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Human Resources

Policies & Procedures

State Compliance

10.1 Candidates for Political Office

Any employee of the University who becomes a candidate in any primary or general election for any county, state, or federal office, shall, prior to announcing his or her candidacy for any said office, first offer his or her resignation to the Board of Regents, without reservation.  

In making the announcement of the adoption of the resolution, the Board of Regents stated that it did not want to be understood as offering discouragement to employees from becoming candidates for public office. Employees may regard it as their duty to become candidates.

10.2 Confidentiality of Library Records

The University adheres to Oklahoma and federal law with respect to confidentiality of library records. The records of library materials borrowed or used cannot be disclosed to anyone except: 

  1. Persons acting within the scope of their duties in the administration of the library;
  2. Persons authorized to inspect such records, in writing, by the individual or group whose records are sought; or
  3. As otherwise required by law.  

10.3 Conflicts of Interest

10.3.1 Purpose of Policy
This policy addresses situations where there might be a potential financial conflict between a particular outside interest of a faculty or staff employee and the obligation that the employee owes to the University such that an employee's profit or advantage may come, or reasonably appear to come, at the expense of the well-being of the University.

The purpose of this policy is to aid in identifying apparent, actual, and potential conflicts of interest and assuring that such conflicts do not improperly affect the activities or professional conduct of the University or its employees. It is not the intent of this policy to restrict legitimate work appropriate to the employee's profession or discipline, but only to provide the University with authority to take action that is appropriate, proportionate, and focused on substantial conflicts of interest that compromise an employee's professional judgment.

10.3.2 Statement of General Policy
The University is a public institution committed to the mission of teaching; research and creative/scholarly activity, and professional and University service and public outreach. To these ends, the University balances an assortment of principles: maintaining an atmosphere that promotes free and open scholarly inquiry; facilitating the transfer of information and technology for the benefit of the public; and serving as a prudent steward of public and private resources entrusted to it. Faculty and staff have a primary commitment to their basic University duties of teaching; research and creative/scholarly activity, and professional and University service and public outreach. These basic duties often limit outside activities. As a result, professional and personal activities may present conflict of interest situations, which should be evaluated under the auspices of this and other applicable policies.

Employee participation in outside professional, commercial, and pro bono publico activities can make important direct and indirect contributions to the strength and vitality of the University. Through participation in such activities, employees may add to knowledge and understanding that is relevant and useful to teaching and research within the University, develop sources of funding and support for activities carried out in the University, and establish relationships valuable to the University. Because of its value to the University, its rewards for an individual employee, and its contributions to the larger society of which the University is a part, the University recognizes that employee participation in outside professional, commercial, or pro bono publico activities is often appropriate.

Sound professional discretion is an integral part of the University's conflict of interest system. Any review of a potential conflict of interest will be undertaken in light of four general propositions.

First, conflicts of interest per se are inevitable and do not necessarily represent any impropriety by employees if disclosed in advance. Second, the failure to disclose a conflict of interest for administrative review and response would be a serious mistake for any employee and may be a breach of this policy. Third, there is a presumption in favor of allowing employees to act in dual roles once the conflict of interest has been disclosed (prior written approval is required in cases of potential conflicts involving federal grants or contracts). Fourth, conflicts of interest may be so profound or substantial that it would be best for all concerned if the employee did not participate in a particular transaction.

It is not possible to completely eliminate the potential for conflicts of interest because there are certain rewards and incentives that are inherent or appropriate in the structure of a University enterprise. Such conflicts become detrimental when the potential temptations, financial or otherwise, undermine reasonable objectivity in the design, interpretation, and publication of research; in setting University policies; in managing contracts; in selecting equipment and supplies; in involving students in sponsored projects; or in performing other roles in University governance in which objectivity and integrity are paramount. Furthermore, since allegations of conflicts of interest based on appearances can undermine public trust in ways that may not be adequately restored even when mitigating facts are brought to light, apparent conflicts should be avoided, when feasible and appropriate.  

Other sections of this policy notwithstanding, it is the ongoing responsibility of the employee to abide by the provisions of all other applicable federal and state laws, and the University's policies relating to conflicts of interest; to identify potential conflicts of interest; and to disclose and seek guidance on such matters from the appropriate vice president.

10.4 Ethics Policy

The State Ethics Commission was established under Article XXIX of the Oklahoma Constitution. The Commission is charged with promulgating rules of ethical conduct of state officials and employees, including civil penalties for violations of such rules. State officers and employees are to comply with the Ethics Commission “Act” [Section 4200 et seq. of Title 74] and the Ethics Commission “Rules” [Chapter 20 of Title 257 of the Ethics Commission rules]. The Rules and the Act deal with prohibitions against political activities, financial disclosure, conflicts of interest, and penalties and enforcement. For further detailed information, please contact the Vice President for Business Affairs.

10.5 Firearms Policy

Firearms and munitions of all types are prohibited on all property owned, leased, or occupied by the Board of Regents at all times except as specifically authorized below.

  1. For purposes of this policy, firearms include, but are not limited to, the following: conventional weapons, from which a projectile is discharged by an explosive propellant charge; antique, replica, and inert firearms; compressed gas weapons; and spring-propelled weapons. For purposes of this policy, munitions include, but are not limited to, any projectile which incorporates a propellant charge and/or explosive contents.
  2. Firearms are permitted on campus only under the following circumstances:
    1. In the possession or control of sworn law enforcement officers or properly licensed armed security guards employed by the University who are performing their assigned duties. The Director of Campus Police must approve in advance the use or employment of armed private security providers.
    2. In the possession of personnel of active or reserve armed forces of the United States or the Oklahoma National Guard when in the performance of duties assigned by an authorized commander.
    3. In the possession of ROTC participants when under the supervision of authorized members of the regular armed services.
    4. As “starter pistols,” incapable of chambering or firing live projectile ammunition, for athletic events. Starter pistols and blank ammunition shall be secured at all times when not in use, and shall be under the supervision and control of appropriate staff or athletic officials when in use.
    5. As construction equipment employing blank ammunition as a propellant for setting fasteners when used by and under the supervision of authorized and trained personnel.
    6. For use as a teaching aid, subject to the following conditions:
      1. Permission for such use must be granted by the academic dean and prior written notice of the presence of the firearm on campus must be given to the Director of Campus Police.
      2. Such firearms must be approved and secured by means acceptable to the Director of Campus Police.
      3. Except for recognized University shooting ranges and while under authorized supervision, munitions shall not be present with firearms when used in class.
    7. Any group desiring to use a firearm and/or munitions for ceremonial purposes on the campus will tender a request to the Director of Campus Police. The Director will review the request and forward it to the chief fiscal officer, who will in turn forward to the Office of Legal Counsel with a recommendation for approval or disapproval based upon safety considerations. The Office of Legal Counsel will notify the chief fiscal officer and any other appropriate officials of any approvals that are granted for the use of ceremonial firearms.
    8. For use during a public performance, subject to the following conditions:
      1. Firearms for use in public performances shall be rendered inoperable whenever discharge is not required as an integral part of the production.
      2. When discharge is necessary as part of a performance, blank ammunition shall be used. Blank ammunition is not permitted in weapons pointed at performers at any time during the production.
      3. Weapons present for a performance shall be kept secure or in the possession of a designated staff member at all times when not actively in use.
    9. For display in support of the educational mission of the University. Such firearms must be inoperable and approved and secured by means acceptable by the Director of Campus Police.
    10. The Rogers State University President has the authority to make exceptions to the above provisions when appropriate to further the University’s mission.

For purposes of this policy, “inoperable” means physically rendered incapable of firing either by removal of critical parts or installation of a device to prevent operation, or both. Where firearms are required to be inoperable, the Director of Campus Police shall inspect and certify that the firearm is inoperable.

10.6 Health and Safety

The University is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for the entire University community and to complying with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations pertaining to occupational and environmental safety. Academic and administrative personnel with supervisory and teaching roles must ensure that procedures are developed and followed which are designed to prevent injury, protect the assets of the University, and protect their environment. It is the responsibility of all University faculty, staff, and students to follow safe working practices, obey health and safety rules and regulations, and work in a manner that protects their health and that of others and does no harm to the environment.

However, in the event of an employee injury, the following practices will help guide the employee relative to his or her rights. Employees should follow the Procedures For Reporting An On-The-Job Injury  . For vehicular incidents, the employee should refer to the guide Accident Information Form . This guide is in the glove compartment of each University-owned vehicle and is available upon request in the Employment and Benefits Office.

The Department of Human Resources will assist the injured employee in filing an injury report with either Risk Management or workers’ compensation authorities, as appropriate.

10.6.1 Risk Management
If an individual sustains an injury on University property and is not involved in compensable work for the University, a Standard Liability Incident Report should be filed with the Department of Human Resources. The Oklahoma Governmental Tort Claims Act governs coverage provided for those individuals who are on state property but not performing compensable work and are injured while on state property. Claims to the State Risk Management Office will be evaluated to determine if the University is liable for damages. Additional information is available in the Department of Human Resources.

10.6.2 Workers’ Compensation
If an employee sustains an injury during the course of the performance of compensable work for the University, appropriate Workers’ Compensation claim forms must be filed through the Department of Human Resources. See further information about Workers’ Compensation.

10.7 Open Record Request

It is the policy of the University to abide by the Oklahoma Open Records Act and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) as they relate to records requests. Requests made under the Oklahoma Open Records Act should be sent to the Vice President for Business Affairs. Requests made under FERPA should be sent to the Office of Enrollment Management. Requests made to these two offices will be sent to the University’s Legal Counsel. The University’s Legal Counsel will facilitate and coordinate responses to the requests.

10.8 Political Activities of Employees             

An employee of the Board or University who participates in political activities must do so in a manner that:

  1. Does not imply, directly or indirectly, that the Board of Regents or the University endorses such activities;
  2. In no way interferes with the rights and privileges of other employees of the Board of Regents or the University;
  3. In no way interferes with the rights and privileges of students attending the University;
  4. In no way interrupts the normal routine operation of the University;
  5. In no way interferes with the assigned duties of the employee; and
  6. Does not utilize University funds, equipment, supplies, paid staff time, or other University resources for partisan political activities or a ballot measure.

Violation of these principles may be considered cause for disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.

10.9 Tobacco-Free Policy

The Board of Regents has established a Tobacco Free Policy consistent with Govenor Fallin's Executive Orders 2012-01 and 2013-43. All properties and facilities of Rogers State University are tobacco, electronic cigarette and vaping device-free.

Purpose
The purpose of this policy is to foster a healthier environment for students, faculty, staff and visitors on the Rogers State University campuses by minimizing tobacco use, which is the leading cause of death in Oklahoma and the United States. The policy is designed to prevent or reduce exposure of individuals to secondhand smoke, and to help reduce tobacco use among RSU students and employees. The policy is not intended to be judgmental of individual lifestyle choice or to be punitive towards any individual or group.

This policy is subject to all applicable laws and regulations and other recognized exceptions, including, without restriction, an exception allowing tobacco use for religious or ceremonial purposes.

Policy
The use of all tobacco products including but not limited to cigarettes, cigars, pipes, smokeless tobacco, electronic cigarettes and vaping device is strictly prohibited anywhere on University grounds or campus.

  1. The use of tobacco products, electronic cigarette and vaping device shall be prohibited in any buildings or portion thereof owned, leased, or operated by the University, including, without restriction, University housing/apartments, athletic facilities, within/on any University parking facility, in any vehicle owned or leased by the University, or on the University grounds or campus, including but not limited to public and non-public areas, offices, restrooms, stairwells, driveways, sidewalks, etc.
  2. This policy applies to all persons on University grounds or campus, including but not limited to students, faculty, staff, contracted personnel, vendors, and all visitors to the University campus. The policy applies to all University events.
  3. The sale of tobacco products, electronic cigarette and vaping device on University property is prohibited.

Communication of Policy

  1. APPROPRIATE SIGNAGE shall be posted strategically throughout the campus and in University facilities and vehicles as a reminder of the policy.
  2. The Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs will ensure that University faculty employment announcements and information provided to new faculty recruits and employees contain information about the tobacco, electronic cigarette and vaping device-free environment.
  3. The Office of Human Resources will ensure that Universtiy staff employment applications, both hard copy and online versions, contain information about the tobacco, electronic cigarette and vaping device-free environment, and that new employees receive information about the tobacco, electronic cigarette and vaping device-free policy during the new employee orientation.
  4. The Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs will ensure that University communications and information provided to prospective students and to new students includes information about the tobacco, electronic cigarette and vaping device-free environment.
  5. The full text of the policy shall be available to faculty and staff handbooks, and on the RSU website.

Compliance and Enforcement
Compliance with this policy by all students, employees, and visitors to the campus is expected based upon our commitment to a healthy environment on campus, and our responsibility to protect individuals from the adverse health effects of exposure to secondhand smoke. This depends on the consideration and cooperation of both users and non-users of tobacco, electronic cigarette and vaping device. All members of the University community share the responsibility of adhering to and enforcing the policy and have the responsibility for communicating the policy to visitors in a courteous and considerate manner. Any complaints should be brought to the attention of the appropriate University administrative personnel.

Non-compliance with this policy will be handled in the same manner as any other policy violation and is subject to the disciplinary process. After receiving an initial warning and reminder of the policy, repeated violations of the policy will be subject to fines of $10 for the second violation of the policy, and $50 for the third violation. An appeals process will be used similar to that used for appeals of parking fines.

10.10 Travel

The following travel reimbursement guidelines are based upon the State Travel Reimbursement Act, Title 74 O.S., Section 500.1 et seq., and procedures established by the Office of State Finance, unless otherwise noted.

Employees may be reimbursed for travel expenses incurred while conducting official University business or attending professional development events. Requests to attend professional meetings must be accompanied by a program or letter of invitation.

All out-of-state travel, except for routine business during the day, requires prior approval of the President. An Out-of-State Travel Request Form  should be submitted at least thirty days prior to the date of travel. Presidential approval must be obtained before any funds are encumbered or travel begins.

If available and requested, a University-owned vehicle may be reserved. If it becomes necessary to cancel a vehicle reservation, notification of the cancellation should be made to the Motor Pool so that the vehicle can be reassigned for another purpose.

Reimbursement for authorized expenses may be requested by completing a State of Oklahoma Travel Voucher, OSF Form 19, as soon as travel is completed. The form can be obtained from the Budget and Accounting Office in paper or electronic format. The amount claimed for reimbursement should not exceed the amount approved on the Out-of-State Travel Request Form if applicable. All required receipts must be attached to the form.

For additional guidance on travel procedures, please contact the Budget and Accounting Office.

10.10.1 In-State Reimbursement/General Provisions
Official travel status for the purpose of meals and lodging shall be defined as absence from the employee’s home area or official station area while performing assigned official duties; such trip must be of sufficient duration and distance to qualify as overnight absence from the person’s home or official duty station area.

10.10.2 Out-of-State Reimbursement/General Provisions
Reimbursement for meals and lodging on out-of-state trips shall not begin more than twenty-four hours before or continue more than twenty-four hours after the trip objective, such as a meeting, workshop, or conference.

10.10.3 Lodging
Reimbursement for overnight lodging for official travel status may be made at a rate not to exceed the specified limit per night for in-state or out-of-state travel, except for designated meeting sites. Receipts issued by the hotel, motel, or other public lodging place must accompany the claim for reimbursement. If the place of lodging is the designated meeting site, a brochure from the event sponsor reflecting such designation must be submitted with the claim.

10.10.4 Per Diem
Reimbursement for meals during official travel is authorized at rates set by Oklahoma Statute, provided the trip meets the overnight criteria. In computing the reimbursement for per diem, a day shall be a period of twenty-four hours. Reimbursement is not allowed for meals that have been provided as part of the registration fee or by any party other than the employee.

10.10.5 In-State Transportation
Travel by privately owned vehicle may be reimbursed based on the distance set forth by the official state map produced by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation. Any vicinity travel must be entered on travel claims as a separate item.

10.10.6 Out-of-State Transportation
Regardless of the mode of travel (including privately owned vehicle), reimbursement for out-of-state transportation costs shall not exceed that of coach airfare. However, travel by commercial airline on a first-class basis may be reimbursed if coach class space is not available within a reasonable time and is justified by attachment to the claim for reimbursements. Airline tickets for employee travel must be purchased from travel agents listed on the State contract. However, if a lower cost arrangement can be found with a non-listed travel agent, internet travel provider, or direct from the airlines, this lower cost arrangement will be allowed as a reimbursable cost, provided a written contemporaneous cost comparison is provided reflecting a lower cost.

Mileage for out-of-state travel by privately owned vehicle will be based upon the appropriate state map or a mapping internet site, such as MapQuest. Documentation provided with the claim must include the method of calculation.

10.10.7 Local Transportation
Taxi fares will be reimbursed only upon justification as to the necessity of their use.

Local transportation costs incurred during out-of-state travel may be reimbursed on the basis of an itemization of such costs. Reimbursement for leased or rented automobiles will be made in the same manner.

10.10.8 Transportation of Passengers
It is the policy of the University that non-employee passengers shall not be transported in state vehicles or private vehicles used for state business purposes where the employee expects to be reimbursed.

10.10.9 Miscellaneous Expenses
Reimbursement claims for miscellaneous travel expenses such as communication charges and registration fees for attending workshops, conferences, etc., must be itemized.

Reimbursement for communication charges incurred during travel must be necessary and justified.

10.10.10 Receipts Required
Lodging receipts from a motel, hotel, or other public lodging place must accompany the claim for reimbursement. The lodging receipt must show a zero balance; otherwise, proof of payment is required.

Reimbursement requests for leased or rented vehicles used in official University business must be supported by a receipt indicating the miles traveled.  

The original receipt for registration fees must accompany the claim for reimbursement. Copies of the registration fee receipt are not acceptable for reimbursement purposes.   

10.11 University-Owned Equipment/Facilities

10.11.1 Equipment
In accordance with state statutes, the use of any University asset by individuals or organizations for activities not directly related to the execution of University business is strictly prohibited. University-owned or controlled assets shall not be removed from the University premises except in cases where such equipment is to be used for University business.

10.11.2 Facilities
For information about scheduling University facilities for use during hours which do not conflict with regularly scheduled classes and events, contact the following individuals:

Facilities Contact
Academic classrooms and facilities Vice President for Academic Affairs
Auditorium Administrative Services Manager
Gym, Student Union, Soldier Field,Ropes Course, Field House   Dean of Students
Post Hall Director of Food Services

Each representative is responsible for procedures and forms necessary to schedule their respective facilities.

10.11.3 Pets 
Pets are prohibited on campus at all times unless as an aid for the disabled. Pets in University Housing units are controlled by the Housing Unit Contract.

10.12 University Records

In accordance with state statutes and the Oklahoma Archives and Records Commission, the University has designated the Vice President for Business Affairs as the liaison to the Oklahoma Archives and Records Commission. The University follows the Commission’s rules and procedures for retention and destruction of University records. All executive staff, deans, department heads, and departmental supervisors are provided General Records and Retention Schedules and updates to the schedules. The Administrative Services Manager assists in coordinating this effort and administers the University’s record storage facilities. The Chief Technology Officer coordinates the retention and destruction of all University electronic and computer-related records and files.

10.13 Use of State or University Owned Vehicles

Oklahoma statutes prohibit the use of state-owned vehicles for private purposes. The University prohibits the use of University-owned vehicles for private purposes. It is the policy of the University that passengers shall not be transported in State or University vehicles unless they are on State or University business.

A State-owned or University-owned vehicle should not be driven to the residence of an employee unless it is required in performing his or her official duties.

10.13.1 Driver’s License
Employees who are required to operate a University motor vehicle on any public roadway while in the performance of their regular duties must have a valid driver’s license issued by the State of Oklahoma. Below are the procedures to ensure adherence to this policy.

  1. The University will conduct a driver’s license verification and status review on new employees selected for positions that involve operation of a University motor vehicle. In addition, the University may conduct periodic driver's license verification and status reviews on all employees in positions involving operation of a University motor vehicle.
  2.  Any new employee who has applied and been accepted for University employment in a position where possession of a valid driver's license is a requirement and who is subsequently determined not to have (or have had at time of application) a valid Oklahoma driver's license will be considered to have submitted false information and will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.
  3. An individual who is employed by the University and who holds a valid out-of-state driver's license will be considered to be a properly licensed driver for employment purposes. However, any such employee must obtain a valid Oklahoma driver's license within thirty calendar days of the first day of employment. Failure to obtain an Oklahoma driver's license within this period may result in disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal. Student employees may operate a University motor vehicle in the course of their employment if they hold a valid driver's license issued by their state/country of residence/origin. The only driver's licenses recognized by the State of Oklahoma and Oklahoma law enforcement agencies are those issued in the United States and those issued by the country of origin of international students.
  4.  Current employees who must possess a valid driver’s license to perform their job duties are required as a condition of employment to notify their supervisor immediately upon receipt of any notification from the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety or any court of competent jurisdiction that their driver's license has been suspended or revoked or has in any way been modified or subjected to restrictions not previously known to the supervisor. Failure to make such notification may result in disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.
  5. Oklahoma law requires that holders of a driver's license who have taken legal action to change their name (through marriage, divorce, or court action) and/or have changed their mailing address must notify the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety of such change(s) within 10 days. University employees are expected to be in compliance with this provision of the law.  
  6.  If a current employee's license is suspended or revoked, expires, or is subject to modification or restriction, that employee will not be permitted to operate a University motor vehicle on any public roadway until the license is fully reinstated, renewed, or additionally modified. Until the employee's driving privileges are restored, the employee's department may reassign the employee to a job not requiring the operation of a University motor vehicle or place the employee on appropriate leave status, including but not limited to compensatory time, paid leave, or leave without pay. Before the employee may resume operating a University motor vehicle on public roadways, written confirmation from the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety verifying license reinstatement or conferring privileges to drive while at work or a properly issued renewal license must be presented to the supervisor.
  7. Employees are required to read the University’s Vehicle Regulations Policy and sign an agreement to follow the University’s policies and regulations.    

10.14 Whistle Blower

Employees shall not be disciplined or terminated for reporting actions taken by the employer that might violate the law as cited under the Whistle Blower Statute, 74 O.S. §840-2.5. For further information, contact the Employment and Benefits Office.