Skip to content Skip to navigation

Compensation Philosophy


The University of California is recognized world-wide for excellence in education and research, and the excellence of its medical enterprise.   The University values maintaining excellence in its compensation programs as an overarching theme in perpetuating its reputation of excellence.  Our Compensation Program Guiding Principles serve as a reference point in designing, delivering and administering cash compensation programs in relation to other programs to ensure the University fulfills its commitment to employees and obligation to the public at large.   

Guiding Principles

To support program excellence, the University will manage each element of cash compensation as follows:

  • Align our compensation with leading academic research institutions (public and private) as well as national, regional and local organizations with whom the University competes for talent;
  • Align our jobs to the market based on their assigned responsibilities taking into account job scope, accountabilities and value to the University;
  • Build funding of compensation programs into the annual budget process in order to provide for competitive pay and total compensation package alignment;
  • Reinforce a high-performance culture so as to attract, develop, motivate and retain the talent needed for the University’s success;
  • Emphasize total cash compensation by providing cash incentive opportunities, where appropriate, with actual payouts tightly linked to results and accountabilities;
  • Compensate individuals and/or teams for their relative levels of contribution to the success of the University, and where appropriate, making accommodation for individual skills, competencies and credentials  that may be of strategic importance to the University;
  • Establish consistent linkage of system-wide programs, systems and processes while accommodating a level of flexibility in administration to allow campuses to operate with relative autonomy within their respective markets;
  • Clearly communicate the value of the University’s compensation philosophy, principles and programs to current and prospective employees.  Given UC’s status as a public institution, the compensation programs must meet the highest standards for transparency and compliance with legal requirements.

In addition, the University will ensure that all elements of total remuneration, including benefits and other non-cash elements, are competitive with our competitive cohort.

Executing the Philosophy