Merit and Salary Appeals

Merit and Salary Appeals


All units should have a process for assigning merit ratings and pay raises. Appeals on the basis of procedure ordinarily argue that the standard process was not followed or that it was misused.


The process of evaluation should include an analytic analysis of performance in the major areas. It should also make some allowance for an overall, "holistic" assessment by the chair and committee as well as the ratings of areas of performance. similar instruments).

Written Evaluations

Merit ratings and pay increase recommendations should be reasonably consistent with the rhetoric of the written annual evaluations, but no one-to-one equivalency is expected.

Career Equity

Often a dissatisfied faculty member feels that his or her total salary has fallen behind that of similar faculty in the unit. No simple formula such as years in rank can be by itself an argument for a career adjustment pay raise, since each faculty member is a special case. Nevertheless, inequities are generated by the different career paths of separate individuals, particularly when a period of significant contributions corresponded with a period of low merit pay raises. Faculty members who believe they have fallen behind in this way will strengthen their case if they document their career history as well as their accomplishments.

Informal Appeals

A faculty member can appeal informally to the Dean, who will then attempt to resolve the matter through consultation with the chair. However, the Dean will not usually become involved in the substance of the faculty member's evaluation unless the faculty member makes a formal appeal as described below.

Formal Appeals

Departments are best able to evaluate work in a discipline; therefore, if a faculty member wishes to appeal an evaluation or pay increase, a formal, written appeal should be made to the chair or director of the unit and to whatever unit faculty committee monitors the merit assessment and pay raise process (or to a Grievance Committee when appropriate). The chair and committee are expected to provide a written response to the appeal. If the difference is not resolved satisfactorily in the unit, the faculty member can appeal to the Dean in writing with copies of his/her appeal to the unit and its response.

Role of College Executive Committee

Whenever possible the Dean will work with the chair to resolve the appeal directly, but can bring the case to the Executive Committee for its recommendation. Both the Dean and the Executive Committee are reluctant to make an independent assessment of the quality of a faculty member's work within a discipline and will do so only when there is evidence of a marked departure from the ordinary range of difference of opinion about merit ratings. In those rare cases where an outside evaluation is desirable, they may choose to consult with an evaluator external to the department or to the university (in a manner similar to that used for tenure and promotion recommendations)

Further Appeals

Faculty members not satisfied by the decision of the Dean can appeal to the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (if they feel that the decision is inappropriate for academic reasons), to the Faculty Senate Grievance Committee (if they feel due process was not followed) or to Affirmative Action (if they believe they were the victim of discrimination).