Exempt Staff Appointment Policy - archived

Archived: Archived
Effective Date: March 11, 2010
Steward: Assoicate VP for Human Resource Services
Approval Authority: President and VPs
Approval Date: March 8, 2010


In conformance with the Evergreen State College’s Affirmative Action plan, the College commits to the recruitment and appointment of qualified and diverse candidates who meet the exempt position requirements in terms of: qualifications; knowledge, skills, and abilities; and the position-specific essential functions. The College is committed to promoting exempt staff diversity through the recruitment of a diverse pool of qualified candidates for each open exempt position.


There shall be no discrimination of employees or applicants for employment based on race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, genetic information, disability, marital status, veteran status, current military status, status with regard to public assistance, political affiliation, sex or age (except where sex or age is a bona fide occupational qualification).


The purpose of this policy is to fulfill that commitment by defining a uniform and fair process for establishing “at will” exempt staff positions as well as the procedure for appointment of either an applicant or employee to an exempt position at The Evergreen State College.




Exempt Staff Positions: Any executive, administrative, professional, computer, and managerial position “exempted” by RCW 41.06.070. The College’s exempt staff positions are considered “at will” positions. This policy does not apply to College faculty positions or faculty dean appointments.


Appointing Authority: The Appointing Authority is a College manager authorized by the Board of Trustees of The Evergreen State College and the College President to approve exempt staff appointments.


Work Week: The work week for a full-time exempt staff position is 40 hours per week (with proportionate hours for part-time exempt employees), with the workweek being defined as Sunday through Saturday. Overtime-exempt employees are expected to work as many hours as necessary to accomplish their work assignments/responsibilities. Overtime-exempt employees may be required to work specific hours to provide services when deemed necessary by management. Exempt staff work hours are covered by the public accountability provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (Sec. 541.710 Employees of public agencies).




Types of Exempt Positions


1. Regular or “continuing” exempt positions are established and funded on continuing twelve-month or a cyclic basis at either a full-time or part-time level by the College. Appointment to a regular exempt position is through an internal-only competitive process, an external competitive process, or by waiver.


2. Temporary exempt position appointments are made to temporary positions for no more than a one-year period and are not expected to become regular “continuing” positions. Temporary positions are either full-time or part-time exempt positions funded on either a twelve-month or cyclic basis for a temporary period of up to one year. A temporary exempt position appointment may also be made to a regular exempt position which is temporarily open due to an incumbent’s incapacity or unavailability.


3. Project exempt positions are full-time or part-time twelve month or cyclic exempt positions supported on a short-term basis with grant, contract and/or College reserve funds for the completion of a specific project. Exempt project positions will normally last only for as long as the funding is available but not beyond the duration of the project. Project positions and/or appointments may become regular appointments through an internal-only competitive process, an external competitive recruitment process or when an exception is made through the waiver process.


Exempt Position Salary Level Assignment

All exempt positions are assigned by Human Resource Services staff to a salary level in the College’s Exempt Compensation Plan. Human Resource Services staff will review the position description and determine the salary level and whether the position is overtime-eligible under federal and state laws. Human Resource Services staff will consult with the Appointing Authority prior to finalizing the assignment of the salary level to an exempt staff position.



Mechanisms for Exempt Position Appointments


1. External Open Competitive Recruitment: Appointment to a regular, temporary, or project exempt position vacancy will be through an open competitive recruitment process which includes targeted external outreach and advertising of the open exempt position, designed to recruit a diverse and qualified candidate pool for vacant exempt positions.


2. Internal-Only Recruitment: Appointing authorities may request use of an internal-only recruitment process, which may be used to recruit for special skill sets and expertise specific to a College position requirement, when a sufficient number and diversity of qualified potential staff candidates exist. Human Resource Services staff is responsible for verifying that there is a sufficient supply of diverse and qualified staff to warrant an internal-only recruitment.


3. Temporary Appointments or Assignments may be made for up to one year whenever a need exists to fill an exempt position quickly and on a short-term basis. Appointing authorities will submit an approved Personnel Request Form along with a position description to Human Resource Services staff before filling a temporary position and/or appointing someone to a temporary exempt position. An Appointing Authority with divisional Vice President approval may request extension of the temporary appointment for an additional six months, under extraordinary circumstances. Temporary positions and/or assignments may not become either a regular or a permanent appointment except through an open recruitment process or by the waiver appointment process.


4. Waiver Appointment Process: Appointment by waiver is defined as an exception to the Exempt Staff Appointment procedure, where appointment to a regular continuing and/or project part- or full-time exempt staff position is made without competitive recruitment, posting and/or public advertising of the exempt vacancy as normally required. Waiver appointments are made in accordance with the waiver request process described below.


Waiver Request Process


A waiver appointment may be made to a regular or project exempt position under certain limited, special circumstances. The waiver request process requires that the appropriate Division Vice President submit the following to Human Resource Services staff:

  • Personnel Request Form;
  • Updated exempt position description;
  • Candidate’s resume; and
  • Narrative from the Appointing Authority which includes:
  • Affirmative Action record of the relevant division and department unit (available through the Equal Opportunity Officer);
  • Explanation of the special circumstances prompting the request to fill the position by waiver, the rationale for appointing the proposed candidate on a waiver basis; and
  • Documentary evidence that the candidate has the necessary qualifications and knowledge, skills and abilities to perform the essential functions of the position.


Human Resource Services staff will verify that all documents are submitted and complete, and will then forward them to the Exempt Waiver Committee for approval or denial of a waiver.


The Exempt Waiver Committee is composed of the President, Vice Presidents, Associate Vice President of Human Resource Services, and Equal Opportunity Officer. The determination to grant a waiver will based upon the information submitted in the waiver request, as outlined above.


Recruitment and Screening Process

Recruitment initiation for any new and/or replacement vacant exempt position will be authorized through submission of a Personnel Request Form along with a position description approved by the appropriate Appointing Authority, Budget Coordinator, and Vice President or the President. In consultation with Human Resource Services staff, Appointing Authorities shall submit, along with the Personnel Request Form, a position description which identifies the position purpose; essential functions; knowledge, skills and abilities; and necessary qualifications.


In accordance with the College’s Affirmative Action Plan, Appointing Authorities are encouraged to interview and consider qualified exempt staff members, especially those affected by position discontinuation or other restructuring efforts, for vacant positions. Human Resource Services staff is responsible for administration of the exempt recruitment and appointment process. Human Resource Services will ensure that the recruitment plan and the applicant screening and selection process comply with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s “Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures” and the requirements of the Washington State Human Rights Commission.


Recruitment Procedures:


  1. Position Vacancy Announcements: Position vacancies, for regular full-time and part-time external exempt positions, shall be published for at least ten (10) calendar days. Consistent with the College’s Affirmative Action Plan, Human Resource Services staff will target the outreach effort, in cooperation with the Appointing Authority, to community and professional groups and organizations, in a way designed to recruit a diverse candidate pool.
  2. Application: Candidates must complete all required application materials and deadline in order to be considered for the position.


Selection Process:


The selection process will be a cooperative effort between Human Resources Services and the Appointing Authority and may be subject to hiring approval by the divisional Vice President. The search committee will make recommendations to the Appointing Authority based on candidates’ strengths and weaknesses. The Appointing Authority may elect to interview any or all of the candidates recommended prior to making a hiring decision.



Appointment Requirements: Exempt appointments shall be based on the position requirements, and therefore shall be made on the basis of a candidates/appointee’s qualifications and knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to perform the essential functions of the exempt position. Appointment to an exempt position shall only be made by a Board of Trustee-authorized Appointing Authority.


In keeping with the RCW 43.43.830 and the College’s Background Check procedure, the Appointing Authority, President, and/or Vice President (or designee) who is authorizing the appointment is responsible for conducting any applicable reference and pre-employment background checks; and obtaining documentation of appointee’s relevant qualifications, including transcripts, diplomas and credentials. It is the responsibility of the candidate/appointee to furnish requested documentation. Documentation will be retained in the Human Resource Services office. In those cases where questions arise, the burden of proof concerning the validity of such documentation lies with the candidate/appointee; not the College.


Criminal system background checks required by either state law and/or college procedure will be conducted by the Human Resources Services office. The cost of background will be the responsibility of the hiring department.


Prior to the Appointing Authority or designee extending an offer of employment to a candidate, he or she will confirm with Human Resource Services staff that the salary offer amount is in keeping with the College’s Exempt Compensation Plan.


Letters of Appointment: The Appointing Authority will select the finalist for appointment, after which Human Resource Services staff will issue a formal Letter of Appointment/New Employee Letter.


Authority: RCW 41.06.070