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Staff Retention Guidelines


The Fiscal Year 2013 Salary Guidelines provide for Retention Increases for staff members under very limited circumstances with appropriate documentation.

Eligibility and Requirements

This exception to the restriction against salary increases should be used judiciously.  Retention increases will be approved on a very limited basis.  Retention increases are designated for Operationally Critical Staff who are being actively recruited by other employers or whose loss would be seriously detrimental to the University.  All staff retention increases must be reported to the Chancellor.

Operationally Critical Staff Definition

To support an adjustment for a staff employee, the department must initially demonstrate that the employee is an operationally critical staff, which is defined as:
  1. A staff employee in a position in which the institution has experienced retention problems in recent years; or
  2. A staff employee who has specialized or unique skills or experience that could not be replicated by the recruitment of a new employee without: 1) increased compensation costs, or 2) significant disruption to critical operations of the unit in which the individuals is employed; or
  3. A staff employee whose loss 1) would cause a loss of federal or other external funds from contracts and grants or 2) would seriously compromise the institution’s ability to compete for sponsored research contracts or grants


In addition, one of the following supporting documents must be attached to the Staff Retention Request form:
  1. A written offer to the employee from another employer; or
  2. Written evidence, including e-mail or other correspondence, that the employee is being recruited seriously by another employer, or a search firm for an employer, at a compensation level likely to exceed the employee’s current compensation; or
  3. Other strong documented evidence that the institution is at imminent risk of losing an operational critical staff member in the absence of a retention increase.
Employment offers from other BSU units will not warrant a retention increase, regardless of whether the individual meets the operational critical definition.


  1. The Department head or Chair must determine if the staff member meets the definition of operationally critical as outlined above.
    1. Departments may request from the Office of Human Resources compensation reporting, based on terminations by job title and department to substantiate retention issues.  These reports will be reviewed in the retention request.
    2. Department head or Chair can also request market data from the Office of Human Resources.  In specialized job categories, the department may have more market data which should be provided as part of the justification.  The total vacancy rate in the department, including long term absences, could be a factor in establishing that disruption of operations will result from an employee’s loss.
  2. Department head or Chair must determine if a retention increase should be requested, and if so, completes the Staff Retention Request form.
    1. A written narrative should be attached describing the criteria used to determine operationally critical and which category of retention supports the request
    2. Attach the required documentation for the retention as outlined above.
    3. While acknowledging the widening gap between market compensation and our salaries which have been frozen for 3 years, it is expected that increases for retention will be modest.  Requests for increases greater than 10% should be well supported.  In many cases, even when there is a competitive written offer, we may not be in a position to match the market salary.
    4. The department head/chair must clearly identify the funding sources for the increase and, if it is from State funds, explain what will be changed from the budget to make available funding for the additional expense.
    5. The department head/chair should address in its justification any issues    concerning compensation equity within the department or school that may result from the increase.
  3. The request is forwarded to the Dean/Vice President for review and approval.  Retention requests should be recommended only in very limited circumstances.  Serious consideration must be given to the department’s request in the context of the College/Division and the University.  All approvals must be obtained on the requests.  The retention form is then forwarded to the Budget Office.
  4. The Budget Office will review and verify the form for available funding and forward to the Office of Human Resources.
  5. The Office of Human Resources will review all requests against the definition of operationally critical staff and determine if required documentation is attached.  Salary equity issues will be evaluated to determine whether there will be issues created if the increase is approved, and will consult with the EEO Officer and legal counsel to address equity concerns.  The Office of Human Resources will route to the Vice President for Administration and Finance for review.
  6. The VPAF will review all requests, determine if required documentation is attached and make a recommendation to the President regarding approval
  7. The President is the final approval authority on staff retention requests.

Click here to download the BSU Staff Retention Request Form FY 2017