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Policies applying to those Supervising Others

Policy Number Policy name Content
2101 Faculty Hiring Procedures

1. PURPOSE

This policy has been developed in accordance with state and federal law to provide uniformity in the hiring process for faculty members. Compliance is required for all faculty hires, unless otherwise specified herein.

2. AUTHORITY

The Board of Visitors has the authority to make all rules and regulations concerning the employment of individuals to work for the university. Where the board has not enacted rules, the authority is delegated to the President.

3. APPLICABILITY

This policy relates to the hiring of all faculty members, including Instructional Faculty as well as Administrative and Professional (A&P) faculty. This policy applies to all faculty appointments, including full-time and part-time appointments; adjunct and visiting appointments; tenured, tenure-track, renewable term, and untenured appointments; academic year, calendar year, fixed term appointments and interim appointments. (However, please note that the procedures detailed in this policy for a full search are not required for part-time appointments, interim appointments or full-time appointments of less than one year - such as visiting faculty, faculty on short-term contracts or temporary replacements for faculty on leave.)

4. DEFINITIONS

Administrative & Professional Faculty (A&P faculty)
Administrative faculty and professional faculty are normally referred to collectively, as both require advanced learning acquired by prolonged formal instruction and/or specialized training and work experience. However, the university recognizes administrative faculty and professional faculty as distinct position types.

Administrative Faculty positions are generally senior administrators who perform work related to the management of the educational and general activities of the university, for at least fifty percent of their work. Typically, administrative faculty serve in executive leadership roles such as vice president, provost, vice provost, dean, assistant or associate vice president, assistant or associate vice provost, or assistant or associate dean. Other administrative faculty roles can include (1) those responsible for the administrative direction of separately designated divisions or departments of institutional activity; (2) positions whose primary responsibility is to attract external funds; or (3) positions that are characterized by active, continuing involvement in formulating, interpreting and implementing institutional policy and exercise substantial independence, authority and discretion in areas such as program planning, design and allocation of resources. The organizational reporting relationship for administrative faculty is normally not lower than three levels below Executive Council positions. For Academic Affairs, this would include: Vice Provost/Dean (level 1), Academic Unit Head/Director (level 2) and Associate Director (level 3).

Professional Faculty require advanced learning and experience acquired by prolonged formal instruction and/or specialized work experience. Typical professional faculty positions are librarians, counselors, coaches, physicians, lawyers, engineers and architects. Other professional positions may support education, research, University Life and other such activities. Professional faculty positions must require the incumbent to regularly exercise professional discretion and judgment and to produce work that is intellectual and varied and is not standardized.

Appointment:
The establishment of a contractual relationship, even if on an at-will basis or for a limited time, between a faculty member and the university.

Documentation:
The required appropriate forms, transcripts, certificates, etc for acceptance of an offer, either mentioned explicitly in this policy or otherwise required by the Office of Affirmative Action.

Offer:
The official communication to the faculty candidate from the appropriate university official notifying the candidate that the position is presented for acceptance.

Instructional Faculty:
Sometimes referred to as 'Teaching and Research Faculty" this is a faculty member whose primary responsibility is teaching, research and service. Instructional Faculty also have specific guidelines for employment set forth in the University Faculty Handbook.

5. POLICY

The process of hiring faculty members at James Madison University, from search through hiring, is guided by a specific set of guidelines and procedures that must be followed to ensure fairness, accountability and the continuing presence of an outstanding teaching faculty. Faculty appointments are subject to approval by the Board of Visitors.

5.1 Searches:

  • The Office of Affirmative Action's Faculty Recruitment Handbook shall guide all faculty searches conducted at the university. In general, the procedures call for the establishment of a representative search committee once approval to recruit for the position has been granted; development of a tailored, aggressive search strategy, which usually includes national advertising in appropriate publications in the discipline; personal contacts with colleagues; follow up with colleagues and doctoral students listed in relevant directories; and other targeted efforts to identify a strong pool of candidates. Additional guidance on the conduct of the search and interview process is provided in the Faculty Recruitment Handbook.
  • Additional policies on searches and appointments are found in Policies 1301, 1302, 1326, and 1335.
  • The hiring department may also choose to require certain documentation - such as official transcripts - as part of the application process.

6. PROCEDURES

6.1 Offers:

Once a candidate has been identified as the person who will receive an offer, the appropriate university official will contact the candidate to make the offer. The offer is subject to approval by the next level of supervision before the offer is extended.

Official Transcripts & Other Hiring Documentation

1. At the time of the offer, the appropriate university official will inform the successful candidate of the documentation necessary to accept the offer. Unless and until the candidate provides appropriate documentation that is satisfactory to the university, the offer may be withdrawn by the university.

2. For all Instructional Faculty and for Administrative & Professional Faculty who will be teaching a for-credit course or for whom it is likely that teaching will be part of future job responsibilities, documentation will consist, at a minimum, of the following items:

  • The official transcript of the highest degree attained. If that degree is not directly related to the teaching assignment, an official transcript of the degree that is relevant to the teaching assignment must also be submitted. When the degree(s) represented by the official transcript(s) is/are not directly related to the employee's teaching assignment, the hiring department must also submit written justification for the hiring. A justification form is available for this purpose. This justification will explain the employee's qualifications for the particular teaching assignment in the absence of a terminal or appropriate degree in a related subject.
  • Degrees from foreign institutions must be submitted by the candidate to a service provider acceptable to the university for authentication and equivalency assessment, and the report must be accepted by the university before the documentation is complete.
  • Proof of authorization to work in the United States, as provided by the immigration laws of the United States. Without exception and by law, this proof must be provided by completing a Federal I-9 form - no later than three days after the start of work.
  • The Virginia State Job Application along with the JMU Addendum (available through Human Resources)

3. In addition to the documentation provided by the candidate, the hiring department will be responsible for any additional documentation required by the Office of Affirmative Action and the full completion of a PAR form.

4. For all Administrative & Professional Faculty who will not be teaching a class, documentation will consist, at a minimum, of the following items:

  • Proof of authorization to work in the United States, as provided by the immigration laws of the United States. Without exception and by law, this proof must be provided by completing a Federal I-9 form - no later than three days after the start of work.
  • The Virginia State Job Application along with the JMU Addendum (available through Human Resources).
  • In addition to the documentation provided by the candidate, the hiring department will be responsible for any additional documentation required by the Office of Affirmative Action and the full completion of a PAR form to represent the third mandatory hiring document.

5. Failure by the successful candidate to provide the appropriate documentation may result in the withdrawal of the offer, even if the candidate has attempted to formally accept the offer

6. When a candidate does not fulfill the official transcript documentation requirements for a position that is accepted less than 60 days prior to the start of the employee's first teaching semester, the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs may choose to honor the offer for no more than sixty days, with continuation of employment contingent on the candidate's successful completion of all official transcript documentation requirements.

To hire a faculty member without appropriate official transcript documentation (for whatever reason), hiring officials must complete the Emergency Hire Form (Addendum 1) in order to request this option. If the university does not receive the appropriate official transcript(s) within sixty days of the start of the semester, the faculty member will be terminated. A faculty member terminated under such conditions will not be eligible for further employment. This Emergency Hire Form option is not available to employees who accept a position more than 60 days prior to the start of their first teaching semester.

7. Hiring officials may not waive the timely presentation of the immigration documentation or the official transcript.

8. No faculty member will be hired unless and until all documentation is received or an Emergency Hire Form is approved.

9. In the event that the candidate is hired in anticipation of, but prior to having fulfilled all requirements for a particular degree, such as a Ph.D., the candidate should provide the official transcript of the highest degree attained to date and has a duty to provide the official transcript of the pending degree within 15 working days after it is awarded. Failure to provide the official transcript of the degree may result in termination or non-renewal.

10. When the official transcript is coming from a foreign institution, the following time frames apply:

When a candidate whose degree is from a foreign institution does not fulfill the official transcript documentation requirements for a position that is accepted less than 180 days prior to the start of the employee's first teaching semester, the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs may choose to honor the offer for no more than 180 days, with continuation of employment contingent on the candidate's successful completion of all official transcript documentation requirements. To hire a faculty member without appropriate official transcript documentation (for whatever reason), hiring officials must complete the Emergency Hire Form in order to request this option. If the university does not receive the appropriate official, translated foreign transcript(s) within 180 days of the start of the semester, the faculty member will be terminated. A faculty member terminated under such conditions will not be eligible for further employment.

6.2 Appointments and Contracts:

Faculty appointments are official when a signed contract is issued by the president and accepted by the appointee and returned to the university with the faculty member's signature, or for an at-will faculty member, when the faculty member begins work in the position. For details see the Faculty Handbook.

The contract procedure shall be as follows:

  • When the hiring department decides to initiate the hiring of a faculty member, it will generate a PAR Form and send it to Human Resources.
  • If the hiring department generates its own contracts, it will attach a copy of the contract to the PAR Form, ensuring that the appropriate data on both the contract and PAR form are correct and identical. (All academic departments will generate their own contracts.)
  • If the hiring department does not generate its own contracts, Human Resources will do so and send it to the hiring department after receiving the PAR.
  • After the dean or AVP and the vice president (or his or her designee) sign the contract, the hiring department will send it to the president's office.
  • After the president signs the contract it will be returned to the hiring department, which will send the contract to the candidate for signature.
  • Once the hiring department receives the returned, signed contract, it will keep a copy for its records and send the original to Human Resources within three working days.

Contract Templates
The university has created a series of contract templates for the varying categories and types of faculty contracts. Hiring supervisors must use one of these templates exactly as it is configured. If a hiring supervisor desires to alter one of the templates in any way for any particular candidate, it must have the vice president's prior approval to do so. Contract templates are available through the Human Resources website.

7. RESPONSIBILITIES

Deans, department heads, search committee chairs and hiring supervisors are responsible for knowing and understanding this policy and following it carefully through the search and hiring process. They are also responsible for ensuring that accurate documentation accompanies the hiring of every faculty member.

Where the official transcript of the highest degree attained does not match the faculty member's teaching assignment, the hiring department is responsible for submitting a 'statement of justification' to Human Resources for inclusion in the employee's file.

When hiring a candidate who has completed all coursework for a doctoral degree except for the completion of the dissertation, the search committee chair, dean, or hiring supervisor is responsible for receiving the official transcript of the highest degree attained at the time of the offer in addition to ensuring that the official transcript of the doctoral degree is received in Human Resources within 15 days after the candidate is awarded the degree.

When the official transcript of an employee being offered a position is not submitted, the search committee chair or hiring supervisor is responsible for completing an 'Emergency Hire Form' and submitting it to Human Resources.

The hiring department is responsible for the management of the contract process, including sending the signed original to Human Resources at the end of the contract process.

Human Resources is responsible for creating contracts where appropriate and for placement of received contracts into the appropriate employee's personnel file.

8. SANCTIONS

Persons who do not comply with this policy are subject to discipline, up to and including termination.

9. EXCLUSIONS

For the specific hiring procedures to fill the positions of Academic Unit Head, Associate and Assistant Dean, Dean, Administrative and Professional Faculty members in the office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the position of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, see the Faculty Handbook, Section III.C.

In some cases, professional licenses or certificates may substitute for official transcripts. By way of an example, a CPA designation or a state license to practice medicine may suffice in lieu of an official transcript because these represent required knowledge and or degree attainment. Final determination on licenses or certificates will be made by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

10. INTERPRETATION

While the authority to interpret this policy is granted to the President, it is generally delegated to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Original Version: December 5, 2001
Updated: January, 2002
Approved: November, 2003
Dr. Linwood H. Rose, President

Index of Terms
Contracts
Faculty hiring
Search committees
Transcripts
Searches
Appointments

Appendix
Emergency Hiring Form

1314 Transfer or Separation from Employment

1. PURPOSE

This policy protects the university's interests by establishing procedures for supervisors, Human Resources(HR), Student Work Experience Center (SWEC), Information Technology(IT), Payroll Services and other departments to use in ensuring that proper security is maintained when an employee transfers or separates from university employment.

2. AUTHORITY

The Board of Visitors has been authorized by the Commonwealth of Virginia to govern James Madison University.  See Code of Virginia section 23-164.6; 23-9.2:3. The Board has delegated the authority to manage the university to the president.

3. DEFINITIONS

Employee
Any person employed by JMU in any capacity.

Separation
An action that results in the employee ceasing the employee/employer relationship with the university.

Transfer
An action that results in an employee of the university moving from one position to another, either voluntarily or involuntarily.

4. APPLICABILITY

This policy applies to all university employees.

5. POLICY

When an employee is no longer employed by the university, or moves from one position to another, action by the department from which the employee is transferring or separating must be taken to ensure that the transfer/separation process protects the university's rights, security and property. It is very difficult to retrieve property and information after an employee separates from the university. Therefore, supervisors are responsible for ensuring immediate compliance with this policy before the employee leaves the university.

6. PROCEDURES

6.1 Procedures for supervisors of separating employees:

6.1.1 Submit a Personnel Action Request to HR or SWEC as soon as the supervisor becomes aware of the employee's separation.

6.1.2 Collect university property including, but not limited to electronic equipment, JACard, small purchase and travel card, keys, parking permit (which must be returned to Parking Services), uniforms, etc. from the separating employee.

6.1.3 Notify the following departments:

6.1.4 Submit a request to terminate the separating employee's central systems access (e.g., Student, HR and/or Finance); network file storage access; Exchange distribution groups, resources, shared departmental mailboxes and calendar access; and other systems access. A request for each system the employee has access to must be submitted.

6.1.5 Academic unit heads shall obtain grade records for the preceding academic year from separating faculty in accordance with Faculty Handbook section III.A.2.b.(15).

6.2 Procedures for supervisors in the department from which the employee is transferring:

6.2.1 Collect university property including, but not limited to electronic equipment, small purchase and travel card, keys, uniforms, etc. The transferring employee keeps his or her JACard and parking permit.

6.2.2 Notify the following departments:

6.2.3 Submit a request to remove or terminate the employee’s  central systems access (e.g., Student, HR and/or Finance); network file storage access; Exchange distribution groups, resources, shared departmental mailboxes and calendar access; and other systems access. A request for each system the employee has access to must be submitted.

6.2.4 For classified employees, an Interim Performance Evaluation should be completed prior to departure if, after six months into the performance cycle, an employee transfers, promotes or demotes into a new position with a different supervisor within an agency or between state agencies. Interim evaluations should be maintained in supervisors’ documentation files to be used when the annual evaluation is completed. The employee's new supervisor should consider this information in assessing the employee's performance at the end of the performance cycle. Reference Policy 1305-Performance Evaluation for Classified Employees, section 6.4. 

6.3 Procedures for the supervisor of the department the employee is transferring into:

6.3.1 Submit a Personnel Action Request to HR or SWEC as soon as the supervisor becomes aware of the employee’s transfer.

6.3.2 Disburse university property for the new position, such as electronic equipment, keys, uniforms, etc.

6.3.3 Notify the following departments:

6.3.4 Submit a request to initiate the transferring employee's central systems access (e.g.; Student, HR and/or Finance); network file storage access; Exchange distribution groups, resources, shared departmental mailboxes and calendar access; and other systems access as required. A request for each system to which the employee needs access must be submitted.

6.3.5 The employee's new supervisor should consider information provided by the former supervisor on an Interim Performance Evaluation when assessing the employee's performance at the end of the performance cycle. Reference Policy 1305-Performance Evaluation for Classified Employees, section 6.4. 

6.4 Procedures for Human Resources upon receipt of an employee’s separation Personnel Action Request:

6.4.1 Forward the Personnel Action Request to Payroll Services after processing through HR.

6.4.2 Run an exit clearance query and a query to notify supervisors of their responsibilities.

6.4.3 Send the exit clearance query (via email) to the following offices:

    • Accounting Services
    • Accounts Payable
    • Business Services (Computer Loan Program)
    • Card Services
    • Financial Services
    • IIS Security
    • IT Security
    • Libraries & Educational Technologies
    • Lockshop
    • Mail Services
    • Parking Services
    • Procurement Services
    • Residence Life
    • Sponsored Programs
    • Technical Services
    • Telecommunications
    • University Advancement
    • University Business Office

6.4.4 Send a Benefits Information for Exiting Employees memorandum to separating full-time employees. This memo includes information concerning the following:

    • A reminder that all university property shall be returned to the employee's supervisor before leaving the university;
    • Health insurance and COBRA information;
    • Life insurance, long-term disability and tax-deferred annuities.

6.4.4 Send the separating employee's supervisor a link to the Checklist for Supervisors of Transferring or Separating Employees to notify the supervisor of their responsibilities under this policy.

6.4.5 Contact managers of supervisors who fail to provide timely Personnel Action Requests.

6.5 Procedures for Human Resources upon receipt of an employee’s transfer Personnel Action Request:

6.5.1 Forward the Personnel Action Request to Payroll Services after processing through HR.

6.5.2 HR will email the former supervisor and the new supervisor informing them of their responsibilities under this policy concerning transfers.

6.6 Procedures for SWEC upon receipt of a student employee’s or GA’s separation or transfer Personnel Action Request:

6.6.1 Forward the separation Personnel Action Request to Payroll Services after processing through SWEC.

6.6.2 Contact managers of supervisors who fail to provide timely Personnel Action Requests.

6.7 Procedures for departments receiving notification of separations or transfers:

6.7.1 Departments receiving separation or transfer notification are responsible for taking appropriate actions before the employee's separation or transfer date.

7. RESPONSIBILITIES

Supervisors have primary responsibility for adherence to this policy by closely and quickly overseeing the process of their employee’s transfer or separation. Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that HR or SWEC is notified of a separation as soon as they first become aware of an employee’s transfer/separation. Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that HR or SWEC receives the separation Personnel Action Request. (Exceptions to this exist when the separation date was submitted at the time of hire, in other words – the employment agreement has a beginning and end date.) Supervisors are also responsible for collecting university property from the employee being transferred/separated and sending notifications as specified in this policy.

HR or SWEC will contact the managers of supervisors who fail to provide timely notifications (including timely submission of the Personnel Action Request).

HR or SWEC will  process the transfer/separation Personnel Action Request upon receipt and forward it to Payroll Services for further processing to facilitate the transfer or the timely distribution of termination pay. 

HR will notify the offices listed in section 6.4.3 when employees (including student and wage employees) separate. HR will also provide notification to the transferring/separating employee’s (including student and wage employees) current supervisor and /or new supervisor concerning their responsibilities under this policy. Supervisors of employees are required to complete the Checklist for Supervisors of Separating or Transferring Employees upon notification of the separation date. 

All departments that receive notification of an employee's transfer or separation are responsible for taking necessary actions on or before the employee's transfer or separation date.

Information Technology is responsible for ensuring, once notified, that the separating employee's access to all university technical accounts and data is ended in accordance with this policy.

8. SANCTIONS

Sanctions will be commensurate with the severity and/or frequency of the offense and may include termination of employment.

9. EXCLUSIONS

This policy does not apply to adjunct faculty who are expected to return to the university. (Separation procedures differ for adjunct faculty because of the unique nature of their employment.) For instance, because the majority of adjunct faculty for whom separation Personnel Action Requests  are submitted to HR have agreed to return to their part-time assignment the following semester, system access will not be removed until 120 days following the separation date indicated on the Personnel Action Request. This will allow adjunct faculty to retain access to email, course websites, Blackboard/ Canvas and other relevant systems. 

Employees may retain access to some or all services because of their continuing status as a student.

The employee's access to the MyMadison and email systems will usually end 30 days after the effective date of separation indicated on the Personnel Action Request. However, all access to university-wide systems may be terminated immediately when an employee is terminated for cause, or when it is otherwise deemed to be in the best interest of the institution to terminate an employee’s access. In this case, HR or SWEC will contact IT for immediate systems termination.

10. INTERPRETATION

Authority to interpret this policy rests with the President but is generally delegated to the Director of Human Resources.

Previous version: February 2013
Approved by the President: January 2009

1320 Providing and Obtaining Employment Reference Information

1. PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to outline the procedures for obtaining as well as providing employment-related reference information at James Madison University, and to establish the university's commitment to open, truthful, job-related reference information sharing.

2. AUTHORITY

The Board of Visitors has the authority to determine policy concerning the employment of individuals at the university. Where the board has not enacted rules, the authority is delegated to the President. In addition, this policy is written in conjunction with JMU Policy 1313 Recruiting, Selecting & Hiring Classified and Wage (non-student/part-time) Positions and under the authority of the Virginia Department of Human Resource Management Policy 2.10 on hiring.

3. DEFINITIONS

Hiring Manager
Any person or group of persons (such as a search committee) involved in the hiring of any JMU employee.

Reference Check
The process by which individuals are contacted who are knowledgeable about an applicant's work history in order to verify the facts on his/her resume and/or application and any job-related information, including that provided during the interviewing process.

4. APPLICABILITY

This policy applies to all persons at JMU as they provide reference information, including information on former and current faculty and staff. It also applies to all those employees, including hiring managers and members of search committees, who are gathering reference information on potential job candidates, including those candidates who are currently JMU faculty or staff.

5. POLICY

The process of gathering complete, job-related reference information is a required part of the recruiting and hiring process at JMU because it supports the university's commitment to maintaining an effective workforce. In addition, the university will recruit and hire employees in accordance with federal and state law and university policies. To comply with these policies, to ensure that employment practices are effective, and to provide equal employment opportunity, the following procedures must be observed when involved in obtaining or providing reference information.

6. PROCEDURES

6.1 Obtaining Reference Information

At least three job-related references must be completed before any employment offer is made. All rehired employees with a break in service of more than one year are required to have one reference completed prior to being rehired. This reference may be provided by a former JMU supervisor who is familiar with the employee's work performance. Re-hired employees with a break in service of less than one year will also be required to have one reference completed if no references are on file.

References may be obtained in any one of a variety of formats including face-to-face, telephone, e-mail, etc. Personal references may be contacted if the applicant has limited work experience. However, it is important to note that personal references are often not helpful in determining a candidate's ability to perform job-related tasks or functions.

Reference checks should attempt to obtain information including, but not limited to:

  • Employment dates
  • Position title
  • Position duties
  • Beginning and ending salaries
  • Training completed
  • Job performance, including performance strengths and weaknesses
  • Attendance including reporting to work at the scheduled time
  • Whether the employer would rehire the applicant
  • Verification of any required license, degree or certification
  • Reason(s) for the candidates' leaving his/her current employment

The staff application and faculty profile found in JMU JobLink contain a release statement by which applicants consent to verification of the information provided in the application.

The application also contains a release statement by which applicants grant the university permission to contact their current and former employers. If permission is not given, the current employer may not be contacted. However, when the hiring manager is conducting final references, he/she may inform the candidate that the inability to contact the current supervisor could affect the selection decision or result in a contingent offer of employment.

Please note that the above provisions do not limit the hiring manager to only contacting the references listed on the application itself.

When conducting reference checks, questions should be phrased in a manner that will solicit objective and job-related information only. Any information supplied that is not directly job-related shall be disregarded and not considered in making a selection decision. The objective of the reference check is to gather information that is open, truthful (or documented) and job-related. A sample reference check form can be found on the Human Resources website.

6.2 Providing Reference Information

Although there may be risks involved in disclosing full employment reference information, there are also risks in withholding truthful and/or documented job-related information including, but not limited to, performance, attendance and re-hire eligibility. Moreover, the information obtained by prospective employers of former university employees is as crucial to their effective hiring as it is for the university. The university believes that providing reference information represents good faith in being part of a community. For these reasons, managers at JMU may answer all job-related questions when contacted by other businesses and agencies.

When a JMU employee is contacted for reference information but does not believe he or she has sufficient information regarding the former employee in question, he or she may refer the caller to Human Resources.

During the conversation with the potential employer, only job-related questions may be answered. For instance, one cannot tell a prospective employer what a former employee's 'attitude' was, but observable job-related information may be provided. Examples of job-related information that may be shared include, but are not limited to information, positive or negative, regarding attendance, awards/recognitions, achievements, errors, team/interpersonal behaviors, etc.

6.3 Access to References

Information obtained during the reference check process is confidential. According to the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code of Virginia, 2.2 - 3800), agencies are not required to share this information with the applicant. All materials will be maintained for the appropriate amount of time. Refer to JMU Policy 1109 Records Management.

7. RESPONSIBILITIES

Hiring managers at JMU are required to use all of the information sources available to make effective selection/hiring decisions. These sources include, but are not limited to:

  • Maintaining clear, specific position descriptions in PositionLink for each position
  • Well-targeted and effective recruiting advertising
  • Designing specific, job-related candidate screening criteria
  • Conducting legal, fair, effective job interviews
  • Conducting open, complete and job-related reference research

Additionally, positive relationships with other agencies and organizations are crucial to the selection process. Mutual cooperation among employers is critical so that the university may also obtain the information needed to make effective selection decisions.

8. SANCTIONS

Sanctions will be commensurate with the severity and/or frequency of the offense and may include termination of employment.

In addition, certain legal penalties will apply for violation of law, such as the Virginia Freedom of Information Act.

9. EXCLUSIONS

None

10. INTERPRETATION

While the authority to interpret this policy is granted to the President, it is generally delegated to the Director of Human Resources.

Previous Version: March 2009
Approved by the President: February 2004

Index of Terms

Reference checks
Providing references

1311 Personnel Action Request Form (PAR)

1. PURPOSE

Because personnel actions often affect pay and always affect employees and supervisors directly, it is important that the process of submitting, recording and tracking information related to these actions be clear and well managed. This policy serves to define the current business process and assist in ensuring timely and accurate transactions.

2. AUTHORITY

The university has charged the Human Resources Department with coordinating, monitoring and being accountable for the transaction of personnel-related data. Therefore, the Human Resources Department has the authority to establish policies and procedures related to that responsibility.

3. DEFINITIONS

I-9 Form
An I-9 Form is used to verify identity of an individual and authenticate eligibility to work in the United States.

New Hire and Personal Information Changes form
A New Hire and Personal Information Changes form is used to submit personal information (i.e. address, birth date, gender) for all newly hired employees. It is also used when personal information changes for current or rehired employees.

PAR Form
Personnel Action Request form. The paper document used to affect any personnel action related to employment status or salary including but not limited to hire/rehire, separation, pay increase/decrease, role change, change of working title, etc. It is available at: http://www.jmu.edu/humanresources/doc/newpar.doc. The PAR Form is neither a contract nor an offer of a contract.

PAW form
The Pay Action Worksheet is used to provide supporting information for pay action requests.

Transcripts
A transcript is a document used to verify the award of educational degree(s).

4. APPLICATION

This policy applies to all employees of the university.

5. POLICY

Personnel actions and status changes are generally processed by submitting a completed and approved PAR form to the Human Resources Department. The PAR form must be accompanied by appropriate attachments and include authorized signatures.

6. PROCEDURES

6.1 Approval Signatures

All PAR forms must have an authorized signature. If the PAR form is missing this signature, the Human Resources department is unable to process the action and will contact the initiating department and return the form to the department for completion.

All actions funded by grants must be approved by the Office of Sponsored Programs. PAR forms received in HR without the authorized signature will be sent to Grants Accounting for consideration.

All actions originating from the Division of Academic Affairs must have approval from the division designee before Human Resources is able to process the request. Incomplete PAR forms will be forwarded to the Academic Affairs designee for an authorized signature.

6.2 Required Documentation

All PAR forms must be accompanied by the appropriate supporting documentation in order to be processed and submitted to the Payroll department. Incomplete requests will be returned to the originator. An Onboard Form (electronic) is required prior to the submission of the PAR form before all newly hired and rehired employees can be processed.

  • Employee References:
    • Newly hired employees require at least three complete, job-related references
    • Rehired employees:
      • No references are required if the employees has a break in service of less than a year if there is at least one reference currently on file
      • One reference is required for any rehired employee for whom no references were previously on file
  • PAW: A completed Pay Action Worksheet is required for all classified and wage PAR forms that initiate a pay action. This may include newly hired employees, rehired employees, pay rate changes, bonuses, etc.
  • Transcripts: Official transcripts are required for all employees teaching a credited class at JMU.

7. RESPONSIBILITIES

The department head/director/ budget authority is responsible for determining the availability of funds prior to initiating any personnel action. The employee designated to complete PAR forms is required to ensure that all documentation is accurately completed and received in Human Resources prior to the effective date of the action or applicable payroll calendar deadline. For all newly hired and rehired employees, the PAR originator must submit an Onboard Request Form prior to the first day of employment. Termination PAR forms must be submitted within three business days once the supervisor becomes aware of the employee's separation (Policy 1314).

8. SANCTIONS

Sanctions will be commensurate with the severity and/or frequency of the offense and may include termination of employment.

9. EXCLUSIONS

PAR forms are not generally required for individuals whose relationship with the university is in a non-working capacity (e.g. volunteer).

10. INTERPRETATION

The authority to interpret this policy rests with the President, and is generally delegated to the Director of Human Resources.

Previous Version: December, 2011
Approved by the President: May, 2002

Index of terms

PAR Form
Personnel Action

1312 Workers Compensation/Return to Work

1.PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to outline the university's plan for compliance with applicable Workers Compensation law, providing resources for employees who are injured on the job, and the reporting procedure for accidental injuries or occupational diseases arising out of and in the course of university employment.

2.AUTHORITY

The university is charged with managing the treatment and the processing of employees work-related injuries or illnesses that are covered under the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act § 65.2-100and the Governor's Executive Order 52 (94). The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act, and the Family and Medical Leave Act also may be related to the execution of this policy.

3.DEFINITIONS

University Panel of Physicians:
This is a list of local participating physicians who have agreed to treat JMU employees for work related illnesses or injuries. This list will be provided to injured/ill employees. Injured employees must choose one of these physicians to provide medical care in order to be compensated for eligible job-related injuries or illnesses. No other physician will be compensated for services rendered unless referred by the panel physician or prior approval from the Workers Compensation Coordinator is obtained. If the university Panel Physician cannot schedule a timely appointment with the injured or ill employee, the employee must choose another physician from the panel. The panel physician will file claims directly with the State Workers Compensation Program's designee. Billing information is available from the Workers Compensation Coordinator. In the event the employee is treated at the Emergency Room and was unable to choose a panel physician for treatment in a critical situation, the employee is required to choose a physician from the panel of Physicians for follow-up care unless the ER Physician has made a referral to a specialist.

VSDP:
The Virginia Sickness and Disability Program (VSDP) provides covered employees with income protection if they become unable to perform normal job duties because of an illness or injury. The program pays an income during periods of short and/or long-term disability. In addition to disability income, VSDP provides sick leave and family/personal leave that may be taken for short-term absences throughout the year.

Workers Compensation:
A state-administered insurance program designed to provide compensation to employees who are injured on the job or contract an occupational disease resulting from their employment. University employees are covered by Workers Compensation Insurance.

Workers Compensation Coordinator:
The Workers Compensation Coordinator works with employees who suffered a work related illness or injury and their supervisors to assist the employee in returning to work.

4.APPLICABILITY

This policy applies to all employees.

5.POLICY

James Madison University is committed to providing a working environment that is free from recognized health or safety hazards. In the event of an accidental injury or occupational illness, the university will work to balance the needs of the employee and the organization by providing restricted duty assignments when possible for up to a 90-day period. The university will analyze accidents and illnesses with the intention of gaining knowledge to assist in avoiding future accidents or occupational illnesses.

5.1 Determination of Compensability
The State Workers Compensation Program, or their designee, determines if an accident or illness is compensable under the Virginia Workers Compensation Act after the case is properly investigated.

5.2 Time Lost from Work
Only the treating panel physician or specialist can order days away from work due to the work related injury or illness.

For accidents/illness that have been certified as compensable the first seven periods of time (often, workdays) away from work will be charged to the employee's leave. If the employee is away from work for twenty-one (21) calendar days, the first seven days of leave will be reimbursed as describe by the Virginia Workers Compensation Act.

On the eighth calendar day, the State Workers Compensation Program's designated insurance carrier will begin to pay 66 2/3% of the average weekly salary. If the employee is enrolled in VSDP, VSDP will pay the remaining portion according to the published guidelines. Employees who are participants in the Traditional Sick Leave program and are absent from work on Workers' Compensation leave for more than seven calendar days will receive supplements in the form of the difference between payments required by the WCA and their regular salaries, for a period of up to 92 calendar days from the beginning of their absences from work on Workers' Compensation leave. Agencies have the discretion to extend payment of the supplements described above beyond employees' 92nd calendar day of absence on Workers' Compensation leave, provided that such extensions do not exceed 480 work hours.

Wage employees are not eligible for the additional supplement.

In the event the employee is unable to return to work after 90 consecutive calendar days, the employee will cease to earn leave.

Employees may be eligible for Family and Medical Leave as detailed in Policy 1308 - FMLA.

5.3 Restricted Duty
The panel physician will communicate in writing any altered duty restrictions for the injured or ill employee with the Workers Compensation Coordinator.

The Workers Compensation Coordinator will work with the supervisor to develop a plan for the employee's return to work. During transitional duty, the Workers Compensation Coordinator will meet with the injured/ill employee to discuss concerns and to evaluate progress. This duty can be altered, upgraded, or changed in a manner consistent with medical restrictions and in accordance with an individual's improved condition. The plan will include a defined period of disability, the physical restrictions recommended by the physician, specific duties that the employee will be expected to perform, and a defined begin and end date to the plan.

Transitional duty shall be made available to those employees who are expected to return to their pre-injury position and may not exceed 90 days. At the conclusion of 90 days, the supervisor, in consultation with Human Resources, may terminate the transitional duty assignment. If it is determined that the employee has permanent restrictions that result in his/her inability to perform the essential functions of his/her primary position, the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) and other applicable laws will be applied to determine suitability for employment. The employee will continue to receive all Workers Compensation benefits for which they are eligible. Other university/state benefits would be treated as any other employee leaving employment.

6.PROCEDURES

6.1 Accidents or illnesses must be reported to the Workers Compensation Coordinator by using the following method:

6.2 If the injury/illness is serious in nature:

  • Call 911 for transportation to Rockingham Memorial Hospital.
  • Call campus police (86911) for immediate emergency medical treatment or traffic control
  • If the accident or illness is life threatening, the supervisor or designee should accompany the employee to the Emergency Room.
  • Call the Workers Compensation Coordinator, who will contact the family of the employee, if they have not already been contacted.
  • File the Employers Accident Report and Panel Physician form with the Workers Compensation Coordinator within 24 hours.

6.3 If medical attention is needed, but the injury/illness is not life threatening:

  • The supervisor completes the accident report.
  • The employee chooses a physician from the university Panel of Physicians
  • The supervisor or Workers' Compensation Coordinator schedules an appointment for the injured worker and the employee goes to the panel physician for treatment.
  • Work Restrictions should be returned to the supervisor and a copy forwarded to the Workers Compensation Coordinator.

6.4 First Aid/For Record Only:

  • The supervisor completes the accident report.
  • The employee selects a physician from the panel in case the need for medical treatment arises at a later time.
  • File the accident report and the Panel of Physician Selection Form with the Workers Compensation Coordinator.

6.5 Accidents while traveling
An employee traveling on university-approved business is covered under Worker's Compensation for injuries/illnesses incurred in the course of transacting business for the university.

Employees should report to a medical facility for appropriate treatment and inform the facility that it is a work-related claim. The facility may contact the Workers Compensation Coordinator for billing information.

The employee must inform their supervisor as soon as possible so the supervisor can file the appropriate paperwork.

A panel physician will administer follow-up treatment.

7. RESPONSIBILITIES

Employee Responsibility:

  • Perform the job in the safest manner possible, observing all safety and health rules. Report all accidental injuries/occupational illness to their supervisors regardless of the severity.
  • Choose a physician from the James Madison University Panel of Physicians for treatment.
  • Follow the recommendations made by the Panel Physician.

Supervisor Responsibility:

  • Understand and follow the university's safe workplace policies.
  • Encourage employees to understand and follow the university's safe workplace policies.
  • Assist the employee in getting medical treatment in the event of an accidental injury or illness.
  • Contact the Workers Compensation Coordinator (x82358) as soon as possible, but within 24 hours to report all accidental injuries/occupational illnesses to the Workers Compensation Coordinator even if there is no medical attention required.
  • Work with the Workers Compensation Coordinator to provide productive altered/transitional duty when possible for an employee who has been released by the Panel Physician.

Workers Compensation Coordinator Responsibility:

  • Report all accidental injuries and occupational illnesses to the State Workers Compensation Program.
  • Facilitate "Return to Work" for an employee by communicating with the Department Supervisor and the Employee to provide productive altered/transitional duty to an employee who has been released by the Panel Physician for restricted duty.
  • Coordinate with the Panel Physician and State Workers Compensation Program's designee regarding payment of bills for the employee.
  • Facilitate investigations of accidents or occupational illnesses by coordinating the appropriate parties, compiling accident data, communicating results of the data analysis to departments.

8. SANCTIONS

Sanctions will be commensurate with the severity and/or frequency of the offense and may include termination of employment.

Injured employees who do not comply with this policy risk not being covered by Workers Compensation Insurance. They would therefore be subject to uncompensated medical bills and lost work time.

Employees and supervisors of injured employees who do not comply with this policy will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.

9. EXCLUSIONS

The Virginia Workers Compensation Program, or their designee, may determine that an accident or illness is not compensable under the Virginia Workers Compensation Act. Such injuries or illnesses would not then be covered under this policy.

10.INTERPRETATION

The authority to interpret this policy rests with the President, and is generally delegated to the Director of Human Resources.

Previous version: April, 2009
Approved by the President: April 2002

Index of terms

Workers Compensation
Injury
Illness
Lost time
Return to work
Workers Compensation Coordinator
VSDP
Accident

1313 Recruiting, Selecting & Hiring Classified and Wage (non-student/part-time) Positions

1. PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to provide requirements for the recruiting and selection process for classified and non-student wage employees at James Madison University.

2. AUTHORITY

The Board of Visitors has been authorized by the Commonwealth of Virginia to govern James Madison University. See Code of Virginia section 23-164.6; 23-9.2:3. The Board has delegated the authority to manage the university to the president.

STATE OR FEDERAL STATUTE AND/OR REGULATION

This policy is written in conjunction with and under the authority of Virginia Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM) Policy 2.10-Hiring.

The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq.) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (29 U.S.C. §791 et seq.) prohibit discrimination against a person with a disability in the offer or conditions of employment and in the participation or furnishing of services. James Madison University is obliged to provide reasonable accommodations to enable candidates to apply and interview for open positions.

3. DEFINITIONS

Classified Position
A salaried position assigned to an Occupational Family and Career Group based on duties and responsibilities, and to a Role Code based on the compensable factors of Complexity, Results, and Accountability. See DHRM Policy 2.20-Types of Employment.

JMU Only Position
A position for which only current JMU employees may apply. (This excludes individuals designated as affiliates.)

Open Recruitment
A position for which all state employees and the general public may apply.

Virginia Jobs
The statewide career site for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Positions reflected in the state’s Virginia Jobs system are available for view through the DHRM’s website.

Wage Employment
Employment within the university to meet part-time, temporary or seasonal needs. Wage employees are limited to working no more than 1,500 hours during each 12-month period of May 1 - April 30. In addition, wage employees may not exceed an average of 29 hours per week over the standard measuring period, May 1- April 30 of each year. Supervisors may allow wage employees to temporarily exceed the 29 hour limit provided this exception is planned for and approved by Human Resources.

4. APPLICABILITY

This policy applies to all persons involved in recruiting, selecting and hiring classified and wage employees at James Madison University.

5. POLICY

The university will recruit, select and hire classified and non-student wage employees in accordance with federal and state law and university policies. To comply with these policies, to ensure that employment practices are effective and to provide equal employment opportunity, the following procedures must be observed in filling all classified and non-student wage positions.

James Madison University does not discriminate and will not tolerate discrimination or harassment on the basis of age, color, disability, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, parental status, political affiliation, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or veteran status. Conduct by a member of the university community that constitutes discrimination or harassment on the basis of any protected class is a violation of university policy and is sanctionable. See Policy 1324-Discrimination and Harassment.

When requested, departments must provide reasonable accommodation throughout the application and selection process to persons with a qualified disability in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

6. PROCEDURES

6.1 Initial Steps

Before beginning a recruiting and selection process departments must:             

  • Analyze the vacant position and determine if any changes in the job have occurred that would require a new or updated job description.
  • Update the position description in PositionLink to reflect current duties and responsibilities.                                   
  • Determine the necessary and preferred knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) or competencies for the position and identify up to five job-related screening criteria associated with the KSA’s that are predictive of a candidate’s ability to successfully perform the job.
  • Determine the appropriate salary hiring range. 
  • Determine, with Human Resources assistance as needed, if the position is assigned to the proper role and make role changes as necessary. 
  • Identify any education qualifications required for the position.                                                                                                                                 
  • Identify any bona fide occupational qualifications (BFOQs). 

6.2 Advertising

Departments should determine the recruitment strategy that best fits the department’s needs. This may be done in collaboration with Human Resources.

Job announcements must include the following:

  • Position title: Hiring officials will have the choice to use state role titles, working titles or a combination of both. 
  • Any bona fide occupational requirements. Please call Human Resources for help in determining appropriate requirements. 
  • A summary of job duties. 
  • Any educational requirements not required by law, stated with a provision for equivalent substitution of applicable experience or training (e.g., bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education and work experience required). When indicating a preference for a college degree, the announcement must also include the specific types of related degrees that are applicable to the position’s core duties. 
  • Any occupational certification, license, or registration required by law.
  • Salary or hourly pay rate (Ensuring that the Salary Administration Plan is adhered to and involving the HR Consultant to verify appropriate salary, hiring officials may choose to advertise one of the following): 
    • Specific hiring range 
    • Maximum starting salary 
    • Minimum starting salary 
    • Statement such as “commensurate with experience.” Advertised pay rates must be based on the appropriate pay bands and be within the budgeted amount for the position. 

Job announcements may also include the following:

  • Preferred qualifications 
  • A requirement for related experience (but requiring specific years of experience is prohibited) 
  • Other aspects of the position such as shift, work hours, etc.

Advertisements for all classified positions will automatically be placed:

  • In the JMU JobLink recruitment system (including JMU only announcements). 
  • In the state’s Virginia Jobs system. Job announcements must be posted for at least five consecutive workdays (including JMU only announcements). 
  • Through the Historically Black Colleges and Universities listserv. 
  • Through the Hispanic Association of Colleges Universities listserv. 
  • Posted on Heroes to Hire website (H2H).

Exceptions to the requirement for automatic advertisement placement are allowed for the following:

  • Positions that will be used as a placement for employees affected by a layoff. 
  • Positions to be filled by agency-initiated demotions, promotions or reassignments. 
  • Similar positions that become vacant within 90 calendar days from the closing date of the previously recruited positions. The hiring authority may use the same candidate pool if the two positions have the same role title, primary duties, work title and organizational unit. 

Departments may also choose to advertise in newspapers, journals, websites, or other print or electronic periodicals, etc. This can be done through Recruitment and Employment Services in Human Resources. Advertisements must meet all required Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regulations.

  • Web and display ads (ads with images) must include the following statement: James Madison University is committed to a diverse and inclusive community and to maintaining a work and educational environment that is free of all forms of discrimination. This institution does not tolerate discrimination or harassment on the basis of age, color, disability, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, parental status, political affiliation, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or veteran status. Anyone having questions concerning discrimination should contact the Office for Equal Opportunity: (540) 568-6991. 
  • Line ads (ads without images) must include the following statement: JMU does not tolerate discrimination or harassment on the basis of age, color, disability, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, parental status, political affiliation, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or veteran status.

The university does not require non-student wage (part-time) positions be advertised. The departments may fill these positions without interviewing or screening applications. However, if a department chooses to conduct a formal search, the guidelines set forth in this policy must be followed.

6.3 Screening

Positions may be posted for a fixed period of not less than five consecutive workdays (excluding weekends and holidays) from the posting date. When choosing a fixed period, a closing date must be included in the announcement. All applications received by the closing date must be considered.

Positions may also be posted with an open-until-filled statement. If this method is chosen for a classified position, the announcement must be posted on the JMU JobLink recruitment system and the state’s Virginia Jobs system for at least five consecutive workdays (excluding weekends and holidays).

Departments may either interview all applicants for a position or reduce the applicant pool by screening applications/resumes. Before screening applications, the hiring authority must choose up to five job-related criteria (as noted in 6.1 above) based on the Position Description (found in PositionLink). These job-related criteria must be included as qualifications in both the JobLink posting and in related advertisements. Recruitment Specialists are available to assist departments with screening.

6.4 Interviewing

Interviews must be conducted for all advertised classified positions. An exception to this policy regards persons on layoff status. If a person in layoff status is minimally qualified for the position, no interview is required to make an offer of employment to that person. All candidates selected for an interview must be interviewed before an offer is made. However, departments are not required to reschedule interviews with applicants who were unable to make the initial scheduled interview.

Interview questions must be developed before the interviewing process and all questions must be asked of each applicant interviewed. Questions must be job-related and based on knowledge, skills and abilities. Additional follow up questions may be asked in response to statements or questions from the applicant, or to clarify information provided by the applicant.

Interviews may be conducted by the hiring authority, persons designated by the hiring authority or by a selection panel. The following are expectations and responsibilities for selection panel members conducting interviews:

  • Selection panel members should familiarize themselves with the basic responsibilities of the position. 
  • If they are classified employees, selection panel members should be in the same role or a role with greater authority than the position for which they are interviewing candidates (unless the panel members are a human resource professional whose responsibilities include interviewing applicants). 
  • Selection panel members must excuse themselves from the search process if they are related to or have knowledge of a candidate that creates a conflict of interest.
  • Selection panel members should make recommendations regarding their choice of applicants to the hiring authority.

6.5 Reference and Criminal History Checks

Reference checks are covered in detail in Policy 1320-Providing and Obtaining Employment Reference Information.

Criminal background checks are covered in detail in Policy 1321-Criminal History Investigation.

6.6 Selection

Reasons for non-selection of applicants must be specific and job related and for each applicant who is not selected a ‘reason for non-selection’ must be noted in JobLink.

Using any of the following criteria as reasons for non-selection is prohibited by law and university policy:

  • Age, color, disability, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, parental status, political affiliation, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or veteran status. 
  • Mental or physical disability that does not interfere with the applicant’s ability to perform the essential functions of the job with or without a reasonable accommodation. 
  • Other factors that have no bearing on job-related requirements.

Appropriate reasons for non-interview or non-selection may include any one or a combination of the following:

  • Unsatisfactory references or relatively weak references. 
  • Applicant’s refusal or inability to accept work schedule, salary, duties or other job-related conditions. 
  • Job-related education and/or training insufficient or not as strong as selected candidate. 
  • Job-related experience insufficient or not as strong as selected candidate. 
  • Job-related knowledge/skills/abilities insufficient or not as strong as selected candidate. 
  • Interpersonal or communications abilities not suited to the needs of the position.

6.7 Hiring

After the hiring authority, person(s) designated by the hiring authority, or the selection panel has completed reference checks and made a decision on the candidate who should receive an offer, the hiring authority must contact Human Resources to discuss the appropriate starting salary. After speaking with an HR Consultant, the hiring authority may extend an offer of employment. When the offer has been made and accepted, the candidate and the hiring authority can determine a start date, and the hiring authority must then submit the Onboard Form/ePar to Human Resources. Human Resources will send a welcome letter to all new classified employees. The selected candidate will be required to complete the Onboard process prior to the hire date. As part of the onboard process the candidate must present appropriate documentation in a timely manner to comply with requirements of the Form I-9 and the E-Verify system.

Nepotism and employment of family members is covered in detail in Policy 1301-Nepotism and Employment of Family Members.

6.8 Recruitment and Selection Records

The recruiting process is one that is closely monitored by state and federal agencies. It is critical that the process for hiring employees at JMU reflect a commitment to hiring practices that do not discriminate on the basis of age, color, disability, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, parental status, political affiliation, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or veteran status. 

For the protection of those involved in applying for positions, the information related to the recruiting and selection process shall be kept confidential. In addition, under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (2.2-3700), agencies are not required to allow applicants to examine reference data or recommendation letters. Therefore, documentation of reference checks and information obtained must be maintained in strict confidence.

6.9 Documentation

It is important to provide rigorous documentation for each selection. Therefore, all hiring supervisors of classified positions (and of wage positions when a competitive search has been conducted) are responsible for submitting all of the following documentation to Human Resources within 14 days once a selection has been made:

  • The Screening Criteria Grid found in JMU JobLink documenting the following: 
    • Names for all the applications received 
    • Specific criteria used to evaluate applicants 
    • Ratings based on the established criteria for all applicants
  • Interview notes/questions on all applicants interviewed from all selection panel members
  • Reference check forms
  • Any correspondence to or from the applicants  

RESPONSIBILITIES

Human Resources coordinates the recruiting and hiring of classified and wage employees and oversees this policy.

SANCTIONS

Sanctions will be commensurate with the severity and/or frequency of the offense and may include termination of employment.

EXCLUSIONS

This policy does not apply to the hiring of instructional or administrative & professional faculty.

INTERPRETATION

The authority to interpret this policy rests with the president and is generally delegated to the director of Human Resources.

Previous Version: September 2012
Approved by the President: September 2001

1310 Alternative Work Schedules

1. PURPOSE

The university is receptive to alternative work schedules that allow for the effective delivery of academic, student and administrative services. The purpose of this policy is to improve the quality of work life for university employees by allowing the exploration of work schedules that allow balancing work and family/personal responsibilities. It is also important to understand that, in all cases, the accomplishment of university-related work must be considered first in determining when, and if, alternative schedules may be used. It is possible that in some units, workloads may not permit flexible schedules or allow flexibility on a limited basis.

2. AUTHORITY

The Board of Visitors has been authorized by the Commonwealth of Virginia to govern James Madison University. See Code of Virginia section 23-164.6; 23-9.2:3. The board has delegated the authority to manage the university to the president. 

3. DEFINITIONS

Alternative Work Schedule:
For full-time, classified employees, a work schedule other than January through December, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Classified Position:
A salaried position assigned to an Occupational Family and Career Group based on duties and responsibilities, and to a Role Code based on the compensable factors of Complexity, Results, and Accountability. See DHRM Policy 2.20-Types of Employment.

Flextime:
Full-time schedule that allows flexibility and does not typically match the university's standard schedule of Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Job Sharing:
Two classified employees voluntarily share the work responsibilities of one full-time, classified position.

LessThan12-Month Schedule:
Employees working less than 12 months which usually parallels the academic semesters.

4. APPLICABILITY

This policy applies to all classified employees.

5. POLICY

A unit head, dean, vice president, and/or associate/assistant vice president shall make all decisions regarding the applicability of a flexible schedule. University management has the responsibility to identify positions as being designated for a less than 12-month schedule or for job sharing based on the financial, physical and service needs of the unit. For positions that may be best suited for telecommuting. See Policy 1332-Telecommuting.

The university aligns its procurement plans, practices and procedures with the campus environmental stewardship goals and campus Environmental Stewardship Action Plan (ESAP).

5.1 Flextime
Unit heads may allow employees to have flexible work hours providing that employees work at least 40 hours each regular workweek. Unit heads are responsible for ensuring office coverage during the university’s ordinary business hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Unit heads have the authority to implement flexible work hours within a workweek based on the needs of the unit. Compressed, four-day workweeks or other alternative work schedules may be implemented as long as coverage is maintained.

5.2 Alternative Work Schedules
Only those units that must routinely provide services outside the traditional 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. work schedule may vary their weekly work schedule. Work schedules in these units may change from week-to-week, with employees having different days off during different weeks. Before implementing an alternative work schedule a unit head must first obtain approval from the appropriate vice president.

6. PROCEDURES

6.1 Less Than 12-Month Schedules

Compensation

  • The employee's annual salary will be pro-rated for a less than 12-month schedule based on the length of the employment term.
  • The employee will be paid over 24 pay periods to accommodate deductions for benefits during the non-working months.
  • The employee who separates from the university or changes employment status before the end of the schedule must repay any overpayment of salary.
  • The salary of an employee placed in a less than 12-month schedule must be at least equal to the legal minimum wage.
  • Current performance planning and evaluation policies will apply to these employees and salary increase eligibility will not be affected. 

Benefits

  • Employees will continue to be eligible for healthcare benefits during the 12-month period. The university will pay the employer share of premiums and the employee portion will be processed as a payroll deduction; thus, full, half-monthly premiums will be deducted from the employee’s salary each pay period. 
  • The employee will earn 12 months of retirement service credit and contributions will be made at the pro-rated salary rate. 
  • Life insurance will be in effect. 
  • All leave balances are frozen and there is no accrual of leave during the non-working period designated in the Less Than 12-month Schedule Agreement.  Optional deductions continue as long as there are sufficient earnings to cover the deductions. 

6.2 Implementing the Less Than 12-month Schedule

  • A supervisor shall designate positions in a unit as less than 12-month schedules to provide flexible work scheduling and to maintain efficient operation of the university.
  • The supervisor shall designate employees to be placed in a less than 12-month schedule based on the unit’s needs. 
  • Layoff rights are not triggered by the conversion of positions to less than 12 months since the positions are not being abolished but are being changed to reflect the operational needs of the university. 
  • The supervisor, the employee and unit head, dean, vice president, and/or associate/assistant vice president must sign the Less Than 12-Month Schedule Agreement before it can be implemented.
  • A Less Than 12-Month Schedule Agreement stating the beginning and ending dates of the term, along with a  Personnel Action Request must be sent to Human Resources to effect the change. The non-working months must fall at the end of the period - working months September through June, non-working months July and August.
  • Positions designated as less than 12-months should be determined before the beginning of the academic year. The employee should be informed as soon as possible, and not less than, 30 days before the effective date of the change. 
  • Units may not fill less than 12-month positions with wage employees during the non-working period of the less than 12-month employee. 
  • Employees placed in less than 12-month positions may accept wage employment at the university for a very specific purpose and for a period not to exceed two weeks. 
  • Employees placed in a less than 12-month position may not return to 12-month status until after the full term of the less than 12-month schedule. 

6.3 Job Sharing

  • Positions best suited for job sharing are those that can be broken into a series of tasks or projects that require limited coordination between the job sharers; however, any position may be individually assessed to determine its suitability for job sharing.
  • In selecting positions for job sharing, evaluation and consideration should be given to the impact it will have on internal and external customer service, continuity of university operations, and impact to supervisors and other employees.
  • Both parts of job sharing positions must have the same minimum qualifications and both incumbents must be able to meet all requirements.
  • Positions proposed for job sharing must be reviewed and approved in writing by the unit head, dean, vice president, and/or associate/assistant vice president.

Recruitment and Selection

  • The recruitment notice shall specify that the position is 50% and scheduled for 20 hours per week.
  • Applicants deemed fully qualified must be able to perform all the duties associated with the full position description and not selected responsibilities.
  • The selection process for filling a job sharing position is the same as for filling a single-incumbent classified position.


Compensation

  • New employees entering a shared position will be employed under the starting pay guidelines at 50% of the approved rate.
  • Current employees entering positions approved for job sharing will be paid 50% of their current annual rate.
  • Non-exempt, classified employees in shared positions are subject to provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act and must be paid accordingly.


Benefits

  • Job sharers earn a pro-rated amount for holidays and annual leave.
  • Job sharers are given a pro-rated amount sick, family/personal leave and short-term disability benefits under the provision of the Virginia Sickness and Disability Program.
  • Job sharers are eligible for life insurance and retirement.
  • Job sharers are not eligible for health insurance.
  • Employee Work Profiles must be created and given to each job sharer. The development of job standards and completion of performance evaluations must be completed for each employee in accordance with established policy. See Policy 1305-Performance Evaluation for Classified Employees.


Implementing Job Sharing

  • All requests for job sharing must be initiated by the supervisor and submitted to the unit head, dean, vice president, and/or associate/assistant vice president as appropriate for approval.
  • Employees who apply and are appointed to a shared classified position will work 50% of the time or 20 hours during the regular workweek.
  • Employees appointed to the shared classified position will be covered by the rules applicable to the Virginia Personnel Act, including rights and privileges together with any limitations on less than full-time employment.
  • This policy does not affect the status of filled part-time classified positions that are currently authorized at less than 40 hours per week.
  • Wage employees are not eligible to participate in a shared position while continuing to work as a wage employee but may apply for any posted shared positions.
  • Classified employees in shared positions cannot be hired as wage employees while participating in this program.
  • Shared positions may return to full-time status at the discretion of the unit head, dean, vice president, and/or associate/assistant vice president. The full-time position must then be advertised and incumbents must apply through the normal recruitment process.

7. RESPONSIBILITY

Unit heads, deans, vice presidents, and/or associate/assistant vice presidents are responsible for the application of this policy in their areas of responsibility.

The Director of Human Resources is responsible for overseeing the use of this policy and assisting unit heads, deans, vice presidents and associate/assistant vice presidents with its implementation.

Supervisors are responsible for periodically reviewing job-sharing arrangements to determine if they are meeting the needs of the employee while at the same time providing acceptable operational standards in the unit.

8. SANCTIONS

Sanctions will be commensurate with the severity and/or frequency of the offense and may include termination of employment.

9. EXCLUSIONS

This policy does not apply to faculty members.

10. INTERPRETATION

The authority to interpret this policy rests with the president and is generally delegated to the Director of Human Resources.

Previous version: July 2011
Approved by the President: April 2002

1301 Nepotism and Employment of Family Members

1. PURPOSE

This policy is intended to establish the rules and procedures for the employment and supervisory assignments of members of an employee's immediate family.

2. AUTHORITY

The Board of Visitors has been authorized by the Commonwealth of Virginia to govern James Madison University. See Code of Virginia section 23-164.6; 23-9.2:3. The Board has delegated the authority to manage the university to the president.

3. DEFINITIONS

Family Member or Family
(1) A spouse, (2) any other person residing in the same household as the employee who is a dependent of the employee or of whom the employee is a dependent (Code of Virginia § 2.2-3106), or (3) any person related to the employee within the second degrees of kinship or the third degree of lineage. This shall include the employee's or the spouse's children, parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, brothers, sisters, half-brothers and half-sisters, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, first cousins, second cousins and persons married to them, including adopted, step, and foster relationships.

Nepotism
Favoritism based relationship and/or kinship regardless of merit.

Immediate Supervisor
The employee in direct authority over another employee. For the purposes of this policy, this encompasses the person who evaluates the employee, makes assignments to the employee, or has authority to hire or separate, or to determine or make recommendations on the hiring, separating, salary or other terms and conditions of employment of the employee.

Reviewer
The supervisor's supervisor.

Supervisor-Subordinate Relationship
The supervisor-subordinate relationship shall be interpreted to include the relationship between the immediate supervisor and subordinate as well as the reviewer and subordinate.

4. APPLICABILITY

This policy is applicable to all employees of the university, including student employees.

5. POLICY

Prohibited employment: An individual may not be employed in any position in which he/she will function as the immediate supervisor or reviewer of a member of his/her family. An individual may not be employed in any position in which he/she will function as the subordinate or in a subordinate-reviewer relationship with a member of his/her family. Family members shall not be employed in the supervisory-subordinate relationship even if it results from marriage after the employment relationship was formed.

Employment requiring prior approval: In positions not involving nepotism in violation of this policy, relationship by family or marriage shall constitute neither an advantage nor a restriction from employment by James Madison University, provided the individual meets and fulfills the university's employment qualifications. If the applicant has a family member already employed by the university in the same college, or assistant or associate vice president’s (AVP’s) area, the applicant may only be offered a position with the explicit prior written approval from the appropriate vice president. If the relative is related to the AVP or dean, the approval must come from the vice president.

Employment not requiring prior approval: An applicant who identifies a family member currently employed by the university in another division, college, or assistant or associate vice president’s area, may be extended an offer without prior written approval.

Other prohibited activities: An individual may not engage in activities with a member of his/her family that fall within the parameters of the Financial Procedures Manual Section 4205.390 Miscellaneous Payments to Individuals/Participant Payments. Examples of these prohibited activities include distribution of incentives, prizes and recognition awards. For a full list of prohibited practices, see the Financial Procedures Manual Section referenced above.

6. PROCEDURES

Applicants for employment at the university shall be required in the employment process to disclose the identity of any family member working at the university.

If an applicant has revealed information concerning a family member working at the university, this information will be analyzed by the hiring authority to determine whether employment in the position is prohibited, or whether prior approval is required before a position offer may be made to the applicant. If employment is prohibited, the applicant may not be offered the position. If prior approval is required, a Nepotism Review form signed by the appropriate vice president must be provided to Human Resources before the offer is extended to the candidate.

7. RESPONSIBILITIES

It is the responsibility of the hiring authority to ensure that each applicant has disclosed information about the applicant's family member(s) employed by the university. It is also the responsibility of the hiring authority to analyze this information to determine if the employment is prohibited or if a signed approval is required before extending an offer of employment.

It is the responsibility of the appropriate vice president to approve employment of an applicant who has a family member already employed by the university in the same college or assistant or associate vice president’s area. Signing an approval form is appropriate only when the signatory believes that the relationship between the current employee and the applicant will not disrupt or in any way impede the operations of the college or area under the AVP.

It is the responsibility of each applicant for employment to disclose family relationships with any current employee of the university.

8. SANCTIONS

Any applicant who violates this policy by failing to disclose the identity of a family member employed by the university is subject to disciplinary action up to and including immediate termination.

Any hiring authority who violates this policy by failing to obtain prior written approval to make an offer of employment to an individual who reveals the identity of a family member within the same college or AVP’s area of the division, is subject to sanctions.

Sanctions will be commensurate with the severity and/or frequency of the offense and may include termination of employment.

9. EXCLUSIONS

This policy does not apply to employees whose positions are reorganized or otherwise placed into the same division as the position held by a family member, as long as the two employees were hired into different divisions originally. However, the prohibition against having one family member serve as the supervisor or reviewer over another still applies. This policy does not apply to employees who were already employed by the university as of May 31, 2002. However, the prohibition against having family member serve as the supervisor or reviewer over another still applies.

10. INTERPRETATION

The authority to interpret this policy rests with the President, and is generally delegated to the Director of Human Resources.

Previous version: February 2014
Approved by the President: April 2002

1205 Data Stewardship Policy

1. PURPOSE

This policy establishes the methodology by which the university will manage its data and assigns responsibilities for the control and appropriate stewardship of university data.

2. AUTHORITY

The Board of Visitors has been authorized by the Commonwealth of Virginia to govern James Madison University. See Code of Virginia section 23-164.6; 23-9.2:3.  The board has delegated the authority to manage the university to the president.

STATE OR FEDERAL STATURE AND/OR REGULATION

Laws such as the Family Educational Rights (20 USC 1232g et. seq.) and Privacy Act (FERPA), the Virginia Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act (Code of Virginia § 2.2-3800), and the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code of Virginia § 2.2-3700) require the university to provide appropriate data stewardship.

3. DEFINITIONS

Data Custodians:
Individuals or organizations in physical or logical possession of data for the university (data owner).

Data Managers:
University officials having direct operational level responsibility for information management related to the capture, maintenance, dissemination and use of data and for any data administration activities delegated by the data stewards.

Data Owner:
The university is the owner of all data collected, stored and/or managed by university employees or using university resources. Collectively all data owned and/or managed by or on behalf of the university is referred to as the University Data Resource.

Data Stewards:
The university vice presidents (or their designees) who have planning and policy level responsibility for data within their areas and management responsibilities for defined segments of the university data resource.

Data Stewardship Standards:
Procedural requirements developed to support the Data Stewardship policy. The Data Stewardship Standard was developed by the university's data managers in cooperation with Information Technology and approved by the data stewards. To provide consistent control and security relative to a particular data item, these standards apply across all information systems and uses of the data.

Highly Confidential Data:
University data which, because of its associated legal restrictions or potential security ramifications, is authorized for use only on a very limited basis and only with special security precautions.

Protected Data:
Personal data and/or other information worthy of protection and discretion in its distribution and use; this type of university data is individually requested and approved by a data manager for a specific business use and is subject to the general provisions associated with university information security.

Public Data:
University data which can be shared without restriction to the general public (e.g. university course listings, publicity and news articles, directory listings, etc.)

System Manager:
The university manager responsible for implementation and operation of a university system at the direction of the System Owner and appropriate Data Steward/Data Manager. The System Manager oversees the System Administrator who provides day-to-day administration and implements security controls and other capabilities as assigned.

System Owner:
The university individual/organization responsible for working in cooperation with Information Technology to define requirements, select an IT system, and direct its operation to assure functional outcomes in keeping with university objectives and mission.

University Data Resource:
Data owned by the university may reside in different automated systems and in different physical locations, but in aggregate these data may be thought of as forming a single, shared resource. This resource consists of information represented in a variety of data elements, types and forms maintained by individuals, administrative/academic units or business partners to provide functionality to the university. All such data owned and managed by or on behalf of the university is considered part of the University Data Resource.

4. APPLICABILITY

All university information that is stored, processed or distributed is subject to this policy and the more specific provisions of the Data Stewardship Standard. Other university policies and state or federal laws may also apply.

Certain types of data are public. Others types of data have usage restrictions, are protected by federal and state privacy legislation, or are critical to the mission of the university or the functioning of its colleges, departments, or programs. The latter data types require controls that protect confidentiality, integrity and availability. General instructions as well as specific requirements for thoughtful data stewardship are outlined in the Data Stewardship Standard and extend to all forms of the data. For example, those data stored in printed or written reports, transmitted via facsimile, downloaded from the university's various administrative or academic systems, and information processed or stored using local systems (including but not limited to departmental servers, networks or individual-use devices) are included.

5. POLICY

Information, in all forms, is a strategic asset of the university. Distribution and appropriate protection of computer and information resources is a fundamental responsibility of Information Technology. This policy establishes key roles and responsibilities for protecting confidentiality, integrity and availability of university data. However, individuals and unit/system managers throughout the university share this responsibility. For example, in cases where university information is not stored in electronic form or is used locally and takes forms other than that protected within central computing systems managed by IT, protection is incumbent on the relevant unit/system manager and the individual user.

This policy is based on four basic premises:

  • That the university is the owner of all university data (the University Data Resource);
  • That the greatest benefit of data is gained through its shared and thoughtful use but is diminished by misuse or lack of appropriate protection;
  • That access to non-public data is managed based on the mission and needs of the university and;
  • that the Data Stewardship Policy and Standard are in place along with other related policies to achieve an appropriate mix of three core values-confidentiality, integrity and availability

All data shall be classified in one of three categories:

  • Public-data which may or must be open to the general public; data with no existing restrictions on access.
  • Protected-data for which access must be guarded due to proprietary, ethical or privacy considerations. Data in this classification must be protected from unauthorized access, modification, transmission, storage or other use. Though such data may or may not be subject to specific legal restrictions, in all cases it is to be protected and acquired, accessed or used only as authorized.
  • Highly Confidential-data having such an acute sensibility to confidentiality or security concerns that it requires highly elevated levels of access restriction and security control. Data in this classification generally carry specific legal restrictions, have underground commercial value and are targets of highly damaging forms of compromise or misuse. Therefore, highly confidential data is collected, used or disclosed only for a single, specific purpose and only after explicit, documented approval from the appropriate university data managers.

6. PROCEDURES

Requirements for each classification (public, protected, highly confidential) are included in the Data Stewardship Standard. Several of these requirements are worthy of specific note and are considered university policy:

  • Access to non-public data shall be granted for a specified use and in keeping with the specific job responsibilities of the person being granted access
  • Further distribution of non-public data or use of non-public data for a purpose other than that for which it was requested is a violation of university policy
  • Highly confidential data shall not be collected or stored outside the designated central system of record without explicit, joint approval of the university data managers

The Data Stewardship Standard shall include a list of authorized data managers along with their scope of data management responsibility. Data items classified as highly confidential shall also be listed along with the additional procedures required for their use.

7. RESPONSIBILITIES

All university employees, students, affiliates and others granted access to university data or information systems are responsible for understanding the terms and conditions under which they are to acquire and use university data. The Data Stewardship Standard, the Appropriate Use of Information Technology Resources policy (1207), the Information Security policy (1204) and other policies and procedures related to data and information technology use are available on the Information Technology policy website and shall be considered as appendices to this policy.

Responsibilities are also assigned to specific individuals and groups as part of the data stewardship effort. Primary among these are Data Stewards, Data Managers, and System Owners. Specific responsibilities are detailed in the Data Stewardship Standard and related policies and procedures.

As new data items are developed, the individual(s) responsible for the creation or collection of the data are responsible for identifying its relationship to the Data Stewardship Policy and Standards to assure that storage and access of the data is appropriately managed. This shall include working with Information Technology to identify the appropriate data manager.

Data managers shall ensure appropriate classification of university data and work with Information Technology to establish necessary security and access controls for data in electronic form.

Data managers are also responsible for providing guidance to departments and individuals regarding collection, processing, storage and retention of university data using manual or electronic information systems.

8. SANCTIONS

Sanctions will be commensurate with the severity and/or frequency of the offense and may include termination of employment

9. EXCLUSIONS

None

10. INTERPRETATION

The authority to interpret this policy rests with the president and is generally delegated to the Assistant Vice President for Information Technology, in conjunction with the appropriate Data Stewards

Previous version: December, 2010
Approved by the President: February, 2009

Index Terms

Data
Data Security

1103 Responding to External Requests for Information

1. PURPOSE

This policy provides guidelines for responding to questionnaires, survey forms, and other requests for information and data from external sources.

2. AUTHORITY

The Board of Visitors has been authorized by the Commonwealth of Virginia to govern James Madison University. See Code of Virginia section 23-164.6;23-9.2:3. The board has delegated authority to manage the university to the president.

STATE OR FEDERAL STATUTE AND/OR REGULATIONS

The university is constrained by federal and state laws - such as the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act --Section 2.2-3700 and 2.2-3800 respectively of the Code of Virginia-- and the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) - Title 20, Section 1232g of the United States Code - concerning the access to its records by external sources. Within those laws, the university is given authority to make policies concerning the methods by which responses to requests will be processed.

3. DEFINITIONS

Confidential:

Information that is defined by law as confidential, such as student educational records, medical records, police records, legal records, and personnel records, among others.

Published Data:
Information published each year by the Office of Institutional Research.

4. APPLICABILITY

This policy applies to all university employees. All records and all university information are covered under this policy unless specifically excluded.

5. POLICY

University offices and employees receiving requests for published data and other information from individuals, agencies, groups, or other sources outside of the university shall use these procedures in responding to such requests.

6. PROCEDURES

Requests for information about the university should be sent to the Senior Director of Communications. Specifically, university offices and employees receiving requests for information from the news media must contact the The Office of University Communications, which will coordinate the response. No office will release information requested under a FOIA request unless authorized to do so by the Senior Director of Communications. Other requests can be handled as outlined below:

Responses to questionnaires and surveys that require the provision of data that has not been published and must be compiled will be coordinated through the Office of Institutional Research. The University Statistical Summary [http://www.jmu.edu/instresrch/statsum.shtml] published each year by the Office of Institutional Research contains official University data. University employees receiving such requests must use this publication as a primary source of information for completing questionnaires and surveys before sending them to the Office of Institutional Research for review. (See Section 9, Exclusions)

Student educational records (non-directory information) generally cannot be released without the consent of the student under the terms of FERPA. See Policy 2112. Offices and employees receiving a request for student educational information must contact the Registrar's Office, which will coordinate the response to all such requests.

Employee personnel information generally cannot be released to the public without the consent of the employee. Offices and employees receiving a request for personnel information must contact the Human Resources Office, which will coordinate all such requests. See JMU Policy 1316 for more information on the release of information from employee records and Policy 1320 for information on giving reference information.

The university will not release information on matters under litigation. Under this policy, the university will not release information about the university, its officers, faculty members, employees, or members of the Board of Visitors who are defendants within their official university capacity without the approval of the Office of the Virginia Attorney General or other legal representative designated by that office. Responses to requests for such information will be coordinated through the University Counsel and the The Office of University Communications.

Should there be any doubt regarding the propriety of releasing information pursuant to a request pertaining to university statistical data, it should be referred to the Office of Institutional Research. For questions concerning the propriety of releasing any other information, offices and employees should contact the Senior Director of Communications for guidance.

Procedures on making a request from the University through the Freedom of Information Act are contained at http://www.jmu.edu/visitors/about/foia.shtml.

7. RESPONSIBILITIES

The Office of University Communications holds primary responsibility for responding to external requests for university information of a general nature. It is also responsible for coordinating fulfillment of and advising respondents to external requests for university information using the following guidelines:

The Office of University Communications is responsible for coordinating the university's response to requests from the media and FOIA requests, including reviewing the eligibility of the requester to receive such information, reviewing the requests to avoid the inadvertent release of confidential information, and either transmitting the response or advising the recipient of the request on the appropriate response. This office is also responsible for coordinating with the University Counsel's Office concerning requests for information concerning matters in litigation.

The Office of Institutional Research is responsible for coordinating the university's response to questionnaires, survey forms, and other data requests, including reviewing completed responses to data requests for accuracy, appropriateness, and to ensure consistency with the official position of the university, determining whether the information is appropriate to release, and either transmitting the response or advising the recipient of the request on the appropriate response. Such requests that have a broad public interest may be prepared and released by The Office of University Communications.

The Registrar's Office is responsible for coordinating the university's response to requests for student educational records, including reviewing the information to determine if it meets the definition of an educational record, notifying the affected students of such requests, reviewing any permission given by a student to release such information, and either transmitting the response or advising the recipient of the request on the appropriate response.

The Human Resources Department is responsible for coordinating the university's response to requests for employee records, including reviewing the information to determine if it is confidential, reviewing any permission given by an employee to release such information, and either transmitting the response or advising the recipient of the request on the appropriate response.

The Office of Procurement Services is responsible for coordinating the university's response to requests for information concerning university purchases and procurement contracts.

University Counsel is responsible for coordinating the university's response to requests for information concerning any matter in litigation and for advice concerning responses to subpoenas, in coordination with the Office of the Virginia Attorney General and the Senior Director of Communications

The Division of University Advancement is responsible for coordinating the university's response to requests dealing with alumni and donor records.

All university offices and employees are responsible for forwarding requests for information to the appropriate office for review and response or advice in responding to the request.

8. SANCTIONS

Sanctions will be commensurate with the severity and/or frequency of the offense and may include termination of employment.

9. EXCLUSIONS

If a request for information can be answered in its entirety from the Statistical Summary, the Undergraduate or Graduate Catalog, or other university publication, it need not be coordinated as described in this policy.

Offices and employees who are responsible for regularly supplying the public with information pursuant to inquiries or requests need only use these procedures if the information is not usually communicated through that office or employee, or if the office or employee is unsure of the propriety of releasing the information. Offices and employees are required to comply with state and federal law.

10. INTERPRETATION

The authority to interpret this policy rests with the president and is generally delegated to the Senior Director of Communications.

Previous Version: February, 2011
Approved by the President: February, 2009

Index Terms

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
Student Records
Educational Records
Information Requests
Data Requests
FERPA
1332 Telecommuting

1. PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to comply with the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Human Resources Management Policy 1.61, which permits agencies to designate employees to work at alternate work locations for a mutually agreed upon portion of their workweek. This policy also complies with the requirement of Policy 1.61 that agencies establish a telecommuting policy.

2. AUTHORITY

The authority for this policy is the university's Board of Visitors, its President, the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Human Resources Management Policy 1.61

3. DEFINITIONS

Central Workplace:
An employer's place of work where employees normally are located.

Telecommuting:
A work arrangement in which supervisors direct or permit employees to regularly or consistently perform their usual job duties away from their central workplace, in accordance with work agreements.

Telecommuter Work Agreement:
The written agreement between the employer and employee that details the terms and conditions of an employee's work away from his or her central workplace. Work agreements are required for telecommuting.

Tele-eligible:
A position that is deemed eligible by Human Resources for the supervisor/JMU and the employee to enter into a telecommuter work agreement.

4. APPLICABILITY

This policy applies to all eligible university positions and employees.

5. POLICY

5.1 Normally, work is performed on university premises.

5.2 There may be occasions when alternate work arrangements meet the needs of the university. Telecommuting may be an appropriate alternative work arrangement when determined by the supervisor and senior vice president or executive director to the president as such.

5.3 Upon the recommendation of the supervisor, the senior vice president or executive director to the president makes the sole decision to begin, suspend, or discontinue a telecommuting arrangement.

5.4 Positions that may be best suited for telecommuting are positions where:

  • Activities can be effectively performed outside the office.
  • Contact with other employees and constituents is predictable and can be scheduled.
  • Adequate security of data can be assured for the work handled at an alternate work site.
  • The technology needed to perform the job off-site is currently available.
  • Cyclical work does not present a problem.
  • Constituent contact can be readjusted to allow for telephone communications or such contact can be conducted when the employee is in the office.
  • The use of photocopies, fax machines or other specialized equipment can be scheduled for days the employee is in the office.

5.5 Requests and approvals for telecommuting will be made on a case-by-case basis. The approval of a position to telecommute does not mean that the individual in the position would be authorized to work at alternate work sites. The position should be re-evaluated at least annually to determine if telecommuting continues best to meet the department's needs. For assistance in determining whether or not a position should be considered for telecommuting, a "Tele-eligible Considerations Check List" is attached.

6. PROCEDURES

6.1 Working Conditions Under Telecommuting

There are a variety of issues that must be discussed between the department and employee before allowing telecommuting. The following is a list of topics that must be considered and included in a telecommuting agreement, a sample of which is attached to this policy. Supervisors are encouraged to contact Human Resources Workforce Management for guidance when considering a telecommuting arrangement.

6.1.1 Compliance with Policies

Employees must agree to comply with university rules, policies, practices and instructions and understand that violation of such may result in the termination of the telecommuting arrangement and/or disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

6.1.2 Security of Records

Supervisors must discuss with employees what records may or may not be taken from the office and any procedures for removing and returning them. Employees are responsible for the security of all documents, data and records in their possession.

6.1.3 Hours of Work

The amount of time the employee is expected to work per pay period will not change due to participation in the telecommuting program. Hours of work must remain the same unless specified in the telecommuting agreement. The procedures for approval of overtime and the approval and use of leave must also be included.

Employees are responsible for reporting all hours worked each week. Failure to report time, like failure to obtain approval for overtime, can result in the termination of the telecommuting arrangement or other disciplinary action. Supervisors should periodically remind employees about their record-keeping duties, and must promptly discuss with the employee any discrepancies that arise between the work product and the hours reported.

6.1.4 Authorized Closing

Inclement weather must also be discussed. Employees working at home during a university closing would be expected to continue working unless that was not possible due to power outages or other conditions that prevent them from working. Employees telecommuting during an authorized closing would not receive compensatory leave.

6.1.5 Role and Compensation

Employees' classification, compensation and benefits will not change upon their acceptance of telecommuting agreement.

6.1.6 Primary Care

Telecommuting is not designed as a substitute for child or adult care. If children or adults in need of care are in the home during the employee's at-home working hours, another individual must be present to provide the primary care.

6.1.7 Termination of the Telecommuting Agreement

Management reserves the right to end the telecommuting arrangement at any time. Employees may be required to return to the work place immediately upon committing a Standards of Conduct offense, if deemed as having performance problems, or if management feels it is in the best interest of the university and/or the employee to end the arrangement, either permanently or temporarily.

6.1.8 Expenses of the Home

The university is not responsible for operating costs (such as electric bills), home maintenance, or other costs incurred by employees in the use of their homes as alternate work locations.

6.1.9 Equipment

The supervisor and employee must agree on what equipment will be used for telecommuting, i.e., computer/telephone lines, FAX machine, etc.

  • The employee will either use his or her own computer, or the department will provide one/ Employees who have Remote Privileged Access or access to any core systems are required to use a JMU configured computer
  • The employee may be reimbursed for telephone expenses
  • Additional telephone lines may need to be installed in the employee's alternate work location

Employees must agree to use equipment provided by the department and supplies for business purposes only, and to notify the department head immediately of equipment malfunction in order to initiate repair or replacement. Employees are responsible for properly securing all equipment used in accordance with IT standards. All university equipment located at an employee's premises is fully insured. Any damage or theft of the equipment must immediately be reported to the supervisor.

6.1.10 Liability

The university assumes no responsibility for injuries occurring in the employee's at-home workspace outside the agreed upon work hours or for liability damages to employees' real or personal property resulting from participation in the telecommuting program. General liability insurance protecting the actions of university employees is provided 365 days per year subject to the provisions of the insurance policy in effect at the time.

Workers' compensation coverage is limited to designated work areas in employees' homes or alternate work locations. Employees agree to practice the same safety habits they would use in the university and to maintain safe conditions in their alternate work locations. Employees must follow the normal reporting procedures for reporting work-related illness or injury.

6.2 Inspection of the Work Location

Prior to beginning the telecommuting program, an inspection of the work site should be conducted to ensure the location is suitable for performing the duties of the position and to inspect for safety (See: Sample Safety Checklist for Telecommuting). The employee or the supervisor may complete this form. If an employee identifies safety hazards, an on-site inspection by the supervisor may be needed.

The Telecommuter Work Agreement for Telecommuting should provide guidance on supervisory visits to the alternate work site and notice to the employee in advance.

6.3 The department must develop a telecommuter work agreement that incorporates employees' conditions of employment. A sample agreement is attached to this policy. Human Resources can be contacted for further assistance.

7. RESPONSIBILITIES

Senior vice presidents or the executive director to the president is responsible for the approval of any telecommuting agreement in their respective units/division.

Supervisors are responsible for the accurate execution of this policy.

Human Resources will determine which positions are appropriate for telecommuting and enter the information into the Personnel Management Information System when they:

  • Establish a position (PSP 130);
  • Re-establish a position (PSP 131); or
  • Change the designation of the position (PSP 160, Field Change).

8. SANCTIONS

Sanctions will be commensurate with the severity and/or frequency of the offense and may include termination of employment.

9. EXCLUSIONS

The policy does not apply to affiliates.

10. INTERPRETATION

While the authority to interpret this policy is granted to the President, it is generally delegated to the Director of Human Resources.

Previous version: March 2008
Approved by the President: March, 2008

Index Terms
Telecommuting