NEW! FAQ 9/25/14 pdf_icon


If you have questions that are not addressed below please email them to:

Enter the search term :


What is a “benchmark” job?

  • A benchmark job is a job commonly found in the marketplace that is used as a reference point for making pay comparisons.  Pay data for these jobs are readily available in published salary surveys.  A full glossary of terms is available on the COMP 2014 Project website (

What processes were used during the COMP 2014 Project?

  • The process that was utilized is documented on the COMP 2014 Project website.  Compensation, as well as your HR Liaisons, are also available to discuss the process.

Why are we doing this?

  • OHIO can only fulfill its mission through people who are dedicated, hardworking and continually learning and growing. Compensation, classification and performance management are the human resources processes that are directly aimed at helping employees achieve their career potential at OHIO.   

    The University is continually evolving, and it is necessary, from time to time, to ensure that these processes are sound, well-documented, and understood by employees and their managers.

Will I get a pay raise?

  • That mainly depends on available funding. But when there is funding for salary increases, your opportunity for a raise will be dependent on the job you do, and how you perform your job. This project initiative will not necessarily result in raises for employees.

Why change the compensation system?

  • The University’s compensation structures for Administrative/Professional and Classified employees have not been updated in several years. The Compensation 2014 Project is being implemented to develop a market-based compensation structure that reflects both the external and internal value of University jobs.

Who is impacted by the new compensation system?

  • The project, which covers approximately 1800 employees, will impact our current administrative/professional and classified employee pay plans.  It does not impact faculty, employees covered by collective bargaining agreements, or Post Doc Researchers and Limited Term Researchers pay. 

Will all positions that were at a certain level under the old compensation system be at the same grade in the new system?

  • Not necessarily. Positions will be assigned to grades in the new system based on market data. As part of the project, Ohio University will obtain the market data from surveys of comparable positions among our peer higher education institutions. We will also look at market surveys of positions in general industry where appropriate. Some positions that are at the same level in the old compensation system will be in different grades in the new system. Importantly, no one’s pay will be reduced as a result of their position being placed in the new compensation system.

Will any jobs been reclassified from non-exempt to exempt or vice versa as part of this process?

  • An FLSA review will be conducted as part of the project.As a result it is possible that a position's FLSA exempt/non-exempt status may change.It is important that the University be in compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

What is an FLSA classification, and how is it determined?

  • The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law that requires employers to pay covered non-exempt employees at least the federal minimal wage and overtime pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek. For a position to be exempt from the FLSA, the employer must demonstrate that it falls within one of the specific exemptions. Decisions on whether a position is exempt from the FLSA are not reflective of the employee’s value to the University, but rather are based on the nature of the job duties performed.

Is there a difference in pay opportunity if you are exempt versus non-exempt?

  • Non-exempt employees must document their time and are paid overtime for hours worked beyond 40 in a week.

Will my title change?

  • One goal of the new system is to align job titles with both the market and higher education institutions of our size and type. We also want to provide consistency in titling across the institution. This will more clearly outline career paths and help Ohio University recruit needed talent to advance its mission.

Will any salaries decrease as a result of this implementation?

  • The new Compensation System will not result in a reduction of pay for any employee, but it is possible that future base pay growth will be limited if an employee is already very highly paid for the work performed.

Will this impact my pension plan?

  • No. The new compensation structure will not change the retirement plan under which an employee is currently covered.

How will the structure be maintained in future years? How often will a comprehensive market review be completed?

  • UHR will review the structure annually based upon market trends, and the financial circumstances of the University. Comprehensive market reviews should generally occur every 5 years, or as needed based upon changes in the marketplace.

Market Pricing

What does market and market pricing mean?

  • Market pricing is the process of reviewing published survey data to determine the competitive salary rate paid for similar benchmark jobs at other organizations. Market refers to an external group of employers and organizations used to determine competitive salary data.

What types of markets were used?

  • Ohio University will define our market as part of the Compensation 2014 Project.  The plan will be to utilize both general industry and higher education markets to determine competitive salaries. In some instances, only higher education data may be used. In other instances, only general industry may be used. In many cases hybrid data (both general industry and higher education) will be utilized. The Office of Institutional Equity, in consultation with the Compensation Project Team and Sr. Leadership, will assist in designing our peer group.

Will the market analysis include benefits competitiveness?

  • The focus of the project will be compensation competitiveness, rather than benefits competitiveness.

Position Descriptions

What is a Position Description?

  • A Position description is a document that clearly lays out a job's duties and requirements.

Why are Position Descriptions important?

  •  Position descriptions are important because they document the essential functions and requirements that are associated with each position at the University. Having this information available in a consistent format facilitates analysis and ensures greater accuracy in many important activities, including:

     Position Classification (to ensure that positions are assigned to the appropriate salary grades)

     Market Pricing (to assist in determining the competitive rate of pay for the job)

     Performance Evaluations (to ensure that the employee and supervisor have a clear, shared understanding of the position’s responsibilities and requirements)

     Recruiting (to help identify the most appropriately qualified candidates and provide new hires with a clear understanding of the responsibilities and requirements)

How was the Position Description format developed?

  • The new format was developed through a collaborative effort between University Human Resources and Mercer Consulting (an outside firm that specializes in working with higher education institutions).

Why does Ohio University use Position Descriptions?

  • The Position Description is used to collect information for all positions


     Existing (with or without an incumbent)

     Exempt (Salaried, Administrative Staff)

     Non-Exempt (Paid Hourly, Classified Staff)

    Position Descriptions allow the University to make informed hiring decisions by developing recruiting strategies that clearly outline to applicants their role and responsibilities.

Who will be responsible for writing position descriptions?

  • Each planning unit will designate a representative(s) to manage the position description process for their unit. These representatives will be responsible for ensuring that current, accurate and complete position descriptions are written for all staff members within the department.

How will position descriptions be kept current?

  • Reviewing the position description should become part of the annual performance evaluation. By incorporating the review into this existing process, maintaining current position descriptions should be fairly easy.