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Position Description

The position description, the basis for the university's performance management plan, identifies the essential elements of an employee's job. On-campus we have three full-time employment classifications: Classified Staff, Instructional Faculty, and Administrative and Professional Faculty.

Classified position descriptions are housed within the Position Description Application (PD App) within the HRMS (PeopleSoft) system. Position descriptions should be updated periodically by the supervisor when a position is created, soon to be recruited for, and ongoing when changes are made. It is an excellent practice to review annually at performance evaluation time to make changes or updates. The position description is checked for accuracy during the performance evaluation process. Essential Functions of the position are based on the type of work performed by an employee and remain relatively constant during the performance cycle. Measures are descriptions of what outstanding performance will look like in executing the core responsibilities. Measures are observable performance and behavioral outcomes that define success.

The position description also identifies any special assignments the employee may be assigned and the overriding departmental values. The physical, cognitive, and environmental requirements section speaks to baseline mental, physical, and sensory demands appropriate for the position. 

What is the PD App? The PD App houses classified position descriptions and are located in the HR Management system. Supervisors can access their classified employees' PDs by logging in to HR Management, clicking on Manager Self Service, then Job and Personal Information, and My Position Descriptions.

Who updates Position Descriptions? Current supervisors and reviewers of classified employees will have access to their employee's PD. Therefore, they should update them as necessary throughout the year whenever changes to the position occur, such as essential functions, measures, or special assignments. In addition, the annual performance evaluation process offers a great opportunity to make necessary changes to the PDs.

How to use the PD App: If you are a supervisor or reviewer of classified employees or a designee for the position(s), you will need to learn how to use the PD App. There are eLearning modules available that give an overview of the entire system. Additionally, you can contact your HR Consultant for assistance.

Click here to log in to the PD App

A&P Faculty Position Description information is captured on the first page of the A&P Faculty Performance Evaluation. Section 1a describes the applicable competencies for all A&P Faculty Members. Section 1b (Key Responsibilities) must be completed for all new A&P Faculty positions and as changes to position duties are made. The supervisor and faculty member signs Section 1b and forwards the document to Human Resources. An updated PD can also be included with the annual A&P Faculty Performance Evaluation.

Wage employees don't have a formal position description document however, supervisors are encouraged to keep a description or bulleted list that captures the essence of the job in their departmental files.

Instructional Faculty members do not have a housed position description in the personnel files within the Human Resources office. However, each department within Academic Affairs is responsible for housing annual performance evaluations. Instructional Faculty are evaluated in the following areas of performance that tie back to responsibilities as an Instructional Faculty member. Faculty Handbook Policy III.E.2.b.:

  • Teaching
  • Scholarly achievement and professional qualifications
  • Professional service

Additionally, any aspects of a faculty member's conduct that impacts performance, positive or negative, should be addressed in the evaluation of these performance areas. The methods by which these areas are to be evaluated are as follows:

III.E.2.b.(1) Teaching

Consideration of teaching performance must include, but need not be limited to, the following: self-evaluation, evaluations by peers and/or AUHs, and student evaluations. In addition, consideration should be given to a faculty member's commitment to student advising and innovations in teaching, as evidenced by the development of new course work and teaching methodology. In those academic units that do not use student evaluations in all classes taught by a faculty member, the policy determining which classes will be evaluated shall be stated in the academic unit's evaluation procedures. Any such policy shall apply equally to all similarly situated faculty members in the academic unit.

III.E.2.b.(2) Scholarly Achievement and Professional Qualifications

Evaluation criteria in this area may differ according to discipline. Criteria should include, but need not be limited to, publication of scholarly works, presentations at professional conferences, achievement through performance in the arts, engaging in recognized research, obtaining research grants, continuing professional development through formal course work, publication of educational materials, and consulting activities.

III.E.2.b.(3) Professional Service

Evaluation of activity in this area shall include committee service and leadership at James Madison University or in professional or educational organizations, or service otherwise enhancing the profession, academic unit, college, or university.

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