Policy 1323
New Employee Orientation UNDER REVIEW

Date of Current Revision: April 2011
Primary Responsible Officer: Director of Human Resources


This policy provides the university's rules for new employee orientation.


The Board of Visitors is given the authority to establish personnel policies for all employees of the university. This power is delegated to the President in areas in which the Board of has not established policy. The President has mandated that new employees will receive an appropriate introduction to the university and their roles as members of the university community.


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.

Classified Employee
At JMU, a non-faculty, full-time employee who is covered by the Virginia Personnel Act.

Instructional Faculty
The members of the faculty who have responsibilities that include teaching, research and service as the majority of their duties.

A systematic, strategic program designed to educate and inform new employees for the purpose of making their employment experience more fulfilling and their work more productive.

Wage employee
As defined by the Commonwealth, a wage employee is a part-time, temporary or seasonal employee who is limited to working no more than 1500 hours in any 365-day period.


This policy applies to all full-time classified employees and where indicated to new wage employees and full and part-time faculty members.


Orientation occurs in two phases. Phase One (traditional benefits, performance and compensation information) is required for all new full-time classified employees. Phase Two (non-traditional benefits) is strongly recommended for all new full-time classified employees and is optional for new wage employees and full and part-time faculty members.


The orientation program is designed to provide new employees with general information about the university and its programs, benefits and personnel policies and procedures. Phase One orientation is held every two weeks while Phase Two orientation is held every other month. New classified employees are scheduled for the Phase One and Phase Two orientation sessions closest to their employment date as part of their Onboard session.

Wage employees and full and part-time faculty are encouraged to attend and enroll in Phase Two orientation by having their supervisor e-mail the employee's name, e-mail address, and supervisor's name to jobs@jmu.edu or by calling the HR Service Center at 8-6165.

To assist supervisors in the orientation process, a departmental checklist, accompanied by the Welcome Letter, is sent to supervisors of classified employees by JMU's Employee Ombudsperson. Additions may be made to the checklist to cover unique departmental requirements. The signed letter and checklist should be returned to the Employee Ombudsperson to reside in the employee's personnel file in Human Resources.


Division heads, deans, directors, department heads and supervisors are responsible for the application of this orientation policy. Supervisors are required to ensure that all new, full-time employees covered under this policy participate in Human Resource's Orientation sessions. In addition, division heads, AVPs, deans, directors, department heads and supervisors are responsible for providing newly appointed, promoted or transferred employees with job training and information specific to departmental operations.

Formal orientation sessions are the responsibility of Human Resources.


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


Faculty Orientation for new faculty members is coordinated by the Office of Academic Affairs and occurs in late August before the start of the fall semester. Faculty and wage employees do not attend Phase One orientation and are encouraged to attend Phase Two orientation.


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

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

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