Employee groups

The addition of a new employee group called University and Academic Professionals impacts a number of university processes and procedures. This summary provides an overview of the various changes and links to additional guideline documents for more detailed information.   

Implementation dates

  • Effective January 1, 2018 all new employees and those hired into classified positions posted since July 1, 2016 transition into the new University and Academic Professional employee group.  
  • Effective July 1, 2018 Classified Staff hired before July 1, 2016 who elect to join the new employee group during the January 1 to March 31, 2018 enrollment period become University and Academic Professional.
  • Effective July 1, 2018 Administrative and Professional (A&P) Faculty appointment changes are implemented. Additional information on future appointment types for A&P Faculty is provided below. 

Within the University and Academic Professionals employee group there are two additional designations: Academic Professional and Executive/Senior Administrator.

  1. Executive & Senior Administrator: Executive/Senior Administrators are the senior officers of the university, such as president’s cabinet, members of the president’s professional staff, vice presidents, senior leadership and direct reports to vice presidents and deans. This employee designation also applies to other employees serving on employment contracts such as athletic coaches. It does not include academic administrators such as provosts, deans or vice provosts who are Teaching & Research faculty serving in an administrative role. Employment in an Executive/Senior Administrator position is for a specified term with a specific end date. See Terms and Conditions of Employment for University and Academic Professionals Designated as Executive/Senior Administrators that will be incorporated into future employment contracts.
  2. Academic Professional: Academic Professionals is an additional designation within the University and Academic Professional group. This may also be accompanied by an Affiliate or Adjunct Faculty appointment. Definition: Academic Professionals are generally salaried, exempt employees whose primary positions meet specialized professional and technical needs in direct support of academic programs to enhance the practice and quality of teaching and learning. They perform high-level duties, and frequently have specialized responsibilities in academic, research and service missions of the institution. They generally have advanced, often terminal, degrees and academic backgrounds similar to those of T&R faculty. An employee may hold the Academic Professional designation if 75% or more of their assigned responsibilities involves academic program management related to advising, curriculum development, and/or instructional design. There may be significant expectations for research activity including but not limited to participation in peer-reviewed publications, juried exhibitions or performances, or professional presentations; the preparation and oversight of externally funded grants and contracts; and/or training and oversight of students in laboratories, or studios.

Current A&P Faculty with academic responsibilities may end up in one of three employee groups, described further below. Those currently holding A&P faculty appointments without academic responsibilities will become University and Academic Professionals. See Guidelines for Determining the Appropriate Employee Group for Current Administrative and Professional Faculty with Academic Responsibilities

  1. Academic Professional, within the University and Academic Professional employee group. This may also be accompanied by an Affiliate or Adjunct Faculty appointment;
  2. Term (non-tenure track) Teaching & Research (T&R) Faculty; or
  3. Academic Administrator with a T&R Faculty appointment.  

Restricted positions
Certain University and Academic Professional positions may be designated as “restricted positions.” Restricted Positions are those positions that are limited in scope and length of time. Employment for those serving in a restricted position includes a contingency that continued employment is limited by (1) the job duties to be performed; (2) a specified time period or (3) the availability of funds. This includes positions funded by grants and contracts.

Restricted positions are identified as part of the posting in eJobs to fill a vacancy, so that all applicants are aware of the position’s restrictions prior to applying. Employees in restricted positions are notified of the contingency through the official offer letter, and the employee acknowledges by signature that they understand this designation.  Employees in restricted positions have no guarantee of employment beyond their established end dates and are not eligible for layoff rights, including severance benefits and placement rights. Restricted positions are also tracked in Banner to allow reports to be generated periodically.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
All University and Academic Professionals are designated as either exempt or nonexempt under the federal definitions in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  

Nonexempt positions are compensated at time and one-half overtime pay (or overtime leave, if agreed to by the employee and management in advance of working the additional hours) for all hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek. Overtime is calculated pursuant to the basic rate method, and overtime rates are computed at the rate applicable at the end of each pay period. Nonexempt employees must receive prior approval from their supervisor to work beyond 40 hours in a workweek. Nonexempt employee are not permitted to volunteer to work without pay beyond their regular work hours and cannot track extra hours worked off the books.

Exempt positions are not eligible to receive paid overtime or to accrue compensatory leave for hours worked over 40 in a workweek. See also: Managing exempt employees.

For more information see Overtime Guidelines or contact VCU HR Employee Relations at emprel@vcu.edu or 828-1510.

Reciprocity agreement
As employees of VCU, University and Academic Professionals are also employees of the Commonwealth of Virginia and subject to the laws of the Commonwealth.  A Reciprocity Agreement with the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM) details the continuity of service and benefits as employees move between the VCU University and Academic Professional employee group and Classified employment at other state agencies.

Other policy changes
In addition to the new designations listed above, the addition of the new University and Academic Professional employee group necessitates changes in other current policies. Recommendations for inclusion of University and Academic Professionals in following policies have been drafted for consideration by the Office of the Provost (the office responsible for administration of these policies). These policies include :

  • Adjunct Faculty Policy
  • Affiliate Faculty Policy
  • Overload Policy
  • Outside Consulting Policy, and
  • Principal Investigator on a Grant