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Unclassified Professional Staff Annual Evaluations - FAQs

Please visit Performance Management for more information.

Are annual performance evaluations required for unclassified professional staff (UPS)?

University policy requires that Unclassified Professional Staff employees receive a formal, written performance evaluation in the University’s Performance Management System (mytalent.ku.edu) by the employee’s supervisor at least once a year.

What are the required components for the evaluation?

  • A review by the supervisor of the employee’s position description to ensure that duties are accurate and reflect any changes that have been made in the past year to the duties/responsibilities of the position. The employee also has an opportunity to contribute to the review of the position description.
  • An opportunity for the employee to provide a written self-evaluation or annual report in advance of the supervisor’s evaluation.
  • A written evaluation of the employee’s performance based upon the position description as evaluated through established goals and the University Core Competencies
  • Establishment, with employee input, of written goals/objectives for the coming year. The supervisor will make the final determination of goals and objectives. A discussion of professional development opportunities is strongly encouraged.  The goals must be entered into the employee’s goal plan within University’s Performance Management System (mytalent.ku.edu).
  • An overall rating of the employee’s performance.

What type of “form” or process is used for the evaluation?

Staff and their supervisors will use the performance evaluation form within the Performance Management System (mytalent.ku.edu) to evaluate performance.  To access the Performance Management System, please log in at mytalent.ku.edu.  Step by Step Instructions and Tutorial videos are available on the Human Resource Management website.

When should evaluations be completed?

Performance evaluations must be completed and signed by the supervisor and acknowledged by the employee by March 1. Although each University division may set an internal deadline, the deadline in the Performance Management System will be March 1.

Are evaluations necessary for new hires or employees that have not worked at the University for a full year?

All new staff placed on a probationary period will be expected to complete, with their supervisor’s input, a probationary performance evaluation.  The probation performance evaluation will be made available in the Performance Management System (mytalent.ku.edu) prior to the probationary period ending and will cover the probationary period (typically six months).

How are evaluation records maintained?

The University’s Performance Management System (mytalent.ku.edu) is the system of record for staff evaluations.

Are employees required to sign their evaluation form?

It is recommended that the evaluation be acknowledged by both the employee and the supervisor within the Performance Management System (mytalent.ku.edu). Employees who disagree with the evaluation may not elect to acknowledge the evaluation; in such circumstances the supervisor must notify Human Resource Management so the form can be moved forward in the system without the acknowledgement.  Even if not acknowledged by the employee,  the evaluation is still kept in the employee’s personnel file. If desired by the supervisor, the evaluation may be presented with a witness to verify that the evaluation was provided to the employee. In the event an evaluation is appealed and overturned; modifications to the existing evaluation will be documented in the employee’s file as appropriate

How does a staff member appeal an evaluation?

The evaluation may be appealed through the appropriate administrative channels as detailed in the Staff Performance Evaluation policy.

What relationship exists between annual evaluations and merit increases?

A current, completed performance evaluation must be available prior to the merit recommendation process. An overall evaluation rating of unsatisfactory will disqualify an employee from receiving a merit increase. Annual evaluations are used to determine merit increases. Included in performance evaluations are professional conduct, completion of employer requirements (i.e., training, time, and absence reporting), additional or different duties assigned, special projects or related skill acquisition, etc.

Does an unsatisfactory evaluation preclude an employee’s ability to qualify for a merit increase?

Yes, a current less than satisfactory evaluation rating disqualifies staff from receiving a merit increase.

What role does HRM serve in the evaluations process for unclassified professional staff?

HRM consults confidentially with staff and/or managers regarding performance and/or communication difficulties to identify options for resolving conflicts. Upon request, HRM may facilitate discussions between employees and supervisors regarding clarification of goals or conducting the evaluation. HRM advises supervisors and managers on the processes for addressing inadequate performance. HRM must review all termination recommendations for unclassified professional staff, in consultation with the appropriate Dean or Vice Provost’s Office and the Office of General Counsel.

How does the evaluation process relate to possible disciplinary action or termination of employment?

Inadequate performance as documented by an evaluation may be grounds for disciplinary action, subsequent off-cycle evaluations, or lead to a recommendation of employment termination as specified in Disciplinary Action Policy for Staff.

Is an employee’s performance the only factor which might lead to dismissal or non-reappointment?

Not necessarily. An Unclassified Personnel Staff member may be terminated for a number of reasons, which may include but are not limited to: performance, conduct, program restructuring, emergencies , budgetary constraints, program discontinuation, or because it is in the best interests of the university. As outlined in the University policy Notice of Nonreappointment for Unclassified Professional Staff (UPS)6 non-reappointments for unclassified professional staff are to be given as early as possible. Those employees with less than three fiscal years of service, who are receiving notification of non-reappointment due to best interest of the University, must be given notice no later than May 17 for a non-reappointment of the following fiscal year.Those employees with three or more fiscal years of service must be provided notice no later than March 30 for a best interest non-reappointment of the following year. Absent special employment conditions, unclassified professional staff appointed on less than a fiscal year basis (e.g., a 9 month appointment) must be given notice of non-reappointment no later than March 30th, regardless of their length of service.  Individuals whose appointments are being terminated because of budgetary constraints or emergencies will be provided a minimum of no less than two (2) weeks advance notice regarding the termination of their appointment, except in extreme circumstances.  Positions designated as “serve at the pleasure of,” program restructuring, program discontinuation or "contingent upon funding" may be terminated without the usual notice period.

May past evaluations be used by supervisors when contacted as job references?

Performance evaluations are a part of an employee’s official personnel record. Supervisors may refer to the evaluation if contacted as a reference for alternate on-campus employment. If providing a reference for off-campus employment, the evaluation should only be referred to with the permission of the employee.

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