Administration & Governance - Faculty Affairs -Peer-Faculty Annual Review (P-FAR)

This outlines the annual review process and criteria for faculty members. The goals of the annual performance reviews include assisting in the growth and development of the individual and encourage excellence in scholarship, teaching, outreach and service.

Approved by Faculty Committee:  November 24, 2014
Revised: October 26, 2015
Revised per August 28, 2019 faculty meeting
 Approved by Executive Faculty:  October 21, 2019

Goals of annual performance reviews:

Structure and Terms of the P-FAR Committee:

The committee shall be composed of a faculty representative from each department; at least one member of the committee shall have an Extension appointment.  Extension faculty shall be represented on the committee in one of two ways:  if a department chooses to forward a faculty member to the committee who is an extension faculty, the committee will accept that faculty member as representing Extension OR a separate election amongst all Extension Faculty will be administered with support from the Dean’s office. The terms of elected members will be 3 years (an effort will be made to rotate members off such that they are staggered for continuity). The elected member can be reappointed for a second term subject to departmental approval.  Each year, the P-FAR Committee will choose a Chair.

Annual performance review process:

  1. Each faculty member completes the P-FAR form in Digital Measures. When completing the P-FAR it is imperative that the format adopted by the SoHE is used so that the committee has a standard set of inputs for their deliberations.
  2. Each faculty member will ‘contextualize’ their P-FAR packet by providing a brief statement (350 words) reflecting on their annual performance in each of the three areas:
    • Highlighting relevant information about the quantity, caliber, impact, quality of the past year’s work in each of the three areas. This is an opportunity for each faculty member to articulate the impact of their work in the framework of their particular field. (note: The P-FAR takes into account the fact that pre-tenure faculty are not expected to fulfill the same service obligations as post-tenure faculty)
    • Noting extenuating circumstances if any (e.g., illness, delay in getting new project going, etc.) to provide a context for the committee’s deliberations. In cases where there were particular extenuating circumstances, not only the individual but also the Chair could provide this information to the P-FAR committee.
    • In cases of jointly authored publications or works, a simple statement of the % of the total work contributed by the individual will assist the committee in its deliberations.
    • URLs to articles or exhibitions and books published or presented in the past year can be embedded into the P-FAR so that committee members may click on them.
    • Faculty with a joint appointment or administrative responsibilities in another campus unit may add feed-back from that campus unit as part of the P-FAR package
  1. P-FAR Committee members read dossiers prior to meeting and record preliminary scores and comments. Following review of the case and discussion, committee members record their final scores and comments.  The assessment will use a qualitative rating representing the performance evaluation in each of the three categories of scholarship, teaching and service.  (D) Distinction (E+) Exceptional Plus (E) Exceptional (S+) Successful Plus (s) Successful (PME) Partially meeting expectations (NME) Not meeting expectations.
  2. Final review will include:
  1. The Department Chairs will meet with each of their department’s faculty and will incorporate a Chair’s assessment along with the P-FAR review as a feedback packet to each faculty member. The Chair’s job will be to identify strengths, talk about areas of improvement, offer problem solving in those areas that need improvement. This discussion also should be an opportunity for the faculty member to note areas where s/he, the department, and the SoHE could improve.
  2. Chairs will meet with the Dean to discuss their reflections on the P-FAR feedback. This discussion will focus on faculty professional development and growth in the SoHE – i.e., how to use P-FAR process to build capacities at the individual, department, and school level.
  3. If an individual falls below satisfactory performance, the department chair and Associate Dean should follow through with specific professional development plan.


Appeals Process:  If an individual is dissatisfied with P-FAR’s review, they can write a letter to the P-FAR committee summarizing their concerns or objections.  P-FAR Committee will read letter and write a response.

Policy Review:  P-FAR committee will review process and recommend changes each year if they feel this is warranted.  Any recommendations for change will be brought to the full faculty for approval.

P-FAR Timeline:




The criteria are intended to support a holistic evaluation of effort and effectiveness across the three categories of scholarship, teaching, and service.  The inclusion of multiple criteria in each category reflects the range of dimensions to be evaluated in each area.  The assumption is that there can be multiple ways to demonstrate excellence in a category – sometimes by depth in one or few criteria, other times by breadth across criteria.  At the same time, some criteria within a category are particularly important, and that is noted in the guidance for evaluation for each category.

 Probationary, Promotion, and Post-Tenure Reviews

Although the P-FAR review criteria are and should be highly correlated with the criteria for tenure, promotion and post-tenure review, the University and the SoHE tenure criteria will be used for tenure-related reviews.  The main difference between the P-FAR criteria and the aforementioned review criteria, is that the former is based on annual accomplishments, while the latter is based on cumulative accomplishments and national/international reputations that are expected to be attained for associate and full professors.


In the Scholarship category, 4 criteria should be considered in assigning a performance rating.

Scholarship criteria:

SCH1. Effort in peer-reviewed scholarship output including refereed journal articles, books, and/or book chapters, exhibitions, shows, catalogue essays, creative works.  Include only those publications, exhibitions, or creative works that were published/presented or that are in press or accepted for exhibition during the past year.  It’s incumbent upon each faculty to provide evidence of quality.

SCH2. Effort in other (non peer-reviewed) scholarly output including Extension publications, chapters in non-peer reviewed edited books, creative works, scholarship for public audiences, websites, any and all scholarship and creative work that does not meet the criterion of peer review.

SCH3. Effort and success in obtaining grants (particularly competitive grants) and commissions to support scholarship

SCH4.  Effort in scholarship in progress

Examples include data collection, data analyses, manuscripts submitted or in revise and resubmit status, exhibition preparation, project reports, etc.

SCH6. Recognition by peers/juries/public of scholarly and professional contributions related to research through honors and awards (i.e., design project and competition awards, book awards, best article awards, honorary doctorates, early career awards, contribution to the field awards, delivering an invited plenary or keynote address, etc.).

*(SCH5 and SCH7 retired)

General information:

o   Scholarship output (SCH1 and SCH2) and grants to support scholarship (SCH3) are generally more important than other criteria.

o   High-quality, peer-reviewed scholarship (SCH1) is widely recognized as critical for faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and peer institutions, and as such, will be considered heavily.  Nonetheless, it is possible to achieve a higher rating in scholarship by substantial evidence and effectiveness in other criteria.  The assumption is that earlier-stage scholarship, while important in demonstrating effort and effectiveness, will ultimately lead to scholarship output.

o   Formative work alone, while it can be important to demonstrating satisfactory scholarship performance, is generally not sufficient to achieve a scholarship rating higher than “meets expectations.”


In the Teaching category, 4 criteria should be considered in assigning a performance rating.

Teaching criteria:

T1.  Effort in “for credit” teaching (face-to-face and online) including courses taught, evaluations of teaching, recognition of teaching excellence, and other evidence of teaching performance.

T2.  Effort in outreach and continuing education teaching, including educational talks, workshops or programs delivered, development and dissemination of teaching materials through electronic formats, participant or stakeholder evaluations of outreach teaching, recognition of teaching, and other evidence of outreach teaching performance. (Extension outreach evaluations when available must be included)

T3.  Effort in mentoring undergraduate students and the mentoring and advising of graduate students, post-docs, county Extension educators, other educators, including resident and non-resident advising and mentoring; evidence of mentored student or others’ success, recognition for other evidence of excellence in mentoring.

T4.  Effort in contributions to the development of  “for credit” teaching excellence and/or enhancement of graduate or undergraduate programs, including development of new or innovative pedagogical methods or instructional materials; innovation in courses offered, new course, significant revisions to improve learning, evidence of teaching scholarship such as publication of educational materials (e.g, text book, website) or articles related to teaching, grants related to teaching, advisor to student organizations, recognition for contributions to teaching, teaching scholarship or innovation in teaching.

General information:


In the Service category, 4 criteria should be considered in assigning a performance rating.

Service Criteria

S1.  Effort in service to one’s primary unit(s) through membership, leadership, and accomplishments on committees, task forces, and other governance groups at the Department, School (SoHE), SoHE Centers, and (for Extension faculty) Extension level and in contributions to the unit’s strategic priorities, team efforts, mentoring junior & mid-career faculty members and/or assisting others for the greater good of the department, and professional collegiality to achieve the unit’s positive work climate.

S2.  Effort in service to campus and the university through membership, leadership, and accomplishments on committees, task forces, and other governance groups outside of SoHE – such as non-SoHE departments, inter-departmental centers, university-level committees, etc.

S3.  Effort in service to one’s discipline/profession, through such activities as serving on grant review panels, organizing/chairing professional conferences or conference sessions, serving on editorial boards, conducting journal reviews, serving as conference discussants or jurors for exhibitions, administering grants programs, serving as an officer in professional organizations, etc.

S4.  Effort in public service on behalf of the broader community via sharing and application of professional expertise, through such efforts as serving on advisory boards, Commissions, task forces, and coalitions; media engagement including presentations and interviews; planning conferences for community members, professionals, or policymakers; testifying or providing policy briefings; consultations or other substantive engagement with public/private/nonprofit agencies.  Clarification:  public/community service must be connected to one’s professional/academic expertise, as distinct from service related to personal interests.

General information: