Southern Arkansas University – University Handbook
Southern Arkansas University – University Handbook
Revision A, August 1998, documents initial release of University Handbook.
Revision B, August 1999, documents revisions to sections 203, 205 – 207, 221, 303, 313, 406, 410, 413, 501, 503, and 800 of the handbook.
Revision C, August 2004, documents revisions to 105.2, 217, 211.2, 303, 306, 310, 312.1, 312.2, 313.2, 314.3(b)(3), 314.6, 314.8(d), 314.9, 315, 315.3, 317.3(c), 319, 320, 323.2, 324, 326, 401, 406, 410.1, 410.1(a), 410.1(b), 410.1(c), 410.3(a), 410.3(b) 410.3(d), 410.4(d) 413.2, 413.3, 413.4, 415, 416.1, 416.1(a), 416.1(b), 416.3, 501.2, 501.3, 501.9, 502.4, 503, 504, 507; new revision history section and header format added.
Revision D, January 2010, there was a major overhaul to the entire handbook; it was retyped for new headings, formatting and a title page. Added sections: 106, 150, 151, 152, 214, 250, 305, 314, 317, 327, 328, 331, 332, 350, 417, 450, 511, 550, 650, 651, 652, 750, 806, 850, 900, and 950. Major revisions to sections: 105.3, 203, 206, 207.3, 209, 211, 214, 217, 309, 329, 403, 404 was deleted, 405, 406.1.(d), 406.5, 407, 409, 410.1, 410.2, 410.3, 414, 417 was deleted, 502, 503, 602, 603, 802.2, and 804. There was also revision to the Table of Contents, Introduction, History, and Notice.
Revision E, August 2016, major changes to section 326 and 327. Minor updates to other areas.
Revision F, July 2017, added sections 160 and 625. Document revision to sections 334, 413, and 503.
The mission of Southern Arkansas University is to educate students for productive and fulfilling lives in a global environment by providing opportunities for intellectual growth, individual enrichment, skill development, and meaningful career preparation. The University believes in the worth of the individual and accepts its responsibility for developing in its students those values and competencies essential for effective citizenship in an ever-changing, free, and democratic society. Further, the University provides an environment conducive to excellence in teaching and learning, scholarship, creative endeavors, and service.
As a new or current faculty or staff member at SAU, the information provided in the University Handbook will be helpful. The Handbook provides information on employment practices, benefits, facilities, and the responsibilities that faculty and staff members are expected to accept. Much of the material covered in the Handbook is summarized. Appropriate administrative offices can provide more detailed information.
Reference: DFA – Policy – The Department of Finance and Administration maintains the manual concerning personnel policy and procedures of the state of Arkansas. Many of the policies in this manual were taken from it. Further information on some of the topics contained in this handbook is found in the DFA – Policy. The manual provides the personnel policies and procedures of the state of Arkansas. It is a compilation of state and federal laws and directives and executive orders of the Governor. Many sections deal with the state mechanized payroll system and do not apply to the University. A copy is located online at http://www.dfa.arkansas.gov/offices/personnelManagement/policy/Pages/default.aspx
This handbook does not create a contract of employment. None of the benefits or policies in this handbook are intended by reason of their distribution to confer any rights or privileges upon any faculty or staff member, or to entitle any employee to be or remain employed by SAU, Magnolia. The contents of this handbook are presented for information only. While SAU believes wholeheartedly in the plans, policies, and procedures described herein, they are not conditions of employment and may not be relied upon by any employee as a contract or other right. The provisions of the handbook are subject to change at any time by SAU, Magnolia, without notice. Changes to the Handbook may also result from, among other reasons, changes in federal and state laws, rules, and regulations of state and federal agencies, or changes deemed necessary by the Board of Trustees to meet changing needs of the University.
Created in 1909, Southern Arkansas University has always been a caring and supporting place to learn, work, and achieve in a family-like atmosphere, interacting with each other guided by the Golden Rule. This Code of Ethics appropriately articulates SAU’s spirit in a way that meets the standards of the modern world of which members of the SAU community are a part.
Institutions of higher education are entrusted by society with resources; with these resources comes an acceptance of responsibility for creation, dissemination and preservation of knowledge. Each member of the SAU community, the students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends plays a role in assuring that high standards of ethical practice be present with this responsibility.
All members of the SAU community should maintain honesty, integrity, and dignity and should not knowingly misrepresent facts to others. Each member of the SAU community should model such conduct and should expect such conduct from all others in the community. Each member should adopt and live personal values that:
All members of the SAU community should be free from conflicts of interest. The following describe areas of possible conflict of interest:
Faculty and staff may not receive gifts for the performance of the duties and responsibilities of their position. This does not apply to gifts from friends, professional associates and relatives that are not work related or to awards recognizing achievement. Nominal gifts among faculty, staff, and students are also excluded.
All members of the SAU community should diligently devote their time at work to the responsibilities for which the faculty or staff member was employed. When at work faculty and staff will in the position assigned to them:
Additional guidance on appropriate conduct and correct procedure for many processes are found in the Student, Faculty, and University Handbooks.
This Code does not substitute for or relieve any responsibility that one has according to Arkansas ethics laws (see Arkansasethics.com) or any discipline specific ethical standards.
All members of the SAU faculty and staff have the responsibility to report ethics violations to the vice president for administration.
Purpose – The conduct standards policy is established to provide consistent standards concerning work-related behaviors for all staff (see Faculty Handbook for faculty), which define and convey the expectations of SAU to its staff members.
Nothing herein is intended to imply that any standard or expectation is all inclusive. Standards are intended to identify recurring or common deviations from acceptable work-related behaviors, in an effort to create and maintain a high level of professional conduct.
Goal – The staff of SAU will enjoy a work climate that promotes productivity and job satisfaction.
Appropriate supervisors will initiate corrective measures when a staff member deviates from acceptable behaviors which impact the work environment or job functions. These corrective measures typically will be progressive in nature, and supervisory actions will be fair and consistent and administered in a fair manner.
Variances from the progressive discipline philosophy may be due to mitigating, extenuating or aggravating circumstances, which may indicate a lesser or greater level of discipline.
This procedure does not create any expectation of continued employment, but provides all with guidelines on behavioral expectations.
Staff Members will:
The unacceptable behaviors set forth in the following sections are not all-inclusive, but are intended as examples of behaviors for which specific disciplinary actions may be warranted. Accordingly, any offense which undermines the effectiveness of the institution activities may be considered unacceptable and treated in a manner consistent with the provisions of this section.
The unacceptable behaviors listed below are organized into three groups according to the severity of the behavior, with Group 1 being the least severe.
Disciplinary actions for specific unacceptable behaviors in Group 1 generally result in the issuance of a reprimand. Repeated offenses may result in suspension up to five days or termination.
Examples of Unacceptable Behavior
This category of unacceptable behaviors includes acts and behavior which may be considered more severe in nature than Group 1 and as such, a second Group 2 normally warrants removal. The disciplinary action for Group 2 is the issuance of a Written Notice, termination, or a Written Notice and up to ten (10) work days suspension without pay.
Mitigating or extenuating circumstances related to commission of a second Group 2 also may result in the employee’s demotion or transfer. The employee may be suspended for up to thirty (30) work days, as an alternative to discharge.
Examples of Unacceptable Behavior
This category of unacceptable behaviors includes acts and behavior of such a serious nature that a first-time occurrence normally should warrant termination.
Mitigating or extenuating circumstances related to commission of a Group 3 may result in the employee’s demotion or transfer. The employee may also be suspended for up to thirty (30) work days.
Examples of Unacceptable Behavior
Corrective Action – corrective action should be implemented as soon as a supervisor becomes aware of an employee’s unsatisfactory behavior or commission of an unacceptable behavior.
The supervisor has a choice of corrective actions or may utilize a combination of corrective actions if the situation warrants such actions. Examples of corrective actions include issuance of a letter of clarification (previously referred to as counseling or a memorandum of understanding). Mitigating and/or extenuating circumstances may be a consideration. Supervisors contact their supervisors and Office of Human Resources for advice.
The active life of a Reprimand is dependent upon the type of offense for which it is issued and is measured by the period for which it is “active,” as itemized below:
Eligible employees may, at their option, utilize the grievance procedure in chapter 6.
This notice summarizes certain portions of the Arkansas Whistle-Blower Act. For more information, consult Act 1523 of 1999, as amended, and Ark. Code Ann. §§ 21-1-601 to -610. Additional information is also found in the policies section of the Office of Personnel Management web page at: http://www.dfa.arkansas.gov/offices/personnelManagement/Pages/forms.aspx
The Arkansas Whistle-Blower Act prohibits a public employer from taking adverse action against a public employee who communicates in good faith to an appropriate authority the existence of waste of public funds, property, or manpower or a violation of law; participates, or gives information, in an investigation, hearing, court proceeding, legislative inquiry, or administrative review; or objects to carrying out a directive the public employee reasonably believes violates the law.
A whistle-blower is a person who witnesses or has evidence of waste or a violation of law while employed by a public employer and who communicates in good faith about the waste or violation to a supervisor, the SAU President or any vice president or the University Police Department, or other appropriate authority (e.g., Office of Attorney General, Office of Auditor of State, Arkansas Ethics Commission, Legislative Joint Auditing Committee, Arkansas Legislative Audit, Prosecuting Attorney, etc.).
If a public employer takes adverse action against a public employee, that employee may bring civil suit against the public employer to recover actual damages and injunctive relief. There are time limitations and other requirements applicable to this right of action. A public employee reporting waste or violations may be eligible for a financial reward.
To anonymously report suspicions of illegal activity by government officials, call the FBI hotline at 501.221.9100 (Press Option 8) OR 501.221.8200, or call the Arkansas State Police at 800.553.3820.
The fringe benefits offered by the University are subject to change from time to time by the Board of Trustees based on the best interest of the University. Unless otherwise stated, fringe benefits apply only to appointed faculty or staff employed at least one-half time. Information regarding fringe benefits is available in the Office of Vice President for Administration or the Office of Human Resources.
In addition to the required deductions for state and federal taxes and retirement plan participation, faculty and staff may elect to have certain other deductions withheld from their pay:
The Fringe Benefit Committee may recommend additional offerings during the open enrollment period each year.
The flexible spending plan is offered for faculty or staff members wishing to exempt un-reimbursed health care expenses, health care insurance premiums, and dependent care expenses in accordance with section 125 of the IRS Code. Specific information and forms are available in the Office of Vice President for Administration or the Office of Human Resources. The plan is on a calendar year basis with sign-up renewal in November/December of each year.
The current plan type offered in a PPO (Preferred Provider Organization). Benefits and rates are subject to change every January and July. The University currently pays most of the premium of each faculty or staff member. Contact the HR Office for specific amounts. Dependent coverage is available. Actual cost is available from the Office of Human Resources. Dependents include spouse and children under age 26. Rates are adjusted on an annual basis. Enrollment must be accomplished within 30 days of employment to guarantee coverage. All applications after 30 days are subject to medical underwriting and may be denied. See the retirement section (Leaving the University) for information on eligibility to remain in the health insurance group if taking early retirement. Information on HIPAA is found in the SAU Health Plan Document issued to all covered faculty and staff.
Title 10 of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) provides that group health care coverage for certain faculty or staff members, their spouses, and dependent children be continued at the expense of the faculty or staff member, spouse or dependent child. The charge will not exceed 102 percent of the current premium cost. COBRA coverage is provided, if requested, in the following situations where group coverage would normally cease if the covered faculty or staff member:
For widows, spouses, and dependents, the continuation of coverage may extend up to 36 months. For faculty or staff members who have been terminated or had hours reduced, coverage may extend for up to 18 months. Faculty or staff members or dependents requesting COBRA coverage must notify the Office of Human Resources in writing within 60 days of a qualifying event. COBRA is an additional benefit to the benefits listed in the retirement section.
The University’s long-term disability program is designed to provide partial replacement of earnings for faculty or staff members who are totally disabled and cannot work for a long period of time. In the event a faculty or staff member becomes disabled for a period greater than six (6) months, he/she will become eligible for a monthly income benefit of 60 percent of the first $8,000 of monthly salary. (This monthly benefit includes a payment offset from Social Security and Worker’s Compensation if applicable.) The plan also provides for up to an additional 12 percent of the salary to be contributed to a retirement annuity in the faculty or staff member’s name. Disability benefits are paid until age 65, death, or end of disability, whichever occurs first. The University currently pays the total cost of this coverage. New faculty and staff members are subject to a 90 day waiting period before they are enrolled in the program.
Health and life insurance provided by the University will be maintained at University expense until disability determination is made. If disability is approved health and life insurance benefits will continue. If disability is not approved and the individual does not return to work, only COBRA benefits continue.
All appointed faculty or staff members participate in the University’s life insurance program which provides coverage totaling 1.5 times the annual salary for twelve-month faculty or staff members and 1.65 times the nine/ten month salaries for nine-month faculty or staff members, rounded to the nearest $1,000. (Plan types subject to change every July.) This policy includes an accidental death and dismemberment supplement. The total cost of this coverage is paid by the University. Faculty or staff members age 65 or older may have a reduced coverage amount in accordance with plan guidelines. Additional accidental death and dismemberment insurance may be purchased through the flexible-spending plan. The total cost of this coverage is paid by the faculty or staff member.
All appointed faculty or staff members are required to participate in the retirement program. Faculty or staff members have the option of having their contribution tax deferred by completing the applicable forms. The retirement plan is a 403(b) Defined Contribution Program- open to all faculty and staff. Employees have a choice of either TIAA-CREF and/or Fidelity Investments and participation is based on the following:
|Contributions (percent of salary)||Faculty/Staff||University|
|Plan 1||4 percent||6 percent|
|Plan 2||5 percent||7 percent|
|Plan 3||6 percent||8 percent|
|Plan 4||7 percent||9 percent|
|Plan 5||8 percent||10 percent|
All faculty or staff members are covered by the Federal Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance System (Social Security). Social Security represents a major part of each faculty or staff member’s retirement/disability plan providing benefits for old age, survivors and disability income. Under the law, the staff member and the University participate equally in Social Security contributions. Questions pertaining to Social Security and its benefits should be referred to the local office of the Social Security Administration.
In addition to the faculty or staff members’ retirement programs, and subject to compliance with IRS regulations, it may be possible for faculty or staff members to place additional amounts of their salaries into tax-sheltered or non-tax-sheltered annuity programs through TIAA-CREF and/or Fidelity Investments. Tax-sheltered contributions of greater than eight percent require that a calculation be completed in accordance with IRS regulations and submitted to the Office of Financial Services/Payroll prior to the contribution.
Legislation enacted in 1977 requires the University to participate in and contribute to the State Unemployment Compensation and the State Workers’ Compensation funds. Faculty and staff members are entitled to benefits, as appropriate, from these funds. The Office of Human Resources can provide further information.
Tuition waivers are provided to faculty and staff, their spouses and unmarried dependent children under age 26 who are listed as a dependent on the most recent income tax filing. Currently the waiver is 100% of tuition. Fees are not waived.
There are no restrictions for courses taken outside the faculty or staff member’s normal working hours; however, when classes fall within the faculty or staff member’s working hours, the following rules apply.
Full-time faculty or staff members and their dependents are admitted to most athletic events and some University-sponsored programs upon presentation of the faculty or staff member’s ID card (see 309). Members of the faculty or staff member’s immediate family (dependents) may be issued athletic passes upon application to the athletic director’s office.
All full-time faculty and staff are eligible to participate in SAU’s group Voluntary Dental Insurance Plan. The open enrollment period is during November of each year with a January 1st start date. This insurance is voluntary and at the faculty and staff members’ expense. Dependents are also eligible for coverage.
All full-time faculty and staff are eligible to participate in SAU’s group Voluntary Vision Insurance Plan. The open enrollment period is during November of each year with a January 1st start date. This insurance is voluntary and at the faculty and staff members’ expense. Dependents are also eligible for coverage.
Magale Library has a variety of materials and services available to SAU faculty and staff. In addition to the main book collection, there are periodicals, government documents, audiovisual materials, music collection, maps, teaching/learning K-12 collection, and a browsing collection made up of paperback books for recreational reading. The reference and public services departments provide an interlibrary loan service, research and resource assistance services, and information literacy (bibliographic) instruction. The library has computer labs for student use, including a computer lab used to instruct students on accessing electronic information. The library currently has access to more that 78,000 full-text periodicals available from multiple database providers including Lexis/Nexis, EBSCO, JSTOR, and ProQuest that are available from any computer with Internet access. Magale Library is open nights and most weekends. Contact the library for specific times.
While the majority of the book and audiovisual collections may be checked out of the building, the use of other collections is limited. General reference books, periodicals, microforms, maps, and some materials on reserve are restricted to use in the library only. Borrowing privileges vary by type of users as well. The library extends borrowing privileges to students, faculty, staff, and community members. Faculty and staff members have extended loan privileges and must account for their checked-out library materials on an annual basis, as designated by the library director.
The library must complete an annual inventory of materials, including items that are checked out to users. Faculty have two options available to fulfill the annual accounting requirement:
Faculty members are not required to relinquish the materials unless another library user has specifically requested an item or items. Any materials that cannot be located by a faculty member will be considered lost. Faculty and staff members are expected to pay for any lost library materials that they cannot locate by thirty days after the annual accounting date. All financial transactions for lost library materials will be handled at the library’s Circulation Desk. The Vice President for Academic Affairs will be informed of faculty and staff members who have not accounted and/or paid for lost library materials checked out in their name.
The library attempts to make available a comprehensive collection that meets student, faculty, and staff needs. Although budget and space restrictions preclude the library from purchasing everything desired, several cooperative and automated services allow for access to information on a worldwide basis.
The library will accept any books, periodicals, DVDs, and other gifts with the understanding that, if the items do not prove suitable for the library, they will be disposed of. Gifts such as outdated textbooks or abridged books are discouraged. The library staff cannot assess the value of gifts but will provide a letter of acknowledgement.
The professional library staff will work with faculty and staff members and groups of faculty to develop and conduct bibliographic instruction (information literacy) sessions on library use and research strategies for students based on course needs. Magale Library’s classroom has network access and is available for class use.
Faculty may place materials on reserve in the library for use by their students. The reserve process is initiated at the Circulation Desk or online from the library’s webpage. Materials placed on reserve circulate for varied lengths of time and are returned to the collection or to the owner at the end of each semester.
University Health Services is staffed by a nurse practitioner and a registered nurse. SAU faculty or staff members, spouses and dependents over age 18 may use its services. The center is operated by the Student Affairs area and is primarily for students. Many routine services are provided in the center. The Office of Health Services can provide specific information.
Classified staff and nonclassified staff (excluding faculty) are eligible for annual career service recognition payments upon completion of ten (10) years of state service in regular full-time position(s). Payment amounts are established by the Arkansas General Assembly. Current payments are:
|Years of Service||Annual Payment|
|25 or more||$900|
The Mulerider Activities Center is open to all students, faculty, and staff. For faculty or staff members wishing to participate in the activities, further information is available at the MAC.
The Intramural program offers all students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to participate in a variety of sports. Contact the Intramural Program Director at (870) 235-5498.
The Arkansas State Employee’s Association (ASEA) is an organization of state employees that provides information and services to state employees. Membership dues can be paid through payroll deduction. Some insurance options are available through ASEA that are not available in the SAU fringe benefits package. Further information is available from ASEA at P.O. Box 1588, 1301 West 7th Street, Little Rock, Arkansas 72203, or by phone at (501) 378-0187.
The purpose of the Faculty/Staff Dining Card is to promote the opportunity for faculty and staff to dine with students at an economical rate in an environment designed to enhance faculty/staff/student relationships and, therefore, retention. The cards are subject to the following restrictions:
For additional information contact the food service contractor.
SAU is required by Public Law 99-603 of 1986 to verify that every faculty or staff member employed is authorized to work in the United States. This is accomplished by completion of an Employment Eligibility Verification Form (I-9). The form lists documents that must be presented before employment begins, and this form is completed in the Office of Human Resources.
The University is committed to complying with ADA and making buildings accessible and to reasonably accommodate those with disabilities. The ADA coordinator can provide additional information. The director of the counseling and testing center/disability support services serves as ADA coordinator.
The University Bookstore is operated by the Follett Higher Education Group. Its primary purpose is to provide textbooks and supplies for students. Other services are available. Faculty and staff receive a 10 percent discount on non-sale items.
Executive Order 89-2 requires SAU (and other state agencies and institutions) to certify that they are in compliance with the Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988. The policy of the state of Arkansas and SAU is that the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of a controlled substance in a state agency’s or institution’s workplace is prohibited. Violation of this policy can subject faculty or staff to discipline up to and including termination.
Possession and use of alcoholic beverages in public areas of University facilities (including organized houses) and at official University student functions held on campus must follow state and federal laws and University policies at all times. The possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages on University property is prohibited unless it is authorized by the President pursuant to Board of Trustees policy. For employees, consumption of alcoholic beverages during working hours, reporting to work under the influence of alcohol, and intoxication while on duty are prohibited, and will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination. Under the Governor’s Policy Directive, use of alcoholic beverages during office hours is strictly prohibited and shall be grounds for immediate dismissal. Information about the health consequences of alcohol use and about locally-available sources of alcohol abuse counseling is available from the Office of Counseling and Testing (located in Reynolds 216).
Failure to comply will result in disciplinary action.
Federal and state laws require drug testing for certain occupations and for certain licenses. One example is a CDL license for driving some passenger vehicles. Information about the drug testing policy will be provided to those faculty or staff members in the first few days of employment. Information on drug testing is coordinated through the Office of the Vice President for Administration.
Garnishment is a court procedure through which earnings of a faculty or staff member are required to be withheld for a payment of a debt. The University is bound to follow the order of the court concerning the withholding of wages. The Office of Human Resources can provide specific information. Once an order is received, it is a lien on the garnishable portion until the lien is satisfied.
Information Technology Services produces official University ID cards which provide access to some University events and serve as a library card. The Office of Human Resources authorizes the issuance of official ID cards.
Keys to University buildings/facilities are issued to University faculty and staff on an as-needed basis. Faculty or staff members will receive keys to those rooms and facilities that are used on a regular basis such as their building, office, and specific labs. Rooms used on an occasional basis will be opened and locked through a facility request form. Obtaining keys is a part of the sign up/orientation process. For a key to be issued, a key request card is completed and submitted through the administrative channels and then to the Physical Plant. The faculty or staff member will pick up the key at the Physical Plant. All requests for master keys require the approval of the vice president for facilities or president. There is a charge for lost keys.
Keys to University buildings/facilities are issued and controlled by the Physical Plant on an as needed basis as approved by the individual’s chain of command. Faculty, staff members and supervised graduate assistants are authorized to receive keys to those rooms and facilities that are used on a regular basis, such as their building, office, and specific labs or athletic facilities. Rooms used on an occasional basis will be opened and locked through a facility request form. Student room key control for on-campus living quarters is maintained by the Student Housing Office.
Lost keys must be reported to the Physical Plant immediately. Individuals failing to use reasonable precautions to maintain key control may be charged for affected key and key core replacements.
Termination for any reason will trigger the responsibility to return all the assigned keys to the Physical Plant. The insurance of an individual’s final pay may be held and/or reduced to ensure key accountability and that the University receives a reimbursement for the cost to replace the lost key or key-cores it controls.
Relatives may not work in any capacity in situations where one relative might supervise another. Special circumstances will be reviewed by the vice president for administration. Source: Act 2262 of 2005 and Governor’s Policy Directive Number 8.
The Arkansas Department of Labor and the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality are the enforcement agencies for OSHA and EPA, respectively. Questions concerning either act should be referred to one’s supervisor, department head, or vice president of the area. Required notices and information are located in work areas.
Campus mail slots are located in Room 106 in Overstreet Hall, and all units have a slot for on-campus mail to be delivered. Offices are responsible for picking up and distributing their campus mail. Questions concerning on-campus mail should be addressed to the Office of Vice President for Administration.
The Department of Technology Services maintains an e-mail system for both on-campus and off-campus electronic mail. The following guidelines govern the use of University e-mail:
Applications of technology are expanding and policy and guidance is difficult to keep current. This area may be supplemented as technology evolves.
The University recognizes that certain job functions require that an employee be accessible when away from the office or during times outside scheduled working hours. For this reason, the University will provide cell phones to select employees.
Simple convenience is not a criterion for cell phone need. It is the responsibility of the vice president, dean, director, or department chair to make the above determination as to whether a university cell phone is warranted and the type of cell phone plan that is required (see “Cell Plans”). If the employee in question is at a job level commensurate with a dean, director, or department chair, then their immediate supervisor or president shall make the determination.
As a means of minimizing the possibility of future virus infections, the University Information Technology Services will be establishing every faculty and staff member as a local administrator on the computer(s) assigned to them. By establishing everyone as a local administrator, Operating System (OS) updates can be performed automatically. In many cases, OS updates close/eliminate vulnerabilities that virus developers exploit.
Given that all faculty and staff members will have administrative privileges it is paramount that everyone understands that they will be responsible for the following:
Social networking websites or online communities, such as MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr, are being used increasingly by students to communicate with each other. Universities are posting events and creating profiles to reach students. If it is necessary to access online social networks when using SAU electronic resources, SAU faculty and staff are expected to act with honesty, integrity, and respect for the rights, privileges, privacy, sensibilities, and property of others. By doing so, individuals will be abiding by applicable laws, including copyright law, University policy, and the University’s Code of Ethics.
Individuals or groups within the University community are not permitted to present personal opinions in ways that imply endorsement by the University.
The University’s name, University telephone numbers, University e-mail addresses, and University images are not to be posted on social networking profile or pages for faculty and staff member for personal purposes. However, a faculty or staff member, or student government officer, or registered campus organization may use their University title for identification purposes. If the use of the title might imply endorsement, support or opposition of the University with regard to any personal statements, including opinions or views on any issue, an explicit disclaimer must appear proximate to the material. On individual pages that post opinions a disclaimer should be used. A sample disclaimer is: The contents, including all opinions and views expressed, in my profile or page are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the opinions or views of anyone else, including other employees in my department or at SAU. My department and SAU have not approved and are not responsible for the material contained in this profile or page.
Many social networking sites collect profile information for advertising (SPAM) targeted at individuals with particular affiliations and interests. Use of the sites may increase SPAM to your e-mail account.
In addition, from the social networking sites or links on social networking sites, your machine or network may be exposed to spyware and viruses that may damage your operating system, capture data, or otherwise compromise your privacy, your computer and the campus network, as well as affect others with whom you communicate.
SAU does not routinely monitor social networking sites; however, as with other electronic resources, University systems administrators may perform activities necessary to ensure the integrity, functionality and security of the University’s electronic resources. However, other employers, organizations, and individuals do monitor and share information they find on social networking websites. Posted information is public information.
In response to concerns or complaints or information provided by individuals, University administrators may look up profiles on social networking sites and may use the information in informal or formal proceedings. In addition, the University has no control over how other employers, organizations, or individuals may use information they find on social networking websites.
SAU accepts no responsibility or liability for any data, text, software, music, sound, photographs, images, video, messages, or any other materials or content generated by users and publicly posted on this page.
Anyone who believes that this page includes inappropriate content should report it to the vice president for administration at 4008.
SAU accepts no liability or responsibility whatsoever for the contents of any target site linked from this page.
By posting content on this page, you represent, warrant and agree that no content submitted, posted, transmitted, or shared by you will infringe upon the rights of any third party, including but not limited to copyright, trademark privacy or contain defamatory or discriminatory or otherwise unlawful material.
SAU reserves the right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content at its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever.
The content on this page is subject to copyright laws. Unless you own the rights in the content, you may not reproduce, adapt or communicate without permission of the copyright owner nor use the content for commercial purposes.
Online communities like Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace can help SAU connect with its constituencies in many positive ways. At the same time, there are some cautionary lessons that have emerged from participating in online communities. Administrators for official SAU social network sites should be aware of the following:
Forms for requesting outside employment approval are available from the Office of Human Resources.
It is the policy of the state of Arkansas and the University to provide compensatory time for overtime work to its staff under the requirements in the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as amended. The provisions of the FLSA serve as the basic wage and hour policy of the University. Supervisors will manage overtime work efficiently and economically. Because of the difficulty of individuals in some areas to take compensatory time, payment for hours over 40 are made in approximately twice a year.
It is your responsibility to notify Human Resources and your supervisor immediately of any salary payment errors, including overpayment. Supervisors are expected to assist and cooperate fully with the Office of Human Resources and Payroll in efforts to recover salary overpayments.
It is the policy of the state of Arkansas and of the University that an individual may not profit from an error in paying an employee or vendor. The University will vigorously pursue collection of all salary overpayments from former employees in the same manner as it pursues other debts to the University. Salary overpayments that are not repaid immediately will be referred to the Office of Financial Services for collection. The Office of Personnel Services of the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration may submit a claim for overpaid wages against your state income tax refunds. To reduce the likelihood of salary overpayment to terminating employees, payments for accumulated annual leave will not be made until the fifteenth of the month following your last workday. During this time, you and your department are responsible for ensuring the accuracy of your leave record.
If a salary overpayment is made while you continue to be employed by the University, the overpayment will be deducted from your next pay deposit. If you owe the University any funds other than salary overpayments, the amount owed may be deducted from your pay deposit or from other payments due to you, such as payment for accrued, unused leave at the time of termination. If you owe the University money, and are currently employed, and have not responded to the past due notices mailed to your home address, an involuntary payroll deduction for the full amount owed will be requested from Human Resources and sent to Payroll. A repayment plan may be set up in the Office of Financial Services, unless you no longer are employed then the entire amount will be owed.
All faculty and staff must complete payroll information forms and other essential paperwork in the Office of Human Resources. These include tax withholding and I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification) forms for both part-time and full-time faculty and staff. All full-time faculty and staff members must also complete:
Pay is distributed the last working day of the month. New faculty or staff under nine-month or ten-month contracts that begin in August will receive a total of ten (10) or eleven (11) monthly paychecks in the first year and twelve (12) monthly paychecks the following year if they continue employment. If new faculty or staff under nine-month or ten-month contracts that begin in August complete all necessary payroll forms prior to August 15, they will receive a total of eleven (11) monthly paychecks in the first year rather than ten (10).
A payroll summary sheet listing gross and net pay, deductions, employer contributions, and a leave summary will be sent each month. All faculty and staff are on direct deposit.
Three systems of evaluation exist: (a) positions within the state classification system, (b) nonclassified positions other than faculty, and (c) faculty.
The system for classified staff is based on establishing standards of performance at the beginning of the rating period. Formal evaluations are done semiannually for the first year and annually thereafter. At the end of the period, the staff member and supervisor meet to discuss performance. If the performance has been satisfactory, new standards are established for the coming year. If the performance has been unsatisfactory, then a probationary period (up to 90 days) begins. If substantial improvement has been made, then a second probationary period may be granted with the approval of the president; otherwise, the staff member will be terminated.
Non-classified staff evaluations are conducted annually. If a nonclassified staff member’s performance is unsatisfactory, the following procedures will be followed to improve the staff member’s performance:
Further information is available from the Office of Human Resources.
Information on the evaluation of faculty is located in the Faculty Handbook.
Full-time faculty or staff may obtain a post office box at the University Post Office to receive mail from off campus. The Post Office is a contract substation of the U.S. Postal Service and offers some postal services. Mail is usually posted to the boxes by 10:00 a.m., depending on the actual time of delivery from the U.S. Postal Service. Overnight and parcel service is available. Bulk mailings require a very specific procedure. The guidelines are available at the University Post Office.
Promotions will be made based on past and present job performance, past record, and qualifications to do the particular work for which the staff member is being considered. Persons interested in promotion or transfer should notify their supervisor and the Office of Human Resources. Transfers between departments will be allowed with the approval of the supervisors involved and the appropriate vice president.
In accordance with the needs of the University, it may be necessary to reassign a staff member within the University. Before this reassignment may be done, careful consideration must be given to factors such as the salary differential between the two positions, the grade difference of the two positions (classified) if any, the level of training that has been given to the individual in their current job, and the needs of the University. The needs of the University are the determinative factor in this decision to reassign.
SAU is a public state university, and most records of the University are subject to release. Personnel records are releasable only to the extent that disclosure would not constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. Performance evaluation records are open to public inspection only in the instance where:
The personnel records of faculty or staff members are open to the faculty or staff member or their designated representative and to the supervisors of the individual.
Requests for all leave should be applied for and approved in advance. In cases of sick leave when the nature of illness makes this impossible, please notify the unit or supervisor via a phone call of the reason for the absence. Failure to do so could represent an unauthorized leave of absence. See the leave section for specific reporting requirements and type of leave available for nine-month, ten-month, and twelve-month faculty or staff.
The University is committed to providing a safe, healthful workplace that is free from violence or threats of violence. Reports of threatening or violent incidents are taken seriously and dealt with appropriately. Individuals who engage in violent or threatening behavior may be removed from the premises, and may be subject to dismissal or other disciplinary action, arrest, and/or criminal prosecution. The University does not tolerate behavior that:
Violent or threatening behavior can include physical acts, oral or written statement, or gestures and expressions. Any violent or threatening behavior must be reported immediately to the University Police Department.
Solicitation is prohibited on the SAU campus. In limited circumstances, the president may authorize individuals to come on campus if it is expansion of the fringe benefit package or is of a benefit to the University and to the faculty and staff. Requests should be sent to the Office of Student Activities for students and to the Office of Human Resources for faculty and staff. Other non commercial solicitation is generally discouraged but may be approved under fundraising guidelines found in the Student Handbook or under the auspices of the Office of Development.
Because staff members are often the first people on campus to meet prospective students and visitors, the image they present is very important. It is essential that everyone be courteous at all times including face-to-face meetings, telephone conversations, and written communication. Proper behavior includes promptness, efficiency, cooperation and impartial treatment of faculty, students, visitors, and other staff members. Personal appearance influences the image of the University, and all staff should be neat, clean, and appropriately dressed for the position they hold.
The Trademark Licensing Program regulates, promotes, and protects the use of the University’s name and identifying trademarks such as the University seal and other identifying marks or logo, identifying names such as “Muleriders,” and “Southern Arkansas University,” and products, promotions, and advertising upon which these marks are used. Prior written consent is required from the Trademark Licensing Program for any use of the University name or marks other than official University business. Please contact the Communications Center for more information.
Your work for the University may give access to academic, personnel, or budgetary information that is considered confidential. You are expected to respect the confidentiality of such information and not disclose it to anyone who does not have an official need for it. If you have any question about the confidentiality of information entrusted to you or to which you have access, ask your supervisor.
Each vehicle brought to campus is required to be registered. Forms are available at the (Office of Accounting) cashier’s window. Each faculty or staff member receives one registration at no charge, and additional registrations are available for a fee. This fee is prorated by semester. If a vehicle is brought to campus for a short period of time, a temporary vehicle permit may be obtained from the University police. A person trading vehicles may bring the remnants of the old registration permit to the cashier’s window and a new permit will be provided at no charge. Payment for parking tickets is also made at the cashier’s window. Faculty or staff members wishing to appeal a ticket should contact the University police for an appeal form.
All vehicles will park in designated parking lots. The only exceptions are Physical Plant employees, University police, vendor parking, deliveries, and contractors on work sites. Any exceptions must be approved by the vice president for facilities.
Reserved parking spaces may be rented by the year by faculty or staff for an annual fee if space is available. There are a limited number of these spaces and a waiting list is maintained. Names are added to the waiting list by contacting the cashier window at the business office. The University police publish parking rules and regulations. Applications are sent to the Office of Financial Services.
All faculty, staff, students, and visitors to Southern Arkansas University System campuses and other property under SAU System control must comply with Arkansas law concerning guns on campus. Guns are not allowed on campus except as provided in Act 562 of 2017 Arkansas General Assembly. For further information contact the University Police Department.
Faculty and staff members are to provide the Office of Human Resources with correct information concerning addresses, marital status, changes in deductions, payroll tax information, etc. Please submit this information in writing via e-mail, slot box, or deliver to Overstreet 115.
Copy machines are available in various locations around the campus for the official business of the University. Most copy machines available outside the Communications Center require an access code for operation. Faculty and staff members obtain codes at the Communications Center. For copies made at the Communications Center, an account number is necessary. Personal copies must be paid for at the cashier window in the Business Office or at the Communications Center.
The Physical Plant determines optimum temperatures for comfort and energy conservation for each season. Although this policy does not apply to residence halls, occupants are urged to be energy conscious and turn off lights, blowers, and fans when not needed.
University personnel are expected to be at work when the University is open. Each faculty and staff member must exercise judgment as to when it is safe to travel. Accrued annual leave must be used for absences during inclement weather unless the employee has approved sick leave at the time of inclement weather.
In cases in which weather conditions are unfavorable in the early morning but expected to improve during the day, the University may implement a delayed-start time. Announcement of the delayed-start will be given as early as possible on the morning of the delay. Generally, published on the SAU website, weather announcements will be made known by television and radio stations serving the ArkLaTex area, SAU website, social media, and emails.
On a delayed-start day, employees arriving after 10:00 a.m. or not at all, except in cases of previously approved sick leave, will be charged with annual leave for all hours missed.
Some critical support positions as designated by the University and/or departments (such as police officers and Physical Plant maintenance staff) are expected to report to work during inclement weather. Using personal judgment to determine when it is safe to travel, employees in these roles may be required to report to work early and/or remain after normal working hours in support of critical functions of the campus.
Any manufacturer rebates received by the cardholder as results of a P-card transaction shall be credited to the P-card and documentation reflecting the transaction shall be attached to the P-card Transaction Log to support such credit.
The cardholder is not to use any rewards card to accrue points or coupons from state purchases. Any rebates, coupons, rewards, gifts, points, frequent flyer miles, cash cards, etc., must accrue to the state entity and utilized only for official state related business. No personal gain by making purchases with the state purchasing card is permitted. Misuse of this section could result in disciplinary action.
Use of any and all state-owned equipment and supplies shall be restricted to official state use only. Unauthorized or personal use of equipment or supplies may be grounds for dismissal. (Governor’s Policy Directive 5 – State-Owned Equipment and Supplies). An occasional personal phone call or e-mail is permitted as necessary to schedule medical appointments, coordinate family needs or child care providers. These must be of short duration of generally three minutes or less. Use of the Internet for personal purposes is included in this prohibition. Under no circumstances should any University property be used for purposes that produce income or impact daily work assignments (see also 315 Outside Employment and 314 Technology).
When a need for maintenance arises, a work order should be e-mailed to the Physical Plant, except in an emergency. If an emergency exists (broken water pipe, heating/air conditioning outages) the Physical Plant should be called immediately. Normal wear and tear costs are generally funded through the Physical Plant maintenance budget. Capital improvements must be funded separately, normally through the annual capital budget process. Specific concerns should be addressed through administrative channels. Most routine work orders should be processed through the building captain, the faculty or staff member designated to coordinate building maintenance needs with the Physical Plant. Building captains are generally a senior manager in a building.
Should an agency or enterprise outside the University make an inquiry about a present or former faculty or staff member, generally information regarding the position title of the faculty or staff member and dates of employment will be given. Other information may be requested under a freedom of information request.
The University may publish directory information that lists name, title, department, campus address and phone number, educational background, etc.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, helps protect the privacy of student records. The Act provides for the right of students to inspect and review their education records, to seek to amend those records, and to limit disclosure of information from the records. The Act applies to all institutions that are the recipients of federal funding.
Parents of students termed “dependent” for income tax purposes may have access to the student’s educational records with proof of dependency.
Institutions may disclose information on a student without violating FERPA through what is known as “directory information.” This generally includes a student’s name, address, telephone number, major field of study, participation in officially recognized sports and activities, weight and height (of athletes), dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, and other similar information. Deceased students and formerly enrolled students have rights under FERPA. Students who have applied but have not attended an institution do not.
Persons entitled to the information are the following: the student and any outside party who has the student’s written consent; school officials who have “legitimate educational interests” as defined in FERPA; parents of a dependent student as defined by the Internal Revenue Code; and the issuer of a judicial order or subpoena which allows the institution to release records without the student’s consent. A reasonable effort must be made to contact the student before complying with the order. Student may request that no information be released by informing the vice president for student affairs in writing at the beginning of each semester of enrollment.
The University does not designate a formal rest period for staff members. Taking a break depends upon the department involved and whether the work of the department is of such a nature that it can be interrupted at some time during the day for staff members to have a few minutes off. Where rest periods are allowed, they are limited to two (2) fifteen minute breaks per day (one in the morning and one in the afternoon), and each department must be sure that adequate staff is on duty at all times. Health and safety may require adjustments as approved by a Vice President.
Effective August 1, 2010, SAU will be a smoke free campus in compliance with Act 734 of 2009 of the Arkansas General Assembly. This act includes penalties of fines from $100 to $500.
Staff development opportunities include training for faculty or staff members to keep them current in their jobs, and general training based on technological changes affecting a large number of faculty and staff members. In addition, state and federal laws mandate specific training. Staff development may consist of both on-campus and off-campus opportunities as needs of the University and funding permit. (See also Fringe Benefits, courses taken for training). Overall coordination of staff development is through the Office of Human Resources.
SAU is a state-supported institution of higher learning and, as such, its facilities are provided and designed to be used to further the educational aims and objectives of the University. Facilities may be used for purposes that are consistent with the mission of Southern Arkansas University, and the right to make such a determination is vested solely in the University. SAU is committed to the conserving of energy, and thus as much as possible, shall accommodate facility requests by using buildings that are already scheduled to be opened and in use during the time period of the request. In summary, the process is as follows:
For more detailed information, review the “Policy Manual of Utilization of Campus Facilities” available in the Office of Academic Affairs.
Staff members of SAU are permitted to go to the Mulerider Activities Center (MAC) for wellness program participation. Each staff member is permitted to take an extra 30 minutes at lunch or 30 minutes at the end of the workday for wellness activities at the MAC. No office is allowed to close and a supervisor must approve the time for wellness. Registration and attendance records are kept at the MAC Reception desk. Failure to sign in will result in the time off being charged as vacation.
|00-03 years||08 hours per month or 12 days per year|
|04-05 years||10 hours per month or 15 days per year|
|06-12 years||12 hours per month or 18 days per year|
|13-20 years||14 hours per month or 21 days per year|
|21+ years||15 hours per month or 22.5 days per year|
|00-12 years||12 hours per month or 18 days per year|
|13-20 years||14 hours per month or 21 days per year|
|21+ years||15 hours per month or 22.5 days per year|
The use of sick leave is contingent upon the occurrence of one of the events listed above. If the event never occurs, the employee is not entitled to the sick leave benefits.
Staff members who need additional sick leave may benefit from the provisions of the catastrophic leave policy authorized by Act 169 of 1991. Under this program, a leave bank is created by donations and the program is administered through the Office of Human Resources. Donations may be made in November and December of each year or when a staff member terminates or retires from the University. To be eligible to apply for the program, staff members must meet the specific conditions. Applicants who do not meet the 80 hour rule must submit a written explanation to the Committee why an “extraordinary circumstance waiver” should be granted. Contact the Office of Human Resources for complete guidelines.
All catastrophic leave will be considered a part of the twelve weeks of leave
authorized by the Family Medical Leave Act. SAU follows the Arkansas State
Personnel Policy definitions of Catastrophic Leave.
Pursuant to Act 182 of 2017, catastrophic leave under A.C.A. §21-4-214 may be used by eligible employees for maternity leave under certain circumstances. Generally, the provisions are as follows:
The Family and Medical Leave Act entitles eligible faculty and staff members to a total of twelve (12) work weeks of leave without pay during any 12-month period for any one of the following reasons:
The 12-month period used by SAU for determining eligibility is a rolling year based on the onset of the serious medical condition that FMLA is being requested for. An employee’s entitlement is determined by looking at the 12 months prior to the time leave is requested to determine the total number of FMLA hours the employee is eligible to receive. The employee is entitled to any balance of unpaid leave not taken during that 12-month period. In the case of birth or adoption, eligibility for FMLA leave shall expire at the end of the 12-month period beginning on the date of the child’s birth or placement. However, leave used for this purpose shall also be calculated on a rolling year basis. Additional information and application forms are available in the Office of Human Resources.
The University’s holiday schedule conforms to the state schedule of holidays in terms of total number of days; however, there is some variance in the specific days. Several holidays are not taken at their originally scheduled time in order that they might be taken the day after Thanksgiving and between Christmas and New Year’s Day. These holidays include President’s Day, Veteran’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day/Robert E. Lee’s Birthday, and the faculty or staff member’s birthday. If a faculty or staff member wishes to observe any of these holidays, supervisors are requested to allow faculty or staff members to schedule a day of annual leave if the departmental work load will permit. SAU observes the following holidays each year:
Independence Day July 4
Labor Day First Monday in September
Thanksgiving Fourth Thursday in November and following Friday (2 days)*
Christmas and New Year’s Break Usually begins the day before Christmas Eve and ends the day after New Year’s Day (7 days)
Dr. Martin Luther King’s Birthday Faculty and Students only
Memorial Day Last Monday in May
*A mandatory vacation day may be used if the governor does not declare the day after Thanksgiving a holiday.
In order that University faculty and staff members may fulfill their civic responsibilities as jurors or witnesses and when involved as party litigants, faculty and staff are granted leave of absence with pay when subpoenaed for jury duty or as witnesses or when involved as a party litigant. Reasonable notice must be provided to the University of court appearances. A copy of the subpoena or jury attendance slip should be attached to the leave slip or timesheet. When released from jury or witness duty, the faculty or staff member returns to work.
Jury or witness duty is that service and time spent away from the job because of a subpoena issued by the court. A faculty or staff member who volunteers as a witness or for other court duty, such as serving as an expert witness, will not be granted jury/court leave and must take annual leave.
A leave of absence without pay may be granted to faculty and staff members for the following purposes:
For either of these reasons a request should be submitted through supervisor channels to the president. The request should be in memorandum format and include specifics of the request and reason(s). Supervisors should indicate how the request will affect their unit and what costs if any are associated with the request. If the leave of absence extends beyond the coverage provided by federal or state laws (FMLA, etc.), the faculty or staff member may be placed on extended leave without pay status. When a faculty or staff member is certified by a physician as being able to return to work, the faculty or staff may apply for available positions at the University for which the employee is qualified. Further information can be obtained from the Office of Human Resources.
Faculty or staff participating in military training programs or the US Public Health Service training programs shall be entitled to a leave of absence for a period of fifteen (15) days plus necessary travel time for annual training requirements or other duties performed in an official duty status in any one (1) calendar year. To the extent this leave is not used in a calendar year, it will accumulate for use in the succeeding calendar year until it totals fifteen (15) days at the beginning of the calendar year. A maximum number of military leave days available in one (1) calendar year may only be thirty (30) days. Faculty and staff requesting leave will provide a copy of the orders or equivalent documents for personnel file.
Whenever any faculty or staff is granted a leave of absence, he or she shall be entitled to his or her regular salary during the time he or she is away from his or her duties during such leave of absence. This leave of absence shall be in addition to the regular annual accrual leave accrued by the faculty or staff member.
During a leave of absence, the faculty or staff member shall be entitled to preserve all seniority rights, efficiency or performance ratings, promotional status, retirement privileges, life and disability insurance benefits, and any other rights, privileges, and benefits to which they have become entitled.
The period of military service shall, for purposes of computations to determine whether such person may be entitled to retirement benefits, be deemed continuous service and the faculty or staff member shall not be required to make contributions to any retirement fund. The institution shall continue to contribute its portion of any life or disability insurance premiums during the leave of absence so that continuous coverage may be maintained.
Each section under leave provides specific record keeping requirements to keep track of the time off work. It is very important that these records be kept because they are subject to audit.
Additional documentation is necessary when a faculty or staff member has been off work for illness or injury and is returning to work at less than full capacity. When this arises, faculty or staff members should provide statements from their physicians stating the limitation. Progress reports should follow stating when a return to full capacity occurs. SAU will work with each faculty or staff member to determine appropriateness of duties during this period of light duty.
Full-time faculty and staff members are authorized eight hours of leave each academic year to participate in, assist with or attend their children’s educational activities. For the purposes of children’s educational activities leave, “child” is defined as any person enrolled in pre-kindergarten through grade 12 (preK-12) who is the faculty or staff members natural child, adopted child, stepchild, foster child, grandchild, legal ward or for whom faculty/staff are the legal guardian or act in any other legal capacity as a parent. Educational activities are defined as: parent-teacher conferences, your participation in school-sponsored tutoring, school-sponsored volunteer programs, field trips, classroom programs and academic competitions, and your assisting with athletic, music or theater programs. Unused children’s educational activities leave may not be carried over to the next academic year and you will not receive compensation for unused children’s educational activities leave at retirement or when your employment with the University ends. An academic year is from July to June (corresponds to the University fiscal year July 1 to June 30).
The committee hears all appeals based on nonacademic personnel issues; on academic issues related to academic freedom, curricula, salary, and non-reappointment; and student issues for which an appeal structure does not exist. In addition, the committee monitors the University’s efforts to comply with desegregation and affirmative action plans, and brings any discrimination complaints and grievances to the attention of the administration. Recommendations of the committee regarding faculty and staff appeals are sent to the President.
Faculty or staff member with grievance (nondiscrimination) – begin with step 1. The five days refers to the time for response by the grievant and not the time by the supervisors or the University officials who must respond within a reasonable time.
Any unreasonable delay should be reported to the vice president for administration.
All grievances charging discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, or national origin shall be resolved exclusively under these procedures. The five days refers to the time response by the grievant and not the time by the supervisors or the University officials who must respond within a reasonable time.
The five days refers to the time response by the grievant and not the time by the supervisors or the University officials who must respond within a reasonable time.
The following administrative policy and procedures are established to provide an appropriate framework and method to resolve and track student complaints, as designated by the HLC Policy Number FDCR.A.10.030: “An institution shall make available an account of the student complaints it has received, its processing of those complaints, and how that processing comports with the institution’s policies and procedures on the handling of grievances or complaints.” This policy is specifically designed to maintain the integrity of the academic environment and to ensure that the rights of students in such matters are clearly ensured and protected. This policy does not replace or override policies already set forth in the catalog, such as the grade appeal policy.
Southern Arkansas University designates the director/chair of the department that received the complaint as responsible for receiving, investigating, and potentially resolving student complaints. From there, the office of the Dean of Students is responsible for intervening if no action is taken, and maintaining the records of complaints and resolutions. No retaliation of any kind shall be taken against a student who articulates a complaint.
The policy applies to all Southern Arkansas University students regardless of school, college, status, classification, type, or location.
Student: Defined as any person enrolled at the university in a course offered for credit.
Complainant: Defined as a student who lodges a formal complaint against the respondent.
Respondent: Defined as that person or persons named by the student in a written complaint.
Formal Complaint: Defined as any nontrivial, documented complaint, either academic or nonacademic.
Informal Complaint: Defined as an informal method of communicating a concern to the school, not officially documented and without guaranteed follow-up.
Complaint Procedure: Defined as the process by which a formal complaint is resolved.
Business Days: Refers to weekdays during periods in which classes are conducted, excluding examination week.
The administrative and non-instructional staff comprise the Staff Assembly at Southern Arkansas University operate and under a staff constitution. The purpose of this organization is to strive for efficient operation and to offer a method of providing advice and suggestions.
The president of the University prepares an agenda for the assembly meetings and sends a copy of the agenda and the time of the meeting to each staff member. Items to be considered for the agenda may be submitted by the Senate, Standing Committees of the University, or any staff member. The vice president for administration presides at its meetings. The Staff Assembly expects each member of the Assembly to attend the meetings.
The following awards are made annually to members of the faculty.
The following awards are made annually to members of the staff.
There are several ways that faulty and staff members may leave the University. Each way is discussed below. In each case the faculty or staff member must process out. This is accomplished by using the termination checklist form and contacting all the offices listed to ensure all accounts are closed, items such as keys and equipments are turned into the appropriate unit, and health insurance issues under COBRA are resolved. Failure to checkout properly may delay the delivery of a final paycheck and may be noted in the individual’s permanent personnel file. Unpaid charges (lost keys, non-returned library holdings, etc.) will be charged back to the faculty or staff members department.
Faculty and staff members voluntarily terminating their employment should follow the appropriate procedure listed below:
If a staff member voluntarily terminates employment with two weeks written notice, he/she will be paid for any unused vacation time (not to exceed 30 days). If a staff member does not provide two weeks’ notice of voluntary termination, the staff member will not be paid any vacation time.
A SAU faculty or staff member who has had ten years of service and who is at least 55 years of age may elect early retirement at the end of a contract or fiscal year or other time approved by the president with the following benefits:
Option A: A retiree from age 55-61 may remain a member of the health insurance group until age 65 with the premium paid by the retiring faculty or staff member.
Option B: A retiree (at age 62 or after, up to 65) may remain a member of the health insurance group, and the University will contribute to the health insurance plan of the retiree a monthly matching amount up to $504 per month.
Option C: A retiree whose age (55-65) and years of service (minimum of 15) total 75 or more may remain a member of the health insurance group, and the University will contribute to the health insurance plan of the retiree a monthly matching amount up to $504 per month.
Classified staff may be terminated for unsatisfactory performance, acts of dishonesty, chronic absenteeism (includes chronic tardiness), acts of bad conduct or when it is in the best interest of the University to end the employment relationship (this employment at will privilege may be exercised by a staff member under voluntary termination).
Non-classified staff are subject to the same provisions of classified staff subject to any contract for a specific term.
Faculty should refer to the section on Termination of Appointment, Dismissal Review, and Dismissal Appeals in the Faculty Handbook, Appointment, Tenure, and Promotion Guidelines.
Upon termination, resignation, retirement, or other action by which a person ceases to be an active faculty or staff member of SAU, the amount due to the staff member from accrued and unused annual leave and holidays will be paid in a lump sum. The amount will not exceed 240 hours annual leave. No faculty or staff member receiving additional compensation shall return to state employment until the number of days for which he/she received the lump sum compensation for annual leave has expired. Employees are not entitled to payment for accrued and unused sick leave when they terminate their employment except as follows:
This act eliminates mandatory retirement.
The Board of Trustees authorized the nomination of individuals for emeritus status who have provided lengthy and excellent service to Southern Arkansas University. The following criteria shall be used as a guide:
Written nominations will be sent to the Office of the President during the spring semester of each year. Nominations will be reviewed and recommendations made by the vice president’s council. The University Promotion and Tenure Council will be informed of the list of nominees recommended for emeritus status and allowed to make written comments to the president. The recommendations will then be reviewed by the president, with the final decision made by the SAU Board of Trustees.