Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I find classification information?
What specific skills do I need to acquire to make myself more marketable?
Each position has a different set of skill that are needed to be successful. Skills that are common to a large number of classifications include proficiency in Microsoft Office programs (i.e. Word, Excel, Access, Outlook and PowerPoint), knowledge of medical terminology, proficiency in web development applications, as well as other skills and abilities. Learning and Development offers a number of resources to help enhance your skills for career development.
What courses at the undergraduate level are eligible for tuition assistance and do they have to be related to their current position?
University staff members who do not already hold a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent can use the University of Iowa tuition assistance program to obtain one. All undergraduate courses that are part of an undergraduate degree program are considered work-related and therefore eligible for assistance for those participants who currently do not hold an undergraduate degree. We strongly encourage all supervisors to support this perspective. Individual departments will need to look at additional issues such as work coverage to determine whether it is appropriate to grant flex or vacation time for individuals to attend classes during normal work hours.
What factors determine if a merit position should be reclassified?
The most important factor is that the employee is performing work outside of their current classification on a regular and ongoing basis.
How do I go about expanding my job responsibilities in my current job?
Talk with your supervisor about your career interests, and identify ways you can expand your responsibilities in your existing job to meet the needs of your unit. You might also identify goals to develop competencies (knowledge, skills and abilities) that will prepare you for other jobs at the University. To be recognized in your current job, your career development goals need to be agreed upon with your supervisor and be in alignment with unit needs. It would also be useful to discuss what degree of change would be needed in order to support a salary increase, a career advancement increase or promotion/ career shift resulting in a new classification.
What can I do if I feel my P&S classification is incorrect?
If you can document changes in your job and your supervisor agrees, you can be considered for either a promotion or a career shift to another classification. This does not guarantee a change in classification, but it would be the way to receive consideration for your request. The documents and instructions are located on the Career Development Planning and Job Information website created by Compensation and Classification.
What determines if a position is classified as Merit or P&S?
The most common distinction between a professional and non-professional position is that the professional position requires knowledge and education beyond that of a high school graduate. A 4-year college degree or an equivalent combination of education and experience is typically required for a P&S position. In order to classify a position as P&S, a minimum of 50% of the duties and responsibilities must be at the professional level. We are governed by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which is a law created for fair treatment in wages for employees. Some P&S positions are covered under the Act even though they are considered professional in the University system. The majority of P&S employees are exempt from this law. Those that are covered under the act are eligible for overtime benefits. All Merit employees are covered under the Act.
Should applicants with a college degree apply for Merit positions?
We encourage potential employees to apply for any position that may be of interest to them, whether it’s P&S or Merit. There are many Merit employees who have a college degree and there are many former Merit employees who now have P&S positions.
If someone is hired as a Merit employee, how can they progress into a P&S classification?
There are two ways to enter into a P&S classification. The most common way is to apply for an open position. Any employee who meets the minimum requirements that are listed in the requisition is eligible to apply. An employee may also be in a position that has evolved to the extent that it is more appropriately classified as a P&S position. When that occurs, the employee or department may submit a reclassification request. Whatever means are used to enter into a P&S classification, the development of knowledge, skills and abilities is important for current and future employment opportunities.
How does an employee acquire supervisory skills to become eligible for a classification that requires prior supervisory experience?
Supervisory experience can only be attained in a supervisory position. There are no classes or seminars that are the equivalent of supervisory experience. An employee may be in a classification (i.e. Project Assistant) that does not require supervision but the specific position does have that requirement. If the employee meets the basic requirements for the classification, they are eligible for that position.