedback on the Faculty member’s packet prior to submission to the PRC
  • Provide the Faculty member with ongoing peer support and feedback throughout their professional career with UMaine Cooperative Extension

2. Composition

The Peer Committee shall consist of at least three UMaine Cooperative Extension Faculty members, including:

  • At least one member from outside the Faculty member’s immediate program area
  • At least one member with continuing contract

Faculty members are encouraged to include at least one member who has achieved a positive personnel action within the past five years. Additional committee members may include peers from outside UMaine Cooperative Extension.

For additional information about Peer Committees, refer to Formulating & Working with an Effective Peer Committee (Word).

3. Length of Term

Peer committee members are appointed for three year renewable terms that run from January through December. Peer committee members are appointed on a rotating basis.


E. Promotion Review Committee (PRC)

1. Primary Responsibilities

PRC members will:

  • Determine which member will serve as PRC Chair each year
  • Evaluate Faculty member’s packets for personnel actions based on the contents of their packet using the performance areas, criteria, indicators, and standards located in Section II.
  • Meet with the Faculty member when the PRC is in session, if a meeting is requested
  • Provide the Faculty member and Supervisor with evaluative feedback in writing using Section IV
  • Participate fully by attending all session dates as designated by the PRC Chair
    • Hold the first full week in Jan, Apr, and Oct for PRC sessions until otherwise notified by the PRC chair
    • Be notified by the PRC Chair if not all dates will be needed to complete the work
    • Be asked to add one additional day after the PRC session for the review of revised packets, if necessary
  • Participate in the discussion of each Faculty member’s packet, including the initial discussion and vote
  • Participate in the review of the final written Evaluation Form
  • Participate in discussions with Faculty members; although it is preferable that all PRC members participate, at least three members must be present in discussions with each Faculty member, including the PRC member responsible for completing the draft evaluation form
  • If the PRC has serious concerns about the packet, i.e., a likely negative vote, and the Faculty member has not scheduled a meeting, in person or by phone, with the PRC, the PRC chair will contact the Faculty member and their supervisor to discuss the committees’ concerns and to provide the Faculty member with an opportunity to revise their packet

Note:

  • It is the responsibility of the PC to provide feedback on preparation of the packet; it is the responsibility of the PRC to evaluate the packet presented to them and provide written feedback
  • It is the role of PRC to evaluate the quality of the programs and activities undertaken by the Faculty member; it is not the role of the PRC to determine the value or appropriateness of the programs and activities undertaken by the Faculty member

2. Composition

PRC Members

  • Five will be selected, all with continuing contract
  • Will include at least two females and two males, two specialist and two educators.

PRC Alternates

  • Six will be selected, all with continuing contract
  • Will include at least two females and two males, two specialists and two educators

3. Length of Term

PRC Members

  • Serve three-year terms from January to December
  • Are appointed on a rotating basis by the Policy Advisory Council (PAC)
  • Are randomly drawn from the pool of eligible Faculty members
  • After serving a term on PRC, are removed from the pool of eligible Faculty members for four years

PRC Alternates

  • Are in the pool for a one-year term from January through December
  • After serving, are removed from the pool of eligible Faculty members for one year
  • Those not serving on PRC are immediately returned to the pool of Faculty members eligible to serve as a PRC member or alternate

4. Process for Selecting Members and Alternates

(Approved at UM Extension faculty meeting May 26, 2018)

Selection of Promotion Review Committee (PRC) members and alternates occurs each year after the PRC meets in October. Faculty members who are selected are notified by the end of November for service beginning in January of the following year (approximately 13 months advance notice). Requests for deferral, by both PRC member‑elects and alternate-elects, must be submitted to the Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) within a month of receiving their notification letter, usually by the end of December. This allows sufficient time to draw additional names as needed and provide approximately one-year advance notice.

  1. Update database for current year to record actual service of PRC members and alternates. Add names of faculty members who have recently achieved continuing contract status.
  1. If needed, select alternates to serve in the next year. This most often occurs because of sabbaticals or because a PRC member is required to submit a Post Tenure Compensation packet for the April session.
  1. Determine how many new PRC members will be needed and in what categories (gender, role)
  1. Determine which Faculty members are eligible to serve
    • Must have continuing contract
    • After serving as a PRC member, the faculty member becomes ineligible for a period of four years
    • After serving on PRC as an alternate (being named an alternate does not equate with serving on PRC), ineligible for one year (Note: PRC selections are made one-year or more in advance – this means that alternates are eliminated from the pool because there is no way of knowing whether or not they will be required to serve, so all alternates must be considered as ineligible for one year whether or not they ultimately serve on PRC)
  1. Divide the list of eligible Faculty members into three categories:
    • List A – Those who have never served
    • List B – Those who have not served in the past 10 years
    • List C – Those who have served in the past 10 years
  1. Randomize separately the three lists of eligible Faculty members (for example, using RANDOM.ORG website’s List Randomizer)
  1. Starting with List A (those Faculty members who have never served), select PRC member-elects:
    • Start at the top of the randomized list
    • Total of five PRC members (as soon as there are three members of either gender or role, the next selection must be in the under-represented category)
    • At least two females and two males
    • At least two educators and two specialists
  1. If there are still openings on PRC after going through List A; move to List B, and then List C if needed, to complete the selection (Note: if a situation occurs where there are no returning members of PRC, at least one member must come from List B or List C)
  1. Select PRC alternate-elects
    • Start with List A, randomly selecting from the pool of Faculty members skipped when selecting PRC members; move to List B and then List C, as necessary until a total of six alternates have been selected.
    • At least two females and two males
    • At least two educators and two specialists
  1. Send letters to PRC member-elects and alternate-elects informing them of their selection and asking that they hold the first week of January, April, and October during their term of service until the PRC Chair informs them otherwise. If selected, Faculty members have the option of requesting a deferral for one year if there are extenuating circumstances that cannot be accommodated with a one-year advance notification. Requests for deferral should be send to the PAC Chair(s) within a month of receiving their notification letter, usually by the end of December. PRC notification template letters (alternate and member) (Word).
  1. Send letters to alternates (if any are needed), informing them of the dates they will be needed.
  1. If a member-elect defers, an alternate-elect is chosen to serve in their place.
  1. If an alternate-elect defers, return to the randomized list to select another alternate-elect.
  1. If an alternate is not able to serve, select the next alternate from the randomized list; repeat until filled.
  1. Update the database with the new selections.

The list of Faculty members who have served on PRC, as members and alternates, will be maintained by PAC with assistance from the support staff member working with PRC (currently Angela Hart).

5. Code of Conduct

Guiding Principles – These behavioral norms are expected of PRC members during PRC sessions:

  • Hold in confidence the content of Faculty materials and committee discussions
  • Cooperate
  • Listen to others with your full attention; be open-minded
  • Be courteous; let others finish their statements without interruption
  • Be honest; if you feel strongly about something, say it
  • Reserve value judgment of colleague’s work; recognize that there are many ways to conduct Extension work; diversity of staff means diversity in approaches to programming
  • Help to create a supportive environment
  • Avoid side conversations; share your thoughts with the whole group
  • Be attentive to the amount of time you are speaking
  • Speak about the submitted packet, not your own or second-hand experience
  • Be aware of your intentions when relating your thoughts to others
  • Help keep the group on track

6. Recommended Operating Procedures

Prior to each session, the PRC Chair will establish procedures and logistics for that session, including:

  • Scheduling a meeting time for the Administrative liaison to PRC
  • Establishing PRC meeting times – if meeting time outside regular work hours is needed, times will be decided by consensus of all PRC members
  • Faculty members submitting packets with program summaries exceeding the two-page maximum for each summary will have their packets returned with a recommendation to resubmit. [An administrative assistant would review summaries for length only and return the packet. The applicant has until the PRC meets to re-submit. Note: This greatly reduces the PRC’s time to review the packet].
  • By prior arrangement, and ensuring confidentiality, arranging for PRC member to participate via conference call or videoconference
  • Scheduling meeting times with Faculty members
  • Face to face meetings with the PRC will be reserved for reappointment and promotion packets only. Faculty members planning to submit a packet for promotion to full professor in the fall may request a face to face meeting with the PRC, but this request must be included in the cover letter of the packet. For post-tenure compensation (PTC) packets, the PRC will answer questions by telephone or video chat only.
  • Review of packet materials – for sessions with a large number of packets, committee members will read and review packets prior to the PRC session to make best use of the committee’s time.
  • Faculty guidance for reappointment and promotion is to have between one and six program summaries (two-page maximum) included in the narrative. The format is detailed in Plugged-In. Each summary should focus on the program, evaluation, and the social, environmental or economic impact of the program. All PRC members will review packets with particular attention to those components.
  • For post-tenure, faculty will submit a cover letter, job description, narrative with 2-4 program summaries (two-page maximum) and an expanded CV. Each summary will focus on the program, evaluation, and the social, environmental or economic impact of the program. It will not include Criterion 1-2, nor a Professional Development Plan form. All PRC members will review packets with particular attention to those components.
  • Completing evaluation forms, both draft and final.
  • For post-tenure, the PRC will review and include written comments for each packet. A short summary not to exceed one page will be written to discuss the overall packet identifying specific strengths and possible areas for improvement.
  • Follow-up review of revised packets – usually occurs within two weeks of the end of the PRC session
  • Working closely with the Support Staff person assigned to PRC
  • A conference call with all PRC members during the week preceding the session may be helpful in ensuring shared understanding of the upcoming work and address any questions or concerns.

All PRC members should:

  • Be familiar with this document
  • Review the Code of Conduct
  • Bring or arrange access to a laptop computer

At the conclusion of the session, all PRC members should review the process – what worked well and what needs attention – and share this information with the Administrative liaison as well as the incoming PRC Chair, as appropriate.

7. Rules of Voting

  • Before voting begins, the Chair appoints a member to be the primary author of the PRC’s recommendation for each packet
  • Each Faculty member’s request is voted on separately
  • Voting takes place using yes-no ballots that are counted
  • Majority rules
  • Discussion follows the vote
  • Any member can make statements that reflect a minority or majority view
  • Any committee member may call for a second vote after discussion
  • After each vote, the committee members agree on written comments to be included in the Evaluation Form (Section IV)
  • Written comments and a tally of the vote are sent to the Faculty member and their supervisor

Note: Faculty members with joint appointments should refer to Section I.K for further information on composition of your Peer Committee.


F. Letters of Evaluation and Recommendation

Letters of evaluation and recommendation written by the Promotion Review Committee, Supervisor, and Dean should be evaluative and not just repetitions of what is presented in the packet. They should contain enough information to provide a context for the reader who may not be familiar with the Faculty member’s field of work. Letters of Evaluation and Recommendation should comment on the quality of the work done using the performance areas, criteria, indicators, and standards for guidance.


G. Faculty Evaluation

1. Timeline (see Table 1)

  • The Faculty member’s date of appointment determines when the first year reappointment packet is due
  • Faculty members appointed prior to December 1 must submit a first-year reappointment packet for consideration by PRC at their January session in the next calendar year. For example, a Faculty member appointed July 1 would submit a first year reappointment packet approximately six months later
  • Faculty members appointed after December 1 submit their first year reappointment packet for consideration by PRC at their January session of the second calendar year. For example, a Faculty member appointed December 1 would submit their first year reappointment packet approximately 13 months later
  • Years of credit towards continuing contract, negotiated at the time of hire, do not affect the timeline for the reappointment cycle (refer to Section I.H.6)After the Faculty member has received a letter from the UMaine President notifying them of the outcome of their requested personnel action, a copy of the narrative portion of the packet, all recommendations, and any Faculty member response is placed in the Faculty member’s personnel file
  • If the AFUM contract has expired, the Faculty member will use personnel action dates based on the previous year’s contract

Table 1. Deadlines for Personnel Action1

1st Year Reappointment2

2nd Year Reappointment

3rd to 6th Year Reappointment & Post Tenure Compensation

Promotion & Continuing Contract3

Extension Dean notifies Faculty member4 November August February August
Faculty member requests consideration for Promotion or Continuing Contract5 n/a n/a n/a September 15*
Faculty member submits names of possible authors of letters of support to Supervisor n/a n/a n/a August 1
Extension Dean instructs PRC regarding specific Faculty members to be considered, and the deadline and appropriate procedures for PRC action December 15* September 15* March 15* September 25*
Packet due to Extension Dean; Dean submits packet to PRC6 two weeks prior to PRC meeting two weeks prior to PRC meeting two weeks prior to PRC meeting two weeks prior to PRC meeting
PRC meets,7 usually the first full week in … January October April October
Recommendation from PRC to Faculty member, Supervisor and Extension Dean6 January 15* October 15* April 30* November 10*
Faculty member’s response due to Supervisor and Extension Dean (optional) January 22* October 22* May 7* November 17*
Recommendation from Supervisor to Faculty member and Extension Dean6 February 29* October 29* May 14* November 26*
Recommendation from Extension Director to Faculty member and Supervisor; recommendations from PRC, Supervisor, and Extension Dean and personnel action packet8 to Provost6; packet reviewed by the UM Promotion & Tenure Committee (PTC9)6 and then to UM President6 March 5* November 12* May 29* December 10*
UM President notifies Faculty member of personnel action decision March 31* January 15* June 30* February 28*
Option to file a grievance against a negative personnel action decision10 within 20 working days within 20 working days within 20 working days within 20 working days

1 Deadline dates that are set by the AFUM contract are indicated by *; actions may occur before these dates but not after; all dates are approximate and may vary slightly each year; refer to the UMaine Office of Human Resources website’s Forms page for current contractual deadlines.

2 Faculty members hired prior to December 1 are required to submit a 1st Year Reappointment packet for consideration by PRC in January. Faculty members can request a waiver but should consult with their Supervisor about the implications of doing so.

3 Faculty members typically apply for promotion to Associate Extension Professor and for Continuing Contract in their 5th year of employment, and for promotion to Extension Professor in their 10th year of employment or later.

4 It is strongly recommended that Faculty members meet with their Peer Committee and Supervisor at least six weeks prior to submitting packet to discuss preparation and content.

5 For early continuing contract submissions see Section I.G.7

6 Faculty members may withdraw their packet at any point after initial submission by notifying the Extension Dean in writing.

7 Meeting dates may vary slightly from year to year.

8 For 1st year, 2nd year, and 4th to 6th year reappointments, only the recommendation goes to upper administration. For 3rd year reappointment, promotion, and continuing contract, the recommendation and the narrative portion of the packet is sent to upper administration and the PTC; support documents are not sent.

9 PTC is composed of Deans, Dean of UMaine Cooperative Extension, and Provost

10 Grievance will be filed with the first administrative officer (Supervisor, Extension Dean, Vice President) making a negative recommendation. There is no provision in the contract for Faculty members to file a grievance against the PRC.

2. Contents of Packet

Until continuing contract is achieved:

  • Primary focus of the packet (narrative and support documents) should be on the last year’s work
  • Packet should demonstrate professional growth; this often will require inclusion of work done since date of hire

When applying for promotion to Associate Extension or Extension Professor:

  • Focus narrative and support documents on the most recent five years
  • Use earlier work to demonstrate professional growth
  • Address the criteria for promotion to this rank (see Section I.G.5)

3. Performance Areas, Criteria, Indicators, and Standards

Performance Areas are the major areas of work expected of all Faculty members. Criteria are the essential elements of a Performance Area. Indicators are the activities that demonstrate achievement of a criterion. Standards are the minimum work performance necessary to achieve the requested personnel action. Performance Areas, Criteria, Indicators, and Standards are detailed in Section II. and should be used in preparing your packet for submission to ensure that all applicable criteria, indicators, and standards have been addressed.

Faculty member’s performance will be evaluated using the criteria, indicators, and standards for each performance area. It is expected that evidence of activity and increasing quality of performance in each criterion in each applicable performance area will increase with time in rank. It is expected that first and second year reappointment packets will be relatively brief because they are early in the program development process.

Standards should be considered minimums for documented work performance over time, and can be used as guides for advancement. It is expected that after performance has been achieved at a new level, it will be sustained. For promotion to Extension Professor, Standards must be met within the most recent five years of employment with UMaine Cooperative Extension.

4. Weighting of Performance Areas

Each Performance Area is assigned a weight, within the minimum-maximum range, to indicate its relative importance in the job description and Plan of Work (POW) of each Faculty member. Specific weights are determined collaboratively by the Faculty member, their Program Administrator, and their Peer Committee. For new Faculty members, weights are to be determined within three months of the date of hire. It is not expected that weights will change except when there is a significant shift in the POW or other job responsibilities, or in the case of a change in, or move to, a joint appointment.

The minimum and maximum weights in each Performance Area are:

Performance Area Minimum & Maximum
Weights (%)
Maximum & Minimum
Number of Days
I 50 to 70 115 to 161
II – Teaching Appointment Equals percent of teaching appointment
III 10 to 25 23 to 58
IV 10 to 15 23 to 35
V 1 to 5 2 to 12
Research Appointment Equals percent of research appointment
Total 100 230

The total of the weights (including teaching and research appointments) should equal 100% Individuals are not expected to set maximum weights in all Performance Areas. For Faculty members with 100% Extension appointments, the total weight for Performance Areas I and II must be at least 70%. For Faculty members with joint appointments, the total of weights in Performance Areas I, III, IV, and V should equal the percent of Extension appointment. For Faculty members with teaching appointments, the total weight for Performance Areas I and II should not exceed 70%.

Faculty members submitting personnel action packets will indicate weights of each Performance Area as part of the Job Description in the Candidate’s Profile (Section III).

5. Additional Criteria for the Ranks of Associate Extension Professor and Extension Professor

UMaine Cooperative Extension has developed additional criteria for Extension Faculty ranks that should be kept in mind when determining whether a Faculty member has met the requirements for reappointment, promotion, and continuing contract.

Assistant Extension Professor

  • Master’s Degree is the minimum degree requirement; Specialists usually have an earned doctorate as the minimum degree requirement

Associate Extension Professor:

  • Master’s Degree is the minimum degree requirement; Specialists usually have an earned doctorate as the minimum degree requirement
  • Sustained high level of competence in the implementation of all assigned responsibilities
  • Evidence of continued professional development
  • Evidence of recognition as an educator in the assigned geographical area
  • Increasing skill in the program development process
  • Creative performance in the conduct of Extension or related educational programs

Extension Professor

  • Master’s Degree is the minimum degree requirement; Specialists usually have an earned doctorate as the minimum degree requirement
  • Evidence of sustained outstanding performance in the implementation of assigned responsibilities
  • Continued professional development through the exploration of new areas of Extension programming
  • Recognition as an educator beyond the assigned geographical area
  • Excellent program development skills as evidenced by outstanding ability and consistent sustained performance in determining clientele needs, establishing program priorities, and conducting Extension or related educational programs

6. Years of Credit Towards Continuing Contract

Occasionally a Faculty member is hired who negotiates a specific number of years “credit” towards continuing contract. Typically this will be one or two years of credit; rarely are three years of credit awarded. This means that the Faculty member has the opportunity to document work performance at a level that supports the awarding of continuing contract within a shorter period of time. According to the AFUM contract, credit granted at the time of appointment towards the completion of the probationary period may be used at the discretion of the Faculty member. The Faculty member electing to use the credit granted shall make a one time application for the award of tenure and there shall be only one tenure decision.

UMaine Cooperative Extension policy allows Faculty members hired with years of credit towards continuing contract to include documentation of their most recent experience and achievement in their continuing contact packet for a time period equivalent to that of the years of credit, up to a maximum of three years. This is consistent with University of Maine System policy concerning years of credit toward tenure.

Years of credit do not affect the Faculty member’s position in the reappointment cycle. For example, a Faculty member hired with two years of credit towards continuing contract would submit their first reappointment packet according to the timeline for first year reappointment, not third year reappointment.

7. Guidelines for Early Continuing Contract Submissions

If the criteria for continuing contract are met in year four or five a Faculty member may seek continuing contract, provided that the Faculty member also demonstrates that they exceed the basic standards (in quality and quantity) in at least four performance areas. Examples of exceeding standards include but are not limited to:

  • Exemplary educational program development with clear long-term impacts
  • Regional or national leadership and notoriety
  • Attainment of externally funded grant, contract, or special funding in support of Extension educational programs or research
  • Scholarly productivity

8. Letters of Support for Promotion and Continuing Contract

Letters of support should not be included in reappointment packets. Letters of support are required for promotion and continuing contract packets and must be solicited by the Faculty member’s Supervisor.

Letters of support should address one or more of these three areas of evaluation:

  • Educational program development and applied research (Performance Area I)
  • Scholarship and professional activity (Performance Area III)
  • Organizational, campus, and public service (Performance Areas IV and V)

Letters of support are most effective when they describe the specific work of the Faculty member and its substantial contributions and accomplishments relative to the mission of UMaine Cooperative Extension and the University of Maine. Most appropriate are letters from colleagues or individuals who can evaluate the Faculty member’s work but who are not close personal friends, former mentors, or academic advisors. When members of the academic community are asked to be evaluators, they should have a rank or professional recognition at least equivalent to the Faculty member’s. Letters of support should not be requested from people supervised by the Faculty member.

Letters that address educational program development and applied research should be based primarily on the evaluator’s first hand observations of the Faculty member and a review of the Faculty member’s educational materials and syllabi.

Letters that address scholarship and professional activity should be from individuals who have expertise in the Faculty member’s area of expertise. Letter of support should be based on an examination of the Faculty member’s scholarly works, professional interactions, and observations of the Faculty member’s participation in conferences and presentations at professional conferences.

Letters that address organizational, campus, and public service should be based on first hand experience of the Faculty member’s work. The service should be directly related to the Faculty member’s expertise, collegial, or governance role as a Faculty member. Letters should address the Faculty member’s academic contribution to the service activity or evaluate the way the Faculty member conducted their responsibilities as a Faculty member. Letters should be printed on letterhead and signed. Unsigned letters and faxes are not acceptable.

There are three categories of letters of support:

  • Internal to UMaine Cooperative Extension, UM, and UMS
  • Program clients, members of advisory groups, and volunteers
  • Collaborators in institutions, agencies, and organizations external to UMS

Letters of support from all three categories should be included. Faculty members must include letters in the third category from at least three established scholars at institutions external to the University of Maine System or from established collaborators who work in agencies and organizations and are well respected in the Faculty member’s field of work. Support letters should be from individuals whose objectivity is not open to challenge. Faculty member’s should not request letters from personal friends, colleagues with whom they have a long standing on going working relationship, former mentors, members of their PC or current PRC members. Faculty members may include the curriculum vitas of these evaluators in their supporting documents. A maximum of five letters from each category can be included. Typically two to three letters per category is sufficient. Quality is more important than quantity.

In the packet, include a cover sheet that lists the categories and identifies which letters are in each category. For each letter, indicate the correspondent’s name, institution or place of work, and a brief statement of their connection to the Faculty member.

The Supervisor will solicit letters of support for Faculty member’s requesting continuing contract or promotion using the template in Section V.

The process and timeline for soliciting letters is:

Date Action
Aug 15 Faculty member submits, to the Program Administrator (PA):

  • names of possible individuals to write letters of support (including name, title, address, and brief description of the individual’s relationship to the Faculty member)
  • current job description
  • list of current Peer Committee (PC) members

Faculty member can indicate names of individuals from whom letters should not be requested.

PA adds additional names if desired.

Sept 1 PA forwards list to Faculty member’s PC and to the current Promotion Review Committee (PRC) and requests additional names if desired.
Sep 15 Additional names received from PC and PRC.
Oct 1 PA selects names of individuals and requests letters of support.
Oct 15 Letters of support received by PA; letters are inserted into the Faculty member’s packet when the packet is received.

Faculty members should notify individuals that they might be contacted to write a letter of support. All letters received will be included in the Faculty member’s packet. After the Faculty member has received a letter from the UMaine President notifying them of the outcome of their request for continuing contract or promotion, a copy of the narrative portion of the packet, all recommendations, all letters of support, and any Faculty member response is placed in the Faculty member’s personnel file. Letters of support will be available to the Faculty member for review at that time.


H. Post Tenure Compensation (PTC) Review

1. Eligibility

A Faculty member’s year of eligibility is calculated by adding multiples of four to the year they received continuing contract or promotion to full professor. A Faculty member is eligible for PTC every four years.

2. Determining Satisfactory Performance

The Faculty member must be performing satisfactorily for their rank (see Section II) to receive a positive decision by the PRC, the Supervisor, the Dean, and Upper Administration. If the PRC recommendation is overturned, the Executive Director must supply the PRC with compelling reasons.

3. Format

See Section III. Note that only the cover letter, job description, program summaries, and expanded CV are required for PTC; other sections, including appendices, should not be included.

4. Role of the Peer Committee (PC)

  • Guides the Faculty member in preparing their post tenure packet
  • Provides feedback on the Faculty member’s packet prior to submission to the PRC
  • Regularly offers ongoing support and feedback during the Faculty member’s career

5. Roles of the Promotion Review Committee (PRC)

  • Reviews materials submitted by the Faculty member to determine if they are maintaining the performance standards established for their current rank based on the standards and criteria outlined in Section II of this document
  • Makes recommendation on the action requested
  • Provides the Faculty member with general written comments and feedback
  • Meets with the Faculty member during the time period when PRC is in session, if requested
  • Reviews the Faculty member’s revised packet as necessary

6. Minimum Salary Increases and the Role of Administration

Faculty members identified as performing satisfactorily by the PRC, Program Administrator (PA), and Extension Dean, and approved by the Upper Administration, will receive a 3.5% increase to their base salary. Faculty members consider to be performing above the minimum by their PA and the Director can receive an increase of up to an additional 3.5%. Salary increases for Faculty members who successfully complete the review will be effective July 1.

If you have any questions, please contact your Program Administrator.

7. Mid-Cycle Peer Review Guidance

Assumptions:

  1. That the appropriate administrator and the PRC are acting in the best interests of the faculty member, Extension, and UMaine.
  2. If the PRC decides to conduct a more frequent peer evaluation than the schedule that appears in Article 10(C)(1) of the AFUM-UMS contract, the faculty member shall submit his/her evaluation packet according to the same timetable for other faculty members being reviewed that academic year.
  3. When the PRC conducts a more frequent peer review than the schedule that appears in Article 10(C)(1) of the AFUM contract, it does not alter the timetable for increases in compensation as described in Article 20 of the AFUM-UMS contract.

Recommendations:

  1. When a request for review is made for a pre-continuing contract faculty member, PRC members are encouraged not to agree to more frequent review; rather, it is strongly encouraged that the appropriate administrator work with the faculty member and their peer committee to address relevant issues and improve performance.
  2. When an appropriate administrator makes a request for a mid-cycle peer evaluation per Article 10(C)(J) of the AFUM-UMS contract for a faculty member whose most recent post tenure evaluation was unsatisfactory, the PRC will normally agree to conduct a more frequent review. The PRC will normally recommend that this review occur in year two or three of the four-year cycle.
  3. When an appropriate administrator makes a request for a mid-cycle peer evaluation per Article 10(C)(l) of the AFUM-UMS contract for reasons unrelated to an unsatisfactory post tenure evaluation, PRC members will consider all the facts and circumstances relating to the request and consider the best interests of the faculty member, Extension, and UMaine.
  4. When conducting more frequent peer review reviews than that described in Article 10(C)(l) of the AFUM-UMS contract, PRC members are encouraged to:
  1. Consider the faculty member’s past performance reviews and personnel file, in addition to the current packet submission, as they relate to meeting current performance standards and criteria.
  2. Consider any disciplinary action that may have impacted performance as it relates to meeting current performance standards and criteria.

I. Tips on Preparing Packets

These tips provide the Faculty member with suggestions for organizing the structure and layout of their packet. The more organized and concise the packet is, the easier it will be for others to locate and evaluate the materials presented.

1. Content

  • For each criterion, address all the indicators that are applicable to your work
  • Be specific about program efforts and accomplishments, particularly when you are part of a team; identify team members by name, affiliation, and role
  • Clearly describe programs and client groups, including their purpose, number, origin, and priority in your Plan of Work; do not assume that readers of your packet know your programs
  • Clearly link needs assessments and planned educational programs to client-centered objectives and expected outcomes and impacts
  • Clearly link objectives with achieved outcomes and impacts
  • The narrative should be able to stand on its own; when your packet is passed on to the UM Promotion & Tenure Committee, only the narrative is reviewed; support documents are sent separately and are usually not reviewed
  • Keep repetition of the same information to a minimum; reference to material already presented is preferable to “cut-and-paste” repetition
  • Documentation of Maine Planning and Reporting System reporting should include a brief statement in your narrative that you did report, the number of days reported, and a brief description of narratives submitted; you do not need to include complete printouts of each goal reported under, or copies of success stories reported
  • Support documents are an essential part of your packet; choose documents with care; include only those support documents that have been specifically referred to in the narrative
  • Arrange support documents in the order they are referred to in the narrative
  • Number or label each support document so that it can be referred to specifically and can be found easily
  • Bound journals, reports, or publications that include multiple authors, if submitted, should be tabbed to indicate where your work can be found
  • With bulky documents, consider submitting just the cover or title page and a sample of the contents
  • Support documents should be clean, clear, and easy to read; if something doesn’t photocopy well, consider an alternative such as a photograph, or simply describe it in the narrative
  • Consider providing a list of acronyms, abbreviations, and definitions of terms that are used repeatedly
  • Provide the necessary context for those readers who are unfamiliar with your program area, discipline, and the venues where your work was published

2. Organization and Formatting

  • Packets should be organized as described in Section III. Post Tenure packets should be organized as described on the Section III: Post Tenure Application Format page.
  • Clearly label every part of the narrative and supporting documents, using tab dividers or other similar devices, so that it is obvious where everything is located; refer to documents or sections using the numbers or labels
  • Consider placing the narrative in one binder and supporting documents in another; reviewers can then easily read through both at the same time, maintaining the flow of the narrative while referring to the supporting documents
  • Use one-and-a-half or double spacing; yes, it takes more paper, but it is much easier to read
  • Borders, fancy fonts, and shading may enhance a packet, but can easily be overdone; the packet should look professional; off-white paper can make a packet easier to read
  • Be sure to check for and avoid:
    • typos, incorrect spelling, incomplete or run-on sentences, punctuation mistakes, and hand-written corrections
    • multiple examples of the same documentation
    • jargon, acronyms, and abbreviations that have not been defined
    • wrinkled, soiled, illegible, and other poor quality materials
    • plastic page-protectors, colored ink, sticky dots, highlighter, or colored pencils
  • Have others proofread the text

J. Late Packet Guidelines

  1. Under extenuating circumstances, packets may be accepted up to one business day after the deadline provided the UMaine Cooperative Extension Executive Dean (or their designee) agrees that circumstances beyond the Faculty member’s control prevented timely submission of the packet.
  2. If significant extenuating circumstances occur, an additional five (5) business days from the deadline may be granted, subject to approval from both the PAC and the UMaine Cooperative Extension Executive Director (or their designee). It is the Faculty member’s responsibility to justify their request to the PAC and to the Executive Director. Note: an extension can not be granted if it would affect the ability of PRC and others to meet deadlines established by the AFUM agreement.Examples of significant extenuating circumstances may include:
    • death or severe injury in one’s family
    • personal medical emergency
    • accident
  3. Deadlines for applications should be set to fall on a Monday
  4. Notification will be sent to Faculty members two months prior to the packet due date. The notification will include a description of the information that should be included in the packet. An additional reminder will be sent to Faculty members two weeks prior to the date packet’s are due.

K. Joint Appointments

  1. Faculty members with a joint appointment must adhere to the Faculty performance evaluation and personnel actions of both UMaine Cooperative Extension and the unit or department where the joint appointment is held.
  2. A Faculty member’s primary unit is the unit or department in which the majority appointment is held; the secondary unit is the unit or department in which the minority appointment is held.
  3. A Faculty member’s Extension work will be evaluated using UMaine Cooperative Extension’s Faculty evaluation standards. Research and teaching work will be evaluated using the standards set by the appropriate unit or department.
  4. The primary unit has the responsibility to ensure that the Faculty member is evaluated in accordance with the AFUM agreement and that a peer committee is appointed that represents both the primary and secondary units.
  5. The peer committee makes its report to the Department Chair and the Extension Program Administrator.
  6. The recommendation from the Department Chair is sent to the Dean and the Dean’s recommendation is sent to the Executive Vice-President/Provost.
  7. The recommendation from the Extension Program Administrator is sent to the Extension Dean; the Extension Dean’s recommendation is sent to the Executive Vice-President/Provost.
  8. For reappointment decisions, the Executive Vice-President/Provost’s recommendation is sent to the President for action.
  9. For continuing contract, tenure, and promotion decisions, after review and discussion by the Administrative Promotion and Tenure Review Committee, the Executive Vice-President/Provost’s recommendation is sent to the President for action.

L. Fixed-Length, Soft Money, and Non-Continuing Contract Appointments

For a full explanation of fixed-length and soft-money appointments please refer to the AFUM Contract (PDF), Article 7 – Appointment, Reappointment and Non-Reappointment, and Contract Status.

Faculty members with these types of appointments are encouraged to use their cover letter to address any specifics of their job description or responsibilities that affect their ability to meet criteria that are “expected” or meet standards for their current years of service.

Fixed-length and soft-money faculty members can be reappointed for multiple years, typically two, if there is a guarantee of funding and, for fixed-length appointments, the multi year appointment does not extend beyond the fixed-length employment period. Fixed-length and soft-money faculty members should work closely with their supervisor to determine the appropriateness of a multi-year reappointment, and clearly state their request in their cover letter.


M. Salary Adjustment at Promotion

The UMaine Cooperative Extension Leadership Team may recommend salary adjustments above the rank minimum increase when Faculty members are promoted. Salary adjustments are effective when promotion takes effect, usually on July 1. No formal request for salary adjustment is required. The criteria for administrative decisions on salary adjustment are:

  • Greatest value is placed on:
    • Program impact
    • Quality of one’s service and cooperation with others
    • Program creativity
    • Competency
  • Intermediate value is placed on:
    • Past contributions to the organization
    • Potential for future contributions to the organization and programs
    • Salary of peers with similar years of service and rank
  • Lesser value, but still relevant to the analysis, is placed on:
    • Market value
    • Total years of service
    • Past entry-level salary within the group at time of hire

The final decision regarding any recommended salary adjustment is made by the UM Provost in consultation with the UM Office of Equal Employment Opportunity.

Note: For other Faculty salary adjustment options, please refer to the UMaine Faculty Handbook.


N. Revision of Faculty Evaluation Document

A UMaine Cooperative Extension Faculty member or the Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) shall amend the UMaine Cooperative Extension Faculty Evaluation document, according to the following procedure:

  1. The Faculty member or the PAC identifies the specific section(s) of the document to be amended and prepares the proposed amendment(s).
  2. If initiated by a Faculty member, the author(s) submits the proposed amendment(s), electronically or hard copy, to the PAC.
  3. Where a proposed amendment(s) is not related to evaluation forms, procedures and criteria, (AFUM Contract, Article 10(B)(3)), the PAC may make changes that are then incorporated into the proposed amendment(s) by the author(s). The proposed amendments are then sent to the ELT for their information. Skip to step 9.
  4. Where a proposed amendment(s) relates to evaluation forms, procedures and criteria, the PAC may propose modifications, which the author(s) may or may not incorporate into the proposed amendment.
  5. If the proposed amendment(s) relates to evaluation forms, procedures, or criteria, it must be voted on by the Extension Faculty. The proposed amendment(s) will be presented to the Faculty, electronically or by hard copy. If the proposed amendment(s) is to be discussed at a Faculty meeting, it will be sent to the Faculty members at least one week prior to the meeting. If the proposed amendment(s) is only being reviewed electronically, deadlines will be set for submission of comments.
  6. The proposed amendment(s) will be reviewed and revised by the Faculty as necessary. The final version of the amendment(s) will be approved or not approved by majority vote of those Faculty members present at a Faculty meeting, or by majority vote of those responding electronically by the designated deadline.
  7. The amendment(s) approved by the Faculty will then be forwarded to the ELT (by the PAC) for its information.
  8. The revised document is transmitted to the chief administrative officer or his/her designee at least 45 days prior to May 1st of any given academic year for review and approval.
  9. Amendment(s) approved by the PAC as indicated in Step 3, or Faculty and chief administrative officer or his/her designee, will be incorporated into Faculty Evaluation document and posted on Plugged-In with the revision dates attached.
  10. When the revision(s) is on-line, PAC will notify Faculty members, electronically, that the revision(s) is complete. The timeline for implementation of the revision(s) will be described in accordance with the provisions in Article 10(B)(3) of the AFUM contract.
  11. An amendment(s) not related to evaluation forms, procedures and criteria that are not approved by the PAC will be returned to the author(s). An amendment(s) related to evaluation forms, procedures, and criteria not approved by the Faculty will be returned to the author(s). In either case, if the author(s) chooses to resubmit the amendment(s) the same procedure will be followed beginning with step 1.

O. Definition of Terms

Advisory groups – Groups of volunteers, colleagues, collaborators, or stakeholders who provide advice to UMaine Cooperative Extension employees. Advisory groups may be internal to UMaine Cooperative Extension, such as County Executive Committees, 4-H Leader’s Associations, and Extension Homemaker Councils, or external to UMaine Cooperative Extension such as the Maine Potato Board.

Applied research – Research that accesses and uses some part of the research communities’ accumulated theories, knowledge, methods, and techniques, for a specific, often state, commercial, or client-driven, purpose. For Extension, applied research often provides information that:

  • Supports an Extension program area
  • Expands the discipline’s knowledge base
  • Addresses the needs of Maine people

This work should follow standard qualitative and quantitative research and statistical methods to evaluate the work as appropriate to the study design. UM policies and procedures related to research with humans (Human Subjects Institutional Review Board) and animals (Animal Care and Use Committee) must be followed.

Examples:

  • You want to determine whether or not adoption of a particular nutrition principle you have been teaching to a specific group will lead to lower cholesterol levels. You set up a study comparing the participating group to a similar but non-participating group. The hypothesis is that the group with improved eating habits will have lower blood cholesterol levels. You monitor the groups, collect the data, do statistical analysis, and report your findings.
  • You want to determine the effective distance of pollen spread from genetically engineered (GE) corn. Your hypothesis is that the distance away from the GE corn affects degree of pollination. You have two fields of corn that are standard hybrids, one of which is GE. You sample corn in the non-GE field at set distances from the GE pollen source and grow the seed in the greenhouse. The plants are then sprayed with glyphosate and you measure the surviving plants. Statistical methods are used to determine how far the GE pollen spreads.
  • A new 4-H club has started, with members who attend the same school. You want to determine if participation in 4-H affects their self-esteem, grades, drug use, and so on. You work with the school to set up a comparison group of students who are similar but do not participate in 4H. You use appropriate assessment methods to compare the 4-Hers to the control group over a period of time. Statistical methods are used to determine the significance of your results, and you publish them in the Journal of Extension.
  • A newly discovered aquatic organism (Dinoflagellus horribilus) is endangering the shellfish industry in a local bay. Town officials think that phosphorus runoff from a large dairy farm is contributing to the proliferation of this organism. Two other bays have reduced incidence of the organism. To assess the effect of the farm, you and your assistants test the waters feeding the bays for storm runoff P levels over the course of the summer. Using appropriate statistical methods, you correlate the incidence of D. horribilus with the P levels in each bay, and make inferences from the results. You present your findings to town and government officials at a marine conference.

Contract – An intentional verbal or written agreement between a UMaine Cooperative Extension employee and the client or customer that outlines the roles and responsibilities of all parties, projected timeframe, planned activities to reach desired outcomes, and reporting commitments.

Criteria – Essential elements of a performance area.

Electronic Publication – A publication produced for on-screen delivery with obvious attention to format, layout, text, and font for enhanced usability and readability. Unlike a website, database, or other electronic data, regardless of length, an electronic publication is published under a single title as a fact sheet, circular, bulletin, newsletter, book, handbook, and so on. It is not necessary for the electronic publication to have a paper equivalent.

External Funding – Funding that is acquired through an application process, rather than as part of base funding from USDA, UM, UMaine Cooperative Extension, or through the County budget process. External funding includes funding received through a team or collaborative effort, as a subset of a larger grant, or by the Faculty member serving as Principle Investigator (PI) or co-PI. UMaine Cooperative Extension may or may not serve as the fiscal agent for grants, contracts, and special funds that are the result of collaborative efforts. Funding received through processes internal to UMaine Cooperative Extension, such as Program Leadership Team budgets, are not considered external funding.

Examples:

  • Grants from public and private foundations, including the Pine Tree State 4-H Foundation
  • Grants and contracts from state agencies
  • Grants from federal agencies

Indicators – Activities that demonstrate achievement of the criterion.

Multi-county efforts – Collaborations that involve two or more counties.

Multi-disciplinary – Efforts that represent research, education, or extension programs in which the principal investigators or other collaborators from two or more disciplines or fields of specialization work together to accomplish specified goals.

Multi-state efforts – Collaborations that involve the programs of institutions located in two or more states or territories. Multi-state efforts should be reported on the Maine Planning and Reporting System.

Examples:

  • Educational materials developed by Faculty members from two or more states, including Natural Resource, Agricultural, and Engineering Services (NRAES) publications and resources
  • New England Teen Conference
  • New England Small Fruit and Vegetable Growers Meeting
  • New England-wide food safety fact sheets and training in Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP)
  • Eastern States Exposition 4-H activities and New England Council

New media technologies – electronic technologies used in educational materials and programs, including “one-to-many” technologies such as eXtension, websites, electronic newsletters, tweets, and videos, and “many-to-many” technologies such as blogs, wikis, and social media

Non-professional publications – Educational materials that have not been peer-reviewed

Organizational committees – Standing committees such as Policy Advisory Council (PAC), Promotion Review Committee (PRC), Diversity Group; ad hoc committees; Peer Committees

Peer-reviewed – A publication that is reviewed by peers in the Faculty member’s discipline. Ideally, this will be done by colleagues outside UMaine Cooperative Extension; however, other UM Faculty members may be excellent peer reviewers. If the paper is being published in a peer-reviewed journal or other publication, the review process is clearly set forth by the journal or publication. If the work is being published in another form, the review process will be set up by a third party (the Faculty member’s supervisor, a colleague, or a UM Faculty member) to ensure a blind review.

Performance Area – Major areas of work expected of all Faculty members.

Professional presentation – Presentations made to an organization of peers, including national or multi state meetings, statewide meetings, or other similar groups. Presentations made to clients are usually not considered to be professional presentations.

Professional publications – Educational materials that have been peer-reviewed.

Examples:

  • Fact sheets
  • Curricula
  • Technical reports
  • Journal articles
  • Computer software

Program – A collection of projects, activities, events, and resources focused around an issue.

Program Leadership Team – Extension colleagues organized to coordinate and manage organizational resources (people, materials, internally- and externally-generated funds) to achieve state Plan of Work goals.

Publishing – Communicating the results, insights, and findings emerging from creative Extension educational or applied research activities to peers, program participants, stakeholders, and the public.

Examples:

  • Submitting an article to the Youth News newsletter or the Journal of Extension that highlight findings of your focus group research on 4-H teens’ ability to market their skills in job interviews
  • Contributing an article to a trade magazine on your ongoing applied research on compost tea and its effectiveness in disease and fungal suppression for commercial farmers and home gardeners
  • Writing a regular newspaper column that highlights the synthesis of your ongoing literature review of early childhood intervention practices that are home- and community-based and their impact on family development
  • Sending an article on creative group problem-solving techniques to Group Facilitation: A Research & Applications Journal

Public service – One-time presentations that draw on the Faculty member’s professional expertise as a representative of UMaine Cooperative Extension but do not require engagement in the full educational program development process; usually will not include evaluation and documentation of impact and outcomes for participants; does not include service rendered in the role of a citizen such as being a 4-H or Scout leader, or service on civic or religious committees or boards.

Scholarly work – The discovery, development, and integration of original creative, intellectual work; includes professional and peer-reviewed publications and teaching and research methods, technologies, and program materials such as curricula, displays, and software.

Scholarship – The three components of scholarship are:

  1. The discovery, development, and integration of creative intellectual work, i.e., scholarly work
  2. Communicating about the creative intellectual work to a variety of audiences
  3. Having that work validated by peers

Forms of scholarship include teaching and learning, artistic creativity, and the discovery and application of knowledge. Products of scholarship (scholarly work) include professional and peer-reviewed publications and teaching and research methods, technologies, and program materials such as curricula, displays, and software. Audiences include peers, program participants, stakeholders, and the general public. Validation by peers means it is presented in some way (for example through a paper, an abstract, a poster or a verbal presentation), discussed, and found to be valid. Validation can, but does not always, mean peer-reviewed.

Standard – Minimum work performance expected for a specific criterion.

Under-represented – Individuals, groups, and organizations who may not have participated fully in a program, including, but not limited to, women, racial and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, and limited-resource clients.

Under-served – Individuals, groups, and organizations whose needs have not been addressed in past programs.