Section 1 - General Personnel Policies

1.1 Personnel Administration is a service activity in which each appointing officer has a role. The authority over the personnel program resides in the Board of Trustees, although the president, as agent of the board, and other officers he/she may designate ("appointing officers") have the authority to make appointments within the approved personnel program. Centralized within the Human Resources office is the responsibility and advisory authority to determine that the philosophy and policies of the personnel program are effectively applied.

1.2 Equal Opportunity. The president and other officers to whom he/she designates authority for personnel actions are responsible for the enthusiastic application of all laws and regulations concerning fair employment practices, equal opportunity, etc., to all matters with respect to recruitment, appointment, assignment, and promotion of university's personnel. Matters of affirmative action are outlined in the "Affirmative Action Program" maintained in the affirmative action office.

1.3 University Responsibilities. The president and other officers to whom he/she designates authority are responsible for administering the university and its property, supervising its operations, assigning and directing its faculty and staff, changing or introducing new operations, methods, or facilities, appointing, assigning, or disciplining faculty and staff members, subject to the guidelines herein set forth, and establishing such procedures which may be needed from time to time. For purposes of this Section 1, "faculty and staff" shall mean an employee covered by Chapter 4 of the Administrative Manual.

1.4 Disciplinary Procedure. The president and other administrators to whom he/she designates authority are responsible for discipline which normally shall be corrective rather than punitive in nature. A typical procedure for disciplinary action will be, depending on the seriousness or frequency of the cause, an oral discussion, a written warning, disciplinary lay-off without pay, and dismissal. All disciplinary actions are subject to the appropriate grievance procedure.

1.5 Personnel Information. All personnel information and files maintained by the Grand Valley State University are the confidential property of the university and are maintained in the Human Resources Office. Faculty and staff members can expect that a right to a reasonable degree of privacy will be honored and that the confidential character of certain personnel data will be respected as such. Generally release of information and/or access to such information should be restricted in accordance with the policies herein set forth. Whenever possible, information released for public purposes shall be in a form which will protect the anonymity of the individual; however, as of October 1979, the Michigan law does require that salary information be available to the public. All personnel information collected shall be pertinent to the needs of the university. Access to personnel files is limited to those persons responsible for personnel and the faculty or staff member's supervisor. Letters of recommendation are the confidential property of the provider. A faculty or staff member will not be given access to letters of recommendation concerning himself/herself unless the provider of such recommendation agrees, in writing, to allow such access. All personnel records will be retained for the length of the faculty or staff member's service and thereafter in compliance with all applicable federal, state and local laws. Temporary records such as insurance claims will be maintained only so long as they have a useful life. Records of terminated faculty and staff members will be maintained for a minimum of seven years and thereafter only those portions having a useful life will be maintained. Information of an official nature for state and federal agencies will be provided to the extent of the matter at hand and within the limits of the law. No anonymous information will be maintained in the files. Records of disciplinary actions will be placed in the personnel files only after the individual has had an opportunity to view a copy. The university will provide prospective employers with title, employment dates, and eligibility for rehire status only, unless additional information is requested by the faculty or staff member or former faculty or staff member. Recommendations by individual supervisors may be made at their own discretion and at their own risk, recognizing that the university may be responsible for the information given.

Personnel files may include, but are not limited to, payroll information and documentation, records of employment actions and documentation, records required by federal, state and local law, employment applications, vitae and resumes, recommendations, interview comments, fringe benefit information, merit and performance evaluation, records and documentation of disciplinary actions, official transcripts of baccalaureate or post baccalaureate degrees and such other information as may be needed from time to time. Other files maintained in accordance with the faculty appointment and evaluation policy and covered by the limitations expressed in that policy may be housed elsewhere.

1.6 Conflict of Interest

1. Employment. Appointment of any relative of a faculty or staff member must be approved by the president in advance of the appointment in order to insure that no conflicts of interest exist. Each appointing officer must insure that no conflicts of interest exist in matters of appointment, retention, promotion, termination, assignment or other conditions of employment for relatives of faculty or staff members within his or her unit.

2. Financial. It shall be the responsibility of the president (or his/her designee) to insure that conflicts of financial interest do not occur, and to take such steps to protect the university as seem to be required. The university respects the rights of its faculty and staff members in their activities outside their employment which are private in nature and which in no way conflict with or reflect upon the university.

3. Political Candidates or Office Holder. The university affirms the rights of its faculty and staff members as citizens to be active in political affairs which do not conflict with the professional standards and ethics of their employment. It shall be the responsibility of the president (or his/her designee) to ensure that conflicts involving professional standards and ethics do not occur with Grand Valley State University faculty and staff members who are political candidates or office holders, and to take such steps to protect the university as may be required.

1.7 Emeritus Appointment. Any retired faculty or staff member of the university who has made a significant contribution to the university through a reasonable period of service is eligible for emeritus status with an emeritus title usually conforming to that held at retirement. The president's recommendation to the Board of Trustees will be made after consultation with the appointing officer, colleagues and vice-president.

Emeriti will be listed in the university catalog, invited to attend meetings, (ex officio, without vote) eligible to use library facilities, receive publications, participate in commencement, and be encouraged to continue an active role in the university. Emeriti will be appointed without compensation.

1.8 Honorary Titles. Persons who are performing significant services to the university may be given an honorary title conforming to the service performed upon recommendation of the president to the Board of Trustees. Honorary faculty and staff will be listed in appropriate publications, may participate in commencement, use library facilities, and will be encouraged to take an active role in the university. They will be appointed without compensation. The duration of an honorary appointment shall coincide with the period of service rendered.

1.9 Verification of Credentials. All advanced degrees recognized by the university must be earned from institutions approved by recognized accrediting bodies. In the case of foreign degrees, a formal evaluation will be made by the appointing officer to determine equivalency with degrees awarded in the United States.

1.10 Obligations of Appointees. As the result of accepting an appointment, the recipient becomes obligated to comply with all policies and regulations of the university applicable to the position including those in effect at the time of appointment and those duly adopted and issued thereafter. This obligation does not contravene the appointee's rights of academic freedom or the express terms and conditions of the appointment. Among such policies are the following:

1. Outside employment. Since faculty and staff members are required to fulfill their responsibilities completely and effectively, any outside employment which a faculty or staff member wishes to undertake must be approved in advance by the appointing officer.

2. Rights in published material, inventions and secret processes. Grand Valley State University seeks to promote the public good through excellence in teaching, active scholarship, and service. In the course of these activities, faculty, staff, and students create Intellectual Property that may be eligible for copyright, patent, and other forms of legal protection. In order to reinforce the fairness of mutual commitment and in the spirit of academic freedom, the University recognizes the rich and varied products of individual scholarship, in all its manifestations, are rightly the property of the Creator except as otherwise defined by this policy. The University also recognizes that Intellectual Property should remain available for the benefit of the entire University community and that the Creators shall not use Intellectual Property in conflict or competition with the University. Therefore, the Grand Valley State University community seeks to establish an environment in which the creation of Intellectual Property is suitably recognized as an academic achievement and in which the benefits of intellectual property to the creators, the university community, and the general public are optimized.

A. Ownership. All Intellectual Property shall be owned by its Creators when such Intellectual Property is not considered 1) work made for hire; 2) expressly assigned or commissioned by the University; 3) grant or contract funded through the University; or 4) to require more than nominal use of University resources. Irrespective of ownership, Creators shall disclose promptly and with full disclosure, in the manner prescribed by the university in order to protect confidentiality of the Intellectual Property, to the Finance and Administration Office any Intellectual Property discovered or created as a result of 1) work made for hire; 2) expressly assigned or commissioned by the University; 3) grant or contract funded through the University; or 4) more than nominal use of University resources. The President or designee by written agreement is authorized to make exceptions to this paragraph.

B. Right to use. In the event the Intellectual Property is owned by the Creator but involved University resources in the discovery or creation of the Intellectual Property, the University will retain a non-exclusive license to use the Intellectual Property within the University provided attribution is given to the Creator(s) of the Intellectual Property. In the event the Creator leaves the employ of the University, the University shall be able to modify the Intellectual Property for use within the University.

C. Commercial Application. Three options for the commercialization of a technology are noted below. The option will be chosen by Creator(s) and the Finance and Administration Office jointly, prior to the expenditure of substantial University resources. The option chosen should be that which best serves the mission of the University, including the objectives of this policy, and which is consistent with the available technology transfer resources of the University.

The following options for commercialization are available:

1. Licensing Third Parties. The University may license or assign Intellectual Property to external entities for further development and commercialization in exchange for a return on resulting revenues. The University and Creator shall divide the return on resulting revenues using one of the two formulas as follows:

A. The University and the Creator divide the gross revenue 70% to the University and 30% to the Creator but the University assumes the expenses related to legal protection, marketing and commercialization and licensing and other transactional expenses related to the Intellectual property; or,

B. The University and the Creator divide the net revenue 50% to the University and 50% to the Creator but the University first recovers its expenses related to legal protection, marketing and commercialization and licensing and other transactional expenses related to the Intellectual property.

If the University decides not to protect or license the Intellectual Property, or subsequently decides to not pursue commercialization of the Intellectual Property it may be reassigned to the Creator(s), upon request, in accordance with option 3 below.

2. Licensing Business Entities in which a Creator holds an ownership or management interest. The University or an affiliated entity may enter into license agreements with business entities in which the Creator holds an ownership interest. The terms may include royalty payment, equity interest, or a combination thereof.

3. Reassignment of ownership to Creator. The University may reassign ownership of Intellectual Property to Creator(s) who elects to market and protect the Intellectual Property. The return to the University for a reassignment of ownership will be ten percent (10%) of the net revenue generated by the Intellectual Property.

D. Definitions.

1. "Creator" shall mean a faculty or staff member who invents, discovers or creates Intellectual Property using University resources.

2. "Intellectual Property" shall mean Academic Works and Technical Works.

3. "Academic Works" shall mean Intellectual Properties that are artistic, scholarly, instructional or entertainment in nature and are not Technical Works. Academic Works include instructional materials, books, journal articles, written reports of research to the extent that they do not contain Technical Works, creative writings, manuscripts, music and art work

4. "Technical Works" shall mean Intellectual Properties that are generally of a scientific, engineering or technical nature such as patentable or unpatentable inventions, devices, machines, processes, methods, invented or manufactured substances, and computer software.

5. "Nominal Use of University Resources" shall mean use that is customary or usual within the faculty, staff and student's appointment and assignment such as the use of an assigned office, computer, computing network, photocopier or similar reproduction device, telephone or similar telecommunication device, and office supplies in the ordinary support of his or her teaching, scholarly activities and service.

3. Oath of Teachers. Before serving in a teaching position, an appointee will have taken and subscribed the following oath or affirmation as required by Act 23 of the Public Acts of 1935:

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States of America and the Constitution of the State of Michigan, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of my position according to the best of my ability."

4. Research Integrity. Research, scholarship and creative activities are central to fulfilling the mission of the University. It is policy of the University that all employees, students, partners and affiliates always perform their roles related to research, scholarship and creative activity with ethical integrity. This requirement reflects a culture publicly committed to developing and fostering the highest standards of professional ethics. Research integrity is demonstrated in the decisions and actions that exemplify our core ethical values.

A. Core Ethical Values: The core ethical values in research related activities, including scholarship and creative performance, include: 1) truthfulness and honesty; 2) nonmaleficence and beneficence; 3) trustworthiness, reliability, confidentiality, respect, and collegiality; and 4) accountability.

1. Intellectual and creative activities require thoroughgoing truthfulness and honesty in proposing, conducting and reporting research related activities, scholarship and artistic performance.

2. Endeavors involving human or animal subjects require balancing non-maleficence with beneficence in minimizing burdens to research subjects in relation to the potential benefits to those subjects and others.

3. Research integrity requires trustworthiness and reliability in recognizing and building on the prior work of others, confidentiality in peer review and assessment, and respect and collegiality in interactions with colleagues and students.

4. The broader community's welfare depends upon explicit researcher accountability for all research, scholarship and creative performance related activities, and for reporting misconduct about which one has direct knowledge.

1.11 Parking. The university provides free open reserved parking as near to the faculty or staff member's work station or office as possible.

1.12 Keys. All faculty and staff members are issued keys and other equipment needed in the performance of their duties. All keys and such equipment must be used only as authorized and must be returned to the university upon termination of employment.

1.13 Identification Cards. Each faculty or staff member will be issued an identification card which must be surrendered upon termination. This card can be used for any purpose, on campus, requiring identification.

Page last modified March 18, 2011