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Compensation Philosophy

TCNJ is committed to realizing its vision of becoming a national exemplar in all aspects of its operation and programs. The College recognizes that the people who make up its faculty and staff are central to achieving this objective and a vital resource for advancing its mission and values.

TCNJ seeks to recruit and retain an exemplary and diverse workforce through offering a competitive and effective compensation program, aligned with the mission and strategic initiatives of the College, with the following objectives in mind:

  • Create and enforce a compensation policy that keeps in mind the judicious expenditure of funds entrusted to the College.
  • Maintain a pay system aligned with the rules, regulations, and statutory requirements of the State of New Jersey.
  • Maintain a pay system aligned with the College’s Strategic Plan.
  • Maintain a pay system for non-unit staff that remains competitive within our relevant external markets, therefore allowing the College to recruit and retain the most qualified employees at all levels needed to fulfill our educational mission.
  • Allocate compensation in a just, equitable, and consistent manner.
  • Promote the growth, success, and recognition of the value of our employees that will in turn maintain and increase morale, reduce turnover, and instill loyalty, allowing TCNJ to become an employer of choice in our region.
  • Encourage growth and career development through skill acquisition and cross-training opportunities.
  • Maintain a pay system that pays particular attention to equity patterns across protected groups; pro-active in its consideration for market segments projected to experience critical talent shortages; and takes leadership to transcend any of the discipline and historical market-based patterns of inequality.

College policies and regulations with respect to compensation will follow our statement of philosophy and flow from our foundational objectives of:

  • External Competitiveness
  • Internal Alignment of Jobs
  • Individual Contributions
  • Administration

TCNJ desires to provide compensation that is competitive in appropriate labor markets to attract and retain talent with the experience and skills sets necessary to further its mission. At TCNJ, “competitive” generally means the median of each relevant labor market. However, this objective may vary from time to time based on strategic initiatives. Because TCNJ is mission driven and places accessibility and academic quality as key priorities, the level of compensation cannot put TCNJ at a disadvantage  with respect to the tuition, facilities, and educational resourcs at institutions with which it competes for students. TCNJ acknowledges that it competes in many different labor markets, and these markets vary by discipline, division and/or career focus.

The appropriate institutions against which the College benchmarks its compensation are the institutions against which it currently competes and aspires to compete for students, faculty, and staff. For staff positions, market data is derived from reputable published surveys that present competitive salary data by location, industry and other factors. When comparisons are made with peer or aspirant peer institutions, consideration will be given to differences in perceived academic quality, and the cost of living associated with the locations of these institutions.

Internal Alignment of Jobs

It is the intention to provide compensation for faculty and staff that is both competitive with appropriate external markets and equitably based on job responsibility.

For faculty, within each structure, there are a limited number of grades or classifications. Generally, only one job title is associated with each classification. For staff, multiple job titles are assigned to each salary band. Objective criteria are used to assign staff jobs to appropriate bands. The objective criteria for assigning staff jobs to grades are developed and maintained by Human Resources. Each classification or band in each structure has a range of pay associated with it whereby the midpoint of the range is considered to be roughly equivalent to the median of the appropriate external labor market.

Individual Contributions

TCNJ strives to hire faculty and staff within their appropriate band or classification at a level of compensation appropriate to their experience, qualifications, skills, and credentials. Market factors and available budget, combined with position requirements and the College’s needs are instrumental in setting an individual’s starting salary within a classification or band.

Salary progression occurs via promotions to positions of higher classifications or bands and through annual salary increases, where applicable based on funding. TCNJ seeks to place faculty and staff in the appropriate quartile of their respective salary band upon hire based on experience, skills, and credentials and to move them through their applicable bands based on performance, and available funding.

The College will assist employees with developing their skills and qualifications to facilitate advancement within their field.


Human Resources is responsible for maintaining competitive and equitable staff compensation structures in accord with the above mentioned philosophy and objectives.

TCNJ will communicate clearly the compensation policies, structures, and performance criteria in an open process. Additionally, the College will strive to administer the plan in a competent, consistent, and impartial manner.

Gregory Pogue, DBA
Vice President
Office of Human Resources
January 16, 2012