Training and Development

Performance Evaluation - Overview

UK's Performance Evaluation system offers a consistent approach and operating philosophy for coordinating University goals and employee performance. Performance Evaluation focuses on both the essential functions and the performance standards to ensure that everyone in the University clearly understands what is to be accomplished and how it is to be accomplished.


What is the Performance Evaluation system?

Performance evaluations are used to assess individual performance. They are most frequently used to provide feedback to staff about performance and to evaluate for pay and promotion decisions. The performance evaluation process used at the University of Kentucky is a mechanism to address individual performance achievements and concerns.

How was the Performance Evaluation system developed?

In January, 2002, President Lee Todd commissioned the PDP Task Force with the following charge:

Assess the strengths and weaknesses of the University's performance appraisal process for staff known as the Performance Development Partnership (PDP).

In order to achieve this objective, the committee considered whether the objectives of the PDP system were realistic; the extent to which these objectives were consistent with the University's human resource strategy; the adequacy of manager and staff training with respect to the PDP; the legitimacy of the PDP among management and staff as a mechanism for assessing and rewarding performance; and the extent to which the system had been modified by various units on campus to meet special circumstances or chronic shortcomings in the approach.

Based upon the results of the above review, recommend modifications in the PDP system or a new performance appraisal system.

Recommendations involved many aspects of the performance appraisal and developmental feedback process including objectives, training, administrative forms, and other facets of the process designed to enhance the legitimacy of the system to users as well as its effectiveness.

Throughout 2002, a Task Force was engaged to evaluate the Performance Development Partnership program (PDP) and to recommend changes in the University of Kentucky's performance evaluation process. The Task Force solicited staff input regarding PDP and their objectives for a new system through open forums, focus groups, and e-mail. This input was used to design a survey of over 1,000 randomly selected staff members and their supervisors. The results of these surveys formed the foundation for the recommendations.

What were the key results of the Task Force?

The PDP Task Force has attempted to design a system in keeping with the interests of staff and their supervisors as expressed in the findings. The Task Force had three key results:

  1. They designed an evaluation system that can be applied across a wide variety of jobs in the University and focuses on job-related criteria.
  2. They simplified a process that has been typically viewed as complex but not to the extent that staff members did not get the feedback they desire.
  3. They provided the opportunity for additional input from supervisors and employees when it is desired.

What are the objectives of the Performance Evaluation system?
The objectives of the Performance Evaluation system are:

  1. To provide staff members with feedback to enhance job performance.
  2. To evaluate staff for the purpose of pay and other administrative decisions.
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