Report

Recommended Policy and Procedure for Initial One-Percent Reallocation

When President Michael Nietzel asked faculty and staff at Missouri State University to identify crucial issues, low salaries was named as the most pressing concern. In response, Dr. Nietzel implemented a plan to raise salaries by reallocating a pool of money equal to one percent of the University's personnel budgets. All benefits-eligible faculty and staff who were hired prior to July 1, 2005 and who were eligible for pay prior to that date are eligible to be considered for a possible salary adjustment effective January 2006. This is a one-time reallocation; however, over time, the University will continue to address salary concerns (see www.missouristate.edu/president/committees/compensation.htm).

1. Recommended guidelines for considering salary adjustments for all benefit-eligible employees

Equity considerations: The Compensation Committee recommends that this one-time one-percent pool be distributed primarily on the basis of equity considerations. Faculty (including lecturers and faculty holding administrative appointments) who wish to be considered for a salary adjustment will be required to submit written requests for equity adjustments; all other employees should follow the directives of their cost-center heads regarding whether written requests will be allowed, and if allowed, whether a written request is required or optional.

Performance considerations: Although equity should be the primary basis for determining adjustments in this one-time reallocation, heads of cost centers must also take acceptable performance into consideration. The Compensation Committee was in unanimous agreement that all employees receiving a salary adjustment should be able to present an ongoing record of satisfactory performance. Performance should be considered for the previous five-year period; for employees who have been employed at the University fewer than five years, the employee's total performance record should be considered. Salary adjustments for classified staff may be in the form of a step increase or an out-of-grade differential. Important note: Out-of-grade differentials are not considered part of base salary and, thus, do not receive cost-of-living or other types of adjustments in future years.

If a salary adjustment is denied because an employee's performance is deemed unacceptable over the last five years, the head of the cost center must be able to provide documentation supporting that conclusion.

Four-percent (4%) limit on salary adjustments (and one exception): Salary adjustments cannot exceed four percent (4%) of an individual's salary without approval by the applicable vice president, provost, or chancellor. An exception to this limit is made in the case of a recommended step increase for classified staff. The Compensation Committee recognizes that the 4 ½ percent raise that accompanies a step increase exceeds the 4% limit on salary adjustments; however, the committee also recognizes that some groups of classified employees, particularly secretarial/clerical employees who are still moving through the step system, earn salaries far below market. Therefore, salary adjustments in the form of a step increase for classified staff should be allowed without requiring supervisory approval to exceed the 4% limit.

Decision process: All funds contributed by a cost center will be reallocated within that cost center. For this initial reallocation, no funds will migrate across cost-center boundaries. Heads of cost centers will be responsible for determining the details of the process by which salary adjustments will be determined and are also responsible for communicating that process to employees in the cost center. Heads of cost centers will determine on an individual basis which employees will receive salary increases, and will also determine, within limits of the reallocated funds available in the cost center, the amount of the increases. Cost-center heads should attempt to address the most pressing equity issues. Decisions should be based on market information and internal equity considerations (including considerations of gender equity if warranted). Heads of cost centers may use various sources of data in determining appropriate adjustments, including CUPA, AIM, and COC CompData. Note: AIM and COC CompData include salary information on staff positions that are not listed in CUPA surveys. Comparisons to Missouri State University positions and analysis of AIM and COC CompData are available in Human Resources.

The committee did attempt to define equity and to determine specific guidelines. In the Appendix to this document, we offer one possible market-based approach that cost-center heads may find useful; however, we cannot provide a fool-proof mechanical formula and we recognize that subjective judgment is an inherent part of the process. Nevertheless, heads of cost centers should be prepared to offer clear rationale for their decisions.

2. Guidelines applying only to academic colleges and academic deans (in addition to general guidelines above)

Faculty written requests for equity adjustment: In order for faculty members, including lecturers and faculty who hold administrative appointments, to receive consideration for a salary adjustment, they MUST submit a written request to their department head/director/supervisor. Note: The committee recognizes that the Faculty Handbook, Section 2.10.1.4 (Equity Adjustments) says that faculty members may submit a request for an equity adjustment. After extensive deliberation, it is the recommendation of the Compensation Committee that to be considered for this special one-time salary adjustment, any faculty member who wishes to be considered for a salary adjustment must submit a written request.

Staff requests: Like other cost-center heads, college deans should provide guidance to classified and unclassified staff in their respective costs centers (i.e., colleges) regarding whether written requests from staff will be accepted, and if accepted, whether required or optional.

Deadline and length limit on written requests: The deadline for all written requests for salary adjustment is Friday, October 14, 2005. Department heads are responsible for informing faculty (including lecturers) that a written request is required in order for an individual to be considered for a salary adjustment. Written requests may be as brief as desired, except that faculty should follow any specific guidelines issued by their department head and/or dean to provide particular information. In any case, written requests cannot exceed two (2) pages. It is recommended that the request include current salary, the amount of the requested adjustment, the rationale for the requested adjustment, and any information on salary history that may shed light on the employee's current salary situation.

Department head recommendations: The deadline for department heads to submit their recommendations, along with all accompanying documentation, to college deans is Friday, October 28, which is also the deadline for department heads and associate deans to submit written requests on their own behalf to the college dean. To formulate recommendations, department heads must review all written requests and also give consideration to any staff employees who were not required to make a written request. For each employee for whom the department head is recommending an adjustment, the head should provide a recommended dollar amount (which may be the same or different than the dollar amount requested by the employee), the percentage of the individual's salary that dollar amount represents, and the rationale for the adjustment request (which may be the same or different than the rationale provided by the employee). Also, department heads should provide a rationale for any employee who submitted a request but is not being recommended by the head for an adjustment (see section 3 below for example rationales).

Dean's forum: The committee recommends that between October 28 and November 15, each college dean will host a forum that includes all department heads in their respective colleges for the purpose of allowing the heads to present their salary adjustment requests. At the discretion of the dean, other invitees may be included (for example, a college advisory group might be included). All requests are to be considered and discussed openly by the group prior to the dean making his/her decisions on distribution of salary adjustments. Funds should generally not be distributed evenly across departments and individuals but rather allocated to those individuals who are performing in a satisfactory manner and for whom equity problems are most severe.

Advisory committees: The Compensation Committee makes no specific recommendation about whether department heads or college deans should use departmental- or college-level advisory committees. We believe there are pros and cons to this practice when used to make recommendations on the distribution of salary adjustments and we leave the decision of whether to use advisory groups, and if so, in what manner, to the discretion of individual department heads and college deans.

3. Notification Processes

The committee recommends that heads of all cost centers promptly notify employees in their respective cost centers who are slated to receive salary adjustments. In addition, we recommend that heads of cost centers notify all employees who have submitted a written request but whose request has been denied. Cost-center heads should provide a brief rationale for denial decisions. Example rationales are:

  • evidence of salary inequity not compelling;
  • evidence supports need for adjustment but other needs are more pressing;
  • a record of unsatisfactory performance within the last five years precludes adjustment.
    Note: Cost-center head must be able to document unsatisfactory performance.

The deadline for all notifications is Friday, December 9, 2005.

4. Appeal Processes

The committee recommends the following appeal processes; however, we also ask faculty and staff to understand that any appeal that is compelling enough to be successful will require drawing on funds other than the reallocation pool as those funds will have already been distributed.

Faculty Appeals: Faculty should follow appeal processes outlined in the Faculty Handbook.

Staff Appeals: Staff should follow appeal processes outlined in the Employee Handbook.

Bargaining Units: IBEW bargaining unit employees should follow the Memorandum of Agreement grievance procedure.

Other Appeals: If any employee feels that he/she has been discriminated against on the basis of any characteristic not relevant to their job performance, the employee may consult with the Office for Equity and Diversity.