Guideline UL-HRG05 Annual Performance Reviews

Main Policy Content


  • Purpose
  • General Guidelines for Staff, Faculty, or Technical-Service Annual Performance Reviews
  • Guidelines Specific to a Staff Review
  • Guidelines Specific to a Faculty Review
  • Guidelines Specific to a Technical-Service (Union) Review
  • Cross References


These general guidelines were developed by the Libraries' administrators to assist employees and their supervisors with annual performance reviews. 


  • Performance reviews must be completed according to the Libraries’ timetable. 
  • Written performance reviews should be brief and concise.  In most cases, one to two pages are sufficient.  The review should summarize the oral discussion that takes place between the employee and supervisor.  A draft of the review can be shared with the employee after the performance meeting. 
  • Performance reviews are an "assessment" of how well the employee performed during the past year.  The employee’s performance should be measured against his/her job responsibilities and the work plan agreed to during the previous review.  The review should indicate how the employee contributed to the success of his/her unit, and toward the strategic goals and objectives of the Libraries.   
  • The review should not include a recitation of an employee’s standard job responsibilities, since these are documented elsewhere.  It can include mention of special assignments or responsibilities the employee assumed during the past year.  The review should concentrate on assessment. 
  • In preparing a performance review, supervisors can seek feedback on an employee’s performance from other colleagues who are familiar with the work of that employee.  How that feedback is incorporated into the review is at the discretion of the supervisor.  For example, if an employee served on an important task force or project, e.g., Sirsi implementation, the supervisor might find out how well the employee performed in this role.  If outside opinions are solicited, the information should be shared during the performance discussion. 
  • The performance review should include constructive suggestions for improvement, along with information on how the supervisor will assist with the employee’s improvement. 
  • The employee’s work or developmental plan should be tied to the goals, objectives, and tactics of the employee’s work unit and to the Libraries’ Strategic Plan.  It is valuable to incorporate into the performance review a discussion of development activities or accomplishments that are expected from the employee in the coming year, e.g., completion of XXX article or creation of a new process for YYY.  These activities should be documented in the letter. 
  • Employees in supervisory positions go through an upward feedback review every three years, as outlined in UL-HR09, Upward Feedback Process for Employees in Supervisory Positions.  An upward review should be developmental, with the emphasis placed on identifying strengths and areas of improvement.    
  • Additional Unit-Specific factors may be selected by Department/Subject/Unit Head if he/she feels additional factors are necessary in reflecting the mission and goals of that area.  Examples include technological competence and financial stewardship. 


  • Staff should submit a brief self-assessment based on the approved developmental plan for the past year and performance standards established for the position.    


  • Faculty should submit brief self-appraisals in conjunction with their Faculty Activity Forms.  For example, how effective do they feel they’ve been in their liaison with their assigned academic departments, in their teaching, in the management of their units?  A short paragraph related to individual items or a brief overall assessment will suffice.
  • Supervisors writing for librarians who are at the 1st, 3rd, or 5th years of the tenure process should consider conducting the performance review and writing the letter in a way that highlights the librarian’s accomplishments in the areas of Librarianship, Teaching, Research, and Service.  If a supervisor is evaluating a librarian for an extended tenure review, the librarian should be assessed according to the promotion and tenure criteria.    
  • Employees classified as Academic Administrators also undergo reviews, as outlined in policy AC14 (formerly AD-14, Academic Administrative Evaluation, typically every five years.  


  • Technical-service employees should complete the Employee Input section of the Technical-Service Review and Development Action Plan based on the approved development plan for the past year and performance standards established for the position.    
  • While technical-service salaries and increases are dictated by the Agreement between The Pennsylvania State University and Teamsters Local Union No. 8, having a Development Action Plan and receiving feedback are still important tools in the development of employees.  


Policy UL-HR09 Upward Feedback Process for Employees in Supervisory Positions
Employee Evaluations
Technical-Service Review and Development Action Plan
Policy AC-14 (formerly AD-14) Academic Administrative Review

Effective Date: August 2007
Date Approved: August 2007 (Deans)

Revision History (and effective dates):

  • May 2009 – Revised guideline to incorporate information on Upward Feedback and Technical Service (Union) reviews
  • August 2007 – Revised guideline
  • December 2005 – Revised guideline
  • January 2002 – New guideline

Last Review Date:  May 2009