The UNC Policy Manual
Technical Corrections 09/22/21
I. Non-salary Compensation
A. Irrespective of the campus’ status regarding management flexibility in personnel, all constituent institutions and the UNC System Office shall have a policy concerning the granting of non-salary compensation for all personnel exempt from the North Carolina Human Resources Act except for the chancellor and the president. The policy shall either provide specified non-salary compensation to a defined category of employees uniformly or shall require the appropriate approval by the board of trustees, Board of Governors chancellor, or president, respectively, and as provided in this policy, regarding non-salary compensation granted to an individual employee before non-salary compensation is provided.
B. Each policy that provides specified non-salary compensation to a defined category of employees shall set out what types of non-salary compensation the campus or UNC System Office will provide, and the criteria for awarding such compensation. The awarding of non-salary compensation may be based on any reason or reasons considered relevant to attracting or retaining a faculty and staff of the highest possible quality. Decisions concerning non-salary compensation shall not be based in whole or in part upon any of the protected statuses included in Section 103 of The Code.
C. The funding source for non-salary compensation shall not be state funds, and non-salary compensation may be provided directly by an associated foundation if permitted by policy. An exception permitting non-salary compensation to be funded from State funds may be approved by a board of trustees or the Board of Governors only when permitted by the Office of State Budget and Management (OSBM). Any club membership for an employee or the granting of special campus services or benefits must be job related, and the club must have a policy prohibiting discrimination against groups protected by federal and North Carolina law. Non-salary compensation shall be appropriately reported to federal and state tax agencies.
D. The hiring approval process may include payment of moving expenses in accordance with authority from the Office of State Budget and Management. The decision of whether to include payment of moving expenses in an employment offer may be delegated no lower than the provost/vice chancellor level or vice president level.
E. Provision of housing, when occupancy of the housing is required as a part of the job, reimbursement of professional- or work-related travel, and the provision of equipment to perform the work of the position, even if used at home, including computers, cellular phones, personal data assistants (PDA), pagers and similar work-related items, are permissible and are not considered “non-salary compensation” as used in this policy.
F. Sign-on, Retention, and Performance-Based Bonus Compensation. The Board of Governors delegates authority to the constituent institution boards of trustees to administer sign-on, retention, and performance-based bonus programs for employees exempt from most provisions of the North Carolina Human Resources Act. Equivalent authorities are granted at the direction of the president to administer such programs for UNC System Office employees exempt from most provisions of the North Carolina Human Resources Act.
1. A sign-on bonus may not exceed the lesser of $25,000 or 20 percent of the annualized base salary of the new position without seeking the approval of the president or the president’s designee.
2. A retention bonus may not exceed the lesser of $25,000 or 20 percent of the employee’s current base salary without seeking the approval of the president or the president’s designee.
3. Performance-based bonus compensation awarded in a single fiscal year that exceeds either 20 percent of an individual employee’s current base salary or $50,000 must receive approval from the president and the Committee on University Personnel of the Board of Governors.
4. An employee may receive either a sign-on bonus or a retention bonus, but not both, within any 24-month period. The award of performance-based bonus compensation shall be administered independently from any sign-on or retention bonus program and shall be tied to an annual performance review for non-faculty employees and to the provisions of a written incentive compensation plan for covered faculty. Performance- based pay for clinical faculty is subject to the relevant approved clinical incentive pay plans and is exempt from these provisions. When applicable, and in accordance with Plan documents, performance-based bonus awards for Plan-eligible employees may be directed to an executive retirement plan administered by the UNC System Office, in lieu of a cash payment.
5. The boards of trustees may delegate authority to approve sign-on, retention, and/or performance-based bonuses to the chancellor and/or chancellor’s designee(s) with the exclusion of such bonuses for Tier I SAAOs, which may not be delegated. For employees of the UNC System Office, the president has authority to approve sign-on, retention, and performance-based bonuses, including such bonuses for Tier I SAAOs.
6. Institutions may establish rules to require an employee to pay back all or part of sign-on or retention bonus payments already received if the employee separates from the institution fewer than 12 months after payment of the bonus award.
7. Bonuses may be provided using either state funds or non-state funds. For State funds, such use must be permissible under the policies of OSBM.
8. Institutions must establish specific procedures for reviewing and monitoring sign-on, retention, and performance-based bonuses.
9. The president may establish guidelines for periodic reporting on these bonus compensation programs.
II. Delayed or Deferred Salary/Compensation
A. The State of North Carolina and the University of North Carolina System offer employees options for deferred compensation and insurance. Unless expressly approved by the Board of Governors, constituent institutions and the UNC System Office may not provide any other employer-paid options for deferred compensation or other delayed compensation to its employees.
B. For purposes of this policy, delayed and deferred salary or compensation shall be broadly defined to include, but are not limited to, any employer payment or contribution paid (1) directly to an employee, (2) to the employee’s account or plan, or (3) to a person acting in a capacity similar to a trustee for the employee, which is paid later than the regular or next subsequent payment cycle, except for an error that is promptly corrected upon discovery. Delayed and deferred salary/compensation also includes traditional 457 deferred compensation plans, any retirement plans or accounts, annuities, and life insurance accumulating any cash value. Delayed and deferred compensation also include both tax qualified and non-qualified plans, and any other similar form of payment, whether tax sheltered or not.
C. This policy does not prohibit a campus from making any permitted employer contribution to the Optional Retirement Program or the Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System.
III. Non-Salary or Deferred Compensation of Chancellors and President. Other than a state provided car or a car of comparable value, a chancellor’s or the president’s residence as provided for in Section 300.1.5 of the UNC Policy Manual, work related club memberships, reimbursement of moving expenses upon initial employment as a chancellor or president, and benefits uniformly provided to all employees exempt from the North Carolina Human Resources Act, only the Board of Governors may approve non-salary or deferred compensation for a chancellor or the president. The funding source for non-salary compensation for a chancellor or the president, other than that specified in this paragraph, shall not be state funds, but an exception may be approved by the Board of Governors. Club memberships may never be paid using State funds.
IV. Employees Exempt from this Policy. Members of faculty medical practice plans, such as physicians, dentists, and veterinarians, are exempt from this policy. Athletic directors and head coaches remain subject to Section 1100.3 of the UNC Policy Manual and are exempt from this policy.
V. Review and Approval. Campus policies on non-salary and delayed/deferred salary/compensation must be submitted as a part of the campus request for management flexibility to appoint and fix compensation. Campuses already granted management flexibility in personnel shall submit their policies to the UNC System Office for review. Subsequent changes to the policies must be submitted for review by the UNC System Office prior to submission to the campus board of Trustees for approval. In some cases, policies with extensive revisions will be reconsidered by the Committee on University Personnel of the Board of Governors.
VI. Other Matters
A. Effective Date. The requirements of this policy shall be effective on the date of adoption of this policy by the Board of Governors.
B. Relation to State Laws. The foregoing policy as adopted by the Board of Governors is meant to supplement, and does not purport to supplant or modify, those statutory enactments which may govern or relate to the subject matter of this policy.
C. Regulations and Guidelines. This policy shall be implemented and applied in accordance with such regulations and guidelines as may be adopted from time to time by the president.