Faculty and Professional Staff Handbook 
    Jun 21, 2024  
Faculty and Professional Staff Handbook

Chapter VI: Professional Staff


Professional Staff Recruitment and Appointment

Hiring and Appointment Process

The University of West Alabama officially prohibits discrimination against individuals on the basis of race, religion, hearing status, personal appearance, color, sex, pregnancy, political affiliation, creed, ethnicity, national origin (including ancestry), citizenship status, physical or mental disability (including perceived disability), age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, veteran or military status, predisposing genetic characteristics, domestic violence victim status, or any other protected category under applicable local, state, or federal law, including protections for those opposing discrimination or participating in any grievance process on campus, with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or other human rights agencies.


The University is committed to the objective of an increased presence of minorities including Native Americans, Hispanics, African Americans, Asian Americans, women, and persons with disabilities at all levels.  Job vacancies are published on the University website and are accessible from the home page. In an effort to increase the number of job applications from minorities, job vacancies, where appropriate, may be posted on national job boards and in trade publications.

The process for hiring employees at the University is:

  • Position must be open, budgeted and approved for hiring by both Vice President for Financial Affairs and Vice President for Administration and Human Resources prior to placing position advertisement on UWA web site or any other employment sites/publications.
  • Job description and position advertisement shall be approved by Human Resources. 
  • Position advertisement must be placed on UWA web site for a minimum of two weeks.  Other advertising venues may be required depending upon the position. Hiring supervisor will facilitate any ad placements with the cost of these ad placements being the responsibility of the hiring department.
  • Application documents must include letter of application, resume, copy of all college transcripts, and a list of at least three current references.  (A background check, where applicable, and official transcripts will be required prior to official employment.)
  • Documents requested for employment application must be sent to an individual designated by the hiring office.
  • A summary of all applicants should be placed on a spread sheet document outlining name, contact information, years of experience in area, most recent position, highest degree completed and any other relevant information.
  • Individual responsible for the hiring process will review the applicant pool and help assign a Search Committee.  The Search Committee shall be approved by Human Resources.
  • All application documents should be received prior to an on-campus interview being scheduled with an applicant.  
  • Applicant's on-campus interview will include, but is not limited to, a session with the Search Committee and hiring supervisor.
  • Search Committee will make its employment recommendation to hiring supervisor, the respective Vice President, and Human Resources for hiring approval.  (Final employment approval is contingent on having Official Transcripts and a satisfactory background check, where necessary.)
  • Applicants not hired will receive a message (email or letter) from the chair of the Search Committee confirming the employment of another candidate. Applicants interviewed on-campus shall also be notified by telephone by the chair of the Search Committee.
  • Once approved, applicant's social security number, official start date, and official starting salary will be provided to the Payroll Supervisor for completion of employment forms. Additionally, in cases of faculty hires, the Salary Option Form with years of longevity and rank are to be provided to the Provost's Office.
  • Applicant hired will then meet with Payroll Supervisor for completion of all employment documents and preparation of personnel file, and with Human Resources for orientation.
  • Following acceptance of position by candidate, hiring supervisor shall coordinate an introduction with the President, Provost (for academic affairs positions), and any other relevant individuals.
  • At the conclusion of the hiring process, every application shall have a Form C attached, and Form G shall be prepared detailing the hiring process. Application materials, including the above forms (including the prepared spreadsheet), shall be delivered to the Provost's Office in cases of faculty hires or delivered to Human Resources in cases of staff hires.


Upon approval of the President, in instances where the decision is made to fill a position internally, such action may be made by direct appointive action without following the normal advertising procedures.

Upon approval of the President, in circumstances where unexpected vacancies occur and leaving them unfilled would prove a detriment to the University, such vacancies may be filled for a period of up to eighteen months without advertising the position. All such positions would be subject to appropriate hiring and advertising procedures when action is taken to fill them on a permanent basis.

Pre-Employment Screenings

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that the University of West Alabama conducts appropriate investigations of all prospective employees by verifying information contained in the application package, and that certain requirements are met before an offer of employment is extended. Pre-employment screenings provide the University with information needed to make the best, most informed hiring decisions.


All candidates who are being considered for full-time employment at the University (and some part-time, temporary, and student assistant positions, depending upon the position and responsibilities), will be subject to the University's pre-employment screening policy before an official offer of employment is extended. At a minimum, these screenings will include a reference check, a criminal history check, and a driving record/license verification. Depending on the particular position sought, prospective employees may be required to undergo additional background screenings, including without limitation: creditworthiness (for positions responsible for handling money and/or those with financial duties), employment verification, education verification (for positions requiring a degree), drug test, and more in-depth criminal background checks, which may include fingerprinting.


In addition to prospective employees, pre-employment screenings may be performed on current employees moving from one position to another within the University if the employee has not undergone such screening in the preceding twelve (12) months.


All such pre-employment screenings will be conducted in accordance with all applicable federal and state laws. The University shall review the results of all pre-employment screenings and shall make a final determination regarding suitability for employment based on the totality of the information. To determine what pre-employment screenings are required for a particular position and to coordinate such screenings, please contact Human Resources.



Staff Orientation

New staff members attend an orientation meeting on their first day of employment. At this meeting, immediate supervisors distribute the Handbook for Faculty and Professional Staff, other informational material, and necessary forms. This orientation meeting includes discussion of the role and scope of the University, the mission statements of the University, the division, and the unit, as well as other topics of concern.

Appointment Letter

Following the search process, immediate supervisors issue an appointment letter outlining the job particulars to the selected candidate. An acceptance letter by the candidate completes the appointment/acceptance process.

Performance Evaluation

The various administrative units conduct scheduled evaluations. Monthly staff members should contact their supervisors concerning instruments and schedules.

Departure of Professional Staff Members

The departing staff member must have a Departing Staff Clearance Form signed by the Director of the Library, the Key Control clerk, the Director of Printing, the Director of Dining Services, the Comptroller, the Bookstore Manager, the Director of Information Technology, Chief of Safety and Security, Head of Department, and the Supervisor of Payrolls, Insurance, and Personnel. The form is then brought to the Business Office and must be received before the staff member's final payroll check is released.

General Grievance Procedure

Except in those circumstances in which specific processes have been established for specific grievances, all staff employees-full-time or part-time-have access to the general grievance procedure of the University. This procedure is as follows:

  1. A staff employee should first consult with his/her immediate supervisor about any grievance, specifying as factually as possible the nature of the grievance and the basis for it. The immediate supervisor may require that the grievance be submitted in written form. The immediate supervisor shall consider the matter and investigate it as appropriate or necessary and, no later than ten working days after the first consultation, advise the employee what action he/she proposes to take. The employee who first takes a grievance to his/her immediate supervisor and is not satisfied with the results may within ten working days then follow the same procedure with his/her department head.
  2. A staff employee not satisfied by the outcome of the above consultation(s) may within ten working days consult the vice president (if applicable) of his/her division in a similar manner. The vice president, after consulting with the department head and otherwise pursuing the matter, shall also advise the staff employee of his/her conclusions no later than ten working days after the vice president's initial consultation with the staff employee.
  3. A staff employee not satisfied by the outcome of the above may within ten working days do one of the following: consult as above with the President of the University, in which case he/she will submit, in writing, a brief summary of the grievance, the factual basis for it, and the outcome of the above consultations; or utilize an ad-hoc committee of three senior staff employees appointed by the Staff Senate Rules Committee, in which case he/she will submit, in writing, a summary of the grievance, the factual basis for the grievance and a release of all pertinent confidential documents, with the results of that process being reported to the President of the University.
  4. The outcome of the consultation will be reviewed by the President, and the decision of the President shall be considered final. The President or the chairperson of the ad-hoc committee shall advise the staff employee of the decision made within twenty additional working days.
  5. All grievances must be processed in writing within 30 days of the event(s) or circumstance(s) that is the basis of the grievance as provided by the Handbook. Any grievance not processed as provided by the Handbook within 30 days of the occurrence of the event(s) or circumstance(s) shall be deemed waived as a failure to exhaust the administrative remedies as provided by the Grievance Procedures established by the Handbook.

It shall be understood that if a particular grievance involves individuals or matters in another division, the department head shall not act but shall submit the matter to the vice president, who shall submit it to the President. The President shall immediately contact the vice president or department head of the staff employee who has filed the grievance and seek a resolution of the matter.

  (June 3, 1996; Rev. March 13, 2006;May 18, 2009)

Staff Personnel Files and Payroll Policies

Personnel File

An official personnel file for each member of the professional staff is maintained in the office of the Vice President for Financial Affairs. This file includes the staff member's application materials, letters of appointment and other contractual agreements, and official documents relating to evaluation, salary, promotion, and related matters.

Enrollment in Academic Courses

A member of the University of West Alabama professional staff or support staff may, with the written permission of his/her supervisor, enroll for a maximum of four semester hours during regular working hours if the supervisor determines that the staff member's absence from duty will not disrupt the work of the unit involved. All time away from work, including time spent in traveling to and from class, is to be made up during the same work week. However, annual leave may be used for this purpose if approved by the supervisor.

A copy of the written approval is to be sent to the appropriate Vice President or the Provost, and any exceptions to this policy must be approved by the appropriate Vice President or Provost.

  (November 21, 2001)

Payroll Policies

The detailed timekeeping records, to be maintained and procedures to be followed by the University of West Alabama personnel, subject to Fair Labor Standards Act, are as follows:

Each department head (budget administrator) will be directly responsible for administering the policies to all employees in his department. All full-time general staff employees must account for the eight-hour day in accordance with these regulations. The procedures are not intended to place the monthly paid employee on a per-hour rate; however, the Wage and Hour Law requires that time worked be certified on an hour unit basis. The monthly paycheck of employees will not be affected, except in the case where leave without pay is entered on the master time sheet. In these cases, a deduction will be made for all hours not worked. Overtime will not be paid to monthly employees. If overtime work is incurred by monthly employees, the department head is responsible for keeping a record of this time and granting compensatory time off to the employee for the overtime worked.

Employees exempt from the provisions of the Wage and Hour Law and paid on a monthly basis will be required to report leave taken and to maintain a Monthly Employee's Master Time Sheet [Form BA-PR-8 (Rev. 1/92)]. Exempt employees will report leave taken by entering the amount on the master time sheet. A check mark should be placed on the master time sheet to indicate the employee is working each day of the work month. This time sheet should be maintained on each employee beginning with the person's anniversary date of employment. Each department head is responsible for verifying the accuracy of hours worked and leave taken.

Salary Payment Schedule

The Business 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 classes are in session or not. Monthly employees may pick up their checks from the Business Office at any time during the last working day of the month.  Employees are also given the option of having their checks direct deposited.

Holidays and Leave Policies

The University grants staff members administrative holidays throughout the year:

  • Five days for Thanksgiving
  • Five working days before Christmas through New Year's Day
  • One day for Martin Luther King's birthday
  • Five days for Spring break
  • One day for Memorial Day
  • One day for July 4th
  • One day for Labor Day

Soon after October 1 of each year, the Business Office distributes the official Holiday Schedule listing the exact dates for administrative and other holidays. All offices, except for Campus Police, will be closed on holidays, and the utilities may be turned off during these periods. Employees should enter AH for administrative holidays on the time sheets and/or annual leave forms. The employee's hire date determines longevity; interrupted service may not be counted toward longevity.

Annual Leave

  Staff members earn annual leave based on longevity. The following chart assigns the number of days employees may take based on their years of service.


    Years of   --------Employee Group--------
    Service   Bi-weekly   Monthly  
  0 through 5 years
After 5 through 10 years
After 10 years
13 days (4 hrs./PP)
16.25 days (5 hrs./PP)
19.5 days (6 hrs./PP)
12 days (8 hrs./PP)
15.75 days (10.5 hrs./PP)
19.5 days (13 hrs./PP)

NOTE: The above leave accrual rate only applies to annual leave; the rate of accrual for sick leave remains the same. In addition, this policy will be applied for continuous service only based on employee's hire date. Interrupted service may not be counted toward longevity**.

Monthly employees working fifteen days or more during their first or last month will earn full benefits for that month. Employees working less than fifteen days in their first or last month will earn no benefits for that month.

General Staff/Executive/Administrative and Professional employees may carry-over unused annual leave at the end of each year and may be reimbursed at seperation from the University for any unused annual leave up to a maximum of sixty working days or 480 hours. This payment is normally included in the employee's last pay check. Monthly employees who terminate their employment on or after the fifteenth day of the month will earn full leave credit for that month. Monthly employees terminating their employment on or before the fourteenth of the month will earn no leave credit for that month. Department heads and supervisors are responsible for scheduling and approving annual leave of their staff members prior to actual absences. It is expected that all accumulated annual leave will be taken at a time that is mutually agreeable to the supervisor and the employee. 

**Annual leave longevity for an administrator who moves from faculty status begins the date on which the person becomes an administrator.

Sick Leave

Staff members accumulate sick leave at the rate of one working day per month. Sick leave may be used only in the case of personal illness or illness within the staff member's immediate family. A 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.