Writing Your Annual Report
This workshop is to be delivered to St. Thomas University faculty on April 14, 2004 as part of the Learning and Teaching Development Committee's ongoing commitment to assisting young faculty in developing their academic, administrative, and teaching profiles in a committed and professional fashion.
Terms of the Collective Agreement
ARTICLE 21 ANNUAL REPORT AND REVIEW
21.01 The university and the union agree that an annual report and review are valuable means of advancing the university’s educational goals and of supporting professional development. To this end, the faculty members may be required to provide an annual report and the university may review the performance of faculty members on the basis of the annual report. Faculty members may review this information with the academic vice-president as a means of advancing professional development goals.
21.02 At the end of the teaching year, the academic vice-president may request an annual report of all faculty members. In response to such a request, faculty members shall provide an up-to-date curriculum vitae and a written report of their professional activities for the past twelve months, and a plan for the coming academic year. The report shall include a faculty member’s account of his or her activities with respect to (a) teaching, (b) scholarship, and (c) service noting any workload substitutions under Article 17.
21.03 A summary statement on the accountability of faculty members at St. Thomas University is provided in Appendix E.
Appendix E (p. 108)
In addition to any other performance assessments, the University may annually review the performance of an Employee on the basis of the annual report (21.01).
An Opportunity to Shine
It is clear from the above clauses in the collective agreement that our university administration has the right not only to demand from each faculty member an annual report covering teaching, scholarship, and service, but also to review the performance of each faculty member annually, based on that report.
If the faculty member’s performance may be reviewed on the basis of the annual report, then clearly it is in the best interest of each faculty member not only to prepare an annual report but also to prepare a good one.
As professional academics, we must maintain an academic profile, preferably a high one, and while we can do this by regularly updating the curriculum vitae (which must, incidentally, and as a minimum, be done at the time of submitting the annual report) we can also maintain that profile by reporting annually on our teaching, scholarship, and service. From this point of view, the annual report may be seen as a showcasing of the faculty member’s annual achievements and it is from this point of view that we should carry out this otherwise seemingly onerous duty.
The curriculum vitae is the showcase of the academic’s career. It should be updated annually. In fact, I update my own at least twice a year, once over the Christmas vacation as a means of reviewing the old year and of planning for the new and once in the summer, to accompany the annual report. This twice a year revision of my academic status is, I believe, a vital – and usually pleasant – part of my professional duties as an academic.
The annual report asks faculty members to give an account of their activities with respect to teaching. I usually list the courses I have taught in the standard teaching load. I also add courses which I have taught unpaid voluntary overload, listing such courses clearly. In addition, I add the honours students I have worked with and the honours theses and special papers that I have directed. A useful addition is the number of students in each class. This allows me to make the point that yes, I am teaching a large number of students well and in an accountable fashion.
I also add a third section on the scholarship of teaching in which I point out any teaching related activities in which I may have been engaged during that specific year. This section usually includes workshops I have given, papers I have read, and classes within my specialities that I have taught at the invitation of other faculty members. This reporting is done for my own ends: I wish to make clear my commitment above and beyond the call of duty in this area of my work.
I still pursue creative, academic, and scholastic goals and I list regularly not only the academic but also the creative activities which I undertake annually. I usually place these scholastic and creative endeavours under two headings
WORK IN PROGRESS and PUBLICLY AVAILABLE SCHOLARLY WORK
For me, publicly available scholarly and creative work includes published or performed material that is seen by, and available to, the public. The list of my annual publications is usually rather short as rarely does one publish much in a single year. In actual fact, one’s career, as evidenced in the curriculum vitae, may be seen as an accumulation of the highlights of one’s collected annual reports! On the other hand, the list of public readings and commitments, while varying from year to year, can be very substantial.
Academic and Administrative Services
In this section I place all the administrative work that I have accomplished during the academic year. This usually includes all the committees on which I have sat, and all the reports which I have written. It is useful to accumulate this material from year to year in each annual report as the work is soon and all too easily forgotten. More important, it is worth annotating the actual role played by the faculty member on each of these committees. In addition, acronyms are soon forgotten and it is all too easy to forget what a committee's initials mean and what that committee actually did!
Plans for the Coming Year
The simple act of planning ahead is a valuable one. Therefore, to think about the direction one’s career is taking is appropriate and not a waste of time, even though the best laid plans often go astray and what one says one will do is sometimes overtaken by events as other opportunities arise and one's circumstances change. Nevertheless, planning should cover the three main areas outlined above: teaching, scholarship, and administration.
The Year's Highlights
In my own annual report I also place a single one page summary of the year’s high points. I do not encourage everyone to do this; however, at least there is a written summary of what I feel worked well that year!
Brief Summary of the Above
- The writing of an annual report is a useful and positive task;
- it helps faculty members to focus on achievements and things accomplished;
- it also allows them to plan ahead.
- It is something which, in conjunction with the curriculum vitae, should be done anyway, irrespective of whether or not it is demanded by the administration.
- List everything and comment briefly on each listing. This allows you, in future years, to remember where you have been and what you have done.
- Annual reports are priceless maps of where you have been when the time of promotion and tenure draws near, for they list year by year the achievements of you, as an individual.
Annual Report for 2004
Annual Report for 2003
Annual Report for 2002
Annual Report for 2001
Annual Report for 2000
Annual Report for 1999
Annual Report for 1998
Annual Report for 1997
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