This policy was a part of the former UPS Policy set that was integrated into the System Administrative Policy set. It applies to all University of Wisconsin institutions except for UW-Madison. For UW-Madison’s policies, please see the Human Resource Design Policies website.

Original Issuance Date:  October 11, 2017
Last Revision Date:  November 19, 2019

1. Policy Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide Chancellors with a framework for the distribution of UW System approved pay plans for the university workforce.

2. Responsible UW System Officer

Senior Associate Vice President and Human Resources Officer

3. Scope

This policy provides the pay plan distribution policy framework for the university workforce except for employees of UW-Madison.

4. Policy Background

Wis. Stat. § 36.115 requires the Board of Regents and the UW-Madison Chancellor to develop personnel systems that are separate and distinct from the personnel system under Wis. Stat. Chapter 230. Regent Policy Document 20-21, University Personnel Systems, delegates to the President of the University of Wisconsin System, except for the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the authority to formulate operating policies to administer this personnel system.

The pay plan recommendation requested by the Board of Regents and the UW System President must ultimately be approved by the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Employment Relations (JCOER). Per Wis. Stat. § 230.12 (3)(e), the Board’s pay plan recommendation is submitted to the State’s Administrator of the Division of Personnel Management (DPM) who will submit a proposal to JCOER for adjusting compensation via the pay plan.

5. Policy Definitions 

 University Workforce: For the purposes of pay plan distribution university workforce includes only faculty, academic staff, university staff, university staff project employees, and limited appointees.

Pay Plan: The JCOER approved compensation adjustment.

Continuing Staff: Those staff who are in the budget and meet the institution’s pay plan eligibility requirements.

6. Policy Statement

A.  Chancellors shall develop, oversee and coordinate pay plan administration using the processes and practices of shared institutional governance that are operative at each respective institution. Each Chancellor is directed to proceed with university workforce salary evaluations using a suitable evaluation system to assess meritorious performance and solid performance, the results of which can be converted to a salary, once the pay plan is known. A record of the evaluation judgments shall be made before July 1, as provided in Wis. Stat. 36.09(1)(j).

B.  Compensation adjustments for university workforce shall be distributed on the basis of merit and on the basis of solid performance. Chancellors are authorized to earmark up to 15 percent of the total pay plan each year for the Chancellors’ discretionary use to meet special compensation needs such as: to reward members of the university workforce for innovative and/or collaborative program delivery, and/or exceptional performance in support of institution goals; and/or to correct pay inequities. To be eligible for the 15% Chancellors’ discretionary award, staff must also receive a merit/solid performance adjustment.

Assessment of meritorious performance and solid performance for faculty shall be based on a systematic performance evaluation program, which identifies positive contributions by the faculty member to teaching, research, public service and/or the support functions inherent in the institution’s mission. Assessment of teaching faculty shall include consideration of student evaluations per Regent Policy Document 20-2, Student Evaluation of Instruction.

Assessment of meritorious performance and solid performance for all other university workforce employees shall be based on a systematic performance evaluation program which allows supervisory assessment of solid and meritorious performance in their areas of assigned responsibility.

C.  Chancellors shall strive to ensure equity across all employee categories.

D.  This policy does not apply to those staff members covered by collective bargaining agreements.

E.  Any and all compensation adjustments must be based on performance; across-the-board compensation adjustments not based on merit are prohibited. At a minimum, continuing staff who have performed at a satisfactory level shall be eligible for a compensation adjustment from funds set aside to recognize meritorious and solid performance, except when an employment contract, collective bargaining agreement or administrative practice holds to the contrary.

F.  All members of the university workforce must complete the mandatory training of Preventing Sexual Harassment and Violence and Information Security Awareness and other institution specific mandatory training to be eligible for pay plan adjustment.

G.  Unless otherwise specified by executive/legislative action, the effective dates for the payment of the pay plan shall be July 1 each year for annual-basis employees, the start of the academic year for those on academic year appointments, the beginning of the first biweekly pay period included with the beginning of each fiscal year for those staff paid biweekly, and other dates as set by the Chancellors for persons with appointment periods commencing at times other than July 1 and the beginning of the academic year.

H.  The President is authorized each year to increase the systemwide faculty salary minima by up to the full amount of the pay plan and rounded to the nearest hundred dollars. For Category B research and instructional academic staff, the Board authorizes the continuation of the current policy linking titles to the faculty salary minima based on percentage relationships approved in the 1994 Gender and Race Equity Study.

The President is authorized each year to increase the systemwide salary range minima and maxima for Category A salary ranges and university staff pay ranges.  The decision to increase the minima and/or the maxima will be communicated through the University of Wisconsin System Human Resources Office.

I.  Base salaries shall not be less than the salary or pay range minimum. The salary increase shall not move the base salary above the applicable salary or pay range maximum.  Staff currently paid above the applicable salary or pay range maximum shall be eligible for a salary increase of up to half of the amount by which the salary and pay ranges have been adjusted.

J.  Salary adjustment rates for promotion in faculty rank are delegated to Chancellors.

K.  Each institution shall complete its actions on stipend schedules for non-represented graduate assistants prior to July 1 and shall establish a factor for adjustments, which can be applied expeditiously to determine compensation increases. Stipend schedules for each graduate assistant category shall be separately established.

L.  If the Regents’ meeting schedule does not afford an opportunity for timely action by the full Board on salary adjustments, the Board authorizes the Executive Committee of the Board, in consultation with the System President, to approve any discretionary salary adjustments. Appropriate information shall be provided to all members of the Board.

M. Compensation actions related to the pay plan and delegated to the Chancellors shall be completed in accordance with statutory requirements, legislative intent, and Regent policy, and shall be reported to UW System Administration to make possible the preparation of payrolls and reporting to the Board of Regents.

N. Institution pay plan guidelines shall be forwarded to UW System Human Resources for review no later than May 1 of each year.

7. Related Documents

1994 Gender and Race Equity Study
Regent Policy Document 20-21, University Personnel Systems
Regent Policy Document 20-2, Student Evaluation of Instruction
UW System Administrative Policy 1277, Compensation
Wis. Stat. § 36.09(1)(j)
Wis. Stat. § 36.115
Wis. Stat. § 230.12 (3)(e)

8. Policy History

Revision 1: November 19, 2019

First Approved: October 11, 2017

9. Scheduled Review

March 2021