UW study to reclassify jobs, set compensation structure

MADISON — A consultant will be paid up to $900,000 to conduct a two-year study at the University of Wisconsin to reclassify and set compensation for thousands of jobs.

The Title and Total Compensation Study is collaboration between the UW-Madison and the UW System, The Capital Times reported .

The two entities are splitting the cost of New York-based consultant Mercer, said Stephanie Marquis, a UW System spokeswoman.

"It is needed," said Kevin Niemi, a UW-Madison academic staff member and outreach program manager. "It's been over 30 years since we really examined our human resources system. The Title and Total Compensation Study will help us as individual employees and managers of people to understand more clearly how to advance in careers."

A June 2016 news release announcing the study said UW campuses have about 39,000 employees and thousands of job titles, which can be confusing and often aren't accurate.

Mercer will assess job duties and responsibilities, develop titles, create a compensation structure, review benefits and implement new structures. The company will also review the changes for up to four years after implementation.

"By making this investment now, we can ensure our ability to attract and retain talent well into the future," said Wayne Guthrie, UW-Madison chief human resources officer.

The study will compare UW's pay and benefits to the market rates and recommend guidelines, but the project won't examine pay increases.

Various UW employees are also working on the project. Administrators, faculty and staff from several campuses have formed an advisory council. The UW System has a steering committee with representatives from multiple campuses. Each institution also has a project team.

The study is scheduled to be completed in March 2019.