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Chapter Topics: [ I. Administration & Governance] [ II. Funding, Budget and Operations] [ III. Personnel ] [ IV. Other Personnel Policies ] [ V. Curriculum and Related Policies ] [ VI. Student Academic Affairs ] [ VII. College Relations ] [ VIII. Resources & Services ] [ Glossary of L&S Terms ]
Chapter III Contents: [ III.1 Recruitment ] [ III.2 Retention ] [ III.3 Affirmative Action ] [ III.4.1 Faculty Appointments ] [ III.4.2 Faculty Pay Equity Implementation Guidelines ] [ III.5.1 Academic Staff ] [III.5.2 Short Term Instructional Academic Staff] [ III.6. Zero Dollar & Honorary Appointments ] [ III.7 Retirement/Resignation ] [ III.8 Classified Staff: Civil Service & LTEs ] [ III.9 Student Employment: Hourly & Grad Ass't ] [ III.10 Teaching Assistantships ] [ III.11 Policy on Volunteers ] [ III.12 Guidelines Regarding Peer Instruction by Graduate Students ] [ III.13 Criminal Background Checks ] [ III. Appendix A: Forms ]


In this chapter:

Hiring Restrictions are in force
Restrictions are in place for GPR-funded positions other than student hourly, student assistant, LTE, and employee-in-training.
All new GPR/tuition-funded vacancies must be deemed "essential" by the dean/director before recruitment may proceed.


Academic Staff Appointments: Academic staff members are engaged in a very broad range of activities and are employed under a wide variety of titles.   Visiting, adjunct, emeritus, L/I faculty and lecturers are all considered academic staff, as are faculty assistants.  However, the majority of academic staff appointments in our College can be divided into three general categories: instructional, research, and "other," which includes administrative, outreach, student services, communication, information technology, and library services. The staffing process for instructional academic staff can be further divided into those appointments related to the short-term instructional staffing exercises carried out for the fall and spring semesters and those appointments related to the general budget-building process. Since the short-term staffing process is a separate activity, discussion of that process is covered in section III.5.2, "Short Term Instructional Academic Staff.".  In this section, we will discuss the more general academic staff processes.


Short term instructional academic staff titles include: 
associate lecturer, lecturer, faculty associate, visitor, emeritus, L/I faculty, adjunct, and faculty assistant.  
For information on those titles, please see Section III.5.2, "Short Term Instructional Academic Staff."

Administrative, Research, and Non Short-Term Staffing Instructional Appointments

Considering an appointment in the Lecturer category?
Please review the L&S POLICY ON LECTURERS

Steps in recruiting and hiring academic staff are slightly less complex than those for regular faculty recruitment and hiring. The Search Handbook (, although usually referred to for faculty, is also useful here. Also consult the flow chart in Chapter I. Finally, as with faculty hiring, UW-Madison continues to be committed to hiring and retaining a diverse and highly qualified staff, and the Women in Science and Engineering Leadership Institute (WISELI) resource materials provide useful recommendations to ensure that searches for UW-Madison positions elicit diverse and highly qualified pools of candidates from which the best individuals can be selected. WISELI makes a number of resources available online at

  1. Enter the PVL or PVL waiver using the on-line PVL system If you are not authorized to use the on-line system, complete the authorization form located at and forward to Daun Wheeler, 207 South Hall, or download and complete the PVL or PVL Waiver form (available online at and forward to Maggie Sullivan, who will coordinate consideration with the appropriate Associate Dean. Consult UW-Madison Unclassified Title Guidelines or Maggie Sullivan concerning appropriate titles. The following statement, which also appears on the PVL, is to be included in any advertisement: "Unless confidentiality is requested in writing, information regarding the applicants must be released upon request. Finalists cannot be guaranteed confidentiality."

  2. For all new Category A academic staff positions (a "new" position is one that does not replace duties previously performed by an academic staff or classified employee), the tab labeled "Cat-A" must be completed in the online PVL system or a printable .pdf document can be found at and an organization chart must accompany the PVL.

    The Provost's Office has issued a memo that highlights resources
    available to help recruit faculty, staff and students.
  3. A Recruitment Effort Plan is required when the salary level is at, or has the potential of exceeding, the Pay Range 8 minimum (A66,435 effective 7-1-06 through 3-31-07) and must accompany the PVL. The recruitment effort plan is included in the online PVL system or a printable form is available online at .
  4. When the PVL has been released for recruitment and a candidate has been selected, send a copy of the candidate's vita, a draft offer letter, and a covering request to appoint with a salary recommendation to Maggie Sullivan, who will work in coordination with the appropriate Associate Dean. A department, or principal investigator may not offer a new academic staff position to a current classified employee who holds a permanent, project, or LTE position within the same department without the prior approval of the L&S Dean's Office and the Academic Personnel Office (APO).  (See Appointment Letter Contents below.)
All academic staff letters of offer regardless of funding source must be reviewed in advance by Maggie Sullivan (or James Hovland, the L&S Short Term Staff Human Resource assistant for short-term instructional staffing appointments). Approved copies of letters of offer must be attached to the Unclassified Appointment Add Form sent in for payroll purposes.

Appointment Letter Contents. Sample letters for a variety of academic staff appointments are available. Each employee shall receive a letter signed by the individual making the appointment. Such a letter is required at the time of the initial appointment and whenever there is a change in the terms of the appointment. The appointment letter shall include at a minimum the following terms and conditions:

  1. Official university title of the position and working title, if appropriate. Type of appointment: fixed-term renewable, fixed-term rolling-horizon, fixed-term terminal, probationary, or indefinite. The operational area of the appointment. Title and name of the person to whom the employee is immediately responsible. A statement of initial salary level and pay basis, starting date, and date of next salary review.
  2. Percentage of full-time employment.
  3. Initial evaluation period, if applicable, and the unit's procedure for performance review. (For guidance regarding developing procedures for performance review, please see the Committee on Academic Staff Issues' Advisory statement on this topic.)
  4. General position responsibilities, including any special requirements of the position, e.g., unusual hours, extensive travel, etc.
  5. Additional information required for specific types of appointment:
  1. Fixed-term renewable appointment letters shall specify the length of the initial term of the appointment.
  2. Fixed-term rolling-horizon appointment letters shall specify the length of the rolling term.
  3. Fixed term-terminal appointment letters shall specify the ending date for the appointment.

Upon initial appointment, each academic staff member shall be provided a copy of the following documents, as well as web addresses (where possible):


Fixed-Term Renewable Appointments. Fixed-term renewable appointments are appointments designated for a specified period of time, and are renewable dependent on satisfactory performance, availability of funding, and the needs of the department or program. 

Fixed-Term Rolling-Horizon Appointments.  Fixed-term rolling horizon appointments are made for a period of one, two, or three years, and the appointment rolls daily for the term specified. Departments wishing to propose such appointments should send a request with careful documentation supporting the recommendation to Maggie Sullivan who will coordinate with the appropriate Associate Dean. As with other decisions having budgetary implications, the College must be cautious in making such extended commitments, but these appointments may be appropriate in particular circumstances. Initial rolling-horizon appointments will generally not be made for more than two years, and in no case will the Associate Dean authorize a rolling-horizon appointment of more than three years' duration. If approved, the Chair or Director will send the initial rolling-horizon appointment letter (after a draft has been approved by Maggie Sullivan) to the academic staff member. (See sample letter.

Indefinite Appointments.  University policy requires a department to request Dean's permission to consider a member of the academic staff for an indefinite appointment before undertaking the review necessary for a decision by the executive committee to recommend an indefinite appointment. Both in determining whether to request such permission, and in subsequently deciding whether to recommend the indefinite appointment, the executive committee should carefully weigh the issues discussed in the "Principles for Authorizing L&S Departments to Recommend Indefinite Appointments for Academic Staff" (, developed as College policy by the L&S Academic Planning Council in 1979. A departmental executive committee should pay particular attention to the questions posed in Section 4, and be prepared to discuss and support the answers with the appropriate Associate Dean or the Dean. The vote of the executive committee should be recorded and reported to the Associate Dean, as in a faculty tenure recommendation.  If/when "approval to proceed is granted, departments should follow the Guidelines for Proposing Academic Staff Members for Indefinite Status  ( 

Note that indefinite and rolling-horizon appointments are associated with a particular person in a particular position, do not remain with the position if vacated by the person, and do not automatically remain with the person if he or she moves to another position. An indefinite appointment, in particular, is associated with a person in an operational area, which is defined by the department and Dean at the time an indefinite appointment is approved.

Questions on these appointment types may be directed to Maggie Sullivan.


Reappointment. It is no longer necessary to ask permission to reappoint fixed-term renewable employees.  If there are performance problems or if there is a need to non-renew or lay off an academic staff employee, consult Maggie Sullivan for further information.

Review of Academic Staff for Increased Job Security.  Each spring, the UW-Madison Academic Personnel Office asks the College to complete a report about the job security status of its long-term academic staff.  In turn, the College asks departments to review their academic staff for increased job security. If a department has an academic staff member with five or more years of UW-Madison service and wishes to recommend increased job security, a letter of request should be sent to Maggie Sullivan (205 South Hall) along with a vita and a cover memo detailing the specifics of the case (e.g., that the employee is an integral part of the department/program, that the funding source will allow for increased job security, and that the quality of the employee's performance warrants increased job security). Maggie Sullivan will coordinate the request with the appropriate Associate Dean. 


A request for promotion or a request for title change (for change in duties) should be made by way of a  "Request for Rate and/or Title Change" form (available online at supplemented by additional information for College use.

In almost all cases, requests for rate and/or title changes are considered annually, at the time of the budget-building process, and will take effect at the start of the ensuing fiscal year (July 1) or academic year. Requests should be made in the context of the definitions of the academic staff titles and prefixes for the appropriate titles. See the most recent UW-Madison Unclassified Title Guideline, available at

Contents of promotion request package

The promotion request package should include:

  • The "Request for Rate and/or Title Change" form, with only the front side completed
  • a current vita
  • a statement of how the recommendation was developed (departmental committee, Executive Committee, supervisor's recommendation, etc.)
  • an explanation of the personal qualifications and accomplishments of the candidate that warrant the change in title prefix and/or title series
  • an indication of how long the candidate has held the current title in this program
  • an organization chart
  • any additional supporting information that would be helpful.

Longevity and seniority are not sufficient conditions for promotion. Qualifications and performance of the individual, along with responsibilities of the position and the definitions of the titles, will be key. Title changes will normally bring a salary adjustment of 5% or an amount necessary to bring the employee up to the minimum salary of the new title.

Contents of title change request package for change in duties

The title change request package should include:

  • The "Request for Rate and/or Title Change" form with the front and back side completed
  • a current vita
  • a cover memo expanding on the changes in the position since the last rate and/or title change request or since the time of hire
  • an organization chart

If the request for title change is to a program manager title (instructional, research, outreach, laboratory), the employee must complete a UW Position Questionnaire (available online at and send it to Maggie Sullivan.  After the questionnaire has been "scored", a determination will be made as to the appropriate title of the position.

Honorific Professorial Titles

The Committee on Academic Staff Issues publishes guidelines on the use of Professorial Working titles. These titles are considered for outstanding academic staff members with terminal degrees and titles of Associate Scientist, Senior Scientist and Distinguished Scientist, or retired faculty who hold university appointments of 0.50 FTE or greater and whose funding is at least 0.50 FTE from non-state GPR sources, per academic year.

These titles are intended as a means of recognizing an individual's research accomplishments and contributions both within and outside the university. Criteria for bestowing honorary research professor titles include:

  1. Excellent research that makes an original contribution to knowledge and culture;
  2. substantial productivity as compared to national or international peers;
  3. significant recognition outside the university and the state; and
  4. high expectation of continued excellence and productivity.

Requests for conferring honorific professorial titles should be sent to the Dean. The Office of the Secretary of the Faculty provides a list of materials to be submitted with these requests, which are considered twice each year, in May and in December. L&S deadlines for accepting requests fall one month before the April 1 and November 1 campus committee deadlines.


Nonrenewal is the termination of (or reduction in) an academic staff member’s employment (within an operational area) at the end of the appointment period. Employees may be nonrenewed for (1) funding loss, e.g., a proposal that is not funded, (2) a budget or program decision, e.g., reallocation of resources or staffing reduction in which management has made the decision, or (3) unsatisfactory performance. Nonrenewals within an operational area are generally processed on a least senior basis determined by years of service (ASPP 3.02). An employee is nonrenewed when proper notice of nonrenewal has been given (ASPP 3.04).

Layoff is the termination of (or reduction in) an academic staff member’s employment (within an operational area) when proper notice (as specified under ASPP 3.04) cannot be given or when employment is terminated prior to the end of an appointment period. Layoffs within an operational area are generally processed on a least senior basis determined by years of service (ASPP 5.02). An employee is laid off when proper notice of layoff has been given (ASPP 5.04).

Operational Area is the organizational level, e.g., department, program within a department, or a research lab specified in the letter of appointment. The operational area is responsible for supporting the position in cases of layoff.

Years of Service is the number of continuously paid years of UW-Madison academic staff employment without regard to the percent of the appointment. A leave of absence of any length or a break in academic staff service of three years or less will not result in loss of prior years’ employment credit.

Please Note:

  1. Years of UW-Madison academic staff employment may be (and often are) greater than the years of academic staff employment within the current operational area.
  2. Ending a "function" does not necessarily mean that the employee performing the function will be the employee who is nonrenewed or laid off.
  3. Employees may be nonrenewed or dismissed (but not be laid off) for poor performance (ASPP 3.01, 3.03 and 6.01).
  4. All academic staff nonrenewals and layoffs must be approved by Maggie Sullivan (and in some cases by Academic Personnel) before departments may take action. Contact Maggie at 263-2315 or
  • An Academic Staff Nonrenewal Review form is used to request approval to issue a notice of nonrenewal ( Attach a copy of the (1) most recent letter indicating the employee’s current operational area and (2) an organization chart of the operational area. The organization chart should include the names of all academic staff employed in the operational area, their job titles, and their UW-Madison start dates as academic staff employees.
  • A Layoff Review form is used to request approval to issue a notice of layoff (
    Attach a copy of the (1) most recent letter indicating the employee’s current operational area and (2) an organization chart of the operational area. The organization chart should include the names of all academic staff employed in the operational area, their job titles, and their UW-Madison start dates as academic staff employees.


For more information, please consult the Academic Staff Policies and Procedures (located at The relevant chapters are:

Updated November 13, 2007


It is the nature of this document to be a work in progress.

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