At Michigan Tech, it is our people who make our University so special and who drive the fulfillment of our institutional mission. As outlined in Michigan Tech's Strategic Plan, the University is committed to:
- Attract, retain, and support faculty and staff and provide recognition, rewards, and competitive compensation.
- Provide professional development and leadership opportunities for students, tenures, tenure-track and instructional track faculty, and staff.
- Optimize numbers of tenured, tenure-track, and instructional-track faculty and staff to foster growth of University programs
- Support the health and well-being of all members of the University community.
- Engage with external partners to enhance the quality of life in our local community.
- Increase diversity, and promote success of all students faculty, and staff.
To that end, Michigan Tech has partnered with Segal, a human resources consulting firm with an extensive portfolio of experience in higher education. Human Resources and Segal have began the process of developing a structured Pay Delivery System, with the initial focus on regular full-time and part-time exempt and non-exempt, non-represented staff positions.
- Completed in January 2023
- Overall assessment of the University's current Staff pay practices
Phase 2 (In Process)
- Part A: Collection and review of data provided to Segal by Michigan Tech Human Resources staff
- Part B: Creation of the staff compensation philosophy and peer group
- Part C: Communications strategy development
Phase 3 (In Process)
- Part A: Job family development
- Part B: Develop job groups and levels
- Part C: Develop job level and title guidelines
This phase will create an internal hierarchy of jobs within the University, document how work and positions will be evaluated, and their evaluation criteria. The objective is to establish more consistency and standardization in terms of job families, job levels, and titles that exist in each job family.
- Market assessment of current staff positions and establishment of job-specific pay banding.
- Development of a governance model, including a set of pay administration guidelines, and updating all relevant Human Resources policies and procedures.
Frequently Asked Questions
It’s About Our People. Here at Michigan Tech, it is our people who make our University so special and who drive the fulfillment of our institutional mission and strategic growth. One of the highest priorities included in our strategic framework is a focus on strengthening institutional capacity and enhancing our ability to attract, retain, and support exceptional talent.
Current State. Our current approach to Staff pay delivery is inconsistent with contemporary practice and makes it difficult for us to attract and retain the talent we need to achieve our institutional priorities. For instance, our decentralized pay administration and a lack of a unified pay structure can lead to inconsistencies in pay decision-making, potential pay disparities, lack of career progression clarity, poor employee morale, and ineffective recruitment and employee retention.
Future State. With a more robust pay structure, a modern pay governance framework will be implemented to support a new job classification plan and pay structure. This framework will also ensure consistent application and pay administration by providing an internal consultative and approval role within Human Resources. Our updated compensation structure will improve our ability to attract and retain the talent Michigan Tech needs.
The Segal Group is a leading human resources consultancy that was founded in 1939. Segal's Higher Education Practice has a dedicated team of consultants who have advised and partnered with colleges and universities for over 60 years in the following areas:
- organizational effectiveness
- compensation and career strategies
Segal has worked with over 300 colleges and universities, and typically conducts approximately 30-40 classification and compensation studies a year.
A total compensation philosophy is a formal statement of Michigan Tech's overall approach to employee compensation and benefits. It is important because it ensures that our approach supports our ability to attract, retain, and support faculty and staff and provide recognition, rewards, and competitive compensation, which is within our Community pillar of our Strategic Plan.
The term "Staff" means all regular, full-time and part-time employees (non-faculty, non-union, and non-temporary).
Full completion of all phases of this initiative is currently expected to be in late July 2024. Implementation of recommendations evolving from the study (e.g., individual and university-wide pay implications, etc.) may be a multi-year, phased process.
Progress updates will be provided throughout the initiative via this webpage, email, and Tech Today. Key stakeholders will be involved in different phases of the initiative.
- The articulation of a total compensation philosophy for the University.
- Recommendations for better classifying and structuring of staff positions across the University.
- A market assessment of current staff positions and compensation.
- Development of a governance model outlining the roles and responsibilities of individuals to ensure an effective and sustainable compensation program, including a set of pay administration guidelines.
No one will see a pay reduction as a result of this initiative. An upward adjustment may be recommended based on many considerations, including areas of:
- skills and experience required
- consistency across the University
- relativity to our higher education marketplace
Any upward adjustments would be included in an implementation plan that would be developed at some point after the initiative is complete and would likely be phased in over multiple years.
No jobs will be added or eliminated as a result of this initiative.
It is not the purpose of this initiative to assess specific benefits provided by the University (i.e. health insurance plans, retirement options, life insurance options, etc.).
Draft Total Compensation Philosophy for Staff Positions
Michigan Tech's compensation philosophy for staff positions is an aspirational, living document that will require updates and revisions during the course of the initiative and periodically to ensure it reflects the University's approach to compensation.
- The role of pay at Michigan Tech will be to provide reward opportunities to all people for performance and provide our staff with compensation opportunities that are externally competitive, internally consistent, regulatorily compliant, and fiscally responsible.
- While base pay will serve as the primary vehicle to reward our staff, we will strive to harmonize our investment in base pay with the investments we make in support of other factors that attract, engage, and retain our staff.
- We will provide a balanced total compensation package which includes base pay and a comprehensive benefits package. These benefits may include but are not limited to: tuition assistance (TRIP), retirement contributions, health benefits, work-life balance, performance development, and career growth opportunities.
- Performance, experience, service, and skills will all impact pay at Michigan Tech. We will be committed to providing opportunities for staff employees to grow professionally and financially during a full working career at Michigan Tech.
- Our pay delivery system will be geared toward linking performance contributions to
pay opportunities for staff roles:
- We will provide regular performance feedback.
- We will determine performance-based financial rewards through the regular performance evaluation of the individual's contribution to the fulfillment of our vision, mission, strategic goals, and core values.
- We will ensure that pay-for-performance and pay administration occur in a consistent and transparent way across the departments of the University - we are one employer, one University.
- Pay for staff roles will aim to balance both external competitiveness and internal consistency, while upholding fiscal responsibility and remaining mindful of budgetary constraints and long-term financial viability.
- Our compensation structure and pay ranges will be developed using competitive market
data, as defined by our comparison markets. Comparison markets may vary dependent
upon the market in which we compete for specific talent.
- The pay levels throughout the structure will be set at levels aligned to our Compensation Philosophy.
- The placement of jobs within the salary structure will be determined through a comprehensive review of job content (duties, responsibilities, and applicable knowledge, skills, and educational requirements).
- Within our budgeted resources, an employee's pay will be moved through the market-based pay ranges by reviewing such factors as skill sets, qualifications, length of service, time in role, and performance against expectations.
- To achieve externally competitive pay, Michigan Tech will compare our employees' pay to the relevant market (national/regional/local) and industry (higher education, general industry and local employers for positions that exist outside of higher education).
- The specific comparators will depend upon the nature of the position and level of responsibilities. We recognize that talent markets and specific comparator institutions and organizations may differ for positions and departments across Michigan Tech.
- We will define our talent markets using higher education and general industry compensation
information from industry recognized survey data.
- Our higher education comparison market will include institutions with similar missions, location, expenses, Carnegie classification, employee size, student enrollment, and other factors. Higher education market data are gathered from the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) survey and other recognized sources of market data within higher education.
- General industry market data from reliable published survey sources will also be used for jobs that exist outside of higher education.
- The salary structure will be built upon competitive pay levels form the appropriate comparison markets. Certain jobs within the structure may be above or below this targeted pay level, based on internal considerations or other factors unique to the job.
- Michigan Tech is committed to periodic reviews of positions and their associated ranges to ensure market competitiveness as we strive to be the employer of choice in the Upper Peninsula.
- Pay will be provided through several offerings and supporting policies. Pay offerings may include base pay, annual adjustments, merit pay, promotional increases, on-time/spot awards, and other variable pay forms, based on budget availability.
- Our pay policies will support internal consistent, efficient, and sustainable administration of all pay activities, and ultimately, our strategic and human resource management objectives.
- Michigan Tech will be transparent in the communication of the objectives, processes, and principles of the compensation program. Employees will have access to our compensation philosophy, salary structures, how pay is managed and associated pay policies.
- Michigan Tech employees will be informed on the compensation philosophy and strategy, and the details of the compensation plan, salary structure, and the policies that support the plan.
- Clear guidelines and communications around the compensation philosophy, and how pay is managed will be available to employees through this website and the University Policy Office.
- The University (leadership, managers, etc.) will communicate any changes to the compensation program design including providing rationale and the impact on affected employees.
- Michigan Tech's President's Council and other key stakeholders regularly provide input to the development, review, and updates to our pay program and related policies.
- Human Resources administers and maintains all aspects of our compensation program and services as a strategic partner to departments providing consultation for compensation decisions.
- Managers are responsible for the application of Michigan Tech's compensation policies as well as on-going communication of performance and compensation messages to their direct reports.
- Employees are active participants in education themselves on the specifics of the compensation program (attending trainings, becoming familiar with the tools and other resources available, seeking feedback and development through outreach to their manager, etc.).