Skip navigation - Jump to page content
UWHR to launch new website at end of July! Learn more about the upcoming launch.

Professional Staff Program


  • Overview and Program Philosophy
  • Statutory Authority

Overview and Program Philosophy

The University of Washington Professional Staff Program describes the employment conditions and policies that apply to non-academic staff whose positions meet one or more or the exemption criteria described in Appendix A. Professional Staff are exempt from the provisions of the state civil service system.

The University's professional staff play key roles in the University's research, health care, administration, and public service missions. The professional staff program strives to provide a supportive framework within which professional staff employees are treated equitably, serve as valued contributors to the University and its diverse programs, achieve their career goals, and fully participate in the benefits of University employment.

Statutory Authority

The Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 28B.20.130(2), authorizes the University of Washington to establish and administer personnel programs for non-academic staff positions exempt from coverage under the provisions of the civil service laws, Chapter 41.06 RCW.

Under the authority of RCW 28B.20.130(2), the Executive Vice President or the Executive Vice President's designee may also:

  1. Establish compensation practices or programs to recognize unique situations that affect an individual position or groups of positions;
  2. Authorize the establishment of separate professional staff programs or compensation elements such as those for Department of Intercollegiate Athletics contract employees, and Hall Health Primary Care Center physicians.

University of Washington Administrative Policy Statement 42.1 establishes the Professional Staff Program and provides for the communication of the program’s details through this website.

Appointment Status

Professional staff appointments are made in accordance with Administrative Order 6e authorizing the Executive Vice President or the Executive Vice President's designee to determine which positions are eligible for placement in the professional staff program.

Professional staff serve solely at the will of the employing official. Professional staff do not serve a probationary period and do not attain permanent employment status. Professional staff appointments can be modified or ended for any reason that does not unlawfully discriminate against the employee or violate public policy. The term "violate public policy" means that terminations may not violate policies that the legislature and courts have established. Therefore, for example, an employee may not be terminated in response to or retaliation for such behavior as reporting allegations of employer wrongdoing; refusing to commit an illegal act; or for performing a public duty or obligation, like jury duty.

Notwithstanding the "at will" nature of professional staff appointments, professional staff have access to the professional staff complaint procedure and the University's process for Resolution of Complaints Against University Employees, which provide options for adjudicating and resolving employment related complaints.

University Service

The University values professional staff employee participation as appointed or elected members of University committees and councils. When an employee is elected or appointed to serve on a University committee or council, such service is normally considered part of the work assignment and is not charged to leave. Departments may approve the use of reasonable amounts of work time for an employee’s voluntary participation in other forms of University service.