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University of West Alabama    
 
    
 
  Sep 24, 2017
 
Faculty and Professional Staff Handbook

Chapter III: General Policies for Faculty and Professional Staff



 EMPLOYMENT POLICIES

Outside Employment

A faculty or staff member at the University of West Alabama is expected to devote full time to his/her University responsibilities and not to engage in other activities which might in any way impair his/her ability to render effective full-time service to the institution. For this reason, a faculty or staff member should not engage in any outside employment without the knowledge and approval of his/her dean (or department head in the case of professional staff). Approval is given only if the outside employment (1) will in no way interfere with the faculty or staff member’s performance of his/her total University duties, (2) is not likely to embarrass the University or involve it in unwholesome controversy, and (3) does not create any likelihood of conflict of interest for the faculty or staff member or for the institution. In addition, if any University facilities or services are used in connection with outside employment for remuneration, the faculty or staff member must compensate the institution at the rate established for the general public. In no instance will a faculty or staff member be remunerated both by the University and by external sources for performing the same services. Further information is given in the policy statements that follow, and forms for “Notification of Grant Proposal Development” and “Request for Approval for Teaching at Another Institution” are provided. Employees should also see the “Statement of Policy on Allocation of Employee Time and Equipment Use” under “Secretarial Services” given later in this section of the Handbook.

Research, Grants, and Consultant Activities

It is recognized by the University that consulting in the area of a faculty or staff member’s expertise and other professional activities off the campus-for example, participation in in‑service programs at local schools or in workshops or conferences-are important services which the institution and its employees can render to the public at large. The University encourages such activities with the dean’s or administrative department head’s approval but with the reservation that first priority must be given by each employee to his/her teaching and/or other official duties on campus. Indeed, the University, insofar as funds permit, provides for the expenses of faculty and staff members who render such services on behalf of the University, or when otherwise appropriate. A faculty or staff member is free to accept a fee and/or reimbursement for expenses from external sources in connection with such services when he/she functions as an individual. If he/she is representing the University, however, and receives an honorarium or other funds sufficient to cover all expenses, he/she should not also request reimbursement of expenses from the University or the use of a University‑owned automobile.

The University’s official statement on “Policy Regarding Research/Consultant Activities” which follows specifies the faculty member’s and the University’s obligations in certain types of research or consultant activities (This policy also applies to staff members who may be involved with research activities). Basically, the policy requires that faculty members keep their department chairpersons informed regarding their research activities and that they follow standard procedures in securing permission to use specialized University facilities or services. Engaging in research or consulting work for pecuniary return should be undertaken only after an understanding with the administration of the University.

The Office of Institutional Effectiveness-although concerned primarily with the gathering, analysis, and dissemination of institutional data-is authorized to assist faculty and staff members in their individual research projects, if requested. This office is also charged with responsibilities in connection with the preparation of grant proposals. Any faculty or staff member intending to prepare a grant proposal which will utilize University resources, facilities, and personnel or otherwise will involve the University must submit to this office a brief initial statement regarding the projected proposal, send a copy of the final proposal, and otherwise keep this office informed of the status of each proposal.

The Office of Sponsored Programs is authorized to assist faculty and staff members in their individual research projects. The office is also charged with the responsibilities of serving as a clearinghouse for all grant proposals and related activities including grant preparation, grant implementation, grant reporting, and budgeting processes. The Office of Sponsored Programs serves as the oversight to assure that faculty research and grant applications are in compliance with funding regulations. Any faculty or staff member intending to prepare a grant and/or research proposal which will utilize University resources and personnel or otherwise involve the University must submit to this office the Notification of Grant Proposal Development Form, located in the forms file of the UWA website and the OSP website. Faculty must have the approval of their respective dean prior to proposal development. Prior to submission, faculty must complete the Final Proposal Routing Form with proper signatures. The final proposal is submitted to the funding source by the OSP unless personal submission is required. All electronic submissions are finalized and submitted by the staff of OSP. The faculty member should maintain contact with the Office of Sponsored Programs concerning the status of each proposal.

Faculty/Staff Policy Regarding Research/Consultant Activities

As a teaching institution, the University of West Alabama places the highest priority on the instructional functions of faculty, together with those staff functions which directly support instruction. Consequently, although faculty and staff involvement in a wide variety of activities-research, community service, personal enterprises, etc.-is encouraged, full‑time commitment to the institution is required and other activities, whether undertaken independently or with University cooperation, must not interfere with the optimum performance of primary duties. The following statements are intended as policy guidelines for this purpose:

Individual Effort Without University Assistance

If a faculty or staff member is consulting or otherwise engaged in an externally funded project or activity during his/her own time where no institutional support will be given to the project, the faculty or staff member shall report such activities in writing to his/her immediate department chairperson or supervisor, who in turn shall report it to the dean or department head. It should be clearly understood that any such project is undertaken in addition to teaching a full load, maintaining office hours, and/or performing all other University-assigned duties and shall not diminish the University-assigned responsibilities of the faculty or staff member. The University shall object to such arrangements only when there is a conflict of interest with the University or if it appears that, in fact, such participation is adversely affecting the fulfillment of the individual’s responsibilities to the University.

Individual Effort with University Assistance

If a faculty or staff member is consulting or otherwise engaged in an externally funded project or activity during his own time and must receive some institutional support to complete the project or activity, the faculty or staff member shall request approval for such activities in writing to his/her immediate department chairperson or supervisor, who will, in turn, request approval from the dean or department head. Once approval is granted, the faculty or staff member and his/her department chairperson or supervisor shall jointly draft a memorandum of agreement setting forth such requirements as necessary to ensure that the University is reimbursed for supplies, materials, and services rendered and to ensure that the individual’s responsibilities to the University, such as teaching a full load, maintaining office hours, and/or other University-assigned duties, are not diminished by such effort.

University Contracted Efforts

If a faculty or staff member is asked by the University to participate in a contract or grant which the institution has entered into with an external agency, and upon agreement of the faculty or staff member and approval of the department chairperson and dean or other supervisor, the faculty or staff member and his/her department chairperson or supervisor shall jointly draft a memorandum of agreement to ensure that there is a firm understanding as the compensation, release time, and other reconsideration, if any, to be received by the faculty or staff member for his/her participation in the project. This agreement will be part of the University’s contract with the external agency.

Research Involving Human Subjects

The University of West Alabama Institutional Review Board is responsible for reviewing all research projects involving human subjects. All research involving human subjects conducted by faculty and/or staff must be approved by the Institutional Review Board before human subjects can be involved. The University of West Alabama also recognizes students as legitimate research participants. The following principles will be followed when using students as research participants:

  1. Informed Consent will be required to ensure the minimal amount of coercion or undue influence.
  2. The students will be assured that participate is voluntary, that non-participation will not involve penalties, that participation can be terminated at any time, and individual results will remain confidential.
     

Research Involving Human Subjects Review Process

The Chair of the Institutional Review Board must receive the following information before the review process begins:

  1. Research Proposal including a brief review of relevant literature, the theoretical purpose of the research, any potential risks that might be involved, and potential benefits for individual participants and/or society in general
  2. Informed Consent Form to be Used
  3. Appropriate Attachments (survey instruments, examples, etc.)
     

In order to approve research, the Institutional Review Board shall determine that all of the following requirements are satisfied:

  1. Risks to the participants are minimal;
  2. Risks to the participants are reasonable in relation to the anticipated benefits, if any, to the participants, and the importance of the knowledge that may reasonably be expected to result;
  3. Selection of the participants is equitable and participants have not been coerced to participate;
  4. Informed consent shall be obtained from each participant;
  5. Provisions have been made to protect the privacy of the participants and the confidentiality of data.
     

Approximate
Time Required for Review Process:
Expedited Review–2 weeks
Full Review–30 days

* The review process may take longer if all required information is not submitted to the Institutional Review Board.

Research Involving Human Subjects Expedited Review Process

The Institutional Review Board may review certain kinds of research involving human subjects using an Expedited Review Process. The Department of Health and Human Services has established a list of categories of research that may be reviewed using an Expedited Review Process in §46.110 as follows:

  1. Clinical studies of drugs and medical devices only when condition (a) or (b) is met. (a) Research on drugs for which an investigational new drug application (21 CFR Part 312) is not required. (b) Research on medical devices for which (i) an investigational device exemption application is not required; or (ii) the medical device is cleared/approved for marketing and the medical device is being used in accordance with its cleared/approved labeling.
  2. Collection of blood samples by finger stick, heel stick, ear stick, or venipuncture.
  3. Prospective collection of biological specimens for research purposes by noninvasive means.
  4. Collection of data through noninvasive procedures (not involving general anesthesia or sedation) routinely employed in clinical practice, excluding procedures involving x-rays or microwaves. Where medical devices are employed, they must be cleared/approved for marketing. (Studies intended to evaluation the safety and effectiveness of the medical device are not generally eligible for expedited review, including studies of cleared medical devices for new indications.)
  5. Research involving materials (data, documents, records, or specimens) that have been collected, or will be collected solely for non-research purposes (such as medical treatment or diagnosis).
  6. Collection of data from voice, video, digital, or image recordings made for research purposes.
  7. Research on individual or group characteristics or behavior (including, but not limited to, research on perception, cognition, motivation ,identity, language, communication, cultural beliefs or practices, and social behavior) or research employing survey, interview, oral history, focus group, program evaluation, human factors evaluation, or quality assurance methodologies.
  8. Continuing review of research previously approved by the IRB as follows:
    1. where (i) the research is permanently closed to the enrollment of new subjects; (ii) all subjects have completed all research-related interventions; and (iii) the research remains active only for long-term follow-up of subjects; or
    2. where no subjects have been enrolled and no additional risks have been identified; or
    3. where the remaining research activities are limited to data analysis.
  9. Continuing review of research, not conducted under an investigational new drug application or investigational device exemption where categories two through eight do not apply but the IRB has determined and documented at a convened meeting that the research involves no greater than minimal risk and no additional risks have been identified.
     

The Institutional Review Board may utilize the Expedited Review Process if the research fits one or more of the previous categories and (a) the research is found to involve no more than minimal risk and/or (b) minor changes are being made to previously approved research during the period for which the approval was authorized.

The Expedited Review Process allows the Institutional Review Board (IRB) chairperson and two other members of the IRB to review the research and allows them all authorities of the IRB except that they cannot disapprove the research. Only the entire IRB can disapprove research. If the research is approved through the Expedited Review Process, all members of the IRB will be notified.

Any proposed research not covered by the conditions of the Expedited Review Process will be referred to the Institutional Review Board for full review.

Review

In the event that any questions arise concerning the interpretation or implementation of this policy, such questions should be referred to the senior administrator in the area (i.e., Provost, Vice President for Financial Affairs, etc.) for final decision in accordance with all applicable University policies.

Notification

Faculty or staff preparing grants which will involve the University as set forth above should file a “Notification of Grant Proposal Development” form developed by the Institutional Effectiveness Committee in the format provided.

 

(January 1982)

Teaching at Other Institutions

No faculty member at the University of West Alabama should accept employment to teach at another educational institution of any level (elementary through post‑secondary) on a part‑time or adjunct basis without the specific approval of the dean in each separate instance. Approval will not be given when, in the opinion of the dean, doing so will violate the general principles above or when the situation might provide competition for classes offered at the University of West Alabama.

As a general policy, a faculty member will be restricted to a maximum three-semester-hour teaching load at another institution. The scheduling of the outside course(s) should in no way hinder the faculty member’s ability to meet his or her obligations in committee assignments or other areas; thus, generally speaking, any such teaching should take place outside the hours of the faculty member’s University responsibilities.

Each case is to be considered on its individual merits and must be approved in advance by the individual’s chairperson and dean. Approval by phone is acceptable provided written approval, using the prescribed form is obtained within five working days of the phone request.

Allocation of Employee Time and Equipment Use

The University of West Alabama provides secretarial/clerical personnel and office equipment primarily for the direct support of the academic program and of the official business activities, student affairs, record‑keeping, developmental activities, physical plant maintenance, and other essential functions of the institution. The direct support of these essential functions must be the priority consideration in all allocations of employee time and equipment use.

University personnel and equipment, however, may be appropriately utilized in certain instances for the preparation and/or duplication of materials for faculty members and professional personnel, even when not clearly covered by 1. above, provided the materials have value for the overall mission of the University. In any question concerning such utilization of resources, the following guidelines shall apply:

  1. The material must have relevance to the purposes and functions of the University and must be of value to the institution. In any instance when there is a question of the appropriateness of material that a faculty or staff member has requested the secretary to prepare, the department chairperson or department head shall make a determination.
  2. The material must be of a professional, not a personal, nature. Such material may include articles intended for publication in professional journals, reports of research studies, speeches on topics related to the professional competencies of the faculty or staff member, correspondence with professional organizations, and similar items.
  3. The material must not be intended to provide direct remuneration for the faculty or staff member.
  4. The cost of the preparation and/or duplication of the material, in the opinion of the budget administrator, must not be excessive in terms of the funds available in the specific budget category. If necessary, the budget administrator may require the faculty or staff member to defray part of the expenses by providing necessary materials, etc.
  5. The use of equipment and personnel for these purposes must in no way delay, or otherwise interfere with, the performance of functions of a higher priority, as stated in 1. above.
  6. The budget administrator shall determine if a request meets these guidelines and shall give or deny approval in each instance before any resources are utilized. In general, students and others who are not members of the faculty and staff are not authorized to utilize University office equipment and personnel, except that a student may receive such authorization if he/she is (1) an official representative of the University (Student Government Association and similar activities), or (2) a member of a class assigned to use University equipment as part of the requirements of the course (typewriting, business machines, etc.), or (3) a student employee performing assigned duties. In these instances a student must have the authorization of the appropriate budget administrator.
     

In general, students and others who are not members of the faculty and staff are not authorized to utilize University office equipment and personnel, except that a student may receive such authorization if he/she is (1) an official representative of the University (Student Government Association and similar activities), or (2) a member of a class assigned to use University equipment as part of the requirements of the course (typewriting, business machines, etc.), or (3) a student employee performing assigned duties. In these instances a student must have the authorization of the appropriate budget administrator.

In addition, University office equipment and personnel are not intended for the use of faculty and staff members in the conduct of their personal business which is unrelated to the official concerns of the University.

In support of these principles, budget administrators shall enforce the following guidelines:

  1. Students will not be allowed use of University office equipment except as noted above.
  2. An employee shall not use working time, for which he/she is being paid by the University, to prepare materials for a faculty or staff member which are of a personal nature (not authorized in Sections 1. or 2, above ) or to perform any service for a student (except as authorized above) or for a person not connected with the University.
  3. If an employee chooses to provide such services (as, for example, the typing of papers, etc.), either with or without remuneration, he/she shall do so only outside of working hours. Further, working hours shall not be used for the arranging of such services or for the conduct of other personal business.
  4. Any arrangement for providing such services which involves use of University equipment and facilities must have the specific approval of the budget administrator, who shall consider the appropriateness of the services to be performed and shall in no case give approval if to do so might be injurious to the University.
  5. Whenever such an arrangement is made by an employee and authorized by the budget administrator, all materials-carbon, paper, typewriter ribbon, etc.-must be provided by the employee (or by the person for whom the work is being done) without cost to the University. In addition, any other expense which the University may incur in this connection may be charged to the employee.
     

It is anticipated that situations may arise in these areas of concern which are not clearly covered by this statement of policy or that special circumstances may apply in particular instances which would make special interpretations of this policy advisable. In such a case, the matter will be submitted to the Personnel Office for final determination.

Other Outside Employment for Remuneration

When approved outside employment is of a purely private nature, the faculty or staff member should not use official University stationery in connection with it or in any other way create the impression that such employment is a part of his/her official University responsibilities or is otherwise supported by the University of West Alabama.

Nepotism

As set forth in Section 41-1-5 of the Alabama Code, 1975, “No officer or employee of the State or of any State institution … shall appoint any person related to him within the fourth degree of affinity or consanguinity to any job, position or with any of its agencies.”

Additionally, University policy generally prohibits the employment of any person in any capacity within the same department or budgetary unit in which a close family member is already employed. Specifically, this policy precludes the employment of one individual who is related (as defined by the Alabama Code) to a second employee who is in a line or staff position between the first individual and the President. This policy is also applicable when such personnel report to the same supervisor, department head, or budgetary unit and work the same shift and when job assignments bring them into routine working contact on a regular basis. In the event of the reorganization of the University’s structure, this policy will govern the reassignment of all employees affected by such reorganization.

This policy is applicable to all University positions including but not limited to those stated to be temporary, permanent, full-time, part-time, tenure track, those for a specified contract period, those for student work-study and those for student institutional positions.

With the approval of the President, the President’s Executive Council, for compelling reasons, may make limited exceptions to this University policy (excepting the family of the President where exceptions may only be granted by the Board of Trustees).

  (Adopted by Board of Trustees, June 4, 1993; all current employees grandfathered)

Budgets

Budgeting at UWA is a part of the University’s Planning and Assessment Process, which is composed of four steps in a year-to-year cycle of events:

  • Strategic Planning (Five year cycle at university level)
  • Departmental Self-Studies (Fall)
  • Unit-Level Planning (Spring)
  • Budgeting (Spring)
     

Central to the University’s planning process are the process for formulating budgets and the connection of budgets with planning documents.

Budget Philosophy. The goal in budgeting is to “close the loop” in the planning and institutional effectiveness process by integrating planning and budgeting.

All budgets are prepared and discussed in open forums from the unit level through the President’s Executive Committee (PEC) and Institutional Effectiveness Council (IEC). Unit administrators may propose reallocations of funds between line items in their budgets, including salaries. All salary recommendations are reviewed and approved by the PEC. The Provost and vice presidents may propose reallocations of funds between administrative units. It is the expectation that open forums for discussions and debate will lead to higher levels of understanding of the overall needs of the University and a higher level of comfort with the budget process.

The UWA budget process attempts to fully involve the account managers in the process of budgeting and to allow for accountability for achieving results consistent with effective management of the approved budget.

Budgeting Assumptions

  • That open dialogue will take place within divisions
  • That synthesis will take place at the division level
  • That open dialogue will take place in discussion of division needs/priorities at University level (EC or as a minimum among the Provost, vice presidents, and the President)
  • That even in a period of level or declining funding, better resource allocation decisions will take place.

Expected Outcomes of Budgeting

  • Better communication and understanding of University budgeting decisions and university priorities
  • Enhanced credibility
  • Greater appreciation among divisions regarding needs and priorities
  • Open and constructive basis for conflict resolution
  • Better linkages between planning and budgeting-a greater sense of realism between goal setting, planning, and budgeting.

Budgeting Activities

The following activities are accomplished in sequence as departments and divisions build their budget requests:

  • Using planning forms, departments prepare proposed budgets and submit through appropriate channels to the Provost, appropriate vice presidents, or Athletic Director.
  • The Provost, appropriate vice presidents, and Athletic Director discuss planning and budgets with unit heads, and changes and adjustments are communicated.
  • The Provost, vice presidents, and Athletic Director submit budgets to the PEC and planning statements to the SPC.
  • Budget reviews take place at the SPC and the PEC level, with final approval by the President.
  • Approved budgets are prepared on standard budget and salary forms, provided by to the Vice President for Financial Affairs.

Approved Budget

When the institutional budget has been approved by the Board, copies of individual budgets are prepared by the Financial Affairs Office and distributed to the appropriate budget administrators. Each dean receives copies of the departmental budgets in his/her college, and each department chairperson or other budget administrator receives a copy of the appropriate individual budget. Also, a copy of the complete Board-approved budget is placed in the Julia Tutwiler Learning Resources Center for public review.

Purchasing Procedures

The department chairperson or other department head is responsible for the purchase of all materials required within the department. Office supplies and other routine materials may be purchased through the University Bookstore or, if the purchase order totals $100 or more, from an outside vendor. Departments are given a 10% discount on Bookstore purchases other than books. Supplies and equipment may be purchased only through the submission of a requisition by the department chairperson or head, with approval of the dean or appropriate administrative officer and the issuing of a purchase order by the Purchasing Department. The specific purchasing procedure is as follows:

  1. Before preparing a requisition, personnel in the using department will ascertain whether funds are available for a purchase through internal information and reports.
  2. If funds are available, the using department will type the standard requisition form with all information, including the budget account to be charged, to make the requisition as complete as possible. While it is desirable to have the requisition form indicate a preference for a particular vendor, this preference will not be binding on the Financial Affairs Office. It should be helpful in finding sources of supply and in evaluating special services, which only one vendor may offer. Whenever possible, more than one supplier should be considered for all purchases.
  3. The typed requisition is sent to the department head for his/her approval or rejection. If the department head approves the requisition, it is forwarded to the dean or director for his/her approval.
  4. If the dean or director approves the requisition, it is forwarded to the Comptroller. Here, the requisition will be audited for correctness of accounting codes, appropriateness and legality of purchase, conformance to procurement policies, and authorized valid signatures. After editing, the requisition is forwarded to Purchasing.
  5. Upon receipt in Purchasing, the requisition will be checked for complete and correct description, conformance to procurement policies (joint with Comptroller), correct quantities and prices.
  6. Purchasing will determine whether or not the item requisitioned requires competitive bids. The State law requires competitive bids for items of $15,000 or more, and encourages competitive bids on some items costing less than $15,000. It is University policy to seek such bids on any amount whenever doing so is likely to produce a lower price. If competitive bids are required, they are prepared and mailed by Purchasing. In addition, purchases must not be limited to “brand names.” Specifications must be sufficiently clear enough to allow for free and unrestricted competition among vendors, as provided by Act no. 217, Acts of Alabama 1967, page 259. No exception is contained in the provisions of the act for specifications by “brand name.” Brand names may be included on the requisition with an “or equal” following the brand name. The Financial Affairs Office is the only department of the University authorized to issue bid requests and has the sole responsibility for obligating the University for purchases of goods and services. Using departments do not have the legal authority or responsibility to obligate the University for purchases of goods and services. The Financial Affairs Office will work in close cooperation with all University departments in developing sources for goods and services to be purchased.
  7. When the purchase order is sent to the vendor, it is usually marked for delivery to the “attention of” the chairperson or head or the professor or staff member who originally ordered the merchandise. When the invoice is received from the vendor, the Financial Affairs Office will then forward the invoice to the receiving department to obtain approval for payment. In order to expedite payment, and to enable the University of West Alabama to take discounts allowed, it is most important that, unless there is a problem regarding the merchandise, invoices be approved and returned to the Financial Affairs Office for payment immediately. If, for any reason, communication with the vendor is necessary, it should be done only by the Purchasing Agent.
  8. The Purchasing Agent, by State law, is the only person authorized to issue an order and obligate the University for payment to vendors for supplies and services. Orders placed by anyone other than the University Purchasing Agent will be considered personal purchases by the individual, and the University will not honor the vendor’s invoice for payment. Under no circumstances is an individual to ask a vendor to ship or deliver an item now with a promise to send them a purchase order later. After a purchase order has been issued, the Purchasing Agent is the only authorized person to cancel any order.
  9. Merchandise can only be returned after approval has been obtained from the Purchasing Agent, and in some cases, it will be necessary also to obtain approval from the vendor. University personnel will be accountable for merchandise returned without approval. In returning merchandise, some proof should be obtained to show that the merchandise was returned. A bill of lading should be issued or a certificate of mailing should be obtained. The Purchasing Agent will be available to provide assistance in returning merchandise.
  10. Responsibilities of the purchasing function do not end with the placing of purchase orders. Follow-up and expediting are needed to ensure that materials are delivered in time to meet the requirements of the using departments.
  11. Purchasing must develop and encourage the use of standard specifications for items used in performing the same functions within the University. Standardization facilitates quantity purchasing, interchangeability in the use of equipment, and reductions in service and inventory cost.

 

(1983; Revised 1990)

Purchases of Computer Equipment

The University has established computer hardware and software standards in order to ensure the purchase and support/maintenance of quality technology at the most affordable price. All purchases of hardware or software must be coordinated with Information Technology.

To request a quote for computer hardware or software, log into the University Helpdesk (http://helpdesk.uwa.edu) and submit a request for “Technology Purchases (Faculty/Staff Only).” Please provide as much detail as possible for the items that you are requesting. If multiple items are needed, specify the total quantity because larger quantities may lower per item costs. A technician will research and assemble a quote and send it to you via email. The quote provided should be used exactly as presented (item description, quantities and vendors).

It is a violation of this policy to use University funds for the purchase of computer software and/or hardware without following the above procedure and receiving approval from Information Technology. Any purchase made in violation of the policy will not receive technical assistance or support from Information Technology, and the purchaser may be required to reimburse the University from personal funds for the cost of the equipment.

Purchases from Petty Cash

In an emergency situation, low‑cost items may be purchased from petty cash with the prior approval of the Purchasing Agent. If a faculty member finds it necessary to make such a purchase and receives the approval of the department chairperson and the Purchasing Agent to do so, he/she should purchase the item and pay for it in cash, being sure to get a receipt. The faculty member should ask the vendor not to charge sales tax on the item, since the University is tax exempt. If the vendor insists on charging sales tax, however, the faculty member will be reimbursed for it. The receipt must be signed by the individual receiving the item and approved by the department chairperson, who also enters the account number to be charged. The faculty member must present the approved receipt to the Purchasing Agent for approval of the purchase and to the Comptroller for approval of the account number. Then, by presenting the approved receipt to the accounts receivable window, the faculty member can obtain cash reimbursement. Insofar as possible, frequently used items should be purchased in quantity by the requisition method, and petty cash purchases should be made only for low‑cost items needed immediately due to unanticipated circumstances.

Payroll Policies

The Financial Affairs Office issues monthly payroll checks on the last working day of each month. A “working day” is a day on which the administrative offices of the University are officially open, whether or not classes are in session. Each faculty member should pick up his/her check at the Financial Affairs Office. If a faculty member cannot do so, he/she should leave specific instructions with the Financial Affairs Office for disposition of the check. The Financial Affairs Office will deposit the check for a faculty member during a break between semesters if arrangements are made in advance and a deposit slip showing the account number is provided. Any questions regarding payroll checks should be referred to the Supervisor of Payrolls.

Since the University’s fiscal year is October 1-September 30, all payroll matters-including changes in salary-are based upon this period of time. A faculty member employed for twelve months receives his/her contracted twelve‑month salary in twelve equal payments from October through September, although the monthly salary rate for the summer term is somewhat less than that for the regular academic year. In the event a twelve‑month faculty member does not return for the new academic year in the following August, he/she receives a total salary during the period October‑August of eight‑ninths of the nine‑month salary, plus the established summer salary for the position. Consequently, in this case, the check received in August is somewhat less than those for the previous months.

A faculty member employed on a nine-month contract has the option of receiving his/her total contracted salary for the fiscal year in nine equal payments (October-May, September) or in twelve equal payments (October-September). If a faculty member does not return the following September for the new academic year, the total amount of remuneration he/she receives is eight‑ninths of the contracted salary. If he/she chooses the second option above, the check received in August is substantially less than those for the previous months. Each October, faculty members on nine‑month contracts are asked to complete a form stating whether they desire to receive their salaries in nine or twelve payments.

Procedures for Distribution of Payroll Checks and Direct Deposit to Banks

The following options are available to UWA employees regarding the receipt of their payroll checks and/or deposit of net proceeds with their bank.

  1. Employees may pick up their checks at the Business Office at the designated time on the date of the payroll. Check and earning statement will be provided.
  2. Employees may request the Business Office to deposit their check in a local bank (Regions or West Alabama Bank and Trust) on the payroll date. Employee will provide the Business Office with copies of deposit slips showing name, address, account number, name and address of bank and bank routing number. A copy of the deposit slip and earnings statement will be mailed to the employee. The employee is responsible for checking with bank to ensure receipt of funds.
  3. Employees may request that the Business Office deposit their check by mail to an out-of-town bank. Employee will provide the Business Office with copies of deposit slips showing name, address, account number, name and address of bank, and bank routing number. The earning statement will be mailed to the employee and the bank will mail the employee a copy of the deposit slip. The employee is responsible for checking with bank to ensure receipt of funds.
  4. Employees may request that the Business Office make deposits to the employee’s account electronically, through Regions Bank Automated Clearing House System. Employee will provide the Business Office with a deposit slip showing name, address, account number, name and address of bank, and bank routing number. The Business Office will transmit this information to the bank on the payroll date along with the amount of the deposit. Regions Bank will distribute the funds to the designated financial institutions. An earnings statement will be mailed to the employee and the employee is responsible for checking with his or her bank to verify receipt of funds. Under this method the employee must notify the Business Office immediately when changing banks and provide the Business Office with updated information on the new bank account at least 30 days prior to the next payroll date.
     

New employees will select one of the four methods for distributions of their payroll checks upon employment.

Leave Policies

Annual Leave or Vacation Time

Faculty members are expected to be at the University from the first day of registration each semester through the final examination period and Commencement and to remain until all grades in their classes have been submitted to the Registrar’s Office. In addition, the President may require the attendance of faculty members for a total not to exceed ten days in any one year for such events as in‑service training programs, orientation sessions, etc. Otherwise, periods when classes are not in session are considered as vacation time for teaching faculty below the rank of dean. Members of the teaching faculty do not have annual leave beyond these vacation times, nor do they accumulate annual leave.

Professional staff members earn annual leave each year, but they must have the approval of their supervisors when scheduling their use of accumulated leave. Otherwise, staff members are expected to be present whenever University offices are open. Staff members are not, of course, generally expected to be present on administrative holidays authorized by the President. Hourly-paid staff employees also earn annual leave each year and must have the approval of their supervisors when scheduling their use of accumulated leave.

Holidays

Official University holidays are generally designated at the beginning of each academic year, although a holiday may be declared by the President at a later time under special circumstances. Such holidays are observed by faculty members as well as professional staff and hourly-paid employees.

Sick Leave

Faculty members are entitled to sick leave benefits in the amount of one working day for each completed calendar month of service or major fraction thereof. Faculty members on nine‑month contracts accumulate sick leave for twelve months provided they return for the following year-otherwise according to the months worked. Members of the professional staff also accumulate sick leave at the rate of one working day per month. Hourly-paid staff employees accumulate sick leave at the rate of four hours each bi-weekly pay period. Faculty members and other employees are not paid for unused, accumulated sick leave when employment at the University ceases for whatever reason. Sick leave may be used only in the case of personal illness or injury or, within limitations which may be set by the President, for illness within the faculty or staff member’s immediate family. A faculty or staff member is paid his/her full salary during the period covered by accumulated sick leave benefits up to the point at which he/she becomes eligible for benefits under the University disability insurance program, which is a minimum of sixty calendar days, or until such time as accumulated sick leave expires if less than sufficient to cover sixty calendar days. A faculty or staff member whose accumulated sick leave benefits are sufficient to cover more than sixty calendar days is not, however, required to go on the disability program until accumulated sick leave has been used up or ninety calendar days have elapsed, whichever occurs first. If a faculty or staff member becomes disabled at a time when he/she is not obligated to be present (for example, during the Christmas break), the tally of calendar days does not begin until the date the faculty or staff member’s presence would normally be required. If a faculty or staff member has more than enough accumulated sick leave to cover ninety calendar days, the remaining leave is reserved for use in the event of a later need.

Academic units should adhere to the general policies regarding sick leave as outlined above. Unit heads should ensure that sick leave policy is implemented in a fair, reasonable, and consistent manner. Moreover, the unit head should clearly identify a central contact person, such as the departmental secretary, to whom absences because of illness should be reported. Sick leave hours are to be recorded in full days (eight hours) or half days (four hours), though under unusual circumstances, exceptions may be made at the discretion of the unit head.

When it is necessary for a member of the teaching faculty to be absent from class on sick leave or for other emergency reasons, the department chairperson attempts to arrange with colleagues to assume temporary responsibility for the classes or, if this is not possible, to secure another qualified person for this purpose. If it is necessary for a faculty member to be absent from classes for an extended period of time, arrangements are made, if possible, for a qualified person outside the faculty to assume responsibility for the classes until the faculty member returns or until the end of the quarter. If no qualified outside person is available and if it is necessary for another faculty member to assume this responsibility, this colleague is paid at the established adjunct faculty rate, prorated according to the portion of the course for which he/she is responsible. The specific policy governing temporary replacements follows.

Statement of Policy on Temporary Replacements for Faculty on Sick Leave

  1. When a member of the teaching faculty must be absent from classes on sick leave or for other emergency reasons, the first consideration of all concerned is for protecting the interests of the students in the instructor’s classes and maintaining the academic integrity of these classes.
  2. On a short-term basis (which generally shall be interpreted to be five class days or less), the department chairperson, with the consent of the dean, shall arrange for other faculty members to assume responsibility, without compensation, for the absent instructor’s classes, insofar as such arrangements are feasible.
  3. In the event it is not possible to schedule a faculty colleague to assume temporary responsibilities for one or more of the absent instructor’s classes-because of lack of qualifications in the specific field, schedule conflicts, or other reasons-the department chairperson and dean, with the consent of the Provost, shall immediately attempt to employ a qualified person for this purpose if it appears the absence will exceed two or three days. Until such a person is employed, students in the affected class or classes should, if possible, be given assignments for independent study, with the advice of the absent instructor where feasible.
  4. In those instances where faculty colleagues have assumed temporary responsibility for classes, if it appears that an instructor’s absence is likely to exceed five class days, the department chair person shall seek to determine a projected date for return to classes and shall then consult with the faculty colleagues involved and the dean in order to determine the best procedure for protecting the interests of the students and maintaining the integrity of the program.
  5. In those instances where a protracted absence appears probable and replacement is advisable, the department chairperson and dean shall, with the consent of the Provost, attempt to employ a qualified replacement as quickly as possible after the likelihood of prolonged absence is determined. Generally, the interests of the University and its students will best be served by seeking an outside replacement. However, when no qualified outside replacement is available, colleagues within the institution may be asked to assume continued responsibility, for which they shall be compensated at the adjunct faculty rate, effective as of the date on which each faculty colleague first assumed responsibility for the class(es).
  6. To ensure the availability of money for the employment of replacements for absent instructors, faculty salary funds for this purpose shall be placed in the budget of the Office of the Provost.
  7. A faculty member who is absent for reasons consistent with the stated sick leave policy of the University of West Alabama shall be considered to be on sick leave from the first day of his/her absence, regardless of whether or not a replacement faculty member is employed.

 

(Revised March 1990)

 Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993

The Family and Medical Leave Act requires covered employers to provide up to twelve weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to “eligible” employees for certain family and medical reasons. Employees are eligible if they have worked for a covered employer for at least one year, and for 1,250 hours over the previous twelve months, and if there are at least fifty employees within seventy-five miles.

Unpaid leave must be granted for any of the following reasons: to care for the employee’s child after birth, or placement for adoption or foster care; to care for the employee’s spouse, son or daughter, or parent, who has a serious health condition; or for a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the employee’s job. At the employee’s or employer’s option, certain kinds of paid leave may be substituted for unpaid leave.

The employee may be required to provide advance leave notice and medical certification. Taking of leave may be denied if requirements are not met. The employee ordinarily must provide thirty days’ advance notice when the leave is “foreseeable.” An employer may require medical certification to support a request for leave because of a serious health condition, and may require second or third opinions (at the employer’s expense) and a fitness for duty report to return to work.

For the duration of the leave, the employer must maintain the employee’s health coverage under any “group health plan.” Upon return from leave, most employees must be restored to their original or equivalent positions with equivalent pay, benefits, and other employment terms. The use of leave cannot result in the loss of any employment benefit that accrued prior to the start of an employee’s leave.

The Family and Medical Leave Act makes it unlawful for any employer to interfere with, restrain, or deny the exercise of any right provided under the Family and Medical Leave Act; discharge or discriminate against any person for opposing any practice made unlawful by the Family and Medical Leave Act or for involvement in any proceeding under or relating to the Family and Medical Leave Act.

The U.S. Department of Labor is authorized to investigate and resolve complaints of violations. An eligible employee may bring a civil action against an employer for violations. The Family and Medical Leave Act does not affect any federal or State law prohibiting discrimination, or supersede any State or local law or collective bargaining agreement which provides greater family or medical leave rights. For additional information, contact the nearest office of the Wage and Hour Department, listed in most telephone directories under U.S. Government, Department of Labor.

Maternity Leave

Generally, it is the policy of the University of West Alabama to permit expectant mothers to continue work without termination at any specific time, providing they are physically able to perform their regular duties, and have the consent of their physician and the approval of their department head. When they are advised to stop work or unable to perform their regular duties, these staff members may be placed on Maternity Leave Without Pay for a period of up to three months after all sick and annual leave have been used, or they may be terminated at the employee’s request. The department head will authorize maternity leave on the request of staff members who are considered permanent full-time employees. Probationary or temporary employees will not be eligible for maternity leave. Maternity leave will constitute an agreement by the University to return the staff member to her former job or a comparable one, and the University will make every reasonable effort to return the staff member to the same job held prior to maternity leave. Application should be made by the employee, in writing, at least two weeks prior to the expected leave period to the department head showing dates of departure and return. The department head will approve the request and prepare a personnel recommendation form to be processed through the regular channels to the Financial Affairs Office, indicating the employee’s leave status. The request should be attached to the personnel form. Annual leave may be used until it is exhausted prior to maternity leave being taken.

Sick leave may be used at any time prior to maternity leave when the employee is actually sick due to pregnancy. Sick leave will not be earned during maternity leave. Insurance plans may be kept in force through direct contribution by the employee during the period of maternity leave. The University will pay the employee’s portion of health insurance during the period of maternity leave; however, the employee will be responsible for the premiums to cover dependents. Anniversary dates of employees who are reinstated following maternity leave will not be adjusted.

Military Leave

Members of the University of West Alabama faculty or staff will be entitled to military leaves of absences for two weeks when ordered to active duty for training as members of the Alabama National Guard or any component of the United States Armed Forces. Employees going on extended active duty will be eligible to be reinstated to their former position or in a position of “like seniority, status and pay” to duties of the old job. Employees going on extended active duty may use annual leave until it is exhausted but may not use sick leave. Employees will not earn annual leave or sick leave during an extended active duty period.

Medical insurance may be reinstated by the employee, providing arrangements have been made by the employee to pay any dependent coverage. The University will pay the employee’s portion of the insurance, up to a period of ninety days. If any employee on approved military leave desires to retain health insurance coverage after this ninety-day period, the provisions of COBRA will apply.

Application for military leave must be made to the department head, with a copy of the military orders attached to the personnel recommendation form to be processed through the regular channels to the Financial Affairs Office.

Administrative Leave

Involuntary absences of general staff members will be charged to administrative leave and excused without penalty under the following conditions:

Jury Duty: Staff members who are elected for terms as jury members will be excused from work and the time charged to Administrative Leave upon the receipt of an approved certificate from the Court showing the number of days of service used. The employee will be paid the regular rate during absences for jury duty that are charged to Administrative Leave. Employees taking Administrative Leave for jury duty will be required to turn in any payment for their services to the Financial Affairs Office upon their return to work. Payments for travel and subsistence during jury duty will not be turned in to the University. Employees may, however, elect to take Annual Leave while serving on jury duty. In this case, any payments received by the employee will not be turned in to the Financial Affairs Office.

Witness Summons: Staff members subpoenaed as witnesses in court cases will be granted Administrative Leave upon presentation of a copy of the subpoena to the department head. The surrender of payments received by the employee will be the same as for jury duty. Employees appearing as witnesses on their own behalf will not be granted Administrative Leave. They may, however, take Annual Leave with the approval of the department head.

Voting: Staff members may be granted up to two hours of Administrative Leave if distances from their place of work to their polling places are such that it would be impossible for them to vote if they remain at work until the end of their regular work day. No leave, however, will be granted for working at polling places since this is voluntary. An employee may take Annual Leave to work at the polls if it is approved by his supervisor.

Emergency Closing: If prolonged power or utility failure should prohibit the performance of regular duties and general staff members cannot be assigned to other constructive work, they may be granted Administrative Leave. Employees who do not report to work because of severe weather must make every reasonable effort to contact their supervisors to report the situation.

Funeral Leave: General/Executive/Administrative/Professional and Staff members will be given a maximum of three working days of Administrative Leave per anniversary year, upon the death of an immediate family member. Funeral Leave is not cumulative. Should additional days of absence be required, employees may request additional days as Sick Leave or Annual Leave. Department heads will record Administrative Leave on time cards in spaces provided, for the days on which it is taken. The signature of the department head will indicate his approval of Administrative Leave.

Leave of Absence

To provide for the retention of valuable employees who must be absent for personal reasons during extended periods, leaves of absences without pay not to exceed six months may be granted subject to the following. The duties and responsibilities of the employee asking for leave can be re-assigned to other employees on a short-term basis or can be adequately performed by interim employees. The employee will sign a statement of intent to return to his former position after the leave period. Employees must apply in writing through their department head, and approval must be granted by the Provost or applicable vice president. Department heads may disapprove requests and so advise the applicant. If the request is approved by the department head, he/she will prepare a letter of recommendation showing the inclusive dates of the absence requested, the position from which the employee will be absent, and the means by which the employee’s duties and responsibilities will be performed during his absence. (NOTE: If the position is to be filled by a temporary employee, an understanding that the interim employee is to be hired on a temporary basis for a specific period of time must be included with the personnel recommendation form for the temporary employee.)

Personal Leave

Although a member of the teaching faculty is not eligible for annual leave (other than the established vacation time between semesters), the University recognizes that it is occasionally necessary for a faculty member to be absent for a day or two from his/her University responsibilities for pressing personal reasons other than illness-for example, urgent personal business, court appearances, or family situations-matters which do not qualify for sick leave. In such an instance, the faculty member must notify the dean and secure permission for the absence. This should be done as far ahead of time as possible, and the faculty member should make arrangements for his/her classes and other duties with the approval of the department chairperson.

Leave for Professional Development

The University of West Alabama cooperates with faculty and staff members, within the constraints of program demands and funds available, to provide time for additional study or other professional development activities. In all such arrangements, the faculty or staff member must submit a request containing a specific statement of the course of study or other activity proposed, the purpose of his/her participation, the time involved, and the arrangements proposed to ensure that the faculty or staff member’s duties and responsibilities will be taken care of. This request must be recommended by the department chairperson, the dean, and the Provost (or, for professional staff, by the department head and appropriate vice president), and final approval must be given by the President.

Provisions for faculty and staff development may include merely rearranging a faculty or staff member’s teaching or work schedule, providing release time through a lighter teaching load in semesters when enrollment demands are less severe (usually spring or summer), a full-time leave for additional study (either with or without pay) for one to three semesters, or other special arrangements. Because of budget limitations, leaves with pay and other projects requiring direct financial support by the University are generally available only when federal or other special funds have been specifically set aside for such purposes. Generally, University support is provided only when the program of study is of clear and immediate benefit for the University-for example, to enable a faculty member to update his/her credentials to meet accreditation standards.

The time when a faculty member is on full-time professional leave is not counted in computing either length of service for the salary schedule or the years of experience necessary for appointment and promotion to the various academic ranks, since both of these computations are based on the number of years of full-time teaching experience, rather than the number of years a faculty member has held appointment to the faculty. Also, a faculty or staff member on full-time leave without pay does not accumulate sick leave days or credits with the Teacher Retirement System but may continue on the University health insurance program by arranging to pay the premium to the University. A faculty or staff member whose salary is paid from University funds while on leave receives credits toward sick leave and retirement and continues to be covered by the University insurance programs.

Sick Leave Donation Program

PURPOSE: The purpose of this program is to establish procedures and requirements for a sick leave transfer program. This program allows an employee who is experiencing sickness or medical emergency, as defined by the UWA sick leave policy, to request the voluntary donation of sick leave from other employees. This program also includes maternity leave of up to 60 working days total leave under the program (See “Maternity Leave” in The Handbook for Faculty and Professional Staff for the general policy on maternity leave).

LIABILITY: The University of West Alabama authorizes the voluntary transfer of sick leave between employees in situations meeting the requirements as outlined in the paragraph above. This program is strictly a voluntary program; therefore, UWA does not guarantee that applicants whose situations warrant participation in the program will receive the requested sick leave. The university agrees only to publicize the need for such sick leave for qualifying requests.

ELIGIBILITY: Applicants must be full-time employees of UWA who are experiencing a sickness or in need of maternity leave as previously defined.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE: To request donated sick leave hours, the employee completes a copy of the SICK LEAVE DONATION REQUEST FORM with the proper documentation and submits it to the Business Affairs Office.

Faculty and staff may donate sick leave hours by forwarding a completed SICK LEAVE PROVIDER FORM to the Vice-President for Business Affairs.

The Business Affairs Office will then process completed SICK LEAVE DONATION and SICK LEAVE PROVIDER forms to transfer the donated sick leave. The coordinator will then request the Business Office to transfer the sick days and adjust sick leave balances accordingly.

Sabbatical Policy

The University of West Alabama encourages scholarship in the form of research and creative activity among its faculty, understanding that such activity generally enhances the performance of the faculty member in the classroom as well as the faculty member’s overall contribution to the University. The University thus provides a sabbatical program to facilitate scholarly and creative activities.

Eligibility:

  • A faculty member at the rank of assistant professor or above with a minimum of six consecutive years of service to the University is eligible to apply for sabbatical leave.
  • A faculty member who has completed a sabbatical is eligible for consideration for another sabbatical after a five-year interval.
     

Nature of Activities:

A sabbatical may be awarded for any of the following activities:

  • Scholarly/creative activities leading to scholarly presentations and/or publications or to creative projects such as creative writing publications, paintings, and sculptures.
  • Professional development activities leading to improved teaching through acquisition of new knowledge, methodologies, skills or techniques, with plans for integration of such into UWA courses and curriculum.
     

Application Process and Schedule:

  • By November 1 of each academic year, the Provost will call for proposals for sabbaticals.
  • By January 11, an eligible faculty member will submit a proposal to the department chairperson.
  • By February 2, the chairperson will submit the proposal to the dean along with his/her recommendations (favorable or unfavorable) and a statement on predicted impact of the faculty member’s absence on the academic program. If more than one proposal is submitted, the chairperson will rank the proposals before forwarding them to the dean (The Director of the Library and the Chair of Nursing will fulfill the role of dean for their respective units in this process).
  • By March 1, the dean will submit all proposal materials along with his/her recommendations (favorable or unfavorable) to the Committee on Sabbatical Leave. In cases of multiple applications, the dean will also forward his/her ranking of the proposals.
  • All submitted proposals, recommendations, and rankings will be reviewed by the Committee on Sabbatical Leave. The Committee on Sabbatical Leave, a Faculty Senate Committee, is chaired by the Vice President of the Faculty Senate and also includes a faculty member from each of the colleges, the Library, and the Division of Nursing appointed by the head of the unit. Members serve staggered two-year terms. By April 1, the Committee will prioritize the proposals and forward their recommendations and all proposal materials to the Provost.
  • The Provost will review the Committee’s recommendations, make the final selection of candidates, and notify the candidates by April 30, with copies of the notification to the President, the appropriate chairpersons and deans, and the Committee on Sabbatical Leave. No more than one person from a department will be approved for sabbatical leave during a given time period.
  • Because of time constraints, the fellowship application of an eligible faculty member who is awarded a Fulbright Scholarship or similar award will be sent directly to the Provost for immediate consideration. The Provost will consult with the chairperson and dean as necessary in making a decision on the application. If the application is approved, the recipient faculty member will be considered the department’s only eligible fellow for the given fellowship cycle.
     

Proposal Guidelines

The sabbatical proposal should include a current vita, a brief abstract of the proposed activity, and a detailed narrative description of the activity (not to exceed ten pages, double-spaced) in which the applicant:

  • States concisely and realistically what the sabbatical leave is intended to accomplish.
  • Provides background information and indicates the importance of the proposed leave by relating it to longer term objectives at UWA.
  • Describes previous studies or activities that led to the development of the proposed project.
  • If project is a continuing project, reports on the progress made to date.
  • Discusses the methods and procedures to be used to accomplish leave objectives and includes a tentative sequence or timetable, a justification for the proposed locale of the leave, and, when relevant, a letter of invitation or acceptance from the institution where proposed work will be based.
  • For research proposals, submits a brief bibliography of related research.
  • Submits a plan for dissemination of results to the campus community (e.g. presentation to the faculty, course to be taught, printed product to be shared.)
  • Includes in an appendix supporting documentation appropriate to any of the above items.
  • Provides information on any external financial aid in addition to support by the University that has been received or sought.
     

Compensation:

  • Sabbatical recipient may take a leave for one semester (Fall or Spring) or one year (Fall and Spring), during which time he/she will receive 75% of his/her current salary.
  • Faculty on sabbatical are eligible for salary increases and promotions as they would be were they not on sabbatical. They will also receive credit for time in rank for promotion. All fringe benefits due the recipient will continue in full force during the leave.
     

Obligation of the Recipient:

  • A period of service equal to the duration of the leave will be required upon return from sabbatical leave. Summer school may not be counted for repayment of leave time. If repayment of services is not rendered, then the recipient must repay the salary received for the sabbatical period, with interest calculated at the then prevailing rate for student loans. Repayment and the calculation of interest shall be as follows: Interest shall begin to accrue on the date of the default. The amount of the monetary assistance received as of the date of the default, plus interest thereon, shall be repaid by the faculty member to the University in equal installments payable over the length of time that the faculty member received the monetary assistance from the University. In the event the faculty member meets only a portion of his obligation to the University, repayment for the unmet portion will be made on a pro rata basis in accordance with the procedure specified above.
     

Accountability:

  • A sabbatical must be taken within the time period for which it is granted. If this is not possible, the faculty member must notify the Provost, and the faculty member must reapply. He/she will retain eligibility for future semesters.
  • Within three months of the conclusion of the sabbatical, a report must be submitted to the Committee on Sabbatical Leave, with copies to the chairperson, the dean and the Provost. The report must succinctly summarize pertinent activities during the leave and indicate the ways in which the goals of the leave were reached.
  • The Committee on Sabbatical Leave will review the post-sabbatical report and provide a written evaluation of the report to the faculty member, with copies to the chairperson, the dean, and the Provost.

 

(Revised October 15, 2002; November 22, 2002)

Professional Travel

The University of West Alabama seeks to provide opportunities for faculty and staff members to attend appropriate workshops, conferences, and other professional meetings. For such approved travel, University policy allows for reimbursement for travel outside the State of Alabama to the extent of the total necessary expenses. Within the State, reimbursement is made as provided by State law. To the extent that funds are budgeted for this purpose, an allocation is made each year to each academic department for professional travel. The department chairperson is responsible for determining how these funds are allocated within the department.

All faculty or staff travel must be approved by the department chairperson and the dean, or by the administrative department head (and, if funds are to be provided from a federal grant, by the director of the federal project). In addition, requests for travel outside the State of Alabama must have the approval of the President. Travel request forms for both In-State and Out-of-State travel are available from the department chairpersons and administrative department heads.

The University provides State‑owned automobiles for the use of faculty and staff members when this is the most practical mode of travel. Private automobiles may be used only when State vehicles are not available and when the mileage allowance for the private automobile is less than the normal tourist air fare. Faculty and staff members are encouraged to consolidate trips with others if possible when traveling by either State‑owned or private automobiles. Gasoline for State vehicles should be purchased on University credit cards whenever possible, and if emergency repairs should be necessary, receipts must be obtained. Faculty and staff members should be aware that University insurance does not provide liability coverage for individual employees and should consider adding a rider to their own insurance for this purpose.

Faculty and staff members are reimbursed for allowable travel expenses only at the completion of each trip, since the University is not allowed to provide travel money in advance. For an Out-of-State trip, a faculty or staff member should retain receipts for transportation expenses, lodging expenses, and registration fees, as well as for all other expenses when possible. At the least, he/she should maintain a daily ledger of costs for meals and such miscellaneous items as taxi fares, telephone calls, parking charges, etc., but obtaining receipts wherever feasible is helpful in verifying expenses.

After returning from a trip, the faculty or staff member must complete a travel statement, either the form for In-State travel or the one for Out-of-State travel (available from department chairpersons and administrative department heads). For Out-of-State travel, a copy of the travel request approved by the President, together with receipts for expenses, must be attached to the expense statement. In either case, the form must be signed by the faculty or staff member and approved by the department chairperson or administrative department head and, for faculty members, by the dean. If funds are to be provided from a federal grant, the form must also be approved by the director of the federal project. The faculty or staff member’s signature must be notarized and the form forwarded to the Financial Affairs Office. Checks for travel expenses are generally issued on the next check‑writing day and sent to the address shown on the form. Usually, if an expense statement is received in the Financial Affairs Office by 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, the check will be sent out on the following Thursday, provided the form is correctly completed and there are no questions regarding allowable expenses.

Attention is called to the fact that In-State travel, by law, can be reimbursed only on a per diem basis with transportation charges and miscellaneous expenses added, as specified below. Faculty and staff members should be aware that the allowable per diem reimbursement sometimes does not cover the total expenses for In-State travel.

The University travel regulations will govern all official travel by personnel of the University of West Alabama and are shown below:

The University of West Alabama Travel Regulations

In‑state Travel

  • The maximum amount allowable to a person traveling inside the State of Alabama, for expenses other than transportation, shall be fixed by the Governor at not more than seventy-five dollars ($75.00) per day.
  • No travel allowance will be paid for a trip of less than six hours duration.
  • For travel which does not require an overnight stay, the traveler shall be paid a meal allowance of $11.25 for a trip of from six to twelve hours duration.
  • For travel in excess of twelve hours duration which does not require an overnight stay, the traveler shall be paid one such meal allowance of $11.25 and 1/4 of the per diem allowance, $18.75, which totals $30.00.
  • For travel that requires an overnight stay, the traveler shall be paid the per diem allowance of $75.00 for each day he/she is traveling. This policy is based on the Attorney General’s ruling which states in part that “when persons traveling in the service of the State of Alabama are required to stay overnight, the unit system does not apply to any part of such travel. The statute only requires unit reporting when the employee is away from his/her station for less than overnight stay.”
  • An In-State Travel Request Form must be completed.

Out-of‑State Travel

Persons traveling in the service of the University of West Alabama outside the State of Alabama shall be allowed all their actual, reasonable, and necessary expenses in addition to their actual expenses for transportation, provided travel shall have first been fully authorized in writing by the Provost.

  • Persons planning to make Out-of-State trips on official business for the University must complete an Out-of-State travel request (Financial Affairs Form BA‑CP‑19) and submit it to the dean or department head for approval.
  • After approval by the dean or department head and the Provost, the form will be forwarded to the President for his approval and returned to the requesting party.
  • After travel has been completed, the approved Out-of-State travel request must be attached to the reimbursement voucher submitted to the Financial Affairs Office for payment.
  • These procedures apply to all Out-of-State travel, either from State or Federal funds.

Use of Privately Owned Vehicles

If a State‑owned vehicle is not available through the motor pool, mileage may be allowed an employee traveling in a privately owned vehicle at the rate of .50 cents per mile, provided such travel has been duly authorized. Under no circumstances will an individual be paid mileage for travel in a private auto in excess of the normal air fare (tourist class) round trip, unless such payment would be more advantageous to the University on the basis of additional official passengers carried, or on the basis that mileage would amount to less than air fare (tourist class) round trip. The .50 cents per mile is intended to reimburse the traveler for all operating expenses of his/her automobile, but is not intended to cover garage storage, parking charges, and tolls. These charges may be claimed as other allowable expense on the travel claim.

Interrupted Travel or Use of an Indirect Route

When, for the traveler’s personal convenience or through the taking of leave, there is interruption of travel or deviation from the direct route, the per diem allowed will not exceed that which would have been incurred on uninterrupted travel by the most economical, usually traveled, direct route.

Consolidation of Trips

In view of budget limitations, each department is encouraged to consolidate as much travel to any one location as is feasible. Departments should also cooperate with each other insofar as possible, when travel to the same location by persons in different departments is necessary. Consolidation of travel can be particularly accomplished on trips of short duration, as to extension centers or clinical facilities. Expenses for duplicate trips to the same location at the same time on the same day will not be allowed without written explanation from the budget administrator.

Allowable Expenses

In certain instances, incidental expenses while traveling may be claimed for reimbursement provided no taxes are included. The following list is representative, but not all‑inclusive. Receipts are required.   Receipts are required for any emergency repairs or purchase of gasoline and oil for State‑owned vehicles.

  • Phone calls
  • Telegrams
  • Taxi fares
  • Registration fees for conferences
  • Garage storage charges
  • Parking meter charges (not fines)
  • Tolls (bridge and road)
  • Emergency repairs for State vehicles (receipts must be obtained)

Non‑allowable Expenses

The following expenses are non‑allowable. The list is representative, but not all‑inclusive:

  • Annual dues to associations or societies
  • Tips or gratuities of any kind
  • Pullman fare for daytime trips
  • Tax payments
  • Valet service and laundry
  • Miscellaneous supplies

Allowance at Official Duty Station

Under no circumstances will travel expenses be allowed an employee at his/her official duty station.

Combinations of In-State and Out-of-State Travel

If travel is performed by an individual where he/she is required to spend more than six hours in the State, that part of the travel spent in the State should be considered In‑State travel. This does not mean that travel made to a destination outside the boundaries of the State of Alabama as primary destination should be considered In‑State travel unless the traveler makes a stop within the State to perform an official duty. The amount of time spent in the State, if more than six hours, should be considered In-State travel. The hour of departure from the last point of official business in the State of Alabama should be the hour at which the Out-of-State travel begins. The hour of departure from the last point of official business out of the State should be the time at which the In-State travel begins, if additional official business is to be transacted within the State prior to returning to the official duty station.

Travel Originating from Point Other than Official Duty Station

If travel originates from a point other than the traveler’s official duty station (University of West Alabama), the traveler’s normal home‑to‑work mileage will be deducted from his/her claim for reimbursement. This deduction will be computed at the rate of .25 cents per mile round‑trip. If travel originates from a point other than the official duty station and is for the convenience of the University of West Alabama, this deduction will not be made.

Constructive Cost

It is the intent of these regulations to reimburse any traveler on official business for the University of West Alabama a fair and reasonable amount for expenses incurred in connection with his/her travel. It is not the intent of these regulations to allow a profit to be made by any individual while in an official travel status for the University. Questions or claims arising from travel vouchers submitted for payments that do not fit any of the listed regulations will be settled on a constructive cost basis. That is the cost of tourist air fare (round‑trip) plus $75.00 per day for the length of time which would normally have been required to make the trip. This constructive cost will be compared to the traveler’s actual expenses, in the case of Out-of-State travel, and the traveler will be paid the lesser of the two amounts.

Miscellaneous

Travel expense vouchers for In-State and Out‑of‑State travel must be signed by the traveler, notarized, and approved by the department head (budget administrator). Out‑of‑State travel vouchers must have the Out-of-State Travel Request (Financial Affairs Form BA‑CP‑19), properly approved and attached to the voucher when submitted to the Financial Affairs Office for payment.

 

(October 1,1996)

Any questions not covered by these regulations will be submitted to the Financial Affairs Office for a ruling.

Hangtags and Traffic Regulations

All vehicles operated on the campus must be registered with the University Police Department and have University parking hangtags. All University employees must have green hangtags which enable them to park in green areas. Anyone who parks in an unauthorized area and anyone who violates any other University traffic regulation is subject to a fine, the amount of which increases if not paid within five days of the date issued, excluding weekends and holidays. Traffic and parking tickets may be appealed by completing an appeal form in the University Police Office no later than the due date on the ticket and appearing before the appeals section of the Student Life Committee.

Vehicles may be registered and decals purchased in the University Police Department’s office during normal business hours. If a faculty or staff member changes vehicles, the registration information must be updated.  Hangtags expire every year on August first.

Keys

Faculty and staff members are provided with keys to those offices, classrooms, and other facilities to which they require routine access in carrying out their duties. For each employee, the department chairperson or administrative department head completes a key request card, which is sent to the Physical Plant Department. The necessary keys are made, and the faculty or staff member must receive them in person and sign for them when they are issued.

Since keys are for the use only of the persons to whom they are issued, a faculty or staff member should never lend his/her key to a student or other unauthorized person. All UWA keys are stamped “State of Alabama‑Unlawful to Duplicate.” Only the Physical Plant Department is authorized to make new keys or to change a lock.

When an employee leaves the University, he/she must return all keys to the Physical Plant Office.

Personal Property Warning

The State Insurance Fund insures all State agencies against property loss from fire or other causes, but since this insurance does not cover privately owned contents within a State building, the University can assume no responsibility for private property stored on the campus. Each faculty member, therefore, should provide the necessary coverage for his/her own books and other personal materials and equipment which may be housed in University buildings. This can generally be done through adding a rider to the faculty member’s home owner policy or other property insurance policy.

Video Surveillance Policy

Purpose

The University of West Alabama is committed to enhancing the quality of life of the campus community by integrating the best practices of safety and security with technology. A critical component of a comprehensive security plan is the proper utilization of a security and safety camera system. The surveillance of public areas is intended to deter crime and assist in protecting the safety and property of the UWA community. This policy addresses the University’s desire to meet its safety and security needs while respecting and preserving individual privacy.

To ensure the protection of individual privacy rights in accordance with the University’s core values and state and federal laws, this policy is adopted to formalize procedures for the installation of surveillance equipment and the handling, viewing, retention, dissemination, and destruction of surveillance records. The purpose of this policy is to regulate the use of camera systems used to observe and record public areas for the purposes of safety and security. The existence of this policy does not imply or guarantee that cameras will be monitored in real time 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Scope

This policy applies to all personnel, departments, and colleges of UWA in the use of security cameras and video monitoring and recording systems. Security cameras may be installed in situations and places where the security and safety of either property or persons would be enhanced. Cameras will be limited to uses that do not violate the reasonable expectation of privacy as defined by law. Where appropriate, the cameras may be placed campus-wide, inside and outside buildings. Although the physical cameras may be identical, the functions of these cameras fall into three main categories:

Property Protection:  Where the main intent is to capture video and store it on a remote device so that if property is reported stolen or damaged, the video may show the perpetrator. Examples: an unstaffed computer lab, an unstaffed science lab, or a parking lot.

Personal Safety:  Where the main intent is to capture video and store it on a remote device so that if a person is assaulted, the video may show the perpetrator. Examples: a public walkway, or a parking lot.

Extended Responsibility:  Where the main intent is to have the live video stream in one area monitored by a staff member in close proximity. In this case video may or may not be recorded. Example: a computer lab with multiple rooms and only one staff.

Information obtained from the cameras shall be used for safety and security purposes and for law and policy enforcement, including, where appropriate, student judicial functions. However, prudence should be exercised by parties requesting such information to ensure that requests are limited to matters of substantial consequence.  The availability of surveillance does not remove the responsibility of supervisors to work to prevent, detect, and address issues as they should normally do.  Information must be handled with an appropriate level of security to protect against unauthorized access, alteration, or disclosure.

All appropriate measures must be taken to protect an individual’s right to privacy and hold university information securely through its creation, storage, transmission, use, and deletion.

All camera installations are subject to federal and state laws.

Departments requesting security cameras will be required to follow the procedures outlined in this policy.

Responsibilities

The University Surveillance Oversight Committee (SOC) is established by the President to oversee implementation of this policy, to revise the policy as needed, and to grant authorization to personnel to access video.

The University Police Department (UWAPD) will manage all campus security surveillance systems pursuant to this policy.

UWAPD and Information Technology (IT) are responsible for implementation of this policy, specifically for the following:

  • Advising departments on appropriate applications of surveillance technologies and providing technical assistance to departments regarding security camera systems.
  • Monitoring developments in the law and in security industry practices and technology to ensure that camera surveillance is consistent with the best practices and complies with all federal and state laws.
  • Reviewing proposals and recommendations for camera installations and specific camera locations to determine that the perimeter of view of fixed location cameras conforms to this policy and forwarding recommendations to the SOC.
  • Annually evaluating camera locations.
  • Testing and maintaining the camera systems.

UWAPD will review any complaints regarding the use of surveillance camera systems and determine whether this policy is being followed. Appeals of a decision made by the Chief of Police will be reviewed by the SOC, which will make a recommendation to the President, who will render a final decision.

The SOC shall be responsible for reviewing and approving or denying all proposals for security camera equipment recommended by the Chief of Police and for approval of any requested exceptions to this policy. The SOC shall propose to the President appropriate changes to this policy as needed. Items approved by the SOC will be sent as a recommendation to the President, who will render a final decision.

The SOC shall be comprised of the Chief of Police, Provost, Vice President for Student Affairs, Director of Information Technology, the Director of Emergency Preparedness, a representative of the Physical Plant, and a student representative from the SGA.  A Chairperson will be appointed from the membership.

The President or his or her designee will review all external requests to release records obtained through security camera surveillance and will seek consultation and advice from University Legal Counsel related to these requests prior to the release of any records.

Placement of Cameras

The locations where cameras are installed may be restricted access sites such as a departmental computer lab; however, these locations are not places where a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy. Cameras will be located so that personal privacy is maximized.

No audio shall be recorded except in areas where no one is routinely permitted. Requests to use audio surveillance that do not comply with this requirement will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the SOC.

Camera positions and views of residential housing shall be limited. The view of a residential housing facility must not violate the standard of a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Unless the camera is being used for criminal investigations, monitoring by security cameras in the following locations is prohibited:

  • Student dormitory rooms in the residence halls
  • Bathrooms
  • Locker rooms
  • Offices
  • Classrooms not used as a lab.

The installation of “dummy” cameras that do not operate is prohibited.

Unless being used for criminal investigations, all video camera installations should be visible.

Access and Monitoring

All recording or monitoring of activities of individuals or groups by University security cameras will be conducted in a manner consistent with University policies and state and federal laws and will not be based on the subjects’ personal characteristics, including age, color, disability, gender, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, or other protected characteristics. Furthermore, all recording or monitoring will be conducted in a professional, ethical, and legal manner. All personnel with access to University security cameras shall be trained in the effective, legal, and ethical use of monitoring equipment and shall receive a copy of this policy and provide written acknowledgement that they have read and understand its contents.

Access to live video or recorded video from cameras shall be limited to the UWAPD, designated IT personnel and other personnel as authorized by the SOC.  The copying, duplicating and/or retransmission of live or recorded video shall be limited to persons authorized by the Chief of Police.

University security cameras are not monitored continuously under normal operating conditions but may be monitored for legitimate safety and security purposes that include, but are not limited to, the following: high risk areas, restricted access areas/locations, in response to an alarm, special events, and specific investigations authorized by the Chief of Police.

Personnel are prohibited from using or disseminating information acquired from University security cameras except for official purposes. All information and/or observations made in the use of security cameras are considered confidential and can only be used for official University and law enforcement purposes.

Any use of security cameras for reasons other than those cited in this policy is strictly prohibited.  Violations of this policy or the procedures outlined therein will result in disciplinary actions consistent with the rules and regulations governing employees and students of the University.

Use of Cameras for Criminal Investigations

Mobile or hidden video equipment may be used in criminal investigations by the UWAPD. Covert video equipment may also be used for non-criminal investigations of specific instances that may be a significant risk to public safety, security and property as authorized by the Chief of Police.

Exceptions

This policy does not apply to cameras used for academic purposes. Cameras that are used for research are governed by other policies involving human subjects and are, therefore, excluded from this policy.

This policy does not address the use of webcams for general use by the University. This policy also does not apply to the use of video equipment for the recording of public performances or events, interviews, or other use for broadcast or educational purposes. Examples of such excluded activities include videotaping of athletic events for post-game review, videotaping of concerts, plays, and lectures, or videotaped interviews of persons. Automated teller machines (ATMs) that use cameras are exempt from this policy.

Request for Video System Installation

Individual colleges, departments, programs, or campus organizations wishing to have video surveillance equipment installed shall submit a written request to the Provost or appropriate Vice President describing the proposed location of surveillance devices and justifying the proposed installation.

  • The Provost or Vice President will review the request and recommend it to the Chief of Police, if appropriate, who will review the request and forward it to the SOC with a recommendation.
  • The SOC shall be responsible for reviewing and approving or denying all proposals for security camera equipment recommended by the Chief of Police. Items approved by the SOC will be sent as a recommendation to the President, who will render a final decision.
  • Information Technology, in conjunction with the Physical Plant, shall oversee the installation of all approved security camera systems with the assistance of the UWAPD.

Request for Access to Live and/or Recorded Video

Individual colleges, departments, programs, or campus organizations wishing to have access to live and/or recorded video shall submit a written request to the Provost or appropriate Vice President describing the requested access, with justification.

  • The Provost or Vice President will review the request and recommend it to the Chief of Police, if appropriate, who will review the request and forward it to the SOC with a recommendation.
  • The SOC shall be responsible for reviewing and approving or denying all access requests recommended by the Chief of Police. Items approved by the SOC will be sent as a recommendation to the President, who will render a final decision.

Training of Camera Operators

Camera control operators shall be trained in the technical, legal, and ethical parameters of appropriate camera use.

Camera control operators shall receive a copy of this policy and provide written acknowledgement that they have read and understand its contents.

Storage and Retention of Recordings

No attempt shall be made to alter any part of any surveillance recording. Surveillance centers and monitors will be configured to prevent camera operators from tampering with or duplicating recorded information.

Surveillance records shall not be stored by individual departments. All surveillance records shall be stored in a secure location for a period of 30 days and will then be erased or written over, unless retained as part of a criminal investigation or court proceedings (criminal or civil), including, where appropriate, student judicial functions, or other bona fide use as approved by the Chief of Police. Individual departments shall not store video surveillance recordings.

A log shall be maintained by the authorized individuals of all instances of access to or use of surveillance records. The log shall include the date/time of the use, camera(s) viewed, evidence found (or none) and any action taken related to the use. The Chief of Police will also maintain a list of personnel approved by the SOC to monitor live and/or recorded video feeds, with validation of each person’s having completed the required training.

(Revised September 14, 2014)

Email Confidentiality and Security Policy

Email

The University of West Alabama provides email service to students, faculty, staff, and affiliated organizations. Email is an official means of communication among members of the UWA community, and UWA encourages its use in support of the University’s mission of instruction, research, and public service.

Users have full responsibility for all messages they transmit through the University’s computers, networks and systems.  All users of UWA email are expected to use the service responsibly and to comply with applicable local, state, and federal laws, the Alabama Research and Education Network Acceptable Use Policy (http://www.asc.edu/html/accusepol.shtml), and relevant University policies.

Users should exercise caution when downloading executable programs via email, as they might interject computer viruses into University computers and/or networks. It is illegal to knowingly replicate or transmit computer viruses, or otherwise deliberately damage the systems or files of other people.

Email groups are established for University committees, departments, and special projects. Email to a group should be consistent with the purpose of the group.

Information Technology may restrict or suspend access to accounts where there is reason to believe that laws or University policies have been violated. In some instances, further disciplinary action may be taken, including disciplinary action up to termination for faculty and staff violating laws and/or policies or referral to the Student Life Committee for students violating laws and/or policies.   

Unacceptable use of email includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Use of email to support any commercial advertising or for-profit activity.
  • Use of email to initiate or forward chain letters. 
  • Violations of copyright laws (unlawful distribution of copyrighted printed material, audio recordings, video recordings, or computer software). 
  • A user sharing his or her password information with another person. A user should contact the Department of Information Technology for a new password if there is reason to believe that the password is known by other persons. 
  • Attempts to guess or break another user’s password. 
  • Use of email to lodge grievances that should be handled through existing University policies and procedures. 
  • Use of a false email address (“spoofing”). 
  • Use of email to threaten others. 
  • Spamming - sending unsolicited material and/or material not related to the University’s mission to a large number of individuals and/or groups. (Note: Most chain emails referring to viruses are hoaxes and should be forwarded to sysadmin@uwa.edu for review. If the content of the email is determined to be real and should be distributed to the UWA community, the Department of Information Technology will take appropriate action.) 
  • Use of mass email except to send information about governmental, civic, or non-profit charitable organizations or community-wide events such as memorial services.
  • The willful introduction of computer viruses or other disruptive/destructive programs into the UWA campus network or into other networks.

Confidentiality and Security

No one without specific authorization may read, alter, or delete a faculty member’s, staff person’s, or student’s computer files or email.  Although routine maintenance of the email systems may require or inadvertently lead to viewing some email, IT will respect the privacy of such email, and will not reveal its contents to any other parties.  If, however, email activities which violate law or University regulations are discovered, IT must report such information to the appropriate administrators and/or other authorities.

Authorization to access another’s email is granted only on an as needed basis for a specified time and only for investigative purposes, or as required by law.  Authorization and approval for access shall be provided to the Director of Information Technology in writing by the University President.  Should access to the University President’s email become necessary, written authorization shall be given by the President of the Board of Trustees.  The University attorney will be notified when investigative access to email is requested.  The Director of Information Technology will be responsible for collecting and storing the written requests for access.

Deliberately invading the privacy of others by attempting to gain unauthorized access to any account or system is strictly prohibited.  Anyone violating this policy will be subject to disciplinary action up to termination for faculty and staff or referral to the Student Life Committee for students.

Handling Confidential Data

No email system is completely secure. Consequently, email should not be used to transmit computer passwords, credit card numbers, or other confidential information about students or employees.  Any individual who accesses University data, through a computer or a report, is responsible for the confidentiality of that data. Likewise, any individual who stores University data on a personal computer will be held accountable for the confidentiality of that information.  Electronic mail poses additional risks in the handling of confidential data. It is possible that data may be mistakenly transmitted to unintended recipients through misaddressing or similar error.  Users are advised that information subject to confidentiality regulations should not be transmitted via electronic mail without prior written approval from the appropriate administrative offices.

(Revised August 15, 2014)

Interception and Recording of Wire, Oral, or Electronic Communications Policy

The State of Alabama requires only one party’s consent to intercept wire, oral, or electronic communication.  According to 18 U.S.C. § 2511 (2)(d), it is not unlawful “for a person not acting under the color of state law to intercept a wire, oral, or electronic communication where such person is a party to the communication or where one of the parties to the communication has given prior consent to such interception unless such communication is intercepted for the purpose of committing any criminal or tortuous act in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States or of any state.”

While it is not unlawful for a person to intercept or record a wire, oral, or electronic conversation to which he or she is party, it is unlawful for a person to intentionally use any device to eavesdrop, or “to overhear, record, amplify or transmit any part of the private communication of others without the consent of at least one of the persons engaged in the communication, except as otherwise provided by law” (Code of Alabama 1975 § 13A-11-30 and § 13A-11-31).

Interception of communications, specifically recording telephone conversations

The University of West Alabama expects all faculty, staff, and students to follow federal and state laws regulating interception of communications.  While not unlawful for one to record telephone conversations to which he or she is party, the University does not encourage recordings.  The University may, in its discretion, record, retrieve and save recorded telephone conversations for the purposes of supporting the University’s mission of instruction, research, and public service; as an effort to ensure and maintain quality control; and/or as a matter of public safety.

An individual may request that a recording feature be enabled on a University telephone. The request must be in writing, and authorized by the individual’s supervising Vice President or Provost, and approved by the University President.  An individual will only be given authorization to record another individual’s telephone conversation if 1) the individual who is being recorded is under the direct supervision of the party making the request; and 2) the individual who is being recorded has been put on notice that his or her telephone conversations may be recorded. Authorization will only be given to the supervisor as a method of ensuring and maintaining quality control, to ensure accuracy of information provided or statements made, for training purposes, and/or to ensure public safety.  Any individual’s telephone that is being recorded shall be notified that the recording feature has been enabled and conversations may be recorded, retrieved, and stored as electronic files.  He or she shall also be notified that his or her supervisor is authorized to access those recordings.  The following procedure must be followed before a recording feature may be enabled on a University telephone:

  • An individual must make a written request for configuration and enabling of the recording feature. The written request must be approved by the appropriate Vice President or Provost.  The written request must adequately explain, in detail, the need for recording, retrieving, and saving conversations and must address the purpose for the request.  Purposes for retrieving and saving recordings are limited to support of the University’s mission of instruction, research, and public service; as an effort to ensure and maintain quality control; and/or as a matter of public safety.
  • Once authorized by the appropriate Vice President or Provost, the written request must be approved by the University President.
  • An electronic or physical copy of the request, authorization, and approval must be delivered to the Director of Information Technology. The Department of Information Technology, together with the individual making the request, will then schedule the  configuration. 
  • Copies of requests will be stored by the Department of Information Technology. 
  • Once a conversation has been captured, the faculty or staff member will be given a password protect website to log into in order to retrieve the recording.  The recording will only be available for 24 hours.  After 24 hours, the recording will be deleted from the server and will no longer be available for retrieval.  A recording that is retrieved within the 24 hour timeframe may be saved as an electronic file by the individual who captured the conversation.  Recordings stored as electronic files by the individual may be maintained for an undetermined length of time and may only be used for the purposes previously described. 

All Vice Presidents and the Provost may have access to the recording feature on their telephone as authorized and approved in writing by the University President.  All other written requests must comply with the procedures set out above.

The University President may have his or her telephone conversations recorded, if he or she desires.  However, the recording feature will only be configured and enabled upon written request of the President.  Records of the request will be stored by the Department of Information Technology. 

Confidentiality and Security

No one may have access to any recording without the consent of at least one of the parties involved or without specific authorization.  Such authorization should be made only after consulting the University President and the attorney representing the University. 

Deliberately invading the privacy of others by attempting to gain unauthorized access to any recording is strictly prohibited.  Anyone violating this policy will be subject to disciplinary action including, and up to, termination.  In addition, because it is a Class A misdemeanor (Code of Alabama 1975 § 13A-11-31) to use any device to eavesdrop1 and a Class C felony (Code of Alabama 1975 § 13A-11-33) to install an eavesdropping device in a private place2 without the permission of the owner, persons violating this policy may also face criminal charges.

 

(September 8, 2014)

 

1 Eavesdrop:  To overhear, record, amplify or transmit any part of the private communication of others without the consent of at least one of the persons engaged in the communication, except as otherwise provided by law.

2 Private Place:  A place where one may reasonably expect to be safe from casual or hostile intrusion or surveillance, but such term does not include a place to which the public or a substantial group of the public has access.

 

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)

 

Maintenance and Inventory of Equipment

The department chairperson or administrative department head is responsible for the care, maintenance, and systematic inventory of all equipment assigned to the department, but in some instances, he/she may delegate responsibility for certain equipment to other faculty or staff members who use it frequently. All property is inventoried each year. All faculty and staff members are expected to report to their department head any equipment which is in disrepair or missing. No University equipment may be used by non‑University groups or individuals except in accordance with established policies governing such requests, which require approval of the department chairperson or administrative department head and the President (or the Vice President for Financial Affairs acting for him). Request forms for this purpose are available from the Financial Affairs Office.

(For further information, consult the University of West Alabama Property Control Manual and the official statement of “Policies and Procedures for Use of the University of West Alabama Facilities and Equipment by Private Groups and Individuals,” both of which are available in departmental offices.)

Communicable Diseases

Students are responsible for notifying the Office of Student Life if they contract a communicable and/or contagious disease which presents a significant degree of health risk to other members of the University community. The University Board of Trustees has adopted as the official University policy on dealing with the “AIDS” problem the policy statement recommended by the American College Health Association. This policy statement is available in the Office of Student Life.

Drug Abuse Policies

In accordance with the Drug‑Free Workplace Act of 1988 and the Drug‑Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989, The University of West Alabama has an official policy on maintaining a drug‑free community and work place. The policy clearly states that the University of West Alabama will not tolerate the use of illegal drugs by members of the University community and establishes sanctions to be taken against students, faculty, or staff members involved with illegal drugs or with the abuse of legal medication or alcohol. The policy further requires the distribution to all members of the University community of a description of the sanctions under local, State, and federal law relating to the use and/or abuse of illicit drugs and alcohol and a list of available drug counseling, rehabilitation, and assistance programs in the area.

In addition, the policy requires that any full‑time or part‑time employee who is working under a federal grant must sign a statement certifying that he/she will, as a condition of employment under the grant, abide by the University policy statement on a drug‑free environment and will notify the University of West Alabama of any criminal drug statute conviction, guilty plea, or nolo contendere plea for a violation occurring in the workplace. The University is required to take these actions in order to remain eligible for federal programs. All faculty and staff members are urged to familiarize themselves with the following policy statement and other relevant information relating to a drug‑free community.

Documents Relating to a Drug‑Free Environment 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. The University of West Alabama, 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. The University of West Alabama 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.

The University of West Alabama 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 University of West Alabama campus, or at any other location where the employee or student is performing official duties or representing the University of West Alabama, 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, The University of West Alabama hopes to inform the campus community of the problems related to substance abuse. Although the University of West Alabama 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. The Division of Nursing also has additional requirements related to substance abuse and detection, including mandatory testing. The University supports these additional policies applicable to Nursing students. For students, faculty, and staff members who recognize that an abuse problem exists, counseling and/or referral services 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 to conduct himself/herself in accordance with federal, State and local law whether or not on the campus of the University of West Alabama.

The use of illegal drugs will not be tolerated by the University of West Alabama. 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. The University of West Alabama 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 the University of West Alabama. This policy of prevention, counseling, and discipline will serve as a catalyst to discourage abuse by members of the University community.

The University of West Alabama has implemented a drug‑free awareness program. The statement above, setting forth the University’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 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.
     

Further, each employee and student who is employed under a federal grant will be given a copy of this policy statement and will sign a statement certifying that the employee or student will, as a condition of employment under the grant:

  1. Abide by the terms of this policy statement on a drug‑free workplace, and
  2. Notify the University of West Alabama of any criminal drug statute conviction, guilty plea, or nolo contendere plea for a violation occurring in the workplace no later than five days after such conviction.
     

Upon receiving such notification from an employee or otherwise receiving actual notice of such conviction, the University of West Alabama will:

  1. Within ten days, notify the agency responsible for the grant, and,
  2. Within thirty days, take appropriate personnel action against any employee who is so convicted, up to and including termination; and/or require such employee to participate satisfactorily in a drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program approved for such purposes by a federal, State, or local health, law enforcement, or other appropriate agency.
     

The University of West Alabama hereby affirms that it will make a good faith effort to continue to maintain a drug‑free workplace and community through implementation of the policies and procedures stated above. Further, a biennial review of the program will be conducted to determine its effectiveness and uniform application.

This Policy Statement is published pursuant to the Drug‑Free Workplace Act of 1988, and the Drug‑Free School and Communities Act Amendments of 1989.

 

(June 1999)

Laws Relating to a Drug-Free Community

Alabama Law

The unlawful distribution of a controlled substance (including marijuana, cocaine, “crack,” heroin, LSD and PCP) is punishable by imprisonment (two to twenty years) and a fine (up to $10,000).

The unlawful possession of a controlled substance is punishable by imprisonment (one to ten years) and fine (up to $5,000). Possession of marijuana for other than personal use is punishable by imprisonment (one to ten years) and fine (up to $5,000).

The unlawful possession of marijuana for personal use is punishable by imprisonment (up to one year) and fine (up to $2,000).

Distribution of a controlled substance to a person under eighteen years of age is punishable by imprisonment (ten to ninety-nine years) and fine (up to $20,000).

Drug trafficking is punishable by imprisonment and fine depending upon the specific controlled substance and its quantity. For example, the sale of between 2.2 to 100 lbs. of cannabis is punishable by three years imprisonment and a fine of $25,000.

The unlawful sale of a controlled substance within a three‑mile radius of the University of West Alabama is also punishable by five years imprisonment without probation, in addition to any other penalties otherwise provided for by law. This list is far from exhaustive.

The purchase or consumption of alcohol by a person under twenty-one years of age is punishable by imprisonment (up to 30 days) and fine (between $45 to $100). The sale of alcohol to a minor is punishable by imprisonment (up to three months) and fine ($50 to $500). A first conviction for DUI is punishable by imprisonment (up to one year) and fine ($250 to $1,000) and also results in a ninety‑day driver’s license suspension.

City of Livingston

A crime punishable by the State of Alabama is also punishable by the City of Livingston by imprisonment (up to six months) and fine (up to $500). A DUI conviction is also punishable by imprisonment (up to one year) and fine (up to $5,000).

Federal Law

Federal law also prohibits the manufacture, distribution, sale, or possession of controlled substances. The specific prison term or fine varies with the particular substance, the quantity involved, and whether death or bodily injury results. For example, the sale of LSD (one gram or more), cocaine (five grams or more) or PCP (ten grams or more) is punishable by imprisonment (five to forty years) and fine (up to $5,000,000). The minimum prison term is twenty years if death or bodily injury results. Simple possession of a controlled substance is punishable by imprisonment (up to one year) and a minimum fine of $1,000. The Attorney General of the United States may also fine a person convicted of possession up to $10,000.

Distribution of a controlled substance to a person under age twenty-one is punishable by imprisonment and fine up to twice that otherwise authorized by law, with a minimum prison term of one year. The distribution of a controlled substance on or within one-thousand feet of the University of West Alabama is also punishable by imprisonment and fine twice that otherwise authorized by law, with a minimum prison term of one year. Employing a person under 18 years old in distributing a controlled substance is also punishable by imprisonment and fine twice that otherwise authorized, with a minimum prison term of one year. A conviction may also result in a forfeiture to the United States government of any property or proceeds resulting from the crime. The federal government may also deny certain federal benefits for a period of up to five years.

This notice is published pursuant to the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989.

Available Drug Counseling, Rehabilitation, and Employee Assistance Programs in the Area

Local Programs

Alcoholics Anonymous
Contact Person: Mike Gullette 
392‑4408
(or 392‑7034 in emergencies)
 

West Alabama Mental Health Center
P.O. Drawer J
Demopolis, AL 36732
289-2410

Hill Hospital Chemical
Dependency Unit
751 Derby Drive
York, AL 36925
392‑4408

Other Area Programs

Alethia House
3600-8th Avenue, South
P.O. Box 1514
Birmingham, AL 35201
324-6502

Hill Crest Hospital (Adult)
6869 Fifth Avenue, South
Birmingham, AL 35212
833.9000

Bradford/Birmingham Adults
1221 Alton Drive
Birmingham, AL 35210
833-4000
 

 

 

 

Laurel Wood
Highway 39 North
Meridian, MS 39303
(601) 693‑3344
 

DCH Rehab/Druid Oaks
1101-6th Avenue, East
Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
759‑7375

Parkside Lodge of Birmingham
P.O. Box 129
1189 Allbritton Road
Warrior, AL 35180
647‑1945

Sexual Discrimination and Sexual Harassment

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 thePolicy 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.

Policy on 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 

William R. Simpkins, M.D.
Livingston Clinic
107 Hospital Drive
Livingston, AL 35470
(205) 652-2686 

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 situration (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
 

 Statement on Collegiality

Collegiality is an essential element for achieving a positive and productive atmosphere at the University of West Alabama. A collegial spirit entails mutual understanding, respect, and trust and promotes dialogue that will best serve the interests of the University community as a whole and successfully promote the University’s mission.

In a collegial environment, each member of the university community should

  • Promote a collaborative culture;
  • Participate in consensus-building problem solving;
  • Support group decisions or disagree with them in a constructive manner;
  • Appreciate opposing viewpoints and individual diversity within and outside the department and college;
  • Work within the University’s organizational structure in conflict resolution; and
  • Adhere to the principles of intellectual freedom.

 

(March 15, 2010)

Affirmative Action Statement

The University of West Alabama is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. The policy of the University is to dedicate itself to the principle of affirmative action and nondiscrimination.

University publications targeted toward the recruitment of students, faculty and staff should include the following statement:

The University of West Alabama does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, or disability in employment or the provision of services.

There are exceptions to inclusion of the affirmative action statement in publications used internally and other publications in which the statement may not be appropriate. Any questions regarding whether a publication should carry the statement should be directed to the Affirmative Action Officer (Provost).

Americans with Disabilities Act

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 accommodations are responsible for notifying instructors in each course in which they are enrolled and appropriate staff members. The faculty or staff member will notify the ADA Compliance Coordinator in writing of the student’s request and direct the student to the 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 accommodation of 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, students should contact the ADA Compliance Coordinator in the Office of Student Affairs, Webb Hall 311, (205) 652-3581 or the Student Success Center, Foust Hall 7, (205) 652-3651.

 

Tobacco Use Policy

The University of West Alabama is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for its employees and students. Furthermore, it is the University’s policy to comply with all applicable federal, state and local regulations regarding tobacco use in the workplace and to provide a work environment that promotes productivity and the well-being of its employees. Because of the serious health and sanitary hazards associated with the use of tobacco and with exposure to second-hand smoke, the University has implemented the following policy.

The use of tobacco in any form (cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, pipes, water pipes, snus, snuff, etc.),  is prohibited in classrooms, lecture rooms, laboratories, offices, residence halls, campus apartments, the Student Union Building, the cafeteria, auditoriums, warehouses, attics, storage areas, elevators, libraries, gymnasiums, shops where woodworking is in process, University motor pool vehicles, posted areas, and any other areas where receptacles for discarded tobacco materials are not available. In all other buildings, any areas not designated as tobacco use areas are presumed to be non-tobacco-use areas.

Additionally, all areas within twenty-five feet surrounding any University facility are designated non-tobacco-use areas. In making such designation, the University considers the following exterior locations non-tobacco-use areas: entrance doors, covered breezeways, ventilating and air conditioning intake vents, and windows.

Any violation of this policy by a University employee shall result in disciplinary action according to established UWA disciplinary procedures up to, and including, discharge. A violation of this policy by a student constitutes non-academic misconduct, and the student will be subject to established disciplinary action.

Violations of this policy are to be reported through the appropriate administrative channels, and it is the responsibility of the dean, director, or other chief administrative officer to enforce the policy in those buildings or portions of buildings under his/her control. 

The University periodically provides information on the effects of tobacco use and on tobacco cessation programs to its employees and its students.   

                                                                                                Rev. July 21, 2005; February 9, 2007; November 7, 2012

 

Copyright Policies

Music

The Copyright Revision Act of 1976 (P.L. 94-553) made significant changes in the copyright law of the United States as it relates to universities and other educational institutions. Among these are changes relating to the performance of copyrighted music on the campus which are of special importance to music faculty, as well as to others who have responsibility for musical performances on campus by University groups or by persons brought in for this purpose. These aspects of the law, however, are largely covered by a general licensing agreement which the University has entered into.

Video Recordings

Faculty members, if not especially careful, may come in conflict with the copyright law as it relates to video recordings. Although this is a complicated area where a faculty member should always check carefully into the legalities whenever there are questions, several general principles appear to be established:

  • A television program may not be recorded at home and used at school. Home taping must be for home use only.
  • A video recording rented from a video store and marked for “Home Use Only” may not be shown at school.
  • A video recording which the University has purchased may be used only for face-to-face instruction by an individual teacher, not for entertainment, unless a public performance license has been obtained.
  • Off-air recordings made on the University campus from programs that are provided to the general public at no charge are permissible only under specific limitations, including:
  • The program must be at the specific request of an individual teacher or teachers and is not to be used by others.
  • The recording can be shown to students, within ten class days after the broadcast date, no more than two times, the second showing being only for instructional reinforcement.
  • The video recording must be destroyed within forty-five calendar days after the broadcast date. Any use of the recording after the ten consecutive class days and prior to the end of the forty-five calendar days may be only for teacher evaluation purposes.
  • Faculty and staff members should note that no off-air recording may be stored permanently unless the University purchases a license for the videotape from the copyright holder.

Photocopying

The aspects of the new copyright law which most frequently confront the typical faculty member are those which deal with the photocopying of copyrighted materials. Listed below is a summary of some of the most important implications of the law in this field for faculty members and for the Library:

A faculty member may not:

  • Make multiple copies of a work for classroom use if it has already been copied for another class in the same institution.
  • Make multiple copies of a short poem, article, or essay from the same author more than once in a class term, or make multiple copies from the same collective work or periodical issue more than three times a term.
  • Make multiple copies of works more than nine times in the same class term.
  • Make a copy of works to take the place of an anthology.
  • Make a copy of “consumable” materials, such as workbooks.
     

A faculty member may:

  • Make a single copy, for use in scholarly research, or in teaching, or in preparation for teaching a class, of the following:

    1. A chapter from a book.
    2. An article from a periodical or newspaper.
    3. A short story, short essay, or short poem, whether or not from a collected work.
    4. A chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon, or picture from a book, periodical, or newspaper.
       
  • Make multiple copies for classroom use only, and not to exceed one per student in a class, of the following:

    1. A complete poem, if it is less than 250 words and printed on not more than two pages.
    2. An excerpt from a longer poem, if it is less than 250 words.
    3. A complete article, story, or essay, if it is less than 2,500 words.
    4. An excerpt from a prose work, if it is less than 1,000 words or 10 percent of the work, whichever is less.
    5. One chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon, or picture per book or periodical.


A faculty member who wishes to copy material not allowed within these guidelines must obtain written permission from the copyright owner.

Computer Software

According to U.S. copyright law, unauthorized reproduction of software is a federal offense. Offenders can be subject to civil damages of as much as $100,000 per title copied, and criminal penalties, including fines (up to $250,000 per work copied) and imprisonment (up to five years per title copied). UWA specifically forbids the unauthorized duplication of copyrighted software. UWA purchases licenses for the use of copies of computer software from a variety of outside companies. However, the University does not own the copyright to this software or its related documentation, and except for a single copy for backup purposes or unless expressly authorized by the copyright owner(s), it does not have the right to reproduce it for use on more than one computer unless the license is for multiple use.

The University shall use the software on local area network only in accordance with the license agreement. Any University employee or student who knowingly reproduces, acquires, or uses unauthorized copies of computer software licensed to UWA or who places or uses unauthorized software on University premises or equipment shall be in violation of University policy. University employees and students should report any misuse of software or related documentation within the University to the Director of Information Technology.

Benefits and Privileges

Insurance

The University of West Alabama provides health insurance, term life insurance, and disability income insurance on each faculty and staff member without cost to the employee. Each new faculty and staff member must fill out the appropriate insurance forms and submit them to the Financial Affairs Office in order to be covered by the various insurance programs. Any questions about the basic insurance coverage or the optional coverage available should be addressed to the Supervisor of Payrolls, Insurance, and Personnel in the Financial Affairs Office. The various insurance programs are summarized below.

Medical Insurance

The University of West Alabama provides comprehensive health insurance for all full-time employees through a group policy. The University pays the monthly premium for each faculty and staff member, and employees may obtain coverage for their dependents through payroll deduction. Details of the coverage are available in the Financial Affairs Office. Employees who are eligible for Medicare are insured under the policy for certain benefits not provided through the Medicare program. Employees who retire from service at the University may continue their medical insurance coverage without further medical examination through the Teacher’s Retirement System’s group plan.

A surviving dependent of a University employee has the privilege of continuing health insurance coverage under the group policy for a period not to exceed eighteen months or until other coverage can be obtained, whichever comes first, according to the COBRA law. Full-time employees leaving active employment at the University of West Alabama due to resignation or completion of their contract may also qualify for continued health insurance coverage.

Dental Insurance

The University of West Alabama provides dental insurance for all employees through a group policy. The University pays the monthly premium for each faculty and staff member, and dependent coverage can be obtained through payroll deduction. Details of the coverage are available in the Financial Affairs Office.

Life Insurance

The University of West Alabama provides term life insurance for each full-time employee up to the amount of his/her annual salary, not to exceed $50,000. This coverage is paid by the University.

Disability Insurance

The University of West Alabama pays the premium to provide disability income insurance coverage for all full-time employees. After an employee who has been disabled by illness or injury is unable to work for a period of sixty calendar days, the disability insurance provides an amount equal to two‑thirds of the employee’s regular salary at the time the disability began, but not more than $7,000 per month. Disability benefits continue until the employee is able to return to work or until he/she reaches the age of sixty-five. The benefits under this policy are coordinated with certain other disability benefits which an employee may receive (Social Security, Teachers’ Retirement, etc.) so that the total does not exceed the two‑thirds limit. Although an employee may not receive benefits under this policy until sixty calendar days after the beginning of the disability, those who have accumulated sick leave beyond this period may continue to receive their regular salary for a longer time under the specific terms stipulated in the University sick leave policy.

Liability Insurance

The University of West Alabama carries professional liability insurance which covers members of the Board of Trustees, faculty, and staff. This coverage provides protection against civil claims which may arise out of situations related to authorized University activities in which a faculty or staff member may be engaged, including claims resulting from certain kinds of accidents, academic decisions, personnel decisions, statements in publications, etc.

The University encourages faculty and staff members to include in their personal automobile liability insurance a rider which insures them against any type of claim that might result from their traveling in a State vehicle, since the University cannot legally provide such coverage.

Annuity Programs

The University of West Alabama Insurance Committee has approved several insurance companies for Tax-Sheltered Annuities (TSA’s), which must be paid through payroll deductions. Payroll deductions are approved, however, only for companies which have enrolled at least 20% of the faculty and salaried staff members in a program. Federal income tax is not paid on these funds at the time of the deduction, but must be paid when the funds are returned to the employee-usually after retirement. The Supervisor of Payrolls, Insurance, and Personnel can provide a list of those companies which the Insurance Committee has approved for this purpose.

Also, a plan through the Retirement Systems of Alabama, known as the RSA-1 Deferred Compensation Plan, is available to employees of the University of West Alabama. Further information and brochures on this plan can be obtained from the Supervisor of Payrolls, Insurance, and Personnel.

Retirement Program

Each full‑time employee of UWA is required to participate in the Teachers’ Retirement System of the State of Alabama, which provides one of the best retirement programs for teachers in the nation. Seven and one half percent of an employee’s salary is deducted from each payroll check for this purpose. In addition, the University pays an additional percentage into an employee’s retirement account. Under a ruling by the Internal Revenue Service, Federal income tax is not paid on the amount deducted for this purpose until it is withdrawn.

An employee who leaves UWA for a position in another State institution in Alabama retains his/her retirement account without change. An employee who leaves the State of Alabama system for a private position or for a position in another State, however, may withdraw the amount that he/she has deposited into the Teachers’ Retirement System, sometimes with a limited amount of interest, depending upon the number of years the employee has been in the system. Since the retirement account is vested in the employee after a period of ten years, a faculty or staff member who has been under the Teachers’ Retirement System for that length of time may retain the account at its current level if he/she wishes and draw benefits later upon retirement.

Anyone under the Teachers’ Retirement System may retire and draw full benefits after twenty-five years of service in the system or at age sixty with ten years of service, whichever comes first. Maximum benefits provide for monthly payments for the remainder of the life of the retired employee. The amount of the annual maximum benefit to be paid is determined by multiplying the number of years of service in the Retirement System by a factor determined by the System, which is presently .020125, and then multiplying the result by the average of the three highest annual salaries during the last ten years before retirement. A somewhat reduced benefit may be taken by the retired employee in order to provide continuing benefits after his/her death for a surviving spouse.

NOTE: The above statements regarding the retirement program summarize the University administration’s current general understanding, but faculty and staff members should know that the retirement program is administered by the Teachers’ Retirement System, a State agency, and specific information about retirement benefits can be provided only by that agency. In addition, provisions of the retirement program may be changed from time to time.

New faculty and staff members must complete the necessary Retirement System forms.

University employees are also covered by the Social Security program, and FICA and Medicare taxes are deducted from all payroll checks.

The University of West Alabama does not participate in the retirement programs of TIAA‑CREF. Generally, faculty members who come to the University from institutions having TIAA‑CREF programs may make private arrangements to continue their coverage by making monthly payments to that program, but the University does not provide for payroll deductions for this purpose.

Emeritus Status

See Chapter IV under “Faculty Personnel Policies  .”

Credit Union

All UWA employees are eligible to become members of the First Educator’s Credit Union. An employee may send funds directly to the credit union or have them sent through payroll deduction. The First Educator’s Credit Union offers a number of services, including savings accounts, vacation savings, checking accounts, money market certificates, certificates of deposit, and loans. An employee who needs information concerning the services of the Credit Union may call the toll free number, 1‑800‑264‑8031.

Tuition Remission

All full-time members of the faculty and staff are eligible immediately upon employment for remission of one-half of the University of West Alabama tuition for themselves, their spouses and their children.

After six years of full-time service-i.e., at the end of the sixth full academic year or, for those originally employed at some time other than the beginning of the academic year, an equivalent amount of time-the tuition is waived in full. This waiver of tuition is also available for any former full-time employee and/or the employee’s spouse and children if he/she has retired, become disabled, or died while in active service.

This tuition waiver applies only to the on campus general tuition fee, SGA fee, medical fee, audit fee, and yearbook charge, and does not affect other required fees, such as special course fees and laboratory fees.

For online courses, students must also pay the cost of the instructor fee and any special online course fees.

Faculty/staff dependents who qualify for tuition waiver plans and a scholarship may accept both awards up to the point that the combination of the two covers the student’s financial liability to the University’s student accounts receivable. No cash payment will be made to the student. Dependents receiving benefits from a pre-paid tuition plan will receive tuition waiver in addition to these benefits. A qualified person must apply formally to receive this benefit. Forms for this purpose are available from the Student Accounts Office.

For more information regarding financial benefits available for employees of the University of West Alabama, or the services provided, please contact the Office of Financial Affairs, Webb Hall, Room 203. (Financial benefits are subject to change without notice.)

 

(Revised November 2003, March 2008, August 2010, September 2010)

Check Cashing

Faculty and staff members may cash personal checks at the Financial Affairs Office during regular window hours (9:00 a.m. - 3:15 p.m.) under the following policies:

  1. The check must not exceed $50.

  2. The check must be made payable to CASH.

  3. If a check is returned by the bank because of inadequate funds, the faculty or staff member is assessed an additional charge of $30.

  4. If a check is returned by the bank, the faculty or staff member’s check cashing privileges are terminated.

University Bookstore

In addition to textbooks, the University of West Alabama Bookstore sells stationery, office supplies, souvenirs, and a variety of other items, including paperback books of general interest. Faculty and staff, as well as those officially retired, receive a 10% discount on all items purchased at the Bookstore except books.

Fitness Center

With a valid paid membership, faculty and staff members and their immediate families have the privilege of using the fitness center on the campus, but should be familiar with the relevant regulations and restrictions.  The use of the fitness center by UWA faculty and staff members and their families is done at the risk of those using the facilities, and the University assumes no responsibility for any injuries or accidents that may arise from the use of the facilities.

Swimming Pool

Faculty and staff members and their immediate families may use the swimming pool at the Student Union Building during open hours, for general use.  Faculty and staff members and their immediate families are admitted on their UWA ID cards.  Any child under the age of ten must be accompanied by an adult of at least seventeen years old.  A faculty or staff member may bring a guest to the swimming pool, at the cost of $5/per person/per day.  All persons using the University of West Alabama swimming pool must obey all pool regulations and dress codes, as well as requests of the lifeguard(s) on duty.

Lake LU

Lake LU provides facilities for fishing and picnicking, as well as a nature trail.

Operation Procedures for Lake LU

Admission Charge

FISHING: $3.00 per adult, $1.00 per child under the age of 13. The University of West Alabama faculty, staff, and students are admitted free on ID card. Children under the age of 13 must be accompanied by a person 16 years of age or older.

Picnic Area

Faculty, staff, and students are admitted on ID card. Faculty and staff will be allowed to bring one other family as guest. The faculty/staff member or dependent must accompany the guest and be responsible for the conduct of the guest. All persons (including guest) will be required to sign the logbook at the Lake Manager’s Office when entering the lake area. Faculty/staff and student dependents and/or spouses should pick up a Lake LU pass from the Vice President of Financial Affairs at the Business Office from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday for identification purposes. Passes will be issued only once and will be valid as long as the person is a student or employee.

Active Alumni

Active alumni certified by the Office of Alumni Affairs may also obtain a Lake LU pass by contacting the Alumni Office. The alumni pass will be issued only to the individual alumni and does not include guest privileges. The alumni pass is valid only for fishing and picnic area use and does not cover boat rental. Retired faculty and staff have the same benefits.

Reservation of Picnic Area

Faculty, staff and students of the University of West Alabama may reserve the picnic shelters on a first come, first served basis by contacting the Lake Manager at (205) 652-9266. A rental fee of $10.00 will be assessed for the shelter for groups of 25 or less. Groups of 25 or more will be assessed $.50 per person for each person over 25. The maximum capacity for each picnic shelter is 50 people. Shelter will be reserved only for use during the posted operation hours of the park. University functions shall have priority for use of the shelters. University organizations can use the pavilion free, provided the building request form has been filled out and the proper paperwork completed with the Office of Student Life.

Hours of Operation

The hours of operation will vary depending upon the season, number of fish caught, and holidays. The hours of operation will usually follow the university calendar. The lake will be closed on all university holidays and breaks. General hours of operation are as follows:

 

Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday

Lake closed for maintenance
Lake closed for maintenance
6:00 a.m. to dusk dark* – fishing allowed
12:00 p.m. until dusk dark* – picnic and pleasure boating only
12:00 p.m. until dusk dark* – picnic and pleasure boating only
6:00 a.m. to dusk dark* – fishing allowed
12:00 p.m. to dusk dark* – fishing allowed

 

 

 

* Dusk dark is defined as 30 minutes after sunset

If hours of operation should differ from the above hours, it will be posted at the entrance gate, as the hours are determined. Lake closings for university holidays should be posted at the Lake Office at least one week before the scheduled holiday.

Fishing

The Alabama Department of Conservation has established limits on the amount of fish that can be taken from the lake during the year. The fishing year is from July 1 to June 30 of the following year. The limit on number of fish caught will be set from time to time in order to comply with harvesting guidelines. After the total poundage of bass and bream has been harvested, the lake must be closed to fishing for the remainder of the fishing year. All Alabama residents age 16 through 64 must possess a valid Alabama Resident fishing license. All Alabama residents age 65 and older have no license requirements but must show ID as proof of age. All Alabama non-residents 16 years of age or older must possess a valid Alabama non-resident fishing license. The license must be presented to the Lake Manager to obtain a fishing permit. Persons fishing with a cane pole only and living in Sumter County do not have to possess a fishing license, but must show ID to prove the county of their residence. Minors under age 13 must be supervised by a person 16 years of age or older.

Swimming

No swimming will be allowed at any time in the Lake.

Boats

The University has available 12 flat‑bottom fishing boats for rental at $5.00 per day. Students, faculty, and staff of the University of West Alabama can rent a boat for $3.00 per day.  All occupants of boats must wear adequate Coast Guard‑approved life jackets (PFDs) when renting the boats. Vests and paddles may be rented at the Lake Office for $1.00 each.  The vest and paddle rental fees are waived for all UWA students, faculty, and staff.  Small canoes or small aluminum Jon boats (non-motorized) will be allowed for pleasure riding if the owner can carry the craft to the water. There is a $3.00 permit cost to launch your own personal boat.  All applicable boating laws of the State of Alabama apply to personal boats.  No boat ramping from a trailer will be allowed. No gasoline engines will be allowed in the lake. One battery electric trolling motor not to exceed 2-horsepower will be allowed to be used on rental fishing boats.

  1. Boats cannot be transferred from one party to another.
  2. Boats shall not be rented to individuals under sixteen years of age.
  3. After returning a rented boat, the user shall clean the boat of any litter and the litter should be placed in a receptacle provided at the boat launching area.
  4. Boats shall not be used as diving platforms. (No swimming allowed)
  5. Any other State rules and regulations applying to the use of boats shall also apply to the use of Lake LU boats.
  6. Boats must be returned to the designated boat area.

Instructional Use

The lake may be used for instructional purposes as requested. Requests should be submitted to the Vice President for Financial Affairs who will forward the request with his recommendations to the Business Office for approval and scheduling. 

Additional Regulations

  • All anglers must stop at Lake Office upon leaving and allow Lake Manager to county and weigh all fish that are being removed from the lake.
  • Fisherman must carry their gear from the parking area to the boat area. No parking on the grass!
  • Boats are issued on a first come, first served basis. There are no boat reservations.
  • Littering is not allowed in any form.
  • No live bait is allowed except for worms and crickets.
  • No marking of fish beds.
  • Handicapped parking on grass versus handicap parking spaces is allowed only to severely handicapped persons. Handicapped persons who need to park on the grass must first get permission from the Lake Manager.
  • No alcoholic beverages are allowed.
  • No profanity allowed.
  • No loud or disturbing music is permitted.
  • Occasionally the University’s Biology Department requests a boat for aquatic studies which is issued at no charge.
 

(Revised October 1, 1983; Winter 2003)

 

 

Tennis Courts

The University of West Alabama tennis courts may be used by faculty and staff members, their families, and their guests on a “first‑come” basis. Because of the limited number of tennis courts, however, priority in use is given to scheduled tennis classes.

Gymnasium

Pruitt Gymnasium may be used by faculty and staff members and their families for recreational purposes when available. Persons desiring to use the gymnasium on a weekday during the hours of 8:00 a.m. - noon, while the University is in session, should consult the Chairperson of the Department of Physical Education and Athletic Training. The Athletic Director is responsible for scheduling the gymnasium after noon on weekdays, during weekends, and when the University is not in session.

Volleyball and Racquetball Courts

The University of West Alabama volleyball and racquetball courts may be used by faculty and staff members, their families, and their guests on a “first-come” basis.

NOTE: Facility passes for faculty and staff members may be obtained through the Office of Student Life.

Athletic Training and Sports Medicine Center

The Athletic Training/Sports Medicine Staff and Athletic Training Room are available as a service to the faculty, staff and students. Services included are athletic injury prevention, evaluation, management and referral, treatment, rehabilitation, and education. These services exist primarily for the varsity athletic program but are available upon request by the University community and students. There is generally no charge for the service unless supplies and equipment are used. Faculty, staff and students desiring the use of these services should make arrangements with the Director of Athletic Training and Sports Medicine or one of the staff athletic trainers. The Athletic Training and Sports Medicine Center is located in Homer Fieldhouse, Room 216.

Athletic Tickets

All faculty and staff are issued a complimentary season pass upon request for the year in September. Family passes may be purchased at a low fee for immediate members of an employee’s family at the Athletic Director’s Office. These passes provide admission without further charge to all University athletic events on campus except those sponsored by other organizations and those tournament events which are controlled by the athletic conference or another agency.

In addition, faculty and staff members who have purchased season passes may secure reserved seats in Tiger Stadium for home football games by making payment of a specified minimum amount to the UWA Tiger Club.  Donations made to the UWA Tiger Club above the cost of benefits (i.e. tickets) are considered as a donation to the University of West Alabama and carry the same potential tax saving benefits.

Honors and Awards

William E. Gilbert Award for Outstanding Teaching

The William E. Gilbert Award for Outstanding Teaching, consisting of a cash stipend and a plaque, was established in memory of William E. Gilbert, Associate Professor of History at the University of West Alabama from 1970 until his death in 1977, through a gift from his father, the late William L. Gilbert of Geiger, Alabama, and other members of the family.

Prior to joining the University of West Alabama faculty, Mr. Gilbert taught history at Jacksonville State University for fourteen years. The recipient of the William E. Gilbert Award is chosen from among faculty members who have been nominated by their students.

The final selection is made by a committee appointed by the Student Government Association from those students nominated by the deans. The student committee, under the guidance of a faculty advisory board, bases its selection solely upon the faculty member’s performance as an outstanding teacher, one who has demonstrated excellence in the classroom through diligence, effectiveness, and outstanding conduct of classes. The William E. Gilbert Award is presented at Commencement.

The Loraine McIlwain Bell Trustee Professorship, Professional Staff and Support Staff Excellence Awards

The Loraine McIlwain Bell Trustee Professorship award is established to honor excellence in teaching/advising, scholarly/creative activities, and leadership/service to the University among full-time faculty members. The Professional Staff and Support Staff Excellence Awards are established to honor loyalty, leadership, and service to the University among full-time staff members. A committee comprised of faculty members representing each of the four colleges and the Division of Nursing, staff members representing the various departments of the University, and two members of the UWA Board of Trustees is responsible for screening the nominations and for requesting, at its discretion, certain information from those nominated. The recipients of the awards are announced at a Board meeting and formally introduced, respectively, as the Trustee Professor(s), Professional Staff and Support Staff Excellence award recipients. The award is for one year and consists of a plaque and a cash stipend.

The Nellie Rose McCrory Service Excellence Award

The Nellie Rose McCrory Service Excellence Award is presented each year to a member of the UWA faculty who has demonstrated distinguished service in the UWA region and beyond, including institutional, professional, community, and general public service that enhances the quality of life of the citizens that the University serves and brings honor and distinction to the University.  This award is accompanied by a plaque and a one-time cash stipend.  The recipient is acknowledged at the December meeting of the Board, the August Faculty/Staff Meeting, and Fall Commencement.

The Distinguished Professorship

The Distinguished Professorship is a limited-term title conferring honor upon a tenured faculty member of full professor rank judged worthy of special recognition for having achieved a high level of distinction in teaching, scholarship/creative activity,  and service, with particular excellence in at least two of the three fields. The faculty member so honored holds the honorary title of Distinguished Professor for a three-year period, and the title appears in all University publications in which the faculty member is listed during that period. The title is accompanied by a salary supplement distributed over the three years during which the professor holds the title of Distinguished Professor. A Distinguished Professor is recognized with a medallion and plaque at the first Commencement after he or she has been selected.   Faculty members are nominated for a Distinguished Professorship by their Department Chairperson, although other faculty may initiate a nomination via the Chairperson.

General Personnel and Student Relations

Official Communication with Students

Insofar as possible, announcements of general interest to students should be sent by email or posted on Blackboard. On occasion, professors may be requested to make announcements in class, but they are not expected to do so unless the request comes from the President, the Provost, or one of the deans.

Other communication with students should be accomplished through email, post or by telephone whenever possible. When these methods fail or when it is not feasible to reach a student in these ways, a professor may be requested to deliver a message to a student in class. If a considerable list of students is involved, professors should be given written notes when feasible. Except in an emergency situation, any request (other than one from the President) for a student to be sent from a class or to be excused from a class should be handled through the office of the student’s dean or through the Office of the Provost. In all situations, including emergencies, an effort should be made to avoid embarrassing a student in the presence of the other class members.

Policy on Procedures for Communicating with Students

Although communicating with students can usually be more easily accomplished through the usual mail channels, there are occasions when a faculty or staff member needs to communicate directly with a student. In these instances, the following procedures should be followed:

  1. The faculty or staff member should check with the Registrar’s Office for the necessary information-class schedule, telephone number, or whatever is needed.
  2. If it appears that the most feasible way to get a message to a student is to ask a professor to deliver the message in class, the faculty member or a staff member from one of the major administrative offices should contact the professor directly, provided the message does not involve the student’s missing a class.
  3. Except in an emergency situation, any requests (other than those from the President) for a student to be sent from a class or to be excused from a class should be handled through the office of the student’s
  4. dean or through the Office of the Provost.
  5. The Office of Student Affairs will assist in locating students when it is not feasible or possible to get in touch with them through their professors or other usual means.
  6. Faculty members are reminded that one of the primary responsibilities of the Director of the Student Development Center is to counsel with students regarding academic problems. In some other instances-especially where absences, missed examinations, and other problems relating to class performance are involved-faculty members may find it best to ask the Director of the Center to assist in getting in touch with a student.

Student Right-to-Know and Campus Security Act

The Student Right-to-Know and Campus Security Act of 1990 (20 U.S.C.A. § 1092g) amends the Higher Education Act by imposing student consumer information requirements on all institutions, and additional requirements on institutions that award athletically-related aid.

The Act also stipulates that all post-secondary institutions will prepare records on crimes reported and arrests made on intoxication and alcohol–related matters. It further requires proactive campus policies and programs on alcohol abuse, the reporting of results of student disciplinary proceeding to alleged victims, notification of how to report a crime and who will respond to the student’s report, campus safety policies and preventive security measures. UWA supports the intent of this act and has taken steps to adhere to its guidelines. Information relative to this requirement is available in the University publications Campus Security Information and Student Right-to-Know Act.

Administrative 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 Director of Student Affairs. Again, in most instances concerns can be resolved through discussion, interaction, and possible intervention on behalf of the 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 ensure that the student is given fair and equitable consideration in any matter which may arise.

Responsibilities Under the “Buckley Amendment”

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (20 U.S.C.A. § 1232g), also known as the “Buckley Amendment,” allows college students access to their official University records and also restricts the circumstances under which a faculty member or other University personnel may provide information about individual students to others. The right of access to official records applies not only to the official academic record, but also to the student files in the Registrar’s Office, placement files, and other official University files on individual students. In general, the only items in these files for which a student’s access is restricted are financial information supplied by his/her parents and letters of recommendation for which the student has specifically signed a waiver of his/her right to review. Faculty members should be aware of the provisions of this law, since certain aspects of it are directly relevant to a professor’s relationship with his/her students.

If a faculty member prepares a letter of recommendation for a student (or former student) for purposes of job placement, graduate school admission, or other similar purposes, the student has the right to examine the letter at any time unless he/she has signed a statement waiving this right in regard to the specific letter. The individual faculty member is responsible for verifying whether or not the student has signed such a waiver (usually on the recommendation form or included with the request). The student also has the right to examine any other documents which a faculty member may place in his/her official files.

University personnel cannot, without the written consent of the student, disclose to others outside the University faculty and staff any information about a student except certain so‑called “directory information.” For purposes of this policy, the University’s staff includes any attorneys employed by the University. Since, under the “Buckley Amendment,” all college students, regardless of age, are considered adults and thus responsible for their own official records and files, this restriction applies even to the release of information to a student’s parents in most instances. In general, this means that a professor should not discuss a student’s grades or performance in a class with anyone outside the University unless the student has provided written authorization. The professor may, of course, verify that a student was enrolled in a particular class during a particular quarter, but little information beyond this is allowable under the law. This restriction does not apply, however, to providing information to other University officials, including other faculty members, who have legitimate educational interests. The Registrar’s Office, for example, can send copies of a student’s official record to faculty and other University officials who need it for counseling and similar purposes, but cannot send transcripts to student organizations or to anyone off the campus except upon the written request of the student.

Student Employees

Student assistants are employed in various departments of the University and are assigned to specific supervisors. As University employees, student assistants are expected to give punctual, efficient, and cooperative performance on the job. Student employees and their supervisors should be aware of the following regulations:

  1. Students must work during their assigned hours and may not change those hours at their convenience.
  2. Students must not use the University telephone system for personal calls.
  3. Students should not be assigned to give tests or to grade major tests and examinations. Qualified student assistants may, with the approval of the department chairperson, check objective daily tests and other similar work, marking the incorrect items, but the score or grade on each paper should be entered only by the instructor.
  4. Students are expected to exercise discretion in carrying out their responsibilities and not to discuss the business of their assigned areas with others outside the department.
  5. Students may not bring children to their work assignments nor socialize with friends during assigned work hours.
  6. Student employees are expected to dress appropriately in accordance with the dress standards established in the departments in which they work. Generally, shorts are not considered appropriate dress, and shoes are required.
  7. Time cards for student employees must be kept accurately by the supervisor, signed by the student and the supervisor, and submitted on schedule.

Work‑Study Students

Most student employees are hired under the College Work‑Study Program, which is one form of financial assistance from federal funds. Work‑Study students are assigned after being interviewed by the department chairperson or department head. The student and the supervisor together develop a work schedule for the student which is satisfactory to both. Supervisors are expected to explain the job requirements and to provide training, counseling, and supervision for the students. A supervisor may dismiss a Work‑Study student from the department if the student’s performance is not satisfactory, but only the Director of Financial Aid can terminate a student from the Work‑Study Program. Any dismissal must be reported to the Director of Financial Aid in writing. (Additional information may be found in the “College Work‑Study Manual,” copies of which are in department and administrative department offices.)

Graduate Assistants

The University of West Alabama provides a limited number of stipends for graduate assistants. Graduate assistantships are authorized only in specific areas, and each graduate assistant is employed to perform specific duties. Except in unusual circumstances, graduate assistants do not teach classes other than physical education activity courses, although some do work as laboratory assistants or in other paraprofessional capacities. Graduate assistants are expected to devote approximately 20 hours per week to their assigned duties. Decisions on the persons to receive graduate assistantships are made by the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies upon recommendation of the chairperson of the department in which the assistant is to work and with the approval of the Provost. In the case of graduate assistants in the athletic program, the Director of Athletics must also approve the graduate assistants’ applications.

School of Graduate Studies

Policies for Graduate Assistantship Administration

Philosophy

Programs of graduate study are designed to transform the individual from student to professional scholar. When a graduate assistantship is well conceived and executed, it should serve as an ideal instrument to help facilitate the desired transformation. The primary goal of an assistantship, then, is to facilitate progress toward the graduate degree. Rather than interfere or conflict with the student’s educational objective, the assistantship should aid in the prompt and successful completion of the degree program. While the student assistant makes progress toward an advanced degree, he/she also receives work experience in a profession under the supervision of a faculty/staff mentor. The graduate assistant is both a student and employee. As a student, the graduate assistant is expected to perform well academically to retain the assistantship. He/she should be counseled and evaluated regularly by the mentor so as to develop professional skills. As an employee, the graduate assistant is expected to meet teaching, coaching, research, and/or administrative obligations. He/she works under the supervision of experienced faculty and/or staff and receives in-service training. In summary, the graduate assistant receives financial support for graduate study by contributing to the teaching, coaching, and/or research mission of the University. The totality of responsibility may be greater than that required of other students or staff members, but the opportunities for professional development also are greater for the graduate assistant.

The graduate assistantship should be used as a recruiting device to attract highly desired students. It can help build confidence in graduate students from diverse backgrounds as it helps them to become better professionals.

Types of Graduate Assistantships

Depending on the needs of academic units, available funds, and the qualifications of the individual graduate student, the following types of assistantships may be offered:

 Academic Assistantship

Academic graduate assistants work with students in a specific course to provide support for the faculty member in charge, and only in unusual circumstances, to teach the course in the absence of the instructor. Academic graduate students can teach academic developmental classes, which are below the 100 level, and 200-level physical education activity courses. Sometimes, graduate assistants help only in laboratory sections of lecture courses. However, in all teaching assignments, the graduate assistant works under the supervision of the department chairperson or another experienced faculty member. In consultation with the supervisor, the graduate assistant works to gain teaching skills and a better grasp of the essentials of the academic discipline.

Athletic Assistantship

A graduate student serving as an assistant coach works with a particular athletic varsity sport and is supervised by full-time coaches. His/her responsibilities are determined by the head varsity coach in the particular sport and the Athletic Director. Athletic graduate assistants cannot teach physical education activity courses.

Research Assistantship

A research assistant normally is employed by the principal investigator of a funded research project. Ideally, the assistant is assigned a range of duties, such as Library research, field work, laboratory experiences, and preparation of reports, so as to gain professional skills to complement his/her graduate program. The student’s work on a research project may lead toward a thesis and provide long‑range direction for the student’s development as a scholar. He/she should be closely supervised by a mentor.

Administrative Assistantship

An administrative assistant works with the administrative staff of the college, department, or administrative unit. The assigned duties should be relevant to his/her degree program.

Qualifications for Appointment

To be eligible for an assistantship, a student should possess an undergraduate degree with substantial work in the field involved in the appointment. He/she should complete the admission process to the School of Graduate Studies and meet all the criteria for appointment as a graduate assistant prior to the appointment. Applicants should be studying for an advanced degree in the field to which they are appointed or in a closely related field in which they have substantial background.

International students who are eligible under federal regulations may apply for an assistantship after they have completed at least one semester of graduate work at the University of West Alabama. Their knowledge of the specific field in which they may work as a graduate assistant and their command of the English language to a degree appropriate to the demands of the assignment should be evaluated thoroughly before an assistantship is awarded. Under no circumstance should an international student be employed as a teaching assistant until he/she has served a period of special apprenticeship.

Appointment Procedures

Graduate assistants are appointed by the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies on the recommendation of the department chairperson or administrative department head, and with the approval of the Provost. The official appointment letter should provide full information on the terms of the assistantship, including:

  1. Title and length of appointment.
  2. Amount of stipend and any other compensation where appropriate.
  3. Maximum student course load.
  4. Description of duties.
  5. Name of supervisor.
  6. Deadline for acceptance.
     

Appointment Criteria

  1. Application for Graduate School received by first Monday of year prior to next academic year.
  2. Application for Graduate Assistantship received by first Monday in April of year prior to next academic year.
  3. G.P.A. of 2.75 on all work attempted and in the Graduate Assistant’s major academic area.
  4. 40 MAT/850 GRE (Verbal and Quantitative) minimum.
     

The Criteria listed in three and four are in accordance with the policy regarding GPA and standardized test scores for unconditional admission to the School of Graduate Studies at the University of West Alabama.

Graduate assistants should meet the GPA and standardized test score minimum for unconditional admission; however, if no applicant meets these requirements, a department may hire a graduate assistant on a temporary basis for one semester, with the understanding that the assistantship may be renewed for an additional semester with the decision being made by the Dean of Graduate Studies and the applicable department chairperson.

After a graduate student has accepted an assistantship, he/she should be notified of orientation meetings and other training opportunities as soon as they are scheduled. Specific departmental policies governing graduate assistants should be given in writing and the assistant should be put in touch with the faculty supervisor prior to assuming the assistantship duties.

Length of Appointment

Graduate assistantship appointments should be made for the academic year so that both the graduate assistant and the department can plan effectively. Occasionally, under special circumstances, an appointment may be made for one semester only. In such cases, an assistant who has performed well in a short‑term appointment should be given priority for reappointment in a subsequent term over an applicant who has not been appointed previously. If a graduate assistant fulfills the conditions for reappointment, he/she should be eligible to continue for a second year while a candidate for the master’s degree.

Conditions of Service

A graduate assistant is expected to progress toward the degree while serving an apprenticeship complementary to that goal. The course load and assistantship responsibilities, thus, should form a totality that facilitates progress rather than hinders it. A graduate assistant should register for a minimum of one three- or four-semester hour course and not more than twelve semester hours of graduate course work during a given term. The specific course load should be determined in consultation with the faculty advisor or major professor. A graduate assistant should maintain a minimum 3.0 grade-point average.

Graduate assistants are not allowed to teach courses carrying graduate credit nor to enroll in the courses in which they are assigned assistantship responsibilities. A fundamental responsibility for a graduate assistant is to work closely with the supervisor in carrying out assigned duties and, at the same time, make progress toward completion of the degree program. If the student’s workload and academic program are properly coordinated, these responsibilities will be compatible. Whether working in a laboratory, classroom, office, or other setting, the graduate assistant is obligated to maintain standards of academic honesty and integrity and to report violations of these to the supervisor. The graduate assistant should keep well informed of departmental, college, and institutional regulations and follow them consistently. The graduate assistant should keep careful records of work assignments so that progress and problems can be fully documented. Since the assistantship is a temporary position, graduate assistants should keep records so that decisions can be traced, results verified, and incomplete work finished after the assistant has left the position.

If problems arise in the work assignment, the graduate assistant should seek help first from the faculty/staff supervisor. Even if the graduate assistant encounters few problems, he/she is responsible for getting the most out of the apprenticeship experience. This means that the graduate assistant, in consultation with the supervisor, should assess the work experience on a continuing basis in order to improve it. The assistant should articulate his/her goals early in the term of appointment and work with the supervisor to achieve them.

Privileges

Graduate assistants should be assigned space and equipment sufficient to carry out their assignments effectively. Graduate assistants should receive priority over other students in University housing, parking, and other privileges. They also should have the benefit of participation in graduate student organizations if they are available. In summary, they should have the privileges of graduate students generally but have additional privileges, as stated above, in recognition of the services they provide as employees of the University.

Rights

The graduate assistant should be notified in writing of all decisions that affect his/her status as an assistant. This includes advance notification of evaluation procedures and a summary of the evaluation. The graduate assistant should be notified of any complaints received by the faculty/staff mentor, department chairperson, or department head concerning his/her performance of duties. The assistant has the right to respond to such complaints and to present evidence in defense if appropriate. The burden of proof should rest with the person making the complaint.

Reappointment

Priority for reappointment should be given to those graduate assistants making progress toward completion of the degree and performing well in their assistantship duties. These criteria should be measured in specific ways announced in advance of re‑application:

  1. Minimum overall grade‑point average for the current academic year of at least 3.0.
  2. Favorable report of the academic advisor.
  3. Formal evaluation by the faculty/staff supervisor overseeing the assistant’s work.
  4. Length of time in an assistantship.
  5. Length of time in the degree program.
  6. Admission to Candidacy.
     

Reappointment is not automatic for graduate assistants. Final decisions are based on departmental needs, financial resources, and previous performance.

Termination of a Graduate Assistantship

A graduate assistantship may be terminated for any of the reasons listed below:

  1. Failure to enroll in the School of Graduate Studies.
  2. Unsatisfactory performance as determined by the chairperson of the academic unit.
  3. Failure to enroll in at least four hours of graduate work.
  4. Failure to maintain a G.P.A. of 3.0 on all graduate work attempted.
  5. Failure to acquire candidacy.
     

Departure of Graduate Assistants

Any graduate assistant who leaves the University of West Alabama by termination, resignation, graduation or for any other cause has certain responsibilities which must be taken care of before his/her departure. These include, where applicable, the following:

  1. Turning in all grades to the Registrar.
  2. Turning in to the Department Chairperson all grade books and other records of individual grades and class attendance.
  3. Leaving with the Department Chairperson all test papers and other graded materials which have been retained in the file for the last three academic terms that the graduate assistant has taught.
  4. Returning to the Department Chairperson any departmental materials or equipment which the graduate assistant may have had in his/her custody.
  5. Returning all library materials to the University’s Library and Curriculum Laboratory.
  6. Turning in all University keys to the Key Control Clerk at the Physical Plant Department.
  7. Clearing any financial obligations to the University.
  8. Providing the Supervisor of Payroll, Insurance, and Personnel with an accurate forwarding address.
     

The departing graduate assistant must complete a Departing Graduate Assistant Clearance Form signed by the Director of the Library, the Key Control Clerk, the Comptroller, the Bookstore Manager, the Director of Dining Services, the Director of Information Technology, the Department Chairperson, and the Supervisor of Payroll, Insurance and Personnel. The form is then sent or brought to the School of Graduate Studies, Bibb Graves 122 (Station 31) for the signature of the Dean of Graduate Studies before the graduate assistant’s final salary check is released. (The Departing Graduate Assistant Clearance Form can be obtained in the Office of Graduate Studies, Bibb Graves 122.)

Sponsoring and Chaperoning Student Organizations and Activities

The extracurricular programs of the University are under the general supervision of the Office of Student Life. Each organization on campus must file a copy of its constitution with the Director of Student Life and must select a faculty/staff sponsor subject to the approval of the Director.

The Sponsor

The sponsor of a student organization is responsible for all social functions scheduled by the organization. The sponsor ensures that all social functions are governed by rules of good behavior and that State laws are adhered to, including laws governing the authorized use of State‑owned property and those prohibiting gambling, the use or possession of alcoholic beverages, the use or possession of firearms, and the use or possession of fireworks in any University building or on the University campus. In addition, the sponsor has other responsibilities, including the fiscal management of the organization, the scheduling of faculty or staff members to chaperone all social events, and an overall commitment to directing, guiding, counseling, and advising the organization as to conduct and individual responsibilities during scheduled events on campus and off.

Chaperones

Faculty and staff personnel who agree to chaperone a student activity on campus must be present for the scheduled event thirty minutes before it begins and must remain until all students have departed. The chaperone must assume general responsibility for discipline and must contact security personnel if a physical disturbance arises. If for any reason a chaperone cannot attend an event as planned, he/she should notify the Director of Student Life.

Field Trips

I. Definitions

The term field trip refers to a journey away from the University of West Alabama campus that involves more than one person and is organized and/or sponsored by a University unit, faculty member, or other authorized personnel. The purposes of the journey must be related to the objectives of an approved activity or program of the University. Field trip specifically excludes all sports-related travel by athletic teams and University personnel. Also, occasions when a class convenes at an alternative location, such as is the case with clinicals, internships, and student teaching, are not considered as field trips. The University assumes no liability for travel related to such occasions. The term trip director refers to the faculty member or the University employee who is in charge of the field trip.

II. Policies

University Responsibility

The University acknowledges its obligation to ensure compliance with all applicable federal and state statutes and all applicable University regulations including, but not limited to, the Handbook for Faculty and Professional Staff and the University of West Alabama student handbook, Tiger Paw. The trip director is responsible for enforcing compliance with University policies by those participating in any field trip. A signed release form is required of all field trip participants. Only a duly licensed University employee of majority age who has been recommended by the trip director and approved by the Director of Physical Plant may operate any state-owned vehicle for the purpose of transporting field trip participants. Drivers must operate vehicles in accordance with all policies as stated on the Request and Authorization for Use of State Motor Pool Vehicle form.

Release Form

Prior to the field trip, each participant of majority age must sign a release form. Minors must obtain the signature of a parent or guardian. Prior to departure, the form must be filed in the office of the department sponsoring the trip. Separate release forms are not required for each trip that an individual takes if an accurately completed form is on file. The head of each department or operating unit that sponsors field trips is responsible for maintaining files of completed forms. The filing of such forms may be a stipulated condition of registration for courses in which field trips are frequently taken (See liability release form in the MyUWA portal under Resources).

Departmental Responsibility

The field trip director is responsible for securing approval of both the department chair and the dean and for notifying the dean of the field trip so that names of participating students can be distributed by Information Technology via email at least one week prior to the trip. The director of the field trip is also responsible for making transportation arrangements and securing release forms from all participants. If State vehicles are used and if special permission for drivers is required, arrangements must be approved by the department chair and dean and confirmed well ahead of time by the Motor Pool Clerk in the Physical Plant Department.

University Services

The Julia Tutwiler Library

The Julia Tutwiler Library houses approximately 315,000 volumes and provides access to over 50,000 journal and newspaper titles in print, microform, or electronic formats. The Library also contains the ERIC microfiche collection of approximately 500,000 documents in education and related fields, an extensive collection of bound journals, the University Archives, and a number of special collections, the most notable of which is the Ruby Pickens Tartt Collection of Regional Folklore. In addition to books and microfiche, the Library collection includes government publications, microfilm, microcards, music scores, recordings, and ephemeral materials of various types.

The Library provides electronic access to full text/full image articles in over 50,000 publications, including scholarly journals, magazine and newspapers, as well as access to news transcript, image collections, and primary source documents.  In addition, the Library provides access to over 120 general purpose and subject-specific databases from multiple providers.  These databases allow users in a broad range of academic disciplines to access appropriate information and materials.  Please visit the Library’s website (http://library.uwa.edu) for more information.

The Curriculum Laboratory

The Curriculum Laboratory, housed in the Campus School and the Julia Tutwiler Library, maintains and circulates a collection of K-12 resources. These materials and services are provided primarily to the College of Education students and faculty, and secondarily to other students, faculty and administration of the University.  Professional guidance is available to students who need to use the collection.

Library Hours

When classes are in session, the Julia Tutwiler Library is open during the following hours:

 

Monday - Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday

7:30 a.m. - 11:00 p.m.
7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
9:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
4:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.

Curriculum Laboratory Hours

When classes are in session, the Curriculum Laboratory is open during the following hours:

 

Monday - Thursday
Friday
Sunday

8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
4:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Between semesters, except when University offices are closed, the Julia Tutwiler Library and Curriculum Laboratory are open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Monday through Friday.

Circulation Policy

Students with valid ID cards may check out non-restricted books for one month. Resources in the Curriculum Laboratory may be checked out for one week.  Faculty and staff members may check out books for one semester, with renewal for two additional semesters. Recordings may be checked out for two weeks.

Reserve Books

A professor may place books and other materials on reserve for the use of students in his/her classes by leaving the materials with the Circulation Librarian, along with the Library Reserve Form, which includes his/her name, course and course number, type of reserve, and instructions on how the material should circulate. Materials are removed from reserve at the end of each semester. If personal copies of books or other materials are placed on reserve, they will be returned to the professor at the end of the semester. Books may be reserved for library use only (may never be taken from the building), overnight use (may be checked out within two hours of closing and returned within one hour of opening the following day), or one day use (may be checked out any time and returned any time during the following day). Higher fines apply for reserve books which are not returned on time than for books in regular circulation.

Alabama Collection

The Alabama Collection includes the rare book collection, books about Alabama, and those written by Alabama authors. Books in the Alabama Collection may be checked out if they are still in print, but out‑of‑print books circulate only by special permission.

Interlibrary Loan

If the UWA Library does not have certain materials needed by a faculty member or student, the Library will attempt to secure the materials through interlibrary loan. Interlibrary loan services for undergraduate students are generally restricted to those materials which can be obtained within the State through the Network of Alabama Academic Libraries (NAAL). Any interlibrary loan request must be made on an Interlibrary Loan Request Form, which must be filled out completely, including information on where the patron found the reference. Interlibrary Loan Request forms can be completed online or in person at the Library.  The person making the request is responsible for all charges that may be incurred, including those for mailing and handling, photocopying, and any other charges, which may be determined by the lending library. The lending library also determines the length of time an item may be kept. Requested articles can be received promptly when lending libraries deliver materials via electronic access including email, ARIEL, and fax.

Research Services

In 1982 the Library affiliated with the Southeastern Library Network, Inc. (SOLINET), an organization which provides, through computerized services, access to information on materials available in a wide variety of libraries throughout the region and in other areas of the country. The holdings of the Julia Tutwiler Library have been entered in the computer data bank with the intent of automating the library services. In 1999, Endeavor’s Voyager Library Automation System was selected to provide electronic, integrated library services to the University. The Voyager System has made it possible for the Library to become a fully automated library, including on-campus access to the Library’s online databases and other services, such as Reserves. With increased automation, the research services available to faculty and students will be even further enhanced.

Library Orientation

Professors are encouraged to bring classes to the Julia Tutwiler Library, when appropriate, for orientation and instruction in the use of library resources. These activities should be scheduled in advance with the Public Services Librarian. The Library staff will conduct the orientation session, emphasizing the library resources relevant to the particular class as requested by the instructor. For practical reasons, it may be necessary to limit the number of students in each group.

Selection of Library Materials

Faculty in each academic department are responsible for recommending library materials to be purchased in support of their subject areas and curriculums. A portion of the funds allotted for library materials is allocated to each department for this purpose. Each department chairperson determines specific procedures to be used in selecting library materials, but the broadest possible input from all faculty is encouraged.

Internet Usage Policy

The Library strives to ensure that students, faculty, and staff at the University of West Alabama have the right and means to free and open access to ideas and information fundamental to and constitutionally protected in our democratic society. The Library will protect intellectual freedom, promote literacy, encourage lifelong learning, and provide library materials and information services supporting open access to information.

Throughout its history, the Library has made information available in a variety of formats, from print to audiovisual materials. In our changing society, libraries can now provide the opportunity to integrate electronic resources from information networks around the world with the more traditionally library-based resources.

The Internet, an information resource, enables the Library to provide information not otherwise available within the limitations of its own collection. It allows access to ideas, information, and commentary from around the globe. The resources available on the Internet are significant, but are designed for a highly diverse user population with highly diverse information needs. The Internet, therefore, is an unregulated medium. As such, while it offers access to a wealth of materials that may be personally, professionally, and culturally enriching to individuals of all ages, it also enables access to some materials that may be erroneous, out-of-date, illegal, offensive, controversial, or sexually explicit.

It is not possible for the Library to review and protect users from all such information. Users must, therefore, exercise their responsibility as discriminating information users by constantly questioning the validity and appropriateness of information available through the Internet, just as they question the appropriateness and validity of printed materials for their research purposes.

Although Internet users should respect the privacy of others and make no attempt to notice what someone else is viewing, it may sometimes be difficult not to see what others are viewing because the computer workstations are located in close proximity to each other, and they are not designed to insure privacy of use. If users want privacy in using the Internet connection, they may make an appointment to use a connection located outside the general public services area.

The Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization (TEACH) Act

On November 2, 2002, the Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization Act (TEACH Act) was signed into law by President George W. Bush. TEACH redefines the terms and conditions on which accredited, nonprofit educational institutions may use copyright protected materials in distance education, including websites and other digital means for delivering distance education, without permission from the copyright owner and without payments of royalties. According to Laura N. Gasaway, Director of the Law Library and Professor of Law at the University of North Carolina, TEACH makes five basic changes in the Copyright Act of 1976:

  1. It expands the categories of works that can be performed in distance education beyond non-dramatic literary and musical works to reasonable and limited portions of other works, with the exception of works produced primarily for the educational market;
  2. It removes the concept of the physical classroom and recognizes that a student should be able to access the digital content of a course wherever he or she has access to a computer;
  3. It allows storage of copyrighted materials on a server to permit asynchronous performances and displays;
  4. It permits institutions to digitize works to use in distance education when digital versions do not already exist and when the digital work is not subject to technological protection measures that prevent its use; and
  5. It clarifies that participants in authorized distance education courses and programs are not liable for infringement for any transient or temporary reproductions that occur through the automatic technical process of digital transmission.
     

The American Library Association (ALA) has engaged Professor Kenneth D. Crews’s of Indiana University School of Law to prepare a document entitled The New Copyright Law for Distance Education: The Meaning and Importance of the Teach Act to help schools and universities develop distance education programs that meet the legal requirements of the TEACH Act. In order to ensure that the University meets these requirements, Dr. Crews’ document has been used in developing the University’s policy in planning and delivering distance education courses. The policy includes institutional requirements, technological requirements, and faculty responsibilities.

Institutional Requirements

The Teach Act requires universities to:

  1. Institute policies regarding copyright in general and policies that specify the standards that faculty must follow when incorporating copyrighted works in distance-learning materials. As published in the Handbook  copyright infringement violates University policy;
  2. Provide information to faculty, staff, and students that accurately describes and promotes compliance with copyright law.
  3. Designate an individual or individuals to make sure faculty and staff adhere to copyright policies. At the University of West Alabama, it is the department head’s responsibility to ensure that all departmental syllabi and websites reflect the University’s copyright policy and that all faculty and staff within the department adhere to it.
     

Technological Requirements

  1. To the extent technologically feasible, the transmission of materials is limited to students enrolled in a course through password-restricted access or other similar measures in order to safeguard against unauthorized use, reproduction and dissemination of information. The TEACH Act specifically requires prevention of misuse through technological means, and not simply through copyright notices and licenses. It is intended to require that access to materials on institutional servers be password protected, but it is not intended to impose general requirements on network security. Similarly, the TEACH Act takes cognizance of the fact that if a student downloads a music or video file to a local computer, that is tantamount to acquiring a copy of the file unless it cannot be accessed in usable form beyond a classroom session. If a student can both access and copy a file, then it can easily be redistributed to others. The TEACH Act requires that this be prevented by technological means;
  2. The University must apply technological measures that reasonably prevent works from being retained by students in an accessible form longer than is necessary for class use and prevent unauthorized redistribution of the work to others in an accessible form;
  3. The University must provide notification to students that relevant materials are protected by copyright;
  4. The material is available to students for a limited period of time. The statute states that information may not be accessible for transmission for longer than the “class session.” The University of West Alabama defines “class session” as the length of time a course is taught.
  5. Once the material has been used for a designated period of time, the content may be placed in storage for future use, provided it is outside the reach of students; and,
  6. The University must review its technological systems to make sure that systems for the delivery of distance education do not interrupt digital rights management codes or other technological measures used by copyright owners to control their works.
     

Faculty Responsibilities

  1. The material must be provided at the direction of or under the supervision of an instructor and must be an integral part of the course curriculum;
  2. Faculty may not distribute textbooks, supplementary texts, course packs, published online content, or any other materials that students normally buy for educational or personal use;
  3. The amount of material provided must be comparable to that typically displayed in a live classroom session. For certain works, the display of the entire work could be consistent with displays made in a live classroom setting, e.g., short poems or essays or photographic images;
  4. Faculty may use performances of non-dramatic literary work, non-dramatic musical works, and performances of all other works, including dramatic and audiovisual works, provided that only “reasonable and limited portions” of such works are performed. In addition, the statute permits the display of any other work, provided that such work is displayed “in an amount comparable to that which is typically displayed in the course of a live classroom session;”
  5. Faculty are required to participate in the planning and oversight of the distance education courses for which they are responsible. Specifically, faculty responsible for a distance education course have the obligation to ensure that the performance or display of protected content is made by them, or at their direction, or under their supervision;
  6. Faculty must provide notification to students that relevant materials are protected by copyright. An example of a notice that might be included in the syllabus is as follows:  Course Website
  7. Because instructional materials on the course website may be copyrighted, students may not download materials on the site to their desktops, laptops or PDAs, or alter or distribute any materials on the course site, unless clearly directed to do so; and,
  8. Faculty may be able to provide electronic access to copyrighted materials under the long-standing principle of “fair use.” The TEACH Act explicitly provides: “Nothing in the act is intended to limit or otherwise to alter the scope of the fair use doctrine.”
     

Exclusions

The TEACH Act does not authorize:

  1. The use of works specifically created for use as distance education products;
  2. The use of works that the instructor knows or has reason to believe are pirated. This could include many copyright-protected films and much music downloaded from the Internet;
  3. The conversion of print or other analog versions of works into digital formats unless:
     

No digital version of the work is available; or the digital version employs technological protection measures that prevent its use; and then conversion is only permitted with respect to the portion of the work authorized to be performed or displayed under the TEACH Act’s size restrictions.

Summary/Conclusions

The Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization (TEACH) Act of 2002 updates the 1976 copyright law to broaden faculty’s legal use of copyrighted materials in online instruction at accredited nonprofit educational institutions. Copyrighted materials affected by this law include, but are not limited to, print, still images, audio recordings, video recordings, diagrams, charts, and graphs.

The law permits the display and performance of virtually all types of works during online instruction without the consent of the copyright owner, provided that:

  • the online instruction is mediated by an instructor;
  • the transmission of the material is intended only for receipt by students enrolled in the course, regardless of where the students are physically located;
  • the institution employs measures to prevent “retention of the work in accessible form by recipients of the transmission…for longer than the class session;” and
  • the institution employs measures that limit the transmission of the material to students enrolled in the particular course and precludes unauthorized students’ retention and/or downstream redistribution “to the extent technologically feasible.”
     

These parameters are not broad enough to allow for entire hard copy textbooks to be digitized, nor will the new law apply to materials that are produced by the copyright owner for online instructional sales. But it does give institutions limited rights to retain the information and provide limited student access for review purposes. The TEACH Act also grants a limited right to digitize portions of an analog work for use in an online course if a digital version is not available.

Institutions that want to take advantage of the TEACH Act must have copyright policies in place and must provide faculty, students, and staff members with information that “describes, and promotes compliance with, the laws of the United States relating to copyright.” The institution also must provide students with a notice that materials may be subject to copyright protection.

The law requires faculty to comply with specific and rigorous limitations when displaying or performing copyrighted works during online instruction.

The law does not equate the use of copyrighted materials in online instruction with the use legally permitted for instruction in a physical classroom; therefore, faculty and institutions should not simply apply copyright law prescribed for classroom instruction to online instruction.

The TEACH Act permits faculty to

  • digitize portions of copyrighted materials for use during online instruction;
  • digitize materials provided they are not already in digital format-otherwise the existing digital version must be used; and
  • store digitized copyrighted materials on a secure server for the duration of the instructional activity.
     

The TEACH Act requires faculty to

  • inform students that
  • the materials are copyrighted;
  • they may not download such materials to their computers;
  • they may not revise the materials; and
  • they may not copy or distribute the materials.
     

Faculty may comply with this requirement by placing a prominent announcement on their syllabus or course website stating that because instructional materials on the site may be copyrighted, students may not download materials on the site to their desktops, laptops or PDAs, or alter or distribute any materials on the course site, unless clearly directed to do so.

  • take reasonable actions to ensure that copyrighted materials covered by the TEACH Act are accessed only by enrolled students, and
  • insist that students use a login and password to access online instructional materials.
     

Dr. Crews’s The New Copyright Law for Distance Education: The Meaning and Importance of the TEACH Act is on file in the Julia Tutwiler Library or it may be down-loaded from the following web addresses: http://www.ala.org/washoff/teach.html or www.copyright.iupui.edu [.] In addition to Dr. Crews’s document, Robby Robson of Eduworks Corporation has published a paper entitled “The TEACH Act and the MPEG Rights: Expression Language.” In this paper, he gives a number of scenarios that might help faculty and staff know whether or not they are following the requirements of the TEACH Act. A copy of the paper is on file in the Julia Tutwiler Library, or it may be downloaded at http://www.eduworks.com [.]

Copyright

U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S. Code) prohibits the unauthorized reproduction or distribution of copyrighted materials, except as permitted by the principle of “fair use.” Users may not copy or distribute electronic materials (including electronic mail, text, images, programs or data) without the explicit permission of the copyright holder, except as permitted by the principle of “fair use.” Any responsibility for the consequences of copyright infringement lies with the user. The Library expressly disclaims any liability or responsibility resulting from such use.

Legal Use of Library Computers

The computer workstations of the Library may only be used for research purposes, with UWA students, faculty, and staff having priority over other users, except for the computers that are dedicated for use as word processors. The staff in charge of the workstations has the right to terminate an Internet session if its use is not research oriented. Moreover, the staff in charge has the right to ask users outside the University community to terminate a session and relinquish the computer to a UWA student, faculty or staff member.

Examples of unacceptable or illegal use of the computer workstations include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • word processing that is done on computers that are not dedicated for this purpose
  • libeling or slandering other users
  • destruction of, or damage to, equipment software or data belonging to the Library
  • disruption or unauthorized monitoring of electronic communications
  • unauthorized copying of copyright protected materials
  • recreational use, including chat lines, that are not for research purposes
  • commercial gain or private profit (other than allowable under University intellectual property policies)
     

Guidelines and Rules for Use of Library Computers

In addition to complying with local rules of use, users are expected to adhere to the policies and procedures established by other networks and facilities not owned by the Library, but which are accessed or traversed while using the Internet. Everyone is a guest of the system and should act with respect and consideration for one another. The following apply:

  1. UWA students, faculty, and staff have priority to the computer workstations, and other users must relinquish the computer five minutes after being asked to do so.
  2. A parent or responsible adult of non-UWA users under the age of eighteen must assume responsibility for what Internet resources are appropriate for his/her child, and the parent or other responsible adult must supervise his/her child’s Internet sessions.
  3. UWA students may reserve time on the Internet computer one day in advance by signing up for thirty-minute blocks. This can be done in person or by phone. If the person who signed up is more than ten minutes late, his or her time is forfeited if someone else is waiting to use the computer. If no one is waiting at the end of the reserved time period, the user may work over, but he or she must relinquish the computer when someone else needs to use it.
  4. During times when no one is signed up to use the computers, patrons may use them on a first-come, first-served basis.
  5. If users are waiting for an Internet session, the Library staff in charge will impose a thirty-minute time limit with UWA students, faculty, and staff having priority over other users.
  6. Users who want privacy in using the Internet may make an appointment to use an Internet connection located outside the public services area.
  7. Users may not install software.
  8. Users may not make any effort to change system performance.
  9. Users may not reboot computers without staff assistance.
  10. Users may not attempt to download software.
  11. When a research project requires the user to communicate with others on the Internet, he/she should observe NET etiquette. Be polite in all communications. Do not send messages that are abusive or contain swearing or vulgarity. Do not type any message in CAPITAL letters as this is considered as shouting at the reader.
  12. The Internet is not a secure environment. Users, therefore, should take precautionary measures before making personal identification data available on the Internet, such as home address, telephone numbers, or credit card numbers.
  13. All users of the Library’s Internet connection agree not to hold the Julia Tutwiler Library responsible for any and all claims, losses, damages, obligations, or liabilities directly or indirectly relating to the use of the Internet or caused thereby or arising therefrom.
     

Sanctions

Illegal acts involving computers in the Julia Tutwiler Library will be dealt with in a serious and appropriate manner. Computer privileges may be jeopardized, and illegal acts may also be subject to prosecution by local, state, and federal authorities.

Additional Information

Other information regarding the Library’s policies, news, and resources can be found via the Internet (library.uwa.edu).

Intellectual Property Policy

Preamble

The University of West Alabama believes in creating an intellectual environment whereby creative efforts and innovations are encouraged and rewarded. Based on this assumption, the University of West Alabama supports the development, production, and dissemination of intellectual property by its faculty, staff and students.

What is Intellectual Property?

 

Intellectual Property is a form of property that includes copyrights and patents.

 

Copyrights shall be understood to mean “that bundle of rights that protect original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.” Works of authorship include, but are not limited to, literary works; musical works including any accompanying words; dramatic works including any accompanying music; pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works (photographs, prints, diagrams, models, and technical drawings); motion pictures and other audiovisual works; sound recordings; and architectural work. Tangible media include, but are not limited to, books, periodicals, manuscripts, phonorecords, films, tapes, and disks.

Patent shall be understood to mean “that bundle of rights that protect inventions or discoveries which constitute any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof.”

Note: Computer programs fall into a gray area between copyrights and patents. Computer programs that are part of a “new and useful process” may be eligible for patent protection, while programs embodying minimally original expression may be eligible for copyright protection.

Distance learning/technology-based courses are addressed in a separate policy.

 

Who owns the Intellectual Property?

The faculty, staff or student who creates, makes, or originates the Intellectual Property shall have sole and exclusive ownership of the property unless one of the following three situations occurs:

  1. The University expressly directed the faculty, staff or student to create a specific work.
  2. The faculty, staff or student voluntarily transfers the copyright, in whole or in part, to the University.
  3. The University contributed specialized services or facilities to the faculty, staff or student that go beyond what is normally provided. In these cases, a Joint Work Agreement shall be negotiated in writing before the Intellectual Property is created.
     

Who may use the Intellectual Property?

 

Any material created by faculty, staff or student for ordinary teaching use in the classroom or in department programs, while the property of the faculty, staff or student who created it, shall be made available to the University for internal instructional, educational, and administrative purposes. Furthermore, if a faculty or staff member or student transfers copyrights of this material to a publisher, he or she shall provide rights in the agreement for University internal instructional, educational, or administrative purposes.

 

Any other material created and owned jointly between the faculty or staff member or student and the University shall be made available to the University as stipulated in the Joint Work Agreement.

 

How are any funds to be distributed?

  1. Any funds received by faculty, staff or student for the sale of Intellectual Property owned solely by the faculty, staff or student shall be allocated and expended as determined by the faculty, staff or student author or inventor.
  2. Any funds received by the University for the sale of Intellectual Property owned solely by the University shall be allocated as follows: a minimum of 30% to be allocated to the faculty, staff or student author or inventor and the remaining 70% to the University.
  3. Funds received from the sale of Intellectual Property owned jointly by the faculty, staff or student author or inventor and the University shall be allocated and expended in accordance with the Joint Work Agreement negotiated between the two parties at the beginning of the creation of the Intellectual Property.
     

How are emerging issues and disputes resolved?

The Institutional Review Board shall be responsible for overseeing the Intellectual Property policy and for resolving disputes by:

  1. monitoring technological and legislative changes affecting intellectual property policy;
  2. providing recommendations for changes to the current Intellectual Property policy;
  3. deciding disputes over ownership of intellectual property;
  4. resolving competing faculty, staff or student claims to ownership when the parties involved cannot reach an agreement on their own;
  5. reviewing merits of inventions and making recommendations for the management of the invention, including development, patenting, and exploitation.
     

Denials from the Institutional Review Board may be appealed through the University’s General Grievance Procedure.

 

(Approved by the Faculty Senate January 15, 2000; Approved by the Deans’ Council September 28, 2001; Revised December 7, 2012)

Studio 96 Policy

Goals

Studio 96 will provide educational video services to the University community. It will give the highest priority to programming that will serve the broadest audience and the academic goals of the faculty and administration. Studio 96 will serve as a hub for campus telecommunications to provide access to programming sources and to broadcast local programs and interactions. The studio will provide education and training in the use of video technologies to the students, faculty and staff.

Practices

General

Programs broadcast on channel 12 will be the responsibility of the University and overseen by the studio director. To achieve the goals of Studio 96 and to provide equal access, the following standard practices are adopted:

  1. 1. Educational programming will take priority in establishing schedules for broadcast on the closed circuit channels) during normal class schedules and production of local programs.
  2. 2. Classes scheduled in the studio facilities will take precedence in scheduling.
  3. 3. Studio equipment will be used only under the supervision of the director and those designated by the director.
     

Studio 96 will not be able to guarantee requests for services that are not received two weeks in advance of specific needs.

Studio 96 will make every effort to protect intellectual property rights. It will be the responsibility of those requesting services to secure appropriate rights to programs and content. Appropriate documentation will be required before suing copyrighted materials.

Direct costs of programming will be considered to be costs for material or labor that result from the production or broadcasting of a specific program. These costs might include, but are not limited to, expenses for the construction of sets, consumable resources of the studio, and labor of production personnel.

Programming and content of Channel 12 will maintain obligations or restrictions imposed by statute, contract, and industry standards and practices.

The University reserves the right to restrict or refuse service from or access to Studio 96 facilities to any group or individual.

Channel 23

Channel 23 will neither seek nor accept paid advertisements.

Additional restrictions apply to Bulletin Board announcements on Channel 23 and are listed on the announcement request form.

Channel 12

Studio 96 will provide priority access to the Office of Student Life for announcements of general interest. Studio 96 will forward all requests for announcements to the Office of Student Life to avoid duplication and ensure efficient communication on campus.

Studio 96 will seek to develop and produce programming that promotes the mission of the University to be aired on Channel 12.
Student-produced programming of educational and entertainment value will be sought for Channel 12. The closed circuit channel will accept paid advertisements. The hierarchy for scheduling programs will be:

  • Support of classroom instruction
  • Supplemental or enrichment programs
  • Support of the Office of Student Life
  • Campus produced programs
  • Training for students and faculty in video production
  • Entertainment programming
  • Paid programming

 

Hub Functions

Studio 96 will seek to provide technical support and access to information and programs through the resources and technology located in the studio.

Faculty and staff may request off-air taping from both satellite and cable broadcasts for later use in the classroom. Individuals and organizations not affiliated with the University will pay an additional fee for use of the facilities.

Programs received from sources off the campus can be recorded for later viewing or scheduled on the access channels when appropriate.

The studio director will schedule and coordinate the technical aspects of campus interconnectivity provided by the studio equipment.

Arrangements for off-air recording may be made weekdays during normal business hours by contacting Studio 96 by email to dprine@uwa.edu, by phone to (205) 652-3546, or by submitting the Off-Air Recording Request Form through campus mail to UWA Station 22. 

Production Facilities

Classes scheduled to teach production techniques will take priority in scheduling studio facilities.

Studio 96 will provide technical and production support to faculty members in preparing materials for classroom use.

Color studio and on-location television production facilities are available in Studio 96 and from several remote links on campus. Planning and technical assistance are provided by Studio 96 staff. Please make video production requests a minimum of two (2) weeks in advance.

Studio 96 will provide technical and production support, whenever possible, for non-classroom use of the production facilities that supports the mission of the University.

It is not considered the mission of Studio 96 to assist faculty, staff, or students in recording, editing, or otherwise processing materials that are of a personal nature or limited to small group’s interests.

Studio 96 can provide a variety of educational and entertainment media production facilities. Possible applications include:

 

In-class materials for audio, video, and computer
Rebroadcast of programs
Origination of programming for closed circuit and cable channels
Studio and remote video production
Hands-on experience in multi-media

 

 

Studio
Color Television Production Facility
Video and Audio Mixing
Video and Audio Recording
Studio Sets and Lighting
Remote Production Capabilities

Edit Suite
iMovie Video Editing
8 Channel Audio Mixing
Video and Audio Recording
Video Effects
Multi-media Production

 

 

 

 

Receiving and Broadcasting
Cable Television Reception
Broadcast on Computer to Video
Channel 12 (campus closed circuit0
Cable Links to Campus Sites

Computer Video
Digital Editing
Streaming Video
Video Capture and Digitizing

 

 

 

 

Off-Air Recording Policy

These guidelines were prepared by a negotiating committee of 19 educational users and copyright proprietors on the application of “fair use” provisions of the copyright law to the recording, retention, and use of television programs in classrooms. They were published in the October 14, 1981 Congressional Record, pp. E4750-4752.

  1. The guidelines were developed to apply only to off-air recording by non-profit educational institutions. (They DO NOT apply to non-broadcast programs available from cable or satellite television services, such as ESPN, HBO, C-Span, etc.)
  2. A broadcast program may be recorded off-air simultaneously with broadcast transmission (including simultaneous cable retransmission) and retained by a non-profit educational institution for a period not to exceed the first forty-five consecutive calendar days after date of recording. Upon conclusion of such retention period, all off-air recordings must be erased or destroyed immediately. “Broadcast programs” are television programs transmitted by television stations for receptions by the general public without charge.
  3. Off-air recordings may be used once by individual teachers in the course of relevant teaching activities, and repeated once only when instructional reinforcement is necessary, in classrooms and similar places devoted to instruction within a single building, cluster or campus, as well as in the home of students receiving formalized home instruction during the first ten consecutive school days in the forty-five day calendar day retention period. “School days” are school session days - not counting weekends, holidays, vacations, examination periods, or other scheduled interruptions - within the forty-five calendar day retention period.
  4. Off-air recordings may be made only at the request of and used by individual teachers, and may not be regularly recorded in anticipation of requests. No broadcast program may be recorded off-air more than once at the request of the same teacher, regardless of the number of times the program may be broadcast.
  5. A limited number of copies may be reproduced from each off-air recording to meet legitimate needs of teachers under these guidelines. Each such copy shall be subject to all provisions governing the original recording.
  6. After the first ten consecutive school days, off-air recordings may be used up to the end of the forty-five calendar day retention period only for teacher evaluation purposes and may not be used in the recording institution for student exhibition or any other non-evaluation purpose without authorization.
  7. Off-air recordings need not be used in their entirety, but the recorded programs may not be altered from their original content. Off-air recordings may not be physically or electronically combined or merged to constitute teaching anthologies or compilations.
  8. All copies of off-air recordings must include the copyright notice on the broadcast program as recorded.
  9. Educational institutions are expected to establish appropriate control procedures to maintain the integrity of these guidelines.
     

 

Schedule of Fees

 

 

 

 

Any and all fees may be waived in whole or in part at the discretion of the Studio Director.
 

Service

Video/audio tape editing suite

Analog tape editing

Studio with control room

Computer editing 

Remote video production services

Audio-visual production

University Fee*

see cassette/DVD fees

see cassette/DVD fees

see cassette/DVD fees

see cassette/DVD fees

n/a

n/a

Sumter County

$5.00/hour

$15.00/hour

$15.00/hour

$20.00/hour

$55.00/hour

by arrangement

Other

$20.00/hour

$50.00/hour

$60.00/hour

$80.00/hour

by arrangement

by arrangement

Program and setup for off-air recordings occurring
during normal business hours (Includes 1 video tape cassette/DVD)

 

see cassette/DVD fees

$25.00

$50.00

Programming and setup for off-air recordings occurring
after normal business hours, weekends, and holidays (Includes 1 video tape cassette/DVD)

 

see cassette/DVD fees

$50.00

$75.00

Setup for use of viewing areas
in Wallace Hall or Bibb Graves Hall

 

 

$75.00

$150.00

 

Blank video cassette
S-VHS
Blank DVDE with case

$3.00
$8.00
$6.00

$3.00
$8.00
$6.00

$4.00
$10.00
$7.00

 

 

 

 

Testing Services

A number of standardized tests and other special examinations are available to UWA students. Many of these can be taken on the campus, and arrangements can be made through campus offices for those which are offered only at other locations. Tests include a number which are given on specific scheduled dates and others which may be taken as needed. Tests of a general nature are usually coordinated through the Registrar’s Office or the Student Development Center. Tests specifically related to the programs in professional teacher education, however, are coordinated through the College of Education and the School of Graduate Studies, and those required in the nursing program are administered by the School of Nursing. (The Examination for Registered Nurse Licensure, of course, is administered by the State Board of Nursing in Montgomery after graduation.)  

General Tests Offered on a Regular Basis

The following test of a general nature is offered on regularly scheduled dates (specific information available from the Registrar’s Office):

  1. American College Testing Program (ACT)‑‑a college admissions test; offered on campus on four national testing dates and at other times (residual testing dates) as needed by UWA; required of all UWA freshmen before admission, for diagnostic and placement purposes (the Scholastic Aptitude Test may be substituted).

Special Tests for Counseling and Career Decision‑Making

A variety of other tests designed for special purposes are available through the Student Development Center for counseling and career development purposes. Most of these may be taken on demand, but a student will generally need an appointment for interpretation of the results. Such tests include the following types:

  1. Academic skills-the Learning and Study Strategies Inventory (LASSI), designed to gather information about learning and study practices and attitudes.
  2. Achievement-Tests for Adult Basic Education (TABE), measuring competency levels in basic educational subject areas.
  3. Personality and problem‑solving (used in career planning and in analysis of interpersonal conflicts) -the 16 Personality Factors Profile, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, and the Mooney Problem Checklist.
  4. Career decision-making-the System of Interactive Guidance and Information PLUS (SIGIPLUS) combines computer capabilities with thoroughly researched data bases of occupations, skills, interests, values, and educational programs; updated yearly, using professional information gathering techniques providing critical data about salaries, availability of jobs, and preparation for employment.
     

In addition, students with particular problems or needs may be referred by the Student Development Center to a testing center which provides a more extensive testing program. In such a case, the student is responsible for any charges set by the other institution.

The Student Development Center also provides ongoing instruction for GED test preparation and ACT preparation, as well as information on professional school testing. 

Tests Related to Professional Programs in Teacher Education

Certain tests related to professional programs in teacher education are coordinated through the College of Education and the School of Graduate Studies, and information on testing dates and locations may be obtained from the Office of the Dean of the College of Education. These include the following:

  1. The Alabama Basic Skills Test - required of all students in teacher education programs, except for students in the non‑traditional fifth‑year program; offered four times each year on the campus.
  2. The University of West Alabama undergraduate comprehensive examinations - cover the content of the teaching field(s) and professional education; given at midterm of fall, spring, and summer semesters.
  3. The Graduate Record Examination - an aptitude test and subject area tests, the aptitude test being one of two options in the School of Graduate Studies (see 4); should be taken before beginning graduate study; not offered on campus.
  4. The Miller Analogies Test - one of the two options in the School of Graduate Studies (see 3); offered on the campus on specified dates; should be taken before beginning graduate study.
  5. The University of West Alabama tests for graduate students - offered on campus on specified dates and required of all graduate students; include the Graduate English Proficiency Examination (to be taken during the first semester of residence) and the Comprehensive Examination (offered in the fall, spring, and summer semesters and required just prior to receipt of a master’s degree).

Tests Related to the Nursing Program

Certain achievement tests in nursing, which are provided by the Educational Resources, Inc., are required of students at various points in the program. The cost of these tests is included in the required fees for the semester. Information on these tests-as well as on the registered nurse licensure examination (NCLEX-RN)-is available from the Division of Nursing.

Campus Mail Service

Each academic department and administrative department is assigned a mail station number, and mail service is usually provided to all stations twice each day. Incoming off‑campus mail is delivered to the stations in the morning and outgoing off‑campus mail is carried to the post office in the afternoon. All mail for other campus mail stations should be in envelopes marked “Campus Mail.” Envelopes for this purpose can be secured from the Bookstore.

Each article of outgoing off‑campus mail must bear the department’s return address so that postage can be charged to the correct account. If items are to be sent by registered mail, certified mail, or special delivery, the campus postman should be so instructed. Postage due notices should also be turned over to the postman, who will pay the postage and charge it against the proper account. The amount of postage used by a department or office is calculated on the postage meter and is charged against the appropriate budget at the end of each month.

The campus postman will handle outgoing personal mail for faculty, staff, and students, provided it has the correct postage, but it is against State law to use official envelopes, stationery, or postage for personal mail.

Standard Mail (Bulk)

In order to ensure that all standard (bulk) mailings (200 or more pieces) are sorted and mailed at the lowest possible rate and to ensure that address databases are current, all bulk mailings must be processed through Printing Services, which is equipped with software tired to the U.S. Postal Service.

Departments should contact Printing Services prior to beginning a bulk mail project to ensure that proper graphic and postal standards are met and that the mailing list is current and meets postal regulations.

 

Telephone System

The University of West Alabama’s telephone system operates through a central switchboard located in Webb Hall. When the University is in session, the operator is on duty 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Monday‑Friday. When the University is not in session, the switchboard is open Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m.-12:00 noon and 1:00-5:00 p.m. The switchboard is closed on official University holidays. When the switchboard is closed, all incoming calls are received by the Campus Police Department, which can transfer them to the appropriate extension.

Local Calls

To place a call on campus, one simply dials the extension desired. In most cases, the extension listed in the campus directory is that of the secretary/receptionist, who will connect the caller with his/her party. For a local call off‑campus (Livingston or York exchange), the caller should dial 9,  then dial the full seven‑digit number

Long Distance Calls

The University of West Alabama is connected with the Alabama Tandem Telecommunications Network (ATTNet), and this system should be used for placing all long distance calls for the University, both in State and out of State. To gain access to an ATTNet line, dial 8. If all ATTNet lines are busy at the time, you will hear a “beep.” If you hang up then, you will be placed in a queue and your phone will ring back when a line is free. Once you have gained access to an ATTNet line, if you are calling another Alabama State office or agency on the Network, you should dial only the ATTNet number for that office, which is different from the regular number and can be found in the State directory or gotten from the switchboard operator. If you are calling an Alabama number which is not in the Network or any Out-of-State number, you must-after you have received access to the line-dial 1 + the area code (even for numbers in Alabama) and the seven‑digit phone number.

Long Distance Calls from Off‑Campus

Faculty members and administrators are given telephone calling cards. These cards enable one to place a long distance call regarding University business when he/she is away from the campus. Any calls made on the calling card are billed to the University by the telephone company, and each employee is asked to verify these calls, which are then charged to the individual offices.

The University of West Alabama telephone system, the ATTNet line, and the calling card should be used only for calls relating to University business.

International Calls and Faxes

All international calls and faxes must be placed through the University switchboard.  To place an international call or fax, please have the phone number (including the country code) and destination name ready to give to the switchboard operator. The operator will take this information, place the call, and then connect you.

If placing an international fax, please use a fax machine that has a handset.  Have your items to fax ready and call the switchboard operator from the fax machine.  The switchboard operator will then give you instructions on how to complete your fax transmission.

NOTE:  International calls cannot be placed over the ATTNet System and are charged on a call by call basis.  Your department will be billed by the Business Office for all international call charges.

Secretarial Services

The University of West Alabama provides secretarial/clerical personnel to assist faculty and staff members in the performance of their duties. Secretaries in the academic departments are available for typing tests and examinations, class schedules, course syllabi, official correspondence, and other items directly related to the academic program and to the official duties of faculty members in the department. The department chairperson, who determines priorities for secretarial assistance, supervises the secretary. In the administrative offices, the secretaries perform similar functions related to the official duties of administrative staff members, under the supervision of the department head.

Secretaries are also authorized to prepare other materials for faculty and staff members which are of a professional, rather than a personal, nature-articles for publication, reports of research studies, materials related to advanced study, correspondence with professional organizations, etc. A secretary, however, should complete all jobs directly related to the academic program or the official administrative functions of the office, as determined by the department chairperson or administrative department head, before undertaking this kind of task.

Secretaries are not allowed to use regular working time to prepare materials for a faculty or staff member which are of a personal nature or to perform clerical services for a student or for a person not connected with the University, either with or without pay.

Statement of Policy on Allocation of Employee Time and Equipment Use

The University of West Alabama provides secretarial/clerical personnel and office equipment primarily for the direct support of the academic program and of the official business activities, student affairs, record‑keeping, developmental activities, physical plant maintenance, and other essential functions of the institution. The direct support of these essential functions must be the priority consideration in all allocations of employee time and equipment use. University personnel and equipment, however, may be appropriately utilized in certain instances for the preparation and/or duplication of materials for faculty members and professional personnel, even when not clearly covered by 1 above, provided the materials have value for the overall mission of the University. In any question concerning such utilization of resources, the following guidelines shall apply:

  1. The material must have relevance to the purposes and functions of the University and must be of value to the institution. In any instance when there is a question of the appropriateness of material that a faculty or staff member has requested the secretary to prepare, the department chairperson or department head shall make a determination.
  2. The material must be of a professional, not a personal, nature. Such material may include articles intended for publication in professional journals, reports of research studies, speeches on topics related to the professional competencies of the faculty or staff member, correspondence with professional organizations, and similar items.
  3. The material must not be intended to provide direct remuneration for the faculty or staff member.
  4. The cost of the preparation and/or duplication of the material, in the opinion of the budget administrator, must not be excessive in terms of the funds available in the specific budget category. If necessary, the budget administrator may require the faculty or staff member to defray part of the expenses by providing necessary materials, etc.
  5. The use of equipment and personnel for these purposes must in no way delay, or otherwise interfere with, the performance of functions of a higher priority, as stated in 1 above.
  6. The budget administrator shall determine if a request meets these guidelines and shall give or deny approval in each instance before any resources are utilized.
     

In general, students and others who are not members of the faculty and staff are not authorized to utilize University office equipment and personnel, except that a student may receive such authorization if he/she is (1) an official representative of the University (Student Government Association and similar activities), or (2) a member of a class assigned to use University equipment as part of the requirements of the course (typewriting, business machines, etc.), or (3) a student employee performing assigned duties. In these instances a student must have the authorization of the appropriate budget administrator.

In addition, University office equipment and personnel are not intended for the use of faculty and staff members in the conduct of their personal business which is unrelated to the official concerns of the University.

In support of these principles, budget administrators shall enforce the following guidelines:

  1. Students will not be allowed use of University office equipment except as noted above.
  2. An employee shall not use working time, for which he/she is being paid by the University, to prepare materials for a faculty or staff member which are of a personal nature (not authorized in Sections 1 or 2 above) or to perform any service for a student (except as authorized above) or for a person not connected with the University.
  3. If an employee chooses to provide such services (as, for example, the typing of papers, etc.), either with or without remuneration, he/she shall do so only outside of working hours. Further, working hours shall not be used for the arranging of such services or for the conduct of other personal business.
  4. Any arrangement for providing such services which involves use of University equipment and facilities must have the specific approval of the budget administrator, who shall consider the appropriateness of the services to be performed and shall in no case give approval if to do so might be injurious to the University.
  5. Whenever such an arrangement is made by an employee and authorized by the budget administrator, all materials-carbon, paper, typewriter ribbon, etc., -must be provided by the employee (or by the person for whom the work is being done) without cost to the University. In addition, any other expense which the University may incur in this connection may be charged to the employee.
     

It is anticipated that situations may arise in these areas of concern which are not clearly covered by this statement of policy or that special circumstances may apply in particular instances which would make special interpretations of this policy advisable. In such a case, the matter will be submitted to the Personnel Office for final determination.

Printing Services

The Department of Printing Services, located in Webb Hall, Room 116, is the central location for printing, copying, bulk mail, and graphic design services for the University.

Printing Services provides offset and digital color printing, graphic design, copying, bindery, and bulk mail.  Some of the items offered are letterhead, business cards, books, envelopes, flyers, resumes, certificates, posters, brochures, and tickets.  Estimates are available upon request.  For more information, call 652-3868 or visit our website at http://printing.uwa.edu.

Notary Services

A number of persons on campus, including several in the Financial Affairs Office, are licensed notaries public and can notarize travel forms and other documents for faculty and staff members as necessary.

Computer Services

The Office of Information Technology, located in Webb Hall, provides computer support to all areas of the University. The primary purpose of Information Technology is to provide computer support to the University community. The Information Technology Office also provides University-wide access to the Internet and supports the University computer network.

Information Technology has seven distinct functions: 1) Planning-the department provides assistance to user departments requiring initial or additional computer support. Technical staff members are available for cost studies, form design, file design, equipment requirements, and other needs required to complete a project. 2) Equipment Setup-the department is available to assist in the installation of hardware to be attached to personal computer systems. 3) Analyst and Programming Services-users requiring new systems, additional applications or program maintenance coordinate these activities with the Director. 4) Equipment Maintenance-in most instances, computer equipment attached to the mainframe system is covered by a maintenance contract with the vendor. The department is budgeted each year for the cost of these contracts. 5) Operations-regularly scheduled procedures are processed to generate reports to assist administrators in various functions. A work order system is used as a means of requesting reports that are, by their nature, needed “on demand.” 6) Academic Advisement-the department operates a telephone assistance system during the pre-registration and registration processes. Academic advisors may use this service to reserve classes for individual students as they conduct an advisement session with the student. 7) The department maintains Internet servers to provide users with individual accounts necessary to access Internet resources. Dial-in servers provide access for those users not directly connected to the University network.

With specific written approval, faculty and staff members may use the mainframe computer for personal or institutional research requiring large-scale computing capabilities. Anyone who desires to use the mainframe for research must make a request in writing to the Provost or respective Vice President with the endorsement of his/her dean or department head, stating specifically the nature and purpose of the research project, the nature of the computing functions to be performed, and the projected time frame. In some instances-always when human subjects are involved-the Institutional Effectiveness Committee may be requested to make a recommendation on the project. If the proposal is approved, the Provost or respective Vice President will then clear use of the computer with the Director of Information Technology and authorize the faculty member to make specific arrangements with the Director as necessary.

Any faculty or staff members who wish Network access must complete a request form in the Office of Information Technology. This request establishes a Network account that may be accessed from direct connections to the University network. Internet accounts are removed upon termination of employment.

Network Accounts

Standard Departure from the University
Upon a faculty or staff member formally leaving the University of West Alabama, the account deletion process will be initiated. The faculty or staff member will be given the choice to leave the email account open, or have the email forwarded to another account, for a maximum of thirty (30) days. Regardless of choice, the following tasks will be performed by IT staff immediately:

  • The removal of all security and email group memberships
  • A restriction placed on the email account to allow a maximum of one (1) recipient per message

After the thirty (30) day period, the account will be fully deleted.

* Faculty and staff should back up files, including email, if desired, before formally leaving the University.

Retired Faculty and Staff in Good Standing
Upon retiring from the University in good standing, faculty and staff will be allowed to keep his/her email account if requested.

Death of a Faculty or Staff Member
In the event of the death of a faculty or staff member, the account will be disabled and frozen for a period of thirty (30) days. Access to the information in the account may be authorized, in writing, by the University President. After the thirty (30) days period, the account will be fully deleted.

Termination of a Faculty or Staff Member
In the event a faculty or staff member is terminated, the account will be disabled and frozen for a period of thirty (30) days. Access to the information in the account, for work related purposes, may be authorized, in writing, by the University President. A backup of files and email, for the purpose of giving to the terminated faculty or staff member, may be authorized, in writing, by the University President. After the thirty (30) days period, the account will be fully deleted.

Physical Plant Services

The Director of the Physical Plant is responsible for the University motor pool, the issuance of keys, the receipt of materials shipped to the University, the moving of furniture and other equipment, the cleaning of buildings, the maintenance of the grounds, and all other aspects of the building and maintenance of physical facilities at the University, including those relating to carpentry, painting, air conditioning and other electrical equipment, plumbing, and pest control. Although certain types of maintenance and upkeep services are provided by the Physical Plant on either a scheduled or “as needed” basis without charge to University departments, some kinds of special services performed specifically at the request of an academic department or an administrative office are charged against the division or department at cost. Some examples of the kinds of services for which charges are assessed are minor alterations to buildings assigned to specific departments, the installation of special equipment upon request, and painting that is not routinely scheduled.

In the academic areas the deans serve as liaison persons between the various departments and the Physical Plant Office. They request routine services, approve and forward written requests for services to be charged for, and coordinate with the Physical Plant Office the use of private contractors when necessary.

If possible, requests for services from the Physical Plant should be submitted at least four working days ahead of time, preferably in writing, so that the work can be appropriately scheduled. In the event of an emergency or an urgent situation-for example, a plumbing, heating, or electrical failure-a faculty or staff member should immediately inform the appropriate liaison person (the dean or administrative department head) so that the Physical Plant can be notified and can remedy the problem promptly.

More detailed information can be found in the Physical Plant’s “Service Policies and Procedures Manual,” available in the department and administrative department offices.

UWA Today

The Office of Institutional Advancement publishes an annual magazine, UWA Today, that features news about the University’s alumni, faculty, staff, students, and the UWA community. Faculty and staff are encouraged to submit items of interest about their activities, programs and personal development to the Office of Institutional Advancement for publication. Certain editorial rights may be exercised on any material submitted.

Weather Policy

Inclement weather that might cause risk or danger to students, faculty, or staff may occasionally result in changes to normal University operations, including altering class schedules and even cancellation of classes or events.

Different situations prevail for each individual in threatening weather situations; therefore, students, staff, and faculty members must exercise their best judgment about whether they attend class or report to work. While the University will always take the action that is deemed to be in the best interest of the University community, in the end, the decision when the potential for inclement weather exists and about whether to travel during inclement weather has to be an individual one based on each person’s circumstances.

The President or his/her designee(s) will make a decision about any change in normal University routine as inclement weather circumstances threaten or occur. Actions taken to address inclement weather will include consideration of the University’s mission and the well-being of faculty, staff, students, and property. The National Weather Service and local and state law enforcement and emergency agencies will be consulted as the threat of inclement weather ensues.

Should inclement weather result in classes being canceled or the University is being closed or activities curtailed, an announcement to this effect:

  1. Will be distributed to area radio and television stations,
  2. Will be posted on the University web page (www.uwa.edu) and
  3. Will be posted on the UWA Information Hotline (205/652-3888).
     

Students and parents should consult these outlets for announcements. If no announcement regarding cancellation of classes or curtailment of operation is made, then classes and events will be held as scheduled.

Tornadoes

In the event of a tornado watch-advice that weather conditions are such that tornadoes may develop-the switchboard operator and/or the Campus Police Department seek to ensure that persons in all buildings are notified an alert is in effect, including the expected duration of the alert. If word of the tornado watch is received during normal business hours, the University switchboard operator calls the deans’ offices and the other main offices in each building on campus, and those receiving the calls then notify the departments, other offices, persons responsible for the dormitories, and key persons in all other University facilities. When a faculty member receives notice of a tornado watch during a class, he/she should inform the class and explain to them the designated shelter area to which the class will move in the event a tornado should develop. If the tornado watch occurs after normal business hours, the Campus Police Department and/or the University switchboard will ensure that notice reaches appropriate persons in each dormitory and in all other buildings which are open at the time.

A tornado warning is a report that a tornado has been sighted in the area. In the event of a tornado warning, the sirens on the campus and throughout the town are sounded, and everyone must take shelter immediately in one of the areas which offers the best possible protection from a tornado. If a warning comes during class, the professor should immediately dismiss the class and guide the students to an appropriate shelter. Although some buildings, because of their construction, offer better protection than others, it is usually safest for a person to seek the most sheltered area possible in the building in which he/she is located rather than risk the danger of going outside to reach other buildings. Normally a basement or ground floor corridor is the safest location. In moving to a safer location, everyone should use stairs rather than elevators and should avoid window areas.

The best shelters in the event of a tornado warning are:

  • Bibb Graves Hall-first floor hallway
  • Brock Hall-first floor hallway
  • Wallace Hall-first floor hallway
  • Webb Hall-first floor hallway
  • Student Union Building-basement
  • Moon Hall-hallway
  • Selden Hall-basement
  • Spieth Hall-basement
  • Sisk Hall-first floor hallway
  • Stickney Hall-first floor hallway
     

Areas which should be avoided if at all possible are:

  • Wallace Auditorium
  • Bibb Graves Auditorium
  • Young Cafeteria
  • Foust Hall Gymnasium
  • Pruitt Hall Gymnasium
  • Julia Tutwiler Library
  • Hunt Annex.
     

In the event of a tornado drill, the same procedures shall be followed as for a tornado warning, except that students will not leave the classroom. Instructors will announce to their classes the location to which they would go if the drill were, in fact, a real tornado warning.

A more detailed statement regarding tornado procedures is available in department and administrative department offices.

Solicitations

All direct solicitations or fund-raising events for the support of University programs or activities by a department (faculty or staff member) should have prior clearance from the Vice President for Institutional Advancement by submitting a Fund Raising Request form at least two weeks prior to the drive. University departments that have been granted permission should report all income, citing individual donors with amounts and costs of the drive to the Office of Institutional Advancement for tax purposes.

All direct solicitations or fund-raising events by a student organization should have prior clearance from the Director of Student Life by submitting a memorandum stating the purpose, the projected goal, beginning and ending dates, and the organization’s name and advisor. A new request must be submitted for each new solicitation or fund raising event. The organization should submit a list of individual donors making donations over $100 to the Vice President for Institutional Advancement for tax purposes. After the drive is complete the organization should report the total amount generated to the Director of Student Affairs. Solicitations among only members of an organization are excluded from this policy.

Solicitations on campus by off-campus groups or individuals must have prior approval from the Vice President for Financial Affairs before solicitations may be made.

Donations

All donations, whether cash or gift-in-kind service or product, made to any area of the University, whether deposited into an official University budgeted account or through the UWA Foundation, should be reported to the Office of Institutional Advancement. A separate gift-in-kind form should be prepared with the donor placing the value on the service or product given. This is required by the Internal Revenue Service. Forms can be obtained through the Office of Institutional Advancement. The Office of Institutional Advancement will provide and send the donor a receipt for his/her tax purposes with a letter of acknowledgment and thanks from the University. In the case of memorials or honorariums, an acknowledgment is also sent to the honoree. Reports can be prepared for individual departments on revenue received from private donations made to that area by contacting the Office of Institutional Advancement.

Employees of the University can make a donation to any area of the University by cash or credit card or through payroll deduction. Payroll Deduction forms can be obtained from the Office of Institutional Advancement. Deductions will start on the next pay period following the date of the completed form and must be for a minimum of five dollars a month. At any time the donor wishes to stop such deductions, he/she should contact the Payroll Supervisor in the Financial Affairs Office, who, in turn, will notify the Accounting Specialist and the Operations Manager of such change.

Scheduling Use of Campus Facilities

The use of University facilities by faculty, staff, students, or outside personnel for any purpose must be cleared with the appropriate person. Listed below are various University facilities, with the person who is responsible for scheduling each:

  • Classrooms, laboratories, and other academic facilities-appropriate academic chairperson or dean
  • Bibb Graves Auditorium-Director of Student Life
  • Wallace Hall Auditorium-Director of Student Life
  • Brock Hall Continuing Education Center (Y‑Hall) -Chairperson of Nursing (Persons who have reserved the Y‑Hall and who wish to use the videocassette player and large screen television monitor located there must make arrangements through the Office of Institutional Advancement.)
  • Webb Hall Parlor-President
  • Webb Hall Art Gallery-Director of the Julia Tutwiler Library
  • Webb Hall Conference Room (239) -Director of Institutional Effectiveness
  • Julia Tutwiler Library-Director of the Julia Tutwiler Library
  • Student Union Building-Director of Student Life
  • Private Dining Room-Director of Food Services
  • Pruitt Gymnasium-Director of Athletics and/or Chairperson of the Department of Physical Education and Athletic Training
  • Lake LU-Lake Manager
  • Guest Rooms-Guest rooms are located in the McConnell House and the President’s Home. Permission for use on University related business is granted through the Office of the President on a first-come basis. Each request should be limited to a minimum of three days, unless special permission from the President has been granted that can extend the stay for two weeks. No pets are allowed. Minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  • Civic Center-Any application for one of the University’s twelve yearly “no charge” events must be made through the Office of Institutional Advancement. “No charge” events do not include the cost of set-up and clean-up charged by the City of Livingston. A University Purchase Order should be completed for such charges and attached to the completed application.
  • Bell Conference Center-President
     

The use of some facilities is subject to specific limitations related to such matters as the appropriateness of the proposed event, the cost involved, etc. For example, Bibb Graves Auditorium is available only for programs requiring an audience capacity of more than 280 and/or the special equipment available there. Guidelines regarding the use of a specific facility can be obtained from the person responsible for scheduling it.

Use of Facilities by Outside Groups

An off‑campus group wishing to use University facilities must fill out the form “Application for Use of the University of West Alabama (State Owned) Facilities and Equipment” in the Office of the Vice President for Financial Affairs. Generally, a charge is made for the use of University facilities by groups not connected with the University. Exceptions to this policy may be made by the President or his designee in the case of off‑campus groups which directly support the programs of the University of West Alabama. The same policies also govern the use of University materials and equipment (for example, films and projectors) by off‑campus groups. The person(s) who signs for the room or equipment will be held responsible for its return in the same manner in which it was borrowed.

Scheduling Activities on University Calendars

To avoid conflicts between events and to encourage attendance at worthwhile activities, the University of West Alabama policy requires that no two events (social, athletic, cultural, religious, etc.) open to students generally or to a major segment of the student body may be scheduled at the same time in conflict with each other. This policy applies to all such events held on the campus or within the local area (easy commuting distance), whether sponsored by student organizations, academic departments, administrative offices, the athletic department, or any other campus group, and it also applies to events on campus sponsored by non‑University groups.

All campus events and all other University‑related events must be cleared on the official University calendar, which is kept in the Student Life Office, Webb Hall 311. A person who wishes to schedule an event should first call this office (extension 3581) to determine if the proposed date and time are free. If so, he/she should then get from the Student Life Office a “University of West Alabama Social Calendar Activity/Event Request Form,” complete it, and return it to the office. In some instances, the form must have the approval of the person who is in charge of the specific facility to be used (listed above) before the request will be accepted and approved by the Director of Student Life.

Scheduling on the official University calendar is on a “first come” basis, but in the case of potential conflicts, those involved are encouraged to confer and work out arrangements which are mutually acceptable whenever possible. Events which are not cleared on the University calendar will not be held, regardless of any prior planning which may have been done for them. Exceptions to this policy can be approved only by the President of the University.

Academic Calendar

The Office of the Provost prepares the academic calendar, based on established guidelines. The proposed calendar is then sent to the President for approval, after which it is included in the new General Catalogue and Graduate Catalogue.

University Bulletin Boards

The University provides bulletin boards throughout the campus for the purpose of disseminating information important to members of the University community. Official bulletin boards are located in proximity to various offices and are reserved for official information related to the respective offices. No materials should be posted on these official bulletin boards without the approval of the person in charge.

General bulletin boards-those not assigned to specific offices-are available for posting of important information by faculty, staff, and students, including notices from student organizations and other groups directly related to the University. Since bulletin boards are provided for meaningful communication within the University community, all notices should be relevant to faculty, staff, and/or students and should comply with accepted standards
of good taste.

No announcements from persons or groups not directly related to the University (for example, business establishments or off‑campus organizations) may be posted on any University bulletin boards except those in the Union Building specifically designated for such purposes.

The University of West Alabama regulations prohibit posting anything on the walls, doors, and windows of any building on campus or on any trees, utility poles, traffic signs, or other permanent signs and fixtures. Notices should never be taped, tacked, or stapled anywhere except on appropriate bulletin boards.

Continuing Education Activities

The University of West Alabama provides two general types of continuing education activities for the people of the service area.

Community Service Courses

Continuing education courses in areas of general interest are offered from time to time by the various colleges. These courses, coordinated by the Dean of Educational Outreach, are offered at specified times over a period of one or more weeks and include primarily topics related to hobbies and recreation, self‑improvement, and general skills. Examples of such courses offered in the past are acrylic painting, Asian cooking, aerobic exercises, beginning crocheting, care of house plants, fused glass jewelry, genealogy workshops, protecting your computer, introduction to the microcomputer, and personal income tax.  A specific fee is charged for each course, payable to the University of West Alabama. UWA faculty and staff members or others with special expertise may serve as instructors, with remuneration at a rate agreed upon prior to the beginning of the course.

Sumter County Fine Arts Council

The University of West Alabama supports the Sumter County Fine Arts Council, a local organization which sponsors performances in music, drama, and dance, as well as various types of art exhibits and a special series of programs for the school children of the public and private schools of the county. The University of West Alabama’s contributions to the Council are of three kinds:

  1. Limited funds allocated directly to provide whole or partial payment for one or more special events.
  2. The use of Bibb Graves Auditorium, Webb Hall Art Gallery, and other University facilities for Fine Arts Council events.
  3. Clerical support and computer assistance in such matters as correspondence, public relations, logistical arrangements, etc.
     

Other sources of support for the Fine Arts Council are membership fees, funds from county and municipal agencies, revenues from the Hazardous Waste Tax, contributions from business and industry, and grants from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and other agencies.

In return for the support of the University, the Fine Arts Council admits UWA students to all events on an equal basis with Council members-i.e., generally without charge. The University is represented on the Board of Directors of the Fine Arts Council by several regular members. In addition, the Chairperson of the Faculty Senate and the President of the Student Government Association (or their designated representatives) are ex-officio members of the Board, and the Chairperson of the Department of Fine Arts, the Director of Choral Activities, and the Director of UWA Theatre are members of the Advisory Council.

Faculty and staff members may join the Fine Arts Council at a very reasonable rate through individual or family memberships. Those who contribute a somewhat larger amount are listed on the programs for all events as patrons or sponsors. Membership fees and other contributions to the Council are tax deductible, and members are entitled to free admission to events sponsored by the organization.

Sumter County Nature Trust

The Sumter County Nature Trust at the University of West Alabama was established through a gift from two former faculty members, Doctors Ralph and Margaret Lyon, in order to identify and preserve the natural resources of Sumter County, to inform and educate citizens about our natural resources, and to develop sites for the enjoyment and appreciation of these resources. It is administered by a five‑member Board of Directors appointed by the University of West Alabama Board of Trustees, with a faculty member from the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics as Chairperson.

UWA Tiger Club

The UWA Tiger Club invites membership from all individuals interested in supporting the young men and women who represent the University of West Alabama through the various intercollegiate athletic teams.  The Tiger Club oversees the sale and distribution of season athletic tickets, special athletic fundraising, and private gifts to UWA Athletics.  Although an individual may designate a contribution to a specific program, all unrestricted funds are used to benefit all intercollegiate sports programs at the University.  All payments are deposited through the UWA Foundation.

UWA Rodeo Booster Club

The UWA Rodeo Booster Club invites membership from anyone interested in supporting the UWA Rodeo Team. The Club’s main goals are to supplement the Rodeo Team’s travel budget and to assist with the Collegiate Rodeo, which occurs in the fall each year.