Compensation Philosophy, Goals, Principles and Administration

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Philosophy

Rhodes affirms that one of its greatest assets is its employees. Without the dedication, loyalty, and commitment to service of its faculty and staff, Rhodes could not provide the level of teaching excellence exemplified by selective national liberal arts colleges nor could it provide the administrative, technical, and professional support required for its academic mission.

Rhodes supports its employees by providing a positive working environment, opportunities for personal and professional training and development, and a competitive compensation program, consisting of both salary and fringe benefits. At the heart of its philosophy for the compensation program is the remuneration of employees through a competitive compensation package in exchange for performance of all assigned responsibilities in an exemplary manner, consistent with the high standards of the College.

Rhodes Compensation Goals:

  • To attract and retain highly qualified employees with the required education, experience and skills necessary to achieve the College’s mission;
  • To compensate employees at a level consistent with comparable market benchmarks for institutions of higher education or other appropriate job markets for similar skills, responsibilities, educational qualifications, and working conditions:
    • For higher education related positions, the market is based on salaries of peer institutions.
    • For all other positions, the market is based on the local, regional, and/or national markets, depending on the position.
  • To maintain internal equity for all employees performing similar functions based on the requisite knowledge, skills, complexity, autonomy, experience, contacts, scope, and decision-making or supervisory responsibility required to perform those functions;
  • To set salaries for new or vacant positions at market levels that recognize skills, experience required for the position while considering the salary level of current employees within the same or similar positions.
  • To recognize superior performance and to encourage development of qualifications that enhance the employee’s potential;
  • To comply with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations;
  • To be fiscally responsible.

Fringe Benefits

Rhodes College designs and delivers an array of benefits to provide employees with health, retirement, and other work-related benefits to address their differing needs. The College expects employees to be informed about their benefits, to make benefits choices wisely, and to understand and accept the implications of their choices.

Guiding principles of the fringe benefit program include the following:

  • Flexible options for employees to choose the benefits that best meet their needs and preferences and are responsive to their own life events.
  • Benefits that are competitive with those of similar employers.
  • Benefits are funded through a combination of employee and College contributions, in a way that supports mutual fiscal responsibility.
  • When legally possible and fiscally prudent, the College will design benefits that enable employees to take advantage of tax-related savings.
  • Provision of information and counseling to help employees make educated choices about their benefits.

Rhodes College is committed to providing a set of core benefits including health care insurance and retirement support. The costs of these core benefits should be shared between the College and the employee and retiree.

Currently, the College provides at no cost, additional benefits to full time benefit eligible employees, such as term life insurance and long-term disability insurance.

The College may also offer benefits, such as supplemental life insurance, dental insurance, and AD&D when it is able to leverage the size of the College’s employee population to provide savings for employees. The employee will contribute the full cost for voluntary participation in these supplemental benefit programs.

Market considerations, fiscal prudence, or regulatory demands may cause the College to change its compensation and benefits practices. Employees should be aware that their benefits may change over time as a result of college policy decisions.

Financial Exigency

The College will always pursue the compensation program goals in accordance with its overall fiscal position. Nonetheless, during periods of exceptional institutional fiscal difficulty, the College recognizes that there may be unique circumstances where pay adjustments are desirable for certain employees when the failure to do so poses strategic risks to the institution. While not guaranteed, the College will make every effort to accommodate unanticipated needs as budget resources allow while respecting the goals of the program. Requests for pay adjustment based in large measure on “market” benchmarks are generally considered insufficient grounds for such adjustment unless the College can ensure internal equity across divisional lines for similarly ranked positions.

Salary Administration

Pay Period. All Rhodes employees are paid biweekly. In case a regular pay day falls on a holiday, the checks will be released on the last banking day preceding the scheduled pay day.

Overtime. Overtime must be authorized in advance by the employee’s supervisor. Overtime is paid at time and a half for all hours worked over 40 hours in the designated work week.

Special Compensation Payments for Staff. Any stipend or compensation in addition to regular salary for staff members must be submitted in writing and approved in advance by the Director of Human Resources and the Vice President for Finance and Business Affairs. The approved written request and justification must be attached to the Personnel Action Request (PAR) processed by Human Resources.

Staff members with an Exempt job classification may not receive additional payments for performing duties during the normal work day. This includes time worked outside of the employees’ regularly scheduled work hours. With prior approval, employees with an Exempt job classification may receive additional payments for duties performed outside the employee’s regularly scheduled work hours if the duties are considered materially outside the scope of their regular duties.

Non-exempt employees will receive “comp” time for any approved hours worked beyond their normal work schedule and at their regular job duties unless additional hours cause them to exceed 40 hours a week. In this case, the employee will be paid at his or her overtime rate for the hours over 40.

Rarely, and only with prior approval from the Vice President for Finance, non-exempt employees may be compensated at different hourly rates for work outside their normal work week schedule (e.g. nights or weekends), if the duties and responsibilities are materially different than those duties required of their current job. However, hours worked under this exception will not exceed 2½ hours per week in excess of the normal 37.5 hours in the weekly pay cycle and will be paid to the employee, not banked as compensatory time.

Supplemental Pay. Supplemental Pay is defined as additional pay for assuming temporary new duties and responsibilities in addition to those currently required of the job description. Such pay can be provided to an employee who is assigned materially different or significant additional duties and responsibilities on an interim basis for a limited period of time (i.e. temporary supervisory duties due to organizational change, vacancy or leave of absence). Requests by a supervisor for supplementary pay for an employee taking on additional duties may be considered but must be approved in advance by the Director of Human Resources and Vice President for Finance and Business Affairs. Supervisors must consult on the appropriate amount and duration of supplemental pay with the Director of Human Resources. Only after supplemental pay has been approved may the matter be discussed with the employee.

Special Compensation Payments for Faculty. Requests for special salary payments such as grant payments, stipends through the Meeman Center or any additional compensation over and above the employee’s budgeted salary, must be approved by the Dean of the Faculty and submitted to the Director of Human Resources on a Personnel Action Request Form (PAR). The department will generate the PAR form and forward it to Human Resources by noon on the payroll Friday preceding the desired payroll date. Any PAR forms sent to Human Resources after the deadline will be processed on the subsequent payroll.

Non-Employee Compensation. Requests for payments to non-employees of Rhodes, such as visiting faculty honoraria, athletic officials, piano tuners, etc., must be forwarded to the Finance Office for payment. Requests should include a form W-9 with the recipient’s social security number and address. IRS form 1099 will be issued annually to all non-employees earning $600 or more at the College.

If the non-employee is a Foreign National, contact the Finance Office as soon as possible to ensure that the service provider can receive U.S. payments for services.

Payroll Deduction. Deductions from each employee’s gross pay period earnings are of two types: mandatory and voluntary. Mandatory deductions are those required by law or to maintain compliance with other regulatory agencies. Such deductions may include federal income tax withholding, social security, wage garnishments, wage earners, and child and/or family support. After written authorization, voluntary reductions will be made for such items as retirement annuities, Section 125 “pre-tax” deductions, United Way, contributions to the Rhodes Annual Fund, or various College-sponsored voluntary benefits. Once an employee’s resignation is received in the Human Resources Office, effective with the next payroll, any outstanding debt owed must be repaid.

Direct Deposit. Employees may have their pay checks automatically deposited in checking or savings accounts at any bank of their choice by completing an authorization form. Authorization forms are available in the Human Resources Office and online at: Direct Deposit Form.

Disruptions. If the work of the College is stopped or is disrupted by an act of God (e.g. earthquake, flood) or other reasons, the College is not obligated for salaries or compensation but will make every effort to meet these obligations depending on the financial position of the College.

Revised December 1, 2011.
Revised December 11, 2007.
Revised March 13, 2007.
In effect April 26, 2004.
Vice President for Finance and Business Affairs.