Southern Arkansas University – University Handbook

Table of Contents

University Handbook

About
Revision History

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.

Mission

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.

Introduction

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

Notice

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.

University History
      • 1909 – The Arkansas Legislature passed Act 100, authorizing the establishment of four district agricultural boarding schools, one in each quadrant of the state, giving rural children access to a high school education.
      • 1910 – Old Main, Dining Hall, Holt, and Jackson Halls were constructed.
      • 1911 – Third District Agricultural School (TDAS) opened its doors a mile north of the city of Magnolia, in Columbia County, Arkansas.  McCrary and Caraway Halls were constructed sometime later.
      • 1912 – The Mulerider name was chosen by the football team.
      • 1914-21 – E. E. Austin served as president.  Curriculum emphasized agriculture for males and home economics for females.  Coursework also included literature, history, and science.
      • 1919 – The Muleriders had their first unbeaten football season. Dolph Camp, later to become the president of Southern State College (now SAU), was a member of this team.
      • 1921-45 – Charles A. Overstreet served as last principal of TDAS and first president of Magnolia A&M.
      • 1922 – Yearbook was renamed Mulerider.
      • 1923 – Student newspaper, The Bray, began.
      • 1925 – Act 45 made TDAS the State Agricultural and Mechanical College, Third District. Most commonly referred to as Magnolia A&M, it was a two-year junior college.
      • 1926 – National Guard Armory was constructed on campus. This facility was also used for A&M classes, basketball games, and plays. Students earned money to attend school as members of guard companies. Students and the Magnolia guard companies participated in U.S. wars from 1917 to 2010.
      • 1921 – A&M was accredited by North Central Association.
      • 1931 – College student enrollment exceeded that of high school students for first time.  High school classes ended in 1937.
      • 1936-37 – Cross Hall, Nelson Hall and the Greek Theatre were constructed.
      • 1937 – Sultan’s Magnolia Belle gained nationwide recognition for milk and butter production and was awarded a gold medal as national champion by the American Jersey Cattle Club.
      • 1944 – Overstreet Hall’s construction began in 1940.  Occupied for first time in 1944.
      • 1945-50 – Colonel Charles S. Wilkins served as president. Wilkins Stadium and Bussey Hall were constructed.
      • 1950-59 – Dr. Dolph Camp served as president. Dolph Camp Fine Arts Building, Peace Library, Graham Hall, and the President’s home constructed.  A Counseling Center was also established.
      • 1951 – Act 45 renamed A&M Southern State College (SSC), a four-year liberal arts college.
      • 1951-52 – Coach Elmer Smith’s Mulerider football teams won back-to-back Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference (AIC) championships.
      • 1955 – SSC accreditation was awarded by North Central Association.  Camp proclaimed a two-day holiday for faculty and students.
      • 1955-56 – First tentative steps taken toward integration of the college with admission of first black undergraduate.  Full integration was achieved after 1964.
      • 1959-76 – Dr. Imon E. Bruce served as president.  Greatest building program in history of institution – new gymnasium, new student center (now Bruce Center), Talbot Hall, Talley Hall, Harrod Hall, Graham Annex, Greene Hall, Wilson Hall, Wharton Nursing Building, Harton Theater, Magale Library, National Guard Armory, and Physical Plant. Many original campus buildings were removed.
      • 1965-83 – Coach Margaret Downing’s women’s basketball teams won eight state and conference championships.
      • 1966-67 – Coach W. T. Watson’s basketball teams won back-to-back AIC championships.
      • 1970 – Fraternities were established for the first time.
      • 1972 – Coach Rip Powell’s Mulerider football team won the AIC championship.
      • 1974 – Master of Education degrees instituted.
      • 1975 – Branch campus established in El Dorado and control assumed of Southwest Technical Institute in Camden for a three-branch SAU system.  SAU El Dorado Branch became an independent community college in 1991.  The Camden school was retained as an SAU branch community college, SAU Tech.
      • 1976 – Southern State College became Southern Arkansas University.  Four schools approved:  Business, Education, Liberal and Performing Arts, and Science and Technology.
      • 1976-91 – Dr. Harold T. Brinson served as president.
      • 1980 – First Murphy Lecture.
      • 1980-03 – Coach Steve Goodheart’s baseball teams won nineteen championships, the most in school history, and played three times in the NAIA World Series.
      • 1984 – Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton delivered spring commencement address.
      • 1984 – Rev. Jesse Jackson spoke on campus for Democratic presidential candidate.
      • 1985 – First Amfuel Lecture.
      • 1988 – Water Tower was first decorated as an illuminated holiday candle.
      • 1991 – Brinson Art Building completed.
      • 1991 – First Joe D. and Deane Reid Woodward Visiting Artist series was established.
      • 1991 – Faculty Senate began.
      • 1992-01 – Dr. Steven G. Gamble served as president.  Brinson Art Building, Dolph Camp Fine Arts Building, and Nelson Hall remodeled.  Gym expanded into HKR Complex.  Last original campus buildings removed.
      • 1993 – Business/Agriculture-Business Building completed.
      • 1994 – First Emerson-Thomas-Crone Lectureship instituted with address by Arthur Schlesinger Jr.
      • 1995 – Southern Arkansas University became member of the NCAA Division II and joined the Gulf South Conference.
      • 1996 – Inaugural Walz Lecture in History.
      • 1997 – Muleriders won their first Gulf South Championship in football.
      • 2002 – Dr. David F. Rankin selected as President.
      • 2002 – Present  Blue and Gold Vision launched second greatest building program in school history: Reynolds Center, Honors and East Halls, University Village, Band Hall, Wharton Nursing Building addition, Mulerider Stables, lights for baseball field and remodeled Wilkins Stadium, including artificial turf with Mulerider Logo.  Mulerider Activities Building under construction and Science & Technology Center completed in 2010.  Plans laid for Agricultural Center.  Alumni made donations of a marble fountain, a walking trail, and monumental signs.
      • 2003 – Welcome Center was established for the Alumni Association and SAU Foundation.
      • 2003 – Honors Program began.
      • 2004 – Donald W. Reynolds Campus and Community Service Center completed.
      • 2004 – Dr. Kathleen Mallory Distinguished Lecture series began.
      • 2004-08 – Master’s degrees instituted in agriculture, business, computer science, and public administration. New programs in master’s of education degrees approved. Colleges of Business, Education, Liberal & Performing Arts, and Science & Technology, and School of Graduate Studies reorganized.
      • 2005 – Farmers Bank Lecture series began.
      • 2005 – Acquisition of the Governor Ben Laney farm doubled campus acreage, the largest expansion of land holdings since 1910.
      • 2006 – Muleriders won their first Gulf South Championship in baseball. A second title was won in 2009.
      • 2009 – Centennial celebrations included Governor Mike Beebe’s re-enactment of signing Act 100 (1909) at the state capitol; first Founders Day at SAU on April 1; free concert by country-western star Tracy Lawrence, a former SAU student; Great SAU Mule Ride to re-enact 1912 football’s team’s trips to away games; and Boomtown Classic football game in El Dorado with traditional arch-foe, the University of Arkansas at Monticello, originally one of four state agriculture schools established in 1909.
      • 2015 – Dr. Trey Berry selected as President

100 – Employment with the University

  1. 101 – Equal Employment Opportunity Policy

    1. Southern Arkansas University, Magnolia, recruits, hires, educates, trains, promotes, and conducts all other employment practices without regard to race, color, religion, gender, age, national origin, disability, veteran status or any other legally protected class.  SAU is an equal opportunity employer and an affirmative action institution of higher education.
    2. All inquiries or complaints (except for disability and Title IX) by faculty and staff should be addressed to the vice president for administration, and all inquiries or complaints by students should be addressed to the dean of students.
    3. SAU is committed to the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  All inquiries or complaints of students, faculty, and staff concerning provisions of the Act should be addressed to the director of the counseling and testing center/disability support services.
    4. SAU is committed to compliance with Title IX.  All inquiries related to Title IX can be addressed to the Title IX coordinator.  The SAU website contains all Title IX contact information.
  2. 102 – Doctrine of Employment at Will

    1. The University operates under the doctrine of employment at will, and each staff member and the University may end the employment relationship without reason or cause at any time.  This doctrine does not apply to tenured and tenure track faculty or individuals under contract for specific term during the term.
  3. 103 – Employment Status

    1. There are two categories of employment with the University.
      1. Appointed status
        1. Full-time appointment. Appointments may be for nine, ten, eleven, or twelve months. Full-time appointees include three groups:
          1. Faculty. Faculty have a specific academic rank of professor, associate professor, assistant professor, or instructor. Primary faculty duties include teaching, scholarly activities, advising, serving on committees, and public service.  Most faculty have nine month contracts. See the Faculty Handbook for specific information.
          2. Classified Staff. Classified positions are a part of the Arkansas Uniform Classification System.  These positions are established by grade (which establishes entry and maximum salaries).  The Office of Personnel Management of the State of Arkansas prepares the generic job descriptions for these positions.  SAU working titles may be different from the state classification title to better describe the actual job and specific job duties.
          3. Non-classified Staff. Non-classified staff are not part of the classification system described above.  Generally, these are management positions or positions with specific professional or technical educational requirements such as academic librarians.
        2. Part-time appointment.  A limited number of faculty and staff are part-time.  Part-time for this purpose means employment for a specific percentage of the time and may include fringe benefits if appointed ½ time or more.
      2. Non-appointed positions (extra help and adjunct instructor)
        1. From time to time the University will employ extra help to perform special or seasonal tasks or to teach a course.  Extra help positions will not exceed 1,500 hours during a calendar year.  Extra help positions are paid on an hourly basis for work performed.  Adjuncts are paid an amount on a per-course basis depending on educational qualifications and experience.  No fringe benefits are included except for those required by federal and state laws, such as Social Security match, workers’ compensation, and faculty or staff members participating in Arkansas Teacher Retirement System.

104 – Entry Policies for Faculty and Staff

    1. Classified Staff
      1. All appointments of classified staff (including promotions and transfers) are on an entry basis.  The entry period affords the University the opportunity to examine a new staff member’s performance on a trial basis and is considered an essential part of the University’s staff development and performance system.
      2. The entry period generally lasts for six months.  Any time during this period, the staff member may be separated from the University without right of appeal or hearing except in cases of alleged discrimination.
      3. At the end of the entry period, the supervisor will prepare an evaluation of the staff member to determine if he or she is performing satisfactorily.  Additional evaluations are suggested during this period to clearly inform the staff member of their performance and progress.  Satisfactory performance results in continued employment; unsatisfactory performance results in termination.  Under special circumstances, the entry period may be extended for an additional period up to six months.  Such an extension can be granted only by the president after review by the Office of Human Resources.
      4. Should the supervisor decide it is necessary to terminate the employment during the six-month entry period, the staff member will be notified that the entry period is being ended for unsatisfactory performance.
    2. Faculty and Nonclassified Staff
      1. The faculty development policies are found in the Faculty Handbook. Nonclassified staff plans are developed with the nonclassified staff’s supervisor and are individually designed based on the needs of the University.

105 – Salary and Payroll

    1. Salary increases are based on guidelines found in Acts of the Arkansas General Assembly and are subject to revision every year.  Information on raises will be published annually as it becomes available from the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration.
      1. Classified Staff – Raises are generally set by the General Assembly and apply to all classified staff and are the same throughout the state.  The University may not have any flexibility in setting these raises.
      2. Faculty and Non-classified Staff – Raises are normally recommended by the president to the Board of Trustees as a part of the annual budget cycle.
  • The starting salary for classified employees transferring from another state agency should be reviewed prior to the position at SAU being offered to them.  Factors such as the salary differential between the two positions, position grade difference if any, level of training the individual received at the other state agency and its applicability to the position at SAU are considered, but position, grade, and budget will determine the actual starting salary paid.  Payment at the same level received at the previous state agency may not be approved.
  • The following procedures apply regarding the issuance of payroll checks by the Office of Purchasing/Payroll:
  1. Payroll information summary will be distributed on the last working day of each month.  All payroll checks are direct deposit.
  2. Every effort is made to process all personnel action forms within the pay period.  However, any personnel action forms (such as contracts, notice of appointments, payroll change forms, etc.) processed after the 15th of the month will result in a delay until the following month.
  3. Questions concerning payroll problems should be directed to the department head and/or supervisor or Human Resources.

106 – Background Checks

    1. All appointments are subject to background checks.  More information is available from the Office of Human Resources.

150 – Standards and Conditions of Employment

151 – Code of Ethics

Preamble

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.

Conduct and Values

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:

  • Provide a dynamic and caring environment that motivates individual development and fulfillment of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of SAU.
  • Demonstrate honesty and respect for others in all interactions.
  • Manage all entrusted resources to provide the maximum benefit for all.
  • Support and encourage equal opportunities for all.
  • Achieve University goals.
  • Strive for excellence in all endeavors to ensure quality that creates the exceptional University.
Conflicts of Interest

All members of the SAU community should be free from conflicts of interest. The following describe areas of possible conflict of interest:

  • Faculty or staff members will not use or attempt to use their official positions to secure special privileges or exemptions for themselves or their spouse, children, parents, or other persons standing in the first degree of relationship, or for those with whom they have a substantial financial relationship that are not available to others except as may be otherwise provided by law.
  • Faculty or staff members will not accept employment or engage in any public or professional activity while serving as public officials which they might reasonably expect would require or induce them to disclose any information acquired by them by reason of their official positions that is declared by law or regulation to be confidential.
  • Faculty or staff members will not disclose any such information gained by reason of their position, nor shall they otherwise use such information for their personal gain or benefit.

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.

Responsibility

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:

  • Put forth honest effort in performance of duties.
  • Adhere to all laws, regulations and policies that provide equal opportunity for all persons regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability or military status.
  • Act impartially and not give preference to any person or group.
  • Protect and conserve public resources entrusted to SAU and rise to further the mission of the University, not self.
  • Refrain from making unauthorized commitments to bind SAU.
  • Be guided by a deep conviction for the worth and dignity of the advancement of knowledge, and recognize the special responsibilities placed upon them.
  • Demonstrate respect for students as individuals and adhere to proper roles as intellectual guides and counselors.
  • Encourage free pursuit of learning in students, and hold before them the best scholarly and ethical standards of the discipline.
  • Accept fair share of responsibilities of shared governance.

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.

Reporting

All members of the SAU faculty and staff have the responsibility to report ethics violations to the vice president for administration.

152 – Staff Conduct Standards

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.

Responsibilities

Staff Members will:

  1. Become familiar with and understand the University Handbook.
  2. Follow the standards and guidance.
  3. Participate in good faith in any administrative investigation.
  4. Report to supervisory personnel any condition(s), circumstance(s), unclear instruction(s) or procedures which may affect or prevent satisfactory compliance with the conduct standards.
  5. Comply with any corrective action plans or instructions following a deviation from these standards.

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.

Group 1

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

  1. Unsatisfactory attendance or excessive tardiness.
  2. Abuse of state time, including, for example, unauthorized time away from the work area, use of state time for personal business, and abuse of sick leave.
  3. Use of obscene or abusive language.
  4. Inadequate or unsatisfactory work performance.
  5. Disruptive behaviors.
  6. Conviction of a moving traffic violation while using a state/public vehicle.
  7. Violation of smoking ban on campus.

Group 2

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

  1. Failure to follow a supervisor’s instructions, perform assigned work, or otherwise comply with established written policy.
  2. Violating a safety rule where there is not a threat of bodily harm.
  3. Leaving the work site during work hours without permission.
  4. Failure to report to work as scheduled without proper notice to the supervisor.
  5. Unauthorized use or misuse of state property or records.
  6. Refusal to work overtime hours as required.
  7. Violation of Drug Free Workplace policies of the agency and the Governor’s Policy Directive – includes reporting to work impaired or under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or the unlawful use of a controlled substance.
  8. Violation of anti-discrimination, equal employment opportunity policies, depending upon the nature of the violation.
  9. Violation of sexual harassment prevention policies, depending upon the nature of the violation.

Group 3

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

  1. Absence in excess of three (3) consecutive work days without proper authorization or a satisfactory reason.
  2. Falsification of any agency records, including, but not limited to, vouchers, reports, insurance claims, time records, leave records, client records or other official state document.
  3. Willfully or negligently damaging or defacing state records, state property or property of other persons (including, but not limited to, employees, patients, clients, supervisors, inmates, visitors, and/or students).
  4. Theft or unauthorized removal of state records, state property, or the property of other persons (including, but not limited to, employees, patients, clients, supervisors, inmates, visitors, and or students).
  5. Gambling on state property or gambling during working hours.
  6. Fighting and/or other acts of physical violence.
  7. Violating safety rules where there is a threat of physical harm.
  8. Sleeping during work hours.
  9. Participating in any type of concerted interference with state operations.
  10. Unauthorized possession or use of firearms, dangerous weapons, or explosives.
  11. Criminal conviction for illegal conduct occurring on or off the job that clearly is of such a nature that to continue the employee in their position could constitute negligence in regard to the agency’s duties to the public, clients or other state employees.
  12. Violation of the Drug Free Workplace policies of the agency and Governor’s Policy Directives, depending upon the nature of the violation.
  13. Violation of the sexual harassment prevention policies, depending upon the nature of the violation.
  14. Violation of the anti-discrimination, equal employment opportunity policies, depending upon the nature of the violation.

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.

Timeliness Factors

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:

  • Written Notice for a Group 1 is active for one year from its date of issuance to the employee.
  • A Written Notice for a Group 2 is active for two years from its date of issuance to the employee.
  • A Written Notice for a Group 3 is active for three years from its date of issuance to the employee
  • Written Notices that are no longer active shall not be considered in an employee’s accumulation of Written Notices, or in determining the appropriate disciplinary action for a new unacceptable behavior.
Pay and Benefits During Suspension
  1. Disciplinary suspensions are without pay. Payroll records, etc., should be updated concerning such action, including suspension, demotion, transfer, discharges and reinstatement.
  2. If the suspended or terminated employee is reinstated to full employment and benefits, meaning reinstatement with back pay and benefits, the award of back pay shall, automatically, be offset by any interim earnings that the employee received during the period of separation, including unemployment compensation received by the employee.
Utilization of the Grievance Procedure

Eligible employees may, at their option, utilize the grievance procedure in chapter 6.

160 – Employee Rights Under the Arkansas Whistle-Blower Act

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.

200 – Fringe Benefits and Payroll Deductions

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.

201 – Payroll Deductions

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:

  1. Health insurance for family members.
  2. Supplemental Retirement contributions
  3. Arkansas State Employees Association membership dues and association programs.
  4. SAU Foundation contributions.
  5. U.S. Savings Bond.
  6. United Way contributions.
  7. Optional insurance plans.
  8. Debts to the University.
  9. Flexible spending plan (a method to tax-exempt certain medical, out-of-pocket health premiums and child care expenses).
  10. Credit Union.
  11. Vision Plan.
  12. Dental Plan.

The Fringe Benefit Committee may recommend additional offerings during the open enrollment period each year.

202 – Flexible Spending Plan

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.

203 – Group Health Insurance

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.

204 – Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA)

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:

  1. Leaves the University for any reason.
  2. Dies.
  3. Is terminated (other than for gross misconduct) or has a reduction of work hours.
  4. Is divorced or legally separated from the individual eligible for benefits.
  5. Becomes entitled to Medicare benefits.

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.

205 – Long-Term Disability Insurance

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.

206 – Life Insurance and Optional Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance

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.

207 – Preparing for Retirement (programs currently offered)

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/StaffUniversity
Plan 1    4 percent6 percent
Plan 2 5 percent7 percent
Plan 36 percent8 percent
Plan 47 percent9 percent
Plan 5 8 percent10 percent

208 – Social Security

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.

209 – Supplemental Annuity Program

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.

210 – Unemployment and Workers’ Compensation

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.

211 – Tuition Waiver

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.

212 – Faculty or Staff Members Taking College Courses

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.

  1. Courses for Training.  When faculty or staff members take courses for the purpose of acquiring skills related to their present position, the course will be classified as on-the-job training and as a part of the faculty or staff member’s normal work week.  Approval for on-the-job training must be given by the vice president of the area in which the faculty or staff member is employed.  The approval will be filed in the faculty or staff member’s personnel file.  There are occasions that an individual in an exempt position whose qualifications require an appropriate degree.  This could occur because the individual selected was the most qualified as a result of reorganization or lack of qualified individual with a degree in the applicant pool.  If a degree provides a particular general qualification that benefits the University and the work schedule of the individual can be adjusted, then the individual may be designated to occupy a “grow our own” position.  The conditions for this appointment are: 1) the degree program is consistent with the position, 2) a work schedule must be approved by the vice president of the area, 3) the individual agrees to work for SAU at least one year after the completion of the degree, and the contract must be approved by the Office of Human Resources and the president.  Failure to stay for the year after completion will result in the individual being required to pay for all courses in excess of 3 hours per semester over the last two years of employment.
  2. Other Courses. All other courses taken by a faculty or staff member during normal working hours, including the noon hour, require a written request from the faculty or staff member and approval from the supervisor and the vice president of the area in which the faculty or staff member is employed.  The request must specify the course name, meeting time, and the arrangement between the faculty or staff member and supervisor for coverage of the workstation and the faculty or staff member’s revised work schedule for the length of the course.  Three credit hours per semester is the limit for faculty or staff members during normal work hours; only one-half of the noon hour may be used to make up the time in class.  Additional courses may be taken after work hours.  Forms are available in the Office of Human Resources and the Business Office.

213 – Activity Tickets

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.

214 – Optional Insurance

  1. Dental Insurance

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.

  1. Vision Insurance

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.

215 – Magale Library

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.

  1. Borrowing Privileges

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:

    1. Faculty and staff may bring all their library materials to the library circulation desk.
    2. Faculty may request a library staff member to come to their office on the SAU campus, at the staff member’s convenience, to pick up the materials, check out the items for the next school year, and return them to the faculty member.

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.

  1. Availability of Library Materials and Resources

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.

    1. Interlibrary Loans – Faculty and staff members may request interlibrary loans of materials not available in the Magale Library.  Request forms are available online via the library’s webpage and at the reference desk.   Those desiring to use this service are asked to provide the information necessary for the identification and borrowing of materials.
    2. Database Searching – The library provides access to a variety of databases, digital libraries, and indexing services.  Information about these services is available at the Reference or Circulation Desks.
    3. Internet Access – WiFi Internet Access is available on all three floors of the library as well as throughout the campus.  For more information on the Internet, ask at the Reference or Circulation Desks.
  1. Gifts, Bequests

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.

  1. Bibliographic Instruction

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.

  1. Reserve Materials

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.

216 – University Health Services

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.

217 – Career Service Pay for Staff

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 ServiceAnnual Payment
10-14 years$600
15-19 years$700
20-24 years$800
25 or more$900

218 – Mulerider Activities Center

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.

219 – Intramural Program

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.

220 – Arkansas State Employee’s Association

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.

221 – Faculty/Staff Dining Cards (FSDC)

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:

  1. FSDC are not transferable to other faculty and staff.
  2. Family members (dependents and spouses) of faculty and staff are eligible to use the FSDC.  Note: Family members who are SAU students may not use the FSDC.
  3. Students are not eligible to purchase an FSDC nor can they use an FSDC.
  4. Faculty/staff may not use FSDC cards for payment for catering services.

For additional information contact the food service contractor.

300 – Orientation

301 – Alien Employment

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.

302 – Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

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.

303 – Bookstore

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.

304 – Drug Free Workplace

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.

305 – Alcohol Abuse

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.

306 – Drug Testing

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.

307 – Garnishment and Tax Liens

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.

308 – Hours and Days of Work for Staff

  1. The normal hours of work for full-time appointed staff members are from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with one hour for lunch, Monday through Friday, unless requirements of the department make it necessary to vary from this schedule.  Certain departments, particularly the Physical Plant and University Police, have areas that require a normal work period that is different from that stated above.  The staff member’s department heads or supervisors will inform them of the hours of work that each particular assignment requires.
  2. Summer hours generally begin the Monday after commencement and continue until the week of summer commencement.  The summer schedule was adopted partly to conserve energy and consists of four ten-hour days with a 30-minute lunch break.  Currently the hours are 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday.

309 – ID Cards

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.

310 – Keys

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.

  1. Obtaining 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.

    1. For a key to be issued:
      1. A key request card must completed
      2. The request card must be approved through the individual’s chain of command and then to the Physical Plant for final assessment and approval.
      3. Part-time employees (e.g. adjuncts, part-time staff, graduate assistants, etc.) will follow this same procedure, but must additionally be accompanied by their full time supervisor who will co-sign the key agreement to ensure the keys are safeguarded.
        1. The co-signer will assume the responsibility for control of the keys issued to the part-time employee upon their termination.
        2. That responsibility includes that the keys are to be used by the part-time employee in a responsible manner and are collected and returned to the Physical Plant upon completion of the assignment and/or termination
    2. Safeguarding keys is a significant responsibility. A lost set of master keys can cost several thousand dollars to replace. The key control policy’s primary purpose is to increase the safety and security for individuals and the investments the university has made in our facilities and other equipment. To promote that safety and security:
      1. All keys will be subject to a physical inventory by the Physical Plant.
      2. If selected for an audit, the individual who signed for keys on the key request card must physically bring them to the Physical Plant for this audit.
      3. The Physical Plant will establish and publish general inventory schedules as required to ensure policy compliance.
  1. Personal Liability

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.

  1. Termination of Employment

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.

311 – Nepotism

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.

312 – Occupational Safety and Health Act and Environmental Protection Act

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.

313 – On-campus Mail and E-mail

  1. On-campus Mail

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.

  1. E-mail

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:

    1. Privacy of communication cannot be ensured to any user because even erased or deleted electronic communications can still be recovered.  An e-mail account creates no Right of Privacy exceptions.
    2. All computers and the data stored in them are, and remain at all times, the property of the University.  All electronic communications composed, sent, and received are, and remain, the property of the University.
    3. See section 409 for use to groups of people, such as all users, which are for official university communication only.

314 – Technology

Applications of technology are expanding and policy and guidance is difficult to keep current. This area may be supplemented as technology evolves.

  1. Cell Phone Policy

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.

    1. Criteria for Assignment of Cell Phones
      1. The job function of the employee requires considerable time outside of their assigned office or work area, and it is important to the University that they are accessible during those times.
      2. The job function of the employee requires them to be accessible to email and text as well as calls outside of scheduled or normal working hours.

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.

    1. General Use of Cell Phones
      1. University provided cell phones are intended to be used for official university business.
      2. It is recognized, however, that it is impractical to limit the use of university cell phones to 100% business use. For example, employees cannot always control incoming phone calls, the determination of whether a specific call is business-related or personal can be open to interpretation based upon specific facts and circumstances, and most calling plans also provide for free or unlimited calls during specific times of the day or week.
      3. Personal use is not prohibited, but the University expects employees to exercise prudent judgment in keeping personal calls to a minimum.
      4. Because personal use is inevitable in most cases, it is not always practical to reimburse on a call by call basis.
      5. If additional costs are incurred by the University for non-business use of university-provided cell phones, that use may be required to be reimbursed by the employee. The University’s current plan does not create an additional charge unless the University campus-wide shared totals are exceeded. If the University determines that an employee is not exercising care in limiting personal use (calls, emails and texting), they may be subject to a loss of phone privileges and/or be required to reimburse the University.
      6. All calls, emails and texts initiated on a University phone are subject to the Freedom of Information Act requirements of the State of Arkansas.
      7. State laws and the University’s policy limit the use of cell phones while driving. Texting and e-mailing while driving are prohibited and the use of cell phones, even with a hands-free device, is discouraged.
  1. Universal Administrative Privileges

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:

    1. To install only authorized software complying with license requirements and copyright laws; maintain records of compliance with licensure and copyright authorizations of installed software.
    2. To regularly back-up all files to an appropriate location/medium (e.g., Z-drive, rewritable CD, ZIP disk, etc.).  If the computer fails to function (blue screen, fails to boot, etc.), the responsibility of the University’s Information Technology Services is to restore the computer to the University standard for the operating system and licensed software.
    3. To accept full responsibility for all software installed and understand that failure to follow licensure requirements and copyright laws is conduct outside the scope of employment, and the University will seek indemnification for any loss suffered by the University due to violations.
  1. Social Networking on the Internet
      1. General

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.

      1. Posting
        1. University employees authorized by their supervisor and vice president may use social networking websites to conduct University business. If authorized, an employee may post on a social network profile the University’s name, a University e-mail address or telephone number for contact purposes, or official department information, resources, calendars, and events. If the content is inconsistent with the mission of the unit, any supervisor may make correcting entries and, if act was intentional, may withdraw social networking site privileges from an individual.
        2. Personal use of University electronic resources to access social networking sites is limited to incidental use. Incidental use must not interfere with an individual’s performance of his/her assigned job responsibilities or someone else’s job performance or compromise the functionality of the department or campus network. Incidental use is equivalent to making an appointment with a physician using your SAU telephone.

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.

      1. Risks – Spam, Spyware, and Viruses

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.

      1. Monitoring

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.

      1. Investigations

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.

      1. Procedures
        1. Employees must consult their supervisor in advance of their intention to use their SAU e-mail account on social networking sites or pages on which they are representing the University in an official capacity. (Non-instructional).
        2. Departmental social networking pages will have a minimum of two administrators assigned. If an administrator leaves the University, they will be removed as a page administrator and another person assigned in their place.
        3. Administrators for University social networking pages agree to check their pages a minimum of twice a day during a normal work week.
        4. The following types of content are prohibited from SAU social networking sites:
          1. Derogatory language or demeaning statements to any third party.
          2. Inappropriate or incriminating images depicting hazing, sexual harassment, vandalism, stalking, underage drinking, illegal drug use, or any other inappropriate behavior or language.
          3. Content that violates state or federal law.
          4. Partisan political activity.
          5. Online gambling.
          6. Information/images that are obscene or untrue.
          7. Content that harasses third parties.
          8. Selling goods or services for personal profit.
          9. Personal social relationships unrelated to SAU business.
      2. User-generated Content Disclaimer

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.

      1. Inappropriate Content Disclaimer

Anyone who believes that this page includes inappropriate content should report it to the vice president for administration at 4008.

      1. Content on Linked Sites Disclaimer

SAU accepts no liability or responsibility whatsoever for the contents of any target site linked from this page.

      1. Terms of Use

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.

      1. Copyright

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.

      1. General Guidelines

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:

        1. You are posting content onto the World Wide Web and you cannot ensure who does and does not have access to your information.
        2. Information you post online may continue to stay on the World Wide Web even after you erase or delete that information from pages.
        3. Before participating in any online community, understand that anything posted online is available to anyone in the world. Any text or photo placed online is completely out of your control the moment it is placed online-even if you limit access to your site.
        4. By agreeing to the terms of use, online communities have your permission to republish your content worldwide and share information with advertisers, third parties, and law enforcement, among others.
        5. Do not post information, photos, or other items online that could reflect negatively on you, your family, or SAU.
        6. Be discreet, respectful, gracious and as accurate/factual as you can be in any comments or content you post online. Take particular care of spelling, punctuation and grammar—it DOES reflect on you professionally, as well as on the University.
  1.  

315 – Outside Employment of Faculty and Staff Members

  1. Faculty and staff members of the University may have outside employment as long as the employment:
    1. Does not conflict with the faculty or staff member’s job at the University.
    2. Is not on the University grounds.
    3. Does not use University supplies and equipment (this includes e-mail and other Technology related service).
    4. Is granted by written permission from the president.

Forms for requesting outside employment approval are available from the Office of Human Resources.

  1. If a faculty or staff member desires outside employment at another state agency, the approval of the Chief Fiscal Officer of the state must also be obtained.  Forms to request approval are available from the Office of Human Resources.
  2. Specific activities and tasks of a seasonal nature are offered on a concurrent employment type basis.  These are open to qualified staff and are paid on a task basis.  These are not considered part of your regular SAU employment and are selected from a volunteer list maintained by the particular unit and approved by the vice president for administration.

316 – Overtime – Compensatory Time-off Policy for Nonexempt Staff

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.

  1. The FLSA divides all positions into two (2) categories:
    1. Exempt (E) – Individuals that are not eligible for compensatory time pursuant to the FLSA.  This includes all faculty and most staff with management responsibilities.
    2. Nonexempt (N) – Individuals eligible for compensatory time pursuant to the FLSA.  Nonexempt staff members must keep time sheets and accurately record all time worked.  This category includes most classified staff.  The FSLA requires a time sheet for all nonexempt staff.
  2. Designations of positions as exempt or nonexempt will be made by the vice president for administration in consultation with the state’s Office of Personnel Management.
  3. Overtime work may be approved for the following reasons:
    1. It is vital and essential to the continued efficient operation of the University.
    2. A condition exists which requires that personnel remain on duty or be recalled to duty in order to correct the condition.  Such conditions are those which constitute
      1. an imminent danger to life or property;
      2. a breach of the public peace;
      3. a threat to the health and safety of students, faculty, or staff.
    3. Anticipated replacement personnel are not available, or there is a shortage of such personnel.
  1. For purposes of determining overtime work, the regular workweek will begin at 12:01 a.m. on Monday and end on Sunday midnight.  Compensatory time at the rate of 1.5 hours will be awarded for all hours over 40 worked by a nonexempt staff member in a workweek.  As a rule, hours worked include all time during which a staff member is required to be on duty at a prescribed workplace except for periods when the staff member is relieved of all duties for the purpose of eating meals.  This work does not include concurrent employment by SAU.
  2. Individuals working extra help will be eligible for overtime if they work over 40 hours in a week and perform nonexempt duties.
  3. In determining the number of hours worked by a staff member within a given week, time spent on vacation, sick leave, and holidays will not be counted as time worked.  If the nonexempt staff member has worked 40 hours during the week, then time over 40 hours is compensated at 1.5 times the regular rate.  If part of the 40-hour week was during an approved leave, the time over 40 hours is at the regular paid rate for the hours equal to the now worked hours.  All nonexempt staff members will be required to report their time worked on a time sheet.  The time sheet must be approved by the supervisor and submitted to the Office of Human Resources. The Office of Human Resources will maintain records as the accumulation and use of compensatory time.
  4. Staff will request/report the use of compensatory time off on a Timesheet.  Compensatory time off must be approved before the leave commences.  Upon termination, a staff member who has accrued compensatory time off shall be paid for unused compensatory time at the final regular hourly rate received by such staff member. While compensatory time off remains the preferred method of providing overtime compensation, workloads of some offices do not permit this time off to occur in a timely manner. Because of this, accrued overtime will be reviewed each March and October, and amounts accrued in excess of 40 hours will be paid to the individual as time off has proven difficult or impossible to achieve.
  5. Appropriate supervisors are authorized to approve overtime hours for the staff members for the following purposes:
    1. Physical Plant staff members on assigned call-out duty.
    2. Physical Plant staff members responding to emergency “call-outs” or responding to unscheduled assignments as directed by their supervisor.
    3. Nonexempt staff members required to work during student registration.
    4. Bus drivers driving for university trips.
  6. All other overtime must be approved in advance by a vice president.  The vice president for administration will be responsible for the implementation and maintenance of this policy.  Questions of policy, unresolved and unanticipated issues, and disputes will be directed to the vice president for administration, who will be charged with making a final determination.
  7. Concurrent employment does not apply to the 40-hour week of the nonexempt staff person.

317 – Salary Overpayments and Other Amounts Owed to the University

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.

318 – Payroll Information Forms

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:

  1. Health insurance application (with option form)
  2. Life insurance enrollment form
  3. Dental insurance enrollment form, if desired
  4. Vision insurance enrollment form, if desired
  5. Retirement plan enrollment:
    1. Teachers Insurance Annuity Association/College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF) —-for faculty and staff
    2. Fidelity Investments
  6. Eligibility to operate state vehicle form (if position requires driving a state vehicle or travel reimbursement)
  7. Direct deposit form
  8. Savings bond application, if desired
  9. Credit union application, if desired
  10. Other forms necessary as required by changes in federal, state, or university laws or policies

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).

319 – Payroll Information Summary

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.

320 – Performance Evaluation

Three systems of evaluation exist: (a) positions within the state classification system, (b) nonclassified positions other than faculty, and (c) faculty.

  1. Performance Evaluation for Staff
    1. Afford the staff member and supervisor an opportunity to discuss strengths and weaknesses of performance for purposes of improvement.
    2. Provide an opportunity for the staff member to freely discuss the total work environment with the supervisor.
    3. Assist in determining the promotability of the staff member, and serve as a guideline in determining salary adjustments.

Classified Staff

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

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:

      1. Staff members will be given written statements of the areas of their performance that are unsatisfactory. The staff member will also be given suggestions for improving performance.
      2. An unsatisfactory evaluation creates a probationary period of 90 days unless another period is designated. The supervisor will confer periodically with the staff member and provide counseling and progress reports.  After approximately 45 days, supervisors will give staff members an interim written report on the progress of their performance.  At the end of 90 days, a formal evaluation will be conducted.  If the performance remains unsatisfactory, the staff member will be dismissed or continues on probation.
      3. The supervisor should have staff members acknowledge in writing receipt of each written document given to them.

Further information is available from the Office of Human Resources.

  1. Faculty

Information on the evaluation of faculty is located in the Faculty Handbook.

321 – Post Office Services and Mail from Off-Campus

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.

322 – Promotions and Transfers of Staff

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.

323 – Reassignment of Staff

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.

324 – Release of Faculty/Staff Information and the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act (FOI)

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:

  1. There is an administrative resolution required of any suspension or termination proceedings where such records form a basis for a decision to suspend or terminate a faculty or staff member.
  2. There is a compelling public interest in their disclosure.

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.

325 – Reporting Absences

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.

326 – Title IX: Sexual Harassment, Sexual Violence and Sexual Assault, Sexual Exploitation, Dating Violence, Intimate Partner Violence (Domestic Violence), and Stalking

  1. SAU’s policy states that sexual harassment, sexual violence, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, dating violence, intimate partner violence (also referred to as domestic violence), and stalking violates the dignity and worth of all members of the SAU community and is unacceptable conduct which will not be tolerated. Retaliation for an individual making a complaint will also not be tolerated. To reflect neutral terms for the process the individual presenting facts that allege violations of Title IX Law and policy will be referred to as the reporting party and the individual alleged to have committed the violations will be referred to as the responding party.
    1. Sexual harassment of faculty, staff, and students at SAU is defined as any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
      Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, academic success, or participation in other SAU activities. Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for employment decisions, academic decisions, or participation decisions in other SAU activities. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance, educational experience, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or educational environment for faculty, staff, or students.
    2. Sexual Assault and Sexual Violence refers to physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent (due to person’s age or use of drugs or alcohol, or because an intellectual or other disability presents the student from having the capacity to give consent).
    3. Sexual Exploitation refers to a situation in which a person takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another, and situations in which the conduct does not fall within the definitions of Sexual Harassment or Sexual Assault.
    4. Dating Violence is committed by a person who is or has been in a relationship that is, or has the potential of becoming romantic or intimate in nature with the reporting individual; and where the existence of such relationship is determined by length, type, and frequency of interaction of the relationship. This conduct may be a felony or misdemeanor.
    5. Intimate Partner Violence (Domestic Violence) consists of felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse of the reporting individual, by a person who is cohabitating with the reporting individual as a spouse, or other similar living arrangement.
    6. Stalking is engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her own safety; or the safety of others or suffer substantial emotional duress.
    7. Retaliation is defined as any adverse reaction taken against a person for alleging harassment, supporting a party bringing a grievance, or for assisting in providing information relevant to a claim of harassment and will be investigated immediately and adjudicated separately. Retaliation includes, but is not limited to intimidation, threats or menacing behavior, coercion, or discriminatory actions. Retaliation is a serious violation.
  2. Procedure for Reporting Title IX Violations: to include Sexual Harassment, Sexual Violence and Sexual Assault, Sexual Exploitation, Dating Violence, Intimate Partner Violence (Domestic Violence), and Stalking
    1. The SAU Website contains procedures for reporting Title IX violations, contact information for addressing Title IX questions, and additional information and forms concerning Title IX at: saumag.edu/title-IX.
    2. Optional Procedure. Any faculty, staff, or student may contact a vice president, dean, president, or a member of the Title IX Leadership Team to discuss any Title IX concern. This optional procedure does not apply to sexual violence or sexual assault. The SAU official selected may discuss the concerns with the reporting party. The SAU official may discuss the concerns of the reporting party and report back to the reporting party. After this step the reporting party may (1) consider the matter resolved, (2) continue with the informal grievance procedure/investigation or (3) referral to appropriate professional to facilitate an appropriate resolution for reporting and responding parties. The Title IX Coordinator may appoint a support consultant familiar with resources available for individuals reporting Title IX issues to assist the reporting individual.
    3. Informal Grievance/Investigation Procedure provides for a complaint against a faculty or staff member to be filed with the Office of the Vice President for Administration if the complaint is against a student, the person should file the complaint with the Associate Dean of Students for discipline, or anyone can file a complaint with the Title IX Coordinator or designee. The Title IX Coordinator will be informed of the complaint. An investigator will be appointed to prepare a report and make findings of fact and recommendations. In some situations two investigators may be assigned. If either the reporting party or the responding party disagrees with the report, that party may appeal according to the formal grievance procedure for discrimination complaints in Section 600 of this Handbook.
    4. Formal Grievance Procedure is found in section 600 of this Handbook.

327 – Held for future use

328 – Workplace Violence

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:

  1. is violent,
  2. threatens violence,
  3. harasses or intimidates others,
  4. interferes with an individual’s legal rights of movement or expression, and
  5. disrupts the workplace, the academic environment, or the University’s ability to provide services to the public.

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.

329 – Commercial Solicitation

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.

330 – University Image and Protocol for Staff Members

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.

331 – Use of University’s Name and Logos

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.

332 – Handling Confidential 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.

333 – Vehicle Registration and Parking Rules

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.

334 – Weapons (Guns on Campus)

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.

400 – Day to Day Work Guidance

401 – Changes in Personnel Information

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.

402 – Copy Machine Usage

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.

403 – Energy Conservation

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.

404 – Held for future use

405 – Inclement Weather

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.

406 – Official travel for the University, the Travel Permit, and Travel Expense Reimbursement Process (See Use of University Vehicles and Travel Policy for specific details.)

  1. All official travel requires that a travel permit form be completed, approved and submitted one week in advance to the travel clerk in the Office of Financial Services.  The travel permit authorizes travel and states the account number to be charged for the expenses of travel including registration fees. The object code is 6180 (last four digits of the account number).  Most expenses relating to travel must be reimbursed after the expense has been incurred by the traveler.  Expectations are discussed below:
    1. If a private vehicle is used for the travel, the owner/operator will receive reimbursement and if a SAU vehicle is used, the charges are paid to the motor pool account.  The reimbursement rate is the current rate authorized by the state of Arkansas.
    2. Common carrier travel requirements may be purchased through a local travel agency or with a travel card.  Contact the travel clerk for complete instructions.  Submit a travel permit and a purchase order (for common carrier charges only).  Room, meals (unless in registration fee), and other transportation (vehicle rental, etc.) must be reimbursed on the travel reimbursement form (TR-1) and generally cannot be paid in advance.  Faculty or staff members may obtain common carrier services from other vendors.  The Office of Financial Services must approve, in advance, any vendor selected for travel other than local travel agencies.  Charges from non-local travel agencies will be reimbursed on a TR-1 form as are most other travel expenses or placed on travel card.
    3. Registration fees paid in advance require a purchase order and an approved travel permit.  Registration fees should be paid out of object code 6180 (last four digits of the account number.)
    4. Rental vehicles – SAU maintains a contract with a car rental agency to provide vehicles for usage of SAU employees in conducting SAU business.  The Office of Financial Services maintains rental vehicle information.
      1. Submit an approved travel permit and a purchase order to the Office of Financial Services. The purchase order should indicate the vehicle class, daily fee, and the number of days the rental is required.  Current contract requirements are available from Financial Services.
    1. For information on group travel contact the travel clerk in Financial Services.
    2. SAU vehicles are to be considered as a last option, after use of personal or rental vehicles.  Requests for an SAU vehicle require approval of the president.
    3. Travel permits that request an SAU bus should be submitted directly to the Physical Plant.
  1. A travel card is available to qualified faculty and staff for use on official travel.  The card is issued to faculty and staff members.  The Office of Financial Services has applications and further information.
  2. Travel advances may be requested when needed with an approved travel permit.  Advances are limited to 90 percent of the travel permit estimate of out-of-pocket expenses.  The state limits the amount in this fund and, during peak times of student travel, it may not be possible to honor all requests.  The TR-1 must be filed within five days of return from travel to replace the travel advance funds.
  3. To obtain reimbursement for expenses of official travel, a TR-1 form must be completed and submitted to the Office of Financial Services.  The state of Arkansas only allows reimbursement for actual expenses and in addition has established daily reimbursement limits for lodging and meals.  Receipts are required.  Daily meal reimbursement is limited to the actual amount paid up to the maximum allowable amount with no exceptions.  Meals are reimbursed only if there is overnight travel.  Contact the Office of Financial Services for current rate.  Payment of taxes on meals requires receipts that list tax separately.  Travelers must request permission to exceed daily lodging limits when the travel permit is submitted.  The president must approve this request.
  4. Personal use of frequent flyer miles or bonus points earned while on official travel is prohibited by the state of Arkansas.  All miles or points must be used for future official travel.  The state may recover the full fare value of tickets used for personal travel obtained through miles or bonus points.

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.

407 – Personal Use of University (State) Property

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).

408 – Physical Plant Maintenance

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.

409 – Posting of Notices and ALLUSERS E-mail

  1. All posters, signs, etc., are to be taken to the Office of Student Activities in the Reynolds Center, for stamping and distribution.  The office will provide workers to place signs at designated locations, and the signs will be removed at the expiration date.  This procedure does not apply to offices that have a designated bulletin board for specific information relating to that office.
  2. ALLUSERS e-mail announcements are for official SAU communication. Questions of an official nature should be referred to the vice president of your area.

410 – Purchasing

  1. State contract purchases.  The state of Arkansas has extensive procedures for purchasing.  Many items including office supplies are on state contracts.  Contact the Office of Financial Services for current information.  If an item is on state contract it must be purchased from that vendor.
  2. Other purchases not on state contract.  For all other purchases (supplies, services, or other items including software of software licenses), submit a purchase order form to the Office of Financial Services for approval before any item is ordered or a P-card may be used subject to the guidelines.  P-cards are issued based on specific needs to qualified individuals.  Contact Office of Financial Services.
  3. Bidding requirement limit on purchasing authority:
    1. Purchases $2,500 to $25,000 must include a quote bid from at least three vendors.  Catalogs may be used for quoting prices.  The quote sheet is to be submitted with purchase order requests.  Quote sheets may be obtained in the Office of Financial Services.
    2. Purchases of $25,000 or more must be submitted to the Office of Financial Services along with specifications for the items requested and suggested vendors.  The Office of Financial Services will bid these purchases and request approval of the bid results from the person submitting the request.
    3. Computer related purchase orders (hardware or software) must be reviewed by the University’s Department of Information Technology Services for compatibility with existing SAU hardware and software before submission to the Office of Financial Services.
    4. Printing requests must be submitted to the Communications Center for approval before an order can be submitted.  Extensive state bidding laws apply to printing.
    5. Equipment to be connected to the building utilities and/or installed by the Physical Plant must be reviewed for utility compatibility, energy efficiency, code compliance, etc.  The Physical Plant can provide additional information.
    6. Before any technology purchase may be authorized or approved, the vendor must certify that the item being purchased is capable, either by virtue of features included within the technology or because it is readily adaptable by use of other technology and that the technology is accessible by a person with visual impairments.  Each department is required to attach this certification to their purchase order request that is submitted for approval.
  4. Other Requirements/Recommendations:
    1. Some purchases may require a contract with a vendor or provider of services.  If so, the contract must be signed by the president.  This includes software licenses.  Contract routing approval forms are available from the vice president for administration.
    2. Flowers can be purchased for official functions but not for office or personal use.  Only the president can designate official functions.
    3. Award plaques, prizes, etc., can be purchased for students but not faculty or staff members.  The SAU Foundation, with the president’s approval, may purchase awards for faculty and staff.
    4. Purchases under $2,500 do not require bids, but comparison shopping is desirable.
    5. Invoices must be charged to Southern Arkansas University, Magnolia, and submitted to the Office of Financial Services with the gold copy of the purchase order signed to indicate department approval to pay for listed items.
    6. Items ordered before a purchase order number is issued may be considered personal expenditures and may not be reimbursed by the University.  Payment approval for items ordered without a properly approved purchase order will be received by the agency purchasing official for purchases where a purchase order should have been obtained.  The purchases that were not properly approved will be submitted to the applicable vice president and the president for their approval or disapproval.

411 – Release of Faculty/Staff or Student Information

  1. Faculty/Staff

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.

  1. Students

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.

412 – Rest/Break Periods for Nonexempt Staff

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.

413 – Safety

  1. Accident Prevention.  The University strives to provide safe working conditions, but the prevention of accidents is largely a matter of individual carefulness.  Horseplay and practical jokes are strictly prohibited and are grounds for dismissal.  Conditions that seem unsafe and not readily correctable should be reported immediately to a supervisor.
  2. On-the-Job Injuries.  When University faculty or staff members are injured through an accident arising out of and in the course of employment, they are to report the accident immediately to their supervisor, go without delay to the University Health Services located in the Reynolds Center, and call The Company Nurse at 1-800-339-1893.  In all cases, the appropriate emergency actions should be taken.  Injuries sustained at night or on weekends when the University Health Services is closed should be treated at the Magnolia Regional Medical Center or other available health care provider.  Supervisors and workers should not hesitate to call an ambulance when there is evidence of serious injury to a fellow faculty or staff member.  The driver should be directed to take the faculty or staff member to the emergency room.  In all cases involving on-the-job injury, faculty or staff members and supervisors are reminded that good judgment must be the guiding factor in determining where the injured faculty or staff member is to report for emergency treatment.
  3. As soon as the injured worker’s condition permits, appropriate workers’ compensation forms must be completed and sent to the Office of Human Resources.  Copies of these forms are available in the Office of Human Resources, Physical Plant, and University Health Services.  It is essential that these reports be completed thoroughly and in a timely manner, so authorized personnel will have adequate information on which to base decisions regarding the classification of injuries and payment of related expenses, and if necessary, to determine third party responsibility.  Questions should be addressed to the Office of Human Resources.  The University will work closely with the faculty or staff member and supervise the filing of necessary documents.  All claims under Workers’ Compensation are processed by Public Employee Claims Division of the Arkansas Department of Insurance.
  4. SAU participates in a state managed care service for workers’ compensation claims.  Please contact Office of Human Resources for access to the state managed care network.

414 – Smoking Policy

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.

  1. Smoking is not permitted anywhere on the SAU campus or in vehicles owned or leased by SAU.
  2. Smokeless tobacco use is not permitted in any SAU building or vehicle.

415 – Continuing Education for Staff

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.

416 – Use of Campus Facilities

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:

  1. Complete and fax or e-mail (normally at least ten working days prior to the date of intended use) a facility request form for:
    1. All facilities other than Reynolds Center to the facilities coordinator in the Office of Academic Affairs.
    2. The Reynolds Center to the center coordinator.
  2. The facilities coordinator will obtain approval from the appropriate faculty or staff member (generally a building captain) and process copies of the form to the necessary offices. (These include Physical Plant, University Police, individual requesting the approval, building captain, and food service or educational media if needed).
  3. If the facility is not available, the facilities coordinator will contact the requestor and discuss alternatives.
  4. Failure to timely submit may result in disapproval of facility use or some of the services requested by support agencies, such as the Physical Plant.

For more detailed information, review the “Policy Manual of Utilization of Campus Facilities” available in the Office of Academic Affairs.

417 – Wellness

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.

500 – Leave

501 – Vacation (Annual) Leave Policy for 12-month Faculty and Staff Members

  1. Each 12-month faculty or staff member (9/10-month faculty or staff member excluded) of SAU shall be entitled to annual leave with full pay computed on the basis of the following schedule for each complete month of service:
  2. Classified:
00-03 years08 hours per month or 12 days per year
04-05 years10 hours per month or 15 days per year
06-12 years12 hours per month or 18 days per year
13-20 years14 hours per month or 21 days per year
21+ years15 hours per month or 22.5 days per year
    1. Non-classified
00-12 years12 hours per month or 18 days per year
13-20 years14 hours per month or 21 days per year
21+ years15 hours per month or 22.5 days per year
  1. Usage of annual leave may be required at Christmas/New Year break and other times during the year. Notices will be provided stating the dates of the break and how many annual leave hours will be required.
  2. Vacation leave is cumulative, but no faculty or staff member may carry forward more than 240 hours at the end of each calendar year (December 31). Vacation leave may not be accumulated during a period of leave without pay when such a leave is for ten (10) or more days within a calendar month.
  3. The minimum amount of vacation leave a staff member can utilize is 15 minutes.
  4. When 12-month faculty or staff members separate from the University, the unused vacation leave to their credit as of the last working day shall be liquidated by a lump sum payment not to exceed 240 hours. The accumulated (unused) vacation leave of a deceased faculty or staff member, not to exceed 240 hours, shall be payable to the estate of the deceased faculty or staff member or to an individual authorized to receive such payment.
  5. Vacation leave may be requested at any time. Earned annual leave will be scheduled and must be approved by your supervisor and the dean/director before leave can be taken. Approval will be given based on the needs of the University. Leave for less than one day must be approved at least one day before leave begins. No one may borrow from anticipated future accruals or use accrual of leave of other faculty or staff.
  6. When a holiday occurs during a vacation leave period, the holiday will not be considered a day of vacation time.
  7. Appointed staff members (one-half but less than full-time) will receive vacation leave allowance proportionate to that given full-time faculty and staff members.
  8. Some positions funded by external grants are designated to use all vacation leave during the year and records are not kept in the Office of Human Resources. These positions are designated in the notice of appointment or contract, and generally, are those that combine teaching with other responsibilities.
  9. Twelve-month faculty and staff members will accrue half their monthly accrual of annual leave if they are employed on the first working day of the month and work through the 15th of the month. They will accrue half of their monthly accrual if they are employed on the 16th of the month and work through the last working day of that month.

502 – Sick Leave Policy for all Faculty and Staff Members

  1. Sick leave with pay shall be granted to faculty and staff members of SAU when they are incapacitated from performing their duties by sickness or injury, or for medical, dental, or optical treatment.  Full-time faculty and staff members shall be entitled to sick leave with full pay computed of the basis of one day (8 hours) for each complete month of service.  Such sick leave shall be cumulative but no more than 960 hours may be carried forward at the end of each calendar year (Dec. 31).
  2. Part-time appointed faculty and staff members (one-half time or more) on regular appointments earn sick leave credits proportionate to that earned by full-time appointed faculty and staff members.  Extra help and adjunct do not earn sick leave.
  3. Sick leave may be used for only the following purposes:
    1. When the employee is unable to work because of sickness or injury; or for medical, dental or optical treatment.
    2. Death or serious illness of a member of the employee’s immediate family.  Immediate family is defined as the father, mother, sister, brother, spouse, child, grandparents, grandchild, in-laws, or any individual acting as a parent or guardian of an employee.

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.

  1. Twelve-month faculty and staff members will accrue half their monthly accrual of sick leave if they are employed on the first working day of the month and work through the 15th of the month.  They will accrue half their monthly accrual if they are employed on the 16th of the month and work through the last working day of the month.
  2. Faculty and staff members are required to provide a certificate from an attending physician for five or more days of consecutive sick leave.  For purposes of requiring a certificate from an attending physician, four ten-hour days is equivalent to five eight-hour days.  The certifying language needs to state that the member is well enough to return to work.  The president with a recommendation from the Office of Human Resources may accept substitute confirmation of illness, if a certifying physician is not available for good cause.
  3. Sick leave may not be accumulated during a period of leave without pay when such a leave is for ten (10) or more days within a calendar month.  Non-working days within a period of sick leave (i.e., holidays, weekends) will not be charged as sick leave.  Sick leave periods of less than one day may be granted with the supervisor’s approval.  The minimum amount of sick leave a faculty or staff member can utilize is 15 minutes.
  4. Faculty and staff members who are absent from work due to an occupational injury or illness and are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits may, upon proper application, use their accrued sick leave as a supplement to their workers’ compensation benefits.  Benefits from both sources may be equal to, but not in excess of, their normal weekly pay at the time of the injury or onset of illness.  Such option, when exercised, shall reduce the faculty and staff member’s accrued sick leave on a proportional basis. Absences due to sick leave, except maternity leave, shall be charged in the following order: 1) sick leave, 2) compensatory time, 3) annual leave, and then 4) leave without pay.
  5. Faculty or staff members on maternity leave do not have to exhaust annual and sick leave before taking leave without pay.  Accumulated sick leave and annual leave, if requested by the faculty or staff member, shall be granted for maternity use, after which leave without pay may be used.  See also 502.4 for certification.
  6. When a faculty or staff member separates from the University, the unused sick leave will not be credited to the faculty or staff member.  Unused sick leave is voided at separation and will not be paid.  There is an exemption for some classified staff at retirement, please refer to section 804 for eligibility.

503 – Catastrophic Leave Policy for Staff Members

  1. General Eligibility

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.

  1. Special Eligibility for Maternity

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:

    1. Up to four consecutive weeks of catastrophic leave with full pay may be granted to an employee for maternity purposes.
    2. An employee shall be eligible for catastrophic leave for maternity purposes only within the first twelve weeks after the birth or adoption of a child.
    3. After the expiration of the four weeks of catastrophic leave for maternity purposes, the employee’s maternity leave shall be treated as any other leave for sickness or disability.
    4. Maternity leave shall be treated as any other leave for sickness or disability. Accumulated sick leave and annual leave, if requested by the employee, shall be granted for maternity use, after which leave without pay may be used.
    5. Catastrophic leave for maternity purposes shall run concurrently with any leave under the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993, 29 U.S.C. 2601.
    6. Catastrophic leave for maternity purposes may be granted to a female employee after: (a) the birth of the employee’s biological child; or (b) the placement of an adoptive child in the home of the employee.
    7. An employee on catastrophic leave for maternity purposes is not required to exhaust sick or annual leave before being granted catastrophic leave for maternity purposes.
    8. Employees on catastrophic leave for maternity purposes do not accrue sick or annual leave while on catastrophic leave for maternity purposes.

504 – Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA)

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:

  1. The birth of a child and subsequent care,
  2. The placement with the faculty or staff member of a child for adoption or foster care,
  3. The care of the faculty or staff member’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent with a serious health condition, or
  4. A serious health condition that makes the faculty or staff member unable to perform his/her job.

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.

505 – Holidays

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.

506 – Jury Duty

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.

507 – Leave of Absence Without Pay

A leave of absence without pay may be granted to faculty and staff members for the following purposes:

  1. Educational reasons
  2. Personal reasons, when such absences extend beyond available earned vacation or sick leave.

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.

508 – Military Leave

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.

509 – Political Activity Policy

  1. University faculty or staff members, as citizens, have the right to engage in political activity.  However, no faculty or staff member may involve the institution’s name, symbols, property, or supplies in political activities.  Campaign activities by a faculty or staff member must be restricted to hours that do not conflict with the discharge of University responsibilities and not on the University campus.
  2. Political bumper stickers or decals should never be displayed on or in state cars or state (University) property except for occupants of faculty/staff housing.  State vehicles must not be used during or after working hours to promote or assist the candidacy of any person in any way.  Faculty and staff may not display political advertising on personal vehicles when using these vehicles in the performance of official duties for which they will be reimbursed for official travel.  This does not preclude the use of campaign material for academic purposes.

510 – Returning to Work

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.

511 – Children’s Educational Activity Leave

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).

600 – Grievance Policies and Procedures

601 – Faculty/Staff Appeals and Human Rights Committee and Subcommittees

    1. Mission

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.

  1. Membership and responsibilities of the Committee and Subcommittee:
    1. Committees of the Whole. Monitors compliance with desegregation, and affirmative action plans and issues of discrimination.
      Membership:
      Chair – appointed by the president from the committee membership
      Faculty – four (4); one (1) elected from each college
      Academic administrators – two (2) below vice president rank
      Staff – four (4) appointed by the president
      Administrator, one (1) below vice president rank
      Students – two (2) appointed by the president
    2. Faculty Appeals Subcommittee. Hears all appeals based on academic issues related to academic freedom, curricula, salary, and non-reappointment.
      Membership:
      Chair – also chair of committee as a whole
      Faculty – four (4); one (1) elected from each college
      Academic administrators – two (2) below vice president rank
    3. Staff Appeals Subcommittee. Hears all appeals based on non-academic personnel issues
      Membership:
      Chair – appointed by the president from the subcommittee membership
      Staff – four (4) appointed by the president
      Academic Administrators, two (2) below vice president rank
    4. Student Appeals Subcommittee. Hears all appeals for which an appeal structure does not exist.
      Membership:
      Chair – faculty or staff from the subcommittee
      Faculty – one (1) member from the committee
      Staff – one (1) member from the committee
      Student – one (1) member from the committee
      Membership designated when appeal filed by overall committee chair and Office of VPA
    5. Ex Officio Members of Committee (nonvoting):
      Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA)
      Vice President for Administration (VPA)
      Vice President for Finance (VPF)
      Vice President for Student Affairs (VPSA)
      Liaison from Faculty Senate
      Liaison from Staff Senate
  2. Procedure for all grievances before the committee(both discriminatory and nondiscriminatory
    1. After receiving a grievance, the committee (or subcommittee) will conduct an investigation which will include interviews with the grievant and the individual or unit charged and others the committee believes have information relevant to the grievance.
    2. The grievant and charged individual or unit have a right to present relevant information to the committee and be present during all interviews.  Neither may ask questions.  Questioning can only be done by the committee.  A grievant may have an attorney present, but the attorney will be limited to reading a prepared statement and may not ask questions.  The committee may go into closed session for discussion and decision making.
    3. The committee will make findings of fact relating to the grievance and make recommendations to the president for a resolution.  The committee will provide their report to the vice president for administration.
    4. The vice president for administration will refer the grievance file to the president for review.  After the president’s review, the grievant and the

602 – Faculty or Staff Member with Grievance (nondiscrimination)

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.

603 – Grievance Procedures – Charges of Discrimination

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.

  1. Disability based grievances will be processed as follows:
  1. All other grievances involving discrimination issues must be submitted as follows:

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.

625 – Student Compliant Policy

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.

Scope:

The policy applies to all Southern Arkansas University students regardless of school, college, status, classification, type, or location.

Definitions:

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.

Procedure:
  1. All parties are encouraged to first attempt to resolve complaints informally, by speaking directly with the respondent.
  2. If the informal resolution is unsatisfactory, the student may make a formal complaint by submitting the complaint via the web form.
    1. The written complaint submitted by the student should include the nature of the complaint, the facts and circumstances leading to it, supporting documents, and a proposed remedy. The complaint should include any evidence and or documentation pertinent to the issues identified. The written complaint should also note attempts, if any, that were made at informal resolution. This written statement and documentation becomes the basis for all further consideration of the matter. Verbal complaints will not be considered formal complaints.
    2. If the complaint falls under the jurisdiction of a more appropriate procedure, such as Title IX or the grade appeal policy, the student will be referred to the already-established procedure.
    3. The Dean of Students and the head of the department of the respondent will be notified that the complaint has been filed. This notification will contain the names of the complainant, the respondent, and the general nature of the complaint.
    4. The incident will be examined and evaluated fully by the director/chair of the department that received the complaint, including any supporting documentation submitted by the complainant or respondent. The director/chair will provide a copy of the complaint to the respondent within five business days of receipt. The director/chair will then provide a written summary of the findings and recommendations via a second, faculty-only web form within 10 business days of the receipt of the complaint. If the complaint is filed against a director/chair, then the appropriate supervisor will assume these responsibilities. If the complaint is filed against a dean or VP, the final decision will rest with the president of the university.
    5. The director/chair will provide a written decision to the student, the respondent, the Dean of Students, and the appropriate vice president within 10 business days of receipt from respondent.
    6. The Dean of Students will advise the parties of their right to appeal. Appeals will be considered only if the appellant believes there was a procedural error or other substantive issue. Appeals must be submitted in writing within five business days of receipt of the decision and will be received by Dean of Students. The Dean of Students will forward the appeal to the appropriate vice president. The decision of the vice president will be final.
  3. All parties must follow the time limits stated. If conditions or causes exist requiring a modification of the time limits the Dean of Students shall make the necessary and appropriate adjustments. All parties involved shall be informed immediately of these changes.
  4. Records of any complaint, including those appealed to the Dean of Students, shall be maintained for a minimum of seven years in the Dean of Students’ office.

650 – Staff Assembly and Senate

651 – Staff Assembly

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.

  1. The Assembly Constitution
      1. Preamble: Efficient operation and democratic process are two ideals for which most American institutions strive. And while the quest for either may impair achieving the other, history shows that if either is totally absent, the other will not long endure. It is the purpose of this Constitution to provide a framework that will contribute to the optimum realization of both of these ideals at Southern Arkansas University.
      2. Definition of Terms: For the purposes of the staff assembly, the administrative staff shall comprise the president, vice president for academic affairs, vice president for student affairs, vice president for administration and vice president for finance.
      3. The staff shall comprise of all full-time staff members whose primary duties are non-instructional.

     

  2. Article I
      1. The name of the organization shall be the Staff Assembly of Southern Arkansas University.

     

  3. Article II
      1. Section 1. Members of this organization (hereinafter called the Staff Assembly) shall be members of the administrative staff and non-instructional staff. This includes all-full time staff who are not members of the Faculty Assembly.
      2. Section 2. The administrative staff shall be responsible to the president of the University for the establishment of channels of communication and proper practices for effective administration.

     

  4. Article III
      1. Section 1. The purpose of the organization shall be to provide an assembly of the entire University staff.
      2. Section 2. The Staff Assembly, by majority vote, may send any recommendations of the staff senate back to that body for review.

     

  5. Article IV
      1. Section 1. The officers of the organization shall be the president, the vice president, the secretary, and the parliamentarian.
      2. Section 2. The president of the University shall be the president of the Staff Assembly. The vice president for administration shall be the vice president of the Assembly and will preside at the meetings of the Assembly. It shall be the duty of these officers to prepare an agenda and notify each member of the forthcoming meeting.
      3. Section 3. The secretary shall be elected by the Assembly from its membership and shall record the proceedings of each meeting and publish the minutes.
      4. Section 4. The parliamentarian shall be elected by the Assembly from its membership and shall advise the presiding officer of parliamentary procedure.
      5. Section 5. The secretary and parliamentarian shall be elected at the last regular meeting of the year and shall assume office at the first meeting in the fall semester.

     

  6. Article V
      1. Section 1. Periodic assembly meetings will be held and special meetings will be called at the discretion of the president, the staff senate, or on petition of a majority of the members of the staff.
      2. Section 2. A majority of the membership shall constitute a quorum for a meeting, and each member present shall have one vote. Proxy votes by members absent from Assembly meetings may be cast upon presentation of such proxy to the vice president for administration prior to the meeting.
      3. Section 3. A majority vote of those present shall be sufficient to pass a by-law or recommendation.
      4. Section 4. Meetings shall be conducted according to Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised.

     

  7. Article VI
      1. It shall be the duty of the president to report to the Assembly no later than the second regular meeting after a vote is taken, the disposition of any recommendation made by the Assembly.

     

  8. Article VII
    1. This constitution may be amended by two-thirds vote of those present at any assembly meeting if the amendment:
        1. was publicized at the most recent meeting and
        2. was distributed via e-mail 7-14 days prior to voting.

       

  9. By-Laws
      1. All policies, regulations, and committees in force at the time of adoption of the constitution which are not incompatible with the Constitution shall continue in force until changed through normal procedures.
      2. All standing committees of the University are required to report at least annually to the Assembly except the discipline committee need not report the details of the committee deliberations.
      3. The staff senate is an advisory to the president of Southern Arkansas University on appropriate matters relating to staff.

     

652 – Staff Senate

  1. Preamble
      1. Section 1. The Staff Senate is an advisory to the president of Southern Arkansas University on issues relating to staff. The Staff Senate may consider matters referred to it by any staff member or administrative officer; undertake the consideration and make recommendations on policies or procedures relating to the welfare of students, staff and faculty.
      2. Section 2. All actions taken by the Staff Senate are subject to review by the Staff Assembly.

     

  2. Article I. Membership and Organization of the Staff
      1. Section 1. Staff members eligible to vote for staff senators and serve as staff senators shall include those full-time employees of the University whose primary job is non-instructional.
      2. Section 2. The Staff Senate, hereinafter referred to as the Senate, shall serve as the representative body of the staff of Southern Arkansas University.

     

  3. Article II. Functions and Purpose of the Senate
      1. Section 1. The Staff Senate shall provide for the orderly representation of non-instructional personnel in communication between staff and policy-makers in areas affecting their general welfare, and provide a medium for the exchange and coordination of information between members of the staff, administration, faculty, and students. It will at all times direct its activities in a positive, constructive manner and commit itself to the betterment of the University.
      2. Section 2. The Senate shall have the authority to make recommendations to the University’s president and the Board of Trustees on all institutional matters of direct staff concern.
      3. Section 3. The Senate shall establish such committees as it deems necessary to carry out its functions.
      4. Section 4. The Senate may consider all matters placed on its agenda by University and Senate committees, by individual staff members, by a vice president, or by the president of the University.

     

  4. Article III. Membership of the Senate
      1. Section 1. The Senate shall consist of elected members and non-voting ex-officio members as follows:
        1. Elected (voting)
          1. Senators from Units: Administration and Finance, Student Affairs, President, Academic Affairs will each have three staff members.
          2. At-Large Senators: Six staff members shall be elected by a vote of the entire staff. Three from grade C115 and below and three from grade C116 and above including nonclassified.
          3. Special Constituency Senators: The Staff Senate may by two-thirds of its membership confer (and rescind) voting representation to any campus special constituency not currently represented on the Senate. The Senate is limited to a maximum of three special constituencies from this classification with one senator for each special constituency.
        2. Ex Officio (non-voting)
            1. Administration: The president, vice president for academic affairs, vice president for student affairs, vice president for administration and vice president for finance, will serve as ex officio representatives of the University administration.
            2. Faculty: An elected representative from the Faculty Senate will serve as the ex officio representative for the faculty.
            3. Student: The Student Government Association president or designee will serve as an ex officio representative for all students enrolled in the University.

           

      2. Section 2. Elected senators shall serve a term of three years. Vacancies shall be filled by a special election to fill the unexpired term. The election to fill a vacancy shall be the constituency represented by the vacancy.
      3. Section 3. After the first organizational meeting of the Senate, each group of senators shall be divided by lot into three classes, such that within each group, one of the three classes and two At-Large Senators are elected each year.
      4. Section 4. Vacancies for Senate positions shall be filled in three stages. By April 1, the staff shall elect by secret ballot two senators to fill the vacancies caused by the expiration of the terms of one class of At-Large Senators and shall fill other vacancies as may be required. Subsequent to the election of the At-Large Senators, but no later than April 20, each unit shall elect by secret ballot one senator to fill the vacancy caused by the expiration of the term of one class of senators and shall fill other vacancies in the ranks of senators as may be required. Subsequent to the election of the unit senators, but no later than April 30, each represented special constituency shall elect by secret ballot a senator as may be required to fill a vacancy.
      5. Section 5. The term of office for newly elected senators shall begin on May 1.
      6. Section 6. By written notice to the president of the Senate submitted twenty-four hours before a meeting, a member of the Senate may choose another staff member from the member’s constituency to represent the member at a Senate meeting. Such a representative must be eligible for election to the Senate.
      7. Section 7. In lieu of choosing a replacement representative, a member of the Senate may, by written notice to the Senate president, give a proxy vote to another member of the Senate from that member’s constituency.
      8. Section 8. Proxies and alternate representative shall be announced by the Senate president at the beginning of each meeting when the roll is called.
      9. Section 9. The seat of a member of the Senate who has been repeatedly absent from the Senate meetings can be declared vacant by a three-fourths vote of senators attending a meeting. The motion to remove a member of the Senate shall be considered a major item of business.

     

  5. Article IV. Officers
    1. Section 1. The officers of the Senate shall be as follows: president; vice president who shall serve as president elect; secretary; and representative to the Faculty Senate.
    2. Section 2. Eligibility for election to an office shall be restricted to elected members of the Senate.
    3. Section 3. The terms of office for any Senate office shall be one year or until a successor has been chosen and qualified.
    4. Section 4. The officers of the Senate shall be elected by vote of the elected members of the Senate before May 15 each year.
    5. Section 5. The president shall:
        1. designate the time and place for each Senate meeting;
        2. preside over each Senate meeting;
        3. plan and mail an agenda to each senator and the president and vice presidents of the University within five working days prior to a scheduled meeting;
        4. be the official Senate representative to the University Board of Trustees and shall report on each meeting to the Senate.
        5. appoint senators to Senate committees or to perform other duties as deemed necessary;
        6. assist the president of the University in selecting senators or other members of the staff to serve on University committees;
        7. be allowed to vote on motions only when his/her vote shall affect the outcome of the results, and
        8. be granted “senate time” as approved by the president of the University and coordinated with his/her supervisor. The “senate time,” not to exceed an average of two hours per week, is to be used for Staff Senate business only and must not interfere with assigned job duties or the mission of the University.

       

    6. Section 6. The vice president (president-elect) shall:
        1. assist the president;
        2. preside over the Senate meetings in the president’s absence;
        3. succeed the president at the end of his/her term;
        4. succeed the president if he/she cannot complete his/her term (this shall not deprive the president-elect from serving a full term as president the following year);
        5. attend Senate committee meetings if requested by the president, and;
        6. serve as senate parliamentarian

       

    7. Section 7. The secretary shall:
        1. certify that a quorum is present at the beginning of each Senate meeting;
        2. keep an accurate and complete record of all proceedings of each Senate meeting;
        3. keep an accurate and complete record of senator attendance at each Senate meeting;
        4. distribute minutes of each Senate meeting to the staff and the president of the University no fewer than seven working days after a meeting’s adjournment;
        5. officially announce election results, and;
        6. keep an accumulative account of minutes and all pertinent Senate data and pass them to the successor.

       

  6. Article V. Meetings
      1. Section 1. The Senate shall hold regularly scheduled meetings each month of the academic year. The agenda of each meeting will be determined by the elected officers of the Senate in consultation with the vice presidents and the president of the University.
      2. Section 2. The Senate shall establish by the June meeting the time at which the Senate shall convene during the following academic year.
      3. Section 3. The Senate may be called into special session by the president of the Senate or upon written petition of a majority of the Senate. A notice stating the purpose of any special session must be distributed to the members of the Senate twenty-four hours prior to the meeting.
      4. Section 4. A quorum for any meeting of the Senate shall consist of two-thirds of the voting members.
      5. Section 5. The rules of procedure contained in Robert’s Rules of Order, New Revised shall govern the proceedings of the Senate, subject to such special rules as may be adopted by the Senate.

     

  7. Article VI. Senate Committees
      1. Section 1. The election committee shall:
        1. be appointed by the Senate president;
        2. consist of one senator from each University area; and
        3. shall be bound by the guidelines provided in Articles IV and IX of this constitution.
      2. Section 2. Other committees shall be appointed by the Senate president as deemed necessary.
      3. Section 3. Committees shall report on their meetings to the Senate if requested by the president.

     

  8. Article VII. Amendments
    1. Section 1. An amendment to this Constitution may be proposed at any regular meeting of the Senate by a majority vote of the senators, provided a copy of the proposed amendment has been presented to each senator in attendance at the immediately preceding meeting.
    2. Section 2. Any amendment proposed by the Senate shall be submitted to a vote of the University staff. Each staff member shall be notified at least two weeks in advance of such vote and at that time be furnished with a copy of the proposed amendment.
    3. Section 3. An amendment to this Constitution shall become effective upon approval by a majority of the members of the Staff Assembly.

700 – Faculty and Staff Recognition Awards

701 – Faculty

The following awards are made annually to members of the faculty.

  1. Honor Professor. This is the highest award that can be given to a faculty member. It recognizes outstanding teaching, research, and public service.
  2. Other Awards.
    1. Teaching. Two awards are given each year to recognize outstanding teaching.
    2. Service. One award is given for service to the University and community.
    3. Research. One award is given to recognize outstanding research.
  1. Mary Armwood Award. Each year a faculty member who exemplifies SAU’s valuing people and diversity goals.  This award recognizes a faculty member who has achieved an outstanding level of professionalism in the area of diversity and inclusion.
  2. Each of these awards includes a cash stipend and/or a special travel/equipment/supply account.

702 – Staff

The following awards are made annually to members of the staff.

  1. Service Awards. Each year staff members who have worked at SAU for ten, twenty, thirty, forty, or fifty years will be recognized. This award recognizes the respect and appreciation of the University for Quality Performance over these extended periods of time.
  2. Excellence Awards. Each year one support staff and one professional staff is selected to receive the Mary Anna Whitehead Staff Awards. These awards recognize a staff member’s outstanding work for the University. A $500 cash stipend accompanies each award.
  3. Alvin & Irene Brannon Staff Diversity Excellence Award.  Each year one staff member is recognized as exemplifying SAU’s goals of valuing people and diversity.  This award is designed to showcase a staff member who has achieved an outstanding level of professionalism in the area of diversity and inclusion on the SAU campus.  A $500 stipend accompanies the award.
  4. Spirit of SAU Award.  The purpose of this award is to recognize some of the many special, caring individuals that go above and beyond for SAU and its students.

800 – Leaving the University

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.

801 – Voluntary Terminations

Faculty and staff members voluntarily terminating their employment should follow the appropriate procedure listed below:

  1. Staff.  Staff members wishing to terminate employment with the University should give at least two (2) weeks [preferably four (4) weeks] advance written notice of intention to resign. This notice should be given to their supervisor with a copy to the Office of Human Resources. Staff members who voluntarily terminate employment with proper advance notice, and whose work record has been satisfactory, may be considered for reemployment at a later date, either in the same or another department on campus. All voluntary termination notices should be submitted in writing to the immediate supervisor and then forwarded to the Office of Human Resources.

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.

  1. Faculty. Faculty members leaving the University should only leave at the end of a semester if they have teaching responsibilities. In any case, sufficient notice should be given to allow replacement instructors to be located before leaving the University.

802 – Retirement

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:

  1. Health Insurance Options (depending on age and years of service):
    1. Each option ends at age 65, or the age for Medicare to begin. If this Medicare policy changes, the early retirement plan will be updated to reflect age changes in Medicare eligibility.

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.

    1. With each of the above options, a retiree may continue to provide coverage for the spouse or other dependents at the retiree’s expense until the spouse reaches age 65. Other dependent coverage may be maintained as provided in the health insurance contract. They will be required to pay the full cost of the Employee/Dependent Plan less $504 per month. If the spouse/dependents want to continue their coverage after the retiree leaves the plan, they will be required to pay the full cost of the plan.
    2. For a Retiree After June 30, 2014
      1. The retiree will receive a monthly matching amount of $504 a month to offset the charges for continuing their health insurance in retirement.
      2. If that retiree wants to continue the coverage for their spouse, then they will be required to pay the full cost of the employee/spouse plan less $504 a month. If the spouse wants to continue the plan after the retiree leaves the plan, they will be required to pay the full cost of a single plan.
  1. Retiree Group Insurance Option – For retirees in the 3/8 time plan or the less than ½ time appointment. SAU will contribute toward a Medi-gap policy. Contact the Office of Human Resources for specific amounts. No other healthcare benefits are available.
  2. Life Insurance – A retiree may remain a member of the University’s group life insurance plan until age 70. The faculty or staff member will pay the cost of this insurance. Coverage will $50,000 and subject to all other limitations of the policy covering the University, such as reduction of benefits at a specific age, currently 35% reduction at age 65.
  3. Admission to University Events – A retiree on request will be issued an identification card which will permit entry to University-sponsored events on the same basis as current faculty and staff.
  4. Library – A retiree retains the same library privileges as current faculty and staff.
  5. Parking Permits – A retiree may contact the Business Office for parking permits at no cost.

803 – Unsatisfactory Performance Termination

  1. Classified Staff

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).

  1. Non-classified Staff

Non-classified staff are subject to the same provisions of classified staff subject to any contract for a specific term.

  1. Faculty

Faculty should refer to the section on Termination of Appointment, Dismissal Review, and Dismissal Appeals in the Faculty Handbook, Appointment, Tenure, and Promotion Guidelines.

804 – Lump Sum Termination Pay

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:

  1. Upon retirement or death, any employee, or beneficiary of any employee, of any agency of the state of Arkansas and classified employees of state-supported institutions of higher learning shall receive compensation for accumulated unused sick leave as follows:
    1. If the employee has accumulated at least fifty (50) days, but less than sixty (60) days of sick leave, the employee shall receive an amount equal to fifty percent (50%) of the number of accrued sick leave days (rounded to the nearest day) times fifty percent (50%) of the employee’s daily salary.
    2. If the employee has accumulated at least sixty (60) days, but less than seventy (70) days of sick leave, the employee shall receive an amount equal to sixty percent (60%) of the number of accrued sick leave days (rounded to the nearest day) times sixty percent (60%) of the employee’s daily salary.
    3. If the employee has accumulated at least seventy (70) days, but less than eighty (80) days of sick leave, the employee shall receive an amount equal to seventy percent (70%) of the number of accrued sick leave days (rounded to the nearest day) times seventy percent (70%) of the employee’s daily salary.
    4. If the employee has accumulated at least eighty (80) days, but less than ninety (90) days of sick leave, the employee shall receive an amount equal to eighty percent (80%) of the number of accrued sick leave days (rounded to the nearest day) times eighty percent (80%) of the employee’s daily salary.
  2. For purposes of this section, the employee’s daily salary shall be determined by dividing the annual salary by two hundred and sixty (260).
  3. In no event shall an employee, or beneficiary, receive an amount that exceeds seven thousand five hundred dollars ($7,500) upon retirement, or death of an employee, due to the provisions of this section.

805 – Age Discrimination in Employment Act (29 U.S.C. sections 621-634 as amended)

This act eliminates mandatory retirement.

806 – Emeritus Rank for Administrators

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:

  1. Service at Southern Arkansas University for an extended period of time normally 20 years with at least 10 of the years at the rank (or equivalent rank) of director, dean, vice president, or president.
  2. A documented record of excellent service to the University.
  3. Written nominations from two current University employees.
  4. Individuals considered for emeritus rank must be in retired status at least six months prior to nomination.  Those in modified retirement (3/8 load) will not be eligible for consideration until six months after they have entered full retirement.

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.