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Chair Merit Policy and Procedures


Merit Procedures for Department Chairs, Non-Departmental Program Directors
and Other Members of the COLS Administrative Staff

Adopted October 23, 2007

Department chairs, non-departmental Program Directors, associate deans, and several other members of the COLS administrative staff (Student Academic Affairs Officer, Director of CAPP, Director and Assistant Director of University Honors) will undergo an evaluation in January or early February every second year (in even numbered years), with the precise dates determined by the University's Academic/Administrative Calendar, for the purpose of allocating merit points that will be utilized in the determining their salary increases for the next two academic years. The evaluation will consider the accomplishments of the chairs, non-departmental program directors, and other COLS administrators during the two-year period ending on December 31, immediately preceding the year in which the review takes place.

The administrative performance of all chairs and non-departmental program directors will be evaluated in the Dean's Office, with that evaluation of these individuals' administrative performance comprising half of their merit review. Chairs may have choices, depending upon actions taken by their respective departments, with regard to whether the evaluation of their teaching, scholarship and professional growth, and service will take place in their Department or in the Dean's Office. A new chair, who is in his/her first year as chair, can be evaluated 100% in the home Department if he/she wishes, or can be evaluated in a manner similar to the other chairs. Chairs with one or more complete years of service must choose to be evaluated 100% in the Dean's Office, or 50% in their Department and 50% in the Dean's Office. Full-time members of the COLS administrative staff shall have their entire merit determined in the Dean's Office.

Administrative Performance Evaluation

Three general criteria will be used to evaluate the administrative activities of department chairs and non-departmental program directors: administration, leadership, and decision making. The following lists indicate expectations in those areas:


  • Anticipates, identifies, and deals with personnel, fiscal, organizational and programmatic issues faced by the department or non-departmental program.
  • Meets requests for data and reports on a timely and complete fashion.
  • Effectively manages budget and staffing resources.
  • Is responsive to the needs and concerns of colleagues.
  • Is responsive to the needs and concerns of students and the public.
  • Functions as a responsible member of the College administrative team.


  • Demonstrates the ability to lead effective programmatic planning for the department.
  • Is able to motivate colleagues to define and seek common goals and objectives.
  • Makes tough decisions and accepts the responsibility and accountability for them. Has the support of faculty and student constituencies of the department/program.
  • Encourages appropriate faculty, student and/or staff participation in decision-making.
  • Resolves problems at the department level.
  • Responds objectively to criticism and ideas of colleagues.
  • Helps promote departmental/program morale and cohesion.
  • Presents support for college programs within the context of university-wide goals and objectives.
  • Is an effective advocate for faculty and departmental needs.
  • Provides leadership for extramural funding for faculty and departmental objectives.

Decision Making

  • Anticipates need for decisions.
  • Makes difficult or unpopular decisions without evasiveness, when necessary.
  • Demonstrates good judgment and resourcefulness in making decisions.
  • Accepts the responsibility for the consequences of decisions.
  • Reflects his or her concern for academic excellence in personnel recommendations.
  • Promptly reviews and adjudicates complaints by students, faculty and staff.

In the merit document that chairs and program directors submit to the Dean's Office, chairs/program directors/other COLS administrators should list what they consider their major administrative accomplishments for the period of service (either the previous two years, or the period in which the individual has served as chair or program director, whichever is shorter). Chairs should note the "Dean's Evaluation of Chairs" section on pages 53 and 54 of the Chairs' Handbook (and listed above) that will form the basis for chair assessments in the area.

Teaching, Scholarship and Service Evaluation

The non-administrative performance of both chairs and program directors electing to be evaluated entirely within the Dean's Office Chairs merit pool and COLS administrators teaching at least one course per year will account for half of these persons's merit calculation. These chairs and COLS administrators will determine the relative weighting of teaching, scholarship, and service. Teaching can range from 20 25%; Scholarship from 15 20%; Service from 10 15%, with the total for these three categories equaling 50%. Program directors who have academic staff appointments may or may not be evaluated regarding scholarship, depending upon arrangements made at the time of the individual's hiring. Program directors with scholarly expectations will select weights similar to chairs, while academic staff program directors without scholarly expectations will weigh their Teaching from 25-40% and their Service from 10-25%, with the total to equal 50%. Chairs/program directors/other COLS administrators must notify the Dean's Office of the distribution of these weightings at the time they submit their merit materials. For full-time COLS administrators without teaching and scholarship expectations, service will count for 15% of their merit weighting, while administrative performance will count for the remaining 85%.

The merit document submitted by chairs and program directors, who have elected to have their entire merit determined in the Chairs Merit Pool, (as well as COLS administrators with teaching and scholarship expectations), should provide the following:

1. Teaching. List all courses taught. Provide copies of student evaluations and copies of comments, if available. Discuss any instructional innovations implemented or any new courses you have developed. (In keeping with UW System guidelines, individuals must have a minimum of three student opinion surveys conducted during each merit period, unless fewer class sections are taught. In that case, student opinion surveys must be provided for at least half the classes taught.)

2. Scholarship. List publications and professional presentations for the past two years. Indicate whether refereed. Provide a copy of the publication. (Publications should be claimed only after they have appeared and copies can be provided, even if this occurs in a merit period after the work was written.)

3. Service. List your Department, College, University, community, and professional service activities for the past two years.

Chairs and program directors should not forward bulky materials such as portfolios. They should provide copies of SOS scores, student comments, etc. If they have not already been provided, the Dean's Office should receive offprints of your publications. Generally, the merit report submitted by chairs, program directors, and other COLS administrators should not exceed two or three pages.

Merit Calculations

Each chair and program director whose entire merit is being determined in the Dean's Office (part of the Chairs Merit Pool) as well as full-time COLS administrators bring salary points equal to one percent of their salary into the Chairs Merit Pool. Chairs and program directors who are only being evaluated regarding their administrative performance, will bring salary points equal to one half percent of their salary into the Chairs Merit Pool, with an equal number of points being contributed to their Departmental Merit Pool, where the remainder of their merit evaluation will take place.

In each area that merit pool participants are evaluated, they will be rated on a scale between 1 and 5 (low to high), with an individual judged to have an average performance being rated a 3. The individual ratings will be weighted in accordance with the percentages requested and then summed to determine the aggregate merit score:

(Radmin)(.50)+(Rteach)(Wteach)+(Rscholar)(Wscholar)+(Rservice)(Wservice)= Merit Score

For individuals who are only being evaluated on their administrative performance (and thus who are being evaluated in their Department's merit pool for teaching, scholarhip, and service), their Radmin will equal their Merit Score.

The Merit Score of the chair, program director, or COLS administrator will be divided by the average Merit Score of all participants in the Chairs/Administrative Pool and then multiplied by the salary points that the participant brought into the pool to determine his or her merit recommendation. Given the finite nature of the total points available within the merit pool, the individual merit points may need to be adjusted by a multiplier (the total merit points available for distribution divided by the summation of each individual merit score multiplied by said individual's salary points) to avoid overallocating or underallocating the total merit points.

Solid Performer

Any chair/program director/COLS administrator who has an aggregate Merit Score of at least 1.50 will be considered a "solid performer." Those who are not solid performers are ineligible to receive any merit points. 

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by admin last modified Mar 04, 2010 02:12 PM