The Department of Architecture challenges and enables its members and collaborators to surpass their own expectations as they advance the quality of built and natural environments. The department is:
an international learning community;
engaging in exemplary architectural teaching, scholarship, creative endeavor, and service;
embracing and serving students, staff, faculty, professionals, and laypersons;
seeking the constructive participation of individuals and groups while striving to value their needs, talents, and contributions;
fostering the capacity of our members and the public to understand the past and present as preparation for responsible innovation;
aspiring to strengthen the quality of everything we do.
To accomplish this mission, the Architecture faculty pursue a wide range of activities in teaching, research, design, and service. For its part, the University has a responsibility to provide a rich environment in which the members of the faculty can develop their full productive potential and achieve excellence in these areas. To maintain progress toward productivity and excellence, the University must also periodically assess the performance of its members and use those assessments as the basis for decisions regarding salary increases, reappointment, promotion and tenure.
The significance of these reviews requires that the criteria and standards upon which the assessments are based, as well as the procedures for the evaluations themselves, be founded upon broad agreement among the people affected. In particular, the faculty must play a central role in developing the criteria and standards for the University as a whole as well as in establishing the goals, objectives and expectations of respective administrative units. Likewise, the individuals charged with implementing these policies must have a say in their formulation. In short, the creation of an effective system of evaluations must be the mutual responsibility of both faculty and administrators.
At Kansas State University, general guidelines for the evaluation system were established in 1974, when the Faculty Senate approved a policy statement regarding the annual evaluation of unclassified tenured and tenure track personnel for purposes of determining merit salary increases. The policy mandated that each such system include three specific features:
- Criteria and procedures will be developed jointly by faculty, department heads, and deans.
- Unclassified personnel will provide an update of relevant information on a yearly basis pertaining to whatever merit salary criteria are established within their unit.
- Unclassified personnel will be provided the opportunity to review the final written evaluation being used as the department head's recommendations for tenure, promotion, and merit salary increases before the recommendation is submitted to the dean.
These policies and procedures have been elaborated over time, but these three points remain fundamental to the system followed by the University as a whole.
As a professional program regularly reviewed by a national accreditation board (the National Architectural Accreditation Board, or NAAB), a Department of Architecture is different from more purely academic departments in that it incorporates professional training and real-world practice as well as scholarly theory and research. In this regard, Architecture faculty are involved in a wide spectrum of activities that range from academic scholarship and writing, on one hand, to architectural design, creative work, and professional practice, on the other hand. The evaluation procedures that follow seek to allow for and support the diversity of activity that is meritorious in a university program like K-State's Department of Architecture.