I. INTRODUCTION AND PURPOSE
The purpose of the University-mandated Annual Merit Increase for Faculty is to provide feedback and evaluate how well tenured/tenure-track and full-time continuing contract faculty have carried out their academic responsibilities, including undergraduate and graduate teaching, research, and/or professional development, as well as service to the department and to the University. The review also forms the basis for determining annual salary increases.
The faculty annual merit increase process is managed within Arts and Science and involves an official submission by the Chair to the Divisional Dean.
The review 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 is welcome to serve on the Advisory Committee 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. GUIDELINES AND PROCEDURES
Annual Merit Increase Procedures
University policy requires that Deans' offices review and document all procedures and, later, the allocation of the Annual Merit Increase pools. Procedures will be reviewed annually, subject to Divisional Dean approval, and maintained in Arts and Science records.
Procedural memoranda must be kept on file with Arts & Science Academic Appointments. Where applicable, there must be separate procedures for tenured/tenure-track and full-time continuing contract faculty. The deadline for submission of Faculty Annual Merit Increase Procedural memoranda is February 5, 2024.
In the memorandum, please include a description of how the Advisory Committee is to be formed (inclusive of names of those selected). The Chair is welcome to serve on the Advisory Committee in an ex-officio capacity.
You must select from one of the two options that follow.
Method A: This simplified method is based on the determination of whether or not a faculty member is satisfactorily performing their duties in the realms of teaching, scholarship, and service. If that is the case (as we expect the vast majority to be), the faculty member will receive the announced AMI pool. Receiving this allocation is an indication that a faculty member is successfully performing all of their job responsibilities.
If there are extraordinary circumstances pertaining to performance, please reach out to your divisional dean.
Method B: Faculty members are ranked by scoring performance using a fixed number of points for each criterion 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. Note: If you wish to utilize a different ranking method, please reach out via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Full Time Continuing Contract Faculty (excluding all categories of Visitors)
The memorandum must include a description of how the Advisory Committee is to be formed (inclusive of names). The Chair is welcome to serve on the Advisory Committee in an ex officio capacity.
For Full-Time Continuing Contract Faculty, teaching must comprise a minimum of 60% of the total ranking weight. The balance can be distributed to increase the teaching allocation (up to 100%) or to include service and/or professional development. Please provide an explicit weighting and rationale for the criteria selected regardless of the desired method (A or B, respectively, below). Note that continuing contract faculty AMI review may not incorporate research activities.
Method A: This simplified method is based on the determination of whether or not a faculty member is satisfactorily performing their duties in the areas of teaching, service, and professional development (if indicated in the departmental procedures). If that is the case (as we expect the vast majority to be), the faculty member will receive the announced AMI pool. Receiving this allocation is an indication that a faculty member is successfully performing all of their job responsibilities.
If there are extraordinary circumstances pertaining to performance, please reach out to your divisional dean. Please see below for additional details related to extraordinary merit.
Method B: Faculty members are ranked by scoring performance using a fixed number of points for each criterion using a scale of 100 points (e.g., teaching 75 points; service, 25 points). Note that should you choose this method, once the rankings are approved by your divisional dean, the chair must inform each faculty member of their respective ranking as well as the average ranking with the department. Note: If you wish to utilize a different ranking method, please reach out via email to email@example.com
For both methods, Chairs are free to record their own independent judgment regarding performance. In the event such judgment diverges from the evaluation agreed upon by the Advisory Committee, the variance should be explicitly noted. All faculty must be evaluated using the approved methodology for their respective classification.
Important notes regarding ranking procedures
Please note that units may choose to allocate up to one-third (1/3) of the departmental pools as a cost of living allowance (COLA). In addition, we cannot approve equal fund distribution (where all faculty receive the same dollar amount).
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 those serving at global sites, should be reviewed 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 reviewing 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 not eligible for annual merit increase. Should exceptional circumstances arise, please reach out to your divisional dean.
Please propose a method of evaluation for faculty hired mid-year. Note the option to assign the median departmental review 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 reviews. In the event such judgment diverges from the evaluation agreed upon by the Advisory Committee, the variance should be explicitly noted.
Extraordinary Merit and Compression
Chairs may reach out to divisional deans to note faculty who have extraordinary accomplishments, such as election to a national academy or receiving the Distinguished Teaching Award, over the last calendar year. Note that this category is expected to be relatively small (approximately 10 across Arts & Science).
Should a chair believe there is a compression issue in a faculty salary, they should also reach out to their divisional dean.
Should additional funds be awarded, the allocation does not come from the AMI pool but rather from other limited resources with Arts & Science.
In either case, chairs should reach out to their respective divisional deans as soon as practicable but no later than May 15th. Note that chairs will be informed of the outcomes of their requests before the AMI letters are distributed.
Deans Review/Approval of Procedural Memoranda
The relevant Divisional Dean will review the “Faculty Annual Merit Increase 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 ranking process to begin.
Submission of Rankings
The Faculty Annual Merit Increase Reviewing Roster/Worksheet listing all full-time faculty will be available to the Chair via the OASIS system and will be used to submit departmental reviews. Faculty annual merit increase reviews must be entered in OASIS by March 29, 2024. Though submission of a Chair's memorandum is optional, Chairs may elect to do so in order to highlight special cases and/or department priorities for the Deans. Chairs' memoranda should be sent to Arts & Science Academic Appointments via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) by March 29, 2024.
Verification of Rosters
The information on the OASIS roster should be immediately reviewed. If corrections are warranted, please alert Arts & Science Academic Appointments by email (email@example.com). Corrections will be made promptly, and subsequent roster certification will be requested periodically throughout the process.
Recording and submitting faculty annual merit increase data and rankings
The department Chair will be prompted to send a letter or email instructing faculty to submit Personnel Record Supplement Forms and updated CVs in early spring.
A copy of Calendar Year 2023 Faculty Personnel Record Supplement Forms and updated CVs must be uploaded to OASIS along with the Faculty Annual Merit Increase review recommendations.
The Chair should submit a memorandum when highlighting any significant cases or department priorities to the Divisional Dean.
The Divisional Dean will review the Faculty Annual Merit Increase Reviews to determine that both the unit’s procedures were followed and that all categories of faculty performance (teaching, research, and service) were considered. If the reviews are accepted, the Divisional Dean will issue a memorandum of approval.
Notifying faculty of annual merit increase rankings
If Method B is utilized, upon approval, each faculty member should be notified by the Chair in writing of their ranking with a copy to the Divisional Dean. The Chairs should meet with individual faculty members, particularly those at the assistant professor rank, to review the results of the department’s evaluations.
III. ANNUAL MERIT INCREASES
Salary increases are funded by the Annual Merit Increase (AMI) pools, which are a percentage of funds calculated based on the Arts and Science faculty salary budget and provided by the University.
Annual merit increases require the approval of the Office of the Provost 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 Provost.
Following the University announcement regarding the AMI pools, the reviews will be calculated and converted to percentages in OASIS for each faculty member according to the reviews and the department’s stated method of allocating the department pools. Faculty should not yet be notified of their recommended Departmental Pool allocation.
As a general reminder, Chairs are the only party privileged to convert review 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 Provost's Office. The Annual Merit Increase will be recorded in the Faculty Salary Worksheet in OASIS, and the Chair will have one final opportunity to review the information. At this time, the review 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 in late summer.
According to Arts and Science guidelines, faculty members are free to appeal their review to their Divisional Dean. They may only appeal their review 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 their case and should be accompanied by relevant supporting documentation.
Faculty members may not use the appeals process to seek a 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 review. All appeals submitted for any reason other than reconsideration of the review will be returned.
Faculty will be given the opportunity to appeal their review to the Divisional Dean within five days subsequent to their receipt of the Chair’s letter notifying them of their recommended review.
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 review that may be warranted.
Based on the adjustment of the review, Arts & Science Fiscal Affairs will calculate what the departmental pool allocation would have been based on the revised ranking. An adjustment will be made to the faculty member’s recommended Annual Merit Increase, and a revised notification letter will be issued by the Dean of Arts and Science.
Annual Merit Increase Letters
At the conclusion of the process, each faculty member will receive a salary notification letter from the Dean of Arts & Science. The salary notification letter will be obtained through OASIS.
Sample Letter to Faculty Requesting Submission of Faculty Personnel Record Supplement Forms
Sample Letter Informing Faculty of Rankings