An annual consultation will provide untenured faculty members with an assessment of their performance.


Annual consultations provide untenured faculty members with an assessment of their performance at Colgate in the three areas specified by the Faculty Handbook - teaching, scholarship, and service to the University. Consultations are an opportunity for mentoring that can significantly aid in the professional development of faculty. To serve this purpose effectively, written consultations should be specific, candid, and constructive.

Faculty with Appointment in Single Department

The following instructions apply for individuals with an appointment in a single department. Or, jump to instructions for faculty members holding joint appointments.

  • Annual Consultations are required for all untenured faculty including visiting faculty, senior lecturers, and lab instructors. Exceptions are that no annual consultation is done during a year in which a faculty member undergoes third-year review or tenure review, and consultations are not mandatory for Category I faculty who have been promoted to Associate Professor. Further, annual consultations are not required for visiting faculty who are in the terminal year of their appointment.
  • Consultations for faculty in tenure-stream or Category I appointments should occur as soon as possible following the conclusion of the spring semester. Specific dates are in the annual Calendar of Academic Administrative Deadlines. Department Chairs should, however, read SET forms when the forms are returned to the department at the conclusion of each semester. Significant issues should be noted and discussed with the faculty member even if this is out of cycle with the administrative schedule for annual consultation.
  • Annual consultations should be conducted in January for those who have an on-going adjunct teaching appointment at the level of three or more courses per year. While consultations are not required for adjuncts with a lighter ongoing teaching load, chairs should read SET forms and have a conversation if there are teaching issues to be addressed. 
  • Consultations for faculty on visiting appointments should occur after the conclusion of the fall semester. Specific dates are in the annual Calendar of Academic Administrative Deadlines. Chairs should read SETs at the conclusion of a visiting faculty member’s first semester and discuss any teaching issues with the faculty member. Fuller consultations are encouraged, but not required, for one-year visitors or visitors in their terminal year. Consultations are required for those visitors, including postdoctoral fellows, who will be continuing at Colgate. Chairs are not required to produce a written document after consultations with visiting faculty, but do need to send an email to the division director confirming that the consultation has taken place.
  • In preparation for the consultations, Chairs should provide the faculty member with a copy of these guidelines and with a copy of the department’s policy on Peer Evaluation of Teaching. Chairs should also ask the faculty member to read the relevant SET forms and ask the faculty member to provide an updated curriculum vitae. For consultations with faculty in tenure stream and Category I positions, both the Chair and the faculty member should read, or re-read, Section III.D of the Faculty Handbook describing Colgate’s expectations for teaching, scholarship, and service. The annual consultation might also be a good time for chairs to review other materials that are taken into account in the department’s peer evaluation system, such as syllabi or other teaching materials.
  • Chairs may consult with tenured faculty in the department prior to meeting with the faculty member. While this step is not required, consultation would normally be expected when another faculty member has visited a class as part of the department’s peer evaluation policy, when the faculty member being reviewed has team-taught a course with a tenured faculty member or served on a department committee of which the Chair has no direct knowledge, or when other similar circumstances have given another faculty member insight into the teaching of the faculty member being reviewed. It is not appropriate, however, for faculty members other than the chair to review the faculty member’s SET forms as part of the annual consultation.
  • If a faculty member has taught in Core or an interdisciplinary program, the Chair may wish to consult with the appropriate Core UP or Program Director. For faculty who were hired with a contractual obligation to teach in an interdisciplinary program or another department (but do not hold joint or affiliated appointments) Chairs are required to consult with the appropriate Program Director or Department Chair.
  • The Chair and the faculty member should meet to review and discuss performance in the areas of teaching, scholarship, and service. It may be helpful for the Chair to remind the faculty member that the written consultation will not be included in any review dossier and that the goal of professional development requires a candid discussion of both strengths and weaknesses.
  • Following the meeting, the Chair should produce a written document summarizing the conversation. For tenure stream faculty, the document should include separate sections on teaching, scholarship, and service. Honest, accurate, and detailed feedback is critical for professional development; the review should consider both strengths and weaknesses of the faculty member’s performance. It may be helpful for the document to include a set of summary bullets outlining specific areas of strength or significant improvement and specific areas where the faculty member should be setting goals for future progress or improvement.
  • Both the chair and the faculty member should sign the written record. The signature of the faculty member does not indicate that he or she accepts every judgment in that record. Rather, it merely indicates that the person has read it. Should that person choose to do so, he or she may respond, and/or comment on it in writing.
  • The signed document should be sent to the Division Director (or Division Directors for faculty holding joint or affiliated appointments). After the Division Director reviews the document for thoroughness a copy will be sent to the office of the Provost and Dean of Faculty.

Faculty Holding Joint Appointments

Slightly different procedures should be followed for faculty who formally hold joint or affiliated appointments. In this case, the Chair and Program Director (or in some cases the second Department Chair) should confer in advance and both should read SETs and other relevant materials, consult with other faculty who visited classes of the faculty member being reviewed or who have team-taught with him or her, and be present at the meeting with the faculty member. The meeting should result in a single written annual consultation. The Chair and Program Director may, if they believe it to be appropriate, insert some separate comments from the department and program into this evaluation and make those comments distinguishable, e.g., in a different font. The final document should include signatures of the Chair, Program Director, and faculty member.