I. Introduction (HEO Guidelines)

The Higher Education Officer (HEO) series is a part of the non-teaching instructional staff of The City University of New York (CUNY). An appointment to a position in this series requires that affirmative action procedures be followed in the recruitment and selection process and that the person chosen possess at least the minimum qualifications as established by the Board of Trustees in its Bylaws1. The University reviews all HEO series job descriptions prior to posting and, along with the college, ensures that positions have been classified properly and that essential functions are identified. At its meeting on October 25, 1999, the Board of Trustees empowered the Chancellor to delegate certain responsibilities for personnel actions to the College Presidents. Pursuant to that delegation, the College President has the responsibility to certify that the individuals the college recommends for appointment in the HEO series meet the qualifications expressed in the Bylaws and to recommend a salary appropriate to the position and their qualifications. The Office of Faculty and Staff Relations (OFSR) periodically audits college appointment actions to confirm that selected candidates are qualified and that the pay offered is consistent with the PSC/CUNY collective bargaining agreement and University policies. On the basis of these audits, the University reviews the delegations given to the colleges and reports its findings to the Board of Trustees. On occasion, the University may also impose and enforce hiring and wage freezes, which may affect this review process. In such event, specific guidelines will be promulgated.

The policies and procedures outlined below are set forth to assist college staff involved in classifying positions and in recruiting, selecting, and appointing employees serving in the HEO series. Success in the implementation of these guidelines requires cooperation among a number of college offices, but in particular that of the Human Resources (Personnel) and Affirmative Action Offices.


The Board of Trustees of The City University of New York has adopted numerous resolutions supporting affirmative action and has committed the University to a "vigorous program of action" (Board of Higher Education Minutes, 12/28/70). For affirmative action purposes, the protected classes as delineated in Federal Executive Order No. 11246, namely Black, Hispanic (including Puerto Rican), Asian/Pacific Islander, American Indian/Alaskan Native and women, were expanded in December 1976 by the Chancellor of The City University of New York to include Italian Americans. The May 28, 1985 restatement of the Board's commitment specifically directed the Chancellory and the colleges to "reemphasize the taking of the positive steps that will lead to recruiting, hiring, retaining, tenuring and promoting increased numbers of minorities and women." In addition, The City University of New York is bound by Federal, State and local laws, regulations and executive orders, which collectively prohibit discrimination based upon race, color, religion, gender, national origin or citizenship status, disability, age, veteran status, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, prior arrest or conviction record under certain circumstances, and genetic predisposition or carrier status. These laws also prohibit retaliation against an individual for raising an allegation of discrimination, filing a complaint of discrimination, or participating in a proceeding to determine if discrimination occurred. To fulfill its legal obligations, there are processes that the University must follow in recruitment, selection, and promotion of staff. These processes seek to make access to employment opportunities open and available, with outcomes that are fair and just. The College Affirmative Action Officer is responsible for implementing this program and is charged with serving as a resource to college officials, search committees, the College Affirmative Action Committee, and various college constituencies, regarding the interpretation of all regulations that apply to the affirmative action program.


The HEO series is a non-promotional series; thus movement to a higher title in the series may only occur because of

  • The appointment of an individual to a vacant position in a higher title pursuant to a search or
  • Reclassification of the position (see Section II.D. and E.).

The following steps are typically taken in filling a position or in reclassifying a position in the HEO series:

Initial College Activities

  • Request by a college department/unit to the appropriate college official to fill a new or vacant position or to reclassify an existing position;
  • College budget review/approval to fill the position or reclassify the position;
  • Department/unit request that the College Human Resources Office develop a vacancy notice or conduct a reclassification review;
  • College determination of the proposed classification of the position;
  • Optional informal discussion of the proposed classification with the University Director of Classification; identification of duties overlapping the classified service, if any;
  • Consultation with the College Affirmative Action Officer about representation of protected groups in the title, the expected adequacy of the candidate pool, search procedures, etc.;
  • Decision by the college on the type of search to be undertaken;
  • College preparation of a proposed Personnel Vacancy Notice (PVN) or reclassification package;
  • Approval of the reclassification proposal by the College HEO Committee or sign-off by the Committee on the proposed PVN;
  • Sign-off on the proposed PVN by the College Director of Human Resources and the College Affirmative Action Officer; and
  • Electronic submission by the college of the proposed PVN with a recommended opening and closing date, or submission of the reclassification package to the University Director of Classification for review and approval.

Review and Approval of Classification or Reclassification Requests by the University

  • Review of classification or reclassification proposals, with guidance and suggestions for corrections, as needed, in discussion with the college;
  • Approval of the proposal or referral of unresolved issues to the University Personnel Director; possible further review by the Vice Chancellor's Advisory Committee; if necessary, submission to the Vice Chancellor for a decision;
  • For approved PVNs, the designation of a PVN number and an opening and closing date for the posting; for approved reclassifications, a written notice to the college; and
  • University posting of the PVN to the CUNY website, hard copy PVN distribution consistent with University procedures, and release for college posting.

College Recruitment and Selection Activities

  • Consistent with University policies, advertisement, applications review, interviewing, background checks, and selection of successful candidate;
  • Verification of candidate's educational attainment and experience;
  • Presidential recommendation of personnel actions via the Chancellor's and University Reports; and
  • Presidential certification of compliance with University selection procedures, qualification requirements, and compensation standards by Presidential sign-off on Chancellor's and University Reports.

OFSR Post-Audits of College Personnel Action

  • Monthly audit of the Chancellor's and University Reports to ensure that classifications and reclassifications have been recorded correctly;
  • Periodic post-audits of the college recruitment and selection processes;
  • Corrective action as necessary;
  • Periodic reports to the Board of Trustees on the audit findings.

1 At its meeting on October 25, 1999, the Board of Trustees adopted changes to the qualifications for positions in the HEO series. See Sections 11.14 - 11.17 of the Bylaws of the Board of Trustees attached here to as Appendix A.

Table of Contents II. Classification

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Last Updated: 9/10/02

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