Faculty Compensation Survey Glossary
Please refer to the following terms and helpful guidance when completing the Faculty Compensation Survey of August 2021.
- Guidance for Question #7: People who identify with the terms “Hispanic” or “Latina/o” are those who classify themselves in one of the specific Hispanic or Latina/o categories listed on the decennial census questionnaire and various Census Bureau survey questionnaires – “Mexican, Mexican Am., Chicano” or ”Puerto Rican” or “Cuban” – as well as those who indicate that they are “another Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin.”
- Salary Inversion (Question #8, #13, #14 and #18): Often the result of compression, when pay ranges overlap so that people at higher ranks may actually earn less than people at lower ranks.
- Salary Compression (Question #8, #13, #14 and #18): When there is little difference between the top salaries at an institution and the bottom salaries or little difference between salaries within ranks. Compression occurs over time as new hires come in at higher salaries and pay ranges/midpoints are not adjusted at higher levels.
- Base salary (Question #10 and #14): Raises to the base salary are permanent and cumulative.
- Performance-based system (Question #10, #13, #24, and #27): System in which individual salary increases are related to annual individual performance.
- Rank (Question #13): The idea that promotion to a higher rank should receive some monetary recognition.
- Step System/seniority (Question #13, #23 and #25): A system in which, like the civil service, employees receive a raise for every year of service
- Pay range (Question #21): A salary structure that usually has at least a minimum level for different ranks, and often a maximum pay level for these ranks.
- Target midpoint (Question #22): The expected salary of someone who is fully functioning and experienced in their role. New hires/newly promoted employees usually earn the minimum of a pay range in their rank and work their way up to this midpoint after several years. People above the midpoint have usually either been at their position for a long time or have shown exceptional merit. Target midpoints are determined by benchmarking against peer institutions and/or by other market considerations. Midpoints move periodically to reflect inflation and the market.