3.6 Classification Review of a Merit Position to a Professional and Scientific (P&S) Staff Position

(1/03; 11/04; 8/05; 3/06; 7/06; 12/06; 4/09; 11/09; 5/10; 10/31/11)
  1. Purpose. The University of Iowa classification system was established to meet the needs for employing staff with the appropriate mix of skills to meet the multiple missions of all University entities and to ensure that staff members are appropriately and equitably recognized for their contributions. It is the responsibility of departments/administrative units to develop ongoing plans for staffing. The department/administrative unit must consider unit requirements as they relate to the number of staff and classification allocation necessary to effectively operate the unit. This policy clarifies the process for seeking and conducting a classification review for a filled position.
  2. Policy.
    1. Eligible employees. All regular (non-temporary) merit employees who have an appointment of 50 percent or greater and request to have their position reviewed using the professional and scientific (P&S) classification evaluation system are covered by this policy.

      Merit employees may not initiate a career shift request to Librarian classifications; however, the department shall have the authority to request a classification review if it is determined necessary to meet business needs. Merit employees may not request a career shift to an SEIU-designated classification.
    2. Review process. When the key areas of responsibilities and authority of a position substantially differ from those established in the University's merit position description for the current classification, while also fulfilling a department/administrative unit's needs for a different job classification, the position is eligible for consideration for assignment to the professional and scientific (P&S) work category.
    3. Procedures. Any merit employee described above, supervisor, or department/administrative unit may initiate a classification review of an occupied position. University Human Resources will establish procedures for requesting and processing requests for classification review. (See https://hr.uiowa.edu/careers/merit/merit-ps.) Any change in classification must be approved by University Human Resources to assure the correct University classification is assigned.
    4. Timelines. After an employee, supervisor, or department initiates a request for a classification review, the department shall provide a recommendation on the request within 30 calendar days. The college/major administrative unit review shall provide a decision on the classification request within 30 calendar days following receipt of the departmental recommendation.

      The Chief Human Resources Officer will solicit an opinion from the University Merit Position Review Committee, and shall issue a final decision within 30 calendar days following receipt of the college/major administrative unit recommendation. During peak time periods, March 1 through June 30, the Chief Human Resources Officer will issue a final decision within 45 calendar days. The decision by Human Resources shall be considered final and not subject to appeal.

      Reviews may be initiated throughout the year and, if the classification is changed, shall be effective on the first day of the month following central administration approval. Failure to act within the prescribed time frame shall automatically move the request to the next administrative level unless, by mutual agreement, there is an extension of the deadline.
    5. Responding to staff requests. This policy provides for periodic feedback to the employee and department on the progress of a request. All requests for a change in classification shall be forwarded to the college/major administrative unit, even if the supervisor and/or department deny a staff member's request. Upon final denial of a classification review request by the college/major administrative unit review, the staff member shall receive written notification of denial, the specific reasons for the denial, and a description of the appeal process.
    6. Appeals. This policy provides an appeal process for individuals or departments/administrative units to present their objections to a denial of classification change for an occupied position. Denials of classification requests may be submitted to the University Appeals Committee (UAC).
      1. University Appeals Committee (UAC). Three members shall be appointed by the Chief Human Resources Officer for a period of three years, with possibility of a renewed appointment, and are required to have knowledge of P&S and merit position classifications. At least one appointment shall consist of a campus human resources professional.
      2. Upon written notification of the denial, the individual or department initiating the request has 15 calendar days to submit an appeal of the classification to the chair of the UAC. The written request for appeal shall address why the staff member or supervisor believes the college/major administrative unit review decision is incorrect. The individual or department initiating the appeal may request to meet with the UAC in person. Such requests shall be granted. If a written request for appeal is not submitted within the 15-calendar-day period, the denial shall be considered final and not subject to appeal.
      3. If the UAC denies the appeal, the denial shall be considered final. However, if the UAC reverses a college/major administrative unit denial, the documentation shall be forwarded to the Chief Human Resources Officer for consideration. The decision by Human Resources shall be considered final and not subject to appeal.
    7. Compensation upon career shift shall follow the pay practices established by University Human Resources, taking into account the significance in the change of responsibilities, relationship to the designated market range and median zone, and other relevant factors (see https://hr.uiowa.edu/career-development/shift-new-classification). Determinations regarding salary are subject to Administrative Review (see III-28.2).
      1. On-call, standby, and callback pay will not be considered when determining the salary upon a change to a professional classification. Departments may petition for the consideration of overtime in determining compensation when it has been consistent over an extended period of time.
      2. Future merit step increases will not be considered when determining the career shift salary increase.
      3. If a merit employee with permanent status and at least four years of service is moved to a P&S position that is eligible for career status, the employee will serve one year in probationary status before becoming eligible for career status, except as provided in III-3.1 b(3) and c(2) above. If a merit employee with less than four years of service is moved to a P&S position that is eligible for career status, the employee will be required to serve the full probationary period.
      4. Employees considering changing from a merit classification to a P&S classification are advised to compare the difference in the benefits provided to employees in these work categories.