Compensation and Classification

Campus Address
121-11 USB
Mailing Address

121 University Services Building, Suite 11
Iowa City, IA 52242-1911
United States

The following information is intended for reference only. Pay for exceptional performance is governed by the Merit rules established by the Iowa Board of Regents.


3.39(10) Pay for exceptional performance. An employee may be given pay for exceptional performance, not to exceed 5 percent of an employee's current annual salary, at the written request of the employee's department head with appropriate administrative approval and the prior approval of the resident director. The request will describe the nature of the exceptional job performance for which additional pay is requested, indicate the amount proposed, and specify the source of funds. The award may be based on sustained superior performance or an exceptional achievement or contribution during the period since the employee's last performance review. To qualify for an exceptional performance award, an employee must have a cumulative performance evaluation exceeding standards and have no individual rating below satisfactory. Payment will be made as a lump sum award and will not change the employee's established salary.

Temporary Change - Pursuant to Board of Regents Policy Manual section 1.1.E and the Declaration of State of Emergency issued on March 18, 2020, an employee will be eligible to receive multiple rewards per fiscal year but not to cumulatively exceed 10 percent of the employee’s current annual salary.  When the emergency declaration is lifted, the cumulative limit will return to 5 percent of the employee's annual salary.


  1. A written request must be made by an employee's department head and approved by the appropriate dean or vice president.
  2. The request must explain the details of the sustained superior performance or the exceptional achievement/contribution.
  3. The request should be attached to the special compensation payment form in the HR transaction system.
  4. To be eligible, an employee:
    1. Must have permanent Merit status
    2. Must have a current performance appraisal with an accumulative rating above satisfactory and no individual rating below satisfactory


The appropriate HR transaction form for pay for exceptional performance is Special Compensation Payment-Pay for Exceptional Performance. A prior approval transaction is no longer required.