Local PPSM Policy 3 — Types of Appointments

I.  Policy Summary

This local policy provides information to supplement the Systemwide Personnel Policies for Staff Members (PPSM) 3 regarding the nature of appointments covered by personnel policies applicable to staff members, including eligibility for University of California benefits programs.

II.      Definitions

Not applicable.

III.     References

UC Santa Barbara’s Local Personnel Policies for Staff Members (LPPSM) provide additional guidance and implementing procedures for the Systemwide PPSM. This local policy provides additional information or procedural steps not included in the corresponding systemwide policy.  Please review the following Systemwide PPSM in conjunction with the LPPSM: 

PPSM 2- Definition of Terms

PPSM 3- Types of Appointments

IV.     Policy Text

A.  Career Appointments

A career appointment is an appointment established at a fixed or variable percentage of time at 50 percent or more of full-time, which is expected to continue for one year or longer.

B.  Contract Appointments

1. Terms and Conditions of Employment. The terms and conditions of employment, including compensation and duration of employment, are limited to those written in the employment contract. A contract terminates automatically upon the expiration date of the contract, unless, prior to the expiration date, the appointment is ended or extended and the contract is amended or renewed in writing. The amount of time of all appointments, whether on contract or not, cannot exceed 100%.  Persons appointed to contract positions are at will and may be terminated during the life of the contract as needed, including when, in management's judgment, the needs or resources of a department or the performance or conduct of an employee do not justify the continuation of an employee's appointment.

2.   Eligibility. A contract appointment may only be established under one of the following conditions:

a.   The position has special salary requirements or unique occupational terms and conditions of employment which, by industry standards, is typically covered by an employment contract. Examples of these are development officers and coaches. Although these contracts may be renewed annually, the position is expected to be of indefinite duration.   

b.   The position is normally associated with projects that have a specific ending date. An employment contract for a term appointment is normally of one year's duration and may be extended beyond one year to a maximum of three years. Re-appointment in a contract position beyond that date is not permitted.

3.  Employee Rights and Benefits.

a.   The terms and conditions of employment for a contract position shall be only those specified in the employment contract.

b.   Eligibility for University Benefits programs and the University of California Retirement Plan are determined by the Standing Orders of the Regents and the Group Insurance Regulations.

4.   Salary. Once the classification level of the contract position has been determined by the Compensation unit, the salary for the entire term of the contract is negotiated by the department head and the employee before the appointment commences. The pay rate must comport to the assigned classification title and salary grade. When the contract terminates or is amended through renegotiation during its current term, the salary and other provisions can be altered.

5.  Responsibilities and Procedures.

a.   The department head and Human Resources collaboratively designate contract positions, decide whether or not recruitment is applicable and establish the terms and conditions of employment, including salary. Recruitment for contract positions is normally emphasized unless for reasons of compelling business necessity, the recruitment should be waived (see PPSM 20.C and Local Policy 20.B.3, Waiver of Recruitment).  Recruitment is not applicable for a contract appointment when the position meets the definition of "industry standard". In such cases, local policy on Waivers of Recruitment (20.B.3) does not apply.

b.   The department head is responsible for assuring that the contract employee possesses all the knowledge, skills and abilities required to perform the duties of the position.

c.   The written contract is prepared by the department, reviewed by Human Resources to assure compliance with policy and then signed by all appropriate parties. Models of employment contracts can be obtained from Human Resources.

d.   The appointee must complete all University paperwork required by policy for new staff hires, including the State Oath of Allegiance, Patent Agreement, Job Description, etc. The contract is not in effect until it is signed by the head of the department and the employee.

e.   The department is responsible for identifying funding sources for all payments to an employee under contract.

C.  Limited Appointments

Ordinarily, limited appointment positions are not subject to standard recruitment procedures unless the position is later converted to career status. If a department head anticipates that a limited appointment position will exceed 650 hours toward career status eligibility and/or will become career, the department head should openly recruit for the position before the appointment begins. Limited appointment positions should have recruitments completed prior to the attainment of 1,000 hours toward career status eligibility.  

D.  Appointment Conversions

When a limited or contract appointment is approaching its maximum length of appointment, department heads should consider converting the position to career following an open recruitment.  Recruitment for a limited appointment or contract position that is to be converted to career may be waived if the incumbent had been selected for the limited appointment or contract position through an open recruitment.

E.  Annual Review

Annually, the Director of Human Resources and the Vice Chancellor of Administrative Services will review all positions (contract, limited appointment-to-career and career) which were filled without benefit of open recruitment to assure that the number of open recruitment waivers were justified within university policy.

Responsible Units:

Employment and Compensation

Responsible Office:

Human Resources

Issuance Date:


Effective Date:



Professional & Support Staff, Managers & Senior Professionals and Senior Management Group