Greetings—as summer gives way to fall.
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 in some cases there have been significant changes. This is a long message, but I ask that you take the time to (re)acquaint yourselves with each of these critical issues.
1. General Matters
a. Personnel 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 as well as on W&M’s online policy library.
b. Emergency Closings and Notifications: Only the Provost can cancel classes or alter work obligations of College employees (for VIMS and James Monroe’s Highland, the Dean/Director and Executive Director, respectively, will make closing decisions), pursuant to the Emergency Closing Policy. Please make sure that your phone number(s) and email address(es) are current in the Emergency Notification System. These can be updated via Banner Self-Service.
c. Student Access to University Buildings: Beginning this fall, active William & Mary students will have 24-hour/7-day card swipe access to Tyler, Ewell, Jones, and Morton Halls, and Swem Mews during each semester. Additionally, students will have access to Miller Hall from 6am-2am/7 days per week. Law School card swipe access will be provided on a 24-hour/7-day basis for students enrolled at the Law School and students enrolled in the MPA program. Student access to residence halls remains the same as in previous years. The Scheduling Office and Conference Services will coordinate building access for events scheduled through those offices. Access to university buildings outside of scheduled open hours may be arranged on a one-time or ongoing basis with approval of an Authorized Signatory as outlined in the Access Control Policy for University Facilities. Contact the Facilities Management Work Control Office ([[workor]] / 221- 2270) with any questions.
2. Safety and Respectful Workplace and Reporting Obligations
a. Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Violence: Please review W&M’s policies on Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation and Sexual Misconduct. Please also familiarize yourself with campus resources for discrimination-related services.
b. Faculty, Staff and Students with Disabilities – Requesting and Implementing Accommodation: W&M modifies academic and working conditions and policies as necessary to accommodate students and employees with disabilities. Accommodations may be authorized only by Student Accessibility Services (221-2509) or the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (221-7940) (for faculty/employees with disabilities). It is essential that faculty take care to fully and promptly implement any specific student accommodations. If you have any questions, please contact Student Accessibility Services within the Dean of Students Office at 221-2512 ([[sas]]) or Chon Glover, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, at 221-7940.
c. Building an Accessible Curriculum. W&M encourages faculty to prepare course materials in an accessible format for students with visual impairments. Information and other resources are available at www.wm.edu/campusaccess.
d. Reporting Obligations: There are certain situations that you are required to report to others, including threats and acts of violence and reports of certain crimes or sexual harassment. Information about these reporting requirements is available on the mandatory reporting website.
e. Preferred Name Option for Students: Students are able to indicate a preferred name using the personal information questionnaire (PIQ) in Banner Self-Service. This preferred name will appear on course lists in Blackboard and on class rosters. Please allow students to express a preferred name to you and use it in your interactions with students. The preferred name option is part of W&M’s efforts to make transgender or genderqueer students feel welcome on campus; for more information, visit the LGBTQ resource website.
f. Concern about a Student: Faculty and staff are encouraged to contact the Dean of Students Office promptly with any concerns about an individual student – general welfare concerns (multiple class absences, personal or family crisis, disturbed/disturbing behavior), suspicions about hazing, conduct/honor violations, signs of substance abuse, or any other matter that raises concern. The Dean of Students website has an online Care Report Form, and the Dean’s professional staff will follow-up promptly based on the information provided. In cases of imminent safety concern, always contact the W&M Police at 221-4596.
g. Student Honor Code: The Office of Student Conduct has resources for faculty regarding the Honor Code. For undergraduate student cases, the Honor System permits faculty members to resolve certain low-level, first-time honor violations without need for a formal hearing. This process provides a non-adversarial means of resolution while also allowing for the teachable moment created by dialogue. Note that the process is only available for certain types of violations and only for first-time offenses; thus, consultation with the Office of Student Conduct is necessary prior to any resolution. The Office of Student Conduct and the Honor Council are available to speak with classes or meet with departments at any time. Please contact Dave Gilbert, Associate Dean of Students (221-2509), for more information.
3. Environment, Health & Safety Compliance: The EH&S office is responsible for maintaining compliance with health, safety, and environmental regulations and standards. Please review and comply with EH&S procedures, including all directives for fire/safety drills, safety inspections or routine “walk-throughs.” Per W&M policy, the EH&S Office has “stop work” authority if a dangerous situation is deemed to exist.
4. Financial Items
a. Conflicts of Interest: Our Code of Ethics requires that we avoid even the appearance of conflict of interest. One type of conflict arises when payments, gifts or other benefits are provided to faculty and staff from vendors or other service providers. External paid employment can also present a conflict, and, for faculty (other than adjuncts) and full-time professional employees such employment must be approved in advance. You should also be aware that under Virginia law, the business and financial dealings of your spouse are imputed to you; thus, your obligation to avoid conflicts of interests extends to your spouse’s activities. Information and resources regarding conflicts are available here.
b. Travel and Other Transactions Involving W&M Money: Regardless of funding source, when using funds through the university, including when you make a business-related purchase for which you later request reimbursement or travel on university business, you must follow applicable policies and procedures. For example, you must have an approved travel authorization prior to travel. Further information about buying goods or services is available from the Office of Procurement and information about travel expense reimbursement is available through Financial Operations.
5. Technology, Information and Intellectual Property
a. Information Security and Sensitive Data: W&M is required by law to protect specific information defined as “sensitive data.” The Data Classification and Protection Policy narrowly defines “sensitive data” and describes other important rules for handling such data. Most notably, be aware that storing sensitive data using services like Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive or other cloud-based storage services is not permitted. Instead, please use Box, W&M’s file sharing, file storage and collaboration platform. Visit IT’s security policies website for important information.
b. Use of Copyrighted Materials: Please review W&M’s Policy and Guidelines for the Use of Copyrighted Work (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 Dean Carrie Cooper, who is W&M’s designee in copyright matters.
c. Intellectual Property, Technology Transfer, and Export Control: Along with various regulations, laws, and policies regulating research, all of which can be found in the Vice Provost for Research and Graduate Studies’ semester compliance reminder letter, employees must comply with W&M policies on Intellectual Property and Export Control. The research reminder letter and policies can be found here.
d. Use of the Internet and Electronic Media and W&M computers: State policy on use of the Internet and electronic communications covers a broad range of devices such as smartphones and social media technologies including Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs, etc. Under the policy, personal use of these technologies is permitted as long as it does not (1) interfere with productivity or performance, (2) adversely affect systems, or (3) imply that the communication is made on behalf of W&M. The policy outlining specific requirements and banned activities is online here. In addition, the Code of Virginia prohibits the use of W&M-owned or leased computers to access sexually explicit content, except when approved in advance by the Vice Provost for Research and Graduate/Professional Studies.
Of course, if you have any questions about any of the items listed above, please do not hesitate to contact your supervisor, department head, dean or my office. Thank you for your attention to these important matters.