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The university has announced a plan to increase the system-wide minimum pay rate for regular full- and part-time employees to $9.00 an hour effective January 1. A second increase will follow on June 30 to $9.50 per hour.

UT’s minimum pay is currently $8.50 an hour for regular full- and part-time employees. The increases will impact approximately 223 current employees across the UT system; 171 Knoxville campus employees and eighteen employees from the Institute of Agriculture will benefit. Student workers are not included in the minimum pay increases.

The increase was recommended by the university’s Compensation Advisory Board, which was created in 2010 to help create a strategic compensation plan that ensures sustainable growth and competitive advantage. Learn more about the Compensation Advisory Board on the Human Resources website.

All eligible Knoxville campus employees have had across-the-board increases and the opportunity to receive merit/market pool increases for three years in a row. Knoxville faculty and staff will be eligible for additional salary adjustments in January for merit, market, or equity.

The adjustments are part of Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek’s efforts to bring UT Knoxville employees’ salaries in line with the market median salaries of those in similar industry jobs across the country. A 2011 compensation and benefits market assessment revealed that the average salaries of Knoxville faculty and staff were slightly below market medians. The campus has since allocated $25 million for employee salary and benefit adjustments to bring compensation closer to market medians.

“We’re committed as a university system to offering competitive compensation to our diverse and dedicated workforce,” said President Joe DiPietro. “With the help of our Compensation Advisory Board, we’re making steady progress toward our compensation goals, especially those affecting positions at the lower pay grades, despite limited resources.”

For more information, visit the Compensation Advisory Board’s list of frequently asked questions about the rate increase here, or e-mail