Compensation Project Update

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Among top priorities in 2018 are updating job families, conducting a system-wide market assessment and developing market-based pay structures—phases 2 and 3 of a compensation project that began in 2017. Below is an update on our progress and what you can expect in the months ahead.

Job Families

A statewide human resources team was appointed in June 2017 to review and update job families—classifications grouped by similar types of work and required training, skills, knowledge and expertise. Focus group discussions were conducted at each campus and institute to gain a better understanding of the roles and levels within each job family. The focus groups provided essential feedback to ensure the new and revised roles within each family are an accurate description of work. Position descriptions for regular staff also were used to validate the new job family descriptions.

Job Families Group 1: Administrative Services, Financial Services, Human Resources, Laboratory, Medical and Research

To date, 18 job family documents have been drafted, and we invite your review and feedback on these drafts by visiting the dedicated compensation project website linked below. All feedback should be submitted by Jan. 31.

Review Drafts and Submit Feedback

Job Families Group 2: Communications and Marketing, Crafts and Facilities, UT Institute of Agriculture Extension, Information Technology, Library and Museum and Student Services

Work on job family group 2 will begin this month. We hope to share drafts of these families for your review and feedback by mid-March.

Job Family Group 3: Athletics, Compliance, Development, UT Institute for Public Service, Law and Safety, Procurement and All Others

Work on job family group 3 will begin in March.

Human resources offices at each campus and institute have requested updated position descriptions and provided an electronic version of “How to Write an Effective Position Description” training to assist in writing the position descriptions. The online training is available here.

Market-Based Pay Ranges and Benchmarking

Once the job families are finalized, we will conduct a system-wide market assessment and develop market-based pay structures. Positions will be assigned to pay ranges that are more reflective of the market. The job family project is budget-neutral—meaning salaries won’t change as part of this project. Closing gaps in pay will take time, but the assessment will better position campuses and institutes to address market competitiveness.

A complete update on this important initiative is available on the dedicated compensation project website. Should you have any questions, please contact your campus or institute human resources officer or project leads, Julie Hunt, UT System Executive Director of Compensation, at 865-974-1906 and Tarah Keeler, UT Knoxville Compensation Manager, at 865-974-0424. Additional members of the statewide work team are listed here. Questions and comments also can be emailed to

Look for more information to be shared soon.

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