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Faculty Salaries

Appendix C
Questionnaire Sent to 24 Departments and Colleges Regarding Salary Allocation Procedures



March 20, 1998

TO: Selected Chairs and Directors
FROM: Charles Hirschman
ad hoc Advisory Committee on Faculty Salaries

Mark McDermott
Faculty Senate

RE: Request for information on your department's procedure for the allocation of merit salary increases

The Provost, in consultation with the Faculty Senate, has set up a committee to review current University policy on faculty salaries and to advise him on what should be the UW approach to faculty salaries. Our task is not to plan strategies to pursue with regard to the state legislature, but to consider what should be the internal policy of the University.

As background to our work, we are assembling data on the salary levels and trends over the last decade relative to our peer institutions. We are also collecting information from a sampling of academic units on how merit is evaluated as part of the distribution of faculty salaries in their unit. At this time there is no comprehensive picture of how the process operates across the University.

Your academic unit has been selected as part of a limited sample, so a brief account of the merit review process used in your department (or school) to determine the distribution of faculty salaries is essential to our study. We very much appreciate your effort in helping us acquire reliable data available by no other means.

In your account, please describe the following:

  1. Who reviews whom? Is this done by all faculty superior in rank? Equal in rank? All faculty? Who evaluates the full professors? Is there a special departmental committee, or multiple committees? How are committee members selected?

  2. What data are collected during the review process (e.g., resumes, course syllabi, publications, teaching ratings, annual activity reports)? (If you have special annual report forms, please send a copy.)

  3. How do you weigh career merit relative to merit since the last review (e.g., data eyeballed and discussed, prior knowledge assumed, by algorithm)? Is one weighted more than the other?

  4. Is there a special departmental procedure or process that is used to rank individuals relative to each other? (Again, if there is a special form or written procedures, please send a copy.)

  5. How does the department weigh equity concerns relative to absolute merit?

  6. Do all faculty receive data on the current distribution of salary as part of the process? If so, is it for all ranks, equal and inferior ranks? Other?

  7. How much time is spent in the actual meeting(s) discussing each faculty member's record? What time is spent (assumed and best guess actual) before meetings?

  8. How are research faculty and non-ladder teaching faculty (e.g., lecturers) treated in the process?

Please include, if possible, any forms used and a flow-chart of the process.

We would also appreciate your evaluation of your departmental merit review process. What problems have you encountered? How might the process be improved?

Our committee is fully aware of the time costs of this request, and of the many burdens you already have put upon you. But this information is absolutely critical for the work of our committee, especially since we are asking for information from only a sample of units, and we know of no other source to obtain it. We hope that our final report will assist the University administration to provide better guidance for salary policies and perhaps use the data you supply to show the diversity of innovative approaches used by different departments at the University.

In order to allow the committee sufficient time to review the responses, please return your response no later than April 10, 1998. Please send your response to the ad hoc Advisory Committee on Faculty Salaries, c/o Faculty Senate Office, Box 351271.

Please feel free to add any general comments you might have on salary policy at the University as distinct from that in your department.

Faculty Salaries