HRM-035: University Faculty Salaries and Bonuses

Date: 03/10/2012 Status: Final
Policy Type: University
Oversight Executive: Executive Vice President and Provost
Applies To: Academic Division.
Reason for Policy:

The University has established guidelines for a consistent and fiscally responsible means for supervisors to compensate University faculty in support of the University’s commitment to attract, develop, retain and recognize excellent faculty.

Definition of Terms in Statement:
  • Bonus:

    A lump sum payment that is not a part of the employee’s base pay.

  • Faculty:

    For this policy, refers to academic (teaching and research) faculty and administrative and professional faculty.

Policy Statement:

Faculty salaries are used to attract, develop, retain and recognize qualified faculty. It is the University’s practice to award salary increases to faculty through the annual merit increase cycle when feasible and to provide flexibility to respond to exceptional circumstances such as retention, additional responsibilities, and administrative errors. Compensation arrangements will be subject to applicable legislative appropriation and will comply with state and federal law.

One-time bonuses are available as a tool to recognize the contributions of faculty and/or address specific organizational needs. A faculty member may receive a bonus if he/she meets one of the criteria for a bonus as noted in Section 3 of this policy.

Confidentiality: The review and approval of a faculty salary adjustment is confidential. No dean, department head, or other University employee has the authority to disclose any pending or recommended increase to a faculty member until final approval is received from the appropriate vice president.

Note: Faculty performance is reviewed each year as governed by the policies on Annual Performance Reviews and HRM-013, Employment of Non-Tenure Track Faculty.

  1. Salary Increases Recommended through the Annual Merit Increase Cycle:
    Faculty salaries are reviewed each year in conjunction with the annual performance reviews if the Board of Visitors provides authority for an annual merit increase.

Each faculty member’s salary and recommended annual salary increase will be based on a written assessment of the individual’s performance and appropriate supporting documentation, including the faculty member’s annual report and comparable, documented market information, when available. Those who have successfully achieved an important career milestone, such as a promotion and tenure review, should receive special consideration.

Schools and units develop salary recommendations in accordance with guidelines issued annually by the appropriate executive/senior vice president or president. All salary recommendations for faculty must be rounded to the nearest hundred dollars. Recommendations for salary increases are submitted to the appropriate vice president for approval.

  1. Flexibility to Respond to Exceptional Circumstances:
    Reasons for adjustments to base salary outside of the normal merit cycle may include additional responsibilities and/or retention considerations. Funding for the faculty member’s base salary increase must be secured by the requesting school or unit.

    1. Criteria for Adjustments outside Annual Merit Cycle:
      Schools and units may request a salary increase for a faculty member outside of the normal merit cycle for these reasons, to:

      • Correct a pay administrative error;
      • Recognize the permanent addition of substantial duties. [Note: See policy HRM-045, Faculty External Consulting and Internal Overload  to compensate a faculty member for assuming additional, short-term responsibilities - usually lasting less than a semester); or
      • Retain a faculty member who has received an employment offer from another employer or whose accomplishments or area of expertise have, since the last annual review cycle, made him/her highly likely to be recruited by other employers.

A request for an adjustment to a faculty member’s base salary must be made in writing to the president or the appropriate executive/senior vice president. (See the procedure for Requesting an Adjustment to Base Salary.)

  1. Bonus Payment to a Faculty Member:
    A faculty member may receive a bonus if he/she meets one of the three criteria outlined below for a bonus and funds from the department are available. A bonus is a single installment non-recurring payment, the total of which should not exceed the faculty member’s base salary within a fiscal year. Bonuses are taxed as supplemental income and are not added to a faculty member’s base salary.

    1. Criteria for Bonus Payment:
      Bonus payments provide a one-time financial reward to faculty members and may be given to:
      • Recognize an exceptional accomplishment or contribution;
      • Retain a faculty member whose accomplishments or area of expertise make him/her highly likely to be recruited by other employers, and who in the judgment of the supervisor, requires a one-time bonus as a signal of recognition; or
      • Increase the chances that a highly competitive job candidate will accept the University’s offer of employment.

Schools or units may establish more restrictive criteria for faculty bonuses than those defined above but may not expand them.

A bonus may not be awarded to:

  • Reimburse a faculty member for any type of expense; or
  • Circumvent state or federal law or University policy.
  1. Eligibility for a Bonus Payment:
    Current faculty members must have received a positive evaluation indicating acceptable performance during the most recent annual performance review.

  2. Approval of a Bonus Payment:
    A bonus award for less than $10,000 must be approved by the dean or the appropriate vice president. Bonus payments of $10,000 or more require the approval of the appropriate executive/senior vice president or president. Such requests must be submitted in writing, justifying the amount proposed relative to the bonus criteria. (See the procedure for Requesting a Bonus Payment of $10,000 or more.)

  3. Funding of a Bonus Payment:
    Funding for all bonuses must be provided by the school or unit. If a school or unit wishes to award a bonus to a faculty member outside its area, the bonus must be approved and authorized in writing in advance by the faculty member’s dean or unit head.
Procedures:
  1. Requesting an Adjustment to Base Salary:
    The department/unit head submits a request in writing for an adjustment outside the University’s normal merit cycle to the appropriate executive/senior vice president or president. The request should specify:
    • The faculty member’s name, rank and department;
    • The date upon which the requested increase would become effective, if approved; and
    • A brief justification that specifies the factors related to the proposed increase.
  2. Requesting a Bonus Payment of $10,000 or More:
    The department/unit head submits a request in writing to award a bonus payment of $10,000 or more to the appropriate executive/senior vice president or president. The request should include:
    • Narrative justification to support the bonus payment; and
    • Documentation to support the criteria the bonus payment is based upon.
Related Information:

HRM-003, Employment of Non-Tenure Track Faculty
HRM-045, Faculty External Consulting and Internal Overload
Annual Performance Reviews

School of Medicine Policies:
            Offering Guaranteed Incentive Payments to Faculty
            Quarterly Payment of Clinical Faculty Incentives
            Basic Science Incentive Plan
            Clinical Faculty Remuneration Plan
            Salary Support Expectations for Faculty
            Salary Adjustment

Major Category: Human Resource Management
Category Cross Reference: Academic Administration
Approved by, Date: Executive Vice President and Provost (as President's Designee), 03/10/2012
Revision History: This is the first version of this policy.