Final Report of the Ad Hoc Committee on Compensation

Accepted by the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College Board of Trustees
February 26, 2000

I. Philosophy of Compensation at UVM

UVM’s philosophy of compensation supports and advances the institution’s mission, goals, and values and the University’s commitment to provide an exceptional educational experience to our students at a reasonable cost, as well as continuing to fulfill our important research and outreach missions. All that we do, including compensating employees, must serve these purposes.

Recruiting and retaining high quality faculty and staff, and assessing and rewarding their performance, are essential elements of our ability to succeed as a quality university. UVM is committed to compensating employees competitively, equitably, and based on performance.

UVM’s compensation philosophy is built on these principles:

  1. Compensation must directly relate to the larger goals of fulfilling our mission as a university and improving the educational quality and competitiveness of UVM.
  2. Compensation should be determined based on the following factors:
  3. Compensation should be viewed as salary plus benefits.

From the perspectives of both the institution and its employees, the philosophy provides a predictable framework for evaluating performance, providing compensation, and creating the educational and working environment we desire. All that we do should be based on the principles of Our Common Ground: Respect, Integrity, Innovation, Openness, Justice, and Responsibility.

II. Implementation Goals

Successfully implementing our philosophy will require developing and instituting an implementation strategy that:

  1. Articulates a cogent, finite, measurable set of strategic goals for the University.
  2. Develops an effective, mandatory system for assessing performance with sound, capable supervision of every employee.
  3. Generates and communicates clear expectations at both institutional (describing mutual expectations between the University and the employee) and local levels (describing specific expectations between supervisor and employee).
  4. Creates a purposeful, affordable, competitive benefits philosophy and a plan to implement that philosophy.
  5. Regularly assesses UVM’s employment competitiveness, based not only on compensation, but other measures as well (e.g. recruitment and retention). This should be a data-driven initiative, with appropriate goals, metrics, and progress measures developed to answer the question, “Are we doing better than we had done before?”
  6. Examines, implements, and assesses innovative human resource practices.
  7. Focuses on “non-compensation” issues such as career paths and advancement opportunities, positive and safe workplace environment, employee recognition, respect from supervisors and co-workers, campus climate, and good communication.
  8. Builds a strategic budget that allows for a competitive and equitable total compensation package, effective education and supervision, and a positive work environment.

Review of progress on these and other compensation-related issues will occur on at least an annual basis in association with the Board's ongoing assessment with respect to advancement on UVM’s strategic goals.

III. Compensation Planning Parameters

The following parameters were adopted by the UVM Board of Trustees at its August, 1999 meeting:

  1. The compensation plan will be implemented within budgetary projections that recognize the importance of properly funding compensation.
  2. Compensation is but one aspect of our efforts to increase quality. Other initiatives that also impact quality should not be shortchanged. (e.g. facilities, technology, equipment, Compensation must directly relate to the larger goals of improving the educational quality and competitiveness of UVM and fulfilling our mission as a university. employee recognition, education and training, student programs, etc.)
  3. Our compensation plan must allow for strategic investments in targeted areas of importance and opportunity.
  4. Compensation should have a strong performance component in addition to factors such as market competitiveness, equity, and cost of living. Compensation should be viewed in terms of total compensation (salary plus benefits).
  5. Accomplishing the plan will require maximum flexibility, creativity, and commitment in terms of redesigning, streamlining, and improving activities and processes, and reallocating resources to reach our goals.

Respectfully submitted,

Ben R. Forsyth, Chair
February 25, 2000