Compensation Update

Category: Features

by Julie Hunt, executive director of compensation

Improvement of processes, classifications and pay structures continue as part of a system-wide compensation project. Phase 2, finalizing the “job families,” and phase 3, “benchmarking,” are among top human resources priorities for 2019.

Job families are groupings of jobs that involve work in the same functional occupation and have related knowledge and background requirements. The job family structure is based on related functions and not organizational structure. Roles and levels have been defined and are sub-sets within each of the job families and are used to further group jobs. Grouping jobs into families, roles and levels 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 

Benchmark jobs are those that are common and have consistent responsibilities from one organization to another and for which reliable survey data is available. Not all jobs will be benchmark jobs. The benchmarking project team consists of a representative from each campus and institute. The representative has identified benchmark jobs for their campus/institute by matching them to available survey descriptions. After all of the benchmark jobs have been identified and matched to survey sources, we will partner with Sibson, a strategic human resources consulting group, to conduct the assessment.  

After the assessment has been completed, a market-relevant pay structure will be developed and staff positions will be allocated to the new job family structure and assigned new pay grades. 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 our system.

There will be no changes to individual salaries during the implementation. Once the new structure is in place, the university will be in a better position to assess individual pay and overall market competitiveness and help guide future decisions regarding pay. The implementation plan for each campus will be developed and is expected to be completed in the fall 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 Science 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,