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Annual Merit Increase Program

The University of Arizona Community
Andrew C. Comrie, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
Gregg Goldman, Senior Vice President for Business Affairs and CFO
Thursday, August 10, 2017

During the last two months we have worked with President Robbins, our senior vice president colleagues, and the University’s Finance Administrative Advisory Committee to chart a course for a sustainable program of annual merit increases. We have also considered recommendations from the Strategic Planning and Budget Advisory Committee regarding the need to create the internal discipline required to provide competitive compensation. We agree that it is imperative to recognize the contributions of our faculty, staff, and graduate assistants and we seek to do that in a strategic and informed manner. With the endorsement of President Robbins, we are writing today to announce the planning cycle we will use this year and in the future.

As you know, the University receives funds from many different sources, but two key factors significantly influence the timing of the University’s ability to allocate funds: legislative appropriations and our undergraduate and graduate enrollment. We typically receive notification regarding state support by June and we must generally wait until August to accurately forecast our student enrollment, including our resident and non-resident mix. Given this, we believe it is prudent to make decisions about merit-based salary adjustments as we approach the new academic year and we will commit to establishing the parameters of our annual merit program by the third week of August each year. Units will make performance-based merit recommendations for faculty and staff in the fall semester and, once these recommendations are approved, they will be implemented in January paychecks.

Funding to support merit increases will come from funds allocated in accordance with our Responsibility Centered Management principles rather than new central dollars. In some cases, units will be required to reallocate funds or postpone investments in order to fund annual salary increases.  These tradeoffs are in line with the compensation recommendations made by the Strategic Planning and Budget Advisory Committee.

Additional information and instructions for the January 2018 merit implementation will be provided by the end of August to all senior vice presidents, vice presidents, deans, department heads, and directors.