Academic Personnel

Retention Salary Adjustments

Faculty Policy and Process


Deans and chancellors may request retention salary adjustments through the Office of the Provost via Academic HR. The request must include:

  • An assessment of the individual’s merit and value to the institution
  • The circumstances warranting a retention adjustment
  • The proposed adjustment
  • Effective date

Retention salary adjustments receive case-by-case review by the Office of the Provost. As such, additional documentation may be requested.

Generally, retention salary adjustments are expected to provide a minimum 7.5% salary increase. Individuals who receive a retention salary adjustment of 10% or greater may be precluded from merit. An individual may not receive a retention salary adjustment for  3 years from the effective date of the most recent retention adjustment.

Retention salary adjustments are prospective. Approval from the Office of the Provost must be received prior to the effective date of the salary increase. Faculty should be informed that all retention offers are contingent upon approval by the Office of the Provost.


To request a retention salary adjustment, please complete the Retention Salary Adjustment Form, upload the completed form to “Maintain Worker Documents” in Workday, and submit the request for approval through Workday.

Use the Competitive Offer Response Letter to inform faculty members of approved retention salary adjustments due to competitive offers.

Review of the proposed retention salary adjustment will take into consideration the following:

  • Request has the approval of the dean or chancellor and reflects a minimum 7.5% increase
  • The retention request was made in compliance with the required consultative processes (Faculty Code Section 24-71-B3)
  • The individual has not received a retention salary adjustment within the preceding 3 years
  • The individual is not at the rank of assistant professor entering the mandatory promotion review period
  • Request is a prospective, not retroactive, adjustment
  • The individual was determined to be meritorious in the most recent merit evaluation
  • The salary increase can be paid within existing resources and will not adversely impact the provision of client services
  • For faculty who participate in the School of Medicine practice plan, 7.5% refers to their total base salary, inclusive of UW and practice plan components

Postdoctoral Scholar Policy and Process


The UW-UAW Postdoctoral Scholars Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) states that “[f]or the purpose of retention, the Employer may enter into individual agreements at any time with Postdoctoral Scholars regarding salary increases.”  

Discretionary salary/stipend increases for postdoctoral scholars typically should occur on the appointment anniversary date, concurrent with the minimum 2% CBA-mandated increase. 

“Off-cycle” requests for discretionary retention increases may be considered in circumstances that warrant a more expeditious review. 

These discretionary retention increases are prospective and must receive approval from the principal investigator and academic unit, the respective dean’s/chancellor’s offices, and the Office of Academic Personnel prior to the effective date of the salary/stipend increase. All approvals must be received before making an agreement with an individual postdoctoral scholar.  


To request a discretionary retention salary adjustment that does not coincide with a CBA-mandated increase or with the award of extramural funding, please use the following process in Workday: 

  1. For postdoctoral scholars: Submit a request via the Request Compensation Change-postdoctoral scholars business process
  2. For postdoctoral scholar-fellows: Submit a request via the Period Activity Pay-Postdoctoral Scholar Fellow business process

The following information must be included in the comments of the Workday business process for all discretionary postdoctoral scholar retention requests (Requests will be sent back to the initiator if these items are not addressed.):

  • Effective date of increase (this must be a prospective adjustment, dated the 1st or the 16th of the month) 
  • Proposed percentage increase 
  • Justification for retention increase
  • Justification for off-cycle request
  • Academic appointing unit and dean’s office/chancellor’s office must attest that:
    • The salary or stipend increase is able to be paid within existing resources and maintained for the lifetime of the appointment
    • The discretionary retention increase does not impact the anniversary date for CBA-mandated increases
    • The individual has been evaluated as making satisfactory progress in their most recent assessment