Faculty Merit Increase Policy (FMI)

Reference Number: F99-208
Senate Approval Date: Tuesday, December 07, 1999
Presidential Approval Date: 
Monday, December 13, 1999


Note: Presidential edits to the policy passed in the Senate are indicated in bold italics and reflect independently developed administrative policy.

At San Francisco State University, the Policy on Faculty Merit Increase (FMI) is established in compliance with the Faculty Merit Increase Program in Article 31.7-31.32 of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the California State University and the California Faculty Association.

FMI Definition and Principles.

FMI is either a permanent salary increase or a bonus awarded to Unit 3 employees (hereafter faculty) based on the quality of demonstrated performance in professional activities commensurate with rank, work assignment, and years of service. FMI as a bonus is not a permanent salary increase and it shall be awarded only to: a) faculty who have reached the maximum salary step of their respective ranks/ranges; or b) faculty whose demonstrated performance was part of an activity or project conducted by a team, department, or group of employees.

There shall be a department or equivalent unit (hereafter department) based peer review to make the initial FMI recommendations to the college dean/administrator (hereafter dean) and university president. In accordance with Article 2.12 of the CBA, department means the faculty unit employees within an academic department or equivalent administrative unit. For the purposes of FMI consideration, equivalent administrative units are the units in which faculty hold their appointments.

Department recommendations will be given due consideration at subsequent levels of review. The President or his/her designee shall make the final decision on FMI awards after reviewing department and dean recommendations.

FMI awards shall not be considered as part of the RTP (retention, tenure, and promotion) review process. FMI awards shall be different and separate from other salary increases and may be awarded along with General Salary Increase (GSI), Service Salary Step Increase (SSI), market equity salary adjustments, or other salary-based awards.

Distribution of FMI funds.

The CBA stipulates that the maximum FMI award shall not exceed 7.5% of the faculty’s annual salary. Article 31.12 of the CBA states the following:


85% are distributed to departments and colleges on a departmental FTEF pro rata basis


10% are for the university president’s distribution.


5% are for successful FMI appeals.

The Office of Academic Affairs shall provide an estimate of the amount of FMI funds available to each college and department for departmental FMI consideration and recommendation.


Unit 3 (Faculty Unit) employees as defined in the CBA are eligible to be considered for FMI, with the following exclusions:


2356 - Substitute instructional faculty;


2322 - Special program faculty;


2357 - Faculty of the College of Extended Learning, including Summer/Winter Sessions;


2402 - Summer Arts faculty;


Faculty who indicate on their Faculty Activity Report that they decline to participate in the FMI Program.

All faculty unit employees shall be considered for FMI awards in the department or equivalent unit in which they are appointed. Faculty with a joint appointment, or appointments in more than one department, shall be considered in each department and may be recommended for an FMI in each department.

Faculty serving on the departmental FMI review committee shall be eligible for FMI consideration. However, they cannot review and make recommendations on their own case.

Department chairs and directors shall be eligible for FMI consideration. However, a chair/director cannot review and make a recommendation on his/her own case.

For purposes of FMI consideration, the Office of Faculty Affairs, working in conjunction with Human Resources, shall provide to departments and colleges by the last Friday in January a list of all faculty unit employees indicating: a) annual salary, b) rank/classification, c) appointment unit, and d) eligibility for Service Salary Step Increase (SSI) awards.

Categories of Review.

An FMI shall be awarded to the faculty on the quality of demonstrated performance--commensurate with rank, work assignment(s), and years of service--in any one of the following categories:


Teaching alone; or


Teaching and scholarship; or


Teaching and service to the university and community; or


Teaching, scholarship, and service to the university and community; or


Current work assignment(s) for faculty whose current and primary professional activities are not included in the above four categories.

Departments must establish their respective FMI review procedures in accordance with the above categories of review. A description of these departmental procedures should be available to faculty in the units no later than the third Friday in February.

The period of FMI review shall cover the previous calendar year. For example, the Spring 2000 review covers calendar year 1999 (January-December, 1999); the Spring 2001 review covers calendar year 2000 (January-December 2000).



The FMI Program shall be processed as follows:

Departmental Recommendations => Dean’s Review => Presidential Decision

To be considered for an FMI, individual faculty must submit a complete Faculty Activity Report (FAR) of no more than four pages and the FMI Program Tracking Sheet. Faculty may also append a standard curriculum vitae. The complete FMI packet shall be prepared in standard format (size-12 font, single-spaced and one-inch margins on letter-size paper).

Faculty shall be notified of each recommendation in writing (through the FMI Program Tracking Sheet) at each level of the review process preceding the president’s decision, and may submit a written rebuttal (no more than one page) within five (5) working days upon receiving a copy of the Tracking Sheet.

1. DEPARTMENTAL RECOMMENDATIONS: Departmental recommendations shall be made by a department committee, the department chair/director or his/her designee, or the combination of the above at the discretion of the department or equivalent unit. Where there are insufficient department faculty members to serve on a departmental committee, the department may select a faculty representative from a related academic discipline. Small departments and equivalent units may also, in consultation with the dean(s) in which their units are housed, join with other units for purposes of FMI funding distribution and review. Where there are joint appointment FARs, there may be consultation between departments on joint-appointment faculty FMI recommendations. Departments should forward a description of the department’s review procedures with the recommendations.

  1. DEAN'S REVIEW: The dean shall review departmental recommendations and forward his/her recommendation to the president via the Office of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development. The dean may concur or disagree with the recommendations, may change the amount (percentage) of the recommended FMI, and/or may recommend an FMI for a faculty member who was not recommended by the department. There may be consultation between deans on joint-appointment faculty FMI review.
  2. PRESIDENTIAL DECISION: The president or the presidential designee shall review the recommendations from the department and dean. He/she may concur or disagree with the recommendations, may change the amount (percentage) of the awards, and may grant an FMI award to any faculty member who was not recommended by the department or college dean. The president or his/her designee shall make final adjustments on FMI recommendations on joint-appointment faculty so that the FMI award for joint-appointment faculty will be consistent in the final decision.

FMI Processing Time-Line.

The FMI processing time-line shall be as follows:


last Friday

Distribution of FMI and SSI Program information by Office of Faculty Affairs to department chairs/ directors and deans for distribution to faculty


third Friday

Department/equivalent unit review procedures made available to department faculty


First Monday

Last day to submit FAR for FMI and SSI consideration


second Friday

SSI considerations completed


third Friday

Departmental recommendations to the dean, including a description of department procedures (with FMI Program Tracking Sheet copied to faculty, who has five working days to submit a written rebuttal to the dean)



second Friday


Dean’s recommendations to the president via Faculty Affairs (with FMI Program Tracking Sheet copied to faculty employee, who has five working days to submit a written rebuttal to the president)


second Friday

Presidential decision


fourth Friday

Last day for faculty to notify Office of Faculty Affairs of intention to appeal FMI decision

FMI Appeal Process.

Articles 31.34 of the CBA stipulates that a faculty member who received a positive recommendation from either the department or dean for an FMI award may appeal the president’s decision if the decision resulted in a decrease or denial of the award recommended in an earlier level of review. Faculty who wish to appeal the president’s decision must file a written notification of their intent to appeal with the president (via the Office of Faculty Affairs) no later than fourteen (14) days after receipt of the president’s decision.

Appeals shall be heard, in a single hearing early each fall, by a committee of five (5) faculty chosen by lot from an appeals panel elected by the faculty unit employees. Faculty members who are currently appealing FMI decisions shall not serve on the appeals panel.

The appeals panel shall be composed of faculty elected by each department or equivalent unit, and shall where possible constitute 25% of the full-time equivalent faculty (FTEF) in that unit. Units with less than four (4) FTEF are invited to elect a faculty member to the panel but are not required to do so. The names of elected panelists shall be forwarded to the President via the Office of Faculty Affairs. The appeals committee, drawn from the appeals panel, shall be convened as soon as possible in early fall by the Dean of Faculty Affairs. The appeals committee shall complete deliberations in a timely manner.

A majority decision by the committee shall be required in order to grant any appeal, and decisions by the appeals committee are binding and final. The committee may not grant increases that: a) are higher than the highest amount recommended by the department or dean; or b) total more than the amount of the reserved campus pool of five (5) percent. Any portion of the reserved campus pool that is not expended shall be rolled over and added to the pool for faculty merit increases for the following fiscal year.