Faculty Handbook - version 8/12
Handbook for contracts dated prior to 7/1/03 (PDF)
Index | Faculty Senate | UNCA


4.1 Faculty Professional Development

Faculty development includes enhancement, support, and reward of the development of teaching, scholarship and balancing the demands of faculty roles.

4.1.1 Doctoral Study Program - Board of Governors

The Board of Governors established the Doctoral Study Assignment Program to allow selected faculty members to pursue up to one year of full-time study toward the doctoral degree. Faculty members selected to participate in the program will be allowed to pursue doctoral studies in an accredited university on a full-time basis during the period of the award. They will continue to receive their full salary and other benefits for the period of study, and will remain as employees of the institutions where they are currently employed. Faculty members selected for these study assignments are responsible for all educational and personal costs associated with their studies, including tuition, moving expenses, travel, and any other such expenses. (See Section 13.2.1 for additional information.)

4.1.2 Faculty Exchanges

Faculty may participate in national or international exchanges with the approval of their department chairs and the VCAA.  Information about faculty exchange opportunities is available from the Office of Academic Affairs.

4.1.3 Institutional Grants (see Section 6.5)

4.1.4 Off-Campus Scholarly Assignment - (SD1488S) Purpose

Off-campus scholarly assignments are a means by which UNCA supports continued professional growth for its faculty. Such assignments provide institutional encouragement and support to the faculty in developing, maintaining, and broadening academic and instructional competencies that are valued by the individual faculty member, his or her academic program, and by the university. Eligibility

  1. All full-time teaching faculty members who have served at UNCA for a minimum of four years are eligible; however, members with tenure will be given preference.
  2. No faculty member will normally be eligible to receive an off-campus scholarly assignment more than once every six years. Exceptions may be negotiated for extra-ordinary opportunities which may arise.
  3. An off-campus scholarly assignment may be granted for up to one full year. The university will support the recipient with either one semester at full salary or two semesters at one-half salary. Health insurance and retirement benefit coverage varies with the conditions of the off-campus scholarly assignment. Discuss with the Personnel Office and/or the Office of Academic Affairs how fringe benefits will be handled.
  4. The recipient may elect to count the time in this off-campus assignment toward promotion and tenure, or may defer. The candidate's written proposal should indicate the manner in which the applicant wishes the time to be counted.
  5. It is expected that most departments will be able to adjust offerings and assignments to accommodate the off-campus assignment without significantly complicating student programs. In some instances, adjunct faculty funds may be needed to sustain the programs. In all cases, the Chair of the affected department or program director will negotiate in advance with the VCAA the exact level of support for the affected department or program.
  6. As a general rule, a faculty member's proposal for an off-campus scholarly assignment must be made at least nine months in advance of the assignment.
  7. The faculty member and Chair are strongly encouraged to review the description of "leaves of absence" in Section 14.2 and to consult with the VCAA to differentiate such leaves from "off-campus scholarly assignments." Procedures for Application, Approval, and Accountability

  1. Chairs and program directors should be involved in all phases of developing an off-campus scholarly assignment proposal. Interested faculty members should initiate the process by discussing a proposed project with their Chair. Projects may then be developed as written proposals which involve a detailed statement of the research or other professional development that the applicant expects to undertake. The proposal must also include a section which describes how the faculty member's project is to evaluated and by whom.
  2. The Chair must circulate the proposed project within his or her academic program and must consult with the tenured members of the program concerning the benefits to the applicant's scholarship, to his or her professional development in teaching, and/or to how the proposal will contribute to the improvement of the academic program and the university. In cases where the Chair has rejected a proposed project, the faculty member may appeal the decision to the VCAA.
  3. Once a final draft of the proposal has been accepted and approved by the department Chair, and the time-frame for the off-campus scholarly project identified, the Chair is responsible for arranging all final details of university support with the VCAA. The VCAA, after reading the proposal and consulting with the Chair (and in some cases, the faculty member) will approve or deny the applicant's request. The VCAA will communicate in writing to the faculty member, with a copy to the department Chair, his or her decision. A negative decision may be accompanied by brief but specific reasons for rejecting the application, such as a statement regarding the feasibility of the project, or lack of resources. Rejection of a proposal should include ways in which the proposal might be improved to enhance acceptance in the future.
  4. If the VCAA approves of the off-campus scholarly assignment, a contract for such an assignment will be prepared which will designate the specific conditions and dates for the off-campus scholarly assignment. Where the off-campus assignment requires institutional nomination or approval of the applicant, the Office of the VCAA will be responsible for expediting the process to meet external agency requirements and deadlines. The contract will also require the faculty member to guarantee as one of the conditions for the assignment, that he or she will return to full-time teaching at UNCA for a minimum of one full academic year following the off-campus scholarly assignment.
  5. The Board of Trustees of UNCA must grant final approval for all off-campus scholarly assignments.
  6. Upon completion of an off-campus scholarly assignment, the recipient must prepare a brief written report describing all professional activities during the period of the assignment, and provide an evaluation of accomplishments. The report, with the Chair's evaluation, or other designated evaluator's comments, must be filed with both the department Chair and the VCAA.

NOTE: Chairs who wish to apply for off-campus scholarly assignments should initiate the process with the VCAA, but should otherwise follow the general procedures outlined above. Limitations:

  1. The VCAA will insure that minorities and women receive an equitable share of off-campus scholarly assignments.
  2. Because of normal budgetary limitations, it is assumed that approximately 3% of the total full-time faculty may be allocated off-campus scholarly assignments in any given year. Faculty are encouraged to continue seeking private or federal grant support for fellowships to support additional faculty development, and travel.

4.1.5 Professional Travel Policy

The University provides support for faculty to travel on university related business. In all cases in which the faculty member is traveling on University business, he/she must have received prior authorization from their Department Chair and the VCAA. The reason for prior authorization is to insure that the faculty member is covered under Workman's Compensation in the event of injury or accident. This requirement applies whether or not the faculty member is requesting reimbursement from University funds. See UNCA PPM #3 for more details. Funding

Academic Affairs strongly encourages all faculty to be actively involved in their professional disciplines. As an inducement faculty will receive full funding support up to a predetermined maximum in order to travel to conferences, workshops, symposia, etc. The specific activities the university will support are as follows:

  1. Instruction related travel: All travel for the purpose of conducting a course will be supported. Field trips, school visits, internship visitations, and related activities will receive normal university funding.
  2. University required travel: All travel required by the University will be supported.
  3. Funding maximums change from year to year.

The State of North Carolina imposes clear maximums on reimbursements for food and lodging for travel in the State of North Carolina and outside the State. These reimbursements are subject to change, therefore faculty should consult the business office for the currently approved rates. The State imposes no limit on transportation expenses, but does insist that individuals travel by the least expensive mode that is feasible. Procedure

Specific forms must be completed relative to Faculty Travel. Each faculty secretary has a supply of those forms and is familiar with the procedures involved. The needed forms are listed below:

  1. Instate Travel Authorization Form (must be completed prior to making a trip).
  2. Out-of-State Travel Authorization Form (must be completed prior to making a trip). This form is also used for excess registration fees.
  3. Form for request to use a state car
  4. Travel Reimbursement Form

Driver's License on File: The individual is required to have on file with the University a copy of a valid driver's license if he/she wishes to use a State Vehicle.

Use of personal car: One may elect to use their personal car and be reimbursed at the approved rate.

Questions relative to faculty travel should be directed to the VCAA. Also faculty should consult UNCA PPM #3.

4.1.6 Tuition free courses for Faculty and Staff (see Section 7.17)

4.1.7 External Professional Activities of Faculty and Professional Staff (see Section 13.2.4)

4.1.8 Center for Teaching and Learning (see Section 11.9)

4.2 Faculty Leaves of Absence

Approval for either a special assignment or a leave of absence requires approval of the faculty member's Department Chair/Program Director, the VCAA, the Chancellor, and the UNCA Board of Trustees. See Section III of UNCA Tenure Policies and Regulations, located in Section 14.2.

4.2.1 With Pay

UNC does not have a formal system of state funded sabbaticals. UNC does allow faculty to serve with pay on certain special assignments. Family/medical leave and leaves of absence paid by non-state funds also are permissible. Special Assignments

UNCA permits leaves paid by state funds for three types of special assignments described in Section 4.1:
* Board of Governors Doctoral Study Program
* Faculty Exchange
* Off-Campus Scholarly Assignment Family and Medical Leave (SD4900S)

Members of UNCA faculty entitled to benefits may apply under this policy for up to a semester off with full pay. While brief absences from faculty duties, including teaching, can usually be accommodated informally, those that involve prolonged illness and/or disability are approached in a manner consistent with The Family Leave and Medical Act, The Code of The University of North Carolina and The Regulations on Academic Freedom, Tenure and Due Process of The University of North Carolina at Asheville. This leave is not allowable as terminal leave payment when the faculty member leaves the employment of the University. It may not be used to extend years of creditable state service for retirement benefits. However, it may be exhausted prior to participation in the Disability Income Plan, provided to state employees.

I. Coverage
This policy applies to persons holding regular faculty appointments (professor, associate/assistant professor, lecturer, instructor) who are also eligible for participation in either the Teachers' and State Employees' Retirement System for North Carolina State Retirement Program or the Optional Retirement Program. It does not apply to faculty members with twelve-month appointments annually; these persons are covered under a separate leave policy of the Board of Governors. It does not apply to persons with adjunct faculty appointments. 

II. Benefit
A faculty member for whom any of the following conditions apply may request up to one semester off with full pay:
* medically verifiable extended illness or serious disability
* pregnancy
* bereavement
* primary care-giving responsibilities for an infant or seriously ill child, spouse/domestic partner, parent or other dependent
* other medical or family situations which may require absence from work

The leave period begins with the first day of the absence. More than one disability leave may be granted in an academic year. Approved, but not used, leave shall not accumulate nor be carried forward from academic year to academic year. This policy does not preclude requesting leaves for non-medical or serious disability reasons. 

III. Use of Leave
The period of leave provided under this policy may be used for medically verifiable sickness or injury which prevents the faculty member from performing usual duties, including temporary disability connected with childbearing and recovery. A faculty member anticipating the need for temporary disability leave relating to maternity should notify the department chair/program director in writing as soon as possible.

Female faculty shall not be penalized in their condition of employment because they require time away from work caused by or contributed to by pregnancy, miscarriage, abortion, childbirth, or recovery. Disabilities resulting from pregnancy shall be treated the same as any other temporary disability. The type and nature of the faculty member's duties during pregnancy shall be determined by the department chair/program director in consultation with the faculty member and upon advice she has received from her physician.

A faculty member may seek leave needed as a consequence of a medically verifiable illness/disability of a member of the immediate family (defined as spouse, domestic partner, parents, children --including step relationships or other legal dependents).

 IV. Administration of Benefit
It is the responsibility of the faculty member to request the use of leave provided by this policy as soon as possible upon learning of the need for the leave. This request will normally be made in a letter to the department head. The department head may request medical verification of the faculty member's illness or disability, including a physician's statement about the probable length of absence from normal duties. If the request is for the purpose of caring for a faculty member's family member, domestic partner or dependent, the department chair/program director may request medical verification of the illness or disability of that person and may also inquire about the circumstance which make it impossible or difficult for the faculty member to carry on with normal duties. To facilitate the gathering of necessary verification, the department chair/program director may request the assistance of the Human Resources Department.

The department chair/program director will make a recommendation to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs concerning whether or not to grant the request for leave. When the request is the result of the faculty member's illness or disability, the department chair/program director will recommend leave if the need for leave is readily evident or if it is supported by medical information. When the request is to care for the faculty member's family member, domestic partner or dependent, the department chair/program director may base the recommendation on other factors, including the needs of the unit, timing within the academic year, effect on students, ability of the unit to compensate for the absence, etc.

The Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs is responsible for making a decision on whether or not to approve leave after reviewing the department chair/program director's recommendation. The Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs will provide written notification of the decision to the department chair/program director with a copy to the faculty member. The Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs will provide a copy of the notice to the Office of the Chancellor and the Human Resources Department. Whenever the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs approves leave under this policy, he/she is responsible for working out an arrangement with the department chair/program director for covering the duties of the person on leave.

Leave may be granted for up to the period actually required by the disability or the end of the faculty member's contract period (academic year), whichever occurs first. Leave beyond this period is subject to approval by the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs after consultation with the faculty member's department chair/program director.

If illness or disability requires an absence from faculty duties beyond the approved salary continuation period, the faculty member may petition for a leave of absence without pay under procedures described in the Handbook for Faculty and in University policies implementing the Family and Medical Leave Act. The faculty member may also apply to the Human Resources Department for salary continuation through the Disability Income Plan or through other disability programs offered to University employees on an optional basis.

V. Appeals
The Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs' decision not to grant a request for leave under this policy may be appealed to the Chancellor.

VI. Confidentiality
Communications concerning leave requested or granted under this policy are subject to the same confidentiality requirements as other personnel records.

VII. Record-Keeping
Because this policy provides an important financial benefit, accurate records on its invocation must be maintained. The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs will maintain the official records and, every three years from the date of approval or sooner if necessary, will make general reports on its use to other University administrators and to the Faculty Senate.

 VIII.Coordination with Other Policies
The Regulations on Academic Freedom, Tenure and Due Process provide that "[T]ime spent on leave of absence shall not count as probationary service unless the faculty member and the institution agree to the contrary at the time leave is granted." 

The terms of this policy pertain only to a leave with full pay for a specified period because of illness or disability. This policy has no effect on provisions for leave without pay as described in the Handbook for Faculty.

The leave with full pay provided for under this policy shall have no effect on the faculty member's other employment benefits. Leaves Paid By Non-State Funds

Leaves of absence paid from non-state funds may be allowed with the approval of the UNCA Board of Trustees and the President of the University.

4.2.2 Without Pay Elected Office and Civil Leaves (see Section 13.2.5) Requested Unpaid Leave

A leave of absence without pay is possible with the approval of the Chancellor and the UNCA Board of Trustees. Leave requests are initiated at the department or program level and proceed through the chair or director to the Office of the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs. The VCAA makes a recommendation to the Chancellor.

4.3 Working Conditions

4.3.1 Academic Regalia

Faculty are expected to wear academic regalia at commencement and special ceremonies such as installation of the Chancellor and at the Fall Convocation. Academic regalia may be rented through the UNCA Bookstore.

4.3.2 Alcoholic Beverage Policy (see Section 7.1)

4.3.3 Attendance at Faculty Meetings and Formal Exercises

Faculty are expected to attend all formal exercises such as commencement, convocation, departmental faculty meetings, assigned committee meetings, and scheduled duty during registration days. If a faculty member for some reason cannot meet his/her scheduled responsibilities he/she is to notify the Department Chair/Program Director or Committee Chair. 

All full-time faculty members are expected to attend all called faculty meetings. The Department Chair is to be notified if a faculty member cannot attend a meeting of the faculty. Faculty meetings are called at the beginning and end of each academic semester plus at the end of the second five-week summer session.

Special faculty meetings may be called by the President of the University, the Chancellor, or the VCAA. Faculty also may request a Faculty Meeting through the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate. (See Constitution of the Faculty Senate, Section 14.1). Such requests should include a proposed agenda, rationale for the special meeting and suggested date and time. Should the Executive Committee approve the request, the VCAA will call the meeting.

4.3.4 Drug Abuse and Controlled Substance Policy (see Section 7.5)

4.3.5 Office Support Office Space and Clerical Assistance

Full-time faculty can expect in his/her office a desk, book shelving, filing cabinet and chairs, a telephone, access to a departmental secretary for provision of course related clerical services and typing and as time permits typing of manuscripts, and mail service to the departments. Budget permitting, a work study student who may assist faculty may be assigned to an academic department. Within budget constraints faculty may utilize the services of Printing Services and Publications. A limited number of private carrels are available in the library (see Section 5.8.4).

Guidelines for Work Assigned to Faculty Secretaries

A.  Workload Priorities:  Faculty secretaries are assigned the following priorities for their work:

  1. course outlines, course syllabi, handouts, assignments, and examinations.
  2. Receptionist duties including answering the phone and fielding questions from students and visitors.
  3. Essential UNCA reports, official correspondence, budgets, etc. for the chair/director. (Annual reports, department self-studies, course schedules, etc.)
  4. Routine filing and office work.
  5. Duties peculiar to a department (special reports, box office, ticket sales, distribution and return of keys, etc.)
  6. Essential reports, official correspondence, etc. for faculty. (Official faculty committee activities, academic advising, etc.)
  7. Scholarly activities including grant proposals, articles for publication, reviews, etc.
  8. Typing manuscripts for a book. Secretaries may do this only if time allows. Where appropriate secretaries should be compensated separately by the faculty for work performed outside regular work hours.
  9. University-wide needs may supersede any of the above.

B. Activities to be Discouraged

  1. Activities that take secretaries out of their offices for a prolonged period of time during the normal workday.
  2. Any work for off-campus organizations (e.g., civic groups) in which a faculty member may be involved. When in doubt the secretary should consult the chair/director or the VCAA.

C. Activities Prohibited

  1. Typing personal correspondence for anyone.
  2. Violating copyright laws at the request of anyone.
  3. Proctoring examinations
  4. Supervising a class for a faculty member
  5. Grading of any course-related work: examinations, quizzes, papers, reports, homework, etc.
  6. Performing any non-work related activities. When in doubt the secretary should consult the chair/director or the VCAA. Computer Services (see Section 5.3) Mail Services (see Section 7.11) Ordering Equipment and Supplies

Equipment and supplies are purchased with departmental funds. Purchase orders must be completed, usually by the department secretary, and approved by the department chair/program director. See UNCA PPM #14 for more information.

4.3.6 Research Policies Animal Subjects Policy

The UNCA Animal Care Committee (ACC) must approve projects which utilize live animals. ACC addresses public concerns about humane treatment of experimental animals, assures compliance with relevant legislation, monitors moral and ethical obligations to other living organisms, provides institutional assurances for granting agencies, and protects investigators and students from unsubstantiated or unwarranted allegations of improper procedures.

Any project by a UNCA investigator (faculty or student) or any teaching procedure which requires the use of live animals must submit an application for animal use to ACC. These rules do not apply to plants, bacteria or protozoans. Information concerning applicable guidelines may be obtained from the ACC. If a previously approved project is revised or requires significant changes from the approved techniques, a supplemental form listing the changes must be submitted.

Applications can be obtained from and should be returned to the Director of Special Academic Programs. The form should be typed and each questions should be answered in specific detail or noted "not applicable". All applications require one copy of the application form and one copy of the complete grant proposal or instructor's syllabus (for teaching activities). After review and approval (2-3 weeks normally), the Chair of the ACC will send notification of approval to the Principal Investigator or to the student's research advisor. Human Subjects Policy (SD0393F) Purpose

The protection of the rights and welfare of human subjects of research is the primary goal of this policy. By its adoption the university recognizes the dignity, autonomy and privacy of persons who may become the subjects of research that is conducted under the auspices of UNCA. Policy

The UNCA Institutional Review Board (IRB) is charged with the responsibility of reviewing all research proposals involving human subjects, according to the Code of Federal Regulations (45 CFR 46, June 18, 1991.) These regulations require IRB approval for federally-funded research on human subjects and also require that the Institution have a policy on such studies "regardless of whether the research is subject to federal regulation." (#46.103 (b)(1).) This policy allows departments to adopt their own, more restrictive review procedures. The UNCA policy on human subjects applies not only to the research of individual faculty and staff members but also to the research projects assigned to students. Since most of UNCA's research has in the past involved minimal risk to human subjects, the review procedure for most projects is also minimal. Procedures 

1. Before beginning any study involving human subjects, a brief proposal must be submitted to the Chair of the IRB (see SD0393 for sample forms).

2. If the Chair or a delegated member of the IRB determines that the study involves only "minimal risk", approval may be given. "Minimal risk means that the probability and magnitude of harm or discomfort anticipated in the research are not greater in and of themselves than those ordinarily encountered in daily life or during the performance of routine physical or psychological examinations or tests." (46.102, i)

3. If it is decided that more than "minimal risk" to human subjects may be involved, the full IRB will consider the proposal. The researcher (or faculty member assigning student projects) will be invited to explain the project to the IRB.

4. According to Federal Regulations (46.109), the IRB shall "have the authority to approve, require modifications in (to secure approval) or disapprove all research activity covered by this policy." The Regulations further state that the Institution (UNCA) may reverse an approval given by the IRB, but it cannot overrule a negative decision by the IRB.

5. Independent research projects which individual students design and carry out under faculty supervision must be reviewed and approved by the IRB  (see SD0393 for sample forms).

6. All other student research assignments, such as those in research methods courses, etc., will be reviewed by the course instructor, who will be acting as the delegate of the IRB. The instructor will report to the IRB through means of a check list.

7. IRB approval of a project is limited to one calendar year.

8. A quorum shall be a majority of the five members of the IRB. Approval of a project requires the approving vote of the majority of those present. Institutional Review Board

Membership of the IRB shall conform to federal guidelines (46.107).

1. There shall be five members, approved by the Chancellor. Faculty members as well as administrative staff are eligible for appointment to the IRB.
2. Three-year terms shall be staggered so that at least one is appointed each year. Reappointment to a second term of three years is allowable for the sake of continuity.
3. Members shall not be all male or all female.
4. There must be representation from the natural science, social science, and humanities areas of the university.
5. One member must not be otherwise affiliated with UNCA.

4.3.7 Smoking Policy (see Section 7.14)

4.3.8 Policy on Children in the Workplace (SD1697S)

UNCA recognizes that faculty members may occasionally need to bring their children with them to work. However, faculty members are expected to observe the following guidelines when doing so.

1. Parents will assume responsibility for direct supervision of their children. Young children are not to be left unsupervised in public areas (lounges, student center, library, etc.), nor are they to be left in the care of university staff.
2. Parents should prevent children from creating excessive noise or disturbing others in the work environment.
3. Parents will assume liability for their children.
4. Parents should not bring sick children to campus.

Rationale: For many parents child care is a major issue in the conflict between work and family involvement. Since there are occasions when faculty must bring their children to campus, the guidelines above establish some common behavioral expectations. Faculty members have private offices which will allow them to keep their children out of the general departmental workspaces. Because faculty schedules are flexible, they may bring children to the campus for shorter periods of time during the day.

4.3.9 Employment/Supervision of Related Persons (see Section 13.2.2)

4.3.10 Mediation Center (SD1797S) (formerly 3.10.8)

The Mediation Center is dedicated to helping the university community resolve conflict. Toward this end it offers confidential mediation services at no charge, educational workshops, and group facilitation services. Mediators are UNCA students, faculty, and staff who have completed significant mediation training. Situations appropriate for mediation may include roommate conflicts, grade disputes, dating relationships, property damage, grievances, student organization differences, faculty/staff conflicts, and student/parent issues. The Center is located at 218 Phillips Hall. For more information or a confidential appointment, call 232-5120 or e-mail mediate@unca.edu.

4.3.11 Non-Discrimination: Ethnic/Gender/Sexual Orientation (formerly 3.8.5)

UNCA subscribes to The Code of The University of North Carolina, Section 103, which states:

Admission to, employment by, and promotion in the University of North Carolina and all its constituent institutions shall be on the basis of merit and there shall be no discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, sex, or national origin.

Furthermore, the University follows N.C.G.S. 126-16 which states:

All state...agencies...of North Carolina shall give equal opportunity for employment without regard to race, religion, color, creed, national origin, age, or physical disability to all persons qualified, except where specific age, sex, or physical requirements constitute bona fide occupational qualifications necessary to proper and efficient administration. The section with respect to equal opportunity as to age shall be limited to individuals who are at least 40 years of age.

Sexual Orientation (SD4091S)

It is the policy of The University of North Carolina at Asheville that an individual's sexual orientation is irrelevant to educational and employment decisions. Any non-faculty employee of The University of North Carolina at Asheville having a complaint of discrimination because of sexual orientation should notify the immediate supervisor or the Director of Personnel. A faculty member should notify the VCAA; a student should notify the VCSA. At any time, a student or employee may call the Affirmative Action Officer or the Counseling Center. The Senate requests that the VCAA arrange with other chancellors a consistent procedure for pursuing complaints of discrimination.

4.3.12 Racial and Sexual Harassment (formerly 3.8.6) Policy (formerly

The University has defined discriminatory personal conduct as "speech or action by a University employee that gives offense by its biased or prejudiced nature, with or without effect on a specific incident of another person's University experience."

Included in such misconduct is sexual harassment, which may be summarily defined from relevant regulations as "the improper introduction into a University relationship of speech or conduct of a sexual nature."

 (SD6096S)  Sexual harassment and discrimination are illegal and endanger the environment of civility and mutual respect that must prevail if the University is to fulfill its mission. The University of North Carolina at Asheville is committed to providing and promoting an atmosphere in which employees can realize their maximum potential in the work place and students can engage fully in the learning process. Toward this end, all members of the University community must understand that sexual harassment, sexual discrimination, and sexual exploitation of professional relationships violate the University's policy and will not be tolerated. The University will take every step to resolve grievances promptly. Any act by the University's employees or students of reprisal, interference, or any other form of retaliation, whether direct or indirect, against a student or employee for raising concerns covered by this policy is also a violation of this policy. Accordingly, members of the University community are prohibited from acts of reprisal against individuals who bring complaints or are involved as witnesses in any action connected with this policy.

A. Applicability
This policy applies to all applicants for employment and admission to University programs, officers and employees of the University, students, persons who serve the University as its agents and are under the control of the University and all others who teach, conduct business or participate in activities at the University. Specific adherence to this policy shall be made an express term of every contracted services agreement entered into by the University.

B. Sexual Harassment - Definitions (See 29 CFR 1604.11)
Two categories of sexual harassment between members of the opposite or same sex are recognized:

     1. Quid Pro Quo:  Sexual harassment presented as a "bargain" (quid pro quo).  Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal and physical conduct of a sexual nature by one in a superior position constitutes "bargained-for sexual harassment" when submission by another is made either an explicit or implicit term or condition of employment or of academic standing. In this case apparent consent of the submitting party is less relevant than the extent to which the sexual conduct is unwelcome. As defined here, "bargained-for sexual harassment" normally arises in the context of an authority relationship. This relationship may be direct as in the case of a supervisor and subordinate or teacher and student or it may be indirect when the harasser has the power to direct others who have authority over the victim.

     2. Environmental Sexual Harassment: Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal and physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute "environmental sexual harassment" when such conduct has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment which unreasonably interferes with another's work, academic performance, or privacy. Environmental harassment can inflict emotional and psychological harm on individuals and can make relationships and the work or study environment unpleasant, threatening and unproductive. However, there is no requirement that evidence of actual emotional or psychological harm be shown in order for environmental sexual harassment to be found to have occurred.

In determining whether alleged conduct constitutes sexual harassment as defined in the policy, the record as a whole will be considered as well as the context in which the conduct occurred. "Environment sexual harassment" normally arises from a repeated or pervasive course of conduct whereas "bargained-for sexual harassment" can be based on a single act.

Facts will be judged on the basis of what is reasonable to persons of ordinary sensitivity and not on the particular susceptibility of an individual, unless that susceptibility is known to the alleged harasser. 

C. Penalties
Penalties will be determined on the basis of the facts of each case and the extent of harm to the University's interests, as well as any University record indicating previous similar wrong doing by the accused person. Penalties will be set according to regulations governing student conduct and employment relationships. These regulations are described in the UNCA Policy and Procedure Manual, the UNCA Student Handbook, the UNCA Faculty Handbook and the North Carolina Office of State Personnel Manual.

D. Anti-retaliation Assurance
This policy seeks to encourage students and employees to express freely, responsibly, and in an orderly way opinions and feelings about any problem or complaint of sexual harassment. Any act of reprisal violates this policy and will result promptly in appropriate disciplinary action.

E. Improper Complaints
This policy shall not be used to bring frivolous or malicious complaints against students or employees. If a complaint has been made in bad faith, disciplinary action will be taken against the person bringing the complaint.

F. Confidentiality
Information generated in the course of informal reviews and formal investigations necessary to enforcing this policy will be given the full extent of confidentiality accorded by law to employee personnel records and student educational records. Any person who, without authorization, reveals such information will be subject to disciplinary action. The sharing of the content of complaints will be on a "need to know" basis and will depend on the type of review and response required by the complainant. In any case when a complaint is being mediated and/or investigated, the accused will be informed of the specific details of the complaint.

G. Responsibility for Implementation
A University employee who has knowledge of conduct involving sexual harassment that may have occurred must take action to address the matter immediately. Not to do so may result in serious consequences for the University and will be considered a breach of responsibility. Procedures (SD0396F) (formerly

Applicable to: Applicants for employment; current and former employees of the University who are/were subject to the State Personnel Act; current and former employees of the University who are/were exempt from the State Personnel Act; persons who serve the University as its agents and are under the control of the University and all others who teach, conduct business or participate in activities at the University.

Procedures: The purpose of these procedures is to provide a prompt and fair resolution of problems and to preserve the due process rights of all involved, including the rights to receive notice of complaints and to have an opportunity for an impartial investigation. 

These procedures also are created to provide for discipline of violators of UNCA Sexual Harassment Policy. However, University administration may take immediate and reasonable action to stop harassment if necessary, and is not limited to the process provided herein.

In the event you believe sexual harassment has occurred or is occurring, you are encouraged to communicate clearly, preferably in writing, to the harasser and state that the conduct is not acceptable. You are also encouraged to maintain careful written records of the harassment and to continue to maintain current records throughout the process.

If the conduct has not stopped after your communication or if you do not wish to make the initial contact with the harasser, you may contact your immediate supervisor, a department head/chair, vice chancellor, sexual harassment policy advisor, or the University Affirmative Action Officer/Director of Human Resources. The person to whom the report is made may work informally to resolve the matter. If both parties are satisfied with the outcome of the informal process, the matter ends. University employees should send to the Affirmative Action Officer a written record of the nature of the allegation, the parties involved, the advice given to the complainant, and the resolution reached. It is preferable the report be signed by the person making the complaint.

Complaints of violations of the UNCA Sexual Harassment Policy will be accepted in writing or orally, and anonymous complaints will be taken seriously and investigated. Anyone who has observed sexual harassment should report it to their immediate supervisor, a department head/chair, vice chancellor, a sexual harassment policy advisor or the University Affirmative Action Officer. The right to issue a complaint is not limited to someone who is the direct target of the harassment.

Once a complaint is made to a University official, the official will document the complaint and forward it to the Affirmative Action Officer. The Affirmative Action Officer will maintain all records related to such cases separately from the University employee's personnel file. Unresolved complaints will be investigated promptly and impartially. The supervisor, department head/chair, or vice chancellor should consult with the University Affirmative Action Officer/Director of Human Resources to determine a course of action to resolve the complaint informally. 

If the complaint cannot be resolved informally, a University investigatory team will complete an investigation, make a determination of whether sexual harassment has occurred, and forward recommendations to the Chancellor for measures to resolve the issue, including disciplinary action if appropriate. The Chancellor will provide both parties to the complaint with written notice of all determinations and recommendations. The Chancellor shall have the final and ultimate determinations of discipline based primarily upon the investigations and recommendations derived from the outlined process.

All reasonable attempts will be made to complete this entire process in a timely manner. Informal complaints shall be resolved within 30 days of the date of the complaint being filed. Formal complaints shall be resolved within 30 days of the date the complaint is received by the Affirmative Action Officer. 

Confidentiality shall be maintained to the greatest extent possible within the requirements of conducting reasonable investigations. Only those who have an immediate need to know will or may find out about the identity of the parties. Any retaliation against a complainant or witnesses is prohibited specifically by policy and the person will be disciplined in accordance with prescribed disciplinary measures defined by state or university policy as applicable.

Grievances: Any current or former State employee who feels he/she has been sexually harassed in violation of UNCA policy and North Carolina General Statutes 126-16 may file a grievance through the UNCA grievance procedures (as applicable to SPA, EPA non-teaching or EPA faculty.)

Consistent with North Carolina General Statutes 126-36 and 36.1, any applicant for State employment or any current or former State employee who feels that he/she has been sexually harassed may request a hearing by the State Personnel Commission without first following the UNCA grievance procedure. Such request must be made in compliance with procedures as set forth in the Disciplinary Action, Suspension and Dismissal Policy, Section 9 of the North Carolina Personnel Manual.

Sexual harassment is a violation of Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Employees or applicants may choose to file a complaint of sexual harassment directly and formally with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. 

Disciplinary action taken by the Chancellor against any party of the complaint is grievable under the particular grievance process of the job classification, (i.e., EPA faculty, EPA non-teaching, or SPA as appropriate).

*A list of current sexual harassment policy advisors may be obtained through the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, residence administrators, the Human Resources Office, the Affirmative Action Officer, or your supervisor.

4.3.13 Workplace Violence (SD3497S)

This policy applies to EPA and SPA full-time and part-time employees with permanent, probationary, trainee, time-limited permanent, temporary, or adjunct faculty appointments while engaged in any work for or on behalf of the University or on University premises. 

1.  Definitions
Workplace Violence includes, but is not limited to, intimidation, threats, physical attack or property damage.  Threat is the expression of an intent to cause physical or mental harm. An expression constitutes a threat without regard to whether the party communicating the threat has present the ability to carry it out and without regard to whether the expression is contingent, conditional or future. Physical Attack is unwanted or hostile physical contact such as hitting, fighting, pushing, shoving or throwing objects. Property Damage is intentional damage to property which includes roperty owned by the State, employees, visitors or vendors. Intimidation includes, but is not limited to, stalking or engaging in actions intended to frighten, coerce, or induce duress.

2.  Policy
It is the intent of The University of North Carolina at Asheville to provide a workplace for all employees which is free of violence. In doing so, the University is complying with and supporting the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, which requires employers provide their employees with a safe and healthy work environment; and the North Carolina Office of State Personnel Policy No. 9 on Workplace Violence. To this end, it is the policy of UNCA to prohibit any form of workplace violence. 

3. Prohibited Actions and Sanctions
It is a violation of this policy to engage in workplace violence as defined above, or use or possess an unauthorized weapon during a time covered by this policy.  Violations of this policy shall be considered unacceptable personal conduct for SPA employees as provided in Section 9 of the State Personnel Policy Manual "Disciplinary Action, Suspension, and Dismissal" and shall subject the employee to a disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. Violations of this policy will be addressed in accordance with the relevant procedures and penalties as provided in the Faculty Handbook section 3.6.1 (the Grievance Procedure) and section 13.1.1, Chapter VI, THE CODE section 603 (Due Process Before Discharge or the Imposition of Serious Sanction).

In situations considered to be potentially volatile or where fitness for duty concerns exist, management has the option to consider the use of a management directed referral as outlined in the UNCA Policy on Employee Assistance Program.

4. Exceptions to Policy
An employee may possess a weapon if possession:
* Is in compliance with North Carolina law (North Carolina law prohibits weapons on state property.); and
* Is authorized by the University Chancellor or his/her designee; or
* Is by an employee who is a certified law enforcement officer; or
* Is required as a part of the employee's job duties with the State of North Carolina; or
* Is connected with training received by the employee in order to perform the responsibilities of their job with the State of North Carolina.

5. Retaliation
Employees who act in good faith by reporting real or implied violent behavior or violations of this policy will not be retaliated against or subjected to harassment.

Advisory Note:  All employees are encouraged to be alert to the possibility of violence on the part of employees, former employees, visitors, students, strangers, and third party vendors on campus. Any report of violence will be handled in a confidential manner, with
information released only on a need-to-know basis.

4.3.14 Conflict of Interest (SD3596S)

The Code of The University of North Carolina affirms that the basic mission of the faculty is "the transmission and advancement of knowledge and understanding." Faculty employment entails the three responsibilities of teaching, scholarly research and publication, and other professional service to the institution and to society. Realization of those objectives is facilitated and encouraged by certain distinctive characteristics of employment within an academic community which differs markedly from the conventional work-day and work-week employment models in most business and industrial settings.

At UNCA faculty and professional staff responsibilities extend beyond time-specific assignments such as in-class teaching, designated office hours, etc. to include a broad range of professional activities necessary to accomplish our public liberal arts university mission. Achievement of these responsibilities necessitates a more fluid schedule and time commitment than is expected for hourly employees or in a non-academic setting. The freedom afforded these professionals carries with it a substantial responsibility to the University and our students. 

Issues associated with the use of discretionary time and professional talent often concern what is commonly called Conflict of Commitment and Conflict of Interest. These terms are defined as follows (quoted from UNC BOG statement, 4/16/93):

"Conflict of commitment relates to an individual's distribution of effort between obligations to one's university employment and one's participation in other activities outside of university employment. The latter may include such generally encouraged extensions of professional expertise as professional consulting. Such activities promote professional development and enrich the individual's contributions to the institution, to the profession, and to society. However, a conflict of commitment occurs when the pursuit of such outside activities involves an inordinate investment of time that interferes with the faculty member's obligations to students, to colleagues, and to the missions of the university."

"Conflict of interest relates to situations in which financial or other personal considerations may compromise, may involve the potential for compromising, or may have the appearance of compromising a faculty member's objectivity in meeting university duties or responsibilities, including research activities. The bias that such conflicts may impart can affect many university duties, including decisions about personnel; the purchase of equipment and other supplies; the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; the sharing of research results; the choice of research protocols; and the use of statistical methods. A faculty member may have a conflict of interest when he or she, or any member of that person's immediate family, has a personal interest in an activity that may affect decision making with respect to university teaching, research or administration."

Policy on Conflict of Commitment
Policies and practices currently in place at UNCA allow for regular and frequent review of faculty and professional staff and reporting of activities which may interfere with normal teaching and learning responsibilities and administrative functions. These policies and practices are described in the UNCA Faculty Handbook and in the UNCA Policies and Procedures Manual.

Policy on Conflict of Interest
All faculty members and professional staff persons must arrange their professional activities and financial interests to avoid circumstances that do (or may) prevent or limit objectivity in the performance of university responsibilities or that otherwise do (or may) affect adversely any university interests.

1. Categories of Potential Conflicts of Interest

Activities that may involve conflicts of interest can be categorized under three general headings. First, those that otherwise might appear to involve such a conflict but that in fact do not, are allowable, and need not be reported; second, those that are questionable and must be reported, but that may be allowable with administrative approval; and third, those that generally are not allowable.

     A. Activities Allowable, with no Reporting Required
Activities external to university employment which may present the appearance of a technical conflict, but that in fact do not have the potential for affecting the objectivity of the faculty member's performance of university responsibilities. At most, some such
situations could prompt questions about conflicts of commitment. Examples of these activities include:
1) A university employee receiving royalties from the publication of books or for the
licensure of patented inventions subject to the UNC Patent and Copyright Policies.
2) A university employee having an equity interest in a corporation, the exclusive function of which is to accommodate the employee's external consulting activities.
3) A university employee receiving nominal compensation, in the form of honoraria or expense reimbursement, in connection with service to professional associations, service on review panels, presentation of scholarly works, and participation in accreditation reviews.

     B. Activities Requiring Disclosure for Administrative Review
This category includes activities of faculty and professional staff which suggest the possibility of conflicting loyalties that can impair objectivity but for which disclosure and resulting analysis of relationships may render the activity permissible, perhaps with certain types of limitation or monitoring. Examples of activities in this category include but are not limited to:
1) Required purchase of textbooks or instructional materials written by faculty or immediate family members and which produces compensation for the author(s).
2) Maintenance of financial interests in a business which competes with services provided by the university.
3) Serving on a board of directors or advisory board of an enterprise which provides financial support for university research and which provides financial support to the university employee or a member of his/her family.

     C. Activities or Relationships that Generally are not Allowable
Situations that are not generally permissible, because they involve potential conflicts of interest or they present obvious opportunities or inducements to favor personal interests over institutional interests. Before proceeding with such an endeavor, the faculty member must sustain the burden of demonstrating that in fact his or her objectivity would not be affected or university interests otherwise would not be damaged.  These situations include but are not limited to:
1) Participation in university research involving a technology owned by or contractually obligated to (by license or exercise of an option to license, or otherwise) a business in which the individual or a member of his or her immediate family has a consulting relationship, has an ownership interest, or holds an executive position.
2) Participation in university research which is funded by a grant or contract from a business in which the individual or a member of his or her immediate family has an ownership interest.
3) Assignment of students or other trainees to university research projects sponsored by a business in which the individual or a member of his or her immediate family has an ownership interest or to a project from which the university employee may otherwise derive personal gain.
4) Acceptance of support for university research under conditions that require research results to be held confidential, unpublished, or inordinately delayed in publication (other than as allowed by University Patent and Copyright Policies or by policy of the Board of Governors dated February 12, 1988, Administrative Memorandum No. 260).
5) Referrals of university business to an external enterprise in which the individual or a member of his or her immediate family has a financial interest.
6) Association of an employee's own name with the university in such a way as to profit financially by trading on the reputation or goodwill of the university.

Avoiding Conflict of Interest
In August of each year, the CC and CI forms will be distributed to covered university employees by the appropriate Vice Chancellor. By the end of the first week of classes of each Fall Semester, all faculty members and professional staff are to submit to their immediate supervisor a completed Conflict of Commitment and Conflict of Interest form. Submissions are: to departmental chair or program director for faculty; to the VCAA for department chairs/program directors; to the appropriate Vice Chancellor for all professional staff; and, for the VC's, to the Chancellor. These records will be maintained in employees' personnel files. 

Faculty members and professional staff are responsible for revising the information on their CC and CI form in order to keep it current. Revisions may be made as necessary at any time during the academic year and must be made in advance of the initiation of a new activity which may appear to involve either a Conflict of Commitment or Conflict of Interest.

4.3.15 Computing and Networking Usage Policy

1. Introduction

The University of North Carolina at Asheville’s (hereinafter "University") computing and telecommunications networks, computing equipment and computing resources are owned by the University and are provided primarily to support the academic and administrative functions of the University. The use of this equipment and technologies is governed by federal and state law, and University policies and procedures. Additional rules and
regulations may be adopted by various divisions and departments to meet specific administrative or academic needs. Any adopted requirements must be in compliance with applicable federal and state laws, and this policy.

2. Regulatory Limitations

A. The University may monitor access to the equipment and networking structures and systems for the following purposes:

1. To insure the security and operating performance of its systems and networks.

2. To enforce University policies.

B. The University reserves the right to limit access when federal or state laws or University policies are violated or where University contractual obligations or University operations may be impeded.

C. The University may authorize confidential passwords or other secure entry identification; however, employees have no expectation of privacy in the material sent or received by them over the University computing systems or networks. While general content review will not be undertaken, monitoring of this material may occur for the reasons specified above.

D. The University generally does not monitor or restrict material residing on University computers housed within a private domicile or on non-University computers, whether or not such computers are attached or able to connect to campus networks.

E. All material prepared and utilized for work purposes and posted to or sent over University computing and other telecommunicating equipment, systems or networks must be accurate and must correctly identify the creator and receiver of such.

3. Permissible Use

Employees are expected to follow this policy and any related University rules, regulations and procedures for University work produced on computing equipment, systems and networks. Employees may access these technologies for personal uses if the following restrictions are followed:

A. The use is lawful under federal or state law.

B. The use is not prohibited by Board of Governors, University or institutional policies.

C. The use does not overload the University computing equipment or systems, or otherwise harm or negatively impact the system's performance.

D. The use does not result in commercial gain or private profit (other than allowable under University intellectual property

E. The use does not state or imply University sponsorship or endorsement.

F. The use does not involve unauthorized passwords or identifying data that attempts to circumvent system security or in any way attempts to gain unauthorized access.

4. Violation of Policy

A. Any violation of this policy is "misconduct" under EPA policies (faculty and EPA non-faculty) and "unacceptable personal conduct" under SPA policies.

B. Sanctions for violation of this policy may include one or more of the following: a revocation of access privileges; a written warning or written reprimand; demotion; suspension without pay; dismissal; or prosecution for criminal violations.

5. Application of Public Records Law

All information created or received for work purposes and contained in University computing equipment files, servers or electronic mail (e-mail) depositories are public records and are available to the public unless an exception to the Public Records Law applies. This information may be purged or destroyed only in accordance with the University records retention schedule and State Division of Archives regulations.

4.4 FORMS for Section 4.0

No forms for this section.

Faculty Handbook - version 8/12
Handbook for contracts dated prior to 7/1/03 (PDF)
Index | Faculty Senate | UNCA