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Extension Supervisor - Policy

This policy captures the Division of Extension’s definition of a supervisor, criteria for identifying which positions are considered supervisors, exceptions to the criteria and how to request them, a supervisor’s role and responsibilities, and divisional process documentation.


Rationale/Purpose of the Policy

This policy is intended to better define our supervisor cohort and associated responsibilities within the division. 


Supervisor: Any individual whose principal work is different from that of the individual subordinates and who has authority in the interest of the employer to hire, transfer, suspend, layoff, recall, promote, discharge, assign, reward or discipline employees, or to respond to or address their grievances, or to authoritatively recommend such action, if the individual’s exercise of such authority is not of a merely routine or clerical nature, but requires the use of independent judgment.

2.0 Full-Time Equivalent (FTE): When calculating the total FTE for a supervisor, we do not include student appointments, temporary employees, hourly staff, or non-employees. Part-time FTE appointments are included in the count if their anticipated duration is a year or greater. Indirect reports are not included in FTE count.


This policy applies to the following groups of employees:

  • Supervisors
  • Hiring Managers
  • Time Approvers
  • HRS Reports To's

Policy Details


The following criteria* are used by Human Resources to evaluate whether or not a position is considered a Supervisor:

  1. The position must supervise at least 2.0 FTE (see policy definition).


The following are exceptions to the divisional criteria to be considered a Supervisor:

  • When a Principal Investigator (PI) is identified (for a non Smith Lever grant) as responsible for a project, they will be responsible for decisions about the supervisor of record for staff hired for the grant. This means that they may be the supervisor or they may determine who is the supervisor of record.
  • There may be other unique and complex situations that arise that will be addressed through working directly with Human Resources and Associate Dean(s). 

Exceptions to the divisional criteria can be requested using an approval workflow.

Role & Responsibilities

Examples of responsibilities include:
this table includes examples of roles and responsibilities and indicates which are characteristic of a supervisor.
Responsibility HRS Reports To Extension Supervisor
Hiring (non-students)
Hiring Students
Onboarding (their hires)
Approving Time & Leave
Receive a 360 Evaluation from HR  
Supervisor Training (Transaction Focus)
Leadership-Related Training (Optional)
Approves schedules, job changes, access, etc.
Included on Dean/Supervisor Monthly Meeting
Included in Extension Supervisor's Manifest Group


Hiring a New Supervisor

  1. When hiring, work with Extension HR to include the following information on the Request of Fill:
    1. Names of direct reports that will need updates in HRS.
    2. Indicate "Yes" under the Supervisor Designation section.
    3. Include total FTE that the position will supervise.
  2. If the position will not meet the divisional criteria, work with Extension HR to request an exception. 

Request an Exception

Related UW–Madison Documents, Web Pages, or Other Resources

Policy Administration

Approval Authority

Dean’s Leadership Team

Policy Manager

Extension Human Resources

Policy Contact(s)

policy contacts



Human Resources Director Human Resources Manager
Jamie O'Donnell Nathaniel Shay 

Policy History

policy history



Effective Date February 20, 2024
Date Issued February 6, 2024
Next Review February 6, 2025

KeywordsSupervisor Manager Time Approver   Doc ID95831
OwnerNathaniel S.GroupExtension Handbook
Created2019-11-14 17:22:34Updated2024-03-06 17:55:25
SitesExtension Handbook
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