University of Minnesota  Administrative Policy

Appointments of Academic Professional and Administrative Employees

Policy Statement

The employee group, academic professional and administrative (P&A), is comprised of three subgroups under which appointments are made: academic professional, academic administrative, and professional-in-training. For typical authorities/responsibilities and degree/experience requirements and preferences, refer to Appendix: P&A Employee Appointment Summary Chart - Authorities/Responsibilities and Degree/Experience Descriptors.

Academic Professional and Academic Administrative Appointments

Responsible administrators may classify a position as academic professional or academic administrative (P&A) when the position meets all or most of these core criteria:

  • Is responsible for academic programs, personnel, and academic support units;
  • Provides high level support to major system and campus administrators (those positions may include responsibilities for nonacademic functions);
  • Is a senior leader or other high-level leader or reports directly to one of these leaders;
  • Holds a high level of decision making, discretionary authority, span of control, and consequence for the University on a system, campus, or college/administrative unit basis;
  • Deals with academic constituencies;
  • Requires at a minimum, a baccalaureate degree. Exception to this requirement is given only under very rare circumstances and requires approval from the vice president of human resources.
  • Requires advanced preparation (knowledge, skills, abilities, and experience relevant to the position) of the employee.

For detailed information about academic professional appointments, refer to Appendix: Academic Professional Class Series, Job Codes, Titles, Appointment Types, and Promotions. For specific information related to professional probationary (H) and continuous appointments, refer to Appendices: Administrative Guidelines, Criteria, and Procedures for Review of Probationary (H) Academic Professionals Considered for Continuous (G) Appointment and Information for the Probationary (H) Academic Professional Candidate Being Reviewed for Continuous (G) Appointment.

For detailed information about administrative appointments, refer to Appendix: Academic Administrative Appointments - Class Series, Job Codes, Titles, Appointment Types, and Promotions.

Responsible administrators must establish a pay rate at time of hire that is consistent with the established base pay minimums. Increases to compensation may be based on merit, internal equity, external market competitiveness, and promotions. The increases are subject to the parameters provided for in the University’s annual budget process.

The Board of Regents (Board) approves the fringe benefits for academic professionals and academic administrators. These sub-categories of P&A employees are eligible for the same fringe benefits, including medical, dental, life, disability insurance, retirement, and academic tuition benefits, as are provided to the faculty.

Professionals-in-Training Appointments

Responsible administrators may classify a position as a professional-in-training position when the position meets these criteria:

  • Is an internship or residency or a position where further training is sought in the individual's disciplinary field; the employee is typically involved in research and/or teaching;
  • Is limited in duration; and
  • Requires an advanced degree.

For detailed information about professionals-in-training, refer to Appendix: Academic Professional-in-Training Appointments - Class Series, Job Codes, Titles, and Appointment Types.

Where appropriate, compensation is governed by the annual salary plan approved by the Board, and in some instances set annually by the college, in accordance with the type of appointment.

Responsible administrators must establish an initial pay rate at time of hire that is consistent with the established base pay minimums. Responsible administrators may give pay increases annually, generally at the start of each fiscal or academic year as appropriate. The increases are subject to the parameters provided for in the University’s annual budget process. Fringe Benefits are received as defined by the particular appointment and in keeping with specific eligibility requirements. For more detailed information regarding fringe benefits, refer to the specific Job Classification Description.

Classification and Additional Appointment Information

See Job Classification Descriptions for generic job descriptions of specific P&A classifications. For a complete listing, refer to Academic Job Codes and Titles at Job Families and Salary Ranges (Expand Job Family Structure). For information covering concurrent appointments, promotions, changes in appointment type, correcting a class title, adding a second official University title, designating a courtesy title, position title, and a change of employee groups, refer to Appendix: Additional Appointment Information pertaining to Academic Professionals and Academic Administrators.


Coverage under this policy does not include faculty, civil service, union-represented staff, graduate assistant, and student appointments. Academic non-employee appointments are also not covered.

Reason for Policy

This policy implements Board of Regents Policy: Employee Group Definitions (PDF). By resolution of Board of Regents in December of 1980, the academic professional and administrative (P&A) employee group was established. In accordance with this resolution, the terms and conditions of appointments within the P&A group are defined within this policy.


Subject Contact Phone Email
General Information or Procedural Assistance
  • Primary: Responsible administrator/supervisor
  • Secondary: Local campus, college, or administrative unit HR administrator
  • Other (as needed): Office of Human Resources specialist or consultant
612-624-UOHR (8647); 800-756-2363 [email protected]
Employee Benefits Information
  • Employee Benefits
  • 612-624-9090; Option 2
Responsible Individuals
Responsible Officer Policy Owner Primary Contact
  • Vice President, Office of Human Resources
  • Director of Employee and Labor Relations
  • See Contacts Table above


Appointment Type
The kind or type of academic appointment. Benefits, rights, and responsibilities vary depending on the type of appointment held by an employee. 
A descriptive title given to a position or a group of positions of sufficiently similar mix or range of responsibilities or job duties.
Classification Description
A generic description of all positions of sufficiently similar mix or range of responsibilities or job duties.
Classification Title
The formal title for a classification.
Notice of Appointment
The record governing employment by the University including salary, dates of employment, and terms. The notice of appointment will constitute the University's contract with an employee. To the extent a letter of agreement contradicts the notice of appointment or University policy, the notice of appointment constitutes the terms of employment. Special contracts authorized by the Office of the General Counsel to supersede the notice of appointment or University policy are the only exception.
Position Title
An informal title for a position that more clearly reflects the specific responsibilities.
Probationary Period
A time period during which a new employee (either new to the University or new to the department) is evaluated by the responsible administrator/supervisor to determine whether the employee can successfully meet the responsibilities assigned to the position.
A change from one classification to another classification that is assigned to a higher salary range.
Responsible Administrator
The individual hiring the employee and/or the individual to whom the employee reports.
Senior Leaders
Individuals specified as senior leaders in Board of Regents Policy: Reservation and Delegation of Authority. This includes the executive vice president and senior vice president, chancellors, vice presidents, general counsel, University librarian, the director of audits, deans (on all campuses), athletic director (Twin Cities), and others as directed by the Board, to include the Executive Director and Corporate Secretary, Board of Regents and the Chief of Staff, Office of the President.


Responsible Administrator
  • Makes an appropriate selection of the P&A employee category and follows applicable procedures in hiring;
  • Classifies the work responsibilities appropriately;
  • Determines the appointment type and term appropriate for the classification selected;
  • Has knowledge of the policies governing the P&A employee group and functions in compliance with those policies;
  • Provides annual performance reviews;
  • Develops criteria and standards for any of the academic professional promotional groups in which appointments are made;
  • Follows appropriate procedures when promoting P&A employees;
  • Follows appropriate procedures when modifying a current appointment;
  • Follow appropriate procedures in the process regarding review and granting of continuous (G) appointment; and
  • Follows appropriate procedures when non-renewing a P&A appointment.
  • Reviews carefully the letter of appointment and the online Notice of Appointment defining terms and conditions; surfaces any concerns or errors with the appropriate responsible administrator.
  • Is aware of the policies governing the appointment; and
  • Understands the terms and conditions of the appointment.
Vice President of Human Resources
  • Approves requests on rare occasions to hire a candidate who does not hold a bachelor's degree.

Related Information


April 2010 - Comprehensive Review. Language in the appendix covering additional appointment information was expanded to include promotions and revised to clarify impact on position classifications when compliance with legal determinations and requirements are at issue. Language moved into four new appendices. An additional procedure also added. General edits made.
May 2008 - Policy converted to the new University-wide format for administrative policies.
February 2006 - Academic staff appointment policy information extracted from the Academic Professional and Administrative Staff Policy and Procedures Manual. Edits were made, information was updated and expanded and put in standard University-wide policy format. Information from the document on "Guidelines for Use of the P&A Employee Category" was incorporated. Appointment policy information regarding professionals-in-training was added.
October 1990 - Revision of the Academic Professional and Administrative Staff Policy and Procedures Manual
September 1985 - Revision of the Academic Professional and Administrative Staff Policy and Procedures Manual
1984 - Information initially included in the Academic Professional and Administrative Staff Policy and Procedures Manual
March 2006