Faculty Annual Evaluation Guidance for CY2021


DATE:       January 26, 2022

TO:           Provost’s Council

                 Department Chairs and School Directors

FROM:     Dawn Bratsch-Prince, Associate Provost for Faculty

RE:           Faculty Annual Evaluation Guidance for CY2021


I am writing to you with guidance as you begin your review and evaluation of faculty for Calendar Year 2021.

Context for CY2021

According to the Faculty Handbook, every faculty member must receive a written annual evaluation of their performance. At Iowa State, performance evaluations are based on an assessment of a faculty member’s accomplishments per the expectations of their individual Position Responsibility Statement (PRS). Evaluations for CY2021 are expected to be carried out in accordance with standard departmental procedures and timelines; however, the evaluation of faculty should be considered against the backdrop of the ongoing pandemic.

It continues to be important that faculty have a record of the impact of the COVID pandemic on their productivity and accomplishments in CY2021. Through the annual review process, faculty have the opportunity to document the impacts of the pandemic on their work by including this information within their faculty activity report or in a separate COVID impact statement. ISU ADVANCE has a guide for faculty and chairs on Best Practices for Documenting the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Faculty Workload, which is based on research and approaches being utilized across higher education.

Completing the Annual Evaluation Process

Evaluation meetings may be conducted in person or virtually (e.g., via Webex, Zoom, Teams, etc.) and must result in written documentation of the performance evaluation.

While internally departments may use their own rubrics or scales for assessing performance, at the institutional level the overall rating of a faculty member’s performance is either satisfactory or unsatisfactory. Faculty administrators have three options for entering the overall rating in the Workday system:

Option 1 – (Manual Workday Processing): Chairs may launch the performance review process for each faculty individually in the Workday system, and then follow the steps to conduct a meeting with the faculty member, enter the overall rating, and acknowledge the overall rating. This is the process that is used with P&S staff.

Option 2 – (Automated Processing with Department Chair Acknowledgement): The Provost’s Office can launch the performance review process in the Workday system on behalf of a chair. The Provost’s Office will load a file with the overall ratings for all faculty in a department, thus reducing the number of steps in Workday from four to one for each department chair. The department chair will still have to complete the acknowledgement step of the process prior to it routing to the individual faculty member.

Option 3 – (Fully Automated Processing with Department Chair Acknowledgement Skipped): The Provost’s Office can launch the performance review process in the Workday system on behalf of a chair. The Provost’s Office will load a file with the overall ratings for all faculty in a department AND skip the manager confirmation step in the faculty annual evaluation process. With this option, the overall rating will route directly to the faculty member for the final acknowledgement step of the process.

If you would like to utilize option two or three above, please contact your HR Partner.

As a reminder, each faculty member will receive an Inbox item in Workday asking them to acknowledge their overall rating.


All faculty performance evaluations must be finalized and documented in Workday by June 1, 2022.

In addition, every faculty member must have a current PRS that has been processed and electronically signed through the formal Workday process by June 1, 2022. Please reference this Knowledge Base Article if you need assistance processing a PRS in Workday. Completed PRS Documents are stored in the Documents section of Workday. To view a PRS, follow these steps.

Faculty with overall satisfactory performance are eligible for merit increases in accordance with FY23 salary increase parameters which have not yet been determined. Information will be forthcoming as part of the FY23 budget development cycle.

Action Plans

Faculty with overall unsatisfactory performance are ineligible for merit increases and are required to have in place an action plan in order to guide improvement (see Faculty Handbook In these cases, the department chair will be prompted by Workday to develop an action plan using as a guide the action plan template provided in Workday. This template is a general guide to facilitate the process and is entirely customizable to reflect an action plan that is appropriate for the faculty member’s discipline and expectations. Chairs should work with their HR Partner to develop an appropriate action plan. These plans should be finalized in Workday as soon as possible, but no later than May 15, 2022.


To assist you in preparing annual evaluations, the Provost’s Office website offers several resources. In addition, your Associate Dean for Academic Personnel and HR Partner can provide valuable guidance.

I appreciate the thoughtful efforts of department chairs and deans as we undertake this annual review cycle. Questions regarding faculty annual evaluations may be addressed to Akelo Harris (akelo@iastate.edu) or Kaela Black (kblack@iastate.edu) in the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost.