UW-Madison
Unclassified Title Guideline

Summary of Unclassified Appointment Types


This document provides the definitions and guidelines for assigning titles to unclassified staff. The concepts important to determining the appropriate title for a given position are explained. If you have questions regarding any title, please call your dean's/director's office.

When filling positions in the unclassified staff, the UW-Madison open recruitment policies must be followed.  To see the open recruitment requirements, go to General Information Regarding Recruitment in the Unclassified Personnel Policies and Procedures (UPPP) Appendix 3-C, .


TYPES OF UNCLASSIFIED APPOINTMENTS

The following are the types of unclassified appointments in use at UW-Madison.  Click on each type for more information from Chapter 1 of the Unclassified Personnel Policies and Procedures.


GROUPS OF UNCLASSIFIED TITLES

UW System has established fourteen groups of titles considered to be unclassified.  General definitions of titles within the title groups are provided in the Title Definitions Within Functional Areas section.

1.        Faculty

The UW-Madison faculty consists of all persons with Instructional, research and service responsibilities who hold the rank of professor, associate professor, assistant professor or instructor, with at least a one-half time appointment with UW-Madison or a full-time appointment held jointly between UW-Madison and UW-Extension [Faculty Policies and Procedures (FPP), 1.02.A.]     

2.        Academic Administrators

Appointments with these titles are always required to be Limited.

Academic Administrators constitute the executive layer of System and institutional academic leadership. Typically, Academic Administrators hold a concurrent faculty title in addition to the Academic Administrator title.

Use of the following titles requires the advance approval of the President and the Board of Regents.

Creation of a new position with the title of Dean or with a modified "chancellor" title (e.g., Assistant Vice Chancellor) requires advance authorization from the UW System President.

This group also includes the titles Associate Dean and Assistant Dean when they require the individual to be a ranked faculty member.  Assistant and Associate Dean titles that do not require ranked faculty can be found under the Administrative Officer title group (see #5 below).

3.       Academic Program Directors

Appointments with these titles are always required to be Limited.

Academic Program Directors are ranked faculty members responsible for directing the activities of a major academic research program, institute or center. While an Academic Program Director may report to an Academic Administrator regarding budgetary or other administrative matters, he/she functions independently regarding other matters affecting the direction of the research program or institute. In larger departments, institutes or academic centers, an Academic Program Director may supervise Assistant/Associate Director, Administrative Officers, Professionals and/or Research Academic Staff.

4.       Administrative Directors

Appointments with these titles are generally required to be Limited; in unusual cases may be academic staff.

Administrative Director titles are used for the administrative heads of administrative unit. Titles in this group imply responsibility for planning the objectives and directing the activities of the unit. Depending on the prefixes assigned, directors have extensive budgetary and supervisory authority, and they are responsible for the development of final policy recommendations and policy implementation based on the evaluation of unit policy, procedures and operations.

Administrative Directors can be distinguished from Program Managers in that Directors focus on policy development and they serve in management/leadership roles, whereas Program Managers focus on policy implementation and they perform and supervise the activities of the unit.

Administrative Director titles may or may not include the term "Director" in the title. Examples of Director titles which do not use the word "Director" include Registrar, Dean of Students and Controller.  In some cases, an appropriate named director title (e.g., Director of Continuing Education, Director of Admissions) may not exist.  In such cases, it is appropriate to use an "Unspecified" designation in lieu of a generic Administrative Director title.

The specific salary range for a Director, Unspecified title is based on the Position Questionnaire (PQ) evaluation.

Criteria for Supervisory Designation: In order to be assigned to an Administrative Director title (No Prefix, Associate or Assistant), the position must meet the following minimum supervisory criteria:

  1. An unclassified staff member must supervise at least three full time equivalent (FTE) positions. This assumes the position has the authority to take decisive personnel actions. Students, limited term employees, volunteers, etc. may be counted in meeting the FTE requirement if they are a continuous and integral part of the operation.

  2. Meeting the minimum supervisory criteria does not mean a position should automatically be assigned an Administrative Director title. Supervisory responsibility is only one of several distinguishing characteristics. Other critical factors found in positions carrying the Administrative Director title include: planning objectives and setting priorities; structuring the organization; directing the overall activities of the operation, etc. These activities represent the major focus of the work and are substantially different from the duties and responsibilities of staff supervised.

Prefix Levels: Three successively higher levels of Administrative Director functions are defined - Assistant Director, Associate Director, and (No Prefix) Director. At the highest level, Directors may supervise the managers of subunits or operations within administrative units under their purview.  In very large and complex organizations a Director may report to a higher level Director. Assistant and Associate Directors usually report to a Director.

Scope Measures: Although the basic responsibilities of two Administrative Directors performing the same generic function will, by definition, be substantially similar, the scope of responsibilities may differ depending upon the size of the unit being administered. For this reason, a scope measure (in addition to an appropriate prefix), is generally provided for each generic title in a title series. Small (S), Medium (M) and Large (L) scope measures rank the scope of duties, responsibilities and impact of all generic Director titles across the institutions in the UW System. Differences in the scope of duties, responsibilities and impact of decisions in a title may reflect differences in the number and type of staff supervised, enrollment, unit budget size, or other factors. Thus, two examples of complete Director titles, including a scope measure, are Controller (M) and Associate Director, Admissions (L).

Institution size differences do not automatically determine the scope of duties, responsibilities or the impact of decisions made within a specific title. For example, the financial impact of a departmental Director at a small institution may be greater than that of a departmental Director at a larger institution if the department at the smaller institution is larger than that at the larger institution. "Large" does not mean UW-Madison per se.

5.        Administrative Officers

Appointments with these titles are generally required to be Limited; in unusual cases may be academic staff.

The Administrative Officers title group contains three sets of titles: Associate Dean, Assistant Dean and Administrative Officer.

The Associate Dean title describes positions that have comprehensive responsibility for the direct management of day-to-day administrative, instruction and research activities in a school or college.

The Assistant Dean title describes those positions with a concentration of management responsibility in an area such as counseling/career planning or curriculum development, etc.

[NOTE: Associate Deans and Assistant Deans in this title group do not require a concurrent ranked faculty appointment, whereas persons assigned an Associate Dean or Assistant Dean title in the Academic Administrator title group must have a concurrent ranked faculty appointment.]

The Administrative Officer title is similar to the Assistant Dean title as it also reflects a concentration of management responsibilities in a school, college or administrative division in an area such as budget planning and monitoring or personnel, etc.

Administrative Officer, Associate Dean and Assistant Dean titles are distinguished by Large, Medium-Large, Medium and Small scope measures.  Factors used to determine the appropriate scope are:

6.        Program Managers

Appointments with these titles are always required to be Academic Staff.

Program Manager titles are used to describe positions that manage a specific program. A Program Manager title is appropriate when the program or activity managed is not large and/or complex enough to justify an Administrative Director title. A program is a coordinated, defined set of services or activities usually focusing on a single objective. Program Manager titles should be applied to positions where the program managed typically is recognized as a free standing and distinct program function. Program management often requires the coordination of work within the unit and/or across a number of administrative units.  Although primarily a non-supervisory activity, a large and/or complex program, or one undergoing rapid growth may require that the Program Manager supervise support staff.

Program Managers often function quite independently. Typically, the services provided by a Program Manager are primarily developed and provided by the position incumbent rather than by subordinates. Program Managers can be distinguished from Directors in that Program Managers focus on policy implementation and they perform and supervise the activities of the unit, whereas Directors focus on policy development and they serve in management/leadership roles.

Each Program Manager function has level designations of I, II and III, which represent increasing size and/or complexity of similar functions. Determination of an appropriate level within the function is based on the institution rating of each position using the PQ evaluation except Academic Archivist I, II, III and Athletic Trainer I, II, III. (e.g., Research Program Manager I, II, III, Administrative Program Manager I, II, III).

7.        Professionals

Appointments with these titles are always required to be Academic Staff.

In general terms, titles in the Professional title group provide student-, administrative- or community-related services, research or instructional support, and/or activities supporting the overall objectives of a particular unit or program within UW-Madison.  Examples of titles in this category include: academic librarian, psychologist, research specialist, advisor, policy and planning analyst, student services coordinator and clinical nurse specialist.
 
The Professional title group captures a wide range of positions that vary substantially with respect to the complexity and range of duties, organizational impact and independence of action exercised.

Professional Prefix Levels—Most of the Professional titles have four levels, known as prefixes: Associate, No-Prefix, Senior and Distinguished. The prefix design is intended to offer one method of career progression to enable Professional staff to progress through a structure of successively higher levels of required proficiency within a Professional title series. Prefix levels within a title series reflect progressively greater required experience, professional expertise and knowledge applied to duties and responsibilities expected of the position.  The Distinguished prefix, however, is reserved for the truly exceptional performer who is recognized by peers within and outside the institution as a "superstar" in the specialty.  Progress along the career path does not necessarily entail growing supervisory or budgetary responsibilities. Persons at the higher levels of a particular title series may be responsible for training other professionals or for assisting, coordinating or otherwise having some responsibility for other staff activities, but supervision is not an integral part of the function performed.

8.        Instructional Academic Staff

Appointments with these titles are always required to be Academic Staff.

Instructional academic staff provide for-credit instruction and training to students in an academic discipline. Instruction or training includes classroom and/or laboratory and/or clinical teaching duties. Instructional staff involved in the outreach mission provide non-credit instruction which may involve teaching, application and integration of knowledge from several disciplines.
While there are instructional and research support titles in the Category A Professional title group, Category B includes those titles in which the duties and responsibilities are similar in responsibility level to the research or the instructional duties typical of faculty at UW-Madison.

Instructional academic staff titles have a salary minimum, but do not have a salary maximum.

Instructional Academic Staff Prefix Levels—Instructional academic staff titles have prefix levels (three, four or five).  The prefix design is intended to offer one method of career progression to enable individuals to progress through a structure of successively higher levels of required proficiency within the title series. Prefix levels within a title series reflect progressively greater required experience, professional expertise and knowledge applied to duties and responsibilities expected of the position.  The Distinguished prefix, however, is reserved for the truly exceptional performer who is recognized by peers within and outside the institution as a "superstar" in the specialty.

9.        Research Academic Staff

Appointments with these titles are always required to be Academic Staff.

Category B Research academic staff participate in conducting research, identify research problems, design research methodology, perform or supervise research and prepare results for presentation to professional organizations or for scholarly publications. A PhD or the equivalent experience and/or knowledge required to conduct research activities at the level of a principal investigator or co-principal investigator is ordinarily required to hold one of the titles in this title group.

Instructional academic staff titles have a salary minimum, but do not have a salary maximum.

Research academic staff titles have a salary minimum, but do not have a salary maximum.

Research Academic Staff Prefix Levels—Research academic staff titles have prefix levels (most have four, one has three).  The prefix design is intended to offer one method of career progression to enable individuals to progress through a structure of successively higher levels of required proficiency within the title series. Prefix levels within a title series reflect progressively greater required experience, professional expertise and knowledge applied to duties and responsibilities expected of the position.  The Distinguished prefix, however, is reserved for the truly exceptional performer who is recognized by peers within and outside the institution as a "superstar" in the specialty.

10.     Other Academic Staff/Limited

Appointments with these titles are either Limited or Academic Staff, depending on the title.

This title group is for specially defined or mandated positions and positions defined primarily with respect to the nature of their appointment. Specially defined titles include Artist-in-Residence and Consultant. Positions mandated by state statute include: State Geologist; Director, Pharmacy Internship Program; and Director, State Laboratory of Hygiene. Positions defined by the nature of their appointment include: Secretary of the Faculty; Secretary of the Academic Staff; Director, Athletics (UW-Madison); and Coach.

11.     Employees-in-Training

Persons holding a title in the Employees-in-Training title group are normally acquiring additional training or experience in their field of specialization. Two examples of Employees-in-Training titles are Postdoctoral Fellow and Postgraduate Trainee.

12.     Student Assistants

Titles in the Student Assistant title group are used for graduate students who: hold a fellowship, scholarship or traineeship (e.g. Fellow) hold an appointment which is intended primarily to further the education and training of the student (e.g. Research Assistant); are employed to assist with research, training or other academic programs or projects (e.g. Teaching Assistant, Program/Project Assistant); and/or have been assigned teaching responsibilities in an instructional department under the supervision of a faculty member. In addition, Student Assistant titles (Undergraduate Assistant) are available to undergraduate students when: no qualified graduate student is available to perform a function that would normally be assigned to graduate Student Assistants; or when the terms of a supporting grant or contract preclude the use of other normally appropriate titles.

Some examples of Student Assistant titles are Fellow, Teaching Assistant, Program Assistant, Project Assistant, Research Assistant, and undergraduate Assistant. The assignment of Student Assistant titles is delegated to the chancellor with the expectation that assignments will be in compliance with system wide definitions and/or collective bargaining agreements (when applicable).

13.     Other Special Use Titles

This title group is designed to meet special payroll, budget and university affiliation needs. For example: Teaching Supervisor is used to payroll school district staff who serve as mentors for UW System students. Academic Staff and Classified Back-Up titles are used to describe zero-dollar back-up appointments in the budget. Honorary Associate/Fellow designates the holder of a fellowship administered outside the university or a courtesy appointment for a visiting scholar.

14.     Student Hourly

Student hourly employees are comprised of students who provide part-time and/or temporary administrative, clerical, laborer, technical or other general support to UW-Madison faculty and staff.