A. Compensation

Calvin University seeks "to gather diverse people and gifts around a common pledge and purpose" (Calvin University mission statement). To ensure that staff members are rewarded fairly and appropriately for their contributions, Calvin University uses the guiding principles below.

The primary objective of the Calvin University compensation program is to attract, retain, motivate and reward qualified staff members who demonstrate a commitment to "keen and lively work in their chosen fields and to sharing its fruits with others" (Calvin University mission statement). At Calvin University, staff members are expected to be faithful stewards of the responsibilities and resources entrusted to them.

In return, Calvin University is committed to paying fair compensation based on job responsibilities and accountabilities consistent with the Policy on Discrimination and Harassment. Calvin University strives, in conjunction with approved budgets, to compensate all staff members consistently and in a fair and equitable manner as they meet performance objectives.

In the process of salary determination, identified compensatable factors for all Calvin University positions provide a base for establishing internal equity. Job market and budget realities provide the context for salary determination.

Payroll information

Non-exempt staff members are paid an hourly wage on a bi-weekly basis, one week after the end of each two-week reporting period. The payroll office must receive a properly submitted time record by 12:00 noon on the Monday following the end of the two-week time period. During holiday weeks submissions may be requested earlier. The payroll office provides direct-deposit options.

Exempt staff members are paid an annual salary distributed over twenty-four equal semi-monthly pay periods. Pay dates are on the 1st and 15th of each month. If the pay date falls on either a Saturday or a Sunday, the pay date will be the Friday prior, except for January 1, which will be paid the following working day.

Recording work time

Non-exempt staff members

Wage and hour laws require all non-exempt staff members to file timely and accurate work records. Non-exempt (hourly) staff members are paid on a biweekly schedule (every other Friday). Hours worked, sick and leave time are submitted electronically. Additional information about web time card entry is available on the payroll website.

Exempt staff members

Supervisors and staff members are responsible for maintaining and monitoring a written record of sick leave, vacation time and all other time away from work (e.g., conferences) for all exempt staff members.

Performance development program

The Performance Development Program (PDP) is designed to promote communication between supervisors and staff members, facilitate effective job performance and identify opportunities to develop skills, set goals and gain learning experiences. Staff members are entitled to fair and honest comments about job performance and appreciation and support for a job well done. For administrators with faculty status, the reappointment process serves as the PDP in a reappointment year.

New staff members will receive a performance appraisal at the completion of their orientation. Thereafter, the performance of each staff member will be reviewed at least once per year by the supervisor.

Discretionary wage increases

At the discretion of each divisional vice president—with a recommendation from a staff member’s supervisor, an excellent performance review and available funds—discretionary wage increases and/or salary bonuses may be awarded.

Compensation for completion of advanced degrees

Calvin University encourages personal and professional development of staff and administrators, including the investment in obtaining advanced degrees from Calvin University and/or other institutions of higher education. Upon a staff member’s successful completion of a relevant advanced degree (Masters or Doctorate) higher than his or her current degree, Calvin University increases his or her salary by 2 percent.

Overtime (non-exempt staff members only)


Calvin University strives to staff all operations at a level that prevents regular overtime by non-exempt staff. The use of part-time staff members to fill the gaps is usually a more economical approach. However, when exceptions arise, in compliance with Department of Labor standards, Calvin University compensates staff members at a rate of 150 percent of the staff member’s standard hourly rate for time worked in excess of 40 hours per week. All overtime must be pre-approved in writing by the staff member’s supervisor in consultation with the divisional vice president.


Time worked beyond forty hours in any given week is compensated at 150 percent of the standard hourly rate. For a week during which a staff member has been absent, a portion of the time because of illness, vacation, funeral leave, jury duty, or a holiday, any extra hours worked are paid at the regular hourly rate until total hours worked for that week exceed 40.

Work on holidays

If a staff member is required to work during a Calvin University-designated holiday, holiday pay of 150 percent of the normally hourly rate will be paid in addition to the regular pay for the holiday. This holiday pay rate is applicable even if the staff member does not work over 40 hours that week. When this exception takes place, the supervising director must verify the staff member’s time.

Retirement plan

Eligible staff members are enrolled in the University’s 403(b) defined contribution retirement plan. The retirement plan is designed to provide eligible staff members with a source of income in planning for their retirement needs. Once eligible, the university contributes an amount equal to either 5 percent or 10 percent of the annualized salary (based on classification and years of service) to the enrolled employee’s contract at TIAA. This contribution is reported on the staff member”s salary information sheet. Details about the plan are made available at the time of employment and periodically thereafter. The employee has opportunities to contribute additional funds into a variety of supplemental retirement annuities (403(b) plans).

Eligible staff members may also make tax-deferred contributions to a supplemental retirement plan (SRA) subject to IRS limitations.

B. Insurance benefits

Health and dental insurance

Eligible staff members may enroll in the single coverage option of health (including prescription) and/or dental insurance programs. Coverage begins on the first day of employment. Both the university and the staff member contribute to the cost of health and dental insurance. The premium share contribution for eligible part-time staff members is pro-rated based on the percentage of time worked. At the time of initial employment, and annually thereafter, detailed information about each health plan is made available to enrolled staff members. Calvin University operates on a fiscal year for all health plans.

Dependent coverage

An eligible staff member may enroll his or her dependents in the family coverage, or a spouse or child in the double coverage option of the health insurance program. Both the university and the staff member contribute to the cost of insurance for double or family coverage. The premium share contribution for eligible part-time staff members who are less than 0.75 FTE is pro-rated based on the percentage of time worked. See the human resources office for premium shares amounts.

Change in status

If a staff member’s marital status changes, it is the responsibility of the staff member to notify the human resources office within thirty days of the “qualifying event” to initiate the necessary procedures to implement a change in coverage. The same is true if a staff member becomes a parent, or if a staff member’s dependent is no longer eligible because of age and/or full-time student status. Calvin University is not responsible for loss of insurance if the staff member does not initiate coverage changes within thirty days of the qualifying event.

Benefits enrollment

July 1 has been established as the beginning of the health plan year. At the time of initial employment, and annually thereafter in May or June, an opportunity is provided for eligible staff members to make plan changes. In addition, certain life events (such as change in marital status, becoming a parent, etc.) also trigger the ability to make plan changes.

Please refer to the benefits eligibility chart for eligibility for this benefit.

Flexible spending account

Calvin University offers a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) program to provide a means for staff members to pay unreimbursed medical and child day-care expenses with pre-tax dollars. These unreimbursed medical expenses typically include deductibles, co-pays, unreimbursed health/dental care costs, orthodontia and vision care. These FSA elections are taken as payroll deductions on a fiscal-year basis per federal guidelines.

All regular part-time and full-time staff members are eligible to participate in this program.

Termination of benefits

For employees enrolled in health/prescription insurance or dental insurance, these benefits are terminated at the end of the month of the employee’s last working day. Coverage for life insurance, disability insurance and workers compensation insurance are terminated as of the employee’s last day worked for those enrolled. Accrued vacation days do not qualify as “days worked” for benefit coverage. Employees enrolled in the flexible spending program who have remaining balances must request reimbursement within 30 days after ending employment.


Under the federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), any staff member who loses medical and/or dental insurance coverage as a result of a reduction of hours of employment or termination of employment is eligible for group health and/or dental insurance continuation coverage at his or her expense. In addition, spouses or dependents of staff members who become ineligible for benefits may choose to participate, at their own expense, in a continuation of group health insurance coverage. According to the guidelines set by COBRA, the continuation can extend for a period of time not greater than eighteen months for the staff member and not greater than thirty-six months for dependents. Full information about the details of COBRA coverage is available from the human resources office.

Please refer to the benefits eligibility chart for eligibility for this benefit.

Life insurance

Beginning on the first day of employment, eligible staff members are insured under Calvin University’s group plan for an amount equal to two times their base annual compensation, taken up to a maximum of $100,000. Each staff member is required to name a beneficiary for this policy. This group plan also includes a $4,000 benefit paid in the event of the death of a spouse and a $2,000 benefit paid in the event of the death of a dependent child. If a staff member terminates employment at Calvin University, he or she may elect to convert the group life insurance policy to an individual policy with no medical examination required.

Please refer to the benefits eligibility chart for eligibility for this benefit.

Disability insurance

Eligible staff members are automatically enrolled in the university’s long-term disability insurance program. This insurance is effective on the first day of the month following thirty days of employment. If a staff member becomes disabled, the long-term disability plan provides benefits of up to 60 percent of his or her annualized salary; he or she continues to receive health insurance and retirement benefits. Further information about this plan is available from the human resources office.

Workers’ compensation insurance

The Michigan Workers’ Compensation Act has provisions that govern the treatment of persons who suffer injury and/or disability while at work. If a staff member is involved in an accident or suffers personal injury arising out of and in the course of university business, he or she should seek immediate medical treatment and fill out an Injury Report Form within twenty-four hours of the injury, if possible.

Please refer to the benefits eligibility chart for eligibility for this benefit.

C. Time away from work benefits


Time away benefits are currently under development as we implement a new PTO plan effective January 1, 2019. Calvin employees, please log into the Compensation & Benefits website in Sharepoint for specific plan information.


D. Other benefits

Adoption reimbursement benefit

An adoption reimbursement benefit is available to all eligible staff members. Eligible staff members who are regularly scheduled to work less than full-time are eligible for reimbursement on a pro-rated basis. The amount of reimbursement is set annually. To apply for this benefit, please contact the human resources office.

Please refer to the benefits eligibility chart for eligibility for this benefit.

Education benefits for staff members

Calvin University tuition waiver

Full-time employees may enroll in free university and/or Calvin Theological Seminary courses at a rate of up to eight credits per year. Credits may not be banked from one academic year to the next. Part-time staff can enroll up to four credits, for every 1,000 hours worked in a contiguous two-year period. These tuition benefits apply to any credit-bearing courses at an undergraduate or graduate level. Credits can not be redeemed after termination of employment from Calvin University.

A tuition waiver request from university employees for the waiving of university of seminary tuition costs must be approved before the course begins. Staff tuition waivers are available in the human resources office.

Employees must complete the admissions process either as a regular or guest student. Please check with the admissions office for more information.

Tuition reimbursement for off-campus courses

To promote continuing professional development, Calvin University offers reimbursement for eligible staff members for a portion of the cost of an off-campus course that is taken to improve certain job-related skills, provided it is done with the recommendation of the staff member’s supervisor and with prior authorization from the director of human resources. The course should relate directly to the staff member’s current or potential future work at Calvin University . The vice president of the appropriate division should judge, prior to the applicant’s enrollment in the course, if the course relates to the staff member’s work. Reimbursement is made upon successful completion of the course, when documentation of the grade received and receipt of paid tuition is presented to the human resources office. If a staff member receives reimbursement and does not continue employment with the University for a six-month period following the conclusion of the course, the tuition reimbursement must be repaid to the university. Tuition reimbursement applications are available in SharePoint.

Please refer to the benefits eligibility chart to confirm eligibility for these benefits.

As per Internal Revenue Service regulations, an employee may exclude up to $5,250 of education assistance benefits per year. However, if Calvin pays more than $5,250 towards your educational benefits in one year, you are required to pay tax on any amount exceeding $5,250. For more information on employer-provided education assistance benefits, visit the IRS website.

Educational benefits for spouses

Calvin University tuition waiver

The spouse of a full-time university staff member can audit, without charge, university courses (excluding laboratory courses, workshop courses, Calvin Theological Seminary courses and courses in the applied arts). A waiver of one-half tuition is granted to the spouse of a full-time staff member who takes a university course for credit, provided the spouse registers for the course during the late registration period. This partial waiver is limited to one course per semester.

Staff member spouse tuition waiver forms are available in the human resources office.

Please refer to the benefits eligibility chart for eligibility for this benefit

Educational benefits for dependents

Calvin University dependent tuition waiver

The Calvin University dependent tuition waiver is available to all eligible staff members whose dependent children (until age twenty-four) enroll at and attend Calvin University. The program provides a waiver of up to 100 percent of tuition and is available to staff members only during the years of employment. Tuition waiver applications and specific procedures for participating in this program are available in the human resources office. All questions regarding eligibility should be directed to the director of human resources. Questions regarding calculation of the waiver and coordination of scholarships and grants should be directed to the admissions and financial aid office.

K-12 Christian school tuition grant

K-12 tuition grants are offered to eligible children of all eligible staff. A staff member becomes eligible for the K-12 tuition grant at the beginning of the semester following one year of eligible employment.

This program is administered by the Grand Rapids Christian Schools (GRCS) Foundation and covers eligible children in both non-GRCS and GRCS Christian schools. Generally, this grant is equal to 20 percent of the child’s tuition (not to exceed 20 percent of GRCS tuition). Christian school tuition grant applications are made available through the human resources office. All questions regarding eligibility should be directed to the director of human resources.

Please refer to the benefits eligibility chart for eligibility for this benefit.


All staff members have full library privileges. Books may be checked out with a staff ID card.

Athletic events and cultural activities

Many concerts, athletic events and art gallery shows sponsored by Calvin University are open to the public. For programs requiring a public admission fee, full-time and part-time (greater than 50 percent FTE) staff members are frequently given reduced-rate tickets. Information about any given event is available from Event Services, which handles tickets for all campus events.

Use of recreational facilities

All indoor and outdoor recreational facilities are available to all staff members free of charge. the department of Kinesiology regularly publishes the open hours for various facilities, such as the pool, racquetball court, and weight room. Locker and laundry privileges are also available. A refundable deposit is required to obtain a locker.

Mail room and printing services

Staff members may use Mail Services to send personal mail and packages. United Parcel Service is also available. Staff members are required to pay the postage for all personal mail and must do their own packaging.

Staff members may use on-campus Printing Services for personal copy needs, including color copies. Staff members are required to pay for all personal copying.

Rental of facilities for personal or family use

Staff members are encouraged to use campus facilities for anniversary dinners, wedding receptions and other events. For personal or immediate family use, the facility-use fee is discounted 50 percent. If staff members wish to use Creative Dining Services on campus, please consult with them as to current prices, as no discount is offered on food charges.

Discounted rental rates for rooms and facilities in the Prince Conference Center are available by calling its hotel or sales manager.

Childcare resources

Calvin University makes available two rooms for short-term childcare and one room for nursing mothers. Both rooms are located in the Chapel Undercroft. For more information, room rules and hours of use, visit childcare resources page.

Childcare rooms

In partnership with Woodlawn Christian Reformed Church, the University has set aside two childcare areas on campus. The first is a nursery/toddler room and the second is a Sunday school area with child-sized furniture. The childcare rooms are available for children of faculty, staff members and students of the university. The parent must provide a caregiver (over the age of 14) to accompany his or her child(ren). Responsibility for selecting and employing a childcare provider rests solely with each parent. Room reservations can be made by printing off the Calvin childcare room use form and sending it to the human resources office.

Nursing mothers room

Employees unable to locate a private place, in close proximity to their work area, to express breast milk should contact human resources.