Appendix C: Working Title Guidelines

The University’s market-based compensation (MBC) program provides Job Catalog titles that are descriptive of the work performed. However, there are a few instances when a different title would better serve the department’s operational interests. In these instances, a Working Title may be used to describe the function of the Position in even greater detail or more easily recognized terms in both internal and external communications.

A Working Title can be used in situations in which it is necessary to more clearly or precisely describe the function, responsibilities or scope of an individual Job assignment, and thereby provide a more immediate understanding of the Job in business communications. Departments may use Working Titles to differentiate between similar roles or to distinguish between similar specialties within a Job. The Working Title should use those terms that are most easily recognized and understood by internal and external groups.

Working Titles have no impact on wages, benefits or working conditions.

Determining the Need for a Working Title

In determining the need for a Working Title, the Leader should consider the following:

  • Whether the University Job Catalog title adequately describes the function of the Job assignment based on industry standard or for professional business communications inside and/or outside the University
  • Whether there are other terms that would more specifically and accurately describe the function of the Job assignment, and provide more immediate recognition
  • Whether a Working Title would provide a more accurate and recognizable understanding of the relationship between Jobs and/or functions within a department or organization

Working Title Criteria

A Working Title Should

  • Add clarity to the University’s Job Catalog title in describing the individual role for such things as:
    • Searches and job postings
    • Business correspondence, both internal and external to the University
    • The public University directory
  • Provide a more specific description of the function or work performed to better facilitate business communications
  • Be consistent with professional/industry practice
  • Be consistent with other Working Titles within a Job Family and/or department

A Working Title Should Not:

  • Use an existing Job Catalog title as a Working Title for a different Job in the Catalog.
  • Imply a status or authority level beyond that which the person holds.
  • The “level” of the Working Title should be consistent with the “level” of the Job. For example, a Coordinator Job should have a Coordinator Working Title.
  • Using “inflated” Working Titles may blur lines of responsibility and lead staff to take on responsibilities that are not appropriate to their Positions (and for which they may not be paid appropriately) or, conversely, they can confuse staff as to who is the appropriate supervisor or administrator.
  • In some cases, it may be appropriate for a Manager Job to have an Assistant Director or an Associate Director Working Title as these titles imply the same “level”.
  • Use a distinction of Position level, such as Senior, unless it is included in the Job Catalog title.
  • Use any title that includes the words Vice President, Provost, Dean, Officer, Director; or other titled Positions that are recognized as institutional officers, e.g. University Secretary or University Treasurer.

Review Process

The Working Title Request form can be found on the HR Forms Index. The Working Titles must be approved prior to use.

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Who to Contact

MBC Transition Team 
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Created: 7/9/21 HR