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Compensation Philosophy and Definitions

Boise State University’s Compensation Philosophy aims to achieve the following:

  • Recruit and retain a diverse, high-quality workforce to fulfill the mission of the University.
  • Recognize and reward exceptional performance based on an employee’s individual achievement and contribution to the growth and success of the University.
  • Foster understanding of pay decisions and responsible pay practices.
  • Maintain a fair and transparent process for compensation decisions.
  • Develop equitable and consistent compensation for equal work requiring equal skills, abilities and responsibilities.
  • Use competitive salary practices through comparison to appropriate talent markets.
  • Support, reinforce, and align compensation decisions with budgetary and financial strategies with a goal of growth and sustainability.
  • Be talent-focused while prohibiting discrimination, adverse impact, or adverse treatment of protected classes as identified in applicable law and policies.

Through this philosophy, Boise State University supports the growth and development of employees in efforts to bring value to the overall mission of the University.

Definitions

Benefit-Eligible Employee

An employee who meets the criteria to be considered for all benefits, such as leave accrual and health benefits, and has a Position Control Number assigned.

Institutional Base Salary (IBS) – also known as Annual Base Benefit Rate (ABBR)

The annual salary paid by the University for the duties associated with an individual’s employment.

Irregular Funding

Non-appropriated funds such as grant, auxiliary, and local funds used for employee compensation.

Limited Duration Employee

An employee with a Position Control Number (PCN) in the 5000 series, regular benefit-eligible, typically funded by irregular funds and tied to the duration of the appointment.

Regular Employee

An employee with a Position Control Number (PCN) reportable to the State Controller’s Office; and are benefit-eligible including leave accrual.

Temporary Employee

An employee without a Position Control Number (PCN); non-benefit eligible.

Responsibilities and Procedures

Compensation Actions

  1. Any compensation action must be sent to Human Resources with an effective date no earlier than the beginning of a current or future pay period.
  2. Funding must be available for each compensation action.
  3. Reclassifications and/or compensation adjustments are managed by Human Resources to ensure accurate and effective management and maintenance of compensation-related changes.

Pay Grade

Pay Grades are an established range of compensation based on target markets and positions with work requiring similar knowledge, skill and ability.  Pay Grades also contain target ranges designed to distinguish between differing levels of experience, individual contribution, and employee type.  Classified Pay Grades are based on Hay Rating job evaluation methodology conducted by the Idaho Division of Human Resources.  Non-Classified/Professional and Faculty Pay Grades are based on a market-based reference system.  Each Classified and Non-Classified/Professional position is assigned a Pay Grade.

  1. Minimum Compensation Rate:  the lowest compensation rate, used only for Temporary or Underfill employees.
  2. Boise State University Minimum Compensation Rate:  the lowest compensation rate for a Regular Employee.

iii. Midpoint of Pay Grade Compensation Rate:  the target market compensation rate for a position in a Pay Grade.

  1. Maximum of Pay Grade Compensation Rate:  the highest compensation rate for a position in a Pay Grade.

Changes to Institutional Base Salary

An employee’s Institutional Base Salary (IBS) may change without an associated position change.  Changes are set to ensure that an employee is paid at least the minimum but not more than the

maximum of the current pay grade range.  Institutional Base Salary may not be increased solely as a

result of replacing University salary funds with sponsored-project funds.

Acting Appointments (Classified Employees)

At the discretion of an appointing authority, a Classified employee with permanent status may be appointed to a position in a classification of higher Pay Grade within the University in an acting capacity whenever:

  1. The incumbent of the position in the higher classification is on authorized leave of absence; or
  2. A vacancy exists and there is no agency register with reemployment preference status with names of eligibles who are willing to accept reemployment, nor adequate agency register for the classification.

For any credited State service which an employee serves in a classification in an acting capacity, the employee receives the salary for the classification as though the employee had actually been promoted.

Change in Employee Compensation (CEC)

A CEC through the State of Idaho is not guaranteed each year.  If the Idaho State Legislature approves a CEC, it usually covers two areas:

1) A change based on merit and the comparison-ratio (the employee’s pay falls in the Pay Grade relative to its midpoint) and,

2) An upward adjustment to the current Pay Grades.

The University will implement any approved CEC, which is effective at the new fiscal year and contract periods.

Counteroffers

In limited circumstances,  it may be in the University’s best interest to offer to increase the compensation of a top-performing employee if an external offer may cause the employee to leave the University.

Provided there are available funds, an employee’s compensation may be increased to match or exceed by no more than five percent (5%) of the external offer.  The compensation increase becomes effective the first pay period of the following month.  If the employee’s increased compensation creates a pay inequity in the department or unit, an action plan must be submitted to Human Resources to address inequities.  The employee’s pay cannot result in being over the pay grade.

Demotion

Voluntary Demotion

A voluntary demotion occurs when an existing Boise State University employee applies for and is competitively selected as the most qualified candidate for an existing vacant position within a Pay Grade lower than their current position.  Because the employee voluntarily applied for and accepted a position in a lower Pay Grade, the employee does not receive an increase in compensation.  If the employee’s current compensation rate aligns with internal equity, the employee’s compensation is not impacted.  If the employee’s current compensation does not align with the internal equity of the new Pay Grade, the employee’s compensation may be decreased.

Non-Competitive Voluntary Demotion of an Employee

For a Voluntary Demotion of an employee into another position within the same department or college without the vacancy being posted and a full search conducted, a supervisor must determine that the employee is qualified for the position and consult with Human Resources.  Before the non-competitive voluntary demotion, a supervisor must consider if there are other available candidates who may also be qualified and interested in the position.

Involuntary Demotion

A supervisor must consult with Human Resources prior to an involuntary demotion action.

Failure to Complete Promotional Probation

If a Classified employee fails to perform satisfactorily during the promotional probationary period, the employee must be returned to a position in the classification in which the employee holds permanent status or to another classification in the same Pay Grade for which the employee meets the minimum qualifications. The hourly rate for the employee will revert to the rate of pay held at the time of promotion (plus any subsequent CEC or other approved rate adjustments for which the employee would have been eligible).

Faculty Administrative Stipend

Payment to a Faculty employee for performing administrative duties on a temporary basis such as chairing a department or directing a program.  An administrative stipend is a component of a Faculty employee’s Institutional Base Salary.

Interim Appointments (Non-Classified/Professional and Faculty Employees)

  • An interim appointment is defined as a position filled on a temporary basis while a search is being conducted, or a department/unit reorganization is taking place.  An employee in an interim appointment assumes the duties and responsibilities of the vacated position including the PCN.  The interim employee returns to the employee’s prior PCN once the vacated position is filled or the reorganization is completed.  Compensation for the employee will revert to the rate of pay held at the time of promotion (plus any subsequent CEC or other approved rate adjustments for which the employee would have been eligible).
  • A Non-Classified/Professional or Faculty employee may be appointed to an interim position without the vacancy being posted, provided the supervisor determines the employee is qualified for the position and consults with Human Resources.
  • Interim appointments at base salary rates are no greater than ten percent (10%) more than the appointees’ compensation rate immediately prior to accepting the interim appointment or ninety-five percent (95%) of the prior employee’s compensation rate, whichever is greater.

For more information, refer to IDAPA 15.04.01.129 – 131.

Lateral Transfer

A lateral transfer occurs when an existing Classified Boise State University employee, or current Classified employee at another State agency, is selected as the most qualified candidate for an existing vacant position within the same classification, or classification within the same Pay Grade provided the employee meets the minimum qualifications for the classification.  A compensation rate increase or decrease may only be made if the duties of the new position are substantially different and if approved by Human Resources.

Market/Equity Adjustments

A change in compensation rate for addressing a compensation inequity due to internal or external market impacts, and/or to correct an inequity among positions of comparable value within the University (e.g. equivalent knowledge, skills, ability, effort, and responsibilities).  An equity adjustment must not be used to circumvent the merit system or compensate an employee for an increase in workload, responsibilities, or longevity.  An employee must have a current performance evaluation with an overall rating of “Achieves Performance Standards” or better.

Any request for a market/equity adjustment must include a written justification and be reviewed and approved by Human Resources.  If the adjustment is greater than twenty-five percent (25%), the adjustment must be approved by the Provost, the appropriate Vice-President, or the President.

No market/equity increases may occur during the CEC Implementation Period due to the requirements of the CEC process.

Merit Increase

An employee may receive a merit increase if at least six (6) months have passed since the employee’s last compensation increase (unless the increase is due to a reclassification or the annual CEC) and the employee has a current performance rating of “Achieves Performance Standards” or better.

Any request for a merit increase must include a written justification and be reviewed and approved by Human Resources.  If the requested increase is greater than twenty-five percent (25%), the increase must be approved by the Provost, the appropriate Vice-President, or the President.

A merit increase may be awarded to an employee who meets one or more of the following documented criteria:

  • Make changes to an existing position description/duties or reward an employee for expanded responsibilities within a Pay Grade less substantive changes in duties and responsibilities should be updated, and may or may not result in impacts to employee pay.  An updated position description will be required.  Use the Managing Pay within Grade tool on the Human Resources website.
  • Request Salary Change for Employee Addresses instances in which an employee’s pay may be changed without an associated change in position duties. This includes Managing Pay within Grade tool for employee contribution, market/equity adjustments, retention, or merit.
  • Performance and productivity is sufficient to merit an increase, or
  • Contribution is consistently above what is normally expected and required of the position, or
  • Responsibilities have expanded.

No merit increases may occur during the CEC Implementation Period due to the requirements of the CEC process.

New Hire Starting Compensation

  1. Using the compensation range associated with the position’s Pay Grade, new hire starting compensation is evaluated based on the minimally-required knowledge, skills and experience for the position.  The target hiring range for a regular employee new hire is between the Boise State University Minimum Compensation Rate and Midpoint of Pay Grade Compensation Rate.  When determining compensation, the candidate’s knowledge, skill and ability are considered in relation to the position duties and responsibilities.  Any internal approvals, including offers of starting compensation above the Midpoint of Pay Grade Compensation Rate, require Human Resources’ approval.  For a starting compensation rate to be below the Boise State University Minimum Compensation Rate see the “Underfill” section of this policy.  The target hiring range for a Temporary Employee new hire is between the Minimum Compensation Rate and the Midpoint of Pay Grade.
  2. A starting compensation rate for a new appointment may not exceed the median rate, as established by the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR), or its equivalent, without prior Idaho State Board of Education approval, for the following positions:
      • Dean
      • Associate/Assistant Dean
      • Vice-President
      • President’s direct reports
      • Vice-Presidents’ direct reports

Reclassification

A reclassification may be required if there is a substantive change in the duties and responsibilities of a position, if the changes are due to changes in the organization, type of work, staffing requirements, technology, or when the classification (title, Pay Grade, or status) assigned to the position is incorrect based on the actual position duties.  The primary purpose of reclassification is to ensure equitable compensation for the level of work performed by the employee.  The position keeps the same PCN.

  • A reclassification does not always result in a compensation increase or decrease. Considerations are:
  • Relation to internal equity
  • Relation to external market equity
  • Complexity and/or scope of duties and responsibilities
  • No reclassifications may occur during a Change in Employee Compensation (CEC) Implementation Period due to the requirements of the CEC process.  No reclassifications or salary increases based on merit or equity may be awarded during this period unless required by IDAPA 15.04.01.067.

Reinstatements

An (individual or previous employee)  reinstated from a reemployment preference hiring list will receive  the same salary and permanent status held prior to layoff.  If the pay minimum has increased since reinstatement, refer to Division of Human Resources (DHR) Rule 072.03.for salary treatment.  The rate may not exceed the maximum for the current Pay Grade.

Promotion

  • A current Boise State University or State of Idaho Classified employee competitively selected as the most qualified candidate moving into a new or vacant position assigned to a higher Pay Grade.  To be eligible for a promotion, an employee must have a current performance rating of “Achieves Performance Standards” or better.
  • A Classified employee must have permanent status to be eligible for the University’s internal promotional opportunities.
  • An appropriate compensation rate within the new Pay Grade will be determined based on the employee’s skill, knowledge, experience, performance, degree of increase in responsibilities, current compensation rate relative to other employees in the new Pay Grade, and ability to perform the duties of the new position.  Any promotional increase above midpoint requires review by Human Resources.
  • Non-Competitive Promotion of a Non-Classified/Professional Employee:  Exceptions from posting and a full search are closely scrutinized and permitted only with appropriate justification and when in the best interests of the University.
  • For Faculty promotion information refer to University Policy 4340 – Faculty Tenure and Promotion Guidelines.

Temporary Merit Increases

Classified Employees:  A temporary merit pay increase is a short-term, non-permanent increase to an employee’s base pay and may be granted to recognize and compensate an employee for short-term work assignments.  A temporary merit pay increase cannot be given in lieu of a performance bonus.  Using a temporary merit increase to circumvent the $2,000 performance bonus maximum is prohibited.  The following conditions apply to all temporary merit pay increases:

  1. Employees receiving a temporary merit increase must acknowledge in writing that the increase is temporary and their salary will be returned to the previous rate of pay at the completion of the temporary merit increase period.
  2. Permanent merit increases will be calculated and applied to the employee’s base rate of pay without consideration of the temporary merit increase.
  3. A temporary salary increase must be for more than one full pay period and generally no more than six (6) months or thirteen (13) pay periods in duration.

A Temporary Merit Increase Form, signed by the employee and supervisor, must be submitted to Human Resources prior to the increase effective date.

Employees who separate from employment while receiving a temporary merit increase are paid at the temporary rate through the separation date.

Accumulated leave payout (unused vacation/annual and compensatory leave, if eligible) is paid at the regular pay rate.  Sick leave conversion to insurance at retirement while receiving a temporary merit increase is calculated at the regular pay rate.

Non-Classified/Professional and Faculty Employees:  See Supplemental Pay

Underfill (Non-Classified/Professional)

  1. An underfill appointment can be filled with a candidate who currently does not meet the minimum qualifications for the original, unsuccessful, open search, or any other type of personnel action (i.e. promotion, demotion, transfer).
  2. The underfill cannot exceed more than one (1) year and can be filled with a candidate who currently does not meet the minimum qualifications for the original open search.  A training plan is required to be signed by both the Final Candidate and supervisor and must include the minimum qualifications from the position classification initially posted to be obtained within one (1) year and the target completion date.

The criteria to hire a Final Candidate as an underfill includes:

  • Final Candidate must meet the minimum qualifications for the entry-level classification in the posted position’s job family.
  • Final Candidate should meet all of the minimum qualifications of the position within one (1) year.
  • The pay range for an underfill position is between the Minimum Compensation Rate and the Boise State Minimum Compensation Rate.
  • Review and approval by Human Resources.
  • Upon successful completion of the underfill requirements, the Final Candidate’s salary will be raised to the Boise State Minimum Compensation Rate assigned to the position or classification as initially posted.

Employee Pay Beyond Institutional Base Salary

Subject to available funds, the following compensation options may be available to Regular Employees:

Faculty Incentive Pay Program

The purpose of the Faculty Incentive Pay Program (FIPP) is to recognize and reward recipients of external funds that enhance research, scholarship, service and creativity; promote best practices in teaching and learning; and implement other program improvements that advance the mission of the University.

To be eligible to participate in the program, the following minimum criteria must be met:

  1. The participant must be a Boise State University tenure-track/tenure-eligible or tenured Faculty Member serving as a principal investigator or co-principal investigator on an externally-sponsored project.
  2. At least a portion of the participant’s institutional base salary must be paid from State appropriated funds.

iii. Individuals who are split-funded from appropriated and other sources are eligible to participate in that portion of their salary supported by appropriated funds.

  1. A complete description of the program and requirements can be found at: https://research.boisestate.edu/faculty-incentive-pay-program/

Honorarium

Compensation in recognition of a special or distinguished service performed for the University.  Recognized activities may include a lecture or seminar, a concert, speaking engagement, or appraisal of a manuscript for professional publication.

Payment of an honorarium may not be made for the following:

  1. Independent consultant services;
  2. Independent contractor services;
  3. Teaching summer session or Extended Studies courses;
  4. Performing research or other work that is considered regular duties of an employee; or
  5. Human-subject participants.

Incentive Pay

Compensation negotiated in an employee’s contract (primarily athletic coaches) for meeting certain thresholds.

Performance Bonus for Classified and Non-Classified/Professional

A lump sum awarded to an employee for exemplary performance at a particular time.  Prior to awarding the bonus, a review by Human Resources is required.  The following parameters and criteria apply:

  1. The supervisor must submit to Human Resources a written document supporting the performance bonus request;
  2. The employee must have on file a current performance evaluation with an overall rating of “Achieves Performance Standards” or better.

iii. Human Resources may authorize one (1) or multiple performance bonuses for the same employee during the course of a fiscal year.  The maximum total amount any one employee may be awarded per fiscal year is two-thousand dollars ($2,000).

Recruitment Bonus for Classified and Non-Classified/Professional Positions

To recruit an individual  for a position designated as critical or difficult-to-fill, a supervisor may negotiate with a Final Candidate a lump-sum bonus to be paid after at least six (6) months of satisfactory performance.  Prior to negotiating a recruitment bonus, a review by Human Resources is required.  The following parameters and criteria apply:

  1. The supervisor must submit to Human Resources a written document supporting the recruitment bonus request;
  2. The Final Candidate must agree to and sign a Recruitment Bonus Memorandum of Agreement, prior to or in conjunction with, a conditional offer of employment being extended.

iii. The Recruitment Bonus Memorandum of Agreement must include the following:

  1. The details outlining the amount of the recruitment bonus and the agreed-upon length of time (a minimum of six (6) months) that the employee will continue employment.
  2. A provision that a recruitment bonus will be paid to the employee after at least six (6) months of successful, continued employment.
  3. Verbiage outlining how the bonus will be repaid and collected if the employee voluntarily or involuntarily resigns during the designated period of time after receipt of the bonus.
  4. A statement that the University is authorized by law to pursue legal remedies to recoup all or part of the recruitment bonus in the event an employee resigns prior to the agreed-upon date.  Remedies include, but are not limited to, deducting the bonus amount from an employee’s accrued vacation/annual leave funds.
  1. The employee must be a new hire by the University (transfers, demotions, promotions, reinstatements, and rehires are ineligible).
  2. Only one recruitment bonus can be paid to an employee.
  3. The maximum amount which may be paid as recruitment bonus is five-thousand dollars ($5,000).

Retention Bonus Classified and Non-Classified/Professional Employee

To retain an employee in a position designated as critical or difficult-to-fill, a supervisor may negotiate with an employee a lump-sum bonus to be paid after at least six (6) months of satisfactory performance.  Prior to negotiating a retention bonus, a review by Human Resources is required.

The following parameters and criteria apply:

  1. The supervisor must submit to Human Resources a written justification supporting the retention bonus request;
  2. The employee must agree to and sign a Retention Bonus Memorandum of Agreement, prior to or in conjunction with, a conditional offer of employment being extended.

iii. The Retention Bonus Memorandum of Agreement must include the following:

  1. The details outlining the amount of the retention bonus and the agreed-upon length of time (a minimum of six months) that the employee will continue employment.
  2. A provision that a retention bonus will be paid to the employee after at least six (6) months of successful, continued employment after the retention bonus is accepted.
  3. Verbiage outlining how the bonus will be repaid and collected if the employee voluntarily or involuntarily resigns during the designated period of time after receipt of the bonus.
  4. A statement that the University is authorized by law to pursue legal remedies to recoup all or part of the retention bonus in the event an employee resigns prior to the agreed-upon date. Remedies include, but are not limited to, deducting the bonus amount from an employee’s accrued vacation funds.
  5. Only one retention bonus per fiscal year can be paid to an employee.
  6. The maximum amount which may be paid as retention bonus is five-thousand dollars ($5,000).

Supplemental Pay/Extra Service Pay for Regular Non-Classified/Professional  or Faculty Employee

At times, employees are called upon to perform activities not directly related to their recognized institutional duties, or that significantly increase the recognized institutional duties for a fixed period of time. Refer to University Policy 7195 – Supplemental Pay for more information.