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Update on FY 2022-23 Salary Increase Pool and Benefit Enhancements

June 30, 2022

This Year’s Salary Increase Pool and Distribution and Performance Management Process
 
The Board of Trustees approved the WPI FY 2022-23 operating budget at its meeting in May. I’m pleased to share that we have a total pool of $4.1 million, representing 4% of overall salaries, to support salary increases for faculty and staff.  Although this pool is larger than in previous years, rising inflation and costs of living present varying degrees of challenges to employees. To help address those challenges, and in the spirit of fostering equity, this year WPI will award salary increases differently; based on feedback from members of the community, we are modifying our approach to create more clarity, consistency, and equity—without additional differentiation based on performance:
 

  • 1.5% ($1.6 million) will fund the cost of promotions and salary adjustments needed to establish increased equity across the campus. Talent & Inclusion will work with academic and administrative leadership (deans, division heads, and department heads), as requested, to benchmark specific positions to assure recommendations for equity adjustments are based on market data. Individual staff and faculty will receive personalized notification of equity increases. More information about our staff promotion process will be coming soon.
  • 2.5% ($2.6 million) will fund across-the-board salary increases for staff and faculty whose performance is determined to be satisfactory or above, and who were employed at WPI before June 1, 2022. Effective October 1, 2022:    

If your salary is:

  • Less than $75,000, your raise will be 3.0%
  • $75,000 to $150,000, your raise will be 2.5%
  • Greater than $150,000, your raise will be $2.0%

 
*Promoted employees or those who qualify for an in-year equity adjustment will receive higher percentages, to be determined as outlined above, based on market data.
 
Although our annual performance evaluations are not being used to determine salary increases this year, they are still an important and valuable mechanism for managers and supervisors to provide employees with necessary feedback and identify opportunities for professional development and career growth. The performance management process also helps ensure that employee performance is aligned with the university’s strategic priorities and recognizes the value and contributions of our faculty and staff to WPI and our students. Please see more information about the performance management process and timeline for FY2022 here. 
 
Upcoming Staff Position Classification and Compensation Analysis

In addition to the benchmarking associated with our equity process referenced above, Talent & Inclusion will initiate a comprehensive review of staff position classification and compensation in the year ahead. The goal is to ensure WPI is offering competitive salaries as part of an overall commitment to fairness and equity and to help us retain our talented and dedicated employees. WPI has conducted faculty compensation studies in recent years and will plan for an update of these studies once we have completed a comprehensive review of staff positions.
 
Employee Tuition Benefit Enhancement 
 
Effective immediately 

  • The waiting period for employee tuition benefits (for tuition waiver for taking courses at WPI, and for tuition reimbursement for taking courses outside of WPI) is six months, reduced from three years.
  • Study in PhD programs is now included. 

The reduced waiting period is in response to current and prospective employee interest and influence coupled with a market assessment that showed WPI being an outlier with a waiting period far longer than the industry average of nine months. 

The inclusion of PhD program tuition remission/reimbursement for employees is another opportunity to recruit and retain employees, and to support their ongoing learning. 
 
Dependent WPI Tuition Remission Benefit Enhancement

 
Effective immediately 

  • Tuition benefits for dependent children with documented disabilities who are attending WPI will be extended to up to six years to address inequities and increase accessibility. 

Addressing the inequity for dependent children who qualify for accommodations aligns with our values and the opportunity we offer the general population of WPI students to complete their degrees in six years, ensuring that an ADA-approved reduced course load won’t negatively impact access to the tuition benefit. 
 
In all cases, employees and their dependent children must be admitted into the programs to take advantage of these tuition remission benefits. 
 
Access to Eligible Loans from 403(b) Retirement Plan Accumulations

 
Effective July 1

  • Employees can apply for 403(b) eligible loans from both the WPI-mandated pre-tax and the WPI-match contributions
  • Up to 50% of their vested account balance may be borrowed, or $50,000, whichever is less
  • Up to three active loans are allowed at any given time 

Terms will be set to follow IRS regulations in regard to repayment schedules and penalties.  Employees interested in exploring a 403(b) loan options can contact WPI benefits staff at benefits@wpi.edu or may contact either TIAA directly at 800-732-8353 or Fidelity directly at 800-642-7131.
 
If you have questions on any of the information included in this announcement, please reach out to Talent & Inclusion at talent@wpi.edu.