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Memorandum of Agreement ratification vote: Merit histograms

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

In 2016, the merit process in the Memorandum of Agreement was amended. In addition to making performance evaluations for tenured and continuing faculty biennial, the amendment included enhancements to merit histograms (section 13.5.11) to make them easier to access and include more fine-grained information.

Why we're changing it again

Given the diversity of sizes of Faculties and departments at Waterloo, it proved exceedingly difficult to produce the histograms required while maintaining privacy protections. A working group of the Faculty Relations Committee considered the overall purpose, privacy requirements, and technical feasibility to come up with new proposed language. Here’s what’s changing this time:

  1. Online access instead of hard copies.
  2. Department-level histograms are no longer required. Finer-grained information is provided at the Faculty level, which is the ultimate baseline for merit assessment. A statistical approach is designed to give the desired guidance while maintaining privacy for small group sizes. The "at a minimum" language allows large units to provide more localized information and allows continued work to improve this feedback as technical issues can be resolved.
  3. Minor wording adjustments reflect the fact that different members can have different evaluation periods.

The proposed new text for MoA section 13.5.11

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For each evaluation period, members shall have online access to, at a minimum, Hhistograms showing the distribution in each Department, and by rank in the Faculty, of: (a) final overall ratings and (b) unweighted ratings in the categories of teaching, scholarship, and service, shall be provided to each Member with their performance evaluationRatings histograms for small Departments may be combined with those of other Departments from similar disciplines in the same Faculty in order to preserve confidentiality. In cases where there are fewer than ten members of the same rank within a Faculty, instead of histograms, those members shall be provided with median ratings by rank. In cases where there are fewer than three members of the same rank within a Faculty, no data shall be provided.

Proposed clean text

For each evaluation period, members shall have online access to, at a minimum, histograms showing the distribution by rank in the Faculty, of: (a) final overall ratings and (b) unweighted ratings in the categories of teaching, scholarship, and service. In cases where there are fewer than ten members of the same rank within a Faculty, instead of histograms, those members shall be provided with median ratings by rank. In cases where there are fewer than three members of the same rank within a Faculty, no data shall be provided.

This amendment was approved by Faculty Relations Committee at the meeting of October 4, 2018. The proposed text was originally circulated with an error in the last sentence, such that it read "fewer than two members of the same rank" rather than "fewer than three."

Ratification vote

Faculty who are voting members of FAUW as of noon on October 5, 2018, will receive an email with a link to an online ballot on October 15. You will have until 4:00 on October 19 to cast your vote. You will also be asked to vote on a proposed change to how FAUW dues are calculated at this time. The ballot is now open. Vote here.