Administrative policy and procedures regarding the compensation of administrative and professional salaried employees | Kent State University

6 - 08.1

Administrative policy and procedures regarding the compensation of administrative and professional salaried employees

  1. Authority and responsibility. The board of trustees has final approval over maintenance of the base pay structure and annual salary increase pools. The administrative and professional base pay program will be administered by the director of talent management under the direction of the vice president for human resources. Job descriptions will be maintained by the compensation unit. Any changes in job descriptions or job functions should be reported to that office so that descriptions may be kept current. It is the responsibility of each department head to ensure that current job descriptions are on file with the compensation unit. It is the responsibility of each appointing authority to promote the consistent application of the administrative and professional base pay program, thereby supporting the compensation practices and objectives of Kent state university. Consultation with the compensation office is recommended before a final base pay determination is communicated to a current or prospective employee.
  2. Base pay structure. The base pay structure provides a framework for determining and administering base pay. The key parameters of this structure are the pay grade, the pay grade midpoint and the salary range.
    1. Pay grades and the assignment of jobs to those grades reflect significant, relative differences in positions across and within the divisions of the university.
    2. The salary range midpoint represents the university's desired competitive position relative to the external market and the differences between pay grade midpoints are sufficient to provide continuing incentive for promotion to higher positions.
    3. The pay range spread, which covers the distance from the pay grade minimum to the pay grade maximum, is sufficient to allow recognition of individual development and performance improvement. The progression of an employee's pay within a pay range is dependent upon job performance. The minimum and maximum of each pay range represent the minimum and maximum values, respectively, to the university of all jobs assigned to that particular pay range.
    4. Employees should be paid at least the minimum salary for their position, provided that the minimum requirements of that position are met.
    5. Normally, employees will not be paid more than the maximum of the range established for their position. The president of the university must approve any salary above the salary range maximum.
    6. The salary structure shall be reviewed periodically to maintain its internal equity and external competitiveness. Any recommended revisions in the structure will be presented to the executive officers for review and subsequently, to the board of trustees for approval. When adjustments are needed to maintain competitive levels, a revised salary structure will be established. Adjustments to the salary structure as a whole will not change the pay grade assignments of individual positions. Revisions in the salary structure will not result in automatic across-the-board increases in individual compensation for employees.
  3. Assigning a position to pay grade. Each position will be assigned to a pay grade based upon a combination of an internal job evaluation and external market reference, where available and appropriate.
    1. Job evaluation. The job evaluation process determines the relative positioning of jobs. This process is a quantitative method of evaluating and grouping jobs based on similarities of specific factors and the extent to which each factor is present in the job.
    2. Job evaluation factors. The factors that are considered in evaluating administrative/professional jobs are:
      1. Knowledge and experience.
      2. Complexity and creativity.
      3. Institutional impact.
      4. Communication and collaboration.
      5. Leadership and supervision.
    3. Job titles and descriptions. Positions that involve substantially the same kind of work, equivalent levels of complexity and responsibility, and require comparable qualifications and experience will be grouped into the same job title. A job title assigned to each job will be used for official university purposes. Departments may use a different, functional title for internal purposes, provided it is not an official university job title for another position and does not indicate an inaccurate hierarchical position. Each job will have a job description that includes the official job title, the purpose of the job, examples of job duties and the qualifications of the job. Job descriptions are written in a generic manner using an established format for consistency and applicability throughout the university, and are not meant to be inclusive of every task that might be assigned to a job.
    4. New positions. Job evaluation of the position description questionnaire (PDQ), comparable positions already in the pay plan, and relevant market data will be considered in determining the title and pay grade for a new position.
    5. Changes in existing positions. Whenever the content of an existing position is changed significantly, the incumbent, the appointing authority (or designee), or human resources may initiate a review of the position. Ordinarily, when changes in duties and responsibilities having a substantive impact on the nature and scope of the position have been permanently assigned to or taken away from the position or when levels of education or experience required for the job noticeably change, a reevaluation is appropriate.
      1. If a change is not recommended by the compensation unit office, an appeal may be made to the appointing authority and the vice president for human resources for review of the decision.
      2. If a change is recommended by the compensation office, a summary will be delivered to the appointing authority to whom the position is charged. Upon receipt of the audit summary, the appointing authority will either approve the position reclassification or not approve the position reclassification. In such case that the position reclassification is not approved, the employee will be paid for work conducted and returned to the established position for which they are currently classified. A written outline will be issued by the compensation office detailing those duties currently being undertaken by the employee that must be eliminated so as to conform to the current classification.
      3. Upon receipt of all applicable forms by the compensation unit, any salary increases resulting from the reevaluation will be effective the first day of the current pay period the date the employee assumed the duties. Any salary decreases will be effective the day the position is reassigned to a lower pay grade. Under no circumstances should a change in salary be retroactive for a period exceeding six months.
      4. A re-evaluation as a result of an incumbent's request will to not be conducted more than once in a rolling twelve-month period.
  4. Base pay determination. An equitable and effective compensation plan requires that base pay decisions be rationally based on performance, relevant market considerations, internal equity and funding availability. The provisions in this section concern positioning an employee's pay rate within the pay range, adjusting salaries and approving salary actions. All actions described in this section must be reviewed and approved through the applicable approval process before they are communicated to the affected or prospective employee.
    1. New-hire pay rate. New employees must meet at least the minimum qualifications for a position and should be hired at a salary no less than the minimum and no greater than the midpoint. When a candidate possesses outstanding related qualifications or experience, or unusual conditions have put a premium on particular skills, a salary above the midpoint, but below the maximum may be offered upon the approval of the compensation unit as supported by vice president for human resources. Any disagreement will be resolved through the vice president for human resources and the appointing authority. When salaries above the maximum of the applicable pay range are requested, approval must be obtained from the president. Salary amounts shall be determined by:
      1. The experience and education of the applicant in relation to the advertised job qualifications
      2. Salaries being paid to current employees in that job or similar jobs
      3. Salaries being paid to current employees in that pay range
      4. Salaries paid in the appropriate external market
      5. The salary history of the individual
      6. Salaries of employees to be supervised
      7. Funds available
    2. Changes in pay grade.
      1. Promotion. A promotion is the movement of an employee to a job of greater responsibility and scope and in a higher pay grade than the one to which the employee is presently assigned. When a promotion is made, a promotional increase within the pay range of the new job will normally be granted. Guidelines establishing the amount of the promotional increase to be used for the fiscal year will be established by the university prior to the start of each fiscal year. The new salary should be at least the minimum of the new pay range and normally may not exceed the new range maximum. The compensation office must review the proposed salary increase before a final base pay determination is communicated to an employee. In determining these increases, the following factors may be given consideration:
        1. The extent of the change in duties and responsibilities
        2. The qualifications and experience of the employee relative to the position requirements
        3. Position of the promoted employee's current salary in the new pay range
        4. The relationship of the promoted employee's new salary to the salaries of other employees in the same position and in the same and surrounding pay grades
        5. The relationship of the promoted employee's rate to the supervisor's rate and the rates of the employees they will supervise
        6. The number of pay grades the employee is moving
        7. External market data
      2. Movement to a lower pay range. The movement of an employee to a job in a lower pay grade may be on a voluntary or involuntary basis and/or may be the result of a performance review. If reevaluation, organizational change or some other change (through no fault of the employee) results in movement of a job to a lower pay grade, the employee's salary normally will not change. Generally, movement to a lower pay grade is considered voluntary when the employee requests it. In this case, there may be a reduction in salary, subject to the maximum of the new lower range and based on internal equity to peers in the lower grade. Movement to a position in a lower pay grade, as documented through performance evaluation, will result in a reduction of salary to an appropriate position within the new salary range. This process must involve consultation with human resources, university counsel and the appointing authority. All such moves must be approved in advance by the vice president for human resources and the appointing authority. In all cases, an employee's salary must be reviewed in consultation with the compensation office before a final base pay determination is made. An attempt will be made to maintain peer salary equity. In determining the extent of a salary reduction, the following factors may be considered:
        1. The qualifications and experience of the employee relative to the job requirements
        2. Position of the employee's salary in the new salary range
        3. The relative position of the employee's salary to the salaries of the other employees in the same and surrounding pay grades
        4. The number of pay grades the employee is moving
        5. The employee's performance and qualifications in relation to the performance and qualifications of others in the same job
        6. The reason and origination of the movement
        7. Performance history
      3. Lateral movement. A lateral movement is defined as the movement of an employee from one job to another job in the same pay grade as the one to which the employee's current job is assigned. Normally, the salary of an employee who moves laterally will not change.
      4. Advancement within a pay grade. If an employee has sustained exceptional performance over an extended period of time and has clearly demonstrated the acquisition of new competencies as defined in an established, objective plan of development, then a modest increase will normally occur. When this type of plan is requested, prior approval must be obtained from the vice president for human resources in consultation with the appointing authority. If a position is reevaluated and there is in determined to be a recognized and significant increase in job duties, scope/responsibility and/or education/experience requirements, but not enough to warrant reassignment to a higher grade, then a modest increase may be recommended and approved by the compensation office. The amount of the in-range increase will generally be in the range of four to six per cent of the employee's current salary. This type of increase is exclusive of any university-wide pool that may be established for in-range adjustments.
      5. Status changes. If any type of status assignment of a position changes, such as from a term assignment to a continuing assignment, the position will be reevaluated. If a position changes from part-time to full-time status or vice-versa, a change in the full-time equivalent pay rate will normally not occur.
    3. Periodic salary increases. The board of trustees has final authority over the aggregate amount of the annual salary increase pool. The vice president for human resources will provide specific guidelines regarding the timetable and distribution of individual salary increases.
      1. When determining the aggregate amount of the salary increase pool, the following factors will be given consideration:
        1. Market data
        2. Economic indicators
        3. Salary planning projections
        4. Availability of funds
      2. This type of salary increase will be awarded on the basis of one's job performance. The performance of each employee will be evaluated at least annually and more frequently, if appropriate.
      3. The amount of any proposed and approved meritorious performance increase is normally applied to the employee's base pay.
    4. In-range adjustments. In-range adjustments are unusual and will only be made when a substantial necessity exists, not when there is a slight variance in salaries. Job-related advanced degrees earned while employed at the university will not be considered as the sole basis for a request for an in-range review. At times, a university-wide pool and applicable implementation guidelines may be established to address depth-in-grade concerns. The purpose of such a pool is to provide some relative separation based on differences in experience and, where appropriate, performance and productivity. All in-range adjustments must be reviewed by the compensation office before they are communicated to the employee. Circumstances that might warrant an in-range adjustment may be related to one or more of the following:
      1. An employee's salary is substantially low compared to that of employees in equivalent positions with comparable duties, performance history, qualifications, experience and length of service.
      2. To recognize the long-term merit of an individual where two or more individuals may have similar years of service, but whose performance records have been distinctly different.
      3. To address gender and/or race inequities which may exist.
      4. To recognize service/experience prior to arriving at Kent state.
      5. To acknowledge the strategic value of a position.
      6. To maintain external competitiveness, particularly in high demand, low availability jobs.
    5. Lump sum payments. A one-time payment may be made to an employee to recognize the successful accomplishment of a significant, but temporary project that is deemed strategic in nature by the university. The amount will not be included in the employee's annual base salary, nor be considered when applying any type of increase percentage to the base salary. Overall performance will be considered before this type of payment is made. This process must involve consultation with the compensation unit and the appointing authority. Any payment of this type must be requested in writing and approved in advance by the vice president for human resources and the appointing authority before the amount is communicated to the employee.
    6. Temporary increases and interim assignments. Each position consists of core duties and responsibilities that the incumbent regularly performs. However, a job description and those core duties and responsibilities do not define the limits of what is to be performed in any position. The volume, flow and nature of an employee's work could change periodically and for a limited period of time. The university expects that employees will adapt to the changes and accept the responsibility for new and different functions even if they are part of a job in a higher pay grade. Normally, there will be no adjustments to an employee's base pay under those limited circumstances. Permanent changes to the composition of a job are addressed in paragraph (C)(5) of this rule.
      1. Temporary or interim assignment. Nevertheless, the university recognizes the need to compensate an employee who is performing in a higher pay grade beyond a normal period of time. The employee must perform those duties and responsibilities of the higher graded job which are substantial and which support the higher pay grade. The requesting unit must consult with the compensation office if additional compensation is being considered for an employee. In determining whether an assignment is a temporary or interim assignment, consideration will be given to following factors:
        1. Duration of the assignment
        2. Scope of the responsibilities
        3. Continuation of current duties and responsibilities
        4. Additional compensation in comparison to the salaries of others in similar positions
      2. Temporary assignment. This is defined as employees who are temporarily assigned duties and responsibilities of greater complexity in addition to those outlined in the current job description. An employee who is assigned duties and responsibilities of more complexity in addition to those outlined in the current job description should receive an increase based on an evaluation of the additional assigned duties by the department head and the compensation unit. Normally, the employee's base pay plus the temporary salary adjustment should not exceed the minimum of the pay grade to which the higher position is assigned. The duration of the temporary assignment should be at least three months. An adjustment to compensation will be made if the duration is at least three months. The amount of the increase may be related to base salary but not added to base salary. The requesting unit must consult with the compensation office to determine the appropriate amount of additional compensation.
      3. Interim assignment. Employees who are temporarily transferred to a vacant position in an acting capacity should receive additional compensation from the date of assignment if such assignment is continuous and is to be in excess of three months. An employee who assumes a vacant position with a higher pay grade in an acting capacity should receive a temporary increase in salary to the minimum of the range for the higher position or an increase not to exceed ten per cent of current salary, whichever is greater. The increase should be no less than five per cent of current salary. The requesting unit must consult with the compensation office to determine the appropriate amount of compensation. The duration of the acting period should be no less than three months and no more than eighteen months. Expectations should be clearly identified at the beginning of the assignment regarding the duration and the candidacy of the interim position incumbent. The amount of the increase should be related to base salary but not added to base salary. The increase should be considered a lump sum that is divided into equal parts over the duration of the assignment and distributed according to the normal payroll cycle.
  5. Appeals of pay grade or title. In accordance with the process outlined in paragraph (C)(5) of this rule, if a review of, or change in, title and/or pay grade assignment is not recommended by the compensation unit, the appointing authority may request an independent review by the vice president for human resources. Only title and pay grade issues will be reviewed.
  6. This policy is effective upon all determinations made on or after January 1, 2011.
Policy Effective Date: 
Mar. 01, 2015
Policy Prior Effective Dates: 
9/20/2000, 10/20/2002, 6/1/2007, 10/10/2007, 10/9/2009, 11/12/2010