Policy Manual

Other Policies, Procedures, and Information

Ethics Policy

The University System of Georgia (USG) is committed to the highest ethical and professional standards of conduct in pursuit of its mission to create a more educated Georgia. Accomplishing this mission demands integrity, good judgment and dedication to public service from all members of the USG community.

While the USG affirms each person’s accountability for individual actions, it also recognizes that the shared mission and the shared enterprise of its institutions require a shared set of core values and ethical conduct to which each member of the USG community must be held accountable. Furthermore, the USG acknowledges that an organizational culture grounded in trust is essential to supporting these core values and ethical conduct.

The following Statement of Core Values and Code of Conduct are intended to build, maintain and protect that trust, recognizing that each member of the USG community is responsible for doing his/her part by upholding the highest standards of competence and character.


The USG Ethics Policy applies to all members of the USG community. The USG community includes:

  1. All members of the Board of Regents;
  2. All individuals employed by, or acting on behalf of, the USG or one of the USG institutions, including volunteers, vendors, and contractors; and,
  3. Members of the governing boards and employees of all cooperative organizations affiliated with the USG or one of its institutions.

Members of the Board of Regents and all individuals employed by the USG or one of its institutions in any capacity shall participate in USG Ethics Policy training, and shall certify compliance with the USG Ethics Policy on a periodic basis as provided in the USG Business Procedures Manual. Cooperative organizations, vendors, and contractors shall certify compliance with the USG Ethics Policy by written agreement as provided in the USG Business Procedures Manual.

The USG Ethics Policy governs only official conduct performed by or on behalf of the USG. Violations of the USG Ethics Policy may result in disciplinary action including dismissal or termination.

Statement of Core Values

Every member of the USG community is required to adhere to the USG Statement of Core Values – Integrity, Excellence, Accountability, and Respect – that form and guide the daily work of the organization.

Integrity – We will be honest, fair, impartial and unbiased in our dealings both with and on behalf of the USG.

Excellence – We will perform our duties to foster a culture of excellence and high quality in everything we do.

Accountability – We firmly believe that education in the form of scholarship, research, teaching, service and developing others is a public trust. We will live up to this trust through safeguarding our resources and being good stewards of the human, intellectual, physical and fiscal resources given to our care.

Respect – We recognize the inherent dignity and rights of every person, and we will do our utmost to fulfill our resulting responsibility to treat each person with fairness, compassion and decency.

Purpose of the Code of Conduct

The USG recognizes that each member of the USG community attempts to live by his or her own values, beliefs and ethical decision-making processes. The purpose of the Code of Conduct is to guide members of the USG community in applying the underlying USG Statement of Core Values to the decisions and choices that are made in the course of everyday endeavors. Each USG institution must ensure that its institutional ethics policies are consistent with this USG Ethics policy.

Code of Conduct

We will:

  1. Uphold the highest standards of intellectual honesty and integrity in the conduct of teaching, research, service and grants administration.
  2. Act as good stewards of the resources and information entrusted to our care.
  3. Perform assigned duties and professional responsibilities in such a manner so as to further the USG mission.
  4. Treat fellow employees, students and the public with dignity and respect.
  5. Refrain from discriminating against, harassing or threatening others.
  6. Comply with all applicable laws, rules, regulations and professional standards.
  7. Respect the intellectual property rights of others.
  8. Avoid improper political activities as defined in law and Board of Regents Policy.
  9. Protect human health and safety and the environment in all USG operations and activities.
  10. Report wrongdoing to the proper authorities; refrain from retaliating against those who do report violations; and cooperate fully with authorized investigations.
  11. Disclose and avoid improper conflicts of interest.
  12. Refrain from accepting any gift or thing of value in those instances prohibited by law or Board of Regents policy.
  13. Not use our position or authority improperly to advance the interests of a friend or relative.

Interpretation and Sources

The Statement of Core Values and Code of Conduct do not address every conceivable situation or ethical dilemma that may be faced by members of the USG community. Members of the USG community are expected to exercise good judgment absent specific guidance from this policy or other applicable laws, rules and regulations.

Specific questions pertaining to the Statement of Core Values or Code of Conduct should be directed to a supervisor or other competent authority at the University System Office or at the institution’s office of Legal Affairs, Internal Audit, Compliance, Human Resources, Academic Affairs, or other appropriate office.


Each actively employed University System of Georgia (USG) employee, to include institutional employees, is expected to complete the USG Ethics Training and Certification within 90 days of their initial day of employment as a condition of employment. This training will typically be coordinated through the Office of Human Resources and Employee Relations. Additionally, the USG may require periodic “refresher” ethics training and related certification courses. In the event any employee refuses to complete any required Ethics training and certification, the institution shall follow the process as outlined below:


In the event an actively employed employee fails to complete USG Ethics training and certification or other required training the employee shall be subject to disciplinary action consistent with Board Policy up to and including termination. Upon initial failure to complete the training in accordance with the published deadline, the institution shall have 30 days to obtain the employee’s compliance with the required training and certification using disciplinary procedures consistent with institutional procedures and Board Policy up to and including termination. If the employee has not remediated the requirement within 30 days, then the disciplinary process outlined as follows shall be implemented. Nothing in the following process shall be construed as preventing the institution from taking measures it deems necessary to obtain compliance prior to the end of the 30-day period. Upon failure to complete the required training and certification, the immediate supervisor of the employee shall convene a meeting and issue a verbal warning. If the employee does not remediate this requirement within three business days of having received the verbal warning, the employee will be relieved of any supervisory (personnel) or budgetary responsibilities until such time as the employee successfully completes the training and certification.

In the event a tenured or non-tenured employee with faculty rank continues to fail to complete the training and certification, the President shall remove the faculty member for cause consistent with the policy and procedures outlined in Board Policy 8.3.9. If the faculty member is tenure-track, non-tenure, or part-time and/or adjunct and refuses to complete the training and certification, the faculty member shall also be subject to non-renewal of contract or non-reappointment.

All non-faculty employees shall have a total of 10 business days from the date of the verbal warning to complete the training and certification. If the employee still fails to complete the training and certification at the end of the 10 business day period, then the employee shall receive a final written warning and will be given 10 additional business days to complete the training. If the employee continues to fail to complete the training by the regular close of business on the 10th day after the issuance of the final written warning, then s/he shall be terminated.

The USG Vice Chancellor for Human Resources and/or the USG Chief Audit Officer may periodically require reports from institutions with respect to their completion of ethics certification and training requirements. These reports will periodically be summarized and presented to the Board of Regents’ Committee on Internal Audit, Risk, and Compliance.

Student Employees

Student employees shall be subject to the ethics training and certification requirements and associated disciplinary procedures as outlined in the “Employees” section above.

Alternative Delivery Methods

Georgia College may, with approval, choose alternative means to deliver USG Ethics Policy training and certification requirements. Alternative means for delivery of ethics training shall minimally include:

Training, e.g., discussion groups, classes, online training, seminars, convocations, etc., that addresses the tenets of the USG Ethics Policy and current USG ethics issues as defined in published guidance;

Review of the actual USG Ethics Policy; and,

A physical and/or electronic signature indicating understanding of and compliance with the USG Ethics Policy.

Scheduling of alternative delivery methods shall be consistent with the training deadlines established for completion of the USG Ethics Policy periodic training and certification requirements. Additionally, institutions shall enforce compliance with the alternative delivery methods as outlined under the “Employee” section above.

Institutions choosing an alternative means to deliver USG Ethics Policy training and certification requirements shall submit their proposed employee ethics training and certification program to the USG Vice Chancellor for Human Resources and the USG Chief Audit Officer for approval prior to the institution President approving an alternative delivery method.

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Updated March 3, 2011

Tobacco and Smoke-Free Campus Policy

Policy Statement

It is the policy of Georgia College to prohibit use of any tobacco products on property owned, leased, rented, in the possession of or in any way used by Georgia College. In addition, advertising, sale, and free sampling of tobacco products on Georgia College property are also prohibited unless specifically stated for research purposes.


Tobacco Products

  1. Cigarettes
  2. Cigars
  3. Pipes
  4. Clove cigarettes
  5. All forms of smokeless tobacco including but not limited to chewing tobacco, snuff, and snus
  6. Any other smoking devices that use tobacco, such as hookahs, or simulate the use of tobacco, such as electronic cigarettes


  1. Undergraduate
  2. Graduate
  3. Early College
  4. Bridge  Scholar Program
  5. Any other person who is attending any classes at a Georgia College property


  1. Full-time, or, Part-time
  2. Regular, Temporary, or, Student
  3. Faculty, or, Staff

Independent Contractor or Subcontractor

  1. An individual who follows an independent trade, business, or profession in which they offer their services to the public and will be performing these duties on our behalf and,
  2. Not a University Employee

Visitors and Spectators

  1. Any person who is not a student, employee, independent contractor or subcontractor of Georgia College and is visiting, using, or participating in events on any Georgia College Property.


  1. Sidewalks
  2. Buildings
  3. Parking lots
  4. Any facilities leased, rented or otherwise used by Georgia College
  5. Athletic venues
  6. Vehicles
  7. Any other equipment or property in use by Georgia College and not described above

Research Purposes

  1. Scholarly scientific investigations


  1. Smoking which means inhaling, exhaling, burning, or carrying any lighted tobacco product including cigarettes, cigars, and pipe tobacco
  2. Any smokeless tobacco products employed orally including but not limited to dipping, spitting, chewing and sucking
  3. Nasally employing any smokeless tobacco products including but not limited to all forms of snuff and snus
  4. The operation of any electronic tobacco delivery product
  5. The operation of any smoking devices that simulate the use of tobacco
  6. Any means on employing tobacco for personal satisfaction.

Reason for Policy

This policy is required to adhere to the USG – Board of Regents policy of a Tobacco and Smoke-Free Campus as well as complying with the Georgia Smoke Free Air Act of 2005, Title 31 Chapter 12A.  .

Proposed Outcomes

-- Reinforces Georgia College’s commitment to provide a safe and amicable workplace and place of learning for all employees and students.

-- Preserves and improves the health, comfort, and environment of students, employees, and any other persons occupying or visiting our campuses.

Applicability of the Policy

This policy applies to all persons, which includes but is not limited to students, faculty, staff, contractors and subcontractors, spectators, and visitors who enter the areas defined as property.  All events hosted by Georgia College shall be tobacco-free. All events hosted by outside groups on behalf of Georgia College shall also be tobacco-free.

Related Policies

This policy is based on the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia located at:http://www.usg.edu/tobaccofree.  To the extent there is any conflict from the actual written Board of Regents (BoR) policy, the BoR policy will prevail.



This prohibition includes but is not limited to all areas indoors and outdoors, sidewalks contiguous to the campus, buildings and parking lots owned, leased, rented or otherwise used by Georgia College or its affiliates. The use of tobacco products is prohibited in all vehicles – private or public vehicles - located on Georgia College property. This policy prohibits any use of advertising, sale, or free sampling of tobacco products on Georgia College property unless specifically stated for research purposes.

Compliance with this policy is the responsibility of all members of the Georgia College community. Faculty, administrators, management, staff and students are encouraged to assist in the implementation of this policy by respectfully informing tobacco users of this policy. Georgia College visitors are expected to comply with the tobacco and smoke-free environment.

Violation of Policy

Repeated violation of this policy may result in corrective action under the Student Code of Conduct, campus human resource policies or other applicable regulations or policies. Georgia College visitors refusing to comply may be asked to leave campus.

Fiscal Misconduct

Georgia College is committed to the highest professional standards in administrative operations. Administrative officers and managers are responsible for guarding against fiscal irregularities and related misconduct and for ensuring the proper stewardship of resources entrusted to the University. Employees and students found to have engaged in fiscal or related misconduct will be subject to appropriate disciplinary actions.

Any suspected instance of fiscal misconduct should be reported to your direct supervisor, dean, vice president, Office of Internal Audit, or Office of Legal Affairs. Persons can also file a claim with the GC Ethics and Compliance Reporting Hotline; an independent third party experienced in collecting sensitive and confidential information. Any reported fiscal misconduct concerns brought to the Office of Internal Audit or Office of Legal Affairs will be followed through by the campus triage committee. Additional information concerning fiscal misconduct, hotline, or the triage committee can be found at the Office of Internal Audit or Office of Legal Affairs web site.

Ethics and Compliance Reporting Hotline

Georgia College recognizes that an ethical, efficient, and effective work environment is essential to our continuing to accomplish our mission. As a result, a high priority has been placed on assuring that each member of the University community has the opportunity and means to convey any matter that could compromise that environment. Reporting through your supervisory chain frequently produces the most thorough and timely resolution of a matter and is encouraged. However, other reporting avenues, such as the University Police, Office of Human Resources and Employee Relations, and Office of Internal Audit, have been and continue to be readily available. In keeping with our efforts to expand alternatives for reporting matters of significance, we have now added Hotline reporting through a service provided by an independent company, Global Compliance. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and allows you to voice your concerns, and to remain anonymous if you prefer.

Of special concern are fraud, waste, and abuse as well as harassment of any kind, given that they so directly impact our stewardship responsibilities and the well-being of individuals within our campus community.

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Grievance Policy and Procedures for Employees

Policy Statement

The University System of Georgia is committed to providing a good working environment for its faculty and staff. Conflicts and disagreements between employees and their supervisors are inevitable. It is the policy of the University System of Georgia to resolve these disputes fairly, and at the lowest possible level. When these conflicts or disagreements occur, employees should first attempt to resolve them through discussion with their supervisor.

Reason for Policy

This policy reinforces the institution’s commitment to provide a safe and amicable workplace for all employees.


The policy is intended to provide an avenue for resolution of conflicts at the lowest possible level. Attempted resolution may be addressed through the Grievance/Disciplinary Review Process, if applicable. A grievance or disciplinary review will be available to handle claims that a person has been harmed by any action that violates the policies of either the institution or the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia ("the Board of Regents") or for requested disciplinary review pursuant to the University System policy, entitled Dismissal, Demotion or Suspension.

A grievance will not be available to dispute:

  • promotion and tenure decisions,
  • performance evaluations,
  • hiring decisions,
  • classification appeals,
  • challenges to grades or assessments,
  • challenges to salary decisions,
  • challenges to transfers or reassignments,
  • termination or layoff because of lack of work or elimination of position,
  • investigations or decisions reached under the university’s Harassment Policy, and normal supervisory counseling.

In addition, these formal procedures will not be available to a student or employee who has chosen to seek relief through a department, school or unit’s internal grievance procedure unless such procedure failed to provide a fair and impartial hearing and an adequate mechanism for appeal or review.


A classified employee may file a grievance only if:

  • The employee has been suspended; or
  • The employee has been discharged; or
  • The employee has been demoted, or their salary has been reduced.

An employee may not file a grievance, even in the above circumstances, if:

  • The discharge occurred during the six (6)-month provisional period;
  • They have been adversely affected by a reorganization, program modification or financial exigency (such employees may apply to the Board of Regents for review);
  • The issue underlying the grievance is a charge of discrimination on the basis of race, sex, age, disability or religion. Such charges should be directed to the Affirmative Action/EEO Officer.
  • The issues being grieved have been previously heard by an administrative panel at the institution.


For the purpose of applying and interpreting this Policy, certain terms shall have the meanings as indicated below:

  • "Alternative Dispute Resolution" refers to the use of mediation, facilitated discussion, conflict coaching, or other informal means of resolving a dispute.
  • "Conflict" means a state of disharmony between two or more parties.
  • "Complainant" means the party that makes a complaint against another party.
  • "Dispute" refers to any controversy or debate in the workplace that is serious enough in nature that some resolution is required in order to maintain efficiency and civility.
  • "Employee" means any GC full time or part time faculty or staff eligible to receive employment benefits through the University System of Georgia.
  • "Formal Grievance" means the written filing of a complaint which results in the use of a Grievance Panel to resolve the dispute
  • "Grievant" means the eligible employee who initiates an informal or formal grievance process.
  • "Informal Grievance" shall be deemed to refer to a complaint being made by any means other than a formal grievance, indicating the desire of the complainant to resolve the dispute without the use of a Grievance Panel.
  • "Party" means a person involved in a dispute.
  • "Witness" means a person who can give a firsthand account of something.


Conflicts sometime arise in the relationship between the University, as an employer, and its employees. Both the employee with a grievance and the University benefit when the University responds to grievances promptly and fairly.

Grievances of discrimination and harassment will be referred to the Chief Human Resources Officer and will be investigated in accordance with university procedures. 

All employees shall receive fair and equitable treatment at Georgia College. In keeping with the spirit of collegiality, the goal is to resolve an employee complaint or grievance promptly and fairly and if possible through communication between the parties directly involved in the complaint. This is consistent with our philosophy of building an environment that is fair and equitable and supports and values open communication at all levels. The grievance procedures at Georgia College consist of three parts:

  1. Informal Grievance/Complaint Resolution Procedures
  2. Alternative Dispute Resolution (Mediation or Facilitated Discussion)
  3. Formal Grievance Procedures

Informal Grievance/Complaint Procedures

  1. The employee will seek to resolve the grievance/complaint with the immediate supervisor or a first line manager consistent with our practice of resolving disputes at the lowest possible level in the organization. These discussions should be confidential. Verbal or written statements are an acceptable means of requesting a meeting during the informal grievance/complaint process.
  2. If the grievance/complaint involves the immediate supervisor, the employee and/or the supervisor, shall have the option of having a confidential discussion, and/or shall be given an opportunity to have another employee, peer or human resources representative present as a neutral observer. If the grievance/complaint remains unresolved, the employee may then seek to resolve the grievance/complaint at each level of supervision.
  3. If the grievance is not resolved or if circumstances of the grievance prevent the employee from using the above mentioned steps, the employee may present the grievance to the Assistant Director of Employee Relations at any time during the informal grievance/complaint process.

The Assistant Director of Employee Relations shall meet with the employee and the supervisor and others as appropriate, in an attempt to resolve the informal grievance/complaint.

  1. If the complaint involves accusations or appearances of discrimination the Assistant Director of Employee Relations will immediately contact the HR Generalist of Employee Relations.
  2. At any time during the informal grievance/complaint process an employee may choose to pursue mediation or a formal grievance, keeping in mind the alternatives to the formal process.

Mediation and/or Facilitated Discussion Procedures

If all reasonable informal efforts to resolve the complaint do not result in resolution, or at any time during the complaint process the employee or supervisor feels mediation might be an option, they are encouraged to consider mediation to resolve the conflict.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is an informal process that involves a trained facilitator who will assist in effecting a voluntary resolution of the dispute/complaint. The objective of a mediation or facilitated discussion process is to come to an agreement that is fair and meets the needs of the parties involved in the conflict. The process is confidential and is conducted in a confidential setting. Georgia College and the University System of Georgia maintain a list of trained mediators.

Mediation does not waive the rights of any aggrieved party to seek resolution of his/her grievance through formal avenues. Mediation is a cost effective, voluntary, fast and efficient way to resolve grievances; it encourages reaching a mutually acceptable resolution.

Steps for Mediation

  1. If one or both parties are interested in pursuing mediation or facilitated discussion as an option, they should contact the Assistant Director of Employee Relations.
  2. Both parties involved in the complaint/dispute must agree to voluntarily request mediation.
  3. If the parties agree and an internal GC trained mediator(s) can be utilized, the Assistant Director of Employee Relations will arrange the time and location for the mediation or facilitated discussion.
  4. Every attempt will be made to arrange for the mediation/facilitated discussion within ten (10) working days of the request. Requests for an external mediator will take additional time to coordinate.
  5. The mediator will facilitate the discussion between the disputing parties to help find a mutually agreeable solution to the conflict. The mediator will not impose a solution.
  6. At any time during the mediation process either with or without reaching an agreement the employee can file a formal grievance.

Formal Grievance Procedures

Faculty or staff employees may pursue resolution of their grievance/complaint through a formal grievance process. The following procedures will be in place to provide the framework and process to resolve formal grievances:

  1. The Assistant Director of Employee Relations will serve as the grievance coordinator and has the responsibility of managing the expeditious and fair resolution of grievance hearings. The main role of the Assistant Director of Employee Relations is to assist the parties, the grievance chairperson, and grievance panel in administering procedures. If the complaint involves accusations or appearances of discrimination, including but not limited to sexual harassment, or involves Human Resources personnel, the Assistant Director of Employee Relations will immediately contact the General Counsel for Legal Affairs to determine the next steps.
  2. The request for a grievance hearing must be filed with the Assistant Director of Employee Relations within ten (10) working days of the event that has given rise to the complaint. GC encourages the use of our informal procedures as a means of resolving conflict therefore; if mediation is selected as a means to informally resolve the dispute, the Assistant Director of Employee Relations, in consultation with the complainant and the Office of Legal Affairs, will extend the time for the submission of the written grievance request up to ten (10) working days following the completion of the mediation process.
  3. To initiate a formal grievance hearing, the complainant is required to prepare and submit a Grievance Request Form to the Assistant Director of Employee Relations to ensure the Grievance Panel will address the specific issues that concern the complainant. The Grievance Request Form can be obtained from the Assistant Director of Employee Relations. Human Resources staff members are available to assist the complainant in completing the form upon request.The information listed below should be included to ensure that the complainant identifies all the issues and facts. The form must include:
    1. The complainant’s name, and job title;
    2. The department/unit in which the complainant is employed;
    3. The nature of the problem or complaint;
    4. The communication that has taken place between the complainant and his or her academic department head, supervisor, and/or second level supervisor concerning the matter;
    5. The supervisors and/or superiors responsible, if applicable;
    6. The reason why the complainant disagrees with that response;
    7. The complainant’s suggestion for proper resolution of the matter or remedy sought;
    8. Identification of any witnesses who may have relevant information regarding the complaint; and
    9. Identification of any previous recommendations to resolve the issue.
  4. The Assistant Director of Employee Relations shall, within ten (10) working days of receipt of the grievance, meet with the grievance panel Chairperson to present the grievance. The grievance panel Chairperson shall determine and respond in writing to the complainant as to whether the grievance is eligible for review by the grievance panel within ten (10) working days of receipt of the grievance from the Assistant Director of Employee Relations. (See establishment of grievance panel below.)
  5. If the grievance is accepted for review, the Chairperson will instruct the parties as to the procedures to be followed in selecting the members of the panel and in conducting the hearing.
  6. If the grievance is not accepted for review, the Chairperson will inform the complainant in writing. The complainant may then request a review by the full grievance panel (faculty or staff, as applicable) within five (5) working days following the Chairperson’s decision. The full grievance panel will render a final decision within five (5) working days following receipt of the request for review. If the panel, by simple majority, upholds the original decision of the Chair, the complainant and other involved participants will be notified and reasons given. If the panel agrees to hear the grievance, the process continues in the same manner as if the Chairperson had accepted the grievance, and the Chair will have the grievance panel selected as described below within five (5) working days following the panel’s decision.
  7. At any time during the formal grievance process the employee may choose to resolve the complaint/conflict through mediation. In this event the grievance process will be suspended pending completion of the mediation process.

Establishment of the Grievance Panel

The Grievance panel shall provide a means to hear the complaints of university employees who have exhausted other channels but who have not received satisfaction. There will be a fourteen (14) member faculty grievance panel appointed by the President and charged with hearing faculty grievances. At least seven of the members will be tenured faculty. There will also be a fourteen (14) member staff grievance panel appointed by the President to hear staff grievances. The President will also appoint two tenured faculty members to serve as Chair and Vice Chair for both faculty and staff grievances.

The grievance panel will be selected by the end of September of the fall term of odd calendar years. The newly elected members will meet within four weeks following the election. Training will be provided by the General Counsel and/or the Chief Human Resources Officer to all grievance panel members once the election is complete.

Eligibility of Service of Grievance Panel

With the exception of the Chief Human Resources Officer, Assistant Director of Employee Relations, General Counsel of Legal Affairs, Vice Presidents and the President, all regular employees with at least 2 years of continuous service at GC are potential Grievance or Review Board Members. Employees’ names shall be removed from the pool if:

  1. Employment terminates
  2. An employee is a grievant
  3. An employee is named or otherwise directly involved in the grievance

Selection of Grievance Hearing Panel

Each Grievance Hearing Panel shall consist of the Chair, non-voting, and three (3) voting members chosen from a panel of fourteen faculty or staff members. The Chair shall set up a meeting with both parties. In the presence of the Chair each party will strike the names of one (1) person from the Grievance Panel list. The parties shall alternate in exercising their strikes, beginning with the grievant, until three (3) members remain. The three (3) members shall constitute the Grievance Hearing Panel who will hear the grievance. It is anticipated that this "striking" process will be completed within five (5) working days following the decision by the Chair to review the case.

In the event a grievance is filed that involves faculty and staff, the panel will consist of three (3) voting faculty members and three (3) voting staff members. The grievance chair will represent the deciding vote if the outcome of the vote results in a split decision.

Excusing Grievance Hearing Panel Members

Grievance Panel members who are drawn as possible grievance hearing panelists may be excused by the Grievance Chair upon request if:

  1. There is a bona fide conflict of interest between the hearing panel member and either of the parties of the grievance;
  2. The potential hearing panel member is ill.
  3. Service on the hearing panel should be excused for good cause shown such as, but not limited to, conferences, job responsibilities, family illness, etc.

Removal of Grievance Hearing Panel Members for Cause

A party may present a request, in writing, at least three (3) working days in advance of any hearing, to the Chair, to remove any member of the grievance panel for reasonable cause. If the Chair grants the request, he or she shall fill the vacancy from the alternate members appointed by the President. In addition, the Chair may, on his or her own motion, remove any member for reasonable cause and replace the member with an alternate member.

Notice to Parties and Grievance

After the grievance hearing panel (three members) has been selected, written notice of the time and date set for the hearing shall be hand delivered to the parties and to the members of the grievance hearing panel by the Chair no less than ten (10) working days before the scheduled date of the hearing. The Chair should coordinate meeting participation with the selected hearing panel members and parties prior to the delivery of the written meeting notice.

Duties of the Chair

The Chair of each grievance panel shall not vote but shall be responsible for the conduct of the hearing and implementation of the grievance procedures. The Chair’s duties include the following:

  • Assuring that all parties are familiar with the grievance procedures.
  • Consulting with the Chief Human Resources Officer and General Counsel for Legal Affairs to determine if the grievance should be heard by the grievance panel.
  • Notifying the grievant and other parties in writing as needed regarding the status of the grievance.
  • Assuring that the grievance/complaint has been submitted as outlined above.
  • Following all time and communications responsibilities as outlined in the review or grievance process.

If it is determined that there is a conflict of interest for the Chair on a specific grievance hearing, the Chair will be removed from the process and the Vice Chair will facilitate the process.

Hearing Procedures

  • The hearing before the grievance panel shall be conducted in a confidential setting. The parties have the right to select one (1) person to attend as an observer.
  • The grievant may select an advisor to assist at the hearing, and the advisor may participate in the hearing in an advisory capacity only, this includes an attorney.
  • The Chief Human Resources Officer and General Counsel for Legal Affairs will assist the Hearing Chair.
  • The hearing will be recorded.
  • The Office of Human Resources will supply the tapes and recorders for the hearing. The tape recordings of the proceedings shall be kept within a secured area in the Office of Human Resources and will be available to the parties at cost.
  • The parties shall have the right to cross examine all witnesses. Should a witness be unable to appear because of illness or other cause acceptable to the Chair, a sworn statement or affidavit of the witness may be introduced into the record.
  • An affirmation shall be administered to all witnesses by a notary public.
  • The panel will not be bound by strict rules of legal evidence. It may receive any evidence deemed by the Chair to be of value in determining the issues involved.
  • Within fifteen (15) working days following the conclusion of the hearing, the panel shall state its finding in writing based on the evidence introduced at the hearing.
  • The Chair will report the findings in writing to the relevant Vice President acting as the designee of the President. In the event the complaint involves a Vice President the panel’s findings will be reported to the President.
  • Confidentiality of the hearing shall be preserved by the grievance hearing panel members.

Grievance Panel Recommendations to the Vice Presidents/President

Any findings and recommendations made by the hearing panel shall be provided to all parties and to the appropriate Vice President and are advisory only. The Vice President will render a final decision within ten (10) working days of receiving the panel’s recommendation. The Vice President reserves the right to return the grievance to the grievance hearing panel for further consideration. If the Vice President is directly involved in the grievance/complaint or in cases where the Vice President’s role is a conflict of interest, the grievance panel recommendation will be submitted to the President for final decision as outlined above.

The Vice President’s final decision may be appealed to the President in writing within twenty (20) days following the decision of the Vice President. The President’s decision will be rendered within ten (10) working days and can be appealed to the Board of Regents by requesting a hearing with the Board of Regents within twenty (20) days following the decision of the President. The request for a hearing is sent to the Board of Regents, Office of Legal Affairs in accordance with Article VIII of the BOR bylaws. The complainant should contact the Office of Human Resources or the GC Office of Legal Affairs for further information on how to appeal to the Board of Regents.

Time Limits

The time limits as described in this formal grievance procedure are advisory and may be waived or extended by consent of both parties, or by authority of the President or his/her designee, to permit mediation or any other informal process or due to extenuating circumstances.

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Equipment and Software Policy

The operation of Georgia College & State University equipment and software is governed by the Faculty and Staff Equipment and Software Policy, which is a guide for administrators, faculty, and staff for the acquisition, utilization, and support of computer and peripheral needs and basic network access, as well as personal responsibilities of the employee and supervisor.

This policy, which can be requested through the office of the Chief Information Officer, helps GCSU strive to maintain a minimum acceptable level of support allowing faculty and staff to meet their job responsibilities. A violation of this policy may subject the offender to dismissal or other sanctions after compliance with procedural due process requirements.

Authorized users, when using the University's computing equipment or personally owned computers connected to the GCSU network are required to comply with any related policies set forth by GCSU and the University System of Georgia. In addition, they are required to abide by any local, state, or federal laws. The University reserves the right to amend these conditions and policies at any time without prior notice.

In order to protect the integrity of GCSU computing resources and authorized users against unauthorized or improper use of those resources, the University reserves the right to:

  • Limit or restrict any individual's use of; and to inspect, copy, or remove or otherwise alter any data, file, or system resources that may undermine the authorized use of any computing resource.
  • Disclaim responsibility for loss of data or interference with files resulting from necessary efforts to maintain the privacy and security of those computing facilities.
  • Take appropriate legal action necessary to protect GCSU and its computing resources.
  • Enforce the Misuse of State Property policy as stated in the Georgia Department of Human Resources, Policy #1205, which can be located at http://www.odis.dhr.state.ga.us/1000_adm/1300_ohrmd/MANUAL/1205.pdf.

Employees are reminded to use University assigned electronic mail accounts responsibly and in compliance with state and federal laws and University policies and procedures. All employees shall use software only in accordance with GCSU license agreements. Any duplication of copyrighted software is a violation of federal law and GCSU policy. Questions regarding software policies for the University may be directed to the office of the Chief Information Officer.

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Telephones and Other Office Equipment

University telephone lines must be kept clear for business use. Incoming and outgoing personal calls are discouraged, and should be limited to emergencies only. Personal long distance calls may not be charged to the University, as this constitutes a misuse of state funds. Other University equipment such as fax machines and copiers are also for University business only.

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Automobile Registration and Parking

All employees of Georgia College are required to register their automobiles with the Department of Parking and Transportation Services and to display a current permit in order to park on University property. Those failing to obtain a permit prior to parking on University property will be subject to fines. Parking is permitted in specified areas.

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Identification Cards

Identification cards are available for all regular employees of the University and are processed through the Bobcat Card Office. These cards may be used for admission to certain events, for access and use of some University facilities, to receive services from the Library and Instructional Technology Center (LITC), and may be honored at selected businesses for discount purposes. At the supervisor's discretion employees may be required to wear their identification cards. These cards must be surrendered to the Office of Human Resources upon termination of employment.

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Issuance of Keys

If it is determined that keys are needed in the performance of a job, they will be issued by Plant Operations. Lost keys should be reported immediately to your supervisor. Terminating employees must turn in all keys before they leave the University.