III.4.2 Faculty Pay Equity Implementation Guidelines
University of Wisconsin - Madison Policy on Faculty
The College of Letters and Science is committed to a policy of pay equity for all its staff. In the case of faculty, the Provost has instituted a policy of regular salary reviews to identity and correct pay inequities. The Provost’s policy amplifies the usual instructions given to departments at the time of the annual merit exercise.
There are two ways a faculty member’s salary may change: as a result of the annual merit exercise, and through a base salary adjustment. Merit refers to the contributions of a faculty member to her/his department’s mission and program relative to other comparable faculty in the department. It is long-standing campus policy, and a matter of fairness and equity, that faculty salaries must be based on merit. Nevertheless, cumulative factors over several years may lead to inequities in salaries so that they are not directly related to merit. Departments should evaluate each faculty member’s salary for equity annually as part of the merit exercise every year, and resolve problems as soon as they are apparent. Adjustments that cannot be handled through the merit exercise require a base adjustment.
The present document delineates procedures for the College of Letters and Science for equity adjustments in the context of the four types of allowable base salary adjustments.
Types of Base Adjustments
State statutes only allow base adjustments that fall under one of the following reasons:
All base adjustments start at the department level and are submitted as recommendations to the Dean’s Office, where they will be reviewed and forwarded to the campus Office of Human Resources for final approval. Base adjustments are monitored by the UW System and the State of Wisconsin. See Chapter 10 in
These are automatic increases for faculty promotion from Instructor to Assistant Professor, Assistant Professor to Associate Professor, or Associate Professor to Professor.
2. Change in Responsibilities
These are temporary adjustments to recognize increased levels of responsibility, including department chair, program director, and associate dean, and other temporary assignments. Changes of responsibility in a traditional faculty role is not a basis for an adjustment in this category.
3. Individual Equity Adjustments
In addition to annually as part of the merit exercise, departments should review salaries relative to career merit at the time of each major faculty review and evaluation:
• promotion to associate professor
Departments should also evaluate a faculty member’s salary in response to a request from the faculty member.
A. Departmental procedures to conduct an equity comparison and prepare a written justification.
An equity adjustment must be based on an objective analysis of faculty with comparable training, experience and responsibilities. A faculty member with a low salary due to a pattern of below-average merit increases is not eligible for an equity base adjustment unless it can be demonstrated that the low increases have resulted from inconsistent application of the department's merit criteria.
For the detailed steps to be followed in conducting the analysis, refer to the Provost’s web site http://provost.wisc.edu.
B. College of Letters and Science Policy on Individual Equity Adjustments
Two types of individual equity adjustments obligate the College to correct them as soon as they are verified:
a. Inequities in a legal sense; i.e. inequities that are or may be discriminatory based on age, sex, race, sexual orientation or other factors identified by law;
b. Inequities due to inconsistent application of the department’s standards for awarding merit.
After review at the College level and final campus approval, adjustments will be made retroactive to the date on which the faculty member requested a review in writing or the department initiated a review, whichever comes first. The cost of the adjustment will be shared between the department and the College, depending on an analysis of where the error in setting the faculty member’s salary was made.
For other equity adjustments, lack of adequate financial resources is a possible reason for postponing proposed adjustments. In general, the cost of allowed adjustments will be shared between the department and the College.
Under this policy, examples of equity adjustments that may be delayed for financial reasons, unless one of the excluded factors listed above is also involved, include:
1. Salary inversion or compression due to faculty hiring. This refers a condition in which more the salaries of more senior faculty are not in proper relation those hired later. This can be a common problem and normally should be corrected over time by the department through the annual merit process.
2. Salary inversions or compression due to faculty retention. This is a situation where a faculty member with comparable years of service and/or scholarly reputation has a higher salary because of an outside offer. This reflects a market factor. Whenever possible, the College will try to avoid these inversions, but if it is not possible, it does not create a legal inequity.
3. Salary disparities that arise because a faculty member’s professional profile differs from the department’s standards for merit. For example, a department may give heavier weight to publications of monographs than to publication of articles, and a faculty member who largely publishes articles may feel disadvantaged. Departments have the responsibility for determining merit standards and consistently applying them.
Whenever possible, the annual merit exercise should be used to correct salary equity problems. If a department anticipates that college-level resources might be required, it should notify the Dean not later than December 15 so that the cost may be included in the normal budget planning that occurs each spring
It is the nature of this document to be a work in progress.
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