University of Washington Policy Directory

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*Formerly part of the University Handbook
Administrative Policy Statement

Professional Staff Program

(Approved by the Executive Vice President by authority of Administrative Order No. 9)

1.  Policy

Under the authority of the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 28B.20.130 (2), the University of Washington has established the professional staff program for non-faculty staff positions that are exempt from the provisions of the Civil Service Laws, Chapter 41.06 RCW.

Professional staff appointments are made in accordance with Executive Order No. 9 authorizing the Vice President for Human Resources or the Vice President for Human Resources'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 probation 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.

Professional staff employees make essential and significant contributions in support of the University's mission of education, research, public service, and patient care. Accordingly, the University's Professional Staff Program is intended to support the University's commitment to:

  • Recruit, develop and retain skilled professional staff whose work efforts and dedication advance the mission of the University of Washington.

  • Recognize, respect, and reward individual and team contributions to the success of the University.

  • Provide professional staff with opportunities for management training and professional development and growth.

  • Apply a merit-based total compensation system which recognizes the relative importance of internal salary relationships and external market factors in order to meet the performance goals of the employing unit and the University.

  • Support management flexibility to meet individual needs and priorities.

  • Cultivate a work environment which encourages excellence, innovation, creativity, and teamwork.

2.  Compensation

The professional staff compensation policy is rooted in a merit based pay for performance system and seeks to allow management flexibility within available resources in order to reward meritorious performance and create incentives for achievement. The compensation system for professional staff strives to achieve a balance between salary equity considerations within the position's occupational group, the employing school, college or equivalent unit, and the University at large, and external market considerations specific to the position's occupational group, the individual recruitment, and the employing organization.

Although the professional staff employees are paid from several separate funding sources (i.e., state appropriations, hospital funds, grants and contracts, and self-sustaining activities), it is intended that the classification and compensation plan will be administered on an equitable basis for all staff members within the purview of the employing school, college or equivalent organization independent of the funding source.

3.  Program Oversight

The University Human Resource Committee advises the President on matters of policy relating to the Professional Staff Program and Human Resources has responsibility for overall coordination and modification of the program. The implementation of professional staff policies is the responsibility of the vice presidents and deans in their respective units. The responsibility for administering certain aspects of the professional staff classification and compensation plan is delegated to Human Resources' Compensation Office. Consultation regarding other aspects of the Professional Staff Program is provided by Human Resources Consultants.

4.  Program Information

For detailed information about the professional staff program see the UW Human Resources website.

October 21, 2002; December 16, 2004; RC, February 21, 2014.