chapter  7
15 Pages

Defining Merit

ByLionel S. Lewis

Recommendations that touched on matters other than teaching, research, or administrative activities showed that faculty who were perceived as being dependable, energetic, hard-working, valuable, and willing to take on extra work were deemed especially deserving of a merit salary increase. The amount of the merit salary increase requested was generally modest, although awards are not one-year bonuses, but increases in base salary, the effects of which are cumulative. A statement about meritorious teaching was the first criterion mentioned in twice as many recommendations for lecturers, instructors, or assistant professors as for full professors. A survey of 476 department chairs and 1008 faculty members completed by the Joint Policy Board for Mathematics in 1992–1993 found that most agreed that research should be of greatest importance in merit salary increases. Teaching seems to be less valued than not only administrative service, but also than research.