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UW–Madison finalizes 2023–2024 compensation strategy

March 14, 2024

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University of Wisconsin–Madison leadership has approved a fiscal year 2023–2024 compensation strategy. This strategy will support the university’s total compensation philosophy, which is to be a market-competitive employer that supports UW staff and faculty. The compensation strategy includes an allocation of $23.95 million in central funds to support schools, colleges, and divisions in rewarding and retaining faculty and staff, as well as assisting in addressing market-informed compensation issues.

“In a highly competitive market, UW–Madison needs a compensation strategy that reflects an ongoing commitment to investing in one of the university’s most important resources, our outstanding faculty and staff,” Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin explains. “The strategy of building compensation programs informed by market data is essential to our ability to attract, reward, and retain the best employees, who ultimately serve our students and the people of the state.”

The compensation programs will include a bonus program for staff and faculty, compensation base adjustments for staff, faculty block grants and supplemental funding for faculty promotions and post-tenure review. They include the following types of adjustments.

  • Base salary adjustments: Base salary adjustments will be provided to select faculty, academic staff, university staff and limited appointees by May 2024 for performance, market and/or retention. The supplemental funding for faculty promotions and faculty post-tenure reviews will be provided at the beginning of the next fiscal year.
  • Performance bonuses: One-time, lump sum performance bonuses will be awarded to recognize faculty, academic staff, university staff and limited appointees whose work went above and beyond expectations. Each college, school or division will develop a process for administering performance bonuses, using central funds that are allocated to them. The one-time bonuses are scheduled to be awarded by the end of June 2024 at the discretion of the schools, colleges and divisions.

Each school, college or division is being asked to outline its processes related to employee eligibility and distribution of the central compensation funds and to share that information with employees in their unit. The implementation of these programs will require a collective effort by UW–Madison’s Office of Human Resources, UW System, colleges, schools, divisions, managers and supervisors.

As with previous compensation plans, units are encouraged to review their budgets and allocate funds to address salaries for positions that are not centrally funded.

To be eligible to receive the base salary adjustments or one-time performance bonuses, employees must be considered in good standing based on position-specific compliance requirements; must not be serving a probationary period or evaluation period; and must have met performance expectations as identified in their last performance evaluation. Supervisors are required to complete performance evaluations for the employees they supervise. Additional criteria may apply at the college, school or divisional level.

The central compensation funds will ​supplement general pay increases provided through the 2023–25 state biennial budget, which includes a 4 percent pay raise for eligible employees in fiscal year 2023–24 and a 2 percent increase planned for July 2024. The 4 percent increase was approved by the state legislature’s Joint Committee on Employment Relations (JCOER) on Dec. 19, 2023, and eligible employees received this increase in January 2024, including retroactive pay to July 2, 2023.  A 4 percent wage increase for trades employees was implemented on Feb. 11, 2024, and included a pay increase effective on July 2, 2023, for all hours in pay status.