Academic Performance Review and Merit Process

HR Advisors, Academic

The HR Advisor, Academic, supports the academic performance review and merit assessment process in the faculties for which they are responsible. This includes overseeing the PeopleSoft merit pools, ensuring the timing and procedures of the process are adhered to, setting up the Faculty Merit Committee, securing all documentation and providing access to Academic Portfolio as well as many other details. Refer to the Dean’s Academic Performance Review and Merit for additional information.

Constant communication is required between the HR Advisor, Academic and their Dean to ensure smooth completion of the process. The Merit Team is a vital source of information and guidance throughout these steps for HR Advisors, Academic.


  • Dates must fit your Faculty Association (FA) representative’s schedule as s/he is required for quorum. The Representative is assigned by the Faculty Association. Contact the Merit Team if you have not yet been assigned a representative.
  • When setting dates for the meetings, include one later date to reconvene the meeting and handle any cases that are paused. Enough time  must be allowed for the academic to submit additional information requested by the FMC.

Closer to the meeting date, send a reminder notice/email to committee members and address quorum again. If a member has indicated they may be absent for a portion of or the whole FMC process, you may have to rearrange your meeting schedule, or replace that member by requesting a deviation.

Oversight of Academic Performance Reports and Recommendations

Ensure all academic staff members have submitted an Academic Performance Report (APR) to the Head or Equivalent via Academic Portfolio. All APR's should be reviewed to ensure only information from the current assessment period has been reported and any errors to auto-populated information are corrected.

In the case of a new academic staff member, any academic accomplishments which were not reflected in the CV or otherwise considered at the time of hiring, shall be considered by the FMC in the first merit assessment.

It is the responsibility of academic staff members to submit the biennial report if they wish to have additional accomplishments considered as part of the merit assessment process. If they do not submit an Academic Performance Report (APR), the assessment process will be based on the portions of the report filled automatically (CA 29.4.6).

Should an academic staff member reveal extenuating circumstances which prevent them from completing the APR considerations can be made and if necessary a deviation requested via the HR Merit Team.

It is advisable to review the Head’s recommendation to ensure it meets the guidelines for writing an assessment.

An academic staff member may request that their report be re-opened for changes after they have initially completed it.

If the changes are requested after any steps in the review have been completed, the new information will be communicated to the participants in the remaining steps of the process to ensure the new information is included in the considerations.

FMC Meeting

The recuse function in Academic Portfolio is used to electronically restrict access to review documents of academics in Conflict of Interest situations. Access to documents (either digital or hard copies) for these cases should not be given to the recused individual. The HR Advisor, Academic will manually update Academic Portfolio.  Reach out to the TD Merit Team for assistance.

  • If a member of the Committee is unable to attend FMC in person and would like to ‘conference’ or ‘Skype’ into the meeting, please provide equipment required. No deviation is required for this.
  • If a member of the Committee will not be attending at all due to circumstances beyond their control (e.g. sick, family emergency, etc.) and the committee will lose quorum, a deviation to the membership may be required to replace this person or to continue without quorum. Contact TD Merit Team to find out whether the replacement is necessary. Remember, not all absences are planned - emergencies do come up.
  • As all records of the meeting are subject to FOIP, formal notes for the meeting should record only proceedings and votes. Rough notes (e.g. reasons for a decision) can be taken and then discarded after the process is complete.
  • If the Committee is moving too quickly and you are unable to record the votes, address this with the Chair. It is very important that your notes are accurate.
  • To assist the Chair in writing the final recommendations to GMC, include reasons why an appeal was denied. It is recommended to include both positive and negative comments in the Chair’s recommendations.These comments are not to be included in the meeting notes.


GMC will only review:

  • Academics who were administrators (CA 29.6.1)
  • Academics who appeal the Dean’s recommendation (CA 29.7.9 and
  • Zero increment recommendations for unsatisfactory performance (CA 29.11.7)

Documents for GMC review: 

  • All documents submitted for review by FMC
  • Dean's recommendation to GMC 
  • Increment history for the last 5 years (zero cases only)
  • Any written response from the academic to the Dean's letter recommending the increment be lowered from the Head’s recommendation or to zero.
  • A report of FMC’s votes (for/against/abstentions) for appeals to be heard by GMC

Documents needed for administrative purposes:

  • Office and cell phone contact information for the Dean and HR Academic Advisors (or faculty contacts) should be sent to the Merit Team.
  • Provide a summary of FMC appeals, including the number of appeals granted/denied and the total number of appeals. This is to be forwarded directly to the Merit Team
  • GMC meeting dates should be added to the Dean's calendar to alert them of the need to be available on short notice to answer GMC questions regarding recommendations for Administrators and Appeals. Notify the Merit Team if the Dean will not be available any of these dates.

The Merit Team will contact you in the event of an appeal to GMC. The Dean (or equivalent) concerned shall be given a copy of the appeal documentation.

The GMC may require a Dean to reconvene a Faculty Merit Committee to reconsider some or all of a set of recommendations. Normally the GMC will only send back a case to the FMC to deal with procedural deficiencies related to consideration of the case. The GMC may only send a case back to the FMC once (CA 20.8.7).

It is vital that all documentation is uploaded to Academic Portfolio in a format that is readily accessed and easily identified. For this reason, check to ensure the following:

  • Documents are in PDF format whenever possible. Orientation and focus of documents should also be fixed as needed.
  • Submissions in other formats can be used for audio and multi-media presentations. In these situations, ensure the links work properly.
  • Each document should be a separate PDF (not uploaded as one big PDF that includes multiple files).
  • Use standard naming conventions for documents.
  • FMC appeal documentation submitted by academic staff members may be considered by GMC (CA

Document Back-up for FMC Meeting

  • A good safety precaution is to copy documents from Academic Portfolio to a USB should there be a network outage during the meeting.

Document Retention

  • The Faculty shall retain a file of all information received and considered for each academic and a record of all decisions reached by each Faculty Merit Committee for four years. After that, all supporting documentation in research, teaching and service is no longer retained or is returned to the academic (for example, published books).
  • Decision documents, CVs and Academic Performance Reports must be kept for the duration of the academic’s career at the university and beyond.
  • See the University Retention Rules.

Merit Increments assigned to individual academics must be entered into the Merit Pools right after the FMC meetings have concluded. The merit pool balance must be zero.

Obtain the Dean's approval, in writing or email, prior to checking the approval boxes for all academics in the faculty. Retain this approval for your records.

Notify the Merit Team when this step has been completed.

Academic Portfolio

Academic Portfolio is the University of Calgary’s tool to support the Academic Career processes.

Learn more

TUCFA Collective Agreement


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)