The 2019-2022 Strategic Plan [PDF] identified fair and equitable compensation for faculty and staff as a critical aspect of UofL’s commitment to being a great place to learn, to work and in which to invest. To honor this commitment, Human Resources launched the Compensation and Total Rewards Study.

Overseeing the Compensation and Total Rewards Study are co-chairs Kari Aikins, director of total rewards for UofL, and Krista Wallace-Boaz, associate dean of the School of Music. An additional subcommittee of UofL faculty and staff members was also selected to serve as the voices of the campus community and provide feedback throughout the studies.

This comprehensive study comprises several studies that assess total rewards- employee wages and employee benefits (e.g., health care, tuition remission, paid leave, etc.). During May 2021, the six-phase compensation study began with the help of Segal, an HR consulting firm with expertise in higher education, and will conclude 18-24 months after the launch date. For a further look into the six phases, visit the Compensation and Total Rewards Studies webpage.

Findings from the studies will provide the necessary framework for employee wages and employee benefits moving forward. If the compensation study shows a market position at a lower salary grade, UofL will not lower the employee’s salary.

During Phase 2 of the study, the university reviewed and/or developed job descriptions, minimum requirements, preferred qualifications, and essential duties for most university positions. This review ensured that position descriptions were up-to-date, accurate and consistent across all schools and departments, and was essential to obtain benchmarks comparable to similar jobs in the market.

“The goal was to submit job descriptions reflective of the role, not reflective of the employee in that role” said Aikins. “When we’re benchmarking for our compensation structure, we’re benchmarking the positions. Once we have our compensation structure in place and jobs are classified and graded based on comparable market data, we can then review and recommend equitable pay.”

More specifically, said Vice President of Human Resources Mary Elizabeth Miles,  “once we have the baseline data, the consulting firm will conduct a gap analysis that will look specifically at any unintended disparities that may cause women and minority employees to be paid less. These gap analyses will help us honor some of the other commitments made in the strategic plan and our anti-racism agenda.”

The study is now in phase three, with Segal and university leadership working to define a compensation philosophy for the university. This philosophy, developed by university employees in conjunction with Segal, will serve as guiding principles throughout the study.

“Our compensation philosophy will be a high-level statement that outlines our values as they relate to how we will compensate our employees, both through wages and benefits,” said Miles. “A compensation philosophy is needed so that we can establish our parameters moving forward.”

During this phase of the project, employees will receive a brief survey to complete on the university’s compensation and total rewards. A link to the survey will be distributed to all full-time (non-clinical) faculty and staff via email on Feb. 7, 2022. Responses will be confidential, and all are encouraged to participate.

For a description of future project phases, a project timeline and subcommittee members, visit the the Compensation and Total Rewards Studies website. Additional information can also be found on the Compensation Study FAQs website.