The purpose of a role statement is to outline how much effort is put toward meeting the strategic mission of the college in teaching, research, and service for the coming year so that the faculty member and the chair can agree on what activities will be considered in the faculty member's evaluation at year-end.
A good role statement is a reasonably reliable snapshot of the contribution the faculty member expects to make to the department, the college, and the university over the next twelve months. It serves to make sure the faculty member is evaluated against an agreed-upon plan and worked out in concert with the chair. It also serves to clear up any misunderstandings about expectations.
While the role statement stands as a cooperative agreement between the faculty member and the chair or department, it also helps ensure faculty will be evaluated according to their own unique skills and interests; it discourages cookie cutter approaches to evaluations.
The role statement is unique to the faculty member and can encourage individual growth and progress. Additionally, because the role statement can change from year to year, it allows flexibility in scheduling, shifts in direction, and revised percentages of time given to teaching, research, and service.
All role statements should reflect a realistic percentage of time dedicated to teaching, research, and service. These are used to weight each area during consideration for promotion and tenure. Some are designed to describe the individual's goals in terms of the relevance to the overall strategic plan for the department. Occasionally, a role statement is revised mid-year because an unexpected change occurs in the person's life or the department needs.
The department chair must sign the role statement to ensure that all are in agreement. When the individual comes up for evaluation of any kind, the role statement should be the operative document of expectations and should provide weighting for teaching, research, and service. Did you achieve your goals? Did you exceed them? Did you run into problems? If so, what should be considered to solve the problems?