Project Aims to Clarify Compensation Guidelines and Career Paths for APs and Staff

Project Aims to Clarify Compensation Guidelines and Career Paths for APs and Staff

By University Communications
Printer-friendly version PDF version
Allison Vaillancourt
Allison Vaillancourt
Kelly Delforge
Kelly Delforge

This is the first in an occasional series about the University Career Architecture Project. For more information and updates, visit

The Division of Human Resources has officially launched the University Career Architecture Project, which will better define nonacademic job titles, support career progression, and better match compensation practices with those used outside the University. The project will last approximately two years and is aimed at keeping the UA competitive relative to peer institutions and other organizations with which the University competes for talent.

"Given the University's decentralized structure, colleges and divisions have had significant autonomy and flexibility to define jobs and establish pay," explained Allison Vaillancourt, vice president for business affairs and human resources. "Over time, this has created more than 2,700 different classified and appointed job titles and 2,003 UA employees have a unique job title. A university of our size and scope would typically have closer to 500 unique jobs."

The goal of UCAP is to create a more straightforward and easy-to-understand career structure that supports career progression and makes it possible to match UA jobs with jobs in the external market for compensation benchmarking purposes. By the end of the project, classified staff and appointed personnel positions will be categorized by job functions and grouped into "families." For example, the information technology function may have families that include systems support, network engineering and telecommunications. Each job family level will have a market-based salary range.

Faculty will not be included in this project.

Kelly Delforge, director of human resources strategy and UCAP's project director, says the completed effort will benefit both employees and those who make hiring and pay decisions. "UCAP will provide the University and members of the University community with reputable and relevant data with which to make timely and informed decisions regarding compensation and career progression. Transparency will also be enhanced."

Vaillancourt and Delforge have been speaking with stakeholder groups throughout the University to get feedback on the approach. Several additional meetings are planned throughout the project.

A UCAP advisory council, which includes members of shared governance groups representing appointed personnel and classified staff, is providing strategic input. An external consulting firm will be used to work with the internal project team to manage the details and ensure milestones are met.

Next Steps

  • An external consulting firm will be selected and announced.
  • Updates will be posted on the UCAP website.
  • Career models for all functions and families will be developed with input from UA subject matter experts working in those fields.
  • Departments will match – or "map" – positions to the new models.
  • External market salary data will be matched to UA career models and current incumbents. This will allow the University to assess market competitiveness and salary equity.
  • Policies and procedures will be updated to maintain the new career and compensation programs so they remain competitive.

Questions or insight related to the project can be sent to

UA@Work is produced by University Communications

Marshall Building, Suite 100. 845 N. Park Ave., Tucson, AZ 85719 (or) 
P.O. Box 210158B, Tucson, AZ 85721

T 520.621.1877  F 520.626.4121

Feedback University Privacy Statement 

2021 © The Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona