Office of the President

Position Classification Plan; Replaces EM 77-016 and VPA 78-19

Executive Memorandum 89-014 April 11, 1989

From: Robin S. Wilson, President

Subject: Position Classification Plan; Replaces EM 77-016 and VPA 78-19

I approve the attached documentation for immediate implementation. This policy clarifies the position classification system which ensures salary equity among employees and correct allocation of positions to classes within The California State University classification structure.



Classification systems ensure salary equity among employees and correct allocation of positions to classes within The California State University classification structure. This allocation of positions is based on the duties and responsibilities assigned to the position, not the quality of the performance of the incumbent. Positions are allocated to classes according to the following criteria:

  • The nature and variety of work assigned, including complexity and difficulty
  • The nature of supervisory control exercised over the position
  • The availability and nature of guidelines controlling decisions and actions
  • The nature and scope of authority
  • The originality of thinking required
  • The purpose and nature of person-to-person work relationships
  • The nature and extent of supervisory control over the work of others
  • Required qualifications.



  • The job description is the official statement of duties and responsibilities assigned to a position. Within 60 days of filling a position, or after significant changes have occurred in the assignment of duties and responsibilities to a position, the appropriate manager must provide the incumbent employee with a current job description.
  • A written job description insures clarity of assignments and assists in communication between manager and employee. Each job description must be signed by both employee and manager. The manager's signature authorizes the assignment of duties and responsibilities. The employee's signature acknowledges receipt of the statement of duties and understanding of what is expected.
  • A job description provides the basis for performance standards and evaluations and suggests the skills, knowledge, and abilities needed to perform the work assigned. It is also used as a tool for evaluating a position and assisting a manager in assigning work, delegating responsibilities, establishing quality and quantity standards, budgeting for costs and delivery of personnel services, forecasting staffing needs, and analyzing turnover.
  • A job description for each employee should be updated each year to serve as a basis for performance evaluations. The description is forwarded to the Personnel Office with the completed performance evaluation.


  • To accomplish the objectives of the classification program, positions are reviewed in the following circumstances:
    • Vacant or new positions are reviewed by the Personnel Office to determine the correct position classification prior to recruitment. Vacancies provide managers an opportunity to review the assignment of duties and responsibilities within their work unit and to make classification changes without affecting individuals.
    • Managers are asked each fiscal year by the appropriate cabinet officer to assess changes or the need for changes in their areas of responsibility. Each major unit prepares an annual staffing plan and may request classification review for positions which have changed significantly or which will change because of reorganization. Staffing plans and requests are forwarded to the budget officers.
    • Employees may request a classification review if they believe their duties and responsibilities are inappropriate to the classification of the position they occupy. The Employee Request for Position Classification Review should be submitted via the employee's supervisor to the Personnel Office. If a manager does not agree with the request or with assertions in the request or attached documentation, he may comment in writing on the form or discuss areas of disagreement with the Personnel Office. Employees may not request a classification review any sooner than 18 months after the completion of any previous classification review. If there is a substantial change in the duty assignment of a position, however, the manager should request a review.
    • Comprehensive classification studies may be conducted periodically of all positions in a given department, college, or division or all positions in a classification series. Studies may originate in the Personnel Department or in response to the request of a dean, department head, or budget officer. These reviews can also occur when the Chancellor's Office issues new classification and qualification standards for implementation.


The process described in this plan is superseded by any classification appeal process included in collective bargaining agreements and is meant to provide recourse for management positions and for those positions in bargaining units which do not include appeal processes in their agreements.

  • Employees have the right to appeal a classification determination within ten calendar days of receipt of written notification of the determination. Classification appeals will be heard by the Director of Personnel or designee. Employees must complete a Notice of Classification Appeal (see attachment; blank forms are available in the Personnel Office) and forward it to the Personnel Office within ten days.
  • The Director of Personnel or designee will meet with the employee no later than fourteen calendar days after the filing of an appeal and will respond in writing to the employee no later than twenty-one calendar days after the meeting.
  • The results of the appeal review will be provided to the employee and supervisor in writing. If the classification determination is different from that of the initial reviewer, the Personnel Office will notify the appropriate manager of the change. A manager has the right to adjust the duties of a position to conform to the classification level of the position at the time of the review. If the position is not changed as a result of the appeal review, the process is complete. The effective date of a reclassification which has been decided through an appeal is the beginning of the pay period closest to the date of the original classification review.


To insure that the classification plan is administered fairly and efficiently, it is the responsibility of

    • To allocate human resources to most effectively meet university goals and plans.
    • To assign duties and responsibilities to all positions under their direction, making certain that new or additional assignments do not affect the classification level of a position unless consideration has been given to a possible reclassification.
    • To become familiar with the duties assigned the positions under their direction and to recognize when significant changes in an employee's duties and responsibilities occur.
    • To forward Employee Request for Classification Review forms to the Personnel Office in a timely manner.
    • To maintain current department organization charts descriptive of department functions and goals. Copies of these charts should be forwarded to the Personnel Office each year when staffing plans are submitted and each time an organizational change occurs affecting duty assignments.
    • To review job descriptions periodically and, when revisions are necessary, to insure that employees are provided with accurate descriptions.
    • To provide new employees with copies of their job descriptions within 60 days of their dates of hire.
    • To be receptive to discussion when an employee expresses concern about the classification of her position.
    • To use the assistance of the Personnel Office before restructuring jobs or implementing reorganization plans in order to minimize the potential for creating inequities in classification.
    • To be aware of policies pertaining to the initiation of classification reviews.
    • To assist in preparing job descriptions which reflect the duties and responsibilities assigned their positions when requested by managers or the Personnel Office.
    • To assist managers in designing positions to meet the needs of the University as well as to insure that those positions are classified appropriately.
    • To assist employees and managers in writing job descriptions which accurately describe the duties and responsibilities assigned to positions and in devising corresponding performance standards.
    • To communicate new classification and qualification standards issued by the Chancellor's Office.
    • To determine appropriate classifications of positions and to recommend classification actions to the appropriate budget officers.
    • To participate with managers in the review process.
    • To implement classification changes resulting from reviews.

California State University, Chico










Why do you believe that the observations and conclusions contained in the classification review do not accurately reflect the nature and level of duties assigned to your position? (You may attach additional sheets, if necessary.)

At what level do you believe your position should be classified? Why? (You may attach additional sheets, if necessary.)

Signature_____________________________ Date______________ (This form should be completed by the employee appealing the classification decision and returned to the Personnel Office within ten days of receiving written notification of the results of the classification review.)