The news is filled with accounts of extended pay freezes and tightened departmental budgets. More than ever, it is crucial to identify creative, meaningful, and low-cost ways to reward and retain high-performing faculty. Mary Coussons-Read, professor of psychology and acting chair of the department of physics at the University of Colorado Denver, reviews low-cost practices that can make a difference.
Rethink Performance Rewards
"Don't get so caught up in the trees that you don't see the forest," Coussons-Read warns. "The forest is the need to help your faculty feel good about the work they do. There are many trees you can shake besides the salary adjustment tree."
While rewarding performance will rarely be free of cost, you can consider a variety of low-cost and one-time expenses that allow you to appreciate faculty. The difficulty of a salary increase is that it is a permanent addition to the ongoing budget. There are many options for rewarding performance for which that is not the case. Look for one-time expenses.
Beyond salary increases, you can recognize faculty achievements and, at the same time, use those achievements to encourage a high-performing faculty culture by: