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Faculty Evaluation and Merit Salary Matters in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences


The following guidelines serve as the official College statement on matters related to the annual performance evaluation of faculty members and issues relating to merit salary matters.

Applies to: 

Faculty within the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Policy Statement: 


Each academic unit has an approved Faculty Evaluation Plan that articulates fulfilling academic responsibilities in the areas of teaching/advising, research, and service; the system for the annual evaluation of its faculty;  faculty development when appropriate;  and due process information in the event any disagreement should arise in the course of the evaluation.

Each faculty member will  be evaluated annually in the early spring by his/her unit using criteria and methods in accordance with the approved unit’s Faculty Evaluation Plan. The unit’s plan sets forth the expectations for the evaluation of scholarship, teaching/advising, and service appropriate to the unit. The unit may utilize the advice, services, and counsel of a chair/director/faculty committee for this purpose. The annual evaluation shall be provided to the faculty member in writing; the faculty member and chair shall discuss the evaluation. The process calls for inviting faculty members to submit a portfolio of relevant information, including curriculum vitas produced through the Professional Records Online (PRO) system, for the purposes of evaluation.

  1. In accordance with the unit's approved Faculty Evaluation Plan, each faculty member shall be asked, by a publicized date, to make available to the chair (or appropriate departmental committee) information on research, teaching/advising, and service activities during the previous calendar year. The minimal normal period of evaluation is the previous calendar year (i.e., from January 1st to December 31st), but units can take a longer and broader view to one's contributions. In many disciplines, research endeavors are slow to start and slow to finish, but the quality may be well worth the wait. This requires careful weighing of evidence on the part of a chair/director/departmental committee.
  1. There is clearly no perfect formula that might encapsulate the varying mixes of departmental needs for weighting research, teaching/advising, and service.  Over the years, however, the 40-40-20 criteria for respectively weighting research, teaching/advising, and service has gained pre-eminence for tenure-track faculty. For a tenured faculty member, it is recommended that the individual weighting criteria be reviewed periodically, in light of the needs of the tenured faculty member and the unit’s needs and aspirations.  Such review may uncover compelling, professional reasons for applying an alternative formula or redistribution of effort with some tenured faculty.  In the case in which the 40-40-20 formula does not reflect the responsibilities of a tenured faculty member, a unit should be encouraged to permit tenured faculty to adjust their allocation of effort to research, teaching/advising, and service in a manner that promotes the most effective utilization of their expertise and helps the faculty member, unit, and the College to achieve their overall missions.  Such adjustments should be reflected in merit salary recommendations and other appropriate recognitions but not affect the current criteria for promotion reviews.  Faculty whose allocation of effort does not reflect the traditional distribution should be informed specifically of the consequences of their allocation on future promotion reviews.
  1. Multiple sources of information must be used to evaluate teaching/advising. The portfolio shall include students' ratings of instruction and additional sources of appropriate information.  Units shall have appropriate procedures established for the student evaluation and peer evaluation of faculty teaching. Advising at all levels (e.g., freshman/sophomore, undergraduate majors, graduate students, etc.) shall be a component of the relevant data presented during the faculty evaluation process. 
  1. Multiple sources should also be used to evaluate the areas of scholarship and service.  The evaluation of faculty research and creative work should not place undue emphasis on quantity at the expense of quality. Multiple sources shall include such factors as the significance and impact, as well as quality, of the scholarship being evaluated.
  1. After the chair/director/departmental committee makes its annual evaluation of the faculty, the faculty member should be informed of the evaluation in writing and be given the opportunity to respond to the evaluation with the chair/director/relevant committee.  University guidelines require that the chairperson/director and the faculty member meet to discuss the information submitted and the resulting evaluation of performance.  All written evaluations and recommendations, as well as any written responses to the evaluation, shall be kept in the faculty member’s personnel file.  If the evaluation reveals that a faculty member's performance requires improvement in some area(s), the written evaluation shall be specific in describing the area(s) and ways for improving performance in each area with a documented performance improvement plan.
  1. The annual evaluation should also include a review of the assignment of differential allocation of effort (DAE) with any tenured faculty member to determine if any changes are needed and what changes are appropriate and practical. If a faculty member's performance requires improvement in any area of responsibility, the chairperson/director will explore with the faculty member reallocation of effort from the problem area(s) to area(s) where performance is more satisfactory, subject to the necessity for the unit to meet its research, teaching/advising, and service obligations and the need for all faculty members to contribute appropriately.  For temporary DAE agreements (one academic year or less), the DAE is ultimately approved by the chair of the unit.  For permanent DAE agreements (lasting one year or beyond), approval must also be sought from the appropriate contact associate dean in the College.  All Differential Allocation of Efforts are reported annually to the College Dean's Office.  For permanent DAEs, the supporting documentation is also provided to the Provost's Office.  Agreements for long-term DAEs must be reviewed every three years.  Changes in the distribution of effort will be documented in the faculty member's personnel file.

Joint Appointments and the Annual Faculty Performance Evaluation.

Each faculty member shall be evaluated annually by each unit in accordance with its approved procedures.  At least once a year, the administrators of the primary and secondary units will discuss with the faculty member his/her duties and responsibilities for the coming year, and, where applicable, what progress he/she has made toward tenure or promotion and any changes in the assignment of differential effort (if applicable).  The evaluation shall be provided to the faculty member in writing prior to its final adoption.

B.  merit salary matters:

The "Merit Only" PrincipleThe University makes an annual request to the Legislature for a salary increment for personnel that is justified on a "merit only" basis.  It is the obligation of the College and its units to adhere to the merit principle. Therefore, merit salary increments may not be justified as "cost-of-living increments" or simply made on the basis of time-in-rank or seniority.

Research, Teaching/Advising, and Service.  Merit allocations are awarded for the purpose of recognizing meritorious research, teaching/advising, and service.  It is important, both for legal and ethical reasons, that units' merit policies be mutually compatible and consistent with the policy guidelines of the University.  It is also important to remember that all of our faculty members are colleagues within the same College and deserve to be evaluated by comparable standards.

Process and Guidelines.  Units should view the annual faculty evaluation process as a comprehensive process yielding multiple outcomes; one such outcome is data for merit salary determinations.  If merit salary funding is available, and after units have conducted their annual evaluation of faculty in accordance with an established Faculty Evaluation Plan, the College will then request unit merit recommendations according to a fixed timetable.  These recommendations are normally due in the College Office in late April/early May of the academic year.

Recommending merit salaries to the Dean is the responsibility of the unit chairperson/director who shall conform to the appropriate unit procedures and criteria for these recommendations.  Furthermore, each unit shall conform to the following guidelines in making salary recommendations to the College Office:

  1. Prior to the final determination of the merit budget for the College and its units - a process by which determinations of these recommendations are based on data from the annual Faculty Evaluation Plan process – faculty are to be evaluated annually on their performance in the areas of research, teaching/advising, and service responsibilities based on the specific procedures of each unit. 
  1. Merit salary procedures and criteria for each unit shall be made known to each faculty member.  Such procedures shall be posted to the University’s Policy Library . These procedures and criteria shall be endorsed by the unit and followed by the unit chairperson/director.
  1. The chairperson/director/departmental committee is expected to make discriminating judgments based upon performance  reflecting the range of merit within the unit.
  1. Merit recommendations are made by the unit and are transmitted to the Dean with the endorsement of the unit chairperson/director.  When the Dean believes that an individual’s salary is not commensurate with his/her performance in a given year, it is the responsibility of the Dean to review the salary with the chairperson/director before transmitting his/her recommendations to the Provost.
  1. The Dean, upon receipt of an allocation from the Provost, will set aside a portion of that increment to be used for special purposes such as (1) applying faculty promotion bonuses, (2) addressing inequity and salary compression issues, and (3) responding to market equity cases.
  1. Once the Provost authorizes the release of merit salary information, faculty members should be informed in writing of their merit increment in dollars and percentages.

Promotion Merit IncrementThe College provides a "step level increment" for each promotion in the College.  In the case of appointments split between the College and some other unit, the College's contribution will be proportional to the appointment split. 

Salaries for Faculty on Joint AppointmentsThe annual evaluation process will be the basis for merit salary determinations. A faculty member on a joint appointment may carry a salary that is not divided equally among the involved units.


Associate Dean
Assistant Dean for Faculty and Staff Affairs
College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Dean's Office
200 Strong Hall, Lawrence, KS  66045


Approved by: 
Dean Joseph Steinmetz
Approved on: 
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Effective on: 
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)
Annual evaluation, merit salary, faculty evaluation
Change History: 

06/22/2017: Updated contact information

09/28/2015: Language added to "Multiple sources" section to include significance and impact. Language added to "DAE" to address temporary agreements.

11/01/2008: Approved by the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

School/College Policy Categories: 
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