Skip navigation - Jump to page content
UWHR to launch new website at end of July! Learn more about the upcoming launch.

Professional Staff Program


Compensation Philosophy

The professional staff compensation system is designed to establish and maintain pay levels that will attract, retain and motivate the high caliber work force necessary to support the University's teaching, research and public service mission. Professional staff compensation is merit-based and recognizes the relative importance of internal salary relationships and external market factors in meeting the employing unit and University performance goals.

Compensation System and Salary Structure

The professional staff compensation system has a broad salary grade structure that provides the framework for compensating professional staff positions. The University may authorize adjustments to the salary grade structure as necessary. The current salary grade structure is displayed in Appendix B

All salary increases or special compensation adjustments require the approval of the appropriate dean or vice president, and the Compensation Office, unless otherwise specified.

Grade, Payroll Title and Salary Range Assignment

The Compensation Office is responsible for assigning professional staff positions to a broad salary grade, a narrower salary range within the grade, and a generic payroll title.

Salary grade assignment may be made using a variety of job content evaluation methods such as point factor systems or whole job ranking. Point factor job analysis assigns a salary grade based on an assessment of elements such as the knowledge and experience required to perform the job, the job's responsibilities and complexity, and the job's importance to the University's mission. The total points assigned to a position reflects its relationship to other professional staff positions. Appendix C summarizes the factors used in the current evaluation system. In certain circumstances, and with the recommendation of the vice president or dean, the salary grade assigned to a position may be adjusted due to external considerations that preclude the University from recruiting or retaining qualified employees for a particular position.

Salary range assignment within a grade is made using criteria such as internal equity comparisons and external job market information. Periodic salary surveys of regional and national markets provide data used to establish salary ranges.

Each payroll title must be linked to one or more of the exemption criteria that permit exemption from the state civil service system (Appendix A). If a payroll title (e.g. "manager" or "director") is assigned to more than one grade level it means that there is a salary hierarchy for similar positions. Generic payroll titles may be grouped together for comparison to job market information. At the discretion of the appointing authority (or designee), a working title may be assigned to a position that is more descriptive than the generic payroll title.

Starting Salary Approval

Employing officials must receive Human Resources' approval for proposed starting salaries. Approval is based on a review of internal salary relationships, external market factors, and individual qualifications. Follow the professional staff employment procedures to fill a professional staff position and establish the starting salary.

Salary Increases

General Salary Increases

Salary progression is not automatic within the Professional Staff Program. Salary increases may be authorized as part of a "General Salary Increase" or as a "Retention and Recognition Adjustment" (see next section). All salary increases require the approval of the appropriate dean or vice president and the Compensation Office, unless otherwise specified.

The University establishes administrative guidelines to implement general salary increases. Salary increase eligibility is independent of a position's funding source but may take into account recent hiring actions or individual salary adjustments.

A current performance evaluation (one completed within the previous twelve months) is required to support recommendations for merit salary adjustments, and in-grade or grade change salary increases.

Job Growth, Retention and Recognition Adjustments

With the approval of the appropriate dean or vice president and the Compensation Office, salary adjustments may be made to recognize job growth, competitive market pressures, meritorious performance, and/or equity.

The types of salary adjustments that are possible are:

Salary "Upgrade"-- An increase in a position's assigned salary grade after an evaluation confirms that the position's duties and responsibilities have increased or changed substantially.

In-grade Salary Adjustment-- A salary increase within the current grade that may be approved:

Other Adjustments -- A salary increase may be approved when an individual promotes to a different position having a higher salary grade. Transfer to a different position within the same salary grade does not require or preclude a salary adjustment.

Additional Compensation

Administrative Supplement

The administrative supplement is a lump sum amount added monthly to an employee's gross salary to recognize the assumption of additional duties or higher level administrative responsibilities. Only overtime exempt positions are eligible to receive an administrative supplement. Follow the administrative supplement request procedure to obtain Compensation Office approval.

Excess Compensation

Professional staff are expected to devote their efforts to the work of their position during their regular work schedule, and all University-related work should be included as part of an employee's normal duties. Under exceptional circumstances overtime exempt positions may qualify for "excess compensation".

Excess compensation to professional staff for all University work that is not part of the position's regular duties may not exceed 25% of the employee's regular annual salary.

All requests for excess compensation must be approved by the appropriate dean or vice president. The UW Compensation Office monitors the use of excess compensation. Units use the Online Payroll Update System (OPUS) to process excess compensation payments (OPUS instructions).

Teaching in the regular University curriculum should normally be included in an employee's regular work schedule. The appropriate dean, vice president, or the provost may approve excess compensation for teaching when:

  1. The request to teach is an exceptional circumstance;
  2. The request is not expected to be repeated;
  3. The teaching is clearly in addition to regular University duties; and,
  4. The activities cannot be accommodated by release time.

Teaching in for-credit courses requires Academic Human Resources Office approval.

Temporary Pay Increase

A professional staff employee who is assigned additional responsibility on an acting basis for a minimum of ten work days may receive a temporary salary increase of at least 5 percent over the current salary. Use the temporary pay increase process to request temporary pay increase approval.