3.4 Classification Review of Professional and Scientific (P&S) Staff Positions

(11/1/96; amended 7/1/99; 11/04; 8/05; 3/06; 7/06; 12/06; 1/08; 5/10; 10/31/11)

Purpose. The University of Iowa professional and scientific 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 are appropriately and equitably classified and recognized for their contributions. Each classification has an approved University title, although specific working titles also may be designed within employing units. It is the responsibility of departments/administrative units to determine unit requirements as they relate to the number of staff and the classification mix necessary to effectively operate the unit. This policy addresses the process for seeking and conducting a classification review based upon a change of duties and responsibilities of a filled position.

  1. Staff members covered. All regular (non-temporary) P&S staff members holding appointments of 50 percent or more are covered by this policy. Those holding appointments of less than 50 percent may request classification review through normal administrative channels.
  2. Types of classification changes. When the duties and responsibilities of a position substantially differ from those established in the University's classification description for the current classification, while also fulfilling a department/administrative unit's needs for a different classification, the position is eligible for reclassification to a higher, equal, or lower pay level:
    1. Career promotion to a new classification in a higher pay level (whether same or different function/family), demonstrated by significant and sustained changes involving new duties, additional key areas of responsibility, expanded scope, and to the extent that the key areas of responsibilities of a another classification have become the best fit overall for the work performed.
    2. Career shift to a new classification at the same or lower pay level (whether same or different function/family), demonstrated by significant and sustained changes involving different duties, key areas of responsibilities, changes in scope, and to the extent that the key areas of responsibilities of another classification have become the best fit overall for the work performed.
    Any change in classification, whether a promotion or a career shift, will be based upon the sustained performance of new duties, typically for a period of at least 6 months and anticipated to be continuing into the foreseeable future. These are duties that have not been recognized in previous classification decisions.
  3. Procedures. Any staff member, 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/career-development). Any change in classification must be approved by University Human Resources to assure the correct University classification is assigned.
  4. Timelines. After an individual, supervisor, or department initiates a request for a classification review, the department shall act on the request within 30 calendar days. The college/major administrative unit shall act on the request within 30 calendar days following receipt of the departmental recommendation. The Division/College Review Committee (DCRC) or University Review Committee (URC) shall make its decision within 30 calendar days of the committee meeting (refer to Review, below, for definitions of committees). The Chief Human Resources Officer shall issue a final decision within 30 calendar days following receipt of the college/major administrative unit or DCRC/URC recommendation for a change in classification. During peak time periods, March 1 through June 30, the Chief Human Resources Officer will issue a final decision within 45 calendar days. Reviews may be initiated throughout the year and, if the classification is changed, it 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. 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, the staff member shall receive written notification of denial, the specific reasons for the denial, and a description of the appeal process.
  6. Compensation upon promotion (see https://hr.uiowa.edu/career-development/promotion) or career shift (see https://hr.uiowa.edu/career-development/shift-new-classification) shall follow the pay practices established by University Human Resources, taking into account any change in pay level, the significance in the change of responsibilities, relationship to the designated market range and median zone, and other relevant factors. Determinations regarding salary are subject to Administrative Review (see III-28.2).
  7. 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. Each college/major administrative unit with sufficient resources shall appoint a DCRC to consider appeals. Where the administrative unit lacks sufficient resources to develop a standing committee, appeals shall be directed to the URC. This shall be the appeal venue for central administrative employees and those of smaller colleges/administrative units. The DCRC and URC shall each consist of:
    1. At least two professional and scientific staff members appointed for two to three years, with the possibility of a renewed appointment;
    2. A primary human resources professional or designee; and
    3. A representative knowledgeable of the position being reviewed, at the discretion of the DCRC/URC membership, appointed on an ad hoc basis.

      If the supervisor or department/administrative unit denies a change in classification request initiated by a staff member, the department/administrative unit shall forward the request and specific information on the reason for the denial to the college/major administrative unit. If the college/major administrative unit denies the request, written notification shall be provided to the staff member, supervisor, and department, detailing the reasons for denying the request. 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 DCRC/URC. The written request for appeal shall address why the staff member or supervisor believes the division/college decision is incorrect. The individual or department initiating the appeal may request to meet with the DCRC/URC 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.

      If the college/major administrative unit denies the appeal and the denial is sustained by the DCRC/URC, the denial shall be considered final. However, if the DCRC/URC reverses a college/major administrative unit denial, the documentation shall be forwarded to the Chief Human Resources Officer for consideration. The decision by the Chief Human Resources Officer shall be considered final.