Academic / Staff Classification Movement


  • The attributes of Academic Positions and Staff Positions are different:
    • Academic and Staff Positions are in two distinct personnel programs with separate sets of policies, including benefits and privileges
    • Some Academic Positions may be reappointed every year (typically on July 1st)
    • Staff Positions are ongoing and include career benefits and rights under PPSM policies, unless defined by a limited, employment contract or per diem appointment
    • Affirmative Action methodology is different in each program
    • Academic positions permanently budgeted are centralized and guaranteed funding by the campus
    • Staff positions permanently budgeted are decentralized to the campus control units and not guaranteed funding
  • Academic Positions typically do not report to a staff position.
  • The campus rarely sponsors visas for staff employees.  This leads to positions being classified as an academic.
  • Academic titles should be used if the position is being remunerated for its academic accomplishments.
  • Perceived advantages to Staff classifications include broader and often higher salary ranges, and no rigorous academic merit review process.
  • Perceived advantages to Academic classifications include consistent and potentially higher merit salary increases percentage based on academic accomplishments.  However, the merit review process generally occurs on a two to three year cycle.


  • If the academic-related duties of an Academic position are no longer applicable,
    • The home department should consult with their Dean’s office, who will then consult with the Academic Personnel Office for concurrence if necessary.
    • If the academic position has an incumbent, communication with the incumbent should occur to explain the personnel program differences.
    • The home department must create a new job description for the position detailing the staff level work the position is now expected to perform, submit the description to Compensation for classification, and then recruit for the newly developed staff vacancy.
    • Ideally, the home department will wait until the academic appointment expires.  The department can terminate the academic appointment and then begin the staff appointment on July 1st (or after the academic appointment ends) after the conclusion of the recruitment process.
    • Occasionally, the home department may need to terminate the academic appointment earlier than the end date (which is usually June 30th).  If this occurs, the employee needs to be noticed of the changes to the terms and conditions of their employment, and issued a layoff notice per APM 145 or relevant collective bargaining contract provision.
    • A caveat is if the employee has been in an Academic appointment for eight or more years, a Notice of Intent and a Notice of Action will need to be issued on the non-reappointment (appointments with less than eight years self-terminate with no further notice needed), per APM 137.  For academic appointees in positions covered by collective bargaining agreements, relevant contract provisions should be followed.
  • If a Staff position has morphed into a predominantly Academic position, the home department should discuss the changes with the department Chair, the appropriate Dean, and then the Academic Personnel Office for concurrence.
    • The home department should create a new job description for the position detailing the academic focused work the position is now expected to perform, submit the description to their Dean’s office, which will forward it to the Academic Personnel Office for classification, and then recruit for the newly developed academic vacancy or ask for a search waiver.
    • The home department will terminate the staff appointment and begin the academic appointment after the conclusion of the recruitment process or approval of the search waiver.
    • If the staff position is covered by the terms of a collective bargaining agreement, requirements of the agreement should be considered in the process.
  • Reclassifications from a Staff to an Academic title are not possible.
  • Reclassifications from an Academic to a Staff title are not possible.