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

Payroll Title Assistant to Chair
Typical Responsibilities

Reports directly to a Chair in an academic department and has delegated authority to perform professional level programmatic or administrative functions. Makes decisions or recommendations regarding assigned administrative or programmatic functions.Examples of responsibilities: - Departmental budget management and analysis, - Faculty appointment and promotion, - Special projects management and coordination, - Research administration, - Policy development and analysis, and - Department administrative services which may include a small percentage of time spent performing duties such as developing meeting agendas and taking meeting minutes, revising the Chair's schedule and calendar, planning organizational events and meetings.

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 to Chair, Department of History; Executive Assistant to the Chair

Alternative Payroll Titles

If the position does not report to a Chair but does report to a another Executive Head, consider payroll titles for Administrator, Manager, Assistant to Dean, Assistant to Director, or Administrative Specialist. If the primary focus of this position is clerical in nature, review classified payroll titles such as Administrative Assistant, Administrative Coordinator, Human Resources Coordinator, Program Coordinator, Fiscal Specialist, etc.


Positions must report to the chair of an academic department. Meeting an FLSA overtime exemption is a critical component of new positions assigned this payroll title.

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: 4/19/2011 8:45:54 AM