4.3 Workplace Policies and Procedures
Kennesaw State University is a dynamic, developing regional university in the University System of Georgia and is committed to providing an inviting and supportive learning environment. The university values and promotes excellence in its central missions of teaching and service and encourages scholarly activity and research in support of these aims and to further professional development. In order to attract and retain the most highly qualified and accomplished scholars, practitioners, and administrators from the academic disciplines and the professions, Kennesaw State University recognizes that faculty must have the opportunity for self-renewal and revitalization on a continuing basis. Practicing their professions outside the university can contribute greatly to their service to students, the institution and society.
Consulting is defined as “additional activity beyond duties assigned by the institution, professional in nature and based in the appropriate discipline for which the individual receives additional compensation during the contract year” (BoR Policy 126.96.36.199). This includes providing professional advice, services or products to a client in return for a fee, honorarium or other tangible advantage (NOT “WAGES”). A client, for purposes of this policy, is defined as: one who applies to a professional for advice.
Outside activity for compensation may be related to the professional expertise for which the employee was hired or may be unrelated to that field. In either case these activities must be communicated to the employee’s immediate supervisor as described in the pertinent sections that follow.
Exclusions: The above definitions do not include, for purposes of this policy:
- Non-compensated services to the profession, such as editing a journal, serving as an officer of a professional organization, etc. These are assumed to be included in the general guidelines of institutional responsibilities.
- Contract research or grant, in which an outside agency, public or private, “buys” an employee’s “time” from teaching in order that research or other activity be accomplished, and in which there is a contractual relationship between the university and the outside agency.
Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment
Conflict of commitment is defined as any activity which interferes with an employee’s contractual duties. Such conflicts should be resolved by the procedures outlined in this policy. Conflict of interest is defined as any activity or situation in which personal gain or interest is in conflict with the individual’s obligation to the institution. Public employees have a need to be especially sensitive to outside activities which provide personal gain at public expense. As a result, situations or activities which have potential for a conflict of interest should be discussed thoroughly and must be approved in writing before any agreements are finalized.
Conflict of interest questions should be guided by the policies established by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. The pertinent policies are 188.8.131.52, 184.108.40.206, 220.127.116.11, and 18.104.22.168.
In cases where questions of conflict of interest arise, initial discussion and resolution should be undertaken at the lowest level possible. If resolution is not possible at that level, discussion with higher level supervisors may be necessary. Final resolution of conflict of interest questions will rest with the president of Kennesaw State University.
Relationship of Outside Activity Agreements to Kennesaw State University
Kennesaw faculty involved in outside employment activity must make clear to the contracting party that they are operating as independent contractors — NOT as agents of Kennesaw State University. An agent is defined as one who has the authority to act on the behalf of another, in this case the other being Kennesaw State University.
Kennesaw State University assumes no responsibility concerning the outside employment agreement unless arrangements are made with an authorized agent of the university. The employee will not be considered as an appropriate agent for this purpose. If the name of Kennesaw State University is to be used in the establishment of an outside agreement, written authorization must be obtained from the department chair, college dean, Provost and vice president for academic affairs and vice president for business and administration.
Use of University Facilities, Equipment and Resources
Use of university resources is permitted only when advanced arrangements have been made to enable the university, or the University System, to recover the costs of materials, computer time, etc. Computer time will be charged at the commercial rate. Use of university letterhead and business cards are not permitted in outside activities for compensation. Prior to initiating an outside activity agreement involving use of university services, arrangements for reimbursement must be made in the business office or computer services.
Reporting Procedures and Related Expectations
Unrelated Outside Employment Activity
Employees engaged in outside activities for compensation should exercise good judgment to insure that such activities do not result in a “conflict of interest” or a “conflict of obligation” to Kennesaw State University. In order to avoid such conflicts the following procedures should be used.
Any employee engaged in such activities must report such activities to their immediate supervisor at the inception of those activities and should thereafter report quarterly as to the nature and extent of such activities.
Any potential conflicts identified in discussion of such activities should be resolved by discussion between the employee and the employee’s immediate supervisor with the college dean or other appropriate second-level supervisor providing final review and resolution if necessary.
Related Outside Professional Activity
Outside activities for compensation related to the professional field of a faculty member are encouraged by Kennesaw State University as such activities may provide for personal and professional development and provides exposure for the university.
The implementation of the following guidelines for related outside activity for compensation is the primary responsibility of the individual employee and the employee’s immediate supervisor.
In all cases, related outside activity for compensation should be discussed with the employee’s immediate supervisor; and the Outside Activity Form must be completed following the guidelines established in the policy statement.
Potential or actual problems arising from a related outside activity (excepting in cases of conflict of interest) are to be resolved by discussion between the employee and the employee’s immediate supervisor, with the college dean or other appropriate second-level supervisor providing final review and resolution if necessary. All outside activity for compensation must be discussed with the immediate supervisor for communication purposes and must be reported through completion of the Outside Activity Form.
In completing the Outside Activity Form the following procedures should be adhered to:
Submit a copy of the Outside Activity Form to the immediate supervisor for review and approval. In the event the employee requesting outside employment is a supervisor, the next higher supervisor will be the initial recipient of the request form.
The immediate supervisor should submit the Outside Activity Form to the second-level supervisor for review. If the second-level supervisor deems it necessary, a copy of the request will be submitted to the chief academic officer and/or chief fiscal officer, as appropriate.
In all cases where resources and/or release time are involved, the vice president for business and administration must review the related outside employment activity request to insure that the activity is appropriate and that proper accounting procedures required by the university and the University System are being followed.
Interpretations necessary for the implementation of this policy shall not replace nor negate the approval procedures as stated.
“The mission of Kennesaw State University is to provide a learning environment in which all members of the university community are free to pursue their professional and personal goals. Sexual harassment is not only illegal, but an intolerable interference with the attainment of our mutual goals. Unwelcome sexual advances and conduct seriously damage the learning and work climate, and it is the university’s intention to protect our environment from such abuses. Resolution of complaints of sexually harassing behavior should be attained as informally as possible, but in the absence of that cooperation, we will enforce our policies to the fullest, up to and including dismissal.”
– President Daniel S. Papp
Kennesaw State University follows the established policy on Sexual Harassment of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. That policy (8.2.16 in the Regents’ Policy Manual) is as follows:
Federal law provides that it shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice for any employer, because of the sex of any person, to discharge without cause, to refuse to hire, or otherwise discriminate against any person with respect to any matter directly or indirectly related to employment or academic standing. Harassment of an employee on the basis of sex violates this federal law. Sexual harassment of employees or students in the University System is prohibited and shall subject the offender to dismissal or other sanctions after compliance with procedural due process requirements. Unwelcome sexual advancements, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment when:
- Submission to such conduct is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic standing; or
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment or academic decisions affecting an individual;
- Such conduct unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work or academic performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or academic environment. (BoR Minutes, 1980- 81, p. 237-37)
Using the definition contained in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidelines, the 1984 “Policy Statement on Sexual Harassment” defines sexual harassment as follows:
Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment when (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment [or academic advancement], (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions [or academic decisions] affecting such individual, (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work [or academic] performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working [or academic] environment.
Sexual harassment can occur in situations where one person has power over another, but it can also occur between equals. Both men and women can be sexually harassed, though women are most often victimized.
Examples of Sexually Harassing Behavior
Examples of sexual harassment may be found in campus brochures and other documents. Such examples include sexual innuendoes and comments, intrusive sexually explicit questions, offensive jokes or language, unwanted physical contact, offensive gestures or motions, repeatedly asking a person out for a date, threats, leering or ogling at a persons body, stalking, displaying of sexually suggestive pictures or written materials, etc.
A relationship between a faculty member and a student should be considered one of professional and client in which sexual relationships are inappropriate. The power differential inherent in such relationships, as well as in those between a supervisor and an employee, compromise the subordinate’s ability to freely decide.
Although the University does not specifically forbid sexual relationships between individuals where a professional power differential exists, it actively discourages consenting sexual relationships between faculty and student or supervisor and employee. It warns that a faculty member who enters into a sexual relationship with a student (or a supervisor with an employee) where a professional power differential exists, must realize that if a charge of sexual harassment is subsequently lodged, it will be exceedingly difficult to prove immunity on grounds of mutual consent.
AAUP Statement on Sexual Harassment
Kennesaw State University follows the basic principles and procedures recommended by the American Association of University Professors in its “Sexual Harassment: Suggested Policy and Procedures for Handling Complaints” printed in its Policy Documents & Reports (1984).
Procedures for Handling Complaints of Sexual Harassment
As illustrated in the examples, sexual harassment includes a range of behaviors, some more harmful than others, but none acceptable. If an individual is uncertain about whether something happening is sexual harassment, he or she should seek the advice of a trusted individual about the situation.
If the person harassing an individual has power over his or her education or employment, it is understandable that the individual might fear reprisal if steps are taken to end the harassment. An individual has the right to pursue an education and work in an environment free of this kind of interference. The University’s policies are intended to protect an individual against reprisals.
Early efforts to control a potential harassing situation are very important. Sometimes an individual can stop sexual harassment by telling the person directly that he or she is uncomfortable with the person’s behavior and would like it to stop. Writing a letter can also be effective.
Formal Complaints and Grievances
A faculty or staff member who wishes to file a formal complaint of sexual harassment against another employee of the university should contact the university’s Affirmative Action/EEO Officer. Once a complaint is received the following process shall be followed.
- The EEO officer (or his/her designee) must notify in writing the person(s) whose actions or behavior is/are at issue of the allegation of sexual harassment as soon as possible, but definitely within one week of receiving the complaint from the aggrieved faculty or staff member. The immediate supervisor of the person against whom the complaint is made should be notified at the same time.
- If the EEO officer (or his/her designee), after investigation, finds that the complainant does not have reasonable grounds for complaint he/she shall so notify in writing the complainant, the person(s) about whom the complaint is made, and that person(s)’ immediate supervisor. This investigation and notification will take place within sixty days of the receipt of the complaint by the EEO office.
- If the EEO officer (or his/her designee), after investigation, finds the complainant may have reasonable cause for complaint he/she will so notify in writing the complainant, person(s) about whom the complaint is made, and that person(s)’ immediate supervisor. The investigation and notification will take place within sixty days of the receipt of the complaint by the EEO’s office. On the same date that such written notification is delivered to the parties, the EEO officer (or his/her designee) will contact the chair of the university council. The chair of the council will then be responsible for establishing an ad hoc committee of five (faculty/administrative faculty/staff members) to hear the discrimination complaint and make recommendations. The names and contact information of the five members of the ad hoc committee shall be communicated by the chair of the university council to the EEO officer (or his/her designee).
- Prior to the hearing the EEO officer (or his/her designee) will arrange that the ad hoc committee shall meet and elect a chair from among the five members. The chair will conduct the hearing. The chair may participate in all deliberations, but will not vote except in the case of a tie.
- The hearing committee may draw up its own rules of procedure, and the committee is not bound by any formal rules of legal proceedings and may hear any information that may be of value in determining the issues involved, but minimum due process shall include the right of both parties to be notified in writing at least ten business days in advance of the date, time, and place of the hearing; the right of the person against whom the complaint has been made to be informed in writing of the specific nature of the complaint against him/her and of the evidence and/or witnesses on which it is based; and the right of both parties to present evidence and witnesses on their behalf and to question witnesses. The EEO officer (or his/her designee) shall act to make certain these due process rights are met. The supervisor of the person about whom the complaint is made will be notified that a hearing has been scheduled. The EEO officer (or his/her designee) will attend the hearing and may present any report created or evidence or information obtained during the EEO office’s investigation if requested to do so by either party or by the committee. The EEO officer (or his/her designee) shall retain all records associated with the complaint, his/her investigation, the hearing, the committee’s written report, and the president’s written decision for such length of time as required by Georgia law.
- Each party has the right to a non-attorney adviser to assist in preparing and presenting his/her case before the committee. Those present during the hearing will be the members of the ad hoc committee, the EEO officer (or his/her designee), the parties to the complaint, one non-attorney adviser for each party, and such witnesses as are necessary. Each witness shall be present only when his/her presence is necessary to present information and/or answer questions. No other persons shall be present unless agreed upon in writing by the chair of the committee, both parties, and the EEO officer (or his/her designee).
- All decisions and recommendations will be based on a majority vote, and be rendered according to the principle of the preponderance of evidence. Only the five members of the ad hoc committee should be present during deliberation except that the EEO officer (or his/her designee) may be present to answer policy questions.
- The hearing committee will be expected to produce a written report summarizing the information presented, indicating and explaining its decision, and making recommendations, if desirable, to any party or parties. Copies of the written report will be submitted to each party in the case (complainant and person about whom complaint is made), immediate supervisor of person about whom complaint is made, the EEO officer (or his/her designee), the chief legal officer for the university, and the president of the university within five business days from the completion of the hearing. The chair of the hearing committee shall act to make certain the written report is delivered to the proper persons. The opinions and recommendations of the ad hoc committee are advisory and in no way bind the president to the recommended actions.
- After consideration of the ad hoc committee’s written report, the president shall make a decision and communicate it in writing within five business days to the complainant, the party or parties against whom the complaint has been made, the EEO officer (or his/her designee), the chief legal officer of the university, and the immediate supervisor(s) of the employee(s) against whom the complaint has been made.
- Nothing in this process prohibits the parties from settling this matter at any stage with the assistance of mediation through the Office of the University Ombuds (770-423-6112), if appropriate. However, any attempt to settle the matter through mediation does not affect time deadlines for this process.
- Any faculty or staff complaints of sexual harassment against a KSU student or student complaints of sexual harassment against other students should be addressed to the KSU Department of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity (formerly Office of Judiciary Programs).
- Any student complaint of sexual harassment against a KSU faculty or staff member shall be addressed as outlined in the Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities (found in the catalogue) under the heading, “Student Grievance Procedures for Discrimination and/or Retaliation.”
See Board of Regents’ Policy on Amorous Relationships found here: http://www.usg.edu/hr/manual/amorous_relationships