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Policy 4.51
Promotions & Reclassifications

Responsible Official: VP for Human Resources
Administering Division/Department: Compensation
Effective Date: March 30, 2007
Last Revision: August 02, 2018

Policy Sections:

Policy Details

A promotion occurs when an employee moves from a position in one job classification to another in a higher pay grade; the original position is left vacant, to be filled or eliminated.

A reclassification involves the classification of an existing position into a new job title and/or pay grade due to a significant change in job content. This change must be based on more than an increase/decrease in work volume and pace or the addition/deletion of minor duties. A reclassification may result in the placement of a position in a higher, lower or the same pay grade.

  • The increase is calculated on the employee's current base pay rate, exclusive of any premium pay (e.g., shift differential) or other compensation (e.g. range maximum payments).


  • The recommended guideline for a promotionl or reclassification increase is generally a 3 to 6 percent per grade salary adjustment.
  • Salaries for employees who move from one salary structure to another will be determined by evaluating the employee's credentials related to the new job.
  • In addition to number of pay grades advanced, the proposed percentage of increase may be affected by the employee’s qualifications, job performance, internal equity, position in salary range, market factors and available funding. For example:
    • Employees whose salaries are over the range midpoint of their new job may be given more conservative increases to place them appropriately in the new pay range relative to other incumbents or to the job requirements.

    • An employee who has many years of experience and is a good performer may receive a greater increase amount to maintain salary equity with more recent hires with comparable qualifications.
    • The increase must bring the employee's base pay to at least the minimum of the new pay range; however, the increase cannot result in a rate of pay higher than the maximum of the new range.

    • Increases associated with promotions and reclassifications must be authorized by the appropriate Vice President, Dean, Director, or Department Head before being processed by Human Resources.

    • An employee's performance should be evaluated six months from the effective date of a reclassification, promotion or lateral transfer; however, pay increases are not granted in connection with these evaluations. 
    • Employees who change positions during the year retain their same annual review date.

In order to manage expectations and employee relations, supervisors are advised to refrain from discussing reclassifications or promotions with affected employees until final approval by Compensation.   There are situations where a request for promotion or reclassification could be denied (incumbent lacking minimum qualifications, inappropriate classification, salary issues, internal equity, past practice, violation of policy, etc.). To expedite more unusual reclassification requests, a supervisor should explain in writing how the position is changing and send to Compensation for review.Some reclassification requests occur more routinely than others. For instance, it is common for entry level secretaries to be reclassified to senior secretaries, accountants to senior accountants, research specialists to lead research specialists. For common requests such as these, the supervisor should submit a completed Electronic Human Resources Action Form (eHRAF) to the departmental Human Resources Representative, who will review it and determine if it should be forwarded to Compensation for review.

Promotions and job reclassifications are not official until approved by Compensation and department or division leadership.

Employees should direct their questions about the promotion/reclassification process to their respective divisional/departmental HR representative.  If unsure, the employee can contact Human Resources at 404-727-7626 and staff will direct the employee to the appropriate HR contact.


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