Classifications of Positions

Policy Information
Policy TitleClassifications of Positions
Responsible OfficeHuman Resources
Policy TypePersonnel and Payroll
Policy Number600
Last Revision Date11/2/2023


Classification is the procedure by which titles and salary grades are assigned to positions. Titles, which are usually descriptive of the work being performed, are assigned salary grades by System Administration (for professional positions) or the Department of Civil Service (for classified, support positions). Titles are assigned on the basis of a review and analysis of the duties and responsibilities of the position. In addition, an analysis of the knowledge, skills and abilities required to carry out those duties and responsibilities is conducted to accurately make an assessment of title and grade.

A classification action is required for all positions that are to appear on the New York State payroll and the schedule of positions with the exception of certain temporary service positions held by students and some other part time, temporary employees.


Classification — the process or procedure by which titles and salaries are assigned and/or reassigned to positions.

Reclassification — changing the classification of an existing position. Reclassification always involves a change of title but may or may not involve a change of salary or salary grade.

Salary grade — For professional positions, the levels which are created by System Administration in Albany, ranging from 1–6. Each level is assigned and then given a title within the SUNY system. For classified service, all grades are assigned to titles by the Department of Civil Service.

Reallocation — the change of salary or salary grade for an existing position. Reallocations usually do not involve a title change. This generally occurs within the classified service.

Classified service — those positions (titles) under the jurisdiction of the New York State Department of Civil Service and their classification rules and regulations

Unclassified service — those positions (titles) under the jurisdiction of the Chancellor, as defined by the State Education Law (professional staff, i.e., academic and professional employees).

Classified Service Positions

Every request for the classification of new classified service positions, requests for reclassification or reallocation of an existing classified service position, must contain the following information. Please note that for entry-level positions, less comprehensive information is often required since the level of complexity of duties performed is less. For higher-graded positions, more information is often needed to make appropriate determinations:

  1. A complete job description, clearly stating the duties and responsibilities to be assumed by the position and the approximate percentage of time to be spent on each. Any skills, training, or education requirements needed to properly carry out the duties and responsibilities should be noted.
  2. An organizational chart indicating how the position will be placed within the hierarchy of the existing organization, such as who will report to whom, the positions that will be supervised and positions on campus who do similar work. Each position on the organizational chart must be identified by a line item number, budget title, salary grade and an indicator as to FT or PT status.
  3. A brief description of the overall office, department or work unit in which the position will be located

Data, in addition to that specified above, may be required to support difficult or unusual cases. This might include sample work projects, outcomes of the position assignments, etc.

Each request for a new classified service position and each request to change the title assigned to an existing position will be compared to the classification standard for the new title. If the position is vacant and the comparison supports the action requested, the request will be approved upon budgetary approval. If the position is filled and the comparison supports the action requested, the action will not unilaterally be approved since that would create potential problems with other employee displacement. Instead, the employment manager will enter into a discussion with the employee in the position and his or her supervisor/manager to explore options. If the comparison of duties to the newly request position title does not support the new title, the request will be denied.

Unclassified Service Positions (Professional)

Academic positions: Each request for the classification of a new position and each request for the reclassification of an existing position with academic rank must include the line number, the FTE, the organization against which the position will be charged, and the department where it will serve.

Professional positions: Each request for the classification of a new position or for a reclassification of an existing position (either a promotion or a reclassification) must contain the following information for analysis:

  1. A completed Request for Reclassification/Promotion form which can be found on the Human Resources website –
  2. An organizational chart showing the location of the position under scrutiny, the position to whom the incumbent reports to, peers in the department and persons who report to the position. Information on the organizational chart should include line number, budget title and FTE designation. Follow up discussions may occur with the employment team regarding specific information on any of these positions so that the office may understand more clearly the relationships between positions and work that is accomplished.

Data, in addition to that specified above, may be required to support the requests. Once this preliminary information is received by Human Resources, each individual case often takes on its own route of review and inspection.

Each request for new professional positions, promotions or reclassification is subject to a standard analysis by the employment team of the university, located within the Human Resources Office. This analysis includes a thorough review of a variety of variables including level of communication, degree requirements, potential for errors, etc. Once all materials are received and the review is conducted, the Human Resources Office will then communicate back to the supervisor and the employee regarding a decision.

Budgetary approval must be gained by the initiating department and / or supervisor of the department by completing a web form (Position request) requesting either the new position or the new title and if applicable, the new salary. This is then routed to the Human Resources Department, where other approvals are gained as necessary. When the Human Resources Office receives this information and the appropriate personnel have approved it, they will take steps to ensure that the position change (if funded by PSR) is requested for the next budget certification. Once on the schedule of positions in the Office of the State Comptroller, Human Resources is responsible for communicating back to the employee and supervisor regarding when they might expect to see any salary increases resulting from these actions.

It is important to note that for the professional service, changes in titles might effect progression toward permanent appointment. A discussion with Human Resources needs to occur with regard to such issues and questions prior to proceeding with requests.


Employment Team, 607-777-2187
Director of Human Resources, 607-777-4939
Associate Vice President for Human Resources, 607-777-2187