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Faculty Staff & Administration:

Faculty Salary Committee Guidelines

Faculty Salary Committee March 8, 2006

“Guidance for the Criteria and Process of Salary Increases” to be followed by the Faculty Salary Committee in making its year-end recommendations to the Dean

Statement of General Principles

The Faculty Salary Committee has a mission, which it takes with the utmost seriousness, to provide the dean with recommendations that will assist in distributing funds allocated to salary increases in order to maintain an atmosphere of collegial respect and cooperation on a campus with a small family atmosphere. The basic principle actuating committee members is to make recommendations founded in a spirit of fairness and openness so that excellence is fully rewarded with salary increases.

Part A. Criteria

  1. All tenure-line faculty, regardless of hire date or status, are eligible for salary adjustments and are encouraged to respond to the dean's call for annual reports, which provide the committee with the basic tools of their deliberations. The committee strongly encourages applicants to present a summary of their accomplishments in the year under review in the areas of research, teaching and service, using those three headings and in that order, as concisely as possible on one or two sheets separate from the main body of the cumulative c.v. or serial annual report. Highlighting the new material in the body of the full c.v. or annual report is not objectionable, but the separate summary is urgently requested by the dean and the committee. The report must be received by the committee by May 1 for the candidate to be considered for a salary adjustment.
     
  2. Merit is the primary determinant for pay decisions, and the only proper consideration of the Faculty Salary Committee. Other, market-related considerations are the purview of the dean in making final decisions about the distribution of salary awards. The committee's recommendations concerning those candidates who have demonstrated exemplary performance will be taken into account by the dean in regard to twenty-five percent of the total salary adjustment pool. The remainder of the pool will be dedicated to annual merit adjustments for all faculty members.
     
  3. The standard period of evaluation of the applicant will be the calendar year. That is, the evaluations carried out in May will weigh the applicant's accomplishments of the previous January to December period.
     
  4. The standard expectation in rewarding merit should be consistent with the existing mission of the regional campus, based on the formula: 40 percent research, 40 percent teaching, and 20 percent service. The dean obviously will have the right to use discretion to compensate a given applicant by a somewhat different formula if special merit in any one of these categories deserves stronger weighting in a given year.
     
  5. Research presents the most difficult problem for the committee because weighing the true value of research across the various disciplines is daunting. In most cases, for example, a book of any kind would seem to command more value (i.e., represent a greater investment of time and effort) than an article. But in one discipline an article may very well demonstrate more time and effort than a book in another discipline. Even within a given discipline, one book may require substantially less input than another or even less than an article in a major peer-reviewed journal. This criterion for judging merit is precisely the one that presents the committee with its greatest challenge and opportunity to assist the dean, by making the finest distinctions possible, without invidious comparisons, between the various results of research submitted by applicants for salary adjustments. In ordinary circumstances, this is done in open discussion at the committee's meetings, after members have read the files and the published research results, based on considerations of:
     
    1. scholarly endeavor, and so on), and
    2. the overall character of achievement in this category and others.

     

    Finally, a given publication "counts" in the committee's evaluation process only for the calendar year in which it appears. The committee will take into account the multi-year research required for most books and some articles, but a given book or article should be listed only in the year of its publication. The committee does not merely count absolute numbers of publications.
     

  6. Teaching is more straightforward, since we all are expected to teach approximately the same number of classes, allowing for special leave, which should not affect the committee’s evaluation of an applicant’s teaching record. Nonetheless, there are problems of interpretation. For example, student evaluations are notoriously difficult to weigh. Improvements in SEI’s over the course of a year will be taken into account by the committee.

    The Faculty Salary Committee is open to evaluating multiple aspects of teaching, in addition to student evaluations. These aspects can include, but are not limited to:
     
    • Working with students to apply teaching to community service projects;
    • Introducing a new course to the course catalog;
    • Introducing a new course to the Lima campus that is already in the OSU bulletin, or developing an honors option for an existing course on the Lima campus;
    • Making substantial changes to an existing course on the Lima campus, i.e. changing pedagogy and/or content.
    • Attending workshops or programs to improve teaching.
       
  7. Service The committee will consider participation on university-level committees, local campus committees, professional service committees, and all community services during the year under review.

B. Process

Committee members should study the applicants' files in detail before their deliberations and make rankings of all applicants according to the 40-40-20 formula, that is, separate rankings of the applicants within each category (research, teaching, and service). Then the committee should meet and decide how to deliberate. A favorite method in years past is for each member to present and defend his or her rankings, followed by open discussions concerning any differences of opinion. This method usually leads to some degree of consensus on most rankings early on. More difficult decisions between closely-ranked individuals can require extensive discussion, and this is where the applicant's very specific descriptions of innovation in research, teaching, or service play a role.

The committee will then speak as one voice in its report to the dean, ranking the applicants in alphabetical order within quartiles. Appeals to the dean's final decision shall be made by the applicant directly to the dean.

The procedure outlined above for Part B ("Process") is a general guideline. The committee in any given year may decide to proceed differently, depending on the tastes of the committee members, to carry out the mandate outlined in Part A. However, efforts to arrive at a more precise method of ranking have failed in the past. Specifically, ingenious point systems have foundered on disparate interpretations, and the committee has decided that it must maintain flexibility in its deliberations to achieve the greatest degree of fairness.
 

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