February 19, 2014

TO: Deans, Directors, and Department Chairs
FROM: Paul M. DeLuca, Jr., Provost
RE: 2013–14 Standard Salary Equity Reviews

Standard Salary Equity Review Policy

This memo serves as a reminder of the standard salary equity review policy initiated in 2002-03. Note that the standard equity review is distinct from the compression-equity initiative announced in 2010, to address equity concerns arising from salary compression. The standard review focuses on analysis of salaries, performance, and market among faculty at comparable stages of the career cycle. It does not focus on compression as such, nor does it qualify for central campus funding.

The standard equity policy mandates periodic review of faculty salaries to assess whether individuals are appropriately and equitably paid in comparison with peers at UW–Madison. In addition to reviewing the annual accomplishments of a faculty member for the annual merit exercise, it is important to consider salary equity in relation to career merit. At a minimum, such evaluations should occur at times when in-depth career-merit review and evaluation already take place: reappointment in the third year of the probationary period, promotion to associate professor, promotion to full professor, and each five-year post-tenure review

If salary adjustments are considered appropriate, they must be funded using existing funding sources: from the annual merit pool (which comes from campus funds); via regular promotion base adjustment (which comes from the unit’s continuing base budget); and/or as a base adjustment for “individual equity” under existing rules (which comes from the unit’s continuing base budget). This list is not exhaustive: some units have found other sources of funds for equity adjustments. Departmental salary equity recommendations are submitted to deans for review and approval.

Academic units may use any equitable process for review of salaries. However, if a faculty member is not satisfied with the outcome of a review under procedures established by a local unit, then the faculty member is entitled to a review under the “three comparisons” method specified in the policy at Guidelines for Implementing Faculty Salary Equity Review.

As per FP&P 8.15, a faculty member who believes that he/she has been dealt with unfairly should first seek a mutually satisfactory resolution of the problem at the departmental level and then at the school or college level. If a mutually satisfactory resolution cannot be found, the faculty member may bring the matter to the attention of the University Committee.

Supporting Information

Information sources have been designed to assist in salary equity reviews. Information by the Office of Academic Planning and Analysis is now available based on 2013–14 salaries. Deans, directors, department chairs, and faculty may review “UW–Madison Faculty Salary Data by Gender, Rank, and Years since Degree” in both table and scatter plot form for each academic unit (school or department). These data are available to you through the following web site: http://apir.wisc.edu/scatterplots.htm. This information is password protected: the password will be sent in a separate email message.

Please keep in mind that these tables and plots should be used only as a starting point for assessing whether an individual’s salary is appropriately related to career merit. For example, an individual whose salary is about average (near a regression line for salary vs. time since degree) may be underpaid on the basis of career merit relative to his or her peers if he or she is an exceptional performer. An individual whose salary is below average may or may not be paid appropriately relative to career accomplishments.

PRIVACY NOTICE: Certain elements of these data are collected from employees on the condition that the data will be used only for limited affirmative action and related University purposes. Therefore, your access to the data is given with the understanding and agreement that you will not disclose the information to others who do not themselves have access.

Further Information and Questions

Questions may be directed to Steve J. Stern, Vice Provost for Faculty and Staff (sjstern@wisc.edu, 262-5246). Please contact Margaret Harrigan (mnharrig@wisc.edu or 263-7141) if you have questions about the accuracy of the data or if you need the password.