555 S. Howes Street, Suite 213
Fort Collins, CO 80523-6004

(970) 491-0951

Is It State Classified or Administrative Professional

Avoiding Pitfalls in Classification

Email communication to Department Chairs, Deans & VPs on behalf of Dan Bush, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs. September 29, 2015

Dear Colleagues:

As you all know, CSU is in the middle of implementing two major changes associated with positions. One is the new Talent Management System which should improve all aspects of the workflow associated with the selection and hiring of new employees. The second is the Administrative Professional Framework which establishes a comprehensive classification umbrella for administrative professional positions at CSU and includes, in part, classifying positions in the context of state classified or administrative professional positions. Please see attached here a document that summarizes the rationale and operational parameters for both.

One area that is receiving renewed focus is the classification of positions as state classified or administration professional (AP). While well covered here, I'd like to focus on a couple of key determinants in deciding where a given position should be classified.

A key consideration in defining an AP position is:

A person is in a professional position or is a professional employee or professional staff if the person is in a position that involves the exercise of discretion, analytical skill, judgment, personal accountability, and responsibility for creating, developing, integrating, applying, or sharing an organized body of knowledge that characteristically is:

  • Acquired through education or training that meets the requirements for a bachelor's or graduate degree or equivalent specialized experience; or a generalized degree that is supported by years of experience within the professional field.

  • Continuously studied to explore, extend, and use additional discoveries, interpretations, and applications and to improve data, materials, equipment, applications, and methods.

The key here is both professional training and an emphasis on exercise of discretion, analytic skills, personal accountability and responsibility for making independent judgement and decision making. Thus, if your position meets these requirements, it is probably an AP position, if it is routine clerical or generic administrative duties (such as bookkeeping, purchasing, data entry, general IT actions, etc.), it is probably state classified.

When writing job descriptions, be sure to reflect on the job duties and the level of education/training and independent decision making required. A generic description that doesn't address the education and decision responsibility of a given position may not be properly classified. Also, please read the attached document to fully understand the differentiation between state classified and administrative professional positions.

Please pass this information on to others in your units who may need it. For more questions and/or clarification, contact the HR Classification Team at:

Dr. Daniel R. Bush
Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs
Colorado State University
108 Administration
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1001
(970) 491-0212