Initial Evaluation Periods

Newly-hired Staff Members

The university attempts to match a new staff member's skills, knowledge, and abilities with the requirements of the job. Most new staff adapt to their positions without problems. The supervisor is generally responsible for providing the counseling and training necessary for the new staff member. The new staff member is responsible for making a concerted effort to adjust to the conditions of employment and to demonstrate the qualifications, skills, and work habits that will result in successful performance. Although all employment is at will, in order to give the department head an opportunity to evaluate a new staff member's interest in the job and ability to perform the work effectively, and in order to give the new staff member an opportunity to assess the appropriateness of the job, a new staff member is subject to an initial evaluation period of six (6) work months.

Staff members serving initial evaluation periods may be terminated, or may terminate their employment, without advance notice at any time prior to the completion of the initial evaluation period.

Staff members in their initial evaluation periods do not have recourse to the appeal procedures for any purpose. Individuals serving extended evaluation periods may use the appeal procedures except to appeal corrective action taken as a result of not attaining the skill or performance levels specified when initial evaluation periods were extended.

Staff members are not eligible to participate in the job posting program while serving initial or extended evaluation periods.

New staff members in regular positions are eligible for holiday pay and begin accruing vacation leave and sick leave hours starting on date of employment.

Human Resources should notify the department head prior to the expiration of a staff member's initial evaluation period by sending the department head a performance appraisal form.

Performance should be evaluated by the department head during the initial evaluation period in order to determine whether the staff member should be retained. The completed performance appraisal form should then be returned to Human Resources for review and inclusion in the staff member's personnel file.

The initial evaluation period may be extended for a maximum of three (3) work months. Extensions should be approved in advance by the department head in consultation with the Director of Employment & People Development or his or her designee. The staff member whose initial evaluation period is to be extended is notified, generally in writing, of the specific level of skills or performance which must be attained during the extended evaluation period. The department head may also request an extension of the initial evaluation period if there has not been enough opportunity to evaluate the staff member's performance for other reasons. This kind of extension might be appropriate, for example, if either the staff member or the supervisor were absent for a significant period of time.

Promoted or Transferred Staff Members

If a staff member is transferred or promoted to a new position, a new evaluation period begins, again providing a period of close support and feedback. The length of the evaluation period for promoted or transferred staff members is six (6) work months. Human Resources should notify the department head prior to the expiration of a staff member's evaluation period by sending the department head a performance appraisal form. Based on the department head's appraisal, the staff member may be retained in the position, transferred (if another position for which the staff member is qualified is available within the department), or terminated. The completed performance appraisal form should be returned to Human Resources for review and inclusion in the staff member's personnel file.

If a promoted or transferred individual's job performance in the new position does not prove to be satisfactory during the evaluation period, and if the staff member is transferred back to the former position (if such a position is available in the department), the staff member's salary will not be lower than that received (excluding overtime or shift differential) in the position held prior to the promotion or transfer.

Staff members who have completed initial evaluation periods as new members of the University staff and who are subsequently transferred or promoted remain eligible for benefits (including paid leave benefits) and may use the Complaint Procedures contained in this section of the manual.

The evaluation period for a staff member who has been transferred or promoted may be extended for a maximum of three (3) work months. Extensions should be approved in advance by the department head in consultation with the Director of Employment & People Development, and the staff member whose evaluation period is to be extended is notified, generally in writing, of the specific level of skills or performance which must be attained during the extended evaluation period. The department head may also request an extension of the evaluation period if there has not been enough opportunity to evaluate the staff member's performance for other reasons. This kind of extension might be appropriate, for example, if either the staff member or the supervisor were absent for a significant period of time.

Origination Date: 9/1958
Revised: 1996, 4/2013