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Policy 301: Definitions

Section: Personnel Policies
Sub-Section: General
Policy Number: 301
Subject: Definitions
Origin Date: January 24, 1997
Revision Date(s): July 1, 1999
Effective Date: July 1, 1999
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The purpose of this policy is to define and clarify terms used within the Utah State University Policy Manual. If further clarification is needed, please contact the Office of Human Resources.


Fiscal and Academic Base Period: Budgeted employees serve in positions that have a budgeted salary base for either the fiscal year (12 months--July through June) or the academic year (9 months--August through early May). Academic-year base appointments are generally reserved for faculty positions. An appointment of 100% time is considered to be full time under either base period. Academic year base appointments may be enhanced by adding 1, 2, or 3 months of service (only 2 additional months may be funded by E&G monies) or diminished by part-time appointments of less than 9 months.


2.1 University Employee

Any individual legally employed by the University in any capacity.

2.2 Exempt Employee

An employee who meets the exemption test criteria under the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

2.3 Non-exempt Employee

An employee who is not exempt from the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

2.4 Budgeted Employee

A salaried employee whose name appears in the annual budget document submitted to and approved by the University Board of Trustees.

(1) Faculty: A budgeted employee with academic status who is defined as faculty in Faculty Policy 401. Faculty are exempt employees under the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

(2) Staff: A budgeted employee who is not defined as faculty. There are two categories of staff employees:

(a) Professional/Administrative Staff employees who are exempt under the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

(b) Classified Staff employees who are non-exempt under the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

(3) At-will Employees: Those whose employment and compensation can be terminated without cause or notice. These employees are generally hired to work at the pleasure of the President (see policy 390). Professional and classified employees who are within the introductory period of employment are also considered at-will (see policy 395). All hourly employees are considered at-will.

(4) Benefit eligible: Any budgeted employee who has an appointment of 50% time or greater that is expected to exceed three months in length.

2.5 Graduate Assistant

A full-time, matriculated graduate student who is employed by the University to perform academically related services in instruction, research, or service. Graduate assistants are exempt employees. They are not benefit eligible and are only entitled to those benefits required by law for their specific positions.

2.6 Hourly Employee

Any part-time (generally less than 50% time) and/or temporary employee whose name does not appear in the University budget. Hourly employees are not benefit- eligible and are only entitled to those benefits required by law for their specific positions. Hourly service does not accrue as seniority credit for benefits available to budgeted employees, should the hourly employee be placed in a budgeted position at a later time. Hourly employees serve the University as at-will employees (see policy 390).

2.7 Adjunct

An individual who has an established relationship with an academic department and participates in departmental teaching, research, or service activities with or without remuneration. Adjunct positions are not the major work assignment of the individual, but are adjunct to the person's major role. Those filling adjunct positions may be current University employees with a major role in another area, or they may be individuals whose major roles are external to the University. Adjunct positions are not benefit eligible and are only entitled to those benefits required by law for their specific positions.


3.1 Introductory Period of Employment

The time period designed to help professional and classified employees with job adjustment and to allow both employee and supervisor time to determine whether or not to continue the working relationship (see policy 395).

3.2 Dismissal

Includes involuntary termination, reduction in force, and end of temporary employment.

3.3 Supervisor

A person employed by Utah State University who has hiring authority for and holds a position that directly supervises an employee of Utah State University.

3.4 Qualified Beneficiary

An employee or other individual covered under the University benefit plans at the time of a qualifying event.

3.5 Probationary Period

A period of three weeks to six months wherein classified and professional employees are expected to address and improve performance or any aspect of their employment as addressed by their supervisors. Specific employment actions including suspension and/or dismissal can occur at any time during the probationary period, if the probationary conditions are not being met by the employee.

3.6 Voluntary Termination

Occurs when an employee resigns, leaves, retires, fails to return to the University of his/her own volition after an approved leave of absence, or is absent from work for more than three consecutive working days without notifying his/her supervisor.

3.7 Primary Department

The department to which the employee is primarily assigned. In situations where an employee is assigned to more than one department, the primary department is the department that assumes more than 50% of an employee's salary. If an employee is assigned 50% time to each of two departments, the department first employing the employee is the primary department.