The UNC Policy Manual


Adopted 01/09/98

Repealed 01/25/24


Evaluation of Positions for Designation as Senior Academic and Administrative Officer

Academic and administrative officials exempt from the State Personnel Act are identified by express statutory reference (“president,” “vice presidents,” “chancellors,” and “vice chancellors”) and by action of the Board of Governors pursuant to generic statutory reference (presidential “professional staff members” and “senior academic and administrative officers” of the constituent institutions).

The Board of Governors has further defined “senior academic and administrative officers” to include:

1.            vice chancellors, provosts, deans and directors of major educational and public service activities (July 7, 1990);

2.            associate and assistant vice chancellors and associate and assistant deans (October 12, 1990); and,

3.            “specific other officers of the University having significant administrative responsibilities and duties” as may be designated by the President, subject to confirmation by the board (October 12, 1990).

The “other officers of the University having significant administrative responsibilities and duties” shall include:

A.            Members of the chancellor’s professional staff (e.g., assistant to the chancellor, legal staff, secretary of the University).

B.            Those responsible for the administrative direction of separately designated divisions or departments of institutional activity commonly associated with institutions of higher education (e.g., director of administrative computing, director of alumni affairs, director of human resources, director of development, controller/comptroller, etc.).  The specific positions to be included in this category will be established by the Board of Governors upon the recommendation of the President.

C.            Those positions whose primary responsibility is to attract external funds for and/or to market the University.

D.            Other officers holding positions characterized by:

·         active, continuing involvement in formulating, interpreting, and implementing institutional policy as it relates to the respective areas of responsibility; and

·         the exercise of substantial independence of administrative authority and discretion in areas such as program planning and design and allocation of resources.

In most cases, persons occupying such positions will function as the director of a specific division or department of institutional activity, reporting at the level of a vice chancellor or dean.  However, where circumstances warrant (e.g., in the case of a large and complex department or division), persons functioning as an associate or assistant director may be found to have “significant administrative responsibilities and duties” as defined by the characteristics listed above.  In such cases, the position must have substantial responsibility for assisting the primary officer (e.g., director) in formulating, interpreting, and implementing policy within the jurisdiction of the primary officer and must function in a confidential and direct support relationship to the primary officer or have direct responsibility for a specific sphere of operations within the unit.

A chancellor who wishes to have a position included in this category shall submit to the President a complete description of the authority and responsibility of the position as well as an organization chart for the unit.  Persons nominated to fill such positions normally must have an advanced educational degree and extensive relevant experience and be recruited in a national search process.  The President shall determine, on the basis of the chancellor’s representation and such additional information as the President shall require, whether the position satisfies the prescribed criteria.

A University administrative position may be designated as a senior academic or administrative officer, and thereby exempt from the State Personnel Act, only by action of the President.  To qualify, the position must bear one of the approved titles (e.g., dean, associate or assistant vice chancellor, associate or assistant dean, assistant to the chancellor [category A above], director of a major division or department [category B above], have significant responsibilities for fund raising and/or marketing of the institution [category C above], or be recommended on the basis of an evaluation of job content [category D above].

The Board of Governors shall appoint and fix the compensation of all persons nominated to fill the presidency, vice presidencies, presidential staff positions, chancellorships, vice chancellorships, and deanships.  With respect to other positions designated by the board as senior academic and administrative officers, the authority to make appointments and determine salaries shall be delegated to the chancellors and the Boards of Trustees of the constituent institutions.  The terms and conditions of employment of all persons appointed by the board to exempt administrative positions shall be governed by policies adopted by the Board of Governors.