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Base Pay Objectives & Guidelines


  • Pay administration guidelines are used to help make base pay decisions that are consistent with Stanford’s Compensation Philosophy and Guiding Principles.
  • The guidelines are to ensure consistent pay administration.
  • Exceptions to the guidelines are subject to Dean/VP or designee approval.


  • Base pay is designed and delivered to be consistent with the competitive market pay range based on skill, expertise and contribution/performance as well as the internal value of the job.
  • Base pay increases are used to maintain competitive pay levels for those performing at an acceptable level, as well as recognize outstanding performance.
  • Promotional increases are used to reward significant growth in responsibility, accountability, knowledge, skills and expertise.
  • Pay administration promotes management ownership of and accountability for the base pay program.
  • Pay administration guidelines are transparent and consistent.

Overall Parameters/Guidelines

  • Base pay may not be below the range minimum for the grade except in rare situations.  Exceptions are reviewed and approved by the organization’s Dean/VP or designee and local HR manager. Base pay should be at the range minimum or above if performance is satisfactory.
  • Base pay may not be above the  range maximum for the grade except in rare situations. An exception can be made to provide a merit increase to reward and recognize outstanding performance. Exceptions are reviewed and approved by the organization’s Dean/VP or designee and local HR manager.
  • Individuals within the employment trial period are not eligible for a pay increase or bonus based on merit.  Base pay adjustments for other purposes (e.g., equity; market; bringing to grade minimum; to correct/adjust a starting salary), or “spot bonuses,” may be warranted, even if the employee is in his or her trial period. Managers should work with their local HR manager on these unique cases.
    • Salaries of these individuals may be reviewed upon completion of the trial period.