The University of Wisconsin System will implement a two-year-long study to reclassify and set compensation for thousands of university jobs, according to UW’s Office of Human Resources.

The study will be the first of its kind in 30 years and will cost the UW System $900,000, according to a document shared by UW’s Office of Human Resources.

The document said Mercer Consulting, a New York-based compensation consultation firm specializing in higher education institutions, will conduct the study. In an effort to increase efficiency and transparency, the study will assess university job duties and responsibilities and apply technical expertise in developing job titles and compensation structures.

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The study will also compare UW’s pay and benefits to market data and similar positions across campus and other organizations. The project will not assess pay increases.

A number of UW employees will contribute to the project, including administrators, faculty and staff. An advisory council created by UW faculty and staff — along with a UW System steering committee with representatives from various campuses — will provide input to the project.

The project, which is split up into five phases, is projected to reach completion by March 2019. According to UW’s Office of Human Resources, UW is currently working on phase two, three and four simultaneously to achieve steady progress at an appropriate pace.

Assessing new positions and developing new job titles and structures are a part of phase two, creating compensation structure is part of phase three and reviewing benefits/work life and leave structures is part of phase four.

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As stated in the document, the project’s expansive scope will impact employees throughout the UW System and has many moving parts, but with some necessary adjustments made along the way, the project is still set for its projected completion.

According to UW’s Office of Human Resources, UW is aware a number of other institutions — including the University of California-Berkeley, UC-Los Angeles, The Ohio State University, the University of Michigan and the University of Minnesota —  have conducted or are conducting similar studies.

UW’s Office of Human Resources said its hope for the project is to support the attraction, retention and engagement of faculty, staff and administrators, and by making this investment now, UW can ensure its ability to attract and retain talent well into the future.