Course Evaluation Data for Academic Review Processes: COVID-19 (PDAD&C #13)

From: Heather Boon, Vice-Provost, Faculty & Academic Life
Susan McCahan, Vice-Provost, Academic Programs and Vice Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education
Date: August 12, 2021
Re: Course Evaluation Data for Academic Review Processes: COVID-19 (PDAD&C #13)

We are writing to advise you about an agreement between the University and UTFA concerning two matters relating to the use of course evaluations as part of the COVID-19 specific Letter of Understanding (COVID LOU):

  1. It is the policy of the University of Toronto that every course be evaluated. Where course evaluation data is reviewed, it should be considered in the context of the pandemic.

The University recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic and related public health guidance and provincial legislation have had a significant impact on course delivery. Since March 2020, course evaluations have been administered in the context of substantial changes to course structures and delivery format.

The University reminds all Chairs, Academic Directors, and Deans reviewing course evaluation data for the purposes of PTR (Progress Through the Ranks), tenure, continuing status, and promotion processes, to consider course evaluation data in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  1. Faculty and Librarians may choose not to include specific course evaluations for any academic review process.

As part of the recently agreed upon COVID-19 specific Letter of Understanding (COVID LOU), the University and UTFA have also agreed that any faculty member or librarian teaching a course that normally includes in-person classes in the period during which physical distancing measures were in place and their in-person classes could not continue (beginning March 16, 2020), may determine whether or not the student course evaluations for courses taught in that period will be considered in any academic review process, including the PTR process, and no adverse consequences will flow from a decision not to consider those course evaluations.

This paragraph will apply to on-going interim/probationary, permanent status, probationary, tenure, continuing status, and promotion reviews prior to the candidate’s completion and submission of their teaching dossier for evaluation.

We will be writing directly to faculty members and librarians to make them aware of these agreements. Individual faculty members may choose to include that communication by way of context for whether course evaluation data has been included in their dossier.

Earlier communications on this topic can be found in the following memoranda: