Academic Staff Category A
Title Assignment Policy and Procedures

Introduction

The University of Wisconsin System Academic Staff Title and Salary Structure was implemented on the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse campus during the 1986-87 academic year.  A major goal of the structure is to provide career progression for members of the academic staff.  Within the structure there are two defined types of career progression.  The first type is “progression within a title.” Most academic staff titles are designed to reflect greater levels of proficiency within the title, e.g., associate, no prefix, and senior.   The second type of career progression is “progression across titles” which encompasses movement through a series of titles reflecting greater levels of supervisory, budgetary, and decision-making control and impact.

The primary goal of these policies and procedures is to ensure that the title and salary structure is applied fairly and equitably across the campus. The campus procedures allow for:  1) comprehensive review of positions to determine whether the assigned title reflects present duties and responsibilities (career progression across titles) and 2) individual position reviews to determine whether the title reflects current duties and responsibilities (career progression across titles) or to determine whether the academic staff member is eligible for movement in a title (career progression within title).

The general principles of the Academic Staff Title and Salary Structure are outlined in the final report of Hayes/Hill, Inc. (May 29, 1986); the Supplementary guidelines for implementation of  New Academic Staff Titles issued by President Kenneth A. Shaw on January 15, 1987; the Academic staff title structure: Background Guidelines and Definitions for use bv the Academic Staff Title Assignment Review Team (February 2, 1988); and UWS Unclassified Title Definition Book (December 23, 1991).

I.    Title Review Committee

  1. Membership:  The Title Review Committee will consist of the Director of Academic Staff Policies and six members of the academic staff who either have titles in the Director series (Assistant, Associate, or No Prefix) or have a senior or distinguished designation in the professional titles.  The Director of Personnel may act as a consultant to this group. 
  2. Role of the Committee:  The committee as defined in membership advises the Chancellor on the administration of the Academic Staff Title and Salary Structure including the following: 
    1. Reviewing requests for changes within a title. 
    2. Reviewing requests for changes across a title. 
    3. Conducting reviews of titles assignments and making recommendations to the Chancellor for final action on title changes. 
    4. Ensuring that the Academic Staff Title and Salary Structure is applied fairly and equitably across the UW-La Crosse campus. 

II.   Review Processes 

  1. Comprehensive Review: To determine whether titles assigned to Category A academic staff accurately reflect their duties and responsibilities, all Category A academic staff will be asked to complete a new or revised Position Description Questionnaire (PDQ) every five years.  The review will be conducted using the PDQ, additional information provided by the position-holder and supervisor, and definitions in the Academic Staff Title Structure (February 2, 1988), as well as information from the documents referenced in the Introduction on page 1.  Individuals whose duties and responsibilities have not changed substantially, but who are eligible for prefix changes within their present titles will be referred to the procedures for Individual Position Review (see below). 
  2. Individual Position Review: lf an academic staff member and/or the member's supervisor believes that his/her present title does not reflect the duties and responsibilities of the position, the staff member and/or supervisor may request a position review.  The review process is initiated by submitting the specified number of revised PDQs to the Director of Academic Staff Policies.  An addendum must be attached to the revised PDQ that will detail the permanent change in duties, responsibilities, scope, or range of activities assigned to the position. A current organizational chart for the division and the unit must be attached.  Requests must include a recommendation, either positive or negative, from both the supervisor and the division head or dean. 

All material will be forwarded by the Director of Academic Staff Policies to the Title Review Committee for review based on the procedures detailed in this document. 

III.  Procedures 

Members of the Title Review Committee will review all material presented and will make recommendations to the Chancellor within 30 days after the deadline for the receipt of PDQs.  Salary adjustments resulting from title reviews will be effective June 30 following the date of the committee's recommendation to the Chancellor for final decision. The staff member and/or the supervisor may make an oral presentation to clarify the request if they so desire, or if the committee requests.  The title evaluation system will be used as needed, required, or requested.

The following information details procedures related to specific title groups. 

  1. Professional: The three prefixes defined are the Associate, No Prefix, and Senior for the Professional series. 
    1. Associate to No Prefix Eligibility: After two (2) years of employment in a position, the individual should be functioning at the No Prefix level of proficiency, performing his/her duties as a fully competent professional. This type of title change is considered routine, but not automatic.  Change is dependent upon the documented position performance of the incumbent.  If the title assignment change is approved by the Chancellor, the pay increase will be the minimum of the No Prefix range or at least a 5% increase over the present salary, whichever is greater.  This increase will be made on base prior to, and independent from, any annual pay plan adjustments. 
    2. No Prefix to Senior Eligibility:  In order to be eligible for change to the Senior level, the incumbent must have at least seven (7) years of comparable professional experience including the most recent five (5) years at UW-La Crosse in the same salary range.  For purposes of movement to the Senior level, comparable experience is defined as experience in similar fields, scope or size of operation, and similar duties and responsibilities.  In addition to documented experience and exemplary performance reviews, the individual must provide evidence of the development of new techniques, approaches, or methods to solve problems in an independent fashion.  Recognition in one's professional field through participation in professional organization, system-wide committees, and other outside activities must also be documented.  Public and/or University service (including governance participation) will be a consideration.  If the title assignment is approved by the Chancellor, the pay increase will be the minimum of the Senior designation pay range or at least a 10% increase in the present salary, whichever is greater.  This increase will be made on base prior to, and independent from, any annual pay plan adjustments. 
    3. Distinguished Eligibility: Movement to the Distinguished level is not part of a natural career progression track for professional staff and may only be achievable by a small number of professionals. Seniority or longevity alone are not sufficient to establish eligibility for movement to the Distinguished level.  In order to be eligible to apply for a change to the Distinguished level, the incumbent  must provide documented evidence of the following:
      • Twelve or more years of progressively responsible experience in their professional field as a fully competent professional (no prefix) and/or senior level; including the most recent seven (7) years at UW-La Crosse. 
      • Consistent record of performance at an exceptional level as evidenced by excellent performance evaluations and/or awarded merit above the average yearly salary packages. 
      • Extraordinary achievements as recognized by peers in the field either regionally, statewide, nationally, or internationally but certainly beyond the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse which is defined for this policy and interpreted by Hayes/Hill as the "work unit".  Typically this recognition by peers and the related activities will have taken place beyond the normal collegial relationships.  Superior attainments must be demonstrated through, for example. receipt of special honors and recognition.  These accomplishments have been and continue to be made over a significant period of time. 
      • Exceptional competencies and achievements in their occupational areas in at least three (3) ongoing and distinct areas.  Examples may include, but are not limited to the following:  (1) Making presentations before recognized regional, state, or national professional organizations on new techniques or methods; (2) Receiving awards of achievement for contribution to the profession from recognized regional, state, or national organizations; (3) Serving as a consultant for recognized regional, state, or national organizations or agencies; (4) Providing expert advice and/or testimony to solve complex problems; (5) History of professional publication that contributes to the body of knowledge in the field; (6) Presenting educational or training programs for external post secondary organizations and institutions; (7) Developing innovative methods, techniques or professional skills which are regionally, statewide, or nationally recognized and applied beyond the "work unit". 
      • Provide guidance and training within and/or beyond the "work unit" to other professionals in the field as evidenced by (1) an ongoing reputation as a problem solver and (2) informal and formal sharing of expertise with other staff including senior professional and/or administrators. 
      • Exceptional record of University and Public Services. 
      If the title assignment is approved by the Chancellor, NORMALLY (unless there is a state of budget exigency), the pay increase will be the minimum of the Distinguished designation pay range or at least a 10% increase in the present salary, whichever is greater.  This increase will be made on the base salary prior to, and independent from, any annual pay plan adjustment. 
  2. Program Managers: Career progression is dependent on complexity and expansion of the program administered as well as growth in the experience and knowledge base of the position-holder.  There are three function level designations of I, II, and III.  The determination of levels will be based on the rating of positions using the title evaluation instrument. 
    1. From level I to level II, if the new level is approved by the Chancellor, the pay increase will be the minimum of level II or at least 5% increase in the present salary, whichever is greater.  This increase will be made on base prior to, and independent from, any annual pay plan adjustments. 
    2. From level II to level III, if new level is approved by the Chancellor, the pay increase will be the minimum Salary range for level III or a 10% increase in the present salary, whichever is greater.  This increase will be made on base prior to, and independent from ADVANCE \d3, ADVANCE \u3any annual pay plan adjustments. 
  3. Directors:  The three prefixes defined for the Director series are the Assistant, Associate and No Prefix. Unlike the Professional series, entry into the Director series or progression from one prefix level to another reflects the organizational structure and appropriate levels of supervisory, budgetary, and decision-making authority. A move to or within the Director titles normally requires search and screen. This, however, does not preclude, at the No Prefix level, an expansion of responsibilities, or an administrative reorganization as approved by the Chancellor. If the title assignment change is approved by the Chancellor, the pay increase will be the minimum of the relevant salary range or at least a 10% increase over the present salary, whichever is greater. This increase will be made on base prior to, and independent from, any annual pay plan adjustments. 
  4. Progression Across Title Groups 
    1. If, as a result of either the Comprehensive Review or the Individual Position Review, the committee recommends and the Chancellor approves a title change across title groups which results in a salary range change, the pay range will be the minimum of the new pay range or at least a 10% increase over the present salary, whichever is greater.  This increase will be made on base prior to, and independent from, any annual pay plan adjustments. 
    2. If, as the result of either the Comprehensive Review or the Individual Position Review, the disposition of the request is a title change, but not a salary range change, no salary adjustment will occur. 

IV.  Appeals 

Those wishing to appeal the decisions made by the Chancellor based upon recommendation of the Title Review Committee must submit the appeal in writing to the director of Academic Staff Policies within 30 days of notification of the decision. The appeal will be reviewed by a vice-member subcommittee of the academic staff Noninstructional Grievance Committee. The committee will make a determination on whether the Academic Staff Title and Salary Structure Policy was correctly and justly applied during the review process. If questions on procedure exist, the review request will be referred back to the Title Review Committee for reevaluation and recommendation based on current policy. If the grievance subcommittee believes there was bias in the process, the subcommittee will make an appropriate recommendation directly to the Chancellor and will forward a copy of their determination to the chair of the Academic Staff Council. If the grievance subcommittee determines that the procedures followed were in compliance with the policies and that the decision was correct and equitable, the appeal will be denied. The applicant must wait one year before resubmitting an Individual Position Review. Resubmitted requests must include new information for review across titles or additional years of service for review within title. 

Approved 3/21/89
Revised 5/8/90
Revised 9/5/90
Revised 4/1/91
Revised 4/3/92