Academic Performance Review and Merit Process

General Merit Committee (GMC)

General Merit Committee

The General Merit Committee (GMC), is a President’s advisory committee, chaired by the Provost & Vice-President (Academic). The purpose of GMC is to formally review, evaluate and recommend to the President on all merit increment recommendations submitted by Deans and equivalents to ensure equitable and consistent application of the assessment criteria.

The GMC will specifically review merit awarded to academic staff members who are administrators, zero increments, and appeals of merit increments and/or wording of written assessments that were appealed and denied at a Faculty Merit Committee (FMC).

November 7

  • The Dean provides written notice to each administrator of the recommendation being carried forward to GMC, including the deadline by which to appeal to GMC.

November 23

  • Deadline for administrators to appeal merit increment recommendations by the Dean, in writing.
  • Deadline for academics to appeal merit increment, in writing, to GMC - ONLY in cases where (a) an appeal against the Head's recommendation has already been heard and denied at FMC; or (b) the Dean lowers the Head's recommendation.


  • The GMC meets.


  • GMC meets for unfinished business.

December to February (if needed)

  • The Academic Administrators Appeal Committee (AAAC) meets to consider appeals of Academic Administrators where the GMC either denies an appeal in the first instance or where the GMC lowers a recommendation of a dean.

As soon as possible following GMC Deliberations 

  • All academic appointees reviewed by GMC are informed of the final decisions.

The GMC is composed of the following members:

  • The Provost & Vice-President (Academic), Chair of the Committee

  • Six (6) voting academic staff members including both genders, jointly appointed by the Provost & Vice-President (Academic) and the Faculty Association

  • Two (2) non-voting academic staff members, selected by the Faculty Association from different faculties

No member of the GMC may send a substitute representative to any meeting.

  • The same rules generally apply for conflict of interest in FMC and GMC.
  • GMC members may not participate or vote on cases from within their home faculty.

The GMC may not meet unless the following members are present: 

  • The Provost & Vice-President (Academic) (Chair)
  • Three of the voting members, including both genders
  • One non-voting member from the Faculty Association

No member of the GMC may send a substitute representative to any meeting.

Quorum is essential at the meeting.

Arrangements should be made to reschedule or cover any appointments or teaching that it may impose upon.

Not all absences can be disclosed prior to the meeting as emergencies may occur. If a member of the GMC will not be attending at all due to circumstances beyond their control (e.g. sick, family emergency, etc.), and quorum cannot be achieved, a deviation to the membership may be required.

In all cases where a change in membership or timelines affects the applicant, the applicant will be notified of the change by the faculty HR Advisor, Academic and given an opportunity to disclose a conflict of interest.

Contact the TD (Merit) team at

An academic staff member who is not an administrator may appeal to GMC in the following circumstances:

  • They have first appealed to FMC and the appeal was denied.
  • The recommendation forwarded to GMC by the Dean is lower than the recommendation of the Department Head.

Appeals are submitted to the Chair, GMC, c/o TD (Merit) Team at

See Appealing the Dean's Recommendation for more information.

The full GMC will meet to discuss and then vote on each academic recommendation considered. GMC members will not review their own faculty/unit members.

Member Preparation

  • All members of the GMC will be prepared to discuss cases for academics with zero increments and any appeals.
  • All documents to be reviewed by GMC are uploaded to Academic Portfolio to enable electronic review from any location with internet access.
  • Instructions will be forwarded to committee members by the TD (Merit) Team no later than one week prior to the meetings. GMC members will not review their own faculty/unit members.

Meeting Notes

  • Meeting notes are recorded by the TD (Merit) Team and reflect proceedings and votes only.
  • To ensure the Chair has all the correct information when writing the final recommendations to GMC, reasons should be noted as to why an application was denied. It is important that positive comments are noted for inclusion in the Chair’s recommendations when appropriate. These are separate from the official record.


  • Each voting member of the committee has one vote.
  • Decisions are by majority vote. 
  • The Chair does not vote, except to break a tie. 
  • Members may vote on a particular candidate only if they have taken part in the committee's deliberations on that candidate.
  • Record all votes (numbers only) - for/against/abstained.
  • Votes must be by public display of hands.


Potential reduction to zero increment

  • The GMC chair must pause the proceedings for any case where the GMC is seriously considering recommending an increment of zero to an academic, where their Dean did not recommend a zero. A "straw vote" may be taken to assess the possible outcome of a vote.
  • The academic and the Dean shall be notified in writing by the Chair.
  • Both the academic and the Dean are invited to respond to the Committee's concerns at the reconvened meeting of the GMC.
  • The academic may be accompanied by an advisor of their choice, who shall be a Continuing, Contingent Term or Limited Term member of the academic staff.

Changing increments that are not appealed

  • Any merit increment change recommended by GMC must be at a minimum of 0.4, unless the academic is being reviewed as an administrator per 29.6.5. Administrator increments may be changed 0.2 or more.
  • If the GMC is considering increasing an increment from zero, they shall invite the Dean to a future GMC meeting to defend the original recommendation submitted to GMC . The GMC will ask questions for the purpose of clarifying the information at hand. (29.8.8)
  • The Dean will not be present for either the deliberations of the committee or the voting.

Where administrator appeals are denied by GMC, or in any situation where GMC lowers the Dean’s recommendation for an administrator, the Academic Administrator may appeal this decision to the Academic Administrators Appeal Committee (AAAC) within ten working days following the receipt of the written decision of the GMC.

See Academic Administrator Appeals for more information.

The decision of the AAAC is final and binding.

Contact your HR Advisor, Academic for assistance in submitting such an appeal.

Where an appeal by an academic administrator is denied by GMC, or in any situation where GMC lowers a recommendation of a Dean, the Academic Administrator may appeal this decision to the Academic Administrators Appeal Committee (AAAC) within ten working days following the receipt of the written decision of the GMC.

The decision of the AAAC is final and binding.

By January 31, the GMC shall provide a final decision regarding merit increment awarded in writing to every academic staff member. Copies are sent to the Dean (or equivalent) and to HR Advisors, Academic.

In the case of appeals, the Chair of GMC shall advise each appellant in writing (with a copy to the appellant’s Dean and Head and the Faculty Association) of the GMC’s decision. In every case where an appeal is denied, the appellant shall be advised in writing of the basis for the decision.

The decisions of the GMC are final and binding (except in the case of academic administrator appeals to the AAAC.

The GMC recommendations to the President, once accepted, are final and cannot be appealed.

Academics, who are reviewed by GMC with no change to the increment recommended by the Dean, will be able to view their new salary rates via the myUCalgary portal > All about Me > My Pay > My Notifications

TUCFA Collective Agreement


July 2023 GFC Academic Staff Criteria & Processes Handbook


June 2021 GFC Academic Staff Criteria & Processes Handbook


April 2019 GFC Academic Staff Criteria & Processes Handbook

For use only under the transitional provisions of the June 2021 GFC Academic Staff Criteria and Processes Handbook (Part A, Section 4.2)