Feb. 24, 2011

New tools to assist with new salary policy

by Anne Krapfl

To assist supervisors -- the front-line implementers of ISU's new salary adjustment policy for faculty and professional and scientific staff -- the executive vice president and provost's office and human resource services have developed several tools. Earlier this week, those tools were distributed in a memo from HRS director Carla Espinoza and associate provost Dawn Bratsch-Prince to vice presidents, deans and directors. These leaders in turn were asked to share the additional information with department chairs and supervisors.

The tools include:

  • Procedures (PDF) for implementing the policy. These include conducting annual performance evaluations as well as proposing and approving individual salary adjustments in the annual budget process
  • A "frequently asked questions" document (PDF)
  • An overview document for supervisors of faculty (PDF) and/or staff (PDF) that provides greater detail about the salary adjustment options: performance-based, market, equity and retention

Additionally, two forms will be available in the resources section of the policy website or in the online University Forms website:

  • An updated form (PDF) to confirm a performance evaluation of a P&S employee occurred
  • A new form for requesting salary adjustments for faculty or P&S staff at times other than the start of each fiscal year (July 1)

Why a new salary adjustment policy?

The salary adjustment policy for all faculty and P&S staff, which took effect Jan. 14, requires that performance-based salary increases be tied to written performance evaluations, and that market- or equity-based adjustments reflect university-approved market data. The policy is not intended to deter salary adjustments -- only to clarify the process and improve communication about them. It also separates annual salary adjustments from a state appropriation to fund them.

"The policy really gives units much more flexibility to make salary decisions for their own employees," Bratsch-Prince said. "At the same time, it more firmly links salary adjustments to performance evaluations. While we expect all employees to receive a formal performance evaluation each year, it is particularly important to document performance when considering a salary increase."

Under the new policy and as part of the annual budget development process, the executive vice president and provost's office will provide parameters for performance-based salary increases that 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

There no longer will be an average or a "target" salary increase set as part of the annual budget process.

Bratsch-Prince said the executive vice president and provost's office will provide salary increase parameters this spring as part of the FY12 budget development process, despite the possibility of further cuts to the university's state appropriations. Salary increases for FY12 likely will be funded internally; early drafts of ISU's FY12 budget do not include state funding for salary adjustments.