Discretionary Salary Increase guidelines for full-time faculty for the 2020 reporting period

The following memorandum was sent to all faculty and staff via email on Feb. 19.

TO:         Deans, Department Chairs, and Academic Faculty

FROM:  Barbara G. Lyman, Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Stella Deen, Chair, Committee on Salary Increase

DATE:    Feb. 19, 2021

RE:          Discretionary Salary Increases (DSI) for FULL-TIME FACULTY: 1/1/20-12/31/20 Reporting Period – Guidelines

The 2016-2022 Collective Bargaining Agreement between United University Professions (UUP) and New York State includes the provision for Discretionary Salary Increases (DSI) for the 2020 reporting period.

The current Agreement between the State of New York and United University Professions (The Agreement) provides a pool of funds for DSI totaling 0.5% of the total of basic annual salaries on June 30, 2021, for distribution by the State University Trustees in their discretion to incumbents on the payroll on June 30, 2021, and at the time of payment no later than Dec. 31, 2021.

The DSI program rests on the assumption that meritorious performance should be rewarded. Thus, the program’s success depends on careful documentation of faculty performance and thoughtful review of faculty merit. The guidelines that follow are intended to assist candidates as they prepare their documentation and to guide reviewers (departmental sub-‐committees or committees of the whole, department chairs, and deans) through the evaluation process that has been established at New Paltz.

In consideration of COVID-19 impacts, the documentation required for the application has been streamlined to only five items, and the paper-based process has been replaced with the use of SharePoint as the submission platform. The process for submitting recommendations has been simplified so that a fillable PDF form known as the review sheet will be used for submitting recommendations for every level of review. Please note, recommendations will be made using the review sheet rather than using separate letters of recommendation.

A SharePoint site has been set up for each dean’s academic division. Each SharePoint site contains subfolders for each department. Each department’s subfolder contains separate folders for full-time faculty, part-time faculty, and professional staff applicants for DSI. Each applicant will have an individual folder in SharePoint.

To summarize, using SharePoint will avoid the paper process and streamline steps. Into the individual applicant folders in SharePoint will go:

  • each applicant’s documents as a single PDF file which is to contain five (5) items as listed below
  • a single fillable PDF form used to enter an individual’s recommendation from each level of review (portions filled out in turn by the departmental committee, chair, dean, salary increase committee, and provost)

When complete, the above will serve as the basis for and record of the president’s decision.

By the dates shown below, the following steps are to be completed:

  • The applicant emails a single completed DSI application to the dean (or a designated recipient); an application should consist of one PDF file from the applicant, comprised of these five items:
    1. review/cover sheet (Use this link to view and download)
    2. checklist (Use this link to view and download)
    3. brief list outlining accomplishments
    4. annual faculty reports for (a) the calendar year under review and (b) the previous year
    5. current CV in SUNY New Paltz format

See below for details about each of these items to be included in the PDF application.

  • The dean’s office or designee uploads the application into the appropriate individual’s folder
  • From that point, the dean or designee will grant access to the specific levels for review e.g., subcommittee or committee of the whole and/or department chair.
  • This access to the various levels for review will be granted at once, i.e., simultaneously, unless managed differently by the academic division.

After each of the applications, together with the corresponding review sheet for each, is completed and uploaded into the appropriate folder, the final step is for all access to be turned over to the Provost’s Office, after which the final three levels of review will be completed: Committee on Salary Increase, provost, and president.


Discretionary Salary Increases (DSI) are the prerogative of each campus president.

Candidacy for Discretionary Salary Increase will cover the period from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2020. Therefore, new full-time faculty – that is, those with initial appointment dates after the spring semester 2020 – are not eligible for DSI. Faculty on sabbatical for all or part of the year are eligible and will be fully considered.

Candidates for DSI must satisfactorily perform all typical professional duties associated with their full-‐time faculty position. These are considered baseline expectations. The recommendation prepared at each stage of the DSI review process will be based on the extent to which a candidate demonstrates exceptional performance over and above baseline expectations. It is neither required nor expected that a candidate be evaluated based on all five criteria of the Board of Trustees.

A. Full-‐time tenured and tenure-‐track faculty(including ABD lecturers hired into tenure-track lines) should refer to the Baseline Expectations Necessary for Consideration for Discretionary Salary Increase document. Departmental guidelines for RTP may provide amplifications of these standards and should be followed as appropriate.

B. For full-time lecturers on term appointments, baseline expectations are limited to their contractual responsibilities as indicated in appointment letters and, where appropriate, memos on obligation.

Full‐time faculty – tenured and tenure-track faculty, ABD lecturers hired into tenure‐track lines, and full-time lecturers on term appointments – are eligible for major awards and merit awards. The amounts of these awards will be determined in conjunction with the funds available in accordance with the agreement between the UUP and the State.

While the major and merit award categories for full-‐time faculty cannot be defined with precision, the following distinctions will generally apply:

A. Major awards: This category of award is based on outstanding performance in responsibilities that support and enhance the mission of the College during the reporting period (Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2020). These include scholarship/research/creative work that has received the recognition of publication, exhibition, external grant award, etc., in the year for which the faculty member is recommended for an award; consistent effectiveness as a teacher, both in and out of the classroom; outstanding contributions to the College through activities such as committee service, academic advising, major curriculum redesign, etc.; and outstanding service based on areas of professional expertise. Publications or other scholarly products derived from work conducted at another institution prior to appointment at New Paltz will generally not be viewed as supporting a DSI request.

B. Merit awards: This award is also based on performance that supports the College mission during the reporting period (Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2020). The activities that make a faculty member eligible for a merit award may have less weight and significance than those necessary for a major award.

Primary responsibility for initiating a DSI review lies with individual faculty members. It is appropriate for department chairs and members of departmental sub-committees to encourage deserving colleagues to apply for DSI. Applicants for DSI do not specify whether they are applying for a major award or a merit award, individuals and committees reviewing the applications are charged with determining whether applications are deserving of one of these awards or no award.


A. Overview: Full-time faculty who wish to be considered for DSI will prepare an application of supporting materials as outlined below. The first stage of review for DSI takes place at the department level. Each department will form a sub-committee, meet as a “committee of the whole minus one,” or choose to submit dossiers directly to the department chair. Refer to Structures and Procedures located on the Academic Affairs webpage, for these departmental options. The department chair review and recommendation are followed by those of the dean, Committee on Salary Increase, provost, and president.

B. Documentation required of ALL full-‐time faculty (tenured and tenure‐track faculty; ABD lecturers hired into tenure‐track lines; and full‐time lecturers on term appointments).

Following is an outline of the required documentation, in the exact order in which it should appear in the application:

      1. review/cover sheet (Use this link to view and download)
      2. checklist (Use this link to view and download)
      3. brief list outlining accomplishments
      4. annual faculty reports for (a) the calendar year under review and (b) the previous year
      5. current CV in SUNY New Paltz format

The following information provides more details regarding the above-listed required documentation:

      • Review/Cover Sheet and Checklist: The review/cover sheet and checklist accompanying this memo are to be placed in the front of the application. Please complete the checklist, which is intended to help ensure that your application is complete. Documents should appear in the application in the same order as on the checklist. During this transition year, recommendations from each level of review are to be submitted via the review/cover sheet instead of separate letters.
      • Brief List Outlining Accomplishments, of no more than one page. Candidates need not include all accomplishments for the calendar year under review. The list should highlight especially meritorious accomplishments.
      • Annual Faculty Reports for the periods Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2020 and Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2019 (in that order; that is, with the current year first). All pertinent information (e.g., titles, page numbers, venues, events, etc.) must be provided for publications, presentations, exhibitions, performances, workshops, etc., and all dates in the 2020 Annual Faculty Report must be within the DSI reporting period. (On occasion, a publication’s date may not accurately reflect the date the publication became available. In such cases, please include a statement explaining that the article appeared during the reporting period.)
      • Current Curriculum Vitae in SUNY New Paltz format

Once all supporting materials have been compiled in their proper order, the candidate will email one pdf file to the dean’s office or designee.

C. Reviews and recommendation: During this transition year, recommendations from each level of review are to be submitted via the review/cover sheet instead of separate letters.


March 8, 2021:  PDF application for DSI submitted to dean or designee via email

March 22, 2021:  Departmental sub-‐committee/committee of-the-whole recommendations due to Department Chairs

April 5, 2021:  Department Chair recommendations due to Deans

April 26, 2021:  Dean recommendations due to the Office of the Provost

April 26, 2021:  Applications transmitted to the Committee on Salary Increase

May 14, 2021:  Committee recommendations due to VPAA