Compensation Glossary of Terms


Annual Base Pay is a regular employee's pay for their primary work assignment excluding any supplemental pay. Supplemental pay includes but is not limited to bonuses, overtime, summer salary, overload, or other additional compensation.

RIT uses external market data for salary benchmarking, including data from appropriate labor markets and peer institutions.

The primary salary surveys utilized are:

  • College & University Professionals Association (staff and faculty positions)
  • Western Management Group (staff positions only)
    • EduComp Survey
    • Collegiate Athletics Compensation Survey
  • Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce (staff positions only)

The compa-ratio compares an individual’s full time salary against the market benchmark for that position (for staff positions the wage grade midpoint reflects the market benchmark.) To determine the compa-ratio, divide the current full time salary by the market benchmark. (Note: instructional faculty salary benchmarks are based on a 9 month/40 hour per week salary.)

A compa-ratio that is greater than 100% means the individual’s pay is above the market median; a compa-ratio less than 100% means the individual’s pay is below the market median.

Labor market data for faculty and staff positions are posted on the Human Resources Compensation website.

The movement of an employee into a job that is assigned to a lower salary grade than the employee’s current job.

Human Resources facilitates a regular equity review of employee salary data to determine if there are any pay differences not explained by expected factors such as: market pay for the job, time in rank/grade, performance rating, length of service, and terminal degree (faculty). A statistical analysis is performed by an independent third party vendor with expertise in compensation.

A federal law that sets the minimum wage as well as other work rules, and guarantees overtime pay for work beyond 40 hours a week for jobs covered by the law. The law includes specific “tests” to determine whether a job will be covered by the law (“non-exempt”) or not covered (“exempt”). These tests consider job duties, not characteristics of the incumbent (such as education, experience, skills or performance).

Refers to the middle (or median) pay level in the market. Within the market, half of the employees performing similar work earn less and half earn more than the 50th percentile pay level. Consistent with RIT’s compensation philosophy, staff wage band midpoints and faculty benchmark salaries are aligned to the 50th percentile of the market.

This is the base salary that is offered at the time of hire.

Refers to the relationship of salaries among employees in similar jobs. Internal equity does not mean pay that is exactly the same for employees simply because they are in the same job title, but rather considers the similarities and differences in experience, skills, abilities and record of job performance, to ensure pay that is fair and equitable based on those factors.

Refers to the organizations and locations where RIT competes to hire employees. RIT’s labor market includes local and regional data and institutions classified as R1 (doctoral universities - very high research activity) or R2 (doctoral universities - high research activity) by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Athletic positions are generally benchmarked to athletic divisional data.

Market/exceptional performance increases may be awarded to high performing faculty and staff to help align pay to market.

Increases which are applied to base pay and are intended to recognize employee performance and move pay to or beyond the market benchmark over time.

A pay increase that occurs outside of the normal annual increase cycle.

The movement of an employee to a job that is in a higher salary grade or rank than the employee’s current job.

This term is defined in Section II of University Policy E01.0, Employee Classification and Status.

  • Staff: For each wage grade band, Human Resources compares RIT’s wage grade band  midpoint to the market data to determine if RIT’s midpoint is leading, aligned with, or lagging the market on a sustained basis. Based on the results of the analysis, Human Resources will make a recommendation to the university’s senior leadership if an adjustment to the wage grade band structure is needed. The wage band structure is assessed on an annual basis.
  • Faculty: Faculty market data by rank and discipline is assessed annually based on survey data from RIT’s peer institutions.

Salary compression occurs when salaries of lesser-experienced individuals are minimally differentiated from those of more experienced personnel. Salary compression can occur in fields where entry-level salaries rise more rapidly than salaries in general, creating compression. Salary compression is typically addressed by adjusting the salaries of more experienced employees upward to provide a reasonable spread of salaries over time.

The salary increase program is designed to reward performance and advance employee salaries consistent with RIT’s compensation philosophy. The salary increase program consists of two components: 1) merit increases and 2) market/exceptional performance increases.

The salary structure refers to a series of wage grade bands with established pay ranges. The pay ranges specify the minimum, midpoint and maximum pay levels for jobs in the wage grade band. The ranges reflect market competitive pay rates and provide appropriate salary opportunities for staff within a wide variety of levels of experience and expertise.

The movement of an employee to a job assigned to the same grade as the employee’s current job.