Salary Adjustments, Position Review, Promotional Opportunities and Other Job Changes

Policy Number:  IV.25
Policy Level:  Operating

Originally Issued: July 12, 2013
Revised:  October 1, 2019
Revised:  February 7, 2020

Owner:  Vice President for Financial Affairs
Policy Implementation:  Director of Human Resources

I.  Definitions

Salary Adjustment:  A salary increase which may be based on improved competencies, increase in job responsibilities, job performance, market conditions, or may consider years of service.  Salary adjustments are not solely based on experience and performance reviews.

Position Review:  A detailed review of a position’s job description to ensure that the position is classified correctly.  A position review will also examine an employee’s job duties in comparison with the job description to ensure that the job description accurately reflects the duties being performed by the employee on a regular basis.

Promotion:  The advancement of an employee to a position that is evaluated at a higher job classification.

Athens State University Salary Schedule: Salary tables, organized by “faculty” and “staff” according to employee classification.  Under the new salary schedule, salary bands have been developed for each employee classification and represent a corresponding CUPA code.

State Step Salary Schedule: The salary schedule used by Athens State University prior to October 1, 2012, and includes step salary increases.  Commonly referred to as “Old Schedule”.

Job Description:  Describes work performed by an employee in general terms.  A job description highlights the most important features of a job; it may not describe specific duties related to an individual’s position.

CUPA:  CUPAHR is the association for HR professionals in higher education, the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources.  CUPA uses 4 employee classification groups:  Administrative, Professional, Faculty, and Non-Exempt.

COLA (Cost-of-Living Adjustment) An adjustment approved by the Board of Trustees applied to permanent employees.

II.  Salary Adjustments

Salary adjustments are changes in pay outside of COLAs, step raises, promotions, and reorganizations. Salary adjustments are not based solely on experience and performance reviews. Salary adjustments may take into consideration several components, including:

  • years of service
  • above satisfactory job performance
  • additional duties
  • credentials
  • educational degrees
  • experience
  • market conditions in the area served by the institution
  • existence of unique circumstances or situations at the University, justifying advancement, including demonstration of ingenuity, creativity, etc.

Generally, salary adjustments are given through one of the following three processes:

A.  Salary Adjustment Request
B.  Position Review
C.   CUPA Analysis

A.  Salary Adjustment Request – Non-probationary Staff and Part-time Staff  (refer to Employee Classifications) on the State Step Salary Schedule(schedules C, E, and H) and those on the Athens State University Salary Schedule are eligible to submit a Salary Adjustment Request.  Employees on either salary schedule wishing to submit a request for consideration for a salary adjustment must have the following:

  1. Written request to the immediate supervisor from the individual desiring advancement; and
  2. Annual job performance evaluations with no major weaknesses, liabilities, or problems  noted for the previous 2 years; and
  3. Evidence of the employee’s reason for requesting the salary adjustment; including copies of professional certificates, transcripts for educational degrees, written statements related to job accomplishments and productivity.
  4. Incumbency in the current position and current salary classification for at least three years, absent unusual circumstances.

After verification of the requirements listed above, the supervisor should forward the request, with recommendations, through their department’s chain of approvals up to and including the area’s Vice President and/or Provost.

The amount of salary adjustment for individuals whose salary adjustment request is approved will be determined as follows:

  1. State Step Salary Schedule: The salary adjustment for employees on the State Step Salary Schedule C, E, or H will be based on the grade or rank within the schedule. Generally, employees will move to the next grade or rank with a specific salary schedule.  (For example, an individual on E5, Grade 07 could move to E5, Grade 06; H25, Rank 10 could move to H25, Rank 09, etc.)

In cases where employees are at the top of their specific schedule within Schedule C,E, or H,  and/or where the credentials, education, performance and duties warrant an increase, employees on Schedule C,E, or H may be moved beyond their current schedule.  (For example, an individual on E5 could move to E4.)  Employees will not be allowed to move from Schedule E to Schedule C, or from Schedule H to Schedule E, etc.

  1. Athens State University Salary Schedule: Generally, the salary adjustment for employees on the Athens State Salary Schedule will be given an adjustment of 5%.  For situations where added credentials, degrees and/or job duties are considered to be at a high level, the President may approve an increase greater than 5%, not to exceed 10%.  The exact amount of adjustment will be based on written documentation and will consider the components discussed in Section A.

If a salary adjustment request is approved, the employee is ineligible to submit another salary adjustment request for three years.

B.  Position Review – Every effort is made to classify each employee into the CUPA position code that best describes their job
description. However, at times CUPA position descriptions are changed, and new position descriptions become available.   Non-probationary Staff and Part-time Staff who would like to have their current job description evaluated to ensure that they have been assigned the most accurate  CUPA code may request a position review.  Position reviews generally result when there has been a change in job duties for a current position or when new CUPA codes are added by CUPA-HR.

Employees who wish to request a position review should send a written request to the Office of Human Resources.  The HR staff will forward the request to the requesting employee’s supervisor, who will conduct the review in conjunction with the employee and the HR staff.  If it is determined that there is a more accurate classification for the employee, and a salary adjustment is appropriate, then the supervisor should forward the findings of the position review to their Vice President. The Vice President for the respective employee and the Vice President for Financial Affairs will review the data.  If it is agreed upon that a change is justified, the Vice President for Financial Affairs will send an Adjustment Request to the President for approval.

When completed, position reviews are final and are generally not eligible for re-review for a period of three years, unless there have been significant changes to the job description.

C.  CUPA Analysis – The University, through the Compensation and Benefits Review Committee conducts a compensation and benefits data analysis on a regular ongoing basis, usually every three years. The purpose of the analysis is:

  1. To evaluate pay and benefits for current employees
  2. To ensure that all employees are paid equitably as it relates to their specific job classification
  3. To identify a target benchmark for Athens State University salaries using peer data and provide employees who are below that benchmark an opportunity to receive a salary

The Committee will make recommendations to the President for approval of salary adjustments for those employees who are below the benchmark.

III.  Promotional Opportunities – All Staff

 A.  Promotion –  The University is committed to fostering the growth and development of its employees.
One method of achieving this objective is through internal promotions.  A promotion is the advancement of an employee to a
position that is evaluated at a higher job classification.  Departments may choose to post vacant positions internally as
promotional opportunities.    Applicants for internal postings are limited to those employees classified as Non-Probationary,
Probationary, or Part-Time.  Employees in any classification may apply for any external University job posting.

The University’s selection process follows the guidelines set forth in the Procedures for Hiring and Recruitment. Appointments and promotions through internal searches are made based on the applicant’s skills, abilities and knowledge in relation to the requirements of the job.

While employees are encouraged to compete for a position which results in a higher pay grade or a different opportunity, there is no restriction on an employee applying for a position in the same or lower pay grade.

 B.  Temporary Promotion – A vacancy created by an incumbent’s absence for any reason that allows for his/her return at a
later date may be filled by an employee promoted for a temporary period.  A position may be filled with a temporary promotion
before or during the recruitment or hiring of a full-time employee.  Temporary promotions of a short duration may be made
without competition, but will be made based on qualifications and availability.  At the end of the term of the temporary
promotion, the employee will return to their previous position.  If the temporary promotion resulted in higher compensation, the employee’s rate of pay once the temporary promotion term is complete will revert to the former rate of pay.

Employees who are given a temporary promotion are not prohibited from applying for the permanent position.  Temporary promotions are not to be used for the purpose of training an employee for a higher pay grade.

IV.  Other Job Changes – All Staff

A.  Reorganization – As set forth in the Procedures for Hiring and Recruitment, there may be occasions where it is necessary
and appropriate to expand and modify existing positions. In these cases, the University will not consider the modified position
as a vacancy.  Reorganizations will follow the process that has been established by the Office of Human Resources and must
address the circumstances for it being considered necessary and appropriate.  All reorganizations must be approved by the

B.  Lateral Transfers – An employee may be laterally transferred (i.e., transferred to another department without an upward
change in grade and/or job classification) under conditions where the transfer is considered beneficial for the University and its
ability to provide services to students. Transfers may be to a position of the same grade or lower, but generally do not result in
any change in compensation.  All lateral transfers must be approved by the President.

C.  Job Title Change – A job title change is a change in the title only and generally does not result in a change in job classification
(unless it is done as the result of a reorganization). Job titles may be a result of trends, University needs or duties and
responsibilities.  A request for a change in title should be submitted to the appropriate vice president for concurrence, who
forwards it to the Director of Human Resources and the Vice President for Financial Affairs.  All job title changes must be
approved by the President.

 D.  Reclassification – Periodically positions are reviewed to better match job duties with CUPA codes, especially when new
CUPA codes become available. Sometimes this results in a change of CUPA code for that position.  Reclassifications may or
may not result in an increase in pay.

V.  Timeline for Salary Adjustments

A.  Complete salary adjustment packets consisting of all the items listed in Section II must be submitted to the appropriate
University Vice President by January 15.

B.  Recommendations regarding salary adjustments will be submitted in writing to the President by April 15.

C.  Final approval of all salary adjustments will be by the President prior to the beginning of the next academic year.  The staff
member will receive notification of the President’s decision at this time.

D.  Nominees recommended but not receiving salary adjustments may resubmit their packet for consideration the next year.  The
nominee will update the materials and the appropriate administrator(s) will submit a new letter of recommendation for the adjustment adhering to the same dates and guidelines outlined.