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Campus Community,

As I shared last week in an email to all staff and faculty, we are committed to addressing compensation at UW Oshkosh, even during this fiscally challenging time. We have set aside $350,000 toward this effort, and we plan to continue supporting that amount annually so we begin seeing real progress in getting our campus faculty and staff properly compensated for their hard work and passion. I recognize this amount does not solve the problem, but it does continue to bring our salaries more closely in line with market averages.

Letters with specific details of the latest round of salary equity adjustments have been mailed to your home addresses. You will receive a letter even if you do not receive an increase this year. The letter lists a job description that was used as a benchmark for your position as well as your current salary compensation ratio, which details where your salaryfalls within your market mean. The salary adjustments will be effective January 1, 2017, and will first show up on the February 1 check for Unclassified (monthly paid employees). They will first show up on the January 19 check for University Staff (bi-weekly paid employees).

Here is a more detailed explanation of the salary equity process we followed:

  • Sabrina Johnson, Director of Academic Personnel, and Laurie Textor, Chief Human Resources Officer, conducted a salary equity study leveraging College and University Professional Association–Human Resources (CUPA-HR) salary data as the yardstick for all salaries to be measured.
    • Data from Master’s large institutions was used as the benchmarked source.
    • It is fully understood that these benchmarks come with flaws, but they represent a starting point for us to begin making progress.
  • In order to ensure accurate position descriptions were used, the respective UW Oshkosh departments reviewed each position description to ascertain the correct CUPA-HR job description code.
    • Often, an exact match wasn’t available. In those cases, the best match to similar positions or multiple positions was used to derive the benchmarked salary rate.
    • The data was shared with the Vice Chancellors for their review. The purpose of the review was to ensure correct CUPA-HR job description codes were assessed.
  • A compensation ratio was then calculated for each position using the CUPA-HR median salary as the benchmark.
    • The compensation ratio is the result of the incumbent’s salary divided by the CUPA-HR benchmarked median salary for that position. For instance, if the CUPA-HR benchmarked median is $50,000 and the employee’s salary is $45,000, the compensation ratio ($45,000/$50,000) is .90.
    • The data was analyzed to determine how deep the funding would reach to correct inequitable salaries. That analysis showed that 164 positions would be funded; 135.5 from state appropriations ($331,696) and 28.5 from auxiliary funds ($60,805).
    • Instructional academic staff (IAS) and athletic coaches were not involved in the salary study at this time. Their salaries will be addressed soon in a separate study. A University Police study was recently completed and not included in this salary study.
    • Classified Project, LTEs, trades, employees paid lump sums, anyone hired on or after 4/1/16 and employees paid on grants and contacts were not included in this salary equity process.

The analysis resulted in our ability to address inequitable situations for all the positions in the chart below with a compensation ratio less than .79. Other factors we were able to address in this year’s study included ethnicity/race and compression (based on years in title). The chart shows the breakdown of how the salary equity funds were distributed:

Classification Positions Impacted Total Funds Allocated
Faculty GPR 59 $122,939
Faculty AUX 2 $4,299
Limited GPR 1 $278
Professional Academic Staff GPR 33.5 $95,068
Professional Academic Staff AUX 11.5 $31,352
University Staff GPR 43 $116,945
University Staff AUX 16 $26,258
Total GPR 135.5 $335,230
Total AUX 28.5 $61,909

Note: The total GPR funds do not total the designated $350,000 for salary equity, as money has been set aside (those monies set aside will take us over the designated $350,000) for the instructional academic staff (IAS) study.

In the coming year, we must, as a campus community, construct the process for how we will manage salary equity and fairly distribute budgeted funds going forward. We will have some difficult decisions to make so we can continue to make progress. To learn more about the process and ask questions, please join us at the HR Connections Open Forum on January 26th from 12:00 – 1:30 pm In Sage 3234.

Thank you for your continued optimism, support, and feedback.

Chancellor Andy Leavitt