OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

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Frequently Asked Questions Compensation Program

1. When will administrators/supervisors have a chance to review the assignments for their employees? When and how will employees be informed of the determinations for their job?

2. Will there be funding available at implementation?

3. Will there be some way for our compensation program to account for positions that are located in a geographic region with a significantly higher cost of living?

4. Will pay be adjusted up or down if indicated?

5. What are the steps involved if an employee does not believe their position is in the appropriate category?  What is the review process?

6. Who was involved in the subject matter expert conversations?

7. How about jobs that have duties that cross over into different job families?  (Hybrid Positions)

8. Concern around supervisors who do not give regular performance evaluations; no opportunity to receive pay increase related to performance. How is the university going to address this?
 
9. How often will the data be updated?

10. Are any departments or positions exempt from participating in the new Professional Faculty Job Framework and Compensation Program?

11. What are the problems associated with having a multitude of professional faculty titles?  Have other solutions been explored?

12. How will job titles be descriptive enough to make OSU competitive in attracting the best candidates?

13. Does the plan consider the market value of titles?

14. How will the university avoid losing opportunities by limitations in flexibility around specific descriptions?  How do we value those with diverse educational and professional experience?

15. Will each Professional Faculty classification have a pay cap or pay maximum?

16. After going through the benchmarking and other comparisons, what happens to individual employees whose job description specifications and salary range is less than what the individual is currently being paid?

17. What about compensation based on the field of expertise, not title?

18. Will this plan result in any pay cuts and title demotions?

19. Any possibility for self-support or grant funded positions to be exempt from this?

20. Is there a possibility for a wild card category for things that don’t fit the concept?

21. What are “benchmark jobs”?

22. What positions are included in the Professional Faculty Job Groupings and Compensation Project?

23. Why would pay levels remain confidential?

24. Is the PDQ still up and running? Is this the way we will update our PDs from now on?

25. Why is the information about my placement into the new job category framework not communicated directly to employees instead of being filtered through managers and supervisors?

Salary

Does this project address salary compression?

What comparators were used to identify salary ranges?  How were salary rates determined?

Does funding source have any bearing on how jobs are compensated?

Benchmark:

What was the proportion of all jobs that we received benchmark data for?

What are appropriate talent markets?

Is benchmarking based on the job summary or the job title?

Administrative Guidelines

What will happen if someone is determined to be over-paid?

Will there be a mechanism for promotion/transfer to higher level positions in place of academic waivers?

If professional faculty holds no rank then what do you mean by promotion?

If someone returns to professional faculty from professorial what will be the process to making sure they are leveled/compensated correctly?


1. When will administrators/supervisors have a chance to review the assignments for their employees? When and how will employees be informed of the determinations for their job?

We will be communicating individual position identification into the position framework in the following timeframe:

Deans & Department Heads- July 15-August 8
Manager/Supervisor Training- August 9th, 10am-12pm;  August 12th, 10am-12pm.  Both trainings will be held in the Hallie Ford Center, Room 115
Professional Faculty conversations with their manager/supervisor- by August 31st
Opportunity to request a review of position identification into position framework:  Sept 1st -Sept 30th

We will be communicating salary ranges associated with positions following the above process.

2. Will there be funding available at implementation?

University administration is considering options, and there is no determination on funding at this time.

3. Will there be some way for our compensation program to account for positions that are located in a geographic region with a significantly higher cost of living? 

No, not at this time.

4. Will pay be adjusted up or down if indicated?

The University aspires to pay all employees within the range associated with their position salary grade so that no one is paid below the minimum or above the maximum. 

5. What are the steps involved if an employee does not believe their position is in the appropriate category?  What is the review process?

Employees  may request a review of their assignment into the job category framework and salary structure, and the specific process to request a review will be available on the project website.

6. Who was involved in the subject matter expert conversations?

Over 500 Professional and Academic Faculty managers, deans, department heads and individual contributors served as subject matter experts during the leveling and benchmarking  sessions.

7. How about jobs that have duties that cross over into different job families?  (Hybrid Positions)

Positions that cross over into various job families or have a hybrid of responsibilities are addressed by analyzing the PDQ or Position Description to identify the majority of responsibilities  or the duties that are most difficult to recruit for.  Adjustment factors are then applied to take into consideration the other responsibilities. 

8. Concern around supervisors who do not give regular performance evaluations; no opportunity to receive pay increase related to performance. How is the university going to address this?

Performance evaluations are being addressed with the EVALs project.

9. How often will the data be updated?

There will be biennial reviews of the overall salary structure as well as salary grades by applying aging techniques as well as collecting and analyzing market data for comparable jobs within respective markets.

10. Are any departments or positions exempt from participating in the new Professional Faculty Job Framework and Compensation Program?

All OSU departments will participate in the Professional Faculty Job Framework and Compensation Program. 

11. What are the problems associated with having a multitude of professional faculty titles?  Have other solutions been explored?

With approximately 955 distinct job titles for close to 1,250 employees, OSU’s current job structure for Professional Faculty is cumbersome to manage.  In addition, the current system does not provide information about our competitive position with peer institutions and employers in our local market place; it does not provide sufficient information to ensure pay equity; it does not provide the structure needed for applicable reporting requirements; and it does not identify opportunities for advancement by employees via clear career paths.

Our goal is to simplify current processes and provide a framework for our jobs and our pay structure.  The objective is to provide clarity for Professional Faculty positions around pay ranges for position and provide a clear career path within each job family.  In addition, it will enhance our ability to ensure fairness and equity within the compensation program. Finally, we are conducting a market study to ensure our program is competitive when compared to other higher education institutions and other markets in which we compete for talent.

12. How will job titles be descriptive enough to make OSU competitive in attracting the best candidates?

Job families are a function of grouping for ease of administration. The families do not determine job titles, nor do they determine the level of pay offered to the roles within them. Instead, individual positions’ job scope and responsibilities will determine the competitive pay practice for any given role. Flexibility around target pay for a given job will allow OSU to attract the very best talent into key positions and provide a structure for award pay based on individual qualifications and assessed performance. 

13. Does the plan consider the market value of titles?

We believe that the responsibilities of a role should drive its title.  A market study is a critical part of this project.  The titles for roles in our job families will be informed by the practices of peer institutions and employers in our market place.  Furthermore, the Steering Committee and Project Team have not yet addressed the role of existing job titles in the evolving compensation program.  As we progress in our process, that will be an area we will address.

14. How will the university avoid losing opportunities by limitations in flexibility around specific descriptions?  How do we value those with diverse educational and professional experience?

OSU's Professional Faculty compensation program is designed to support the recruitment and retention of a diverse, high-quality workforce to fulfill the mission of the University.  To accomplish this vision, we are developing job description specifications that encompass the job responsibilities and experiences required to perform the position.  By doing this work, we will simplify current processes and provide a framework for our jobs and our pay structure.   At the same time, we respect and want to maintain the specialized nature of what makes OSU such a special place to work.  This will require some flexibility in certain areas of the program.  For example, we realize that some job description specifications will encompass multiple positions while others will only cover a single position.

15. Will each Professional Faculty classification have a pay cap or pay maximum?

Our new job structure and compensation program will provide clear paths for individuals to grow professionally and be compensated fairly in support of the compensation philosophy.   Market analysis will be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure the most current ranges for our positions.  As yet, we have not determined the structure of salary ranges.

16. After going through the benchmarking and other comparisons, what happens to individual employees whose job description specifications and salary range is less than what the individual is currently being paid?

The Project Team and Steering Committee have not yet finalized policy and practices relating to plan administration but it has been decided that in no case will any current professional faculty member suffer a pay cut as a result of the implementation of the program.

17. What about compensation based on the field of expertise, not title?

The system will allow for differences based upon discipline, e.g. Finance compared with Human Resources or Facilities Management. However, a Business Manager in one College may not be differentiated in the salary structure from a Business Manager in another College unless there are differences in job content and role. It is likely that there will be positions with the same working title in different pay ranges based upon the differences in roles and responsibilities.

18. Will this plan result in any pay cuts and title demotions?

OSU has committed to using this program as a tool to support the recruitment and retention of a diverse, high-quality workforce to fulfill the mission of the University.  The program will not result in pay cuts or demotions.

19. Any possibility for self-support or grant funded positions to be exempt from this?

For fairness and equity, all Professional Faculty will be included in the OSU Professional Faculty Job Groupings and Compensation Program.

20. Is there a possibility for a wild card category for things that don’t fit the concept?

We are working to fit all of the roles covered through this project into a job family; there will not be a “catch-all” or “wild card” category. It is important to note that job titles are not driven by job families, but by role, scope of work, and job responsibilities.

21. What are “benchmark jobs”?

Benchmark jobs are those that have a substantial portion of their work that is comparable to positions found at other higher education institutions or other organizations. This allows us to compare the pay for a given job.

22. What positions are included in the Professional Faculty Job Groupings and Compensation Project?

ROTC personnel are C9XXXX, and are listed as “courtesy appointments” in our system; therefore those positions are not included.  In addition, academic administrators, most of whom have ranked positions, are not included either.

Only those unrepresented, non-ranked, positions with a position number starting with C1XXXX will be included in the project at this time.

23. Why would pay levels remain confidential?

Oregon State University complies with the Oregon Public Records Law by providing a report that reveals public employee salaries.  That document can be obtained by contacting the OSU Library.  OSU Business Center Human Resource and Central Human Resource departments will not publish employee salary information.  In our commitment to transparency, the pay ranges for roles within each job family will be openly communicated.

24.  Is the PDQ still up and running? Is this the way we will update our PDs from now on?

The questionnaire will be used to group similar positions together within job category levels and job profiles.  The job profiles will be used to determine benchmark positions and conduct market analysis. 

It is our hope that as we move forward, the PDQ will assist in updating existing descriptions found in PeopleAdmin; however, the process and timeline will be determined at a later time.

The Position Description Questionnaire is not available for submission at this point in the process.

25. Why is the information about my placement into the new job category framework not communicated directly to employees instead of being filtered through managers and supervisors?  

The communication plan was constructed to reach all professional faculty as timely as possible and in the most effective forum.  If an employee has not had the opportunity to give their supervisor feedback about their position’s initial placement into the job category framework by August 31, 2013, please email compensation.classification@oregonstate.edu and the Business Center or the Office of Human Resources will ensure the information is provided to you.  It is our goal to receive your feedback as quickly as possible.

Salary

Does this project address salary compression?

This project provides a job category framework and salary structure to identify professional faculty positions across campus and a corresponding salary grade tied to the external market.  Tools  will be provided to colleges, departments and units to assist in addressing compensation related decisions including salary compression.

What comparators were used to identify salary ranges?  How were salary rates determined?

The compensation comparators designated by a local, regional or national focus can be located on the project website.  The salary grades were mathematically determined based upon a blended salary structure model with the midpoints set at market median. 

Does funding source have any bearing on how jobs are compensated?

The salary structure and grades assigned to position profiles were based on knowledge and skills; scope of responsibilities and impact.  Funding source is not considered in the determination of appropriate salary range assigned to a position.

Benchmark:

What was the proportion of all jobs that we received benchmark data for?

We received data for 254 positions covering more than 830 incumbents, representing 65% of the overall population.  All positions were compared to benchmarks and leveled using comparison factors including knowledge and skills, scope of responsibilities and range of impact.

What are appropriate talent markets?

Please review Benchmark Process and Benchmarking Scope Cuts for detailed information on benchmarking scope cuts and peer universities used in the process.

Is benchmarking based on the job summary or the job title?

Benchmarking matches were based on the comparison of the position profile summary with the position summaries provided by market survey jobs.

 

Administrative Guidelines

What will happen if someone is determined to be over-paid?

The University aspires to pay all employees within the range associated with their job’s salary grade so that no one is paid below the minimum or above the maximum.  When salaries of employees are above the range, the salary should remain the same until such time as the range exceeds the salary.  Administrative guidelines will address the issue of providing merit to a high performing employee when their salary is above the range.

Will there be a mechanism for promotion/transfer to higher level positions in place of academic waivers?

Administrative Guidelines outlining the process for promotion will be available on our website soon. 

If professional faculty holds no rank then what do you mean by promotion?

The Professional Faculty Job Grouping and Compensation Program Administrative Guidelines defines promotion as taking on greater responsibilities in a job that is assigned to a higher grade or is assigned to higher salary within the same grade by identifying a higher level knowledge and skills, scope of responsibilities and/or range of impact.

If someone returns to professional faculty from professorial what will be the process to making sure they are leveled/compensated correctly?

When a position is established, the Business Center Human Resources will work with the department to review the position and identify the proper placement in the job category framework and salary structure.