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Retention salary adjustments

(Updated 02/13/2024)

The University of Washington’s Faculty Salary Policy (Executive Order 64) provides for salary increases to retain faculty who perform to the highest standards. In general, the process described below may be used for all academic personnel unless otherwise prohibited or provided for, such as in a collective bargaining agreement.  The retention process for postdoctoral scholars can be found on the Postdoctoral Scholar Retention page.

Retention Overview

Retentions require review and approval by the provost unless otherwise provided for in a collective bargaining agreement. While a unit can negotiate terms with the candidate, the negotiations and draft retention offer letter must make clear the retention is subject to final approval of the provost.

Retention salary adjustment options include:

  • Preemptive retention: When an individual is at significant risk of being successfully recruited by another institution/organization and the unit can demonstrate the individual is being actively pursued.
  • Competitive retention: When an individual has received an offer of employment from another institution/organization, or when sufficient evidence indicates an offer is imminent.


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

  • Individual’s merit, contributions to the institution, and circumstances warrant a retention adjustment
  • If the candidate is a faculty member, the unit followed the consultative processes of Faculty Code Section 24-71 B.3
  • Support and approval of the dean/chancellor
  • If precluding from the next merit increase cycle, that the proposed retention increase is at least 10%
  • Individual has not received a retention salary adjustment within the preceding 3 years
  • Individual is not entering into/under mandatory promotion review
  • Proposed effective date is prospective, not retroactive, and allows sufficient time for institutional review
  • Individual was determined to be meritorious in the most recent merit review
  • Retention salary increase can be funded within existing resources
  • For candidates with a practice plan, the retention increase percent is calculated against combined UW general salary and practice plan components (X+Y)


Units must complete the following steps when requesting and processing a retention salary adjustment:

  1. Complete the Retention Salary Adjustment Request form
  2. Prepare a spreadsheet – by running the Workday report R0401.2 (Academic Personnel Appointment and Compensation Details) – to provide the following information for all departmental employees at the same academic rank and in the same academic track:
    • 1.0 FTE monthly base salary
    • Year of highest degree conferral
    • Years in rank at UW
  3. Submit form, spreadsheet, and evidence of external offer (competitive) or external interest (preemptive) to; upon provost decision, the Office of Academic Personnel will sign the form and return it to the unit.
  4. Upon provost approval, provide the retention candidate with written notification that articulates:
    • Approved new monthly base salary and effective date
    • Eligibility for or preclusion from the next merit salary adjustment
    • Ineligibility for another retention increase for 3 years from effective date
    • An expectation that the retention recipient will remove themselves from current external consideration
  5. Process the approved retention in Workday by initiating the Request Compensation Change – Academic Personnel business process and loading the signed Retention Salary Adjustment form into Workday.