Faculty Merit Rankings

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I. INTRODUCTION AND PURPOSE

The purpose of the University-mandated annual Faculty Merit Ranking is to provide feedback to and evaluate how well full-time tenure-track and non-tenure track faculty have carried out their academic responsibilities, including undergraduate and graduate teaching, research and scholarship, and service to the department1 and the University.  The review also forms the basis for determining annual salary increases.

The faculty merit ranking process is managed within Arts and; Science and involves an official submission by the Chair to the Divisional Dean.

The merit ranking should consist of a formal and collegial process in which the Chair receives the guidance of an Advisory Committee duly appointed according to procedures communicated to the department’s faculty members.  The Chair may attend the Advisory Committee meeting in an ex-officio capacity.


For purposes of simplicity we use the term “department” to refer to all academic units in which faculty hold full or partial appointments and the term “Chair” to refer to the heads of these units.

II. MERIT RANKINGS GUIDELINES AND PROCEDURES

  • Merit Ranking Procedures - University policy requires that deans' offices review and document all procedures regarding the determination of merit and later the allocation of the Annual Merit Increase pool. Proceedures will be reviewed annually, subject to Divisional Dean approval, and maintained in Arts and Science records.
  • Procedural Memoranda

    Procedural memoranda must be kept on file with FAS Faculty and Research Appointments. Where applicable, there should be one each, for tenured/tenure-track and full time continuing contract faculty, who were appointed for the evaluation period (the previous calendar year). The deadline for submission of the Faculty Merit Ranking Procedures memoranda via e-mail to fas.academic.hr@nyu.edu is January 30, 2017.

  • Tenured/Tenure-Track Faculty
  • - A description of how the Advisory Committee is to be formed (inclusive of names). The Chair may attend the Advisory Committee meeting in an ex-officio capacity.

    - A description of the evaluation process

    - A description of the method used to quantify merit (see below)

    Two standard methods are commonly used for quantifying merit:

    Method A: Faculty members are ranked into quintiles (i.e., equal fifths) based on specified criteria. This results in uniform percentage raises within each merit rank and fixed intervals between ranks.

    Method B: Faculty members are ranked by scoring performance using a fixed number of points for each criterion of merit using a scale of 100 points, (e.g., scholarship, 50 points; teaching, 35 points; service, 15 points). Method B allows for finer distinctions and may be better suited to smaller departments in which the number of faculty is insufficient to achieve reasonable distribution using broad rankings.

  • Full Time Continuing Contract Faculty (excluding all categories of Visitors)
  • - A description of how the Advisory Committee is to be formed (inclusive of names). The Chair may attend the Advisory Committee meeting in an ex-officio capacity.

    - A description of the evaluation process

    - A description of the method used to quantify merit (see below)

    Two standard methods are commonly used for quantifying merit; teaching must comprise at least 50% of the merit evaluation:

    Method A: Faculty members are ranked into quintiles (i.e., equal fifths) based on specified criteria. This results in uniform percentage raises within each merit rank and fixed intervals between ranks.

    Method B: Faculty members are ranked by scoring performance using a fixed number of points for each criterion of merit using a scale of 100 points, (e.g., teaching at least 50 points, scholarship xx points, service xx points). Method B allows for finer distinctions and may be better suited to smaller departments in which the number of faculty is insufficient to achieve reasonable distribution using broad rankings.

  • We recognize certain continuing contract faculty, as well as faculty fellows, may have responsibilities that do not necessarily conform to the recommended method. Should you encounter such a scenario please partner with FAS Faculty and Research Appointments and your Divisional Dean to establish a suitable evaluation method.
  • Important notes regarding merit ranking procedures
  • - Please note that units may choose to allocate up to one third (1/3) of the departmental pool as a cost of living allowance (COLA).

    - All faculty must be evaluated using the approved ranking methodology for their respective classification. Uniform ranks applied across any given group, such as DGS/DUS will not be accepted.

    - Jointly appointed faculty, inclusive of global sites, should be ranked by each department or program in which they hold an appointment. Departments and programs are asked to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of performance based on the same objective ranking scale applied to faculty fully appointed within a given unit. In the event of significant divergence between recommendations proposed by multiple departments or programs, chairs and directors will be invited to discuss the disparity with the Divisional Dean(s). The percentage of effort allocated to each unit is based on previously agreed upon splits.

    - Visiting faculty of all categories are typically not eligible for merit rankings. Should exceptional circumstances arise please include relevant details accompanying submission of the merit ranking procedural memoranda.

    - Please propose a method of evaluation for faculty hired mid-year. Note the option to assign the median departmental ranking to faculty in this category.

    - The Chair of the Advisory Committee must be a tenured faculty member.

    - Chairs are free to record their own independent judgment regarding rankings, should such judgment diverge from of the evaluation agreed upon by the Advisory Committee, the variance should be explicitly noted.

  • Deans Review/Approval of Faculty Merit Procedural Memorandas
  • The relevant Divisional Dean will review the “Faculty Merit Ranking Procedure” memoranda, discuss any issues regarding the review process with the Chair as necessary, and then issue a written approval of the department’s procedures signaling the merit ranking process to begin.

  • Submission of Faculty Merit Rankings
  • The Faculty Merit Ranking Roster/ Worksheet listing all full-time faculty will be available to the Chair via the ASIS system (or paper-based upon request) system and will be used to submit departmental merit rankings. Faculty merit rankings must be entered on the ASIS worksheet by no later than March 10, 2017. While submitting a Chair's memorandum is optional, Chairs may elect to do so in order to highlight special cases for the Deans. Memoranda should be sent to FAS Faculty and Research Appointments no later than March 10, 2017.

  • Verification of Rosters
  • The information in the ASIS roster should be immediately reviewed. If corrections are warranted, please alert FAS Faculty and Research Appointments by e-mailing fas.academic.hr@nyu.edu. Corrections will be made promptly and subsequent roster certification will be requested periodically throughout the merit ranking process.

  • Recording and submitting faculty merit data and merit rankings

    The department Chair or administrator will be prompted to send a letter instructing faculty to submit the Faculty Personnel Record Supplement and updated C.V.’s in January.

    A copy of the Calendar Year 2016 Faculty Personnel Record Supplements and/or updated C.V.’s must be uploaded in ASIS along with the Faculty Merit Ranking recommendations.

    The Chair should submit a memorandum when highlighting any significant cases or department priorities to the Divisional Dean.

  • Deans review/approval
  • The Divisional Dean will review the Faculty Merit Rankings to determine that both the unit’s procedures were followed and that all categories of faculty performance (teaching, research, and service) were considered in the review. If the Faculty Merit Rankings are accepted, the Divisional Dean will issue a memorandum approving the ranking.

  • Notifying faculty of merit rankings
  • Upon approval, each faculty member should be notified by the Chair in writing of their merit ranking with a copy to the Divisional Dean.

    The Chairs should meet with faculty members, particularly those at the assistant professor rank, to review the results of the department’s evaluations.

III. ANNUAL MERIT INCREASES

  • Annual Merit Increases

    Salary increases are funded by the Annual Merit Increase (AMI) pool which is a percentage of funds calculated based on the Arts and Science faculty salary budget and which are provided by the University. It is the practice of Arts and Science to divide the AMI pool into a Departmental Pool and a Dean’s Reserve. The majority of the AMI pool is apportioned to the Departmental Pool and is allocated based on submitted rankings; the remainder is used to respond to extraordinary salary needs such as cases of promotion and retention that cannot be adequately addressed within the Departmental Pool. Please note that rankings are the mechanism by which salaries should be derived and the need for other adjustments are therefore expected to be minimal.

    There is a good deal of flexibility in managing Departmental Pools. As noted above, a department must demonstrate that the overriding factor in allocating the Departmental Pool is merit, but within this framework departments have freedom in managing the funds. Each full-time faculty member should be evaluated on his or her activities during the previous calendar year based on the criteria listed in the departments merit ranking procedural memoranda.

    Annual merit increases require the approval of the President’s Office and involve a formal recommendation made by the Chair to the Divisional Dean and, in turn, a recommendation made by the Dean of the Faculty to the President’s Office.

  • Merit Conversions

    After the University announces the AMI pool, the rankings will be calculated and converted to percentages in ASIS for each faculty member according to the merit rankings and the department’s stated method of allocating the department pool. Faculty should not yet be notified of their recommended Departmental Pool allocation.

    As a general reminder, Chairs are the only party privileged to converted ranking data (salary details). This information is not to be shared with any other party – including the Advisory Committee as salary information is strictly confidential and should remain so.

    Allocations from the Dean’s Reserve will be added to allocations from the Departmental Pool to determine the Annual Merit Increase recommendation made to the President’s Office. The Annual Merit Increase will be recorded in the Faculty Salary Worksheet in ASIS and the Chair will have one final opportunity to review the information. At this time, the merit ranking details for the Chair will be omitted from the Worksheet and addressed separately by the relevant deans. Notification of the proposed Annual Merit Increase must remain confidential and should not be disseminated to faculty until the Dean of the Faculty notifies each faculty member in writing of their recommended Annual Merit Increase and their recommended new salary for the following year around or soon after August 1, 2016.

  • Appeals

    According to Arts and Science guidelines, faculty members are free to appeal their merit ranking to their Divisional Dean. They may only appeal their merit ranking on the claim that the department’s Advisory Committee did not fully weigh their achievements and contributions for the period under review. The appeal should include whatever information the faculty member deems necessary to support his or her case and should be accompanied by relevant supporting documentation.

    Faculty members may not use the appeals process to seek response to competitive salary offers, to seek a reconsideration of a prior salary commitment, to appeal salary levels, or for any other reason that is not based on the most recent merit ranking. All appeals submitted for any reason other than a reconsideration of the merit ranking will be returned.

  • Faculty will be given the opportunity to appeal their merit ranking to the Divisional Dean within five days subsequent to their receipt of the dean’s letter notifying them of their recommended Annual Merit Increase.

    For all appeals received, a notification letter will be sent by the Divisional Dean to the faculty member with a copy to the Chair to confirm receipt of the appeal.

    The Divisional Dean shall review the relevant materials, consult with the Chair and make independent inquiries as needed.

    If the Divisional Dean determines that the faculty member has been incorrectly evaluated, the Divisional Dean will consult with the Chair to address any adjustments to the merit ranking that may be warranted.

    Based on the adjustment of the merit ranking, FAS Fiscal Services will calculate what the Departmental Pool allocation would have been based on the revised merit ranking. An adjustment will be made to the faculty member’s recommended Annual Merit Increase and a revised notification letter will be sent by the Dean of the Faculty.

  • Annual Merit Increase Letters
  • At the conclusion of the merit ranking process, each faculty member will receive a salary notification letter from the Dean of FAS.


SAMPLE LETTERS

Sample Letter to Faculty Requesting Submission of Faculty Personnel Record Supplement
Sample Letter Informing Faculty of Merit Rankings


Updated on 08/12/2016