Skip to content
Penn State University Libraries

Policies and Guidelines




  • Purpose
  • Guidelines
  • Procedures
  • Cross References


To provide a process within the University Libraries' for peer review of credit teaching and to make it consistent across all Libraries' locations.


According to HR-23, the Teaching Ability and Effectiveness section of dossiers for promotion, tenure, and post tenure review must include credit courses taught, student evaluation of teaching effectiveness, and peer review of teaching effectiveness.  The following guidelines are provided for implementation of peer review of credit teaching effectiveness.

  1. Peer review of credit instruction will be conducted on the following minimum schedule:
    • Non-tenured librarian - 1 review per course per year
    • Tenured assistant or associate librarian - 1 review for every 2 times a class is taught
    • Tenured at the rank of librarian - 1 review for every 3 times a class is taught

    Librarians may arrange to have peer evaluation more frequently if they desire, with the understanding that all peer reviews conducted before the sixth-year review must appear in the sixth-year dossier.

  2. The following academic officers and administrators will be responsible for scheduling peer reviews:
    • University Park: Head of Library Learning Services in consultation with the Assistant and/or Associate Deans
    • Commonwealth Campus Libraries: Director of Commonwealth Campus Libraries in consultation with the Campus Chancellors or Directors of Academic Affairs.

  3. Any faculty member, tenured or not, with rank equal to or higher than the candidate's are eligible to serve as peer reviewers.  Reviewers may be University Libraries' faculty who have taught a credit course or other Pennsylvania State University teaching faculty.  At the request of a candidate, the reviewer will be a member of University Libraries' faculty.  The Head of Library Learning Services will provide a list of eligible reviewers from the University Libraries' faculty.

  4. The candidate and appropriate administrators (identified in Guideline #2 above) must agree in the selection of reviewers.


  1. Each reviewer will conduct a pre-observation interview with the candidate to discuss course objectives, course materials, teaching philosophy, and teaching techniques.

  2. Peer reviewers will review course materials that include, but are not limited to: syllabi, handouts, assignments, exams, graded materials, papers, bibliographies, etc.

  3. Each reviewer will visit the candidate's classroom, on-line discussion, and/or lab session.  The candidate and the reviewer will schedule dates and times of visits.

  4. Each reviewer will conduct a post evaluation discussion with the candidate.

  5. Each reviewer must prepare an independent letter of evaluation.

  6. Each peer review letter will be included unedited in the candidate's dossier and will indicate the reviewer's college, department, rank, name, and signature.

  7. Peer review letters should be addressed to the appropriate administrative officer (identified in Guideline #2), who will (a) distribute copies to the candidate and the candidate's unit administrator and (b) send the original to the candidate's dossier if he/she is under review or to the permanent file in the Libraries' Human Resources Office.


Other Policies in this manual should also be referenced, especially the following:

Guideline UL-ING02 – Administrative Guidelines for Peer Review of Credit Teaching Effectiveness

Form: Peer Review of Credit Teaching Effectiveness ChecklistRequest resource in an alternative format

Effective Date: May 2001
Date Approved: May 7, 2001 (Dean's Library Council)
Date Approved: February 28, 2001 (Library Faculty Organization)

Revision History (and effective dates):

  • August 2011 - Revised to reflect the new organizational structure; Clarification of where originals are to be filed
  • August 2007 - Revised; Instructional Programs to Library Learning Services
  • July 11, 2006 - Revised to reflect campus reorganization
  • May 7, 2001 - New guideline

Last Review Date:  August 2011