Review of compensation, career progression strategies to begin

June 9, 2015

Dear staff and faculty,

As a university and large organization, we are continually looking at ways to maintain a supportive environment for staff and faculty members that ensures there is a strong career development and reward system to retain our talented employees.

As part of that work, we’ve been reviewing areas where we can address career progression and compensation issues. In the past year, we’ve provided merit raises in recognition of our many outstanding faculty and staff members and expect to provide a modest pool of funds for merit raises in this upcoming fiscal year. Also, we established salary floors for faculty members to be more market competitive.

We’re now reviewing staff positions to ensure that they have kept up with the times and with our needs. Below you will find more information about the new Job Evaluation and Grading Project for Staff, which is beginning now and should be in process for about a year.

I want to assure you that no staff members will lose their jobs or have their incomes lowered as a result of the project. This change is both positive and necessary to make sure there are more consistent job titles and expectations as well as a better structure for job progression and compensation for staff members. There is more detailed information about the project below. If you have any questions or concerns, please see your supervisor for additional details. If they don’t know the answers, they can help you find them.

I believe that at the end of this process we will provide more clarity for staff members, who are so valuable to our mission as a university.

Thank you all for your hard work and commitment.

UNT Proud,

Neal Smatresk



Job Evaluation and Grading Project for Staff

UNT has launched a new project — the Job Evaluation and Grading Project — to evolve our compensation and career progression strategies for staff members. The project is expected to take roughly a year to complete.

We want to attract and retain talented employees and provide for their professional development and career growth. We also want to make UNT a great place to work and be more competitive in the North Texas region and beyond. To do that, we need to periodically review job titles and descriptions to ensure the use of fair and consistent procedures to determine job duties, salaries and pay increases.

What is the Job Evaluation and Grading Project?

  • A review of all staff-level positions within UNT
  • Using a methodology that is transparent and easy to understand, the project will compare the duties and responsibilities of staff positions using seven factors common to all jobs worldwide. These are:
    • Functional knowledge
    • Business expertise
    • Leadership
    • Problem solving
    • Nature of impact
    • Area of impact
    • Interpersonal skills

Why are we doing this?

  • Our university and the economy have changed substantially since the compensation and classification project UNT undertook in 2008. The results of that project compressed the number of staff job titles into too few titles.
  • The project will increase the number of job titles, creating new job titles and descriptions more reflective of the work staff members perform.
  • To develop a better method for setting fair salary structures by establishing new job grades and competitive salary ranges for each staff position
  • To identify where compensation needs to improve
  • To develop position competencies as a foundational element to a career progression program and expand the availability of training opportunities
  • To establish more sustainable and flexible compensation strategies that can evolve over time

How will this project impact current salaries, merit increases and hiring?

  • No staff members will lose their jobs or have their incomes lowered as a result of the project.
  • Existing vacant staff positions may be filled using the current recruitment process.
  • A modest pool of funds for merit raises is expected to be available in this upcoming fiscal year based on the results of the most recent performance evaluations.

How will staff positions be evaluated and put in new job grades?

  • A group of key representatives, managers and subject matter experts from across UNT will be selected to participate in reviews within their department or area of expertise. They will be provided training as part of the process.
  • Towers Watson’s Global Grading Tool, current classification descriptions and UPO-31s will inform the process.
  • Supervisors are encouraged to ensure they are familiar with the work that their direct reports currently perform.

How will the project affect titles?

  • The project will address the compression of official job titles resulting from the 2008 project by increasing the number of job titles, and creating job titles and descriptions more reflective of the work required for each job.

How will the project affect pay?

  • No staff members will have their incomes lowered as a result of the project.
  • A new pay plan will be finalized and implemented at a date determined by UNT leadership.

Can vacant positions be filled and new positions created while the project is underway?

  • Existing vacant positions can be filled using the current recruitment process.
  • New positions may be created using the current approval, classification and recruitment processes.

What job changes and actions will be allowed during the project?

  • To help the human resources team remain focused on this important project, UNT is temporarily freezing job reclassifications for all staff members in currently filled positions, including our annual position classification review window in the fall.
  • Business needs will require some exceptions. For the duration of the project, reclassification actions resulting from reorganizations and other organizational necessities may take place, but will require the approval of the appropriate vice president and the president.

Who is overseeing and managing the project?

  • The project is under the oversight of a Steering Committee comprising members of the President’s Cabinet and UNT System Human Resources leadership.
  • The project will be managed by UNT System Human Resources and a Core Project Team.
  • Towers Watson, a global company with significant experience in higher education human resources is assisting with the project.

Where may I get more information about the project or answers to my questions?

  • Three town hall meetings will be held (one at Discovery Park and two on the main campus) late July and August. More information about the town hall meetings will be provided at a future date.
  • UNT will periodically send campus-wide communications about the project.
  • Information also will be posted to the project website.

Questions about the project may be directed to UNT System Human Resources at 940-565-2281 or