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Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Faculty Affairs Office
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Faculty Performance Review: Guide for Administrators

Important! Department administrators should communicate their target performance review launch date to FAO and schedule a meeting with FAO at least 3 weeks in advance of that date to plan for the launch. Check the FY20 Department Performance Review Schedule to ensure your department's review process is scheduled.


Faculty receive performance reviews to ensure their career and professional development. The performance review process is overseen by the Department Chair and is administered using the Feinberg Faculty Portal, in accordance with Feinberg's policy on faculty performance reviews.

For faculty, the performance review process consists of three phases:

  1. Faculty member completes written self-evaluation in the Feinberg Faculty Portal
  2. Faculty member and Chair/Chief meet to discuss performance
  3. Chair/Chief records performance review feedback in the Feinberg Faculty Portal

Planning & Conducting Faculty Performance Review

Department administrators work with their Chairs and the Faculty Affairs Office to configure the performance review cycle for their unit in the Feinberg Faculty Portal and then monitor the phases of the process to ensure completion.

  1. Add your department to the FAO performance review schedule
    Communicate your department's target date for launching the performance review process in the Feinberg Faculty Portal to the Faculty Affairs Office so that it is added to the FY20 Department Performance Review Schedule. This is a Gantt chart (also viewable in calendar format) that FAO uses to manage the performance review process across departments.

    Timeframe suggestion: Departments choose what performance review timeframe is right for their unit, but Feinberg recommends conducting performance reviews during the January-March timeframe for the following reasons:
    • Allows you to identify whether someone is ready for promotion in the next promotion cycle
    • Allows you to identify whether someone meets the criteria for reappointment; if not, you will be able to provide sufficient advance notice to end their appointment
    • Performance review process is complete before your attention turns to the budget process
  2. Schedule a meeting with FAO at least 3 weeks before your performance review launch date
    To prepare for this meeting, review/consider the following:
  3. FAO configures review cycle in Feinberg Faculty Portal
    Based on information collected during the administrative planning meeting and any subsequent follow-up, FAO will configure your performance review cycle in the Feinberg Faculty Portal. You may be asked to participate in review and testing prior to the launch.
  4. Develop communication and monitoring plan
    Once the performance review cycle is live, department administrators will communicate the process to their faculty and monitor the subsequent phases to ensure completion. Make sure your department's super users for Northwestern Elements are aware of the performance review timeline and prepared to assist faculty with any publication updates that may be needed. 

The Faculty Affairs Office will let the department administrator know when the performance review process is live in the Feinberg Faculty Portal and visible to faculty, but FAO will not send communication to faculty.

Department Administrators are responsible for announcing the performance review process to their faculty, as well as the department's internal deadlines for completion.

Faculty Experience

The steps that faculty will follow to complete their self-evaluation are outlined in:

Additional resources for faculty:

Tips for Administrators

  • Staff assisting with data entry will first need to emulate a faculty member in order to perform data entry. Staff will only be able to log in if they have a support account. Department administrators are responsible for managing support accounts for their units.
  • During the performance review cycle, Northwestern Elements super users should expect a higher volume of requests/questions from faculty.

After the faculty member completes their self-evaluation, the Department Chair (or designee--e.g., Division Chief) should meet with the faculty member to discuss performance, which includes the following:

  • Review of the faculty member’s accomplishments, ongoing activities, and goals.
  • Feedback on academic performance, career progress, and eligibility for promotion and/or reappointment.

Following the performance review meeting, a summary of feedback from the Chair/Chief must be documented in the Feinberg Faculty Portal. The feedback will be visible to the faculty member (and any staff member who can emulate the faculty member). The date when the performance review meeting occurred also needs to be recorded in the Feinberg Faculty Portal.



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