Research in Higher Education

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 71–84 | Cite as

Faculty evaluation: Reliability of peer assessments of research, teaching, and service

  • Lawrence S. Root


In this paper, assessments of faculty performance for the determination of salary increases are analyzed to estimate interrater reliability. Using the independent ratings by six elected members of the faculty, correlations between the ratings are calculated and estimates of the reliability of the composite (group) ratings are generated. Average intercorrelations are found to range from 0.603 for teaching, to 0.850 for research. The average intercorrelation for the overall faculty ratings is 0.794. Using these correlations, the reliability of the six-person group (the composite reliability) is estimated to be over 0.900 for each of the three areas and 0.959 for the overall faculty rating. Furthermore, little correlation is found between the ratings of performance levels of individual faculty members in the three areas of research, teaching, and service. The high intercorrelations and, consequently, the high composite reliabilities suggest that a reduction in the number of raters would have relatively small effects on reliability. The findings are discussed in terms of their relationship to issues of validity as well as to other questions of faculty assessment.


Faculty Member Faculty Performance Faculty Rating Performance Level Education Research 
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Copyright information

© Agathon Press, Inc. 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lawrence S. Root
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Social WorkThe University of MichiganAnn Arbor

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