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Salary Administration Glossary

Below is a list of frequently-used terms regarding RISD salary administration. While not exhaustive, the list provides a good foundation to help you better understand the terms and process.

25th%: Also known as the first quartile. Typically, starting salaries of those new to a role or with the minimum required experience fall within this percentile of the market data for their position.

50th%: Typically represents the average rate paid to a group of individuals who meet all of the qualifications of the position, and whose background and experiences allows them to be fully functioning in all aspects of the role at RISD.

75th%: Also known as the third quartile. Salaries for employees who are expert (or seasoned) in the role and bring significant skills and experiences beyond what is normally required in the position may be placed in the third quartile.

Externally Competitive: RISD targets its average salaries to be at the average salary level, or 50th% of employees in comparable positions within our various peer labor markets. External pay equity exists when RISD employees are rewarded fairly in relation to those who perform similar jobs in other organizations, companies, and institutions.

Exempt: A salaried employee who earns at least $684 per week and who holds a position that satisfies one of the respective FLSA tests regarding the content of the job duties. Exempt employees are not eligible for overtime pay.

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA): Also known as the “Wage Hour Law.” FLSA is a federal law that prohibits oppressive child labor and establishes a minimum hourly wage and premium overtime pay for hours in excess of a specific level (time and one-half after 40 hours per week) for all workers engaged in, or producing goods for, interstate commerce.

Internally Competitive: Jobs internally at RISD are grouped and paid similarly for similar functions, accountability, knowledge, and skills required. Jobs of similar nature will be grouped in salary grade structures based on their relative internal level/position.

Maximum: Typically the highest wage paid for jobs within the salary grade.

Midpoint: The average wage paid in the external labor market for all like classified positions within the salary grade.

Minimum: Typically the lowest wage paid within the salary grade to a new employee with limited experience in this specific position.

Non-Exempt: An hourly employee who earns less than $684 per week or who does not meet one of the exempt categories by satisfying a respective FLSA test. Non-exempt employees are eligible for overtime pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours in one payroll week. Overtime pay is calculated at one and one-half times the employee’s regular hourly rate.

Peer Group: Employers in the external market with whom RISD competes for talent and that are reasonably similar to RISD in terms of industry profile, size, operating budget, and/or geographic location.

Position Description: A document used to identify the key duties, responsibilities, and qualifications necessary to perform the job. Managers are responsible for reviewing job descriptions and for ensuring that descriptions accurately reflect the current operational and academic need.

Salary Grade: A range of compensation that has minimum, midpoint, and maximum. Each job and each position is assigned to a specific salary grade based on internal and external equity. While regular positions at RISD are assigned a grade in a structure, the pay range for each position does not always span the entire grade structure and often is a narrower range within the grade range.

Salary Grade Structure: A tool to help administer our pay philosophy, taking into consideration the internal equity (how jobs of similar level compare to each other for pay) and external equity (how jobs of the a similar type and level are compensated out in the market) of each job.