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Budget Update and Salary Increases

Monday, March 15, 2021

Dear Colleagues,

We write to provide you with an important update of the University’s operating budget performance and, relatedly, information about the salary increase we are implementing immediately for both faculty and staff.

Due to the extraordinary efforts of faculty and staff, the University has thus far succeeded in safely offering in-person instruction since the beginning of the fall 2020 semester. As you may recall, when developing the fiscal year 2021 (FY 21) University operating budget, we undertook a series of savings measures as the University’s revenue budget had declined by $8 million from the FY 20 budget. The decrease in revenue was driven by an expected modest enrollment decline for our traditional undergraduate students, which occurred as a result of COVID-related challenges. 

For next year (FY 22), we are budgeting for an increase to traditional undergraduate enrollment and revenue, though not all the way back to the enrollment levels we experienced in the years preceding the pandemic. The expected continued lower enrollment results in a modest increase in overall University budgeted revenue from FY 20 to FY 22 of $3.7 million, or 1.2% over a two-year period.

University Budgeted Revenue in Thousands


Thanks to modest revenue growth and the necessary reductions in operating expense budgets, the University is able to budget for an increase to the University’s compensation budget totaling $7 million from FY 20 to FY 22.

Accordingly, we are pleased to inform you of the following salary increase plans:

  • Effective March 1, 2021, we are implementing an “across-the-board” 3.5% salary increase for all continuing faculty and regular full-time and part-time employees. The increase covers fiscal year 2022 and in a typical year would be effective as of July 1, 2021; however, we are starting this increase four months early. 
    • For exempt employees, including faculty, this increase will be reflected in their May 1 paycheck, and that paycheck will also include a one-time payment for the additional salary amount an employee would have received on April 1 for work in March.
    • For non-exempt employees (hourly wage), this increase will be reflected in their April 16 paycheck. That paycheck will include the additional amount that would have been earned for work in March.
    • Please note that any annual salary increases in future years will return to the usual July 1 effective date.
  • Effective July 1, 2021, the University will increase its minimum wage from $12.00/hour to $14.00/hour.

Although salary increases will be implemented on an across-the-board basis, supervisors should continue to have year-end performance discussions with their respective staff members and document these important conversations in UR Talent Web. Faculty annual reviews will occur according to individual school processes. FAQs with further details on implementation of this salary increase can be found below.

We are fortunate to be in a position to immediately implement the 3.5% salary increase during a period in which higher education has shed 650,000 jobs, or approximately 13% of the entire higher education workforce. It is a point of pride for our entire community that all regular University full- and part-time employees have remained fully employed and paid since the outset of the pandemic one year ago. 

Your superb work and dedication have allowed the University of Richmond to pursue its academic mission and sustain our community despite these challenging times.

Thank you so much for your exceptional efforts — they have set a powerful example in higher education and made a tremendous difference for our students and for all of us. 

Sincerely,

Ronald A. Crutcher
President 

David Hale
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Jeffrey Legro

Executive Vice President and Provost

2021 Salary and Minimum Wage Increase FAQs

How much is the increase?

The across-the-board salary increase is 3.5%. The increase covers fiscal year 2022, and in a typical year would be effective as of July 1, 2021; however, we are starting this increase four months early.

Will this be our normal process in the future?

No. This is a one-time, retroactive increase designed to recognize faculty and staff for their efforts and dedication throughout the pandemic.

Why are we receiving this increase instead of using the usual merit process?

Over the past year, employees across campus adapted to rapidly changing conditions, which allowed the University to fulfill its academic mission in an in-person setting and teach students remotely due to the pandemic. In recognition of your outstanding efforts, it was determined that providing an early increase for all faculty and staff was the best way to recognize these important individual and collective contributions.

Who will receive the increase?

All continuing faculty and regular full-time and part-time employees employed before March 1, 2021, and individuals employed by the University as of April 10 (non-exempt employees) or April 15 (exempt employees) will receive the spring 2021 salary increase. Employees who are on official leave as of these dates are also eligible. Employees on a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP), however, will not receive the increase until the PIP is completed successfully.

When will I receive my increase?

Exempt employees will receive the increase beginning in their May 1 check. Non-exempt employees will receive the increase beginning in their April 16 check. The May 1 and April 16 checks will include your new monthly salary or hourly rate for that pay period plus a one-time payment for the additional amount you would have received for your work in March. This one-time adjustment will be equal to the difference between your new monthly salary or hourly rate and previous monthly salary or hourly rate.

Examples

Exempt employees

If your monthly salary is currently $4,000, your check on May 1 will be for $4,140 plus a one-time payment of $140 for March. Total monthly wages before benefit deductions and tax withholdings will be $4,280

Non-exempt employees

If your hourly rate is currently $20/hour, and you normally work 80 hours in a pay period, your usual pay would be $1,600 per pay period. Your April 16 paycheck will be broken down as follows:

  • Pay for 3/28–4/10 = $1,656 ($20.70/hour x 80 hours)
  • Pay for 2/28–3/27 = $112 ($0.70 x 80 hours x 2 pay periods)
  • Total bi-weekly wages on April 16 before deductions and withholdings will be $1,768
I have worked overtime since February 28. Will my overtime rate be adjusted, too?

Yes. All earnings for non-exempt employees beginning on March 1 will use the new rate.

If I am terminating my employment in March, will I receive the increase?

No. To be eligible for the increase through their separation date, employees must be in an active status on April 10 for non-exempt employees or April 15 for exempt employees.

If I am hiring a new employee after April 1, will they receive 3.5% more than we would normally offer?

No. New hire salaries will continue to be based on the most current salary market data.

How can managers recognize employees who went above and beyond expectations during the year?

The staff bonus program continues to be available to reward employees who went above and beyond what was expected during the year.

Why is the minimum wage increasing to $14/hour?

Since 2019, the University has steadily increased its Grade 1 minimum-level wage rate from $11.40/hour to the upcoming $14/hour. This reflects our commitment to providing total compensation (including benefits) that is competitive in the Richmond area and helps us attract and retain excellent employees.

Who is eligible for the new $14/hour wage?

All non-exempt staff employees will be paid at least $14/hour, effective July 1, 2021.

When will I see the increase to $14/hour in my paycheck?

The new rate will be applied to all hours worked beginning on July 1, 2021. Employees will see this new rate in their July 9 paycheck.

What if I already make close to $14/hour?

All non-exempt employees will have their hourly rate increased by 3.5%, effective March 1. Any employee who earns below $14/hour after the 3.5% increase will have their rate increased to $14/hour effective July 1. For example:

  • If your hourly rate is currently $13/hour, your rate will be increased by 3.5% to $13.45/hour, effective March 1. You will earn that rate until June 30. On July 1, your rate will increase to $14/hour.
  • If your current rate is $13.75/hour, you will receive the across-the-board 3.5% increase to $14.23/hour, effective March 1. You will not receive another increase on July 1.
The hourly rate increase means that someone who has worked here for less than one year could earn the same as someone who has been here much longer. What will be done to address this?

The University has set aside funds to address salary compression created by the increase to the University’s minimum wage rate, but the specific allocations have not been determined yet. The allocations will be determined by July 1.

Will the University continue to review newly vacant positions before they can be filled?

The current process, which requires the completion of an appeal form, will continue through June 30, 2021. Beginning July 1, a new process will be implemented, allowing for the continued stewardship of our resources. Look for more information before July 1.

Will the University continue to benchmark faculty and staff positions?

Yes, we continue to evaluate faculty and staff salaries annually against the appropriate benchmarks and, as usual in our annual process, make adjustments to keep salaries competitive.

What are expectations for performance reviews this year?

Supervisors should continue to have performance conversations with their direct reports by June 30. Documentation of the conversation should be captured in UR Talent Web either through the comments sections that you are accustomed to using or by uploading a separate document into Talent Web. The documentation should be provided to your direct report as well. Faculty annual reviews will occur in accordance with distinctive processes within each of the Schools.