Section 4 - Executive, Administrative, and Professional Staff


The Executive, Administrative, and Professional (EAP) Staff is defined as staff appointed to non-teaching exempt positions (qualifying for exemption from federal and state overtime provisions), although some EAP staff may have regular teaching assignments as a portion of their regular work load.

1. Kinds of Regular Executive, Administrative and Professional Staff Appointments.

1. Continuous Appointments. A continuous appointment is an appointment with no specific termination date. The first full year of a continuous appointment shall be considered as probationary.

2. Employment Contracts. An employment contract is an appointment for a specified time period.

2. Probationary Period.

1. The probationary period allows all parties the opportunity to assess performance and the overall viability of the employment relationship. Upon completion of the probationary period, employment can only be terminated for cause.

All EAP staff members will remain in probationary status for a period of twelve (12) calendar months actually worked. The employment relationship during the probationary period is considered to be "at will" in as much as the university and the staff member retain the right to terminate employment with or without cause at anytime.

In the event that the university elects to terminate employment for reasons other than those noted below, the probationary staff member will normally be provided four weeks notice or four weeks pay and benefits in lieu of notice, or until the staff member secures new employment, whichever is sooner.

Staff members terminated for reasons such as moral turpitude, violation of university policies and procedures, failure to follow directions/instructions of supervisors and superiors, conviction of a felony, neglect of professional responsibility, failure to follow statutory or regulatory requirements of the position, and other similar acts, shall have their compensation and benefits terminated effective upon termination of employment.

3. Resignations.

1. Continuous Appointments. When a staff member signs his/her position he/she shall notify the appropriate appointing officer not less than four weeks prior to departure. When four weeks' notice is not received, all or part of the staff member's unused but accrued vacation may be forfeited not to exceed ten days of that portion for which he/she would normally be eligible.

2. Employment Contracts. Since an employment contract is a commitment for a fixed period of time, approval of a resignation during the contract period is the sole discretion of the university.

4. Terminations.

1. Continuous Appointments. Following the probationary period a continuous appointment may be terminated by the appointing officer for cause. Such termination will be communicated in writing along with the reasons for dismissal. Normally, at least four weeks notice of termination or four weeks pay in lieu of notice will be given unless continuation of employment would be detrimental to the best interest of the university. The staff member may appeal dismissal for cause through the grievance procedure or in the event the president is the appointing officer to the chairperson of the Board of Trustees. If the appointing officer's decision is not upheld, the staff member may be reinstated without loss of pay.

2. Employment Contract Appointments. An employment contract may be terminated prior to the expiration date subject to the provisions of the contract. Such termination will be communicated in writing along with the reason for early termination of the contract. The staff member may appeal early termination through the grievance procedure. The non-renewal of an employment contract is not a grievable issue.

5. Reduction in Force. A staff member may be laid off due to the elimination of his/her position and normally will be given notice based on his/her length of service on date notified as follows:

Less than 2 years of service - 1 months' notice

2 years, but less than 5 years of service - 2 months' notice

5 years, but less than 10 years of service - 3 months' notice

10 or more years of service - 6 month's notice

Staff given layoff notices may use up to four (4) days with pay for position search with prior permission from their supervisor.

Such staff may continue on layoff for up to twelve months, or their length of service if less than twelve months, from the effective date of the notice. Employment will terminate upon the expiration of the layoff period. Staffon layoff shall be eligible to purchase group medical insurance at the appropriate (COBRA)rate.

6. Salary Administration. The objective of the university's compensation program is to attract, retain, motivate and reward staff. The compensation rates are available in the Human Resources Office. For purposes of Section 4.6, the academic year or fiscal year begins August 15.

1. Compensable Service. Compensation rates for staff with a continuous appointment will normally be on a full year basis except for those persons on continuous appointments less than twelve months. Compensation rates for staff on employment contracts will be specified in the employment contract. A compensable pay period will be any period when one has fulfilled all of his/her assigned responsibilities. For all or any part of such period when a full year staff member has failed to meet the requirements of compensable service he/she will incur a proportionate forfeiture rate at the per day rate.

For all or any part of such period when a staff member on an appointment of less than a full year has failed to meet the requirements of compensable service he/she will incur a proportionate forfeiture at the per day rate. University contributions to benefit plans shall be made on the base rate for the period of appointment.

For all or any part of such period when staff on an employment contract has failed to meet the requirements of compensable service will incur a proportionate forfeiture based upon the employment contract.

Paychecks shall normally be semi-monthly.

2. Starting Salaries. Starting salaries for staff will be set within the approved salary range for the position.

1. Continuous Appointments. The starting salary will be recommended by the appointing officer at a level judged to be commensurate with the applicant's educational credentials, prior experience, special skills and related qualifications as well as the relevant labor market for the position and internal equity considerations. Starting salaries and their justification are reviewed and approved by the Human Resources Office and the appropriate Vice President.

2. Employment Contracts. Starting salaries for staff with employment contracts will be specified in the employment contract.

3. Extra Compensation. Staff may teach a single semester's course offering for extra compensation providing that they have received written approval from their dean, appointing officer or vice president; that the course is taught outside regular office hours (as defined by the unit's needs), or prior arrangements are made to make up lost time; that the course is for university credit; that appointment is made through the academic unit's regular appointment process; and that such opportunity is limited to once per fiscal year. Any exceptions to this policy must be approved by the provost in advance. If appointed by the appointing officer, with the approval of the appropriate vice president, staff may be paid extra compensation for additional duties assigned, such as coaching, additional assignment or assuming an acting appointment role. The university may terminate an extra compensation appointment at any time, upon 7 calendar days written notice.

4. Pay Adjustments.

1. Continuous Appointments. Salary advancement for staff with continuous appointments within an authorized salary range for the same position will be based on meritorious service. Adjustments will normally take effect at or near August 15 or period of appointment as appropriate. Salary adjustments may be approved at other times, such as the result of a promotion to a position in a higher salary range.

2. Employment Contracts. Salary advancement for staff with employment contracts is based on merit limited to the employment contract or modification thereof.

7. Complaints. If a staff member has a complaint which is not an appropriate subject for a grievance, he/she may discuss it with the supervisor or Associate Vice President for Human Resources. Complaints may be submitted in writing. All complaints, whether oral or written will be answered within five working days from their receipt.

8. Grievances.

1. Definition. A grievance is defined as an allegation by a staff member that there has been a violation of the provisions of the Administrative Manual.

2. Procedure:

Step 1. A staff member with a grievance shall first talk with his/her supervisor about it. If this does not resolve the grievance, the staff member may submit it in writing to the administrative level above that of the immediate supervisor. If the immediate supervisor is a vice president, the staff member may proceed directly to Step 2. The staff member has 10 working days in which to have the discussion and submit the written grievance after learning of the incident upon which the grievance is based. The person who receives the written grievance has five working days in which to answer the grievance in writing.

Step 2. If the grievance is not resolved in Step 1, the staff member may request, in writing, a meeting of the parties with the Associate Vice President for Human Resources within 5 working days receipt of the written answer in Step 1. This meeting will be scheduled within 10 working days of the receipt of the written request. The written request should also include a copy of the original grievance and answer and any other data pertinent to the issue. After the meeting is held, the Associate Vice President for Human Resources will communicate his/her answer in writing to the staff member and the concerned parties. (Probationary staff members cannot appeal beyond Step 2.)

Step 3. If the grievance is not resolved in Step 2, the staff member may request, in writing,within 5 working days of the receipt of the written answer in Step 2, that the Human Resources Office forward all materials to the president or his/her representative. The president or his/her representative may review the materials and communicate his/her decision to all parties or schedule a meeting with such parties as are appropriate and thereafter communicate his/her decision to all parties. The president's decision shall be final.

All grievances shall be considered permanently settled if the staff member does not file it at the next step in accordance with the prescribed time limits. The time limits may be extended by mutual consent.

9. Benefits.

Holidays. For regular staff the following are university holidays (usually the Friday preceding any such holiday which falls on Saturday and the Monday following any such holiday which falls on Sunday):

New Year's Day day following Thanksgiving Day
Memorial Day day preceding Christmas Day
Independence Day Christmas Day
Labor Day day preceding New Year's Day
Thanksgiving Day  


Two (2) floating holidays scheduled during the Christmas break, plus up to two (2) additional floating holidays scheduled during the Christmas - New Year's break, if the university is officially closed.

A staff member is not eligible for holiday pay if the holiday occurs during an unpaid leave of absence or if the holiday falls during a suspension without pay or if the holiday occurs during a time when he or she is not on pay status.

2. Vacation.

1. Continuous Appointments Accrual. Staff on continuing appointments for the full year accrue vacation at the rate of five days per calendar quarter of completed service. Vacation for staff working on less than 12 month appointments is limited by the special requirements of their appointment and/or academic calendar and is not accrued. Vacation for full year staff working less than full time but more than one-half time will be prorated to reflect the particular appointment. A prorated number of days for a partial quarter of service will be computed when necessary.

2. Employment Contracts Accrual. Vacation for staff on employment contracts will be specified in the employment contract.

3. Use of Vacation Time. Approval for the use of accrued vacation is the responsibility of the supervisors. Vacation time may not be charged until it is earned. Staff with earned vacation terminating their employment will be eligible for their accrued vacation not to exceed 20 days, provided at least four weeks notice of their intent to leave is received. Staff who are laid off are eligible for up to 20 days of accrued vacation in addition to the length of notice as indicated in Section 4.5. Up to 25 days of accrued vacation may be carried from one calendar year into the next.

3. Salary Continuation. The university will provide to the extent described below a salary continuation program for full time staff which is designed to provide salary protection in the event of personal circumstances which do not allow a staff member to continued work. This program is intended only as a form of insurance and is subject to careful scrutiny of each appointing officer. The appointing officer may require proof that any absence at any time is appropriate. Salary continuation may be approved only for the following reasons:

A. Staff member's child birth, illness, injury, hospitalization, and appointments pertaining to health. In cases of injuries compensable under worker's compensation or no fault auto insurance, salary continuation may be used to the extent that the payments fail to equal the staff member's regular base earnings.

B. Staff member's child, stepchild, foster child, spouse, parent, or household member's illness, injury, hospitalization and appointments pertaining to health (limited to a reasonable amount).

C. The death of a staff member's child, stepchild, foster child, spouse, brother, brother-in-law, sister, sister-in-law, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, grandparent-in-law, or household member.

D. Attendance at a funeral other than above (maximum one day).

E. Inclement weather causing unusually hazardous conditions which necessitates the closing of the university.

All full time staff will be allowed compensation at their regular base rate of pay for an absence that falls under paragraph "A" above for the entire absence period not to exceed six months from the date of illness, injury or hospitalization. No salary continuation as such will be accrued or reported although each appointing officer will be responsible for the equitable application of the policy. Salary continuation for staff on employment contracts may be modified by the employment contract.

4. Professional Development Leave. Professional development leave is provided as an opportunity for staff to withdraw from the university community to learn new skills and concepts, to reflect on their work at the university, and to prepare for new responsibilities. Application is to be made to the dean or appointing officer or vice president of the division far enough in advance of the expected leave period to allow for arrangements regarding budget and replacement. The applicant should present an outline of the prospective outside income. Final determination shall be made by the university President.

Remuneration of such leaves shall be determined on the basis of prospective outside income, length of leave and the available resources. All fringe benefits will be continued at the appropriate levels with the appropriate university contributions.

5. Leaves of Absence with Partial Pay.

A. Jury Duty. A staff member who loses time from his/her assigned responsibilities because of jury duty will receive the difference between his/her pay for jury duty and his/her regular salary.

B. Military Duty. A staff member who loses time from his/her assigned responsibilities because of military training as a reservist or National Guard or due to civil disturbance, not exceeding four weeks per year, will receive the difference between his/her military base pay and his/her regular pay.

6. Leaves of Absence Without Pay. A staff member may request a leave of absence without pay for educational, medical or personal reasons for a period of from one to twelve months. Such requests shall be approved by the appointing officer (if the staff member's position is being held open) or by the Human Resources Office. The staff member's accrued vacation will be protected during the leave period although additional benefits will not accrue. The staff member may continue existing group insurance benefits with the appropriate university contribution. Contributions to the retirement program will not continue during the leave period. In the case of medical leaves, the university may require a physician's statement concerning the staff member's ability to perform his/her assigned responsibilities either before the departure or just prior to returning to active employment. The Family and Medical Leave Act and the University Family Medical Leave Act Policy will be followed in approving a covered leave of absence.

Absences without pay for a period of less than one month will be considered as lost time and are subject to the approval of the unit head.

7. Special Administrative Leave of Absence. Members of the Executive, Administrative and Professional Staff are encouraged to participate in the university's special administrative leave of absence program. This program is designed to provide staff members with an opportunity to be absent from their responsibilities during periods when their activities are normally reduced. Conditions of special administrative leave are the same as those applying to regular unpaid leaves except that arrangements may be made to spread accrued regular pay and/or vacation pay over all or some portion of the leave period. Routine responsibilities of the staff member will be reassigned to other staff during the leave. Such leaves are approved by the appointing officer and the president. All arrangements should be made far enough in advance to ensure adequate staffing.

8. Group Life, Medical and Dental Insurance. The university will provide coverage for all regular staff appointed one-half time or more and their dependents and household members (as defined in plan documents) to the extent of the group insurance policies in effect providing the staff member's appropriate payments are maintained. The schedule of benefits provided and their cost are described in materials available through the Human Resources Office.

9. Group Disability. All regular full time staff are eligible to participate in the total disability benefits program subject to the provisions of the master contract. The benefits provided are described in materials available through the Human Resources Office.

10. Retirement.

A. University Base Plan. Regular faculty and executive, administrative and professional staff with appointments of one-half time or more will be eligible to participate in the base retirement plan comprised of three investment alternatives:

1) Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA),

2) College Retirement Equities Fund (CREF),

3) Fidelity Investments - institutional retirement plan

Eligible faculty and staff will begin participation immediately upon employment. Participants are fully vested after completion of two years of employment. The university will make a contribution equal to 12% of the participant's base salary. No contribution is required from the faculty or staff member. Participants may elect an allocation of their university contribution among the three investment alternatives once a year. Allocation changes within those alternatives will be allowed as frequently as permitted by that carrier.

The normal retirement age used as a basis for calculating a full benefit is age 65. There is no mandatory retirement age.

A more detailed description of the base retirement plan related to pay out options, availability of funds and allocation changes and transfers within funds is contained in the materials available in the Human Resources Office.

B. Supplemental Retirement Accounts. All regular faculty and staff may elect to have the university provide payment for tax deferred savings plans which qualify for IRS Code Section 403(b) and beginning July 1, 2002 section 457(b) status through companies approved by the university. Faculty and staff can defer in such amounts as permitted by IRS Code Section 403(b) and 457(b). The election of the such a benefit in no way affects the faculty or staff member's mandatory participation in the university's retirement program. The university retains the right to modify or terminate this optional deferral program upon reasonable notice to faculty and staff.

C. Medical Insurance for Retirees. The university will provide a medical insurance plan for official retirees hired before January 1, 2014. An official retiree (including early retirees) for purposes of this benefit, will be defined as any regular university faculty or staff member who is employed by the university at the time of retirement, who is vested in a university sponsored retirement plan and whose years of university service and age total a minimum of 75.

Official retirees will be reimbursed for participation in the plan based on years of service.

Benefits will also be provided to the spouse, dependents, and household members of the retiree based on the same formula, less the dependent charge. The materials describing the program are available through the Human Resources Office. The university retains the right to modify or terminate this plan upon reasonable notice to faculty, staff and retirees.

11. Tuition Reduction Programs.

A. Academic Participation for Faculty, Staff and Retirees.

A regular faculty or staff member may, with approval of his/her supervisor, enroll in Grand Valley State University courses tuition free, one of which may be taken during working hours each fiscal year. Official retirees may enroll with the approval of the Human Resources Office. The materials describing the program are available through the Human Resources Office.

B. Reduced Tuition for Spouses, Eligible Dependents and Household Members of Faculty, Staff and Retirees.

Spouses, eligible dependents, and household members of regular faculty, staff and official retirees are eligible for a 50 percent reduction of their tuition costs for all Grand Valley State University courses. Spouses, eligible dependents, and household members of regular faculty, staff and official retirees who use this benefit are subject to the admission and academic requirements of the university. The materials describing the program are available through the Human Resources Office.

12. Flexible Spending Accounts. Staff members may elect once a year to participate in the Flexible Spending Accounts pursuant to the plan established under IRS Code Section 125. The materials describing the program and its options are available through the Human Resources Office. The university retains the right to modify or terminate this program upon reasonable notice to the staff.

13. Adoption Assistance. Effective January 1, 2001 all regular full time and part time faculty and staff are eligible for adoption assistance. The benefits provided are described in materials available through the Human Resources Office.

Page last modified November 4, 2013