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Digital Measures User Guide: APPR Process

Welcome! This manual is designed to help you navigate and utilize the powerful features of Digital Measures, a cutting-edge platform for academic institutions and professionals to manage, document, and showcase accomplishments.

Annual Performance and Planning Review (APPR) Process

The Annual Performance and Planning Review (APPR) is a mandatory faculty process for faculty members, part-time and full-time, who hold "Regular" faculty appointments with the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. The process takes place within Digital Measures in a seamless and accessible workflow. Faculty are asked to update their "Activities" page for the calendar year, provide an assessment of previously set goals/assignments, propose goals/assignments for the upcoming calendar year, and prepare a master CV. After the review materials are submitted through Digital Measures, the faculty member and evaluator will meet to conduct a performance review and discuss a plan for the upcoming calendar year. The evaluator writes and uploads a narrative summarizing the meeting and provides additional required details through Digital Measures.

To learn more about the UT Health Science Center APPR Process for Faculty, please read the General Information provided in the UTHSC Faculty Handbook.

The assignment of faculty workloads is the delegated responsibility of the Department Chair. The Chair is responsible for the equitable assignment of faculty responsibilities and assures an appropriate balance of time and effort committed to teaching, research, public service, and if applicable, patient care (Faculty Handbook, Section 4.4.1). It is expected that faculty will devote full-time to their academic duties, unless released time is officially approved.

Each spring, the Chair and individual faculty member agree upon the faculty member’s goals and the Chair’s expectations during the upcoming year (Faculty Handbook, Sections; 5.3.2). This process and these expectations are documented as part of the annual faculty evaluation [i.e., Annual Performance-and-Planning Review]. Specific teaching assignments are usually made on a semester basis by the Department Chair.

Educational activities in a health science center necessarily involve patient care, sophisticated research, and teaching of rapidly-changing and complex biomedical sciences. As is customary in most health science centers, faculty at UTHSC are assigned to specific duties consonant with their individual expertise in teaching, research, or patient care. Faculty are expected to engage in research (or equivalent scholarly activities), patient care, or both as necessary elements of health science education.

Faculty Handbook Explanation of Performance Ratings

This rating designates that during the evaluation period the individual achieved and consistently exhibited unique and highly meritorious levels of professional performance beyond the agreed-upon goals and objectives. This rating will be assigned to an individual who achieves uncommon levels of meritorious performance in his or her field; and makes meaningful and significant contributions to the mission, goals and objectives of the department, college, and university, as well as to his or her professional field.

UTHSC Faculty Handbook, Appendix J: Procedure for the Annual Performance-and-Planning Review, pp. 100-101.

This rating designates that during the evaluation period, the faculty member achieved and consistently exhibited the level of the expected performance on the agreed upon goals and objectives and who has contributed to the mission, goals and objectives of the department, college and university, as well as to his or her professional field.

UTHSC Faculty Handbook, Appendix J: Procedure for the Annual Performance-and-Planning Review, pp. 100-101.

This rating designates that during the evaluation period, the individual exhibited a level of performance that did not consistently meet all the agreed-upon goals and objectives. This rating will be assigned to an individual who may require some assistance or feedback in achieving and sustaining a level of professional performance necessary to meet the agreed-upon goals and objectives. This rating is intended primarily as a means of formally communicating that a special effort must be made in addressing specific performance deficiencies. When this rating is given, it should be accompanied by a commitment by the Department Chair to assist the individual in identifying the mechanisms for overcoming the detected deficiencies, as deemed appropriate. This rating is a negative rating.

UTHSC Faculty Handbook, Appendix J: Procedure for the Annual Performance-and-Planning Review, pp. 100-101.

Unsatisfactory Performance in Teaching, Research, or Service is defined as adequate cause for termination of a faculty member’s appointment and includes the following: a. Failure to demonstrate professional competence in teaching, research, or service; or b. Failure to perform satisfactorily the duties or responsibilities of the faculty position, including but not limited to (1) failure to comply with a lawful directive of the Chair, Dean, or UTHSC Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs with respect to the faculty member's duties or responsibilities; or (2) inability to perform an essential function of the faculty position, given reasonable accommodation, if requested. This rating is a negative rating.

UTHSC Faculty Handbook, Appendix J: Procedure for the Annual Performance-and-Planning Review, pp. 100-101.

APPR Workflow Deadlines - General

  • Launch Date - The day the "Faculty Submission Step" becomes accessible to all faculty within Digital Measures 
    • December 1, 2023
  • Faculty Submission Deadline - The last day for faculty to submit their materials for review before receiving past-due alerts
    • Unique to each college (see below)
  • Evaluator Deadline - The last day for the evaluator to complete their evaluations of faculty before receiving past-due alerts
    • March 15, 2024
  • Note for evaluators: If you have an additional step due to multiple evaluators in the workflow, there may be an additional deadline between Faculty Submission and Evaluator. For questions, reach out to

Faculty Submission Deadlines by College

College Deadline
Dentistry February 15, 2024
Graduate Health Sciences January 15, 2024
Health Professions January 15, 2024
Medicine January 15, 2024
Nursing January 5, 2024
Pharmacy December 31, 2023
Library January 19, 2024


  • For questions regarding Digital Measures, contact the DM team by emailing
  • For questions regarding the APPR Process, contact the UTHSC Office of Faculty Affairs by emailing

APPR Training Opportunities

   APPR 2023 New Faculty Orientation (Online via Zoom)

   APPR 2023 New Evaluator Orientation (Online via Zoom)

   General Training Opportunities

APPR How-To and General Information Guide

Assignments: Area of assigned responsibility
  • Equitable and fair​

  • Not identical​

  • Considers mission, goals, and needs of the college and its academic programs​

  • Considers the talents and needs of individual faculty​

  • Variable over the years 

Goals: Broad statement of the desired outcome
  • Some portion achievable in the next year​

  • Builds toward larger career goals​

  • Set for each assigned mission area​                     

  • Variable over the years

Example Assignments and Goals

  1. Serve as the instructor of record for XYZ101: Course name.​

  2. Submit at least two data-based manuscripts as primary/corresponding/lead author for publication in peer-reviewed journals.​

  3. Present a refereed presentation at a national professional conference.​

  4. Incorporate and evaluate the use of one new pedagogical practice in XYZ508: Course name.​

  5. Obtain initial certification [or complete recertification requirements] for ABC Specialty.​

  6. Implement MNO-strategy and assess for improved patient satisfaction in clinic.​

  7. Enroll in and complete the [whichever-is-relevant] track of the Teaching and Learning Center’s Teaching Excellence Institute.

The APPR process will begin when you receive an email from Digital Measures letting you know that it is time to submit your materials for the annual review process. If clicked, the SUBMIT REVIEW MATERIALS button in the email takes the faculty member directly into their APPR Workflow. Faculty may also access their APPR Workflow by logging into Digital Measures and then selecting the Workflow tab from the top navigation bar.

Important: This email is not from the UTHSC Digital Measures team, but is an automatically generated email from the Digital Measures system.


Workflow Step Reminders Final Reminder Overdue Alerts
Faculty Submission Weekly Yes Weekly (Pharmacy-3 Days)
Faculty Submission (Alternate Workflow) Weekly Yes None
Evaluator Every Three Weeks Yes Weekly
Faculty Acknowledgement and Optional Response Weekly Yes None
Evaluator's Acknowledgement of Faculty Response Every Three Days Yes None
Dean's Office None No None
Executive Dean's Office None No None
AFSA None No None

Faculty members or evaluators may want to download a performance review from Digital Measures for use in other faculty processes. Faculty members may access their previous year's workflows in the "History" section of the "Workflow" tab, then follow steps 3 and 4 below.

Workflow Assistants and Evaluators:

  1. Log in to Digital Measures and select Workflow->Submissions.
  2. Select the workflow from the table by selecting the faculty member's name. If you need to access 2020, 2021, or 2022 evaluations, remove the "Open" filter in the top left-hand corner of the table. The first column in the table, "Template", will clarify whether you are accessing a 2020, 2021, 2022, or 2023 APPR.
  3. Once the workflow is open, select the download button in the top right-hand corner of the screen.
    1. This option downloads a zip file to your computer's "Downloads" folder.
  4. Double-click to open the zip file.
    1. Step00_Files includes documents submitted by the faculty member (annual report, goals appraisal/proposal, recent CV)
    2. Step01_Files includes documents submitted by the evaluator (narrative summary, improvement plan, etc.)
    3. HTML link: Double-click to open. This link will open a tab in the browser. The link can be saved/printed from this browser tab. 

The APPR process will begin once you receive an automated email from UTHSC Faculty Affairs letting you know that it is time for you to submit your materials for review. 

  • You will be able to navigate to Digital Measures from this email, but you may also log in to Digital Measures as you normally would. Once logged in select Workflow on the top navigation bar. 
  • Your Faculty Submission step will be waiting for you in your Task Inbox..