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Faculty Handbook / Section 4: Faculty Employment Policies

Section 4: Faculty Employment Policies

Introduction

The Vice President for Faculty Development and Advancement (FDA) exercises authority over all University policy regarding faculty employment. All faculty employment actions are processed through the Office of Human Resources. The FDA website (http://fda.fsu.edu/) is an excellent resource for information and contacts for faculty members as well as administrators seeking information relevant to faculty. Information pertaining to insurance and retirement benefits may be obtained directly from Human Resources via their website (http://hr.fsu.edu). 

The Office of the Vice President for Faculty Development and Advancement (FDA)

In addition to determining faculty employment policies, the FDA Office provides faculty members with information about University policies, which include but are not limited to: faculty development and sabbaticals; faculty employment and procedures; outside employment; dual compensation; promotion and tenure; faculty assignments; faculty evaluations; faculty recognitions; and political activities. The FDA Office also assists with the facilitation and the operation of the Faculty Governance System, helping implement Faculty Senate academic policies across the entire campus.

The Vice President for Faculty Development and Advancement meets with and advises faculty members concerning interpretation of University and State rules and informal complaints; provides confidential advice to faculty members upon request; advises deans and department chairs concerning faculty employment matters, University rules, precedents, and procedures; and with the advice of the Faculty Senate Steering Committee, provides official interpretations of the Florida State University Constitution.

The Vice President, who also serves as Deputy Provost and is third in order of succession in the administration of the University, gives official rulings on questions of academic protocol and procedural matters for commencement and related formal functions. With the assistance of the Assistant Vice President, the Vice President oversees the development of proposals for new degrees and certificate programs; meets with students who have questions (and complaints) about University policies as implemented by faculty members and deans; receives appeals of students concerning application of University policies by departments and schools and colleges; and by delegation, exercises the Agency-Head authority of the President to make emergency exceptions to Faculty Senate and University academic policies. 

Human Resources (HR)

The Office of Human Resources (HR) also provides services in the recruitment, retention, and development of Administrative and Professional (A&P) and University Support Personnel System (USPS) employees and non-faculty Other Personnel Services (OPS) employees.  The HR website (http://hr.fsu.edu) is an excellent resource for locating information and contacts regarding benefits, as well as OPS, USPS, and A&P compensation, position classifications, grievances, counseling and other HR areas. Contact HR directly when help is needed with these matters. 

Faculty Member Search and Selection Process

[Reference: University Regulation on Faculty Appointments 6C2-4.027; University Constitution, Article VI, Section A; and the FSU Search and Screening Guide.]

The search and selection process is administered by the designated hiring official and, in most cases, includes a selection committee. An excellent resource for hiring officials and selection committees is the Florida State University Search and Screening Guide, which can be located online at http://compliance.hr.fsu.edu/index.cfm?page=searchscreening. This guide sets forth uniform search and screening guidelines, pursuant to federal and state regulations as well as internal University policies and procedures for advertising and recruitment.

The filling of any faculty position is subject to reconsideration whenever it becomes vacant. When a vacancy occurs, or is anticipated, the department chair or hiring supervisor is expected to ascertain from the appropriate authority whether the vacancy may be filled. If approval is granted, the chair must initiate a search for the most qualified candidate for the position. In addition to other recruitment efforts, all vacancies must be posted on the Human Resources website and must include an advertisement deadline.

Departments must secure reliable and detailed information on candidates so that decisions are based on the candidates’ relative merits. The candidates reaching the final stages of the search should be invited to the campus for personal interviews with department faculty and appropriate officials. The department should document its evaluation of the candidates.

When an agreement has been reached regarding the best applicant for the position, a recommendation for appointment should be made by the department chair or other hiring supervisor to the dean or other appropriate administrative officer. Candidates selected for final consideration should be provided with the following information: title and nature of position, salary, type of employment contract, first-year assignment, the mission of the department, instructional load, other duties, and information about FSU. 

Equal Employment Opportunity, Diversity, and Inclusion

The University is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer supporting a culturally diverse educational and work environment. The University is committed to a policy of equal opportunity, non-discrimination, and non-retaliation  for any member of the University community on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, veterans’ or marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or any other protected group status. This policy applies to faculty, staff, students, visitors, applicants, and contractors in a manner consistent with applicable federal, state laws, regulations, ordinances, orders and rules, and University’s policies, procedures, and processes. It addresses all terms and conditions of employment in addition to student life, campus support services and/or academic environment.

The University expressly prohibits unlawful discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, whether in assumption, attitudes, acts, or policies. Conduct that intimidates by threat, brings about adversity, or creates a hostile environment, is contrary to the University's commitment of maintaining a harmonious, high performance work and educational environment. The Office of Equal Opportunity and Compliance (EOC), housed within Human Resources, is charged with facilitating university-wide access and compliance in the areas of equal opportunity, equity, and affirmative action. The University’s Non-Discrimination Policy can be accessed at: http://policies.vpfa.fsu.edu/personnel/3i.html#3.  The President’s Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination statement is disseminated and posted throughout the campus and is located online at: http://www.hr.fsu.edu/PDF/Publications/diversity/EEO_Statement.pdf

At Florida State University, we recognize that every competitive advantage begins with people. The University has taken on initiatives geared toward recruiting, developing, and retaining diverse faculty and staff. By valuing, celebrating and leveraging the differences and similarities of our students, faculty and staff, we inspire an environment of innovation and passion - one that enables us to create a teaching, research and service environment that better reflects the needs of our students, faculty, staff, customers, constituents, communities and other key stakeholders. 

For more information, see the Diversity and Inclusion website at: http://www.hr.fsu.edu/diversity/.

Reasonable Accommodations for Qualified Individuals with Disabilities

Florida State University is committed to a policy ensuring that individuals with disabilities are not discriminated against and that they have equal opportunity and equal access to all the rights and privileges enjoyed by those who are not disabled. Florida State University will comply with all applicable federal and state laws, regulations, ordinances, orders, and rules and will provide, upon request, reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities. For more information about seeking a reasonable accommodation relating to University employment please contact the HR Office of Equal Opportunity and Compliance at 850-645-6519 or go to, http://compliance.hr.fsu.edu/index.cfm?page=accommodations

Appointment Process

Once the hiring decision has been made, and the appointment has been authorized by the appropriate administrative official(s), an offer is extended to the candidate by the dean or other appropriate hiring official. The candidate must be issued an offer letter and an employment contract, which specify the conditions of employment.

Tenure & Tenure Track Faculty

Typically,  9-month tenure track faculty have employment contracts that begin in August for the 39 consecutive weeks that make up the academic year, and are subject to non-renewal unless the faculty member is tenured. Supplemental summer contracts may be offered for all or part of the remainder of the year. Employment contracts for 12-month tenure-track faculty typically begin in August and are also subject to non-renewal unless the faculty member is tenured. (See ‘Non-Renewal’ under Faculty Development section.)

Specialized Faculty

9-month specialized faculty at rank level 1 (teaching faculty I, research faculty I, instructional specialist, assistant in research, assistant librarian and assistant curator) typically have employment contracts that begin in August for the 39 consecutive weeks that make up the academic year, and are subject to non-renewal.  Employment contracts for 12-month specialized faculty at level 1 typically begin in August and are also subject to non-renewal.

9-month specialized faculty at rank level 2 (teaching faculty II, research faculty II, instructional specialist II, associate in research, associate librarian and associate curator) have two-year employment contracts that begin in August, and are subject to non-renewal.

9-month specialized faculty at rank level 3 (teaching faculty III, research faculty III, instructional specialist III, senior research associate, university librarian and curator) have four-year employment contracts that begin in August, and are subject to non-renewal.

Non-tenure track faculty members who chose not to reclassify to a specialized faculty classification are appointed in the same manner as specialized faculty at rank level 1.

The offer of employment for all faculty members is conditioned upon the return to the hiring authority of a duly executed copy of both the offer letter and the employment contract by a specified date. Any offer of employment that offers tenure to the candidate must clearly state that the President’s approval for granting tenure will be reported to the FSU Board of Trustees. For additional information on offer letters and employment contracts, refer to the FDA website at http://fda.fsu.edu/. Refer to ‘Administrative Tools for Deans’ in Blackboard section.

When the offer has been accepted, the completed faculty appointment is processed by the academic dean or director and forwarded to the HR Office. The following supporting documentation should also be submitted to the HR Office: offer letter, faculty contract, and a current vita with a date stamp indicating the date the vita was received. The date stamp on the vita should reflect a date that is prior to the application deadline to verify that the faculty member applied before the deadline. Other supporting documentation must include an official transcript, sent directly from the registrar of the degree-granting institution, three letters of recommendation, and the Affirmative Action Form AA186. Spoken English Competency must be certified for teaching faculty members. In addition, with appointment documents for non-citizens, two copies of the appropriate valid employment authorization are required to process the appointment papers.

For additional information regarding the employment of non-United States citizens, refer to the immigration process outlined on the FDA website at http://fda.fsu.edu/Appointments. Any forms outlined above can be located on the FDA website at: http://fda.fsu.edu/.

All faculty positions must be assigned a title, a job code, and an employee class, which defines certain conditions of an appointment. Faculty members hold nine-month (academic year contract), 12-month (annual contract), 24-month (multi-year appointment for level 2 specialized faculty, 48-month (multi-year appointment for level 3 specialized faculty) or 10-month (FSUS faculty; see FSUS-UFF Agreement) type appointments. The following are descriptions of employee classes:

Acting: This employee class applies to an appointment for a limited time to fill a vacancy that occurs in a faculty position to which primarily administrative duties have been assigned. The appointee may or may not receive compensation for the additional or replacement duties. The appointment time will not be counted as tenure-earning service unless the University notifies the employee in writing otherwise at the time of appointment.

Adjunct: This employee class applies to temporary appointments extended to persons of satisfactory professional qualifications who perform temporary teaching, research, or other functions in connection with established programs. Such persons are appointed for one academic term at a time, are normally compensated on a per-course or per-activity basis, and are compensated from Other Personal Services (OPS) funds. Adjuncts may not be employed for more than 50 percent FTE throughout a year (fall semester through summer semester) or full-time for more than 26 weeks of a year, unless approved by the president or president’s designee on an individual basis due to special circumstances. Time spent in such an appointment shall not be counted as tenure-earning service. The “Visiting-in-Lieu-of Adjunct” class is used for those persons who teach graduate level courses, as long as they have been granted Graduate Teaching status.

Affiliate: This employee class applies to those situations where a faculty member appointed in one department or unit participates in some functions of other departments or units. Compensation is not provided with this appointment.

Clinical: This employee class may be used in conjunction with those professional positions involved in teaching, research, or extension functions in a hospital or other clinical environment in connection with established programs. The University shall notify the appointee in writing of the tenure-earning status of the position at the time of appointment.

Courtesy: This employee class applies to those appointments to a department which do not include compensation, but which may include special privileges such as voting in departmental affairs, and are made in accordance with normal faculty qualifications. Persons appointed with this status may or may not be otherwise affiliated with the University.

Emerita/Emeritus: This employee class may be conferred on a tenured faculty member, as Professor Emerita/Emeritus, or on a faculty member completing service as dean in one of the university-wide deanships in the Division of Academic Affairs as Dean Emerita/Emeritus. This employee class is an honorary title in recognition of distinguished service to the University.

Honorary: This employee class applies to those appointments extended to individuals having distinction and honor in their fields, but who do not possess the normal requirements for the position. Compensation is not provided with such an appointment.

Joint College: This employee class applies to the appointment of a faculty member to a college or similar unit administered jointly by more than one University. Although appointed and employed by only one of the participating universities, each faculty member so designated is considered a faculty member of the other participating universities for purposes of carrying out the teaching, research, and service responsibilities of the college or similar unit.

Provisional: This employee class applies to the appointment of a person who is not fully qualified, according to the class specifications, but who is expected to acquire such qualifications in a short period of time. The appointment time may or may not be counted as tenure-earning service. The University shall notify the appointee in writing of the tenure-earning status of the position at the time of appointment.

Regular: This employee class identifies a continuing appointment or an original temporary appointment expected by the University to be followed by a continuing appointment. This employee class is not included in the title.

Research: This employee class may be used in those instances where a person holding professional rank is engaged primarily in research. Appointment time may or may not be counted as tenure-earning service. The University shall notify the appointee in writing of the tenure-earning status of the position at the time of appointment.

Visiting: This employee class applies to an appointment extended to a person having appropriate professional qualifications, but who is not expected to be available for more than a limited period of time, or to a position at the University, which is not expected to be available for more than a limited period of time. An employee may not be appointed in this class for more than three years, except in special circumstances as determined by the University. The appointment is not tenure earning, but time in visiting status may count toward tenure once regular status is obtained for applicable job codes. The University shall notify the appointee in writing of the tenure-earning status of the position at the time of appointment. 

Employment of Relatives

Employment of relatives within a single organizational unit is permitted, provided that it does not involve a conflict of interest. A conflict of interest includes, but is not limited to, participation by the relative in making recommendations or decisions specifically affecting the appointment, retention, tenure, work assignments, evaluation, promotion, demotion, or salary of the related person. Prior to the employment of a relative, the University President, or the President’s designee should determine that a conflict of interest will not occur.

When the employment of relatives, including spouses, appears necessary, prior to the appointment, the immediate supervisor, through his or her dean or other appropriate level administrator, must submit to the Vice President for Faculty Development and Advancement a memorandum justifying the proposed appointment so that approval may be sought from the President or the President’s designee. The appointment may be made only after approval has been granted. For non-faculty employees, requests must be submitted to the Assistant Vice President of Human Resources for review. If endorsed, the request will be forwarded to the President or the President’s designee prior to the employment of the relative.

The memorandum justifying the appointment should include an explanation of the administrative arrangement that will be in place to eliminate the direct supervision of one relative by another in matters pertaining to appointment, retention, tenure, work assignments, evaluation, promotion, demotion, and salary.

“Relatives” are defined as those persons related to each other in one of the following ways: spouse, parent, child, brother, sister; or spouse of a child, brother, or sister.

Dual Career Policy

When a faculty candidate has a spouse or partner who also is seeking employment, the University will attempt to make possible the hiring of both individuals, by either seeking to locate an appropriate University position or by referral to local employment opportunities. The hiring authority should take steps in conjunction with the Office of the Provost in these instances. 

Employment of Non-US Citizen

All non-resident aliens are subject to Federal immigration laws, which regulate their employment and their conditions of residence in the United States.  For detailed information regarding employment of non-US citizens, go to: http://fda.fsu.edu/Appointments, and refer to the Immigration Process section.  

Re-employment of Retirees

There are statutory restrictions on re-employment of all employees who retire as members of the Florida Retirement System (FRS) during the first twelve months after retirement. These may be found at Section 121.091, Florida Statutes at http://www.flsenate.gov/Statutes/. It is important that any person being re-employed contact the Human Resources Benefits Office to ensure your eligibility for re-employment.

After 12 months from the month of retirement, persons may be fully employed in any position and continue to receive retirement benefits. 

Orientation

Attending orientation is important to becoming accustomed to the University’s mission, goals, policies and practices. The University offers two types of orientation sessions for newly hired faculty. New Employee Orientation (NEO) for faculty and staff is offered by HR online at http://hr.fsu.edu/content/NEOnline/. NEO covers benefits information, orientation to HR policies and procedures and other information to assist new employees with becoming oriented to FSU. The Benefits Office will conduct early enrollment sessions for those faculty needing insurance coverage effective September 1st. Please check State: The Florida State University Faculty/Staff Bulletin for specific time and place. http://unicomm.fsu.edu/State-Faculty-Staff-Bulletin

The orientation session hosted by the Office of Faculty Development and Advancement takes place annually in August. This orientation is aimed at orienting new faculty members to the mission and goals of the University. The agenda covers information related to employment, such as benefits and retirement information, and key messages from the President, Provost, Vice President for Faculty Development and Advancement and other Vice Presidents. The session stresses the three components of a tenure-track faculty member’s assignment of responsibilities: Teaching, Research or Creative Activity, and Service. The orientation process includes a two-day program, as well as a social and a dinner so that new faculty members can socialize and connect with their peers.

If this orientation is attended, there is no need to attend the orientation hosted by HR. However, if newly hired tenure-track faculty wish to attend the orientation session hosted by HR prior to this session to obtain advanced information, such as information pertaining to benefits, then both orientation sessions should be attended. 

Recruitment of Faculty with Terminal Degrees from FSU

A person with a terminal degree from the University is not eligible to be hired into a regular, tenure-track position, unless that person has been away from campus in other employment for a period of at least five years following receipt of the terminal degree.

The Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs may make exceptions to this policy for affirmative action reasons. Typically, exceptions to this policy will not be granted unless it can be shown that the candidate is a member of an underrepresented group in the department seeking the exception. Before recruiting a candidate who may be eligible for an exception, administrators should consult with the FDA Office regarding whether an exception is likely to be granted. Requests for exceptions must be submitted by the Academic Dean, through the Office of Faculty Development and Advancement, to the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs. 

Faculty Classifications

Appropriate classifications for faculty positions are based on the needs of the department/unit and in accordance with the specifications listed for each classification. To determine the classification of a position or to reclassify a position, refer to the specifications listed on the HR website at the following link: https://hrapps.fsu.edu/class_specs_public/index.cfm?fuseaction=view.faclist.

To reclassify a faculty position, the department/unit must consult with the dean of the college or appropriate administrator. The Office of Faculty Development and Advancement should be consulted to ensure the appropriate steps are taken to finalize the reclassification. Requests to reclassify must be approved by the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Questions regarding faculty classifications should be directed to the Office of Faculty Development and Advancement. 

Dual Compensation 

Definition of Dual Compensation

Dual Compensation is defined as Employment in excess of one (1) full-time equivalent (FTE) established position; or simultaneous payment from two (2) or more categories of state appropriations, i.e. salaries, other personal services (OPS) expenses. This means faculty members may be employed in excess of 1.0 FTE by more than one department within the University, provided such employment meets all of the following conditions:

  • Approval by the Dean or Director of both the primary and secondary employing unit. Approval must be requested and granted prior to the dual compensation appointment and/or the performance of any work with the secondary employer;
  • Involves activities such as teaching courses on a branch campus (e.g., the Panama City Campus), conducting workshops not associated with the employee’s regularly assigned duties, and teaching continuing education courses as well as other activities involving continuing education. [Note: The Dean or Director also has the authority to approve dual compensation under extenuating circumstances that would require immediate secondary employment upon approval];
  • Does not interfere with the regular work of the faculty member for the primary department;
  • Does not result in any conflict of interest between the two activities;
  • Is compensated from OPS, not salary funds;
  • Is offered to qualified faculty members before anyone who is not a faculty member. No faculty member is required to accept a dual compensation appointment.

Compensation for additional duties assigned within the same department continues to be handled through a temporary salary increase (TMP). 

Exception

During the summer term, some dual compensation restrictions do not apply provided that the faculty member’s total compensation is not over the amount that would be received from a 1.00 FTE appointment for the entire summer term (6.5 pay periods). Specifically, dual compensation during the summer may occur within one department, and may encompass activities other than teaching courses at a branch campus, conducting workshops or continuing education. Even though dual compensation is permitted under these conditions, the Dual Compensation Request/Approval form is still required.

Refer to summer instructions for faculty members who teach at the Panama City campus and/or teach for the Center for Academic and Professional Development. (http://fda.fsu.edu/Appointments). 

Procedures and Approval Process

The secondary employing department is responsible for determining if a dual compensation situation exists and initiating and securing the appropriate approval(s) on the Dual Compensation Request/Approval form prior to employing the faculty member (http://fda.fsu.edu/Forms). The following procedures listed must be followed in the order listed.

The secondary employing department must:

  • Initiate and complete the Dual Compensation Request/Approval form;
  • Obtain signature(s) from the secondary employing supervisor/department chair;
  • Obtain the faculty member’s signature;
  • Obtain the signature(s) from the primary employing dean/director/department head and either the Vice President for Faculty Development and Advancement, if primary employment is faculty, or Assistant Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, if primary employment is non-faculty;
  • Obtain the signature(s) from the secondary employing dean/director/department head;
  • Obtain approval from the Office of Sponsored Research Accounting Services if the secondary employment is Contract and Grant funded;
  • Obtain approval from ODL if budget is from ODL.
  • Attach the completed Dual Compensation Request/Approval form to the pPAF and submit to the Office of Faculty Development and Advancement, if secondary employment is faculty, or Human Resources, if secondary employment is non-faculty, for final action and processing. The pPAF is sent to HR. 

Employment Outside the University

For any secondary employment by an employer other than the University, the faculty member should fill out the Faculty Outside Activity Statement form (http://fda.fsu.edu/Forms).

Outside Activity/Conflict of Interest

Outside activity is defined as private or public practice, private consulting, additional teaching or research, or other professional activity, compensated or uncompensated, which is not part of the faculty member’s assigned duties and for which the university has provided no compensation.

A Conflict of Interest is defined as any conflict between the private interests of the faculty member and the public interests of the University, or the State of Florida, including conflicts of interest specified under Florida Statutes, or any activity that interferes with the full performance of the faculty member’s professional or institutional responsibilities or obligations. Conflicts of interest, including those arising from University or outside activities, are prohibited.

Florida State University encourages University faculty and academic staff to undertake outside activities, subject to the conditions stated in this policy on outside activity, which will increase the employee’s professional reputation and service to the community. If an outside activity is undertaken, the faculty member or academic staff member must take reasonable precautions to ensure that the outside employer or other recipient of services understands that the faculty member is engaging in such outside activity as a private citizen and not as an employee, agent, or spokesperson of the University. A faculty member must not engage in any outside activity which the employee may reasonably conclude may create a conflict of interest or which may interfere with the full performance of the faculty member’s academic responsibilities in the classroom and in non-classroom administrative, research, and advising obligations. Before assuming or continuing any outside activity, an Outside Activity form (FSU Form FOA 802) must be completed and approved by the chair/supervisor and dean/director/vice president.

After all necessary approvals have been received, the original of this form must be submitted by the dean/director to the Office of Faculty Development and Advancement.

It is not necessary for employees whose activities are in the nature of offering services, such as private consulting or expert witness appearances, on an intermittent or recurring basis to a variety of individual clients throughout the year to submit a separate form for each occurrence. Instead, a single form giving general information about the nature of the activity may be submitted at the beginning of the year.

If the outside activity extends from one academic year through another, a new outside activity statement must be submitted for each additional academic year involved. 

Florida Statutes, Part III, Chapter 112

Florida Statutes, Part III, Chapter 112, provide that no faculty or staff member shall engage in any outside activity that interferes with the full performance of his or her assigned duties. They further provide that such activities shall not create a conflict of interest, which is defined in Chapter 112.312 to mean a situation in which regard for a private interest tends to lead to disregard of a public duty or interest. The responsibility for complying with these provisions of Florida law is placed upon the faculty or staff member. 

Prohibitions under Chapter 112, Florida Statutes

Unless the conditions cited in the Chapter 112.313(12) exemptions listed below apply, the following activities of faculty and academic staff are prohibited:

  1. No employee may rent, lease, or sell realty, goods or services to any institution of the State University System at which that individual is employed, unless the contract was entered into before October 1, 1975, or before beginning public employment. (Chapter 112.313(3), F.S.)
  2. No employee may have an employment or contractual relationship with a business entity which is doing business with the State University System or any of its institutions. (Chapter 112.313(7), F.S.)
  3. No employee may corruptly use or attempt to use that employment or any property or resource within that employment to secure a privilege, benefit, or exemption for such employee or anyone else. (Chapter 112.313(6), F.S.)
  4. No employee may disclose or use information not available to the general public which was gained because of that employee's position for personal benefit or for the personal benefit of another person or business entity. (Chapter 112.313(8), F.S.)
  5. No faculty member shall require the use of a textbook written by the faculty member without complying with University policy concerning the use of such textbooks. 

Exemptions under Chapter 112.313(12), Florida Statutes

No employee shall be held in violation of Items 1. and 2. above in doing business with the State University System or any of its institutions if any of the following conditions apply:

  1. The business is awarded under a system of sealed, competitive bidding to the lowest or best bidder and: (a) the employee or the employee's spouse or child has in no way participated in the determination of the bid specifications or the determination of the lowest or best bidder; (b) the employee or spouse or child has in no way used or attempted to use his or her influence to persuade the institution or any personnel thereof to enter such a contract other than by the mere submission of the bid; and (c) the employee prior to or at the time of the submission of the bid has filed a statement with the Department of State disclosing the interest of the employee, spouse, or child in and the nature of the intended business.
  2. The purchase or sale is for legal advertising in a newspaper for any utilities service or for passage on a common carrier.
  3. An emergency purchase or contract must be made in order to protect the health, safety, or welfare of the citizens of the state or any political subdivision thereof.
  4. The business entity involved is the only source of supply within the political subdivision of the employee (generally interpreted to be the University) and there is full disclosure by the employee of the employee's interest in the business entity to the University prior to the purchase, rental, sale, leasing, or other business being transacted.
  5. The total amount of the subject transaction does not exceed $500.
  6. The business transaction is specifically approved by the President of the University and is made pursuant to Chapter 1004.23 or 1004.22, F.S. These sections authorize the University to establish and operate a division of sponsored research and obtain and manage patents and copyrights on products resulting from research programs. 

Interference with Performance of Assigned Duties

The determination of whether or not and to what allowable extent a given outside activity of a faculty member interferes with the performance of assigned duties is the responsibility of the person's department chairman or appropriate supervisor, who is expected to apply sound professional judgment based upon standard practice in the particular field or discipline. This determination is made pursuant to the following general provisions of Florida law and University Policy:

  1. No employee shall solicit or accept anything of value that would be influential to the performance of assigned duties or that is based upon an understanding that the official action or judgment of the employee would thereby be influenced. (Chapter 112.313(2), F.S.)
  2. No employee shall have an employment or contractual relationship that will create a continuing or frequently recurring conflict between that employee's private interests and the performance of assigned duties. However this shall not prohibit an employee from having an occupation when that occupation by a person holding such public employment is required by law. (Chapter 112.313(7), F.S.)
  3. In determining the allowable extent to which a teaching faculty member's classroom teaching assignment may be modified by rearranging schedules or providing substitute instructors to accommodate approved outside activities, the approving authority shall take into account not only the standard practice in the field or discipline but also the extent to which the outside activity benefits the program, the institution, and the faculty member as discussed in Section I above.
  4. Any outside activity that involves both an employee and the employee's supervisor in a relationship, such as business relationships, which affects the ability of the supervisor to perform normal supervisory duties relative to that employee is prohibited. 

Use of University Facilities in Outside Activities

Approval of any proposed outside activity which includes an intended use of University facilities, equipment, or personnel may be conditioned upon reimbursement to the University for any additional costs resulting from such use. Outside employment may be approved but use of University facilities, equipment, or personnel denied. If the intended use of University personnel is approved, such personnel may not be compensated by the University for work performed in connection with the outside employment and must obtain approval for such work as outside employment pursuant to University policy. 

Development of Commercially Valuable Products

Normal activities of faculty members at research intensive universities often lead to discoveries which have the potential of being developed into commercially valuable products. Such development is encouraged under University Copyright and Patent policy administered by the Vice President for Research. Faculty and staff members making such discoveries should consult with the Vice President for Research as soon as it becomes apparent that such development is possible. University policy includes the following provisions:

  1. All patentable inventions and technological developments discovered or developed by a faculty or academic staff member while employed by the University shall be disclosed to the Vice President for Research. Disclosure of discoveries or inventions made during the course of approved outside employment may be delayed when necessary to protect the outside employer's interests until the decision has been made whether to seek a patent.
  2. Except for discoveries or inventions made during the course of approved outside employment, a discovery or invention which is made in the field in which the investigator is employed by the University or by using University funds, facilities, materials, equipment, personnel, or proprietary technological information is the property of the University and the inventor shall share in the proceeds therefrom as shall be negotiated with the Vice President for Research and reflected in a written contract between the University and the faculty or staff member.
  3. All discoveries or inventions made outside the field in which the discoverer or inventor is employed by the University and for which the University has provided no support are the private property of the inventor. However, the Vice President for Research, acting for the President, and the inventor may agree that the patent for such discovery and invention be pursued by the University and the proceeds shared.
  4. While a faculty or academic staff member may engage in approved outside employment pursuant to a consulting agreement, requirements that the inventor's or University's rights to any patentable inventions or discoveries which arise during the course of such outside employment be waived must be approved by the Vice President of Research, acting for the President. The faculty or academic staff member who proposes to engage in such outside employment shall furnish a copy of this provision, and a copy of Article 18 of the FSU BOT - UFF Collective Bargaining Agreement if in-unit, to the outside employer prior to or at the time the consulting agreement is executed. 

Financial Disclosure Policy

Faculty members are reminded that they must comply with the financial disclosure provisions of Florida law. The Florida Commission on Ethics publishes a Guide to the Sunshine Amendment and Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees annually. A copy of this document and any information related to financial disclosure may be obtained from the Commission on Ethics, P.O. Drawer 15709, Tallahassee, FL 32317-5709, or by calling 850-488-7864. The “Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees” adopted by the Legislature is found in Chapter 112 (Part III) of the Florida Statutes. 

University Review Committee on Outside Activities

If questions arise concerning the application of any of these standards and guidelines, any employee of the University may seek an advisory opinion from the University Review Committee on Outside Activities. An in-unit faculty member may also file a grievance in accordance with the BOT-UFF Collective Bargaining Agreement,  Section 19.5. This Committee shall consist of five tenured faculty members appointed by the President of the University after consultation with the Faculty Senate Steering Committee and the Vice President for Research. The terms of Committee members shall be determined by the President, who shall designate one member to chair the Committee.

Provision for administrative and staff support for the University Review Committee on Outside Activities shall be made by the Vice President for Research. The following are included in the charge to the Committee:

  1. The Committee shall provide advice and interpretation when requested by a department chairman, dean, or other appropriate supervisor who has received a request to approve an outside activity of a faculty or academic staff member.
  2. The Committee shall provide advice and interpretation when requested by a faculty or academic staff member who is considering requesting approval for an outside activity.
  3. The Committee may consider both hypothetical and real situations.
  4. When a department chairman, dean, or other appropriate supervisor has denied approval for an outside activity on which the Committee has not been consulted previously, the affected faculty or academic staff member may request that the Committee review the action taken. If the Committee concludes that the outside activity could have been approved under these guidelines, it shall consult with the approving authority to seek resolution of the matter. Should satisfactory resolution not be attained, the Committee may recommend to the President that the activity be approved.
  5. When necessary the Committee may seek advisory opinions concerning matters before it from the State of Florida Commission on Ethics.
  6. The Committee shall exercise a continuing overview of the functioning of these standards and guidelines and related University policy. From time to time, when appropriate, it shall report to the President and recommend any modifications to policy that it deems desirable for the best interests of the University. Such recommendations also might include suggestions that the University seek modifications to State Law in this area. 

Benefits

Insurance

Employees hired into salaried positions or full-time OPS (30+ hours) are eligible to participate in the benefit plans offered by the University. Employees must make a decision to either enroll or not enroll in the insurance plans within 60 days from the date of hire or they must wait until the annual open enrollment period. Benefits plans are subject to change but any changes are communicated to all University employees from the HR Benefits Office.

Information outlining eligibility requirements, benefits available and more details are available on the HR website at www.hr.fsu.edu. New FSU employees should attend the online New Employee Orientation (NEO) to obtain further information and sign up for benefits. http://hr.fsu.edu/content/NEOnline/ For additional information or enrollment forms, visit the Benefits section on the HR website www.hr.fsu.edu

The State of Florida Pre-tax Benefits Plan

The State of Florida Pre-tax Benefits Plan allows an employee to pay for benefits from gross earnings before taxes are calculated. Participation in this is automatic. To waive participation, an employee must submit a Pre-tax Premium Waiver form. Eligible pre-tax benefits include: State health insurance, State life insurance, Medical and Dependent Care Reimbursement accounts, and supplemental insurance plans. 

Health Insurance Coverage

The State of Florida provides comprehensive health insurance programs for salaried employees, as well as spouses and children through the State Employee’s Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plan or a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO). These plans provide hospitalization, physician and pharmaceutical coverage. The coverage is effective the first of the month following enrollment and the payment of the first month’s premiums through payroll deduction. The State of Florida pays a portion of the premium. Changes to coverage are not permitted unless there is a “Qualifying Status Change Event” (QSC). These events include, but are not limited to:

  • Marriage or divorce
  • Death of a spouse or child
  • Birth or adoption of a child
  • Employment or termination of the insured or spouse
  • Transfer to a non-eligible employment classification
  • Child(ren) become eligible or ineligible for coverage due to a change in age and/or education status
  • An HMO member moves out of the HMO service area
  • Commencement or return from a medical or unpaid leave of absence
  • Change in status from part-time to full-time for insured or spouse
  • Change in status from full-time to part-time for insured or spouse

Coverage changes must be made within 60 days from the time the event occurs; otherwise, employees must wait until the annual open enrollment period. 

Life Insurance

The State of Florida provides life insurance coverage with a corresponding amount of Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance. A free Basic Life benefit of $25,000 is available to all full-time employees (part-time employees pay prorated premiums based on their FTE). Additional coverage is available for up to seven times an employee’s annual base salary.

Optional life insurance is available through approved carriers. Premiums are paid entirely by the employee at reduced group rates and may be payroll deducted. 

Supplemental Insurance Plans

Supplemental insurance plans are offered to provide coverage for pre-tax insurance plans (dental, vision, hospitalization, intensive care, cancer, short-term disability, and accident) and post-tax benefits (long-term care, long-term disability, and optional life insurance). The employee pays the full supplemental insurance premiums. 

Flexible Spending Accounts

One of the features offered through the Pre-tax Benefits Plan is the option of a Medical Reimbursement Account and/or Dependent Care Account. Contributions to these accounts are on a pre-tax basis and offer reimbursement for dependent care and health related expenses not covered by health insurance.  

Annual State Open Enrollment

Each year, the State of Florida has an open enrollment period. During this period, employees may make changes to their benefits. Such changes include, but are not limited to: electing new coverage, adding or dropping dependents, changing health and supplemental companies, electing to participate in a flexible spending account, or canceling coverage. Enrollments and/or changes made by employees during the open enrollment period will be effective on Jan. 1 of the following year. It is the employee’s responsibility to make the necessary or desired changes during this specific time period. 

Tax Sheltered Annuities (403b) and Deferred Compensation (457)

The University tax sheltered annuity program and the deferred compensation program offer a variety of plans and investment options available under Section 403(b) and 457 of the Internal Revenue Code. Employees may reduce their taxable income by contributing to either or both. Enrollment may occur at any time and all employees may participate. To obtain a current listing of approved companies, visit the Benefits section of the HR website, or contact the Benefits office. 

Roth 403(b)

The Roth 403(b) allows individuals to contribute after-tax dollars to an account in which the earnings will grow tax-free. Withdrawal of earnings will not be taxed if certain requirements are met.  Employees have the option of directing 403(b) contributions to either a regular 403(b) or some combination of the two plans as long as those contributions do not exceed that year’s contribution limits.  For more information, visit the Benefits section of the Human Resources website (www.hr.fsu.edu), or contact the Benefits section at 850-644-4015.

Employee Tuition Scholarship Fund

Salaried full-time employees may be eligible for the Employee Tuition Scholarship. Eligible employees may enroll in academic classes for up to six credit hours of instruction per semester at FSU without having to pay tuition and registration costs. For more information regarding the Employee Tuition Scholarship, visit the HR website. 

Faculty Member Seeking Advanced Degree

No faculty member above the rank of instructor (e.g., assistant professor, associate professor, or professor) may work toward an advanced degree at the University. Exceptions are made when the faculty member already holds the terminal degree in her/his field and wants to pursue another Ph.D. in a different field or pursue a less advanced degree than the degree the faculty member holds (e.g., a faculty member holding a Ph.D. may pursue a Master’s Degree). 

Seminole Savings

This is an employee discount program that offers discounts on products and services at businesses serving our employees’ diverse needs and interests.

Miscellaneous Programs

The University offers several programs available to employees through payroll deduction. These include Florida Pre-paid College Program, Florida College Investment Plan, and membership to the Leach Recreational Center.

Faculty are eligible to purchase an “R” or “RP” decal, authorizing parking only in designated “R” parking areas or in areas specified for “all FSU permits. “ R” parking areas are reserved for the use of the vehicles bearing parking permit “R,” “RP,” “C,” and “E,” between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on all class days, examination periods, semester breaks and registration periods. These areas are delineated by signs and/or red parking lines. Between 4:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. all parked vehicles must bear any valid FSU parking permit or decal and may park in any unreserved parking area without regard to permit designation and may park in general metered spaces without charge.

Florida State University offers the Seminole Express bus service to facilitate easier access on campus for all faculty, staff, and students. Employees are encouraged to take advantage of this free bus system to assist them in their day-to-day movement around campus. For specific routes, please contact the Office of Parking & Transportation or the Star Metro Station. 

Retirement

The University currently provides three active retirement plans for employees: the Florida Retirement System Pension Plan, the Florida Retirement System Investment Plan, and the Optional Retirement Plan. Retirement benefits are paid to employees upon their retirement.

The University makes retirement contributions for all salaried employees, however, there is a 3 percent mandatory contribution by the employee for any of the plans. A brief description of the plans is provided below. These procedures provide a cursory retirement guide for University employees. For additional information, the official Division of Retirement website and guidelines should be consulted www.myfrs.com. The Benefits Section within HR can also answer questions regarding retirement benefits. 

Retirement Programs

  • The Florida Retirement System Pension Plan (FRS) is a defined benefit pension plan sponsored by the State of Florida. Upon completion of six years of creditable service (if you enrolled in the FRS prior to July 1, 2011) or eight years of service (if you enrolled in the FRS on or after July 1, 2011), members are vested in the plan and are eligible to receive a lifetime income benefit upon retirement. The amount received is based on the member’s age, years of creditable service, the value of each year of service, and the average final compensation.
  • The Florida Retirement System Investment Plan is a defined contribution plan sponsored by the State of Florida. Upon completion of one year of creditable service, employees are vested in the plan. The amount of the benefit at retirement is determined by the contributions made by the University and the performance of the investment choices. Contributions are directed into an individual account and the employee decides how to allocate the contributions among various investment funds. This plan does not accept voluntary employee contributions.
  • The Optional Retirement Plan (ORP) is a defined contribution plan sponsored by the State of Florida. Each pay period, the University contributes a percentage of earnings into an investment account with one of the approved provider companies. Employees are immediately vested upon enrollment in this plan. Participants may choose to contribute to their selected investment company in accordance with Internal Revenue Code regulations. 

Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP)

All eligible FRS members of the pension plan may elect to participate in the Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP). The DROP is an alternative method for payout of retirement benefits for up to 60 months after a member retirement eligibility with the University or any FRS employer. The DROP allows a member to have his or her retirement benefits deposited into an interest bearing account, while the member simultaneously continues to work. 

Eligibility Criteria

An employee must be either age 62 (if enrolled in the FRS prior to July 1, 2011) and vested (with at least six years of service under the FRS Pension Plan) or must have completed 30 years of service or must be either age 65 (if enrolled in the FRS on or after July 1, 2011) and vested (with at least eight years of service under the FRS Pension Plan) or must have completed 33 years of service to join the DROP program. If an employee completes 30 years of service (if you enrolled in the FRS prior to July 1, 2011) or 33 years of service (if you enrolled in the FRS on or after July 1, 2011) before age 57, he or she may defer participation in DROP and elect to join at any time between the month he or she completes 30 or 33 years and the month he or she reaches age 57 and still be eligible to participate for five years. If the employee misses that date and wishes to participate, he or she still has 12 months to join DROP, but loses one month of DROP participation for each month he or she delays joining after age 57. The employee would no longer be eligible to participate in DROP starting the month he or she becomes age 58.

Special risk employees (such as police officers) must be either age 55 or must have completed 25 years of service and be vested in the FRS to be eligible to participate.

Length of Participation

The maximum length of participation is 60 months following the date the employee first reaches normal retirement age or satisfies the eligible years of service. If the employee on DROP does not cease all employment with the University or other FRS employers within 60 months of entering DROP, he or she will lose the accumulated funding in the DROP account and retirement is canceled. 

Account Earnings and Payment Options

DROP accounts earn interest compounded monthly at a rate set by the legislature. No interest is earned on benefits on deposit for less than one month.

Payment is received upon termination as either a lump sum, direct rollover, or a combination of a partial lump sum and rollover. Eligible rollover plans include an individual retirement account, an individual retirement annuity, a qualified trust, or an annuity. 

Leave Options

Upon entering the DROP, participants may elect to be paid for unused annual leave up to the lifetime maximum allowed for the class (352 hours for faculty members). Any annual leave hours in excess of the maximum must be used during the five-year DROP period.

Leave payments may be tax sheltered. The employee must arrange for deferment by contacting the annuity company representative and completing a DROP Leave Election form prior to receiving payment.

For additional questions regarding retirement plans and options, contact the Benefits Section of Human Resources, or refer to the HR website at: http://www.hr.fsu.edu/index.cfm?page=FacultyStaff_homepage

Attendance and Leave

Attendance Expectations

Each faculty member is expected to work the number of hours in the faculty member’s established workweek unless on approved leave. However, the professional obligation of each faculty member is comprised of both scheduled and non-scheduled activities. Normally, time is allowed within the normal workday for research, teaching, or the other activities outlined in the faculty member’s assignment of responsibilities.

Members of the teaching faculty are expected to post and honor specific office hours each semester. Office hours should be posted in a conspicuous place. 

Leave Earnings and Usage

The University has various types of leave benefits and programs for salaried faculty members. Leave guidelines are in accordance with applicable University rules and, for in-unit faculty, Article 17 (Leaves) of the BOT-UFF Collective Bargaining Agreement (http://fda.fsu.edu/Collective-Bargaining). 

Sick Leave

Accrual of Sick Leave

Full-time, salaried faculty members earn four hours of sick leave during each biweekly pay period. Part-time, salaried faculty members earn sick leave proportionate to the number of hours they work per week (e.g., if they work 20 hours per week, they earn two hours per pay period). Sick leave is also pro-rated based on the total number of hours in pay status during a less than full biweekly period. There is no limitation on the total number of hours that may be accrued. OPS employees do not earn sick leave. 

Uses of Sick Leave

Sick leave must be earned before being taken. Unused sick leave earned prior to Oct. 1, 1973, must be used prior to any sick leave earned after that date.

A faculty member is authorized to use accrued sick leave if he or she is unable to perform his or her duties, including the performance of classroom teaching or other scheduled activities, for the following reasons:

  • Personal injury or illness
  • Personal appointments with a health care provider
  • Exposure to a contagious disease that would endanger others
  • The injury or illness of a member of the faculty member’s immediate family, at the discretion of the supervisor
  • The death of a member of the faculty member’s immediate family, at the discretion of the supervisor

Immediate family is defined as the spouse, parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, children and grandchildren of both the faculty member and the faculty member’s spouse. Use of reasonable amounts of leave should not be unreasonably withheld.

A continuous period of sick leave commences with the first day of absence and includes all subsequent workdays until the faculty member returns to work. For this purpose, Saturdays, Sundays, and official holidays observed by the University are not counted unless the faculty member is scheduled to work on such days. During any seven-day period, the maximum number of sick leave hours used is 40.

A faculty member needing to use sick leave should notify his or her supervisor as soon as possible. Annual leave may be used after sick leave is exhausted at the discretion of the supervisor.

At the discretion of the President or the president’s designee, medical certification (written verification from the attending physician) may be required if the faculty member’s absence due to disability exceeds four consecutive days, or if a pattern of absences is documented. The faculty member may also be required to submit to a medical examination to be paid by the University. If the examination indicates that the faculty member is unable to perform assigned duties, the President or representative may place the faculty member on compulsory disability leave. Sick leave may be used during any period of compulsory disability leave.

An annual-leave-accruing faculty member who becomes sick while on approved annual leave may, upon notifying the supervisor, substitute the use of accrued sick leave to cover the period of leave from the time he or she became ill. 

Transfer of Sick Leave

Upon re-employment by the University in a leave accruing position within 100 days, all unpaid sick leave shall be restored to the faculty member unless he or she has received a lump sum payment for accrued sick leave. All unused sick leave is restored to the faculty member if he or she repays the full amount of any lump-sum leave payment received.

Faculty members who resign from a Florida governmental entity (state agency, university, community college, county, or city) and is thereafter employed into a leave-accruing position at the University may transfer, upon hiring department’s approval, accrued unused and unpaid sick leave; however, no more than 31 days may elapse between positions.

When a faculty member moves into a different Classification Plan within the University, the transfer of unused sick leave is governed by the rules of the plan to which he or she is transferring.

Upon separation, the transfer of sick leave from the University to a Florida governmental entity shall be governed by the rules of the agency to which the faculty member is transferring. 

Payment for Unused Sick Leave

A faculty member with fewer than 10 years of service or who was hired after May 6, 2011 who separates from employment is not paid for any unused sick leave.

A faculty member hired before May 6, 2011 who separates from employment and has completed 10 or more years of University and/or state service, is compensated at his or her current regular hourly rate of pay for one-eighth of all unused sick leave accrued prior to Oct. 1, 1973, plus one-fourth of all unused sick leave accrued on or after Oct. 1, 1973, provided that one-fourth of the unused sick leave since 1973 does not exceed 480 hours. Leave payouts are not made to faculty members who have been found guilty or have admitted to being guilty of committing, aiding, or abetting any embezzlement, theft, or bribery in connection with state government, or have been found guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction of having violated any State law against or prohibiting strikes by public faculty members, or have been dismissed for cause pursuant to the provisions of Section 110.122, Florida Statutes.

Upon layoff, a faculty member with 10 or more years of state service is paid for unused sick leave as described in the above paragraph, unless the faculty member requests in writing that unused sick leave be retained pending re-employment. For faculty members who are re-employed by the University within 12 calendar months following layoff, all unused sick leave is restored to the faculty member, provided he or she requests such action in writing and repays the full amount of any lump sum leave payments received at the time of layoff. Faculty members who are not re-employed within 12 calendar months following layoff are paid for sick leave in accordance with Section 110.122, Florida Statutes.

All payments for unused sick leave authorized by Section 110.122, Florida Statutes, are made in lump sum and are not used in determining the average final compensation of a faculty member in any state administered retirement system.

Upon the death of a faculty member who has 10 years of creditable state service and who would be eligible for a sick leave payout, sick leave is paid out to his or her beneficiary. 

Sick Leave Pool

Eligible faculty members may participate in the sick leave pool administered by the Office of Human Resources. Additional information may be located at: http://www.hr.fsu.edu/index.cfm?page=FacultyStaff_BenAndPerks_SickLeavePool

Family Medical Leave (FML)

The Office of Human Resources administers Family and Medical Leave procedures for eligible employees in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/benefits-leave/fmla.htm), University Regulations (http://regulations.fsu.edu/Adopted-Regulations) , and applicable collective bargaining agreements.

FMLA provides eligible employees up to twelve (12) weeks of unpaid leave in a twelve (12) month period. To be eligible for FML, an employee must meet the following requirements:

  • Have a minimum 12 months of employment with the University. The 12 months of total University employment does not have to be consecutive and must be within a seven year period from the FML request date.
  • Have worked a minimum of 1,250 hours, not including leave used and/or holidays, in the 12-month period preceding the beginning of the leave.

To request FML, the employee should complete the first two pages of the FMLA/Parental Leave Request and Notice Form (http://www.hr.fsu.edu/PDF/Forms/timeandleave/FMLA-PL_Request_And_Notice.pdf), and obtain the supervisor’s approval on the third page of the FMLA/Parental Leave Request and Notice Form. The form should then be sent to Human Resources for processing and approval. Medical certifications are required prior to FML being granted.

The University uses a “rolling” 12-month period to assess an employee’s available FML entitlement rather than a calendar year or academic year. This 12-month period is measured backward from the date an employee uses any FML. Under the rolling 12-month period, each time an employee takes FML, the remaining entitlement would be any unused balance of the 12 weeks that has not been used during the immediately preceding 12 months.

FML is unpaid; however, the University leave policy allows employees to report accrued paid leave (vacation, sick, compensatory, and personal holiday) in conjunction with the unpaid FML taken. FML should be appropriately coded in OMNI by the time/leave entry coordinator. For information regarding how to enter FML in OMNI refer to the FMLA/Parental Leave Time Entry Instructions (http://www.hr.fsu.edu/PDF/Publications/timeandleave/FMLA-Time_Entry_Instructions.pdf).

While an employee is on FML, the University continues to pay the employer portion of the employee’s insurance premiums. The employee is responsible for continuing payment of the employee portion of the premiums. The University will not pay for any other elected benefits. Faculty members must contact the Benefits Office in Human Resources at 644-4015 prior to any leave of absence, with or without pay, to ensure correct and timely payment of contributions for insurance coverage.

Employees on continuous FML for their own serious health condition and who have absences exceeding five (5) business days are required to furnish a Fitness for Duty Statement before returning to. The Fitness for Duty Statement is a written statement from a health care provider stating that the employee is fit to return to work. Employees will not be restored to active employment until a Fitness for Duty Statement has been received. All Fitness for Duty Statements should be submitted to the FMLA Administrator in Human Resources to be placed in the employee’s confidential medical file.

Due to the complexity of the  Family and Medical Leave Act, faculty members are encouraged to seek counsel from the Office of Human Resources regarding the use of FML.  Further information regarding the employee’s right under the FMLA can be found on the Office of Human Resources’ website at http://www.hr.fsu.edu/pdf/publications/compliance/fmla.pdf.

Disability Leave

Job-Related Illness or Injury

A faculty member who sustains a job-related disability that is compensable under the Workers’ Compensation Law is carried in full pay status for a period of medically certified injury not to exceed seven calendar days immediately following the injury, or for a maximum of 40 work hours, if taken intermittently, without being required to use accrued sick or annual leave.

If, as a result of the job-related injury, the faculty member is unable to resume work at the end of the period provided in the above paragraph:

  • The faculty member may elect to use accrued leave in an amount necessary to receive salary that will increase the Workers’ Compensation payments to the total salary being received prior to the occurrence of the disability. In no case shall the faculty member’s salary and Workers’ Compensation benefits exceed the amount of the faculty member’s regular salary payments; or
  • The faculty member is placed on disability leave without pay and shall receive normal Workers’ Compensation benefits if the faculty member has exhausted all accrued leave in accordance with paragraph (1), above, or the faculty member elects not to use accrued leave.

Job-related illness/injury leave with or without pay is for a period not to exceed the duration of the disability or one year, whichever is less.

If, at the end of the leave period, the faculty member is unable to return to work and perform assigned duties, the President or representative should advise the faculty member, as appropriate, of the Florida Retirement System’s disability provisions and application process, and may, based upon a current medical certification by a licensed physician, and taking the University’s needs into account:

  • offer the faculty member part-time employment;
  • place the faculty member in leave without pay status or extend such status;
  • request the faculty member’s resignation; or
  • release the faculty member from employment, notwithstanding any other provisions of this policy. 

Compulsory Leave

Placing Faculty Member on Compulsory Leave

If the President or representative believes that a faculty member is unable to perform assigned duties due to illness, disability, or injury, the President or representative may require the faculty member to submit to a medical examination by a licensed physician chosen by and paid for by the University, or by a licensed physician chosen by and paid for by the faculty member, and who is acceptable to the President or representative and who shall submit a report to the University.

If the University agrees to accept the faculty member’s choice of a licensed physician, the University may not then require another University-paid examination. If the medical examination confirms that the faculty member is unable to perform assigned duties, the President or representative shall place the faculty member on compulsory leave. 

Conditions of Compulsory Leave

The notification to the faculty member regarding the compulsory leave is in writing and includes the duration of the compulsory leave period and the conditions under which the faculty member may return to work. These conditions may include the requirement of the successful completion of, or participation in, a program of rehabilitation or treatment.

A faculty member who is placed on compulsory leave is required to exhaust all accrued leave prior to being placed on leave without pay. If the faculty member fulfills the terms and conditions of the compulsory leave and receives a current medical certification that he or she is able to perform assigned duties, the President or representative will return the faculty member to the faculty member’s previous duties, if possible, or to equivalent duties. 

Duration

Compulsory leave, with or without pay, is for a period not to exceed the duration of the disability, or one year, whichever is less. 

Failure to Complete Conditions of Compulsory Leave or Inability to Return to Work

If the faculty member fails to fulfill the terms and conditions of a compulsory leave and/or is unable to return to work and perform assigned duties at the end of a leave period, the President or representative should advise the faculty member, as appropriate, of the Florida Retirement System’s disability provisions and application process, and may, based upon the University’s needs:

  • offer the faculty member part-time employment;
  • place the faculty member in leave without pay status or extend such status;
  • request the faculty member’s resignation; or
  • release the faculty member from employment, notwithstanding any other provisions of this policy. 

Annual Leave

Accrual of Annual Leave

Full-time, salaried faculty members holding 12-month type appointments shall accrue annual leave at the rate of 6.76904 hours biweekly or 14.667 hours per month (or a number of hours that is directly proportionate to the number of days worked during less than a full pay period for full-time faculty members). Faculty members on nine-month academic year (39-week) appointments and Florida State University School faculty members on 10-month appointments are not eligible for and do not accrue annual leave.

Hours accrued are credited at the conclusion of each pay period or, upon termination, at the effective date of termination. Faculty members may accrue annual leave in excess of the year-end maximum (352 hours) during a calendar year. Faculty members with accrued annual leave in excess of the year-end maximum as of December 31 shall have any excess converted to post October 1, 1973 sick leave on an hour-for basis January 1 of each year.

Part-time, 12-month faculty members accrue annual leave at a rate directly proportionate to the percent of time employed. 

Use and Transfer of Annual Leave

Annual leave is accrued before being taken except in those instances where the President or representative may authorize the advancing of annual leave. When leave has been advanced and employment is terminated prior to the faculty member earning sufficient annual leave to credit against the leave that was advanced, there will be a financial obligation on the part of the faculty member to repay the value of the remaining hours. All requests for annual leave are to be submitted by the faculty member to the supervisor as far in advance as possible. Approval of the dates on which a faculty member wishes to take annual leave is at the discretion of the supervisor and is subject to the consideration of departmental and organizational scheduling.

Faculty members who resign from a Florida governmental entity (state agency, university, community college, county, or city) and is thereafter employed into annual leave-accruing position at the University may transfer, upon hiring department’s approval, up to the pay plan maximum of unused and unpaid annual leave; however, no more than 31 days may elapse between positions.

Upon separation, the transfer of annual leave from the University to a Florida governmental entity shall be governed by the rules of the agency to which the faculty member is transferring.  The combined total of paid and transferred annual leave may not exceed a lifetime maximum of 352 hours. 

Payment for Unused Annual Leave

Upon separation from the University or when a faculty member transfers to a 9-month or 10-month appointment, the faculty member will be paid up to a lifetime maximum of 352 hours for accrued and unused annual leave at a rate equivalent to the salary rate at the time of separation or transfer. All unused annual leave in excess of 352 hours is forfeited by the faculty member.

Upon transfer from an annual-leave-accruing appointment to a 9-month or 10-month appointment, the faculty member may elect to retain all unused annual leave until such time, not to exceed two years, as the faculty member transfers back to an annual-leave-accruing contract or terminates employment with the University. Upon separation or at the end of two years, whichever comes first, the unused leave balance is paid up to a lifetime maximum of 352 hours at the annual rate the faculty member was earning as of the faculty member’s last day of work on an annual-leave-accruing contract.

Upon layoff, a faculty member is paid for up to a lifetime maximum of 352 hours of unused annual leave unless the faculty member requests in writing that annual leave credits be retained pending re-employment. For faculty members, who are re-employed by the University within 12 calendar months following layoff, all unused annual leave is restored to the faculty member, provided the faculty member requests such action in writing and repays the full amount of any lump sum leave payment received at the time of layoff. Faculty members who are not reemployed within 12 calendar months following layoff and who elected to retain their annual leave pending re-employment are paid for up to a lifetime maximum of 352 hours of unused annual leave at the salary rate the faculty member was earning upon layoff.

Upon re-employment within 100 days, all unused annual leave is restored to the faculty member, provided the faculty member requests such action in writing and repays the full amount of any lump-sum leave payment received.

In the event of the death of a faculty member, payment for all unused annual leave at the time of death, up to 352 hours, is made to the faculty member’s beneficiary, estate, or as provided by law. 

Administrative Leaves

Jury Duty and Court Appearances

A faculty member who is summoned as a member of a jury panel or subpoenaed as a witness in a matter not involving the faculty member’s personal interests, is granted administrative leave based on the total hours served as a juror or witness. Any jury or witness fees are retained by the faculty member.

An appearance as an expert witness for which a faculty member receives professional compensation falls under the policies and rules of the University, and the BOT-UFF Collective Bargaining Agreement relative to outside employment/conflict of interest. Such an appearance may necessitate the faculty member requesting annual leave or, if a non-annual leave earning faculty member, may necessitate the faculty member seeking an adjustment of the work schedule.

If a faculty member is required, as a direct result of the faculty member’s employment, to appear as an official witness to testify in the course of any action as defined in Section 92.142 (2), Florida Statutes, such duty is considered a part of the faculty member’s job assignment, and the faculty member is paid per diem and travel expenses and shall turn over to the University any fees received.

A faculty member involved in personal litigation during work hours must request annual leave. A faculty member who does not earn annual leave must seek an adjustment to the work schedule. 

Official Emergency Closings

The President or President’s representative may close the University, or portions of the University, in the event an Executive Order declaring an emergency has been issued. When natural disasters or other sudden and unplanned emergency conditions occur, which are not covered by an Executive Order, the President or representative will determine whether the University, or any portion thereof, is affected by the emergency and is to be closed. Such closings will be only for the period of time it takes to restore normal working conditions. Leave resulting from such an emergency closing does not reduce faculty members’ leave balances. 

Bereavement Leave

In the event of a death in the immediate family of a faculty member, the faculty member is entitled to two days paid bereavement leave to attend to necessary arrangements and appropriate observances. 

Military Leave

Short-term Military Training

A faculty member who is a member of the U.S. Armed Forces Reserve, including the National Guard, upon presentation of a copy of the faculty member’s official orders or appropriate military certification, is granted leave with pay during periods in which the faculty member is engaged in annual field training or ordered to active or inactive duty for training exercises. Such leave with pay will not exceed 240 hours in any one federal fiscal year (October 1 – September 30). 

 

National Guard State Service

A faculty member who is a member of the Florida National Guard is granted leave with pay on all days when ordered to active service by the State. Such leave with pay will not exceed 30 workdays at any one time and is verified by official orders. 

Other Military Leave

A faculty member, except one who is employed in a temporary position or employed on a temporary basis,  who is drafted, volunteers for active military service, or is ordered to active duty (not active duty training), is granted leave in accordance with Chapter 43 of Title 38, United States Code. Active military service includes active duty with any branch of the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, National Guard of the State of Florida, or other service as provided in Sections 115.08 and 115.09, Florida Statutes.

Such leave of absence is verified by official orders or appropriate military certification. The first 30 days of such leave is with full pay and will not affect a faculty member’s annual or sick leave balance. The remainder of military leave is without pay unless the faculty member elects to use accumulated annual leave or appropriate leave as provided below, or the University exercises its option under Section 115.14, Florida Statutes, to supplement the faculty member’s military pay. Leave payment for the first 30 days is made only upon receipt of evidence from the appropriate military authority that 30 days of military service have been completed.

Applicable provisions of Federal and State law govern the granting of military leave and the faculty member’s reemployment rights.

A faculty member may use any type of accrued leave in an amount necessary to cover his or her contribution to the State insurance program and other deductions and reductions designated by the faculty member during a period of military leave when he or she would otherwise be on leave without pay.

The employer contribution to the state insurance program will continue for the corresponding payroll periods. 

Faculty members must contact the Benefits Office in Human Resources at 644-4015 prior to any leave of absence, with or without pay, to ensure correct and timely payment of contributions for insurance coverage.

Leave Pending Investigation

When the President or representative has reason to believe that the faculty member’s presence on the job will adversely affect the operation of the University, the President or representative may immediately place the faculty member on leave pending investigation of the event(s) leading to that belief. The leave pending investigation shall commence immediately upon the President or representative providing the faculty member with a written notice. The leave is with pay, with no reduction of accrued leave. 

Requests for Leave or Extension of Leave for One or More Semester

(Compensated or Uncompensated) 

Granting Leave

Upon the request of a faculty member, the President or representative will grant a leave of absence for period not to exceed one year, unless it is determined that the granting of the leave would be inconsistent with the best interests of the University. The faculty member must make a written request not less than 120 days prior to the beginning of the proposed leave of one semester or more; for an extension of the leave, the faculty member must make a written request not less than 60 days before the end of the leave. The University will approve or deny the request in writing no later than 30 days after receiving the request. After an absence without approved leave or extension for 12 or more consecutive days, the faculty member is considered as having abandoned the position and resigned from the University. However, if the faculty member’s absence is for reasons beyond the control of the faculty member, and if the faculty member notifies the University as soon as practicable, the faculty member will not be considered as having abandoned the position. (Refer to ‘Job Abandonment’ section and BOT-UFF Collective Bargaining Agreement.) 

Health Insurance

Faculty members must contact the Benefits Office in Human Resources at 644-4015 prior to any leave of absence, with or without pay, to ensure correct and timely payment of contributions for insurance coverage

Salary Adjustment

The salary of a faculty member returning from uncompensated leave will be adjusted to reflect all nondiscretionary increases distributed during the period of leave. 

Retirement Credit

Retirement credit for such periods of leave without pay is governed by the rules and regulations of the Division of Retirement and the provisions of Florida Statutes, Chapter 121. 

Accrual of Leave/Holiday Pay

While on leave without pay, the faculty member retains accumulated sick leave and annual leave, but does not accrue sick leave or annual leave, nor is he or she entitled to holiday pay. 

Tenure Credit

Time spent on compensated or uncompensated leave is not creditable for the purpose of determining eligibility for tenure, except by mutual agreement of the faculty member and the University. In deciding whether to credit such leave toward tenure eligibility, the President or representative considers the duration of the leave, the relevance of the faculty member’s activities while on such leave to the faculty member’s professional development and to the faculty member’s field of employment, the benefits, if any, which accrue to the University by virtue of placing the faculty member on such leave, and other appropriate factors. 

Parental Leave

The Office of Human Resources administers unpaid Parental Leave procedures for faculty members in accordance with the Florida Statutes 110.221 (http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/benefits-leave/fmla.htm), University Regulations (http://regulations.fsu.edu/Adopted-Regulations), and applicable collective bargaining agreements.

Under Parental Leave, a faculty member shall be granted up to six months unpaid leave when they become a biological or adoptive parent. Parental Leave shall not begin more than two weeks prior to the expected date of the child's arrival unless otherwise approved by the Supervisor and Chief Human Resources Officer.

The Supervisor and the Dean, Director or Department Head are responsible for recommending approval of the request for Parental Leave with final approval from the Chief Human Resources Officer. Parental Leave means leave for the father or mother of a child who is born to or adopted by that parent.

The supervisor may grant other leaves of absence with or without pay prior to the effective date of the Parental Leave or grant an extension of leave in accordance with the Attendance and Leave Regulations, Policies and Procedures.

To request Parental Leave, the faculty member should complete the first two pages of the FMLA/Parental Leave Request and Notice Form http://hr.fsu.edu/index.cfm?page=forms_all
FMLA-PL_Request_And_Notice.pdf) , and obtain the supervisor’s approval on the third page of the FMLA/Parental Leave Request and Notice Form. The form should then be sent to Human Resources for processing and approval. Medical certifications are required prior to Parental Leave being granted.

Human Resources shall notify the faculty member in writing as to the period of leave to be granted, clearly specifying the date the faculty member will return to duty and that the faculty member will return to the same position or to an equivalent position with equivalent pay and seniority, retirement, fringe benefits, and other service credits accumulated prior to the leave period.

While Parental Leave is leave without pay, the faculty member, may request and be approved to use accrued leave to cover any part of the six months period until all or any part of the faculty member's accrued leave has been used. Such request shall include the amount of leave with pay the faculty member wishes to use during the approved period of Parental Leave. Should accrued leave be used during Parental Leave, the faculty member shall be entitled to accumulate all benefits granted under paid leave status.

Parental Leave is a qualifying condition under the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act. (Reference the Family and Medical Leave (http://policies.vpfa.fsu.edu/personnel/3e.html#1.7) policy) 

Paid Parental Leave

In addition to the unpaid leave described above, in-unit faculty members who are covered by the BOT-UFF Collective Bargaining Agreement are granted, upon written request, a paid parental leave for up to six months when the faculty member becomes a biological parent or a child is placed in the faculty member’s home for purposes of adoption. Paid parental leave can only be taken once during a faculty member’s career at the University. Two or more faculty members employed by the University are not eligible to receive paid parental leave for the same birth or adoption. A faculty member who utilizes this benefit shall have the total number of hours used deducted from his or her sick, and/or annual leave balance if applicable, upon separation from the University. Contract and grant funded faculty members shall be eligible to the extent that such program benefits are permitted by the terms of the contract or grant, the rules of the funding agency, and the adequate funds are available for this purpose in the contract or grant. This policy is subject to change based on the outcome of collective bargaining. 

Leave Reporting

OMNI ‘Employee Self-Service’ or Pay and Leave Report Forms, as determined by department policies, are used to certify sick and annual leave taken. If utilized, Pay and Leave Report Forms are issued at the beginning of each new pay period and are submitted with the faculty member’s signature at the end of the pay period, even if no leave has been taken. If leave is used by the faculty member, he or she must report such usage via OMNI or on the Pay and Leave Report Form.

Sick Leave: It is not necessary for faculty members to request sick leave at the bottom of the Pay and Leave Report Form. The number of hours of sick leave taken are to be shown in the top section of the form. Each faculty member will indicate if any leave has been taken by certifying the number of hours taken in the top section of the form, signing the form at the bottom, and submitting the form to the appropriate staff member in the department. The form is to be submitted with signature even if no leave has been taken because it certifies that no leave is to be charged against the faculty member. If the use of Pay and Leave Report Forms is the departmental practice, the form is submitted with the faculty member’s signature even if no leave has been requested or used. If using ‘Faculty Member Self-Service,’ the faculty member is responsible for entering any time used into OMNI; if no time is taken, no action by the faculty member is required for that pay period.

Annual Leave: Annual leave must be requested in advance. The request may be made on any pre-printed Pay and Leave Report Form or by using ‘Employee Self-Service’ in OMNI. At the end of the pay period the faculty member certifies the number of hours taken. If using ‘Faculty member Self-Service’, the faculty member is responsible for entering any time used into OMNI; if no time is taken, no action by faculty member is required that pay period. 

Faculty Relations

Faculty Concerns and Complaint Resolution

The University encourages open and honest communication between administrators and faculty members. Formal grievance procedures are initiated when the resolution of a problem is not possible on an informal basis.

Faculty members who have concerns regarding any term or condition of employment, or application of University regulations or guidelines should consult with the Vice President for Faculty Development and Advancement for advice or clarification on University processes. These meetings are kept confidential upon the request of the faculty member with a few exceptions (e.g., sexual harassment). The Vice President will advise the faculty member with regard to his or her rights as well as any suggested resolution of the faculty member’s concerns. Upon the request of the faculty member, the Vice President will assist with the resolution of the informal complaint.

Official complaints are handled through one of the following procedures:

UFF Grievances: Faculty members who are covered by the BOT-UFF Collective Bargaining Agreement may file a grievance by following the grievance procedure outlined in Article 20 of the Agreement (http://fda.fsu.edu/Collective-Bargaining). Grievances of this nature must allege a violation of one or more of the provisions in the Agreement.

Faculty Senate Grievance Procedures: Any faculty member may file a grievance with the Faculty Senate Grievance Committee. This committee consists of members nominated through the Faculty Senate by the faculty of the colleges and schools they represent. The definition of a grievance in this process is broader than that covered by the UFF grievance process and may cover matters involving University regulations, professional relations, professional ethics, academic freedom, conditions of employment, or the general welfare of the faculty member. Faculty members should consult with the Faculty Senate Coordinator in the Office of Faculty Development and Advancement for additional details on this process.

Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, and Sexual Violence Complaints: Discrimination based on membership in a protected group, sexual harassment, and sexual violence will not be tolerated by the University, whether by faculty, students, staff, or by others while on property owned by or under the control of the University. For more information about reporting discrimination, sexual harassment, or sexual violence and related grievance procedures, contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Compliance at 645-6519 or http://compliance.hr.fsu.edu/ or the Dean of Students Department (for complaints against students) at 644-2428 or http://srr.fsu.edu/

Disciplinary Action and Job Abandonment

Faculty members who engage in misconduct or who are found to be incompetent in the performance of duties may be subjected to disciplinary action in accordance with University regulations, and, for in-unit faculty, the provisions of the BOT-UFF Collective Bargaining Agreement, http://fda.fsu.edu/Collective-Bargaining.

The faculty member’s supervisor should conduct a thorough investigation to determine the facts regarding the alleged misconduct or incompetence. In situations that involve potentially serious allegations, appropriate University authorities, including the dean and the Vice President for Faculty Development and Advancement, should be notified as soon as possible. 

Disruptive Conduct

Faculty members who intentionally act to impair, interfere with, or obstruct the orderly conduct, processes, and functions of the University will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.

Disruptive conduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • Violence against any member or guest of the University community;
    Theft or willful destruction of University property or of the property of members of the University;
  • Interference with the freedom of movement of any member or guest of the University;
  • Deliberately impeding or interfering with the rights of others to enter, use, or leave any University facility, service, or scheduled activity, or to carry out their normal functions or duties; or
  • Deliberate interference with academic freedom and freedom of speech of any member or guest of the University. 

Conducting a Thorough Investigation

If there is a possible criminal violation(s), contact the Florida State University Police Department (FSUPD) before any investigation is conducted so they can coordinate the investigation. If the matter involves a claim of financial irregularities, contact the Office of Inspector General Services (IGS) before any investigation is conducted so it can coordinate the investigation.  If the matter involves alleged sexual harassment or unlawful discrimination, contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Compliance (EOC) before any investigation is conducted so that it can coordinate the investigation.  If the matter does not involve criminal charges, the IGS, or the EOC, it is appropriate for the supervisor to proceed with conducting the investigation and taking any other appropriate actions, such as placing the faculty member on leave pending investigation (see “Leave Pending Investigation” in this section).

The faculty member should be given the opportunity to explain his or her actions before any disciplinary action is taken. If a faculty member reasonably believes that disciplinary action could result from an investigatory interview, he or she has the right to have his or her union representative present during the interview if requested; however, the union is not permitted to answer questions for the faculty member. Contact the Office of Faculty Development and Advancement for further information.

The objective of any investigation is to determine all of the relevant facts surrounding the incident (i.e., the who, what, when, where, why, and how) and secure any relevant evidence. There are two kinds of evidence: physical evidence and testimonial evidence. Physical evidence is tangible in nature, and testimonial evidence is provided by witnesses.  Use the following guidelines when collecting evidence:

  • Secure any physical evidence so that it can be preserved for future use. Physical evidence should not be altered in any way and should be kept in its original condition or state.
  • Determine the identity of all witnesses to the incident and interview them. Probing questions that determine the "who, what, when, where, why, and how" should be asked. If an appealable action such as suspension or dismissal is being considered, a written statement detailing the events which is signed and dated by each witness normally should be obtained. 

Determining Just Cause

Disciplinary action against faculty members should be taken only for “just cause.”  In determining whether there is “just cause” for any disciplinary action, the following questions should be considered:

  • Notice: Was the faculty member given advance notice of the standards and of the possible or probable disciplinary consequences of specific conduct, actions, or incompetent performance of duties? This information is contained here in the Faculty Handbook and the BOT-UFF Collective Bargaining Agreement.
  • Reasonably related: Are the issues being investigated related to the faculty member’s role as opposed to arbitrary or discriminatory reasons that have no relationship to his or her position?
  • Proof of misconduct/incompetent performance of duties: Was the alleged offense investigated objectively, and do the results of the investigation establish clearly that the faculty member did, in fact, engage in incompetence or misconduct?
  • Past practice: Is the discipline consistent with past treatment of faculty members who committed the same offense? Has the chair/dean been uniform and consistent in handling similar problems?
  • Appropriateness of discipline: Is the degree of discipline to be administered reasonably related to the seriousness of this offense and the faculty member’s prior record of performance and conduct?

The standard of proof for administrative actions is the preponderance of the evidence, which means that, given all of the evidence, it is more likely than not that misconduct or incompetent performance of duties has occurred. 

Notice of Intent to Suspend, Demote, or Terminate

When the President or representative has reason to believe that a suspension, demotion, or termination can be imposed after finding “just cause” for discipline, the President or representative shall provide the faculty member and, if the faculty member is in-unit, the UFF with a written notice of the proposed action and the reasons therefore, as well as the faculty member’s rights to a review as specified below, if applicable.

(a)   Such notice shall be sent via certified mail, return receipt requested, or delivered in person with written documentation of receipt obtained.

(b)   The faculty member shall be given twenty (20) days in which to respond in writing to the President or representative before the proposed action is taken. The faculty member can include in his or her response supporting materials from other individuals. The President or representative then may issue a notice of disciplinary action.

(c)    If the President or representative does not issue a notice of disciplinary action within 180 days of Notice of Intent, no disciplinary action shall be taken.  If new information pertinent to the initial reason for the investigation becomes available, a new Notice of Intent may be issued.

(d)   If the President or representative does not issue a notice of disciplinary action, the notice of proposed disciplinary action shall not be retained in the faculty member’s evaluation file. 

Peer Panel

In cases in which the Board has under consideration disciplinary action to suspend, demote, or terminate the appointment of a tenured faculty member, or to terminate the appointment of an untenured tenure track faculty member prior to the expiration of the faculty member’s current employment contract, the faculty member shall be provided with the opportunity for a review by an appropriate faculty committee as described below (hereinafter referred to as the “Peer Panel” or the “Panel”) prior to issuance of the Notice of Discipline. This peer panel shall serve as the peer review panel specified in Section B(3)(d) of the Florida State University Constitution.

(a)   The process provided hereby consists of the opportunity to submit written materials to the Peer Panel, whose members shall individually and independently consider the evidence and submit separate recommendations reflecting their individual points of view to the President or representative.

(b)   This process shall not waive the right of a faculty member to file a grievance in accordance with the BOT-UFF Collective Bargaining Agreement, or any other adjudicatory due process proceeding following the issuance of a final Notice of Discipline.

(c)    Alternatives. As an alternative to the peer review panel, the faculty member can elect to meet with the President or representative, in addition to submitting a written statement to the President or representative. Such election must be made in writing and delivered to the office of the President or representative within ten (10) calendar days of receipt of the notice of intent to suspend, demote, or terminate.

(d)   The faculty member’s failure to timely request the peer panel or, in the alternative, to follow through with a timely meeting with the President or representative, will constitute a waiver by the faculty member of further proceedings. Failure of the faculty member to submit a timely written statement to the Peer Panel will constitute a waiver of the opportunity to submit a written statement. In that event, the Panel will offer its opinions based on the written material submitted by the President or representative.

(e)   Peer Panel. Upon the timely request for a peer panel, the President or representative will immediately inform the Chairperson of the Faculty Senate Grievance Committee (hereinafter referred to as the “Chairperson”), who will within ten (10) calendar days of being informed establish, from among the members of that Committee, three (3) faculty members who will participate individually and independently as the Peer Panel. The Chairperson will notify the President or representative, the UFF Grievance Chair if applicable, and the faculty member of the establishment of the Peer Panel.

(f)    Submission of Information. Upon establishment of the Panel, the President or representative will submit to the Chairperson written materials to be considered by the Panel, including the notice of the proposed action and the reasons therefore, with a copy to the faculty member and the UFF Grievance Chair if applicable. Within ten (10) calendar days thereafter, the faculty member may provide to the Chairperson, with a copy to the President or representative and the UFF Grievance Chair, a written statement or response to the President or representative’s notice and reasons, and any additional written documentation to be considered by the Panel. The Chairperson will transmit copies of the foregoing information and/or documentation to the Panel immediately upon receipt thereof. The Peer Panel may seek additional information from either party as it deems necessary. For in-unit faculty members, the UFF Grievance Chair shall be provided with copies of any such additional information.

(g)   Recommendations. The members of the Panel will individually evaluate and consider the notice of the proposed action and the reasons therefore and any additional documentation submitted by the President or representative and the faculty member and, within ten (10) calendar days of the deadline for submissions specified in (f) above, will submit to the President or representative individual written and signed recommendations, with copies thereof to the faculty member and the UFF Grievance Chair if applicable. The recommendation shall, express the Panel members’ individual opinions as to whether disciplinary action is warranted for the alleged offense and, if so, the penalty deemed appropriate under the circumstances.

(h)   Consideration of Recommendations. The President or representative will review the Panel recommendations and take them into consideration in deciding whether the University should initiate discipline and issue the Notice of Discipline. If the President or representative does not issue a notice of disciplinary action, the notice of proposed disciplinary action shall not be retained in the faculty member’s evaluation file.

(i)     Status of Records. By invoking in writing the Peer Panel process, the faculty member will have consented to the disclosure to the Panel, for purposes of its process, evaluative information. Records maintained for the purposes of any such investigation of misconduct or incompetence, including but not limited to a complaint against a faculty member and all information obtained pursuant to the investigation of such complaint, shall be confidential until the investigation ceases to be active or until the University provides written notice to the faculty member that the University has either concluded the investigation with a finding not to proceed with disciplinary action; concluded the investigation with a finding to proceed with disciplinary action; or issued a Notice of Intent Letter. 

Final Notice of Discipline

All notices of disciplinary action shall include a statement of the reasons therefore and, if the faculty member is in-unit, a statement advising the faculty member that the action is subject to Article 20, Grievance Procedure of the BOT-UFF Collective Bargaining Agreement. For out-of-unit faculty members the notice shall include a statement advising the faculty member that the action is subject to the Faculty Senate Grievance Procedure. All such notices shall be sent via certified mail, return receipt requested, or delivered in person to the faculty member with written documentation of receipt obtained. 

Job Abandonment

If a faculty member is absent from his or her position without authorization for 12 or more consecutive calendar days, the faculty member will be considered to have abandoned his or her position and voluntarily resigned from the University. If the absence is beyond the faculty member’s control and the faculty member notifies the University as soon as possible, the faculty member will not be considered to have abandoned his or her position. 

Collective Bargaining

Collective bargaining is governed by Chapter 447 of the Florida Statutes, which stipulates that, as a public employer, the University is obligated to engage in negotiations with any employee organization elected by employees regarding mandatory subjects of bargaining (wages, hours, terms and conditions of employment). There are currently four unions at FSU: The United Faculty of Florida (UFF), the Police Benevolent Association (PBA), the Florida Nurses Association (FNA), and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).

The UFF represents most of the faculty at FSU, with the exception of certain colleges and administrative positions. A list of all in-unit classifications may be located in Appendix A of the BOT-UFF Collective Bargaining Agreement (http://fda.fsu.edu/Collective-Bargaining). The Agreement covers all in-unit faculty members regardless of membership in the union. Paying dues to the UFF is voluntary, and discrimination based on membership or non-membership is not permitted.

All in-unit faculty members and those who supervise in-unit faculty members should become familiar with the BOT-UFF Collective Bargaining Agreement. The Agreement is a legal contract to which both the University and the UFF have agreed, through the negotiations process, to abide by. Only state and federal laws and regulations supersede the provisions of the Agreement. 

Collective Bargaining Contract Administration

The administration of the BOT-UFF Collective Bargaining Agreement is the responsibility of the in-unit faculty and the administrators of the University. Questions pertaining to the interpretation of the provisions of the Agreement may be directed to the Office of Faculty Development and Advancement or to the Director of Faculty Relations in Human Resources. In-unit faculty members should direct any questions to the UFF. The Director of Faculty Relations in Human Resources facilitates the UFF grievance process and the Vice President for Faculty Development and Advancement serves as the liaison between the UFF and the administration of the University. 

Terminating Employment

When terminating employment for any reason, faculty members must complete steps to ensure an appropriate exit from the University. A termination checklist should be obtained from the department representative and completed by the faculty member.

Departing faculty members should return all University property including (but not limited to): keys, library books & materials, computers, parking decals & gate cards, and any credit and/or purchasing card(s). Detailed instructions and contact information are listed on the Termination Checklist under “Employee Responsibilities.”

Departing faculty members should contact the Benefits Department to schedule a conference to discuss the process for continuing or canceling insurance, reimbursement accounts, and retirement accounts.

Faculty members have the option of scheduling an exit conference with the Vice President for Faculty Development and Advancement to discuss any suggestions or concerns. Faculty members should contact the Dean’s administrative assistant to schedule an exit interview. An exit survey from is available at http://fda.fsu.edu/content/download/25559/163949/facultyexitsurvey.pdf. Departing faculty members are asked to complete the form to provide insight to the administration for use when assessing faculty turnover.

In order to conduct a final leave audit, and to pay out any leave that may be due to the faculty member, the department representative is responsible for conducting a pre-audit of the leave records and then submitting all leave records to the Office of Human Resources. Once all completed paperwork is received, the Office of Human Resources typically completes the final leave audit process within six to eight weeks. Any leave payout (if applicable) will be issued through the normal payroll process. Faculty members should contact the Office of Human Resources with any questions concerning leave and/or the leave payout process. 

Resignation

In accordance with the University Constitution, faculty members desiring to resign from University employment are expected to notify their supervisors at least 90 days prior to the resignation effective date. Faculty members may consult with their supervisors if an earlier or later notice is needed. 

Non-reappointment

Refer to the Faculty Development Section of this handbook regarding provisions for non-reappointment. 

Layoff

For those faculty members covered by the provisions of the BOT-UFF Collective Bargaining Agreement, the layoff process is governed by Article 13 of the Agreement (http://fda.fsu.edu/Collective-Bargaining).  

The following provisions apply to those faculty members who are not covered by the provisions of the BOT-UFF Collective Bargaining Agreement.

A faculty member may be laid off at any time as a result of adverse financial circumstances; reallocation of resources; reorganization of degree or curriculum offerings or requirements; reorganization of academic or administrative structures, programs, or functions; or curtailment of one or more programs or functions at any organizational level of the University such as a campus, division, college, school, department, area, program, or other level of organization or unit as the University deems appropriate. Upon the layoff of a faculty member, the University shall make reasonable effort to locate appropriate, alternate or equivalent employment within the university, and to inform the person affected of the results of this effort. In discharging its responsibilities under this rule, the University shall select and consult with appropriate administrative personnel and representatives of senates, committees and other such bodies of the institution.

In determining the faculty member(s) whose employment will be discontinued under this section, the University shall take into consideration appropriate factors, including but not limited to tenure status, performance evaluation by students, peers, and supervisors, and the faculty member's academic training, professional reputation, compatibility with colleagues, teaching effectiveness, research record or quality of the creative activity in which the faculty member may be engaged, service to the community and public, length of service, and affirmative action obligations.

(a) Order of Layoff. The following principles will govern the selection of faculty members to be laid off:

1. No tenured faculty member shall be laid off if there are untenured faculty members in the layoff unit.

2. The provisions of section 1 above will apply unless it is determined by the University that an Affirmative Action employment program will be adversely affected.

3. No tenured faculty member will be laid off solely for the purpose of creating a vacancy to be filled by an administrator.

(b) The University shall notify the person whose employment is to be discontinued pursuant to this section. Such notice shall be given by March 1 of the first academic year of service, by December 15 of the second academic year of service, and for faculty members who have completed two academic years of service, one year prior to June 15 of the academic year in which their service will be discontinued by layoff unless, in the judgment of the University, adverse financial circumstances require that the amount of notice be shortened.

(4) Recall of faculty – For a period of two years following layoff, a faculty member who has been laid off and who is not otherwise employed in an equivalent full-time position shall be offered reemployment in the same or similar position at the University, should an opportunity for such reemployment arise. For this purpose, it shall be the faculty member's responsibility to keep the University advised of the faculty member's current address. Should a vacancy occur at another university within the State University System, the faculty member may apply for that position and shall be considered therefore in accordance with the normal hiring procedures of that university. Any offer of reemployment pursuant to this section must be accepted within 15 days after the date of the offer, such acceptance to take effect not later than the beginning of the academic term immediately following the date the offer was made. In the event such offer of reemployment is not accepted, the faculty member shall receive no further consideration pursuant to this section.

Between the time of notification of layoff and the effective date those to be on layoff status are to be contacted and advised of vacancies for the same or similar positions. Those under notification who have expressed an interest in the position shall be considered. For short term vacant positions; (less than six months) of which the Central Administration may be unaware it is the responsibility of the school or college in which the layoff will occur to notify those persons to be affected by layoff of the existence and vacancies and to ensure that those are considered who express an interest in the position.

A faculty member who held a tenured appointment on the date of separation by reason of layoff shall resume the tenured appointment upon recall. The faculty member shall receive the same credit for years of service for purposes of layoff as held on the date of layoff. The recall rights provided in this section shall not be available to faculty members holding temporary appointments, to faculty members employed less than full-time, to faculty members appointed to visiting positions and to faculty members with less than five years continuous service who are appointed to positions funded from "soft money", e.g., contracts and grants, sponsored research trust funds, and grants and donations trust funds.