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Annual Salary Memo

April 25, 2011

Michael Bugeja, director,
Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication,
Iowa State University of Science and Technology


Last night we received word about AY12 salary increases. Iowa State University has put forth a policy that distributes 0.5% salary increases for every person in a unit who received a satisfactory performance review in FY11.

Chairs and directors were asked to supply names of those who did not receive a positive review and to inform the College what, if any, raise that person will get. I sent word to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences that no one in the School performed unsatisfactorily.

So each will receive the 0.5% raise, with these exceptions:

  • The College will provide the funds centrally for all promotions including the 0.5% raise. Promotion to senior lecturer will bring an additional $1,450; to associate professor, $4,100; and to full professor, $4,900.
  • Because IT salaries are non-competitive with the private sector, and because our college wants to remain competitive, it will provide 3%-4% for most IT people and a bit larger raises for individuals whose salaries are out of line with others at the university.

I informed the faculty that this is how I plan to proceed:

We award annual review scores based on the employee’s position responsibility statement (work responsibilities). We evaluate on a 0-5 scale performance in these three PRS areas: teaching, research and service. We average those scores to determine an overall score.

Example: If a person earned a 4.6 for teaching, 4.5 for research, and 4.4 for service, the formula would be 13.5 : 3 = 4.5. If the raise pool for a given year is 3%, say, we use a cross-multiplication formula to give that person a percentage of the 3% based on the overall score.

Example: If said employee earns an overall evaluation score of 4.5 out of 5, and the raise pool is a maximum 3%, the formula is 5/3 as 4.5/X; or 5X = 13.5; or 13.5: 5 = 2.7%.

In this hypothetical case, 0.3% is left over from the maximum 3% raise pool. We collect that small percentage from each employee and then distribute that collective sum according to top annual reviews (those receiving overall scores of 4.8-5.0, say) to supply our own special merit in addition to whatever the College is offering.

Next year at this time for all employees apart from IT staff, who are receiving better raises this year, we will add overall scores from AY11 and AY12 and figure that percentage into the formula. Thus, if the hypothetical employee above received a 4.5 overall score in AY11 and a 4.3 overall score in AY12, we would add both scores and divide by 2 for an overall 4.4 score during the past two years.

Then we would plug 4.4 into the above formula and proceed as is our policy.

By combining years for an overall score, we ensure that those with a superior performance in AY11, when raises were scant, are not shortchanged due to economic circumstance.

As I have noted previously in a blog post to ASJMC, even though this year’s raise is pegged to overall performance, it is an institutionally generated raise and, as such, out of the norm, as typically there is a salary bill in the Legislature to provide raises. (There is none this year.)

If fuel and food are eliminated from the Consumer Price Index, the seasonally adjusted cost-of-living rate rose in March a convenient 0.5%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in an April 15 news release. This is hardly a real cost-of-living increase, as you’ll read in the news release, given spikes in food and fuel. But we can consider it as such and go on knowing our past achievements were not overlooked.

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