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Reclassification of a Position

During the normal course of operations, changes in primary position responsibilities may make it necessary to rewrite or update staff position descriptions. If positions change substantially (i.e., changes to at least 25% of position responsibilities), these changes should be noted and forwarded to the appropriate department head for review. The department head should review the changes to ensure equitable distribution of department workloads and the appropriate assignment of tasks. If the position has changed substantially, the position description should be rewritten and submitted to Human Resources for review.

Positions are reclassified only when formal review by Human Resources determines that the grade of the position should be changed upward or downward.

The following are examples of situations that may warrant a position reclassification:

  • Department reorganization and position restructuring
  • Addition of full-time staff reporting to the position
  • Addition of significant new area(s) of responsibility
  • Major change in level of authority and accountability

It is essential to distinguish between a change in the position content for an employee and a change in the employee’s skills, knowledge, or performance. A change to how work is done (e.g., changes to the tools or processes used to perform duties) does not normally warrant a position reclassification or pay adjustment. While such a change may require training to learn new software or methods, it does not usually change the purpose or overall accountabilities of the position.

Small changes in a position also do not influence market value or the position's core role at the University and therefore would not warrant reclassification (e.g., procedural changes to existing work, responsibility for overseeing student workers). In addition, a position would not be reclassified if the incumbent earns a degree or achieves another educational milestone, unless this results in changes in the position, level of authority, scope of responsibility, etc.

Once a position has been reclassified, Human Resources uses the guidelines on the Promotions page to recommend the appropriate employee salary within the grade.

Requests for reclassification should be made during the time period pre-designated by Human Resources and by the manager to whom the position reports, not by individual employees. If a staff member believes that his or her position needs to be reclassified, he or she should discuss this with his or her manager, who will review the request with Human Resources to determine the appropriate course of action.