ASU faculty received a pay raise for the first time in six years based on performance as evaluated by several different sources within the University. The plan for incentive-based salary increases was implemented last March, and faculty were able to see the effects with the beginning of the July and August pay periods.
According to a slideshow that Thomas Schildgen, president of the University Senate, presented during the Academic Assembly fall meeting earlier this month, 79 percent of those eligible faculty and staff members received an average merit increase of 3.5 percent.
Associate vice president and chief human resources officer Kevin Salcido said in an email that the pay raise program was developed internally within the University.
“The most important part of the student educational experience comes from direct interactions between students and the top-notch scholars ASU has recruited for its faculty,” he said. “ASU works very hard to retain and reward those faculty members, recognizing that they form the foundation of quality for its academic programs.”
Salcido said the overall reaction to the pay raise has been positive.
“Almost 80 percent of the faculty received a raise,” he said.
Pay raises are distributed based on performance and vary according to a series of factors such as community service, ongoing research projects and student evaluations.
Rosemarie Dombrowski, who teaches English, said the evaluation process is designed to present a well-rounded review of a professor.
“It’s a very holistic way to approach it,” she said. “They look for how the students are responding to our methodology, as well as what we are doing for teacher development and service in the outside community.”
Dombrowski said that includes going over class syllabi in detail, as well as looking at how students describe their experiences with a teacher.
“It sends the message that we have to keep giving back to the ASU community, and to greater academia within our own professions,” she said.
The pay raise system was developed after the business model of large companies that reward their employees based on performance. Faculty evaluations continued for the time period that ASU didn’t give raises, but without a monetary backing.
The current plan comes after a 2008-09 furlough in which faculty and staff were required to take up to 12 unpaid days off.
University head archivist Rob Spindler said via email that the merit distribution is so recent that University Archives does not yet have enough relevant records of the pay raises.
“The most recent budget sheet would be so detailed that it would be a challenge to derive broad conclusions,” he said.
The current University evaluation policy incorporates guidelines pertaining to how faculty members should achieve academic goals and meet the objectives of each separate department.
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