Compensation Update

By Julie Hunt, executive director of compensation

Several factors contribute to offering fair and competitive pay, and work continues at UT to improve processes, classifications and pay structures. Among top HR priorities for 2018-19 are finalizing the “job families”—phase 2 of a compensation project that began last year and beginning “benchmarking” this fall for phase 3.

Job families are groupings of levels within roles that have similar job duties/responsibilities and require comparable levels of knowledge, training and education. Grouping jobs into families provides a consistent structure for human resources to use when evaluating individual positions and assigning pay grades.

Offer your review and feedback on the draft job families by visiting the dedicated compensation project website at

The benchmarking project team consists of a representative from each campus and institute. The team will be identifying benchmark jobs for their campus/institute and matching them to survey descriptions. Benchmark jobs are those that are common and have consistent responsibilities from one organization to another and for which reliable survey data is available. After the benchmark jobs have been identified and matched to survey sources, we will be partnering with Sibson to conduct the compensation assessment. 

During the spring of 2019, a market-relevant pay structure will be developed and positions will be assigned new pay grades in partnership with each campus and institute.  Although market data is a key component, it is one of many factors that will be considered when assigning positions to the new pay grade structure. Market assessments are not intended to be used as the determining factor when setting pay because there are varying roles and responsibilities across the system. Once the new structure is in place, we will be in a better position to assess individual pay and overall market competiveness. The new structure is planned to go into effect July 2019.

Questions can be directed to Julie Hunt, UT executive director of compensation at, or to campus and institute human resources representatives listed below:

UT Chattanooga – Laure Pou

UT Health Sciences Center – Damon Davis

UT Institute of Agriculture – Jennifer Daniels

UT Institute for Public Service – Tomi Rogers

UT Knoxville – Tarah Keeler

UT Martin – Tina Adams

UT Space Institute – Patricia Burkes-Jelks

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