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Glenn Hegar  ·  Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

Institution of Higher Education Provisions
Salary Adjustments for Institutions of Higher Education

Background

Generally, institutions of higher education may determine the compensation of their employees in the absence of specific laws or appropriations riders concerning the amounts and types of employee compensation.

The following discusses only the types of compensation specifically mentioned in statutes or riders.

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Merit Salary Increase Requirement

Notwithstanding any other provisions of the General Appropriations Act (GAA), salary increases for faculty or faculty equivalent employees of institutions of higher education must be awarded on the basis of merit and performance in accepted activities.

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Merit Salary Increase Authorization

An institutional administrator may grant a merit salary increase, including a one-time merit payment, to an employee whose job performance and productivity is consistently above that normally expected or required.

To be eligible for either a merit salary increase or a one-time merit payment, the employee:

  • Must have been employed by the institution of higher education for more than six months, and
  • At least six months must have elapsed since the employee’s last merit increase.

The requirement that six months must have elapsed does not apply if the chief administrative officer of the institution determines in writing that the one-time merit payment is being made in relation to the employee’s performance during a natural disaster or other extraordinary circumstance.

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Compensatory Time Pay

Employees required to work on a national or state holiday

An institution of higher education may pay an employee who is required to work on a national or state holiday that does not fall on a Saturday or Sunday for the time worked on the holiday, if the institution determines that allowing the employee to take compensatory time off would disrupt normal teaching, research or other critical functions. The payment must be at the employee’s regular rate of pay.

Employees whose workweek work + paid leave hours exceed 40

If an employee who works 40 or fewer hours during a workweek but whose total hours of work and paid leave (including holidays) during that week exceed 40, an institution of higher education may pay the employee for the hours in excess of 40 if the institution determines that allowing the employee to take compensatory time off would disrupt normal teaching, research or other critical functions. The payment must be at the employee’s regular rate of pay.

Employees subject to FLSA who work 40+ hour workweek

If the state employee is subject to the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) and works more than 40 hours during a workweek, an institution of higher education may pay the employee for any paid leave (including holidays) taken during the week if the institution determines that allowing the employee to take compensatory time off would disrupt normal teaching, research or other critical functions. The payment must be at the employee’s regular rate of pay.

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Faculty Development Leave of Absence

The governing board of an institution of higher education may grant a faculty development leave of absence to a faculty member for study, research, writing, field observations or another suitable purpose if the board finds:

  • The faculty member is eligible by reason of service*,
  • The purpose for which leave is sought is one for which leave may be granted, and
  • Granting the leave will not place on faculty development leave a greater number of faculty members than the authorized number.

*A faculty member is eligible by reason of service if the member has served as a member of the faculty of the same institution of higher education for at least two consecutive academic years. The service must be full-time academic duty and may be as an instructor or as an assistant, associate or full professor, or equivalent rank. The service need not include teaching.

Faculty development leave may be granted for either:

  • One academic year at one-half the faculty member’s regular salary, or
  • One-half of an academic year at the faculty member’s regular salary.

Not more than 6 percent of the faculty members of an institution of higher education may be on faculty development leave at any one time.

A faculty development leave of absence must comply with the requirements of Texas Education Code, Chapter 51, Subchapter C.

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Housing Allowance

President

The following may use its appropriation to pay not more than $7,200 per year to its president if an institutionally owned house is not available for the president:

Additional amounts from institutional funds may be paid to the president for this same purpose.

System chancellor

A system office may use its appropriation to pay not more than $7,200 per year to the system’s chancellor if a system-owned house is not available for the chancellor.

Additional amounts from institutional and private funds may be paid to the chancellor for the same purpose.

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Definitions

Faculty member
A person employed by an institution of higher education on a full-time basis as a member of the faculty or staff, including professional librarians, whose duties include:
  • Teaching,
  • Research,
  • Administration, or
  • The performance of professional services.
The term does not include a person employed in a position:
  • In the institution’s classified personnel system, or
  • A person employed in a similar type of position if the institution does not have a classified personnel system.
General academic institution
Has the meaning assigned by the GAA, Article III, Special Provisions Relating only to State Agencies of Higher Education, Section 3(1).
Institution of higher education
Has the meaning assigned by Texas Education Code Annotated,Section 61.003 (Vernon 2009), except the Texas State Technical College System is included and the Rodent and Predatory Animal Control Service is excluded from the meaning of that term.
Merit salary increase
An increase to the salary of an employee of an institution of higher education.
National holiday
Has the meaning assigned by Texas Government Code Annotated, Section 662.003(a) (Vernon 2009).
State holiday
Has the meaning assigned by Texas Government Code Annotated, Section 662.003(b) (Vernon 2009).
Emoluments
Cash or non-cash gain from employment or position (e.g., housing allowance, utility allowance).

Sources

The General Appropriations Act (GAA), Article III, Section 5(2), 5(3), 5(4)–(5)(5) in the Special Provisions Relating only to State Agencies of Higher Education; Texas Education Code Annotated, Sections 51.962, (Vernon 2009; Texas Education Code Annotated, Sections 51.101(1), (3), 51.103(a), 51.104, 51.105(a), 51.106 (Vernon 2006); Texas Government Code Annotated, Sections 659.015(f)–(g) (Vernon Supp 2010), 662.007(c) (Vernon 2009).

Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Questions? Contact statewide.accounting@cpa.texas.gov
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