PSLA Faculty Merit Critieria


Title PSLA Faculty Merit Criteria
Policy Owner Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture (PSLA)
Applies to All full-time faculty members in the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture
Unit Applicability College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources
Effective Date January 1, 2023
For More Information Contact Department Head
Contact Information Sydney Everhart,
Official Website/ Venue Link


Faculty Merit Criteria Policy

December 9, 2022

Institutional Philosophy: The University of Connecticut rewards excellence in faculty accomplishments in a variety of ways, including monetary awards as prescribed in the union-negotiated merit process (see articles 19 and 25 of the AAUP Collective Bargaining Agreement; These awards serve to encourage and reward excellence in faculty contributions and achievements, especially those that advance the university’s goals as delineated in the Academic Plan and CAHNR Strategic Plan.

Faculty appointments vary widely within PSLA but faculty members considered for merit should demonstrate good work relative to their job responsibility. The distribution of the faculty’s current appointment in teaching, research, extension, administration, and service will be considered when evaluating merit. Also, professional contributions and achievements beyond the University community will be considered.

To qualify for merit, a faculty member must exceed the baseline workload standards as defined within the PSLA Workload Policy, annual contract or offer letter; and maintain a level of “Good Work” or greater on their annual performance review.  Merit is awarded on a continuum, with higher levels of accomplishment garnering larger merit awards.  The evaluation of faculty performance for the purpose of merit is a very important responsibility that must reinforce a culture of high achievement.

  1. Who is eligible. All tenure-track and permanent non-tenure leading PSLA faculty (CIRE and lecturers) are eligible for consideration of a merit award from the PSLA merit pool allocation.  Jointly appointed faculty with PSLA as their designated home department are evaluated in totality of their responsibilities with merit awarded exclusively from the PSLA merit pool.  Research Assistants and Associates are eligible for a standardized meritorious salary increase as defined under Article 19.2 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, which is separate from tenure-track and CIRE faculty.
  2. What informs meritorious recognition.
  3. The Faculty Performance Self-Report Matrix (2.1) and Faculty Performance Summary Statement Document (2.2), inclusive of performance achieved during July 1 through June 30 of that year, must be completed, and submitted to the department head annually for performance review.  These documents submitted by faculty for annual performance review, will also inform consideration of merit allocation.  The department head shall communicate the deadline for performance reporting at least 30 days prior.
  4. Elements that may be considered for faculty merit. The quality and impact of a faculty member’s accomplishments (e.g., products, outcomes) and contributions, with respect to their appointment and position description, over the course of the evaluation period are all considered in distribution of merit.
    • Exhibits exemplary teaching of undergraduates or graduate students above the college mean as demonstrated by student evaluations. Actively engaged with students outside of the classroom in advising, graduate student mentoring, mentoring of honors program students, experiential learning, student club activities or other activities that enhance the student experience.  Actively seeks to improve as a teacher by participating in workshops or other teacher-improvement activities.
    • Demonstrates exceptional productivity in research beyond that normally expected based upon the appointment as measured by grant activity, publication record or other measures. Exhibits leadership among research peers within and outside of the institution.  Exhibits strong collaboration on multi-disciplinary research teams.  Actively engaged in mentoring graduate students by serving as a faculty mentor or serving on graduate committees.
    • Demonstrates excellence in developing and delivering extension and outreach programs as exhibited by program evaluations, participant feedback, significant awards or special recognition. Develops programs based on community need or based on original applied research that creates new knowledge to inform and enhance extension programs.  Actively collaborates with peers on program development and delivery.  Actively publishes materials in appropriate outlets for the program and presents outcomes of the program to appropriate stakeholders.  Recognized by peers or clientele for leadership in program development or delivery.
    • Demonstrates a strong commitment to service in the unit, college or institution beyond that normally expected based on rank and years of service. Makes significant contributions towards improving diversity within the college or university. Recognized for service or leadership by peers or supervisors.  Actively engaged in service activities to their profession.
    • Merit may be awarded for extra excellence and special achievements beyond that described above.
  5. Delegation of Authority in Merit Review Process. As defined in Article 25 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, departmental faculty may choose to retain, or delegate authority to review and recommend faculty merit, as described below.  The merit review process is confirmed in April of each year by PSLA faculty majority vote.
    • Departments may establish advisory committees for making recommendations of merit awards to the department head.
      • A Merit Committee represented by 3 PSLA faculty members who have been promoted to ‘associate’ or higher in their job series (e.g., associate professor, associate professor in residence, associate extension educator) and elected by majority vote of voting faculty members in the Department (excluding the department head and other administrators that maintain appointments in the Department) will review each faculty member’s annual report portfolio and provide comment to the PSLA department head based on the criteria above.
      • With input from the Merit Committee, the PSLA department head will recommend faculty members in rank order along with supporting documentation based on the criteria noted above along with recommendations of the advising Committee.
      • The Head will report the merit results and rationale from both the Committee and the Head to the faculty member. The merit recommendations of the committee and the Head will be forwarded by the department head to the dean.
    • Departments may decide to permit the department head to review each faculty member’s annual report portfolio and determine appropriate weighting/rank order for merit recommendations to the dean based on the evaluation criteria established and approved by majority vote of the faculty.
    • Departments may decide to permit the department head to establish the criteria and the appropriate weighting/rank order for merit recommendations, the department head shall inform all members of the bargaining unit in writing of such criteria no later than two months prior (i.e., April) to the commencement of the academic year for which merit recommendations will be made.