Updated 1/9/2019

Annual Merit Evaluation

The annual merit evaluation of faculty is first conducted in the individual departments or programs by the chairs/directors and the appropriate departmental/program committees. Each regular (tenured/tenure-track) and full-time instructional faculty member is evaluated in each of the categories of teaching, research and service. An overall evaluation rating is also determined. The evaluation ratings are:

  • Far Exceeds Expectations
  • Exceeds Expectations
  • Meets Expectations
  • Below Expectations
  • Unsatisfactory

For tenured faculty, an overall rating of “below expectations” or “unsatisfactory” triggers a posttenure performance review and plan according to the University of Colorado requirements (see Procedures for Post Tenure Review).

Of course, the good work performed by faculty members in each area (teaching, research and service) is appreciated and important. Thus, starting with 2011 performance evaluations, engineering faculty rated “below expectations” or “unsatisfactory” in any category will be asked to develop an improvement plan in that category. If the improvement plan in not successful in the next two annual reviews, then an overall rating of “below expectations” or “unsatisfactory” may result, even if the faculty member’s performance in the other areas meets or exceeds expectations, especially in light of the expectation that tenure-line faculty members should have meritorious or excellent contributions in all areas.

For the purposes of annual merit evaluation, the efforts and accomplishments of tenure-track faculty are normally assessed according to a standard formula of 40% teaching, 40% research and 20% service. An exception is that a faculty member on leave, sabbatical or faculty fellowship primarily related to research for one semester in a calendar year is normally assigned weightings of 10% teaching, 80% research and 10% service for that semester, or 25% teaching, 60% research, and 15% service for the entire year when combined with a standard semester. Changes by not more than 15% in teaching or research, or 10% in service, may be negotiated with the Department Chair. Larger changes in weightings require a written or email request, with justification and approval by the Chair and the Dean. These larger changes are generally restricted to special administrative appointments such as Department Chair, Faculty Director, or Associate Dean, or to faculty with a short-term emphasis on teaching, research or service to meet a particular need or for career development. In all cases, proportionate adjustments in performance expectations will be made when a faculty member’s weightings for evaluation are different from the standard. Similarly, increased teaching loads may be provided for faculty members who have lower research activities or evaluations.

CEAS Guidelines on Expectations of Faculty for Annual Merit Review

Historically, the college-level review process has included a large number of quantitative metrics obtained from multiple sources. To streamline this process, and better communicate performance priorities, the Dean’s office will simplify its review of unit data beginning in the calendar year 2019 performance period. Modification of our present process is limited to post-reappointment faculty research and service evaluation. Pending the results of this change, the college will consider a similar streamlining of its review of unit-provided teaching performance for the calendar year 2020 performance period. Departments and Programs are free to consider modification of their annual faculty evaluation process, as appropriate.

Annual assessment of faculty performance in the areas of research, teaching and service is to be determined within each CEAS Department or Program (Unit) by an appointed evaluation committee. Each evaluation committee will assess individual faculty performance based on the values of that unit. Completion of the overall annual merit process includes a high-level review of the unit-provided ratings in research, teaching and service at the college level. The objective of the college review is to provide feedback to each Unit. The Departments and Programs remain ultimately responsible for determination of individual faculty ratings.

For the calendar year 2019 performance period and beyond, when on sabbatical, faculty will receive a “Meets” rating in the Teaching and Service areas, unless exceptional circumstances are specified in the sabbatical plan. While on sabbatical, Research will be evaluated per the Unit and College regular process.

Research:

The college will review annual faculty research performance in the following four unranked categories:

  1. Scholarship – number and impact factor of journal and number and selectivity of peer-reviewed conference publications. Number and impact of books written or edited. Number and impact of technology licenses, patents, and other forms of intellectual property.
  2. Ph.D. students graduated – the number of Ph.D. students graduated over a rolling three-year average.
  3. International recognition – top professional society research awards or honors. Significant government, academy or industry recognition for research.
  4. Research impact – evaluation of a 3-5 sentence paragraph provided by each faculty member that describes the significance and impact of their research contributions in the reporting period. Objective evidence of stated research impact must be provided or cited.

The time devoted to research will not be utilized in assessing the quality of performance. This analysis will be provided to the Dean by the Associate Dean for Research. The Dean will share the results of this analysis with the relevant Department Chair or Program Director.

Service:

The college will assess annual faculty service performance in the following four unranked categories:

  1. Service to the Department, College or University – the quality and impact of service performed by the faculty member in contributing to the research or teaching mission of the department/program, college or university.
  2. Service to the Profession – the quality and impact of service to the profession through participation in technical societies, journal operations, local, state or national policy contributions, and/or application of engineering principles to benefit global society. 
  3. International recognition – top professional society service awards or honors, significant government or industry recognition for service including fostering new partnerships for the university, building significant professional community networks and coalitions, and/or building a diverse community of engineering scholars for our nation or across the globe.
  4. Service impact – evaluation of a 3-5 sentence paragraph provided by each faculty member that describes the significance and impact of their service contributions in the reporting period. Objective evidence of stated service impact must be provided or cited.

The time required to complete the service will not be utilized in assessing quality of performance. This analysis will be provided to the Dean by the Associate Dean for Faculty Advancement. The Dean will share the results of this analysis with the relevant Department Chair or Program Director.

Annual Merit Increases

Each department and academic program is provided a raise pool by the Dean. The unit raise pool reflects the overall performance of the unit. The overall merit rating, which may be averaged over two or more years, is used by the department chair or program director to determine a general-merit salary increase for each faculty member in the unit.

Career Merit Equity Adjustments

The College performs an annual career-merit equity analysis across academic faculty in each unit as part of the annual raise process. This information is provided to the Department Chairs for their use in assigning raises. This analysis, performed by the Associate Dean for Faculty Advancement, compares the salary of each faculty member with others in the unit with similar career merit and experience.

Review by the Dean

Once the total raises have been determined, they are reviewed by the Dean to ensure overall integrity of the results. The raises are then reported to the Provost’s Office.

Salary Grievance Process

  1. A faculty member who wishes to file a salary equity grievance shall notify the supervisor (Department Chair or Program Director) in writing of his or her grievance and the basis for a claim of inequity. A valid grievance must satisfy the following criteria:
    • Grievances must be based on total salary, not annual raises.
    • The grievance must be based on a comparison between the salary of the grievant and the salaries of all other faculty members of comparable career merit and experience level in the same unit whose salaries are determined within the unit.
    • A grievant should compare his or her salary to the unit as a whole. A higher salary paid to one faculty member may not form the basis of a grievance, if the grievant is equitably paid in comparison to most other faculty members in the unit with comparable career merit and experience level. Nothing in this paragraph, however, should be interpreted as barring a grievance based on evidence of racial or gender bias within the unit.
    • A difference in salaries between two faculty members in the same unit may not, in and of itself, form the basis for a grievance, even if the two faculty members have been working in the unit for the same number of years.
    • The grievance may not be based on a comparison with faculty members in other units, unless other units are needed to provide a sufficient pool for comparison purposes and these other units are in fields similar to that of the faculty member as approved by the Dean.
  2. The Department Chair (or Program Director) will develop a response to the grievance. The response must be in writing and include an explanation of the decision on whether or not the grievance is justified and a recommendation to the Dean on a salary adjustment, if any.
  3. Should the faculty member not be satisfied with the response of the Department, a memo summarizing the prior steps and the rationale for continued disagreement should be submitted to the Dean. The Dean and the Associate Dean for Faculty Advancement will work together to develop a response. The response must be in writing and include an explanation of the decision on whether or not the grievance is justified and a recommendation for resolution.
  4. The Salary Equity Evaluation System process is applicable only to career-merit salary grievances, and grievances may not be made solely on an annual raise or merit evaluation (see the following section for appeals of annual evaluations).
  5. The College shall maintain a salary equity electronic file that includes a copy of the campus policy, a copy of the College’s procedures for determining salaries, a copy of the College’s salary grievance procedure, the most recent college regression analysis of career merit and experience level, and career merit information (average of five most recent annual merit ratings, and years since PhD degree) for each faculty member. Data in the file pertaining to 5 faculty in the same department or primary unit are to be made available for inspection to any faculty member in the College upon request.

Appeal of Annual Evaluation

The College of Engineering and Applied Science has a formal process to appeal an annual evaluation of “Below Expectations” or “Unsatisfactory”, as described below. If a faculty member receives an evaluation of “Meets Expectations”, or above, and yet feels his/her rating does not reflect the contributions made during the past year, then s/he should discuss it with the Chair/Director, who, in turn, will discuss it with the Dean, if an adjustment may be warranted. Any changes in an annual rating will be made in the college records but will not lead to a change in salary during that year’s raise cycle (unless the adjustment is made prior to the finalization of the college raise data).

Evaluations of “Below Expectations” or “Unsatisfactory” (either for the overall rating or for a single category) may be appealed by sending a request and justification to the Dean and the Department Chair or Program Director. In consultation with the Chair or Director, the Dean will appoint a faculty committee to review the appeal. Appeals must be submitted in writing by the first day of the following fall semester (one week before classes start). A further appeal to the Dean may be submitted with additional justification by the faculty member or by the Department Chair or Program Director within one week of the decision of the faculty review committee. All appeals should be resolved by October 15. A successful appeal, in which the evaluation is changed to “Meets Expectations”, or higher, will not provide for a salary adjustment or remove the requirement for an improvement plan.