Alternative Approaches: Pros and Cons
The basic choice: 1) everyone goes through it periodically or 2) it is triggered by some concerns, most likely two years of low annual evaluations.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Everyone Goes Through It
1) Less likely to be seen as punitive
2) Would give whoever is reviewing the packages a basis of comparison across a number of faculty performing at various levels
3) Could identify and reward outstanding faculty as well as those not doing as well
1) Time required for that many faculty members to prepare packages and have them reviewed by other faculty/administrators would be substantial
2) Could be viewed as negative by the high performers who have to take time from busy schedules to prepare packages
3) If not handled well, could lead to negative interactions in departments with internal tensions caused by ideological divisions or personality conflicts
Identified Low Performers Go Through It
1) Much smaller number of faculty members will need review, saving large amounts of time
2) Focus on only problem cases could lead to better development plans for these individuals as the committee chosen for review could specialize in this sort of intervention.
3) Process may be viewed as less threatening by many faculty members, who would not see themselves as likely to be subject to PTR.
1) More likely to be seen as punitive, possibly leading to increased grievances and/or lawsuits
2) A PTR committee with only "problem" packets to review would have little basis of comparison for what is average or outstanding in a field.
3) Some faculty may have two years of low evaluations because of illness or a similar problem that would resolve on its own. PTR would add unnecessary stress in these cases.
4) Law of unintended consequences could come into play: Some department heads/deans, not wanting to put faculty through PTR, might inflate the annual evaluations of low performers, whether intentionally or without conscious thought, to avoid triggering PTR. Other department heads/deans, wanting to use PTR as a control mechanism, could use the threat of PTR to keep outspoken faculty members from challenging decisions.