Professional Evaluation of Faculty

Professional evaluation of faculty is conducted in accordance with the PSC-CUNY Contract, Article 18.

Annual Evaluations

Teaching faculty other than tenured full professors are evaluated annually based on total academic professional performance. The evaluation, conducted by the chair, should address teaching; scholarship or creative activity; department, college or university service; and professional development activities. Librarians, CLTs and Counselors are evaluated annually based on total performance and professional progress. The purpose of the evaluation is to recognize accomplishments and to encourage improvement of individual professional performance that can assist with decisions regarding reappointment, tenure, and promotion.

Peer Observations

BMCC faculty who are non‑tenured and non‑certificated members of the teaching staff are observed at least once per semester during the first ten weeks of a semester. Observations are scheduled by the department.
Adjunct faculty should be observed for 10 semesters within the same department at the same college. After 10 semesters of observation, an observation can be held at the request of the chairperson or adjunct.

Student Evaluations

Student Evaluations of faculty are conducted in coordination with the academic department and the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Analytics towards the end of each academic semester. In the fall term, all teaching faculty are evaluated. In the spring term, departments notify the office of institutional effectiveness and analytics of which faculty are to be evaluated by students, such as newly hired faculty, tenure-track faculty, faculty seeking promotion, by request of faculty member, etc.

Guidelines for Faculty Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure

Revised 8/3/2015

First Reappointment

Candidates for reappointment at the end of their initial term of appointment on a full-time line shall be evaluated on the basis of the following criteria:

  1. Teaching Effectiveness: There are a variety of ways, including classroom observation, to evaluate this criterion. The evaluation, however, should extend beyond the classroom, since the faculty member’s obligation to the students goes beyond normal class hours. Personnel committees should consider student evaluations as a factor in assessing the teaching effectiveness of an instructor.
  2. Scholarly and Professional Growth: Candidates in tenure-bearing titles for the first reappointment are expected to demonstrate their potential for scholarly work and their achievement in some of the following ways:
    1. Evidence of research in progress leading toward scholarly publication
    2. Publication in professional journals
    3. Creative works, show and performance credits, etc. when such are appropriate to department
    4. Development of improved instructional materials or methods
    5. Participation in activities of professional societies
  3. Service to the Institution: Since all full-time faculty members share broad responsibilities to the institution, work in departmental and college committees should be considered in overall evaluations. Although it is understood that not all junior faculty member will have an opportunity to serve on important committees, their evaluation should consider evidence of their informal contribution to such committee work and their participation in other departmental or college activities.
  4. Service to the Public: A candidate, though not expected to do so for the first reappointment, may offer evidence of pertinent and significant community and public service in support of reappointment.

Second and Subsequent Reappointments

In addition to criteria for the first reappointment, candidates for the second or subsequent reappointment shall be evaluated on the basis of the following criteria:

  1. Teaching Effectiveness: Evaluation of this criterion shall include peer observations of teaching, assessment of the instructor’s effort and success in developing new methods and materials suited to the needs of his or her students, and assessment of student evaluations.
  2. Scholarly and Professional Growth: Candidates for their second and subsequent reappointments are expected to offer evidence of scholarly contributions to their disciplines. Evaluations of the quality of such work may be sought from outside the department. Achievements in the period following the last reappointment should be evaluated on the basis of publications of scholarly works in professional journals, or reports of scientific experimentation, scholarly books and monographs, evidence of works in progress, significant performance or show credits or creative work, and improved instructional materials and techniques that have been found effective in the classroom either in the University or elsewhere.
  3. Service to the Institution: Effective service on departmental, college, and university committees.
  4. Service to the Public: Institutions of higher education are expected to contribute their services to the welfare of the community. Although such activities are a matter of individual discretion and opportunity, evaluation of a faculty member for reappointment should recognize pertinent and significant professional activities on behalf of the public.

Judgments on reappointment should be progressively rigorous. In the second and subsequent reappointments, a candidate should be able to demonstrate that he or she has realized some of his or her scholarly potential. Similarly, standards of acceptable performance as a teacher should be graduated to reflect the greater expectations of more experienced faculty members.


The criteria upon which decisions to grant tenure are based are as follows:

  1. Teaching Effectiveness: Tenure appointments will be made only when there is clear evidence of the individual’s effectiveness as a teacher.
  2. Scholarship and Professional Growth: The candidate must provide evidence of new scholarship, research or creative activity through publication or performance. Additionally, evidence-based instructional materials and techniques as well as grant-writing will be recognized. Works should be evaluated as well as listed, and work in progress should be assessed. When work is a product of joint effort, it is the responsibility of the department chairman to establish as clearly as possible the role of the candidate in the joint effort.
  3. Service to the Institution: The faculty plays an important role in the formulation and implementation of University policy, and in the administration of the University. Faculty members will be judged on the degree and quality of their participation in departmental, college and University governance and activity. Similarly, faculty contributions to student guidance and welfare, through service on committees or as an advisor to student organizations, will be recognized.
  4. Service to the Public: Service to the community, state and nation, both in the faculty member’s special capacity as a scholar and in areas beyond this when the work is pertinent and significant, will be recognized.

Qualifications and Promotions

For appointment as, or promotion to, assistant professor, associate professor, or professor, a candidate must possess the Ph.D. degree, or accepted equivalency. Departments in the college with equivalencies are Accounting, Allied Health Sciences, Library, Nursing, Music & Art, Theatre Arts and Media Arts and Technology. These departments may also have requirements over and above those set forth as accepted equivalencies. Faculty should consult their chairpersons concerning the specific requirements in their department and/or discipline.

In addition to the degree requirement the following conditions for appointment or promotion also apply.

To Lecturer full-time – one must possess a baccalaureate degree and other qualifications necessary for the performance of instruc­tional functions.

To Instructor – The candidate must have an appropriate master’s degree or active progress toward a doctorate. The candidate must also have demonstrated satisfactory qualities of personality or character, ability to teach successfully, interest in productive scholarship or creative achievement and willingness to cooperate with others for the good of the institution.

To Assistant Professor – The candidate must have demonstrated satisfactory qualities of personality and character, evidence of significant success as a teacher, interest in productive scholarship or creative achievement and a willingness to cooperate with others for the good of the institution. He or she must have also obtained the Ph.D. degree, or equivalent.

To Associate Professor – The candidate must possess the same qualifications as those for an assistant professor and must also possess a record of significant achievement in the field or profession, or as a college or university administrator. There must also be evidence of intellectual energy which has gained respect outside the immediate academic community. Further, there must be evidence of continued growth and of continued effectiveness in teaching.

To Professor – The candidate must possess the qualifications for an associate professor and must also have a record of exceptional intellectual, educational or artistic achievement and an established reputation for excellence in teaching and scholarship in the discipline. The judgement on promotion will consider primarily evidence of continued growth and achievement in teaching and scholarship or creative activity following the most recent promotion.

For promotion to senior rank, longevity and seniority alone are not sufficient.

Personnel Committees

Candidates for reappointment are first considered by the Department Personnel and Budget Committee. The department Personnel and Budget Committee consists of the Department Chairperson and four faculty members elected by a majority of the eligible voting members of the department.

The department Personnel and Budget Committee is concerned with departmental appointments, reappointments, tenure, academic-leaves, and promotions – except to the rank of professor. All votes by the Committee are done by secret ballot and decision is by the affirmative majority of the whole number of members regardless of the number of members present. The Department Chairperson, who chairs the Committee, has the responsibility of communicating to the candidate the results of the actions of the Committee. When communicating the results of the Committees action to the candidate, no reason shall be given for a negative recommendation. The Committee makes its recommendations to the College-wide Personnel and Budget Committee.

The College-wide Personnel and Budget Committee consists of the President as Chairperson, the Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs who serves as Chairperson in the President’s absence, and the chairpersons of all academic departments. The Committee receives and considers recommendations on appointments, reappointments, tenure, promotions, sabbaticals, special leaves of absence without pay, and Scholar Incentive Awards from the departments and forwards its own recommendations to the President. The decisions are reached by secret ballot and an affirmative majority of the voting membership is needed for a positive recommendation. The College-wide Personnel and Budget Committee hears appeals by faculty members of negative recommendations made by the Department Personnel and Budget Committees on reappointment, tenure or promotion.

In making his/her decisions regarding reappointment, tenure and promotion the President must exercise his/her responsibility, as per CUNY Bylaws, to recommend for appointment, tenure and promotion only those persons who he/she is reasonably certain will contribute to the improvement of academic excellence at the College. In addition, the academic personnel practices of the college require that increasingly rigorous standards be applied for each successive reappointment.

Pre-Tenure Review

In compliance with CUNY Board of Trustees policy, BMCC conducts a review of each faculty member at the end of his or her fourth year of service. In order to ensure that each tenure-track faculty member has adequate guidance on the progress s/he is making towards meeting the standards for tenure. The BMCC pre-tenure review has the following steps:

  1. The Provost or designee reviews the personnel file of each untenured tenure-track faculty member in the spring of his/her fourth year of service, following the annual evaluation conducted pursuant to the PSC/CUNY collective bargaining agreement.
  2. If the Provost or designee believes the total academic performance of the faculty member is not sufficiently set forth in the fourth year, the Provost or designee prepares a memorandum to the Chair regarding the faculty members progress toward tenure, specifying strengths and weaknesses in light of the criteria for tenure consistent with established University policies.
  3. The draft memorandum is sent to the faculty member, followed by a meeting of the Provost or designee and the faculty member to review the memorandum; the faculty member may request that the Chair be present at that meeting.
  4. Following the meeting with the faculty member, the Provost or designee issues a final memorandum to the Chair with a copy to the faculty member. The faculty member initials the memorandum to acknowledge receipt, and the memorandum is placed in the faculty members personnel file.

Personnel Files

The College maintains two personnel files for each faculty member: a personal personnel file and an administrative personnel file. The personal personnel file contains information submitted by the individual faculty member or generated by the College and is maintained by the Human Resources Office. Such information includes, but is not limited to, evidence of academic and professional accomplishments, memoranda relating to evaluations of professional performance, observation reports on academic and professional performance, and student evaluation data.

Faculty members must be given the opportunity to read and initial any items before they are placed in this personnel file. They may attach a comment if they so desire. Initialing does not, in itself, constitute approval of an item. If a faculty member refuses to initial any item, a statement to that effect must be attached to the item when it is placed in the personnel file. Faculty members should examine their personal personnel file at least once each academic year.

A separate administrative personnel file is maintained in the Human Resources Office on each faculty member. This file contains only such materials as requested by the College or supplied by the individual faculty member in connection with employment, promotion, or tenure. Examples of such material include transcripts, reference letters, and the application for employment. The administrative file is available only to persons responsible for the review and recommendation of the faculty member with respect to appointment, reappointments, promotions, or tenure.