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Wage and Salary Administration – Non-Faculty


The University’s Wage and Salary Administration Plan is designed to attract, motivate, and retain employees. It is Delta State University’s intent to allocate funds for wages and salaries in a fair and equitable manner based on evaluations of work responsibility.


: for the purpose of this policy, this generally includes administrative and support staff and hourly employees who are working on paid appointments by the University. It generally excludes faculty, adjuncts, temporary, time-limited, graduate assistants, and student employees. For specific information on who is considered an employee, contact the Office of Human Resources.

Supervisor: An employee designated by management who exercises major supervisory functions over another employee or employees. These functions include hiring, evaluating, assigning work, and disciplining employees.


Salary and Wage Scale

In accordance with specific factors, positions are classified into salary grades and salary ranges for each grade. Delta State University has a pay schedule for all grades, and these grades are periodically revised in order to remain competitive with the pay practices of local employers and comparable benchmark universities. Actual adjustment amounts will be based on availability of funds. DSU will pay employees within the range of salaries of their job’s salary grade. Each salary grade of the classification system is structured to provide a minimum, midpoint, and maximum rate of pay.

Starting Salary

When hiring a new employee or rehiring a former employee, the hiring officer and the Office of Human Resources will determine the employee’s starting salary prior to making a salary offer. The starting salary will be based on the grade of the position and the individual’s qualifications, experience, and competencies, as well as budgetary considerations. The maximum rate in a grade is the highest rate that should be paid to an employee in that grade.

The minimum of the pay range is typically paid to employees who meet, but do not exceed, the minimum qualifications of the position. Employees may not be paid below the minimum of the pay range or the established minimum wage for the University, whichever is higher.  Starting salaries above the minimum and up to the midpoint may be considered depending on such factors as:

  • The extent to which the employee’s level of education and years of experience exceed the minimum requirements for the position.
  • Job market-related pressure on salary levels.
  • Internal equity considerations.
  • Internal budget constraints.

Starting salaries above the midpoint may be considered for individuals who have directly related unique competencies or directly related experience or education that is extensively beyond the minimum requirements of the position, as determined in consultation with Human Resources, or in cases of unusually critical market-related pressure on salary levels.  A written justification for all salaries above the midpoint must be submitted with the hire packet and be approved by Human Resources.

Internal Equity

If an employee is being hired into a department that has one (1) or more employees in the same job title, the new employee’s starting salary should generally not exceed the current salary of any employee in the department with the same job title who has comparable qualifications.  The assessment of comparable qualifications includes: experience, competencies, documented job-related performance, and education.  The assessment will be conducted by the hiring officer in consultation with Human Resources. If a new employee’s salary would create an inequity, the hiring officer must consult with his or her dean or director and Human Resources to determine appropriate salary adjustments for existing employees. Equity increases must be approved by Human Resources before the employee can be hired. Any other potential equity adjustments must be reviewed in advance by Human Resources.

Salary and Wage Increases

Annual increases in salaries and wages when available and approved by the Board of Trustees are effective July 1. Increases may be granted to all non-probationary employees who have completed the initial six months appraisal period and who are not on an extended appraisal, provided the performance evaluation indicates satisfactory job performance. If wage and salary scale adjustments are made effective July 1, employees in their probationary period may receive the salary adjustments after completion of a satisfactory probationary review. Annual increases are based on the overall merit score from the annual performance evaluation.

Promotions, Demotions and Transfers

A promotion occurs when an employee is moved to a job in a higher salary grade. Employees going from one grade level to the next should receive an adjustment of a minimum of five percent (5%) per grade increase in pay or receive the entry-level wage for the new position, whichever is greater, but not greater than the maximum rate of pay for the new grade.

A demotion occurs when an individual is moved to a job evaluated at a lower salary grade. Demotions may be due to poor performance, necessity of organization change, or developmental assignment. If an employee is put into a lower skill job due to poor performance in the higher level job, he or she will be paid at either the current pay level or prior wage rate reduced five percent (5%) per grade, or at the maximum of the lower grade, whichever is less. If an employee is put into a lower level job due to a reduction in force or a developmental assignment, the employee should be kept at his or her current salary.

A transfer occurs when an individual is moved to a job in the same salary grade as the one vacated. In the case of a transfer, no salary adjustments shall be made.

An employee must normally have completed one year of service in the current position before being eligible for transfer or promotion. The Director of Human Resources shall be the authority to waive the year requirement where circumstances indicate that an exception would serve the best interests of the University. The employee must have qualifications specified in the job description for the new position.

Non-instructional employees who are promoted and/or transfer to full-time, part-time, or time-limited permanent positions must serve a six (6) month probationary period. The probationary period is an extension of the selection process and allows time for the effective evaluation and adjustment for the promoted/transferred employee. 

Job Evaluation

All classified jobs are evaluated according to a formal, standardized plan. The Job Evaluation Committee with the assistance of the Director of Human Resources will periodically review all evaluations to ensure they accurately reflect each job’s current duties and responsibilities.

Job Reclassification

An employee may be reclassified to a higher or lower pay grade if there are significant changes in the position’s duties, responsibilities, and accountabilities.  Supervisors may request a review of a position by submitting a Job Analysis Questionnaire (JAQ) to the Office of Human Resources. The Job Evaluation Committee will review the JAQ and assign a grade level using the point-factor evaluation plan. Upon evaluation reclassification of a job to a higher salary grade may be considered as a promotion for an employee and a salary increase may be given with budgetary considerations. The Finance Department must verify funds are available, and the University President shall approve the salary increase.  In the instance where an employee’s job is reclassified at a lower salary range, the salary will not be reduced; however, future increases and opportunities will be limited by the range resulting from the reclassification. Employees have the right to request a review of the evaluation of their job. New positions will be evaluated on an as needed basis.

Standby Pay

At times employees may be required to make themselves available to work on an as-needed basis outside of their normal work hours.  Compensation for standby status will be determined by the degree to which an employee’s free time is restricted. The specific factors considered to determine if standby status is compensated are:

  • restrictions on the employee’s location,
  • expected response time to return to work,
  • number of other employees available to be called, and
  • frequency and urgency of calls received.

If employees have to leave a phone number or carry a pager but are free to leave the premises and attend to personal matters without restriction, they are not eligible for standby pay.  Employees will be paid standby pay if while waiting to return to work they are so restricted that they cannot pursue personal activities.  Standby pay rates will be determined by the Office of Human Resources.  If employees are called back to work while on standby, they will be paid at their regular rate of pay for the hours actually worked or at time and a half for any overtime that is worked.  Exempt employees are not eligible for standby pay.

Extra Compensation

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, exempt employees are not paid on the basis of the number of hours worked. Exempt employment is a professional relationship whereby employees are given the flexibility to exercise professional judgment both in how and when the work is done. They are expected to meet operational needs and are evaluated on results achieved. Therefore, exempt employees do not normally receive extra compensation for work conducted beyond the normal forty (40) hours per week. However, exempt employees may, in limited circumstances, receive extra compensation from the University for work performed outside the employee’s department. Non-exempt employees must be paid pursuant to Fair Labor Standards Act requirements, which normally means payment or compensatory time of overtime for hours worked beyond forty (40) in the work week.

Extra compensation is not intended to compensate employees for cooperative work between University departments where staff provide support for each other on an ongoing basis. In all cases, the employee’s primary assignment takes priority over the work performed for another unit.

Salaries Funded by Grants and Contracts

Staff employees whose salaries are funded by contracts or grants are subject to all the provisions of this policy and proposed salary levels and annual increases must comply with this policy.

Pay Transparency Statement

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, 41 CFR Part 60-1, requires the University to publish the following statement regarding pay transparency.  For the purposes of this rule, the term “compensation” is intended in a broad sense to include, but not be limited to, salary, wages, overtime pay, shift differentials, bonuses, commissions, vacation and holiday pay, allowances, insurance and other benefits, awards, and retirement.


Any exceptions to this policy must be approved by the appropriate Vice President and the Director of Human Resources.


Responsible Office and/or Policy Owner: Office of Human Resources






Reviewed by the Office of Human Resources:  03/08/2019

Approved by Cabinet: 04/22/2019

Revised/Approved by Cabinet: 08/22/2022