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LSA Staff Compensation Philosophy for Staff in the Career Family Classification System


The primary missions of the University of Michigan are:

  • Teaching — Educating students in the light of certain general educational goals
  • Research — Preserving and refining knowledge already acquired, along with the production, dissemination, and utilization of new knowledge
  • Service — Helping to define and assist in the solution of the problems of society

In support of the major missions of the University, LSA strives to:

  • Be the best liberal arts college
  • Provide staff with wide ranging opportunities for training, growth, and success

The LSA compensation philosophy aligns with University missions by providing a total compensation package that:

  • Attracts, retains, and rewards the productivity and commitment of highly qualified, diverse staff
  • Provides flexibility appropriate to the dynamic challenges facing the College
  • Helps the College compete successfully for employees with the mix of disciplines and skills vital to the achievement of University and College missions
  • Sets pay in consideration of internal University markets and as needed using similar educational, research, service organizations within the University’s resource limits
  • Is tax-effective for employees while meeting all legal, contractual, and compliance requirements
  • Is fiscally responsible.

Compensation Information

Being at a public institution, employees have access to information about compensation levels of all employees at the College and University. Compensation decisions are made at the department level in a collaborative manner. The College establishes compensation based upon a combination of how LSA values a job and the performance, knowledge, skills, and abilities that an employee brings to that job. Representatives from departments and LSA Human Resources participate in pay decisions for new hires, promotions, demotions, and transfers. The annual salary program is managed at the department level by department administrators, and LSA HR maintains administrative oversight of the program.

Under the College’s current approach to compensation, all employees in the Career Family Classification System are within the same pay structure. The current compensation system includes many levels and pay differentials between the highest and lowest paid employees. The levels and pay differentials reflect differences in employees’ skills, responsibilities, and contributions to the College.


Outside of LSA, the College considers the University to be its primary market. The College regularly evaluates how it compares to the rest of the University. In general, the College pursues a market-matching philosophy and strives to keep median salaries in LSA competitive with the median salaries across the rest of the University. While LSA strives to remain competitive with the rest of the University, the College emphasizes pay alignment or fairness within a department as well as in LSA. The College also evaluates external (non-university) pay competitiveness for unique or hard-to-fill positions.

Total Compensation

Pay is only one element of total compensation in LSA. The University provides benefits including sick and vacation time, a generous retirement savings program, and tuition support. LSA is also using other non-monetary rewards such as training, career development, and flexible work schedules.