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Policy on compensation


The College of Biological Sciences (CBS) is committed to paying competitive wages and salaries to attract, retain, and motivate highly qualified individuals who can contribute to the College’s mission and strategic objectives. CBS maintains a fair and equitable compensation program that complies with University policy and determines pay levels based on a job’s relative internal value, the external labor market and individual job performance.


CBS follows the University of Minnesota guidelines outlined in the pay plans issued annually by the Vice President for Human Resources.

A merit pay plan is used to determine pay increases for Faculty and Academic Professional & Administrative (P&A) staff. Civil Service and Bargaining Unit employees have across-the-board pay plans governed by Civil Service rules and respective collective bargaining contracts.

Specific guidelines for CBS are outlined below.

Faculty and Academic Professional & Administrative (P&A) Staff

Compensation planning

CBS prepares an annual compensation plan to assist department heads/directors in allocating merit, equity, and promotional increases for faculty and P&A employees. Compensation for faculty and P&A employees is part of a merit pay plan that:

  • Rewards individual performance
  • Is market competitive
  • Internally equitable
  • In line with CBS budget requirements, and
  • Equitably allocated among individual employees, taking into consideration all available factors at one point in time

Department Heads/Directors are responsible for salary planning in their departments. Identifying equity issues or needed market adjustments should be part of the annual planning process and included in department budget recommendations.

Annual pay changes

Annual merit increases are based on job performance and available salary budgets. Completion of a formal performance review does not always result in an automatic salary increase. Each CBS supervisor is responsible for the timely and equitable assessment of the performance and contribution for their direct reports.

Actual individual pay changes should be based on the following factors:

  • Salary inflation rate and/or increases in U of M market rates
  • CBS salary budget
  • Market Data: Average rates for comparable positions in relevant external labor markets
  • Individual job performance: Recent performance rating

The employee’s overall performance and salary level relative to position responsibilities is evaluated to determine if a salary increase is warranted. Pay increase requests must be supported by a recent formal performance review (i.e., within the last 6 months) documenting performance that ‘Meets Expectations’ or ‘Exceeds Expectations.’ Any individual performing ‘Below Expectations,’ should not receive a pay increase, and should have a written performance improvement plan.

Approval of annual salary increases

Annual salary budgets are approved through CBS Human Resources (HR), CBS Finance and the Dean.

Annual pay increases for faculty and P&A employees must be recommended by department heads/directors and approved by the CBS HR Director, CBS Finance Director, and the Dean.

Supervisors should not discuss any proposed pay change with the employee until all written approvals are obtained.

Mid-year pay changes

CBS HR reviews all mid-year pay increase/adjustment requests to ensure compliance with company policy and to ensure they fall within College and University guidelines. The department head/director and CBS HR Director approve mid-year pay increases.

Mid-year pay changes may include:

  • Internal Equity Adjustments
  • External Market Adjustments
  • Promotion/Demotion
  • Retention Agreements
  • Recognition Awards

Equity/market adjustments

Generally, supervisors/department heads should identify salary equity issues during the budgeting process so that appropriate budget requests can be made to central University offices. A supervisor may request an analysis of an employee’s pay mid-year, if appropriate. This request should be made to the CBS HR Director, who will review the employee’s salary in comparison to other employees in comparable positions. Approval for salary changes will be based on appropriate salary comparison data and available budget.


Pay changes for promotions and demotions are effective at the time of the job change. Department heads and CBS HR review and approve requests for promotions and demotions.

Retention agreements

Retention agreements are used on a limited basis for retaining high performing employees or employees with critical skills who have received another job offer or may be enticed away from the University. Retention agreements need approval through the Dean, CBS HR, CBS Finance, and the Sr. Vice President & Provost. If the retention offer involves a pay increase, the central Office of Human Resources also needs to be notified. Concerns about retaining a key or high performing employee should be directed to the CBS HR Director to discuss options.

Recognition awards

Recognition awards may be recommended as part of a defined recognition program. Awards need approval through Department Heads/Directors and CBS HR.

Civil Service

CBS currently participates in the University-wide Across-the-Board Salary Increase Program for Civil Service employees. Increases are granted only for those individuals whose performance ‘Meets Expectations’ or ‘Exceeds Expectations.’ Any individual performing ‘Below Expectations,’ should not receive a pay increase and should have a written performance improvement plan.

Employees must be paid within the designated salary range for their assigned job classification. No employee may be paid below the salary range minimum or above the salary range maximum.

Discretionary salary adjustments

Besides across-the-board increases, CBS does allow two other salary increase options for Civil Service Employees:

  • In-Range Adjustments

In-range salary adjustments may be requested for the following reasons:

  • Market adjustment
  • Merit adjustment
  • Retention adjustment
  • Internal equity adjustment
  • Significant permanent workload increases

An in-range adjustment may be awarded as a base salary increase or a one-time lump sum payment. Approvals are required through the Department Head/Director and the CBS HR Director.

  • Outstanding Service Awards

Outstanding Service Awards may be granted anytime throughout the year. (See the policy on CBS Outstanding Service Awards for guidelines to follow for this process.)


Promotional pay increases for Civil Service employees must follow the requirements of Civil Service Rule 5.

Bargaining unit employees (AFSCME Clerical, AFSCME Technical, Teamsters)

All pay changes for bargaining unit employees in CBS are governed by their respective collective bargaining agreements. No additional pay increases are granted outside of these agreements, except for Outstanding Service Awards as described in CBS policy.

Temporary & casual employees

Temporary and Casual Employees (i.e., class 0001 and 0007) are not normally eligible for pay increases. Consult your CBS HR Director for exceptions to this policy. Temporary and Casual employees are covered by the HR policy on temporary or casual appointments.

Non-academic student employees

Non-academic student employees in CBS are paid based on departmental-specific guidelines and applicable budgets. CBS does not administer an across-the-board program for these employees. Increases are at the discretion of the departments and based on performance and experience in the job.

Student employees must be paid at least the University minimum rate. (For 2015-16, this rate is $9/hour).