Compensation Study FAQs

View our frequently asked questions (faqs) regarding our Compensation and Total Rewards Study below.

1. What is the goal of the compensation study?

The goal of the compensation study is to compare UofL’s jobs to the same or very similar jobs in the market to ensure that UofL's jobs represent competitive pay levels. Once the study is complete, UofL will develop a new pay structure, and jobs will be placed in grades that represent current competitive market rates.

2. Will this study be conducted by internal staff or by an outside firm? If it is an outside firm, how will the firm be selected?

The study will be conducted by an outside consulting firm that has extensive experience in compensation studies in higher education. An RFP was released in late October 2020 with responses received in November 2020. Nine members of the W3 subcommittee have been charged with reviewing the responses and selecting the firm UofL will use to collect data. We anticipate a selection being made by late January/early February 2021.

3. When will the study start and how long will it take?

The study will begin as soon as the consulting firm is selected, and contract signed. Studies such as these typically take 18 to 24 months to complete. A significant portion of this timeframe is determined by how long it takes HR to receive updated (staff) job descriptions.

4. If the compensation study finds some employee's salary grade higher than the market, will UofL lower the employee's salary grade to be in line with the market grade?

No, in the event the compensation study shows a market position at a lower salary grade, UofL will not lower the salary.

5. Who will the consulting partner use to compare UofL's pay levels to see if they meet the market standards?

One of the first tasks for our consulting partner will be to work with our senior leaders to: 1) develop a compensation philosophy; and 2) identify the benchmark (or comparator organizations) that they believe are the most appropriate comparators. Because we are such a diverse university, there will be more than one comparator, and could be different comparators for faculty versus staff.

6. Will the study bring employee pay up to market levels and correct any inequities?

The study is the first step in the process. It will identify where UofL’s jobs are below the competitive market. The next step is to look at actual employee pay versus the market, taking into account employees’ education and experience. The study will also identify any gender and/or race inequities that need to be addressed. A plan of action will be developed to correct any identified inequities. Any adjustments will most likely occur over a period of a few years.

7. Job reclassifications are going to stop during the compensation study, is this going to have an effect on our department?

Job reclassifications will be discontinued from the time we provide job descriptions to our consulting partner until the study is complete and an action plan approved. It is important that the job documentation we provide to the consultant remain unchanged while the analysis is being conducted. In those rare circumstances when a compensation review is necessary, we will work with leaders to ensure no interruption to business.

8. When are job descriptions due to HR?

Updated job descriptions for the compensation study must be uploaded to Cardbox no later than March 1, 2021.

10. What if I need help with writing a job description?

The HRBP team conducts HRtalks via MS Teams on how to write job descriptions, or there are former HRtalk videos on the HRtalks website. You can also contact the with any questions you have about job descriptions.

11. Will UofL employees be informed about the progress being made with the compensation study?

Yes, you can go to the Compensation and Total Rewards Study website to review any updates regarding the compensation study. You will also receive notifications via email and UofL Today.

12. Why are clinical faculty excluded from the compensation study?

School of Education clinical faculty are included in the survey. School of Medicine clinical faculty are excluded because a portion of their salary comes from UofL Health and they are contract employees who are governed by different compensation rules outside of the university. Those salaries are increased based on market data and number of new patients they see each year. If you are unsure of your eligibility to be included in the survey, contact

If you have further questions about the compensation and total rewards study, contact the .