Skip to content

Merit Increases Procedure

Section 400, Proc. 435
Related Forms: Salary Adjustments Due to Changing Position or Reclassification
Effective: 8/12/08


To explain the procedure for providing methods of allocating salary funds to employees.

Who is affected:

This procedure covers all eligible employees.


1. General Salary Increases

Salary increases are contingent upon state funding allocations, which may take the form of a flat amount or a percentage of base pay. Supervisors are not required to provide information to the payroll department. The increases will be automatic and in accordance with legislative directives.

2. Performance-Based Salary Adjustment

When funding is made available for performance-based increases, campus/institute administrators will develop written guidelines for their distribution. The written plan will be submitted for review and approved by the President and the Vice President for Human Resources before they are implemented. To be eligible for a performance based salary adjustment, the employee must have a completed annual performance review in his/her personnel file in Human Resources.

3. Incentive Salary Adjustments

A campus, institute or department may develop a plan for rewarding faculty and staff based on the achievement of predetermined goals. These written plans must be submitted to the appropriate campus or institute chief administrative officer for approval and then to the President and the Vice President for Human Resources for review and final approval. To affect the pay-out of an incentive salary adjustment, the requesting department must provide written documentation of the criteria to be met and how the unit has met or exceeded the goals, the total dollars to be distributed, as well as the amount of increase participant will receive. Once the pay-out is approved the unit must process an eform to adjust the recipient’s bonus. The bonus is a one-time payment that is not added to the employee’s base pay. The bonus payments will be taxed according to IRS guidelines.

4. Adjustments to Salary Ranges

Salary surveys are conducted periodically to determine whether University salaries are competitive in the marketplace. The results of such a survey may require that salary ranges be adjusted to reflect an increase in starting salary rates. If the change in a range impacts an individual employee, that individual’s salary will be adjusted so that he/she is paid at the minimum of his/her salary range.

The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.