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Academic salary adjustment guidelines

July 24, 2018

TO: Deans, Directors and Chairpersons

FROM: June Youatt, Provost

SUBJECT: Academic Human Resources Salary Adjustment Guidelines – 2018-19

The MSU Board of Trustees approved salary increases for non-union faculty and academic staff of 1.50 percent for a general merit adjustment. Additionally, 0.50 percent was approved for an Office of the Provost market pool for market adjustments for non-union faculty and academic staff. The merit and market increments will be effective October 1, 2018. The central market pool is targeted primarily for ranked faculty, but open to all faculty and academic staff. As in past years, guidelines for the university-wide market pool will be distributed separately.

Additionally, in conjunction with the Board of Trustees action, individuals with Executive Management (EM) roles or holding the title of Dean or Interim Dean are ineligible for raise consideration in 2018-2019.

This memorandum contains information on the allocation to faculty of the Board-approved merit salary increase.

Merit Basis
Raises will be distributed on the basis of merit. Adjustments for individuals should recognize relative merit in the performance of their duties across the university’s mission of teaching, research and outreach. Unit administrators are expected to ensure that individual performance is assessed through the appropriate peer review process and that salary increase recommendations are differentiated based on merit assessment.

The Office of the Provost has consulted with the University Committee on Faculty Affairs (UCFA) on the salary adjustment guidelines in accordance with the Bylaws for Academic Governance. The UCFA believes that salary adjustments should be based on the concept of merit as reinforced by appropriate peer review

Guidelines for distribution of salary adjustments on the basis of merit will be developed at the unit level in accordance with the principles stated. Primary unit administrators have responsibility for unit guidelines ( Bylaws for Academic Governance) and must seek the advice of unit faculty in developing the guidelines.

In accordance with university policy, efforts to advance university objectives that are crosscutting and/or interdisciplinary must be recognized in the merit process along with contributions to the creation, transmission, application, and preservation of knowledge. This category includes efforts in areas such as university outreach; integrative studies; international activities; and diversity, inclusion, and pluralism. In addition, consideration should be given for contributions such as service in academic governance, including grievance panels.

Consistent with past practice, research associates are considered to be part of the university’s academic staff. These salary increases should be handled in accordance with these guidelines. Further, faculty and academic staff with approved terminal consultantships and/or established retirement dates are eligible for salary adjustments based upon merit.

Faculty members are entitled to know the evaluation criteria and process by which they are being evaluated, as well as the connection between that evaluation and their merit raise. It is expected that an overall satisfactory evaluation based on peer review should warrant some salary increase, depending on the relative merit of the individual’s contributions. No faculty member is entitled to a merit increase based simply on meeting assignments; quality and impact of the performance must be the basis for the decision along with quantity of work. Adjustments should be based fully on merit and incorporate an appropriate form of peer review.

In determining salary increase recommendations, consideration must be given to ensuring equitable and fair treatment for faculty and academic staff and must be consistent with merit and market considerations. A salary cohort analysis, based on November 2017 salary data for tenure system faculty, was previously distributed and should be reviewed as part of the regular salary adjustment process. Also, the director of the Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives will continue to make an annual review of salary increase recommendations. We ask you to cooperate fully in the review. The director will share the responsibility for the analysis with the Office of the Provost; the Associate Provost and Associate Vice President for Academic Human Resources will follow up as necessary.

A decision to make no salary adjustment or a very low salary adjustment to an otherwise eligible individual must result from merit considerations. Deans are not required to submit written explanations of the rationale for any merit-based salary adjustment decision, but documentation (process and related individual documents) should be retained in the appropriate administrative office.

Deans Withhold
Generally, deans allocate salary adjustment funds to primary units in equal or approximately equal proportion. However, merit, promotions, and other considerations may require a differential distribution to units. This distribution is funded through a factor commonly referred to as the “Dean’s Withhold.” To the extent that such a factor is required in 2018-19, deans may withhold up to 0.15 percentage points. It is anticipated that deans will apprise appropriate faculty advisory groups of the existence of the withhold and its intended use.

If deans depart from this guideline, the appropriate faculty advisory group and relevant unit administrator must be consulted, and the approach reviewed with the Office of the Provost prior to the distribution of funding to the units. Information about such procedures must be made available, if requested, to unit administrators and faculty.

Central Support for Promotions
Central support for promotional increments for tenure system faculty will be provided in 2018-19 at $2,000 per promotion from Assistant to Associate Professor and at $2,500 per promotion from Associate to Professor. For those appointed at the associate professor rank but without tenure, $2,000 will be provided upon receipt of tenure. Promotional increases for Librarians will be recognized with central support of $2,000; $2,000 will be provided for the promotions of Senior Academic Specialists, continuing NSCL staff, and continuing Academic Specialists. The promotional increments are to be effective October 1, 2018.

If unit promotional policy exceeds the above funding, units are responsible for funding such increases through the raise list. Raise control figures may be exceeded by the amounts centrally provided for promotional increments.


Minimum Salary Levels
Minimum salary levels for designated groups should apply generally. Merit considerations, however, may result in a lower salary rate in individual cases.

Minimum Salary Guidelines: Tenure System Faculty (2018-19)

Faculty Rank Academic Year Annual Year
Assistant Professor $51,453 $62,886
Associate Professor $60,396 $73,817
Professor $69,208 $84,588

Minimum Salary Guidelines: Non-Union Fixed Term Faculty and Academic Staff (2018-19)

Faculty Rank Academic Year Annual Year
Lecturer $35,000 $42,778
Assistant Instructor $35,000 $42,778
Academic Specialists
(Appointed as Academic Advisors)
$35,000 $42,778
Instructor $35,000 $42,778
Assistant Professor $45,000 $55,000
Associate Professor $51,737 $63,234
Professor $63,713 $77,872
Research Associate $38,851 $47,484

Below is the raise process schedule for faculty and academic staff:

Monday, July 23: Cognos raise model open for preliminary review

Monday, August 13: Cognos raise model open for unit entry for non-union and union raises

Monday, August 13: Cognos Market Adjustment model open for unit entry

Thursday, August 30: Cognos raise model closes – non-union and union raises submitted to HR

Thursday, August 30:  Market Adjustment recommendations from units due to OPB

Friday, September 7:  Market Adjustment recommendations approved and communicated to units

Friday, September 28:   Raises loaded into the HR/Payroll System, including manual corrections

Monday, October 1: Raise notifications available to be run within HR Unit Reporting Administrator Reports, FAS October Raise Letters - HRP977