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Policy C.E.S.P. 1-62: Cooperative Extension Service Hiring Policies

Date Revised: 6-29-2015
Supersedes: 2-4-2015

The University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, in establishing its policies and procedures, is bound by University of Arkansas Board of Trustees Policy as well as policies and procedures issued by the State of Arkansas Office of Personnel Management.

Quick Links:

PeopleAdmin CES Employment site
PeopleAdmin Applicant site


I. General Guidelines

It is the policy of the University of Arkansas  Division of Agriculture to provide equal  employment  opportunities and to offer all programs to  eligible participants without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status.

Eligibility for Employment
An applicant must have appropriate authorization by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services through the Form I - 9 process to be eligible for employment with Extension. An individual who is unable to present documents to verify identity and employment eligibility by the third day of work may not begin employment until the required documentation is presented, verified by the hiring supervisor, and photocopied according to I-9 guidelines.

Minimum Age Requirements
The minimum age for employment with Extension is 16 years, with limitations on days scheduled and hours worked. In positions requiring operation of power tools (e.g., weed eaters, chain saws) or heavy machinery (e.g., tractors, combines, and forklifts), the minimum age is 18 years. U of A vehicles are not to be driven by employees under the age of 18.

Employment of Relatives
Extension recognizes that potential conflicts of interest may exist when members of the same family are employed in the same county, department, or unit. To avoid conflicts of interest which may result from such employment, one family member shall not have direction or supervision of the other and shall not participate in decisions to hire, retain, promote, or determine the salary of the other. For purposes of this policy, "family member" of an employee or the employee's spouse is defined as children or parents, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, grandchildren or grandparents, whether by blood or by marriage. This provision applies not only to employees on regular appointment but also to employees in seasonal, temporary, and Work Only When Needed (WOWN) positions.

Veteran's Preference
In compliance with Arkansas Code § 21-3-301 et seq. of the State Veteran's Preference Law, this institution gives preference in employment for certain veterans provided these veterans have "substantially equal qualifications" to other applicants for the position. According to this order, the hiring supervisor must be able to clearly articulate the valid job-related reason(s) an equally qualified veteran was not selected to fill a position. The AA/EEO officer will notify the hiring supervisor when an applicant who meets minimum qualifications for a posted position has identified himself/herself as a veteran. If that applicant is selected for an interview, the applicant must send the necessary veteran status documentation directly to the Office of Human Resources as soon as possible.

Employment by Two State Agencies
An employee may work for two agencies or institutions concurrently, provided that  the combined salary payments from the agencies do not exceed the larger maximum annual salary of the line item position authorized for either agency from which the employee is being paid. To request concurrent employment or for more information, contact Human Resources at 501-671-2219.

Rehire After Retirement
The mandatory wait period before an Extension retiree may be considered for rehire is 180 days after the effective date of retirement. "Wait period" in this instance means that the retiree cannot earn any income from a State employer during the 180 day separation.

Rehire regulations for retirees who have participated in Deferred Retirement Option Programs (DROP) may differ.

II. Definitions of Title and Rank

Basic criteria have been established for initially determining rank in order to maintain a degree of continuity in the appointment process. These criteria are found in the Employee Promotion/Career Review section of the policy guide.Non-classified appointed positions have three different titles: (1) a line item title for budgetary purposes, (2) an internal title which designates rank, and (3) a working title determined by the unit head for use with clients. For some positions, the line item and internal titles are the same.

A. Program Position Appointments

1. County Extension Agent
Definition: A professional with a Bachelor's, Master's, or Doctorate in agriculture, family and consumer sciences or a related discipline who is responsible for program implementation at the county level. Starting salary worksheet: Uniform Pay for Experienced County Extension Agents
Line Item Title: County Extension Agent I, II, III, or IV
Internal Title: County Extension Agent I, II, III, or Distinguished Agent
Working Title: County Extension Agent - [specialty area]

2. Academic Faculty
Definition: An academic professional with a Master's degree (for Instructor positions only) or Doctorate who creates and delivers subject matter programs to support County Extension Agents and serves as a recognized reference source for the organization in an assigned discipline area.  Should an individual in All But Dissertation "ABD" status be hired into an Assistant Professor position, the offer letter must stipulate conferral of the doctorate by a certain date as a condition of continued employment.
Line Item & Internal Titles: Distinguished Professor, University Professor, Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor, Instructor (Note: There is no in-rank promotion track for Instructors.)
Working Title: [academic title] - [specialty area]

3. Program Associate
Definition: Non-classified support personnel with a Bachelor's degree plus a minimum of three years of relevant professional work experience or with a Master's degree (Master's degree preferred) who coordinate work objectives with academic faculty but are responsible for project implementation and management. Program Associates are expected to contribute effectively to program design, results dissemination and/or educational activities.
Line Item Title: Program Associate
Internal Title: Program Associate I, II, or III
Working Title: Program Associate - [specialty area]

4. Program Technician
Definition: Non-classified support personnel with a Bachelor's degree who assist in conducting activities under the direction of Academic Faculty or Program Associates in support of Extension educational programs in an assigned discipline area.
Line Item Title: Program Technician
Internal Title: Program Technician I, II, or III
Working Title: Program Technician - [specialty area]

 B. Support Services Position Appointments

1. Senior Project/Program Director
Definition: A degreed professional who provides organizational direction to an operational support services unit (e.g., financial services, human resources, or communications).
Line Item Title: Sr. Project/Program Director
Internal Title: Sr. Project/Program Director I, II, III
Working Title: Director - [specialty area]

2. Project/Program Director, Manager, or Specialist
Definition: Degreed professionals in non-classified positions within operational support services units.
Line Item Titles: Project/Program Director; Project/Program Manager; Project/Program Specialist
Internal Titles: Project/Program Director I, II, III; Project/Program Manager I, II, III; Project/Program Specialist I, II, III
Working Title: [specialty area] Specialist (e.g., Communications Specialist) or Support Specialist - [specialty area]

 C. Classified Position Appointments

Definition: A person employed in a position where minimum qualifications, salary level, and grade level are determined by the State and maintained by the Office of Personnel Management. The State Pay Plan for classified positions is found in CESP 12-4, Starting Salaries - Classified Positions. Classified positions have a line item title for budgetary purposes and they may also have a working title determined by the unit head for use with clients. However, classified positions do not have an internal title to designate rank.

III. Position Descriptions

A position description prepared by the hiring supervisor for any new job or updated for an existing job should be submitted for review to the Employment Manager before a position posting is considered. The position description describes primary duties, tasks, and responsibilities performed entirely or in part by the incumbent. Position descriptions for every appointed position are maintained in PeopleAdmin and can be accessed by a hiring supervisor for data entry and editing. 

To request a new position, complete the Position Description Form and submit to the Employment Manager.

Video Clip: How to find Position Descriptions

IV. Utilizing Provisional Positions

Provisional positions are not part of the institution's biennial personnel appropriation. They are positions funded entirely from grant, foundation, or other dollars rather than State funds. Provisional positions have the same titles as other appointed positions; the only difference is the funding source. Extension's Employment Manager submits provisional position requests to the State Office of Personnel Management (O.P.M.) for approval before the position can be announced for hiring.

V. Job Postings

Requesting and Posting Position Vacancies
Requests to post appointed positions are accomplished through Extension's online employment system (PeopleAdmin) at To assure equal employment opportunity, all vacant regularly appointed positions must be posted. The only positions handled outside the online employment system are Seasonal/Temporary/Work Only When Needed (WOWN) and positions filled by transfer when Extension administration has determined a need to reallocate resources (e.g., downsizing, change in program emphasis). Contact the Employment Manager at 501-671-2219 for instructions on posting appointed positions in the PeopleAdmin system.  To post seasonal or temporary positions (not required), submit an EVAC-100T to the Employment Manager.  If departmental funds permit, hiring supervisors are encouraged to place advertisements in print media and on other online job sites. Publication/job site names and placement dates of the advertisements must be submitted as documentation to the Employment Manager when the position closes.

Length of Announcement Requirements: Non-classified: Posted for a minimum of ten (10) work days
Classified: Posted for a minimum of five (5) work days
Faculty: Posted for a minimum of 30 calendar days
Seasonal/Temporary: Posting not required 

Online applications must be completed in their entirety to be considered. Resumes and other requested documents are additions to, not substitutes for, the completed electronic employment application. The online application contains a Voluntary Demographic Information page. This applicant data is used solely for statistical purposes to assure Extension's compliance with federal civil rights law. The hiring supervisor does not have the capacity to view this information, and this information in no way affects an applicant's employment eligibility.

Video Clip: How to find Postings and Applicants

VI. Letters of Recommendation or Reference Forms

Online applications for all appointed positions require reference information including name and email address for a minimum of three professional references.  References must be people with knowledge of the applicant's educational or work-related abilities and should not include relatives. 

A minimum of three letters of recommendation are required for external applicants for certain appointed positions. The hiring supervisor may request letters of recommendation or may choose to contact the reference directly using the E.H.I.R.E.-113, Reference Form. The letters of recommendation/reference forms should be received no later than the date of interview, or a date consistently predetermined by the hiring supervisor (prior to the interview).

While letters of recommendation/reference forms are not required for consideration from active appointed Extension employees, reference information for three references (including name and email address) is required by all applicants to complete the online application. Additionally, when a former or current Extension employee applies for a position, the hiring supervisor is responsible for reviewing that individual's Extension work history through the employee personnel file in the Human Resources Office prior to making a recommendation for hire.

VII. Interviews

For affirmative action purposes, the hiring supervisor must submit the names of applicants selected for interview to the Affirmative Action Office (AA/EEO) in PeopleAdmin before interviews are scheduled in order to assure that exclusion of any protected class applicant can be justified on the basis of the advertised qualifications.

Former State Service
Hiring supervisors should review applications for former state service. Such service may affect both the salary offer and an employee's merit increase eligibility date. If an applicant with former state service is going to be recommended for hire, the supervisor should contact the Employment Manager for direction.

Interview Documentation
Hiring Supervisors are highly encouraged to use the Lawful Inquiries formPossible Interview Questions form, and Interview Notes template during the interview process. Submit all Interview Notes to the Employment Manager after a hiring decision has been made. For additional interview tips or resources, contact the Employment Manager.

Skills Testing
Skills testing through Kenexa’s Prove It! software is required for appointed administrative positions (Administrative Specialist I, II, III and Administrative Support Supervisor) to assess the technical abilities of applicants who are selected and approved for interview.  Required tests include Microsoft Word, Excel, and typing.  Once selected applicants are approved by the Civil Rights Compliance Officer, the hiring supervisor must contact the Employment Manager to arrange online testing prior to conducting interviews.  Applicants must have internet access to participate in skills testing.  Results will be submitted to Human Resources and the hiring supervisor upon completion for review.  Test results are valid for one year.

Skills testing is not required for temporary, seasonal, or WOWN positions.  Contact Human Resources for more details on skills testing at 501-671-2219.


VIII. Search and Screening Committees

Search and Screening Committees will be appointed for filling the following positions: Academic Faculty, Administrators, and District Administrators. Exceptions to this procedure must be approved by the Associate Vice President for Agriculture - Extension. Committee members are given view-only access to candidate data as Guest Users in the online employment system at

The Search and Screening Committee is appointed by the hiring supervisor and approved by the appropriate administrator and the Affirmative Action Office. Membership will be representative of racial-ethnic groups, males and females, and the organizational units having contact with the position being filled. The Associate Vice President for Agriculture - Extension names the committee chair and sends the letter of appointment to each committee member.

A quorum of 80 percent of the membership must be present for any committee meeting to be held. The committee will review employment application documents through the online employment system and will recommend three candidates, un-ranked, to the appropriate administrator. After the committee completes its action, all committee deliberation documents are submitted to AA/EEO for review and subsequent filing in the Human Resources Office. 

IX. Hiring Proposal

Before any verbal or written offer is made to a candidate, the Hiring Proposal in PeopleAdmin (including salary, rank, and justification for candidate selection) must be completed and approved at all levels within the system. If the proposed salary in the Hiring Proposal exceeds the salary range in the Posting Details, written approval from the Associate Vice President for Agriculture – Extension is required.

The proposed offer letter must be attached to the Hiring Proposal at the time an applicant is recommended for hire. The offer letter should adhere to the standard Classified Position offer letter or Non-Classified Position offer letter format, as appropriate. The Associate Director of Finance and Administration must be sent a copy of any Non-Classified Position offer letter that includes a start-up package. No verbal offer may be extended to a candidate until the offer letter and Hiring Proposal have been approved in PeopleAdmin. No offer letter is required for Seasonal/Temporary/WOWN positions.

X. Appointment

Ten (10) days before the effective date of hire, the new employee's documentation and workstation set-up arrangements should be completed and submitted for appropriate administrative approvals. See Section XIII Appointed Positions - Required New Hire Documents, for details on required documentation. Processing and delivery of new furniture, cell phones, and computer hardware may take 10 days or more from the time of purchase approval. The supervisor will provide an orientation to the employee that includes an overview of the job description, supervisor's expectations, annual performance review process, the date of the employee's introductory probationary period review meeting (see Section XI, Introductory Probationary Period for New Employees), and the Banner Leave Report (non-classified positions) or Time Sheet (classified positions). The employee will receive a demonstration and instructions for accessing the policy guide, and the policy guide index will be reviewed with the employee, with particular emphasis on the Civil Rights section and CESP 2-7, Sexual Harassment.

XI. Introductory Probationary Period for New Employees

Academic Faculty, Internal transfers, and Seasonal/Temporary/WOWN employees are not required to be placed in an introductory probationary status. A new employee (new hire, rehire, or transfer from another state agency/institution) will be placed in introductory probationary employment status for three (3) months for classified employees or six (6) months for non-classified employees except academic faculty (C.E.S.P. 1-11, Introductory Probationary Period for New Employees). The new hire's performance should be closely monitored so that the employee receives counseling from his/her supervisor regarding any job performance problems/deficiencies during the probationary period.

At the end of the 3 or 6 month period, the supervisor must evaluate the employee and either place the employee on regular status, extend the probationary period (not to exceed an additional three [3] months), or terminate employment. If the supervisor has recommended and received approval for termination, the employee will be given a written notice of immediate termination.

XII. Ineligible for Promotion/Transfer

During the first nine (9) months of employment, a new employee (new hire, rehire, transfer from another state agency/institution) will not be eligible to apply for an advertised position in another Extension department or county. This applies to new hires on regular appointment only; Seasonal/Temporary/WOWN employees may apply for appointed positions during the first nine months.

XIII. Appointed Positions - Required New Hire Documents

The required new hire documents listed below should be submitted to the BANNER administrator assigned to your organizational unit ten (10) days prior to the employee's effective date of hire. This information is necessary to establish a new employee in the system. BANNER administrators and their assigned organizational units are listed in the table at the bottom of this policy.

Required New Hire Documents for Appointed Positions (provided by hiring supervisor)

*New employees without a social security card must request one immediately from the Social Security Administration. Processing time for a new social security card may take up to three weeks, and the hire date will be postponed until the valid social security card is provided.

Additional Required Documents (provided by hiring supervisor) By close of business on the new employee's third (3rd) day of work, the hiring supervisor must send the following documents in a confidential envelope directly to the Human Resources Office:

*If there is no E-Verify General User in your office, please call Human Resources for instructions at 501-671-2219. To access  E-Verify, visit

Documents Sent to New Employee (provided by Human Resources) The packet of items listed below will be sent by Human Resources to the new employee. The employee is responsible for returning the signed forms to Human Resources within 31 days of the effective date of hire:

The employee's paycheck may be delayed if required forms are not received in HR by the 31-day deadline.

Proof of Prior Service All employees except academic Faculty are eligible for State Career Service Recognition Award payments. To receive credit for previous State service, a new hire should contact the former State agency/institution employer and ask for proof of prior service to be sent to the CES Payroll office.

XIV. Temporary Positions - Required New Hire Documents

In compliance with State regulations, temporary employees (including Seasonal and Work Only When Needed) must work less than 1500 hours in a fiscal year (July 1 of current year through June 30 of following year).
Temporary Definition (includes Seasonal): A person employed on a seasonal or short-term basis, e.g., 4 weeks to 6 months.
Work Only When Needed (WOWN) Definition: A person who acts as a substitute employee for immediate, short-term needs, e.g., to fill in when someone is sick or until a secretarial vacancy can be posted and filled.

Hiring Temporary Employees
Temporary employees are hired through a paper process and do not require posting in PeopleAdmin. Salary, job title, and position number should be determined using the Temporary Classification & Compensation Plan document.

Advertisement of Temporary position vacancies is optional. To post, submit an EVAC-100T to the Employment Manager.   The supervisor may also advertise the position by posting it in appropriate locations, e.g., on county office bulletin boards, in college/university departments, and at local community sites. Refer to I. General Guidelines above for information related to minimum age requirements, employment of relatives, and veteran's preference.

Required New Hire Documents for Temporary Positions (provided by hiring supervisor). Submit the following documents to the BANNER administrator assigned to your organizational unit 5 business days prior to the employee's effective date of hire. This information is necessary to establish a new employee in the system. BANNER administrators and their assigned organization units are listed in the table at the bottom of this policy.

*New employees without a social security card must request one immediately from the Social Security Administration. Processing time for a new social security card may take up to three weeks, and the hire date will be postponed until the valid social security card is provided.

Additional Required Documents (provided by hiring supervisor) On the employee's first (1st) day of work, the supervisor must provide the employee with a copy of the following documents: By close of business on the new employee's third (3rd) day of work, the hiring supervisor must send the following completed and signed documents in a confidential envelope directly to the Human Resources Office:

*If there is no E-Verify General User in your office, please call Human Resources for instructions at 501-671-2219. To access E-Verify, visit

The employee's paycheck may be delayed if required forms are not sent to HR by close of business on the new hire's 3rd day.

Click here to download/print Temporary Employees new hire documents

Click here to download Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification


XV. BANNER Administrator List


Banner Admin Departments Org Units Phone
Amy Hedges Communications, Credit Union, Development, Lonoke Agricultural Center, Research and Education Centers, Office of AVP, Office of County Operations 1000, 1300, 3200, 3201, 3800, 3900, 4001, 8100, 8150, 8160, 8300, EXEC, EXEC1, EXEC2 501-671-2001
Genean Riddick Agriculture & Natural Resources 7000, 7100, 7101, 7200, 7300, 7400, 7400, 7401, 7402, 7602, 7700, 7800, 7900, 8110, 8115, 8120, 8130, 8140, 8170, 8401, 8402, 8404 501-671-2001
Denise Roulhac Family & Consumer Sciences 6300 501-671-2100
Beverly Christenberry

Human Resources, Information Technology, Program & Staff Development, Physical Plant (Postal Center, Warehouse, Facilities Maintenance), Print Shop, Financial Services, Sponsored Programs, Finance & Administration

1200, 1202, 3150, 3202, 3300, 3400, 3401, 3403, 3404, 3500, 3600, 3601, 3602, 2000, 2500, 3000, 3100 501-671-2210
Lynn Wooten 4-H & Youth Development 6000, 6200, 6220, 6230 501-671-2053
Kristen Kiefer Community & Economic Development, APAC, Public Issues Education, LEADAR 1201, 7500, 7501, 7604 501-671-2299
Eva Johnson Ouachita District All orgs associated with Ouachita District 501-671-2020
Kelley Cochran Delta District All orgs associated with Delta District 501-671-2024
Sherry Funderburg Ozark District All orgs associated with Ozark District 501-671-2016