The academic ladder consists of three ranks (assistant professor, associate professor, and full professor) and multiple steps within each rank. The associate and full professor ranks are with tenure. There are four major academic reviews: To associate professor (tenure review), to full professor, to full professor step 6, and to above scale. In addition, there are regular merit reviews that occur no sooner than the years specified below, and no later than every five years.
- Assistant Professor, Steps 1 to 6.9, reviews every 2 years
- Associate Professor, Steps 1 to 5.9, reviews every 2-3 years
- Full Professor, Steps 1 to 9.5, reviewes every 3 years
- Above Scale: reviews every 4 years
Some steps in the assistant and associate professor ranks are equivalent, and likewise there is overlap between steps in the associate and full professor ranks. For example, there is only a $100 difference in salary for Assistant Professor, Step 5 and Associate Professor, Step 1. Advancement from Assistant Professor, Step 4 can be a 1-step merit increase to Assistant Professor Step 5, or a 1-step merit increase with promotion to Associate Professor Step 1.