Retention Salary Adjustments

The retention of nationally competitive faculty committed to excellence is central to the academic quality and reputation of the university.

To support the retention of our most outstanding faculty, guidelines exist for the judicious use of salary increases where there is an active and serious recruitment by another institution. In general, retention offers are made only in cases where faculty have demonstrated sustained academic productivity and are judged to have exceptional potential for future contributions in scholarship or creative accomplishment, teaching, and service. Unit heads should consult their deans to develop an appropriate recommendation.

Please read the Faculty Retention Salary Adjustment Policy and use the Retention Request Approval Form when considering making a retention offer.

Eligibility and Documentation Requirements

Retention requests are for faculty who are being actively recruited by other institutions, or where there is compelling evidence that a preemptive action is necessary to prevent the loss of a valued faculty member. Retention salary adjustments should be offered judiciously, and not all faculty members with outside offers will receive retention offers. In general, retention offers will be made only in cases where faculty have demonstrated sustained academic productivity and are judged to have exceptional potential for future contributions in all three areas: research (including scholarship or creative accomplishment), teaching, and service.

Departments (or other units), in consultation with the dean, associate dean, or vice president will be asked to recommend an appropriate response, if any, to an active recruitment, and to make a commitment to the financial costs. Consideration of retention salary offers should take into account such factors as

  • expected productivity and potential of the faculty member to make a significant contribution to the unit and the university,
  • the weight of evidence indicating imminent departure in the absence of a salary adjustment,
  • any previous retention increases awarded to the faculty member,
  • implications for internal equity within the unit, and
  • strategic goals of the unit, school or college, and university.

All faculty retention agreements must be approved by the provost or designee. Retention agreements must be made contingent upon the provost's approval when extending an offer.

Requests must include direct evidence of recruitment by an outside institution. One of the following supporting documents must be attached to the retention request approval form:

  • A written offer to the faculty member from another institution; or
  • Written evidence, including email or other correspondence, that the faculty member is being actively and seriously recruited by another institution, or a search firm on behalf of an institution, at a compensation level likely to exceed the faculty member’s current compensation; or
  • Other strong evidence that the institution is at imminent risk of losing a faculty member to an outside institution in the absence of a retention salary offer.


  1. Unit heads should notify the appropriate associate dean or dean (or vice president) when a faculty member is being recruited by another institution. After initial consultation with the dean or associate dean, the unit head may complete the Retention Request Approval form if they wishes to pursue retention of the faculty member.

    In addition to the completed retention request approval form, please include the following documentation:
  • Written documentation of the outside offer or imminent risk (as stated above); and
  • A written narrative describing the justification for the retention offer and/or increase. This should acknowledge any issues concerning compensation equity that may result if the increase is approved (In many cases, even when there is a competitive written offer, the university may not be in a position to match the market salary.); and
  • The department must clearly identify the funding source on the form for the salary increase or any other associated expense made in the retention offer; and
  • The faculty member's CV.

The retention request approval form and any accompanying documentation are forwarded to the dean or vice president for review and signature of approval. The signature of the dean or vice president is required on all requests.

  1. The request will be evaluated within the context of school or college as well as the university’s strategic goals. The dean (or vice president) should forward approved requests relating to instructional faculty to the Office of the Provost ( Retention requests for research faculty can be directed to the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation (
  2. The provost or designee has final approval authority on all retention requests. The Office of the Provost will notify the dean (or vice president) and department head of the decision about the request, and the offer will be extended as per normal hiring practices in that unit.

Note: The process for retention approvals for OAs can be found on the Human Resources website. At the top of the page, there’s a link to the summary, and a grid outlining all the types of position/pay actions and the various approvals required for each.