A/B Retention Salary Adjustments

The fundamental purpose of the A/B Salary Policy for Faculty Retention is to insure that sufficient mechanisms exist to support the retention of University of Washington tenured and tenure-track faculty consistent with the University of Washington Faculty Salary Policy.(1) This policy is also founded upon the principle that individual salary decisions must be based on merit assessed by a performance review conducted by faculty and administrative colleagues pursuant to the Faculty Code.  Such a policy insures that the University of Washington is able to attract and retain the best faculty.

Generally, an individual may not receive a retention salary adjustment for a period of three years from the effective date of the most recent retention adjustment.

Definitions

An A/B salary is comprised of an annual base salary with an A salary component and a B salary component.

  • Annual Base Salary: As with salary setting in general, an A/B salary must be determined by taking into account peer salaries within the institution and peer salaries of comparable faculty in the profession/discipline/field of the faculty member being retained through the A/B salary policy.  Peer salaries can be determined using data such as peer comparisons and competitive offers.
  • A Salary Component (Tenure-backed): The A component of an A/B salary is the state-committed salary support associated with tenure that is matched with an institutional expectation of teaching, research, and service contributions.(2)
  • B Salary Component (Not Tenure-backed): The B component of an A/B salary is the balance of the base salary funded from non-state appropriated sources (e.g., grants, contract, and self-sustaining).  The B component is contingent upon the faculty member’s ability to generate funding from grants, contracts, or other applicable sources.  In the event that a faculty member is unable to provide the B portion of the salary, the institution is under no obligation to provide lost funding; however, individual units may provide all or a portion of the B salary funding in relation to specific additional responsibilities assigned to the faculty member.
  • A/B ratio: At inception, the A/B ratio may be expected to range between 90/10 and 70/30.  Exceptions to this range must be approved the Dean or Chancellor of the relevant School, College, or Campus.
  • Total University Base Salary: A faculty member’s total University base salary is the combination of the A salary and the B salary components, even in cases where the B component is not funded.

Eligibility

To be eligible for an A/B salary adjustment the following criteria must be met:

  • Existing faculty must be meritorious as determined by a review of the cumulative record exemplifying meritorious performance as well as current record of meritorious scholarship and teaching as articulated in the Faculty Code.  There shall be no active allegations of violations of the standards of conduct that require institutional, state or federal review.
  • When initiating an A/B salary adjustment in order to retain a faculty member, there must be evidence of a sustainable salary source, generally shown to be a proven, documented record of independent alternative funding from grants, contracts, clinical revenue, self-sustaining academic program fees, or other sources.  Individual schools, colleges, and campuses should establish expectations for what constitutes an appropriate funding record, but at a minimum, a history of 3 years of past salary source must be evidenced.
  • The appointing school, college, or campus must have adopted a written local A/B Salary Plan.  Such plans may articulate any supplemental requirements for the determination of eligibility (e.g. departmental recapture cost recovery requirements for funding sources) and must be approved by the Office of the Provost.

Procedure

  • A/B salary adjustments must be developed on a case-by-case basis consistent with unit merit and retention determinations.
  • For faculty members with joint appointments, both the primary and secondary appointing units must concur in writing with the A/B salary adjustment.
  • Recommendations for individual A/B salary adjustments must be sent to Academic Human Resources for Provost’s Office review and approval. Supporting documentation must include a statement of the faculty member’s qualifications and merit, the retention concerns associated with the faculty member, the funding plan and evidence of sustainability, a letter of agreement signed by the faculty member, Chair/Director, and Dean/Chancellor.
  • Please cite Provost approval date in the notes section of the PERM.
  • Schools, colleges, and campuses must provide documentation at least every three years to faculty members with an A/B salary structure of the delineation of the sources of their total University base salary; a copy of such documentation shall be provided to Academic Human Resources.
  • Faculty members already on an A/B salary plan for whom the University has renewed retention concerns (generally no sooner than 3 years after most recent retention adjustment) may be considered for an additional retention salary adjustment.  Such adjustments will result in a modified A/B ratio, unless the A and B components are proportionately increased.  Office of the Provost approval is required.

Related Policy Issues

  • Responsibilities: The adoption of an A/B salary structure does not modify a faculty member’s institutional responsibilities and obligations related to teaching, research, and service.  This includes obligations related to research effort certification (See GIM 35).  Adoption of an A/B salary structure shall not adversely affect a faculty member’s ability to support graduate students, post-docs, and other staff associated with research activities.
  • Outside Professional Work Limitations: An A/B salary structure does not modify the institutional limitations on outside professional work.  The faculty member remains a full-time university employee regardless of the faculty member’s ability to fully fund the B salary component.
  • Irrevocable: The decision to adopt an A/B salary structure is irrevocable by the faculty member at any future time.(3)
  • Availability of Funding: While funding availability and evidence of sustainability are requirements for A/B salary structure eligibility, this by itself is not sufficient justification for requesting and approving an A/B salary structure.  A proposed A/B salary structure must be consistent with the purpose of the A/B Salary Policy and comply with existing UW salary policy guidelines.
  • Tenure, Promotion, and Merit: Evaluations relating to tenure, promotion, and merit must consider 100% of a faculty member’s responsibilities, regardless of funding sources.
  • Teaching Buy-outs: Research-funded teaching buy-outs will be calculated in terms of a faculty member’s total University base salary.

Other Considerations

  • Paid Medical Leave is not a basis on which to discontinue funding a B salary component if applicable funds are available.
  • Faculty on Paid Professional Leave will be provided centrally administered, state-funded support of the A-salary component consistent with the Professional Leave Policy.  The B salary component and the unpaid A salary component, when applicable, may be funded from available alternative funding sources.
  • Requests for Partial Leaves of Absence will need to address the apportionment to A and B salary components. In general, partial leaves will be proportionately applied to the A and B salary components.  For example, a faculty member on 20% unpaid leave will have both the A and B salary components reduced by 20%. However, if a faculty member seeks a partial leave from state-funded teaching responsibilities only, such a leave would be applied only to the A salary component.  A faculty member may also seek partial leave from either clinical or research activities, which may also affect the proportional reduction in salary.
  • Subsequent Annual Merit Adjustments will be applied equally to both components of the total University base salary. The A-salary adjustment will be funded from centrally administered state funds and the B-salary adjustment must be funded from the applicable alternative sources.
  • If a faculty member retires under an A/B salary structure and elects the 40% reemployment option, the total 40% maximum will be based on the total University base salary.  The portion guaranteed by the University will be based on the A-salary component.  The balance of the reemployment funding must come from other applicable alternative sources.

Additional Resources

() While not specifically addressed in this policy, the use of an A/B salary structure may also be used for the recruitment of tenured and tenure-track faculty members when non-tenure-backed resources are required to offer a competitive salary.

() Although this policy does not affect a faculty member’s permanent, indefinite appointment with the University, this policy does affect the proportion of a faculty member’s salary that is supported by state-committed funding.

() Faculty members who adopted an A/B salary structure prior to this revision of the A/B salary policy, and in their agreement “revoked” or “resigned” a portion of their tenure, will henceforth continue to have an approved A/B salary arrangement that is consistent with the terms of this revised policy.