Faculty Merit Rankings

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I. INTRODUCTION & PURPOSE

The purpose of the university-mandated annual Faculty Merit Ranking is to provide feedback to and evaluate how well the 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 & Science and involves a formal 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 & PROCEDURES

  • Merit Ranking Procedures - University policy requires that dean’s offices review and document all procedures regarding the determination of merit and later the allocation of the Annual Merit Increase pool. We therefore need to review and approve the procedures used on an annual basis and have these procedures on file.
  • Procedural Memos

    Procedural memos must be kept on file with FAS HR. Where applicable, there should be one each, for tenure track and non-tenure track faculty, who were appointed for the evaluation period (the previous calendar year). The deadline for submitting the Faculty Merit Ranking Procedures memorandum via e-mail to fas.hr@nyu.edu is February 25, 2015.

  • Tenure-track Faculty
  • - a description of how the advisory committee is to be formed (with a list 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 that 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 any reasonable distribution using broad rankings.

  • Non tenure-track Faculty (excluding all categories of Visitors)
  • - a description of how the advisory committee is to be formed (with a list 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 that are commonly used for quantifying merit; teaching must equate to 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 any reasonable distribution using broad rankings.

  • Contract and other special faculty merit scenarios
  • We recognize that some contract faculty and faculty fellows may have positions that do not necessarily fit into the recommended methods above (i.e. heavily programmatic duties for a contract faculty). When you encounter such a scenario, please work with FAS HR and your Divisional Dean to implement an evaluation method that captures the duties of the particular faculty position.

  • 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).

    - Merit procedures may not include assigning across the board ranks to any one group (chair, DGS, DUS, etc.)

    - If you have a mid-year hire, you should propose an evaluation procedure, while recognizing that many units elect to assign the average raise 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 judgments regarding rankings, but when their judgments diverge from those of the Advisory Committee, this should be explicitly noted.

    - In the case of joint appointments, each unit is obligated to make its own comprehensive judgment of performance using the same objective ranking scale as that used for members who are fully appointed within a department. If there is a substantial divergence between the units’ recommendations, the chair will be invited to discuss the differences with the divisional dean.

  • Deans Review/Approval of Faculty Merit Procedural Memos
  • The relevant divisional dean will review the “Faculty Merit Ranking Procedure” memo, discuss any issues regarding the review process with the chair as necessary, and then issue a written approval of the department’s procedures triggering the merit ranking process to begin.

  • Submitting Faculty Merit Rankings
  • The Faculty Merit Ranking Roster/ Worksheet listing all of the continuing full-time members will be available to the chair via the ASIS (or paper-based upon request) system and will be used to submit your merit rankings. Faculty merit rankings must be entered on the ASIS worksheet by no later than March 20, 2015. While submitting a Chairs’ memo is optional, chairs may elect to do so in order to highlight special cases for the Deans. Memos should be sent to FAS HR no later than March 20, 2015.

  • Verification of Rosters
  • The information in the ASIS roster should be immediately reviewed. If corrections are warranted, you should alert FAS HR by e-mailing fas.hr@nyu.edu and corrections will be made promptly.

    Faculty with joint appointments (including global sites) will be listed on the Faculty Merit Ranking Worksheet of each unit in which they hold an appointment. The percentage of effort allocated to each unit is based on previously agreed upon splits.

    Please note that visiting faculty are not typically eligible for AMIs. If you feel there is an extraordinary circumstance, you should note it when you submit your procedural memo.

  • 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 2014 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 memo 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 about their merit ranking with a copy to the divisional dean.

    The chairs should also meet with faculty members, especially assistant professors, to review the results of the department’s evaluations.

III. ANNUAL MERIT INCREASES

  • Annual Merit Increases

    Salary increases are funded out of the Annual Merit Increase (AMI) pool which is a percentage of funds calculated based on the Arts & Science faculty salary budget and are provided by the university. It is the practice of Arts & 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 continuing 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 memo.

    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 pools, the rankings will be calculated and converted to percentages for each faculty member in ASIS 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 personal/ 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 being 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 point, the chair will be omitted from the Worksheet and handled separately by the relevant deans. Faculty should still not be notified of their recommended Annual Merit Increase.

    The Dean of the Faculty will notify each faculty member in writing of their recommended Annual Merit Increase and their recommended new salary level for the following year.

  • Appeals

    According to Arts & Science guidelines, faculty members are free to appeal their merit ranking to the 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 feel necessary to support his or her case and should be accompanied by any documentation that is relevant.

    Faculty members may not use the appeals process to seek response to competitive salary offers, to seek 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 read the relevant materials, consult with the chair and make independent inquiries as needed.

    If the divisional dean deems that the faculty member has been incorrectly judged, the divisional dean will consult with the chair to determine what adjustment to the merit ranking is 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 02/18/2015