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Human Resources
University of Mississippi

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Frequently Asked Questions

 

For questions about View2022, please review the FAQs below. If you don’t see your question here, please contact Bryce Drew at rbdrew@olemiss.edu. This page will continue to be updated through the launch of the project.

Why are we doing this project?

It is common for employers to periodically review and update their human resource processes and systems. At the University, it has been many years since we’ve holistically reviewed our classification and compensation system.

A new job classification and compensation system will help the University achieve four goals:

  1. To attract and retain qualified employees
  2. To provide fair salaries for all workers at UM
  3. To provide clearer paths for staff career growth and advancement
  4. To provide a salary structure to enable UM to be competitive with other employers and higher education institutions over the long term

 

What is a classification and compensation study?

A classification and compensation study will look at how the University defines and groups staff jobs, gives them titles, and determines the appropriate pay for them. The study draws upon internal information, like our current job descriptions and pay structure, but also looks at external information like salary data and approaches taken by other universities. The study will produce recommendations for new job categories, titles, pay grades, and pay administration policies. As a result, the study will help us understand how our compensation levels compare to regional and higher-education employers and ensure that our compensation levels are competitive.

 

What jobs are part of this project?

The project is focused on classified, professional, administrative (staff) positions.  The University currently has more than 1,200 active job descriptions for these types of positions.

See breakout below for groups that fall within scope of this project.

 

Unclassified (outside of scope)

  • EEO1 Executives
  • Faculty
  • Researchers
  • Coaches
  • Librarians with academic rank

 

Classified, Permanent and Temporary Staff (within scope)

  • Non-exempt, hourly staff members
  • Exempt, salaried staff members (not listed as unclassified above)

 

Why do we need an external firm to support this work?

Classification and compensation studies frequently utilize external experts. These projects require a significant amount of time and effort and working with an external firm will allow us to do the work more effectively. An outside partner also brings expertise as well as experience with similar projects at other institutions. University Human Resources will be very actively involved in all phases of the project.  Huron Consulting will be the external firm supporting this project.

 

Who is “Huron Consulting”?

Huron is a management consulting firm that has a large practice dedicated to working with colleges and universities. Huron was selected through a competitive RFP process and has supported several other large public universities in similar projects. More information about Huron is available on their website: https://www.huronconsultinggroup.com/

 

The team assigned to our UM project focuses on human resources and talent management in higher education and has worked on other similar projects.

 

Will the consultant determine job descriptions and pay scales?

Huron will analyze data, develop drafts of job descriptions, and make recommendations to the University about pay structures and processes. Ultimate changes will be informed by that work, but all final decisions will be made by the University in consultation with stakeholders. Any changes will be taken with consideration of university policy and any applicable regulations.

 

Will the study change my pay?
The study just creates new structures and processes for setting and adjusting pay. No “automatic” pay increases will be made.  We will also not reduce pay as a result of this study

 

Will this study bring University compensation to “market levels”?

This study will look at the University’s compensation levels compared to the marketplace regionally, within public higher education, and in some cases nationally. It will provide insight into how our salaries compare. This information will help our leadership formulate an updated competitive compensation philosophy. The study will inform how we manage pay over the long term.

 

Will this study address salary compression?

Salary compression occurs when a new hire earns close to or more than an employee with more responsibility or a longer period of service might earn. The classification and compensation study will likely include processes to help us avoid compression in the future. Individual instances of compression, though, are not part of the study and are addressed through HR and unit leaders on campus when they arise.  No job eliminations or pay reductions will take place.

 

Can my job title change?  Can my job be eliminated as a result of the study?

Job titles may change, but the study will not impact employment.  No job eliminations or pay reductions will take place.  Cost reduction is not the objective of this project. The goal of the project is to provide insight and information concerning our current job classification and compensation system and policies.

 

How long will it take for this work to be completed?

The process of designing the new system and making recommendations will take the rest of this calendar year (2022). We anticipate changes to take place in phases over the course of 2023.

 

Who on campus will be involved in this work?

University Human Resources is leading this project. Bryce Drew, the University’s Manager of Compensation, will be the primary point of contact. We will also be bringing together a University Advisory Group to give input on the process and recommendations.

As more specific recommendations are developed, campus subject matter experts and governance groups will be invited to provide input.

 

Will employees be informed about the progress being made with the compensation study?

Yes. Transparency is a guiding principle for the overall project. You can go to the View2022 website to review any news updates regarding the compensation study. You will also receive notifications via email and other communication channels.

As recommendations are developed, we expect to make some campus-wide presentations. Leaders, managers, and employees will have information well in advance of anything being implemented.

For our goal of creating clarity to be accomplished we will need the engagement from all employees.  Please share all information as it becomes available across your respective teams and peers.  Again emails, UM today updates, in person meetings, zoom sessions, HR website updates, town halls, etc. are just some of the ways in which we will push communication out to the university.