Faculty Communication for Fall: Provost’s Communication 2

Plan for Faculty Personnel, Course Evaluation, and Search Processes for Academic Year 2020-2021

The Provost’s Office, in consultation with the leadership of UPI 4100/United Faculty and the Senate Executive Committee, will implement the safety and continuity measures below to ensure faculty personnel processes, course evaluations, and faculty searches move forward according to the established timeline for Academic Year 20-21 (Fall 2020 and Spring 2021).  Gov. Pritzker’s Restore Illinois plan identifies five phases in adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic.  All regions of Illinois are now in Phase 3: Recovery, which allows for small gatherings with facial coverings and social distancing.  Phase 4: Revitalization will be necessary for UIS to reopen with guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health for the Fall 2020 semester.  Phase 4 allows for gatherings of up to 50 people with the continuing requirement of facial covering and physical distancing.  Phase 5: Illinois Restored occurs when an effective treatment or vaccine is developed.  Given the uncertainty of the timing of these events, UIS will follow the procedures described below to promote optimal health and safety.

Personnel File Document Submission

All documents for immediate or eventual inclusion in faculty personnel files are to be submitted electronically to uisfacultyfiles@uis.edu. This includes reappointment, tenure, and promotion applications; review memos; support letters; award nomination materials, etc. The Faculty Files Custodian will maintain digitized faculty personnel files during Phases 1-4. Paper personnel files will be updated when faculty and staff have fully returned to work on campus.

Portfolio Submission

The Faculty Files Custodian will set up confidential Box folders and provide a link for upload of digital portfolios to candidates scheduled for reappointment and tenure review. Faculty applying for promotion to full professor should contact the Faculty Files Custodian to request a confidential Box folder.

Faculty who need assistance in scanning portions of their portfolio should follow guidelines that will soon be posted.  A link to the guidelines will be posted on the Provost’s Communications page with link on the Faculty Files page as well.

All electronic materials will be removed when the review is completed.

Personnel Document Review

Digitized faculty personnel files, portfolios, and other documents will be made available to personnel committees and other reviewers (including faculty members) via confidential Box folders, with access logged and granted on a time-limited basis, for all personnel review and award processes. The Provost’s Office will expand digital file/document access to include weekends, evenings, and holidays, for review requests received during regular business hours: Monday-Friday, 8:30 am – 12:00 pm, and 1:00-5:00 pm. Digital file review will allow for multiple reviewers to simultaneously review personnel documents.

The Faculty Files Reading Room will remain closed until faculty and staff have fully returned to work on campus.

Personnel Committee Meetings

Personnel committees at the department, college, and university levels should continue to meet via confidential remote means. The Faculty Files Custodian will arrange access for committee members to review appropriate digital files, portfolios, and other documents. Materials will be available simultaneously to all committee members, for requests received during regular business hours.

Course Evaluations

Standard course evaluations will be administered online for all AY 2020-2021 courses. Faculty will receive the course evaluation link to share with students in an LMS (Canvas) email or announcement, or by other means.

Faculty delivering synchronous or face-to-face courses may choose to use class time for students to log in and record their course evaluation responses, in much the same way that paper evaluations have been administered in past semesters.  Link to tips for increasing student participation in course evaluations.

Faculty will be notified via email when course evaluation reports are available and student comments may be viewed, after final grades have been submitted.

Personnel Notifications

Electronic notifications for tenure, promotion, reappointment, faculty awards, etc. will be delivered securely through the PEAR system. Hard copies will also be sent via campus mail.

Faculty Searches

Faculty search committees should proceed with virtual meetings and arranging virtual interviews with finalists, rather than asking finalists to travel to UIS for the foreseeable future.  Virtual interviews will be synchronous and may not be recorded.


UIS will revert to standard operating procedures for Academic Year 2021-2022.


Dennis R. Papini
Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs & Provost