Looking for quick answers to your important questions?  You're in the right place.  We've assembled answers to a list of the most commonly asked faculty and staff questions about the project. For in-depth details, visit the main Career Path Development page

What is the Career Path Development project?

UVM’s Career Path Development project is designed to align with our desire to recruit and retain top employees and reflect the university’s commitment to our Common Ground. The project is rooted in UVM's commitment to connecting its core values with the evolving needs of a diverse workforce. UVM is fully immersed in this work and has partnered with worldwide Human Resources Consulting expert, Mercer, as well as internal leaders and staff at all levels and from each area of the university. 

Why is UVM undergoing the Career Path Development project?

For the university to attract, retain, and develop talent, we need to align our positions with a consistent job structure that allows for transparency and career growth. Providing a better structure for staff positions benefits the University and its employees, including:

  • Defining career maps, which account for the impact of a job’s role and outline potential career streams based on relevant skills, knowledge, abilities, education and experience of each role. This provides employees with a transparent view of career opportunities throughout campus.
  • Strengthening internal pay equity in a manner that is fair and consistent across the University, with each role assigned to a pay band, having a minimum and maximum level of base pay.
  • Providing UVM a foundation from which it can enhance recruitment efforts by being able to leverage job profiles across shared applicant pools.

What positions are part of the Career Path Development Project?

The project is focused on classified staff positions. Faculty, Grad, and Pre or Post-Doc positions are not included in this project.

What are the expected outcomes of the Career Path Development Project?

  • Develop a job architecture/classification framework to provide a structure that has more defined system job titles & levels across all classified staff positions.
  • Map existing UVM staff positions to the new job architecture.
  • Conduct a market analysis of new job titles to develop a pay structure that reflects a clear compensation philosophy based on competitive market salary data.
  • Create career maps that allow current and prospective employees to explore different career paths within the job architecture.
  • Integrate the new job architecture into existing HR and IT systems and processes for use by managers, HR, and senior leaders for recruiting, hiring, and reporting needs.

What is a job architecture?

A standardized framework to classify jobs based on the nature of the work and the level at which the work is completed. This includes a standard protocol for titling jobs defined within the job architecture. A job architecture provides visibility into how jobs are organized and typically reflects both industry market practice as well as the internal needs and characteristics of the organization.

How are job families, sub-families and career streams being determined?

Our new job structures are being developed in close partnership with the Steering Committee, Mercer, and others across the university. Job families and sub-families are established based on work functions or areas of specialization needed by the university. Job levels are designed to address differences between a job’s scope and impact as well as the knowledge, skills and experience that one needs to perform the essential functions of the job. Career streams were created to understand the current and potential methods for how employees across the university can grow and evolve. The Steering Committee worked closely with Mercer to design an initial job architecture based on stakeholder feedback and external market practices. Our job architecture will continue to be refined as we map existing positions to it. It will also evolve over time as our jobs change.

What is mapping and job leveling?

  • Job mapping is a critical step in the job classification process and maps each existing position to the right job profile within UVM’s new job architecture.
  • Job Levels are the hierarchical layers and organizational structure within and across career streams. The intent is to define levels within a career stream based on a set of leveling factors such as institutional impact, innovation & complexity, communication & influence. (e.g., Operational Contributor: OC1-OC4, Professional Contributor: P1-P5).
  • Five job leveling factors have been established within all of our job levels. Such factors are the criteria used to determine the appropriate career level for a job within the job architecture, including:
    • Institutional Impact: Nature and scope of influence the level has on its area of responsibility, as well as the level of autonomy.
    • Innovation & Complexity: Degree to which the level needs to identify and devise solutions to problems and the level of autonomy to make decisions.
    • Communication & Influence: Describes the nature of communication the level is responsible for and the level of influence required.
    • Leadership & Talent Management: Responsibility for people development, including supervision, training, coaching and performance management.
    • Knowledge & Experience: Level of expertise required to fulfill level responsibilities as defined by minimum levels of formal education and/or work experience.


Job Mapping Process:

  1. Assign Job Family: Based on job family definitions
  2. Assign-Sub Family: Based on sub-family definitions for sub-families within the job family
  3. Assign Career Stream: Based on career stream definitions
  4. Assign Career Level: Based on detailed descriptions for each level within the assigned stream. These descriptions include concrete language regarding a level’s expected: 
  • ​Organizational Impact
  • Complexity of Work
  • Knowledge & Experience
  • Communication & Influence

5. Conduct Cross-Calibration: Review both job families and career stream assignments:

  • Review levels within families to ensure career progressions are logical
  • Review job families side-by-side to ensure consistent use of levels across families

What is my role in the Career Path Development Project?

  • Employees: This project will help employees understand their current position and how it relates to other positions. It will also allow employees to view different career paths available at UVM. Employees are encouraged to provide input and feedback.
  • Managers: Many managers will help verify the positions in their area and will review how those positions are mapped to the job architecture. Managers will need to understand the job architecture and help explain the changes to employees on their team(s).
  • Senior leaders: Senior leaders will provide input into key components of the job architecture for all relevant functional areas and will review how positions are mapped to the new job architecture. Senior leaders will work closely with their leadership teams to prepare and communicate the benefits of the new job architecture within their organizational unit.
  • Steering Committee: Steering Committee members will partner with Mercer, develop our new job architecture, and help shape the communication & change management strategy around it. Members will keep senior leaders informed of project progress and will review drafts of the job architecture with stakeholders to gather feedback and input.
  • Staff unions: Union leaders were included in a stakeholder session to provide their thoughts to Mercer, as well as answer questions from Mercer. The University and UVM Staff United have an agreement to begin “impact bargaining” by July 1, 2023 related to UVM’s new job architecture. UVM Staff United leadership has received multiple updates and will continue to receive quarterly updates.
  • Consultant: With a project of this scope and scale, UVM has engaged Mercer Consulting to assist with this project. Mercer is a global HR consulting leader in talent, health, retirement, and investments. Our Mercer project team specializes in higher education clients. The Mercer team will use their expertise to guide and advise on the design of our new job architecture and implementation. 

How will this project benefit current employees?

Current staff positions will be assigned a new job family, sub-family, career stream, and level. Employees will be able to have a more transparent view on how to grow their career. It is important to note that an employee’s job responsibilities and duties will not change. Nothing in this project will negatively impact an employee’s pay or benefits. Like all architecture, the project is a foundational step. With future enhancements that link recruiting and performance management, we hope to create a clearer picture of the pathway through which employees can reach their professional goals and provide them with the tools they need to achieve them.

How will this project benefit managers?

Managers will be able to use job levels and salary ranges to improve workforce planning and development, budgeting, and talent recruitment and retention. Managers can create professional development plans and training programs specific to levels within the new career streams.

Will reporting structures change?

No. Reporting structures will not change on account of this project. 

Will employee titles change?

There's a difference between systems vs. working titles. The Career Path Development project aims to align UVM titles around similar job responsibilities, job functions and levels, allowing for greater consistency and transparency across the institution. System titles will change for most employees, however employees will still be able to use working titles to clarify role responsibilities and/or reporting lines.

Will employee compensation change?

Changing employee compensation is not the goal of the project. In fact, nothing in this project will negatively impact an employee’s pay or benefits. The project's focus is to group similar bodies of work and levels of work. The new job structure will be finalized prior to conducting market research related to salary ranges. The project will not impact the work that employees perform nor result in an across the board salary increases. For union represented employees, across the board salary increases are determined by the wages articles within each collective bargaining agreement. We hope this project provides a clearer picture of pay equity and enables UVM to define a compensation philosophy based on competitive market data. 

While this project is underway, are there any changes to recruitments, reclassifications or any other compensation processes?

No. All of our current processes have remained in effect while this project is underway. Departments can continue to submit positions for recruitments or reclassifications, for positions that have had job duty changes, for review in PeopleAdmin. Any proposed changes need to be put forward utilizing our current systems, policies, CBAs, and classification titles. As the project matures, it is our hope that all at UVM start thinking ahead to the new job architecture and approach recruitment with eye toward the future.

When will the new titles and structure be implemented?

We want to get this right.  The process of building new job families and architecture will take some time and we will be communicated more over the next few months. The project anticipated completion date is December 2023. Systems implementation of new job titles/levels will be determined in the coming months. The Career Pathway Development project is designed to be the foundation from which we build a better UVM for employees and managers alike.

How can I find more information about the project?

A lot of the project information can be found on this website.  As the project progresses, we anticipate that we will be sending out periodic campus-wide updates. If you have immediate questions or comments, please email Human Resources or Classification and Compensation via Kari.Brayden@uvm.edu