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ASU to create new category of staff employees

February 27, 2013

The Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) has approved a policy that will enable ASU to create a new category of staff employees called University Staff. Current and continuing Service Professionals and Administrators who do not have formal contracts or faculty appointments and are employed by ASU on June 30, 2013, will be recategorized as University Staff on July 1, 2013, and thereafter.

University Staff will be employed at will. In other words, the need for year-to-year appointments will be eliminated and University Staff will be employed without an express contract of employment for a defined period of time. The new category will greatly streamline HR policies and processes for employees and for managers. It will, over time, eliminate unnecessary distinctions and differences that exist between our current Classified Staff and Service Professional categories. These differences include the outmoded practice of employing Service Professionals on a year-to-year contract based on the state's fiscal year.

Given the wide variety of funding from non-state sources coming in throughout the year, a year-to-year appointment process no longer makes good business sense. Similarly, removing the distinctions between Service Professional and Classified Staff will eliminate other policy differences based on category as opposed to length of service and position. The single category will reduce confusion about what employment policies apply. Finally, eliminating the year-to-year nature of employment will remove barriers to the recruitment and retention of talented staff and will help our evolution to an outcomes- and performance-based culture.

The Office of Human Resources (OHR) will offer guidance and training to supervisors on appropriate performance management practices in an at-will setting. For example, no involuntary employee dismissal for any reason will occur without approvals from OHR and the most senior dean or VP of the college or unit. And, if University Staff members are laid off for economic or program reduction reasons, they will receive a notice period of up to 90 days (depending on length of service and hire date).   

There are no plans to change the employment conditions for Faculty or Academic Professionals. This change also will not affect current Classified Staff, who will continue to be employed in that category and subject to existing Classified Staff policies. Classified Staff members who change jobs or are hired after March 31, 2013, will be recategorized as University Staff effective July 1, 2013, and thereafter.

This change will not affect compensation, benefits, training or career development opportunities for any current ASU employee, regardless of employment category.

Please visit the University Staff section of the OHR website to learn more about this change. If you have questions not addressed in the FAQs, please attend one of the voluntary Q&A sessions in March.