Nov 01 2011 Published by under [Education&Careers]

There is an inverse relationship between the length on someone's annual review file and its quality.


12 responses so far

  • yvr_fca_osl says:

    no! I'm just young and enthusiastic! It's not a bad file, no one told me it was supposed to be short!

    In other words: the correlation only holds for more senior members of faculty. Not for my file.

  • Alex says:

    To be fair, sometimes the department insists on quantity. In that case, the quality of the information is poor, but there is zero correlation between the quality of the information in the file and the actual quality of the person's performance.

  • Jim Thomerson says:

    Why would you think that is reasonable?

  • Alex says:

    Eh, I should have said that there is zero correlation between the apparent impressiveness of the information in the file and the actual quality of the person's performance. Apparent impressiveness of information is different from quality of information.

    I consider this very reasonable, because when an organization values quantity over quality in a performance evaluation, they shall most assuredly get reports of quantity, especially from people who have no compunctions about inflating trivial things.

  • Jim Thomerson says:

    I would think there are certain things which are required, asked for, usually included, etc. and the more of these things you have, the longer the file. Of course, we didn't have formal annual reviews back in the day, so I don't speak from experience.

  • proflikesubstance says:

    There's required files, yes. And everyone has the same required files. But there are packages that speak for themselves and packages where quantity appears to be an attempted proxy for quality.

  • proflikesubstance says:

    yvr_fca_osl, I was riveted by your inclusion of a three page email exchange between you and a PO about how your idea for a proposal might fit into their program, or perhaps another one.

  • It depends says:

    At my university you fill up a form with a preset list of things you must report: names of graduate students, papers published, plenary talks, journal editorial boards, grants awarded, etc.

    I'd say under this framework there is a high correlation between length of file and quality of work

  • Alex says:

    At my university the guidelines for performance review include all of the meaty things listed by It depends, but they also include a lot of fluff items. There's a strong incentive to put in the fluff items. Length of the file and quality of work become decoupled variables.

  • pyrope says:

    No way - someone included an email exchange? Wow, that is awesome! I bet I could unearth some excellent examples of my mentoring prowess via emails with students...along the lines of 'come to my office hours on Tuesday' x infinity.

  • yvr_fca_osl says:

    PLS - that is some genuine "evidence of interdisciplinary collaboration", of the all-too-realistic sort.

  • mmd says:

    I was happy to see this, as I just put in my P & T application, and was paranoid about it being too short. On the fluff side, there are multiple stories at my institution about people including thank-you notes from students in their packet. Not letters, mind you - like the printed cards that say "Thank You" on the front.

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