In July 2003, the Carver College of Medicine (CCOM) adopted a PDF iconpilot incentive program in the basic science departments that would establish lump sum incentive payments for faculty who generate 50% or more of their salary from extramural grants or contracts. The basic science departments consist of the departments of anatomy, biochemistry, microbiology, pharmacology and physiology.

Following adoption of the CCOM incentive program, administrators in other colleges, without adequate faculty input, began promoting similar PDF iconprograms. In response, the Executive Committee – recognizing the need for approval procedures and evaluation – developed an analysis of research-based faculty salary incentive programs and submitted a PDF iconreport to the Faculty Senate. One source of information for the report was an PDF iconarticle in the journal Science.

The Senate voted to accept the report (Faculty Senate minutes, March 23, 2004, IV. B. Salary Incentive Plans) that recommends that the Faculty Senate appoint a committee to assess the propriety of bonus programs for the University of Iowa in general, and to recommend guidelines for such programs.  Also included was a moratorium on implementation of new bonus plans until evaluation by the Faculty Senate is complete and the plan found acceptable by the faculty.