C. Employment Policies

(Note: OLPM sections on this page may be cited following the format of, for example, "BOT V.C.1.1". These policies may be amended at any time, do not constitute an employment contract, and are provided here only for ease of reference and without any warranty of accuracy. See OLPM Main Menu for details.)


C. Employment Policies1

1.   State Law

1.1   State law (RSA 187-A:16 I, II, III, V, VI, and XVI) authorizes the Board of Trustees to hire, employ, and compensate such personnel as are "needed to provide a well-coordinated system of public higher education."

2.   Authority

2.1   Establishment of Executive Positions. The Board of Trustees shall be the authority for the establishment of Executive positions, including those governed by the Administrative Board.  Executives are the highest ranking leadership roles within a USNH institution or System Office and, as such, have the uppermost level and broadest scope of authority with System-wide impact.  The institution’s ability to meet its mission is significantly impacted by the Executive’s performance of that authority and responsibility. The two types of Executives are: Chief Executive Officers and Executive Officers.

2.2   The Board of Trustees reserves to itself the authority to establish and amend any employment policies applicable to the Chief Executive Officers.

3.   Delegation of Authority

3.1   The Administrative Board shall adopt such University System employment policies as are necessary to meet the requirements of this policy and provide a well-coordinated system of public higher education. The University System employment policies shall establish terms and conditions of employment which will maximize the efficient and effective utilization of USNH human resources and ensure compliance with all applicable federal and state laws. 

3.1.1   At a minimum those policies shall cover the following topics: Equal Opportunity Employment, recruitment and selection, placement, orientation, appointments, performance evaluation, probation and discipline, termination and lay-off, and benefits and compensation, and specific policies outlined below.

3.1.1.1   Reduction in Force. The Administrative Board shall adopt a policy for Reduction-in-Force which provides the greatest amount of management flexibility consistent with fair and equitable treatment of USNH employees.

3.1.1.2   Separation Incentive Plans. The Board of Trustees delegates to the Administrative Board the authority to establish policy and approve programs which will encourage faculty and staff voluntary separation from USNH including regular retirement, early retirement and termination. The goal of these programs shall be to provide sufficient predictability to enable and encourage succession and transition planning as well as to provide flexibility to encourage voluntary separations when programmatic and organizational needs make such termination desirable. Such authority includes the obligation to comply with the principles noted below. Any such program shall be less valuable per participant than the previous program offered to any of the potential participants; prior authorization by the Board of Trustees is required for any non-conforming plan proposal.

3.1.1.2.1   All incentives offered must be within legal constraints.

3.1.1.2.2   Financial parameters shall require that plans do not include any new long-term liabilities (i.e. more than two years) and that plan offerings have a prudent funding mechanism. All funding plans shall be within previously approved overall budget guidelines. Any plan which utilizes a funding source not approved as part of the annual personnel or benefits operating budget shall require approval by the Financial Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees.

3.1.1.2.3   Compensation and plan design parameters shall include a requirement that the design features meet and continue to meet tax and benefit legal constraints, and that all plans be offered on a one-time, non-continuing basis. The intent of this provision is that incentive plans not be offered as benefit entitlement programs, but rather as institutionally discretionary separation incentives.

3.1.1.2.4   Each Chief Executive Officer is authorized to determine if a program will be offered at his or her institution, to whom it is offered, when it is offered, and which features of the plan it will offer.

3.2   The component institutions shall adopt such institutional policies as are necessary to meet the requirements of the University System policies referred to in BOT V.C.3.1. 

4.   Employment of Trustees

4.1   No member of the Board of Trustees, other than the Chief Executive Officers and student trustees, may receive compensation for services rendered to USNH or any of its components, related or affiliated entities except under the conditions set forth below.

4.2   Student members of the Board of Trustees may be compensated for services rendered to USNH or any of its component institutions, provided:

4.2.1   The total amount of compensation received in any one fiscal year does not exceed $10,000.

4.2.2   The fair market value of the services equals or exceeds the amount of compensation, and the quality of the service provided by the Trustee is equal to or in excess of that available by a bid or other open application process.

4.2.3   The proposed employment is in conformance with the Board of Trustees Bylaws Article VII regarding conflict of interest and does not involve the setting of reimbursement or compensation or the establishment of policy in any of those areas.

 4.2.4   Any work product that is the result of such employment shall remain the property of the entity providing the compensation.

5.   Annual Performance Reviews for Chief Executive Officers

5.1   Purposes. The annual performance review is intended to (1) enable the Chief Executive Officers to collaborate with the Board in establishing shared goals and objectives, (2) provide for effective communication between each CEO and the Board about the discharge of their respective and collective governance responsibilities, and (3) assist the Chief Executive Officers to strengthen his or her own performance. The performance review process is not intended as a substitute for regular, ongoing communication about progress toward goals between the Board and each of the Chief Executive Officers.

5.2   Authority. The Executive Committee shall oversee the conduct of an annual performance review for each Chief Executive Officer, in accordance with the basic process set forth in this policy. The Executive Committee may from time to time add to the process as it deems necessary or useful to most effectively accomplish the purposes of this policy. The Chair of the Board, with approval of the Executive Committee, shall appoint annually one special subcommittee of three to five members of the Board of Trustees, for the purposes set forth in this policy, giving due consideration to the dual purposes of renewal and continuity. The special subcommittee shall be known as the Executive Performance Review Subcommittee and shall report to the Executive Committee periodically.

5.3   Self-Assessment. Each Chief Executive Officer shall begin the review process by preparing a self-assessment statement, which shall include:

  • Previously agreed-upon goals along with a description of efforts toward accomplishment and an assessment of progress made to date;
  • Other personal or institutional accomplishments;
  • Significant personal or institutional conditions, including relationships, that affected progress toward goals, whether positively or negatively, and identification of those likely to persist in the coming year;
  • Proposed goals, personal and institutional, for the coming year and for the next three to five years, which shall take into account the mission of USNH as well as that of the CEO’s institution;
  • His or her professional development plans and related support required, if any;
  • Assessment of his or her institution’s principal current opportunities and challenges; and
  • Key areas and ways in which he or she would benefit from the Board's support in the coming year and beyond.

5.4   Executive Performance Review Subcommittee Process. The Executive Performance Review Subcommittee shall solicit, accept, review and consider such input from members of the Board of Trustees, USNH employees, and other individuals as the Subcommittee believes may be helpful in the performance of its responsibilities under this policy.

5.4.1 Subcommittee Meeting with the CEOs. The Subcommittee shall meet with each CEO individually to review and discuss the CEO's self-assessment as well as insights gained through the process established under section 5.4, above. The Subcommittee shall discuss with the CEO any additions, deletions, or other adjustments, which the Subcommittee believes would make the CEO's self-assessment more complete or accurate.

5.4.2   Eligibility. In order to be eligible for any merit increase a CEO must have at least six months of service in the position as of the effective date of the increase. A CEO who has more than six months of service, but less than 12 months, will be eligible for a pro-rated merit increase.

5.4.3   Report to the Executive Committee. The Subcommittee shall establish a final set of goals for each Chief Executive Officer, review CEO performance against annual goals, and report the results of its work, including the performance assessments of each CEO and resulting performance award recommendations, to the Executive Committee.  The amount of an annual performance award is within the range of 0% to 150% of the performance award target. Each Chief Executive Officer shall receive a copy of the portion relating to his or her performance and goals.

5.4.4   Records. The records prepared during the performance review process, including but not limited to self-assessments, evaluations, and goals as well as all related correspondence, shall be a part of the Chief Executive Officer's personnel file and kept confidential to the fullest extent permitted under law and applicable USNH policy.

5.4.5   Timing. Each year the Executive Performance Review Subcommittee shall establish a calendar providing for the orderly accomplishment of the process outlined in this policy in time for the Executive Committee to report the completion of the process to the Board at its Annual Meeting in June.

1See, USNH Total Rewards Objectives, approved by Board of Trustees on Feb. 17, 2011

This page last updated Thursday, February 2, 2017. For information on the adoption and effective dates of policies please see explanation on the OLPM Main Menu.