Performance appraisal: A survey of academic staff opinion
This paper reports the results from a questionnaire which sought the opinions of a representative sample of academic staff at the University of Birmingham to the introduction of more regular and systematic performance appraisal in universities. In particular, whether respodnents were of the opinion that further procedures for the appraisal of individuals and departments were necessary and, if so, who should be involved in such appraisals. In addition, the reactions of staff to the suggestions for an Individual Annual Interview— providing a focus for career development—and a Departmental Annual Report— bringing together a detailed analysis of a department's past performance with an academic plan for its immediate future—are explored. Finally, some opinions on the role of heads of departments and external examiners, and some information on the range of methods of performance appraisal currently in use are presented. The data is further analysed on the basis of the respondents' faculty, position and years of service in universities. Respondents were invited to complete the questionnaire on the understanding that the main focus of appraisal was the professional development of individuals and departments, and that the purpose of the survey was to inform and influence policy-making in the university.
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