USFA e-Letter: Performance Evaluation in the Guise of Goal Setting

A new mechanism for faculty performance evaluation is emerging at the U of S under the guise of goal setting. Members are being asked to provide an accounting of their planned achievements for the upcoming year including desired research output, number of publications, and grant applications.

For the most part, the use of this information is unclear. However, some units have been advised that there are plans to use it in the salary review process for awarding merit. We see a real risk for it to be used as a means to discipline when plans fall short.

While it is a valuable exercise to set goals, there is no obligation for members to provide a list of planned achievements for an upcoming year to be used in performance review (whether in terms of salary review or any other collegial process). With the exception of Assignment of Duties, which does not prescribe what members are to achieve, processes in our Collective Agreement are retrospective. Other than a CV update, it is your choice as to what information goes before salary review committees (Article 17.5.6(ii)). This information and salary review standards consistent with Article 17.2 of the Collective Agreement are the means for evaluation in the salary review process (Article 17.1.3.1); not the contrast between what you would like to achieve and your actual output.

The USFA Executive strongly encourages members to clearly understand the purpose for providing this information and how it will be used. And, contact the USFA immediately if it is being used as the basis for evaluation in the salary review process.