Step Plus Web Forums

This forum closed on 12/31/2015 at 12:00 AM.


Laura Van Winkle (Federation Faculty) - 2 years ago.
A question was posed about what Step Plus might mean for those with split appointments resulting in differential advancement.

The answer is that those with split appointments do occasionally advance at different rates in their two titles, as should be expected if the expectations and responsibilities of the two (or possibly three) titles are different. We expect this to be a rare occurance but could happen at promotion or at high-level merit "barrier" steps.

Laura Van Winkle (Federation Faculty) - 2 years ago.
If approved, Step plus will be in effect for this next merit cycle, as of July 1 2015.

Information about Step Plus in general can be found on the Academic Affairs Website: https://academicaffairs.ucdavis.edu/policies/step-plus/index.html

AF specific information about Step Plus can be found on the AF website: http://academicfederation.ucdavis.edu/step-plus/index.cfm

Anonymous (Federation Faculty) - 2 years ago.
Assuming this passes, on what date will it take effect for new merits/promotions? Where is basic information such as this regarding step plus available?

Laura Van Winkle (Federation Faculty) - 2 years ago.
This is in response to Ann Dilner's question. Under Step Plus, a merit action will always be considered for 1.0, 1.5, or 2.0 steps. (Of course, any merit may also be denied, receiving 0.0 steps.) The voting group and the members of the personnel committee will all weigh in with their recommendations based on the Step Plus criteria and the substance of the dossier. On most actions, the dean’s decision is final. On promotions, the Vice Provost- Academic Affairs makes the final decision.

Ann Dillner (Federation Faculty) - 2 years ago.
If someone requests (and tries to justify) a step plus but during the review process, it is determined that only a step is warranted, what happens?

Laura Van Winkle (Federation Faculty) - 2 years ago.
This is in regards to the concern about effects on retirement income. We recognize this concern which is also something that the Academic Senate grappled with in their transition to Step Plus. In essence the concern is that an individual nearing retirement may be disadvantaged because they will not be able to maximize their salary by repeated accelerations in time in the last 3 years of employment. Yes in this case an employee might be disadvantaged by Step Plus, or might not. We expect this scenario to be rare for AF members, but individuals in this situation will be able to petition the VP AA for use of the old system of accelerations in time if there is a financial disadvantage to them in the last years before retirement. A further discussion of this issue with examples can be found at the Academic Affairs website at https://academicaffairs.ucdavis.edu/policies/step-plus/retirement-scenarios.html

Laura Van Winkle (Federation Faculty) - 2 years ago.
This is in response to the comment by Anonymous below. Step Plus will not slow down any of our members’ deserved advancements, rather it will increase the rate of advancement. The implementation of Step Plus has been calibrated to minimize any consequences and to bring advantages - not only to the review committees in terms of more predictable work load, but also to our members in terms of more accessible merit increases. Step Plus includes a temporary salary supplement for merit advancement of more than one step. Because of this supplement, differences in salary will even out over time and there is also not a financial disadvantage. In looking into this issue, we learned that, overall, 13% of the personnel actions for AF members last year were acceleration requests. Only 13%! We seem to be a modest group. I’m sure it won’t surprise you that there are many individual differences in willingness to request accelerations. AF members tend to request accelerations far less frequently than other academic appointees. By considering all review packets for 1, 1.5, 2, or more steps, these individual differences in inclination to “toot one’s own horn” will be evened out. We suspect that many more than 13% of the reviews would have been eligible for at least a 1.5 step increase. Another thing to consider is that it is highly unusual for any individual to consistently request and receive fully accelerated merits. We believe that under the Step Plus system, many of our members would consistently deserve and earn 1.5 step increases for consecutive reviews. The addition of the 1.5 step will allow our members to be incrementally recognized for work that is beyond expectations but not a full 200% of expectations.

Laura Van Winkle (Federation Faculty) - 2 years ago.
This is in response to the comment by Christoph Lossin: Yes, Step Plus will require both the candidate and the reviewers to carefully evaluate what Step is justified for each action. The candidate needs to provide support in their candidate statement for a 1, 1.5, 2 step or more . The reviewers will need to determine if they agree with that determination and make a recommendation. This does take review out of "default" mode and will result in a more nuanced evaluation of the candidate. The advantage to the candidate is that while they may have not had enough additional accomplishments under the old system to advance a whole step in an acceleration, under step plus they may be able to gain a 1.5 (or additional half) step advancement.

Kimberly Pulliam (Staff) - 2 years ago.
CAP does not routinely review actions in the Health Sciences Clinical Professor series. CAP occasionally reviews an action in the HSCP series only if it is an Associate Dean, Department Chair, or other administrative title that wouldn't normally be reviewed by the FPC. The following link provides details regarding the HSCP title: https://academicaffairs.ucdavis.edu/resources/federation/index.html. Review of this title is redelegated to the School Faculty Personnel Committee (FPC) and the Dean has final approval authority. The Delegation of Authority is also available at: https://academicaffairs.ucdavis.edu/local_resources/docs/doa/HealthSciencesClinical_Salaried.pdf.

Christoph Lossin (Federation Faculty) - 2 years ago.
Thank you for the video; well done!

One comment: The video states that the review procedure for any one candidate will not change. It may already be in place with the current "accelerated" and "skip" merit advancement: there needs to be a clear justification section in the advancement evaluation that reflects why a certain candidate deserves 1.5 or 2-step advancement. It should be obvious to the reviewer on the JPC and all departmental members that the application for a step "plus" is not a default ("let's see if I can get it..."), but it actually is substantiated by outstanding performance. This is not to discourage step plus applications; quite the contrary. It is to promote true consideration (by the reviewers and departmental colleagues) that the applicant *deserves* special recognition. It must be clear to all voters/deciders that the applicant has made remarkable accomplishments that can and must not be overlooked with a simply 1-step advancement.

Anonymous (Federation Faculty) - 2 years ago.
My concern with the step plus system is that it will slow down the time-line with which you will receive a potential merit or promotion and subsequent pay increase if you are someone who would have been able to seek an acceleration. For example, if I am on a two-year cycle, I could seek and receive an acceleration after 1 year. This would mean that I would get the pay raise a year earlier, which would be very helpful for someone on a tight budget, or for someone who is investing for college funds, retirement funds, etc. Therefore, even though the total amount of pay would not change over a set period for folks under the step plus system, the time-line would be slowed, and that could be detrimental to Federation employees. Additionally, if you are at the end of your career, it could have an impact on your pension in that if you could have reached your top salary one year sooner, then you would have one less year to work before retirement to attain that higher end pension.

Edwin M Arevalo (Staff) - 2 years ago.
Check out the video.