Through a quantitative and qualitative analysis of 417 recommendations for merit salary awards, this article examines how faculty and administrators at an American university define merit. Particular attention is paid to how the academic characteristics of a writer or recipient affect the type of case made and the relative weight given teaching, research, and service in the letters.
The assessment of what determined merit varied by discipline and rank. It was also found that teaching is less valued than administrative service and research.
KeywordsQualitative Analysis Relative Weight Administrative Service Academic Characteristic Academic Merit
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