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

May 22, 2008

Performance pay program takes next step

by Erin Rosacker

A new "exceptional performance pay program" approved by the P&S Council in April also received the green light from President Gregory Geoffroy and executive vice president and provost Elizabeth Hoffman. Implementation plans were refined and sent to the university's vice presidents, deans and chief information officer earlier this month.

The program goes into effect July 1, but FY09 requests cannot recognize exceptional performance prior to July 1, 2008.

Two years ago, the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, established a "pay for exceptional performance" policy, enabling member schools to award meritorious pay to non-organized Professional and Scientific employees.

Unlike an earlier flexible pay program that failed to get support, the exceptional performance pay program has a centralized set of guidelines. If units choose to implement the program, they are required to:

  • Establish request and approval methods
  • Communicate the program to P&S staff and supervisors
  • Evaluate requests consistently
  • Track award requests, approvals and distributions

The awards are discretionary lump-sum payments, up to 10 percent of the employee's base salary. The pay is not added to the base salary, or calculated in employee benefits (such as retirement contributions). All current P&S employees -- full or part time, continuous or term appointments -- who have been at ISU for at least one year are eligible.

How it works

A request form with a description of the employee's eligibility must be completed, then approved by the employee's home unit and top administrator (vice president, dean, director, etc.). Justification for the award must illustrate an employee's outstanding and "vital" contribution beyond the normal scope of his or her job. For example, this includes work on major projects, effort during critical periods or impact on completion of important initiatives.

Long-time service, loyalty and continuous excellence in performing normal job duties are not among the accomplishments considered for the awards.

Funding for the awards can come wholly or in partnership from the employee's department/unit and major administrative unit. Departments/units affiliated with the employee also can contribute funds with permission from the home unit. Awards can be given at any time, but only once per employee, per fiscal year.

For more information about the program, contact associate director of Human Resource Services Mike Otis, 4-4977,


A new program designed to reward P&S employees for exceptional performance was approved and distributed to the university's top unit and department administrators.