History of the P&A Classification

The P&A classification was established in 1980 because the existing employment classifications did not adequately accommodate several converging trends at the University in the 1970s and early 1980s. More research was being conducted, and the proposal and reporting requirements were becoming increasingly complicated. Legal mandates, particularly affirmative action, required considerably more administration and new federal programs allowed for expanded University outreach opportunities.

Tasks that had been appropriate for civil service staff no longer seemed appropriate. New positions demanded autonomy, flexible hours, and professional or academic preparation. At the same time, University administrators decided it was unwise to expand tenure to accommodate this new work because of the uncertain financial situation. A dramatic increase in tenured positions was not possible, nor was conferring tenure status on career administrators.

This new class was developed with the understanding that P&As would be able to carry out their administrative and professional duties free from intimidation and political interference. The intent was that all matters relating to P&A fringe benefits, pay, and raises were to be covered by the same policies that applied to the faculty. The drafters of the original P&A policy did not intend to create a class of employees who were vulnerable to nonrenewal. They envisioned probationary appointments leading to continuous appointments. However, they also thought the number of P&As would be fairly limited, and they did not expect the burgeoning number of P&A job titles that has developed at the University over the past two decades.

History of P&A Governance

1980 - 2002 - ASAC

Shortly after 1980 the Academic Staff Advisory Committee (ASAC) was established to advise the president and administration on P&A needs and concerns. ASAC members, selected by the University president, served in this capacity until the late 1990s when the group decided a more active governing organization was needed.

2002 - 2011 - CAPA

Reflecting a growing emphasis in governance, ASAC renamed itself the Council of Academic Professionals and Administrators (CAPA) in January 2002. CAPA became an elected body of approximately 50 representatives from each of the colleges, administrative units, and campuses. CAPA also recommended P&As to the University Senate and University committees in order to ensure that P&A concerns and perspectives were considered. The council met regularly with University administrators and represented all college, campus, and administrative units, many of which had their own P&A consultative bodies.

2004 - Present - P&A Senators to University Senate

In 2004, the University Senate took the groundbreaking step of voting to include representatives from CAPA and Civil Service in its membership. This change took effect the following year. CAPA elected 23 senators from among its ranks to serve in the University Senate. The CAPA chair and vice chair serve on the Senate Consultative Committee, which provides them with voting seats in the University Senate. The addition of these CAPA Senators gave P&A employees a new voice in University affairs.

2011-Present – P&A Senate

In the fall of 2009, with CAPA members now serving in the University Senate, CAPA’s leadership team commissioned a subcommittee to consider changing CAPA to the P&A Senate.

Many benefits were identified, chief among them the increased transparency of the relationship of the P&A governance body to other governance bodies at the University, resulting in greater opportunities to participate in University affairs and increasing visibility to those from outside the University. CAPA voted to adopt this change in June 2010, with the change becoming effective July 1, 2011 following approval of the Board of Regents.

In addition to CAPA becoming the P&A Senate, its Executive Committee became the P&A Consultative Committee.