Academic Year

For campuses not on the quarter system year-round (QSYRO) schedule, an academic year equals the total of two consecutive semesters or three consecutive quarters, commencing with the opening of the fall term. Each semester/quarter is approximately the same length.

For campuses on QSYRO schedule, an academic year consists of any three quarters (each of approximately the same length) in a period of four consecutive quarters. A total of any six such quarters in a period of eight consecutive quarters shall constitute two academic years.


Academic Year Employee

A person who engages primarily in instruction and is employed and compensated on the basis of classification and academic rank. Academic year employees are paid by the established academic calendar (as opposed to a fiscal year calendar) and render services for an academic year, a semester, or one or two quarters. Academic year classes are identified in the CSU Salary Schedule.


Academic Administrative Assignments

A work assignment filled by an academic or an administrative employee at a campus or the Chancellor's Office when serving in a key administrative capacity. Typical duties may be planning, organizing and directing activities which relate to the instructional program and/or participating in policy planning (such as academic deans, deans of college, etc.) Other duties may also include the work assignment of an administrative employee whose job is closely identified with the total management of a campus of The California State University (such as Vice President, Administration; Dean of Students; Dean of Admissions, etc.).


Additional History

A total of 15 pages of History Synopsis or a total of 225 transaction lines are available to view and print. This expanded EH on-line inquiry system was implemented in June 1991.


Additional Position

A position in addition to an employee's base or primary position. The additional position may be at the same campus, between campuses or between campuses and civil service agencies. Additional position information is available on the EHDB Position Number Screen.


Agency Code

A three-digit code that identifies the CSU or civil service agency fund from which salaries are payable. Agency codes are defined in the SCO Payroll Procedures Manual.


Allowable Item

Any data element that can be entered on a PIMS transaction. Allowable items are identified on the individual transaction code matrixes.


Appointing Power

Any person or entity having authority to initiate and approve employment commitments and other personnel/payroll transactions. Individuals who are authorized by the appointing power to sign personnel/payroll transaction documents that are sent to the SCO must have an approved signature card on file with the SCO.



The offer of employment and acceptance by a person to a position in the CSU. Appointments may be temporary, probationary, or permanent, and include a variety of types of actions such as re-appointments, promotions, transfers, demotions, reinstatements, etc. Initial appointments are either probationary or temporary, depending upon the nature of the position and/or length of appointment. These appointments are made to positions in various job categories, i.e., academic, management personnel plan, administrative, executive, nonacademic, or to an academic-administrative assignment.



The asterisk (*) is entered on the PIMS transaction by the payroll clerk in a specific (allowable) data element when a previous entry should be DELETED from the employee's record.



An automated or manual comparison of one data item against another, contained on personnel/payroll transactions. Manual audits are performed by various sections within the SCO to determine whether transactions are in conformity with federal, State and/or CSU regulations and other requirements. Automated audits are programmed into PIMS.


Audits Section

The CSU Audits unit of the SCO is responsible for reviewing all incoming PIMS transactions and all transactions keyed by the campus, to ensure those actions comply with legal and procedural requirements.



Absent without leave. An employee's absence is not an approved absence.


Blanket Funded Position

A budgeted sum of money set aside for payment of salaries for temporary or seasonal help, overtime, shift differential, sabbatical leave replacements, etc. The difference between a blanket position and a regular established position is that appointments to a blanket are limited by the amount of money in the blanket, i.e., a blanket with $12,000 may be used to appoint 12 persons for one month at $1,000 per month, or to appoint one person for 12 months at $1,000, or any combination of the two.


Blanket Serial Number

Three digit serial number in the 900 series.



Public Employees' Retirement System has statutory responsibility for the administration of retirement membership, contributions and benefits, and for the health benefits program.


Casual Employment

A group of classes generally used for employment in the trades and crafts to perform new construction work or to provide temporary help to the regular campus staff. Employees in one of these classes are paid at the prevailing trade rates. Also referred to as "trade rate classes." Casual employment classes are identified in the CSU Salary Schedule.


Campus Information Retrieval System

The current data warehouse for the CSU that is maintained by the Human Resources - Information Support and Analysis (HR-ISA) unit of the CSU, Chancellor's Office is located in Sacramento, California


Civil Service

Public employment in the State of California. Rules and regulations for California State civil service are set by the Department of Personnel Administration and the State Personnel Board. Civil service rules and regulations, although similar to those of the California State University, do not apply to the CSU.


Class/Class Code

Class refers to a group of positions having duties and responsibilities sufficiently similar so that they may be treated as one level of position for salary setting purposes and for appointments. Each class of positions is covered by a standard set of class specifications which outlines the general types of duties performed, FLSA, and the salary.

For payroll purposes, each class is identified by a four-digit class code, i.e., Instructional Faculty, 2360.Four digits identifying the class title as shown in the CSU Salary Schedule.


Collective Bargaining Agreement

A binding agreement between the employer (CSU) and an exclusive representative that outlines the terms and conditions of employment, including salaries and benefits. Sometimes referred to as the "contract" or "memorandum of understanding" or "MOU."


Computer Generated

Data elements and other information that is generated by computer programs, tables or other sources.


Control Agency

A term which is occasionally used to refer to those agencies which by law, regulation or policy exercise control over The California State University system. The Department of Finance has certain control responsibilities concerning the expenditure of funds by any State agency, including the CSU.


Controller (SCO ) Cut-Off Date

There are two cut-off dates, one for processing PIMS transactions and the other for processing payroll transactions. PIMS cut-off dates precede payroll cut-off by two to three days. Cut-off dates are published by the SCO .



The effort to create individual automated employment records for employees of the CSU and civil service. The primary PIMS employment record was created by merging files of each campus, the Chancellor's Office, the State Controller's Office, and Public Employees' Retirement System. All active and on-leave CSU employees were converted. Campuses were converted to PIMS during 1976. Student Assistant records were converted to PIMS during 1979/80.


Conversion Date

The actual date that a campus and its employees were converted to PIMS. Automated PIMS employment history commenced on the date the campus converted to PIMS. The campuses were converted as follows:

Pilot Conversions



December 1975

Chancellor's Office




Systemwide Conversions



January 1976


Los Angeles

February 1976

Dominguez Hills

San Luis Obispo



San Bernardino

March 1976


September 1976


October 1976


November 1976



San Francisco

December 1976

Long Beach

San Diego

San Jose

New Campuses Since Conversion



June 1, 1989

San Marcos

April 1, 1995

Monterey Bay

June 1, 1995

Maritime Academy

June 30, 2001

Channel Islands

Conversion Record

For those who were active or on-leave during the PIMS conversion effort, the initial transaction code was assigned as follows: COA = converted record, active; CML = converted record, on military leave; CLA = converted record, on leave without pay; UNK = converted record, actual status unknown at time of conversion because of disability, workers compensation or roll code 9 status.



A change to an employee's database record. The change/correction may be due to a clerical error or misinformation supplied by a department. Refer to Correcting/Voiding Transactions for additional information.



An abbreviation for The California State University, which is comprised of 23 individual campuses and the Office of The Chancellor. The CSU is governed by a Board of Trustees.


Current Employee

A current employee is one who is in an active status. The term is used when determining which transaction matrix to use to initiate a personnel/payroll transaction.


Current Status

The most recent action on an employee's database record. "Current status" may be active or separated.


Data Element

Individually numbered data elements that are entered on the PIMS transaction.  Each item has its own assigned number, title and coding requirements. Definitions of data items are found under the Data Element section of this manual. Note: Elements numbered in the 800 and 900 series are always entered on Line G of the PPT form submitted to CSU Audits.



The movement of an employee from a position in one classification to a position in another classification having a lower level of duties and responsibilities and/or a lower salary range. A demotion may be voluntary or disciplinary. Movement between alternate salary ranges within a classification does not constitute a demotion.


Document Request

When a PIMS transaction is inadvertently lost or destroyed, a duplicate document request may be processed via the EHDB.


Employee Action Request (EAR)

Employee Action Request, Form 686, is the State of California equivalent to the W-4 form used in the private sector. The document is referred to as the EAR and is used to collect the employee's legal name, birth date, home address, home address release authorization, and federal and state tax-withholding information.


Employment History Database (EHDB)

The PIMS database is also referred to as the Employment History Database, which is a computerized information file containing official personnel, payroll, and retirement information for the majority of employees of The California State University (CSU) and California State civil service. The responsibility for maintenance and security is delegated to the State Controller, who is the pay agent for The California State University.



A person legally holding a position in CSU service.


Employment History

Personnel/payroll transaction history for those employed on or after the creation of the PIMS database.


Established Position

A position, which has been authorized in the budget and properly, established in the SCO roster.


Executive Appointment

Positions in this category include the Chancellor, Vice Chancellors, and campus Presidents. They are appointed by the Board of Trustees. Authorization to appoint such an individual is based upon the Board of Trustees' resolution, which contains effective date and salary rate. An executive employee is one who is primarily responsible for the execution of policy.



An entity that is exempt from civil service as provided in the State Constitution or by other legal provision. The California State University is an 'exempt' entity.


Exempt Position

A position exempt from civil service as provided in the State Constitution or by other legal provisions in The California State University.


Extension Instructional Faculty

A person employed to teach extension classes.


Extra Hours

Authorized time worked in excess of the regularly scheduled workweek, e.g., overtime.


F.I.C.E. Code

The F.I.C.E. Code is a six digit unique numeric code assigned to an institution of higher learning, used for identification purposes by the Federal Interagency Committee on Education (F.I.C.E.). The codes are listed in the Education Directory of Higher Education for institutions in the United States.



Higher Education Employer-Employee Relations Act.


Hourly Appointments

A type of appointment used when the schedule of work may vary from day-to-day or week-to-week, usually for a short period of time but which may be for an extended period. Those who work approximately the same number of hours each pay period should be appointed to a fractional time base as opposed to an hourly time base.

Hourly employees who are paid an hourly equivalent rate based on a monthly rate are eligible to earn vacation, sick leave, and SSI credit the same as other support staff employees, but can never attain permanent status. Refer to the SUAM, Title 5 and various sections of the collective bargaining contracts for additional information. Under certain conditions, hourly employees may be required to become members of CalPERS. Refer to Item 505 for mandatory retirement system membership requirements.


Mandatory Reinstatement

Mandatory reinstatement (return from permanent or temporary separation) refers to those circumstances when either by law, regulation or policy an employee is entitled to be restored to a position. The appointing power shall reinstate any employee who meets all employment requirements and who left the classification with reinstatement rights as prescribed by law to a position in the classification which he/she left or the equivalent (same level of position and salary) thereof. Such employees shall not lose any benefits or credit for prior service enjoyed at the time of separation.


Mass Update

Any mass action that, when processed, will affect common data elements on many or all records on the PIMS database, e.g., GEN, MSA. Almost all mass updates are initiated by the SCO and/or the Chancellor's Office, with little or no input from the campuses.



An array of data elements, identified by specific symbols that indicate whether an item is a required or conditional entry on a particular transaction code. The required/conditional matrix for each transaction is unique to that transaction.


Management Personnel Plan (MPP)

An appointment to one of several Administrator classes identified in the CSU Salary Schedule. MPP appointees serve at the pleasure of the campus President or the Chancellor.


Music Studio Instructional Faculty

A person employed on a unit of work basis for the purpose of music instruction.


Nonacademic Employee

An employee who provides supporting services such as clerical, secretarial or maintenance, which are non-instructional and nonadministrative in nature. Such an employee may have supervisory responsibility but normally does not have responsibility for major decisions. An employee in this category is not required to have higher academic degrees as an essential qualification for service. Refer to CSU Salary Schedule-Employee Category Code 1.


Nonroster Appointment

Nonroster appointments authorize the SCO to pay a specified amount of money from an accompanying position number to a particular individual. Such transactions are short-term or one-time payments and include special consultants, substitute faculty, summer session and extension teachers, etc. The appointment, payment and separation are handled via the transaction A54. Refer also to ROSTER AND ROSTERED APPOINTMENTS.



A transaction effective prior to the most recent transaction already posted on the employee's data base record. Refer to Out-Of-Sequence Processing of this manual for additional information.


Pay Plan

There are five pay plans for CSU employees: Twelve-month (12/12), ten month (10/10), eleven-twelve (11/12), ten-twelve (10/12), and academic year.


Payroll Input Process (PIP)

This is an SCO online system used to enter Time and Attendance Report (Form 672), Absences Without Pay (Std. 603), Miscellaneous Payroll/Leave Actions (Std. 671) and Student Assistant Attendance (CD048).


Payroll Service

A section of SCO Personnel/Payroll Services Division (PPSD), that is responsible for all payroll functions.



Performance based salary increase (PBSI)/Performance Salary Increase (PSI). Salary increase based on merit.


Permanent Appointment

An appointment made to a permanent position or other position with the intent to continue the employment of the appointee indefinitely. The term 'permanent appointment' in and of itself confers no particular status to the employee.


Permanent Employee

An employee who has successfully completed a probationary period and who has the right to continued employment unless he is dismissed for cause or laid off due to lack of work or lack of funds.


Personnel Services

A section of Personnel/Payroll Services Division (PPSD), SCO , responsible for all PIMS functions.


Personnel Information Management System (PIMS)

In the past, PIMS was also used to refer to HR-PIMS (currently HR-ISA), which is a section of the Chancellor's Office of Human Relations. HR-ISA is responsible for the CSU portion of the employment history database and the Campus Information Retrieval System.


PIMS Manual

The CSU policy and procedures manual for documenting and interpreting personnel/payroll transactions on the PIMS database. The CSU PIMS Manual is used by the campuses, the SCO and California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS). The manual is written by and maintained by the Office of the Chancellor, Human Resources.



A set of duties and responsibilities which are assigned as a job to be performed on a full-time or part-time basis.


Position Number

A position is identified by a 13-digit code number made up as follows: Three digit agency code identifying the agency and fund from which salaries are payable; three digit reporting unit code identifying the budgetary function and the location of attendance reporting units within the agency code; four digit class code identifying the classification as shown in the CSU Salary Schedule; three digit serial number identifying the individual position within the class and reporting unit.


Positive Attendance

Positive attendance is a method of reporting to the SCO the time worked by employees who are employed on other than a full or part-time basis. Payrolls for positive attendance employees are run after campus payroll clerks key-enter the pay request on the PIP system. Pay is issued for time worked as opposed to negative attendance where only dock time is reported.


Payroll Procedures Manual (PPM)

The Payroll Procedures Manual, is developed and published by the State Controller's Office. The manual contains policy and procedures for those agencies participating in the Uniform State Payroll System. Payroll procedures for the CSU, which differ from other agencies, are in separate sections of the manual. This manual is the basic reference source for payroll clerks.


Personnel/Payroll Services Division (PPSD)

Personnel/Payroll Services Division is the combined sections of Personnel and Payroll Services, SCO.


Personnel/Payroll Transaction (PPT)

The Personnel/Payroll Transaction is a unique CSU document used to establish a PIMS database record for each employee and to initiate changes to the existing database record. Effective 02/19/2002, turnaround PPT documents (Form STD 456) were discontinued. Padded PPT documents (Form STD 456A) are used to submit transactions to CSU Audits for processing. Alternately, PPT’s produced via the Campus Information Retrieval System (CIRS) can also be submitted. For additional information, refer to SCO Personnel Letter #02-006.



Probation is that period of time during the initial stages of employment when the employee may be rejected from his position without cause. The duration of the probationary period varies with the category of the position and is identified in the appropriate collective bargaining agreement or Title 5.


Probationary Appointment

Except in a few limited instances such as mandatory reinstatement, all new appointments are probationary appointments.



Following a recruitment action, the movement of an employee from a position in one classification to a position in another classification having a higher level of duties and responsibilities and/or higher salary range. Movement between alternate salary ranges within a classification does not constitute a promotion. The movement of an incumbent to a higher classification as a result of a position being reclassified is not considered a promotion.


PSD File Reference Number

A nine digit control number assigned to each PIMS/SPAR/EAR transaction that updates Employment History/Key Master.


Range Differential

The percentage of difference between two consecutive salary ranges.



Rank refers to the faculty classification plan where the traditional levels in the faculty hierarchy are defined as Assistant, Instructor, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor. A faculty member who has been hired as an Assistant Professor will be referred to as holding the rank of Assistant Professor. Movement from one rank to the next higher rank generally originates with recommendation/approval from the campus president.



Any one of the salary rates within a salary range.



A change in the classification for a particular position based on an evaluation of the duties and responsibilities assigned to the position. The incumbent in the position is usually moved to the new level. A reclassification may be to a higher, lower or lateral level of duties and responsibilities and/or salary rate.


Reporting Unit

Three digits identifying the budgetary function and the location of attendance reporting units within the agency code.


Required Entry

Identifies specific elements fields on the required/conditional table that must be entered on a particular transaction.



A file of active employees and approved established positions. The SCO establishes an employee roster that is maintained and updated until such time as the employee is permanently separated. Rostered employees may be paid by either negative or positive attendance.

Negative attendance means that an employee will receive a regular and continuous payroll warrant which is written by the SCO every month before the regular attendance reports are certified by the campus and returned to the SCO . Positive attendance means that a payroll warrant is written after the attendance reports are prepared and key-entered to the PIP system by the campus.


Sabbatical Leave Replacement

A temporary appointment of a faculty member to replace a regular faculty member who has been granted a leave of absence with pay. The temporary replacement is usually paid from the Sabbatical Leave Blanket.


Salary Range

The minimum and maximum rate currently authorized for the classification.


Separation Codes

When a separation transaction is processed, a separation code is computer-generated on the employee's data base record. For temporary separations, the code is 'T'; for permanent separations, the code is 'S'. The code is found on the PSN (position) screen and identifies the employee's status for employment purposes and whether or not the employee has mandatory reinstatement rights.


Separation Form

The Separation/Disposition of CalPERS Contributions, Form 687, is completed by employees who are separating from State or CSU employment.


Serial Number

Three digits identifying the individual position within the class and reporting unit.


Service-Based Salary Increase (SSI)

Salary increase based on an established anniversary date on the employee’s record.


State Administrative Manual (SAM)

The State Administrative Manual is published by the Department of Finance and contains general policy and directives, which apply to all state agencies. The Chancellor's Office will notify the campuses in the event particular sections of SAM do not apply to the CSU.


State Controllers Office (SCO)

The State Controller's Office has constitutional responsibility for the payroll function, called the Uniform State Payroll System. The SCO is the pay agent for The California State University.



State Personnel Board.



The difference between rates within a salary range, each successive step generally being approximately 5% higher than the preceding step. A range may be subdivided into half-steps, each successive step being approximately 2 1/2% higher than the preceding step.


State Teachers' Retirement System (STRS)

At one time, faculty members had the option of membership in STRS or CalPERS. This option is no longer available and all new employees must become members of CalPERS. There are still employees in the system who have retirement membership in STRS and are entitled to maintain that membership unless there is a permanent separation and reappointment. If this should occur, the faculty member would be required to become a member of CalPERS upon reappointment.


State University Administrative Manual (SUAM)

The State University Administrative Manual is a policy manual published by the Office of the Chancellor. SUAM is updated via periodic Technical Letters and HR’s. Although some policies and procedures may have been superseded by collective bargaining contracts, the document is still used as a basic reference for various policies.


Substitute Instructional Faculty

A person employed for a limited period to perform the duties of a regular faculty member who is absent from duty.


Summer Session Instructional Faculty

A person employed to teach in the summer session on an academic credit unit basis, or the equivalent.


Teaching Service Area

A generally recognized subject matter field or a specialized curriculum, depending on the manner in which faculty assignments are determined at a campus.


Temporary Appointment

An appointment which is made for a specified period of time. The period of time must be less than the length of the probationary period for the position to which the temporary appointment is being made.


Temporary Help

A budget classification for funds which may be used to employ persons in various classifications to accomplish the work for which the funds were budgeted. Appointments to temporary help blankets must be consistent with the current policies governing the use of such funds.


Ten-Month Positions

Classifications have been established which allow for appointments on a 10-month basis. Ten-month classes are identified in the CSU Salary Schedule by class title and salary. The annual salary rate is ten times the monthly rate.

Those appointed to ten-month classes must be removed from pay status for the two-month period during which s/he will not work. If the employee is expected to return to active employment, move the individual to Roll Code 9 status for two pay periods; otherwise, the individual must be separated. No sick leave, vacation or other benefits shall accrue for the two-month period in nonpay status, except that the individual does receive credit toward the SSI. Completion of the 10-month assignment constitutes completion of the work year.

If otherwise eligible, a ten-month employee may participate in the 10/12 pay plan. In this instance, the individual is appointed to an alternate 10/12 range for the class. The effect is that the salary rate for the ten-month assignment is divided over a twelve-month period and the employee remains in pay status for twelve months. Sick leave, vacation and other benefits are accrued for twelve months of the year.


Tenure/Permanent Status

Refers to one's employment status and means the right to continued employment in a particular university or in the Office of the Chancellor, unless dismissed for cause, laid off for lack of funds, or lack of work.


Time Base

The time base of an employee refers to the fraction of time for which s/he is appointed, and that time may not be greater than the time base of the position. An employee may be appointed to more than one position as long as the total time appointed does not exceed full-time.


Trade Rate

The current negotiated rate of payment sometimes made on a regional basis. A Trade Rate is usually an hourly rate, plus a health and welfare contribution, which covers benefits. Refer to Casual Employment.


Transaction Code

PIMS transactions are divided into 2 categories:  major and miscellaneous.  Major transactions are used to affect major changes in an employee's personnel/payroll status. This includes Appointments, Separations, Changes in Status, and Leaves of Absence. Each major transaction code is preceded by an 'A' or 'S' as in A50 or S10.

A miscellaneous change transaction code is generally used to change one specific item of an employee's personnel/payroll data. For example, miscellaneous change transaction code 703 is used to change an employee's school code.



At the discretion of the appointing power, the change of an employee from one position to another in the same class within a department or between departments; to a position in a different classification as designated appropriate by the appointing power. There are no transfer rights to or from Civil Service and only limited transfer rights within the CSU.



A period of 36 months or 12 consecutive quarters, commencing with the fall quarter or the quarter to which a faculty member is appointed during his first academic year at a campus on quarter system year-round operation.  


Year Of Service

For executive, administrative, academic employees on 12-month Assignments, and staff support employees, any twelve consecutive months of full-time employment. For nonacademic employees serving in a 10-month assignment, ten consecutive months of full-time employment; for academic employees in academic year appointments, an academic year of full-time employment (2 semesters or 3 quarters).




Last Updated:  August 29, 2012