A. The Quality Management System
The Quality Management System (QMS) is run by the Vice President for Academic Affairs and administered by the Office of Quality Management. The operation of the system is described in the QMS Manual. The manual covers the following general topics: courses, faculty, scheduling, programs, off-campus centers, libraries, academic computing, and admissions.
B. Office of Quality Management
The Office of Quality Management, directed by the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, is located in FH 213. It oversees the Quality Management System and maintains databases on full-time faculty, part-time faculty, collegial reviews, site reviews, audit reports, and off-campus schedules. The office does not keep complete files on part-time faculty. These are maintained by the academic departments and the SCE centers and programs.
C. Student Evaluations of Faculty Faculty
Every instructor who teaches for La Verne--full time and part time, central campus and elsewhere--is evaluated by the students in each course that he/she teaches before the conclusion of the term. A standardized evaluation questionnaire is circulated in the classroom to the students, completed by them, and collected in the instructor's absence. Every effort is made to keep the evaluation confidential until after the instructor submits the grades for the course.
Currently, the questionnaire consists of two parts, one which asks students to rate the instructor/course in three charac teristics on a Likert scale of 1 to 6 and also asks four questions about the syllabus, grading criteria, and meeting times. This part is machine readable and is returned as a statistical printout. The second part asks the students to describe the most and least satisfactory aspects of the course. Sometime after the grades have been submitted, faculty members receive a copy of the statistical printout along with the comments. In cases where the evaluation indicates a problem or concern, the department chair or center/campus/program director will take appropriate action. This may include counseling with the faculty member or choosing not to rehire him or her. Student evaluations are described in the QMS Manual, IIIJ.
D. Collegial Reviews
Collegial reviews provide an opportunity for faculty to interact and share in the context of a classroom observation. The part-time faculty member will be notified of any impending collegial reviews and may wish to look over the guidelines that will be followed in conducting it, reproduced below. He or she should inform the class about the date and purpose of the upcoming visitation. La Verne encourages reviewer and instructor to contact each other by telephone to clarify expectations and make any additional arrangements for the visit. Such contact always makes reviews run more smoothly and produces more reliable results.
The classes of all part-time faculty are visited on a systematic, periodic basis by regular members of the ULV faculty. It is the University's intention to review all new part-time faculty during their first or second term of teaching. The process is a collegial one, regarded as much as faculty development as evaluation, but those few faculty who receive very poor collegial reviews may not be rehired.
All part-time faculty are reviewed periodically, including those who receive satisfactory student evaluations and who have worked for ULV for many ye ars. Being selected for a review, therefore, does not imply that anything is wrong; it is only part of the University's systematic quality management. At the same time, reviewers are urged to be honest and thorough in their evaluations. Collegial reviews are described in the QMS Manual, IIIL.
Both the faculty member conducting the review and the part-time faculty member being reviewed should be aware of the following guidelines:
Evaluation is one of the most critical and significant academic functions that any institution can perform. Trying to understand whether a course has mattered or not is the starting point of all program planning and development. This important evaluation function by on-campus faculty or experienced part-time faculty serves as a strong link in insuring the quality of university offerings wherever they are and letting students and faculty know that they are part of the total educational program at the University of La Verne. We are, therefore, very grateful for your participation with us in endeavoring to evaluate our courses and instructors.
You are aware of the date and time of the review as well as the scheduled hours of the class, and, if you are the reviewer, you have been provided with the instructor's resume and course outline along with the number of students enrolled in the class. The report form (QMS25) provides questions to be evaluated as well as space for comments, suggestions, and recommendations.
If you are the instructor, we would like you to inform the class of the impending review and introduce the reviewer when he or she arrives. In the introduction we hope you will say something about the purpose and importance of quality reviews in education and other fields.
The principal purpose of this review is to assess the instructor's teaching effectiveness and to insure that the content of the course is appropria te. New instructors are reviewed within their first year of teaching at La Verne, and all instructors are reviewed on a selective, random basis. Being selected for a review, therefore, does not imply that anything is wrong; it is only part of the systematic quality assurance process. At the same time, reviewers are urged to be honest and thorough in their evaluations.
In conducting the review, the reviewer should try to be as unobtrusive as possible. The ideal would be to observe without being seen or heard. The class must continue as usual, both to get an accurate picture of its conduct as well as to allow the academic process to proceed. Reviewers may wish to chat with students or with the instructor without the other hearing, but this should only be done before class, on breaks, or after class. Arrangements for such interviews should be made in advance by the reviewer through the program director or by calling the instructor directly.
After the review date and time has been confirmed, La Verne encourages reviewer and instructor to contact each other by telephone to clarify the expectations in the minds of both parties as well as to make any additional arrangements for the visit. Such contact always makes reviews run more smoothly and produce more reliable results.
If you need additional information, please feel free to call the Office of Quality Management, (909) 593-3511, ext. 4240.
E. Application/Selection Process for New Part-Time Faculty
Qualified individuals interested in teaching part-time at the University of La Verne must submit the following to the department chairperson (for central campus teaching) or the center/program director (for teaching off campus):
To be approved to teach a course does not mean that the prospective part-time instructor will be scheduled to teach a specific course at La Verne. There is no guarantee of cours e assignments from term to term. Part-time faculty assignments are made from a pool of existing, successful, and experienced teachers and a list of newly approved instructors according to guidelines set by the academic department to schedule the best qualified first. New instructors who are going to be assigned to teach will generally be asked to come in for an instructor orientation and an additional interview. The University is an equal opportunity University and treats all applicants according to its Nondiscrimination Policy quoted elsewhere in this handbook.
F. Role of Part-Time Instructors