Skip to main content

University Policy 5

EHRA Performance Bonus Policy

Approved by:  Board of Trustees of Western Carolina University - March 1, 2024 
Effective Date:  March 1, 2024

Policy Topic:  Personnel
Administering Office:  Human Resources and Payroll

I. Policy Statement/Purpose

This Policy sets forth specific definitions and procedures for the payment of performance bonuses to permanent EHRA faculty and EHRA non-faculty employees of Western Carolina University (“University”). Performance bonuses may be awarded only for an employee’s achievements in the course and scope of their University employment, as defined in this Policy. Any such bonuses will be paid only in accordance with the provisions of this Policy. This Policy must be approved by the Board of Trustees of Western Carolina University and is intended to meet the requirements for performance-based bonuses as outlined by UNC Board of Governors Regulation 300.2.14.2[R].

II. Scope of Applicability

This Policy applies to all permanent EHRA faculty and EHRA non-faculty employees of Western Carolina University, except the Chancellor, Athletic Director, and Head Coaches. The Athletic Director and Head Coaches are otherwise subject to Section 1100.3 of the UNC Policy Manual.

III. Policy Guidelines

  1. Requirements

    Within the parameters outlined below, performance bonus compensation may be awarded to permanent EHRA faculty and EHRA non-faculty employees to reward performance, while ensuring equal opportunity and consistency of application across similarly situated groups of employees and positions. Performance bonuses are subject to the following requirements:
    1. Decisions concerning performance bonus compensation must be consistent with University Policy 10 (Non-Discrimination and Equal Opportunity), and may not be based in whole or in part on any employee's protected status.
    2. No University employee is automatically entitled to a performance bonus.
  2. Sources of Funds

    Performance bonuses may be funded from any source, including state or non-state appropriations, so long as the funding source permits an expenditure for this purpose. For state funds, such use must be permissible under the policies of the Office of State Budget and Management. 

  3. Eligible Employees and General Requirements

    1. Only employees in permanent EHRA faculty and EHRA non-faculty positions are eligible for performance bonuses under this Policy.
    2. Performance bonuses may be awarded only after an employee’s supervisor has completed an annual performance appraisal of the employee.
    3. The University will not award any performance bonus under this Policy to an employee who:
      1. has received an end of appointment notice;
      2. did not receive an overall rating of at least “Meeting Expectations” on their most recent annual performance evaluation;
      3. is currently working under a performance improvement plan; or
      4. is no longer actively employed in their position.
    4. Receipt of a performance bonus does not preclude an employee from receiving a retention base salary increase for a competitive offer as allowed by existing salary administration policy and regulation.

  4. Performance Bonuses for EHRA Faculty and EHRA Non-Faculty Employees

    1. Purpose of Performance Bonuses
      Performance bonuses are discretionary and are intended to recognize merit and reward overall performance and effectiveness. Performance bonuses are not intended to supplant base salary adjustments when deemed necessary and appropriate, such as addressing essential labor market or equity situations. 
    2. Performance Achievements
      A performance bonus must be based on at least one of the following specific, demonstrated, achievements, as documented in the employee’s annual performance appraisal and in alignment with the strategic goals of the University:
      1. Contributions: The employee has successfully contributed to the fulfillment of the goals, mission, and objectives of the department, school/division, and/or University. Such contributions must be visible, measurable, and broadly acknowledged by colleagues and school/division and/or University administrators.
      2. Collaboration/Creativity: The employee has identified and implemented creative and innovative ideas or solutions that increase efficiency or effective use of University resources, the effects of which must be apparent at the school/division or University level and must be visible, measurable, and broadly acknowledged by colleagues and school/division and/or University administrators.
      3. Results: The employee has successfully delivered results in the areas of teaching, research, and/or service, the results of which must be visible, measurable, and broadly acknowledged by colleagues and school/division and/or University administrators.  
    3. Bonus Amount
      A performance bonus awarded to an employee in a single fiscal year may not exceed either 20 percent of the employee’s current base salary or $50,000. Recommended performance bonus amounts are subject to funding availability and are not guaranteed.  
    4. Bonus Payout
      1. A performance bonus should be paid as close to the most recent year’s performance evaluation cycle as reasonably possible.
      2. A performance bonus may be paid in one lump sum or in installments, in the University’s discretion, paid in the fiscal year in which it was awarded.
      3. Performance bonuses are subject to retirement contributions to a retirement plan administered by or on behalf of the University of North Carolina.
      4. If the employee leaves the position in which the performance bonus was earned prior to the full bonus being disbursed, then the employee will receive the remainder of the performance bonus at the time of separation from the position.
      5. A performance bonus award decision may be rescinded at any time prior to the transfer of the performance bonus from the University to the employee for any reason that is not a violation of Western Carolina University or University of North Carolina policy.

  5. Performance Bonus Requests 

    All performance bonus requests must be approved in advance by the Chancellor and/or designee(s). Additionally, requests for the following positions (currently categorized as “Tier I senior academic and administrative officers (Tier I SAAOs)” must be approved by the Board of Trustees:
    • Provost; Chief of Staff; Vice Chancellor for Administration & Finance; Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs; Vice Chancellor for Advancement; Chief Information Officer; Legal Counsel; Deans (Academic Colleges, Honors College, Graduate School & Research, Hunter Library).

      All performance bonus requests must include the documented justification based on the performance achievements identified in Section III.D.2 above.

  6. Delegation of Authority to Approve Bonuses

    By formal approval of this policy and as authorized by UNC System Regulation 300.2.12.[R}, the Western Carolina University Board of Trustees delegate to the Chancellor and/or designee(s)* the authority to approve bonuses under this policy with the exclusion of bonuses for Tier I Senior Academic and Administrative Officers (Tier I SAAOs), which may not be further delegated.

    *The Chancellor may further delegate this authority and responsibility to the Executive Council membership (Provost, Vice Chancellor for Administration & Finance, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Vice Chancellor for Advancement, General Counsel, Chief Information Officer, Chief of Staff, Director of Athletics) and to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources and Payroll.

Office of Web Services