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 is an excellent resource for information and resources for faculty members as well as administrators and staff members seeking information relevant to faculty. Information pertaining to OMNI job openings, Smart Onboarding, insurance, and retirement benefits may be obtained directly from Human Resources via their website.
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 appointment and procedures; outside employment; dual compensation; promotion and tenure; faculty assignments; faculty evaluations; faculty recognition; 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 an opportunity to discuss employment concerns in confidence if requested; 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 interpretations of academic policies.
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 Associate 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.
The Office of Human Resources (HR)
HR assists departments with the OMNI advertising and recruitment process, system coding, job offers, and the Smart Onboarding appointment process for faculty members. 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 Personal Services (OPS) employees. The HR website is an excellent resource for locating information and contacts regarding recruitment and hiring procedures; benefits; OPS, USPS, and A&P compensation, position classifications, grievances, and counseling; and other HR areas. Contact HR directly when help is needed with these matters.
Faculty Member Search and Selection Process
The search and selection process is administered by the designated hiring official, and in most cases, includes a selection committee. The online Faculty Search Training is a resource that should be used by all faculty search committees. It 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. This training provides strategies to conduct effective and inclusive searches, combat cognitive biases, and make better hiring recommendations.
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. It is highly recommended that a department utilize OMNI from the beginning to the end of the search and require all applicants to apply through the job opening. The application process captures applicants’ qualifications and solicits the EEO data. If a department is not requiring job seekers to apply via OMNI and accepts applications/vitas outside of the system, additional steps must be taken to solicit EEO data, track applicant disposition codes offline, and maintain records.
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. Candidates selected for final consideration should be provided with the following information: title and nature of position, anticipated salary, type of employment contract, anticipated first-year assignment, the mission of the department, instructional load, other duties, and information about FSU. The department must document its evaluation of the candidates.
References and credential verification must be completed by the hiring department on top candidate(s). Once this information has been collected, the committee is to hold final deliberations to reach agreement on the best candidate for the position. The recommendation for appointment should be made by the department chair or other hiring supervisor to the dean or other appropriate administrative officer.
Departments should refer to the Faculty Recruitment & Hiring Resources web page for detailed protocol and checklists on the faculty advertisement, recruitment, and hiring process.
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, genetic information, veterans’ status, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or any other legally protected group status. This policy applies to faculty, staff, students, volunteers, 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. Retaliation against an individual, who in good faith brings a discrimination or harassment complaint, participates in the investigation of a complaint, or engages in some other protected activity, is expressly prohibited and will be regarded as a separate and distinct cause for discipline.
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 here. The President’s Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination statement is disseminated and posted throughout the campus.
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.
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 Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at 850-645-6519.
Once a top candidate has been identified and the appointment authorized by the appropriate administrative official(s), the department should complete any remaining steps to vet the candidate, to include verifying: official transcripts, three confidential professional letters of recommendation, any required licensure/certification, and the personnel file if the candidate is a current or former FSU employee.
The department then discusses salary requirements, anticipated start date, and next steps with the candidate. Next steps include the University’s onboarding process and a criminal history background check.
Upon successfully completing the criminal history background check, the dean or other appropriate hiring official can present the candidate with a formal offer. The candidate should be issued an offer letter which specifies the terms and conditions of employment. At this time, an employment contract may also be administered. Alternatively, once the candidate has been appointed in the system, the department may generate the contract through OMNI and obtain signatures.
If extenuating circumstances warrant an offer letter being issued prior to the background check being completed, ensure the following standard language is included in the letter: “Your job offer is contingent upon your successful completion of the University’s onboarding process before your start date, which may include a criminal history background check as well as compliance with State and University requirements.” The candidate cannot start work until the background check requirements have been successfully completed.
Reference the appointment checklist on the Appointment Resources page. Complete the steps found here for confirming a top candidate’s qualifications and the pre-employment checklist in OMNI. All faculty and adjunct instructors must meet the requirements of FSU Policy 3A-2, Policy for Credentialing Faculty Members. System coding must be entered in OMNI to document interview evaluations and denote why the other candidates fell out of consideration.
The department then initiates an OMNI job offer, which once final approved, triggers the Onboarding invitation to the candidate. The candidate is to complete the Onboarding session and criminal history background check.
When the department is notified by HR that the candidate has successfully completed their criminal history background check, an offer can be officially extended. Once accepted, the faculty appointment is processed by the academic dean or director. The department completes the “My Tasks” steps in the Onboarding portal, to include uploading required supplemental documents; electronically reviewing requests for: Dual Compensation, Leave Transfer, and Employment of Relatives as applicable; and completing the I-9. The required supplemental documents are referenced on the Appointment Papers Matrix, and for a new hire include: offer letter, signed social security card, notarized loyalty oath, copy of any required licensure/certification and verifications, three signed confidential letters of recommendation, CV, and applicable documentation if the candidate is a non-US Citizen.
To document the proof of degree, the department must send HR-Employee Data Management the official transcripts received from the registrar of the degree-granting institution. (Note: Official Electronic Transcripts can be uploaded to Supplemental Documents by the department if the emails showing the proper chain of custody are included.) Additional information regarding official transcripts can be found here.
Offer letter samples, contract templates, and instructions on generating contracts through OMNI can also be found on the Appointment Resources page. 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.
Spoken English Competency must be certified for teaching faculty members. 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) appointments.
Tenured & Tenure-Track Faculty Contracts
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 Contracts
9-month specialized faculty at 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 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 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 level 1.
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 (see FSU Policy 3A-2, Policy for Credentialing Faculty Members) 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. Each college dean or director must request permission, in accordance with procedures found at: https://fda.fsu.edu/faculty-employment/faculty-credentialing, to appoint a faculty member whose credentials are not yet available. Such provisional appointments are not renewable beyond one year. 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. Faculty members may not move to Regular status until an official transcript has been received and verified.
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 be offered a visiting appointment in single-year contracts but may not be appointed in this class for more than three years, except in special circumstances as determined by the University. No faculty member with a visiting appointment shall be given a regular appointment without having been selected for the position in accordance with Article 8.2 (a) of the FSU-BOT/UFF CBA. The appointment is not tenure earning, but time in visiting status may count toward tenure if hired into regular status, within 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
Under the University’s Employment of Relatives (Nepotism) Policy (FSU Policy 4-OP-C-7-L), relatives [defined as individuals related to each other in one of the following ways, whether by blood, adoption, marriage (in-laws/step), or other legal action: spouses; parents; grandparents; children; grandchildren; siblings; aunts/uncles; nieces/nephews or other persons residing in the same household, including but not limited to domestic partners] may not be employed in positions where they will report, directly or indirectly, to each other. Deans, Directors, Department Heads and Principal Investigators (PI) are responsible for ensuring that employees in their units do not control the scheduling, timekeeping, performance evaluations, disciplinary actions, reporting effort, verification of research progress or other work performance, employment, or payroll functions for their relatives. Additionally, personnel appointments on a sponsored research account are restricted to persons who are not relatives of the Principal Investigator.
If the candidate being considered for hire has relatives employed at FSU, the review process will take place within the Smart Onboarding portal. Exceptions to the Employment of Relatives (Nepotism) Policy for faculty members are approved by the Provost.
If any change in current employment results in a potential violation of the Employment of Relatives (Nepotism) policy or a conflict of interest, faculty members are responsible for reporting the situation to their supervisor so the conflict can be removed or a policy exception requested. To request an exception to the Policy, you must submit the Employment of Relatives (Nepotism) Form to the Office of Human Resources, ATTN: Employment & Recruitment Services before taking any action that would result in a violation of the policy.
Relationship Conflicts in Supervising Research Personnel
- Personnel appointments on a sponsored research account are restricted to persons who are not relatives of the PI. Exceptions are limited to the appointment of personnel specified by name in proposals submitted to and approved by a funding agency, and the relationship was disclosed in the proposal.
- When a PI believes an exception is necessary, the PI may make a request for approval of an exception to the policy. The PI shall submit the following to the appropriate Chair/Director and Dean for approval or denial:
- A curriculum vitae or resume of the proposed appointee;
- A statement that includes the job duties in relation to the requirements of the contract or grant, and a justification for the appointment as demonstrated by the candidate's experience and/or training; and
- If the relative is a new hire, a summary of the specific steps taken to publicize the availability of the position, along with the names of interested and qualified candidates who were considered and the basis for their rejection are required.
- All exceptions must be approved in writing by the Vice President for Research and Vice President for Finance and Administration prior to any relative beginning work on the sponsored project.
- If the approval results in a direct or indirect line of authority relationship between the PI and a relative, an alternate reporting structure shall be established.
- The Vice President for Research and Vice President for Finance and Administration retain the right to refuse to allow related person(s) to work on the same sponsored research project if there is a perceived, potential, or actual conflict of interest that cannot be managed, or a situation exists that may create an adverse impact on contract/grant compliance, supervision, safety, security, or morale.
- The PI shall abide by section 112.313(7)(a), F.S. when considering hiring a relative as a contractor or sub-recipient, or purchasing material or equipment from a relative.
Dual Career Policy
When a faculty candidate has a spouse or partner who also is seeking employment, the University will assist in exploring employment positions for that spouse/partner, 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. Department Chairs/Directors should contact their dean to pursue this option, and deans should consult with the Provost.
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 the Office of Human Resources website and refer to the International Employees 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. It is important that any person being re-employed contact the Human Resources Benefits Office to ensure their 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.
Completing an orientation is required and 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 online by HR. 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.
The New Faculty Orientation program hosted by the Office of Faculty Development and Advancement takes place annually in August and is required for all new faculty members. This orientation is aimed at educating new faculty members about the resources to help them succeed in their teaching, research, and service efforts, as well as conveying expectations regarding Title IX, non-discrimination of all kinds, FERPA, and other University policies. If New Faculty Orientation is attended, there is no need to complete the online orientation hosted by HR. However, newly hired tenure-track faculty may complete the orientation session hosted by HR prior to this session to obtain advanced information, such as information pertaining to benefits.
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. 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 Vice President for Faculty Development and Advancement 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.
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 before reclassifying a position, refer to the specifications listed on the HR website.
To reclassify a faculty position, the department/unit must consult with the dean of the college or appropriate administrator. Faculty Relations in the Office of Human Resources facilitates the consultation process with The Office of Faculty Development and Advancement and assists with ensuring 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 Faculty Relations.
Dual Compensation (BOT-UFF Collective Bargaining Agreement)
Definition of Dual Compensation
Dual compensation is defined as compensation from the University for any duties (including work activities previously designated as overload) in excess of a full appointment (1.0 FTE). Dual compensation appointments within the University shall be offered equitably and as appropriate to qualified faculty members in sufficient time to allow voluntary acceptance or rejection. Such employment must meet all of the following conditions:
- Duties and responsibilities of an overload appointment shall be compensated through OPS, not Salary.
- No faculty member shall be required to accept a dual compensation appointment. Dual compensation appointments shall be offered to qualified faculty members before anyone who is not a faculty member.
- Approval by the Dean or Director of both the primary and secondary employing unit is required. Approval must be requested and granted prior to the dual compensation appointment and/or the performance of any work with the secondary employer;
- 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;
The following circumstances do not qualify as a dual compensation:
- When there is no other active appointment during the period of the dual-compensation appointment.
- Additional temporary duties assigned in the same department. These may be handled through a temporary salary supplement. (See Additional/One-Time Pay Form.)
- A one-time payment on the faculty member’s primary appointment.
This procedure shall not be used to avoid the payment of over-time when required by the Fair Labor Standards Act.
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) prior to the candidate engaging in the work. If the candidate being considered for hire will have Dual Compensation, the review process takes place within the Smart Onboarding portal. The action routes through both departments for electronic approval, and to the Office of Faculty Development and Advancement if primary employment is faculty/Office of Human Resources if primary employment is non-faculty. Dual compensation forms may be required outside of the Smart Onboarding portal for modifications to existing appointments. The following procedures must be followed to complete the Dual Compensation form. 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 signature(s) from the primary employing supervisor/department chair;
- Obtain the faculty member’s signature;
- Obtain the signature(s) from the primary employing dean/director/department head;
- Obtain the signature(s) from the secondary employing dean/director/department head;
- Submit the completed Dual Compensation Request/Approval form to the Office of Faculty Development and Advancement, if primary employment is faculty, or Human Resources, if primary employment is non-faculty, for final action and processing. The personnel action form is sent to HR.
Employment Outside the University
For any secondary employment by an employer other than the University, faculty members should fill out the Faculty Outside Activity Statement form prior to engaging in the outside employment.
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. Each fall and before beginning, all faculty members must provide any new information about any outside activity on the Faculty Outside Activity form, which must be 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.
Also see “Interference with Performance of Assigned Duties” and “Use of University Facilities in Outside Activities” below.
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:
- 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.)
- 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.)
- 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.)
- 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.)
- 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. (See section 7 of this Handbook under “Textbook use.”
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:
- 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.
- The purchase or sale is for legal advertising in a newspaper for any utilities service or for passage on a common carrier.
- 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.
- 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.
- The total amount of the subject transaction does not exceed $500.
- 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 chair 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:
- 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.)
- 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.)
- 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.
- Any outside activity that involves both an employee and the employee's supervisor in a relationship, such as a business relationship, 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 by the Vice President for Research. Faculty and staff members making such discoveries should download and complete a Disclosure Form from the Office of Commercialization section within the Office of Research website (http://research.fsu.edu/) as soon as it becomes apparent that such development is possible. University policy includes the following provisions:
- 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 through submission of a Disclosure Form. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 on the website. 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 or conflicts arise concerning in the application of any of these standards and guidelines, please contact the Vice President for Faculty Development and Advancement.
Faculty members hired into salaried positions or full-time OPS Positions (30+ hours) may be eligible to participate in the benefit plans offered by the University. Other part-time faculty members should contact the Office of Human Resources to determine their eligibility. 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. New FSU employees should attend the online New Employee Orientation (NEO) to obtain further information and sign up for benefits. For additional information or enrollment forms, visit the Benefits section on the HR website.
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 eligible employees, as well as spouses and children and their dependents 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.
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.
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 (http://hr.fsu.edu), or contact the Benefits section at 850-644-4015.
Employee Tuition Scholarship Fund
Salaried full-time faculty members may be eligible for the Employee Tuition Scholarship. Eligible faculty members may enroll in up to two academic classes totaling a maximum of six credit hours of instruction per semester at FSU without having to pay tuition. For more information regarding the Employee Tuition Scholarship, visit the HR website.
Faculty Member Seeking Advanced Degree
No tenure-track faculty member 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).
This is an employee discount program that offers discounts on products and services at businesses serving our employees’ diverse needs and interests.
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 a parking permit, authorizing parking only in designated parking areas; permits are required from 7:30 am to 4:30pm Monday through Friday. Permits are valid from August 15 to August 15 unless they are purchased through payroll reduction.
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 see the Transportation and Parking website.
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 (http://www.Myflorida.com). The Benefits Section within HR can also answer questions regarding retirement benefits.
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 amount of the faculty member’s gross compensation, determined by the Legislature, 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’s retirement eligibility with the University or any FRS employer. The DROP allows a member to have their retirement benefits deposited into an interest-bearing account, while the member simultaneously continues to work.
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, they may defer participation in DROP and elect to join at any time between the month they complete 30 or 33 years and the month they reach 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 they become 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, they 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.
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.
Attendance and Leave
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.
Instructors are expected to post and honor specific office hours, typically at least one hour per class per week, 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.
Annual leave accrual rates for 12-month faculty are available at:
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.
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. See “Compulsory Leave” section below.
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 a faculty member who 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 are thereafter employed into a leave-accruing position at the University may transfer, upon hiring department’s approval, up to 240 hours of 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 who separates from employment with fewer than 10 years of service or who was hired after May 6, 2011 is not paid for any unused sick leave.
A faculty member hired before May 6, 2011 who separates from employment, and who 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 may request 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.
All payments for unused sick leave 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 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.
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 (FMLA) of 1993, University 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 FMLA, 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 FMLA 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 FMLA, the employee should complete the first two pages of the FMLA/Parental Leave Request and Notice Form, 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 FMLA being granted.
The University uses a “rolling” 12-month period to assess an employee’s available FMLA entitlement rather than a calendar year or academic year. This 12-month period is measured backward from the date an employee uses any FMLA. Under the rolling 12-month period, each time an employee takes FMLA, the remaining entitlement would be any unused balance of the 12 weeks that has not been used during the immediately preceding 12 months.
FMLA is unpaid; however, faculty are to report accrued paid leave (sick, vacation, compensatory, and personal holiday) in conjunction with the unpaid FMLA taken. FMLA should be appropriately coded in OMNI by the time/leave entry coordinator. For information regarding how to enter FMLA in OMNI refer to the FMLA/Parental Leave Time Entry Instructions.
While an employee is on FMLA, 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 Office in Human Resources, Benefits Section at 644-4015 prior to any leave of absence, with or without pay, to ensure the correct and timely payment of contributions for insurance coverage.
Employees on continuous FMLA 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 work. 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 rights under the FMLA can be found on the Office of Human Resources’ website.
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.
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 (who is acceptable to the President or representative), 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 written notification to the faculty member regarding the compulsory leave must include the duration of the compulsory leave period and the conditions under which the faculty member may return to work. These conditions may include requiring 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.
Compulsory leave, with or without pay, may be imposed 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.
Accrual of Annual Leave
Full-time, salaried faculty members holding 12-month appointments shall accrue annual leave at the rate of 6.769 biweekly. Faculty members on 9-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 the end of the last full pay period of the current year shall have any excess converted to post October 1, 1973 sick leave on an hour-for-hour basis at the end of the first full pay period the following 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 must report having taken each period of approved annual leave, in accordance with HR and department procedures.
Faculty members who resign from a Florida governmental entity (state agency, university, state college, county, or city) and are thereafter employed in annual-leave-accruing positions at the University within 31 days, may transfer (upon the hiring department’s approval) up to 80 hours of unused and unpaid annual leave. Faculty members may transfer up to 44 days of unused leave into an annual leave-accruing position from another University classification/pay plan.
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 a lifetime maximum of 352 hours, is made to the faculty member’s beneficiary, estate, or as provided by law.
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 relevant to outside employment/conflict of interest. Such an appearance may necessitate the faculty member requesting annual leave or adjusting their 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 92.141, 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 which are not covered by an Executive Order occur, 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.
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.
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 is ordered to active or inactive duty for training exercises. Such leave with pay will not exceed 240 hours in any one fiscal year (July 1-June 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
Any employee who volunteers for active military service or is ordered to active duty in connection with long-term reserve activity will be granted a leave of absence from their position for the duration of the required active duty. For details, see FSU Policy 4-OP-C-7-E1.9 Military Leave.
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)
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 no fewer 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 no fewer 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.)
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.
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 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.
Time spent on compensated or uncompensated leave is not creditable for the purpose of determining eligibility for tenure, except by mutual written 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.
The Office of Human Resources administers unpaid Parental Leave procedures for faculty members in accordance with Florida Statute 110.221 (http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/benefits-leave/fmla.htm), and University Regulations.
Under Parental Leave, faculty members shall be granted up to six months of unpaid leave when they become biological or adoptive parents. 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 acknowledging the request for Parental Leave, with final approval from the Vice President for Faculty Development and Advancement. Parental Leave is designated unpaid 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 may 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, 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. Once the FMLA/Parental Leave Request and Notice is processed, the employee will be provided with the Notice of Eligibility Rights and Responsibilities and the Health Care Provider Certification. The completed Health Care Provider Certification is 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 unpaid leave, the faculty member may request and be approved to use accrued leave to cover any part of the six-month 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 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 and the rules of the funding agency, and the adequate amount of funding is available for this purpose in the contract or grant. This policy is subject to change based on the outcome of annual collective bargaining. All issues related to how parental leave affects the timing of the Promotion and Tenure process should be discussed with the Office of Faculty Development and Advancement.
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.
Faculty Concerns and Complaint Resolution
The University encourages open and honest communication between administrators and faculty members. Formal grievance procedures are initiated only when resolving 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., situations involving minors, reports of discrimination, sexual misconduct, and safety issues). 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 in resolving 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 formal grievance by following the grievance procedure outlined in Article 20 of the Agreement. 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 Vice President for Faculty Development and Advancement and the Faculty Senate Coordinator in the Office of Faculty Development and Advancement for additional details regarding this process.
Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Complaints: Discrimination based on membership in a protected group and, sexual misconduct 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. To report discrimination or sexual misconduct go to http://report.fsu.edu/, contact the Title IX Office at 644-1774, contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Compliance at 645-6519, or contact the Office of Student Support and Transitions at 644-2428, as applicable.
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.
The faculty member’s supervisor should contact the Office of Faculty Development and Advancement regarding how to proceed with an investigation to determine the facts of 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.
Conducting a Thorough Investigation
If there is a possible criminal violation, 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 discrimination or sexual misconduct, contact the Title IX Office at 644-1774, the Office of Equal Opportunity and Compliance (EOC) at 645-6519, or the Office of Student Support and Transitions at 644-2428, as applicable, 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 contact the Office of Faculty Development and Advancement regarding how to proceed regarding an 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. If the faculty member requests a union representative, please contact Faculty Relations or 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.
Just Cause for Disciplinary Action
Faculty members’ activities that fall within the scope of their employment may, at times, subject them to disciplinary action. Activities outside the scope of employment are subject to University discipline only if they adversely affect the legitimate interests of the University.
The FSU-UFF Collective Bargaining Agreement defines “Incompetence” and “Misconduct” as the two bases for faculty disciplinary action.
Examples of incompetence include, but are not limited to:
- Failure to perform instructional responsibilities, including repeated unauthorized class absences, lack of interaction with students in an online course, failure to provide appropriate feedback to students;
- Failure to perform assigned research activities;
- Failure to fulfill assigned service commitments.
Examples of misconduct include, but are not limited to:
- Violence against any member or guest of the University community (or others, if they adversely affect the legitimate interests of the University);
- Theft or willful destruction of University property or the property of members of the University community;
- Deliberately impeding or interfering with the rights of others to carry out their normal functions and duties, including the ability to enter, use, or leave any University facility, service, or scheduled activity;
- Deliberate interference with the academic freedom and freedom of speech of any member or guest of the University;
- Violation of University Policies, including the Sex Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct Policy, Policy on Misconduct in Research and Creative Activity, Workplace Violence Guidelines, Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination Policy, or any other Policy/Regulation relevant to important standards of professional behavior for faculty members; and,
- Any other conduct that demonstrates willful or wanton disregard of the University’s best interests.
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 beyond a preponderance of the evidence that the faculty member did, in fact, engage in incompetence or misconduct?
- Past practice: Is the discipline comparable to past treatment of faculty members who committed the same offense? Has the chair/dean been reasonably 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 in a manner that returns a receipt of delivery or be 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.
In cases in which the President or representative 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 a less serious disciplinary action; or issued a Notice of Discipline Letter to proceed with a suspension, demotion or dismissal.
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 in a manner that returns receipt of delivery or be delivered in person to the faculty member with written documentation of receipt obtained.
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 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 three collective bargaining units applicable to Academic Affairs at FSU: The United Faculty of Florida (UFF), the UFF Graduate Assistants United (UFF-FSU-GAU) and the UFF FSU School (FSUS).
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 found on the Office of Human resources website. 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 Faculty Relations in Human Resources Faculty Relations in Human Resources administers the entirety of the UFF grievance process. The Vice President for Faculty Development and Advancement facilitates the initial stage of the grievance, prior to a Step 1 grievance being filed.
When terminating employment for any reason, faculty members must complete steps to ensure an appropriate exit from the University. A separation 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 Vice President’s administrative assistant to schedule an exit interview. An exit survey is also available. Departing faculty members are asked to complete the form to provide the administration insights regarding 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.
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.
Refer to the Faculty Development Section of this handbook regarding provisions for non-reappointment.
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.
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 efforts 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 in this circumstance, the University shall select and consult with appropriate administrative personnel and representatives of senates, committees and other such relevant 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, and 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:
- No tenured faculty member shall be laid off if there are untenured faculty members in the layoff unit.
- 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.
- 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.
(c) 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 placed 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 (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 of vacancies and to ensure that those who express an interest in the position are considered.
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 fewer than five years of 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.