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Topics Map > Operational Support Resources > 4.7 Human Resources

Divisional HR - Operational Areas

Operational areas are an area of focus or function in a college, school or division, department or office at UW-Madison. An operational area will generally be a subset of a college, school or division, department or office, and need not include the whole unit. Operational areas are assigned to Academic Staff and University Staff appointments (except those in TE or FTT appointments).


  • The Division of Extension operational areas are based on the structure of the organizational chart.
  • The operational area is documented in the Request to Fill (RTF) submitted to ASU as part of the hiring process. The RTF is completed by the hiring manager, who works with Extension HR to determine which operational area(s) the employee should be assigned
  • An employee is assigned an operational area when they are issued an appointment letter at the time of hire by ASU ( 
  • Any time an employee's job changes (e.g. new job, change in UDDS code, etc.) they will receive an updated appointment letter with an operational area (this may be an update depending on the type of change).
  • Extension HR ultimately documents a new employee’s operational area based on their home UDDS code, direct supervisor, job location, job title, funding and FTE, and the Extension org chart.
  • Operational areas only apply to Academic Staff and University Staff positions (they do not apply to Faculty or Limited appointments).
  • Operational areas are used in Academic Staff and University Staff layoff and non-renewal processes.

Extension Operational Areas

Operational Area Assignment

Assignment to an operational area is determined by the hiring manager and Extension HR and occurs prior to submitting the Request to Fill (RTF) to ASU. Operational areas are updated for an employee anytime there is a relevant job change (Divisional HR - Job Changes). The employee will be issued an updated appointment letter with their updated operational area by ASU ( once the job change is processed. 

County-Based Educators

  • County-based educators reporting to an Area Extension Director (AED) (co-funded or fully-funded by count(ies)) are assigned an operational area(s) in their area of service (e.g. county or counties on the extension org chart).
  • County-based educators can have more than one operational area assigned (e.g. multi-county educators would have multiple county-operational areas).


Employees who work in FoodWIse are assigned the operational area of FoodWIse.

Branded Programs & Reserves

Employees who work in Branded Programs or Extension Reserves are assigned an operational area in their Branded Program or Reserve.

Operational Units

Employees who work in a program support unit on the org chart (e.g. HR, ETS, OFS) are assigned an operational area in their unit.

Find your Operational Area

Please contact

Operational areas are maintained in the Extension Staff Directory in Knack.

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Related Policy Information

KeywordsOp Area   Doc ID107148
OwnerNathaniel S.GroupExtension Handbook
Created2020-11-12 16:29:16Updated2022-02-16 10:25:55
SitesExtension Handbook
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