Budget Policies

BT03 Budget Regulations for Personal Services

Policy Status: 

Under Review

Subject Matter Expert: 

Budget Director, budget@psu.edu

Policy Steward: 

Associate Vice President for Budget and Finance


  • Purpose
  • Governing Principle
  • Permanently Budgeted Positions
  • Transfers from Wages or Departmental Allotment for Salary Increases or New Positions
  • Excess Salary Payments
  • Fixed-Term Multi-Year Academic Appointments
  • Fixed-Term Appointments
  • Graduate Assistantships
  • Further Information

    To present the University regulations governing the budgeting of salaries and wages.


    The fundamental principle of the salary portion of the Personal Services section of the budget is position management. With position management each position of a standing or a fixed term multi-year nature is provided for and is shown in the budget at the annual salary rate, regardless of the actual amount payable to each employee during the year. Thus, a change in salary, an anticipated retirement, or the creation of a new position during the year requires budget provisions for the total annual salary on a permanent basis, regardless of the amount to be expended from the budget for the position during the current year.


    Authorized positions are arranged in the departmental budgets by payroll classification by numerical identification as follows:

    • Executive (0101)
    • Administrator (0102)
    • Academic Administrator (0103)
    • Academic (0104)
    • Fixed Term Multi-Year Academic (0174)
    • Exempt Staff (0105)
    • Nonexempt Staff (0106)
    • Technical Service (0108)

    Payroll classifications of standing and fixed term multi-year positions remain permanently in existing budgets so long as the nature and duties of the position are unchanged. A reclassification of a position authorized by the Office of Human Resources during the year requires a budget amendment to reflect a change in the permanent budget.


    If wages or departmental allotment provisions are reduced during the year to provide for a new position, or for an increase in an existing position, the portion of the annual salary applicable to the period preceding the effective date may be restored on a temporary basis to the budget which was reduced at that time (see Policy BT04 Budget Regulations for Departmental Allotment Including Fringe Benefits).


    If it is necessary to overlap appointments in the process of replacing a person, the additional budget requirement must be provided on a temporary basis to cover the amount of salary overlap. Maximum periods of overlap will be determined by the Office of Human Resources (see Policy HR67 Periods of Overlap).

    Any unused vacation payable upon resignation, military leave of absence, etc. for Standing, Fixed Term Multi-Year, or Fixed-Term I appointments must be provided in the departmental budget on a temporary basis.


    Fixed-Term Multi-Year Academic positions must be committed on a permanent basis from the Fixed-Term Multi-Year Academic budget category before appointments can be made. Fixed-Term Multi-Year appointments for three years or less may be permanently budgeted using fund 39990 to permit funding flexibility. The position appears as a line item on the departmental budget position schedule and is assigned a position number on the payroll record (see Policy HR06 Types of Appointments).


    Provision for Fixed-Term appointments is included in the budget in a total dollar amount and designated as Non-Standing Academic or Non-Standing Non-Academic salaries. Total salaries allocated to Fixed-Term appointments must not exceed the total dollar amount provided in the budget for Non-Standing Academic or Non-Standing Non-Academic salaries. The total budget amount may be increased or decreased permanently or temporarily from other sources.


    Provision for graduate assistantships is included in the budget in a total dollar amount. Graduate assistantships may not be provided unless the appropriate amount for a tuition grant-in-aid is budgeted in the appropriate central grant-in-aid budget managed by the Associate Vice President for Budget and Finance.  Graduate assistantships created shall require provision from departmental budgets to cover the amount of grants-in-aid and stipend (see Table of Stipends for Graduate Assistants).


    For questions, additional detail, or to request changes to this policy, please contact the Officer of Budget and Finance.

    Most Recent Changes:

    • February 1, 2023 - Editorial changes:
      • Added the Budget Director as the Subject Matter Expert (SME)
      • Changed the Policy Steward from the University Budget Officer to the Associate Vice President for Budget and Finance, per the directive of the Senior Vice President for Finance and Business
      • Changed all references to the Corporate Controller to the Associate Vice President for Budget and Finance, per the directive of the Senior Vice President for Finance and Business
      • Changed the Further Information contact from University Budget Officer to the Office of Budget and Finance

    Revision History (and effective dates):

    • March 30, 2019 - Fixed-Term Multi-Year Appointments for "two years or less" may be permanently budgeted using fund 39990 to permit funding flexibility changed to "three years or less".
    • August 6, 2014 - Major changes throughout the policy to reflect current operations.
    • October 25, 2013 - Editorial changes. Addition of policy steward information, in the event that there are questions or requests for changes to the policy.
    • June 15, 2012 - Revision made to FIXED-TERM MULTI-YEAR ACADEMIC APPOINTMENTS section, 2nd paragraph; a statement added to specify handling for Fixed-Term Multi-Year appointments for two years or less.
    • October 3, 2005 - Editorial change; under “Graduate Assistantships”, deleted the words “, and tuition surcharge where appropriate,” per request of Budget Office.
    • Feb 1, 2005: Editorial change to eliminate reference to General Forms Usage Guide.
    • March 5, 2003
      • Changed the term " position control" to "position management."
      • Moved the section POSITION CONTROL to policy HR23.
      • Under the section ARRANGEMENT AND CODING OF LISTED POSITIONS, changed the phrase "positions are shown in the budget" to "positions are shown in the budget position schedules."
      • Moved the section SALARY PLAN PROVISIONS FOR POSITIONS to policyHR06 and HR05.
      • Moved the section PROVISIONS REGARDING LEAVE OF ABSENCE to policyHR06 and HR16.
      • Moved the section PROVISIONS FOR ACADEMIC POSITIONS to policyPR10.
      • Under the section FIXED-TERM MULTI-YEAR ACADEMIC APPOINTMENTS, changed the terms "budget salary schedule" to "budget position schedule." The sentence "Such appointments are discontinued at the stated ending date, but may be renewed" was removed.
      • Under section PROVISIONS FOR GRADUATE ASSISTANTSHIPS, moved to policy PR06 the 2nd paragraph dealing with submission of appointments.
    • August 25, 1995 -
      • Fixed Term Multi-Year Academic positions added to position control.
      • Revised listing under the section ARRANGEMENT AND CODING OF LISTED POSITIONS.
    • March 14, 1995 - Changes to position titles of "appropriate senior University officer."
    • April 19, 1993 - ARRANGEMENT AND CODING OF LISTED POSITIONS section was rewritten.
    • November 10, 1989 - Changes to position titles.
    • August 16, 1989 - Clarified duration of Fixed Term Multi-Year positions classified as full time.
    • March 30, 1989 - "Executive Vice President" changed to "Executive Vice President and Provost." Added Senior VP for Development as an "appropriate senior university officer."
    • January 22, 1986 - Minor editorial change.
    • May 30, 1984 - "Department of Personnel Administration" changed to "Office of Personnel Administration."
    • November 9, 1983 - "Provost of the University" changed to "Executive Vice President."
    • April 29, 1983 - References to "term" changed to "semester."
    • June 4, 1982 - Responsibility for position control moved from budget administrators to budget executives. "Salary Plan M" changed to "36-week appointment." "Salary Plan A" changed to "48-week appointments."
    • July 14, 1978 - New policy.