NSTP — Background and Summary

Background and Summary

The UC system lags behind many peer institutions in faculty compensation. In theory, an across-the-board increase in salary scales would be the best and simplest solution; nonetheless, we can reasonably anticipate that state funds will be insufficient now and in the foreseeable future to accomplish that goal.

As a result, the UC system is attempting to develop tools to (i) prevent faculty attrition due to competing offers from other universities and industry, (ii) address dissatisfaction resulting from salary scales that lag behind comparable universities, and (iii) successfully recruit outstanding new faculty by offering competitive salaries. It is imperative that these tools not rely solely on diminishing state funds, which require us to sacrifice future recruitments to pay for current market faculty salaries.

The UC rank and step structure and the shared governance peer review process are central to the University’s excellence. New tools designed to meet the challenge of uncompetitive salaries must abide by those existing practices. Following the model of other negotiated compensation plans, the Irvine Campus (UCI) has agreed to participate in the Negotiated Salary Trial Program (NSTP). In so doing, we believe that it is a good start to begin addressing the issues identified above. The NSTP may help us achieve competitive salaries, conserve scarce state funding and, at the same time, retain our existing structure of academic review and promotion. And, because the NSTP is a trial program, it gives us an opportunity to measure outcomes and effectiveness before making it a permanent provision in the UC Academic Personnel Manual.

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Plan Summary

The NSTP is a uniformly available mechanism that enables eligible faculty to obtain additional compensation without pursuing outside offers. Under the NSTP, eligible faculty may negotiate a supplemental compensation component when sufficient, eligible external funding is available. The NSTP utilizes external fund sources to support a Negotiated Salary Component (NSC), and will not place any additional burden on the UC Retirement Plan (UCRP). The NSTP will also provide academic units with an important recruitment tool for pursuing top faculty candidates who possess eligible external funding. The NSTP will help in part, to address UCI retention and recruitment issues.

Although all faculty may not have funding sources sufficient to receive a Negotiated Salary Component, the NSTP will benefit all faculty by increasing indirect cost recovery funds (“IDC”) and reducing reliance on state funds for market-driven salary increments. The NSTP will accomplish these aims without negatively impacting any faculty member’s base salary guarantees.

The negotiation process and NSTP outcomes will be closely monitored by campus administration and the Academic Senate.

What Will Not Change with Implementation of the NSTP

The NSTP will not influence the academic review process. The traditional UC rank and step system is essential in promoting fairness and balance in teaching, research, and service responsibilities for all faculty. The NSTP will not be considered in future decisions about system base salary increases. Base salary (on-scale salary plus existing off-scale) for faculty members who participate in the NSTP will not be permanently affected.

Faculty who participate in the NSTP must meet all teaching, research and service obligations. They are likewise expected to be in compliance with all applicable University policies (including, but not limited to the Faculty Code of Conduct and Conflict of Commitment), procedures, and training requirements.

Undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral education and support remain an essential part of the UC mission. The NSTP will not reduce the University’s commitment to these essential missions, and participating faculty are expected to continue their obligations.

Faculty Participants

Eligible ladder-rank faculty who meet the criteria set forth in the UCI NSTP Implementation Procedures, who are interested in participating in the NSTP, should meet with their fund manager to discuss whether they possess sufficient funding to participate. They should also review sponsor guidelines pertaining to each fund source to ensure that the prospective use is consistent with sponsor expectations and guidelines.

Faculty participants must verify compliance with University policies pertaining to training and reporting. These policies include Sexual Harassment Prevention Education, Lab Safety, Outside Professional Activities, and the Patent Amendment. Faculty participants should also confirm compliance with all sponsor reporting requirements, including Payroll Certification, and PI reporting. To confirm the status of any of these issues, the following resources may be helpful to you:

  • Laboratory Safety. Contact your School EH&S Coordinator for assistance in clarifying regulatory requirements and to review Basic Research Requirements. At a minimum, all faculty are required to complete Laboratory Core Safety. Contact the School/Unit Campus Personnel Officer (CPO), to confirm compliance status and course completion dates.
  • Outside Professional Activities. All UCI faculty are required to report annually on Outside Professional Activities. See, APM-025, Conflict of Commitment and Outside Activities of Faculty Members and UCI Reporting Procedures for Outside Professional Activities. Consult with your departmental MSO to confirm compliance status.
  • Patent Amendment. In November 2011, all employees were notified that UC now requires all faculty, staff, appointees, visiting scholars and other relevant personnel to sign the Amendment to the Patent Acknowledgment or Agreement. If this requirement has not been met, log in to At Your Service and select “My Patent Amendment” in the far left column. Follow the instructions provided.
  • Payroll Certification. Payroll certifications are required for salaries of all employees of the University, including hourly employees, part-time employees, adjunct faculty, and students on the University payroll who are paid from federal and federal flow-through funds. To properly substantiate salaries charged directly to federally funded projects, UCI uses an annual Payroll Certification System approved by our federal cognizant agency, the Department of Health and Human Services. To determine whether records are current, please contact the relevant fund manager.
  • Sexual Harassment Prevention Education – California law AB1825 and UCI policy requires all Faculty members to complete at least two hours of mandatory training in sexual harassment prevention every two years, regardless of supervisory status. Contact the School/Unit CPO to confirm compliance status and course completion dates.

After confirming the information listed above, complete an NSTP Compensation Request, and route pursuant to the instructions on the form.

School/Unit Administrative Leadership

School/Unit Administrative Leadership – including fund managers, department managers, CPOs, Assistant Deans, Department Chairs, Senior Associate Deans, and Deans – are collectively responsible for reviewing and routing NSTP Requests for Compensation and directing faculty who wish to participate to the appropriate resources. In particular, School/Unit Administrative Leadership is responsible for ensuring that all compensation requests are carefully reviewed and vetted, that all negotiated salary obligations will be met, and that contingency fund obligations are met.

School/Unit Administrative Leadership should carefully monitor NSTP requests to ensure that all obligations continue to be met for research positions, including graduate support, GSRs, post docs, and professional research staff. Schools/Units should carefully review all proposals for conformity to good standing criteria, including fulfillment of teaching and service commitments and whether such commitments are rank/step appropriate.

Academic Senate

The UCI Academic Senate is responsible for reviewing all NSTP requests for conformity to good standing requirements. Upon review, they will provide feedback to the Vice Provost for Academic Personnel, prior to final decisions.

Executive Vice Chancellor & Provost/Vice Provost for Academic Personnel

The Executive Vice Chancellor & Provost (EVCP) is responsible for providing annual reports to help monitor and evaluate the Plan.

The Vice Provost for Academic Personnel (VPAP) is responsible for implementing the NSTP, and providing oversight to the process. The VPAP is responsible for final decision-making on all compensation requests, and for communicating decisions to faculty requestors and others, including the Dean, Department Chair/Senior Associate Dean, and CPO. Under the leadership of the VPAP and the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Personnel, the Office of Academic Personnel is responsible for providing information, updates, and tools that will assist stakeholders in utilizing the NSTP. The Office of Academic Personnel is responsible for collecting data and feedback from internal stakeholders – including faculty, the Office of Research, Contracts and Grants Administration, the UCI Academic Senate, the Budget Office, and Academic units – along with external constituents, to assist in increasing the effectiveness of NSTP.

During the NSTP review period, Schools/Units, the Academic Senate and campus leadership will be asked to provide a recommendation on continuation.

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