Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University

Professional Development

Mentoring Program

At the present time, the Office of Faculty Affairs is in the process of developing an institutional mentoring program. Details of this program are in the planning stages. In the interim,  we would like to assist interested faculty with the important task of finding a mentor. We have a list of senior faculty willing to mentor junior faculty and would be happy to meet with you to identify a possible mentor and facilitate the mentoring relationship.

In addition, professional development seminars on mentoring will be offered annually. For more information about these seminars and to register, visit the Faculty Development Program.

Annual Performance Review

The annual review process for faculty is critical to both Sidney Kimmel Medical College (SKMC) and faculty reaching their potential in clinical care, education and research. The annual review ensures that faculty and the institution are working towards common, articulated goals and that faculty have the resources necessary to achieve these goals. We have outlined the goals and expectations of the annual review process and provide some tips for faculty on how to prepare for the annual review. The Office of Faculty Affairs is available to assist faculty with preparing for the annual review, interpreting feedback and developing an action plan in response to the annual review. Call Karen Novielli, M.D. at 5-2361 for more information.

Administrative Goals

The administration of SKMC is committed to providing every SKMC faculty member with an annual review that includes:

  • Discussion of the faculty member's goals and expectations
    • Individual faculty goals as they relate to departmental goals and institutional goals
    • Clarification of expectations
  • Performance related feedback
    • Specific and measurable, related to goals
  • Discussion of resources needed for and barriers to career development
  • Advice towards promotion

The Office of Faculty Affairs is working with your Department Chair to implement this important program for faculty and to assist Department Chairs and Division Chiefs to provide an effective review. Annual reviews should be arranged through your department chair. If your department is large, your chair may delegate the task to your Division Chief.

Rationale for Annual Performance Review

The following points are given to provide you with some "food for thought" about the importance of the annual performance review.

  • Research suggests that goal setting enhances productivity
  • Faculty evaluation is a tool critical to achieving strategic institutional and departmental objectives
  • Faculty evaluation helps invividuals to consider the "merit vs. worth" of their work
    • How well one does one's work vs. how important one's work is to the organization
    • "The traditional faculty culture, which values individual entrepreneurship and merit, is insufficient in our current times of increased expectations, fewer funds and turbulent external environments"

Optimal Situation

Key elements of an ideal faculty evaluation system:

  • Reflects the values and priorities of the institution
  • Faculty input into the design and construction of the evaluation system
  • Provides feedback for faculty members' growth and development
  • Evaluation linked with faculty development opportunities-enhance strengths and overcome detected weaknesses
  • Evaluative information comes from a variety of sources
  • Evaluative information is reliable
  • Contains both formative and summative components

Major Institutional Goals

Jefferson 200

  • Thomas Jefferson University aspires to be one of the 20 best medical schools and academic medical centers in the U.S.
  • Thomas Jefferson University aspires to be a National Destination of Choice for students and faculty
  • To achieve this goal, Thomas Jefferson University will need to provide:
    • Superior training for students and residents
    • Highest quality and importance of basic, translational and clinical research
    • Excellence and innovation in patient centered care
    • Loyalty
    • Leadership

Preparing for the Annual Performance Review

Goal setting is critical to the annual review process. Prepare by considering the following questions and reviewing your goals for the upcoming year.

Big Picture

What are the institution's goals? How does my department contribute to the institution's goals? What are my contributions, and how do they relate to departmental and institutional goals? What are my personal goals and do they align with institutional and departmental goals?

Short Term

What are the specific measurable goals that I will achieve during the coming academic year? How do they relate to the big picture questions above? In setting short-term goals, be realistic as you will be evaluated on the degree to which these goals are achieved. Be sure your goals are measurable and specific, e.g., "I will submit one research manuscript for peer-review" is both specific and measurable, whereas "I will be an excellent teacher" is neither specific nor measurable.

Career Development

Identify professional development needs that are critical to your immediate and long-term goals. For instance, if obtaining research funding is critical to your faculty position and career, and you have not been successful with your grant submissions to date, you would develop a plan that might include a grant writing workshop and a mentoring plan with a funded investigator who agrees to review your grants prior to submission.

Identification of Barriers to and Resources for Success

One critical aspect of the annual review process is to identify current barriers to achieving your goals and resources necessary for the achievement of your goals. Barriers and resources might be personal or professional. For instance, you might identify that one important goal is to present your work at a national meeting; however, you do not have a child care plan that will allow for travel. Or you may be asked to direct the residency progra; however, the administrative support for the position is inadequate and will compromise your chances for success.

Preparing for Feedback

Giving and receiving feedback are the most difficult aspects of the annual performance review. This exchange, however, is critical to the growth of both the faculty member and the department. Feedback should be balanced and specific. You should walk away from the review with a clear sense of what you do well and what you need to improve. You can help the process by indicating to your chair or chief that this feedback is important to you and that you would like to know what you do well and where you can improve. Then, of course, you need to be receptive to the feedback rather than emotional or defensive. Ask for specifics whenever possible. For instance, if you are told that you need to "improve your teaching," ask your reviewer to provide specific examples. Your reviewer's statement that, "Reviews of your afternoon lecture to the medical students are below average. The students have expressed a desire for a more interactive format and are concerned that there is too much material for one session," is much more helpful to you. Lastly, be sure that you discuss a plan for improvement. For instance, with the latter example, you might attend a faculty development workshop on small group teaching and plan to seek feedback from the students at the end of each teaching session.

Advice Toward Promotion

Each annual review session should include a direct discussion of your progress towards promotion. Every faculty member should know their promotion track, rank in that track and what will need to be accomplished to reach the next rank. A plan for progress towards promotion should be agreed upon.

Faculty Evaluation is an integral component of the "care and feeding" of the faculty–the institution's most valuable resource.