Chapter 3339-13 Unclassified Administrative Staff
The terms of appointments to the unclassified administrative staff are made in writing and include the appointment period.
Normally, members of the unclassified administrative staff are expected to give full time service to Miami university for the contract period, performing duties as indicated by the job assignment and the individual's supervisor. Except for holidays observed by the university and individually arranged vacation and leave days, administrative service continues throughout the year, whether or not classes are in session.
The university has established recruitment and selection guidelines for appointing unclassified administrative staff. Search committees or department heads should obtain a copy of the guidelines from the appropriate personnel office and review them carefully.
Copies of all required forms for unclassified administrative staff positions in non-academic departments are available from human resources and for all unclassified administrative staff positions in academic affairs from academic personnel services. For positions that are funded on a temporary basis, not all procedures elaborated below will apply. Contact the appropriate personnel office for more information.
(B) Selection requirements
(1) A request to fill a position must be completed when seeking approval to fill a vacant or create a new position. The responsibilities of the position, the date application screening will begin, the proposed salary range, and required qualifications must be specified. The search committee or hiring department must develop a recruitment plan designed to attract a highly qualified and diverse pool of applicants. If a search committee is used, it must be appointed with as diverse a composition as practicable. For a note concerning the constitution of this committee, see rule 3339-3-15 of the Administrative Code.
(2) The request to fill a position and the recruitment plan must be forwarded to the appropriate personnel office with all required approvals signatures. The appropriate personnel office will forward the request to the office of equity and equal opportunity. The office of equity and equal opportunity reviews and approves the recruitment plan, the advertisement, the selection process, including any proposed ratings instrument, and the applicant flow data collection process. The appropriate personnel office and the office of equity and equal opportunity must approve all requests to fill a position prior to any advertisement or job posting.
All advertisements must include the date that screening of applicants will begin and the position's responsibilities and required qualifications as specified in the approved request, and university requirements.
(3) The office of equity and equal opportunity will provide to the hiring department an applicant flow data report of qualified applicants for the position. The report indicates the composition of the pool of qualified applicants. It is the responsibility of the hiring department to contact the office of equity and equal opportunity to obtain the report prior to selecting candidates for interview. If the office of equity and equal opportunity determines the candidate pool is not acceptable, then in consultation with the appropriate personnel office and hiring department a determination will be made whether to conduct additional recruitment or close the search. If additional recruitment is undertaken, the hiring department must request an updated applicant flow data report prior to interviewing candidates.
(4) After receipt of the approved applicant flow data report, candidates selected for inclusion in the final interview pool must be approved by the head of the hiring department before they are invited to interview. Following interviews, employment references must be checked. Reference checking is performed by the hiring department and must include a reference check with the most recent/current employer of the candidate.
(5) Once interviews have been completed, and reference checks have been conducted, a candidate may be selected for final consideration. Degrees and licenses must be verified by the hiring department to confirm the educational and/or licensing requirements for the position have been met (e.g., ph.d. from an accredited institution). Degree verification also confirms the educational representations of the candidate are accurate. At a minimum, degree/license verification will include submission of a certified transcript and/or current license by the candidate.
(6) The hiring department must complete a hiring recommendation. A hiring department may not recommend an applicant who does not meet the required minimum qualifications for the position. The hiring recommendation, the letter of application, the candidate's resume and proof of degree/licensure must be submitted to the appropriate personnel office. This package is submitted by the appropriate personnel office to the office of equity and equal opportunity for approval.
(7) The hiring department does not have appointing authority and may not make any offers of employment. A letter of offer may only be sent to the selected candidate by the appropriate personnel office after all required approvals have been obtained.
(8) Written and electronic records of the recruitment and selection process must be kept by the hiring department for at least three years. These records should include copies of all on-line and print advertising, recruitment letters, telephone calls or other contacts, interview notes, all applications received, letters of appointment or rejection, and specific steps taken to recruit women and minorities.
(C) Background checks
(1) The appropriate personnel office will conduct a background verification of any candidate for employment. This policy applies to faculty, unclassified administrative staff, and classified staff positions.
(2) This requirement generally does not apply to hourly student workers, interns, and graduate assistants. It does not apply to intermittent employees or temporary appointments of less than ninety days. In addition, a second background verification is not required for those employees who have had a break in their service or an absence of less than a one-year.
(3) In most cases, the background verification will be completed prior to making a formal offer of employment. If the background verification cannot be completed before an offer is made, the background verification must be completed before the individual begins employment unless an exception is granted by the appropriate vice president or the president. In any event, the background verification must be completed and a decision made no later than thirty days after the start of employment. In most cases, only the finalist being offered the position will be subject to the background verification requirement. However, there may be circumstances where the background of more than one applicant is verified (e.g., dean, vice presidential or presidential search).
(4) Prior to conducting the background verification, the finalist(s) must sign a consent form. If the individual declines to provide the consent for the background verification, he/she will no longer be considered a candidate for the position.
(5) The appropriate personnel office will review the results of the criminal background checks. The results are confidential and will not be shared with the hiring department. If the background verification reveals the existence of a criminal conviction, it does not result in an automatic exclusion from employment. Only pending criminal charges or convictions that are substantially related to the circumstances of the particular job may be considered in determining if an offer of employment will be tentatively withdrawn. Arrests (other than pending) or detention orders that do not result in convictions or pleas and expunged or sealed convictions will not be considered.
(6) If a decision is tentatively made not to hire an applicant (or to withdraw an offer) based on the results of the background verification, the appropriate personnel office will be responsible for notifying the applicant of the results and providing an appeal process. The individual will have three working days from the receipt of the notification to challenge the findings and then seven working days to successfully resolve it. If the findings are upheld, the appropriate personnel office will notify the individual of the non-selection.
Although there are specific exceptions, it is the policy of Miami university to limit the term of at-will fiscal year employment generally to no more than five years after which a member of the unclassified administrative staff enjoys extended appointment status.
Extended appointment status confers a measure of job security on an individual that is not contemplated by Ohio's at-will doctrine. Individuals who have achieved this status may not be terminated from employment without cause - to include lack of funds and/or lack of work, as well as performance-related issues.
It is expected that with respect to program reduction or elimination, members of the unclassified administrative staff will be given as much notice as possible if their employment is to be terminated or significantly altered in character. It is further expected that with respect to performance-related issues a member of the unclassified administrative staff will normally be apprised of any problem or deficiency in his or her work performance and will be given a reasonable period of time in which to demonstrate that the problem or deficiency has been overcome; termination will not normally occur without documented efforts to bring about improvement through counseling. Notice of termination will be accompanied by the opportunity for a hearing with the appropriate vice president or his or her designee.
This policy will be administered by the department of human resources and academic personnel services which will establish procedures for implementing this policy in consultation with the unclassified personnel advisory committee. Such procedures are approved by the president.
Unclassified administrative staff appointees are sometimes extended the courtesy of academic rank by departments and may sometimes be asked to teach a course; such arrangements do not affect the employment relationship with respect to their positions in the unclassified administrative service. Rank is a matter between the individual and the conferring department and carries with it no special rights or privileges that accrue to the unclassified administrative appointment.
(A) Appointment status
Each unclassified administrative staff position at Miami university will be designated as either an extended appointment-eligible position or annual appointment position.
These designations will be determined by the appropriate vice president or a senior administrator of each division of Miami university; these designations will be communicated to the appropriate personnel office whose staff will be charged with including this information in letters of appointment.
The presidency and vice presidencies are annual appointment positions.
Other annual unclassified administrative staff positions include those such as athletic director and coaches; those in which it is expected that an individual will stay for no more than five years; those in which an individual is hired to fulfill a specific grant or for a particular project; and positions which are part time or temporary. Normally, such appointments are made annually for a period of one year.
(B) Annual evaluation
Each member of the unclassified administrative staff is to be evaluated at least once per fiscal year. Prior to undertaking a performance evaluation, the evaluator and the employee should review and, if appropriate, update the position description to accurately describe the job duties the employee is expected to perform.
Performance evaluations are based on meeting established goals and objectives and assessing how an employee is performing in his or her role at the university. The university has identified nine core competencies that should also be considered in the assessment process: adaptability, motivation, professional and self-development, job knowledge and quality of work, stewardship, service orientation, teamwork, communication, and inclusiveness.
An unclassified performance assessment and development instrument has been approved for the purpose of evaluating members of the unclassified administrative staff and is accessible on the human resources and academic personnel websites. Divisions may adopt this instrument or create one of their own for the purpose of evaluating members of the unclassified administrative staff in their respective division.
Copies of updated position descriptions and annual performance evaluations should be forwarded to the appropriate personnel office for review and placed in the employee's personnel file.
Unclassified administrative staff are expected to maintain the normal business hours of the university, consistent with the terms of their appointment. Unclassified administrative staff are professional employees of the university who should think in terms of "getting the job done" rather than serving a set number of hours per day, week, or year.
The overriding concern of a department must, of course, be the effective conduct of its business. Because of the nature of the university and the specific job responsibilities, unclassified administrative staff may work at other than the normal office hours. It is also recognized that these positions may, from time to time, require extraordinary time commitments to enable a job requirement to be completed in a timely manner. To the end that the department head determines that office business will continue to be conducted in an effective manner, reasonable requests for personal accommodations and time off in recognition of extraordinary work time commitment would be granted.
A grievance is an unresolved issue concerning the interpretation and/or application of a university policy, practice, or procedure. The purpose of this grievance procedure is to enable members of the unclassified administrative staff to attempt to resolve differences and, where appropriate, obtain redress in matters directly affecting their employment with the university.
A grievance must be in writing and must describe the decision or action the grievant believes to be erroneous; specify the policy, practice and/or procedure violated; and state what the grievant believes to be an appropriate resolution.
A grievance may not be initiated where the subject is: an action or decision exclusively affecting someone other than the grievant; or a decision or action to which the grievant has already been afforded the right to a hearing, whether or not such right was exercised (e.g., discipline); or a matter of performance evaluation or improvement or merit salary increase; or an alleged violation of Miami's policy prohibiting harassment or discrimination
If the department head is the respondent, the submission of the grievance shall begin with paragraph (B) of this rule. If the vice president is the respondent, the submission of grievance shall begin with paragraph (C) of this rule and the committee's recommendation will be made to the president.
(A) Initiating the grievance
Any member of the unclassified administrative staff who has a grievance should provide a written statement of the grievance to the person who made the decision or took the action that forms the basis for the grievance. The grievance must be submitted at the earliest possible time and no later than fourteen calendar days from the date of the decision or action that forms the basis for the grievance. The respondent(s) will consider the matter and respond in writing to the staff member within seven calendar days.
(B) Advancing the grievance
If the respondent's response is not acceptable, the grievant(s) may advance the grievance to the respondent's department head within seven calendar days from the date of the initial response. The grievance must be submitted to the respondent's department head who shall respond in writing to the grievance within fourteen calendar days.
(C) Grievance hearing
If the department head's response is not acceptable, the grievant may file a written appeal within seven calendar days. This written appeal shall be filed with the appropriate vice president or with the president if the grievant is in a unit that reports to the president.
A hearing committee will be convened within fourteen calendar days. The hearing committee will consist of three administrative staff members who have not rendered a decision in the grievance. A list of fifteen administrative staff members will be provided by the appropriate personnel office to each side. Each side may strike up to three names from the list. The appropriate personnel office will appoint the hearing committee and designate one of the committee to serve as chair.
The hearing committee will determine the order of proceedings and other matters pertinent to the conduct of the hearing. Each side will have the right to call a reasonable number of witnesses in support of their position. Witnesses will ordinarily be present only when their testimony is being given. Each party may bring an adviser to the proceedings. However, the presence of and representation by legal counsel is not permitted. Each side will have the right to question the other and inquire into any testimony given at the hearing. Formal rules of evidence will not be followed; the committee may receive any evidence that it believes to be helpful. The entire hearing may be recorded.
Within seven calendar days after the close of the hearing in the matter, the hearing committee will submit its recommendation in writing to the appropriate vice president or as applicable, to the president with copies to the parties. The vice president or president will issue a final decision in writing to the parties within fourteen calendar days after receipt of the recommendation.
(1) Time deadlines may be extended by mutual agreement of the parties or by the applicable vice president or president.
(2) It is a violation of university policy to retaliate against any individual who files or participates in the grievance process. If retaliation occurs, disciplinary action may be taken, up to and including dismissal.
(3) References to a particular officeholder are to be read as including another serving in an "acting or interim" capacity and any other individual designated by the officeholder to serve in his or her stead.
Replaces: 3339-13- 06
These procedures apply to all members of the unclassified administrative staff, except those identified in paragraph (F) of this rule. These procedures are applicable in instances when:
(1) The university seeks to discipline or terminate for cause an unclassified administrative staff member's annual appointment; or
(2) The university seeks to discipline, terminate, or non-renew for cause an unclassified administrative staff member who holds extended appointment status.
(B) Cause for discipline
Although not all causes for discipline (including termination) can be enumerated, cause includes, but is not limited to the following:
(1) Failure to perform duties and associated responsibilities in a satisfactory manner.
(2) Violation of university rules, regulations and/or policies.
(3) Violation of professional ethics.
(4) Violation of written directives of the president and/or board of trustees.
(5) Commission of an illegal act.
The following actions do not entitle the employee to the disciplinary procedures under this policy:
(1) Written warnings/reprimands.
(2) Performance appraisals/evaluations.
(3) Merit salary increases (or lack thereof).
(4) Failure to promote or appoint to another position.
(5) Non-renewals of annual appointments or of extended appointment-eligible positions, i.e., within the first continuous five years in an extended appointment-eligible position.
(6) Reassignment to a different position with equivalent salary.
(7) Notices of deficiencies and directives for improvement.
(8) Change in title or modification of duties or work schedule.
(9) Position eliminations.
(D) Disciplinary procedures
Disciplinary procedures are initiated by an administrative department head or designee with a written notice of proposed discipline. Discipline includes, but is not limited to, suspension, termination, or non-renewal of an extended appointment. The notice must include the proposed disciplinary action and information in sufficient detail to disclose the reasons for the proposed discipline. The notice will be given to the unclassified administrative staff member, the appropriate vice president or to the president for those units that report to the president, and the appropriate personnel office.
(2) Election of staff member
A member of the unclassified administrative staff who receives a notice of proposed discipline may within five calendar days request in writing either: a hearing or a conference with the appropriate vice president or the president for those units that report to the president.
This election is irrevocable and no other procedure will be available to the unclassified administrative staff member. A written request for a hearing or conference should be directed to the appropriate vice president or to the president for those units that report to the president. If the member of the unclassified administrative staff does not within five calendar days request either a hearing or a conference, disciplinary action may be imposed by the appropriate vice president or the president for those units that report to the president; and no further review or appeal is available.
(3) Hearing procedures
(a) The hearing will be held before the appropriate vice president, or the president for those units that report to the president, or his or her designee (hereinafter referred to as the hearing officer). Note: for disciplinary action arising out of a notice of proposed discipline initiated by a vice president, the president will assign another vice president to either hear the matter or appoint a hearing officer and make the final determination.
(b) The parties to the proceeding will be the employee and the administrative department head that initiated the notice of proposed discipline.
(c) The hearing officer will determine the order of proceedings and other matters pertinent to the conduct of the hearing.
(d) Members of the unclassified administrative staff may be represented, at their own expense, by legal or other counsel. The university may elect to have legal counsel present. The university may make a record of the hearing.
(e) Both parties have the right to submit evidence and cross-examine adverse witnesses. If the hearing officer elects to accept a witness' written statement in lieu of personal appearance, the identity of the witness and the written statement shall be given to the other party, who shall have an opportunity to respond to the written statement.
(f) Witnesses, other than the employee and the administrative department head or designee, will ordinarily be present only while testifying. Each party is responsible for securing the attendance of witnesses whose testimony will be offered by such party.
(g) If the president or appropriate vice president designates a hearing officer to hear the matter, the hearing officer shall, within fourteen calendar days, issue an advisory recommendation. The president or appropriate vice president will make the final decision.
(4) Conference procedures
(a) If the unclassified administrative staff member elects a conference with the appropriate vice president or president, a conference shall be held between the appropriate vice president or the president, the unclassified administrative staff member, and the administrative department head that initially proposed the disciplinary action.
(b) The university may make a record of the conference. No opportunity to present evidence or cross examine witnesses will be provided.
(c) Unclassified administrative staff members may be accompanied, at their own expense, by legal or other counsel. The university may elect to have legal counsel present.
(d) The appropriate vice president or president will make the final decision.
(E) Interim suspension
An interim suspension may be imposed by the appropriate vice president or the president for those units that report to the president before the disciplinary procedures described in this policy are initiated or resolved.
During an interim suspension, the employee is relieved of all employment responsibilities; the employee may be prohibited from all or any portion of university premises, university-related activities, or be permitted to remain only under specified conditions prior to the conclusion of the disciplinary process.
An interim suspension will be with compensation until the disciplinary procedures are completed.
(F) Persons not covered by these procedures
These procedures apply to all members of the unclassified administrative staff, except the following:
(1) President of Miami university
(2) Members of the president's executive cabinet (provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, the vice president for finance and business services and treasurer, the vice president for student affairs, the vice president for university advancement, the vice president for information technology, the associate vice president for university communications and marketing, the associate vice president for institutional diversity, the associate vice president for enrollment management, the general counsel, the secretary to the board of trustees and executive assistant to the president, and the director of intercollegiate athletics)
(3) Academic administrators (deans, chairs, regional campus coordinators, tenured members of the faculty serving in an administrative appointment)
(G) General matters
The university is deeply committed to maintaining a disciplinary process that protects the rights of the accuser, the accused, and the institution. The university reserves the right to supplement or alter these disciplinary procedures any time it deems appropriate, with appropriate notice to all parties involved, to protect the constitutional rights of those involved or to comply with state and/or federal law. In particular, the university notes that it may well be necessary to supplement and alter these procedures in cases involving alleged sexual harassment, sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking in order to comply with Title IX, including the US department of education's April 2011 dear colleague letter and the Violence Against Women Act.
Unclassified administrative staff positions may be eliminated due to budget constraints (to include lack of funds or lack of work), reorganization, and reasons of efficiency or with the written approval of the appropriate vice president. Fulltime members of the unclassified administrative staff are entitled to at least two months advance written notice of position elimination. Fulltime members of the unclassified administrative staff with five or more years of continuous fulltime Miami service are entitled to five months advance written notice of position elimination.
Unclassified administrative staff employment terminates at the end of the notice period or at the end of the professional leave (see paragraph (C) of this rule), whichever is later. The employee is expected to fulfill the duties and responsibilities to which he or she is assigned during the notice period. This policy does not apply to termination for cause or nonrenewal of an appointment.
(B) Assistance with finding suitable employment
The university provides outplacement assistance in the form of résumé writing assistance, interview training, and employment counseling.
(C) Professional leave
A fulltime unclassified administrative staff employee with at least five years of continuous fulltime Miami service who has not secured other employment by the end of the notice period will receive one month of professional leave with pay and benefits. Professional leave under these circumstances is for the purpose of securing other employment. Upon request, the employee may be assigned clerical support to assist in this process. Professional leave is in addition to the notice period, and it is in addition to any other benefits due to the employee, such as pay for accumulated vacation. Employees on professional leave do not accrue vacation or sick leave.
If other employment has not been secured by the end of the professional leave, the university will provide severance pay to a fulltime unclassified administrative staff employee with at least five years of continuous fulltime Miami service. The severance pay program is intended to provide financial assistance during a period of employment transition. Eligible employees receive one week of severance pay for each completed year of continuous Miami service beyond five years. Should the eligible employee retire or secure other employment prior to or within the severance pay period, he or she shall receive one-fourth of the unused severance pay in a lump sum. Employees who participate in a university cash bonus retirement incentive program are not eligible for professional leave or severance pay.
Employees receiving professional leave or severance pay are required to notify the appropriate personnel office as soon as other employment is obtained.
(D) Extension of fee waiver
The university will extend the fee waiver benefits for eligible fulltime unclassified administrative staff employees and their eligible family members for a period of three hundred sixty-five days from the date of notice of position elimination.
(E) Relocation of the employee
If deemed appropriate by the department and responsible vice president, the employee may be moved to another location on campus any time after the receipt of notice through the end date of employment.
An employee who believes the selection for elimination of his or her position is in violation of a university policy, practice, or procedure may file a grievance under rule 3339-13-06 of the Administrative Code. An employee who believes the selection for elimination of his or her position is in violation of the policy prohibiting harassment and discrimination may file a complaint with the office of equity and equal opportunity.
This policy does not apply to vice presidents and unclassified administrative staff positions held by tenured members of the faculty, part-time, intermittent or temporary employees, the athletic director, coaches, or persons hired with grant or external funds.
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 3339.01
Rule Amplifies: 3339.01
Prior Effective Dates: 9/30/1999, 9/30/2000, 10/31/2006, 10/17/2007, 8/20/2008, 11/14/2009, 9/13/2012