Essential Matters - Fall 2012
Words from the Provost to highlight a number of matters for your attention.
First, welcome back to the start of the new year! I hope you had a satisfying and restorative summer.
I write to highlight a number of matters for your attention at this time of the year. Most are in the way of reminders, but I ask that you acquaint yourselves with each of these critical issues. I also want to take this opportunity to promote a new campus resource, which is the online collection of policies and procedures set up by Kiersten Boyce, our Compliance and Policy Officer. The policies and procedures can be found on her website.
Conflict of Interest
I ask that you be alert even to the appearance of conflict of interest and, if you have any questions, talk with your chair, dean, or my office. One type of conflict is financial remuneration, benefits, and gifts or other emoluments that might be provided to faculty and staff from vendors or other service providers. An example might be a textbook publisher or software provider who offers some substantial gift (other than teachers’ copies of materials or, say, desk calendars) that might be perceived as a quid pro quo.
All instructional faculty should remember to check their online course rosters in Banner by the last day of drop-add.
Use of copyrighted materials
Please review the policy on copyrighted materials (pdf); it is important and touches on matters such as assembling course materials. If you have any questions or need clarification or guidance, please contact James Heller, Director of the Wolf Law Library, who is my designee in copyright matters.
policies and handbooks
All employees, including faculty, operate under personnel policies governing the terms and conditions of their employment. These policies, which are collected in handbooks for certain types of employees, are posted on both the Provost’s Office and the Office of Human Resources websites, and are collected in the policies and procedures website.
Consensual Amorous Relations Policy
It is important to be aware of and follow the College’s policy on consensual amorous relations between faculty and students and, in certain cases, between faculty and other faculty. If you are unfamiliar with it, please review it in the Faculty Handbook.
Information Security and Sensitive Data
The College is required by law to protect specific information defined as "sensitive data" and has therefore implemented the “Policy for Securing Sensitive Data.” This policy provides a definition of what constitutes "sensitive data" (it is narrowly defined) and describes other important rules for handling "sensitive data." Most notably, be aware that storing sensitive data using services like Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft SkyDrive or other ‘cloud’ based storage services is not permitted. View this and other important Information Security Policies.
External Paid Employment
You must have prior approval to engage in external employment for pay during your contract period. Please review our policies and procedures (pdf).
Policies on Religious Holidays
The College attempts, whenever possible, to make reasonable accommodations for students and staff when religious holidays conflict with scheduled classes or other events. Please contact your chair, director or dean if you have any questions or need advice in specific instances.
Only the Provost can cancel classes or alter work obligations of College employees. The only exemption is for the Gloucester Point campus of VIMS; the Dean/Director has the authority to close the VIMS campus. The specific policy and details are online.
When you travel on university business, you must have an approved travel authorization prior to travel. Failure to obtain prior approval could affect reimbursements. Further information about travel expense reimbursement.
Use of the Internet and Electronic Media
The Commonwealth of Virginia’s Department of Human Resources has updated its policy – which applies to all university employees – on use of the Internet and electronic communications to include a broader range of devices such as BlackBerries and smartphones and social media technologies such as LinkedIn, Facebook, blogs, etc. As outlined in the policy, personal use of these technologies is permitted as long as it does not interfere with productivity or performance and does not adversely affect efficient operations of the Commonwealth’s systems or imply that the communication is made on behalf of the university. The policy outlining specific requirements and banned activities (pdf) is available online. The Code of Virginia prohibits the use of state-owned or leased computers to access sexually explicit content. Exceptions may be made for research approved in advance. Please seek such approvals in writing (email is acceptable) from Vice Provost for Research, Dennis Manos.
Emergency Notification System
Please make sure that your phone number(s) and email address(es) in the Emergency Notification System are current. These can be updated via Banner Self-Service.
Of course, if you have any questions about any of the items listed above, please do not hesitate to contact your chair, director, dean or my office.