Performance Program Tips

Your Performance Program is an important document that can impact your evaluation, salary, promotional opportunities, and tenure. Listed below are recommendations regarding your performance program. Appendix A-28 in the current Agreement between the State of New York and UUP and the SUNY Board of Trustees Policies address Performance Programs in greater detail.

Decisions regarding promotion, reappointment, permanent appointment, and approval for discretionary salary increases can be based on the described duties and performance standards in your performance program.

If you are an experienced professional with several years of experience, no one knows your job better than you do. Although creating the Performance Program is the responsibility of the supervisor, you should consider writing one for yourself that meets both the needs of the department and your professional development. Be sure to capture institutional and organizational changes as well.


  • During the consultation with your immediate supervisor prior to the final performance program being prepared, feel free to propose or oppose changes.
  • Keep your performance program up to date. Explicitly state your objectives for the next 12 months. Make sure the time for achieving objectives is reasonable.

Section A:

  • State n/a for “not applicable” or
  • Provide a numbered list of ONLY the duties that fall OUTSIDE of the official State Title.

Section B:

  • Provide a numbered list of ONLY the duties that fall WITHIN the official State Title 

Section C:

  • Short term and long-term goals should be reasonable, and are not required. (If none, write n/a)

Section D:

  • Ensure supervisory relationships are clear: Division, immediate supervisor, reports (only State employees who report to you, not students)

Section E:

  • If you work in multiple departments, name individual(s) who affect your performance and identify specifically what they will be evaluating in your Program. (If none, write n/a)

Section F: Expectations

  • Copy/paste items from Sections A & B in the left column (GOALS)
  • On the right (by each item) state criteria for evaluating the achievement of each goal.
  • State relevant percentages (average per year) of your obligation that each duty requires.
  • Performance objectives should include wherever applicable:
    • Your freedom to make decisions
    • Your communication responsibility
    • Your problem-solving functions
    • The breadth of organizational impact on your work
    • Inter-departmental workflow and correspondence
    • Responsibility to manage and direct others
    • Include language which clarifies limits of responsibility (ex: in accordance with…, as per…, when requested by…)


  • Allow statements of undescribed duties (ex: no criteria should state 'and other duties as assigned').
  • Be passive or general in your description of duties (ex: 'responsible for all activities in the building').
  • Include objectives that you do not understand.
  • Include objectives which you have no authority to conduct.
  • State objectives controlled by someone else as your sole responsibility.
  • Allow a program to become outdated.
  • Include numbers in criteria. There should be no dates, times, quantities or quotas.

New Duties

If there are changes in the department – temporary or otherwise – it is best to capture potential changes to the Performance Program via an Addendum. During the consultation with your supervisor discuss

  • The appropriateness of any element above your current rank.
  • The duration of the change
  • Compensation (Extra Service, Comp Time or other duties removed)

If the changes become permanent, they should be placed within the Performance Program. A discussion should be had regarding the potential for a promotion or salary increase. If the change is not significant enough to warrant an increase in pay, other duties should be removed to compensate for the new ones (no one should be expected to work more than 100%).


If there is disagreement with Performance Program content and no resolution is found, the employee has the right to attach a Rebuttal. The Rebuttal should be identifiable (full name, date, department, Program year) and clearly state the items and/or criteria with which there is disagreement and the reason. Ex:

  • If item listed in section B belongs in section A (outside of job title)
  • If inappropriate parties are listed as Secondary Source
  • If stated duties require qualification or training that has not been attained or provided
  • If criteria is too vague, state your understanding.
  • If inadequate adjustments are made to accommodate new duties, state concerns regarding expectations.

When in doubt, follow up on with your union representative.