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Compensation Project Implementation

Effective January 2021, the University of Tennessee is implementing a new classification and compensation structure.  The compensation project was completed in three phases.

Phase 1: Staff Position Descriptions

The former position description questionnaire (PDQ) was replaced with the new position description (PD) form on July 1, 2017. This form makes it easier to create and update staff position descriptions. Updated PDs for staff positions were requested in late 2017 and early 2018, which lead to the work performed in Phase 2 of the project.

Phase 2: Job Families
A statewide human resources team was appointed to review and update job families—classifications grouped by similar types of work and required training, skills, knowledge, and expertise.

Focus groups with subject-matter experts were held at each campus and institute to gain a better understanding of the roles and levels within each job family. The focus groups provided essential feedback to ensure the new and revised roles within each family are an accurate description of work. Position descriptions for regular staff were used to validate the new job family descriptions.

Phase 3: Market-Based Pay Ranges and Benchmarking
Job families were finalized, and a system-wide external market assessment was conducted and market-based pay structures were developed. Positions were assigned to job family roles and pay ranges more reflective of relevant job markets.

Resources are now available for employees and leaders online. These resources include the job family documents, market ranges, a leader toolkit, and employee FAQs. The K@TE informational session has also been deployed and can be found here: K@TE link.

Employee informational sessions will be held January 6, 2021 at 2:00 pm and January 8, 2021 at 9:00 am for employees who have not previously attended a college or divisional session, an ERC or ESC session, or other open session about the project. Employees may register for these sessions at:

Questions about the project can be directed to