May 6, 2010

Individual salary increases must address equity, merit or retention issues

by Anne Krapfl

Iowa State will use $3.5 million in new, recurring state funds to award some individual salary increases for the year that begins July 1. President Gregory Geoffroy first announced the proposal at the April 29 state Board of Regents meeting; guidelines were released May 4 in executive vice president and provost Elizabeth Hoffman's most recent budget planning memo.

These funds are in addition to the cost of pay increases required in merit employees' contract with the state, salary increases associated with faculty promotions, and incremental increases in fringe benefits costs, all of which still will be covered by the affected units. They're also in addition to central funds that will be used to implement the new professional and scientific compensation structure on July 1 and raise approximately 55 professional and scientific salaries to new pay grade minimums.

As noted in revised salary guidelines attached to Hoffman's memo, salary increases may be provided to individual faculty, P&S staff, post docs and graduate assistants "when funding is available and an increase can be justified to address equity, merit or retention." Any proposed increase above 5 percent will require approval at the vice presidential level and must be submitted to the appropriate vice president by May 21.

"Satisfactory performance is not a sufficient condition to justify an individual salary increase under these guidelines," noted Hoffman in the memo.

The additional funds for individual salary increases will be distributed to units as summarized in the chart below and in proportion to budgeted salaries (faculty, P&S and grad assistants) for the current fiscal year.

Distribution of FY11 salary increase funds

Unit Amount
Ag and Life Sciences $557,630
Business $177,540
Design $117,240
Engineering $415,450
Human Sciences $204,280
Liberal Arts and Sciences $797,050
Veterinary Medicine $239,080
Library $55,310
IT Services $112,910
President $43,600
Vice presidential
Business and finance $169,790
Exec VP/Provost $83,000
Extension and outreach $340,220
Research and economic development $101,980
Student affairs $109,020
Total $3,524,100

As Geoffroy also outlined to the regents on April 29, Iowa State's compensation plan for FY11 includes restoring the university's contribution to employees' TIAA-CREF accounts to 10 percent of salary on July 1. The contribution was lowered to 8 percent this winter to help meet a budget reversion to the state. And Geoffroy said the goal in FY11 is to not require furloughs for faculty and P&S staff.

Bridge funding for FY11

Geoffroy designated the $3.5 million for salary increases from state funds initially intended to be used as bridge funding to help units transition to smaller operating budgets next year. Hoffman said she believes a sufficient volume of bridge funding, between $12 million and $14 million, still exists to meet this need. Her May 4 memo also outlines the application process for bridge funds. Requests are due in Hoffman's office by June 4, with decisions about approved requests to be made within two weeks.