Jan. 13, 2011

New salary adjustment policy ties increases to written evaluations for faculty, P&S

by Anne Krapfl

A new university policy that addresses pay increases for faculty and professional and scientific staff goes into effect Jan. 14 and will be part of developing next year's university budget. In the salary adjustment policy, performance-based salary increases must be tied to written performance evaluations, and market- or equity-based adjustments must reflect university-approved market data. It's not intended to deter salary adjustments -- only to clarify the process and improve communication about them.

Under the new policy and as part of the annual budget development process, parameters for performance-based salary increases will include:

  • A minimum adjustment (identified as a percentage) that recognizes satisfactory performance
  • A maximum adjustment (again a percentage) above which an individual salary increase must be approved by the appropriate vice president or executive vice president and provost

All salary adjustments intended to correct market or equity disparities also must be approved by the appropriate vice president or executive vice president and provost.

A new policy can't guarantee raises

Associate vice president for human resource services Carla Espinoza noted that the timing for such a policy may seem odd: on the heels of several fiscal years without a state salary appropriation covering university employees and another lean year anticipated for the year that begins July 1.

"What we're saying with this policy is that independent of the state funding situation, we need to be more consistent about how we evaluate -- and reward -- our employees. The old practice of waiting for firm appropriation numbers before we begin the discussion is obsolete."

Espinoza said the policy is intended to help:

  • Attract and retain high-achieving employees by rewarding them
  • Reinforce the link between performance evaluations and salary adjustments
  • Give administrators greater flexibility in managing their budgets
  • Provide employees more information about job expectations, and an explanation for salary adjustments when they occur

A semester of work

The salary adjustment policy is the product of discussions that took place throughout fall semester, with input from the University Budget Advisory Committee, the Faculty Senate's Resource Policies and Allocation Council, the Professional and Scientific Council's University Planning and Budget Committee, the President's Budget Cabinet and the senior leadership team.

Current P&S and faculty policies addressing salary increases -- Salary increases - P&S and Faculty Handbook section 4.1.1, respectively -- will be updated to be consistent with the new salary adjustment policy.

What's next?

As outlined in executive vice president and provost Elizabeth Hoffman's Jan. 11 budget memo No. 2 regarding the FY12 budget, two employee teams are developing supporting documents for the new policy. One team is working on information and tools for supervisors, to help them understand their responsibilities under the policy. There will be separate sets of materials for faculty and P&S employees, and those documents will be ready the last week of January. The other team is developing budget and reporting procedures and processes necessary for the annual budget development process; its work should be completed in March.