Pay Grades & Decisions

Pay Grades

The University of Richmond's salary structure enables the University to manage compensation competitively against the market through market-based salary grade ranges that provide enough width to account for variation in individual experience and performance.

The UR salary structure contains 12 grades. Each of the grades has a minimum, midpoint, and maximum reflecting the range of compensation in the market for the positions in the grade. UR benchmark positions (e.g., positions for which market data is available) are placed into the structure based primarily on an analysis of compensation in the market for each of the positions, along with internal equity considerations. Non-benchmark positions (e.g., positions that are unique to the University or for which market data is not available) are placed into the structure based on a comparison of the scope, impact, and responsibility of the position to benchmark positions.

The salary structure provides guidelines for UR to set and manage compensation. Employees can expect to be paid within the range of the grade for their position. Employees primarily advance through a grade through annual performance-based increases.

View the University of Richmond salary structure.

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  • Criteria for Assigning Benchmark Positions to a Grade

    Positions are assigned to salary grades primarily based on their market value. Many positions at UR are benchmark positions. This means that positions with similar responsibilities and skill requirements are typical in the market and reliable pay data can be found in published surveys. Benchmark positions are assigned to a grade with the midpoint closest to the market median for the position. The internal equity of all assigned positions is reviewed before finalizing grade assignments.

  • Criteria for Assigning Non-Benchmark Positions to a Grade

    For other positions, market data may not be available; these are called non-benchmark positions. This occurs when positions are found in the market, but not included in salary surveys. In some cases, positions are developed around the skills and expertise of individuals, or to accommodate specific organizational needs. Non-benchmark positions are assigned to the salary structure by comparing the non-benchmark position to other benchmark positions at the University. Positions are compared by considering:

    • Knowledge and Skills: The formal and informal expertise needed to perform the duties of the position on a day-to-day basis. Example: Accounting rules, standards, and procedures.
    • Experience: The amount of prior experience in the same or similar position required to perform the duties.
    • Autonomy: How much supervision the position requires.
    • Influence: The impact that a position has on key organizational imperatives. Example: Financial health, academic quality, or effectiveness of services provided within the institution.
    • Scope of Responsibility: The breadth or range of the position’s operational influence within the institution. Example: University-wide scope, division, or department.
  • Maintaining the Salary Structure

    The salary structure ranges (minimum, midpoint, and maximum) will be adjusted each year to reflect market trends. The structure is generally increased each year based on average annual salary range adjustments within higher education and general industry. Note that this adjustment is to the structure, not individual pay.

    Periodically, UR will complete a thorough market analysis, including matching of benchmark positions to gauge significant changes in the market. This may result in some additional adjustments to the structure or grade assignments.

  • Market Pricing Guidelines

    UR adheres to the following principles when conducting market pricing:

    • Market data is sourced from credible published salary surveys with a representative number of organizations reporting data.
    • Matches are selected based on the content and essential functions of the position and not on title alone.
    • Survey comparison markets are aligned with the talent pool or labor market for the position.
    • Market data is collected from both higher education and general industry survey sources.

Pay Decisions

The guidelines outlined for making employee pay decisions take into consideration multiple factors. These include an employee's skills, knowledge, experience, and performance, while ensuring consistency and maintaining internal equity and market competitiveness. The guidelines also support pay decisions for a variety of circumstances, as seen in the items listed on the left-hand side.

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  • Setting Starting Salaries for New Hires

    Setting a starting salary involves a review by Human Resources of a position’s responsibilities and requirements, as well as the skills and experience of the incumbent, using the salary range associated with the position’s grade as the guideline. The following factors are considered when defining the starting salary:

    Individual Pay
    Human Resources will set pay within the salary grade collaboratively with the hiring manager, based on the applicant’s skills and experience. Less skilled and experienced applicants would be paid lower in the range; more skilled and experienced applicants would be paid higher in the range.

    Review Internal Equity
    Human Resources will conduct a review of salaries of current employees in similar positions to ensure internal equity.


  • Annual Merit Pay

    Performance increases will occur on an annual basis and according to merit, when funds are available. The amount of the performance increase budget is determined by budget and market factors each year. Individual increase amounts are determined based on performance ratings and budget considerations. Employees with an overall rating of below expectations will not be eligible for increases.

    The amount of the budget will vary each year, and the performance increase amounts will depend on the performance rating distribution. The increase amounts will not be shared until the distribution is finalized.

    Employees Below Grade Minimum

    Employees with satisfactory performance will be brought to at least the minimum of the salary grade to which their position is assigned. No permanent employee will be hired below the minimum.

  • Promotions

    A promotion involves taking on a position that is assigned to a higher salary grade. Such a move generally warrants an increase in base salary to recognize the additional responsibilities of the position and to ensure that pay for the new position is consistent with market and internal equity. To be eligible for a promotion or transfer outside the current division, an employee must:

    • Have been in their current position for a minimum of 12 months. If you have been in your current position less than 12 months, please see Transfers and Internal Posting.
    • Be a regular full-time or part-time employee (not on-call or temporary)
    • Be unrelated to an individual who directly supervises the open position, and
    • Have not received corrective action for a period of one year. 
    • If you have been in your current position less than 12 months, please see Transfers and Internal Posting.

    Human Resources will define an appropriate salary within the new salary grade, based on the employee’s skill, knowledge, experience, and performance, and review the salary with the employee’s manager. Since circumstances vary and each employee has a different pay history, it is important to consider multiple factors when making pay decisions related to promotions. These factors are shown in the chart below:

    Criteria Assessed for Promotions

    • Degree of increase in responsibilities
    • Performance
    • Current salary relative ot midpoint of new grade
    • Current salary relative to others in similar jobs in new grade (with similar skills, knowledge, competancies, and experiences)
    • Depth and breadth of skills and knowledge (assumes demonstration)
  • Reclassification of a Position

    During the normal course of operations, changes in primary position responsibilities may make it necessary to rewrite or update staff position descriptions. If positions change substantially (i.e., changes to at least 25% of position responsibilities), these changes should be noted and forwarded to the appropriate department head for review. The department head should review the changes to ensure equitable distribution of department workloads and the appropriate assignment of tasks. If the position has changed substantially, the position description should be rewritten and submitted to Human Resources for review.

    Positions are reclassified only when formal review by Human Resources determines that the grade of the position should be changed upward or downward.

    The following are examples of situations that may warrant a position reclassification:

    • Department reorganization and position restructuring
    • Addition of full-time staff reporting to the position
    • Addition of significant new area(s) of responsibility
    • Major change in level of authority and accountability

    It is essential to distinguish between a change in the position content for an employee and a change in the employee’s skills, knowledge, or performance. A change to how work is done (e.g., changes to the tools or processes used to perform duties) does not normally warrant a position reclassification or pay adjustment. While such a change may require training to learn new software or methods, it does not usually change the purpose or overall accountabilities of the position.

    Small changes in a position also do not influence market value or the position’s core role at the University and therefore would not warrant reclassification (e.g., procedural changes to existing work, responsibility for overseeing student workers). In addition, a position would not be reclassified if the incumbent earns a degree or achieves another educational milestone, unless this results in changes in the position, level of authority, scope of responsibility, etc.

    Once a position has been reclassified, Human Resources uses the guidelines below to recommend the appropriate employee salary within the grade.

    Requests for reclassification should be made during the time period pre-designated by Human Resources and by the manager to whom the position reports, not by individual employees. If a staff member believes that his or her position needs to be reclassified, he or she should discuss this with his or her manager, who will review the request with Human Resources to determine the appropriate course of action.

    Criteria Assessed for Reclassificiations

    • Degree of increase in responsibilities
    • Performance
    • Current salary relative ot midpoint of new grade
    • Current salary relative to others in similar jobs in new grade (with similar skills, knowledge, competancies, and experiences)
    • Depth and breadth of skills and knowledge (assumes demonstration)
  • Lateral Transfer
    Not all career advancement opportunities are promotions. An employee can advance in his or her career by taking a different position in the same salary grade. This enables him or her to become broadly skilled, enhancing his or her ability to contribute to UR. Generally, lateral transfers are not eligible for salary increases or decreases.
  • Demotion to a Position in a Lower Salary Grade

    At times, staff may be reassigned to a position in a lower salary grade. This may occur in order to find a more appropriate fit between the employee’s capabilities and the skills and expectations of a different position, or because the employee chooses to take on a position with fewer responsibilities.

    When an employee is reassigned to a position in a lower salary grade, either voluntarily or involuntarily, the salary will be reduced, based on the criteria below, to reflect the responsibilities of the new position.

Additional Compensation

From time to time, it may be necessary for employees to take on responsibilities that are distinctly separate from or in addition to their primary position. Appropriate compensation for the nature of these assignments will be determined by Human Resources in consultation with the employee's manager on a case-by-case basis.

An exempt employee, by nature of his/her position, is considered to be available for work assignments without additional remuneration at times other than his/her regularly scheduled hours. However, there are circumstances when additional payment may be appropriate.

A non-exempt employee who takes on additional duties will be paid for all hours worked.  If a change to their hourly rate is approved by HR, the new rate must be paid on all hours worked, including overtime.

  • A supervisor must consult with their HR Business Partner before establishing payment or committing to pay an employee for additional duties. The request must be approved by Human Resources prior to any communication with the employee.
  • If the request is approved, any additional compensation must be paid through the department's budget.The employee must have any necessary qualifications for the temporary duties assigned.
  • Before requesting additional pay for an employee please ensure that there are no other employees in the department/division who may not be working at full capacity who could help with some of these duties.
  • There are four different methods for compensating additional work:
  1. Performing Work of a Vacant Position (Acting/Interim)
    is to be used to request additional compensation for a staff member who temporarily assumes responsibility for, and performance of, another position in addition to his or her primary position responsibilities.
  2. Lump Sum Payments for Project or Supplemental Work is appropriate for work performed that is distinctly different and unrelated to the employee’s primary position that occurs within a short period of time.
  3. Secondary or overload position is to used for work that is being performed on an ongoing basis and is distinctly separate from and unrelated to an employee’s primary position
  4. A one-time bonus for accomplishing extraordinary and above normal expectations of the basic duties of the job.

The performance of work outside an employee's regular duties or department should not conflict with or reduce effectiveness of the employee's performance of his or her primary position responsibilities.

All decisions regarding the appropriateness of additional compensation or secondary jobs must be approved by Human Resources.

Submit a request here

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  • Secondary Jobs

    An employee may be compensated for work unrelated to and distinctly separate from their primary job, which is performed outside the normal work day. Secondary jobs can be utilized for employees working two part-time jobs or one full-time (38.75 or 40 hours a week) job plus a part-time job. Secondary jobs can be regular staff positions, temporary positions, or on-call positions. Hours worked in a regular (not temporary or on-call) secondary job are considered when determining benefits for employees that are regularly scheduled to work at least 1511 hours per calendar year (30 hours a week for a 12 month period or 38.75 hours a week for a 10 month period). Employees performing work in a secondary job should be compensated based on position level, an employee’s skill, knowledge and experience and internal equity.

    Secondary job guidelines vary depending on the Fair Labor Standards Act exemption status and are as follows:

    Secondary jobs can be used for non-exempt employees working two part-time jobs or for non-exempt employees working a full-time job and a second job in a different department at the University. All non-exempt secondary jobs must be paid hourly and not on a salary basis. Employees have a duty to report that they are accepting a secondary job to their primary job supervisor prior to beginning work.

    • Working two part-time jobs at the University – When an employee works two part-time jobs at the University, one job will be designated as the primary job and the other as secondary. The designation of primary or secondary job should remain stable regardless of schedule changes that may occur throughout the academic year. The department funding the secondary job is responsible for overtime payments for work performed above 40 hours within a scheduled work week.
    • Working a full-time (38.75 or 40 hours per week) job and a second job in a different department at the University – An employee who has a full-time (38.75 or 40 hours/week) job at the University is eligible to work in a secondary job; however the full-time position is always deemed primary. Another department at the University may hire the employee on a part-time basis in a secondary job. Compensation for the secondary job should be based on position level, an employee’s skill, knowledge and experience and internal equity. The department funding the secondary job is responsible for overtime payments for work performed above 40 hours within a scheduled work week. Employees may not hold two positions resulting in more than 60 hours of scheduled work per week

    NOTE: Blended rates for overtime will be used when an employee has two jobs that are compensated at different pay rates.


    An employee in an exempt part-time position (reg. scheduled less than 1.511 hours per year) can have a secondary job only if it is exempt. Both primary and secondary positions must be exempt and cannot exceed one FTE (full-time equivalent).

    Overload jobs are used for full-time (38.75 hours per week) exempt employees only. When an exempt employee works their primary position schedule and performs additional exempt level duties on a regular basis that are unrelated to, and distinctly different from their primary position, they are eligible for an overload job. Compensation received for overload jobs is not eligible for benefits. The HR Business Partner should be consulted to determine the appropriate amount of pay based on the level and nature of work performed.

    Staff Compensation for Instructing Academic Courses
    A staff employee may be allowed to instruct an undergraduate or graduate course with VP level approval. Compensation for this additional work should be similar to that of an adjunct faculty for comparable instruction.

  • Lump Sum Payments for Project or Supplemental Work

    Staff Additional Compensation Form

    In most cases, this would apply to supplemental work performed in an employee’s department.

    Lump sum payments are appropriate for work performed that is distinctly different and unrelated to the employee’s primary position that occurs within a short period of time

    Requests for lump sum payments should be submitted to HR Compensation on the form above and, if approved, will be processed and added to regularly scheduled pay checks.

    For an ongoing situation, a department/supervisor should consider longer term options, such as requesting to incorporate the additional duties into the employee’s primary position responsibilities and requesting a classification review to ensure the position is appropriately classified. Such a request should be submitted to the HR Business Partner via a revised position description and written explanation of the change in position duties.

    If it is determined that a non-exempt employee is eligible to receive a lump sum, they must also be compensated for any work over 40 hours in a work week. This must be at a rate of at least one and one-half their base rate and as part of regular payroll regardless of the nature or exemption status of the work performed.

    The lump sum payment will not be used in calculating retirement or leave. The additional payment will not to be added to the employee’s base pay. Appropriate federal and state income taxes will be withheld from the lump sum payment. An employee must be in an active status in order to receive a lump sum payment.

  • Payment for Performing Work of a Vacant Position (Acting/Interim)

    Staff Additional Compensation Form

    Supervisors may request an acting/interim rate or a lump sum payment for a staff member who temporarily assumes responsibility for, and performance of, another position in addition to their primary position responsibilities.

    Typically, the other position is at a higher level/scope than their current position and in addition to their primary position responsibilities.

    • Typically an acting/interim assignment has a specific beginning and ending date and does not exceed a period of six months.
    • Supervisors/Managers cannot receive additional compensation for performing the work of an employee that reports to them.
    • The rate associated with an interim or acting position will depend on amount and complexity of the additional responsibilities assigned to the staff member.
    • The individual performing the duties may assume the title of “Acting” or “Interim” at the request of the supervisor.

    Factors Compensation Consider when Determining Interim Pay

    • Decrease or increase in responsibilities
    • Current salary relative to midpoint of acting/interim position grade
    • Current salary relative to others in similar jobs in acting/interim grade (with similar skills, knowledge, competencies, and experience)
    • Depth and breadth of skills and knowledge (assumes demonstration)
  • Staff Bonus Plan

    The goal of the University of Richmond Staff Bonus Plan is to provide a one time bonus to staff members who have accomplished extraordinary achievement(s) within the workplace. It is designed to complement the Evaluation Program and provide a financial reward to a select few who have outperformed and exceeded expectations during the year.


    All staff (exempt and non-exempt) are eligible. Faculty, student employees, contract staff, and temporary employees are not eligible to participate.


    Eligible employees may be considered for a bonus based on the following criteria:

    • The staff member performed substantially above and beyond expectations on a specific project or goal; or
    • The staff member made a contribution that has a significant impact on university or department objectives; or
    • The staff member went above and beyond the normal responsibilities required by his/her position; or the staff member assumed added responsibilities in the short-term to address a situation in which there was a "gap" in the organization.

    Departments should have discreet measures, benchmarks and standards of operation to describe positive results. These measures should fall into one of the following categories:

    • Operational Excellence: *Productivity *Growth *Quality *Cost Containment
    • Customer Service: *Vendor, Student, Faculty, Staff; *Customer Satisfaction of timeliness, courtesy, quality, etc.
    • Performance Measures

    The performance of the staff member must be extraordinary, above normal expectations, and beyond the basic functions of their job. Everyone is paid to do their job; adequacy of pay is not the issue. Extraordinary achievement may be indicated by a single noteworthy action or a succession of extra efforts accomplished over a period of time. The performance must be measurable and have a beneficial net effect for the University. The written recommendation must be very specific and quantify exactly the effort and the outcome.

    Nomination Process

    A staff member may be nominated by any Richmond staff or faculty member.

    1. Nominations should be sent to employee’s supervisor, department head, and vice president for review.
    2. After the employee’s nomination has been reviewed in their department, the nomination should be sent to the senior associate vice president for Human Resources.
    3. The committee will make a final decision after considering all comments.
    4. HR will track all nominations.

    The recommendation should be submitted on the form and include a concise statement in three or four sentences presenting the case for bonus qualification.  Please give careful consideration and justification to your recommendation/s.


    The Staff Bonus Plan Committee is comprised of the provost, executive vice president for Business and Finance, and the senior associate vice president for Human Resources.

    Bonus Award

    • Bonuses shall be determined as a percentage of base pay
    • Bonuses may be awarded throughout the year based on events/situations.
    • An employee may not receive more than one bonus per fiscal year.


    The bonus under this plan will not be used in calculating retirement, health or wellness benefits. The bonus is to be considered to be a one-time cash award and is not to be added to the base pay of the individual. All bonus earnings are considered taxable income in the year in which they are paid. Appropriate federal and state income taxes will be withheld at the rates in effect at the time of the payout. Participants are responsible for determining the tax consequences of the bonus payments and arranging for appropriate withholding. The University of Richmond will not be responsible for payments, interest, penalties, costs or expenses incurred as a result of an employee’s failure to arrange for sufficient withholding of deductions from bonus payments. A staff member must be considered active on the bonus payout date to receive any bonus under this plan. At any point in time, the University of Richmond reserves the right to unilaterally change, modify, and/or terminate any aspect of this plan. 


    Fill out the Staff Bonus Form by clicking here or navigating to

    You will need your university credentials to access the form.