Guidelines for the Assignment of Duties should not include Goal Setting

Last year we heard from members who were asked to provide an accounting of their planned achievements, including desired research output, number of publications, and grant applications, and were told that this plan would be considered when awarding merit. This year some units are considering whether to incorporate achievement plans into Guidelines for the Assignment of Duties and treating “aspirational prospective research plans” as a concrete assignment of duties.

As dangerous as it is to use your goals as the basis for awarding merit, it is even more dangerous to incorporate goal-setting requirements into Guidelines for the Assignment of Duties or to use research aspirations as assigned duties: if you fail to achieve your goals, you may open the door to discipline for not fulfilling your obligations.

The contrast between what you would like to achieve and your actual achievements is not the means for evaluation in any of our collegial processes.

Clearly understand the purpose for providing an achievement plan and how this information will be used. The USFA recommends voting against Guidelines for the Assignment of Duties that include these sorts of provisions. You should contact the USFA immediately if it is being used as the basis for evaluation in the salary review process.