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Compensation Philosophy


In order to attract, retain and reward qualified and diverse faculty and staff at University of the Pacific, the University has established the following formal compensation philosophy.   

The philosophy is in alignment with market trends and best practices so that compensation will be externally competitive but reasonable, while also giving weight to internal equity. All compensation decisions, however, will be within the boundaries of long-term financial sustainability and current budget constraints of the university.  

This philosophy statement applies to faculty (tenured, tenure-track and non-tenure-track) and benefit-eligible staff, and will guide contractual agreements with employees. This statement does not apply to student employees, temporary casual staff or executives. Note that executive compensation is controlled by the Board of Regents consistent with their federally- and state-defined fiduciary obligations.   

Compensation Structure 

For all faculty and staff positions, compensation-related approvals will follow established and published processes.  Human Resources will ensure that the compensation systems including policies and procedures, are legally compliant and reflect best practices.  The University is committed to openness and transparency around the compensation systems to ensure that all employees understand the principles that guide salary decisions.  Information about individual pay decisions remains confidential between the University and the individual. 

Total Compensation and Pay Positioning 

Total compensation, which includes wages and benefits (including retirement), will be targeted at the 50th percentile of relevant market. Salary ranges will be established to target the median (50th percentile) of the relevant market for each employee class.  There may be cases where an employee class may be above or below the 50th percentile if the University has strategically decided to strengthen or diminish its market competitiveness in that area. 

University of the Pacific will position base salaries to provide pay levels that are competitive in the relevant marketplace so that we may continue to attract and retain the high caliber employees vital to our continued success.   An individual’s base salary will vary based on experience, market forces, documented record of excellent performance and internal equity when compared to individuals in positions at similar levels and the needs of the University. 

Geographic cost of labor adjustments:  Salary structures for employees working at locations with a cost of labor greater than 5% more compared to Stockton will be adjusted to reflect that geographic difference based on an employee’s primary work location.   

Each employee will receive an annual review of performance.  Merit-based compensation adjustments, if available and financially-feasible, will be tied to an employee’s annual performance review.  Ideally, these merit adjustments will be added to base salary, however, in extenuating circumstances merit compensation may be in the form of a one-time payment.  

Benefit packages are important to enhance Pacific’s ability to attract, retain and reward talented employees.  Employee benefits consist of the medical and dental benefits, retirement, Paid Time Off, tuition remission, and other components of the standard benefit package offered by the University.   

In the case of tenured faculty, faculty development leave is a professional development benefit.   


Benefits at University of the Pacific will be targeted to align with those of our comparator groups for faculty and staff based on comparison markets.  The standard benefit package will be reviewed for market competitiveness every 5 years at a minimum.

On an individual basis, salaries and total compensation may exceed the median (50th percentile) of the particular labor market in order to recognize specialized knowledge/skills, exceptional recruiting and retention needs, difference in cost-of-labor markets, continuous performance excellence, or attracting  and  retaining  employees  in  areas  where  the  University  is  or aspires to be a national or international leader.

Conversely, on an individual basis, salaries and total compensation may fall below the median (50th percentile) of the market when an individual has not yet reached a full range of required competencies or has not consistently met his or her performance objectives. 

Faculty and staff pay will be regularly compared to the market median (50th percentile) on an overall basis.  

Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Provision (Effective 1/11/2016)

The university will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant.  However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is: (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor's legal duty to furnish information. 41 CFR 60-1.35(c).

Comparison Markets  

To support our stated compensation philosophy, University of the Pacific is committed to identifying and tracking the appropriate labor markets in which we compete for talent.  The breadth (national, regional or local) of the comparison markets will vary by type of position.  Relevant comparison markets for faculty will consider rank, disciplines and administrative appointments. The markets for staff positions will reflect the labor markets from which we attract employees with comparable qualifications.  

Peer higher education institutions used to benchmark salaries for most positions are defined as colleges and universities within the not-for-profit sector that have characteristics similar to Pacific.  In the case of employee classifications whose qualifications are not necessarily restricted to the higher education workforce (such as technology, finance, and marketing/communications), compensation will be benchmarked using both non-profit higher education institutions as well as the for profit sector.   

The university will maintain sets of comparator groups that are consistent with the appropriate marketplace for that type and level of position. 

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Human Resources