Study of job titles, pay and benefits progresses

April 18, 2017 By Greg Bump

The Title and Total Compensation Study (TTC) launched in late February. In the early stages of the project, the study planning team has been working with project consultant Mercer to develop a detailed project plan and communication strategy.

Members of the study’s Advisory Council met with study leadership and Mercer in March to discuss the major components of the project plan, engagement strategies, and to share their views regarding the desired outcomes of the study.

Mercer was on the UW–Madison campus in early April meeting with various members of the campus community , including governance representatives, deans and department directors, and human resources directors to hear views and insights regarding titling, pay and benefits. These discussions provided meaningful input to guide the study.

The focus of the study is to modernize the job title structures, pay and benefit programs to position UW–Madison to attract and retain the best talent.

As the study proceeds, updates will be available at the Title and Total Compensation website.

How long will the Title and Total Compensation Study take?

The projected timeline for the study is 24 months, starting from Feb. 21, 2017.

What is the TTC Advisory Council and what are the members’ roles?

The Advisory Council is a UW System and UW–Madison group that plays a strategic role in guiding the joint study. AC members include campus stakeholders (governance, administration, etc.) from UW–Madison and other UW institutions. The role of the AC members includes educating, supporting and communicating with their respective constituents about the study and providing the planning team with advice on different aspects of the study (see full AC charge).

What are the phases of the TTC Study?

The following are the five phases of the TTC Study:

  1. Design Study Strategy (current phase through July 2017)
  1. Assess Positions and Develop New Job Title Structure
  2. Create Compensation Structure
  3. Review Benefits Structures
  4. Implement New Structures

For the full description of the phases of the study, see the Mercer presentation.

How will shared governance and employees be integrally involved in the project?

Shared governance input into the TTC Study is crucial to ensure campus employees have input and the information regarding project activities effectively flows to campus stakeholders. The study project structure and methodology were built with this input in mind. Shared governance representatives and designees are well positioned on the joint Advisory Council and will be active participants on the study Campus Collaboration Team and Functional Teams. The Campus Collaboration Team will develop and provide guidance on the implementation of strategies for stakeholder engagement. These strategies will include campus forums, focus groups, targeted communication, and other engagement activities. The study Functional Teams will review and discuss job levels and titles for various functions or job families such as research, communications, human resources, information technology, etc. TTC project leadership representatives will also meet continually with shared governance to get input and provide updates regarding the project.

How can employees provide feedback and ask questions on the study?

Initially employees can provide feedback directly via a dedicated email address ( As engagement strategies roll out, plenty of opportunities to ask questions and provide feedback will be provided (e.g., open forums, focus groups and webinars). Additionally, employees can direct their questions to Advisory Council members, shared governance members, and/or their human resources representatives.

What are the next steps?

We are in the early stages of this project. We are currently developing the project plan, including some initial communication strategies. UW–Madison Advisory Council members have been actively involved in the development of the communication strategy.

We are committed to a transparent process that includes gathering and sharing information with the entire campus. It is our intent to provide these types of communications regularly as information becomes available.