Compensation Philosophy

The University of Arizona is a top-25 research university committed to student engagement and access, research that improves the human condition, and partnerships that make our communities stronger. We know that delivering on our mission and achieving our aspirations requires that we be viewed as a compelling place for talented people to build a career. A key strategy in attracting, retaining, and engaging remarkable people is an innovative career and compensation architecture that provides market-based compensation, clear career pathways, and career progression opportunities.Our compensation philosophy is built on the following principles:

We will offer a market competitive compensation program that allows us to attract, retain and reward top performers at a national market level from both higher education and general industry, as applicable, to foster a diverse and innovative workforce. We will stay informed by current market best practices when designing and refining our compensation programs and policies, pursuing a strategy that will position the University to effectively grow internal talent and bring in external talent to ensure diversity of perspective.

Our compensation program will be optimized based on available funds, fiscal responsibility and regulatory requirements.

Our compensation program will be benchmarked against the markets within which the University competes for talent. It will recognize the University’s strong brand in local markets and aid in our ability to attract high performing talent nationally and internationally. We will adapt depending on the role, level, talent needs, and supply. 

The University will foster career advancement opportunities to enable growth and development of our workforce by defining and communicating career pathways and the necessary skills, behaviors and experiences required for progression. We will develop and maintain a career framework to ensure supporting structures and processes are transparent and allow for equitable and efficient decision making. With communication being a priority, we will make information readily accessible so that employees are aware of how they will be affected by our career and compensation programs, policies and structures, particularly during times of change.

Our compensation structure will strive to promote consistency across the University,while providing the flexibility needed to meet the specific requirements of different areas across the institution. To appropriately steward our compensation programs, we will follow UA’s model of shared governance and engage stakeholder groups to ensure that the University’s collective and diverse needs and interests are represented.

Contact Information

General Line: 621-8179
Email: Compensation@email.arizona.edu

Emily Gillilan
Manager, Compensation

621-2669

Compensation Communications, Strategic Planning and Design

Business Affairs Division, Human Resources Division, DEIT, OGC, Office of the President/Secretary

Dylan Lane
Data Analyst

621-2680

Compensation Systems and Reporting, Data Analytics, Metrics, Compensation Operations

Kristine Leyva
Compensation Analyst

621-2629

Alumni Relations, College of Education, College of Law, Development, Division of Budget & Planning, Eller, Financial Services, Grad College, Honors College, Marketing & Communications Division, Risk Management, SBS, Sustainability, UA Global, UAHS

Wendy Moore
Compensation Analyst

621-2737

AZPM, CAPLA, College of Humanities, Facilities, Libraries, Parking & Transportation, PHX Biomedical, Student Unions, Tech Launch, Tech Parks Division, UITS, UA Bookstore, UAPD

Shari Nelson
Compensation Analyst

621-2749

Academic Affairs Division, ALVSCE, College of Engineering, College of Fine Arts, College of Optical Sciences, College of Science, ICA Planning Design & Construction, RII, Student Affairs

 

University Career Architecture

Job Functions and Families

Career Streams

Work Dimensions

Pay Structure

Job Library

Compensation Resources

FAQs

General

University staff is an employment category created by the Arizona Board of Regents and defined in ABOR Policy 6-510. Employees in the University Staff employment category are employed at will. In other words, staff positions no longer need year-to-year appointments. University staff will now be employed without an express contract of employment for a defined period of time. This employment category does not reduce an employee's current compensation, benefits, training, or career development opportunities, regardless of their current employment category.

Employees can contact the Compensation team directly via the email address, compensation@email.arizona.edu. Additionally, employees can direct their questions to their college/division human resources staff, governance members, and/or their organizational consultants.

The population of employees that are in-scope for University Staff include positions that traditionally have been considered appointed professionals and classified staff.  Employees who are out of scope include:  faculty, graduate assistants, post docs, student employees, Athletics Coaching and Operations staff, Career Track, and continuing status/eligible employees.

If you opted-out, beginning March 9th you will have the option to request to transition to University Staff. You will need to fill out a form, available here, and request a job change transaction be submitted by your college/division through UAccess Manager Self Service. At that time of the request you will transition to University Staff in your final position mapping. This option will be available at any time.

Classified staff who have opt out, will still have their compensation evaluated against the pay grade associated with their position mapping results.  Classified staff who opt-out, as well as University Staff, who are below minimum of their University Staff pay grade are expected to be brought to minimum by March 1, 2020.  Assuming a classified staff employee meets all other eligibility criteria for an annual increase program (benefits eligible, performance, time in job, compensation falls within range etc.) the employee will be eligible for future merit increases.  University leadership evaluates financial resources and defines annual increase program eligibility, which may vary year to year.

Job functions and families are consistent across the University and are determined by the primary function of the job.  For example, a job that has a primary duty of Communications & Marketing will be mapped to the Communications & Marketing job function, regardless of the department that job is located in.

Positions are mapped to the structure based on the job itself, which includes the impact, scope and responsibility of the job as well as typical minimum requirements.  This job mapping is not a reflection of individual employee performance or experience.

Classified employees went through the process of having their position mapped to a job within the career architecture.  All employees in scope of the project received notification of how their position was mapped to the architecture, as well as what that means from the perspective of becoming University Staff and the associated pay range. Classified staff employees had the option to transition to the University Staff employment category with their job mapped within the career architecture or opt out and maintain their classified staff status. All positions whether University Staff or Classified Staff will follow the exemption status and pay range of the career architecture mapped position. For any promotions or job changes, Classified Staff would be required to transition to the University Staff employment group.

The anchor points for the architecture are based on reviewing external market data/salary surveys to identify benchmarked jobs.  The starting point for creating the architecture is based on the number of levels identified in the market data.  We evaluate the need and risk of adding levels that are not market referenced, as we want to ensure a market referenced architecture.  If you are unable to map based on a missing level, please email Compensation@email.arizona.edu

All employees, regardless of employment category, can apply for positions that have been competitively posted in Talent. For a Classified Staff employee to accept a promotion or other job change the employee will need to transition to the University Staff employment category.

Retirement

Employees can maintain current retirement plan elections. All new hires into the University Staff employment group will have the option to elect either the Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS) or the Optional Retirement Plan (ORP).

Classified employees who choose to transition to the University Staff employment group will have the option to switch from ASRS to ORP or remain in ASRS. Employees have a one-time opportunity to select a retirement plan during continuous employment, and this decision is irrevocable.

University Staff (including faculty, administrators, and academic/service professionals) must participate in either the Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS), or the Optional Retirement Plan (ORP).

  • Non-pharmacy clinical assistants, postdoctoral research associates, and nonresident aliens do not participate in a retirement plan. If you are a retirement-eligible federal employee, contact your department regarding your retirement plan options.
  • If you do not elect the ORP, your default plan is the ASRS.
  • To compare the ASRS and ORP plans at a glance, view the Retirement Plans Comparison.

Begin by viewing this 20-minute recorded webinar about your new choices. The University provides more detailed information about ASRS and ORP on its Retirement Plans webpage. To see the plans side-by-side, view the plan comparison PDF.

Find even more information on the ASRS website or the ORP Guide.

The University of Arizona will host webinars and other opportunities to meet with representatives from Human Resources, Fidelity Investments, and TIAA in January and February 2020.

You may also directly schedule an appointment with a Fidelity or TIAA representative.

You may also speak with a representative from Human Resources by calling 520-621-3660 or emailing hrsolutions@arizona.edu with questions. Although financial advice cannot be provided, the features of each plan can be discussed.

Classified Staff who transition to University Staff will have 30 days from the date of being converted to University Staff to make a one-time irrevocable retirement plan choice. This election will be made in UAccess Employee.

TThe change will take effect on the first day of the next pay period after you make your election.

If you do not take action to change your retirement plan during the election period, you will remain in ASRS for the duration of continuous employment. You will not have the option to make a retirement choice later.

Yes, the number of years you have contributed to ASRS while working for the Arizona University System will count towards the five-year requirement to vest under the ORP plan. When you are vested, the University’s matching contributions become yours and are deposited into your ORP account.

Your previous contributions will remain with ASRS while you are actively employed. You will not be able to access your ASRS contributions until you leave the University. At that time, you can withdraw your contributions (refund) or leave them with ASRS and collect a pension when you are eligible to retire. However, ASRS determines the pension amount based on how long contributions are made to ASRS, so the pension will be smaller based on fewer years of contributions.

If you began contributing to ASRS before July 2011, you are partially vested in the University’s contributions at five years of service and fully vested at 10 years. If you began contributing to ASRS after July 2011, you do not have access to the University's contributions.

You can create a log-in for myASRS to view your account information, including your estimated refund versus retirement benefit.

The formula to determine ASRS pension amounts considers only compensation earned during the time you were making contributions.

As a one-time lump sum merit increase is compensation, it would be subject to ASRS and ORP employee deductions and employer matches.

ASRS calculates retirement benefits by using the average monthly compensation, total years credited ASRS service and a multiplier that increases with an employee’s years of service.

For example: Average Monthly Salary (Years of Service*Multiplier) = Monthly Retirement Benefit

A lump sum merit increase would slightly increase an employee’s average monthly compensation.   For more details on the retirement calculations, visit the ASRS website

Pay and Leave

University Staff earn vacation time according to their work schedule. Employees on fiscal-year schedules earn 22 vacation days per year (6.77 hours/pay period), prorated by FTE. Employees on academic-year schedules earn vacation time only during the months they are working.

Unemployment benefits may be available to University Staff that lose their jobs through no fault of their own, for example, due to a loss of funding or reorganization, or because they lack the skills to perform the job. Eligibility for unemployment is determined by the Arizona - Department of Economic Security (D.E.S.). Employees may use their written notice of termination, when filing for unemployment benefits.  

However, University Staff that are terminated for misconduct may be disqualified (as determined by D.E.S.) from receiving benefits.

When an employee transitions from non-exempt to exempt, the salary is calculated by taking the hourly rate and multiplying it by 2080 hours. 2080 work hours is the standard calculation in the external market for converting an hourly rate to an annualized salary.

The reason you may see a decrease in your bi-weekly pay check is because previously as a non-exempt employee you were paid for the hours that are actually worked. As a salaried employee, your bi-weekly pay check is calculated according to an annualized salary divided by the pay periods over the fiscal year. Currently the university is using 26.2 pay periods for FY2020 to calculate bi-weekly pay.

Please see the example below:

Non-Exempt/Hourly Employee

Fiscal Work Hours

Bi-Weekly Amount

(based on 1.0 FTE/80 hrs)

Annualized Salary

(Hourly Rate * Work Hours)

2080

$1,845.60

$47,985.60

2088

$1,845.60

$48,170.16

2096

$1,845.60

$48,354.72

Hourly Rate

 

$23.07

 

Exempt/Salaried Employee

Fiscal Work Hours

Freq Annualization Factor

Bi-Weekly Amount

Annualized Salary

2080

26

$1,845.60

$47,985.60

2088

26.1

$1,838.53

$47,985.60

2096

26.2

$1,831.51

$47,985.60

Annualized Salary

 

$47,986

Work Hours/80 = Frequency Annualization Factor

For more information about how pay rates are calculated click here.

Incumbent Review

A promotion is a move to a job at a higher pay grade, career level, and/or scope of work. A requisition is required to promote an employee:

  • By more than one pay grade, unless the position is the next available title within the job family.
  • By more than one career level, unless the position is the next available title within the job family.
  • More than once in a rolling calendar year.
  • To a position outside of their assigned unit.
  • To a new job function.
  • Who was hired noncompetitively.

A requisition is not required if the requested promotion does not meet any of these criteria. In order to proceed without a requisition, the unit must submit an MSS exception request through UAccess. The Compensation Team in the Division of Human Resources will then conduct an incumbent review.

Supervisors will consult with their college/division when there is a significant change to a job’s duties and responsibilities. Typically, a significant change is defined as a 30% or more change in job duties or responsibilities, or as changes that would have an impact on how the job is mapped to the career architecture. If a position has changed, an updated position description must be completed to reflect changes. The college/division will submit the updated position documentation to Compensation to evaluate and determine the appropriate mapping within the career architecture.

Each MSS exception request must contain a copy of the position description and any other supporting documentation. Upon approval, the Compensation Team will attach the results letter to the MSS exception transaction. A unit cannot offer a promotion to an employee without an approved results letter.

Supervisors will be able to initiate an Incumbent Review for an employee.

An Incumbent Review is currently taking 30 days to process.

Compensation will send a results letter to the employee's supervisor, who will then administer the letter.

Once a department receives the results of an incumbent review, the department will need to create a Job Change transaction in MSS, the action code will be a position life cycle. The incumbent review results letter is required to be attached to the MSS transaction for Workforce Systems to process the transaction.

FLSA and Overtime

The University of Arizona complies with the DOL's Fair labor Standards act for administering overtime and determining exemption status of university staff positions. For more information please see the follow Link for the University's FLSA and Overtime Policy.