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Penn State finishing overhaul of staff job classifications, pay scales

Old Main administrative building
Emily Reddy
Old Main administrative building

Penn State has been in the process of modernizing how it classifies and sets the salaries of its staff since 2020, and that project is nearing completion.

The Compensation Modernization project means new job categories and pay ranges for Penn State staff. Staff were told their new salary grades in January. And, according to the university, they’ll get a notification in March confirming the adjustment process has been completed. Staff will be able to see their finalized profile, level and salary in late March.

Not all staff have been happy with the changes. But the university defended the new system.

"Following with trends in the market, our new job profiles reflect the minimum qualifications a candidate should have if they were to be hired into a given job profile," a spokesman said in an email. "These minimums characterize the job, not the current incumbent’s qualifications."

According to the university, no employees will get pay decreases because of the change.

But some staff will see pay increases. Exactly how many is unknown at this point.

"Because this work is in progress, there is no clear answer on what percentage of staff will see increases," the spokesman said.

According to the university, it is investing a total of $60.2 million in the initiative. That includes $17.6 million to bring all staff pay into the new salary grades, and $42.6 to increase select staff salaries. The funding, according to the university, "is meant to recognize the performance, skills and experience of current staff and transition employees into the new pay grades."

Anne Danahy