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Merit Guidelines Merit Increase Guidelines for Staff Employees


To be eligible for a merit increase, the staff employee must be classified as benefits-eligible and have a current staff performance appraisal on file establishing a record of meritorious job performance.

Salary adjustments for employees on contract will be handled as specified in the contract.

Staff merit increases will be effective September 1, 2016.

HR Announces the FY17 Merit Guidelines

The President has approved merit subject to the Board of Regents approval of the FY2017 budget in May, 2016.  The distribution of merit will be concentrated on rewarding the most productive staff that continue to work to further our Tier One goals.  The following guidelines have been approved to identify those staff employees that will be eligible to be considered for merit.

To be eligible staff employees must:

  • Be classified as benefits-eligible
  • Be employed on or before September 1, 2015
  • Not have received a 5% or greater pay increase 6 months prior to date of merit distribution (March 1, 2016 – September 1, 2016)
  • Have a 2015 staff ePerformance appraisal with an “Achieved Expectation” or above rating
  • Supervisors or managers must have completed ePerformance documents for all their subordinates by March 31, 2016
  • Completed the mandatory training required for state and federal compliance SAM 02.A.11 by November 20, 2015
  • Clear any delinquent debt by May 2, 2016

Allocation of Merit:

  • Merit distribution is determined by each Division by reviewing budget, compliance with merit guidelines, and equity
  • Staff merit increases will be effective September 1, 2016
  • The minimum merit increase is 2%, any increase of 6% or more requires a written justification and approval from Division Vice Presidents
  • Staff employees who have exceeded their pay range maximums may be eligible for a one-time merit payment but not a merit pay increase.  For example if at a minimum a 2% merit increase takes the employee above their pay range maximum then the department can request a one- time lump sum merit amount.  This amount will not be added to the base salary of the employee.
  • Salary adjustment for employees on contract will be handled as specified in the contract
  • Eligibility for merit does not guarantee staff employees will receive merit
  • Employee notification letters will go out following review by Division Vice Presidents and HR


  • Benefits-eligible staff employee: An employee who is hired to work at least 20 hours per week for a period of at least four and one-half months. Excluded from this definition are students employed in positions that require student status as a condition of employment (both monthly and hourly paid students) and individuals employed in faculty (both teaching and research) positions.  Teaching Fellows, Teaching Assistants, Graduate Assistants and Research Assistants are not considered benefits-eligible staff employees
  • Merit increase:  A pay increase granted in recognition of an employee’s individual performance level and based upon documented performance criteria
  • Merit increase budget:  The budget amount, determined by the administration that is authorized for merit increases during the budget preparation

Any question or concerns about merit should be directed to your supervisor or department business manager.


The President, Provost, Vice Presidents, Deans, Chairs, Principal Investigators or Directors may recommend merit increases for benefits-eligible staff employees consistent with these merit increase guidelines.

The Research Division will review individual recommendations for Contracts and Grants (PeopleSoft Fund Group 5) and Educational & General (PeopleSoft Fund Group 1) project accounts to ensure availability of funding that will allow pay adjustments by the sponsoring agency.  Research Division approval must be obtained before forwarding recommendations to the Division Vice President for approval.

Following approval by the Division Vice President, Human Resources will review the merit increase recommendations for compliance with merit increase guidelines, and ensure that equity across the university is preserved.

Proposed merit increases must not be communicated to staff employees until reviewed by Human Resources and all appropriate approvals have been obtained.

Questions concerning budget issues should be directed to the Budget Office or to the appropriate college or division business administrator. 

Compensation related questions should be directed to the compensation section of Human Resources.

Final merit increase guidelines for staff employees are subject to revision by Human Resources and/or the University President.