The page uses Browser Access Keys to help with keyboard navigation. Click to learn moreSkip to Navigation

Different browsers use different keystrokes to activate accesskey shortcuts. Please reference the following list to use access keys on your system.

Alt and the accesskey, for Internet Explorer on Windows
Shift and Alt and the accesskey, for Firefox on Windows
Shift and Esc and the accesskey, for Windows or Mac
Ctrl and the accesskey, for the following browsers on a Mac: Internet Explorer 5.2, Safari 1.2, Firefox, Mozilla, Netscape 6+.

We use the following access keys on our gateway

n Skip to Navigation
k Accesskeys description
h Help
University of West Alabama    
 
    
 
  Dec 11, 2017
 
2017 - 2018 Graduate Catalogue

General Information | 1


 

School of Graduate Studies

B. J. Kimbrough, Dean

The School of Graduate Studies at UWA offers programs leading to the degrees of Master of Education, Master of Arts in Teaching (Certification and Non Alabama Teacher Certification), Master of Business Administration, Master of Science, Master of Science in Adult Continuing Education, and Education Specialist.

Mission Statement

The University of West Alabama is a state-supported, coeducational institution of higher learning governed by a Board of Trustees appointed by the Governor. As a regional institution, the University’s foremost commitment is to meeting the educational needs of the State and particularly of the West Alabama area. Valuing a diverse student enrollment, though, it also welcomes students from throughout the United States and from other countries.

The primary purpose of the University is to provide opportunities for students to pursue a quality education through associate, baccalaureate, master’s, and education specialist degrees in liberal arts, natural sciences and mathematics, pre-professional programs, nursing, technology, business, and education. Importance is placed on providing opportunities within the curricula for the development of enhanced skills in critical thinking, communication, leadership, and computer literacy. The University also seeks to provide students opportunities for growth beyond the classroom through a wide range of extracurricular activities, programs, and services and through the maintenance of an environment of cultural and intellectual diversity. Through the total educational experience that it provides and through its encouragement of the free exchange of ideas among faculty, administration, and students, the University attempts to assist its students in developing the important qualities of independent thinking and respect for the ideas of others and in building firm foundations of personal integrity and character in order to realize their quests for a philosophy of life and for self-fulfillment.

At the University of West Alabama, the emphasis is upon the traditional learner, but the institution is also committed to furthering the concept of lifelong learning and to serving the non-traditional student. It considers among its clientele are high schools, businesses and industries, governmental agencies, and professional workers. In serving these diverse publics, the institution employs not only traditional means of delivery, but it also seeks to expand its use of innovative technologies, including distance learning, and to networking with other educational institutions and agencies in order to more comprehensively address the needs of its region.

In fulfilling its mission, the University seeks to employ a vibrant, talented, and diverse faculty. In the recruitment and retention of this faculty, as with all members of the University community, the institution, consistent with its academic heritage, maintains an openness to all qualified persons.

Excellence in teaching and advising is paramount to the faculty, but the members are also committed to providing leadership and fostering positive growth throughout West Alabama through research and public service, with primary emphasis on that which meets the educational, social, cultural, and economic needs of the region.

Accreditation

The University of West Alabama is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia, Telephone number 404-679-4501) to award the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and education specialist degrees. This accreditation gives regional and national recognition to credits and degrees earned at the University. The College of Education at the University of West Alabama is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), 2010 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20036; telephone (202) 466-7496/ This accreditation covers initial teacher preparation programs and advanced educator preparation programs.  The unit will notify candidates individually and in writing if the institution loses regional accreditation at one or more levels.

The Purpose of The School of Graduate Studies

The purpose of the School of Graduate Studies is to provide post-baccalaureate study for persons preparing for careers in business, professional education and education and for those whose career plans require graduate-level work in other areas.

Specifically, the School of Graduate Studies offers programs in business (finance and general), early childhood education, elementary education, high school education, pre-school through grade twelve education, special education, school counseling, general studies, library media, counseling/psychology, teacher leader, student affairs in higher education, guidance and counseling, family counseling, and instructional leadership. Academic areas of study in the various disciplines are biology, English, English language arts, finance, history, mathematics, physical education, experimental psychology, science, and social science. These programs are provided to further develop the professional competencies attained in undergraduate programs. In accomplishing this purpose, students are encouraged to solve professional problems by independent investigation through study and research.

Administration of the Program

The policies of the School of Graduate Studies are set by the Graduate Council of the University, which is appointed by the President. The Dean of the School of Graduate Studies serves as chairperson and executive officer of the Graduate Council. The Graduate Dean’s responsibilities include initiation and recommendation of policies and procedures, and the overall administration of graduate programs as directed by the Graduate Council. The Graduate Council recommends the membership of the graduate faculty to the Provost, who submits the names to the President, who makes the appointments. The Graduate Dean approves the various curricula; supervises the course offerings; admits students to the School; and approves programs for degrees.

Admission to the School of Graduate Studies

Graduation from an accredited college or university with a bachelor’s degree with a minimum of 2.75 grade-point average (four-point scale) or graduation from an accredited college or university with a master’s degree or higher with a minimum of 3.00 grade-point average (four-point scale) is required for unconditional admission to the School of Graduate Studies. A student who has an undergraduate grade-point average below 2.75 or a graduate grade-point average below 3.00 will be admitted conditionally and will be allowed to take twelve (12) hours of graduate work. If a grade-point average of 3.00 or higher is achieved in the first twelve (12) hours, regular admission to the graduate program may be granted and these credit hours may apply toward a degree.

Students who have attended other colleges and universities may apply for admission to the School of Graduate Studies, submitting transcripts from all colleges previously attended.  Graduate transfer applicants must have satisfactory citizenship records at the last institution attended and must be eligible to return to the last institution which they attended on a full-time basis.

Specific programs may require official entrance exam scores on the GRE. Applicants should consult the program requirements in this catalogue for more specific information.

Students should take the GRE prior to admission to the School of Graduate Studies. Students may not be allowed to begin graduate work prior to submission of a test score.  Graduate students who have completed an accredited master’s degree program are not required to submit either a GMAT or GRE score as a requirement for admission to the specific graduate program.

In accordance with the Alabama State Department of Education Code:

“… any candidate applying for admission to a State-approved teacher education program shall be required to be fingerprinted for a criminal history background check through the Alabama State Department of Education to the Alabama Bureau of Investigation (ABI) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) pursuant to Act 2002-457. The candidate shall be fingerprinted by a service provider approved by the Alabama State Department of Education. Additional information about approved providers, fees, and procedures is available from the Teacher Education and Certification Office.” Rule 290-3-3-.02(5)(a-b).

All students pursuing a master’s or education specialist degree program leading to certification should follow the provided link to Cogent, the approved Alabama State Department of Education service provider for criminal background checks: www.cogentid.com/al/index_ade.htm. Out-of-state students must also meet this requirement. Students who are not residents of Alabama may obtain fingerprint cards by calling the Alabama State Department of Education Teacher Certification Office at (334) 353-8567.

A clear background check through Cogent is essential for all students (on campus and online) to be admitted to a teacher education program leading to certification.  Students in the MSACE Guidance and Counseling program are subject to this requirement as well.  Students may not be allowed to begin graduate work prior to submission of a background clearance.  Students may not be allowed to begin graduate work prior to submission of a background clearance.

Students pursuing a master’s or education specialist degree programs leading to certification, except those in the Alternative Class A program, must submit a copy of a valid renewable teaching certificate in order to complete the admission process.

For the safety of our campus community, all students who take courses on campus are required to have certain up-to-date immunizations before enrolling in any courses on campus.  As such, all new students must verify their immunication and medical histories through the Med+Pass system.  Students must have a valid UWA email address before registering on Med+Pass.

Admission to the School of Graduate Studies is not equivalent to unconditional admission to an approved program.  Candidates admitted to the institution or graduate school on or after August 1, 2012, to enroll in courses in a Class A or Class AA teaching field program may complete no more than five (5) approved program courses prior to unconditional admission to the program.

Additional requirements for admission to programs in the School of Graduate Studies may be required. Please see individual program information for specific details.

A qualified senior in a Non Alabama Teacher Certificate program at UWA, lacking six to nine hours or less for graduation, may be enrolled for up to nine hours of graduate studies with the approval of the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies.

Non-Degree Admission

This is a category for students who do not intend to seek an advanced degree from The University of West Alabama. Individuals seeking to enroll as non-degree or undecided graduate students must meet the minimum requirements for admission to the School of Graduate Studies. Non-degree or Undecided graduate students are limited to 12 credit hours and prohibited from registering for any internship and/or practicum courses.  Financial aid is not applicable for any coursework taken in a non-degree program.  

A non-degree student who subsequently seeks full admission must satisfy requirements for admission to the specific program.

International Students

Applications are welcomed from international students who wish to attend UWA. In addition to meeting the regular admission requirements, foreign applicants whose native language is not English must submit satisfactory scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). International students who have graduated from English-speaking undergraduate schools are exempt from the TOEFL/IELTS requirement. The TOEFL code for UWA is 1737.

Official transcripts must be evaluated by an outside evaluation service. Applicants must hold at least a bachelor’s degree from a senior institution that was regionally accredited at the time the degree was earned. The evaluation must come directly from an evaluation service affiliated with the National Association of Credit Evaluation Services (NACES). For a listing of NACES member organizations and their contact information, please visit www.naces.org/members.htm. This evaluation is to be forwarded directly to International Programs, UWA, 1 College Drive, Station #51, Livingston, AL 35470.  The cost of this evaluation will be the responsibility of the student.

Applicants must also file financial statements confirming the availability of sufficient funds to meet all costs while studying at the University.

Advisory System

When a student has been approved for admission to the graduate program, he/she is assigned an advisor by the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies. All graduate students should schedule regular conferences with their advisors. Advisors provide general guidance as students plan their work toward graduation. Each student, however, has full responsibility for determining his/her own status in regard to the acceptability of his/her schedule and progress toward meeting graduation requirements.

Students who register at extension centers should contact their advisors prior to registration to receive approval of their schedules.

Graduate students are expected to familiarize themselves with the regulations and academic requirements stated in this catalogue. Graduate students who, because of extraordinary circumstances, wish to request exceptions to any of the regulations may do so in writing to the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies.

Student Financial Aid

In an attempt to meet the financial need of qualified students, the University subscribes to the following policies and principles:

  1. The purpose of financial aid is to supplement the resources of the student and his/her family; it does not exist to replace these sources of support. The primary responsibility for financing a college education resides with the family, and the family is expected to contribute according to its income and assets to a student’s University expenses. The student is expected to share in this responsibility through savings, summer work, and part-time employment if necessary.

  2. In selecting a financial aid recipient, the University considers not only an applicant’s financial need, but also academic achievement and potential, character, and leadership ability.

  3. The amount of a financial aid award reflects the financial situation of the student and his/her family and represents confidential information which will not be made public by the University.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), www.fafsa.gov, is required to apply for Federal Direct Student Loans and the Federal Work-Study Program.  Students must complete a new application each year using the prior-prior year’s Federal Income Tax information.  Information about applying for financial assistance may be obtained by contacting the Financial Aid Center, by email at financialaid@uwa.edu, or telephone 205-652-3576.  Additional information is available on the Financial Aid Webpage online at http://www.uwa.edu/financial_aid.aspx

Financial aid at UWA may consist of a loan, scholarship, campus employment, or any combination of these. The Financial Aid Center will attempt to meet a student’s financial need through the award or combination of awards most appropriate to the individual applicant.

Federal Federal Work-Study Program

The Federal Work-Study Program provides part-time employment for undergraduate and graduate students who need financial assistance in order to pay part of their educational expenses. The amount of the work-study award depends on the financial need of the student and the funds available. The typical student employee works fifteen hours per week and is paid the Federal minimum wage.  Federal Work-Study is only available on campus.  The FAFSA application is required each year to apply.

Federal Direct Loans

A Federal Direct Loan,   https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/loans/subsidized-unsubsidized, is a low-interest loan made to qualified students through the University by the Federal Government. Students may borrow a maximum of $20,500 per year ($6833/semester) or $138,500 aggregate total during their undergraduate and graduate programs.  Repayment begins six months after the student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time.   The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) serves as the application for a Direct Loan.  Deferment and limited cancellation benefits are available for highly qualified teachers.  More information is available online at https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/teacher.

Drops and Withdrawals

Students who withdraw or drop courses will have those courses included in the evaluation of their Satisfactory Academic Progress at the end of each semester.  Satisfactory Academic Progress basically requires students receiving federal aid to complete at least 67% of all the courses they attempt, maintain a 3.00 GPA (3.25 for Education Specialist Programs), and complete their program in 150% of the time required for their degree.  A complete copy of the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy is available online at http://www.uwa.edu/Satisfactory_Academic_Progress.aspx

Enrollment Status and Repeated Courses

Federal regulations require that we only count courses required for the student’s degree in determining their enrollment status.  Students must be enrolled at least half-time (three graduate hours) to qualify for Federal Direct Loans and Federal Work-Study.  The regulations will allow students to repeat a course, in which they have a passing grade, one time.  However, repeated courses do not erase failing grades for Satisfactory Academic Progress evaluations. 

The Ralph and Margaret Lyon Scholarship Fund

This scholarship was established and funded by Ralph and Margaret Lyon and is maintained as an endowed scholarship fund. Its purpose is to assist men and women who are enrolled in Graduate School at UWA. To apply, contact the School of Graduate Studies.

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate assistantships are available to qualified students in certain fields of study. Assistantships are usually granted for a period of nine months. Normally, there are no stipends for the summer semester. Students desiring to make application for graduate stipends should write to the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies, the University of West Alabama, Station 31, Livingston, Alabama 35470, for application forms.

Cooperative Education Program

The University of West Alabama offers a program in Cooperative Education to allow opportunities for students to gain work experience in their chosen field of study. The program enables the student to combine classroom instruction with practical experience in business, industry, government, or service organizations. This program is available to qualified students in select majors. To qualify, a student must be in good standing with the University and have a 3.0 or above grade point average. The student must also attend an Employability Seminar offered by appointment in the Career Services Office.

Students may choose one of two options when available. The first option, the Alternating Option, allows a student to alternate semesters of full-time work and full-time study. The second option, the Parallel Option, allows a student to work part-time (15 to 20 hours a week) while enrolled as a full-time student.

In addition to the above qualifications, a student must register for the appropriate non-credit Cooperative Education course (CEP) each work term and pay the materials fee. Students must comply with the policies and procedures of the employer and the Cooperative Education Program. Interested students may apply in the Career Services Office in Foust Hall 7.

Special Administrative Policies

General Rules for Behavior

All University students are required to abide by State laws governing the use of State-owned buildings, among which are prohibitions against gambling, use or possession of firearms except under direct supervision of an authorized University instructor, use or possession of alcoholic beverages, and use or possession of fireworks in any University building or on the University campus.

Every University of West Alabama student, in addition to complying with regulations fixed by the Board of Trustees for entrance into the University, will be expected to conform to such rules as may be established for the well-being of the University community, including, but not limited to, the general rules of behavior set forth in the Student Handbook. Failure to abide by University rules and regulations may result in dismissal.

Non-Academic Grievances

From time to time students may have questions concerning administrative policies or operations. Generally there are logical explanations for situations and usually most questions can be resolved in an informal manner through discussion with the individual or office involved. In instances where a student raises a question about a policy or decision, the affected staff member should respond constructively explaining the situation as carefully as possible and checking to be sure that no error has been made. If it is not possible to resolve a matter through discussion, a student may appeal for further consideration by voicing the concern to the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs. Again, in most instances concerns can be resolved through discussion, interaction and possibly intervention on behalf of the Vice President for Student Affairs (VPSA) as student ombudsman but when this is not possible the student can formalize his appeal in writing to the VPSA and ask for consideration by the Student Life Committee and/or the President to resolve the matter officially.

This policy is formulated in accordance with the SPRE Guidelines and is intended to insure that the student is given fair and equitable consideration in any matter that may arise.

Campus Security Policy

UWA fully supports the intent of the Campus Security Act and has taken steps to adhere to its guidelines. In accordance with the Act, the University maintains records on crimes reported, arrests made on intoxication and alcohol related matters. The University also supports pro-active campus policies and programs on alcohol abuse. Results of student disciplinary proceedings are reported to alleged victims. In addition, information to whom to report a crime, who will respond to the student’s report, campus safety policies and preventive security measures is widely distributed.

Firearms Policy

PURPOSE:
The University of West Alabama seeks to provide a safe learning environment for students, faculty, staff, and visitors. The University is committed to the prevention of crime; the protection of life and property; the preservation of peace, order, and safety; the enforcement of laws and ordinances, and the safety of the University community and visitors; and adopts this policy for possession of dangerous weapons and firearms on campus and at events.

DEFINITIONS:

“Campus” means all property owned, leased or controlled by the University and any affiliated buildings and outdoor premises, such as parking lots and other outdoor property.
“Dangerous weapon” is defined to include:

  • Any device that shoots or delivers a bullet, BB, pellet, arrow, dart, flare, electrical charge, or other projectile, whether loaded or unloaded, including those devices powered by CO2.
  • Any explosive device, including fireworks.
  • Any instruments/devices that are designed or may be used as a weapon to injure or threaten another individual, including non-culinary knives with a blade greater than four (4) inches.
  • A firearm, as defined herein, is not included in this definition of dangerous weapon.

“Firearm” means a pistol, handgun, rifle, or shotgun and any ammunition.

POLICY STATEMENT, APPLICATION, & ENFORCEMENT:
Except as otherwise stated in this policy or as otherwise allowed by law, the University prohibits the possession, transportation, and use of firearms and other dangerous weapons on campus. This policy applies to all persons on campus, including faculty, staff, students, contractors, and visitors. University students may not possess firearms at any time on campus, except as expressly authorized by the University of West Alabama Police Department (UWA PD). University Police may provide temporary storage for firearms lawfully possessed by students at its headquarters.

Faculty and staff may not possess firearms on campus or while otherwise engaged in duties associated with their employment, except for a firearm properly maintained in a personal vehicle in a manner consistent with Alabama law.

Consistent with Alabama law, all persons (including current concealed carry permit holders) are strictly prohibited from possessing firearms at locations where guards and other security features are employed, such as athletic events.

This policy will be published in staff, faculty and student handbooks, and supersedes any contrary provisions.

Persons on campus and in violation of University policy are trespassers and may be dealt with accordingly, including, but not limited to, being removed from campus and receiving a written directive to remain off campus. Contractors and vendors are expected to comply with policy and contract terms. Violations of Alabama law may be dealt with by appropriate law enforcement. Student violations may be addressed in accordance with the Code of Student Conduct as well as other applicable policies and may include sanctions, up to and including expulsion. Employee violations may be resolved in accordance with employer policies, up to and including termination.

EXCEPTIONS:
This policy does not prohibit use or possession of dangerous weapons or firearms by (1) certified law enforcement officers acting within the scope of their employment; (2) private security, who with express prior permission of the University Police, possess firearms or dangerous weapons while in the employ of the University or for a permitted event; and (3) members, coaches, and authorized staff of a recognized team or course who are acting within the scope of activities that the University Police has pre-approved. This policy also does not apply to the University Police officers who are attending classes as students. If, however, the University Police officers are not in uniform during class, they must keep their weapons concealed. Any other use or possession of dangerous weapons or firearms on campus must be authorized by the University Police.

(Revised September 20, 2013)

Parking

All members of the UWA student body, faculty and staff who operate vehicles on the campus are required to register any vehicle driven on campus with the University Police Department. This regulation includes graduate students attending on-campus classes one night per week. Vehicles can be registered with University Safety and Security located in the Craiger House.

Policy on Accommodation for Disabilities

The University of West Alabama strives to make its programs accessible to qualified persons defined as disabled under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Students who have special needs that require accommodation are responsible for notifying instructors in each course in which they are enrolled and appropriate staff members, who in turn will refer the student to the ADA Compliance Coordinator. Following verification of the student’s status, the ADA Compliance Coordinator will work with the instructor or staff member in implementing an appropriate plan for accommodating the student’s needs. Support documentation of special needs from a physician or other qualified professional will be required if deemed necessary.

For additional information, student should contact the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, Webb Hall 323, (205) 652-3581.

The Student Right to Know Act

UWA recognizes and supports the intent of the Student Right to Know Act. UWA understands, accepts and supports the intent of this act and conforms to its requirements. This information will be available from appropriate University sources. This act was designed to protect student athletes and other students by insuring that they realize what the potential for their graduating from college is. UWA maintains records on the completion rate of all athletes in comparison with the general student population. These records make comparisons by race, gender, and sport. These records will be available upon request and will be distributed as widely as possible to all prospective and enrolling students.

 

Policy Statement on Non-Discrimination on the Basis of Sex

It is the policy of the University of West Alabama not to discriminate on the basis of sex in its admission policies and practices, education programs, activities, or employment policies and practices, as required by Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments. Title IX states: “No person in the United States shall on the basis of sex be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal assistance … .”

The University of West Alabama will not tolerate gender-based misconduct, which includes sexual discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual violence, or sexual misconduct, on the part of any of its employees, students or vendors.

Sexual discrimination is inequitable treatment of individuals on the basis of gender. Sexual discrimination includes sexual harassment.

Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature.  Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature when such conduct has the effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s performance, creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive University environment or limiting participation in University activities. Sexual harassment includes acts of sexual violence.

Sexual violence is a form of sexual harassment prohibited by Title IX. Sexual violence is any physical sexual act perpetrated against a person’s will or where the person is incapable of giving consent due to that person’s use of drugs or alcohol. Sexual violence includes, but is not limited to, rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion.

The University of West Alabama has designated a Title IX Coordinator to handle all matters related to gender-based misconduct and sex discrimination at the University and to coordinate the efforts of the University to comply with Title IX law:

Robert Upchurch, Title IX Coordinator
UWA Station 6 (Webb Hall Room 344)
205.652.3533
rupchurch@uwa.edu

Questions about the application of Title IX at the University of West Alabama should be directed to Robert Upchurch, Title IX Coordinator, or to the Office of Civil Rights, Department of Education, Washington, D.C. 20201.

As the Title IX Coordinator, Robert Upchurch is responsible for:

  • explaining the University of West Alabama’s Title IX gender-based misconduct policy and investigation procedures to students, faculty, staff and third parties. 
  • investigating complaints of gender-based misconduct by students, faculty, staff and some third parties and identifying and addressing problems that arise during the investigation of such complaints.

Grievance Procedures

Informal Resolution

Individuals who believe they are victims of gender-based misconduct (sexual discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, or sexual violence) may have the option of proceeding informally or formally.  An individual may find informal resolution particularly appropriate if the conduct is isolated and of the following nature: sexual innuendo; display or distribution of drawings, pictures or other materials with a sexual content; sexual or “dirty” jokes; or comments with sexual content.  Please note that the formal report process is available for gender-based misconduct of any nature and that these examples are not intended to discourage use of the formal report process.         

Informal resolution is not an option for cases of sexual violence or sexual misconduct, including sexual or inappropriate touching of any kind.  For information on how to informally report sexual violence and sexual misconduct, see the Policy on Gender Based Misconduct; and the Civil Rights Grievance and Investigation Process.

Formal Resolution

If an individual chooses to proceed formally, the person can report gender-based misconduct (sexual discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, or sexual violence) to the Title IX Coordinator for investigation. Subject to the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator, this report should include the name, address, telephone number and class year of the reporting individual; a detailed description of the conduct that the reporting individual alleges to be discriminatory or harassing; the name(s) of the person(s) against whom the complaint is made; and the name(s) of witnesses (if any). The reporting party should make every effort to submit a written complaint as soon as possible from the date of the alleged conduct.

The Title IX Coordinator and/or his/her designee will investigate the complaint.  Depending on the nature of the allegations, the investigation may include interviews with the reporting party, the alleged harasser and/or witnesses; review of written documentation and relevant policies; and any other steps necessary to thoroughly investigate the allegations.  The Title IX Coordinator will conclude the investigation within 60 calendar days except in extraordinary circumstances.  If the investigation cannot be completed in that period, the Title IX Coordinator will contact the reporting party and provide a timeframe in which the investigation will be completed.  At the conclusion of the investigation, for disciplinary purposes, the Title IX Coordinator will submit a report including findings of fact as well as appropriate recommendations/sanctions to the Vice President for Student Affairs in situations where a student is the alleged harasser, or to the Provost if the complaint involves a faculty member, staff, vendor, or other third party as the alleged harasser, who can then accept or reject the findings, recommendations and proposed sanctions, if any. This decision may be appealed to the President of the University. For information regarding the University of West Alabama’s disciplinary process involving individuals charged with gender-based misconduct, please see the University’s Policy on Gender-Based Misconduct; and the Civil Rights Grievance and Investigation Process.

POLICIES ON SEXUAL DISCRIMINATION AND SEXUAL HARASSMENT

It is the policy of the University of West Alabama not to discriminate on the basis of sex in its employment policies and practices, as required by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The following official has been designated by the President to address compliance with Title VII for all University employees, including faculty members:

Robert Upchurch
Title IX Coordinator
UWA Station 6 (Webb Hall 344)
205-652-3533
rupchurch@uwa.edu  

Policy Statement on Non-Discrimination on the Basis of Sex

It is the policy of the University of West Alabama not to discriminate in its employment policies and practices as required by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq.

Policy on Sexual Harassment

The University of West Alabama is committed to providing a working environment for all faculty and staff that is free from sexual harassment.

Definition

Sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

  1. submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment;
  2. submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment decisions affecting such individual; or
  3. such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive University environment.

Sexual harassment can occur in a variety of circumstances, including but not limited to the following:

  • The victim as well as the harasser may be a man or a woman. The victim does not have to be of the opposite sex.
  • The harasser can be the victim’s supervisor, an agent of the employer, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or a non-employee.
  • The harasser’s conduct must be unwelcome.

Examples of sexual harassment include but are not limited to the following:

  • conditioning or relating an employment opportunity (hiring, promotion, raise, performance appraisal, assignment, etc.) to sexual favor(s) or relationship.
  • repeated insulting and/or demeaning statements or gestures related to gender, which unreasonably interfere with the work of a faculty or staff member.
  • intentional and unwelcomed physical contact that adversely affects a faculty or staff member’s ability to carry out his/her employment responsibilities.

It is also unlawful to retaliate against an individual for opposing employment practices that discriminate based on sex and/or for filing a discrimination charge, testifying or participating in any way in an investigation proceeding, or litigation under Title VII.

Procedures

Sexual harassment is a serious offense and is deeply destructive. Education regarding sexual harassment is a tool in the elimination of this behavior. Therefore, education is provided by the University of West Alabama to ensure that all managers, supervisors, and employees clearly understand what sexual harassment is and is not, that sexual harassment is illegal, and that sexual harassment will not be tolerated.

Administrators in all areas of the University of West Alabama have the responsibility to ensure that faculty and staff members under their direction are informed of this Policy and the duty to ensure that investigation of allegations of sexual harassment occurs. 

Investigations of complaints of sexual harassment by faculty or staff members will be conducted as promptly and in as confidential a manner as possible under federal law. Appropriate steps will be taken to resolve complaints without fear of reprisal against the complainant. The investigation will be conducted by Robert Upchurch, Title IX Coordinator, or his designee, in accordance with the Civil Rights Grievance and Investigation Process. If sexual harassment is determined, disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment, will be taken by the University of West Alabama. For more information on the procedures, please see the Civil Rights Grievance and Investigation Process.

Complaints may be resolved informally by contacting the Provost. Presenting concerns to University officials does not affect any time limit for initiating formal complaint procedures under University of West Alabama procedures or under the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission procedures.

When informal resolution is not possible, faculty and staff may use the Civil Rights Grievance and Investigation Process - the University’s formal complaint procedure. In addition, faculty and staff may use the procedures provided by agencies outside the University of West Alabama, such as the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Appropriate University officials shall be notified immediately when a formal allegation of sexual harassment has been raised.

Title IX - Sexual Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Regarding Students

Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs and activities. Sexual harassment, which includes sexual misconduct and sexual assault, is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX. The determination of what constitutes sexual harassment will vary with the particular circumstances, but may be described generally as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s performance; creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment; or limiting participation in University of West Alabama activities.

Pursuant to Title IX, students and certain other individuals may pursue claims of sexual harassment, formally or informally, against the University of West Alabama, faculty and/or staff. Students may make formal complaints through the Title IX Coordinator, who will investigate the complaint and report to either the Vice President for Student Affairs or the Provost. If a student reports/alleges sexual harassment by faculty, staff, another student and/or a third party, faculty and/or staff are obligated to immediately notify the Title IX Coordinator in writing of the student’s identity, and any details provided by the student. If the Title IX Coordinator is unavailable, faculty and/or staff should immediately notify the Provost in writing of the student’s identity, and any details provided by the student. The University of West Alabama will take the appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including termination, against faculty, staff, and third parties found to have engaged in sexual harassment of a University of West Alabama student. For information regarding the University of West Alabama’s disciplinary process involving students, please see the Policy on Gender-Based Misconduct and the Civil Rights Grievance and Investigation Process.

In regard to academic programs of the University of West Alabama, all faculty and staff shall ensure, within their individual areas of responsibility:

  1. That graduation requirements are the same for males and females.
  2. That all academic programs offered by the University of West Alabama are equally open to both males and females.
  3. That there is no limitation of admission to, or exclusion from, any course offered by the University of West Alabama on the basis of sex, and that no classes are offered for the sexes separately, except as specifically allowed by the regulation in those “sports the purpose or major activity of which involves bodily contact” (e.g., wrestling, boxing, football and basketball).
  4. That no instructor provides sex-differentiated assignments, materials, services or other treatment in any course or academic program.
  5. That interest clubs under the sponsorship of an academic department or other department are not segregated by sex.
  6. That teaching assignments are determined on the basis of specific competencies and such factors as availability of faculty members, not on the basis of sex.
  7. That faculty members do not counsel students differentially on the basis of sex regarding courses, academic programs, field of study, or career objectives; that no faculty member and no department uses counseling instruments which require differential treatment on the basis of sex; and the faculty counselors inform counselors of the availability of all courses and programs to both males and females.

It shall be the responsibility of each department chairperson to ensure:

  1. That all faculty and staff within the department have received copies of this Policy directive and have familiarized themselves with the implications of Title IX requirements for non-discrimination in courses and programs and in the counseling of students.
  2. That all course descriptions, course outlines, syllabi, and similar materials are free of sex-linked pronouns and are otherwise gender-free, and that teaching and counseling materials are not sexually discriminatory.
  3. That courses are free from prerequisites which have a sexually discriminatory effect on enrollment.
  4. That records of enrollment by sex are maintained for all classes, and that, in the event of the enrollment in any class is 80% or above of one sex, such enrollment is not the result of sex discrimination (these records shall be kept for at least five years).
  5. That violations of this directive within the department, if any, are identified; that modifications in policies and procedures are made to correct such violations; that appropriate remedial actions are planned and implemented to eliminate the effects of such violations; and that all actions are documented. That the Provost is notified of any violation and corrective action is taken.
  6. That complete reports are made to the dean, as requested, regarding the implementation within the department of all requirements of this directive.

Policy on GENDER-BASED Misconduct

INTRODUCTION

It is the policy of the University of West Alabama not to discriminate on the basis of sex in its admission policies and practices, education programs, activities, or employment policies and practices, as required by Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments. Title IX states: “No person in the United States shall on the basis of sex be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal assistance … .”

 

Gender-based misconduct of any kind is inconsistent with the University of West Alabama’s values and incompatible with the safe, healthy environment that the University community expects. Members of the University of West Alabama community, guests and visitors have the right to be free from gender-based misconduct, especially sexual violence. The University believes in a zero tolerance policy for gender-based misconduct.

The most egregious form of gender-based misconduct is sexual assault, which is an affront to justice that will not be tolerated at the University of West Alabama. Federal law views sexual misconduct and sexual assault as forms of sexual harassment prohibited under Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments.  Sexual assault also violates state law as well as University policy. The University of West Alabama strongly encourages individuals who are the victims of sexual assault to report any assault to the appropriate law enforcement agency (University of West Alabama Police Department, the Livingston Police Department, or the Sheriff of Sumter County) and the Title IX Coordinator. The University Police can be reached at 205-652-3602. If for any reason that extension cannot be reached promptly, then dial 911 to reach the Livingston Police Department and/or the Sheriff’s Office. 

The University of West Alabama believes that no person should bear the effects of sexual assault alone.  The University of West Alabama has an arrangement with the West Alabama Mental Health Center through which counseling services can be made available to students on an as-needed basis. Referrals may be made to the West Alabama Mental Health Center, or services can be scheduled through the Demopolis office of the West Alabama Mental Health Center. Students who desire to use these services should contact the Vice President for Student Affairs at 205-652-3581 or contact the University of West Alabama Counseling Services at 205-652-3651 or via email at ddean@uwa.edu. 

When an allegation of misconduct is brought to an appropriate University administrator’s attention and a respondent is found to have violated the Policy on Gender-Based Misconduct*, serious sanctions will be used to reasonably ensure that such actions are never repeated. This policy has been developed to reaffirm these principles and to provide recourse for those individuals whose rights have been violated. This policy is intended to define community expectations and to establish a mechanism for determining when those expectations have been violated.

*This Policy on Gender-Based Misconduct was approved and implemented on July 16, 2012. This Policy may be modified and/or edited without notice. Such modifications and/or edits will be reflected in the policy contained on the University’s website.

The University’s Policy on Gender-Based Misconduct is applicable to those situations where the University has (1) control over the accused individual (i.e. student, faculty, staff member) and (2) control over the context of the situation (i.e. owns the property where the alleged conduct occurred, University-sponsored event, etc.). The University reserves the right to exercise jurisdiction on additional situations when, in the decision of the University, there is a compelling justification to do so.

For incidents of employee - employee sexual harassment or discrimination, please see the University’s Policies on Sexual Discrimination and Sexual Harassment.

For the policies and procedures governing other forms of student conduct and academic conduct please refer to Tiger Paw Student Handbook.

For other grievances brought by Faculty, please see the Faculty Grievance Policy; for other grievances brought by Staff, please see the Staff Grievance Policy.

The University never assumes an individual is in violation of University policy. University investigations are conducted to take into account the totality of all evidence available from all relevant sources, and determinations are based upon the preponderance of the evidence.

The University reserves the right to take whatever measures it deems necessary in response to an allegation of gender-based misconduct in order to protect individuals’ rights and personal safety. Such measures include, but are not limited to, modification of living arrangements, interim suspension from campus pending the outcome of the investigation, and reporting the matter to the local police. Not all forms of gender-based misconduct will be deemed to be equally serious offenses, and the University reserves the right to impose different sanctions, ranging from verbal warning to expulsion or termination, depending on the severity of the offense. The University will consider the concerns and rights of both the complainant and the person accused of gender-based misconduct.

GENDER-BASED MISCONDUCT OFFENSES INCLUDE, BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO:

  1.     Sexual Harassment
  2.     Non-Consensual Sexual Contact (or attempts to commit same)
  3.     Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse (or attempts to commit same)
  4.     Sexual Exploitation

 

1.      SEXUAL HARASSMENT:

Sexual Harassment is

  • unwelcome, gender-based verbal or physical conduct that is,
  • sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it,
  • has the effect of unreasonably interfering with, denying or limiting someone’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s education program and/or activities, and is 
  • based on power differentials (quid pro quo)**, the creation of a hostile environment***, or retaliation****. 

Examples include attempting to coerce an unwilling person into a sexual relationship; repeatedly subjecting a person to egregious, unwelcome sexual attention; punishing a refusal to comply with a sexual based request; conditioning a benefit on submitting to sexual advances; sexual violence; intimate partner violence; stalking; gender-based bullying.

**Quid pro quo sexual harassment exists when there are: (1) unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature; and (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct results in adverse educational or employment action.

***Hostile environment includes any situation in which there is harassing conduct that is sufficiently severe, pervasive and objectively offensive that it limits, interferes with or denies educational benefits or opportunities, from both a subjective (the alleged victim’s) and an objective (reasonable person’s) viewpoint.

****Retaliatory harassment is any adverse educational action taken against a person because of the person’s participation in a complaint or investigation of discrimination or sexual misconduct.

2.      NON-CONSENSUAL SEXUAL CONTACT:

Non-Consensual Sexual Contact is

  •     any intentional sexual touching,
  •     however slight,
  •     with any object,
  •     by a man or a woman upon a man or a woman,
  •     that is without consent and/or by force.

Sexual Contact includes intentional contact with the breasts, buttocks, groin, or genitals, or touching another with any of these body parts, or making another touch you or themselves with or on any of these body parts; any intentional bodily contact in a sexual manner, though not involving contact with/of/by breasts, buttocks, groin, genitals, mouth or other orifice.

3.      NON-CONSENSUAL SEXUAL INTERCOURSE:

     Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse is

  •     any sexual intercourse
  •     however slight,
  •     with any object,
  •     by a man or woman upon a man or a woman,
  •     that is without consent and/or by force.


Intercourse includes vaginal penetration by a penis, object, tongue or finger; anal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger; and oral copulation (mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact), no matter how slight the penetration or contact.

4.     SEXUAL EXPLOITATION:

Occurs when an individual takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his/her own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of the other sexual misconduct offenses.

Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to:
 

  •     invasion of sexual privacy;
  •     prostituting another individual or the solicitation of a prostitute;
  •     non-consensual video or audio-taping of sexual activity;
  •     going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as letting your friends hide in the closet to watch you have consensual sex or the non-consensual video or audio taping of sexual activity);
  •     engaging in peeping or voyeurism;
  •     knowingly transmitting an STD or HIV to another individual;
  •     exposing one’s genitals in non-consensual circumstances; inducing another to expose his/her genitals;
  •     sexually-based stalking and/or bullying and/or cyber-harassment.

OTHER MISCONDUCT OFFENSES

The following is a non-exclusive list of other offenses that fall under Title IX and this policy when gender-based:

  1. Threatening or causing physical harm, extreme verbal abuse, or other conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person;
  2. Discrimination, defined as actions that deprive other members of the community of educational access, benefits or opportunities on the basis of gender;
  3. Intimidation, defined as implied threats or acts that cause an unreasonable fear of harm in another;
  4. Hazing, defined as acts likely to cause physical or psychological harm or social ostracism to any person within the University community, when related to the admission, initiation, pledging, joining, or any other group-affiliation activity;
  5. Bullying, defined as repeated and/or severe aggressive behavior likely to intimidate or intentionally hurt, control or diminish another person, physically or mentally (that is not speech or conduct otherwise protected by the 1st Amendment);
  6. Violence between those in an intimate relationship to each other;
  7. Stalking, defined as repetitive and/or menacing pursuit, following, harassment and/or interference with the peace and/or safety of a member of the University community; the safety of any of the immediate family of members of the University community.

ADDITIONAL APPLICABLE INFORMATION:

Consent: Effective consent is the basis of the analysis applied to unwelcome sexual contact. Lack of consent is the critical factor in any incident of Sexual Misconduct or Sexual Assault. When alcohol or other drugs are being used, a person will be considered unable to give valid consent if he/she cannot fully understand the details of a sexual interaction (who, what, when, where, why, or how) because he/she lacks the capacity to reasonably understand the situation. Individuals who consent to sex must be able to understand what they are doing. Under this policy, “No” always means “No,” and “Yes” may not always mean “Yes.” Anything but a clear, knowing and voluntary consent to any sexual activity is equivalent to a “No.”

  • Consent means informed, freely given agreement, communicated by clearly understandable words or actions, to participate in each form of sexual activity.
  • Consent cannot be inferred from silence, passivity, or lack of active resistance.
  • It is the responsibility of the initiator of sexual contact to make sure he/she understands fully what the person with whom the initiator is involved wants and does not want sexually.
  • A current or previous dating or sexual relationship is not sufficient to constitute consent, and consent to one form or incident of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity or other incidents.
  • Consent cannot be procured by use of physical force, compelling threats, intimidating behavior, or coercion. Coercion is unreasonable pressure for sexual activity. Coercive behavior differs from seductive behavior based on the type of pressure someone uses to get consent from another.
  • Incapacitation is a state where one cannot make a rational, reasonable decision because one lacks the ability to understand the who, what, when, where, why or how of one’s sexual interaction.
  • Effective consent cannot be given by minors under the age of 16 years, mentally disabled individuals, or persons incapacitated as a result of drugs or alcohol.
  • Use of alcohol or other drugs will not function to excuse behavior that violates this policy.
  • If you engage in sexual activity with someone you know to be - or should know to be - mentally or physically incapacitated (by alcohol or other drug use, unconsciousness or blacked out), you are in violation of this policy.  Incapacitation is a state where someone cannot make rational, reasonable decisions because he/she lacks the capacity to give knowing consent (e.g., to understand the “who, what, when, where, why or how” of their sexual interaction).
  •  This policy also covers someone whose incapacity results from mental disability, sleep, involuntary physical restraint, or from taking of a “date rape” drug, knowingly or unknowingly. Possession, use and/or distribution of any of these substances, including Rohypnol, Ketomine, GHB, etc., is prohibited, and administering one of these drugs to another person for the purpose of inducing incapacity is a violation of this policy. More information on these drugs can be found at http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/date-rape-drugs.cfm or www.911rape.org/drug-facilitated-sexual-assault-dfsa/overview.    

Force: Force is the use of physical violence and/or imposing on someone physically to gain sexual access. Force also includes threats, intimidation (implied threats) and coercion that overcome resistance or produce consent (“Have sex with me or I’ll hit you.” “Okay, don’t hit me; I’ll do what you want.”).

Coercion: Coercion is unreasonable pressure for sexual activity. Coercive behavior differs from seductive behavior based on the type of pressure someone uses to get consent from another. When someone makes clear to you that he/she does not want sex, that he/she wants to stop, or that he/she does not want to go past a certain point of sexual interaction, continued pressure beyond that point can be coercive.  
 

  •     Use of alcohol or other drugs will never function as a defense to a violation of this policy.
  •     The sexual orientation and/or gender identity of individuals engaging in sexual activity is not relevant to allegations under this policy.
  •     NOTE: There is no requirement that a party resists the sexual advance or request, but resistance is a clear demonstration of non-consent.


SANCTION STATEMENT
 

  • Any individual found responsible for violating the policy on Non-Consensual or Forced Sexual Intercourse will likely face a recommended sanction of suspension or expulsion (for students) and suspension or termination (for faculty/staff members).
  • Any individual found responsible for violating the policy on Non-Consensual or Forced Sexual Contact (where no intercourse has occurred) will likely receive a sanction ranging from probation to expulsion (for students) and probation to termination (for faculty/staff members), depending on the severity of the incident, and taking into account any previous campus conduct code violations.
  • Any individual found responsible for violating the policy on sexual exploitation or sexual harassment will likely receive a recommended sanction ranging from warning to expulsion (for students) and warning to termination (for faculty/staff members), depending on the severity of the incident, and taking into account any previous campus conduct code violations.


 The University reserves the right to expand or decrease any range of recommended sanctions in consideration of serious mitigating circumstances or egregiously offensive behavior. Deviation from the range of recommended sanctions will not occur unless compelling justification exists to do so.

CONFIDENTIALITY, PRIVACY AND REPORTING POLICY

Parameters of Confidentiality and Mandated Title IX Investigations

To the extent possible under federal law, the University of West Alabama will protect the privacy of all parties to a report of gender-based misconduct.  That said, under federal law, University officials who receive a report of gender-based misconduct, whether from the individual involved or a third party, are required to share that information with the appropriate University authorities for investigation and follow-up.  The University is obligated under federal law to investigate a complaint/report, to take action to eliminate gender-based misconduct, to prevent its recurrence, and to address its effects.  An administrative investigation under Title IX must be initiated if the University has enough information to reasonably determine key facts, e.g., time, date, location and names of parties involved in an alleged incident.  Ordinarily, this administrative investigation will include a review of statements obtained from either party, interviews with both parties, interviews with witnesses as appropriate and review of relevant documentary evidence, and will be conducted by the Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee. The University is obligated to conduct this investigation regardless of the complainant’s requests. The Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee will conclude all investigations within 60 calendar days except in extraordinary circumstances. If an investigation cannot be completed within 60 days, the Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee will contact the reporting party and provide a timeframe in which the investigation will be complete.  

In the course of investigations, information will be shared as necessary with people who need to know, such as investigators, witnesses, and the accused. 

Reporting Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Assault

To report an incident of sexual misconduct or sexual assault, please call the University of West Alabama Police Department at 205-652-3602, or, if unable to reach this extension, call 911. During business hours, you may also contact Robert Upchurch, Title IX Coordinator at 205-652-3533 or via email at rupchurch@uwa.edu.

Intimidation or Threats to Inhibit Reporting

The University strongly encourages individuals to report any incident of gender-based misconduct.  The University takes such reports seriously. It is a violation of University policy to retaliate against any person making a complaint of gender-based misconduct or against any person cooperating in the investigation of (including testifying as a witness to) any allegation of gender-based misconduct. For these purposes, “retaliation” includes intimidation, threats, harassment, and other adverse action threatened or taken against any such complainant or third party. Retaliation should be reported immediately to the Title IX Coordinator and may result in disciplinary action independent of the sanction or interim measures imposed in response to the underlying allegations of gender-based misconduct.

Reporting Options

An individual has the option to pursue a criminal complaint with the appropriate law enforcement agency, to pursue a formal complaint through the University of West Alabama disciplinary process, or to pursue both processes simultaneously.  Regardless of the option chosen, the University of West Alabama must initiate an administrative investigation under Title IX.

Option 1:  Criminal Complaint

The University of West Alabama encourages individuals to report all incidents of sexual violence or sexual assault to the police. If the incident occurred on University of West Alabama property, the University of West Alabama Police Department is the appropriate agency with which to file a report, 205-652-3602.  Off-campus incidents will likely fall in the jurisdiction of the Livingston Police Department (for incidents within the City’s police jurisdiction) or the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office (for incidents outside the City’s police jurisdiction but within Sumter County). To reach these law enforcement agencies dial 911, or 205-652-9525 for the Livingston Police Department, or 205-652-7984 for the Sheriff’s Office. 

Incidents of gender-based misconduct that are reported to the University of West Alabama Police Department will also be referred to the Title IX Coordinator for follow-up and administrative investigation, regardless of whether a formal investigation is requested by the complainant. Similarly, the Title IX Coordinator will follow up where appropriate in those instances when the University of West Alabama has a report of an incident of sexual misconduct or sexual assault that has been reported to another law enforcement agency.  

The administrative investigation conducted by the Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee is distinct and separate from the criminal investigation and flows from the University of West Alabama’s obligation under Title IX to ensure that it is providing a safe environment for all students. If a complainant wishes to pursue a criminal complaint exclusively, the complainant may choose to temporarily defer the formal University investigation and/or disciplinary process by making a formal written request to the Title IX Coordinator, which may delay the formal investigation and the University of West Alabama’s ability to respond. The University of West Alabama will continue its administrative investigation in all instances and must continue its formal investigation where it has reason to believe that the alleged harasser may be an imminent threat to the safety of the complainant and/or other students.  At any time, the complainant may choose to rescind the deferral by making a formal written request to the Title IX Coordinator, electing to resume the formal investigation and/or disciplinary process.  The University of West Alabama will maintain documentation of the date of deferral.  Information obtained through the criminal investigation may be used by the University for consideration in the University’s disciplinary process. 

If a student pursues a criminal complaint only, a member of the University of West Alabama Police Department will request that the Sumter County District Attorney’s Office keep the University of West Alabama informed and immediately advised of its decision whether to prosecute the complaint.  The University of West Alabama will maintain documentation of the date of the request to the District Attorney’s Office.  In cases where the District Attorney declines prosecution, a member of the University of West Alabama Police Department will provide written notice to the complainant of the District Attorney’s decision and the University of West Alabama will pursue its formal investigation and/or disciplinary process as appropriate.

Option 2:  University Disciplinary Process

Gender-based misconduct involving students, faculty, staff or some third parties, including sexual assaults, whether or not the assaults have been reported to a law enforcement agency, should be reported to the University of West Alabama for investigation and resolution through University processes. 

If an individual reports an incident of gender-based misconduct to the University of West Alabama, the Title IX Coordinator, who has supervision and oversight of the grievance process, and/or his/her designee will conduct a formal investigation, which will be adequate, reliable and impartial.  Ordinarily, a formal investigation will include a review of statements obtained from either party, interviews with both parties, and the ability of the parties to present witnesses and other evidence, interviews with witnesses as appropriate and review of relevant documentary evidence.  Once the investigation is complete, the Title IX Coordinator and/or his/her designee will submit a report regarding the findings, conclusions, and any appropriate recommended sanctions/remedies to the Vice President for Student Affairs (students) or to the Provost (faculty, staff, and third parties) for review.  Information obtained through the investigation may be used by the Vice President for Student Affairs or the Provost for consideration in the University of West Alabama’s disciplinary processes, with or without the cooperation of the complainant. The Vice President for Student Affairs or Provost may accept or reject the findings, recommendations, and proposed sanctions, if any. The Vice President for Student Affairs’ or the Provost’s decision shall be communicated in writing to the Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee within five (5) days after receipt of the report from the Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee unless on the grounds of good cause additional time is required. The Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee will communicate the decision of the Vice President for Student Affairs or the Provost to the Complainant and the Respondent within three (3) days of receipt of the decision. This decision may be appealed to the President of the University by either party within 48 hours after receipt from the Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee  of the decision of the Vice President for Student Affairs or the Provost.                                                        

For information regarding the University of West Alabama’s disciplinary procedures for addressing incidents of alleged gender-based misconduct, see the Civil Rights Grievance and Investigation Process.  

Option 3:  Simultaneous Processes

An individual has the option and right to pursue a criminal complaint through the appropriate law enforcement agency, to pursue the University of West Alabama’s disciplinary process, or to pursue both avenues simultaneously. 

Written Notice of  Reporting Options

Individuals who report alleged gender-based misconduct will be provided with written notice of the above-referenced reporting options.  The University of West Alabama, through the Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee, must also obtain written acknowledgment from the individual of his/her decision regarding which options, if any, the student wishes to pursue.

Other Potential Policy Violations

At times, individuals are hesitant to report the occurrence of gender-based misconduct to University of West Alabama officials because they are concerned that they themselves, or witnesses to the misconduct, may be charged with other policy violations, e.g., alcohol violations.  These behaviors are not condoned by the University of West Alabama, but the importance of dealing with alleged gender-based misconduct outweighs the University of West Alabama’s interest in addressing lesser violations.  Accordingly, in these cases, the University of West Alabama will not pursue disciplinary action against an individual who makes a complaint of gender-based misconduct in connection with the reporting of that incident or against students named as witnesses to the incident.

Resources for Medical and Counseling Care

It is especially important for individuals who have been sexually assaulted to seek immediate and appropriate medical treatment.  In addition to contacting the University of West Alabama Police, 205-652-3602, for emergency treatment, the following hospitals and clinics are located near the University of West Alabama campus:

Hospitals

Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital
105 Highway 80 East
Demopolis, AL 36732
(334) 289-4000
info@bwwmh.com 

Anderson Regional Medical Center
2124 14th Street
Meridian, MS 39301
(601) 553-6000

DCH Regional Medical Center
809 University Boulevard East
Tuscaloosa, AL 36401-2029
(205) 759-7111 

Hill Hospital of Sumter County
751 Derby Drive
York, AL 36925
(205) 392-5263

Clinics

Anderson Family Medical Center
711 N. Washington St.
Livingston, AL 35470
(205) 652-5778

Rush Medical Group
1221 N. Washington Street
Livingston, AL 35470
(205) 652-9575
Stephanie.Mason@rushhealth.com 

Counseling services for sexual misconduct and sexual assault are available through the West Alabama Mental Health Center at the Demopolis office, and referrals to the Center may be made through the Vice President for Student Affairs, 205-652-3581, or through the University of West Alabama Counseling Services at 205-652-3651 or via email at ddean@uwa.edu. Additionally, victims of sexual assault can obtain counseling through the Turning Point, 205-758-0808, collect calls accepted, through its 24-hour crisis line.

Federal Statistical Reporting Obligations

Certain campus officials have a duty to report sexual misconduct for federal statistical reporting purposes (Clery Act). All personally identifiable information is kept confidential, but statistical information must be passed along to campus law enforcement regarding the type of incident and its general location (on or off-campus, in the surrounding area, but no addresses are given) for publication in the annual Campus Security Report. This report helps to provide the community with a clear picture of the extent and nature of campus crime to ensure greater community safety. The information to be shared includes the date, the location of the incident (using Clery location categories) and the Clery crime category. This reporting protects the identity of the victim and may be done anonymously.

Federal Timely Warning Reporting Obligations

Victims of sexual misconduct should also be aware that University administrators must issue immediate timely warnings for incidents reported to them that are confirmed to pose a substantial threat of bodily harm or danger to members of the campus community. The University will make every effort to ensure that a victim’s name and other identifying information is not disclosed, while still providing enough information for community members to make safety decisions in light of the danger.

 

Civil Rights Grievance and Investigation Process

Introduction


The Civil Rights Grievance and Investigation Process applies to all University of West Alabama (the “University”) students, faculty, staff and guests/visitors for all civil rights grievances and discrimination complaints, including those governed by Title IX (i.e. including sexual violence, sexual harassment, intimate partner violence, stalking, gender-based bulling and/or hazing) and those under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.   

As an employer and institution of higher learning, the University seeks to serve its diverse and talented community through fair and responsible application of its policies. Accordingly, the University will not tolerate in the workplace, academic setting or in its programs or activities discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability or sexual orientation. Additionally, the University prohibits retaliation against any University student, faculty, staff member, or guest/visitor who, in good faith (holding a genuine belief in the truth of one’s allegations), complains of discrimination and/or harassment or who participates in the University’s complaint process.

These policies are intended to be consistent with University policy and federal and state laws, including, but not limited to, Titles IV, VI, and VII or the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended.
Jurisdiction

The University is able to respond formally to alleged incidents of violations of civil rights (including gender-based misconduct), where the University has:

  •     Control over the accused individual (i.e. student, faculty, staff member) and
  •     Control over the context of the situation (i.e. own the property where the alleged conduct occurred, University-sponsored event, etc.).

For the policies and procedures governing student and academic conduct not related to civil rights please refer to Tiger Paw Student Handbook.

For the policies and procedures covering faculty and staff grievances not related to civil rights see the Faculty Grievance Policy and Staff Grievance Policy.

Complaints Concerning Discrimination and/or Harassment

The University does not permit discrimination or harassment in its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, or religion. Students, faculty, staff members, and/or guests/visitors who believe they have been subjected to discrimination or harassment in violation of this policy should follow the procedures outlined herein to report these concerns.

This process involves an immediate initial investigation to determine if there is reasonable cause to believe the nondiscrimination policy has been violated. If so, the University will initiate a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation. This investigation is designed to provide a fair and reliable determination about whether the University nondiscrimination policy has been violated. If so, the University will implement a prompt and effective remedy designed to end the discrimination, prevent its recurrence and address its effects.

Students, faculty, staff members, and/or guests/visitors who wish to report a concern or complaint relating to discrimination or harassment may do so by reporting the concern to the University Title IX Coordinator: Robert Upchurch, UWA Station 6 (Webb Hall 344), 205-652-3533, rupchurch@uwa.edu.

Students with complaints of this nature also always have the right to file a formal complaint with the United States Department of Education:

Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-1100
Customer Service Hotline #: (800) 421-3481

Facsimile: (202) 453-6012
TDD#: (877) 521-2172

Email: OCR@ed.gov

Web: http://www.ed.gov/ocr

Informal Dispute Resolution Efforts: A Useful First Step before Filing Formal Complaints


Though not required, individuals are encouraged to attempt initially to resolve complaints through informal dispute resolution. Complaints involving allegations of sexual or physical assault and/or particularly severe behavior should not be resolved informally and must be referred to the Title IX Coordinator immediately.

Communication with the Assistance of a Third Party

a.         If you would like to proceed informally you may ask the Vice President for Student Affairs to assist you as a third-party neutral. Do not rely upon other co-workers or individuals who are not familiar with University policy to intervene on your behalf when discussing your concerns with the person whose behavior is unwelcome and/or offensive.

b.         A third-party neutral assists in facilitating discussion. It is designed to help the parties to reach a mutually agreeable resolution of a dispute.

c.          The use of a third-party neutral may be appropriate when:

  1. the parties wish to continue to work, live, etc. together;
  2. the facts are not disputed, but the behavior was perceived as unwelcome and/or offensive;
  3. no one has been physically harmed;
  4. the complaining party is able to articulate a desired outcome; and
  5. the parties are committed to resolving their dispute and not “winning” an argument.

 

Formal Procedures

You may initiate formal complaint procedures with the University, whether or not you have attempted resolution through informal procedures. Notice of a formal complaint can be made in person or orally to an appropriate official, but the University strongly encourages submission of grievances in writing to Robert Upchurch, Title IX Coordinator, UWA Station 6 (Webb Hall 344), 205-652-3533, rupchurch@uwa.edu. The individual who files the complaint is referred to as the “Complainant.” The individual against whom the complaint is filed is referred to as the “Respondent.” Collectively, these individuals are referred to as the “Parties.”

  1. Filing a Complaint. The University responds to complaints in accordance with the procedures outlined below. However, there may be exceptional circumstances which justify a departure from these procedures, and should such circumstances arise, the University will advise the Parties as soon as possible.
    1. A complaint may be filed with the University by any present or former student, faculty, staff member, guest/visitor, applicant for admission or employment, or participant in the University’s programs or activities who believes that he/she has been unlawfully discriminated against or harassed on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability or sexual orientation, or who believes that he/she has been retaliated against for reporting discrimination or harassment or for assisting or participating in a complaint investigation.
    2. Complaints to the University must be in writing and filed as soon as possible from the date of the most recent alleged discriminatory, harassing and/or retaliatory act. All time limits set forth in these procedures may be extended by the University for good cause. The Complainant also may file a formal charge of discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation with a state or federal agency authorized by law to receive such complaints.
    3. When filing a complaint, the following should be included: the Complainant’s name, contact information and signature, a description of the conduct believed to be discriminatory, harassing and/or retaliatory with approximate date(s) when these actions occurred, and the name(s) of the Respondent(s). The University will accept oral complaints ONLY when made in-person to the Title IX Coordinator.
    4. Complaints should be directed to Robert Upchurch, Title IX Coordinator, UWA Station 6 (Webb Hall 344), Livingston, Alabama, 35470, phone 205-652-3533, email rupchurch@uwa.edu.
  2. Receipt of a Complaint
    1. Upon receipt of a written complaint, the Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee will investigate the matter. If the Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee has not previously spoken with the Complainant, the Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee will meet with the Complainant within five (5) working days to review the University’s complaint procedures and discuss the Complainant’s allegations, any accommodations that may be appropriate concerning the Complainant’s academic, University housing and/or University employment arrangements, whether the Complainant is amenable to resolving the complaint through the informal procedure outlined above, and the Complainant’s reporting options for gender-based misconduct, if applicable.
    2. If the Complainant desires to first proceed informally, the University will stay the complaint and contact the Respondent to ascertain his/her willingness to participate in an informal resolution.
    3. If the Complainant desires to proceed directly under the University’s formal complaint procedures, if the Respondent declines to participate in an informal resolution, if attempts to resolve the complaint through one or more of the informal procedures are unsuccessful, the Investigator will assess the Complainant’s written complaint to determine whether the allegations state a violation of federal or state laws and/or University policies.
  3. Acceptance of a Complaint
    1. Within five (5) working days of either the Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee’s receipt of the complaint, the Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee’s initial meeting with the Complainant, or the Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee’s determination that an informal resolution of the Complainant’s complaint is no longer feasible - whichever event is later - the Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee  shall decide whether the written complaint states a potential violation of University policies or federal and state laws and shall notify the Complainant in writing of his/her decision.
    2. If the Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee determines that the Complainant’s allegations, if true, do not state a violation of University policies or federal or state laws, the written notice of this decision shall explain why the complaint does not state a violation and may inform the Complainant of other possible avenues of redress, if appropriate.
    3. If the Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee concludes that the allegations of the complaint state a potential violation, the Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee will notify the Complainant that he/she has accepted his/her complaint, and within ten (10) days thereafter meet with the Complainant to determine the specific factual allegations upon which the complaint is based, and discuss the University’s complaint procedures, including whether the complaint is suitable for negotiated resolution.
  4. Complaint Investigation. The University will conduct an investigation in accordance with the following procedures.
    1. The investigation conducted by the University may include, but is not limited to:
      1. Interviewing material witnesses;
      2. Reviewing relevant files and records;
      3. Comparing the treatment of the Complainant to that of others similarly situated in the department or unit; and/or
      4. Reviewing applicable policies and procedures.
    2. In addition to the notice provided to the Respondent, the University may determine that it is necessary to contact other University officials to notify such persons of the situation or notify others within the University to protect against imminent risk of physical harm or to investigate potential crimes. However, such information will be provided strictly on a need-to-know basis.
    3. The investigation shall normally be concluded within sixty (60) days of inception, at which time the Investigator shall issue a written report to the Vice President for Student Affairs or the Provost*****. The report will include findings of fact as well as appropriate recommendations/sanctions.
    4. If the Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee concludes that the Complainant’s allegations are substantiated, then the report will recommend, as appropriate, that:
      1. A directive be issued to stop any ongoing discriminatory, harassing and/or retaliatory behavior/practice;
      2. Disciplinary or other corrective action be taken against the Respondent and/or others; and/or
      3. Relief be granted to the Complainant, such as reinstatement, hiring, reassignment, promotion, training, back pay or other compensation and/or benefits.
    5. If the Investigator concludes that the Complainant’s allegations do not establish a violation of University policies, but possibly other University policies, then the report may suggest other avenues which the Complainant may pursue to resolve the matter.
    6. The Vice President for Student Affairs or the Provost to whom the report is sent may accept or reject the findings, recommendations, and proposed sanctions, if any. The Vice President for Student Affairs’ or the Provost’s decision shall be communicated in writing to the Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee within five (5) days after receipt of the report from the Investigator unless on the grounds of good cause additional time is required. The Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee will communicate the decision of the Vice President for Student Affairs or the Provost to the Complainant and the Respondent within three (3) days of receipt of the decision.
    7. If either the Complainant or Respondent disagrees with the decision of the Vice President for Student Affairs or the Provost, he/she may appeal to the President of the University. Such appeal must be made in writing within forty-eight (48) hours of notice from the Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee of the Vice President for Student Affairs’ or Provost’s decision and must be sent via email to: rholland@uwa.edu. All sanctions imposed by the Vice President for Student Affairs or the Provost will be in effect during the appeal.
    8. The President may accept or reject the findings, recommendations, and proposed sanctions, if any. The President’s decision shall be communicated in writing to the Parties and the Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee within five (5) days after the President receives the appeal. The President’s decision is final.
    9. Disciplinary action up to and including expulsion and/or termination may be taken against any person who files a complaint with the University in bad faith or who maliciously or knowingly files false charges. 

*****For complaints against students the Vice President for Student Affairs is the appropriate Vice President; for complaints against all others, the Provost is the appropriate individual.

 

Consensual Relationship Policy

The University of West Alabama is committed to providing an environment for learning and work as free as possible from conflicts of interest, favoritism, and sexual discrimination. The relationship between teacher and student is central to the academic mission of the University of West Alabama. No non-academic or personal ties should be allowed to interfere with the integrity of the teacher-student relationship. Consensual sexual relations between a faculty or staff member and a student can adversely affect the academic enterprise, distorting judgments or appearing to do so in the minds of others, and providing incentives or disincentives for student-faculty contact that are equally inappropriate. A romantic and/or sexual relationship between a faculty member and a student or a staff member and a student can lead to a complaint of sexual harassment when the student feels he/she has been exploited. In addition, other faculty members, staff members or students may express concerns about undue access or advantage, favoritism, restricted opportunities, or unfavorable treatment as a result of the relationship. These concerns are damaging whether favoritism is real or perceived. Concerns also arise in cases where the relationship between a faculty or staff member and student remain amicable, as well in cases that lead to accusations of exploitation.

The following Policy is directed to faculty-student relationships, to staff-student relationships and to employee-employee relationships.  Although the University of West Alabama normally has no interest in private romantic or sexual relationships between individuals, the University of West Alabama has adopted a Consensual Relationship Policy for the following reasons:  to avoid the problems outlined above, to protect individuals from the type of injury that either a subordinate or superior individual to such relationship can incur, to protect the integrity of the learning and work environment and evaluation process, to avoid sexual discrimination and/or sexual harassment, and to provide information and guidance to members of the University of West Alabama community.  This Policy addresses consensual relations only.  Non-consensual or coerced relationships are addressed in the Policy on Gender-Based Misconduct and the Policy Statement on Non-Discrimination on the Basis of Sex.

Definitions

For purposes of this Policy, the following terms are defined as follows:

Consensual Relationship: Any dating, romantic, sexual, or marriage relationship willingly undertaken by the parties.

Direct Supervision: Includes, but is not limited to, the following activities:  academic instruction, course teaching, formal mentoring, overseeing, directing, examining, grading, advising, supervising, evaluating, recommending, promoting, employing, and other employment actions including directly setting of salary or wages, any disciplinary action, including suspension, expulsion, and termination, and exercising responsibility for grades, honors or degrees.

 

Policy Regarding Faculty-Student and Staff-Student Consensual Relationships

Interactions between the faculty or staff members and students at the University of West Alabama are guided by mutual trust, confidence, and/or professional ethics.  Professional faculty-student or staff-student relationships carry risks of conflict of interest, breach of trust, abuse of power, and/or breach of professional ethics.

Prohibited Relationships

Faculty members and staff members shall not engage in, and are prohibited from, consensual relationships with students whenever a faculty or staff member has direct supervision with respect to the student.  Should a consensual relationship exist before the beginning of the professional relationship, or develop, or appear likely to develop, while the faculty or staff member is, or would be, in a position of direct supervision over the student, the faculty or staff member shall immediately report such relationship to his/her immediate supervisor and initiate steps to avoid and/or terminate the position of direct supervision.  Avoidance or termination includes but is not limited to the student not enrolling in a course; a qualified alternative faculty member or teaching assistant taking the position of direct supervision; transfer of the student to another course, section, seminar, etc. taught by a different faculty member or teaching assistant; assigning or transferring the student to, or the student selecting, another academic advisor; or the student dropping or withdrawing from a course. Faculty or staff members include, but are not limited to, teaching assistants, graduate teaching assistants, coaches, and assistant coaches.

Discouraged Relationships

The following faculty-student and staff-student relationships are strongly discouraged at the University of West Alabama in light of the potential for apparent and actual conflicts of interest and for assertions of sexual harassment.  Should such relationships arise, however, the relationships are required to be disclosed and managed as indicated below:

Even when no position of direct supervision exists, a faculty or staff member who engages in a romantic or sexual relationship with a student must promptly disclose the existence of the relationship to his/her immediate supervisor if there exists a reasonable possibility that a conflict of interest may arise.  Relationships, in which a conflict of interest exists or is likely to arise, appear to third parties to create an unfair advantage for the student or to be exploitative of the student and/or may later develop into conflicts of interest that are prohibited as herein above.

When the student is a graduate student in the same department or academic program as the faculty or staff member, or is an undergraduate student and is majoring or minoring in the same department as the faculty or staff member, a potential conflict of interest exists.  A conflict of interest may arise if the student in a department separates from a faculty or staff member.  The faculty or staff member must promptly disclose the relationship to his/her immediate supervisor when a potential conflict of interest exists or is reasonably likely to arise.

Once the relationship is disclosed, the immediate supervisor will evaluate the situation to determine whether an actual conflict of interest exists or is likely to arise and will develop a management plan to address the actual or potential conflict of interest and will advise the Provost of the actual conflict or potential conflict of interest and of the management plan.  A faculty or staff member has the professional and ethical responsibility to remove himself/herself from any decisions that may reward or penalize the student involved and otherwise comply with the management plan.

Policy Regarding Employee/Employee Consensual Relationships

An employee should be aware that entering into a consensual relationship with another employee who exercises direct supervision over the employee creates the potential for risk to both parties.  In particular, such a relationship will limit that supervisor/employee’s ability to direct work, discipline the subordinate employee, or promote the subordinate employee’s career and creates conflicts of interest and perceptions of undue advantage.

Prohibited Relationships

A University of West Alabama employee shall not engage in, and is prohibited from, a consensual relationship with another employee whenever one employee has direct supervision with respect to the other employee.  Should a consensual relationship exist prior to the beginning of the period of direct supervision, or develop, or appear likely to develop, while an employee is, or would be, in a position of direct supervision over another employee, the employee exercising direct supervision shall immediately report such relationship to his/her immediate supervisor and take steps to avoid and/or terminate the position of direct supervision.  Avoidance or termination includes but is not limited to the subordinate employee not accepting such position; another appropriate employee assuming the position of direct supervision; or transfer of the subordinate employee to another position not directly supervised by the other employee.

Discouraged Relationships

The following relationships between employees are strongly discouraged at the University of West Alabama in light of the potential for apparent and actual conflicts of interest.  Should such relationships arise, however, they are required to be disclosed and managed as indicated below:

Even when no position of direct supervision exists, an employee who engages in a romantic or sexual relationship with another employee must promptly disclose the existence of the relationship to his/her immediate supervisor if there exists a reasonable possibility that a conflict of interest may arise.  Relationships, in which a conflict of interest exists or is likely to arise, may later develop into conflicts of interest that are prohibited as hereinabove.

Once the relationship is disclosed, the immediate supervisor will evaluate the situation to determine whether an actual conflict of interest exists or is likely to arise and will develop a management plan to address the actual or potential conflict of interest and will advise the Provost of the actual conflict or potential conflict and of the management plan.  An employee has the professional and ethical responsibility to remove himself/herself from any decisions that may reward or penalize the other employee involved and otherwise comply with the management plan.

Sanctions/Intent

The University of West Alabama responses to violations of this Policy will vary as appropriate to the facts and circumstances of each case. Persons in violation of this Policy shall be subject to sanctions ranging from verbal warnings to dismissal or termination.  The University of West Alabama reserves the right to take disciplinary action against members of the University community who make false allegations of unreported consensual relationships.  This Policy is not intended to intrude on the privacy of members of the University community but is intended primarily to be instructive and corrective.

This Policy is supplemental to the Policy on Gender-Based Misconduct.

Rev. May 29, 2012

Policy Statement on Maintaining a Drug-Free Community and Workplace

The regulations implementing the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 [Public Law 101-226] require that each institution receiving federal grant funds must certify, prior to the award, that it will maintain a drug-free workplace and community. UWA, therefore, establishes the following policy standard:

The use of illegal drugs and the abuse of legal medication and alcohol threaten the health and welfare of members of the University community. UWA takes pride in its members, and, therefore, is committed to eliminating substance abuse among its students, faculty, and staff members both on and off campus.

UWA hereby notifies all of its employees and students, both full-time and part-time, that the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, or use of a controlled substance by an employee or student on the UWA campus, or at any other location where the employee or student is performing official duties or representing UWA, or performing any work pursuant to a federal grant, is prohibited.

The primary objective of the University in the area of substance abuse is prevention. Through the presentation of drug, alcohol, and other health related educational programs, UWA hopes to inform the campus community of the problems related to substance abuse. Although UWA does not independently require drug-testing of students involved in campus activities, the University supports and agrees to comply with drug-testing requirements of all applicable athletic associations in which membership is held. For student, faculty, and staff members who recognize that an abuse problem exists, counseling and/or referral service will be made available. It is hoped that all substance abuse problems can be handled at the counseling level; however, it is the responsibility of the individual to seek help prior to disciplinary action or criminal apprehension, or prosecution, as well as conduct himself or herself in accordance with federal, state and local law whether or not on the campus of UWA.

The use of illegal drugs will not be tolerated by UWA. Members of the University community apprehended for or convicted of substance abuse will be subject to appropriate University action. Indicators of abuse, such as arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) or possession of illegal drugs, will serve as reasonable cause for disciplinary action, whether or not a criminal conviction is ultimately obtained. Those convicted of substance abuse will be subject to disciplinary action and criminal prosecution by the appropriate authorities. Any violation of this policy by an employee or student will render the employee or student subject to disciplinary action (consistent with federal, state or local law) including, but not limited to, expulsion or immediate termination of employment. The University may also require the employee or student to complete a drug rehabilitation program. UWA will fully cooperate with law enforcement authorities in the investigation or prosecution of any criminal violations and may refer any suspected violations to these authorities for prosecution. At all times, members of the University community remain responsible for conducting themselves in accord with federal, state and local law.

Substance abuse is counter to the educational mission of UWA. This policy of prevention, counseling and discipline will serve as a catalyst to discourage abuse by members of the University community.

UWA has implemented a drug-free awareness program. The statement above, setting forth UWA’s policy of maintaining a drug-free workplace and community and the penalties that may be imposed upon employees for drug abuse violations occurring in the workplace and community, is a part of this program, but the University also distributes the following annually to all employees:

  1. Information on the dangers of drug abuse in the workplace and community;
  2. Information on the legal sanctions under local, state, and federal law for unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol;
  3. Information on available drug counseling, rehabilitation, and employee assistance programs in the area.

Expenses

General Fees

On Campus Graduate Fee for Tuition (per semester hour) - In-state $371.00
Note: Out-of-state tuition is two times the In-state rate except for the following Mississippi counties, which are charged the In-state rate: Clarke, Kemper, Lauderdale, Jasper, Neshoba, Newton, Noxubee, and Winston.
Online Graduate Fee for Tuition (per semester hour) $429.00
Identification Card (required for all students) per semester $10.00
Information Access Fee (required for all on campus graduate students)  
Information Access Fee for a on campus graduate enrolling for four or less semester hours $120.00
Information Access Fee for a on campus graduate enrolling for more than four semester hours $180.00
Technology Fee for an online student per session $50.00
Application Fee (submitted online) (Non-refundable) $30.00
Application Fee (paper application) (Non-refundable)
(Required of all new graduate applicants for admission)
$40.00
Application Fee for International Students (paper application/Non-refundable) $40.00
Miller Analogies Test Fee (Non-refundable) $60.00
Auditing Fee (per on campus course) $40.00
Auditing Fee (per online course) $75.00
Comprehensive Examination Fee $50.00
Graduation Fee (See Graduation Fee Policy below.)  
Master’s and Education Specialist Degree $80.00

Fees in the School of Graduate Studies do not cover any medical expenses for students.

NOTE: The audit fee is waived for senior citizens of Alabama, those 55 or older, who audit a course on campus.

Course Fees

For certain courses, special course fees are required in addition to the basic fees, as follows:

All Accounting courses $55.00
All Biology courses with laboratories $75.00
BY 520 . Field Zoology   $155.00
   $450.00
   $450.00
All Business Administration courses $55.00
All Business Quantitative Analysis courses $55.00
CE 519. Internship in Early Childhood Education (3)   $50.00
All Cooperative Education Program courses $25.00
All Chemistry courses with laboratories $75.00
CO 548. Practicum in School Counseling   $50.00
CO 559. Internship in Counseling I (3)   $50.00
CO 569. Internship in Counseling II (3)   $50.00
All Computer Information Systems courses $55.00
All Economics courses $55.00
   $30.00
   $30.00
ED 509. Internship in Teaching: P-12 (3)   $50.00
ED 533. Reading Methods Secondary/P-12    $50.00
ED 585. Methods of Teaching Science   $50.00
   $30.00
   $30.00
All Environmental Science courses with laboratories $75.00
   $450.00
   $450.00
All Finance courses $55.00
IL 578. Instructional Leadership Internship (3)   $50.00
IL 579. Instructional Leadership Internship and Residency (3)   $50.00
LM 569. Internship in Library Media (3)   $50.00
All Management courses $55.00
All Marketing courses $55.00
   $75.00
   $75.00
   $75.00
   $20.00
   $10.00
   $10.00

Graduation Fee Policy

The graduation application fee (as stated above) is due before the deadline has passed (the last day of pre-registration in any given semester).  A late fee of $25.00 will be imposed on any student applying for graduation after the deadline for applications has passed. If a student applies for graduation on time and then discovers that he/she will not graduate in the semester he/she applied, the student must reapply for graduation and resubmit the graduation fee. The fee and application do not roll over.

The graduation fee is payable at the time the application is submitted. Measurements for caps and gowns are to be made at the UWA Bookstore four weeks prior to graduation.  The fee includes cost of diploma and rental of cap and gown. This fee is required of all graduates and is not refundable in the event the prospective graduate fails to complete requirements for a degree or fails to participate in graduation exercises.

Filing for a Degree

Each candidate for a master’s or education specialist degree must apply for the degree through the Registrar’s Office no later than the registration period of the semester in which he/she expects to meet requirements for the degree. Application forms are available in the registration line or in the Registrar’s Office. It is the responsibility of the student to file this application. The last day for filing an application for a degree is shown in the University calendar. Students who fail to meet the degree requirements after filing for the degree or diploma, must refile for the degree when requirements are completed.

Housing Reservation

A request for a reservation in University housing (residence hall room or apartment) must be accompanied by an application fee of $100.00.

Room and Board (Subject to Change Without Notice)

The rental rate in one of the University residence halls or apartments covers only the period when classes are in session.  Limited housing is available during breaks at an additional charge.   All rental rates are set on the basis of multiple occupancy of the room. The rates (subject to change) are as follows:

  Stickney Hall (Shared Room) $2,240 per semester
  Reed Hall (Shared Room) $2,340 per semester
  Hoover Apts. (Single Bedroom) $3,140 per semester
  Hoover Apts. (Shared Bedroom) $2,780 per semester
  Patterson Hall (Shared Room) $2,340 per semester
  Selden Hall (Shared Room) $1,560 per semester

All students residing in the residence halls of the University are required to purchase meal plans. The semester charges of the meal plans, including applicable sales taxes, are as follows:

  All Access Meal Plan $1,300.00
  9 Meal Plan $940.00
     

All students that live in a residence hall room without kitchen facilities, are required to have an All Access Meal Plan.  A 9 Meal Plan is required of all other residents.

Payments

All University charges for tuition, fees, room and board are due by registration day of each semester.

All students must pay their charges in full, have approved financial aid to cover all charges or make payment arrangements by the due date. Any charges incurred other than those required as a condition of enrollment are due in full prior to registration confirmation.

Arrangements consist of the following:

  1. Pay one third of all charges and have guaranteed financial aid sufficient to cover the remaining balance including applicable fees.
  2. Establish an approved payment plan through Tuition Management Systems in an amount sufficient to cover the account balance including applicable fees.
     

International students are REQUIRED to pay all charges at the time of registration. Other students whose accounts in the past have been turned over for collection also must pay all charges at the time of registration. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that fee payments are made on time and in accordance with the policies set forth in this catalogue. Any student who fails to comply with these policies may be withdrawn from classes by the University. The University is not responsible for sending bills or reminders, although statements showing outstanding balances due may be rendered on occasion. A student may access pertinent information regarding their student account on line through their WebAdvisor account at any time. Checks for payment of University charges should be made payable to “UWA”. No student records will be released by the Registrar’s Office until all University fees, fines and other obligations are paid in full. ALL STUDENT ACCOUNTS WITH A CREDIT BALANCE NOT CLAIMED WITHIN ONE YEAR OF GRADUATION OR WITHDRAWAL SHALL REVERT TO THE GENERAL FUNDS OF THE UNIVERSITY.

All costs, including attorney’s fees, which are necessary for the collection of any debt owed to the University, must be paid by the debtor. Questions about charges or refunds should be addressed to appropriate personnel in the Business Office.

Check Cashing Policy

Students and faculty desiring to cash checks at the Business Office for personal convenience must make checks payable to “Cash”. Personal checks will be cashed for amounts up to $50.00 for students if their student account with UWA is current. If a student has two returned checks per academic year, his/her check cashing privileges may be discontinued.

Due to the limited amount of cash on hand in the Business Office, work-study checks will be cashed only if the student makes a payment on their student account.

Returned Check Policy

UWA will pursue all legal means to collect dishonored checks returned by our bank for any reason. Once a check has been returned to the Business Office, the maker of the check will be notified by mail and be given a reasonable period of time to make the check good. Should the maker decide to ignore this notice, the Business Office will send a second notice. The second notice will be sent by Registered Mail. Should the second notice be ignored, the check and all supporting documentation will be submitted to the Bad Check Unit of the District Attorney’s Office for collection. Writing a bad check is a crime in the State of Alabama. Failure to respond to the District Attorney may result in arrest.

Refunds

Regular Session

Students officially withdrawing from classes during the first two weeks of class receive refunds for the Basic Fees as follows: One hundred percent if withdrawal occurs during the first week of classes and fifty percent if withdrawal occurs during the second week of classes. No refund is made if withdrawal occurs after the second week of classes.

Refunds are made only upon receipt of an official withdrawal card properly executed. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the withdrawal card is completed. In the case of withdrawals caused by personal illness or call into military service, the total amount of fees is refundable if withdrawal is made on or before Friday of the third week of the semester. One-half of the total amount of fees is refunded if withdrawal is made during the period beginning on Monday of the fourth week and ending Friday of the fifth week of classes.

  1. Those students withdrawing due to personal illness or call into the military may be asked to submit official documentation to receive a reduction in fees.
  2. Recipients of Title IV Federal financial aid are required to have their funds prorated based on the number of weeks of enrollment and is effective through 60% of the semester. All Title IV repayments are charged to the student account and are the responsibility of the student. All such repayments must be satisfied before the student enrolls for another semester.

4-week Summer Session

Students officially withdrawing from the University during the first six days of class receive refunds for the Basic Fees as follows: One hundred percent if withdrawal occurs during the first three class days of a four-week session and fifty percent if withdrawal occurs on or between the third and sixth class days of a four week session. No refund is made if withdrawal occurs after the sixth class day of a four-week session. No refunds are made to students who do not follow official procedures for withdrawal or change of course. The information technology fee and the ID card fee are not subject to refund or reduction.

Refunds are made only upon receipt of an official withdrawal card properly executed. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the withdrawal card is completed. In the case of withdrawals caused by personal illness or call into military service, the total amount of fees is refundable if withdrawal is made within the first seven class days of the four-week sessions. One-half of the total amount of fees is refunded if withdrawal is made during the period beginning the eighth class day and ending on the twelfth class day of a four-week session. Those students withdrawing due to personal illness or call into the military may be asked to submit official documentation in order to receive a reduction in fees.

Recipients of Title IV Federal financial aid are required to have their funds prorated based on the number of weeks of enrollment. This proration is effective through 60% of the semester, and examples are available upon request at the Financial Aid Office. All Title IV repayments are charged to the student account and are the responsibility of the student. All such repayments must be satisfied before the student enrolls for another semester.

Graduate Identification Cards

All graduate students are required to have a current UWA Graduate Identification Card each semester they are enrolled at the University. These cards are available at the Tiger Card Office (Webb Hall 125). The UWA Graduate Identification Card is required to check out books and materials from the Julia Tutwiler Library and the Media Center, as well as admission to all University activities. The card is also required in all UWA Computer Labs for any printing or photocopying in any UWA facility. The Graduate Identification Card is also required in order for the graduate student to take the Miller Analogies Test and the Comprehensive Exam.

The UWA Graduate Identification Card may also be used as a student activity card. Graduate students have the option of paying a $95.00 activity fee which entitles them to admittance to SGA/CAB sponsored events, athletic events, and use of the Wellness Center/Student Union. Graduate students also have the option of paying a $25 annual fee (and a $25 per semester fee) to the alumni association for use of the Wellness Center only.