Salary Inequity Appeal Procedure

(Approved by Academic Council 10/03/94, the General Faculty 11/15/94, and the WSU Board of Trustees 4/14/95). Revisions approved by Faculty Senate May 3, 2004 and General Faculty May 18, 2004.

  1. Definition
    "Non-bargaining faculty" are defined as fully affiliated faculty who are not represented by a collective bargaining agreement. Non-bargaining faculty salary raises combine across-the-board percent increases with merit market and equity adjustments which should be evaluated annually. Research, teaching, and service merits and other relevant factors are assessed at the departmental level by the chair, the departmental faculty development committee (or its equivalent) where procedures have been established to include this committee in the annual evaluative process and with the concurrence of the dean or by the Dean in the SOPP and CONH. Deans are responsible for the annual evaluation process for non-bargaining faculty members who are serving as chairs. Differences in raises and in salaries between non-bargaining faculty members will inevitably occur. This salary inequity appeals procedure is subject to the university compensation policy as defined in the Board of Trustees' Resolution 94-8 and The Wright Way: Policies and Procedures Number 4210. The term "salary inequity" here refers to a perceived inequity in one's own salary due to the department's, college's, or school's allocation of annual raises over a period at least three years, beginning no more than seven years prior to the filing of a salary inequity appeal.
     
  2. Annual Faculty Evaluation
    A performance evaluation will be given to each non-bargaining faculty member annually and a copy placed in the non-bargaining faculty member's department file. The purpose of this annual evaluation is to ensure the continuous improvement and development of the non-bargaining faculty member and to inform decisions about merit pay, reappointment and promotion. Department chairs/deans shall meet with their non-bargaining faculty individually, to review their progress and its impact on the faculty member's retention and/or promotion. The non-bargaining faculty member may add personal commentary to these annual performance evaluations and that commentary shall be included in the non-bargaining faculty member's department file. Non-bargaining faculty who wish to be considered for promotion can request such review in writing to the chair/dean. A written review shall be prepared by the chair/dean and given to the non-bargaining faculty member and placed in the faculty member's department file.

    In the annual evaluation letter, a non-bargaining faculty member is informed of any deficiencies so that efforts to improve performance may be initiated. All departments and colleges or schools should have procedures whereby disputes about salaries and raises by non-bargaining faculty may be debated objectively and with all due consideration between colleagues. Under most circumstances, merit and other factors relevant to salaries are most accurately assessed at the level of departments and colleges or schools; likewise, it is usually most appropriate that salaries and merit raises be determined at those levels. Hence, this university level salary inequity appeal process is applicable only when appeals at the lower procedural levels (departmental and/or school or college) have not resolved the dispute.

    Thus, the procedures and review process (as described in sections C. and D. below) are intended, first, to ascertain whether department, school, and college procedures for resolving disputes over a non-bargaining faculty member's annual evaluations, raises, and salary have been followed; second, to determine whether a salary inequity exists; and third, to recommend a salary (or salary range) to correct an inequity finding. It is to be emphasized that the findings of this process are not binding. However, in view of the good faith social contract between individual members of the faculty, the faculty governance structure, and the university administration, it is anticipated that the findings of these procedures, whether in favor of the complainant or not, should carry considerable weight with both the complainant and the university administration.
     
  3. Procedures
    1. The appropriate academic unit will establish and inform all non-bargaining faculty of methods and criteria for evaluating merit. Non-bargaining faculty members should play a role in establishing these criteria. Criteria that have been established by a department/school/college but not communicated to non-bargaining faculty members before the end of the calendar year prior to the evaluation year cannot be used in determining merit. An annual performance evaluation (See Section B) will be given to each non-bargaining faculty member. This evaluation together with the faculty member's responses to it will be used in deciding merit salary increments and will be kept on permanent file.
       
    2. Each school or college is permitted but not required to establish its own salary inequity appeal procedure. Each school and college must inform its non-bargaining faculty whether or not it has its own salary inequity appeal procedure.

      When a school or college wishes to establish its own salary inequity appeal procedure, the following rules apply:
      1. The college/school must inform its non-bargaining faculty of the rules or bylaws governing the college/school procedure.
      2. The rules or bylaws governing the school/college procedure must include the following provisions:
        The final recommendations of the school/college procedure shall be communicated in writing to the complainant, the chair, and the dean, with a copy to the provost. This communication shall occur no later than the end of the academic semester or six months (with the exception of the summer semester) following receipt of the written complaint by the school/college salary inequity appeal committee (or equivalent body).
    3. A non-bargaining faculty member who is dissatisfied with his/her salary is obligated to seek relief from the department chair and from the dean, and, in colleges/schools which establish a salary inequity appeal procedure, from the college/school procedure. When a complainant has not been able to achieve settlement of the dispute by these mechanisms, the dispute will be reviewed at a meeting between the complainant, the chair, the dean, and the provost.
       
    4. If not settled in 3., and if the complaint involves a charge of discrimination based on race, sex, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or sexual orientation, the complaint will be forwarded by the dean with a cover letter to the university Affirmative Action Office.
       
    5. If not settled in 3., and if 4. does not apply, the University Non-Bargaining Faculty Affairs Committee will handle the complaint. The complainant should submit to the University Non-Bargaining Faculty Affairs Committee a document containing:
      1. A concise statement outlining the complaint, including the grounds on which the complaint is lodged and the years covered by the complaint. (As noted in section A. above, this period must consist of at least three years, and it must begin no more than seven years prior to the date on which the document described in this section B.5. is submitted by the complainant to the University Non-bargaining Faculty Affairs Committee).
      2. A clear statement of the relief expected by the complainant.
      3. Copies of the annual evaluations written by the chair (or chair's equivalent) for the years under consideration, and any responses thereto.
      4. Any other documentation that may be relevant.
    6. Upon receipt of the materials in 5., the University Non-Bargaining Faculty Affairs Committee will appoint a 3-person investigation subcommittee consisting of: one member from the University Non-Bargaining Faculty Affairs Committee (to chair the subcommittee); one non-bargaining faculty member from the complainant's college or school; one other WSU non-bargaining faculty member .
       
  4. Review Process
    1. The subcommittee will review the submitted material, acquire additional information for review, and report its findings as delineated below. The subcommittee will observe strictest confidentiality throughout.
       
    2. The review and reporting tasks of the subcommittee will occur in the three stages a., b., and c. shown below.
      1. The subcommittee will determine whether proper procedures have been followed. "Proper procedures" include the following:
        1. Departmental merit review procedures.
        2. Annual evaluation performed for each year of the complaint period as evidenced by the annual evaluation letter and the complainant's responses.
        3. Lower-level (department, college, or school) salary appeal procedures pursued according to their respective guidelines.
        4. Meeting between complainant, chair, dean, and provost as specified in C .3. of this Salary Inequity Appeals.
        If the subcommittee finds that proper procedures have been followed, or that proper procedures have been followed by the complainant but not by the administration (department, school, college, or university), then the subcommittee's work will proceed to stageb. below.

        If the subcommittee finds that proper procedures have not been followed by the complainant, then the subcommittee will not proceed to stageb. It will instead submit a report of its findings to the University Non-bargaining Faculty Affairs Committee no later than the end of the academic semester (with the exception of the summer semester) which follows receipt of the complaint by the University Non-bargaining Faculty Affairs Committee.
      2. The subcommittee will determine whether a salary inequity exists. For this purpose, the subcommittee shall undertake the following tasks:
        1. Assess differences in statements found in the annual evaluation letter and the complainant's responses. Where quantitative differences exist (e.g., scholarship, teaching evaluation summaries, service activities, etc.), the subcommittee will verify the facts.
        2. Assess whether any deficiencies defined by the annual evaluation were addressed by the complainant in subsequent years, and whether such changes were noted in subsequent annual evaluations.
        3. Verify the complainant's actual salaries in the complaint period via the annual university budget in the university-archives main library.
        4. Seek any additional information needed for the investigation. In particular, the subcommittee may ask the complainant, department chair, dean, provost, and other involved persons to appear and testify; the subcommittee is empowered to examine the complainant's confidential personnel files relevant to the appeal. Likewise, the complainant, department chair, dean, and provost may choose to meet personally with the subcommittee should any of these persons so desire; it shall be the responsibility of the subcommittee to notify these persons of its investigation and of their right to meet with the subcommittee. (Unavailability of material or information requested from various sources but not submitted within a reasonable time period will be noted in the final report; the final report shall likewise note the refusal of any person who was asked to appear but who did not, or who otherwise failed to reasonably cooperate with the subcommittee's investigation.)
        If the subcommittee finds that a salary inequity exists, then the subcommittee will proceed to stagec.

        If the subcommittee finds that no salary inequity exists, then the subcommittee will not proceed to stagec. It will instead submit a report of its findings to the University Non-bargaining Faculty Affairs Committee no later than the end of the academic semester (with the exception of the summer semester) which follows receipt of the complaint by the University Non-bargaining Faculty Affairs Committee.
      3. The subcommittee will determine a dollar amount, or a range of dollar amounts, which would remove the salary inequity. For this purpose, the subcommittee may seek any additional information needed. In particular, if the subcommittee wishes, it may seek information regarding salary levels or faculty productivity at suitably chosen other universities as well as at Wright State, salary statistics from appropriate professional organizations, or other market value estimates; or other information from sources internal or external to Wright State. The solicitation of such information from sources external to the university is made solely in support of the committee's efforts to determine if a salary inequity exists within the framework of Wright State's compensation policy. (Unavailability of material or information requested from various sources but not submitted within a reasonable time period will be noted in the final report.)

        The subcommittee will submit a report of its findings to the University Non-bargaining Faculty Affairs Committee no later than the end of the academic quarter (with the exception of the summer quarter) which follows receipt of the complaint by the University Faculty Affairs Committee.
    3. The University Non-Bargaining Faculty Affairs Committee will review the subcommittee's report. The University Non-Bargaining Faculty Affairs Committee will give copies of the subcommittee's report and the University Non-Bargaining Faculty Affairs Committee's recommendations (if any) to the complainant, the chair, the dean, the provost, and the university president.
       
    4. The provost will respond to the subcommittee's report and to the University Non-Bargaining Faculty Affairs Committee's recommendations (if any) in a written statement to the University Non-bargaining Faculty Affairs Committee and the complainant within thirty days of receipt.

      If the subcommittee's report includes a dollar amount (or range of dollar amounts) as in 2.c. above, and the University Non-bargaining Faculty Affairs Committee does not explicitly recommend against adopting this dollar amount (or range of dollar amounts), and the provost does not accept this dollar amount (or range of dollar amounts), then the provost must meet with the University Non-bargaining Faculty Affairs Committee to explain the reasons for his/her different conclusions in an attempt to achieve consensus via collegiality. The subcommittee will attend this meeting if either the provost or the University Non-Bargaining Faculty Affairs Committee wishes.

      [The university president may, at his/her option, personally fulfill either or both of the duties of the provost listed under this section C.4.]

  5. Appeal
    1. A non-bargaining faculty member may not re-appeal a decision reached under this Salary Inequity Appeal Procedure. However, the non-bargaining faculty member may submit a new appeal for a different (that is, non-overlapping) period of at least three years.
       
    2. An appeal under this process (1-3 above) may not be undertaken at the same time as the complainant is pursuing other methods of appeal external to the procedures defined above.