Frequently Asked Questions
- BCODES vs. BCATS
- Adding or Changing BCATS
- Changing the FLSA Status of a BCAT
- Changing the IPED-S or EEO-1 Designation of a BCAT
- Unused BCAT Subcategories
- Faculty Information System (FIS) & BCATS
- Mail Drop Problem
- IPEDS & Part-Time Positions
- Non-Tenure-Track Faculty
- Temporary/Part Time/Casual Positions
Q: BCODES vs. BCATS
Do we have to switch from using the old B-Codes to the new BCAT system?
The USG Board of Regents approved the change at its April 2003 Board meeting. The 33-year-old B-Code job classification structure of the University System of Georgia was officially “retired” as of August 27, 2003 - at which time, the 1,684 old B-Code “job titles” were inactivated, and the 200 new BCAT “job categories” were activated. As of that date, B-Codes may only be used for archival purposes (such as tracking position history).
Q: Adding or Changing BCATS
May a campus add a new 3-digit BCAT if we need a category?
New 3-digit “root” BCATS may only be added by the University System of Georgia for System-wide use. Requests for new categories should be directed to the BCAT Advisory Team.
Q: Changing the FLSA Status of a BCAT
May a campus change the way that positions in a BCAT are designated for FLSA salary and wage purposes (exempt or non-exempt)?
Federal FLSA exemption criteria were fundamental to the design concepts of the BCAT structure. Campuses may not alter these designations. If a position on your campus doesn’t fit the assigned FLSA status, move the position to a BCAT that reflects the appropriate FLSA status for your campus, based on the actual job duties.
Q. Changing the IPED-S or EEO-1 Designation of a BCAT
May a campus change the way that positions in a BCAT are designated for IPEDS-S or EEO-1 (VETS-100) reporting purposes?
The definitions used for federal IPEDS and VETS-100 reporting (the latter of which uses EEO-1 criteria), were fundamental to the design concepts of the BCAT structure. Campuses may not alter these designations. If a position on your campus doesn’t fit the assigned IPEDS/EEO categories, move the position to a BCAT that reflects the appropriate designations for your campus, based on the actual job duties.
Q: Unused BCAT Subcategories
The 4th-character BCAT Subcategory codes O, Y, 5 and 8 are defined as “not used.” Does this mean, don’t use them period, or that they are simply not defined as a part of the overall BCAT scheme? We might like to use one of them to help identify a unique status of certain jobs on our campus.
A: Don’t use them.
The first four characters (the 3-digit root BCAT + the 1-character SubCAT) are for authorized System-wide designation only. So the unused Subcats should not be utilized unless they are adopted USG-wide. They were not intended to be available for the discretionary use of individual campuses. We tried to keep a few open characters for unanticipated future System-wide needs. However, you could submit a request and the BCAT Advisory Team will take it under consideration.
Q: Faculty Information System (FIS) & BCATS
We wonder about the FIS and how faculty are captured in that database, because if we don’t use the right B-Code, the faculty person could be pulled off the BOR agenda and we could lose time in getting people approved. Will the B-codes in the FIS system be changed to BCATS?
A: Short Answer: Keep using the old B-CODES in FIS.
Long answer: FIS will be a consideration in the short term. As you may know, the current FIS is being phased out, and will be replaced by PeopleSoft’s “Manage Faculty Events” (MFE) module when we convert to Version 8. Rollout of V.8 will happen during the first half of 2004.
Most campuses complete the vast majority of their faculty appointments before the start of the school year. We timed the BCAT conversion to occur after your main faculty-hiring period for 2003. Our hope was that you wouldn’t need to appoint very many additional faculty between now and the time V.8 goes live. Once V.8 is live, you’ll automatically be able to use the BCATS in MFE.
But for the next few months, it didn’t seem worth the effort to modify the dying FIS in order to include BCATS. So – if you need to make faculty appointments via FIS between now and the time of your V.8 implementation – you should continue to use the Old BCode for the title in FIS.
Q: Mail Drop Problem
Following the conversion, our campus Mail Drop addresses have disappeared on a number of folks. This address is used for check distribution and is important when one’s work location and departmental account codes differ. Without the mail drop, checks will go to the dept where the expense is charged. Any quick answers?
A: This issue wasn’t caused by the BCAT conversion.
PeopleSoft is designed to handle Mail Drop IDs on the Position Level. A previous GaFirst project modification allows users to enter Mail Drop IDs at the Employee Level on the Payroll Data 2 panel.
Because the Mail Drop ID field on the position level is not linked to the Mail Drop Definitions, it is generally left blank. When Position Data is saved and the Update Incumbents box is checked on, whatever is in the Mail Drop ID field in Position Data overwrites the current value of the Mail Drop ID field in Payroll Data 2. Therefore if the Mail Drop ID field in Position Data is blank, the Mail Drop ID field in Payroll Data 2 becomes blank.
This is how the software has always worked. OIIT sent out a reminder to their listserv, reminding those schools who use Mail Drop ID that this will happen.
Q: IPEDS & Part-Time Positions
If we assign the BCAT “203R00” to a part-time instructor, are the programming folks are going to design the IPEDS report to show this group of persons falling out under the part-time employees category? Or for that matter, will they automatically know that any BCAT with an “R” in the middle needs to be separated out from the full time employees?
A: IPEDS pulls data by indicator fields.
The BCAT Subcat qualifier “R” (part-time) was created as an administrative convenience at the request of one of the campuses, but it’s not what will be used to pull the data for the PeopleSoft-generated IPEDS-S Report.
Instead, part-time positions will be recognized based on how the position was established in the Manage Position panels. If you go to
- Develop Workforce
- Manage Positions
- Use Information
Towards the bottom left hand side of the panel, you will see how the position should be set up as either “Part Time” or “Full Time” (and as either “Regular” or “Temporary”).
These are the indicator fields that PeopleSoft will use to pull the information for the IPEDS-S report. As long as you have designated these fields correctly, they will feed correctly for the PeopleSoft IPEDS-S report. OIIT will not be doing any special programming for this.
Q: Non-Tenure-Track Faculty
Case A: We have faculty members hired with rank, for one year, benefited, not on tenure track, usually with a PhD. We usually have a conducted a limited search due to time constraints. The following year a full search is done. Of course they can apply and would become regular faculty on tenure track (if they’re the successful candidate), or they are not rehired.
Case B: Then we have other faculty who are hired w/rank, for one year, benefited, not on tenure track, usually without a PhD. These faculty members receive contracts year after year still stating that they are temporary because they are pursuing their PhD.
As far as BCATs are concerned, should the Case B folks be categorized differently from the real one-year Case A folks? Or is there some other terminology that we should be using for the second group?
A: It depends.
Some campuses use the term “Visiting Faculty” for the Case A folks. You may want to consider that, such as using BCAT 202W (Visiting Assistant Professor).
Some campuses use the term “Lecturer” (BCAT 204X) for the Case B folks (with the thought that those folks don’t get to have a title with the word ‘professor’ in it until they’ve completed their terminal degree).
You should consult with your chief academic officer about considering adopting one or both of those practices.
Or you could assign both your Case A folks and your Case B folks to the Limited Term Faculty BCAT (922X) and distinguish the two groups on your campus by setting up the last two digits differently for each group.
Q: Temporary/Part Time/Casual Positions
Previous practice was based on institutional intent, not on IPEDS like the new BCATS. For example, many temps are ongoing, especially with the budget as it is. Others are temp due to late notice to retire given by incumbents, while others are temp pending degree award, etc. Why did Part Time Faculty with the part time B-Codes go to the regular faculty BCATs (200 series)? Casual Labor is another example. Most schools use that title for temporary summer workers, etc.
A: This is really several good questions.
So let’s start with the last one first: CASUAL LABOR.
In retrospect, we probably could have defaulted the “Casual Labor” BCode (B1603) to something in the Temporary (930) series or Occasional (940) series, instead of to 810 (Service/Maintenance Worker).
If your campus usage doesn’t fit the default BCAT (810), then just reassign B1603 to the BCAT that does fit the way your campus actually used them.
But – you might ask – how should you handle a situation where most of the people you had called “casual laborers” would now be best described as Temporary Clerical (935) under the new BCATS – but you also have a few that would fit the new Occasional Skilled Crafts (947) better, and a few others that are really Temporary Professionals (934)?
Our suggestion: Default to the most common usage (in our example: 935). Then, for the less-frequent others, go in and give those individuals a new BCAT and new campus title (other than casual laborer), just like you would if you were reclassifying them to a different position.
With regard to the question on PART-TIME FACULTY:
Again, in retrospect, we probably could have rolled all of the part-time faculty B-Codes, like B5163 (Part-Time Professor), directly into 200R instead of just into 200X. We added “R” (part-time) at the last minute, in response to a campus suggestion, and we didn’t go back through the “mapping” we’d already given submitted for technical conversion.
Now for some general comments on TEMP, PART-TIME, CASUAL:
It was actually hard to find consensus on what “most schools” were doing with these types of titles. The Project Team found campuses using “temporary,” “part-time,” and “casual” B-Codes in all sorts of overlapping, interchangeable, and inconsistent ways.
It was the Project Team’s feeling, for example, that “temps,” by definition, should NOT be ongoing, even though that seems to have been the practice on some campuses. If a staff employee worked 19 hours a week for 4 straight years, they might have been part-time, but they were NOT, in our view, temporary.
And if a campus had a “temporary” faculty member who’d been working fulltime for each of the last 6 academic years, even if they weren’t tenure-track, it begs the question of whether they should be called “temporary.”
The Project Team had to make a judgment call in assigning each old B-Code to a new 3-digit BCAT. As we’ve said – if your campus doesn’t like the default BCAT – you can override the default BCAT to one that fits better, or add 4th digits to help distinguish special attributes of certain positions.
Under the old paradigm, there was just “regular” and “temporary.” Of course, life was never really that simple. So now there are more variations on those themes. We think the new system is actually more flexible and more descriptive – allowing you more accurate options for assigning positions to categories based what they’re actually doing. You can now use the new Temporary (930) series, Limited Term (920) series, and Occasional (940) series to more descriptively categorize your positions.
BCATs in the 100s - 800s are for “regular” positions, in the sense that they don’t fit the new BCAT definitions of “temporary,” “limited term,” or “occasional.” But the 100s - 800s can and should be used for both ongoing full-time as well as ongoing part-time positions.
You can denote positions that are Part-Time by utilizing the 4th BCAT character (R = Part Time), by assigning them an FTE less than full-time, and/or by setting up the position as part-time in Manage Positions.