- applied for three grants, winning only a small, internal grant for the improvement of instruction;
- taught five courses in load, all of them undergaduate: one with 8 students, another with 12 students, and the other three with 30 students or more;
- had teaching evaluations well above the department’s average;
- taught a graduate course with 4 students in it out of load, and directed a couple of undergraduate research projects as well as a graduate student’s research project;
- published one single-authored journal paper and another joint-authored paper (on a different topic) at a conference — both venues peer-reviewed, international, and respected for quality;
- served on two department committees and one college committee;
- refereed six papers carefully, providing detailed explanations of his concerns.

- won no grants — didn’t even apply;
- taught four courses in load, all graduate level, none larger than 8 students;
- had… less-than-stellar teaching evaluations;
- directed 3 doctoral students;
- published fifteen journal papers, all joint-authored and peer-reviewed, but with little difference in content — essentially, they apply the exact same mathematical idea to different applied contexts, the originality consisting in a few lines here and there to show how the idea applies — and while two of them appear in respected journals, the rest are more along the lines of “spray-and-pay” venues where a page fee applies and refereeing is perfunctory;
- served on a department committee, if you can call it “serving”: he rarely showed up and, when he did, shrugged and deferred to his colleagues’ opinions;
- refereed sixty papers, submitting very sparse rationales for the recommendations, but basing most of them on a quick skim of the contents and then trusting the author’s reputation.

- No rewards for bygone years’ effort.
Raises are based on what one did
*during the period evaluated.*Hence, it can*not*be determined as a percentage of current salary. - Determine merit raises based on dividing the pot according to what the criteria actually mean: everyone who “exceeds expectations” receives one, large amount; everyone who merely “meets expectations” receives a lesser amount designed to keep up with inflation; and everyone who “fails to meet expectations” receives nothing.
- Given how inflation works, Professor B would object that he loses money.
Well,
*yes*, that’s the point. He ought to consider himself lucky they’re not firing him: does he give passing grades to students who don’t meet expectations? (If he does, that’s even worse, but never mind that.) If Professor B thinks he provides that much value, let him go find an institution willing to hire him at the salary he thinks he deserves.

- Inflation in 2021 was 7%, so on average, anything that cost $1 in 2021 now costs $1.07.
- Applied to my salary, that means that in 2022 I’d have to earn $107,000 in order to maintain the same budget. So far I’m $3,000 ahead, but…
- The government still wants its share! Suppose my federal income bracket is 25% and my state bracket is 5%. (Not unreasonable at that salary level, depending on family size.) The government looks only at the nominal income, so it sees that I’m now earning another $10,000, and it taxes 30% of that, or $3,000.
- At least my post-tax nominal income is $107,000,
which kept up with inflation, right? Well,
**no:**I didn’t mention Social Security tax (12.4%), Medicare tax (2.9%), disproportionately higher health care costs (wasn’t the ACA supposed to fix that?), and the 401(k) deduction which, being a percentage of salary (8% in my case),*also*takes more. (At least I’ll get that back one day! — though the government will tax that then, so I won’t get all of it. It’s a little more complicated.)