(Effective 12/09/2022)

The University has formal retention policies and processes for faculty as described below, and for postdoctoral scholars, which can be found on the Postdoctoral Scholar Retention page. A retention form for librarian requests can be found on the Resources page.

Faculty Retention Policy and Process Overview

The University of Washington’s Faculty Salary Policy (Executive Order 64) provides for salary increases to retain faculty who perform to the highest standards. Retentions are always contingent upon final review and approval by the provost. Units should make this clear to the candidate during negotiation and in the retention offer letter.

Retention salary adjustment options include:

  • Preemptive retention: When a faculty member is at significant risk of being recruited by another institution or organization
  • Competitive retention: When a faculty member has received an offer of employment from another institution or organization
  • A/B salary retention: When a tenured/tenure track faculty member’s base salary will be restructured to include a state-committed portion associated with tenure (‘A’ component), and a portion for which the faculty member must secure funding (‘B’ component)


In requesting a retention, the unit will have considered and confirmed the following:

  • Individual’s merit and value to the institution, and circumstances warranting a retention adjustment
  • Compliance with required consultative processes (Faculty Code Section 24-71 B.3)
  • Support and approval of the dean/chancellor
  • A minimum salary increase of 7.5% if the individual remains eligible for merit or 10% if the individual will be precluded from merit
  • Individual has not received a retention salary adjustment within the preceding 3 years
  • Individual is not an assistant professor (tenure track, without tenure by reason of funding, research, clinical dental-pathway) entering into or within the mandatory promotion review period
  • Effective date of proposed retention adjustment is prospective, not retroactive, and allows sufficient time for provost review
  • Individual was determined to be meritorious in the most recent merit evaluation
  • Retention salary increase can be funded within existing resources
  • For faculty participating in a School of Medicine practice plan, the retention increase percent is calculated against the total base salary, inclusive of UW general salary and practice plan components

As a general practice, the effective date of a proposed retention salary adjustment should be no earlier than July 1 of the following academic year. There are circumstances where exceptions to this general practice may be approved. For example, when a faculty member is considering an immediate departure from the University for a position outside of a university or college setting that will take immediate effect.


To request a retention salary adjustment, the unit:

  • Completes all fields and sections of the Retention Salary Adjustment Form (updated 6/2/2021)
  • Uploads the completed form and supporting documentation (as appropriate) to Maintain Worker Documents in Workday
  • Includes a copy of the external offer letter if the retention is in response to a competitive offer
  • Initiates the Request Compensation Change – Academic Personnel business process in Workday
  • Once provost-level review and approval is completed in Workday, the unit provides the faculty member with written notification that articulates:
    • Approved new monthly base salary and its effective date
    • Either eligibility for or preclusion from the next merit salary adjustment
    • Ineligibility for another retention increase for three years from the approved retention’s effective date
    • An expectation that the faculty member will remove themselves from consideration in current, active recruitments by other institutions/employers