Research Base Salaries

University of Montana Policy 480 allows the creation of separate position lines for research that are separate from regular state-based contracts for tenure-track faculty members. 

To request a research base:

  1. The faculty member reviews CUPA data (available from the Office of Planning, Budgeting and Analysis or the Office of the Provost, Director of Budgets and Personnel).  Use of non-CUPA data may be appropriate for some academic fields.  
  2. The faculty member completes the Request for Research Base form, attaches the CUPA salary documentation and submits it to the Department Chair or equivalent.  If non-CUPA data is provided, cite each comparator with rank, discipline, salary, University department, and source of data.
  3. The Department Chair is responsible for thorough vetting, and if supportive, adds justification/comments to the request form and forwards all materials to the Dean.
  4. The Dean evaluates the request and, if supportive, adds justification/comments to the request form and forwards all materials to the Provost.
  5. The Provost reviews, rechecks CUPA information and, if approves, forwards the documentation to the Vice President for Research and Creative Scholarship (VPRCS).  If the request is denied, the Provost returns the request to the faculty member who may appeal.  
  6. The VPRCS reviews and, if approves, forwards the request to the President.
  7. The President reviews and, if approves, sends the documents back to the VPRCS.
  8. The VPRCS records the approval of the request, and forwards the original documentation to Human Resource Services.
  9. Human Resource Services (HRS) retains the original documentation and forwards the request to the Commissioner’s Office (OCHE) for approval.
  10. Once OCHE has approved and notified HRS, HRS notifies the VPRCS in writing.
  11. The VPRCS notifies the faculty member, chair, dean and/or director, and the Provost of the decision.

Application of Research Base Salary

When approved, an individual’s research base must be used for all organized sponsored activity regardless of funding source. Also, active research bases are automatically adjusted in Human Resource Services for merit, promotions, and across-the-board increases.  Market adjustments are not automatically adjusted and must be made as a specific request for research base change.

Appeal process

  1. If the request for a research base is denied or is reduced after forwarded by the Dean, the faculty member may write a formal appeal to the Vice President for Research. 
  2. Upon receipt of the formal appeal, the Vice President for Research will convene a meeting and include the Provost, the departmental Chair and Dean, three professional colleagues as suggested by the faculty member, and the Director of Human Resource Services. 
  3. The eight individuals on this appeal committee will meet to review and make a final determination.
  4. If the final determination is supportive, the Vice President for Research will endorse the request on the Request for Research Base form to the President, and the process continues.    
  5. If the final determination is to deny the appeal, there is no further appeal and the decision stands.