Topics Map > 1. Types of Appointments > 1.01 Employment Categories

Employment Categories

This policy provides the job titling framework for UW–Madison employee categories.

Functional Owner

Assistant Vice Chancellor for Human Resources

Executive Sponsor

Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration

Policy Contact

OHR Compensation and Titling Team

Policy Summary

This policy provides the job titling framework for UW–Madison employee categories.

Who This Policy Applies To

This policy applies to all full- or part-time Academic, Faculty, Limited appointees, and University Staff employees.


According to Wis. Stat. § 36.115(6), all UW–Madison employees holding positions in the unclassified or classified civil service on June 30, 2015, shall be included in the new UW–Madison personnel system that takes effect on July 1, 2015.

Policy Detail

  1. Employee Categories

    UW–Madison has seven employee categories: Faculty, Academic Staff, University Staff, Limited Appointees, Student Assistants, Student Hourly, and Employee-In-Training.

    1. Job Titles. Each job title includes positions that have comparable work, responsibilities, and job duties. Positions are assigned to titles based on a “best fit” concept, i.e., each position is assigned to a title that is the closest match between the title description and position responsibilities.
    2. Salary Ranges. Salary ranges, where appropriate, are established and job titles defined within this employee category framework. Each salary range includes job titles that have comparable levels of authority/responsibility and job requirements.
  2. Titling Framework

    The job titling framework is as follows:

    1. Faculty titles
    2. Academic Staff titles
    3. University Staff titles
    4. Limited appointee titles
    5. Student Assistant titles
    6. Student Hourly titles
    7. Employee-in-Training titles


Academic Staff: a professional and administrative employee whose duties are exempt from the overtime provisions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and who performs work that is primarily associated with a higher education institution or its administration.

Employee-in-Training: a person who is not a matriculated student and is appointed primarily to pursue advanced study or research, usually at the postdoctoral level.

Faculty: a person who holds the rank of professor, associate professor, assistant professor, or instructor in an academic department or its functional equivalent in UW–Madison, as described in UW–Madison Faculty Policies and Procedures (FPP).

Limited Appointee. an appointee to a designated administrative position, the holder of which serves at the discretion of the authorized official who made the appointment. Certain positions must be designated as limited appointments under Wis. Stat. § 36.17(2), while the appointing authority may designate other positions as limited appointments at the time of appointment.

Student Assistant: graduate students who hold a fellowship, scholarship, or traineeship; who hold an appointment that is intended primarily to further the education and training of the student; who are employed to assist with research training or other academic programs or projects and/or have been assigned teaching responsibilities in an instructional department under the supervision of a faculty member. In addition, Student Assistant titles are available to undergraduate students when no qualified graduate student is available to perform a function that would normally be assigned to graduate students (i.e., Undergraduate Assistant — requires advance approval of the dean), or when the terms of a supporting grant or contract preclude the use of other normally appropriate titles (Undergraduate Intern).

Student Hourly. Students who provide part-time and/or temporary administrative, clerical, laborer, technical, or other general support to UW–Madison Faculty and staff, and who meet the eligibility requirements below:

  1. The individual’s position must be incidental to the individual’s purpose or presence at the institution as a student. In other words, the individual’s presence on campus is primarily to be a student, not an employee. It is not permissible to hire a person as a Student Hourly if the student is taking credits merely to be eligible for student hourly employment. This is a judgment that needs to be made by the employing unit. Factors to consider when making this decision include whether the individual is taking courses for credit, whether the individual is working towards a degree, and whether the individual has a pattern of taking less than a half-time load.
  2. The individual must be enrolled for academic credit at an educational institution. An educational institution is defined as:
    1. an accredited institution of higher learning granting associate degrees or higher;
    2. a technical college;
    3. a vocational or trade school; or
    4. a high school.

The employing unit is responsible for verifying an individual's eligibility and maintaining documentation of verification. Suitable methods of verification include: ISIS (for UW–Madison students), letter from home institution, phone call to home institution's Registrar, copy of current registration and course schedule, current tuition payment receipt, and on-line verification.

Important note regarding F-1 and J-1 international students: Special consideration needs to be paid to F-1 and J-1 international students when verifying eligibility. Federal visa regulations specify that F-1 international students are eligible for on-campus employment automatically, but only at the school listed in item #2 on the I-20 where the student is currently enrolled. In this case, the F-1 student does not need any special authorization to be employed 20 hours a week when school is in session and/or full-time during breaks. When processing I-9s, departments will need to verify that the student's I-20 is indeed issued by UW–Madison. If it is not, an I-20 alone does not provide sufficient proof of eligibility. J-1 international students may be eligible for on-campus employment, but only with a letter of permission from the J-1 program sponsor listed in item #2 on the DS-2019. Questions should be directed to International Student Services. c. The individual must be at least 16 years of age.

Semester Eligibility: a student may not be employed prior to the first payroll calendar day of the student's first semester of enrollment. Summer eligibility is the only exception (see below). Students who graduate, or who complete an academic semester and will not be enrolling in the following semester, may continue to be employed as a Student Hourly only through the last day of the student hourly pay period of the completed semester. Students who withdraw from school during a semester are no longer eligible for student employment as of the date of withdrawal.

Summer Eligibility: any student who has been accepted for fall enrollment, or is continuing in the fall semester after completion of the spring semester, or is enrolled during the summer, is eligible for summer employment.

Divisions May Have Stricter Eligibility Requirements—More specific provisions (e.g., requiring a greater credit enrollment, or enrollment in the UW–Madison) may be established by a specific college, school, department, or other UW–Madison unit.

University Staff: an employee who is non-exempt from the overtime provisions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and therefore is eligible to receive overtime for all hours worked over forty in a pay period. University Staff appointments may be ongoing or Fixed-term Finite.

Note: During the transition to the new human resource structure, current FLSA-exempt University Staff employees will be able to choose either to move to an Academic Staff appointment or to stay in the employee's University Staff appointment. Employees in an exempt position are not subject to the FLSA provisions applicable to non-exempt University Staff.  If an employee chooses to remain in a University Staff appointment, the exempt position will become Academic Staff when the employee leaves the position.


Office of Human Resources (OHR)
  • Works with divisions to identify the proper title and employee category for vacant positions
  • Creates new titles and assign ranges
College/School/Division HR
  • Works with departments to identify the proper title and employee category for vacant positions
  • Works with OHR to obtain title approval for vacant positions
  • Identifies the duties of a position in order to identify the proper title

Link to Current Policy

Policy History

The University of Wisconsin–Madison employment categories were historically defined by two personnel structures: classified and unclassified. These structures were authorized by laws in Wis. Stat. Chapter 36 (University of Wisconsin System), Wis. Stat. Chapter 111 (Employment Relations), and Wis. Stat. Chapter 230 (State Employment Relations). Wis. Stat. Chapter 36 defined the unclassified personnel structure, while Wis. Stat. Chapter 230 defined the classified personnel structure. Each structure had its own set of titles to describe positions.

Keywords:title, titling, framework, salary range, appointment, financial   Doc ID:53496
Owner:OHR .Group:HR Policies
Created:2015-06-30 16:54 CDTUpdated:2021-04-28 14:16 CDT
Sites:HR Policies
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