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Merit Pay is Coming

October 2, 2017

We have a new board governing our university, which is much more business oriented. And with that orientation comes merit pay.

Each department (the chair) it seems will get to decide how merit pay is allocated, and our chair rightly wants to involve us in the process. Some are proposing we use rubrics to make things objective, but I am more inclined toward accepting subjectivity with checks and balances that put different constituencies and interests into power.

I am thinking a departmental committee consisting of four (maybe five or six ) members:

Department Chair 

One full professor

One assistant or associate professor 

One full time instructor 

These would form core, but I could imagine asking either the dean (or assistant dean) and/or asking a student representative (e.g., president of SPS) to be on the committee. 

Nominations are made to the committee and maybe some form that outlines rationale in some number of categories:

1. Contributions to (research) profile of department (e.g., grants, publications, prestige) –> this gets at what university cares about. 
2. Contributions to departmental infrastructure (curriculum, programs, etc) –> this gets at what makes our department run 

3. Contributions to students (mentoring, undergraduate research, excellence in teaching) –> this gets at who we serve 

Committee members would vote on each nominee (yes,no, abstain) and the number of votes each nominee receives contributes to a slice of merit pay slice. Those votes could be public or anonymous? Not sure.

Help me think through this? What’s the good and bad? What tweaks could be made? What other options would be better? 

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