University staying competitive with pay restructuring

University officials have decided to take steps to change the way they classify and pay their employees.

By changing the current staff compensation structure of more than 200 pay bands, the university aims to clarify job titles and eliminate titles that are unique to the university. The project, headed by the Human Resources Department, will take effect June 1.

The intent of the new structure focuses heavily on consistency and equality for university staff and promises that there will be no pay cuts, according to a Feb. 28 e-mail announcing the changes, written by Joe Natoli, senior vice president for Business and Finance.

“This should pacify the anxiety that people have whenever there is any change of this kind,” said Smita Kulkarni, a full-time marketing lecturer.

Natoli said in the e-mail that members of the administration compared job titles and responsibilities so that the university would be “aligned with the market and consistent across our various operations.”

Roosevelt Thomas, vice president for Human Resources, and Paul Hudgins, associate vice president for Human Resources at the Miller School of Medicine, determined after a two-year review of all staff positions that a change in the university’s current system was necessary to remain competitive in the job market.

Thomas told The Miami Hurricane the main reason why the structure is changing is because current positions unique to UM have lost their market relevance.

Other universities have also recognized the importance of a clear, cohesive staff compensation plan in recruiting and retaining staff as well as students. In 2001, the former president of Florida State University Talbot “Sandy” D’Alemberte said, “We need to address faculty salaries, not only to reward faculty who have worked extremely hard and demonstrated their productivity through excellent teaching, rigorous research and creation of new works of art. We also need to do it so that we can continue to attract the scholars who have great ideas.”

Thomas explained the importance of keeping up with competing schools, especially since UM is a very complex organization with a medical school, three hospitals, a marine science campus and more than $300 million in sponsored research.

“It is imperative that the compensation structure recognizes this complexity and the need to be competitive in like job markets to recruit and retain talented staff,” he said.

The human resources department has set up training sessions for administrators, directors, managers and supervisors, and they plan to launch a Web site so that staff can remain connected with the process.

“We are committed to making the University of Miami one of the best places to work in South Florida,” Natoli said.

Jenny Presser-Kroll may be contacted at