Terminology Talk - Academic Appointments

Long in use at UT, the term appointment returns to its academic roots.

Unique to higher education, academic appointments confer an academic title for a fixed or indefinite term. Institutions base academic titles on criteria such as academic responsibilities and professional achievement. Common examples include appointments to Dean or Chair.

At UT, early systems incorporated the term appointment making it part of UT's organizational culture from years of use. In *DEFINE, for example, appointments expanded to include begin and end dates and compensation but were not limited to academic titles and eventually encompassed all faculty, staff, or student employment. This expansion led to appointments meaning any job, with to appoint meaning to hire and reappoint meaning to extend a job's end date.  

With the launch of Workday in 2018, some terminology changed. In Workday, the term appointments reverted to its original meaning of conferring academic titles. What we used to call appointments in *DEFINE and assignments in HRMS are now referred to as jobs in Workday. This change means that in Workday, faculty have both jobs and academic appointments. Jobs carry compensation and costing, while appointments carry the academic title tied to an Academic Unit.

Summary: Academic Appointments in Workday

  • Jobs = job profile, compensation, and costing in a Supervisory Organization
  • Academic appointments = academic title tied to an Academic Unit
  • In Workday, referring to an appointment is not the same as referring to a job.

For more information about academic appointments in Workday, refer to the Academic Appointments - Workday Process Overview (WPO) or visit the Academic Employment page.

If you need assistance, contact askUS Support (askUS@austin.utexas.edu).


About Terminology Talk

Differences between what a term means when used in a system context versus how we might use it in everyday conversation can be confusing. We hope to help clarify some of these terms in this series and provide context for their usage. Having a good grasp of systems terminology will help you get work done more efficiently and make it easier to get help when you need it. Being able to describe an issue you’re experiencing with confidence will help the askUS Support team answer your question more quickly and accurately.

Oct. 19, 2021