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Office of General Counsel Policies & Guidelines

Compensation : P-043

Policy/Guideline Area

Personnel Guidelines

Applicable Divisions

TCATs, Community Colleges, Universities, System Office


The goal of the Tennessee Board of Regents is to provide all employees compensation consistent with market and satisfactory job performance. This goal is reflected within all TBR Budgets and will be dependent upon budget availability.


  • Definitions are part of the body of the Guideline, and are found in Section II.


  1. Compensation Philosophy
    1. The Tennessee Board of Regents desires to have a compensation system which is fair, equitable and accountable to the Board of Regents and the public-at-large.
      1. The Board of Regents will consider budget availability in all salary decisions.
      2. This guideline will cover compensation transactions at all TBR Institutions and the System Office.
      3. The same reportable guidelines apply to positions totally supported by restricted or auxiliary funds.
    2. Faculty
      1. Faculty salaries will be a primary objective and priority in developing and approving the overall system budget.
      2. It is the goal of the Board of Regents, within available funds, to provide competitive compensation for faculty, consistent with the market for their discipline and rank at officially recognized peer institutions and consistent with performance.
    3. Staff
      1. It is the goal of the Board of Regents, within available funds, to compensate staff within the approved compensation plan consistent with market and performance.​
  2. ​​Definitions
    1. Definitions and Human Resource Information System (HRIS) codes for salary increase categories have been provided as follows:
      1. Additional Across the Board (ATB) Increase—AATB—Increases across the board recommended in addition to state mandated ATB.
      2. Additional Bonus –One time payments recommended as an addition to state mandated bonus. (Will be reported as a group total).
      3. Additional temporary duties - Increases associated with the assumption of additional duties on a temporary basis, e.g. stipend.
      4. Athletic Increase—AATH—Principles for Compensation Increases:
        1. TBR encourages all institutions to include athletic coaches and staff as part of the compensation plan for the institution.
        2. TBR encourages all institutions to award compensation increases for athletic coaches and staff at the same time as other faculty and staff in time for the Fall Quarterly Board meeting.
        3. TBR recognizes the competitive nature of athletics. Therefore, compensation increases for head coaches, other coaches, and their staff within the same discipline may be approved as exceptions.
          1. These compensation increases are considered exceptions to the previously approved compensation guideline. The Chancellor must review and approve the increases before implementation, if the position reports directly to the President.
          2. A request for approval to pay a supplement for a winning season does not require Chancellor approval.
          3. Contracts must be reviewed by the Office of General Counsel for legality and content. Any changes in salary must be processed according to the guidelines in P-043.
      5. Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) – CPSI- Increases of 9% given upon passing of all parts of the CAP examination according to state law.
      6. Counteroffers—COFF—An offer made to retain an employee who has been offered another job. Documentation of the offer must be secured (prior to the counteroffer).
      7. Critical and Special Adjustments—CSAJ—Increases may be granted in extraordinary circumstances to retain a uniquely qualified employee where the institution is in danger of losing the employee and failing to act at this time could result in harm to the institution.
        1. Evidence of another job offer is not required; however, the president or director must document the special circumstances which justify the recommended salary increase.
        2. Special adjustment increases for employees who assume significant new job responsibilities and whose position title remains the same may be granted. Adjustments of this type are infrequent and usually relate to significant reorganizations within the campuses. The president or director must document the special circumstances which justify the recommended salary increase.
      8. Degree Certification Change Increase –DGCH—Increases for educational achievement, such as completing the requirements for the Bachelors, Masters, and Doctorate programs, or certifications designated by the campus.
      9. Equity and Market Adjustments—EQIN— Individual increases intended to mitigate an internal institution inequity or a documented, proven, external inequity.
      10. Faculty Promotions—FPRM—Increases associated with faculty promotion recommendations.
      11. Merit Increases—MERT—Increases based on the employee's job performance. Requires written documentation and an adequate plan to objectively measure the employee's performance.
      12. Non-faculty promotions – PROM- Increases resulting from applying for and being selected to fill a vacant position - or increases which are provided when an employee is assigned to a position in a different class which has a higher pay grade than the employee's previous position, and the assignment is not a result of a reclassification of the employee's existing position. A promotional appointment must occur within the guidelines in TBR P-010.
      13. Percent of Employment – CFTE-Increases attributable to an increase in the percent of time worked (such as moving from 75% to 100% time).
      14. Reclassifications –RCLS—Increases given when an employee's duties and responsibilities change and may include an appropriate salary and/or title adjustment.
      15. Technical Adjustments – OOPS—Technical Adjustments and/or omissions.  Any type of salary adjustment or omission to the previously approved salary for the employee.
  3. Procedures
    1. All reportable salary increases are subject to approval by the Board.
      1. Employees receiving a salary increase governed by this Guideline must be informed that the increase is subject to review by the System Office and approval by the Board.
      2. Salary increases are not final until approved by the Board, unless otherwise provided for in this Guideline.
    2. Institutions shall develop compensation plans approved by the Board. These plans will be updated consistent with this policy.
      1. New or revised Compensation Plans that may include merit, equity, and market increases are due to the System Office in the spring.
      2. A committee comprised of representatives from Academic Affairs, Finance, Human Resources, and the TCAT Office will review the proposed compensation plans for clarity, and internal and external equity.
      3. Once agreed upon at the System Office they are submitted to the Board Personnel and Compensation Committee for approval at the summer quarterly Board meeting.  A guide of what to include in the individual institution compensation plans is available on the TBR Human Resource website.
      4. Recommendations for institutional increases under the compensation plans are submitted to the System Office during the summer.
      5. Increases pursuant to the plans are approved at the fall quarterly Board meeting.
    3. An executive level,  Interim Action report will be provided to the Board quarterly regarding  applicable salary adjustments.
      1. Any salary increase for the following positions require System Office and Board approval:
        1. All Vice Presidents or other executives reporting directly to the President (academic, business, student affairs, etc.) including all interim appointments;
        2. Directors and chairs of the Centers of Emphasis and Excellence, including interim appointments;
        3. Any other positions which may be designated by the Chancellor.
      2. Any of the following increases require System Office and Board approval:
        1. Faculty Promotions – Included as part of the Committee on Personnel and Compensation Agenda at the Summer Quarterly Meeting.
        2. New or Revised Compensation Plans - Included as part of the Committee on Personnel and Compensation Agenda at the Summer Quarterly Meeting.
        3. Compensation Plan adjustments – Included as part of the Committee on Personnel and Compensation Agenda at the Fall Quarterly Meeting.
        4. Additional Across the Board Increases - Included as part of the Committee on Personnel and Compensation Agenda at the Fall Quarterly Meeting.
        5. Additional Bonuses - Included as part of the Committee on Personnel and Compensation Agenda at the Fall Quarterly Meeting




TBR Meetings:  Presidents Meeting May 16, 2006; Presidents Meeting November 8, 2006; Presidents Meeting February 13, 2007; Presidents Meeting May 12, 2009; Presidents Meeting August 20, 2013, Presidents Meeting May 20, 2014.

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Mickey Sheen