Academic Affairs Manual (ACD)

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Effective: 12/10/1984

Revised: 7/1/2011

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ACD 511–01: Salary Adjustments

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To describe the policy on salary adjustments

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Arizona Board of Regents Policy Manual - 6–901
Office of the Provost of the University

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Academic professionals

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Attracting and retaining outstanding faculty and academic professionals through adequate salaries is the most important factor in accomplishing the teaching, research, scholarship and/or creative activity, service, diversity, and community outreach missions of ASU. External market forces outside the control of any institution result in different minimum salaries needed to attract and retain faculty and academic professionals of comparable quality in different disciplines. External market salaries typically reflect research, scholarship and/or creative activities more than other institutional priorities, however, ASU will reward all valuable institutional contributions, including significant contributions to the teaching mission of the university.

Arizona State University shall operate within a board-approved salary adjustment plan that provides for rewarding employees in recognition of satisfactory and above satisfactory performance and provides for a process by which other salary adjustment considerations are resolved. Funds appropriated to ASU for salary adjustment purposes shall be allocated to faculty and academic professionals in proportion to their share of the salary base. Unless an exception is approved by the Board of Regents, no funds allocated to faculty and academic professionals shall be used to enhance the salaries of employees outside of these employee groups. Any exception must be based on compensation-related factors and circumstances that justify an alternative distribution method.

Monies appropriated and identified by the legislature as funds to be used by the universities for salary adjustments shall be divided and distributed under guidelines applicable to two categories: (1) adjustment funds; and (2) performance funds.

Adjustment Funds

In order to maintain an effective compensation plan, the university shall continually assess the need for these adjustments. Such adjustments may include:

  1. market adjustments
  2. equity adjustments


  3. promotion and reclassification adjustments.

ASU shall determine the amount of adjustment funds needed each year for faculty and academic professionals and shall request that the Board of Regents set aside such an amount from the total funds made available by the legislature for salary adjustment purposes.

Performance Funds

University-approved formal performance evaluation plans administered at the academic or other organizational unit level shall provide the documentation for performance awards to faculty and academic professionals. Performance funds (often referred to as merit pay) are distributed and administered consistent with principles and guidelines issued by the president of the university in each iteration of funding made available.

The aforementioned principles and guidelines prepared by the president and the following guidelines are used for ASU performance salary adjustments. Where any conflict exists between these guidelines and those issued by the president, the president’s guidelines shall take precedence. The provost of the university, deans, and academic unit heads/chairs/directors are accountable for ensuring the fair and consistent application of these guidelines.

  1. Academic unit salary plans shall include the unit’s salary adjustment process and be consistent with these all appropriate guidelines. The salary plan must be stated in a document that has been recommended by the unit’s faculty and/or academic professionals (as appropriate) and approved by the head/chair/director and the dean. The college plan shall be approved by the provost of the university. Colleges and individual academic units that do not have written plans approved may not receive funds for performance-based salary adjustments. Plans may be reviewed annually by the dean or provost of the university as appropriate.
  2. To the extent ASU has discretion, satisfactory or better performance is a necessary condition for all types of salary increases. Each year that salary adjustment funds are available, all faculty and academic professionals shall be considered for possible salary adjustments, based on annual performance evaluations.
  3. Academic unit salary plans shall state how the unit allocates salary adjustments:

    1. to reward valuable contributions to teaching, research, scholarship and/or creative activity, and service, including the unit’s/university’s affirmative action goals and student diversity recruitment and retention efforts
    2. to remedy salary compression and salary inversion problems


    3. to correct discriminatory salary inequities that may exist or arise for individual faculty or entire groups.

Decisions related to the distribution of faculty performance funds shall be made in accordance with university policies and procedures developed in consultation with the faculty and approved by the president. Such rules and procedures may provide for recognition of long-term faculty activities and outcomes.

Review and/or Appeal of Annual Salary Adjustments

An individual may request a review of his or her salary adjustment to the next-higher administrative level above the person who made the salary recommendation for a final decision. There are no procedures for hearings unless a grievance is alleged as described below. The request for a review of a salary adjustment must be made by a specific date identified by the dean/university librarian. The review must be completed within 30 working days after the request is received by the reviewer. The purpose of this review is to check for clerical errors and/or inconsistencies between the amount of merit money awarded and an individual’s ranking during the most recent annual review.

This annual period, which follows the announcement of forthcoming salary adjustments, is not intended as a time for faculty members to ask for market or equity adjustments. The university does not have an obligation to make market or equity adjustments, but may make such adjustments at any time throughout the year when funds are available and it is in the best interests of the university to do so. Failure to receive a market or equity adjustment is not appealable, except as outlined below.

Grievances of Failure to Follow University Policies and Procedures

An individual may grieve deviation from the Board of Regents or university policy in accord with the following:

  1. ACD 509-02, “Grievance Policy for Faculty”


  2. ACD 509–03, “Grievance Policy for Academic Professionals.”


For related information see:

  1. ACD 506–10, “Annual Evaluation of Faculty”
  2. ACD 507–08, “Annual Performance Evaluation of Academic Professionals”
  3. ACD 509-02, “Grievance Policy for Faculty”


  4. ACD 509–03, “Grievance Policy for Academic Professionals.”


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