BOT passes pay-for-performance plan; phases in implementation
The Board of Trustees unanimously passed a motion by Trustee Michelle Lucero to phase in the implementation of the faculty pay-for-performance (P4P) plan. The decision came at the board’s regular December meeting where a vote on the plan was expected.
In making the motion, Lucero said that she recognizes that the plan needs definitive criteria for the three merit-based levels (excellent, exceptional and extraordinary) so that faculty will know what they must accomplish in order to receive one of the three rankings, but at the same time she wants the initiative to move forward. Therefore she proposed that there be two phases:
Phase 1 calls for faculty to be evaluated beginning Jan. 1, 2008 on the new three-tier rating system of needs improvement, meets standards and exceeds standards, rather than on the current evaluation system of A, B, C, etc. Any increases in pay based on this new evaluation system will be base building. (Once P4P is implemented, the level of this annual evaluation will determine whether a faculty member is eligible to apply for a merit-based award.)
Phase 2 states that the criteria for the three levels of excellent, exceptional and extraordinary will be finalized by May 1, 2008. The finalized P4P plan will then be implemented Jan. 1, 2009, with the first payouts in the 2010-2011 academic year. Faculty attaining these levels will receive one-time, non-base building salary increments.
“I think the Board of Trustees has made significant progress while listening to the faculty on the importance of having standards in place before pay for performance is implemented,” said President Stephen Jordan. “They want to continue the process while, at the same time, reiterating that there is still work to be done.”
Trustee Mark Martinez praised Lucero’s motion, saying that it sets the pay-for-performance program in place, while also having a targeted date for the evaluation criteria to be finalized. Faculty Trustee Gene Saxe had asked that the board postpone voting on implementation of the plan until November 2008 so that they would be fully apprised of the criteria before voting. However, Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Linda Curran said that the board will be kept apprised of the criteria through reports made to the board’s Academic and Student Affairs Subcommittee and that all changes to the “Handbook for Professional Personnel” necessary for implementation of P4P will have to be approved by the board as well.
More about the “hybrid” option
The plan the trustees approved has a separate process for determining which level of ranking--excellent, exceptional or extraordinary--an eligible faculty member will receive. This different process was recommended by Curran during a P4P presentation prior to the vote. Citing the need for both the accountability that the Board has called for and the “local control” that faculty want in decisions affecting their ratings, Curran proposed what she called a “hybrid” option. The elements of that option, which the board approved, are:
- Chairs make recommendations for all levels of awards (excellent, exceptional, and extraordinary) to the deans.
- Deans meet, in consultation with the provost, to assure broad comparability across academic departments and schools for all levels of awards. Deans make the final decisions for Level I (excellent) awards.
- Deans forward their recommendations for Level II (exceptional) and Level III (extraordinary) awards to a College-wide P4P Committee.
- The College-Eide P4P Committee independently reviews the deans’ recommendations and forwards its own as well as the deans’ recommendations to the provost.
- The provost consults with the Faculty Senate Budget Committee before make the final award determinations and setting the award dollar amounts.
In making her presentation, Curran reiterated that the base-building increases from state appropriations are separate from the non-base-building P4P. These annual base-building awards, which have historically averaged between 3 and 3.5 percent, will continue independent of the P4P system.
For more information about P4P, contact Hal Nees, faculty senate president, 303-303-556-3160 or Cathy Lucas, assistant vice president of communications, 303-556-5131.