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"Discretionary" generally means voluntary, not subject to a fixed set of rules nor pursuant a pre-established formula which must be followed. It permits the exercise of judgment rather than compelling precise adherence to an objectively fixed procedure.

None of that guarantees perfection, excellence or "fairness" of any kind. Remember that equity usually implies identity while fairness simply means "what I want".

Dan is completely correct that discretionary can be discriminatory: unconstrained choices will usually involve distinctions based on subjective criteria. Teaching supervisors how to manage performance is ALWAYS a good idea... even if it does not guarantee perfection.

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