Memo from the Dean

L&S Salary Exercise for 2016-2017

October 12th 2016

To:         L&S Chairs, Directors and Department Administrators

From:    John Karl Scholz

Central campus has made a commitment to provide funding to schools, colleges, and other campus units to help address compensation issues for faculty and staff.   This financial support was generated through reallocation of internal campus resources and is being distributed through three initiatives:

  • The Block Grant for Faculty Compensation Adjustments is intended by campus to provide base increases for up to 20% of faculty.
  • The Discretionary Compensation Fund is intended by campus to provide base increases for up to one-third of academic staff/limited appointees and university staff.
  • The Performance Bonus Fund is intended by campus to provide one-time increases for up to 10% of faculty and staff.

We are grateful to campus for providing this funding, which will allow us to continue to address targeted salary issues in the College.

Authority for use of these funds is delegated to Deans.  Within L&S, under our new tally sheet accounting rules, each department will receive credit for a share of the campus funds, and then pay the full cost of most raises.  (Please remember that historical match rates no longer apply.)  In distributing campus funds to departments, the College will follow the same methodology used by campus, with departmental allocations based on an average of payroll expenditures and FTE for 101-funded positions.  We will make three separate tally sheet entries to indicate ongoing credits targeted for base-building raises to faculty, academic staff/limited appointees, and university staff.  Given the relatively small amount provided for performance bonuses, we will make a single tally sheet entry to indicate the one-time credit available for that purpose.  Each department will receive a summary document showing the ongoing and one-time tally sheet credits.

We anticipate that departments will spend the majority of these funds on raises to be effective in January 2017.  However, expectations for the timing of raises vary somewhat for faculty and staff, as explained in more detail below.  Each L&S department should submit requests to L&S by November 14, 2016.  Process-specific information will be distributed under separate cover shortly (from Joyce Helt for faculty and from Alisha Arnold for academic and university staff).   Departments are responsible for explaining to faculty and staff the department’s decision-making process for raises and bonuses.  As we all work to address concerns raised in the L&S Climate Survey Report, we are grateful for your efforts to maintain and enhance transparency of departmental decision-making.

Faculty Block Grant.  This year, campus and the College will fully fund two types of faculty raises:

  • Standard promotional adjustments.  Starting this year, these raises will be either a fixed amount or 10% of salary, whichever is higher.  Although the 2016-17 fixed amounts are not yet available, we anticipate a $100-$200 increase over last year’s fixed amounts ($7100 for promotion to associate professor; $9200 for promotion to full professor – for nine-month faculty).  Standard promotional adjustments will become effective August 28, 2017 for nine-month faculty being promoted during 2016-17.
  • Any permanent salary adjustments for outgoing chairs.  These raises will be made at the Dean’s discretion with department input toward the end of the academic year.  Any approved raises will become effective August 28, 2017 for nine-month faculty.

The College has held back a portion of the faculty block grant to cover its share of the expected cost of these raises.  The remaining $1.2M of the faculty block grant will be allocated to departments through tally sheet credits.  Campus intends this block grant to provide some funding for both retention adjustments and raises not linked to immediate retention concerns.  Because the faculty block grant has replaced other campus funding allocated in past years for targeted purposes (high-demand, compression-equity, and post-tenure review), departments will need to consider all of these competing uses as they decide how to allocate the faculty block grant.

The new L&S tally sheet accounting rules are intended to provide departments with flexibility to address their own unique circumstances.  However, we also need to honor campus intentions for the new funds.  We thus offer the following guidelines for faculty raises:

  • We expect most departments will spend at least 50% of their share of the faculty block grant for January 2017 raises not linked to immediate retention concerns.  These raises should be based on market/equity, compression, or performance considerations. 
  • While departments are permitted to spend less than 50% for this purpose, they should carefully consider granting raises to highly productive faculty who have not obtained raises through outside offers or preemptive retentions.
  • Departments should also give special consideration to faculty who are five years past promotion to full professor, as there is no longer a separate salary exercise for this purpose.  The College will provide departments with a list of these faculty members.  There are eighteen departments with eligible faculty this year, as shown on the attached list.
  • Departments are not permitted to spend more than 100% of their share of the faculty block grant for non-retention salary increases using 101 funds (i.e., through tally sheet charges).
  • It may be prudent for departments to reserve some portion (spending less than 100%) in anticipation of supplemental increases for spring promotions or future retentions.  While divisional associate deans may authorize additional spending for these purposes later this year, departments will receive no further tally sheet credits.  Any spending in excess of the department’s share of the faculty block grant will reduce the department’s ongoing tally sheet balance. 
  • Divisional associate deans may provide further guidance about minimum or maximum spending expectations for particular departments. 
  • Departments that wish to supplement 101 funds with non-101 funds should obtain pre-approval through the divisional associate dean.  Departments will not be allowed, this year, to make any permanent commitments (including raises to base salaries) using summer 131 funding.
  • Salary increases effective January 2017 must be at least 3% if based on performance considerations, and at least 5% if based on market/equity or compression considerations. 
  • Campus rules limit performance increases to 10% per fiscal year.

The campus office of Academic Planning and Institutional Research (APIR) provides a number of faculty salary reports that may be useful as you review faculty salary data:

  • Faculty Salaries by Department (Scatterplots)  - salaries include temporary base adjustments
  • Faculty Salary Peer Comparisons for UW-Madison Departments (AAUDE) by Department and Professorial Rank

We expect to provide five-year rate history reports for your reference as you review your faculty.  These reports will be made available to departments later this week. 

Each department will receive detailed instructions, a list of the faculty five years past promotion to full professor (if applicable) and a salary request form to specify its plan for faculty raises to be made in January.  Plans should be returned to Joyce Helt by November 14.  All plans will be subject to approval by the divisional associate dean.

Discretionary Compensation Fund (DCF).  Recognizing the limited funding available in recent years for staff raises, the College is supplementing this year's DCF allocation by 30% to bring the total to $680K.  Department tally sheets will include separate credits for academic staff/limited appointees and university staff to show the amounts targeted to each group. 

The campus DCF allocation enables L&S to begin to more systematically consider and implement performance-based increases for our high-performing academic and university staff.  To date, we have implemented performance increases only in very specific and targeted situations due to severe resource constraints during the first year of the budget reduction.

While we need to adhere closely to campus intentions for the DCF allocation, the College supplement permits departments some flexibility in the structure and timing of staff raises.  We offer the following guidelines for staff raises:

  • We expect most departments to spend at least 75% of their share of the DCF allocation for January 2017 raises based on performance or market/equity considerations.  Given the limited market data currently available for staff, we further expect most of these raises will be performance-based.
  • Departments should give special consideration to employees in low-wage categories (e.g., office support, blue-collar, and technical support).
  • Departments are permitted to spend up to 125% of their share of the DCF allocation on January 2017 raises using 101 funds (i.e., through tally sheet charges).  Of course, any spending in excess of the tally sheet credits will reduce the department’s ongoing tally sheet balance.
  • Departments may wish to reserve some portion of their share of the DCF allocation for other types of raises (e.g., change in duties, or promotions in title series) anticipated later this fiscal year.  No further funds will be provided this year for this purpose.
  • Departments are expected to spend at least 100% of their share of the DCF allocation on raises by the end of the fiscal year.
  • Departments should adhere to these minimum and maximum spending guidelines for each type of staff (not reallocating between academic staff/limited appointees and university staff).   In exceptional circumstances where some reallocation seems warranted, departments should consult with the divisional associate dean.
  • Departments that wish to supplement 101 funds with non-101 funds should obtain pre-approval through the divisional associate dean.  Departments will not be allowed, this year, to make any permanent commitments (including raises to base salaries) using summer 131 funding.
  • Solid performance, documented through a recent performance review, is a necessary condition for all raises.  Supervisory staff must be current with their employee performance evaluations to qualify for raises.
  • Our recommended minimum salary increase is 3% if based on performance; the campus minimum is 5% for increases based on market, and equity considerations will be reviewed on a case-by-base basis.
  • Campus rules include a maximum of 10% per fiscal year for performance increases.
  • Questions or concerns should be directed to Cheryl Adams Kadera or Diana Allaby.

Spreadsheets with the names and relevant salary information of eligible 101-funded academic/limited and university staff will soon be distributed by Alisha Arnold via email to chairs, directors and administrators of L&S departments and programs, including detailed instructions regarding the request submission process. Note that staff currently serving probationary periods will be excluded.   Spreadsheets should be returned to L&S along with a brief summary of the process and criteria used to distribute increases by November 14, 2016.   Questions or concerns regarding unusual circumstances should be discussed with Cheryl Adams Kadera or Diana Allaby.

Departments and programs may also consider performance increases on an ongoing basis for non-101 funded academic/limited and university staff.  These will be subject to the same parameters (3% minimum; 10% maximum), with any increases paid on the fund that currently supports the position.  There is no specific due date for these requests.

Performance Bonus Fund.  Central campus has created a new compensation tool – performance bonuses – that permits one-time payments to faculty and staff for exceptional performance.  To enable widespread use of this tool, campus has also provided some one-time funding through the Performance Bonus Fund.  The College will supplement this campus allocation by 50% to bring the total to $450K.  These funds will appear on department tally sheets as one-time credits.  Some guidelines for awarding these one-time bonuses:

  • Performance bonuses are intended for faculty and staff who have done exceptional work or service, often above and beyond their job responsibilities. 
  • Departments will need to adequately document the rationale for bonuses.  Staff must have had recent performance reviews establishing exceptional performance.  Supervisory staff must be current with their employee evaluations to qualify for bonuses. 
  • Given the relatively small allocations, we have not indicated the precise portion of the department’s Performance Bonus Fund allocation to be targeted to faculty, academic staff, and university staff.  Nevertheless, departments should keep in mind all types of employees.
  • Departments are allowed to spend 101 funds (making tally sheet charges) for one-time performance bonuses to faculty and staff paid on non-101 funds.
  • Departments might consider establishing awards to honor faculty or staff excellence.  As with the base increases, we will need a brief summary of the process and criteria used to select recipients.
  • Our recommended minimum for performance bonuses is 3%, with a 10% campus maximum.    However, the 10% maximum applies to the sum of the one-time bonus and any base-building performance raise (including those awarded in January 2017 through the faculty block grant or DCF allocation). 
  • Bonuses may be a useful compensation tool for staff at the maximum of their pay range (who are ineligible for base-building raises).
  • Departments are not allowed to spend more than 100% of their share of Performance Bonus Funds using 101 funds (i.e., through tally sheet charges).  However, departments may supplement 101 funds with non-101 funds (including summer 131 funds) with the permission of the divisional associate dean, and consistent with campus policies for use of the funds.
  • We anticipate that departments will award most of this year’s bonuses in conjunction with the two base-building exercises.    However, departments may be allowed to award some bonuses later this year with permission of the divisional associate dean.

Further implementation details will be provided with the materials for the base-building exercises.