8.3.1 Faculty Employment
Each University System of Georgia (USG) institution shall publish comprehensive, clearly stated, written policies and procedures for the recruitment and appointment of faculty members. These policies and procedures shall conform to guidelines promulgated by the USG Chief Academic Officer and the USG Human Resources Administrative Practices Manual (HRAP).
Minimum faculty employment qualifications for all USG institutions and all academic ranks within these institutions shall be:
- Consistent with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)’s requirements for institutional accreditation;
- Evidence of ability as a teacher;
- Evidence of activity as a scholar and ability in all other duties assigned;
- Successful experience (which will necessarily be waived for those just entering the academic profession who meet all other requirements); and,
- Desirable personal qualities judged on the basis of personal interview, complete biographical data, and recommendations.
In addition to the minimum qualifications above, initial appointees to the full professorial rank at State Universities and State Colleges should have a terminal degree in the appropriate discipline or the equivalent in training, ability or experience.
In addition to the minimum qualifications above, initial appointees to the full professorial rank should have a terminal degree in the appropriate discipline or the equivalent in training, ability or experience.
8.3.2 Regents’ Professorships
Regents’ Professorships may be granted by the Board of Regents to outstanding faculty members of Augusta University, the Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia State University, the University of Georgia, and, in special circumstances, other University System of Georgia (USG) institutions. A Regents’ Professorship shall be awarded by the Board only upon the unanimous recommendation of the USG institution President, chief academic officer, appropriate academic dean, and three other members of the faculty named by the President, and upon the approval of the Chancellor and the Committee on Academic Affairs.
A Regents’ Professorship shall be granted by the Board for a period of three years. Consideration of the renewal of the professorship for a second three-year period shall be given by the Board upon recommendation of the President of the USG institution, the Chancellor, and the Committee on Academic Affairs. After a period of six years the Regents’ Professorship shall be renewed at the discretion of the President of the USG institution.
Regents’ Researcher titles may be granted by the Board of Regents to outstanding full-time principal researchers of Augusta University, the Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia State University, the University of Georgia, and, in special circumstances, other USG institutions. The Regents’ Researcher title shall be awarded by the Board only upon the unanimous recommendation of the USG institution President, chief academic officer, and three members of the faculty named by the President, and upon the approval of the Chancellor and the Committee on Academic Affairs.
A Regents’ Researcher title shall be granted by the Board for a period of three years. Consideration of the renewal of the title for a second three-year period shall be given by the Board upon recommendation of the President of the USG institution, the Chancellor, and the Committee on Academic Affairs. After a period of six years, the Regents’ Researcher title shall be renewed at the discretion of the President of the USG institution.
Support of Positions from Gifts and Endowments
No endowed chair, professorship, fellowship, or administrative position will be established or announced without prior approval of the Board of Regents, and no initial appointment will be made to a chair, professorship, fellowship, or administrative position without prior approval by the Board. Recommendations to the Board concerning specially designated positions will be made through the Chancellor to the Board. Before the final action of the Board, such recommendations will be referred to the Finance and Business Operations Committee and the Committee on Academic Affairs.
The minimum funding levels for each endowed academic position listed below shall be established by the Board upon recommendation by the Chancellor. Institutions may require funds greater than the stated minimum funding levels when developing support for endowed chairs. The categories of endowed academic positions shall be described as follows:
|Research and Comprehensive Universities||State Universities and State Colleges|
|Distinguished University Chairs||$2,000,000|
|Distinguished Chairs||$1,000,000||Distinguished Chairs||$500,000|
|Distinguished Professorships||$400,000||Distinguished Professorships||$200,000|
|Distinguished Scholar||$100,000||Distinguished Scholar||$50,000|
|Lecture or Seminar Series||$50,000||Lecture or Seminar Series||$30,000|
Specially Designated Faculty Positions Funded by Endowments
Endowed chairs, professorships, and fellowships will be established by the Board of Regents upon request of the USG institution President and recommendation of the Chancellor only after confirmation that the endowment is properly funded and that the investment strategy of the endowment, wherever held, will meet the continuing demands of the chair, professorship, or fellowship. This assurance must address the proper mix of capital growth, income production, and liquidity. The USG institution will pay from its funds such amounts as are necessary to set the salary of the holder at a level commensurate with his or her record, experience, and position in the faculty. The endowment income will be used for salary supplementation and for other professional support of the holder of the endowed position, including assistance in the research of the holder.
The holder of a fellowship shall be a qualified person of professorial rank (professor, associate professor, or assistant professor), without regard to tenure status. The endowed fellowship will be used to provide temporary support, not to exceed one academic year, of:
- Distinguished scholars who are in temporary residence at the institution while participating in planned academic programs;
- Visiting scholars who are in temporary residence at the institution for special academic programs or purposes;
- Institution faculty who have made unique contributions to academic life or to knowledge in their academic discipline; and,
- Institution faculty of any academic rank irrespective of tenure status who have been selected for teaching excellence through procedures established by the USG institution.
8.3.3 Intrasystem Recruitment and Inter-Institutional Faculty Appointments
When a University System of Georgia (USG) institution President wishes to consider a full-time principal administrator or faculty member of another USG institution for employment, he or she shall notify the President of the employing institution before an offer is made to the principal administrator or faculty member. When a formal offer is made, the letter shall acknowledge that critical obligations should be fulfilled at the current institution within a reasonable and mutually agreed upon timeframe.
Inter-institutional appointments should be used for faculty who are primarily employed full-time at one USG institution (the “home institution”) but are also engaged in teaching, research, or service at another USG institution (the “requesting institution”). Inter-institutional appointments must be approved the home institution and the requesting institution or institutions. Appointments at secondary institutions shall be called Dual Faculty Appointments. Institutions interested in offering Dual Appointments must develop inter-institutional appointment policies and procedures that adhere to the Dual Appointments Section of the USG Human Resources Administrative Practices Manual HRAP and applicable law.
8.3.4 Notice of Employment and Resignation
The following notification requirements apply to those members of the faculty who have been awarded the ranks of lecturer, senior lecturer, principal lecturer, instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, or professor.
All tenured faculty members employed under written contract for the fiscal or academic year shall give at least 60 days written notice of their intention to resign to the President of the institution or his or her designee.
126.96.36.199 Renewal of Non-Tenured Faculty with Academic Ranks of Instructor, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor
All non-tenured faculty who have been awarded academic rank (instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, professor), are employed under written contract, and who served full-time for the entire previous year have the presumption of renewal of the next academic year unless notified in writing, by the President of the institution or his or her designee, of the intent not to renew. Written notice of intent not to renew shall be delivered by hand or by certified mail, to be delivered to the addressee only, with receipt to show to whom and when delivered and the address where delivered.
Notice of intention to not renew the contract of a non-tenured faculty member who has been awarded academic rank of instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, or professor shall be furnished, in writing, according to the following schedule:
- At least three months before the date of termination of the contract in the faculty member’s first year of service with any of the above academic ranks at the current institution;
- At least six months before the date of termination of the contract in the faculty member’s second year of continuous service with any of the above academic ranks at the current institution; or,
- At least nine months before the date of termination of the contract in the faculty member’s third or subsequent continuous year of service with any of the above academic rank at the current institution.
Previous years of service in positions other than the faculty positions with academic rank listed above shall not be included in the calculation to determine the schedule for notice of intention not to renew a faculty member’s contract. Previous years of service in any capacity at institutions other than the current institution also shall not be included in the calculation.
This schedule of notification does not apply to persons holding temporary, limited-term, or part-time positions, or persons with courtesy appointments such as adjunct appointments. This schedule of notification does not apply to Georgia Gwinnett College Faculty.
Non-tenured faculty and other non-tenured personnel employed under written contract shall be employed only for the term specified in the contract, and subsequent or future employment, if any, shall result solely from a separate offer and acceptance requisite to execution of a new and distinct contract.
Full-time lecturers, senior lecturers, and principal lecturers are appointed by institutions on a year-to-year basis.
Lecturers, senior lecturers, and principal lecturers who have served full-time for the entire previous academic year have the presumption of reappointment for the subsequent academic year unless notified in writing to the contrary as follows:
- For lecturers, senior lecturers, or principal lecturers with less than three years of full-time continuous service in that position at the current institution, institutions are encouraged to provide non-reappointment notice as early as possible, but no specific notice is required.
- For lecturers, senior lecturers, or principal lecturers with three or more years but less than six years of full-time continuous service in that position at the current institution, institutions must provide non-reappointment notice at least 30 calendar days prior to the institution’s first day of classes in the semester.
- For lecturers, senior lecturers, or principal lecturers with six years or more of full-time continuous service in those positions at the current institution, institutions must provide non-reappointment notice at least 180 calendar days prior to the institution’s first day of classes in the semester.
Lecturers, senior lecturers, or principal lecturers who have served for six or more years of fulltime continuous service in those positions at the current institution and who have received timely notice of non-reappointment shall be entitled to a review of the decision in accordance with published procedures developed by the institution. The procedures must be approved by the Chancellor or his or her designee prior to implementation. Additional appeal procedures are contained in the Board Policy Manual.
In no case will the service as lecturer, senior lecturer, or principal lecturer imply any claim upon tenure or reappointment under other conditions than those above.
Previous years of service in positions other than lecturer, senior lecturer, or principal lecturer positions shall not be included in the calculations to determine the schedule for notice of intention not to renew a faculty member’s contract or the availability of a review of that decision. Previous years of service in any capacity at institutions other than the current institution also shall not be included in the calculations.
The notice of employment and resignation language noted in Section 188.8.131.52 of this Policy Manual does not apply to faculty at Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC). Full-time faculty at GGC are appointed into non-tenure-track positions. GGC faculty members are eligible for renewable contracts, with modified contract notification. GGC faculty appointments and notification shall be governed by the following policies.
Initial Faculty Appointments
Each successful GGC faculty appointment will be eligible to receive one of the following contracts upon acceptance of an employment offer authorized by the President. For all initial faculty appointments, the President retains the discretion to determine whether a successful candidate will be offered a one-year standard non-renewable contact or a three-or five-year renewable appointment according to the faculty rank guidelines below.
- Candidates offered the position of Assistant Professor or below will be eligible to receive either a three-year renewable appointment or a standard one-year non-renewable appointment.
- Candidates offered the position of Professor or Associate Professor will be eligible to receive either a three- or five-year renewable appointment or a standard one-year nonrenewable appointment.
Contract Expiration Guidance for One-Year Non-Renewable Appointments
A GGC faculty member who is nearing completion of an initial one-year standard non-renewable contract shall receive at least three months advance written notice of intent to issue a new contract for the following year or notice of intent to end the employment relationship at contract end. GGC faculty serving under a second one-year standard non-renewable contract will receive at least six months advance written notice of intent to issue a new contract or intent to end the employment relationship at contract end. GGC faculty serving under a one-year standard non-renewable contract after two or more years of service to the institution will receive at least nine months notice of intent to issue a new contract or intent to end the employment relationship at contract end.
No further requirements other than the written notifications noted herein will be applicable in concluding the employment relationship for a standard non-renewable one-year faculty contract at GGC.
Contract Expiration Three or Five Year Renewable Appointment
A GGC faculty member employed under a three- or five-year renewable appointment will receive at least nine months written notice prior to the contract expiration in the last year of a renewable appointment term. The notice shall state the President’s intent to issue a new renewable appointment for either a three- or five-year term (based on the GGC faculty member’s rank at contract expiration) or an intent to end the employment relationship at the end of the contract.
No further requirements other than the nine-month written notification in the final appointment year will be applicable in concluding the employment relationship for a three- or five-year renewable faculty appointment.
Evaluations and Promotions
Regardless of the length or type of faculty appointment offered, each year all GGC full-time faculty members will receive a faculty performance review.
Provisional Period for Renewable Contracts
GGC faculty members serving under an initial three- or five-year renewable appointment may be required to complete a one-time provisional period not to exceed six months. At any time during the initial six-month provisional period of a three- or five- year renewable appointment, a decision may be made to notify a faculty member that a contract will not be forthcoming for the remaining two or four years respectively, except that written notice must be given at least three months prior to the end of the initial appointment year. GGC faculty members who have previously served under a non-renewable faculty contract with GGC will not be required to serve a provisional period upon acceptance of a renewable appointment. No further requirements other than the written notification will be applicable in concluding the employment relationship during the provisional period of a renewable appointment.
8.3.5 Evaluation of Personnel
Each University System of Georgia (USG) institution shall establish definite and stated criteria, consistent with Board of Regents’ policies and the statutes of the institution, against which the performance of each faculty member will be evaluated. The evaluation shall occur at least annually. Institutional policies and procedures shall ensure that each faculty member will receive a written report of each evaluation and that the results of the evaluation will be reflected in the faculty member’s annual salary recommendations. Institutions will ensure that the individuals responsible for conducting performance evaluations are appropriately trained to carry out such evaluations.
Each institution, as part of its evaluative procedures, will utilize a written system of faculty evaluations by students, with the improvement of teaching effectiveness as the main focus of these student evaluations. The evaluation procedures may also utilize a written system of peer evaluations, with emphasis placed on the faculty member’s professional development. In those cases in which a faculty member’s primary responsibilities do not include teaching, the evaluation should focus on excellence in those areas (e.g., research, administration) where the individual’s major responsibilities lie.
Each University System of Georgia (USG) institution shall conduct in-depth pre-tenure reviews of all faculty in their third year of progress toward tenure with a focus on the criteria established for promotion and tenure, emphasizing excellence in teaching. The institution shall develop pre-tenure review policies, as well as any subsequent revisions.
USG institutions employing graduate assistants shall develop procedures to:
- Provide appropriate training to support and enhance these assistants’ teaching effectiveness;
- Conduct regular assessments of and annually evaluate, based on written procedures and including results of student and faculty evaluations, of each assistant’s teaching effectiveness and performance; and,
- Assess competency in English and, if needed, provide training in English language proficiency.
Academic administrative officers shall be evaluated by the administrator’s supervisor using a performance management instrument which emphasizes:
- Leadership qualities;
- Management style;
- Planning and organizing capacities;
- Effective communication skills;
- Accountability for diversity efforts and results; and;
- Success at meeting goals and objectives.
All academic administrative officers shall be evaluated by their subordinates (one level down) at least once every five years. Evaluation results will be the basis for the academic administrative officer’s development plan.
Each institution shall conduct post-tenure reviews of all tenured faculty members five years after the most recent promotion or personnel action for the faculty member. Reviews shall continue at five year intervals unless interrupted by a further review for promotion or personnel action. An administrator who has tenure will not be subject to post-tenure review, as long as a majority of the individual’s duties are administrative in nature. If and when an administrator returns to the faculty full-time, the individual will be placed into the post-tenure review cycle described above. Institution presidents shall review and approve their institution’s post-tenure review policies, as well as any subsequent revisions, both of which must conform to University System of Georgia procedures for post-tenure review and should address cases in which a tenured faculty member’s performance is deemed unsatisfactory.
8.3.6 Criteria for Promotion
Each University System of Georgia (USG) institution shall establish clearly-stated promotion criteria and procedures that emphasize excellence in teaching for all teaching faculty, which shall be submitted to the USG Chief Academic Officer for review and approval.
The minimum criteria are:
- Excellent teaching and effectiveness in instruction;
- Noteworthy professional service to the institution or the community;
- Noteworthy research, scholarship, creative activity, or academic achievement; and,
- Continuous professional growth and development.
Noteworthy achievement in all four of the above areas is not required, but should be demonstrated in at least two areas. A written recommendation should be submitted by the head of the department concerned setting forth the reasons for promotion. The faculty member’s length of service with an institution shall be taken into consideration in determining whether or not the faculty member should be promoted.
In addition to the minimum requirements above, promotion to the rank of associate or full professor requires the terminal degree in the appropriate discipline or its equivalent in training, ability, or experience. Neither the possession of a doctorate nor longevity of service is a guarantee of promotion.
In addition to the minimum requirements above, promotion to the rank of professor requires the terminal degree in the appropriate discipline or its equivalent in training, ability, or experience. Neither the possession of a doctorate nor longevity of service is a guarantee of promotion.
In addition to the minimum requirements above, promotion to the rank of professor requires a master’s degree in the teaching discipline, or, in rare cases, the equivalent of two years of fulltime graduate or first professional study beyond the bachelor’s degree. Longevity of service is not a guarantee of promotion.
In addition to the minimum criteria above, promotion to specific ranks requires faculty to have the degree qualifications or the equivalent in training, ability, or experience associated with either the institution’s primary or secondary functional sectors, depending on which functional sector of the blended function the faculty member is supporting. Neither the possession of a doctorate nor longevity of service is a guarantee of promotion.
8.3.7 Tenure and Criteria for Tenure
None of the procedures in Section 8.3.7 apply to faculty at Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC).
Each University System of Georgia (USG) institution, with the exception of GGC, shall establish clearly-stated tenure criteria and procedures that emphasize excellence in teaching for all teaching faculty, conform to the requirements listed below, are approved by the USG Chief Academic Officer. The requirements listed below are the minimum standard for award of tenure, but shall be sufficiently flexible to permit an institution to make individual adjustments appropriate to its mission.
Tenure resides at the institutional level. Institutional responsibility for employment of a tenured individual is to the extent of continued employment on a 100 percent workload basis for two out of every three consecutive academic terms until retirement, dismissal for cause, or release because of financial exigency or program modification as determined by the Board of Regents.
Only assistant professors, associate professors, and professors are eligible for tenure. Normally, only faculty who are employed full-time, defined as service on a 100 percent workload basis for at least two out of three consecutive academic terms, by an institution are eligible for tenure. Faculty members holding these professorial ranks who are employed by a USG institution on less than a full-time basis and who are assigned by the USG institution to or hold an appointment at a non-USG corporate or governmental entity shall, subject to the approval of the Chancellor, be eligible for promotion and the award of tenure by the institution President.
The award of tenure is limited to the above academic ranks and shall not be construed to include honorific appointments such as adjunct appointments. Faculty with non-tenure track appointments shall not acquire tenure.
Minimum for All Institutions in All Professorial Ranks
The minimum criteria for tenure are demonstrating:
- Excellence and effectiveness in teaching and instruction;
- Academic achievement, as appropriate to the institution’s mission;
- Outstanding service to the institution, profession, or community; and,
- Professional growth and development.
Noteworthy achievement is required in at least two of the above categories, but is not required in all four categories. A written recommendation should be submitted by the head of the department concerned setting forth the reasons for tenure. The faculty member’s length of service with an institution shall be taken into consideration in determining whether or not the faculty member should be tenured, but neither the possession of a doctorate degree nor longevity of service is a guarantee of tenure.
Research and Comprehensive Universities
In addition to the minimum criteria above, tenure at the rank of associate or full professor requires the terminal degree in the appropriate discipline or its equivalent in training, ability, or experience.
In addition to the minimum criteria above, tenure requires the terminal degree in the appropriate discipline or its equivalent in training, ability, or experience.
In addition to the minimum criteria above, tenure requires a Master’s Degree in the teaching discipline or, in rare cases, at least the equivalent of two years of full-time study beyond the bachelor’s degree.
Tenure may be awarded, upon approval of the institution President upon completion of a probationary period of at least five continuous years of full-time service at the rank of assistant professor or higher. A maximum of two years of interruption because of a leave of absence or part-time service may be permitted and credit for the probationary period of an interruption may be given at the discretion of the President. In all cases in which a leave of absence, approved by the President, is based on birth or adoption of a child, or disability or prolonged illness of the employee or immediate family member, the five-year probationary period may be suspended during the leave of absence.
A maximum of three years’ credit toward the minimum probationary period may be allowed for service in tenure track positions at other institutions or for full-time service at the rank of instructor or lecturer at the same institution. Such credit for prior service shall be approved in writing by the President at the time of the initial appointment at the rank of assistant professor or higher.
Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this Policy Manual, in exceptional cases, an institution President may approve an outstanding distinguished senior faculty member for the award of tenure upon the faculty member’s initial appointment, which is referred to as “tenure upon appointment.” Each recommendation shall be granted only when the faculty member, at a minimum, is appointed as an associate or full professor, was already tenured at a prior institution, and brings a demonstrably national reputation to the institution. If the person being appointed to an administrative position has not previously held tenure, the award of tenure must be approved by the Chancellor.
Upon approval of the award of tenure to an individual by the institution President, the individual shall be notified in writing by the President with a copy of the notification forwarded to the USG Chief Academic Officer.
Except for the approved suspension of the probationary period due to a leave of absence, the maximum time that may be served at the rank of assistant professor or above without the award of tenure shall be seven years, but a terminal contract for an eighth year may be proffered if a recommendation for tenure is not approved by the President.
The maximum time that may be served in combination of full-time instructional appointments (instructor or professorial ranks) without the award of tenure shall be ten years, but a terminal contract for the eleventh year may be proffered if a recommendation for tenure is not approved by the President.
Except for the approved suspension of the probationary period due to a leave of absence, the maximum period of time that may be served at the rank of full-time instructor shall be seven years.
Tenure or probationary credit towards tenure is lost upon:
- Resignation from an institution;
- Written resignation from a tenured position in order to take a non-tenured position; or,
- Written resignation from a position for which probationary credit toward tenure is given in order to take a position for which no probationary credit is given.
In the event such an individual is again employed as a candidate for tenure, probationary credit for the prior service may be awarded in the same manner as for service at another institution.
Anything in this policy manual to the contrary notwithstanding, faculty members employed by Augusta University who hold a professorial rank in a tenure track position of assistant professor or above and who also hold a part-time or full-time appointment at the Veterans Administration Medical Center-Augusta (VA), shall be eligible for the award of tenure at Augusta University upon completion of at least five years of full-time or part-time service at the rank of assistant professor or higher, as noted in this policy section.
Such faculty members shall otherwise meet the other requirements set forth in this Policy Manual and the statutes of Augusta University for the award of tenure to full-time faculty. Such faculty members who have been employed previously by Augusta University for five consecutive years or more shall be eligible to apply for tenure.
The tenure of a faculty member who also holds a VA appointment shall apply only to that portion of a faculty member’s salary and benefits that are provided directly by Augusta University. In no event shall the award of tenure to faculty members holding such joint appointments obligate Augusta University to assume any portion of the salary or other benefits provided by the VA.
In the event a faculty member who has been awarded tenure at Augusta University under the provisions of this section shall for any reason cease to be employed by the VA, Augusta University shall have the right, at its sole discretion, to revoke the tenure, employment, or other affiliation of the faculty member by Augusta University without a hearing or other due process procedures or requirements set forth in this Policy Manual and the statutes of Augusta University for other full-time tenured faculty. After termination of employment or revocation of tenure, Augusta University shall not be obligated to provide such faculty members with any further salary, benefits, or other financial support.
The Board of Regents may exercise its authority to modify programs at various USG institutions. Such modification may result from a significant change of institutional mission or academic priorities that may be influenced by long-term declines in degree program productivity or financial exigency.
These changes may result in permanent termination of academic programs or permanent and significant reduction in size thereof. A program modification of such magnitude that requires the termination of tenured faculty members will be implemented only after completion of a study by the Chancellor’s staff with institutional administrative and faculty participation. The Chancellor will report the results of that study to the Board along with recommended guidelines under which program modification will be effected. The USG Chief Academic Officer shall issue procedures on program modification.
8.3.8 Non-Tenure Track Personnel
University System of Georgia (USG) institutions may establish non-tenure track positions. Positions designated as non-tenure track positions or tenure track positions may be converted to the other type only by approval of the institution President.
Non-tenure track positions may be established for full-time professional personnel employed in administrative positions or to staff research, technical, special, career, and public service programs or programs that are anticipated to have a limited lifespan or that are funded, fully or partially, through non-USG sources. There shall be no maximum time limitation for service in positions in this category.
The following provisions shall apply to all non-tenure track professional personnel:
- Individuals employed in non-tenure track positions shall not be eligible for consideration for the award of tenure;
- Probationary credit toward tenure shall not be awarded for service in non-tenure track positions, except for lecturers and senior lecturers;
- Notice of intention not to renew contracts of non-tenure track personnel who have been awarded academic rank (instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, and professor) shall follow the schedule required for tenure track personnel, but this schedule of notification shall not apply to other professional personnel; and,
- Individuals employed in non-tenure track positions may apply on an equal basis with other candidates for tenure track positions that become available.
The transfer of individuals from tenure-track positions to non-tenure track positions shall be effected on a voluntary basis only.
USG institutions may appoint instructional staff members to the position of lecturer, senior lecturer, or principal lecturer. Lecturers, senior lecturers, and principal lecturers are not eligible for the award of tenure.
Reappointment of a lecturer who has completed six consecutive years of service to an institution will be permitted only if the lecturer has demonstrated exceptional teaching ability and extraordinary value to the institution and if the institution determines that there is a continued need for the lecturer. The reappointment process must follow procedures outlined by the institution.
Not more than 20 percent of an institution’s full-time equivalent corps of primarily undergraduate instruction may be lecturers, senior lecturers, or principal lecturers.
Lecturers who have served at the employing USG institution for at least six years may be considered for promotion to senior lecturer or principal lecturer at the discretion of the institution if the relevant title has been adopted by the institution and the institution has clearly-stated promotion criteria.
Institutions are discouraged from initial hiring at the senior lecturer and principal lecturer levels. Promotion to senior lecturer and principal lecturer requires approval by the President.
Reappointment procedures for senior lecturers and principal lecturers follow the same reappointment procedures as those for lecturers. Senior lecturers and principal lecturers are not eligible for the award of tenure.
Institutions are authorized to establish non-tenure track professional positions, with the approval of the Chancellor, with academic professional titles assigned to such appropriate positions as defined below. The designation Academic Professional would apply to a variety of academic assignments that call for academic background similar to that of a faculty member with professorial rank, but which are distinctly different from professorial positions. Persons in such positions may be involved in duties of a managerial, research, technical, special, career, public service, or instructional support nature.
The following stipulations apply to all Academic Professional positions:
- The position requires an appropriate terminal degree, or, in rare and extraordinary circumstances, qualification on the basis of demonstrably successful related experience, which exception is expressly approved by the institution President;
- The Academic Professional designation may not be assigned to a position where the teaching and research responsibilities total 50 percent or more of the total assignment; and
- The position is not a tenure-track position and the holder of the position is not eligible for consideration for the award of tenure or probationary credit toward tenure.
General categories for Academic Professionals include:
- Training and instructional support, which includes educational needs assessment, program development and coordination, instructional materials and technology development, delivery of specialized or skill acquisition instruction, and program evaluation. In light of the restriction above, Academic Professionals must be persons whose instructional duties account for less than half of their total time.
- Technical assistance in an advisory or operating role that provides specialized knowledge appropriate for program support and development with activities ranging from a significant or advisory or operating role to managing a technical support unit to development of organizational structures and function.
- Specialized management, which includes supervision of clinical practice or field experience or providing services or out-of-class educational opportunities for students.
Career ladders may be established for Academic Professionals, using the following titles: Academic Professional Associate, Academic Professional, and Senior Academic Professional.
8.3.9 Discipline and Removal of Faculty Members
The President of a University System of Georgia (USG) institution or his or her designee may at any time remove any faculty member or other employee of an institution for cause. Cause shall include willful or intentional violation of the Board of Regents’ policies or the approved statutes or bylaws of an institution or as otherwise set forth in the Board of Regents’ policies and the approved statutes or bylaws of an institution.
A tenured or non-tenured faculty member may be dismissed before the end of his or her contract term for any of the following reasons, provided that the institution has complied with procedural due process requirements:
- Conviction or admission of guilt of a felony or of a crime involving moral turpitude during the period of employment or prior thereto if the conviction or admission of guilt was willfully concealed;
- Professional incompetency, neglect of duty, or default of academic integrity in teaching, research, or scholarship;
- Unlawful manufacture, distribution, sale, use, or possession of marijuana, a controlled substance, or other drugs as defined by applicable laws; teaching or working under the influence of alcohol or illegal or dangerous drugs, which interferes with the faculty member’s performance of duties or responsibilities to the institution or his or her profession;
- Conviction or admission of guilt in a court proceeding of any criminal drug offense;
- Physical or mental incompetency as determined by law or by a medical board of three or more licensed physicians and reviewed by a committee of the faculty;
- False swearing with respect to official documents or statements filed with or given to the institution;
- Disruption of any teaching, research, administrative, disciplinary, public service, or other authorized activity;
- Violation of Board of Regents’ policies; and,
- Other grounds for dismissal as may be specified in the institution statutes of the institution, which may supplement the Board of Regents’ policies governing causes and procedures for dismissal.
Each institution should provide for standards governing faculty conduct, including sanctions short of dismissal and procedures for implementing such sanctions. In imposing sanctions, the burden of proof lies with the institution.
These procedures shall apply only to the dismissal of a faculty member with tenure or a non-tenured faculty member before the end of the term specified in his or her contract.
These procedures are the minimum standards of due process and do not limit an institution from adopting its own additional standards or procedures consistent with the Board of Regents’ policies and bylaws. Such additional standards or procedures shall be incorporated into the statutes of the institution.
The dismissal of a tenured faculty member or a non-tenured faculty member during his or her contract term should be preceded by:
- Discussion between the faculty member and appropriate administrative officers looking toward a mutual settlement.
- Informal inquiry by an appropriate faculty committee which may, upon failing to effect an adjustment, advise the President whether dismissal proceedings should be undertaken, though the advisory opinion shall not be binding upon the President.
- A letter to the faculty member forewarning that he or she is about to be terminated for cause and informing him or her that a statement of charges will be forwarded to him or her upon request. The faculty member may request a formal hearing on the charges before a faculty committee. Failure to request charges or a hearing within a reasonable time shall constitute a waiver of the right to a hearing.
- A statement of charges, if requested by the faculty member, framed with reasonable particularity by the President or his or her designee. Along with the charges, the faculty member shall be advised of the names of the witnesses to be used against him or her together with the nature of their expected testimony.
A dismissal shall be preceded by statement of charges or grounds for dismissal if requested by the faculty member, including a statement that the faculty member shall have the right to be heard by a faculty hearing committee, which shall consist of not fewer than three or more than five impartial faculty members appointed by the executive committee (or its equivalent) of the highest legislative body of the faculty, from among the members of the entire faculty of the institution. Members of the hearing committee may serve concurrently on other committees of the faculty.
When the hearing committee is called into session, it shall elect a chair from among its membership. The hearing committee will meet as a body when it is called into session by the chair at the chair’s discretion or upon the request of the President or the faculty member who is subject to dismissal. A minimum of three committee members is required for any vote or official action to be taken.
A hearing committee member should remove himself or herself from the case, either at the request of a party or on his or her own initiative, if he or she deems himself or herself disqualified for bias or interest. Each party shall have a maximum of two challenges without stated cause that shall be made in writing and filed with the chair of the hearing committee at least five days in advance of the date set for the hearing.
Additionally, the chair may decide whether a member of the committee should be disqualified for cause. If a committee member is removed, the replacement shall be made in the same manner as the original committee was selected. If the chair is removed, the committee shall elect a new chair after committee replacements have been appointed.
When a hearing is requested, the following hearing procedures shall apply:
- Service of notice of the hearing with specific reasons or charges against the faculty member together with the names of the members of the hearing committee shall be provided to the charged faculty member in writing at least 20 days prior to the hearing. The faculty member may waive a hearing or respond to the charges in writing at least five days in advance of the date set for the hearing. If a faculty member waives a hearing, but denies the charges or asserts that the charges do not support a finding of adequate cause, the hearing committee shall evaluate all available evidence and rest its recommendation upon the evidence in the record.
- The hearing committee, in consultation with the President and the charged faculty member, may exercise its judgment as to whether the hearing should be public or private in accordance with applicable law.
- During the proceedings the charged faculty member, the administration, and the hearing committee may each have advisory or counsel of his, her, or their choice.
- At the request of either party or the chair of the hearing committee, a representative of a responsible education association shall be permitted to attend the hearing as an observer.
- A tape recording or transcript of the proceedings shall be kept in accordance with institution policies and procedures and made available to the charged faculty member and the administration in the event an appeal is filed.
- An oath or affirmation shall be administered to all witnesses by any person authorized by law to administer oaths in the State of Georgia.
- The hearing committee may grant adjournments to enable either party to investigate evidence as to which a valid claim of surprise is made.
- The charged faculty member and the administration shall be afforded a reasonable opportunity to obtain necessary witnesses and documentary or other evidence.
- The charged faculty member and the administration will have the right to confront and cross-examine all witnesses. Where the witness cannot or will not appear but the committee determines that the interests of justice require the admission of his or her statement, the committee will identify the witness, disclose the statement, and, if possible, provide for interrogatories.
- The hearing committee is not bound by strict rules of legal evidence and may admit any evidence that is of probative value in determining the issues involved. Every possible effort will be made to obtain the most reliable evidence available. All questions relating to admissibility of evidence or other matters shall be decided by the chair or presiding officer of the committee.
- The findings of fact and the decision of the hearing committee will be based solely on the hearing record.
- Except for announcements concerning the time of the hearing and similar matters, public statements, and publicity about the case by either the charged faculty member or administrative officer should be avoided until the proceedings have been completed, including consideration by the Board of Regents in the event an appeal is filed.
- The President and the charged faculty member shall be notified in writing of the decision and recommendation, if any, of the hearing committee. If the hearing committee concludes that adequate cause for dismissal has not been established by the evidence in the record, it will advise the President. If the President does not approve the committee’s decision, he or she should state his or her reasons in writing to the committee for response before rendering his or her final decision. If the committee concludes that an academic penalty less than dismissal would be more appropriate than dismissal, it may so recommend with supporting reasons. The President may or may not follow the recommendations of the committee.
- After complying with the foregoing procedures, the President shall send an official letter to the charged faculty member notifying him or her of the President’s decision. Such letter shall be delivered to addressee only with receipt to show to whom and the address where delivered. The letter shall clearly state any charges that the President has found sustained and shall notify such person that he or she may apply for discretionary review as provided for in Board of Regents’ Policy.
- Upon dismissal by the President, the faculty member shall be suspended from employment without pay from the date of the final decision of the President. Should the faculty member be reinstated pursuant to an application for discretionary review under Board of Regents’ Policy, he or she shall be compensated from the date of the suspension.
Temporary or part-time personnel serving without a written contract hold their employment at the pleasure of the institution President and chief academic officer and their immediate supervisor, any of whom may discontinue the employment of such employee without cause or advance notice.
When a faculty member of any USG institution is charged with the violation of a state or federal law, or is indicted for any such offense, a thorough review of the circumstances shall be carried out by the President or his or her designee.
In the event a faculty member is temporarily suspended, the administration shall immediately convene an ad hoc faculty committee or utilize the services of an appropriate existing faculty committee for the purpose of hearing an appeal by the faculty member. The appeal shall be submitted in writing in accordance with procedures to be established by the hearing committee, which shall render its decision within ten days from the conclusion of the hearing. Thereafter, the faculty member may apply for discretionary review under Board of Regents’ Policy.
8.3.10 Faculty Employment Applications
An employment application shall be completed by each person formally applying for a faculty position in a University System of Georgia institution. The application must be kept on file at the institution concerned. Faculty positions are considered positions of trust subject to the applicable provisions in the Human Resources Administrative Practice Manual.
8.3.11 Faculty Contracts
University System of Georgia (USG) institutions shall use the following appropriate official faculty contract forms, which are contained in the Academic & Student Affairs Handbook.
- Fiscal year (twelve -month) contract for non-tenured faculty on tenure track, and for non-tenure track personnel including lecturers, senior lecturers, and principal lecturers;
- Fiscal year (twelve -month) contract for tenured faculty;
- Academic year contract for tenured faculty;
- Academic year contract for non-tenured faculty;
- Fiscal year (twelve -month) contract for tenured personnel holding joint employment at the Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center, Augusta and Augusta University;
- Contract for administrators with professorial ranks in the following categories: tenured personnel, non-tenured personnel on tenure track, and non-tenure track personnel; and,
- Contract forms for faculty at Georgia Gwinnett College for renewable appointment contracts for three- or five-year terms.
USG institutions should not use the specified contracts for full-time temporary, limited-term, or part-time faculty. The administrative contract should only be used for administrators with professorial rank.
Failure to sign and return such contracts within the time period specified therein may be construed as an abandonment of employment rights.
Any other provision in these policies to the contrary notwithstanding, faculty members who fail to verify or maintain the credentials, degree, certification or license required to meet the terms and conditions of their contract shall be subject to immediate dismissal for breach of their employment contract.
The Board of Regents receives an annual appropriation from the General Assembly for all phases of its operations, which may be increased or decreased by the General Assembly or the Governor during the period of any fiscal year. Expenditures for University System of Georgia (USG) operation are, therefore, necessarily contingent upon legislative appropriations.
In the event that the General Assembly or the Governor reduces the amount of funds appropriated to the Board, the compensation of all employees and other operating expenses may be correspondingly reduced, but the Board will attempt, in so far as possible, to maintain current salary commitments and to exert its best efforts to that end.
Consistent with Regents’ policies on salary administration and nondiscrimination and the approved purpose of the institution, each USG institution shall utilize specific criteria for the determination of entry-level salaries for full-time members of the Corps of Instruction and the extent of salary increases awarded to currently employed full-time faculty members.
Each entry-level salary shall be determined on the basis of the specific requirements of the position and the qualifications of the individual employed to fill the position. Position criteria shall include the academic rank, the academic discipline, and the nature of the responsibilities to be performed. Criteria related to the qualifications of the individual shall include:
- Academic degrees earned;
- Teaching and other relevant experience;
- Research and publication record;
- Academic achievements and honors; and,
- Relevant professional achievements or recognitions.
Salary Increases for Corps of Instruction
Salary increases for full-time teaching faculty shall be awarded on the basis of merit. Criteria for determining the extent of such increases shall include:
- Teaching performance;
- Completion of significant professional development activities including the attainment of additional academic degrees;
- Promotion in rank;
- Research productivity;
- Academic achievements and publications;
- Academic honors and recognitions;
- Relevant professional achievements and recognitions; and,
- Non-teaching services to the institution.
Each USG institution shall identify specific criteria, consistent with this policy and the Board of Regents’ Policy on Salary Administration, for determining the extent of salary increases and the methods by which the faculty member’s performance will be evaluated for purpose of the determining salary increases. The criteria and the evaluation methods shall be published in the institution’s faculty handbook.
Salary for a Fiscal Year Administrative Employee Returning to an Academic Appointment as a Faculty Member
When a fiscal year administrative employee returns to an academic appointment as a faculty member, the individual’s salary shall be determined on the same basis as other faculty members with similar rank and experience within the department to which he/ or she returns or in other similar positions within the institution.
Payment of compensation to faculty members for full-time employment during the summer session shall be at a rate not to exceed 33 and 1/3 percent of their regular nine-months compensation for the previous academic year.
Research and Saturday classes will ordinarily be carried by USG personnel as part of their normal work load without additional financial compensation. Adequate allowance in time assigned for the extra duties shall be made by a proportionate decrease in the teaching load. When off-campus services conducted through a continuing education center can be included in the normal work load of an individual, no additional compensation shall be paid.
Extra compensation may be paid to USG faculty when all four of the following conditions exist:
- The work is carried in addition to a normal full load;
- No qualified person is available to carry the work as part of his or her normal load;
- The work meets institutional needs and priorities as determined by the institution President or his or her designee; and,
- The additional duties are not so heavy as to interfere with the performance of regular duties.
When extra compensation is paid, it shall be in line with compensation paid for performance of similar duties.
Salary supplements from cooperative organizations may only be authorized upon the recommendation and approval of the President of the institution. No consideration shall be given to salary supplements that may be paid from cooperative organizations or other sources that are over and above the regular salary paid with state funds. A supplemental budget shall be prepared to include supplements to be paid from cooperative organizations or other sources.
The salary to be paid from state funds for summer school employment or for a leave of absence with pay shall be based on the approved salary exclusive of any supplement.
Each faculty or staff member receiving a salary supplement shall be advised that he or she is receiving the salary supplement with information as to the amount of and source of funds.
Whenever it is desired to employ a person at any USG institution whose salary is to be paid in whole or in part with funds provided by a person, foundation, organization, or any agency other than a governmental agency, the President of the institution concerned shall recommend to the Board of Regents, through the Chancellor, the employment of the person, with full details of his or her qualifications and the availability of funds for paying his or her salary. More information on Agency Funds can be found in the Business Procedures Manual.
All USG employees are subject to and governed by the provisions of the Board of Regents’ Policy Manual and any related procedures manual or guidance adopted or issued by the University System Office.
Anything in the Bylaws of the Board of Regents or this Policy Manual to the contrary notwithstanding, if the Board of Regents finds that a condition of financial exigency exists either at an institution, within an academic or other unit of an institution, or in the USG generally, then the layoff or termination of tenured faculty, non-tenured faculty, or other contract employees before the end of their contract term will be handled in accordance with the Financial Exigency policy set forth below.
As used herein, the term “unit” means any identifiable USG component at any level of its organization that has an annual budget for the operation of such component.
8.2.1 Equal Employment Opportunity
No person shall be excluded from employment or participation in, denied the benefits of, or subjected to discrimination, harassment, or retaliation under any program or activity conducted by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia (USG) or any USG institution based on any characteristic protected by law. Incidents of discrimination, unlawful harassment, and retaliation will be met with appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from the USG.
8.2.2 Age Criteria
Employment of all persons under the age of 18 years shall comply with United States Department of Labor regulations and applicable law.
8.2.3 Employment of Relatives
For the purpose of this policy, relatives are defined as husbands and wives, parents and children, brothers, sisters, and any in-laws of any of the foregoing (BoR Minutes, February 14, 1973, p. 312).
The basic criteria for the appointment and promotion of USG employees shall be appropriate qualifications and performance as set forth in the policies of the Board of Regents. Relationship by a family or marriage shall constitute neither an advantage nor a disadvantage.
No individual shall be employed in a department or unit that will result in the existence of a subordinate-superior relationship between such individual and any relative of such individual through any line of authority. As used herein, “line of authority” shall mean authority extending vertically through one or more organizational levels of supervision or management (BoR Minutes, 1989-90, p. 250).
This standard does not apply to the temporary or part-time employment of children under age 25, nor to any individual employed as of February 14, 1990, at any institution where a relative of such individual then holds a superior position at least one level of supervision removed from such individual in any line of authority. Exceptions may be approved by the Board of Regents upon recommendation of the Chancellor as being clearly in the best interest of the institution and the USG.
8.2.4 Employment of Foreign Nationals
The employment and payment of nonresident foreign nationals shall be in compliance with all applicable laws and relevant visa restrictions.
8.2.5 Employee Orientation
Each new employee shall read and become familiar with the contents of the policies and procedures of the Board of Regents, the University System of Georgia (USG), and the employee’s institution that are applicable to the employee.
Each USG institution shall establish 12 official paid holidays each calendar year for employees at the institution. These holidays shall be awarded in addition to earned vacation time and shall be observed in accordance with the rules and regulations set forth by the Board of Regents, the USG, and the institution. A terminating employee shall not be paid for any official holidays occurring after the last working day of employment.
A regular employee, as defined in the Human Resources Administrative Practice Manual, who works one-half time or more shall earn paid vacation/annual leave. A full-time regular employee shall be entitled to vacation/annual leave earned at the rate of:
- One and one-fourth working days per month (10 hours) for each of the first five years of continuous employment;
- One and one-half working days per month (12 hours) for each of the next five years of continuous employment; and,
- One and three-fourths working days per month (14 hours) for each year after the completion of ten years of continuous employment.
The accrual rate of vacation/annual leave for an hourly employee will be based upon his/her standard work commitment. The use of approved vacation/annual leave shall be recorded on institutional leave records.
A regular employee who works one-half time or more but less than full-time shall accrue vacation/annual leave prorated on the basis of full-time employment. An employee who is employed less than one-half time shall not be eligible to accrue vacation/annual leave.
A temporary employee, as defined in the Human Resources Administrative Practice Manual, is not eligible to accrue vacation/annual leave.
Faculty and Administrative Officers
A member of the faculty and an administrative officer are defined in Sections 3.2.1, 3.2.2, and 3.3.3 of this Policy Manual.
A full-time faculty member employed on a 12-month or fiscal year basis shall be entitled to vacation/annual leave earned at the rate of one and three-fourths working days (14 hours) per month. All working days during the fiscal year shall be counted. Absences during academic calendar breaks shall be recorded as vacation. All vacation days shall be recorded on institutional leave records.
A full-time administrative officer employed on a 12-month or fiscal year basis shall be entitled to vacation/annual leave earned at the rate of one and three-fourths working days (14 hours) per month. The use of approved vacation/annual leave shall be recorded on institutional leave records.
The accrual rate of vacation/annual leave for a faculty member or for an administrative officer will be based upon his/her contractual work commitment.
A faculty member who changes from a fiscal year contract to an academic year contract shall be paid his/her unused, accrued vacation/annual leave subject to the 45-day (360-hour) maximum payment restriction upon termination of the fiscal year contract.
A faculty member employed on an academic year (9- to 10-month) basis does not earn vacation/annual leave. An academic year contracted faculty member who teaches during Maymester and/or summer semester will not be eligible to accrue vacation/annual leave for such service.
Vacation/annual leave shall be accrued based on the initial employment date of an employee. A new hire must be employed on or before the fifteenth of a month to qualify for accrual of vacation/annual leave for that month.
Vacation/annual leave shall be taken at times mutually acceptable to the employee and his/her supervisor; provided, however, that a University System institution may, on not more than five days, require the use of vacation/annual leave during periods in which all or substantially all of the institution’s facilities are closed because classes are not offered.
On December 31 of each calendar year, each employee’s leave record shall be adjusted to reflect no more than 45 days (360 hours) of accrued vacation/annual leave.
All unused, accrued vacation/annual leave, not to exceed 45 days (360 hours), shall be paid to an employee upon his/her termination from employment. An employee who terminates on or after the fifteenth of a month shall accrue vacation/annual leave for that month.
Upon a move between USG institutions with no break in service, an employee must transfer all accrued vacation/annual leave up to 20 days (160 hours). For employees with accrued vacation/annual leave of greater than 20 days (160 hours), an employee may elect one of the following options:
- Transfer of the total accrued vacation balance, not to exceed 45 days (360 hours); or,
- Payment by the institution from which the employee is moving of accrued vacation leave in excess of 20 days (160 hours). The total accrued vacation leave for which the employee may be paid shall not exceed 25 days (200 hours).
(BoR Minutes, November 2002, BoR Minutes, October 2009)
For all regular full-time USG employees as defined in Section 8.1 of the Policy Manual, sick leave shall be accumulated at the rate of one working day per calendar month of service.
Regular part-time employees working one-half time or more will accumulate sick leave in an equivalent ratio to their percentage of time employed. Sick leave for employees shall be cumulative.
Sick leave may be granted at the discretion of the institution and upon approval by the supervisor for an employee’s absence for any of the following reasons:
- Illness or injury of the employee
- Medical and dental treatment or consultation
- Quarantine due to a contagious illness in the employee’s household
- Illness, injury, or death in the employee’s immediate family requiring the employee’s presence
If sick leave is claimed for a continuous period in excess of one week, a physician’s statement is required to permit further claim of sick leave rights by the employee-patient.
A terminating employee shall not accumulate sick leave or be entitled to receive sick pay after the last working day of his/her or her employment.
Upon the movement of an employee among USG institutions, accumulated sick leave will be transferred if there is no actual break in service. (BoR Minutes, 1991-92, pp. 354-355)
Any employee unable to return to work after exhausting all accumulated sick leave and accrued vacation leave may be granted sick leave without pay for a period not to exceed one (1) year. Furthermore, such approved sick leave shall allow the employee the right to elect to continue his or her group insurance benefits, and the institution will continue its share of the cost for such period. All other benefits are prohibited which otherwise would accrue to the employee.
Leaves of absence of one year or less with or without pay may be granted by the institution’s president and reported to the Chancellor. Extensions of such leaves, or the initial granting of leaves of more than one year, require the approval of the Chancellor or his/her designee.
In considering a request for leave with pay, the president should bear in mind that it is the policy of the Board that such leave shall be granted only for the purposes of promoting scholarly work and encouraging professional development. The president should examine carefully the program or project on which the employee proposes to work, and he/she should also consider the likelihood of the employee’s being able to accomplish the purposes for which leave is requested. It is expected that scholarly and professional leaves shall be granted without pay where the leave is supported by an external grant or stipend.
In considering a request for a leave, the president should take into consideration the effect that the granting of the leave will have on the institution or on the department of which the employee is a member. If the employee’s work cannot be handled by other employees and if funds are not available for the employment of a substitute, the president will be justified in refusing to recommend that the leave be granted or in deferring action upon the request for a leave.
The president ordinarily should not approve a request for a leave with pay if the applicant for leave has been employed at an institution for the period of fewer than three (3) years. The USG chief academic officer will promulgate guidelines regarding educational and professional leave. (BoR Minutes, February 2007)
Any employee who has been granted a leave of absence with pay shall be required, before beginning the leave, to sign an agreement indicating that:
- For a leave with pay of less than one year, the employee will return to the institution at the termination of the leave for a period of at least one (1) year;
- For a one-year leave with pay, the employee will return to the institution at the termination of the leave for a period of at least two (2) years; and that,
- If the employee does not return to the institution for the full amount of time specified in the agreement, the employee will reimburse the institution for the amount of compensation received while on leave, as well as any other expenses paid by the USG during the leave, including all benefit costs. (BoR Minutes, February 2007)
A faculty or staff member who returns from an authorized leave which enhances professional study and development shall be entitled to a salary which will include, as a minimum, the mandated across-the-board salary raises which occurred during the period of leave. (BoR Minutes, 1980-81, p. 191)
No leaves of absence will be granted to USG retirees and who are drawing retirement benefits from the Teachers’ Retirement System of Georgia or from the USG. Approved leave shall allow employees the right to elect to continue group insurance benefits with institutional participation. (BoR Minutes, 1949-50, pp. 452-53; 1990-91, pp. 298-299; February, 2007)
Ordered Military Duty
For the purpose of this policy, ordered military duty shall mean any military duty performed in the service of the State or the United States, including, but not limited to, service schools conducted by the armed forces of the United States. Such duty shall be deemed “ordered military duty” regardless of whether the orders are issued with the consent of the employee. (BoR Minutes, 1990-91, p. 173)
Leave of Absence
An employee who receives orders for active military duty shall be entitled to absent himself or herself from his or her duties and shall be deemed to have a leave of absence with pay for the period of such ordered military duty, and while going to and returning from such duty, not to exceed a total of eighteen (18) workdays in any one federal fiscal year (October 1 - September 30) as authorized by Georgia Law O.C.G.A. § 38-2-279[e]. At the expiration of the maximum paid leave time, continued absence by the employee shall be considered as military leave without pay. The employee shall be required to submit a copy of his or her orders to active military duty. (BoR Minutes 1990-91, pp. 173-174)
Emergency Leave of Absence
Notwithstanding the foregoing leave limitation of eighteen (18) days, in the event the Governor declares an emergency and orders an employee to State active duty as a member of the National Guard, such employee while performing such duty shall be paid his or her salary or other compensation as an employee for a period not exceeding 30 days in any one federal fiscal year.
Military Differential Pay
Institutions of the University System of Georgia may pay an employee Military Differential for absence while engaged in the performance of ordered military duty and while going to and returning from such duty, after expiration of the payment period provided for in the paragraphs above. Military Differential Pay is equal to the amount by which an employee’s projected state base pay for a covered pay period exceeds the employee’s actual military pay and allowances as applicable to that pay period. Military Differential Pay programs must be applied consistently to all eligible employees within the Institution, not to exceed a total of twelve months in any one federal fiscal year (October 1 - September 30). At the expiration of the maximum Military Differential Pay, continued absence by the employee shall be considered as military leave without pay unless annual leave is allowed. Funding for Military Differential Pay is based on existing institution budgets. (BoR minutes, May 2015)
Payment of Annual Leave
After an employee has exhausted his/her paid military leave, an institution may pay the employee for his/her accumulated annual leave. (BoR Minutes, 1990-91, p. 174)
In accordance with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993, to be eligible for FMLA leave, the employee must have worked for the USG:
- For at least twelve (12) months total; and,
- For at least 1, 250 hours during the 12-month period immediately preceding the commencement of such leave.
(BoR Minutes, August 2004)
The FMLA entitles an employee to up to twelve (12) work weeks of leave for one of the following conditions:
- Birth and care of a newborn child of the employee;
- Legal placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care;
- Care of an immediate family member (defined as the employee’s spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition; or,
- A serious health condition of the employee himself/herself, which renders the employee unable to perform the duties of his/her job.
Section 585 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) amends FMLA to permit certain relatives of military personnel to take up to twenty-six (26) work weeks of leave to care for a member of the Armed Forces in various situations. NDAA also permits an employee to take FMLA leave for a qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that an immediate family member, as defined by the FMLA, is on active duty in support of a contingency operation.
Education Support Leave
To supplement work-life balance options for University System of Georgia employees, each full-time, non-temporary employee of the USG shall be eligible for up to eight hours of paid leave per calendar year for the purpose of promoting education in this state as authorized by O.C.G.A. § 45-20-32. Only activities directly related to student achievement and academic support will qualify for education support leave. Education support leave is not charged against any other leave. Education support leave does not accumulate or rollover and is not paid-out upon change of employment status. (BoR Minutes, May 2015)
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
When an exempt employee is absent from work for less than one (1) scheduled workday and his/her accumulated leave is insufficient to cover the partial day of absence, the employer will:
- Deduct the cost for such leave in hourly increments from an exempt employee’s salary; or,
- Place the exempt employee on leave without pay, if so requested by the exempt employee.
Such action by the employer will not disqualify the exempt status of the employee’s position (29 CFR 541.5d).
Court duty leave with pay shall be granted to regular employees for the purpose of serving on a jury or as a witness. Such leave shall be granted upon presentation of official orders from the appropriate court.
USG employees are encouraged to exercise their constitutional right to vote in all federal, state, and local elections. If election polls are not open at least two (2) hours before or two (2) hours after an employee’s normally scheduled work shift, sufficient leave time must be granted to permit the employee to vote. In this instance, an institution should grant the employee a two-hour block of time in which to vote, if needed. (BoR Minutes, April 2002)
Military Physical Examination
Any regular employee required by Federal law to take a military physical examination shall be paid for any time lost to take such an examination.
At the discretion of the president of an institution personal leave of absence without pay for periods not to exceed one (1) year may be approved. Such approved personal leave shall allow the employee the right to elect to continue group insurance benefits.
Leave for Organ and Marrow Donation
Each employee who serves as an organ donor for the purpose of transplantation shall receive a leave of absence, with pay, of thirty (30) days. Each employee who serves as a bone marrow donor for the purpose of transplantation shall receive a leave of absence, with pay of seven (7) days.
Leave taken under this provision shall not be charged against or deducted from an employee’s accrued annual or sick leave. Such leave shall be included as service in computing any retirement or pension benefits. This provision shall apply only to an employee who actually donates an organ or marrow and who presents to the appropriate supervisor a statement from a licensed medical practitioner or hospital administrator that the employee is making an organ or marrow donation. (BoR Minutes, August 2002)
In the event of inclement weather or any emergency that requires leaves of absence of employees, the president of a USG institution may declare leave with or without pay. (BoR Minutes, 1992-93, p. 135)
The USG shall accept up to a maximum of ninety-six (96) hours of sick leave from a benefited employee who moves from a State of Georgia agency to the USG. For a USG unit to accept sick leave, the employee must have no more than a 30-calendar-day break in service. Written verification of the employee’s sick leave balance must be provided to the USG by the terminating State of Georgia agency.
Annual leave will not be accepted for a benefited employee who moves from a State of Georgia agency to the USG. (BoR Minutes, June 2005)
8.2.8 Retirement and Post Retirement
In accordance with state law, the Board of Regents provides for the retirement of all eligible employees through the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia (TRS), the Employees’ Retirement System of Georgia (ERS), or the Regents’ Retirement Plan (which is also referred to as the Optional Retirement Plan of the University System of Georgia) (ORP). Only FLSA-exempt USG employees are eligible to enroll in ORP. The only USG employees eligible for ERS are those who have vested in ERS prior to being hired by the USG and who elect, upon hire by the USG, to remain in ERS. Eligibility for TRS, ORP, and ERS are governed by those agencies and applicable state law.
Upon meeting one of the above conditions, an employee will be eligible for USG retiree benefits upon retirement. An employee must be enrolled in the benefits coverage at the time of retirement or disability to be eligible to continue coverage in retirement. The Board of Regents’ contributions to the retiree healthcare coverage will be established each year by the Board.
Effective November 1, 2002, to be eligible for retirement with benefits from the USG, an employee must meet one of the following four conditions at the time of his or her separation from employment, regardless of the retirement plan elected by the employee:
- An employee must have been employed by the USG for the last ten years in a regular, benefited position and have attained age 60;
- An employee must have at least 25 total years of benefited service established with a State of Georgia sponsored retirement plan, of which the last five years of employment must have been continuous and with the USG. An early pension benefit penalty will apply to an individual who elects to participate in TRS or ERS if he or she decides to retire with between 25 and 30 years of benefited service, prior to attaining age 60;
- An employee must have at least 30 total years of benefited service established with a State of Georgia sponsored retirement plan, of which the last five years must have been continuous and with the USG; or,
- An employee must be deemed to be totally and permanently disabled, as documented through the receipt of disability benefits from Social Security or from TRS following ten years of continuous service to the USG in a regular, benefited position.
For academic year faculty, the contract period covering fall and spring semesters shall be counted as a full year of service under this policy. The months between academic years without a summer contract shall not constitute a break in service.
An individual who has retired from another State of Georgia sponsored retirement plan may not count such retirement service toward meeting the eligibility criteria for retirement from the USG.
The Vice Chancellor for Human Resources shall have the authority to waive the requirements regarding continuous service with the USG as it relates to the eligibility to receive benefits provided by the Board of Regents. The decision of the Vice Chancellor is final and not subject to appeal. The Vice Chancellor shall notify the Committee on Personnel & Benefits of any waivers granted under this policy.
An individual who has retired from the USG and is receiving benefits from TRS, ERS, or ORP may be eligible for reemployment on a part-time basis by the USG. Reemployment of USG retirees by the USG must fall under the following conditions:
- The reemployment of a USG retiree must be approved by the hiring institution’s president. Institutions must submit a copy of their hiring and approval procedures to rehire USG retirees to the Office of Human Resources upon request.
- A rehired retiree must have a minimum break of at least one month between the effective date of his/ or her retirement and the effective date of his/ or her reemployment.
- The work commitment of a rehired retiree must be less than half-time, i.e., less than 49 percent.
- The salary that is paid to a rehired retiree must be either:
- No more than 49 percent of the annual benefit-base compensation amount that he or she was earning at the time of his or her retirement with consideration for the average merit increase percentages that have been applied since the employee retired;
- No more than 49 percent of the average compensation for the position into which the retiree is being hired based on the institution’s existing compensation plan or, if not applicable, the average compensation of existing or previous incumbents; or,
- No more than 49 percent of a reasonable market competitive rate for the position into which the retiree is being rehired as determined by the institutional chief human resources officer.
- The salary that is paid to a rehired retiree must be consistent with his/ or her work commitment.
A State of Georgia employee who transfers to the USG without a break in service shall be eligible to retire with Health and Life benefits provided that on the date of his or her separation of employment:
- He or she has attained age 60 and has a minimum of ten years of service established with a State of Georgia sponsored retirement plan and the last 12 months of employment have been served with the USG; or,
- He or she has a total of 25 years of service established with a State of Georgia sponsored retirement plan, regardless of age and the last 12 months of employment have been served with the USG.
An employee must be enrolled in the Health and Life benefits coverage at the time of retirement in order to continue coverage in retirement. A qualifying life event does not allow a retiree to add coverage in retirement. An individual who has retired from another State of Georgia sponsored retirement plan may not count such retirement service toward meeting the criteria for being a career employee.
The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia is solely responsible for the solicitation, selection, contracting and implementation of employee benefits to include health insurance, basic life insurance, accidental death and dismemberment and all other group insurance plans. Institutions may not contract for employee health or voluntary benefits. Institutions may select, if desired, to contract for supplemental employee insurance coverage that is not in conflict with those offered by the Board of Regents. (BoR minutes, Sept. 2013, Oct. 2016)
Hospitalization, surgical, medical and major medical benefits shall be made available to regular USG employees, with a work commitment of three-quarters time (30 hours per week) or more. A regular employee’s work commitment may be comprised of multiple job assignments to achieve benefits eligibility if the work assignments are six (6) months or longer. These benefits shall also be made available to dependents of the same employees. The USG shall pay that portion of the cost of such insurance as shall be designated from time to time by the Board. (BoR minutes, Jan. 2012, Sept. 2013, Oct. 2016)
Group life insurance, with accidental death and dismemberment coverage, shall be made available to regular USG employees with the same benefits eligibility definitions as that of Group Health Insurance (Section 184.108.40.206). Group life benefits become effective upon hire. The USG, as employer, shall pay the premium on the basic amount of life insurance, which shall be $25,000. This amount of insurance is designated “basic life insurance” and the maximum premium therefore shall be established by the Board.
In addition, “supplemental life insurance”, with the same benefits eligibility definitions as that of Group Health Insurance (Section 220.127.116.11), may be offered to these same employees with no employer participation in the premiums. If elected, these benefits become effective on the first day of the month following enrollment unless enrollment is on the first day of the month in which case it becomes effective upon enrollment. For those employees covered under an academic contract, benefits will begin on the first day of the contract if enrolled on or before that day, or on the first day of the month following enrollment if they enroll after the contract start. Group life insurance for dependents of these employees shall be made available to them in amounts which shall be established from time to time by the Board. There shall be no employer contribution to the dependent life insurance premiums. (BoR minutes, 1987-88, pp. 63-64; Nov. 2011; Jan. 2012)
The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia may provide any additional types of group insurance protection on a voluntary basis if the total cost of such protection is paid by the employee with the same benefits eligibility definitions and benefits effective dates as that of Group Health Insurance (Section 18.104.22.168). (BoR minutes, Sept. 2013, Oct. 2016)
A USG retiree or career employee, who upon his/her separation of employment from the USG meets the criteria for retirement as set forth in Section 22.214.171.124 or Section 126.96.36.199 of this Policy Manual, shall remain eligible to continue as a member (if eligible on retirement date) and currently enrolled in the basic, supplemental and dependent group life insurance and health benefits plans. The USG shall continue to pay the employer’s portion of the cost for only those benefits that included an employer contribution during the employee’s active service. (BoR Minutes, Nov. 2011)
Employees who become permanently and totally disabled and who have less than nine and a half (9.5) years of continuous benefited service with the USG shall remain eligible for group health and life insurance benefits for a maximum of twelve (12) consecutive months following the receipt of the required documentation of a disability. The USG shall continue to pay the employer portion of the cost of group insurance for disabled employees for this 12-month period.
Participation in the group healthcare plan may continue after the 12-month period under the provisions of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986 (COBRA). USG participation in the cost shall cease. The terms and conditions of COBRA participation that are described in the USG’s healthcare summary plan documents shall apply.
Continued participation in the group life insurance program is not covered by the provisions of COBRA. Participation in the group life insurance program may continue after the 12-month period; however, USG participation in the cost shall cease.
Employees who are deemed to be permanently and totally disabled following nine and a half (9.5) years of continuous benefited service with the USG shall remain eligible for group health and life insurance benefits. The USG shall continue to pay the employer portion of the cost of group insurance for these retirees (Section 188.8.131.52, Item 4).
Eligibility in the group plans will cease for reasons including, but not limited to, the following:
- Failure to remit premiums in a timely manner;
- A dependent child no longer meets the definition of a “qualified dependent” under the plan’s provisions;
- The dependent becomes covered by another group health plan; and/or,
- The plans cease to be offered to employees.
(BoR minutes, August 2005)
The dependents of a deceased employee, a disabled employee, or a retiree may remain in the USG group health and life insurance programs consistent with the following provisions.
In no event shall the spouse of the deceased continue in the group after remarriage. Dependent children may remain in the group until they reach the legal age of majority or until they become eligible for another group benefits plan. The definition of dependent children as defined in the USG’s healthcare summary plan documents shall apply.
Eligibility in the group plans will cease for reasons including, but not limited to, the following:
- Premiums are not remitted in a timely manner;
- A spouse remarries;
- A dependent child no longer meets the definition of a “qualified dependent” under the plan’s provisions;
- The dependent becomes covered by another group health plan; and/or,
- The plans are no longer offered to any employees.
(BoR minutes, August 2005)
Dependents of Deceased Employees with Fewer than 10 Years of Continuous Benefited Service
If an employee with fewer than ten (10) years of continuous benefited service dies while in active service with the USG, his/her dependents shall remain eligible to participate in the group health insurance program for a period of twelve (12) consecutive months following the death of the employee. The USG shall continue to pay the employer portion for the cost of the group health insurance for the surviving dependents for this period of 12 consecutive months.
Participation in the group healthcare plan may continue after the 12-month period under the provisions of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986 (COBRA). USG participation in the cost shall cease. The terms and conditions of COBRA participation that are described in the USG’s healthcare plan summary documents shall apply.
If a deceased employee with fewer than ten (10) years of continuous benefited service had elected to participate in the dependent life insurance program prior to his/her death, his/her dependents shall remain eligible to continue to participate in this program for a period of twelve (12) consecutive months following the death of the employee. The surviving dependent(s) will be responsible for the entire cost of the dependent life insurance. At the conclusion of this 12-month period, a dependent will have individual policy conversion privileges.
Dependents of Deceased Disabled Employees with Fewer than 9.5 Years of Continuous Benefited Service
Those employees who become permanently and totally disabled and who have less than nine and a half (9.5) years of continuous benefited service with the USG shall remain in the group health insurance program for a maximum of twelve (12) consecutive months following the receipt of the required documentation of a disability (Section 184.108.40.206). If a disabled employee dies during this 12-month period, his/her dependents shall remain eligible to participate in the group health insurance program for the remainder of the 12-month period. The USG shall continue to pay the employer portion for the cost of group health insurance for the surviving dependents for the remainder of the 12-month period.
Participation in the group healthcare plan may continue after the 12-month period under the provisions of COBRA. USG participation in the cost shall cease. The terms and conditions of COBRA participation that are described in the USG’s healthcare plan summary documents shall apply.
If a permanently and totally disabled employee with less than nine and a half (9.5) years of continuous benefited service had elected to participate in the group life and/or dependent life insurance programs prior to becoming disabled, plan coverage will be permitted for a maximum of twelve (12) consecutive months following the receipt of the required documentation of a disability. If a disabled employee dies during this 12-month period, his/her dependents shall remain eligible to participate in the dependent life insurance program for the remainder of the 12-month period. The surviving dependents will be responsible for the entire cost of the dependent life insurance. At the conclusion of this 12-month period, a dependent will have individual policy conversion privileges.
Dependents of Deceased Employees with at Least 10 Years of Continuous Benefited Service
If an employee with at least ten (10) years of continuous benefited service dies while in active service with the USG, his/her dependents shall remain eligible to continue participating in the group health insurance program. The USG shall continue to pay the employer portion of the cost of group health insurance for the surviving dependents.
If a deceased employee with at least ten (10) years of continuous benefited service had elected to participate in the dependent life insurance program prior to his/her death, his/her dependents shall remain eligible to continue participating in this program. The surviving dependents will be responsible for the entire cost of the dependent life insurance.
Dependents of Deceased Retirees
Upon the death of a retiree, his/her dependents shall remain eligible to continue participating in the group health insurance program. The USG shall continue to pay the employer portion of the cost of group health insurance for the surviving dependents.
If a deceased retiree had elected to participate in the dependent life insurance program while in active service, his/her dependents shall remain eligible to continue participating in this program. The surviving dependents will be responsible for the entire cost of the dependent life insurance.
8.2.10 Workers’ Compensation Benefits
All University System of Georgia (USG) employees shall be covered under provisions of the Workers’ Compensation Act.
8.2.11 Social Security
Title II of the Social Security Act, as amended, shall apply to all University System of Georgia (USG) employees except those specifically excluded under agreements between the Employee’s’ Retirement System of Georgia and the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, which include the following classes of employees:
- All employees eligible for the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia; and,
- All temporary, seasonal, or intermittent employees whose work hours constitute a normal full-time working period.
Additionally, the following employees are not covered by Social Security:
- Student assistants;
- Graduate assistants;
- Laboratory assistants; and,
- Employees working less than half-time.
Non-immigrant aliens may be exempt, in accordance with the provisions of their visas.
There shall be withheld from any salary or compensation due any employee covered by Social Security a percentage of salary, wage, or compensation required to be withheld by the Act, whether computed in cash, quarters, subsistence, or in kind and reserved in an institutional agency account for quarterly remittance to the Employees’ Retirement System of Georgia. Rules and regulations of the Employees’ Retirement System of Georgia for administration of the Act shall be followed.
8.2.12 Voluntary Savings Plans/Deferred Compensation Programs
Effective May 1, 2019, the USG will offer a system wide voluntary 403(b) retirement savings plan and a system wide voluntary 457(b) retirement savings plan to which all USG employees are eligible to contribute under the provisions of Internal Revenue Code Sections 403(b) and 457(b), respectively. USG institutions shall not offer any separate voluntary retirement savings plans or nonqualified deferred compensation plans after that date. Previously created institution plans will be consolidated into the system wide plans.
USG institutions shall utilize the USG deferred compensation plans when providing deferred compensation to employees. Any contribution to the USG deferred compensation plan by an institution for an employee other than the President must be approved by the Chancellor.
All USG institutions shall provide for employee deductions for the Georgia Higher Education Savings Plan under the provisions of Internal Revenue Code Section 529.
8.2.13 Garnishment of Pay
Each University System of Georgia (USG) institution shall establish procedures to counsel employees who fail to meet their personal financial obligations. Repeated instances of default in payment by USG employees shall be considered sufficient grounds to terminate employment for cause.
The USG and any of its institutions may withhold paychecks or deduct from paychecks amounts owed by USG employees for any fine, fee, penalty, or other financial obligation to the USG or any of its institutions and shall withhold any amounts required by a validly issued court order.
8.2.14 Policy on Salary Administration and Incentive Rewards Program
Each University System of Georgia (USG) institution shall establish a compensation plan consistent with the guidelines issued in the Human Resources Administrative Practices Manual. Institutional compensation plans must be approved by the President or his or her designee and developed in consultation with the institution’s chief human resources officer and chief business officer. Institutions may establish incentive compensation programs consistent with state law, Board Policy, and applicable procedures, however, institutional incentive compensation programs must be reviewed and approved by the USG Offices of Fiscal Affairs and Human Resources.
Institutions may adjust employee compensation as a result of multiple factors, including, but not limited to, merit adjustments, promotions, position reclassification, counter-offers, in-range adjustments. Adjustments to employee compensation is an institutional decision and should be consistent with the approved institutional compensation plan. However, cumulative fiscal year adjustments greater than or equal to ten percent above the percentage increase authorized in the USG’s salary and wage guidance must be approved in advance by the Chancellor.
USG employees shall be paid exclusively by the USG institution or institutions at which they are employed from state appropriations and/or other appropriate fund sources held by the institution for work performed on behalf of their USG position.
8.2.15 Career Development
The Board of Regents is committed to the continued professional growth and development of University System of Georgia (USG) personnel. Faculty, staff, and administrators are encouraged to participate in development activities and study. Career development opportunities may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Tuition Assistance Program;
- Courses offered through Continuing Education;
- Courses offered through a Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) institution;
- External professional programs and conferences; and,
- System-wide or institution faculty and staff professional development programs.
Each USG institution shall commit an appropriate amount of funds for faculty and staff development, which will be matched by state appropriated funds to the extent that funds are available.
8.2.16 Use of University System of Georgia Resources
University System of Georgia (USG) resources may only be used in furtherance of authorized USG business. Such use shall be tightly controlled and employees must be able to provide information as to the location of all USG equipment upon request.
8.2.17 Voluntary Disclosure of Drug Use
If, prior to arrest for an offense involving a controlled substance, marijuana, or a dangerous drug, an employee notifies his or her immediate supervisor that he or she illegally uses a controlled substance, marijuana, or a dangerous drug and is receiving or agrees to receive treatment under a drug abuse and education program approved by the institution President or by the Chancellor, such employee shall not have his or her employment terminated by the institution or the University System Office on account of the drug use that was voluntarily disclosed for up to one year from disclosure as long as the employee follows the treatment plan. Retention of such employee shall be conditioned upon satisfactory completion of the program.
The employee’s work activities may be restructured if it is deemed advisable in the opinion of the employee’s immediate supervisor in consultation with Human Resources, the institution President, or the Chancellor. The rights herein granted shall be available to a University System of Georgia employee only once during a five-year period and shall not apply to any employee who has refused to be tested or who has tested positive for use of a controlled substance, marijuana, or a dangerous drug.
8.2.18 Personnel Conduct
220.127.116.11 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 or her part by upholding the highest standards of competence and character.
The USG Ethics Policy applies to all members of the USG community, which includes:
- All members of the Board of Regents;
- All individuals employed by, or acting on behalf of, the USG or one of the USG institutions, including volunteers, vendors, and contractors; and,
- 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.
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.
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.
- Uphold the highest standards of intellectual honesty and integrity in the conduct of teaching, research, service, and grants administration.
- Act as good stewards of the resources and information entrusted to our care.
- Perform assigned duties and professional responsibilities in such a manner so as to further the USG mission.
- Treat fellow employees, students, and the public with dignity and respect.
- Refrain from discriminating against, harassing, or threatening others.
- Comply with all applicable laws, rules, regulations, and professional standards.
- Respect the intellectual property rights of others.
- Avoid improper political activities as defined in law and Board of Regents Policy.
- Protect human health and safety and the environment in all USG operations and activities.
- Report wrongdoing to the proper authorities, refrain from retaliating against those who do report violations, and cooperate fully with authorized investigations.
- Disclose and avoid improper conflicts of interest.
- Refrain from accepting any gift or thing of value in those instances prohibited by law or Board of Regents’ policy.
- Not use our position or authority improperly to advance the interests of a friend or relative.
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, regulations, and Board of Regents’ policies and procedures.
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. Further specific explanatory notes and references may be found on the USG’s website.
18.104.22.168 Conflicts of Interest, Conflicts of Commitment, and Outside Activities
Each University System of Georgia (USG) employee shall make every reasonable effort to avoid actual or apparent conflicts of interests. An apparent conflict exists when a reasonable person would conclude from the circumstances that the employee’s ability to protect the public interest, or perform public duties, is compromised by a personal, financial, or business interest. An apparent conflict can exist even in the absence of a legal conflict of interest. USG employees are referred to State Conflict of Interest Statutes O.C.G.A. § 45-10-20 through § 45-10-70 and institutional policies governing professional and outside activities.
Each USG employee has an ongoing responsibility to report and fully disclose any personal, professional, or financial interest, relationship, or activity that has the potential to create an actual or apparent conflict of interest with respect to the employee’s USG duties.
Institutions shall adopt guidelines governing conflicts of interest and may further define methods of reporting conflicts of interest, how to manage said conflicts, and terms used within this policy section, so long as such guidelines and definitions are not inconsistent with this policy.
Conflicts of Interest – Research and Institutional
The USG recognizes the benefits of collaboration and commercialization with the private sector and other third-party entities that supports the USG mission. The resulting relationships and agreements, however, must not undermine the public’s trust, compromise the integrity of the USG mission, or inappropriately influence teaching, research, and service activities. Under no circumstances should a grant, gift, contract or other funding be accepted that limits the ability of USG employees to conduct or report the results of research in accordance with applicable scientific, medical, professional, and ethical standards.
Institutions shall incorporate policy and review procedures within its institutional guidelines consistent with this policy.
A USG employee shall not engage in any occupation, pursuit, or endeavor that will interfere with the regular and punctual discharge of that employee’s official duties.
22.214.171.124.3 Outside Activities
Compensated Outside Activities of Faculty and Staff
Each USG employee with a work commitment of 30 or more hours per week (.75 or >FTE), and faculty members on contracts of nine months or more must obtain written approval prior to engaging in compensated outside activities that relate to the employee’s expertise or responsibilities as a USG employee. Such activities include consulting, teaching, speaking, and participating in business, professional, or service enterprises.
Employees at USG institutions must obtain written approval from the institution President or the President’s designee utilizing institutional procedures for defining and managing potential and apparent conflicts of interest. System Office employees and USG Presidents must obtain approval from the Chancellor or the Chancellor’s designee. Direct reports of USG Presidents and those with a title of Vice President or equivalent must obtain approval from the USG institution President, whose authority cannot be delegated, using procedures established by the Chancellor.
Each USG employee, with a work commitment of less than 30 hours per week (.75 FTE or <), and faculty members on a contract term of less than nine months a year do not need written approval in advance of engaging in compensated outside activities so long as the outside activity does not create a conflict of interest or otherwise violate Board policy.
Required Leave and Honoria for Compensated Outside Activities
Except as authorized for eligible faculty employees, as set forth in Section 126.96.36.199.4, appropriate leave must be used by USG employees for outside activities during the employee’s work hours consistent with the USG procedures governing the use of leave.
Non-faculty employees may not receive Honoraria, as defined in Section 188.8.131.52.4, for activities during the employee’s work hours.
Consulting for USG Vendors
USG institution employees are generally prohibited from consulting with or otherwise receiving compensation from a current vendor of, or an entity seeking a vendor relationship with, the USG institution where the employee works. System Office employees are generally prohibited from consulting with or otherwise receiving compensation from a current System Office vendor or an entity seeking a vendor relationship with the System Office.
Exceptions to this provision may be granted by the institution President or President’s designee for USG institution employees that do not supervise, regularly interact with, or participate in the selection of vendors for that employee’s institution or in those instances where the employee seeking to consult for a vendor or potential vendor is not involved in any way with supervising, regularly interacting with, or selecting said vendor or potential vendor. Similar exceptions for System Office employees and USG Presidents may be granted by the Chancellor or Chancellor’s designee. This prohibition does not apply to vendor or service relationships between the USG and other government entities.
“Compensation” is defined as any payment, deferred payment, equity, or deferred equity provided in exchange for the expectation that the faculty member will perform work or services for the benefit of the outside payer. Compensation does not include standard Honoraria.
“Honoraria” are defined as any payments given for professional or voluntary services that are rendered nominally without charge, and any payments in recognition of these services typically forbids a price to be set. See Section 184.108.40.206 Gratuities for guidance on accepting expense reimbursement from outside parties.
“Faculty Primary Responsibilities” are defined as teaching, research, clinical practice, service, administrative duties, and other appropriate duties assigned by the institution to the faculty member.
“Faculty Secondary Responsibilities” are defined as professional activities or affiliations traditionally undertaken by faculty outside of the immediate institution employment context but where the faculty member represents the institution and his or her affiliation to it. Secondary Responsibilities may or may not entail the receipt of Honoraria, remuneration, or the reimbursement of expenses.
“Outside Consulting” is defined as any activity for Compensation other than Primary Responsibilities or Secondary Responsibilities that a faculty member may engage in that, (1) is based upon professional knowledge, experience, and abilities of the faculty member that relate to the faculty member’s expertise or responsibilities as a USG faculty member, and (2) is performed for any business, self-employment, or public or private entity other than his or her institution.
“Faculty” is defined in accordance with Section 3.2 Faculties, and includes full-time research and extension personnel and duly certified librarians on the basis of comparable training.
Required Institution Guidelines
Recognizing that teaching, research, and public service are the primary responsibilities of USG faculty members, it is reasonable and desirable for faculty members to engage in additional activity beyond duties assigned by the institution, which are professional in nature and based in the appropriate discipline for which the individual receives additional compensation during the contract year.
Each USG institution shall adopt guidelines governing outside consulting activities of faculty members that shall include the following:
- Time that faculty may engage in outside consulting during work hours, if any;
- If faculty outside consulting is permitted during work hours, the maximum limit is, on average, one day per week.
- Unless express permission is granted by the institution President, whose approval authority may not be delegated, twelve-month faculty who earn annual leave must take leave consistent with USG and institutional procedures governing the use of leave when engaged in consulting during the faculty member’s work hours.
- A determination of what institutional resources may be used for outside consulting work;
- A plan for reimbursing the institution for non-incidental use of the institution’s personnel, facilities, equipment, and materials consistent with rates charged outside groups or persons;
- A procedure for obtaining prior approval of the President or President’s designee; and,
- A procedure for defining and managing conflicts of interest and conflicts of commitment regarding outside faculty consulting.
220.127.116.11 Political Activities
USG employees are encouraged to fulfill their civic obligations and engage in the normal political processes of society. Nevertheless, it is inappropriate for USG employees to manage or enter political campaigns while on duty to perform services for the USG or to hold elective political office at the state or federal level while employed by the USG.
The following policies governing political activities apply to all USG employees:
- A USG employee may not manage or take an active part in a political campaign that interferes with the performance of duties or services for which he or she receives compensation from the USG.
- A USG employee may not hold elective political office at the state or federal level.
- A USG employee seeking elective political office at the state or federal level must first request a leave of absence without pay beginning prior to qualification as a candidate in a primary or general election and ending after the general or final election. If elected to state or federal office, a USG employee must resign prior to assuming office.
- Employees may seek and hold elective office at other than the state or federal level, or appointive office, when it does not conflict or interfere with the employee’s duties and responsibilities to the employee’s USG institution or the USG.
A University System of Georgia (USG) employee shall not directly or indirectly solicit, receive, accept, or agree to receive a thing of value by inducing the reasonable belief that the giving of the thing will influence his or her performance or failure to perform any official action. The acceptance of a benefit, reward, or consideration, where the purpose of the gift is to influence an employee in the performance of his or her official functions, is a felony under O.C.G.A. § 16-10-2.
A USG employee, or any other person on his or her behalf, is prohibited from knowingly accepting, directly or indirectly, a gift from any vendor or lobbyist as those terms are defined in Georgia statutes (O.C.G.A. §§ 21-5-70(6) and 45-1-6(a)(5)). If a gift has been accepted, it must be either returned to the donor or transferred to a charitable organization.
A gift may be accepted by the employee on behalf of the institution subject to reporting requirements of the Board of Regents. If the gift is accepted, the person receiving the gift shall not maintain custody of the gift for any period of time beyond that reasonably necessary to arrange for the transfer of custody and ownership of the gift.
For purposes of this policy a gift is defined as lodging, transportation, personal services, a gratuity, subscription, membership, trip, loan, extension of credit, forgiveness of debt, advance or deposit of money, or anything of value.
A gift shall not include:
- Food or beverage consumed at an occasional meal or event, provided the value is reasonable under the circumstances but in no event exceeds $100 per person.
- Food, beverages, and registration at group events to which substantial numbers of employees of the University System Office or a USG institution are invited.
- Food, beverage, or expenses afforded employees, relatives or others that are associated with normal and customary business or social functions or activities.
- Actual and reasonable expenses for food, beverages, travel, lodging and registration provided to permit participation in a meeting, demonstration, or training related to official or professional duties if participation has been approved in writing by the Chancellor, the President, or his/her designee.
- Promotional items generally distributed to the general public.
- Textbooks, software, and instructional materials to be reviewed by teaching faculty.
- An award, plaque, certificate, memento, or similar item given in recognition of the recipient’s civic, charitable, political, professional, private or public service or achievement.
- Legitimate salary, honoraria, benefit, fees, commissions, or expenses associated with the recipient’s non-public business, employment, trade, or profession.
- Gifts from a person or entity who is neither a lobbyist nor a vendor as those terms are defined in State Statutes, nor a student or patient at an institution.
- Consulting fees, honoraria, or financial benefits from sponsors or foundations, received in conformance with USG policies, institution policies, and Georgia law.
- Gifts to or from USG foundations or other separately incorporated, charitable entities.
18.104.22.168 Sexual Harassment
It is an unlawful discriminatory practice for any employer, because of the sex of any person, to discharge without cause, to refuse to hire, or to otherwise discriminate against any person with respect to any matter directly or indirectly related to employment or academic standing. Harassment of an employee on the basis of sex violates law and Board of Regents’ Policy.
Sexual harassment of University System of Georgia (USG) employees or students is prohibited and shall subject the offender to dismissal or other sanctions after compliance with procedural due process requirements. Unwelcome sexual advancements, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment when:
- Submission to such conduct is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic standing; or,
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment or academic decisions affecting an individual; or,
- Such conduct unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work or academic performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or academic environment.
22.214.171.124 Amorous Relationships
A University System of Georgia (USG) employee, including a graduate teaching assistant, is prohibited from having a romantic or sexual relationship with any student or USG employee who the individual supervises, teaches, or evaluates in any way. Additionally, a USG employee is prohibited from having a romantic or sexual relationship with any student or USG employee whose terms or conditions of education or employment the individual could directly affect.
A violation of any Personnel Conduct policy may subject an employee to disciplinary action, including termination of employment.
8.2.19 Tuition Assistance Program
The University System of Georgia (USG) and its institutions encourage full-time faculty, staff, and administrators to participate in development activities and study by remitting tuition for those activities that have been authorized by the University System Office for System Office employees and by the employee’s institution for individuals employed at USG institutions. Participation in the Tuition Assistance Program shall be available to full-time, benefits-eligible employees who have successfully completed at least six months of employment in a benefits-eligible position as of the date of the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) application deadline for the desired academic semester.
Full-time employees who meet the applicable admissions standards and who have received appropriate prior authorization from their institution may enroll in up to nine academic semester credit hours for each of the three designated semester periods: fall semester, spring semester, and summer semester.
Tuition assistance is the waiver of tuition and certain fees. The Board approved applicable face-to-face or online tuition rate will be waived in full for all undergraduate and graduate programs and classes eligible under TAP. Student status will be secondary to employee status in all considerations, including student fee waivers. TAP participation will be granted on a space-available basis. For limited-slot enrollment programs, approval must be granted by the teaching institution. An employee must receive a grade of C or better in each approved TAP academic course. The following programs are not eligible for the TAP waiver:
- Dental (First professional degree)
- Medical (First professional degree)
- Pharmacy (First professional degree)
- Law (First professional degree)
- Executive total cost programs
In addition to the TAP benefits provided for above, employees of a USG institution may attend classes offered by the same institution as auditors without registering for the course and without credit being offered for such attendance. This provision applies to non-credit courses on a space-available basis. Institutions may permit employees to attend job-related continuing education classes, as determined by the appropriate supervisory authority, at a reduced rate or without payment of a fee.
The University System and the institutions encourage full-time faculty, staff, and administrators to participate in development activities and study by remitting tuition for those activities that have been authorized by the employee’s institution. Due to the current shortage of nursing faculty in the state of Georgia, the Tuition Assistance Program is available to Part-Time Nursing Faculty members seeking a graduate degree in Nursing. Any part-time nursing faculty member taking advantage of this program shall be required to work full time within the University System at least two (2) years following receipt of the graduate degree in Nursing (or Education, if such would allow one to teach Nursing at the University level). The utilization of this program by part-time nursing faculty shall end in 2015, unless such utilization is extended by further action of the Board.
Participation in the Tuition Assistance Program for Nursing Faculty shall be available to part-time nursing faculty who have successfully completed at least six (6) months of employment as of the date of the Tuition Assistance Program application deadline for the desired academic semester. Qualified part-time nursing faculty (who meet the applicable admissions standards and who have received appropriate prior authorization from their institution) may enroll in up to nine (9) academic semester credit hours for each of the three designated semester periods: fall semester, spring semester, and summer semester. Student status will be secondary to employee status in all considerations, including student fee waivers. Tuition assistance is the waiver of tuition and the waiver of certain fees. Tuition Assistance Program participation will be granted on a space-available basis. For limited-slot enrollment programs, approval must be granted by the teaching institution. An employee must receive a grade of B or better in each approved Tuition Assistance Program academic course.
(BoR Minutes, October 2009)
8.1.1 Faculty Members
The faculty shall consist of the corps of instruction and the administrative officers as defined in Section 3.0 of this Policy Manual.
8.1.2 Classified Personnel
Classified employees shall consist of professional and administrative personnel and staff as defined in the Board’s of Regents’ Human Resources Administrative Practice Manual.
8.5.1 Definition of Financial Exigency
Financial exigency occurs when circumstances cause a shortfall in projected revenues for general operations as compared with projected expenditures over the same period, and such shortfall would have a material adverse effect on the operation of either an institution, an academic or other unit of an institution, or the USG generally. In the event of reduced appropriations, declining enrollments, or other actions or events that compel a reduction in the USG’s or an institution’s current operations budget, the Board of Regents may, in its exercise of fiscal responsibility, reduce the operation of, modify, or close one or more USG institutions. Such reductions, modifications, or closings may require the reduction of salaries, layoffs, or terminations of tenured faculty, non-tenured faculty, or other contract employees before the expiration of their contract term.
Any response to a financial exigency shall be developed with the understanding that action taken will be consistent with the basic USG mission to provide the best possible education for its students. The USG shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that students affected will be allowed to complete their programs, within the limits of budgetary constraints, at the institution or by transfer to another USG institution.
The determination of the existence and extent of a financial exigency affecting the USG, any individual institution, or an academic unit of an institution shall be the sole responsibility of the Board of Regents. However, the president of an institution, after consultation with representative faculty members, may request such a determination by the Board. A request for the declaration of a financial exigency at any level below the institution level must originate at the institution. When such determinations are made, this policy, along with approved implementing procedures, will take precedence over those applicable Board policies that govern normal operating procedures. The president of each institution shall follow implementing procedures prescribed by the Chancellor.
8.5.2 Layoffs or Terminations
The term layoff, as used in this policy, is defined as the temporary dismissal of any employee, including tenured or non-tenured faculty members or other contracted employees, before the end of their contract term. Layoffs may lead to eventual termination.
Layoffs or terminations may occur within an academic or other units of an institution without a net loss of faculty members or other personnel at the institution; that is, layoffs or terminations in some academic or other units may occur with simultaneous authorization of new positions for different duties in academic or other units depending upon the needs of such units.
The president of each institution, after consultation with faculty and staff, shall determine whether layoffs or terminations are required and which employees will be affected. This determination shall be made in accordance with the procedures established by the Chancellor, and will give primary consideration to the maintenance of a sound and balanced educational program that is consistent with the functions and responsibilities of the institution.
Faculty and other employees under contract who are laid off or terminated before the end of their contract terms for reasons of financial exigency shall, whenever possible, be notified at least ninety (90) days in advance of the date of layoff or termination. The notice of layoff or termination shall be delivered personally or by certified mail, with return receipt requested.
This notice shall include, in writing, a statement of the conditions requiring layoff or termination, a general description of procedures followed in making the decision and a statement of the employee’s right to respond, orally and in writing, to the appropriate official at the institution as to the reasons for the layoff or termination. The employee(s) shall also have the right, upon written request within twenty (20) calendar days from the date of the final decision of the president or his or her designee, to apply to the Board’s Office of Legal Affairs for a review of that decision, per Policy 8.6 Applications for Discretionary Review. (BoR Minutes, February 2015)
8.5.3 Program Modification or Discontinuance in the Event of Financial Exigency
Anything in these policies to the contrary notwithstanding, if the Board of Regents finds that a condition of financial exigency exists at an institution, either within an academic or other unit of an institution or in the USG as provided in this Policy Manual, then program modifications or discontinuances recommended by the Chancellor and approved by the Board may be made at any such institution, within an academic or other unit of any such institution or the USG generally. If any such program modifications or discontinuances involve the layoff or termination of any tenured or non-tenured faculty or other contract employees before the end of their contract term, the provisions of Section 8.5.2 of this Policy Manual shall apply to any such layoffs or termination (BoR Minutes, 1991-92, pp. 114-117).
8.3.13 Faculty Development
Each University System of Georgia institution shall maintain a campus-wide professional growth and development program that supports the continuous improvement of all faculty in their roles as teachers, scholars, researchers, and professionals engaged in service to the institution, the community, and the profession. Each institution’s program must be aligned with the institution’s mission, key initiatives, and strategic plan and must cultivate and sustain a culture in which faculty professional development is valued and pervasive.
The program should specify how faculty development is incorporated into each area of faculty performance evaluations and should be grounded in best practices for faculty development to inform faculty of opportunities, empower them to stay current, and reward them for enhancing their skills. The program should be goal-driven, include a mechanism to evaluate its effectiveness, and explain how the information gathered will be used to enhance faculty development. Programs must be endorsed by the appropriate faculty governance process and the institution’s President.
8.3.14 Enhancing Teaching and Learning in K-12 Schools and USG Institutions
University System of Georgia (USG) institutions shall support and reward faculty who participate in significant and approved efforts to improve teaching and learning in K-12 schools and USG institutions through decisions in promotion and tenure, pre-tenure and post-tenure review, annual review and merit pay, workload, recognition, allocation of resources, and other rewards consistent with the related provisions in the Academic & Student Affairs Handbook.
8.2.21 Employment Appeals
Employee appeals of final decisions of University System of Georgia institutions are governed by the Board of Regents’ Policy on Application for Discretionary Review.
8.2.22 University System of Georgia Staff Council
The University System of Georgia Staff Council (USGSC) shall provide a staff voice on matters related to non-faculty employment within the University System. The USGSC shall be mindful and respectful of matters that are more appropriately within the authority and responsibilities of each institution’s administration.
Membership of the USGSC shall be comprised of one voting representative from each University System of Georgia (USG) institution who must be in the classified service of the represented institution. A copy of each institution’s process for determining its USGSC representative shall be filed with the chief human resources officer. The organization and governance of the USGSC shall be implemented according to policies and procedures established by the membership of the USGSC in the USGSC’s bylaws, in consultation with, and subject to the approval of, the Chancellor.
Nothing in this policy or the USGSC’s bylaws shall supersede the authority and responsibilities of institutional presidents addressed in this Policy Manual. With respect to matters specific to their institutions, presidents remain the official media of communication between institutional employees and the Chancellor.