Denny Chimes on the Alabama campus

New Compensation and Classification Plan Coming 

A new compensation and classification structure for staff is expected to begin in February.   

As a continuation of the HReimagined project launched at the end of 2019, UA HR leadership partnered with Deloitte Consulting to support the strategic goal of fostering a campus environment that aids in recruiting, retaining, growing and supporting outstanding staff and faculty. The partnership was centered around revamping the current staff compensation and class structure, which was last updated in 1995.   

A separate effort is underway to evaluate faculty compensation by the Office of Academic Affairs. 

“This updated staff plan is welcome and necessary as UA adapts to compete with the external market,” Senior Associate Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer Susan Norton said. “After extensive review and analysis with our consultant partner and over 135 meetings with college and divisional leaders to gain their perspectives and input, we created the new staff position classification and compensation structure that will help us continue to retain and attract top talent.”   

The initial implementation of the new structure will begin in February with a comprehensive new classification system for staff positions and pay increases for those staff whose compensation falls below the new minimum for their pay grades.   

“It’s important to note — no employee will face a pay reduction because of this process, and no employee will be displaced,” Norton said.    

The new compensation and classification plan provides a flexible and market-based pay structure focused on improving the competitiveness of salaries and creating consistency and equity. In the first phase, approximately 15% of the campus staff community will see compensation increases to at least meet the minimum for their new pay grades as the positions were graded up.   

Not all identified compensation needs will be met this first year, Norton emphasized. Additional future investments will need to be made in later implementation phases of the plan as part of annual budget planning processes.  

The more comprehensive classification system provides guidance and consistency across campus, and some job titles have been updated to better reflect the responsibilities of the position. Working titles, which have been commonly used and may be different than employees’ official payroll titles, should no longer be needed.   

Every staff employee – both full-time and part-time – will receive a letter from HR by early February specifying their position classification/job title and compensation, even if there is no change.   

The new system comes after studies and meetings were conducted by HR and Deloitte Consulting to develop a plan that contributes to an exceptional work environment and more accurately represents the University’s talent base and position responsibilities.   

The consulting firm assessed the University’s current system relative to the relevant market and comparable to peer institutions and organizations. The comprehensive review covered job titles, classifications, compensation levels, salary structures and organized the new system based on job functions, job families, career tracks, levels, job titles, and new pay ranges.  

After the consultant’s initial study concluded, HR held over a hundred meetings over the spring and summer with division and college leaders to discuss the findings of the study and to work together to redefine titles and classification structures specific to their units and based on the market pricing advice from Deloitte.   

More details about the new plan, including how it affects each unit on campus, will be shared in the coming weeks through such efforts as divisional/college management meetings and on the HR website.