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Merit Process

Merit Process (Excerpt from Board of Governors Policy 26 – Salary Policy)

2.1  Each year, or from time to time as deemed appropriate, the President shall present to the Board a plan for the distribution of general salary increases to employees of the University. This plan shall address increases for all employees other than the President.

2.2  The general salary increase plan shall be developed after state-wide salary mandates have been accounted for. Statewide salary mandates shall include salary increases for faculty promoted in rank and required incremental funding of the classified employee ‘entry rate’, if applicable.

2.3  After the cost of state-wide salary mandates has been separately accounted for, the President’s general salary increase plan shall be submitted to the Board for approval.

2.3.1    The plan shall reflect separately the total projected costs of aggregate salary increases for faculty, for non-classified employees, and for classified employees.

2.3.1 The plan shall reflect the aggregate percentage increase in salary to be paid to faculty, non-classified, and classified employees.

2.3.2  The percentage of aggregate increase in salary for each of the three groups of employees shall be comparable, but not necessarily equivalent; provided, that the President may present in the plan a proposal for non-comparable percentage increases among the three groups, for good cause shown.

2.4  The Board shall act, in response to the plan submitted, to establish the aggregate dollars to be allocated each year for general salary increases for each of the three groups of employees. The aggregate increase in dollars shall be distributed in accordance with Sections 3, 4 and 5 of this Policy.

2.5  Temporary salary enhancements which were distributed in fall 2010 shall not expire on June 30, 2011. For classified and non-classified staff, the enhancements shall be in all respects a part of base salary.  For faculty, the enhancements shall expire on September 30, 2011 and effective October 1, 2011 faculty salaries shall be adjusted as provided in Section 2.6.

2.6  Effective only for October 1, 2011 salary increases, after the salary increase pool for the three categories of employees are established, the University shall integrate the faculty salary increases amounts that were distributed to faculty in October 2010 into the fall 2011 faculty salary pool, and the faculty salary increases shall be calculated from the September 30, 2010 salaries.


The total dollars for this increase in aggregate faculty salaries shall be distributed among full-time faculty as follows:

3.1       The Distribution of Faculty New Pay Monies Each Fiscal Year

3.1.1    Salary Inequities Distributions: The Provost/VPAA shall distribute ten (10) per cent of the faculty salary increase pool at the discretion of the Provost/VPAA to address salary compression, market and experiential disparities.

3.1.2    Cost of Living Allocations:  Of the remaining 90% of the salary increase pool after Section 3.1.1 is implemented, forty (40) per cent of the remaining amount shall be distributed among all returning full-time faculty, in equal amounts per person.

3.1.3    Merit Pay Allocations:  Of the remaining 90% of the salary increase pool after Section 3.1.1 is implemented, sixty (60) per cent of the remaining amount shall be distributed on the basis of merit pay.

3.1.3A The Merit Evaluation Committee.

  1. The merit evaluation committee will consist of 14 [13, as no coach is eligible] members.
  2. Three faculty members will be elected by their respective Colleges/departments/schools, [plus 1 coach] and 1 librarian elected [by the athletics department] and the library faculty. [The coach and the] librarian will consult with each merit subcommittee as to how candidates in their departments fit into the merit award categories.

iii.        New committee members will be elected before February 1st.

  1. The Merit Evaluation Committee members serve a three-year term and are not eligible for Merit Evaluation committee membership for one year following that term. The terms are staggered.
  2. Not later than February 15, the Merit Evaluation Committee will be convened for an initial meeting for the election of a Chair and Vice Chair. A candidate for the Vice Chair must have a minimum of one additional year, beyond the current year, remaining in the term.  The initial meeting is convened by the former Chair, if still a committee member; otherwise, by the former Vice Chair.  If both the former Chair and Vice Chair have left university employment or are otherwise unable to convene the meeting, the initial meeting shall be convened by the joint direction of the Provost/VPAA and the President of the Faculty Senate.

3.1.3B  Description of Merit Awards.

  1. There will be three separate areas in which merit pay will be awarded, instructional performance, professional/institutional service, and professional development. The [14]13-member committee will break into three subcommittees to evaluate proposals in each of the aforementioned areas.  The librarian and the coach will consult on the application of any member of their departments/schools who applies for merit.
  2. An applicant will not qualify for merit in one area unless he/she is deemed to be meeting expectations in the other two areas. In the process of the evaluation, if a subcommittee does not find that an individual has exceeded expectations in the award area and has met expectations in the non-award areas, the committee, with at least 2/3 membership present, will review the application and make the final recommendation.

3.1.3C Application for Merit Awards.

  1. Applying for a merit award is voluntary.
  2. Any full-time faculty member including librarians and coaches can apply for merit.
  3. To apply for merit, each candidate must comply with the following to be eligible for merit evaluation:
    1. Submit a single-spaced letter of application, not to exceed one page.
    2. The letter of application must expressly designate the merit award area (one of three) for which he or she is applying in a memo-style header at the top of the page.
    3. Within the one-page limitation, the application letter may describe why the applicant deserves merit.
    4. A full and true copy of the annual report must be submitted to the applicant’s College Dean. The annual report is the substantive basis for making the merit evaluation as to any applicant.  Therefore, applicants for merit pay should be very liberal in the quantity and quality of the information included in their annual report.
    5. Other than an exact copy of the annual report, as submitted to the Dean, the applicant may only submit the one-page application letter. These two documents constitute the entire application for merit pay.  No additional document of any type may be submitted to the merit Evaluation Committee beyond the annual report and the one-page application letter.
  4. Merit award applications will be submitted to the Merit Evaluation Committee by uploading it into Sakai, or any successor on-line learning system of the University, as directed by the Committee Chair, at the same time as the Annual Report as stated in the faculty handbook. The mandatory deadline for submission of merit applications is 4:30 p.m. on the date that Annual Reports are due. No amendment of an application may be made by an applicant after that deadline.
  5. The committee may ask for additional materials, including student evaluations, to support a merit application.
  6. A candidate must apply for merit, meet all deadlines, and supply any supporting materials requested by the committee in order to be awarded merit pay.

    3.1.3D Responsibilities of the Merit Evaluation Committee.

    1. The Merit Evaluation Committee shall be responsible for evaluating and determining merit awards for faculty who apply and are deemed to be meritorious in the specified area.
    2. The Merit Evaluation Committee may propose amendments to the merit process.

    3.1.3E Categories of items to be considered under each of the three separate categories of merit pay:

    Instructional performance, professional/institutional service, and professional development are critical parts of faculty life.  Meeting expectations in these areas is not the same as performing these tasks meritoriously.  Those with faculty status have many alternatives in fulfilling these requirements.  The following is a list of the types of items that should be considered by those for making merit decisions.  Candidates may include these areas in support of their merit proposal but should not limit themselves to these areas.

    1. Instructional Performance
      -student and other evaluations
      -course development and/or revision
      -course materials
      -assessment activities (course-related)
      -teaching strategies and techniques
      -supervision of individualized study
      -deemed to be meeting expectations in professional/institutional service
      -deemed to be meeting expectations in professional development
    2. Professional/Institutional Service
      -service to professional organizations
      -discipline-related community service
      -public service in support of the university mission
      -campus in-service presentations
      -program coordination/academic leadership
      -service to on campus committees
      -deemed to be meeting expectations in instructional/professional performance
      -deemed to be meeting expectations in professional development

    iii.        Professional Development
    -publications (peer reviewed)
    -juried art/music and other creative activities
    -grant activity
    -presentations at learned forums
    -attendance at workshops, seminars, and learned forums
    -consulting and contracted research
    -on-going research
    -academic awards and honors
    -deemed to be meeting expectations in professional/institutional service
    -deemed to be meeting expectations in instructional/professional performance

    3.1.3F Evaluation Procedures.

    For those applications which meet the mandatory eligibility requirements, the primary principle guiding the performance evaluation of faculty for merit awards will be the quality of work produced as well as the quantity.

    The following rubrics are meant to provide general guidelines, but do not provide all-inclusive descriptions of the three faculty performance areas. These descriptors should not be considered a checklist.  They are intended to guide faculty in general terms about performance expectations of the University.

    Instructional/Professional Performance Descriptors

    Exceeds Expectations

    Outstanding teaching ratings; very active in improving teaching effectiveness (such as submission of a teaching grant, workshop attendance, etc.); extensive contribution in curriculum review/revision; new course development, developing and teaching a web-based course, and being a guest lecturer in another class, creative intellectual engagement outside the classroom.

    Meets Expectations

    Competent teaching; achieves course objectives; active efforts to improve teaching effectiveness; appropriate design and delivery of course materials; appropriate course content; upgrades individual courses as necessary; makes positive contributions to curricular review/revision as necessary; maintains appropriate office hours (punctual and available), work in curriculum review/revision as necessary.

    Service Descriptors

    Exceeds Expectations

    Active state, regional, or national professional service related to the profession, significant university service, significant community service related to the profession, service award recipient.  Professional leadership in area of interest; strong community service related to the profession, or active participant in professional meetings.

    Meets Expectations

    Active contributor in University/College/department committee work.  Active in service to the profession and in the community.

    Professional Development Descriptors

    Exceeds Expectations

    Publications in refereed national/international journals; publication of invited review papers in peer reviewed journals; published book or monograph; recipient of faculty, regional or national research award; designation as a scholar lecturer at regional level or above in a professional organization, invited symposium speaker at a regional or national professional meeting, or invited research seminar speaker at another department or University.  State or National/international refereed publications and/or book chapter(s); award of external grant or active external grant.  Presentations at the national level.  A refereed publication plus or an award of an internal research grant, submission of an external research grant which was not awarded.

    Meets Expectations

    Presenting a workshop on campus, Creative activities (juried art, music and other creative endeavors or attending professional conferences).

    3.1.3G Awards.

    1. The Merit Evaluation Committee shall prepare a written evaluation of each application for merit pay which describes the specific meritorious accomplishments or deficiencies which prevent merit award and shall make a written recommendation of who will receive the merit awards.
    2. For applicants recommended unfavorably, the evaluation and recommendation against merit pay shall be copied to the applicant when sent to the Provost/VPAA.
    3. The entire files of the applications and the Committee’s evaluations and recommendations shall be forwarded to the Provost/VPAA within 40 days of the application deadline.  Applicants who are not recommended favorably by the committee may submit to the Provost/VPAA a one-page response to the committee recommendation within 10 days of receipt of the recommendation.
    4. Within 30 business days of receipt of the files, the Provost/VPAA shall forward his recommendations together with the entire Committee files to the President for a final decision.
    5. All merit award recipients, regardless of category, will receive the same dollar amount per award.
    6. In the event that there is no money in a given year for merit awards, the merit awards will roll over to the next year and they will split the money with the recipients from the next year.
    7. The merit awards will be made public.  A newsletter will be sent to all faculty members listing the award recipients in each category.
    8. All of the timelines set forth in this subsections.

    3.1.3G are guidelines; when special circumstances occur these guidelines may not be achievable.  These timeline guidelines do not extend any right to any applicant.   No applicant becomes entitled to merit pay by default, nor does any applicant have any right to compel action by any particular date, due to any failure of either the Committee or an administrator to meet a timeline provided for in this subsection.

    3.2       Salaries of faculty in phased retirement shall be set as provided for in the applicable policy.  The adjustment of faculty returning from leave of absence and exigent cases in the interest of retaining current faculty shall be at the discretion of the Shepherd President.

    3.3       The President may, by written designation, exempt up to five percent of all full-time faculty from the provisions of this policy.  The purpose of this provision is to allow for special cases, such as faculty funded by external soft-money, whose increases might sometimes be smaller, or none at all, based upon the external support.