Comprehensive Compensation Collaborative

Compensation is an integral factor in creating an environment that fosters the recruitment of top talent and the retention of the skilled and dedicated employees who are already part of our campus community.

With this in mind, the University of Colorado Denver launched the Comprehensive Compensation Collaborative during the summer of 2022 as a 2-year endeavor to collect market analysis on salaries and to revise our “job architecture” to allow for clearer career pathways for employees. Once completed, the information that emerges from the CCC will be shared with CU Denver leadership to develop a market-informed strategy and set priorities for compensation. It will also make visible the opportunities for career progression so that employees may continue to grow and have new opportunities within the institution.

Goals of the Comprehensive Compensation Collaborative

  • Provide clear compensation philosophy [Link is coming soon]
  • Create defined market-informed salary structure
  • Update salary administration guidelines
  • Allow for greater salary consistency across campus
  • Outline career progression opportunities
  • Identify areas and create a strategy to address compression based on equal pay for equal work act, salary equity, and changes in market
  • Demonstrate our commitment to being an Equity Serving Institution by reducing bias and credentialism in our job descriptions

Compensation: Affirming Our Employees’ Value

Market analysis for salaries within higher education is complex, requiring comparison to local, regional and national data, depending on the position. To capture salary information that is most relevant to our faculty and non-classified positions, our institution, and our urban location, Mercer Consultants was hired in April 2023 to complete market analysis, propose a compensation framework and conduct internal focus groups regarding compensation and benefits. Mercer is a global company that has significant expertise within higher education and decades-long experience in compensation research and analytics, along with a deep understanding of human resources complexities within colleges and universities.

Job Architecture: Supporting Employee Development and Retention

All University of Colorado positions live within a specific career family. Each career family consists of a gradation of professional levels:  Job Architecture: Career Families & Professional Levels.

A key component of the Comprehensive Compensation Collaborative is to create consistency across career families for like positions and to have a clear progression of experience and educational requirements within career families. Once implemented, these revised qualifications will support employee growth and retention by providing clear career pathways to ascend within the institution or to cross over into new roles that have similar requirements. By late-spring 2024, an online job library will be available on this website.

Equity in Our Job Description Templates

Every job description has been reviewed with an emphasis not just on progression, but with an intention to center equity in our position descriptions. Efforts have been made to reduce unnecessary credentialism, including allowing substitutions of experience for education in some positions. Each position description also centers commitments to inclusion, from the entry to leadership levels.

What Will Not Change as a Result of the Comprehensive Compensation Collaborative

  • Job responsibilities and tasks
  • Job group, title, code (in most cases)
  • An employee’s supervisor
  • An employee’s base pay – no salaries will be reduced, nor will they be automatically increased. Compression will be addressed through a larger strategy and priorities set by leadership based on the market analysis by Mercer and funding availability.
  • Performance/development goals
  • Benefits (including health, dental, vision insurance, state group life, retirement, etc.). Benefits are managed through CU System. Recommendations that emerge from the CCC will be shared with the system office for consideration.
  • Employee classification (university staff, classified staff, faculty, etc.)
  • Jobs will not be eliminated, as a result of the CCC project

Online JD library link coming soon.

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