2021-2022 Merit Increase and Promotional Increase Guidelines

2021-2022 Merit Increase and Promotional Increase Guidelines

I. Eligibility for Consideration

To be considered for a merit pay increase or promotional pay adjustment, eligible employees, as defined below, must have been hired before April 1, 2021, be actively working on the performance period end date of May 31, 2021 (Dec. 31, 2020 for faculty), and actively working on the effective date of the merit increase (October 1, 2021).  For employees who received recent out-of-cycle pay adjustments, supervisors should consider those when developing merit recommendations.

Eligible Employees are those in the following employment categories having a full-time-equivalent (FTE) of greater than or equal to 0.50, and who are not students or temporary employees.

  • Tenure Track Faculty

  • Non-Tenure Track Faculty

  • University Staff

  • Administrative & Professional

  • Regular Part-time employees with designated FTE of greater than or equal to (>=) 0.5

II. Effective Dates of Pay Adjustments

  • Merit Increases: Oct. 1, 2021

  • Job Family Promotions/Faculty Promotions: Oct. 1, 2021

III. Merit Increase Opportunity and Basis for Recommendation

A. Overall Performance Rating

Due to last year’s economic uncertainty with future revenue sources, there was no approved merit increase opportunity. For the 2021-2022 Merit Increase opportunity, the merit recommendations will be based upon the HIGHER of the last two overall performance ratings for the last two completed performance periods.

B. Merit-Based Performance Pay

A higher-performing employee should receive a larger percentage merit increase than a lower-performing employee. All merit increases are required to be substantiated by employee performance documentation for both respective performance periods, typically the completed annual performance review. Probationary review forms and other substantiations of performance are acceptable documentation in cases of recently hired and eligible employees. It is the responsibility of each vice president, dean, director, department head or chair to ensure that documentation is on file to support the recommendations. There is no mandatory, across-the-board increase for any employee group.

C. Total Merit Increase Limit

The total of merit increases for the unit may not exceed 3 percent of the unit’s total salary base as of March 31, 2021. 

D. Exceptions Requiring Documentation and Approval: 

Exceptions to these guidelines require the completion of Exceptions Request Forms. 

  • The Auburn University Human Resources (AUHR) Compensation and Classification unit reviews all exceptions including merit increase recommendations of 0 percent, or greater than 6 percent. This is not required if employee is a recent hire, or has been, or will soon be, separated from employment.

  • The AU Human Resources Campus Relations unit reviews all forms with a 0 percent.

  • The Provost and SVP, Academic Affairs reviews all exceptions within the academic organizational structure.

  • The Executive Vice President reviews all exceptions within the non-academic organizational structure.

E. Reflecting “Full” versus “Partial” Year of Performance Activity

For those eligible employees performing for less than the full performance period, supervisors are strongly encouraged to prorate their recommended merit increase percentages, taking into account the portion of performance completed: number of months employed during the performance period -- June 1, 2020 to May 31, 2021 -- divided by 12 months. Dates pertaining to faculty performance periods are applicable to that group of employees.

IV. Promotional Pay Adjustments – Job Family and Faculty

Job Family Promotions and Faculty Promotions will be processed for FY 2021-2022. Increases for promotions are not included as a part of the total merit increases limit.

A. Job Family Promotional Pay Adjustments

  • 5 percent pay increase for each increase in pay grade.

B. Faculty Promotional Pay Adjustments

  • 10 percent increase to base salary –
    • Promotion to: Senior Lecturer

    • Promotion to: Associate Professor

    • Promotion to: Associate Clinical Professor

    • Promotion to: Associate Research Professor

    • Promotion to: Associate Extension Professor

  • 12 percent increase to base salary –
    • Promotion to: Full Professor

    • Promotion to: Clinical Professor

    • Promotion to: Research Professor

    • Promotion to: Extension Professor

V. Fringe Benefit Rates

  • Full-time: 31.0 percent

  • Part-time: 12.3 percent

  • Graduate Students: 3.5 percent


Unless otherwise noted, AAES and ACES will follow the same guidelines.


Guidelines for AUM will be distributed separately.

Last updated: 06/29/2021