For over a decade, MSU-Bozeman has administered annual faculty salary increases using one or more of the raise categories defined below. In some years, the President's Executive Council has set percentages for different raise categories; in other years, colleges and departments have set their own allocation strategies. Thus, faculty salary raises may include one or more of the following components:
- Floor - A minimum salary for tenurable faculty by rank, regardless of discipline. Faculty hired into tenurable positions must receive a salary at least as high as the floor for the rank. If, when a faculty member is promoted, his or her salary falls below the floor for the new rank, a salary increase to that floor is made from central funds. Any other salary increases made from departmental funds are added to the new floor salary. See Faculty Salary Floors for current values.
- Merit - An increase based on a faculty member's annual performance evaluation. The department head prepares an annual review card summarizing the faculty member's overall performance using one of the following ratings:
- Market - An adjustment made to a base salary considered out of line with others in the department or far below the national average salary for a given rank and discipline. Oklahoma State University's annual Faculty Salary Survey of institutions belonging to the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges provides comparative salary information for faculty in most academic departments.
- COLA - A cost-of-living increase given to all faculty within a department or college regardless of performance.
- Special - An increase given under special circumstances such as promotion or in conjunction with retention and retirement agreements.
- Administrative/Grant - An administrative or grant-funded salary component which is not part of the base salary and therefore independent of floor, merit, market, and COLA increases.
EP - Extraordinary performance
EE - Exceeded expectations
ME - Met expectations
BE - Below expectations
UP - Unsatisfactory performance
Many departments use +/- to make finer distinctions within these summary ratings.
The Faculty Salary Review Committee, which is charged to review annual salary increase recommendations for conformity in the application of standards, has established the following procedural guidelines to administer the process:
Each department must establish an impartial system for awarding merit and market increases. The department head must submit an explanation of the allocation plan to the dean, who shall forward it to the Faculty Salary Review Committee with the salary increase recommendations.
Merit awards must be based on performance using criteria established by the department. The department head evaluates faculty performance for the previous calendar year and indicates the overall rating on an annual review card. After being signed by the faculty member, the department head, and the dean, this card is forwarded to the Provost's office.
Because annual performance ratings are also a consideration in faculty promotion and tenure decisions, they should reflect performance relative to the departmental expectations stated in promotion and tenure documents. Departments are encouraged to make salary adjustments at time of promotion to help prevent salary compression.
Merit increases can be awarded only to faculty who have received performance ratings, and increases must be consistent with ratings given for performance.
Faculty on extended leave should not be given performance ratings because their off-campus activities are typically not covered by college and department performance criteria. Such leaves may include sabbaticals, extended sick leave, extended leave under the Family Medical Leave Act, or extended leave without pay (LWOP).
Merit increases may be awarded as percentages, fixed dollar amounts, or some combination of the two. There must be discernible gaps between merit increases given to faculty at different levels of performance ratings; that is, all faculty who receive EE+ ratings must receive higher merit increases than those who receive EE ratings.
Faculty on sabbatical, extended sick leave, or extended leave under the Family Medical Leave Act shall receive the average raise given to tenurable faculty in the department.
Any faculty member taking extended leave without pay (LWOP) must negotiate an arrangement for salary increases with his or her department head as part of the leave agreement.
Market increases should be used to address salary disparities within a department, such as "inversion," where senior faculty are paid less than junior faculty, or "compression," where the salaries of junior faculty approach those of senior faculty. Department heads are encouraged to discuss market salaries with their faculty.
In cases where the salary of one faculty member far exceeds those of others in the department, negative market adjustments may be used to counteract the effect of a high percentage merit increase.
An administrative component is added to the base salary of a department head or unit coordinator as compensation for administrative duties and is removed from the base when the administrative position is vacated. Salary increases are applied only to the base salary, not to the total of base plus administrative component.
Deans must explain the rationale for any special increases to the Faculty Salary Review Committee.