3.1 The Relationship of Professional and Scientific Staff Members to the University of Iowa

(Amended 9/93; 10/94; 12/94; 9/1/98; 7/1/99; 5/00; 3/02; 9/02; 5/04; 11/04; 8/05; 4/06; 7/06; 12/06; 7/08; 4/09; 11/09; 12/10; 5/11; 6/11; 8/11; 10/31/11; 7/12; 8/12; 6/13; 2/15; 7/1/17)

Effective July 1, 2017, this policy has been revised. For individual changes, see the redlined version.

  1. Staff members covered: professional and scientific staff members employed in that capacity for 50 percent or more of their time, excluding staff nurses and allied health professionals whose terms of employment are established in the UI Health Care Employee Manual (available through The Point or from a local Human Resource Representative). Each staff member covered by this policy is appointed to one of the following five categories and provided specific written notice of the category at the time of appointment: 1) career status, 2) probationary status, 3) at-will status, 4) term status, 5) temporary status. A list of all P&S classifications, including the pay level/structure, career status eligibility, and probationary periods determined for each classification, is available through the Compensation and Classification website, Human Resources website, and collegiate and division offices.
  2. Career status.
    1. Probationary staff members earn career status upon completion of continuous and satisfactory performance in a position during the probationary period established for that staff member in the position.
    2. In an action of dismissal for cause relating to the staff member's lack of satisfactory performance or University-related conduct, career status will carry with it the right to place the burden of proof on the University in an appeal through the professional and scientific grievance procedure.
    3. Persons with appropriate experience may be appointed initially with career status if that status is requested in writing and recommended to the Chief Human Resources Officer by each University official or designee recommending the appointment (e.g., DEO, dean, or vice president or provost).
    4. A staff member who has previously held career status in a University position and who is appointed to a new position with career status will be given a new career status date which coincides with the date of the new appointment. In some cases, the Chief Human Resources Officer, based upon the written request of the appointing department and the other administrative officers who recommend the appointment (e.g., dean or vice president or provost), may approve retention of the original career status date.
  3. Probationary status.
    1. Probationary status is that time during which a staff member's performance is evaluated to determine whether the staff member is demonstrating the capacity for continued performance at a level necessary to meet the department or unit's standards set for the position.
    2. The probationary period for P&S classifications is 24 months, with the exception of Librarian, which is 36 months. The length of the probationary period for a staff member shall be the period designated for the class except as provided in paragraph b(3) above and paragraphs d and h below. In addition, when requested by the appointing department, the Chief Human Resources Officer can authorize the decrease in the probationary period on the basis of demonstrated and appropriate experience.
    3. If a staff member takes a leave of absence without pay during his or her probationary period, the time of the leave of absence does not count towards filling the probationary period requirement.
    4. During the probationary period, staff members will be provided with a written statement evaluating their performance at least annually. (See III-3.2 Performance Review for University Staff.)
    5. A probationary period cannot be extended beyond the original ending date without the concurrence of the staff member and of those offices which acted on the original appointment. A request by a unit to extend the probationary period of an employee must be in writing and must be countersigned by the staff member. It should be submitted to the Chief Human Resources Officer far enough in advance of the expiration of the original probationary period to permit 30 days for the Chief Human Resources Officer to review the request.
    6. Probationary staff members may be terminated at any time during the probationary period. The staff member will be informed of the reason for termination.
    7. If a probationary staff member believes that his or her termination was improper, that staff member can appeal the termination through administrative review (see III-28.2 Administrative Review).
  4. Probation upon appointment to a new position.
    1. Professional and scientific staff members with career status, who change positions and assume duties in a position covered by this policy, will serve a 1-year probationary period culminating in career status upon successful completion of the probationary period, and a new career status date, except as provided in paragraph b(3) above.

      If the P&S staff member satisfactorily completes the probation period, the Chief Human Resources Officer, based upon the written request of the appointing department, may approve retention of the original career status date.

      Regents Merit System staff members with permanent status and at least 4 years of service will serve a 1-year probationary period culminating in career status upon successful completion of the probationary period, except as provided in paragraph b(3).
    2. Career status staff members and persons with permanent status under the Regents Merit System referred to in paragraph d(1) above who do not achieve career status in the new position will be considered to have been permanently furloughed from their prior position and have the priority status rights specified in paragraph i below. Such staff members who are terminated during the probationary period for reasons other than cause relating to the staff member's performance or University-related conduct will be covered by the notice provisions of paragraph h(1) below. Such staff members who are terminated for cause related to the staff member's lack of satisfactory performance or University-related misconduct are not covered by paragraph h(1) notice requirements.
    3. A staff member who is appointed to a new position while in probationary status ordinarily will start probationary status anew. With the concurrence of those who recommend the appointment (DEO, dean, or vice president or provost), an appointing department may request the Chief Human Resources Officer to count prior probationary service toward completion of the probationary period in the new position. A minimum of one year of probationary service is required, except as provided in paragraph b(3).
    4. A staff member who is promoted or otherwise changes classifications while remaining in his or her current position (career shift) will retain career status in the new classification with no change of career status date provided the classification carries career status. A staff member in probationary status when any classification change is effective shall receive credit for the time already served in probationary status toward completion of any remaining probationary period. A Regents Merit System staff member with permanent status and at least 4 years of service, whose position is reclassified to a position that carries career status, will serve 1 year in probationary status before becoming eligible for career status, except as provided in III-3.1 b(3) and c(2) above.
    5. A staff member with career status who is permanently furloughed will not lose career status or his or her original career status date if reappointed to the same classification during the furlough period, unless the duties of the new position are substantially different, in which case the employee may be required to serve a 1-year probationary period. If the employee successfully completes the probationary period, the original career status date will be retained. If the furloughed staff member is reappointed to a different job classification in the same or a lower pay level in the same job family, the staff member ordinarily will be reappointed with career status and retain the original career status date, unless the duties of the new position are substantially different, in which case the employee may be required to serve a probationary period of no more than 1 year before returning to career status and a new career status date. If the employee satisfactorily completes the probation period for the new position, the Chief Human Resources Officer, based upon the written request of the appointing department, may approve retention of the original career status date.
  5. At-will status.
    (Amended 8/11)
    1. At-will status applies to a staff member whose administrative, policy-making, leadership, or other responsibilities make it inappropriate to confer career status in the position. At-will status also applies to a staff member who holds a temporary appointment as described in paragraph g below.
    2. Staff members in classifications at pay level 6 and above will be considered at-will for purposes of this policy and University employment.
      1. Staff members in classifications at or below pay level 5 may be considered at-will if their administrative, policy-making, or leadership responsibilities, or performance with respect to their key areas of responsibility, could significantly impact the functioning or productivity of a department, program, and/or institution. To obtain approval to designate at-will status for a position in a classification at or below pay level 5, the dean or director of an administrative unit or designee must request at-will status in writing prior to beginning recruitment for the specific position in question. The request must be submitted to, and approved by, the Chief Human Resources Officer. At the time of appointment and prior to the individual beginning employment, the hiring unit shall incorporate a paragraph into the offer letter informing the staff member that the appointment is in at-will status.
      2. Similar to paragraph (a) above and prior to the beginning the recruitment process, the dean or director of an administrative unit may request that a specific position at level 6 and above with at-will status be determined eligible for career status. Such a request for career status must be compelling based on the key areas of responsibility of the vacant position. The Chief Human Resources Officer will render a final decision on any exceptions to at-will status. At the time of appointment and prior to the individual beginning employment, the hiring unit shall incorporate a paragraph into the offer letter informing the staff member that the appointment is eligible for career status.
    3. Staff members who are appointed at-will may be terminated at any time unless as specified in paragraph h(2) below.
  6. Term status. Staff members may be appointed to term status for a specific period of time not to exceed 3 years in order to accomplish a specific purpose or when the duration of funding is limited or unknown.
    1. Reappointments to term status may be made, provided that the total period in term status does not exceed 6 years. However, a staff member who voluntarily leaves University employment before the end of a term appointment may be appointed to 6 additional years in term status.
      1. A staff member who completes 6 years in term status will be granted career status even if the position has been reclassified during the period in term status.
      2. A staff member who has achieved career status after having served 6 years in any combination of term-status professional and scientific positions, who is chosen to fill a position not previously held, may serve a probationary period in the new position of not more than 1 year prior to becoming eligible for career status, and be given a new career status date. If the employee satisfactorily completes the probation period, the Chief Human Resources Officer, based upon the written request of the appointing department, may approve retention of the original career status date.
      3. Transfers from term status. In appropriate circumstances, staff members in term status may be transferred to probationary status. With the concurrence of those administrative offices who recommend the appointment (DEO, dean, or vice president or provost), units may request the Chief Human Resources Officer to count a period of service in term status as probationary service. A minimum of 1 year of probationary service will be required before career status can be earned, except as provided in paragraph b(3) above.
    2. The nature and duration of such term appointments may be limited by contract. In the absence of special contract terms, term appointees may complete their terms unless they fail to demonstrate continued performance at a level necessary to meet the department's standards for the position.
    3. Employees in term status who are terminated for reasons other than causes relating to the staff member's lack of satisfactory performance or University-related conduct (e.g., funding, reorganization in the project, department, college, or University) will receive notice in accordance with the following schedule:
      1. One month's notice during the first year of term employment. (Unless an employee is released mid-term, the term appointment will serve as notice.)
      2. Three months' notice thereafter. (Unless an employee is released mid-term, the term appointment will serve as notice.)
        1. If a term employee has worked for The University of Iowa for 2 years or more, he or she will be offered an interview for positions applied for within the same job family, at the current pay level or below, during the furlough notice period and for 12 months following termination. University Human Resources will notify the college/division when they are required to interview a furloughed term status applicant with more than 2 years of service. In order to be interviewed under this provision, furloughed term status applicants must indicate their interest in a vacancy on Jobs@UIOWA. The appointing department will not be required to interview more than five furloughed term status applicants under this process for any given recruitment. Departments will not be required to provide separate justification for the non-selection of the term employee(s) when following the approved Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity selection process.
        2. Furloughed term status applicants must be available to interview within 3 business days of being contacted by the interviewing department. Departments are responsible for making a good faith effort to contact the furloughed term status applicant for an interview. Departments unable to contact the furloughed term status applicant, prior to submission of the Pre-Interview Audit-Report to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity, will be required to list the staff member on the report and note their attempts to contact the furloughed term status applicant for an interview.
        3. If a college/division does not believe the furloughed term status applicant is qualified for the position he or she applied for, the college/division may petition Compensation and Classification, through the Senior Human Resource Leader, for an interview waiver. The interview waiver will be approved if the furloughed term status applicant does not meet the advertised requirements, or if he or she has applied for a similar position in which he or she did not previously meet the advertised requirements. In the latter case, additional skill sets and/or knowledge attained by the furloughed term status applicant pertinent to the position will be taken into consideration. In consultation with the Senior Human Resources Leader, University Human Resources will make a final determination if the furloughed term status applicant meets the requirements for the position.
    4. In an appeal from a termination during the term of an appointment, the burden of proof shall be on the staff member. No right of reappointment shall be implied by an initial appointment. As a consequence, the notice provisions of paragraph h(1) below do not apply at the end of a term appointment.
  7. Temporary status. A staff member may serve in temporary status in a continuous appointment of not more than 1 year to meet an emergency or temporary need of the University. Temporary appointments of less than 50 percent (1040 hours) will not be subject to the 1-year appointment limitation. Staff members in temporary status serve "at will."
    1. If during the term of the 50 percent (1040 hours) or greater temporary appointment the department anticipates the position extending beyond 1 year, then an affirmative action search must be completed as soon as possible and no later than within 1 year of the start of the initial temporary appointment. An affirmative action search also must be completed in the event that a temporary appointment of less than 50 percent (1040 hours) is increased to 50 percent (1040 hours) or more time and is expected to extend beyond the initial 1-year temporary appointment. Exceptions include appointment in classifications experiencing a labor shortage.
    2. Limited extensions of temporary appointments of 50 percent or more time beyond 1 year are permitted in extenuating circumstances with the prior approval of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity.
    3. Temporary appointments held by retirees are subject to the standards outlined above, with the exception of those classifications designated on an annual basis by Compensation and Classification to be experiencing a labor shortage.
    4. The Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity establishes search procedures for affirmative action searches. Contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity, 202 Jessup Hall, for more information about search procedures.
  8. Terminations for other than cause.
    1. Staff members in probationary or term status who are terminated prior to the end of the probationary period or term for reasons other than causes relating to the staff member's lack of satisfactory performance or University-related conduct (e.g., funding, reorganization in the project, department, college, or University) will receive notice in accordance with the following schedule:
      1. One month's notice during the first year of employment;
      2. Three months' notice thereafter.

        The notice provisions of this subsection will not apply if the Senior Vice President for Finance and Operations determines that notice of such duration would seriously impair the financial integrity of a major administrative unit (college or division) of the University.
    2. At-will employees who are terminated for reasons other than causes relating to performance or University-related conduct shall receive the same notice period described above. The notice provisions of this subsection will not apply if the Senior Vice President for Finance and Operations determines that notice of such duration would seriously impair the financial integrity of a major administrative unit of the University.
    3. Staff members in career status will receive the following notice if permanently furloughed for reasons stated in paragraph i(1) below:
      1. Six months if furloughed during the first 4 years of current career status;
      2. Nine months if furloughed during the next 4 years of current career status;
      3. Twelve months if furloughed thereafter.

        The notice provisions of this subsection will not apply if the Senior Vice President for Finance and Operations determines that notice of such duration would seriously impair the financial integrity of a major administrative unit of the University.
    4. The application of the notice provisions of this subsection will be based upon the individual's status (as probationary, term, at-will, or career) and length of service at the time the notice is given to the staff member. If this notice is late, extended, or a new notice is issued, the application of these provisions will be based upon the status and length of service when the extension or new notice is issued.
  9. Permanent furloughs.
    1. "Permanent furlough" means termination of employment, or an involuntary reduction in time accompanied by a proportionate reduction in salary.
    2. If qualified, staff members in career status who have received notice of a permanent furlough or who are permanently furloughed will have priority status with regard to vacant regular professional and scientific positions at The University of Iowa. The procedures established in paragraphs (a) and (b) below will be followed:
      1. Prior to filling any such position which is in a pay level no higher than the pay level of the position from which the furloughed career status applicant was permanently furloughed, the furloughed career status applicant will have the right of first consideration for the position. The Chief Human Resources Officer or designee will notify the college/division when an eligible furloughed career status applicant exercises priority consideration and the search process for the position will be halted.

        All furloughed applicants eligible for paragraph i(2) priority status will be given an equal opportunity to be considered for such position. The furloughed career status applicant shall be interviewed by the department, utilizing the search committee that was established when the position was announced. Once the search process has been halted, it may not be resumed until approval to proceed has been received from the Chief Human Resources Officer or designee. If a furloughed career status applicant applies for a vacant regular professional and scientific position that is at his or her current pay level or below and does not invoke furlough priority status at the time of application, the furloughed career status applicant will not be eligible to invoke furlough priority status for the vacant position.

        Senior Human Resource Leaders may request an applicant pool be opened if the furloughed career status applicant is not available for interview within 3 business days following notice of their priority from University Human Resources. Departments are responsible for making a good faith effort to contact the furloughed career status applicant for an interview within the 3-day period. Departments unable to contact the furloughed career status applicant, prior to submission of the Pre-Interview Audit-Report of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity, will be required to list the furloughed career status applicant on the report, but the furloughed career applicant will no longer have priority consideration.
      2. Furlough rights will exist during the notice period and for one year from the end of the furlough notification period unless during that period the furloughed career status applicant accepts a regular or term position or fails to accept appointment to a comparable position for which he or she qualifies. If a furloughed career status applicant does not accept a comparable position, the Chief Human Resources Officer or designee will determine if furlough rights will be preserved.
      3. Colleges, major administrative units, or departments are required to forward letters of permanent furlough notification to the Chief Human Resources Officer or designee. Position elimination notification letters for at-will, probationary, or temporary employees also should be forwarded to the Chief Human Resources Officer.
      4. Organizations/divisions may request to disqualify a furloughed career status applicant or request a waiver of the interview process if the furloughed career status applicant does not meet the advertised requirements of the position or has applied for a similar position in which they did not previously meet the advertised position requirements.
        1. Organizations/divisions may appeal to University Human Resources to request an interview waiver for a furlough career status applicant who does not meet the advertised requirements of the position. University Human Resources will communicate the waiver request to the furloughed career status applicant within 1 business day of receiving the request, and the furloughed career status applicant will have 2 business days after receiving the information from University Human Resources to respond. In consultation with the Senior Human Resources Leader, University Human Resources will make a final determination if the furloughed career status applicant meets the requirements for the position.
        2. Organizations/divisions may appeal to University Human Resources to disqualify a furloughed career status applicant using a previous disqualification rationale if the position applied for is the same or very similar to a previous position for which they applied. University Human Resources will communicate the disqualification request to the furloughed career status applicant within 1 business day of receiving the request, and the furloughed career status applicant will have 2 business days after receiving the information from University Human Resources to respond. Additional skill sets and/or knowledge will be taken into consideration. In consultation with the Senior Human Resources Leader, University Human Resources will make a final determination if the furloughed career status applicant meets the requirements of the position.
  10. Furlough lump-sum payment option.
    1. When a department determines that a permanent furlough notice needs to be provided to an employee, the department may offer the furlough lump sum payment option in lieu of the standard furlough notification period described under III-3.1h(3). In order to be offered this option, the employee must have at least 1 year of employment in career status. This option is offered at the choice of the department upon approval from University Human Resources.
    2. Departments may offer the furlough lump sum payment option if it was not initially offered in the original furlough notification letter. The department will be required to initiate a new Reduction in Force (RIF) and a revised furlough notification letter offering the furlough lump sum payment option and revised notification dates.
    3. A 90-calendar-day notice period begins on the date the staff member receives the written notice of position elimination, regardless of the length of time in career status at the time of notice. The employee will remain employed during the notice period, and will receive priority consideration for vacant positions for which he or she is qualified during the 90-calendar-day notice period, and for 1 year after termination from The University of Iowa. The 90-calendar-day notice period may be reduced or waived upon the agreement of parties. The employee will be eligible for priority consideration for the period described above.
    4. At the end of the 90-calendar-day notice period, if through the process of priority consideration no vacancy has been identified for which the staff member is qualified, or if the staff member has not declined a position for which he or she is qualified, the staff member is paid a lump sum in lieu of the longer notice period available under the current option, according to the following schedule:
      1. One year in career status: 1 week's pay (1 week per year since most recent date career status was received).
      2. Two years in career status: 4 weeks' pay (2 weeks per year since most recent date career status was received).
      3. Three years in career status: 9 weeks' pay (3 weeks per year since most recent date career status was received).
      4. Four years or more in career status: 4 weeks' pay per year since most recent career status date was achieved (maximum 26 weeks of pay).
    5. If the staff member terminates employment from the University for any reason, before the end of the 90-calendar-day notice period, except under the conditions described above in paragraph j(2) above, the lump sum payment will not be paid.
    6. The University will contribute to health insurance for the staff member only towards COBRA coverage for 12 months following termination.
    7. If the department chooses to offer the lump-sum furlough option based on operating needs, it is to be presented as a choice for the staff member, with the first option being that of the current notice period during which the staff member remains employed for the entire notice period of 6 to 12 months.

      The employee will have 3 weeks to respond with a decision on whether or not to accept the lump-sum furlough option. If the employee does not respond within the 3-week period, the furlough process described in III-3.1i will be followed. If the staff member responds with a preference but the department and staff member cannot agree on the option, the furlough process described in III-3.1i will be followed. Whichever option goes into effect, the respective notice period begins on the date the staff member was given the written notice of job elimination.
    8. Once the lump-sum option has been offered and accepted, it may be revoked at any time during the 90-calendar-day notice period upon agreement by both parties.
    9. In the event that a staff member's position is eliminated more than once during his or her University employment, the individual may elect the lump-sum option no more often than once in a 12-month period, nor more than twice during his or her total University employment.
  11. Furlough Networking Program (7/15/08). The University of Iowa Furlough Networking Program is intended for University of Iowa professional and scientific (P&S) non-organized employees who have been given a permanent furlough notification letter or currently are permanently furloughed (referred to in this document as "furloughed employee").

    In order to facilitate the placement of furloughed employees at The University of Iowa, the following policy may be used to secure regular, specified term, or temporary P&S non-organized positions:
    1. This policy shall apply to permanently furloughed employees holding career, specified term, at-will, or probationary status.
    2. Furloughed employees and/or Human Resources Unit Representatives may initiate contact with colleges, divisions, departments, or laboratories across campus to determine what employment opportunities may be available.
    3. If a college, division, department, or laboratory has a position vacancy and wants to fill the vacancy with a furloughed employee, they may do so as long as the position has not been advertised on Jobs@UIOWA. If the position has already been advertised or currently is being advertised on Jobs@UIOWA, the normal Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity recruitment process must be followed.
    4. If a college, division, department, or laboratory does not have a vacant position but wishes to hire the furloughed employee, they can request the creation a new position by completing a Position Change Form (Reason: New Position) and attaching a copy of the local job description and an organizational chart.
    5. Preliminary discussions between the employee and the departmental Human Resources Unit Representative regarding salary and a proposed start date will take place prior to offering the position to the furloughed employee.
    6. If a college, division, department, or laboratory has funding for a vacant position and intends to hire a furloughed employee, they must complete a Transfer Form (Reason for Transfer: Furlough Transfer). A copy of the offer letter, the furloughed employee's resume or curriculum vitae, and salary justification, if required, must be attached to the Transfer Form.
      1. The employee shall transfer to the new position with the same job status (e.g., career to career, specified term to specified term, and probationary to probationary), as appropriate. A probationary employee will be asked to serve additional time in probationary status based upon III-3.1d(5) above.
      2. By accepting a transfer to the new college, division, department, or laboratory into a regular P&S non-organized position, the furloughed employee no longer will have furlough rights/priority consideration for regular P&S non-organized positions.
      3. By accepting a transfer to the new college, division, department, or laboratory into a temporary position, the furloughed employee will retain furlough rights/priority consideration for regular P&S non-organized positions until such time furlough rights/priority consideration ends. If the furloughed employee cannot successfully perform the responsibilities of the temporary position, the furloughed employee will return to his or her former position for the remainder of the furlough notification period.