Section 7.2


The faculty and administration of Bowling Green State University believe that the following principles must form the foundation for the periodic process of faculty review and the equitable distribution of faculty salary increments. The concept of a performance-based merit system for awarding faculty salary increments is endorsed, provided that such a system is fair, equitable, and firmly grounded on these principles. In this policy, "merit" is defined as a salary increment that is allotted for the performance of duties that meets or exceeds department or academic unit expectations. The rationale for this definition is provided by the following principles:

  • An effective merit system should promote faculty recruitment and retention; adequately reward conscientious performance of normal duties and responsibilities; and provide incentives that encourage distinguished, innovative, and creative achievements to meet unusual challenges and opportunities when they arise.
  • A salary system should be designed to promote internal equity (based upon salary comparisons within the University, college or department) as well as external equity (based upon salary comparisons among individuals from similar universities, colleges or departments). Internal salary equity promotes performance, whereas external salary equity promotes retention.
  • A performance-based merit system should be based on a collegial peer review process that places primary responsibility on the collegiate department or academic unit and that requires careful evaluation of performance utilizing the collective best judgment of faculty.
  • The merit system should engender the type, quantity, and quality of performance that contributes to the achievement of university, college, and department missions and goals. The merit system also needs to recognize that there are often multiple paths that may be taken in support of missions and goals.
  • The department or academic unit approved allocations of effort and evaluative criteria should be reflected in its merit review process. That process must ensure that faculty who have unit-approved individual variations of effort are reviewed and rewarded proportionately to their own approved percentage of effort distributions.
  • The merit system needs to establish a clear connection between faculty performance and reward. A department or academic unit must clearly identify the normal expectations and performance standards for teaching, research/creative activity, and service that are expected of all faculty in the department or unit. Through this process, the department/unit must identify indicators of performances that fall below standard expectations for merit as well as those types of achievements that surpass the standard expectations of the department/unit.
  • The process of performance review should provide faculty members with results and constructive feedback that enables them to develop professionally and to make improvements in their performance.
  • Whenever resources are limited, the merit system must respond to a more restricted set of institutional priorities in order to avoid trivializing the system by spreading too thinly, and thus minimizing, the impact of any merit awards given as incentives.
  • Even the best annual review systems may produce salary inequities or may fail to appropriately reward contributions or performances that occur over longer periods of time. Thus, an annual merit review system needs to be supplemented by periodic five-year comprehensive reviews on a rotating schedule.
  • A performance-based merit or salary reward system should foster cooperation rather than antagonism among faculty, should reward groups and teams as well as individuals for collaborative work performance(s), and should generate wide support and general satisfaction on the University campuses.

Bowling Green State University is committed to follow the foregoing ten principles, and hereby, adopts a performance-based merit reward system for its faculty as outlined by the policies and procedures listed below:

  • This merit policy shall neither be implemented retroactively nor in the middle of a calendar year. It shall be implemented at the beginning of the calendar year commencing on January 1, l998. In the meantime, faculty in each academic unit should determine the means of implementation in that unit. All faculty must be aware of the revisions in department standards and processes sufficiently in advance of implementation to understand the implications of those revisions and to adjust their performance accordingly.
  • Funds should be made available on a regular ongoing basis to support raises for promotions in rank, salary equity and market adjustments, and salary adjustments deemed appropriate following comprehensive five-year reviews of faculty performance and salary. These funds should not be considered a part of the annual merit pool for continuing faculty salary increments. The merit pool is the product of the total salaries of the continuing faculty times the percentage salary increase approved by the Board of Trustees.
  • All faculty should receive an annual performance review with informative written feedback provided to them in a timely manner. Faculty have a right to expect that their annual reviews accurately reflect their actual workload responsibilities, assigned duties, and percentage allocations of effort.
  • With the exception of external peer review, the same performance indicators described in the department policy for annual review, merit, contract renewal, promotion and tenure used in department tenure and promotion policies should be used for annual merit review, and they should be consistent with those criteria found in the Academic Charter (B-I.C and B-I.D). A faculty member's review should reflect the agreed upon allocation of that faculty member's efforts. External peer reviews of faculty should not be used for purposes of the annual merit review or contract renewal.
  • The annual merit review should be based upon the accomplishments over the most recent three-year period on a rolling basis, i.e., each year new information is added to the file for the most recent year, and information for the oldest year is eliminated from the file. This will help to reduce inequities that can result both from differences in the merit funds available each year and from fluctuations in performance that may occur from year to year.
  • Each department or academic unit shall receive the full amount available for merit as a percent of the total salaries of the continuing faculty in that department or unit. The faculty of a school or a college may decide, with the approval of its dean, to allocate merit on a school-wide or college-wide basis rather than on a department or academic unit basis if the faculty unanimously decide that such an approach would be more appropriate.
  • Continuing faculty members will be evaluated in their annual performance reviews at the department or academic unit level to determine their eligibility for merit. The department/unit shall recognize and reward levels of performance that meet or exceed its standard expectation. This recognition and reward shall be based on the policies of the department/unit and the Academic Charter criteria, with appropriate indicators, which establish standards of performance that determine whether the faculty member: (a) qualifies for merit by meeting or exceeding department/unit standards, or (b) does not qualify for a merit increase by meeting, as well as exceeding, department/unit standards; it is expected that very few faculty will fail to qualify for merit.
  • If the total merit pool for continuing faculty salary increments in a given year is three percent (3%) or less, all continuing faculty who qualify for merit by meeting or exceeding department/unit expectations in their annual performance reviews will receive the same percentage increase in salary.
  • If the total merit pool for continuing faculty salary increments in a given year is more than three percent (3%) but less than five percent (5%), it will be allocated according to the following guidelines.
    • Three percent (3%) of the total salaries of the continuing faculty shall be allocated as a three percent (3%) increase in salary to all faculty who meet department/unit expectations and thereby qualify for merit based on their annual performance reviews.
    • The remaining difference between the total merit pool and the three percent (3%) of the total salaries of the continuing faculty shall be allocated to departments and academic units for recognition of those faculty whose level of performance exceeds department or academic unit expectations as defined by the merit policy of the department or unit.
    • If the total merit pool in a given year is five percent (5%) or more, it will be allocated according to the following guidelines:
  • Sixty percent (60%) shall be allocated to departments and academic units to be used as an equal percentage increase in salary for all faculty in the department who meet department/unit expectations and thereby qualify for merit in their annual performance reviews.
  • Forty percent (40%) shall be allocated to departments and academic units for recognition and reward of those faculty whose level of performance exceeds department or academic unit expectations as defined by the department's/unit's merit policy.
    • Any faculty member who does not qualify for merit in their annual performance review should not receive a salary increase. A professional development fund equal to the uniform percentage raise that would have been allocated to that individual, had he/she been deemed to meet but not exceed department/unit expectations, shall be made available to him or her. This fund shall be used exclusively for professional development activities to improve his /her performance to a level which will meet or exceed the performance expectations of the department/unit (as defined by the merit policy of the department/unit), and thereby, qualify him/her for merit in subsequent performance evaluations and rewards for merit.
    • The foregoing principles and policies/procedures of the performance-based merit system for faculty at Bowling Green State University shall be reviewed in the fall of l999 and revised as appropriate. Thereafter, they shall be reviewed by the Faculty Senate and the appropriate Senate committees every three years.