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University Administrative Manual

2,718: Merit Salary Increases

Last Revised: April 2014

Merit funds are provided to the University by the legislature specifically for rewarding meritorious performance of state-funded faculty positions and are not designed to be used for cost-of-living increases or to fund promotions or equity adjustments. One major objective of the merit distribution policy is to maintain the standards for awarding quality performance. Vice presidents are responsible for reviewing and approving the recommendation of merit within each unit for which they are responsible.

Merit funds are inevitably affected by the availability of funds provided by the legislature. The amount of the merit pool allocated will be based on the funding provided. Comparable funds need to be provided by non-state-funded budgets to reward meritorious performance for non-state-funded faculty positions.

Recommendations for merit salary increases follow from faculty evaluations. There are five levels of merit awards: commendable: steps 1 and 2; excellent: steps 3 and 4; and extraordinary: step 6. An extraordinary merit award must be approved by the executive vice president & provost. A satisfactory rating is not meritorious performance. Individual faculty merit dollar amounts are calculated by multiplying the step number by the dollar value of one merit step. The specific value of the merit steps, as well as any additional criteria or procedures for implementing the merit program are determined by the president, based on recommendations from the Faculty Senate.  No NSHE, university, college, department, or professional award automatically results in recommendation for an extraordinary merit award.

Eligibility for Merit

  1. Full-time and part-time academic and administrative, tenured, tenure-track, and non-tenure track (Rank 0) faculty (.5 FTE or more) on a renewable "A" or "B" contract are eligible to participate in the merit program.
  2. The process to be used following the 2013 and 2014 annual evaluations will include merit recommendations from previous years in the calculation of merit salary increases, using the model determined by the president following recommendations from the Faculty Senate.  It will continue the practice by which academic faculty who receive promotion are ineligible for merit that single year and the practice by which academic or administrative faculty must be hired or promoted on or before September 1st of the year for which merit is awarded to be eligible to participate in the process.  Beginning with evaluations for the 2015 calendar year, all new or promoted academic and administrative faculty will be eligible to participate in the merit process regardless of the date of hire or promotion.

Procedure for Calculating Merit Salary Increases and Promotion Raises

For academic faculty awarded promotion during the 2013 or 2014 annual evaluation years, merit will be calculated based on the Senate's multi-year model prior to the 10% salary adjustment for the promotion year.  This will ensure that prior merit is incorporated into base pay before promotion adjustments are made.

Salaries above Range-Maximum

The UNR Human Resources Office notifies the president and the appropriate vice president on an annual basis of faculty whose salary exceeds the salary range of their position. This is done prior to renewal of employment contracts. In exceptional cases, an individual whose salary exceeds the maximum for that rank/range is grated a merit increase. A recommendation for such an increase must be submitted to the president for review and approval through the appropriate vice president.

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University of Nevada, Reno
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