Full-time faculty are employed either on a two-semester (or three-quarter) academic year basis or a twelve-month term. Those members of the full-time faculty who are employed on a two-semester (or three-quarter) basis are free of college duties for one semester (quarter) or two summer sessions each year. Faculty on academic-year appointments who accept additional teaching appointments for a semester or quarter outside of their workload as defined by the unit workload policy will receive payment at the rate per the guidelines developed by the college/school dean with faculty input and provost approval. Guidelines should include a minimum and maximum compensation for additional teaching appointments.
Appointment letters for faculty have a standard format for incorporating personnel classification, rank and title, tenure status, salary, and benefits.
Salary at the time of hire shall be established by negotiation between the individual faculty member and the university. Such factors as education, training, experience, impact, the level at which the individual is to be hired, and the type of activity expected shall be considered in determining the appropriate salary level.
Subsequent salary increases at the university are made on the basis of merit in the areas of teaching, research/scholarship/creative activity, and service, and/or on the basis of equity adjustment.
- Function of Merit
Merit evaluation has two main purposes: guidance and reward. In terms of guidance, the merit evaluation from both the merit committee (full-time faculty of the department or the relevant academic unit where departments do not exist) and the unit head (if department/unit policy includes an evaluation by the unit head distinct from that of the merit committee) should show each faculty member where they are doing well and areas where improvement is needed. Because the results of merit evaluations are required in subsequent reappointment, promotion, or tenure considerations, these evaluations should accurately and substantively reflect the actual performance of the evaluated individual.Merit evaluations offer qualitative and/or quantitative assessments of how individual faculty members are performing their responsibilities.A merit evaluation in the areas of teaching, research/scholarship/creative activity, and service encompasses a range from unsatisfactory performance to satisfactory performance to performance that is exceptional. A particular individual may perform at different levels of merit in each of the three areas and an overall merit evaluation balances these levels of performance in light of the particular workload assigned for the period under review and the expectations that may have arisen from previous merit evaluations.
- Process for Determining Merit
The full-time faculty of the department (or the relevant unit) maintains written procedures for determining merit criteria including procedures or formulas for translating each individual’s merit into an annual salary recommendation. Because differences exist among academic units, no single process is universally mandated.
The academic unit’s written procedures must include provisions for faculty who have:
- 100% appointment in the unit,
- Joint appointment and this is the primary unit2 , and
- Joint appointment and this is a secondary unit.
The academic unit’s written procedures for evaluating merit must also include a clearly defined appeal process for faculty to appeal the academic unit’s merit evaluations.
The criteria and procedures for merit evaluation must be established and approved by the full-time faculty of the academic unit prior to the merit evaluation period; must be consistent with the workload policy and other merit criteria (e.g., tenure and/or promotion guidelines); and must be approved by the college dean and provost.
Evaluations for merit shall be performed early in the spring semester, with the evaluation covering the previous calendar year. The process begins when the faculty member submits their annual performance documents as defined by their academic department/unit to the merit committee. The merit process must include some form of written documentation detailing each faculty member’s activities during the year under review, evaluation by peers (the merit committee)3, and evaluation by the department/unit head. The department/unit head shall use, but not be limited to, the merit committee’s evaluation for their recommendation for salary increase.
If an individual fails to fulfill responsibilities4, this failure shall be taken into account in evaluating the overall performance notwithstanding the potentially meritorious activities reported. The effect of this failure shall be to reduce the award of merit increases to that individual. Substantial or persistent failures to fulfill responsibilities shall render the overall evaluation of the faculty member unsatisfactory and shall preclude the award of merit increases of any kind to that individual.5
- Communication of Merit Evaluations
- Academic Unit level
All faculty members shall be given specific written feedback (according to the department/unit procedures as required in Section A.2) in regard to the outcomes of their merit review. At minimum, the feedback shall provide the basis for the merit evaluation in the areas of teaching, research/scholarship/creative activity, and service. In addition, strengths and weaknesses shall be identified and recommendations for improving performance shall be provided. Department/unit heads are also encouraged to provide in-person feedback to individual faculty members.
For faculty with joint appointments in two or more departments/units, the secondary department/unit head(s) shall provide a written evaluation that comports with the merit criteria of the secondary department/unit(s).At least one week prior to the submission of the academic department/unit head’s recommendations to the college dean, faculty shall be informed in writing of 1) the evaluation results of the merit committee; and 2) the recommendation of the department/unit head where such recommendation is materially different from that of the merit committee. The academic department/unit head shall also provide the faculty with the median and range of the merit committee’s evaluation results in each performance area – teaching, research/scholarship/creative activity, and service – as well as the median and range of overall merit committee evaluation results of their department/unit. If the academic unit has fewer than 15 faculty members (primary full-time faculty headcount), the median and range results will be aggregated for the college or school.In advance of the faculty members’ receipt of the appointment letter and after the amount of the merit pool has been established, faculty members shall also be informed of the median and range of percentage salary recommendations of their unit. If the academic unit has fewer than fifteen faculty members (primary full-time faculty headcount), the median and range information on evaluation results and on percentage salary recommendations will be the aggregated data for the college or school.
Department/unit heads shall share with the dean any material differences between the merit committee evaluation and the department/unit head’s recommendation.
- College level
Department/unit heads shall submit a summary explanation of the basis for recommended salary increases to the college dean.
Deans must share with the provost any material differences between their recommendations and the department/unit head recommendations.
Once provost approval is obtained for final raises, faculty shall receive written notification of the new salary in their annual appointment letter.6
- Academic Unit level
- At the academic department/unit level, faculty members may appeal the merit evaluation in writing to the department/unit head as determined by the department/unit’s merit procedures within one week of receipt of their unit evaluation. The department/unit head shall communicate their decision on the appeal, along with the basis for their decision, in writing to the faculty member within two weeks of receipt of the faculty member’s appeal.
- At the college level, faculty members may appeal only if they believe a procedural error has occurred. Faculty members may appeal in writing to the college dean within one week of electronic notification to the faculty member that their appointment letter is available.
Acceptance of the appointment does not waive the faculty member’s right to utilize the appeal process. The dean shall communicate their decision on the appeal, along with the basis for their decision, in writing to the faculty member. College deans shall make every effort to respond to appeals such that final determinations are made prior to the beginning of the new fiscal year. The dean’s decision is final.
Where the appropriate unit or college has failed or refused within a reasonable period of time to conform to the procedures in sections 2-4, the provost shall adopt such procedures as the provost deems fair, reasonable, and appropriate to evaluate the merit and/or distribute the salary increases. Any affected individual or group who feels that a procedural error has occurred during the merit consideration may consult with the provost’s office.
- Function of Merit
Equity increases are separate and distinct from merit programs. Equity adjustments are not to be used to circumvent the university merit programs. Equity increases address factors such as:
- An individual’s skills, effort and responsibilities;
- An individual’s accomplishments;
- Salary compression;
- Comparable salaries at matchmate institutions;
- Promotion of other strategic planning priorities of the university.
Every third year (staggered across colleges), a request for equity adjustment may be made by a college dean, a unit head, or an individual faculty member based on factors above (B.1.a-e). In that same year, University Decision Support will provide the deans of the colleges eligible for equity adjustments with scatter plots of faculty salaries versus years in rank, pooled by rank, along with salary data for college match-mates that were approved by the college faculty and dean. Deans shall provide an abbreviated version of this report to faculty that is redacted or edited to preserve privacy, confidentiality and anonymity but contains sufficient information for faculty to evaluate their own salary in light of the equitable factors listed above. At the same time, deans will inform faculty and unit heads of the deadline by which they must file an equity request. This deadline, and the timeline of the equity adjustment process, may differ among the colleges and will be determined by each college eligible for equity adjustments that year. Faculty members with joint appointments are included in the equity adjustment process of their primary college. Their secondary college dean will be consulted about any equity request or recommendation.
The dean shall review the data provided by University Decision Support for consistency between actual earnings and the dean’s perception of overall actual achievement. The dean shall also review any equity requests from faculty and unit heads. The dean shall provide a written report to the provost, with accompanying data, and provide recommendations for equitable raises to adjust salaries accordingly.
Once provost approval is obtained for equity raises, the dean shall communicate that decision to the faculty member by letter, noting the new salary. If an equity increase has been approved after the start of the fiscal year, the faculty member will receive retroactive pay back to the July 1 start of the fiscal year. If the dean does not agree with the request for equity adjustment, they shall inform the faculty member in writing that the dean has reviewed the salary data and determined that the salary is appropriate.
Deans will determine whether the unit head or the dean handles appeals for their college/school. Appeals can be made to the unit head or the dean within two weeks of receipt of the dean’s decision. If no appeal is filed or is untimely filed, the decision on equity is final.
- Additional Information
Equity increases come out of the raise pool before merit distribution. In no year will equity increases constitute more than 15% of the raise pool.
Any individual or group who feels that a procedural error has occurred during the equity consideration process may consult with the provost’s office.
Allegations of Discrimination
Any allegations of discrimination in the provision of merit or equity increases should be submitted to the Office for University Equity and Compliance for investigation and appropriate action.
- Approved by the Faculty Senate on 10/02/19, by the Provost on 10/28/19 and by the Board of Trustees on 12/06/19.
- As stated in the faculty member’s appointment letter. For T/TT faculty, the primary unit is the locus of tenure.
- For tenure-track faculty, adequate, good faith teaching evaluation procedures will include annual evaluation by two or more means, one of which must include student teaching evaluations of every course section every semester (the TRACE evaluations). The other means may include: (a) peer classroom visits; (b) peer evaluations of class materials; (c) teaching portfolios; (d) evaluations by earlier graduates of the program; (e) other means appropriate to the discipline.
For other full-time faculty, adequate good-faith teaching evaluations will include the student teaching evaluations of every course section every semester and, at least every 3 to 5 years, evaluations by one or more additional means. This policy approved by the Faculty Senate May 23, 1994; and approved by the President June 1, 1994.
- Such responsibilities are normally set forth in documents such as initial appointment letters, appointment renewals, workload policies, and university policies and this Faculty Handbook.
- Such reduction or withholding of merit increases shall not foreclose the imposition of other disciplinary sanctions in appropriate cases.
- For individuals with joint appointments, the written notification must include each unit’s unique salary contribution.