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Faculty Salary Equity Placement Method

Office of Origin: Human Resources; Academic Affairs 
Responsibility: Executive Director, Human Resources; Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs
Original Date Adopted: 7-1-09 
Dates Reviewed: 8-23-11, 7-9-18, 9-13-21, 12-01-21 
Last Date Board Approved: 9-25-18, 10-26-21 

The Lake Michigan College (the College) Equity Salary Placement Method (ESPM) is intended to: 

  • provide an objective base salary placement for newly hired faculty,  
  • be used as a basis for annual salary progression, and  
  • to adjust the Level placement of current faculty when the faculty attains new academic credentials or earns additional credit hours toward an advanced degree. 

Faculty are responsible for providing complete documentation, including transcripts, certificates, licenses, and information needed to verify and evaluate previous employment. All academic course work must be verified by official transcripts.  

Faculty employed in grant-funded positions are not placed according to ESPM. If a grant-funded faculty position is later funded by the College, the faculty’s credentials will be evaluated at that time and they will be placed as a new hire.  

Evaluation of credentials and the determination of placement is the responsibility of the Placement Committee, which will include the Dean of Accreditation, Planning, & Quality, the supervising Dean, the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, an Education Association officer, and the Executive Director of Human Resources or Human Resources Business Partner. 

ESPM has two components, both described in further detail below: 

  • Level based on academic credentials will be used to determine Level placement on the Faculty Pay Grid.  
  • Step will be determined based on teaching experience plus other relevant experience where applicable and/or required. 

Level Placement 

The Faculty Pay Grid has 12 Levels based on academic credentials and continued professional development relevant to the teaching assignment(s). The Levels are:  

Level Level Name Years of Experience
1 Associate 5
2 Associate plus 60+ 5
3 Baccalaureate -
4 Baccalaureate plus 15-29 -
5 Baccalaureate plus 30 -
6 Master's -
7 Master's plus 15-29 -
8 Master's plus 30+ -
9 Master's plus Master's -
10 Master's plus Master's plus 15-29 -
11 Master's plus 60+ -
12 Doctorate -

Level Placement Guidelines 

  1. Academic credentials and any additional credit hours must be earned from an institution accredited by an accreditation association recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (e.g., the Higher Learning Commission.)  
  2. Quarter-hour credit conversion to semester credit hours is at the rate of two semester credit hours for three quarter hours (2/3 multiplied by the term hours) unless a different valuation is indicated by the granting institution. 
  3. Approved vocational certifications (e.g., Journeyman certification) can be equated to one Level increase and may be used only once. 
  4. One credit hour may be granted for every 30 contact hours of participation in continuing education workshops or seminars in the individual's subject area if that participation meets the following requirements:  
    1. "Continuing education” must be the learning of new information, not the sharing of one's expertise. Examples of experiences that may NOT be counted as continuing education include volunteer teaching, guest teaching, consulting, reviewing for a publisher, etc. 
    2. One Continuing Education Unit (CEU) is defined as 10 contact hours of participation in an organized continuing education experience under responsible sponsorship, capable direction, and qualified instruction.  
    3. Participation in a workshop or seminar must have prior approval by the supervising Dean and the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs. New hires must have workshops or seminars evaluated by the Placement Committee. 
    4. Individuals must present formal certification of successful completion of the activity to the supervising Dean. CEU’s, Michigan Nursing Association (MNA) units, or other formal documentation is preferred. Contact hours in attendance at professional conferences, lectures, etc. will be counted only for those activities that meet CEU criteria. 
    5. If CEUs are not available, the individual may submit a written report of the activity for review by their supervising Dean that includes hours participated, purpose, objectives, and the specific outcomes completed or gained relevant to the work assignment. Approved hours of activity will be converted to CEU equivalents per 4b above. 
    6. Undergraduate courses, including retraining coursework, may be counted toward continuing education on a contact hour basis with the prior approval of the supervising Dean. One semester hour's credit may be counted as the equivalent of 16 contact hours (1.6 CEU). 
  5. For existing Faculty, application for new Level assignment will be handled in accordance with the Labor Agreement between the College & the Education Association.  

Step Placement

ESPM has 17 equal Steps for each Level. Each Step represents one year of higher education teaching experience plus other relevant experience as defined in this policy. 

No more than one year of experience will be counted in any calendar year (i.e., experience such as overload, summer school teaching, or part-time teaching at a second institution performed concurrently with full-time teaching employment will not be counted as additional experience).  

Any higher education experience counted must be at an institution holding accreditation recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.  

For Step placement, credit for prior teaching experience is limited to a maximum of seven years, while credit for prior non-teaching experience is limited to a maximum of six years. Maximum normal Step placement is Step 13. 

The Placement Committee may recommend to Human Resources that the College award additional Steps above a new hire’s normal placement for prior experience, special skills, additional degrees, or other factors (e.g., market driven position) relevant to the position for which the individual is being hired. Annual movement on the Faculty Pay Grid determines future wages.  

In evaluating concurrent experience, the equivalency method most favorable to the individual will be used.  

Years credited for all types of experiences (teaching, relevant work, administrative) will be totaled and rounded down to a whole number.  

After initial placement, the Faculty will receive credit for additional years of experience at the College only for those years for which they receive a "Satisfactory" performance rating.  

Step Placement Guidelines 

Placement on a Step will be determined as follows: 

  1. Full-time higher education teaching or librarian experience will be counted one year for one year. 
  2. Relevant experience acquired during exchange teaching or sabbatical leave will be fully credited upon approval of the Placement Committee. 
  3. Part-time teaching experience: 
    1. Adjunct teaching, teaching fellowships, and teaching by graduate students will be equated to yearly experience (i.e., 30 contact hours or equivalent equals 1 year).  
    2. Undergraduate teaching will only be counted if directly relevant to the individual’s primary teaching assignment and will be equated to yearly experience (i.e., 30 contact hours or equivalent equals 1 year) and then divided by half. 
    3. This part-time teaching experience will not be counted unless it is at least one full year in total. 
  4. Academic research and teaching assistantships relevant to the teaching assignment may be counted fully or fractionally depending on the nature of the experience. 
  5.  Student tutoring will be counted only if it is directly relevant to the individual’s primary assignment. Credit granted will be the average weekly hours for the entire academic year divided by 40 and then divided by 2. 
  6. Relevant full-time industry/corporate teaching or librarian experience will be counted one year for one year. 
  7. Non-teaching experience must be full-time and directly relevant to the individual's main teaching assignment and will be equated as follows: 
    1. Higher education academic administrative experience will be counted one year for one year.  
    2. Industry, business, public service, or military experience will be equated at one-half.  

Appeal Procedure 

An individual may appeal their placement as follows: 

  1. After submitting a written request to the Executive Director, Human Resources for a hearing within 30 working days of receipt of the placement result, an individual may meet with the Placement Committee to present additional documentation and/or explain any special circumstances. 
  2. The hearing will be held within 10 working days from receipt of the request. The Placement Committee will render a decision within three working days. 
  3. The individual may appeal the decision of the Placement Committee to the President within 10 working days. The President will render a decision within three working days. 
  4. The decision of the President will be final. A written rationale will be sent to the Executive Director, Human Resources, the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, the supervising Dean, and the individual. 

Faculty Qualifications policy 
Education Association Agreement 


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