October 18, 2017
This message is intended to answer questions and provide clarity on processes for the FY 2018 faculty merit increase cycle. We recognize that some schools and colleges used different interpretations of the CBA merit review language last year. In an effort to treat all faculty fairly, it is essential that the university’s guidelines and standard interpretations are used this time.
The administrative guidelines for faculty merit review state that the following faculty members are eligible for merit increases: (1) Tenure-related faculty members, career non-tenure-track faculty members (NTTF), and faculty members participating in the part-time tenure reduction program (TRP), and (2) UO appointment as of December 31, 2017, and (3) performance meets or exceeds expectations.
Questions have been asked about faculty whose appointments began after September 15 and before November 1. For this current round of merit raises these faculty members MUST receive a merit evaluation.
The evaluation may (in most cases will) result in a determination that they have not met or exceeded expectations because there is no evidence of their doing so. For example, if a faculty member has received no teaching evaluations since September 16 or published any work, then there would be no evidence of meeting or exceeding expectations.
Since career NTTF receive annual contracts, beginning September 16, they are also eligible for merit increases in every case, even if their FTE for fall term is zero. As stated above, they should be reviewed based on their work performed over the period of time specified in the unit's merit policies.
Faculty beginning their appointments on November 1 or later are not reviewed, but merit raises may be requested using the exception process described on the HR website.
Merit Review Period
The university guidance states “The faculty review assessment period will be in accordance with unit merit raise policies, and will extend at least to the last merit raise, which occurred effective January 1, 2017.” As a result, if the last review occurred in October 2016 and the unit policy states the review period is the 12 months since the last review was conducted, then all work done between October 2016 – October 2017 can be considered. Work accomplished in November and December 2017 will be considered in the next review period.
Since the guidelines do not address the topic of new faculty who received credit toward tenure and/or promotion, use the following interpretation for the present round of raises: if a faculty member was granted time toward their promotion and/or tenure review when they began, then work accomplished during that period (back to January 1, 2017) should be included in the merit review.
Two pools will be established at the unit level and distributed between the tenure-track and career NTTF in that unit. This is true even if the respective pool is very small. For example, even if there is only one faculty member in the pool. If you have questions about the pooling process, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If schools and colleges have suggestions for revisions of the policies for next year, please let me know. Also, please let me or Missy Matella (email@example.com), interim director of employee labor relations, know if you have any questions.
We recognize that the CBA is not clear regarding this process and we are actively working with the union to reach an agreement regarding an interpretation that works for everyone involved. For that reason, the above should not be construed as an agreement by the university that the CBA should be interpreted in a certain way, but rather as the university's guidance for how the merit raises are to be applied in this current year.
Scott L. Pratt
Professor of Philosophy
Executive Vice Provost for Academic Affairs