A Flourishing Faculty Environment

This page highlights some of the interesting ideas coming out of the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the University of New Mexico. There has been a concerted effort to provide faculty with an environment where they can flourish and that includes knowing what makes them upset and ensuring that the annual performance review process are fair and balanced.

This information was drawn from a presentation given by John Geissmann in a session on Building Strong Geoscience Departments at the 2005 AGU Fall Meeting. You can also download his entire presentation (PowerPoint 19.3MB Feb21 06).

What Makes Faculty Angry and Frustrated

(Among Other Less Than Positive Things About Their Job?)

  • Lack of (perceived) appreciation?
  • Salary?
  • Disputes with other "colleagues"?
  • Student perceptions of us? (poor teacher, poor mentor, etc.)
  • Our perceptions of students?
  • Disdain for (or embarrassment of) the rest of the institution?
  • A failure to recognize just how far "we can go" or how external forces limit what we can accomplish/change in terms of "improvements" to our institution and/or our Department?
  • A potentially endless list of other things......???????



Guidelines for Faculty Salary Adjustments - Excerpts

University of New Mexico
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences
Guidelines for Faculty Salary Adjustments (Annual Raises) and the Definition and Role of the Faculty Productivity Assessment Advisory Committee

Assume an Annual Salary Increment (ASI, in percent) to Department.*

I. If ASI is less than or equal to 3.0 % (or the approximate cost of living increase)

A. Divide lump $ increase to Department by number of faculty and distribute evenly

* The Department recognizes that its ability to award ASI's according to its policy may be restricted by University/College requirements.


II. If ASI is greater than 3.0 %

  • A. Establish four (4) "bins" as generic measures of faculty productivity:
  • #4 excellent productivity (all salary raises, as lump sums, in this bin are equal, and decided by chair)
    #3 quality (good) productivity (all salary raises, as lump sums, in this bin are equal, and decided by chair)
    #2 average productivity (salary raises, comparable to cost of living)
    #1 low (inadequate) productivity** (salary raise should be less than cost of living)**
    ** Assigned under the rarest of circumstances; a formal assignment of a negative post-tenure review occurs when a faculty member receives an average Bin 1 determination over a 3-year period. (e.g. three consecutive Bin #1 determinations, see Dept. Post-tenure Review Policy)

  • B. How is productivity measured? (WEIGHTING FACTOR IN PARENTHESES)***
  1. Research (40 of 100) (Includes graduate and undergraduate student involvement)
  2. Teaching (40 of 100) (Includes graduate and undergraduate student involvement)
  3. Service and recognition (20 of 100)

*** Note that the weighting factors for each category remain fixed through promotion to Full Professor; after this, the weighting factors may vary and are to be agreed to by the Chair and each faculty member. The weighting factor for categories 1-3 may vary by up to 50 percent.


Those interested in obtaining the full algorithm for faculty salary adjustments should contact John Geissmann directly.
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