Overall Rating Platinum - expired
Overall Score 85.29
Liaison Tonie Miyamoto
Submission Date March 23, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Colorado State University
PA-9: Employee Compensation

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Nik Olsen
Assistant Director of Administrative Communications
Office of the President
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Number of employees:
8,317

Number of staff and faculty covered by sustainable compensation standards, guidelines, or policies; and/or collective bargaining agreements:
8,317

Does the institution have employees of contractors working on-site as part of regular and ongoing campus operations?:
No

Number of employees of contractors working on campus:
0

Number of employees of contractors covered by sustainable compensation standards, guidelines, or policies and/or collective bargaining agreements:
---

A brief description of the sustainable compensation standards, guidelines, or policies; and/or collective bargaining agreements covering staff, faculty and/or employees of contractors:

Colorado State University employees are separated into two classifications: State Classified Positions and Faculty/Administrative Professional. To ensure Colorado State University provides sustainable pay, the University has instituted a wage floor of $9.31/hour for regular State Classified employees, which exceeds the state minimum wage in Colorado of $8.23/hour (http://www.hrs.colostate.edu/pdfs/state-classified-by-title-FY15.pdf). State Classified Positions are positions classified on the basis of duties and responsibilities to classes described in the State of Colorado Class Descriptions that indicate title, general duties, level of complexity, decision-making, purpose of contact, and line/staff authority. State of Colorado Classified Employment Positions are covered under the State of Colorado’s Annual Compensation Plan and are administered via the Colorado Division of Human Resources (https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/dhr/fy-2014-15-annual-compensation-plan).

The second classification of Colorado State University employees, Faculty/Administrative Professionals, is exempt from the State Classified Personnel System. Faculty and Administrative Professional compensation is determined by the University using as guidance market data, primarily from the College and University Personnel Association (http://www.cupahr.org/surveys/fhe4-tenure-surveydata-2014.aspx). The compensation interests of these University employees are represented by the Colorado State University Faculty Council’s Standing Committee of Faculty and Administrative Professionals and its Benefits Committee (http://www.facultycouncil.colostate.edu/files/manual/sectiond.htm#D.1). For a list of policies/guidelines for each employment category at CSU, please visit the HR page: http://www.hrs.colostate.edu/compensation/. Annual compensation increase guidelines for Faculty/Administrative Professional employees are defined in the Salary Increase Exercise Guidelines are detailed here (http://www.budgets.colostate.edu/docs%5CSALX%20Guidelines_FY15_2014_05_01.pdf#zoom=100).


Does the institution wish to pursue Part 2 of this credit (assessing employee compensation)?:
Yes

Number of staff and faculty that receive sustainable compensation:
8,317

Number of employees of contractors that receive sustainable compensation:
0

A brief description of the standard(s) against which compensation was assessed:

For pay rates for Faculty and Administrative Professional (categorized as University employees), the University utilizes salary data from organizations such as the College and University Personnel Association to understand market value. Within the AP framework, CSU uses Towers Watson and Mercer data to set an informal compensation standard. Internally, the Office of Equal Opportunity and Institutional Research conduct internal salary equity evaluations for Faculty, Administrative Professional, and State Classified employee groups. Colorado State University also considers the US & Denver/Boulder Consumer Price Index (http://www.ir.colostate.edu/pdf/cpi/CPI_updated_Jan_2015.pdf#zoom=100) as a sustainable compensation standard in the institution’s locality. In FY14, Faculty/Administrative Professional salary increases were set at 3%. In the same year, the US CPI change and the Denver/Boulder CPI change were 1.5% and 2.9% respectively (page 155, 2014-2015 University Fact book, http://www.ir.colostate.edu/pdf/fbk/1415/2014_15_Fact_Book_Employees.pdf).

The University holds the primary compensation guideline/standard, as outlined in the Salary Increase Exercise Guidelines, which state: “Colorado State University administers an annual process for salary adjustments that are implemented on July 1. Colorado State has a duty and responsibility to treat all employees in a consistent and fair manner relative to salary and benefit administration within the annual salary increase pool. Each unit shall develop a plan that must include a merit-driven process to guide individual salary decisions. While each department and unit must be concerned about consistency, the University must exert an effort to assure that there are no material inconsistencies between department/unit implementation of the salary exercise. Justification for all salary adjustments must be formally documented, and able to withstand independent review (page 3, paragraph 1).” These internal and external evaluations ensure that there is sustainable compensation across the campus.

However, acknowledging that there can be some debate about a fair level of compensation for lowest paid employees, CSU is in the process of implementing a Navigator Program which explicitly helps our lowest paid employees access more community resources to support them in their efforts for financial security. This program considered the assessments mentioned above, and strives to go beyond them in providing for employees at CSU.

For State Classified employees (categorized as employees of the State of Colorado assigned to work at Colorado State University), compensation is by the State of Colorado via legislation and Colorado State University does not have control of these pay rates. However, State Classified employees at Colorado State University are represented by the Classified Personnel Council , which is a multi-stakeholder representative committee and represents the interests of Colorado State University’s State Classified Employees (http://cpc.colostate.edu/) . Classified Personnel Council hosts a Legislative subcommittee that is charged with advocating for Colorado State’s State Classified employees regarding legislation that has direct impact on the State Classified employee group. Also, the Classified Personnel Council appoints a member to the Statewide Liaison Council, a network of state classified representatives from various higher-education institutions.


A brief description of the compensation (wages and benefits) provided to the institution’s lowest paid regular, full-time employees:

State-Classified minimum, midpoint, and high salaries available (for fiscal year 2015): http://www.hrs.colostate.edu/compensation/documents/state-class-by-title-FY15.pdf.

Faculty and Admin Professional compensation information is available: http://www.hrs.colostate.edu/compensation/classification-fap.html

Benefits are provided at http://www.hrs.colostate.edu/benefits/

In addition to salary and benefits, CSU also provides an Employee Assistance Program (http://www.ombudsandeap.colostate.edu/eap.aspx) and Commitment to Campus (http://facultyandstaff.colostate.edu/commitment-to-campus.aspx) program to assist all staff, but particularly our lowest paid staff, with valuable resources, discounts, and benefits that range from family counseling to legal assistance to tickets to athletic and cultural events.


A brief description of the compensation (wages and benefits) provided to the institution’s lowest paid regular, part-time employees:

Part-time employees are paid based on the following table (same for students and part-time staff: http://www.hrs.colostate.edu/compensation/plans.html. The Colorado minimum wage is $8.23 per hour (compared to federal minimum wage of $7.25). CSU part-time positions begin at $8.23 with an opportunity to advance within each job category by 10 steps as well as advance from level I up to level II, as far as level V, for some job categories.

The State of Colorado offers benefits, along with the employer premium contribution, as applicable, to State Classified employees who work at least 8 hours per month. The University’s State Classified employees are eligible for a wide array of benefits including the following insurance coverage.
• Medical (Vision and Rx)
• Dental
• Life and Accident Related Insurances
• Flexible Spending Accounts (medical and dependent care)
• Mandatory and voluntary retirement plans (PERA and the University’s 403b vendors)

In addition to salary and benefits, CSU also provides an Employee Assistance Program (http://www.ombudsandeap.colostate.edu/eap.aspx) and Commitment to Campus (http://facultyandstaff.colostate.edu/commitment-to-campus.aspx) program to assist all staff, but particularly our lowest paid staff, with valuable resources, discounts, and benefits that range from family counseling to legal assistance to tickets to athletic and cultural events.


A brief description of the compensation (wages and benefits) provided to the institution’s lowest paid temporary (non-regular) staff:

Part-time employees (including temporary staff) are paid based on the following table (same for students and part-time staff: http://www.hrs.colostate.edu/compensation/plans.html. The Colorado minimum wage is $8.23 per hour with an opportunity to advance within each job category by 10 steps as well as advance from level I up to level II, as far as level V, for some job categories.

The University offers benefits, along with the employer premium contribution, as applicable, to all Faculty, Administrative Professional, Post Doc, Veterinary and Clinical Psychology Interns of half-time or greater. The benefits include the following.
• Medical (Rx)
• Dental
• Vision
• Life and Accident Related Products
• Flexible Spending Accounts (medical and dependent care)
• Long Term Care
• Mandatory and voluntary retirement plans (PERA, DCP and the University’s 403b vendors)


A brief description of the compensation (wages and benefits) provided to the institution’s lowest paid temporary (non-regular, adjunct or contingent) faculty:

For non-regular, adjunct, or contingent faculty, the base pay per 3-credit course per semester is $4,500 and that amount can be increased based on technical skill needed to teach a course.

The University offers benefits, along with the employer premium contribution, as applicable, to all Faculty, Administrative Professional, Post Doc, Veterinary and Clinical Psychology Interns of half-time or greater. The benefit plans include the following.
• Medical (Rx)
• Dental
• Vision
• Life and Accident Related Products
• Flexible Spending Accounts (medical and dependent care)
• Long Term Care
• Mandatory and voluntary retirement plans (PERA, DCP and the University’s 403b vendors)


A brief description of the compensation (wages and benefits) provided to the institution’s lowest paid student employees (graduate and/or undergraduate, as applicable):

Student hourly employees are paid based on the following table: http://www.ses.colostate.edu/Data/Sites/2/media/pay-rates-(28-jun-2014).pdf. The Colorado minimum wage is $8.23 per hour and CSU student positions have an opportunity to advance within each job category by 10 steps as well as advance from level I up to level II, as far as level V, for some job categories.

Student benefits are available at: http://www.ses.colostate.edu/benefits and include worker's compensation, medical leave, and jury duty leave.

Nine and twelve month graduate students are compensated with a stipend program (http://www.hrs.colostate.edu/compensation/classification-grad.html). Graduate Assistants who work 10 or more hours per week receive a health contribution (http://graduateschool.colostate.edu/financial-resources/assistantships/health-contribution.aspx).


The local legal minimum hourly wage for regular employees:
8.23 US/Canadian $

Does the institution have an on-site child care facility, partner with a local facility, and/or provide subsidies or financial support to help meet the child care needs of faculty and staff?:
Yes

Does the institution offer a socially responsible investment option for retirement plans?:
Yes

The website URL where information about the institution’s sustainable compensation policies and practices is available:

We recognize that it may appear to be a data outlier for a university as large as CSU to not report contractors as part of regular campus operations. All of our dining, cleaning, maintenance, landscaping, trash/recycling, bookstore operations, etc. are self-operated and we do not have contractors on campus as part of regular operations.

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.