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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

May 21, 2004

Council requests full review of P&S classification/pay system

by Anne Krapfl

It's time for a comprehensive review of Iowa State's Professional and Scientific classification and compensation system, according to a motion approved unanimously May 6 by the P&S Council. Recognizing that budgets are tight and unpredictable, the motion proposes a timeline in which the request for proposal for the project would be completed by the end of December, and the actual review work would start by September 2005.

A comprehensive review was one of the key recommendations in a report completed last month by HR Audit Inc., Brookfield, Wis. A representative of the human resources consulting firm spent about three months doing a preliminary review of specific factors, including external competitiveness of P&S salaries, salary penetration through the pay ranges, the performance appraisal process, and compression of P&S salaries -- particularly when compared to the salary growth of merit employees whose earnings surpass those of their PS& supervisors.

"Over the past 10 years, particularly the last four, compensation has progressively become less competitive and equitable," reads the report. "Costs for not taking action are being incurred." These costs include the loss of high-performing employees who leave the university to take other jobs, recruiting and training new employees, and what the report calls a "disproportionate number of upward" reclassifications.

The entire report is available online from the human resource services Web site, (see "HR Audit Report").

The current P&S classification and compensation system has been in place since 1994. A comprehensive review would quantify the scope of the inequities in the current system, as well as the cost of correcting the problems. With that information, the university could develop a plan for implementing changes.

The motion will be forwarded to President Gregory Geoffroy, vice presidents Benjamin Allen and Warren Madden and assistant vice president Carla Espinoza. It requests a response to the council by June 3.

In other business, the council elected new officers for 2004-05. They are:
  • President: Kevin Kane, Academic Information Technologies (incumbent president)
  • Vice President: Brenda Van Beek, Natural Resource Ecology and Management (incumbent vice president)
  • Secretary-Treasurer: Bonnie Whalen, Academic Information Technologies
  • At-large members to the executive committee: Cathy Good, Ag Experiment Station; and Mark Nelson, Ames Lab.

The next council meeting begins at 2 p.m. Thursday, June 3, in 1020 Extension Youth/4-H Building. Council members elected in March and new officers will be seated at this meeting.


"Over the past 10 years, particularly the last four, compensation has progressively become less competitive and equitable."

HR Audit Inc. report