Human Resource Services
Administrative Professional Salary Determination and Adjustment
Human Resource Services (HRS) administers the procedures for administrative professional (AP) salary determinations and adjustments. To ensure that all salary decisions throughout the WSU system are consistent, HRS at WSU Pullman provides overall direction for all salary determinations and adjustments systemwide.
This salary determination and adjustment procedure applies to salaries for all administrative professional (AP) employees.
The appropriate vice president, chancellor, or dean must submit any request for exception to this policy in writing and/or through the Online Position Description and Recruitment System (OPDRS) to HRS and clearly state the rationale for requesting the exception. HRS reviews the request and forwards justification for a recommendation regarding the request to the President or Provost. The President or the Provost and Executive Vice President may affirm or modify HRS’ determination.
New employees are typically hired at a salary rate from the minimum to the average of the salary range. In consultation with HRS, hiring departments should consider the applicant’s qualifications and experience when determining a starting salary.
HRS must review and approve a proposed starting salary rate above the average of the salary range prior to the department making an offer to the applicant. Salary rates at or below the average of the salary range do not require additional review by HRS.
A promotion occurs when an existing AP employee is appointed through an open recruitment or reallocated to a position in a higher salary range. Promotional salary rate adjustments are applied as follows, based on the employee’s salary rate prior to promotion:
The employee’s salary rate is typically placed from the minimum to the average of the salary range. In consultation with HRS, hiring departments should consider an employee’s qualifications and experience when determining the salary rate.
If the successful applicant is a current WSU employee, the employee is placed at a salary rate from the minimum to the average of the range. In consultation with HRS, the hiring department should consider the employee’s qualifications and experience when determining a starting salary.
Generally, an employee does not receive a salary adjustment when moving to another position with a comparable salary range. The department may contact HRS to discuss a possible exception based on a unique job or on employee qualifications prior to making an offer to the employee. HRS considers the operational size of the unit and scope of duties as well as other factors when determining the appropriate salary.
If an employee voluntarily moves to another position with a lower salary range, the employee’s salary rate is governed by the new salary range. Departments are to contact HRS to determine the appropriate salary prior to making an offer to the employee.
Acting or Interim Appointments–Temporary Base Salary Increases
Occasionally, employees are expected to assume some of the duties associated with a vacant position. However, it is only when an employee is appointed as “acting” or “interim” that a base salary adjustment may occur.
- The appropriate appointing authority must authorize the acting or interim appointment.
- The employee must meet the minimum requirements of the position.
- The employee’s temporary salary is determined by the salary of the position in which the employee is acting or interim.
- Acting or interim appointments typically range from three months to eighteen months.
The President or the Provost and Executive Vice President must authorize executive-level acting or interim AP appointments with the following titles:
- Vice presidents
- Vice chancellors
- Assistant vice presidents
- Assistant vice chancellors
- Associate vice presidents
- Associate vice chancellors
- Executive directors
- Athletic Director
See also BPPM 60.17.
Temporary compensation in the form of a stipend to increase a salary may be appropriate when:
- The employee has taken on additional duties of at least twenty percent of effort outside of her or his position’s typical duties for an extended period of time.
- The stipend salary adjustment is temporary.
- The salary stipend does not exceed a ten percent increase in the employee’s monthly base salary.
The President or the Provost and Executive Vice President must authorize executive level appointments that include temporary stipends (see also BPPM 60.17).
Salary increases for AP employees are not automatically provided. WSU awards general salary increases to administrative professional (AP) employees as part of the University-wide mass salary increase (MSI) process when funds are allocated by the Legislature and/or the University. Mass salary increases are merit based and/or are used to make internal salary equity adjustments.
All MSI increases must receive prior review and approval from HRS and the responsible executive officer, e.g., vice president, chancellor, or dean or, as appropriate, the Athletic Director.
MSI increases involving executive-level positions must also receive prior review and approval from the President or the Provost and Executive Vice President.
The responsible area executive officer must submit written justification to HRS for any MSI increase of ten percent or more. MSI increases of ten percent or more must also receive prior review from the Budget Office.
The Budget Office provides guidance on the MSI process each year. For positions supported by sponsored programs, refer also to the information Sponsored Program (Grant) Funded below.
Out-of-Cycle Salary Adjustments
Under certain circumstances, “out-of-cycle” salary increases may be appropriate. Out-of-cycle salary determinations must be requested by the departmental appointing authority and approved by HRS for compelling reasons only, such as:
- Significant changes of duties.
- Retention, i.e., difficulty retaining incumbent employees due to factors such as location, skill level, licensing requirements, and/or market competition.
- Extraordinary merit.
- Internal or external equity and/or market conditions.
To request an out-of-cycle salary adjustment, follow the AP classification/reclassification procedure in BPPM 60.02.
If the request is for retention, extraordinary merit, or internal or external equity and/or market conditions, the appointing authority submits a request through OPDRS.
- OPDRS Documentation
The personnel administrator or appointing authority submits justification through OPDRS including:
- Description of the circumstances and basis for the request.
- Reason why the increase was not requested during the previous MSI or why the increase cannot wait to be granted during the next MSI.
- Updated position description.
- Organization chart showing the position’s relationship to other positions in the department.
Complete and/or print the Organizational Chart or independently create a chart as needed.
- Requested salary increase amount.
To access the OPDRS, go to:
HRS makes the final decision to approve or deny the out-of-cycle increase request. EXCEPTION: If the request is for an out-of-cycle increase for an executive-level position, the President or the Provost and Executive Vice President makes the final decision and must provide authorization to HRS.
- Position Action/PRR
The requesting college/department must submit a signed Position Action/PRR form to HRS Position Control; French 139, mail code 1014, to complete the request process.
- Sponsored Program (Grant) Funded
A formal review and analysis by HRS is not required for sponsored program (e.g., grant) cycle variations, such as funding fluctuations and/or changes in grant requirements, unless the adjustment is for more than ten percent. Whenever possible, these increases should be set at the same time as part of the University-wide mass salary increase process. (See Mass Salary Increases above.)
HRS performs a salary analysis, using methods such as: University-wide, local, regional, CUPA (College and University Personnel Association) comparisons; and/or peer reviews; etc. HRS may meet with the appropriate college/department representatives and the incumbent.
HRS administers all official salary surveys used to make University compensation decisions.
HRS provides notification through the OPDRS to the requesting appointing authority regarding whether the request is or is not approved.
Employee-Requested Salary Review
Any administrative professional employee may request a salary review of his or her own position (see also BPPM 60.02). To initiate such a review the employee must provide HRS and her or his immediate supervisor with the following:
- A memorandum describing the circumstances and basis for the request.
- A signed position description that includes current duties and responsibilities.
- An organization chart showing the position’s relationship to other positions in the department.
Complete and/or print the Organizational Chart or independently create a chart as needed.
HRS performs a position review/analysis, a position audit, and/or a salary review, as described above. The review may or may not result in a title/title code change and a different salary range.
Upon completion of the review, HRS provides a written summary to the employee and the appointing authority. The appointing authority is to provide a written response to HRS and the requesting employee within 30 days of receiving the analysis from HRS.
If HRS determines that there should be a title/title code change and a different salary range, the appointing authority in collaboration with HRS makes the final decision on the salary for the position. The approved salary must be within the range recommended by HRS.