The Staff Compensation program provides a framework for the administration of staff salaries at Middlebury.

The program serves as the foundation for ensuring consistent application of salary-related decisions that are both in alignment with Middlebury’s compensation philosophy and objectives and are in compliance with pay-related laws and regulations.


In order to fulfill its mission Middlebury maintains a compensation program directed toward attracting, retaining and rewarding a highly qualified and diverse workforce. While it is the combination of financial rewards such as: base pay, generous benefits and time off programs, professional development support, etc. as well as the intangible benefits such as family/work life balance that make up total compensation, this policy describes only the staff base pay program.


Our staff compensation program is designed to balance and address several key objectives, including:

  • Maintaining internal equity––employees will be paid similarly for similar work.
  • Maintaining external competitiveness––our overall structure will maintain a competitive market position as measured by comparing average salaries for benchmarked jobs against our defined labor markets.
  • Developing and maintaining compensation structures and strategies that respond to, and support, organizational priorities, changes, and needs.
  • Setting salaries for new employees at levels that recognize individuals’ skills and experience while considering the salary levels of current employees within the same and/or similar jobs or roles.
  • Reinforcing that all staff are valuable contributors to the mission of the organization.
  • Rewarding strong performers by emphasizing pay for performance through the annual merit increase process.
  • Being clear and understandable to all staff members.

It should be noted that a certain amount of salary variation is inherent in our system (as it is in most compensation systems). An individual may earn more or less than others in the same or similar jobs and/or more or less than the market rate for the job. Historical factors such as previous experience, education, length of employment at Middlebury/MIIS, performance over time, career moves, etc. will (and should) result in individual variation in salaries. The compensation system itself—and this policy—are designed to function as a framework establishing the parameters within which these individual salaries are administered.

Career Bands and Levels

As outlined in the Objectives, the staff compensation program is designed to promote both internal and external equity. A key tool for meeting those objectives is the grouping of jobs into 4 “Career Bands” with 13 “Career Levels” that broadly define the type and nature of work performed throughout the organization. The Band/Level structure provides a mechanism for measuring internal equity and, once implemented, functions as a framework for supporting career progression. External job market data is used to develop and maintain externally competitive salary ranges for each Band and Level; in this way the structure helps manage external equity as well.

Career Bands: Group similar jobs based on the type/nature of the work

  • Administrator: primary focus is on setting the strategic direction of Middlebury.
  • Management: primary focus is on managing employees and/or a department.
  • Specialist: primary focus is on applying professional, or highly-skilled technical or specialized knowledge requiring specific and specialized training or education.
  • Operations: primary focus is on providing administrative, customer service, mechanical, or technical support.

Career Levels: Group jobs into tiers within a Band based on level of responsibility/requirements

  • Scope of Responsibility
  • Problem Complexity
  • Autonomy
  • Influencing/People Leadership
  • Organizational Knowledge
  • Minimum Required Background/Experience

Job Descriptions

The foundation of our staff compensation program is accurate and complete job descriptions; the responsibility for the creation and maintenance of job descriptions is shared between the manager, the employee, and Human Resources. Employees and managers are responsible for periodically reviewing and updating descriptions to reflect current responsibilities. Human Resources is responsible for ensuring: the consistency of descriptions, appropriateness of titles as well as required education and experience, and compliance with regulations such as the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Job Evaluation

Job evaluations are regularly completed when new jobs are created (as part of the position request process). Jobs are also reevaluated when there have been significant changes in requirements or expectations. Jobs reviewed for appropriate Band/Level classification may maintain the same Band/Level or they may be reclassified to a higher or lower Band/Level. 

Human Resources is responsible for evaluating the correct placement of jobs within the compensation structure, taking into consideration input from the area manager(s) and (as applicable) employees. A key point is that even numerous changes in the specific duties or tasks assigned to a job may not necessarily warrant a change in Band/Level. Changes in Band/Level result from substantial increases or decreases in either: the type/nature of the work (a Band change), and/or in the amount/significance of responsibility assigned (a Level change). 

For example, a job that originally involved filing paper documents in cabinets might evolve into a job in which documents are scanned and saved electronically. While the specific tasks performed would be completely different (scanning versus filing documents) the job would still be an entry-level clerical job and so the new description would be unlikely to result in a Band/Level change. If, however, with the change from paper to electronic filing new responsibilities such as data analysis and supervision of other clerks are added, such a change would likely result in a change to the assigned Band/Level.

An important point to remember is that jobs are not reviewed according to the qualifications of the employee that happens to currently hold the job; evaluations are based on the job requirements and these may differ from the qualifications of the current incumbent. For example, in a situation in which the current incumbent happens to hold a Master’s Degree, but the job requires only a Bachelor’s Degree, it is the Bachelor’s degree that will be factored into the job evaluation.

Salary Structure

Each Band/Level combination in our system is assigned a specific salary range, based on the average market rate of the benchmark jobs assigned to that Band/Level through the Job Evaluation process. Benchmark jobs are jobs within each Band/Level that can be readily compared to the job market in terms of common characteristics, and for which market data is readily available in published market surveys. Salary ranges take into account geographic location and special market considerations. Current pay ranges structures are posted on the HR websites.

Middlebury Campus-Based Programs

The standard Middlebury pay range structure (“A” ranges) applies to most staff jobs at the undergraduate College and other Middlebury-based programs such as Bread Loaf, IPOCs, etc. A select group of staff jobs with unique salary considerations are slotted in an alternate structure (“B” ranges).

Middlebury Institute Campus-Based Programs

The standard MIIS structure (“C” ranges) is tied to MIIS- specific jobs as well as the local geographic and MIIS’s competitive salary market. A select group of MIIS staff jobs with unique salary considerations may be slotted in an alternate structure (“D” ranges) that is tied to specific and unique salary considerations as well as MIIS’s specific salary market.

Data Benchmarks

Currently the data on the external markets for benchmarked jobs is determined as follows:

  • For the “A” and “B” ranges the external market job is measured against data collected from two primary sources – The College and University Personnel Associates (CUPA) salary surveys (for higher education related jobs) using New England and national cuts and from the New England Salary Survey (for non-higher-ed-specific jobs). Additional market information may be collected from other sources when data from primary sources is not available (generally only for highly specialized or technical jobs).
  • For the “C” and “D” ranges the data is collected from The College and University Personnel Associates (CUPA) salary surveys (for higher education related jobs) using California and national cuts as well other CA specific salary surveys for non-higher-ed-specific jobs.
  • Compensation data collected is based on the local, regional, and/or national markets, as appropriate for specific jobs (local salary market information is generally collected for jobs for which we recruit locally, national market information is collected on jobs for which we recruit nationally, etc.).
  • Salary surveys are conducted on a regular basis (generally annually) in order to consistently gauge our current position relative to the external market.

Each level within a pay structure has a stated salary range minimum, midpoint, and maximum. These salary ranges are broad and overlapping to accommodate the market(s) for the varying jobs within each range.

Salary Structure Ranges and Individual Salaries

Generally all employees’ salaries are expected to be within their assigned salary ranges:

  • No employee will be paid below the minimum of the pay range assigned to his or her job unless the employee does not meet the minimum requirements of the job and is temporarily in a “trainee” status. Also, employees with current and documented performance issues may not be eligible for increases when the salary structure moves, and so may be below minimum.
  • When a salary market review results in the structure moving to keep alignment with the desired market position, employees whose current salaries fall below the new minimum of their salary ranges will generally be moved to the new minimums (see exceptions above); employees whose current salaries fall within the new ranges are not adjusted.
  • It is important to emphasize that salary levels will not be “capped” or “frozen” even if an individual reaches the top of a Salary Range. There are situations in which staff members’ salaries exceed the maximum of the range; these employees will continue to be eligible for merit increases based on performance.

An individual’s position within a salary range is based on a combination of factors, especially: previous education, training, and experience, time in current job, and performance over time. It is expected that as a result of solid performance, employees will progress through their pay ranges over time.

Maintaining the Program

The responsibilities for maintaining the staff compensation administration are as follows.

Human Resources

  • Administers and interprets compensation philosophy and policies:
  • Calculates all pay adjustments
  • Calculates all new hire salary offers
  • Administers the annual increase process
  • Monitors and evaluates compensation administration practices to ensure adherence to Federal and State laws/regulations and Middlebury’s compensation philosophy.
  • Conducts periodic external market checks including comprehensive system-wide checks as well as job or department specific checks, as needed.
  • Periodically reports compensation-related statistics to senior management.
  • Monitors our various job markets and the effectiveness of our compensation policies and practices and makes recommendations for changes to senior management.
  • Assists with the creation of job descriptions.
  • Evaluates the placement of jobs within the Band/Level structure (with input from managers and employees).

Supervisors and Managers

  • Consults with HR in the planning stages of organizational changes which have the potential to impact classification and/or compensation of current employees.
  • Ensures that job descriptions are kept up-to-date.
  • Provides input into departmental factors that should be considered when calculating hiring salaries, promotional increases, etc.
  • Monitors and documents employees’ performance using the Annual Performance Summary tool.


  • Notifies supervisor/manager of significant changes to duties (if supervisor/manager is not already aware of these changes).
  • If requested assists in the creation or revision of the job description.
  • Participates in the evaluation of own performance through completion of the self-assessment portion of the Annual Performance Summary.
  • Reports any suspected pay errors or discrepancies to Human Resources immediately.