Apr 14, 2024  
Faculty Handbook 2023 - 2024 
Faculty Handbook 2023 - 2024

3.3 - Basic Categories of Faculty Performance

The basic categories of faculty performance at KSU are teaching, scholarship and creative activity, and professional service. In addition, faculty are to highlight activities promoting student success in at least one of these three areas. The Faculty Performance Agreement delineates the relative emphasis of an individual faculty member’s activities in these three areas. The typical faculty member will focus work in the specific areas that reflect their knowledge and expertise in advancing the University’s mission. In all cases, evaluation of faculty performance will be based on evidence of the quality and significance (see KSU Faculty Handbook Section 3.4) of the individual faculty member’s scholarly accomplishments in respective areas of emphasis. Faculty for whom a different model would be more appropriate will collaborate with their chair/director in the selection of that model. A faculty member’s strengths, interests, and past three years’ annual reviews will serve as the primary guide to the selection of the model.

Kennesaw State University is committed to the success of all its students.  Student success is at the core of the University’s mission and arises from those activities that help promote the academic and professional development and achievement of its undergraduate and graduate students.  Those activities include, but are not limited to, “effective advising and mentoring; undergraduate and graduate research; other forms of experiential learning; engagement in other high impact practices; the development of student success tools and curricular materials; strategies to improve student career success; involvement in faculty development activities; and other activities identified by the institution to deepen student learning.”  (BoR Faculty and Student Affairs Handbook 4.4)

At Kennesaw State University, student success is embedded within the three basic categories of faculty performance-teaching, scholarship and creative activity, and professional service.  As such, their evaluation is also embedded within these categories. While faculty often engage in student success activities that span all three basic categories, they must demonstrate student success activities in at least one of the three categories. They can do this by including products of student success in their evaluation documents. Focusing in one area allows faculty to strategically target meaningful and impactful activities.

Kennesaw State University encourages faculty to pursue continuous professional growth throughout their careers.  Continuous professional growth for faculty can occur in their teaching, scholarship and creative activity, and/or professional service, and can range broadly from attending CETL or professional conference workshops to implementing new techniques and ideas into their classrooms to building their scholarship.  Like student success, faculty should identify how they will pursue continuous professional growth in at least one area of their teaching, scholarship and creative activity, and/or professional service in their FPA. Faculty will then annually record their progress in the narrative for their ARD.

A. Teaching

This category of faculty performance refers to a wide variety of instructional activities that engage faculty peers and others to facilitate student learning. Teaching also includes activities such as mentoring, advising, and supervision. The norm for workload effort expected in the area of teaching for the typical tenure-track/tenured teaching faculty is 60%. By definition, scholarly teachers (see KSU Faculty Handbook Section 3.4) demonstrate mastery of the current knowledge and methodology of their discipline(s). Teaching effectiveness at KSU will be assessed and evaluated not only from the perspective of the teacher’s pedagogical intentions but also from the perspective of student learning. Such assessment may employ multiple methods, including a variety of classroom techniques. Instruments to assess student perceptions of their own learning should not be the sole means but may be used in conjunction with other instruments. Depending on the faculty member’s situational context, evaluation of teaching and curricular contributions will not be limited to classroom activities but will also focus on the quality and significance of a faculty member’s contributions to larger communities. Examples include curricular development, community-engaged teaching practices, program assessment, student mentoring and supervision, public lectures and workshops, teaching abroad and international exchange, and academic advising.

In addition to documenting teaching effectiveness in terms of student learning, faculty should provide other measures of teaching effectiveness, such as some, but not necessarily all, of the following: teaching awards, evidence of handling diverse and challenging teaching assignments, securing grants for curriculum development or teaching techniques, accomplishments involving community-engaged pedagogy, peer observations, and contributions to the achievement of departmental teaching-related goals. Faculty who designated teaching as their area of focus for student success should report those student success activities that occur in teaching.

Examples of Student Success in Teaching

Student success most often, though not always, occurs within a faculty member’s teaching, supervision, and mentoring. Examples of student success in this area include faculty who advise or mentor students outside the classroom, employ forms of experiential learning and other high impact practices in their classrooms, and/or apply professional development activities and initiatives offered by the institution or the USG to their work with students.

B. Scholarship and Creative Activity

Scholarship and creative activity at KSU are broadly defined in the institution’s mission statement as a wide array of activities that contribute to the advancement of knowledge, understanding, application, problem solving, aesthetics, and pedagogy in the communities served by the University. The norm for workload effort expected in the area of scholarship/creative activity for the typical tenure-track/tenured teaching faculty is 30%. The minimum workload effort in this area expected for a tenure-track or tenured teaching faculty expecting to be tenured and/or promoted is 20%. Scholarship and Creative Activity will include a broad array of scholarship with the expectation that in order for something to be considered scholarship it must meet the expectations of scholarship as established by the department, school, or college. These professional activities become recognized accomplishments when the work exhibits the use of appropriate and rigorous methods, is formally shared with others, and is subject to informed critique and review (peer-review). Documentation and evaluation of accomplishments in scholarship and creative activity will focus on the quality and significance of the work. Merely listing individual tasks and projects does not address quality and significance. Faculty members are encouraged to disseminate their best teaching practices to appropriate audiences and to subject their work to critical review.

College and departmental guidelines must identify the specific criteria for determining quality and significance of scholarship and creative activity appropriate to that college’s and department’s disciplines and scholarly contexts.

Accomplishments will be judged in the context of their use of current knowledge, their impact on peers and communities who are stakeholders in the processes, and the products of the scholarship and creative activities. In evaluating scholarship, faculty members are expected to demonstrate the quality and significance of the faculty member’s accomplishments.

In certain fields such as writing, literature, performing arts, fine arts, architecture, graphic design, cinema, and broadcast media or related fields, distinguished creation should receive consideration equivalent to that accorded to distinction attained in more traditional areas of research. In evaluating artistic creativity, an attempt should be made to determine the quality and significance of the faculty member’s accomplishments. Criteria such as originality, scope, richness, depth of creative expression, and recognition by peers may be used to evaluate quality and significance. In disciplines such as music or drama performance, conducting, directing, design, choreography, etc. are evidence of a candidate’s creativity.

Contributions to the development of collaborative, interdisciplinary, cross-institutional, international, or community-engaged research programs are highly valued. Documenting collaborative research might involve evidence of individual contributions (e.g., quality of work, completion of assigned responsibilities), work facilitating the successful participation of others (e.g., skills in teamwork, group problem-solving), and/or the development of sustained partnerships that involve the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources. KSU recognizes publishing in pedagogical journals or making educationally focused presentations at disciplinary and inter-disciplinary gatherings that advance the scholarship of teaching and curricular innovation or practice. 

Faculty who have designated scholarship and creative activity as their area of focus for student success should report those student success activities that occur in their scholarship and creative activity in their FPA.

Examples of Student Success in Scholarship and Creative Activity

At Kennesaw State University, student success can take place within a faculty member’s scholarship and creative activity.  Faculty who promote undergraduate and graduate research, especially through the dissemination of artifacts at academic conferences, in publications, or in artistic performances; and/or faculty who themselves research on student development and achievement are examples of those engaged in student success in scholarship and creative activity.

C. Professional Service

Professional service involves the application of a faculty member’s academic and professional skills and knowledge to the completion of tasks that benefit the University, the community, or the profession. Professional service includes service to the department, school, college, University, profession, and community. The service activity must be related to a person’s status as a faculty member. For example, faculty members might draw on their professional expertise to engage in a wide array of scholarly service to the governance and professionally related service activities of the department, college, or University. Service is a vital part of faculty governance and operation of the University. Evidence of the quality and significance of institutional service can support promotion and tenure. Governance and professionally related service create an environment that supports scholarly excellence and the achievement of the University’s mission. Administrative faculty are encouraged to engage in service activities such as faculty development, fundraising, fiscal management, personnel management, and public relations. Whatever the individual’s relative emphasis in the performance areas, all faculty members are expected to devote at least 10% of their time to professional service activities that are essential to the life of the institution (see KSU Faculty Handbook Section 2.2). That is, the norm for workload effort expected in the area of service for the typical tenure-track/tenured teaching faculty is 10% (120 hours/year).

Scholarly service to communities external to the University is highly valued and frequently enhances teaching, scholarship, and creative activity. Service to the community should be related to the faculty member’s discipline or role at the University. For example, a faculty member might engage in professionally related service to a community agency, support or enhance economic development for the region, provide technical assistance, or facilitate organizational development. Likewise, some scholarly service activities might rely on a faculty member’s academic or professional expertise to serve their discipline or an interdisciplinary field. This type of service might also include developing linkages with partner institutions both locally and globally.

In all types of professional service, documentation and evaluation of scholarly service will focus on quality and significance rather than on a plain recitation of tasks and projects. Documentation of the products or outcomes of professional service should be provided by the faculty member and considered as evidence for the evaluation of accomplishments. Documentation should be sufficient to outline a faculty member’s agreed-upon responsibilities and to support an evaluation of effectiveness.

Faculty will be expected to explain and document the quality and significance of their service roles. The faculty member should provide measures of roles such as:

  • an explanation of the scholarly work involved in the service role,
  • copies of minutes,
  • number of hours met,
  • copies of products developed,
  • measures of the impact or outcome of the service role, and/or
  • an explanation of the unique contribution of leadership roles or recognition by others of contributions. 


Those in administrative roles should demonstrate the quality and significance of their leadership and administration, especially how effectively they foster the requisite fiscal, physical, interpersonal, intercultural, international, and intellectual environment (e.g., improving the quality and significance of scholarship or service in their unit). In sum, administrative faculty act as leaders by assisting colleagues in their unit to achieve and surpass University, college, and departmental goals in teaching, scholarship and creative activity, and professional service.

Faculty who have designated professional service as their area of focus for student success should report those student success activities that occur in their professional service.

Examples of Student Success in Professional Service

Student success can occur through a faculty member’s work in professional service.  Faculty who direct study abroad programs or other experiential learning activities, who coordinate internships, service-learning, and other community-engaged activities, and who serve on various committees dedicated to student success are examples of those engaged in student success in professional service.