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Chapter 8: Performance Evaluation and Professional Development

Swarthmore's reputation as one of the finest liberal arts colleges in the world exists and grows because of the dedicated effort and commitment to excellence of its faculty and staff. You were chosen for your position because of your qualifications, abilities, and commitment to the high standards Swarthmore has set for itself.

Performance Feedback

To assist you in meeting Swarthmore's standards, you should seek regular advice, counsel, and feedback on your performance. This feedback can come from a number of sources but most frequently it is provided by your supervisor. Your supervisor can provide both positive and corrective feedback to help you achieve excellence in your job and meet the professional goals that you and the College have set. If you ever feel that you are not clear about what's expected of you or if you're unsure about how you're doing, ask your supervisor.

Performance Evaluation

Opportunities for periodic review of your job performance will be provided at least once each year, allowing time for you and your supervisor to discuss your overall performance, to review the past year, and to set goals and priorities for the next year. These discussions provide an excellent opportunity for you to confirm your ability to meet the defined expectations, to identify areas for further development, and to set objectives for the future.

Our philosophy is to foster an environment of open communication amongst all of our employees. To that end, we expect supervisors to communicate performance to you throughout the year. In turn, you are encouraged to proactively communicate any concerns you may have between formal evaluation cycles..

Professional Development

Staying current in your field and keeping abreast with changes and new technology is a normal job responsibility we all have. Information and technology are constantly changing and expanding our work demands, as well as our capabilities. Needs and priorities change over time and you should be prepared to acquire new skills to help you remain competitive and successful in your current position.

Many employees will have at least one major career change in their working life. If you are interested in exploring new career options for yourself, contact the Human Resources Office.

Transfers and Promotions

One of the ways that individuals broaden and deepen their career experience is through professional transitions within Swarthmore. Any transition to a position with a different position ID number is considered a position transfer. Employees may transfer to new positions, which may include a change in pay grade or to a different position in the same pay grade. Typically, an employee must be in their current department for a minimum of one year before an application for transfer will be considered.

Lateral Transfers

A lateral transfer is a move to a position with the same or similar job title in the same pay grade. Such transfers provide opportunities to work with new colleagues, to master a different range of skills, or to bring your special skills and experience to a new environment. Lateral transfers do not normally come with a change in pay.


Staff members are often interested in opportunities for professional development through promotion to more responsible positions, either in their current department or in another area of the College. A move is considered a promotion if it places an individual in a position in a higher pay grade, a higher salary, an elevated job title, and/or an increase of responsibility.