The University has the right to exercise customary functions of management, subject to Board of Regent’s policy, including, but not limited to, the following:
University employees may:
For the purpose of making employment decisions, the University maintains individual personnel files on current and former employees. This policy addresses access to those records in order to promote an informed public while maintaining the security of personnel records necessary to protect the privacy of employees and the interests of the University in fulfilling its mission.
Those responsible for the custody of personnel files shall determine information to be placed in the files. Only such information as is germane to the person's employment with the University shall be retained in these files. Examples of this type of information are:
Individuals may ask that materials relevant to their employment be included in their personnel file by written request to the Employment and Benefits Coordinator.
The following personnel records shall be deemed confidential and may be withheld from public access:
Personnel records not specifically falling within the exceptions provided above shall be available for public inspection in accordance with the Open Records Act.
Personnel files shall be made available to individuals to review in accordance with the Open Records Act. The files may be inspected by persons so entitled only under the supervision of the custodian or his or her designee in the administrative office where they are maintained. The President, as well as Executive Officers, shall have the authority to obtain and review personnel files within their offices. All access to personnel files will be governed by the Oklahoma Open Records Act.
Supervisors or administrators shall have access to the personnel files of persons employed or being considered for employment in their areas of responsibility on a need-to-know basis and shall have authority to share the information with others responsible for personnel recommendations and/or decisions. Further, other institutional officers or employees showing a legitimate need for the information shall be permitted such access.
Except as may otherwise be made confidential by statute, an employee (or his or her designee as authorized in writing and signed by the consenting employee) shall have a right of access to his or her own personnel file, provided:
6.3.4 Correction of Records
An employee may dispute the accuracy of any material or correspondence included in his or her personnel file. Such dispute should be directed to the custodian of the file in writing. If the dispute is not resolved by mutual agreement, the employee may submit certain personal responses to any alleged invalid materials or correspondence to be included in his or her file.
Any false, incomplete, or incorrect statement, answer or representation, given intentionally or unintentionally by any person, either orally or in writing, pertaining to availability, acceptability, or eligibility for employment in any department, division, classification, or position at the University or pertaining to personal information or background which is elicited for any authorized form, record, or file may result in refusal of employment by the University. If such information is found after employment, appropriate disciplinary action may be taken, up to and including dismissal.
An employee desiring to be considered for a vacancy should apply through the Employment and Benefits Office.
For assistance in filling a vacant position, supervisors should refer to Section 2 (Recruitment, Selection, and Employment) or contact the Employment and Benefits Office for guidance.
The University encourages the upward mobility of employees to positions for which they are qualified and which meet their career interests and objectives.
To provide equitable consideration and opportunity for qualified employees to fill vacant positions at the University, transfers may be made. An employee desiring to transfer should discuss possibilities with his or her supervisor. Arrangements for interviews and transfers may be made upon agreement with the employee and the supervisor.
Promotions will be based on qualifications including experience, education, attendance, ability, and other job-related factors.
An employee interested in promotional opportunities must provide the Employment and Benefits Office with updated employment application material.
Departments accepting an employee by transfer, promotion, or demotion will be responsible for the employee's accumulated annual, sick, and personal leave balances at the time of transfer.
Except as prohibited by the laws of the State of Oklahoma, relationship by consanguinity (blood) or by affinity (marriage) shall not, in itself, be a bar to appointment, employment, or advancement by the University or, (in the case of faculty members,) to eligibility for tenure. The University recognizes, however, that there is an inherent conflict of interest when an employee makes hiring, promotion, or salary decisions about a family member, although there may be extremely rare circumstances when the potential benefit to the University in having an employee supervise a family member outweighs the potential harm.
Therefore, no two persons who are related by affinity or consanguinity within the third degree shall be given positions in which either one is directly responsible for making recommendations regarding employment, promotions, salary, or tenure for the other; nor shall either of two persons so related who hold positions in the same budgetary unit be appointed to an executive or administrative position in that unit or to a position involving administrative responsibility over it, as long as the other person remains in the unit, without first receiving a waiver that has been recommended by the Vice President for Academic Affairs, or the appropriate Vice President, and approved by the President and Board of Regents. In recommending the waiver, the Vice President for Academic Affairs or the appropriate Vice President must make a written statement of the facts that have led him/her to conclude that the benefit to the University in granting the waiver outweighs the potential harm. In addition, the Vice President for Academic Affairs or the appropriate Vice President must propose in writing a means by which a qualified, objective person, unrelated to the employee at issue, shall make performance evaluations and recommendations for compensation, promotion, and awards for that employee and state in writing how that means will avoid the conflict of interest. The statement and proposal for supervision shall be made part of the Board of Regents’ agenda item. Further, a salary increase above the average increase granted to all University employees in similar positions will not be granted to an employee who has been granted a waiver under this policy unless it has been approved by the applicable Vice President for Academic Affairs or appropriate Vice President and the President.
It is the responsibility of the head of the budget unit to seek a waiver before offering employment to any person whose employment would violate this policy, and the willful failure to follow this policy may result in disciplinary action against the head of the budget unit. Notwithstanding any other provision of this policy, a conditional hire, prior to approval of the Board of Regents, may be made pursuant to this policy if deemed necessary for legitimate academic or business reasons if justified in writing by the appropriate Vice President and approved by the President. At the next regular meeting of the Board of Regents, the written justification and the conditional hire will be considered by the Board of Regents.
Relatives that are within the third degree of relationship to an employee by consanguinity or affinity include the following: spouse, parent, parent of spouse, grandparent, grandparent of spouse, great-grandparent, great-grandparent of spouse, uncle or aunt, uncle or aunt of spouse, brother or sister, brother or sister of spouse, son or daughter, son-in-law or daughter-in-law, grandson or granddaughter, grandson’s or granddaughter’s spouse, great grandson or great granddaughter, and great grandson’s or great granddaughter’s spouse. For the purposes of this policy, step-and half relatives are considered to be related by affinity.
Oklahoma Teachers' Retirement System regulations require a minimum of 60 calendar days between a retiree's last day of pre-retirement public education employment and any such post-retirement employment. Retirees may return to work as part-time employees, but only within the parameters established by the Oklahoma Teachers' Retirement System and state law. Copies of the regulations and related information are available in the Employment and Benefits Office.
An employee who has two or more years of continuous service and who is reinstated by the University within six months following termination under satisfactory conditions will have his or her previously accrued sick leave balance and annual leave accrual rate restored to his or her employment record. A reinstated employee participating in TIAA/CREF at the time of termination will be eligible for immediate participation in this benefit.
A probationary period is used to evaluate an individual’s ability to perform his or her assigned duties; communicate effectively with co-workers; follow directions, rules, and policies; work in harmony with co-workers; and present a positive image of the University. The end of probationary status does not indicate “permanent” employment. The University maintains its right to employ at will and may choose to terminate or not renew an appointment to a position, regardless of probationary status.
All regular full-time and regular part-time newly hired and rehired employees will serve a probationary period. For non-exempt employees, this probationary period is the first six months of employment. Exempt employees will have a probationary period of one year. Probationary employees are eligible for all benefits except long-term disability coverage, which begins six months after employment.
The probationary period is a time during which the employee demonstrates the skills and abilities necessary to perform the duties assigned. Every supervisor should routinely keep documentation on each employee’s performance and satisfactorily document counseling sessions. As an employee’s evaluation period approaches (during the six month or twelfth month), those notes should be reviewed to determine whether the probationary employee should be retained.
If there is an interruption of service during the probationary period, the time lapse during the interruption shall not be included as part of the probationary period.
Upon promotion to a new classification, an employee shall be placed in a three-month probationary period to allow the supervisor a sufficient amount of time to measure the efficiency and productivity of the probationary employee. Such probationary periods do not affect an employee's eligibility for accrual or use of University benefits.
A three-month probationary period is also served each time an employee receives a transfer. Such probationary periods do not affect an employee's eligibility for accrual or use of University benefits.
6.10.3 Dismissal During Probationary Period
An employee may be dismissed at any time during the probationary period. Recommendations for dismissals shall be reported to the Employment and Benefits Office.
It is the responsibility of each employee to obtain an understanding of the University’s work standards, rules, and procedures of the workplace. If an employee fails to learn procedures, or if the employee persists in poor work habits, a supervisor may recommend termination through the normal chain of command.
If a student is a recipient of campus-based federal aid (Federal Work-Study, and/or Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants), that student cannot receive total aid in excess of his or her cost of attendance as determined by the Director of Financial Aid. Total aid is a combination of campus-based federal aid, Pell Grants, BIA Grants, grants and aid from outside sources, Guaranteed Student Loans, fee waiver scholarships, and other various types of financial aid. Therefore, if a student has a Federal Work-Study allocation, the student cannot be paid in excess of that allocation amount for a given academic year. However, a student who exhausts his or her federal work-study allocation or a student who does not receive any federal work-study money may receive non work-study money, subject to the University’s budget and other guidelines.
Application for student employment is made with the Student Work Coordinator in the Office of Enrollment Management.
Departments requesting assistance in hiring student workers must submit a completed Job Description Form – Student Employment to the Office of Enrollment Management. Upon receiving this request, the Student Work Coordinator will refer students seeking employment to the department for interviews. Applicants will continue to be referred to the department until a student has been hired to fill the position.
Upon approving a student for employment, departments must submit a completed Federal Work-Study Request Form or Non Work-Study Request Form to the Office of Enrollment Management. The Student Work Coordinator will then issue a Permit to Work Form that specifies student approval and the amount of pay approved. A student should not be employed if sufficient budget does not exist to cover the student’s non work-study payroll allocation. The Student Work Coordinator will forward the Permit to Work Form to the department.
A student should not work and will not be paid until all necessary employment paperwork has been completed and processed.
Student employees must not work more than twenty-four hours in any week without prior approval from the Student Work Coordinator, and he or she cannot exceed one thousand and forty hours per calendar year.
Each department must designate a student employee supervisor. The designated supervisor must be a full-time employee and should oversee the work assigned and performed by each student employee.
If a student is transferring from one department to another, the terminating department should complete a Request For Change in Status Form and forward it to the Student Work Coordinator in the Office of Enrollment Management.
If a student terminates employment and does not transfer directly to another job on campus, a Federal Work-Study Separation from Employment Form or Non Work-Study Separation from Employment Form is to be forwarded to the Office of Enrollment Management by the supervisor of the department where the student last worked. A Federal Work- Study/Non Work-Study Separation from Employment Form is not required if the student does not work during the summer term but is expected to return to work during the fall term.
6.11.3 Documentation and Compensation
The supervisor is responsible for tracking the time worked to ensure the student does not work more time than the allocation provides. When the federal work-study allocation is met, the department may request to change the student’s status from federal work-study to non work-study, provided the department has a sufficient student wages budget.
Each student is responsible for maintaining an accurate Student Monthly Time Sheet (Exhibit Q) documenting dates and hours worked each week. Students are expected to sign in and out on each day worked and may not work during scheduled class time. The Student Monthly Time Sheet must be approved by the supervisor and forwarded to the Student Work Coordinator for authorization by the last day of each month. Student payroll warrants for the previous pay period are available in the Bursar’s Office during business hours on the fifteenth day of each month. Students must present their student identification card to receive their payroll warrant. When the fifteenth day of the month falls on a weekend day, the student may receive his or her payroll warrant on the preceding work day. Student work programs are not scholarships; therefore, hours indicated must reflect actual time worked in order for the student to be compensated.
6.11.4 Budget Allocation
The Student Work Coordinator will maintain, monitor, and verify work-study and non work-study allocations and budgets to ensure allocations are not exceeded. Monthly reconciliations should be performed and made available for review by the Budget and Accounting Office, if requested.
To resign in good standing, a non-exempt employee must give notice at least ten working days prior to the effective date of the resignation. Exempt employees must give notice at least twenty working days prior to the effective date of resignation. Employees who fail to give the proper notice may forfeit all accumulated leave.
The letter of resignation should be submitted to the department supervisor. Supervisors are responsible for completing the Employee Transaction Form and submitting it with the letter of resignation through the appropriate chain of approval to the Employment and Benefits Office. Resignations shall be effective on the last day of service of the employee, and an employee shall not be paid for a holiday if the last day of service was prior to the holiday period. The salary of the employee who resigns before the end of the month will be pro-rated on the basis of workdays during the month of resignation.
6.12.2 Termination Clearance Process
The employee must meet with the Employment and Benefits Coordinator or designee for an Exit Interview and completion of an Employment Termination Form before the last day of work. This process includes return of keys, identification card, parking tag, pager, cell phone, credit card, uniforms, tools, library materials, or any other items issued during employment. The employee must make payment for all financial obligations to the University, including payments to the Bursar Office, Child Development Center, and Bookstore. The employee will be provided with contact information for all current benefit vendors and COBRA.
Staff employees may be dismissed immediately when deemed to be in the best interest of the University. Termination of employees with five or more years of service will be reviewed by the appropriate executive officer or his or her designee before termination is final. A copy of each written notice of termination or layoff must be submitted to the Employment and Benefits Office. The employee must complete the termination clearance process as defined in Section 6.12.2.
The University recognizes the employee’s right to appeal a decision of his or her termination. If an employee is terminated, he or she may appeal the decision to the next level of management by preparing a written notice explaining the reasons for the appeal. Further appeals are allowed through the chain of command
The missions of the University are teaching; research and creative/scholarly activity; and professional and University service and public outreach. As professionals, University faculty are individually and primarily responsible for arranging their time among such academic functions as teaching assignments, research, service, continuing education, and consultation. Such arrangements will be subject to evaluation and approval by appropriate authorities as part of a faculty member’s total professional activity during the year with reference to department, school, and University criteria for merit salary increases, tenure, and promotion.
The professional expertise of the faculty is normally available to the state and its citizens for incidental and minor services without remuneration. When, however, the services desired from outside the University exceed a reasonable and mutually agreed limit, direct extra remuneration may be accepted, provided the extent of the involvement does not infringe on the faculty member’s regular University duties.
A person who accepts full-time faculty employment at the University assumes a primary professional obligation to the University. Any other employment or enterprise in which he or she engages for income shall be secondary to his or her University work. In addition, the academic department head should be informed and approve of arrangements which are made to dismiss classes or provide substitute teachers for them when the faculty members are to be absent from these duties. All professional activities, whether within the University or without, whether for extra remuneration or for no remuneration of any kind, should contribute to the faculty member’s professional growth or efficiency and to his or her teaching or scholarly competence.
After prior written arrangement, faculty members may engage in professional activities for extra remuneration (from within the University or from outside sources or in any combination of the two) to a maximum of 25% of their full-time professional effort. Faculty on twelve-month appointments may not receive extra compensation for teaching in the summer term or for performing sponsored research.
During any portion of the summer in which faculty members are not under appointment with the University, they may engage in outside employment without restriction.
Within the University, the time required for all extra compensation assignments during the entire year and for all professional assignments during the summer will be determined by those responsible for the various programs as an appropriate fraction of the faculty member’s full-time professional effort and the University will pay the faculty member the corresponding fraction of his or her base salary rate. The time required for all professional activities for extra remuneration outside the University will be determined by the faculty member as an appropriate fraction of his or her full-time professional effort when approval for such activity is requested.
Approval of outside employment shall be requested on a form Application for Permission to Engage in Outside Employment available in the Employment and Benefits Office. Such applications and arrangements must be submitted at the beginning of each contract year and is the responsibility of the faculty member. All activities performed inside the University for extra compensation must be arranged, as all in-load assignments are, with the agreement of the department head, dean, and Vice President for Academic Affairs.
Faculty should avoid possible conflicts of interest with the University in all outside employment. Questions regarding potential conflicts of interest should be addressed to the Vice President for Academic Affairs who may wish to consult the University Legal Counsel.
No faculty member may hold a split (joint) appointment, which reflects more than a total of 1.0 full-time equivalent.
The policy for faculty shall apply to staff who are on the monthly payroll. Each Vice President may stipulate a more restrictive policy pertaining to staff within his or her administrative area.
With prior written approval, such individuals may engage in professional activities for extra remuneration (within the University or from outside sources or in any combination of the two) to a maximum of 25% of their twelve-month full-time professional effort, but they may not receive extra compensation for teaching in the summer term or for performing sponsored research.
Staff who are on the fixed payroll shall request approval of outside employment on a form, Request for Permission to Engage in Outside Employment available from the Employment and Benefits Office. All activities performed inside the University for extra compensation must be arranged, as regular assignments are, with the agreement of the appropriate department chair/head, dean where applicable, and Vice President.
6.13.3 Hardship Provision
If this policy creates a demonstrable hardship for a University program, exceptions may be granted by the President in response to a written request.
This University employment policy is designed to give each employee a full opportunity for work success. This objective is dependent upon good employee selection procedures, meaningful employee orientation, appropriate on-the-job training, and a positive approach toward employee discipline by University supervisors. Disciplinary action is a corrective process to help employees overcome work-related shortcomings, strengthen work performance, and achieve success. When problems occur, they should be handled in reasonable ways that jointly support the concept of positive discipline and minimize the interruption of University services. Employee discipline may be needed and, as a corrective procedure, is an integral part of University employment policy.
Underlying discipline, however, is an expectation that supervisors will direct their efforts toward employee development and success. When discipline is necessary, the positive guidelines below should be used as part of employee development. The guidelines are not expected to be rigidly applied but will be suitable for most University discipline situations. Depending upon the circumstances and the supervisor's judgment in individual cases, repeating a step, skipping a step, or moving to immediate dismissal may be appropriate.
Supervisors are expected to document disciplinary action taken. The documentation should contain a clear description of the behavior that prompted the discipline, the action taken by the supervisor, and how the employee's conduct must change and in what time frame. Even verbal warnings should be documented in the employee's departmental file to record that the warning was in fact given. All documentation must be factual and complete.
6.15.1 Oral Reprimand
This first step in the procedure involves a discussion between a supervisor and an employee about a minor work performance problem. The objective is to correct the problem by indicating how actual performance falls short of desired performance. This step should ensure that no employee is disciplined for violation of a policy or procedure he or she might reasonably not know about.
6.15.2 Written Reprimand
This is usually the second step in the procedure if an oral reprimand has not corrected the problem. If the offense is of a serious nature, a written reminder may be an appropriate first step. It formalizes a discussion between a supervisor and an employee about a performance deficiency.
6.15.3 Disciplinary Leave
An employee may be placed on a disciplinary leave of absence with or without pay when it is in the best interest of the University to do so. Leave with pay will normally not exceed one day. Leave without pay may not exceed five working days. This step is usually taken after unsatisfactory performance has not been corrected following the application of an oral and/or written reminder. It may be taken as a first and final step before discharge in the event of a major offense. An employee returning to work following disciplinary leave must agree to work in a manner that includes following rules and regulations and correcting unsatisfactory performance.
This is not a step in the positive discipline procedure. It is an action that may be taken when positive steps have been used but performance has not changed or when an employee has committed a major offense. A major offense is one that involves willful misconduct, dishonesty, seriously threatens University operations or the safety and well-being of the individual or other employees, or behavior that is unacceptable to the University.
When circumstances permit, prior to dismissal, an employee should be given an opportunity to explain his or her actions. It is recommended that, when possible, supervisors contact the Employment and Benefits Coordinator before discharging an employee. See Section 6.12.3 for additional information.