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

6 - 08.1

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

  1. Policy statement. The board of trustees delegates the authority for the administration of the administrative and professional base pay program .to the vice president for human resources. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the board of trustees reserves its rights under section 3341.04 of the Revised Code and other rules in Chapter 3342 of the Administrative Codes as may be applicable.
  2. Responsibility and authority.
    1. Job descriptions for administrative and professional salaried positions shall be maintained by the compensation department. Appointing authorities shall report any changes in job descriptions to include job duties, functions, and/or minimum requirements to the compensation department before such functions or duties begin, or before such minimum requirements are imposed.
    2. Final base pay determinations shall not be communicated to the current or prospective employee without the approval of the division of human resources.
  3. Implementation.
    1. Salary structure. The salary structure provides a framework for determining and administering base pay for administrative and professional salaried positions. 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 salary 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 normally 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 salary range.
      4. Employees shall 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. Salary structures shall be reviewed periodically to maintain internal equity and external competitiveness. Recommended revisions will be presented 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.
    2. 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 typically considered in evaluating administrative/professional jobs are:
        1. Knowledge and experience
        2. Complexity and creativity;
        3. Institutional impact;
        4. Communication and collaboration; and
        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. The 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 job descriptions. With approval from the appointing authority to whom the position is charged, a department head or designee may request the creation of a new job title and description by submitting a draft job description to the compensation department.  A job evaluation of the position in accordance with paragraph (C)(2) of this rule, a comparison to similar positions already in the pay plan, and relevant market data will be considered in determining the title and pay grade for a new description.
      5. Changes in job descriptions. Whenever the content of an existing description is changed significantly, the department head or designee, with approval from the appointing authority to whom the position is charged, may submit job description revisions to the compensation department. Ordinarily, when changes in duties and responsibilities having a substantive impact on the nature and scope of the position have changed, a reevaluation of the pay grade is appropriate.
    3. 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. Any salary increases shall be effective the first day of the pay period once the transaction has been reviewed and approved through the applicable approval process. Retroactive increases will be rare and will require approval by the appointing authority.
      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 that 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 department 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. All new hire pay rates must be approved by the compensation department. 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. Salaries of employees to be supervised; and
        6. 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. 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 department will recommend 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
          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. Salary history of the employee
          7. The number of pay grades the employee is moving; and
          8. External market data
        2. Movement to a lower pay range. Movement to a position in a lower pay grade will typically result in a reduction of salary to an appropriate position within the new salary range. This process must involve consultation with human resources, general counsel and the appointing authority. All such moves must be approved in advance by the vice president for human resources and the appointing authority, to include discussions about the salary decrease effective date. In all cases, an employee's salary must be reviewed in consultation with the compensation department 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; or
          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. Status changes. 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. Consult with the compensation department on pay rates associated with status changes.
      3. Annual salary increases. Although, it typically occurs annually, the board of trustees has final authority over the timing and 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 shall be given consideration:
          1. Market data;
          2. Economic indicators;
          3. Salary planning projections; and
          4. Availability of funds.
        2. This type of salary increase will be awarded on the basis of the employee’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.
        1. A modest increase may be recommended by the compensation department if an employee has demonstrated the acquisition of new competencies or if the position’s responsibilities have increased in complexity and these changes are not enough to warrant reassignment to a higher pay grade. The amount of the increase will generally be in the range of four to six percent of the employee’s base salary. 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 adjustment.
        2. Other 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.
        3. All in-range adjustments must be reviewed and recommended in consultation with the compensation department and approved by the appointing authority to whom the position is charged before it is communicated to any affected employee(s).
      5. Incentive pay. A documented, defined incentive pay plan designed to award achievement to specific, measurable results can be developed in consultation with the compensation department and approved by the vice president for human resources and the divisional appointing authority.
        1. Incentive pay is administered through a formal, approved plan document with specific, predefined performance goals and quantifiable measurements during a predefined period of time. The payment amount is also specified in the plan document and payable upon achieving the predefined goals.
        2. The plan document shall include the following:
          1. Plan objectives;
          2. Eligibility requirements;
          3. Measurable goals;
          4. Period of time the incentive is effective;
          5. Employee performance standards;
          6. When the incentive payment will be made; and
          7. Approval signatures from: eligible employee, department head, department fiscal or budget officer, vice president for human resources and divisional appointing authority    
        3. Incentive pay payments must be approved before communicating to an employee. Incentive pay payments are not considered part of an employee's base salary. 
      6. 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 department and the appointing authority. Any payment of this type must be approved in advance by the vice president for human resources and the appointing authority before the amount is communicated to the employee. The “supplemental pay request form” should be submitted to the compensation department to request this type of payment.
      7. Temporary 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)(2)(e)  of this rule. The “Supplemental Pay Request Form” should be submitted to the compensation department to request additional payment for temporary and interim assignments.
        1. Temporary or interim assignment. Nevertheless, the university recognizes the need to compensate an employee who is performing duties of a higher pay grade beyond a normal period of time. The requesting unit must consult with the compensation department if additional compensation is being considered for an employee. In determining whether an assignment is a temporary or interim assignment, consideration shall be given to following factors:
          1. Duration of the assignment;
          2. Scope of the responsibilities;
          3. Continuation of current duties and responsibilities; and
          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 compensation department. 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. Typically, the temporary increase should be no less than five percent and should not exceed ten percent of current salary.  The duration of the temporary assignment should be 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 department 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 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 typically 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 department to determine the appropriate amount of compensation. 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.
  4. Appeals of salary, pay grade or title. The appointing authority may request an independent review by the vice president for human resources for appeals to salary, pay grade or title recommendations made by the compensation department.
Policy Effective Date: 
Jul. 16, 2018
Policy Prior Effective Dates: 
9/20/2000, 10/20/2002, 6/1/2007, 10/10/2007, 10/9/2009, 11/12/2010, 3/1/2015