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Conversion from classified to university staff

From time to time, the university offers classified staff the opportunity to convert to university staff. 

Classified staff are employees who began state employment prior to July 1, 2006 when the Restructured Higher Education Finance and Administrative Operations Act became effective and are covered by the Virginia Personnel Act and State of Virginia Human Resource policies (administered by the Virginia Department of Human Resource Management).

The frequently asked questions provide additional information on the conversion from classified to university staff. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Primarily, like other roles at Virginia Tech, university staff roles are governed by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors and subject to university policies with the exception of retirement, health insurance, staff grievance procedure, and workers compensation, which are governed by the state’s Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM) policies.

Classified staff are governed by and subject to state policies managed by the DHRM.

Following are several key differences between classified and university staff that employees should be aware of.

HR Plans and Policies Classified Staff University Staff
Compensation System
(Merit and Pay Practices)
State can implement a merit-based pay system for classified employees. State's pay practices are defined in DHRM policy 3.05. University can implement a merit-based pay system for university employees. Classified staff are not eligible for university-approved merit programs. University staff are eligible for larger pay increases on promotion with justification.
Leave Policies Classified staff are eligible for annual and sick leave described in DHRM policy 4.05 to 4.60. Classified staff who were hired before Jan. 1, 1999 or did not opt into the Virginia Sickness and Disability Program (VSDP) accrue sick leave per the state’s policy. Conversion from classified to university staff will allow employees to move to the VSDP. Employees hired on or after Jan. 1, 1999 are enrolled in the Virginia Sickness and Disability Program (VSDP).
Classification System
(role titles)
DHRM maintains the classified job structure, pay bands and job definitions. DHRM periodically revises job families and the pay structure. University employees are assigned to the job roles as defined by DHRM. However, the university has the authority to consider changes in the classification system, job structure, and pay system in order to meet university requirements.
Layoff and Severance Policies

State policy permits agencies to implement reductions in the work force according to uniform criteria when it becomes necessary to reduce the number of employees or to reconfigure the work force including change of positions from full-time to part-time status as described in DHRM policy 1.30. Eligible classified staff may receive severance benefits described in DHRM policy 1.57.

The state may recall classified staff who were previous laid off back into a role that is the same title they were laid off from.

The university uses the same process for university staff when a layoff is required. Additionally, university staff in restricted appointments are not eligible for severance benefits regardless of the funding sources. The university may develop alternate severance programs when needed.

The university may recall staff who were previously laid off back. University staff would have the opportunity to fill a broad set of roles if they meet the minimum job requirements.

If you are in a staff position and you were hired prior to July 1, 2006, you are classified staff. You can confirm this by contacting the HR Service Center at 540-231-9331 or by:

  • Logging into HokieSPA using your PID and Password.
  • Clicking on the Hokie Team tab.
  • Clicking on Employment Information.
  • Employee classification is shown under the heading Employment Type located above hire date.

There are no plans to establish new policies affecting the accrual rate or leave types for university staff. 

Employees can carry over 25 percent of their leave balance to be paid upon separation from employment up to a maximum of $5,000. The payout option is based on employee's rate of pay at the time of separation. University employees will be enrolled in the VSD program.

No, under the Restructured Higher Education Financial and Administrative Operations Act 2005, Virginia Tech does not have the authority to establish a merit process for classified staff.

Yes. University staff on Leave Without Pay should be considered for a merit increase if appropriate, although, they will not receive the increase until they return to work.

University staff on 9, 10, or 11 month appointments will receive an increase on their annual 9, 10, or 11 month salary. 

Yes, university staff members on restricted appointments are included in the merit program. Some restricted employees whose appointment may be about to end may be excluded from the program because there is not an expectation for continued employment.

Each vice president/dean/unit will determine how merit increases will be awarded.