Original Issuance Date: December 27, 2019
Last Revision Date: December 27, 2019

1. Purpose of Procedures

The purpose of this procedure is to provide a process for the creation of extraordinary salary ranges (ESR) at either an institution or system level. This procedure outlines minimum required documentation for establishing ESR in order to promote consistent and transparent compensation practices within the system. This procedure does not diminish the authority delegated to UW chancellors to establish an ESR.

2. Responsible UW System Officer

Associate Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer

3. Definitions

Please see SYS 1225, General Terms and Definitions for a list of general terms and definitions.

Definitions specific to this policy:

Institution base funds: Institutional funds that are part of an institution’s budget, not part of Board of Regents pay plan funds.

Compensatory time: Time off the job which is earned and accrued by an employee in lieu of immediate cash payment for overtime in accordance with FLSA.

Extraordinary Salary Range (ESR): An approved salary range that is greater than the assigned range for the title. An ESR can be either system wide or institution specific. An ESR is associated with one of the following:

  • A title (e.g., clinical anesthetist)
  • A portion of a title series (e.g., nurse practitioners, within the clinical nurse specialist series)

An ESR can apply to any faculty, academic staff, university staff, or limited appointee position, including temporary or permanent positions.

Overtime: Any hours worked over forty (40) in a work week by an FLSA non-exempt employee.

Premium rate: means the regular hourly rate plus .5 times the regular rate paid the FLSA non-exempt employee.

Range spread: The percent difference from the midpoint of the range to the minimum and maximum

Regular rate: The average hourly rate actually paid the employee as straight time pay for all hours worked in the workweek or work period, including all remuneration for employment paid to, or on behalf of, the employee, except any payments specifically excluded from the calculation of the regular rate under the FLSA and related federal regulations.

Work hours: Work time as directed by the appointing authority during which an employee must be on duty and/or at a prescribed place of work.

Range Minimum: The lowest salary that will be paid to individuals qualified to hold positions in the range.

Range Mid-Point: The salary that represents the middle of the range i.e. the salary is equidistant to the minimum of the range and the maximum of the range.

Range Maximum: The highest salary that can be paid to individuals holding positions in a range. A salary above range maximum will be “red-circled” until adjustments to the salary structure bring it to within range. A range maximum can be exceeded if an extraordinary salary range is approved.

4. Procedures

A. Establishing the Need for an ESR

A documented need must exist in order to establish an ESR. A request for an ESR can be initiated at the institution level by contacting the institution’s Human Resources office or at the UW system level by contacting UW System Human Resources. The human resources office that receives the request will document the need for establishing an ESR.
Reasons that may establish the need for an ESR include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. It is determined that the UWSA assigned salary range will not be competitive based on market information;
  2. A search to fill a position yields poor candidate pools to a noncompetitive salary range;
  3. Negotiations with a candidate to fill a position exceeds the established salary range; or
  4. Repeated turn-over within a position where salary is a contributing factor.

The human resources office shall maintain a document that summarizes the need for the ESR and the information upon which that decision was made.

B. Establishing an ESR

I. Selecting market comparable data

Once the need for an ESR has been established, the human resources department will establish an appropriate salary range using the following guidelines:

A review of compensation data should include relevant data, including but not limited to appropriate salary surveys. For positions unique to higher education, institutions should use the established Faculty Peer Groups as a guide to establishing higher education peer groups. An institution may vary from this peer group where circumstances require (e.g. using athletic conferences to establish an ESR for athletic department positions, selecting a broader peer group where there is insufficient data within the peer group to identify an appropriate market match or where local market conditions justify a need for a different market.)

For positions that are also in the market outside of higher education, a blend of survey data from higher education and other survey data may be appropriate. For management positions (e.g. Director level or higher), organizations should use an appropriate revenue scope when making comparisons to market data.

II. Establishing Range

Based on the market data, a range should be established based on the median of the market data (50th percentile). The range width should be consistent with the range width of other positions at a similar scope and level.

If a salary range based on the market mid-point is deemed insufficient to alleviate the specific recruitment or retention problem identified in the need for the ESR, a salary range may be based on different market positioning.

The extraordinary salary range should be based on salaries paid for comparable positions in the external market.

III. Documentation of an ESR

a. Documentation Maintained by the Institution Creating an ESR: When creating an ESR, the following information must be documented by the appropriate human resources department:

  1. Documentation of the need for the ESR and a summary of the information that substantiated that reason;
  2. A summary of the data used to establish the ESR, including an identification of any surveys used and the parameters/peer groups used to access the data;
  3. A final calculation that shows the identified market median and proposed range.
    This documentation must be maintained by the institution that created the ESR until the ESR is no longer in effect.

b. Documentation Sent to UWSHR: When any institution creates an ESR, the institution shall transmit to UW-System Human Resources (UWSHR) the following information:

  1. Job code for which the ESR was established;
  2. The intended scope of the ESR (e.g. whether the ESR applies to the full title or a portion of the title series);
  3. The minimum and maximum of the new ESR
  4. A statement certifying that the underlying documentation required under Paragraph (a) is being maintained by the institution.

UWSHR shall develop a reporting procedure to facilitate collecting and maintaining this information.

IV. Final Approval:

  1. Final approval for an institutional ESR rests with the Institution’s Chancellor;
  2. Final approval for a systemwide or UW System Administration ESR rests with the UW System President.

5. Related Documents

SYS 1277, Compensation
SYS 1277.B, Compensation: Merit Pay

6. History

First approved: December 27, 2019