Greater Than Norma Merit Increases and Accelerations

October 08, 2009

By David S. Kliger, Campus Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor 

Dear Colleagues:

In June of 2008, a joint Senate-Administration Task Force was convened to study faculty salaries on the Santa Cruz campus. The task force made several recommendations, including a recommendation to examine how monetary compensation is adjusted through the personnel review process. After consultation with the Committee on Academic Personnel and the Deans, a revised campus salary practice was implemented in 2008-09. This practice allows not only for normal advancement and accelerated advancement (acceleration) but also recognizes two types of greater-than-normal salary increases. The revised practice was discussed with Department Chairs and Deans at the annual Department Chair Workshop held in June 2009. As you work to prepare recommendations for this year’s ladder-rank actions, I write to remind you of this practice.

The campuses longstanding practice is that academic advancement is based on the record of accomplishments in teaching, research and service, as presented in the review file. A faculty member is awarded a merit increase(advancement of 1 step) when the review file demonstrates excellence in all three areas, meaning that in each of the areas, performance is significantly beyond expectations. In addition, greater-than-normal advancement was an increase in off-scale equivalent to a half-step. In an attempt to recognize and reward academic performance more accurately, the following practices were put into place in 2008-09 and will remain in place through the 2010-11 review year.

Greater-than-normal files that are closer to a normal action are considered for a one-step advancement, plus an additional off-scale component equivalent to a half-step.

Files that are closer to a step acceleration, but which do not quite demonstrate the outstanding accomplishments across all three areas required for an acceleration, will be considered for a one-step advancement, plus an additional off-scale component equivalent to $100 less than the next step.

For advancement to steps below Professor, Step 6, accelerations of one step (two-step advancement) will be considered for an additional off-scale component, typically equivalent to a half-step.

Off-scale salary limits for each Rank and Step will be taken into consideration when implementing this revised salary practice. This is particularly relevant at Professor, Steps 1 to 5, where campus policy limits total salary to $100 less than Professor, Step 6, and at Professor, Steps 6 to 9, where the salary is limited to $100 less than the published salary for Step 9 plus 8.5% barring highly unusual circumstances.

As you prepare this year’s review files and your recommendations, please keep in mind the above criteria and the need for your recommendations to be supported by the evidence presented in the file.


David S. Kliger
Campus Provost and
Executive Vice Chancellor