COVID-19 has disrupted our daily lives. The Faculty Senate took up the question of postponing the annual Professional Actrivity Report (PAR). The Faculty Senate resolution and the rationale described by the Senate are posted to the Faculty Senate website. On Tuesday Nov 23, Provost Urban informed faculty that he agreed with the sense of the faculty. An excerpt of his remarks is below
I hope that delaying PAR submissions and subsequent evaluation will provide some reduction in faculty and chair workloads. I also hope that this reduction will alleviate some stress associated with the evaluation of performance in a year when so much has been disrupted due to the coronavirus pandemic. As I have mentioned in discussions of this issue, my one concern about adopting this temporary change has been that I think it is important to capture information about the outstanding work of faculty during this very challenging time and to have this be reflected in future evaluations. Thus, even though there will be no requirement for completing PARs this year, I encourage faculty to take some time to document their key accomplishments and activities - especially those related to supporting university activities in response to pandemic-related challenges.
The Provost Office Lyterati Team met with our vendor, Entigence, to discuss the plan and process for delaying PAR, and we confirmed with Entigence that we can alter the Lyterati system to accomplish this.
- We encourage all faculty to initiate their current PAR this year and input new 2020 contributions. There is no need to pull in prior year’s data at this time. We will not be activating the “submit” button in January of 2021 and the PAR will not go forward in January 2021 for Chair and Dean review.
- Entigence will create a free-form text box within the initiated PAR under the Research, Teaching and Service areas for faculty to include any extraordinary efforts or accomplishments related to the pandemic. Your PAR needs to be initiated in order to access this new free-form text box. This is not accessible through the “update manually” feature.
- Faculty should continue to input new information throughout 2021 in their initiated PAR to capture all contributions for 2020 and 2021. In mid-2021, we will be able to instruct you regarding which years prior to 2020 will be included in the PAR that you will complete at the end of 2021. The prior years that you will include in the January 2022 PAR will depend upon when we are able to reinstate merit raises.
- The submit button will be activated in January of 2022 to move your PAR forward to the Department Chair level.
Once the changes are made within the Lyterati system, the Provost Office Lyterati Team will advise the faculty via email, and we will update the PAR User Guide to reflect these changes.
I hope that this change provides faculty with a bit of a break without compromising our ability as a university to reward those who are doing the most to advance our mission. Thank you for all your outstanding work in this challenging time.