Salary Administration
Section UCD-620, Policies and Procedures for Administration of Off-Scale Salaries
Date: 2/26/14
Supersedes: 3/20/07

Responsible Department: Academic Affairs
Source Document: UC APM-620

620-0 Policy

Off-scale salaries may be approved to allow increased flexibility in salary administration for the purpose of recruitment or retention of academic appointees or for increasing consistency of compensation for high-performing appointees, while maintaining the integrity of the University of California salary scales. This document is a statement of campus policies and procedures governing the approval and administration of off-scale salaries on the Davis campus.

620-2 Rationale

As stated in APM-620, salaries should be on-scale to the greatest extent possible. However, it is recognized that certain conditions may justify salaries that depart from the standard salary scales. These include market conditions that command a higher salary than that permitted by the University of California base salary scales for a given rank and step, and retention situations where an individual is a target for recruitment at a higher salary, at a comparable academic institution. Off-scale salaries are granted under the expectation that recipients will meet at least satisfactory standards for academic advancement and conduct in accordance with APM-015, APM-016, and APM 150, and are subject to review and reduction or renewal as outlined in Section UCD-620-18. An off-scale salary may also be used in the very limited number of cases of exceptional merit that cannot be adequately recognized through merit advances. Off-scale increments granted on the basis of exceptional merit are governed by Section UCD-620-12, below.

620-4 Definitions

a. Base salary - the annual salary specified in the UC salary scales for an academic appointee at a particular rank and step.

b. Off-scale salary - the total annual salary received by an academic appointee whose salary exceeds that specified in the UC salary scale for individuals at the same rank and step.

c. Off-scale increment - the difference between the off-scale salary and the base salary.

620-6 Responsibility

a. Responsibility for recommending an off-scale salary or an increase in an existing off-scale salary for a particular academic appointee rests with the department chair. Such recommendations are submitted to the dean of the school or college and must be accompanied by full documentation of the conditions that support the action. The Delegation of Authority for approval of a proposed off-scale can be found at https://academicaffairs.ucdavis.edu/dofa.cfm. In making either a decision or a recommendation, the dean should assess the contributions of the appointee to UC Davis, the effects of the proposed off-scale on the college or school budget and the potential impact of the proposed off-scale salary on departmental faculty. If approval authority does not rest with the dean, the dean will present the reasons for the off-scale request and the consequences of the request for salary equity within the home department to the Vice Provost – Academic Affairs. Section UCD-620-12 governs off-scales for merit.

b. In the case of joint appointments, each department or unit is responsible for proportionally funding the amount of off-scale salary based on the percent of the appointment in the unit, unless there is a written agreement between the joint departments with approval by the dean of the funding unit.

620-10 Criteria

The criteria for judging the appropriateness of an off-scale salary for an individual faculty member include the following:

a. Market considerations

(1) Selected disciplines may, due to market considerations, command salaries in excess of those permitted by the UC salary scales for a given rank and step. The dean will obtain data on academic salaries in selected disciplines at peer institutions. These data will provide the basis for reviewing off-scale salary recommendations based on discipline-based market considerations.

(2) Independent of discipline, some individuals may, due to market considerations, command salaries in excess of those permitted by the UC salary scales for a given rank and step. Review of recommendations for off-scale salaries in such cases will be based on the comprehensive documentation provided in those individual cases.

b. Retention

An appointee may be recruited for a position with a higher salary at a comparable academic institution. To retain the appointee at UC Davis, it may be necessary to adjust the individual's salary through the off-scale salary mechanism.

c. Recruitment

Off scale salaries may be necessary to attract candidates of the highest caliber in competitive markets, where UC base scale salaries are lower than professional norms, a candidate’s current salary competing offers.

620-12 Policy for off-scale salaries based on exceptional merit

Merit is normally recognized through the advancement process. In a very limited number of cases, the advancement process may not provide sufficiently timely recognition of outstanding achievements. In such cases, a temporary off-scale increment of up to one step may be approved by the Vice Provost – Academic Affairs. A recommendation for a merit-related off-scale salary is initiated by the Chair, who then forwards the recommendation to the dean who submits the recommendation to the Vice Provost--Academic Affairs. The temporary off-scale increment shall be in effect for just the current merit cycle. When the subsequent merit advancement occurs, the temporary off-scale increment shall be subsumed by the increase in base salary. If the subsequent merit action is denied, the temporary off-scale will end.

620-18 Review of off-scale salaries

a. The Vice Provost – Academic Affairs has the discretion to reduce the off-scale, in the event of multiple consecutive negative reviews. (See APM 200-0; UCD 220 Procedure 4; UCD 220AF III.B.5.)

b. All off-scale salaries other than those temporary off-scales based on exceptional merit, governed by Section UCD-620-12, are granted and continued through advancement to an Above-scale salary, unless there is a prior special agreement in place that would dictate reduction or ending an off-scale increment sooner.

Examples of such special agreements include a change in series where the off-scale may be subsumed by subsequent salary adjustments or advancements, or off-scale salary agreements governed by special salary plans. Other special agreements on off-scale salary reductions may occur.

c. At the time of first advancement to Above-scale, base scale and off-scale components are combined into an adjusted base salary.

d. An off-scale increment is limited to appointees continuing in the academic series they occupied when the off-scale salary was approved. The off-scale increment is reevaluated at the time of the change in series.

620-24 Authority

Authority to approve and to set off-scale salaries rests with the Vice Provost - Academic Affairs, except as re-delegated. See the Delegation of Authority for off-scale salary approval (https://academicaffairs.ucdavis.edu/dofa.cfm).

620-80 Campus procedures

a. Base salary and the off-scale increment shall be recorded and reported separately in the Payroll System of each academic appointee with an off-scale salary.

b. Both annually and in each individual pay period, the base salary and the off-scale increment will be displayed separately wherever income and deductions are itemized.

c. During the academic review process, salaries for advancement actions shall be recorded as the base salary only. Off-scale salaries shall not be included in documentation or referenced in the advancement process. Correspondence regarding off-scale salaries will be kept separate and apart from the academic review process.

d. Range adjustment of academic salaries shall also be applied to the off-scale increment. For each rank and step, the same percentage of increase will be applied to the off-scale increment as it is applied to the base salary. Special agreements may supersede prior application of a range adjustment to an off-scale.

e. In the event that a new salary plan is approved for a given academic series within a department, division, school, or college, individuals with off-scale salaries prior to the adoption of the new scale will receive a total salary equal to: (a) the salary associated with their rank and step on the new plan scale or (b) their original off-scale salary, whichever is larger. The off-scale increment is then redefined as the difference between their total salary and that on the new plan scale.