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Faculty Reward Structure

Preamble: The NEA believes that faculty reward structures should reflect the mission of the institution. The proper balance between teaching, service, and research is contingent on faculty and administration agreement upon the institutional mission of the particular campus. If that mission focuses on teaching, then the institution should reward good teaching. Institutions whose mission focuses on community outreach should reward service. The same principle is valid for research.

Faculty reward systems must have variety and reflect the realities of faculty work. Teaching is often the most difficult aspect of faculty work to assess. Faculty and administrators should use mutually agreed upon methods to document effective teaching. These methods might include such elements as teaching portfolios, videotaped classes, websites, peer and student evaluation, review of course outlines, reading lists, exams, effective use of instructional technology, and reliable indicators of student success.

Therefore, NEA has adopted the following principles to complement its Resolution on Evaluation and Promotion in Higher Education (D-22):

Reward structures should be flexible, should allow faculty to pursue and seek advancement in a variety of ways, and should allow faculty to pursue different interests at different times in their careers. Evaluation should be linked to performance of assigned responsibilities, career growth and development, as well as the pursuit of tenure, promotion and renewal, if applicable. The evaluations should be formative to encourage risk-taking and growth.

  1. Disciplines may vary in their approach to the mix of teaching, research, and service. Attention should be paid to the criteria developed by the discipline associations.
  2. Campuses need to recognize good teaching through appropriate, mutually agreed upon evaluation systems that include student, faculty and administrator input. Peer review should be the foundation of a higher education faculty evaluation system. The scope of teaching should take into consideration all aspects where faculty work with students in a learning situation.
  3. The nature of the reward structure and the criteria for evaluation should be jointly developed through the traditional faculty governance processes and codified by the collective bargaining process where applicable. (See the NEA "Statement on Evaluation of Faculty" in Quality and Higher Education: Defining Our Stance.)
  4. Campuses should promote effective teaching techniques through professional development opportunities for graduate assistants, adjuncts, and permanent faculty and develop appropriate documentation and evaluation procedures to evaluate teaching techniques for all classroom instructors.
  5. New faculty should be given a comprehensive orientation to the institution, its mission and goals and the role of faculty. This orientation should provide them with the understanding of how the criteria for evaluation and reward will be applied. Mentoring programs should be in place on all campuses to assist new faculty in advancing teaching and research opportunities.
  6. Faculty development and access to current instructional technology must be adequately funded.

Any reward system must take into consideration the principles of affirmative action.