Merit pay in a public higher education institution: Questions of impact and attitudes

Document Type


Publication Date





The use of merit pay is increasing in public institutions. The prevalence of merit pay has extended to public universities to evaluate faculty performance. A general perception is that faculty scholarship is disproportionably used relative to instructional and service activities in assessing whether merit pay is warranted. Yet, little actual empirical research has been conducted to predict what components of faculty performance lead to merit pay awards. A survey concerning perceptions of faculty performance and subsequent merit pay was distributed to the entire faculty of a large public eastern research university. Logistic regression analysis found faculty research activities were significantly more predictive of merit pay receipt compared to instructional and service performance. Female faculty members were less supportive of merit pay compared to their male colleagues and perceived less improvement in their overall performance post merit pay awards. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]