Compensation

Northern Arizona University recognizes that competitive compensation is the cornerstone for recruiting, retaining, and motivating our employees. To this end, the University's compensation philosophy is to pay all categories of employees at competitive levels established by external labor markets, considering both salary and benefits as a total compensation package.

Compensation programs must meet the following objectives:

  • establish pay levels for positions on the basis of their external competitiveness with relevant labor markets and their relative internal value
  • regularly reward employees on the basis of work performance
  • administer pay equitably and consistently
  • establish compensation policy that is consistent with the judicious expenditure of funds entrusted by the University
  • maximize the effectiveness of compensation funding based on recruiting, retention, and employee motivational outcomes
  • ensure accountability for compliance with the Arizona Board of Regents Rules and Regulations and statutory requirements.

Methodology

External markets

External markets define pay levels and may vary according to where, and with whom, the University competes for qualified employees in particular job categories. In some cases, the local labor market is considered; for other positions, regional or national markets must be targeted. Regular assessments of these labor market salaries are prepared to measure the University’s competitiveness using benchmark job classifications.

Actual salaries may exceed the average of a particular labor market in order to recognize exceptional recruiting and retention needs in areas where the University is, or aspires to be, a national or international leader.

Internal job value

Internal job value relationships are also factored into setting compensation rates. These considerations may include reporting relationships within departments and to other departments having similar jobs. Although basic salary rates or ranges for similar positions are established on a system wide basis, the individual effectiveness of employees will have a direct relationship to their respective rates of pay, including performance, educational achievement, and career competencies.

Salary increases

Salary increases are recognized through a variety of mechanisms that offer maximum opportunity for employees to enhance their total compensation. Within annual budgetary considerations, allocations for salary increases may include any or all of the following:

  • merit increases
  • market adjustments
  • general increases
  • promotions
  • equity increases 
  • special recognition payments