Texas Tech University


[Minor revision–posted 7/28/22 (replaces 5/14/20 edition)]
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 Texas Tech University Double T

Operating Policy and Procedure

OP 70.18: Educational Incentive Pay

DATE: July 28, 2022

PURPOSE: The purpose of this Operating Policy/Procedure (OP) is to establish university policy related to educational incentive pay awarded to staff employees who continue their education and training by receiving degrees and/or job-related certificates.

REVIEW: This OP will be reviewed in May of even-numbered years by the Associate Vice President for Human Resources with substantive revisions forwarded to the Vice President for Administration and Chief of Staff for the President.


1.  Eligibility

Full-time regular employees who are classified as staff employed to work at least 40 hours per week, and who have been employed for a continuous period of at least four and one-half months, are eligible to participate in this program. Students employed in positions that require student status as a condition of employment may not participate in this program. Employees classified as faculty are not eligible for educational incentive pay.

2.  General Policy

The Educational Incentive Pay program rewards staff employees who take the initiative to increase their job worth by gaining job-related knowledge, behaviors, and personal and professional skills to significantly enhance their value to their department and the university. Educational incentive pay is not an entitlement and may not be awarded retroactively. Degrees or certificates received prior to September 2002 do not qualify for educational incentive pay. Employees are limited to receiving one educational incentive pay increase per fiscal year.

3.  Eligible Programs

Eligible employees may receive a permanent adjustment to their base pay as follows:

GED or Associate's Degree                        $500 per year
Bachelor's or Master's Degree                  $1000 per year

Certain job-related certificate programs and licenses that are not considered a minimum job requirement of the position, as determined by Human Resources, may be eligible for a permanent pay adjustment of up to $500 per year. Certifications and licenses that are considered as a minimum job requirement of a position, as determined by Human Resources, are not eligible for an educational incentive pay increase.

Course requirements of certificate programs that the employee believes are job related should be forwarded to the employee's department head for initial review for determination of job relevance. If the certificate program is determined to be job-related and beneficial to the department and/or the university as a whole by the department head, the department head will forward the relevant course information to the appropriate vice president or the Provost and Senior Vice President for final approval. The vice president or the Provost and Senior Vice President has the discretion to determine the eligibility of the certificate program for the educational incentive pay. The vice president or the Provost and Senior Vice President will make a decision within 15 workdays of receipt. The paperwork then will be returned to the originating department head.

NOTE: To qualify for educational incentive pay, employees must request a review of eligibility prior to undertaking job-related certificate programs or securing job-related licenses.

4.  Criteria

An educational incentive pay increase may be approved for an employee if all of the following criteria are met:

a.    The employee presents an official transcript from an accredited college or university indicating the degree completed or an approved job-related certificate or license.

b.    The employee received at least an overall score of “meets expectations” on his or her most recent performance evaluation and currently is not subject to formal disciplinary action.

c.    The employee has successfully completed all mandatory HR Compliance related trainings (EEO, Title IX, Clery Act, and Ethical Conduct Compliance Training).

5.  Program Administration

a.    Individual departments, in coordination with the appropriate vice president, are responsible for the overall administration of the Educational Incentive Pay program.

b.    Department heads must provide a letter of recommendation for the educational incentive pay to their vice president or the Provost and Senior Vice President for approval, explaining the job-related value of the completed degree, certificate, or license to the employee's department and/or the university.

c.    Requests for educational incentive pay may be approved at any time during the fiscal year, but they should be submitted to the employee's department head within three months of the date the degree, license, or certification is completed. The effective date for the new rate of pay will be the first of the month following final written approval by the appropriate vice president or the Provost and Senior Vice President, subject to section 5.d. below. No pay increases may be retroactive.

d.    Department heads and their vice president or the Provost and Senior Vice President will be responsible for funding educational incentive pay payments made to employees within their respective departments/divisions. All pay increases are subject to budget availability and may not be implemented until the next budget year if adequate funding is not currently available.

e.    A copy of the college transcript indicating the degree completed, the certificate, or the license will be attached to the electronic Personnel Action Form (ePAF), along with a copy of the approval letter from the vice president. The ePAF should indicate an increase to base pay and be processed using university prescribed procedures.

f.    A copy of all approved documents will be placed in the employee's official personnel file.

6.  Right to Change Policy

Texas Tech University reserves the right to interpret, change, modify, amend, or rescind this policy, in whole or in part, at any time without the consent of employees.

Operating Policies & Procedures