Classification and Compensation


Mission Statement (Role of Pay)

Portland State University views compensation as a core element of a highly competitive overall employee package that also includes generous health and retirement benefits, tuition benefits, and a supportive work environment. To this end, the University will:

  • Provide salary opportunities that are based on job responsibilities, experience, expertise, and performance. Strive to be competitive within the markets in which the University competes for talent, and promote internal equity, with consideration for the financial resources of the University.
  • Ensure understanding of the total compensation program through open, clear, and accessible communication on key components and opportunities of the program.
  • Permit the appropriate level of flexibility to accommodate all PSU staff segments and their requirements.

The compensation structure will reflect the University’s Strategic Initiatives, cost to students including access and affordability, culture of the institution, reflect our commitment to positive relationships with our employees and employee unions, and support PSU’s ability to recruit and retain professional talent in a competitive market as fiscally feasible.


Administrative stipends are allowable in recognition of special contributions/services to the university/department when all of the following criteria are met:

  • Significant and/or higher-level duties are assigned
  • AND duties are outside the normal scope of work of the employee’s applicable position 
  • AND are for a limited time period 
  • AND are performed within the regular expected working hours. (For temporary duties which require extra working hours, please review the Supplemental Wage Agreement to determine if applicable.)


  1. DISCUSSION* - With relevant VP/Dean’s Sr. Fiscal Officer and OAA
  2. SUPERVISOR - Complete form and sign (In consultation with SFO) 
  3. HR COMPENSATION TEAM - Signature approval (Requests not recommended for approval by HR will be returned to SFO and/or escalated to the VP of FADM)
  4. DEAN/VP - Signature approval (Authorizing continuation)
  5. VICE PRESIDENT and/or PROVOST - Signature approval (Authorizing increase)
  6. PRESIDENT - Signature Approval (Under limited circumstances)
  7. HR EMPLOYMENT TEAM** - Final processing

*An Administrative Stipend should neither be promised nor discussed with the employee until fully approved.

**Administrative stipends will not be processed retroactively.

Administrative Stipend Form


Special salary increases may be awarded at the full discretion of Portland State University for the following reasons:

  • Internal equity
  • Expanded duties (does not warrant a reclassification or require a new position)
  • Exceptional performance
  • Retention

Prior to completing the formal request documents the requesting supervisor should first determine if funding exists and secure general executive support for the request.


  1. DISCUSSION* - With relevant VP/Dean’s Sr. Fiscal Officer
  2. SUPERVISOR - Complete form and sign
  4. HR COMPENSATION TEAM - Signature approval (Requests not recommended for approval by HR will be escalated to the VP of FADM)
  5. RELEVANT SR. FISCAL OFFICER - Signature approval (Authorizing process continuance)
  6. DEAN/VP - Signature approval (Authorizing continuation)
  7. VICE PRESIDENT and/or PROVOST - Signature approval (Authorizing increase)
  8. PRESIDENT - Signature Approval (Under limited circumstances)
  9. HR COMPENSATION TEAM** - Final processing (Including notification to department to submit signed PD if appropriate)
*A Special Salary Increase should neither be promised nor discussed with the employee until fully approved.
**Special Salary Increases will not be processed retroactively.

Special Salary Increase Form


Overload/supplemental pay is any compensation, other than administrative stipend, paid to a faculty or staff member for:

  • Services in addition to a 1.0 salary/FTE appointment.
  • AND services are above or outside those described in the employee's position description and/or classification specification


  1. COMPLETE the form to request overload/supplemental compensation before any services are performed. Allow sufficient time for consideration by all signatories.
  2. FOLLOW the signature routing indicated below before presenting the agreement to the employee:

If all work for this employee is through one department:

Dept ⇒ Dean ⇒ Dept ⇒ Employee ⇒ HR for payment

If work is through multiple departments:

Offering Dept ⇒ Home Dept ⇒ Home Dean ⇒ Offering Dean ⇒ Offering Dept ⇒ Employee ⇒ HR for payment

Supplemental Wage/Overload Form


At PSU the pay for a position is determined by job analysis, collective bargaining agreement, internal comparators, and/or market pay rates for comparable jobs in our industry. Job Classification is when jobs are classified into an existing grade / category structure of hierarchy. Each level in the grade / hierarchy structure has a description and associated salary. Each job is assigned to the grade / category providing the closest match to the job. The classification of a position is decided by comparing the whole job with the appropriate classification / structure.

PSU Position Types

At PSU our employees are categorized by the position types. Familiarity with PSU position types is an important first step in understanding how our jobs are organized throughout the University.


In 2018, Portland State completed its Classification and Compensation Study for Unclassified/Unranked staff positions. The Academic Professionals portion of the project is ongoing. To learn more about the study and to stay up-to-date please visit our project page for the compensation study.


Revised: 07/2020