In December 2019, the University of New Mexico engaged an external consulting firm, Huron Consulting Group, to conduct a study of UNM pay practices and compensation strategies. Huron was tasked with:
- Evaluating the University’s Compensation Philosophy to ensure alignment with leading best practices
- Conducting an analysis of pay practices common at peer institutions, local competitors and the broader marketplace
- Identifying compensation needs unique to the Health Sciences Center
- Developing resources and tools to enhance flexibility in determining employee salary levels and ensure consistency in administering equity across the University
The following webpage outlines Huron’s recommendations and the efforts underway to implement improvements to the University’s pay practices.
In July 2020, the Pay Practice Study was completed and Huron provided their findings and recommendations to University leadership. Huron’s recommendations included:
- Updates to the UNM Compensation Philosophy to better define the labor market in which the University competes for talent, as well as the market targets used to sustain a competitive stance in the labor market
- Use of tools and resources within the Division of HR to enhance market pricing activities
- Opportunities to look strategically at industry-specific factors that lead to differences in complexity between comparable positions located in the Health Sciences Center compared to Main Campus
- Enhancements to the University’s Staff Salary Structure, which will align with industry-leading practices in staff salary structure design; includes the elimination of the Clinical Staff Salary Structures and movement of all clinical positions to one primary structure
- Implementation of a Salary Placement and Equity Tool to align employee salaries with their relative qualifications and ensure consistency in administering equity Level 3 organizations
Based on these findings, the Division of Human Resources will proceed with three major initiatives: a large-scale HSC Classification Analysis project, sunsetting the Clinical Staff Salary Structure, and implementation of a new Salary Placement and Equity Tool.
HSC and Main Campus Classification Analysis
The University partnered with Huron to analyze market differences between like-positions located in different parts of the University. The essential question was, “Should two employees performing comparable work – one located at HSC and one located on Main Campus – be paid at different rates based on their respective industry market rates?”
Huron concluded that overarching structural differences were not warranted based on an employee’s location; however, greater analysis of job-based differences may demonstrate that like-positions could differ in nature, scope, and complexity dependent on whether they operate at the HSC or Main Campus.
To evaluate these possible differences, Huron is currently engaged in a classification analysis of non-clinical positions located in both the Health Sciences Center and the Main Campus. The analysis will evaluate whether differences in complexity, scope, and nature exist due to the unique business requirements of the HSC or Main Campus, and whether these distinctions necessitate new job classifications and changes in grade.
Elimination of the Clinical Staff Salary Structures
Since 2011, the University has utilized Clinical Staff Salary Structures to recognize the competitive nature of certain clinical job classifications. The Clinical Structures were based on set, incremental premiums above the primary Staff Salary Structure, as follows:
Upon evaluation, it was determined that the University could maintain a single Staff Salary Structure and slot clinical jobs based on the market-rate associated with the respective job classifications. Since the clinical structure accounts for so few classifications (less than 2% of jobs at UNM), this will ensure alignment with industry-leading practices and mitigate the administrative burden of maintaining multiple structures.
HR Compensation will work closely with departments to evaluate all classifications currently in AN, AE, BN, BE, CN, and CE grades to determine appropriate crosswalk into the Staff Salary Structure.
New Salary Placement and Equity Methodology
The University strives to attract, motivate, engage and retain talented staff to support UNM’s various missions. An employee’s salary is an important part of the University’s total rewards package and, for this reason, it is essential for managers to carefully consider how an employee’s salary aligns with their relative qualifications and ability to fulfill the University’s business needs. Additionally, managers must ensure University funds are allocated in a prudent manner that will yield the greatest benefit to UNM.
With these principles in mind, the University has commenced a pilot program to implement a new Salary Placement and Equity methodology. To support the new methodology, a Salary Placement and Equity Tool is in development. For more information on the pilot program, refer to the project webpage.
Project Implementation Status