Faculty Rights Tip of the Week: Writing Rebuttals to Evaluations

By now many campuses are well into their evaluation cycles. The Faculty Contract provision below applies to all faculty undergoing any form of evaluation, but it is especially timely for probationary faculty applying for tenure or any faculty member up for promotion.

15.5 provides that “At all levels of review, before recommendations are forwarded to a subsequent review level, faculty unit employees shall be given a copy of the recommendation and the written reasons therefore. The faculty unit employee may submit a rebuttal statement or response in writing and/or request a meeting be held to discuss the recommendation within ten (10) days following receipt of the recommendation. A copy of the response or rebuttal statement shall accompany the Working Personnel Action File and also be sent to all previous levels of review. This section shall not require that evaluation timelines be extended.”

Here are a few things to consider when drafting a written rebuttal to an evaluation:

  • You have 10 calendar days from the date you receive the review. This is not necessarily the date posted on the written review but rather the date that you actually receive it.
  • Per Article 2.11, when counting the days, exclude the day you receive the evaluation, holidays, and days the campus is closed.
  • Be brief and directly responsive to issues raised in the evaluation; match up evaluation comments with your rebuttal or responsive statement.
  • Be respectful and keep the tone objective.
  • Stay focused on correcting facts that may have been misinterpreted by that level of review.
  • While your rebuttal may be addressed to the level of review immediately completed, your intended audience should be those who have yet to read the file.
  • Have someone proofread your rebuttal for tone before you submit it.

If you need help or have questions about responding to a faculty review you should immediately contact your local CFA chapter faculty rights representative

If you have questions about a faculty rights tip or would like to suggest a tip, please write us at cfa@calfac.org with the subject line “Faculty Rights Tip.”