CLAS Salary Guidelines (January 2021)

To: Departmental Executive Officers
From: Erin Herting, Director, Business and Financial Administration, Kari Gates, Interim Senior HR Director
RE: CLAS Salary Guidelines (January 2021)

E-mail this article

For purposes of understanding this memo, please note the following:

The University of Iowa operates on two distinct salary increase cycles and each college/division has determined the cycle in which they may provide adjustments. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences operates on a January 1 cycle.

For the January 1, 2021 cycle, CLAS will not be issuing salary increases to Faculty or Staff, including staff who are grant funded.  Please see the guidelines below for additional information regarding annual salary increases and lump sum pay policies.

Guidelines associated with this announcement

  • Colleges and divisions with employees funded by multiple orgs should coordinate with the appropriate business officers as early as possible so as not to delay an administrative area’s ability to finalize budget-related decisions.
  • The FY 21 P&S salary scales are the same as the previous fiscal year. These are available on the Pay Plans Directory.
  • Fringe Benefit Pool Rates for FY 21 are available on the Current/Projected Fringe Benefit Rates site.
  • Transactions for classification changes, career advancements and market adjustments will not be processed in January 2021. Processing will resume in February 2021.
  • The minimum salary for Postdoctoral fellows and scholars remains $52,704. Therefore, at this time, no salary adjustments should be necessary. Please visit the Postdoctoral scholars salary site at for any questions. 

Salaries on Sponsored Research

  • Costs of compensation are allowable on grant funded research to the extent that they satisfy the specific federal requirements of OMB Uniform Guidance, and that the total compensation for individual employees:
    • (1) Is reasonable for the services rendered and conforms to the established written policy of the institution consistently applied to both Federal and non-Federal activities; and
    • (2) Follows an appointment made in accordance with the institution rules or written policies and meets the requirements of Federal statute, where applicable.
  • Reasonableness. Compensation for employees engaged in work on Federal awards will be considered reasonable to the extent that it is consistent with that paid for similar work in other activities of the non-Federal entity, for example, employees paid using general allocation funds.


Special Compensation Options


Colleges/Divisions will have the option to award a lump sum payment to faculty in lieu of or in addition to an adjustment to their base salary.

Colleges will be allowed, within their budgetary limitations, to provide promotion increases, counter offers to retain highly valued faculty and similar critical adjustments on a case-by-case basis.

The special compensation “Faculty Discretionary Merit Pay” workflow form type is available in the HR Transaction system. Departments and colleges can use this workflow form to give faculty a lump sum payment in lieu of or in addition to a base salary increase. Funds 500/510 cannot be used to fund lump sum payments. Please see the complete “Faculty Discretionary Merit Pay” guidelines listed below.

  • Eligibility: All regular faculty and institutional officers
  • Purpose: Lump sum payment that is in lieu of or in addition to a base salary increase
  • Justification: Brief description required in the Remarks section on the workflow form
  • Frequency: January 1st or an alternative date (once per fiscal year)
  • All Faculty lump sum merit pay must be approved by the Area Associate Dean.
  • Faculty Discretionary Merit pay must be funded with departmental Center for Advancement funding or unrestricted 240 funds.

P&S and Merit Staff

The University will continue to utilize the Board approved non-recurring exceptional performance pay policy for P&S staff. These payments should be both selective and reflective of the University’s economic circumstances. Achievements recognized by these awards include activities such as completion of a major project, sustained exceptional performance, outstanding productivity and revenue generation.

The general requirements for Flexible Pay are found here:

  • All regular, Professional and Scientific and SEIU employees are eligible for an exceptional performance award.
  • All regular, Professional Scientific, SEIU and Merit employees are eligible for a SPOT Award.
  • Flexible Pay may be awarded at any time during the year.  
  • All Flexible Pay awards must be approved at the Organizational level. If an award is to be paid in any part by 500 or 510 funds, UI Compensation and Classification will route the transaction to Grant Accounting so they may review the payment request at the time an award is submitted for final approval.
  • Flexible Pay will be awarded in the form of a lump sum payment that is not added to the base salary.
  • Departments will be responsible for funding Flexible Pay awards.
  • Departments must use Center for Advancement or non-restricted 240 funds for flexible pay awards.
  • All awards must be approved by the Area Associate Dean.