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University of Washington
Professional Staff Payroll Title Series Descriptor
Human Resources Compensation Office

Payroll Title Assistant or Associate Director
Typical Responsibilities

Reports to an Executive Head, directs and oversees an area or function of the department or school. Performs professional administrative and/or programmatic functions, and participates in the development of strategic plans, oversees plan implementation, and ensures continued plan adherence. Associate Director positions typically embody greater scope and complexity than Assistant Directors and have more responsibility for strategic planning, policy making, and maintaining organizational effectiveness. Assistant and Associate Director titles apply to a wide array of positions in diverse organizations. It is possible for an Assistant Director in a large organization to have a greater level of responsibility, scope of function, and impact than an Associate Director for a smaller organization. Salary grade is independent of title and is determined based on the responsibilities and impacts of each position.

Supervisory Responsibility

Supervision of staff is not required, but is commonly found at higher grades in the series. Supervisors have the authority to hire staff, evaluate job performance, and take corrective action if performance is not acceptable.

Overtime Eligibility

FLSA overtime status is based on the position's duties and responsibilities, and whether or not the position's gross salary is less than the federal FLSA salary basis test or the Washington state salary basis test, whichever is higher. Please visit the Compensation website for current information on FLSA overtime eligibility.

Professional Staff Exemption

Principal Assistants to Executive Heads: Individuals serving as principal assistants to executive heads of a major administrative or academic division and who have major administrative or program responsibility within the division/department and report directly to the executive head. The employee regularly exercises independent judgment and discretion in work directly related to management policies or department business operations and has delegated authority to make commitments that affect department operations.

Sample Working Titles

Assistant Director of Education, Associate Director of Student Services, Assistant Director of Center Operations

Alternative Payroll Titles

If the position does not report to an Executive Head, consider titles under the Program Direction/Control exemption.


Must report to an Executive Head.

Payroll title descriptors provide a general idea of the type of work performed by jobs assigned to payroll titles in a series. Descriptors do not and are not intended to represent all possible positions in the payroll title series. Payroll title and grade assignments for a professional staff position are based on its position-specific job description (see Professional Staff Position Description form).

Descriptor version date: 4/7/2011 5:13:02 PM