Questions about Performance Counseling answered

What is Performance Counseling?

  • Purpose of counseling sessions is to establish close working relationship with faculty and to encourage actions that will benefit both the faculty member and the department;
  • Is a regular activity that focuses on faculty member’s successes and failures; not just an activity that occurs when problems exist;
  • Provides a channel for two-way communication so both parties have a better understanding of each other; and
  • Is a valuable tool for rank and tenure discussions.


When is Performance Counseling Needed?

  • Talking  with faculty member whose teaching performance is unsatisfactory;
  • Dealing with faculty member whose scholarly output is inadequate;
  • Talking with a faculty member before preparing a R & T letter;
  • Informing a faculty member (either adjunct or full time) that his contract is not being renewed;
  • Dealing with a productive faculty member whose morale is low because she was denied a promotion;
  • Dealing with a faculty member who is productive in areas not related to the department’s mission;
  • Meeting with a faculty member after she has received outstanding student evaluations;
  • Counseling with a faculty member who has been the subject of inappropriate behavior but there is no real evidence;
  • Rewarding the high performer who sees others performing at less than acceptable standards.


How to Deal with Unsatisfactory Performance?

  • Is often the most unpleasant and difficulty duty of a chair, but must be dealt with and dealt with early;
  • Prior to meeting, prepare a mental script that you will use in a meeting, Be sure to identify what the performance problem specifically is and against what standard it was assessed:
  • Is best to set up an appointment through personal contact – not an e-mail or voice message;
  • Should be based on clear, definite assignments and on acceptable standards of performance for teaching, scholarship, and service;
  • To minimize defensiveness,  is important to approach the interaction as a dialogue,  not an indictment or lecture;
  • Should focus on how best to problem solve, not who to blame; works best if can be framed as a challenge or problem to be solved, not a character failing
  • Be open-minded and encourage faculty member to express his point of view;
  • Should include comments on successful and outstanding accomplishments as well as problem areas;
  • Be descriptive and specific rather than ascribe a blanket negative value to performance;
  • Develop a plan of action with follow up specified;

Document performance counseling activities as accurately and as quantitatively as possible; and Records should be made available to the faculty member.

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1928 Saint Mary's Road
Moraga, CA 94575
(925) 631-4000
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