San Jose State University
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Dear SJSU Faculty:

Below are adjustments to help SJSU faculty navigate the COVID-19 pandemic as it relates to their career development and success. We have been consulting with Academic Senate, CFA and other constituents to form strategies that maintain fair and equitable evaluations for all faculty. Please see the guidance below and contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

Thank you for all that each of you have been doing to ensure student success and knowledge production during the COVID-19 crisis. With shelter in place extended through the end of the month, rest assured that we will continue to support faculty success and want to help you continue adapting to these unprecedented times free of additional worry or concerns as much as possible. We appreciate each of you.

James Lee
Senior Director, Faculty Affairs
COVID-19 Adaptation Guidance
Faculty Development for Online Modalities
New safety protocols and expanded online instruction have prompted many faculty to broaden their instructional skill sets. In early March, President Papazian paused Spring 2020 classes to provide time to convert modalities. Shortly after, the Center for Faculty Development and eCampus implemented peer mentoring and other programming to assist faculty. To provide further support, the University is offering faculty additional opportunities this summer and in winter to learn best practices for fully-online and/or hybrid instruction. Participating faculty will receive a stipend. For more information, please visit the eCampus Professional Development Opportunities and Teach Anywhere websites.

Student evaluations will be administered as normal in the routine online format for spring semester 2020. However, University Policy S20-4, Optional Exclusion of Student Opinion of Teaching Effectiveness Surveys (SOTEs) Administered During Spring 2020, allows all faculty instructors to withdraw any Spring 2020 SOTE/SOLATE evaluations from the Working Personnel Action File (or Dossier) for any future periodic evaluation or performance review.

Direct Observations of Teaching (Peer Observations)
Direct observations of teaching conducted in Spring 2020 prior to the move to all online teaching are valid and should be used in future evaluations. Department chairs were notified that they had discretion in conducting direct observations after the disruption while respecting the choice of faculty to be observed or not. If effective direct observations can be made as planned (such as for already online classes), they should proceed. Chairs may provide memos to faculty informing reviewers that an observation in spring 2020 was not conducted due to COVID-19. A suggested template was provided:

In Spring 2020, SJSU classes were disrupted by the unprecedented change of all in-person classes to online modality to protect our community from COVID-19. In the interest of fairness and concern about faculty workload, a direct observation may not have been conducted during this unsettled time. This should not adversely affect the faculty member.

In the future, if someone needs a copy of a direct observation for a time period inclusive of Spring 2020, and none is available, faculty may use this memo in its place.

RTP and Periodic Evaluation of Probationary and Tenured Faculty in AY 2019-2020
The 2019-2020 RTP Performance Review process is on schedule and nearing completion. “Mini Reviews” of probationary faculty and “Post Tenure Reviews” of tenured faculty are proceeding on a delayed schedule. Mini-Reviews will be completed by the end of the semester and PTR will be completed in the summer, with faculty optional responses collected in early fall.

Periodic Evaluation of Lecturer Faculty in AY 2019-2020
Evaluations of lecturer faculty are proceeding on a delayed schedule. The revised timeline has all evaluations completed by the end of Spring 2020.

Accounting for the Impacts of COVID-19 in Future Reviews
From performance review to RSCA reassigned time renewal, the current situation has generated concerns that faculty whose projects were disrupted by COVID-19 will be harmed by future evaluations of their scholarly record. Faculty should know that University Policy S15-8 (2.3.6) encourages candidates to account for resources needed for career success relative to those provided and available for their work. Further, it obligates reviewers to calibrate their ratings of achievements to the provision of necessary resources. Similarly, evaluators for RSCA assigned time renewal are required to take into account the impact of COVID-19 on research and scholarship.

All faculty adversely affected by COVID-19 are encouraged to work with the CFD to build their cases when organizing dossiers or producing other review materials. Faculty should also know that RTP Reviewer Training will be required again in AY 2020-2021. This training will focus on evaluation criteria, standards, evaluation protocols, implicit bias, and review in the context of COVID-19.

Extension of Probationary Period
Finally, probationary faculty have the option to request a one-year extension of their probationary period due to adverse effects of COVID-19. The request requires department chair recommendation, dean’s approval, and confirmation of eligibility by Faculty Affairs. The request to extend the probationary period may be rescinded by request to UP-FA.

Sabbatical and/or DIP
A few faculty may need to delay a sabbatical or DIP award due to factors affecting their project plans. This is accomplished via a request sent to the department chair and college dean. Upon recommendation by the Dean to UP-FA, a new award timeframe may be established. The earlier such requests are made, the more likely the department and college will be able to accommodate scheduling and other changes.
San Jose State University
One Washington Square
San Jose, CA 95192
Last Updated Mar 2, 2023