Key Issues

« Back to key issues

Faculty and Staff Merit Bonus Announcement

Friday, Dec. 9, 2016

Dear Colleagues,

The key to the success of any large organization is its people. This is especially the case in higher education where faculty and staff are integral to the quality of education, research and community service that we deliver as an institution. It is of upmost importance to retain and recruit exceptional talent – to take care of our employees.

There have been few state raises over the last decade and unfortunately a state salary increase planned for the current fiscal year was eliminated due to the state’s fiscal situation.

We are all challenged to think creatively and responsibly about how to balance the need to retain and recruit high quality faculty and staff within budget limitations.

Fortunately we have been able find this balance. In consultation with the rector, vice rector and my senior leadership team, I have decided to implement a 
merit-based bonus for faculty and staff in FY 2017. 

After analyzing several options, we will ask departments and units to make this a top priority and fund this one-time expense. To help units fund the bonuses, we determined that the university’s state budget cut for the current fiscal year will be taken centrally and not distributed to units. 

The merit bonuses will be considered for faculty and staff hired on or before June 30, 2016, and who have an annual performance evaluation on file. Eligible employees can expect to receive their bonuses March 31. Human Resources will be sending out detailed information in January.

The bonuses will be based on university-based salary:

Classified Staff

Performance Rating
% of salary or $ amount, whichever is greater
Achiever 1% or $1,000 minimum; $2000 maximum
High Achiever 2% or $1,500 minimum; $2000 maximum
Extraordinary Achiever 3% or $2,000

A & P and T & R Faculty

Performance Rating
% of salary or $ amount, whichever is greater
Satisfactory 1% or $1,000 minimum; $4000 maximum
Very Good 2% or $1,500 minimum; $4000 maximum
Excellent 3% or $2,000 minimum; $4000 maximum

You should also be aware that we expect an additional budget cut beginning in fiscal year 2018. The governor will introduce his budget proposal to the General Assembly on December 16. We will provide more information as soon as it becomes available. 

As next year’s university budget is considered, and despite potential state cuts, we are committed to revisiting a permanent salary increase for the 2017-2018 fiscal year. 

VCU is a university on the rise because of the excellence of its faculty and staff. Thank you for making it a priority to provide the high quality education and research that transforms the lives of our students and betters our communities.

Michael Rao, Ph.D.
President, VCU and VCU Health