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Guidelines and Procedures for Professional Staff Salary Increases and Promotions

Professional Staff Salary Increases & Promotions


Promotion shall mean an increase in a professional staff member’s basic annual salary accompanied by movement to a higher salary level with a change in title. The two distinct routes for such promotions are: 

  • Vacancy Promotions: Movement to another position, either within the Department or on the campus, of greater scope and complexity resulting in a permanent and significant increase or change in the employee’s duties and responsibilities; or
  • Reclassification Promotions:  Reclassification of the employee’s existing title to a higher grade as a result of a permanent increase in the scope and complexity of function of the employee’s position.

Salary increases are increases in a professional staff member’s base annual salary associated with such employee’s defined period of professional obligation. Six types of salary increases are common for professional staff within SUNY. They include:

  • Across-the-board increases negotiated for all employees in the professional services negotiating unit that are usually calculated as a percentage of the employee’s current salary.
  • Discretionary increases from a pool of monies provided by the Chancellor/System Administration for management titles, or as a result of negotiations between the State and the professional services negotiating unit, for other professional staff titles, awarded (usually on the basis of merit and traditionally, also on the basis of inequity) in accordance with locally developed discretionary salary increase guidelines (see page 8 of this report, Specific DSI Guidelines). 
  • Promotional increases funded out of the College’s operating budget for promotions as defined and approved in accordance with these procedures. 
  • Market value based increases, funded out of the College’s operating budget for employees in critical fields where demand has caused significant increases in the market value of their specialization to the extent that we need to meet that demand to maintain their services and morale.
  • Expanding workload increases, funded out of the College’s operating budget for employees who, over time, have had their duties and responsibilities increased significantly enough to be recognized by an “in title” salary adjustment.
  • Inequity increases, funded out of the College’s operating budget, for employees whose performance evaluations are consistently high and whose salaries are below an average range paid to peers having comparable performance requirements and years of service at Purchase College, within SUNY, and/or at other comparable institutions of higher education as reflected in College, SUNY, and/or national salary surveys.

Procedures for Vacancy Promotions:

Hiring departments that have vacancies as a result of turnover, promotion or a newly created position must adhere to the following hiring procedures: 

Hiring departments will prepare and submit a Recruitment Authorization Form (RAF) to begin the recruitment process. Once the RAF has been approved by all signatories, the vacancy will be posted on the College’s job vacancy website for thirty (30) days. During the 30 day posting period all applicants (internal and external) have the opportunity to apply online for the vacancy. At the end of the 30 day posting period the Affirmative Action Officer will provide electronic access to the Search Committee to all the online applications that have been submitted for the specific vacancy. The search committee is encouraged to interview all qualified internal applicants who meet the qualifications for the job posting.

If at the end of the search committees interview process an internal applicant is chosen and approved to be hired against the job vacancy, the hiring department will prepare a Personnel Action Form (PAF) to effect the hire. 

Procedures for Reclassification Promotions and Salary Increases:

In the cases of promotional reclassifications and salary increases, the following procedures will be followed. Proposals requesting reclassification promotions or salary increases may by submitted by employees or their supervisors for review by the appropriate senior College Officer. Those recommendations receiving approval from the senior Officer will be forwarded, with identification of the funding source and approval of the Budget Office, to the Human Resources Office for analysis. Upon completion of this analysis, the Human Resources Office will forward the entire packet including a summary of the analysis to the President. Following presidential review and, if required, a review by the Budget Office, the President will notify the Human Resources Office of approval/disapproval. If approved by the President, the Human Resources Office will advise the appropriate Officer of the approval, provide an appropriate effective date, and request the preparation and submission of the Personnel Action form. If disapproved by the President, the Human Resources Office will advise the appropriate Officer of the decision. The employee will also be notified by the Office of Human Resources via the returned Request for Promotion form, which will be accompanied by a Request for Review form.

Reclassification promotion and salary increase proposals must include the following documentation:

  • a copy of the employee’s current performance program or job description. Expanded workload proposals require that all performance programs prepared since the last salary increase granted for any reason other than across-the-board or merit be included in the review.
  • a copy of the proposed new performance program or job description in which the changes in duties and responsibilities are clearly highlighted
  • an organizational chart for the professional staff member’s area which includes titles, salary grades, and salaries of all positions at, or above, the level of the position in question, as well as all positions directly subordinate to the position
  • a written statement that addresses the following
    • The impact of the new duties (i.e. does the change constitute a new position or function; do the changes clearly constitute an increase in duties and/or responsibilities; or is the employee being relieved of other former responsibilities at the same time? If other duties and responsibilities are being removed, how will they be accomplished in the future, if necessary, and what will they cost, etc.?).
    • The impact of such an approval upon professional staff throughout the College (i.e., will the increase in duties and responsibilities be obvious to them? Will it generate similar requests?).

All promotions will be accompanied by a salary increase funded from the College’s operating budget, which will result in a new salary that is not less than the minimum of the salary level for the new title.