Cherry Blossoms

Competitive and pre-emptive offers

Dean's Office contact: Divisional Dean

When a faculty member receives a formal competitive offer or when a pre-emptive offer is being considered, the chair must notify the Divisional Dean to discuss an appropriate response. After a response is approved, the chair may negotiate directly with the faculty member. Experience shows that retention success is closely tied to the chair's efforts.

The Handbook states that the faculty of each academic unit shall document biennially the level of consultation, if any, they deem necessary before competitive salary offers may be made.

Retention guidelines. 

Because the College shares significantly in the costs of retention, the standards for making retention offers must be high.

  1. The individual must have both an outstanding academic record and a major impact on University programs and colleagues consistent with rank and experience.
  2. The individual needs to have above-average merit evaluations in recent reviews.
  3. The competitive offer must come from a comparable institution or department. Response is unlikely to offers from institutions of significantly lesser reputation, even if the offered salary is higher. A response is usually not made to offers from industry or other non-academic employers.
  4. Consideration is given to the length of time since a previous retention offer was made. University policy requires a minimum of three years between retention offers.
  5. The department must approve the making of a retention offer, following departmental guidelines.

Amount of retention offers

  1. College practice is to target a new salary halfway between the current and proposed salaries, unless equity considerations justify a larger salary.
  2. Departments are expected to contribute an above-average merit raise in the next allocation, unless the merit raise is 2% or less. The actual percentage is determined annually.
  3. Other elements involving one-time funding will be provided through a combination of departmental, College, and University resources.

Making a retention offer

  1. The department will follow its adopted procedures to approve the request for a retention offer. Then the following materials are sent to the Dean's Office for review:
    • A copy of the competitive offer letter, or a letter from the chair outlining the circumstances that might lead to a pre-emptive offer;
    • The chair's statement in favor of retention, giving the department's response and addressing the retention guidelines listed above;
    • The faculty member's curriculum vitae and copies of student and peer teaching evaluations for the past three years.
  2. The materials are reviewed by the Divisional Dean and Dean, and a decision is made concerning the retention offer.  When details of the offer are finalized, a draft of the response letter to the faculty member must be reviewed in advance by the Divisional Dean and Ivy Mason (see Competitive offer response sample).
  3. Once the offer has been accepted by the faculty member, the unit must request a compensation change in Workday.  In addition to the request, the Retention Salary Adjustment Form (and/or the A/B Retention Salary Adjustment Request for A/B retentions only) must be uploaded to Maintain Worker Documents in Workday.
  4. A salary counteroffer will not take effect until the faculty member declines the competitive offer in writing, and this decision must be in hand in time for the salary increase to be processed (normally sixty days). The salary counteroffer is normally made effective at the beginning of the next academic year.
  5. When the negotiations are completed and the faculty member has submitted his/her decision in writing, the department must complete the form Report of competitive offer and submit it, with attachments, to Julianna Jones.  (If not sent at the time, the form must be received by early September.)

For more information, see the AHR website.