Staff Handbook is available in three formats:
- You can click here to download the PDF file of the student handbook.
- The hard copy of the staff handbook can be found at Respect Library. Please contact Cory Dieterly to obtain a copy.
- The full content of the handbook can be browsed through the topics below.
The Mission of RGS is to be an institution where students and faculty engage in research, teaching, learning and service with an emphasis on Islamic Studies for the public good. In addition to offering students and faculty academically excellent and stimulating opportunities, RGS will promote engagement with, and service to, the local and wider communities, and will provide essential and mutually beneficial connections with academic institutions and social agencies.
RGS is committed to providing equal educational opportunities. It is an inclusive institution where people treat each other with dignity and respect. Therefore, it does not discriminate against persons on the basis of race, religion, color, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or disability.
- The Vision of he Respect graduate School (RGS) is to serve society by educating men and women
for scholarship especially in Islamic Studies and for leadership in Muslim communities and for
society in general, developing knowledge and putting it into practice with excellence in the nation
and the world.
- The Vision of he Respect graduate School (RGS) is to serve society by educating men and women
for scholarship especially in Islamic Studies and for leadership in Muslim communities and for
society in general, developing knowledge and putting it into practice with excellence in the nation
and the world.
The Vision of RGS is to serve society by educating men and women for scholarship, especially in Islamic Studies, and for leadership in Muslim communities and for society in general, developing knowledge and putting it into practice with excellence in the nation and the world.
To accomplish its vision and mission, RGS offers a graduate program leading to the degree of Master of Arts in Islamic Studies (MAIS).
Mandates that RGS seeks to fulfill are as follows:
- RGS encourages and expects the use of inclusive language in all academic and organizational communication, whether written or spoken. Inclusive language involves areas such as gender, race, class, age, physical differences, ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status and disability.
- RGS students, faculty, administrators and staff are free to examine and discuss all questions of interest to them and to express opinions publicly and privately. Academic freedom involves respecting the views of others and submitting one’s own positions to scholarly critique. Students, faculty and staff are free to express their positions in public media with the provision that they speak as individuals whose positions do not necessarily express the stance of RGS. They are always free to support causes by orderly means, i.e., those that do not disrupt the regular and essential operations of RGS. The President, the Board chairperson, and the Director of Communications may speak publicly on behalf of RGS.
- The RGS community is to be free from all forms of conduct that can be considered harassing, coercive, or disruptive. Sexual harassment, including sexual violence within the community, is unlawful, as is harassment based upon race, color, religion, national origin, disability, age, or membership in any other protected group.
The RGS Administrators are the President, Dean of Academics, Dean of Students, and Vice President. Administrators are considered exempt as defined by federal law. This means that compensation is paid for the responsibilities of each position and not for hours worked.
The duties of the President, Dean of Academics, Dean of Students and Vice President are stated in the RGS Bylaws Article VII, sections 2, 3, 4, and 5 respectively.
With the approval of the Board of Trustees, an administrator may be contracted to be an adjunct faculty member in addition to or as part of his or her administrative duties and responsibilities. In such an instance, the person is to be compensated at the same rate as other adjunct faculty and is to fulfill the same obligations as other adjunct faculty.
The administrators shall serve an indefinite period at the pleasure of the Board unless the Board should authorize a term appointment on recommendation of the President.
The RGS Staff positions are the Librarian, Registrar, Operations Manager, and Accountant. Members of the staff shall serve for an indefinite period or until voluntary resignation or removal by the President
The Head Librarian:
- Is appointed by the Board of Trustees on the recommendation of the President
- Reports to the Vice President and presents the Vice President with interim and annual reports concerning the Library.
- Is responsible for creating a scholarly library environment
- Creates a collection development plan and acquires library resources that support the RGS courses with consultation from the Dean of Academics
- Provides reference services and research consultations for student research projects and theses
- Supports faculty members in locating materials for their research
- Delivers research demonstrations and hands-on practice in interactive Library sessions either in the Library or in classrooms
- Assists students to format and submit their theses to the Library system
- Presents a draft budget annually to the Vice President at the beginning of the spring semester for the following FY
- Administers the annual budget for RGS Library functions
- Trains and supervises students and interns who provide services in the Library
- Is appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Vice President
- Reports to the Vice President and presents interim and annual reports to the Vice President as well as interim reports on admissions, retentions, and financial aid matters
- Receives applications for admission and financial aid and remains in contact with the applicants to ensure timely completion, and forwards the applications to the Admissions Committee for considerations when complete
- Collects, disseminates, and maintains files related to student records (i.e., academic, counseling, health, etc.) and ensures their safe retention and appropriate use
- Plans and executes procedures for the establishing, maintaining, and disseminating of counseling, health, and other records in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), as amended in 1974
- Provides regular training sessions about the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act to faculty, staff, and students
- Is appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Vice President and reports to the Vice President
- Is responsible for maintenance, improvement, repair and safety of the RGS buildings and grounds
- Arranges for the provision of cleaning services, ensures the functioning of safety and fire equipment, and supervises the services of contractors and repair personnel
- Presents a draft budget annually to the Vice President at the beginning of the Spring semester for the following FY
- Participates in the orientation of new students and faculty to familiarize them with the RGS premises, provide them with keys, identification/library cards, and other information relevant to the use of RGS’ facilities
- Assists the Vice President and President on misc. duties that may arise from time to time as circumstances warrant
- Is appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Vice President and reports to the Vice President.
- Computes and disburses wage and salary, benefits, deductions, taxes and other withholdings.
- Processes and maintains Monthly Payroll utilizing QuickBooks Payroll Service.
- Sets up 1099 vendor files and reporting
- Responsible for in-processing all new employees and entering their data into the systems.
- Reconciles all benefit statements and processes them for payment
- Completes daily banking.
- Issues and maintains corporate credit cards.
- Processes and audits expense reports, receipts and reimbursements.
- Responsible for maintaining files and scheduling invoices and/or payments statements for payment.
- Disburses checks utilizing QuickBooks.
- Coordinates Commissions calculation, reporting, booking, and payment. Handles fixed assets & prepaid tracking, reporting, and filing.
- Responsible for various accounting and human resources reports and making general ledger entries.
Support Staff Services
Support staff are employees who provide secretarial services, Information Technology / Technological Operations (IT and TO), and other services to the institution that are not contracted to other parties such as temporary employment companies. These services are usually rendered on a part time basis and are not eligible for benefits, vacations, time off, etc. Normally, the Vice President, on the recommendation of the President, Dean, Registrar and Facilities Manager makes the appropriate arrangements for the services requested according to budget allocations.
To promote a safe and productive work environment, RGS does not tolerate irresponsible and/or illegal behaviors such as, but not limited to, stealing; dishonesty; harassment of any kind; possession, use and sale of drugs and alcohol while on campus; working while under the influence of drugs or alcohol; excessive absenteeism; insubordination; physical violence; deliberate violations of safety practices; or inability and/or unwillingness to perform one’s job. RGS will discipline administrators and staff when they exhibit behaviors that need correction. Discipline may include oral or written reprimands, demotion, suspension and/or termination. Supervisors are required to review the matter with the chief human resource officer before proceeding with any process.
RGS is a welcoming community that embraces and values the diversity of all members of its community. We accept the uniqueness of all individuals, and cultivate an environment that respects, affirms, and defends the dignity of each member of our community. RGS does not discriminate against any person based on actual or perceived race, color, sex, religion, ancestry, genetic information, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, familial status, marital status, age, mental or physical disability, use of guide or support animals and/or mechanical aids, or any other basis protected by applicable federal, state, or local laws.
RGS Support of Pluralism
RGS is committed maintaining an academic environment that fosters pluralism, mutual respect, appreciation of divergent views, and awareness of the importance of individual rights. To this end, the institution reasserts the importance of civility and the valuable contribution that diversity in race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and culture brings to the community, and therefore we strongly encourage and support racial, ethnic, cultural, and religious pluralism.
Inclusive Language Policy
RGS is committed to a tolerant, fair-minded, and respectful campus community. Faculty, staff, and students have an ongoing responsibility to avoid using discriminatory language, because its use is potentially damaging to others in both work and learning environments. RGS therefore expects the use of inclusive language in all academic and organizational communication, whether written or spoken.
Individuals with Disabilities
RGS complies with overlapping federal requirements that extend civil rights protection to persons with disabilities and prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of disability. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, protects qualified applicants and employees with disabilities from discrimination in hiring, promotion, discharge, pay, job training, fringe benefits, classification, referral, and other aspects of employment on the basis of disability. Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, requires affirmative action to employ, and advance in employment, qualified persons with disabilities who, with reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of a job. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, bars employment discrimination in any program or activity which receives federal financial assistance. Dogs needed to provide services and assistance for medical or physical reasons are permitted on campus.
Beginning Employment for Staff
Conditional Period: The first ninety (90) calendar days of employment are considered the conditional period; During this time the employee is asked to seriously consider his or her satisfaction with the working style, environment, work ethic, co-workers, benefits, and policies and procedures of the institution. Likewise, supervisory personnel will evaluate the employee’s performance during this period, considering factors such as quantity of work performed, relationships with others, initiative and self-reliance, and dependability/attendance.
Under special circumstances, an employee’s conditional period may be extended for a specified length of time upon recommendation of the administrator to whom the staff member reports. Note that successful completion of the conditional period should not be taken as a guarantee of future employment, and that the employment relationship with the institution will continue to be at-will, meaning that either the employee or the institution may terminate the employment relationship at any time, for any reason, normally with thirty (30) calendar days’ notice.
The administrator to whom the staff member reports is responsible for the supervision of the staff member and his or her performance. The administrator shall provide guidance as to the quality of each employee’s work and information about work procedures. The administrator is to see to the specific job training and the coordination of work within the RGS. He or she will also determine related work schedules and evaluate employee work contributions once a year. This evaluation will include assessments of job knowledge and comments concerning job performance. Employee questions or problems with work or with institutional policies should be directed to the person’s supervisor or, if appropriate, the Vice President.
Performance appraisals are conducted annually to give both employees and their supervisors the opportunity to review and discuss the major factors that have affected performance during the past year and establish goals for the new year. It also gives employees and their supervisors the opportunity to discuss strengths and areas of weakness that may need correction. This process also provides an opportunity for each employee to contribute ideas to the planning process. Finally, the process allows for the review and update of the employees job description, as necessary.
Administrators are required to complete annual written performance appraisals for each employee whom they supervise, and to schedule time to discuss the appraisal with the employee. Each employee is provided an opportunity to respond to the appraisal in writing. The administrator’s appraisal and the employee’s response both become a permanent part of the employee’s personnel file in the Office of the Vice President.
During the academic year, administrative offices are open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Consequently the normal work schedule for most staff members is from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. During the summer, working hours for most staff members end at 4:00 p.m. Administrators and staff are not paid on an hourly basis; their working hours may exceed the regular office hours to ensure that the duties and responsibilities of the position are performed.
RGS provides compensation for each position in accordance with prescribed pay rates that are compared to appropriate markets. Pay increases usually occur at the start of the FY. Increases are distributed solely on the basis of merit and performance and the ability of the institution to pay. Increases in pay are not guaranteed each year. An employee who has any questions concerning rates of pay should contact his or her administrator.
Payment of salaries shall be through checks sent once each month through the United States Postal Service on the first (1st) business day of the month or distributed on campus. The salaries of administrators and staff are for the Twelve (12) month FY in equal installments for each month.
Administrators and staff are employed for the 12 month FY. Normally each administrator and staff member is entitled to thirty days of vacation. The timing of vacations is to be agreed upon by the individual and her or his supervisor. In the case of the President, the supervisor is the Board chairperson. Normally during the Academic Year when the RGS does not hold classes, Administrators and the Operations Manager are expected to be on call and may be asked to be in their offices. The Librarian may be asked to make the Library available to students and faculty.
When jury duty or other required civic duties (such as those when subpoenas are received involving business that is not personal) occur during a normal work day, employees may be granted a special paid leave. If such a leave is granted, the institution will pay the employee the difference between the compensation received in the course of such duty (not including travel and food expenses) and the regular pay for the period of service. A copy of the summons or other notice must be submitted to the Vice President prior to approval. It is not the policy of the institution to request deferment of or exemption from such obligations
Criminal Charges and Convictions
An employee criminally charged for an act involving moral turpitude, a felony, or misdemeanor which adversely reflects on his or her suitability for continued employment or the well being of other faculty or staff; or causes adverse publicity against the institution, may be immediately suspended pending the final disposition of the court. If found not guilty, the employee may be eligible for reinstatement. The institution, however, may conduct its own investigation and take disciplinary action based upon the findings.
An employee’s final paycheck resulting from a voluntary or involuntary separation will include payment for times worked and, if appropriate, any accrued but unused vacation leave, with any monies due to the institution deducted. In instances where the separating employee is voluntarily separating and has not provided at least two weeks written notice, disbursement of unused vacation time or other time accrued time owed, will not be paid. In either case, the final paycheck will not be issued until the Vice President is notified that all institutional property, including Library materials and keys have been returned.
Some employees may be issued institutional keys in the course of their employment. It is the employee’s responsibility to safeguard these keys in order to maintain adequate security at the institution. The duplication of keys is prohibited. If a job requires an employee to have a key, the Operations Manager will provide one. Upon the separation from RGS, the employee must return the keys issued by the institution to the Operations Manager.
Training and Organizational Development
RGS will help individuals develop their potential and improve their ability to meet job responsibilities by providing opportunities and encouraging participation in training and development programs. In an effort to support these goals, the Administrators will consult with Staff to identify, recommend, plan, organize, and administer programs to develop individual skills, knowledge, and job performance.
Conflicts of Interest
Each employee is expected to conduct private business and personal activities in a manner that avoids conflict with the RGS interests, missions, vision and mandates vision.
Definition of Conflict of Interest: Conflict of interest is defined as any activity or interest that has direct or indirect financial consequences and impairs or may be seen to impair an individual’s independent, unbiased judgment in the performance of his or her responsibilities to the RGS. This definition also applies to any activity or interest conducted by dependent family members, such as spouse or same sex partner, child, parent, etc.
A person has a financial interest if the person has, directly or indirectly, through business, investment or family (a) an ownership or investment interest in any entity with which the RGS has a transaction or arrangement, or (b) a compensation arrangement with the College or with any entity or individual with which the RGS has a transaction or arrangement, or (c) an actual or potential ownership or investment interest in, or compensation arrangement with, any entity or individual with which the RGS is negotiating a transaction or arrangement. Compensation includes direct and indirect remuneration as well as gifts or favors that are more than incidental. “Family” includes a spouse, parent or other ancestor, sibling (or spouse), child (or spouse), grandchild (or spouse) or great-grandchild (or spouse), or any other relative if the latter resides in the same household as the interested person.
Upon initial association with the RGS, trustees, faculty members and employees shall be required to sign a statement acknowledging the existence of an actual or possible Conflict of Interest. In addition, trustees and certain employees and faculty members will be required to renew this acknowledgement annually.
Disclosure of Conflict of Interest: It is not possible to define all situations that could constitute a Conflict of Interest. Therefore, it is the responsibility of all trustees, faculty members and employees to seek guidance prior to entering into any such situation or to report timely any existing situation covered under this Policy. Any such situations should be reported to the Vice-President, who will communicate the matter to the Board of Trustees and to the President when it is warranted. The Board will oversee any investigation and will participate as appropriate, and approve any waiver or action to be taken. In the event that a Conflict of Interest is not reported by the trustee, faculty or employee and becomes known by other means, this could result in disciplinary action being taken.
RGS makes the legally required contributions for Social Security, Medicare, and federal, state, and municipal taxes. RGS makes available information concerning pension and savings programs to its Administrators and Staff. In accordance with federal and state laws, the institution contributes towards the Social Security, Medicare, Unemployment Compensation, and Workers’ Compensation benefit programs. Eligibility, waiting periods, benefits, and duration of benefits are all fixed by law.
The institution is covered by the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Law administered by the Department of Labor and Industry. This law provides compensation to employees who are affected by a temporary reduction in work force or who lose their jobs under certain conditions as defined by law. For more information, contact the Pennsylvania Job Service.
Workers’ Compensation insurance provides wage-loss and medical benefits to compensate employees who are injured or contract a disease as a result of employment. Following injury or the onset of a job-related disease, the incident must be reported as soon as possible to the Vice President.
Employees are required to report injuries suffered on the job immediately or as soon as possible to their supervisor, or if their supervisor is not available, to the Operations Manager. Except in emergency situations, all work-related injuries must be treated at the facilities designated by the institution in order to be considered for payment. Under Pennsylvania law, an employer may designate a panel of physicians, including specialists, by whom employees must be treated during their first 90 days of treatment received as a result of a work-related injury.
An updated physician panel is maintained by the Operations Manager and is posted in the RGS building and the RGS website.
In the event that an employee is injured on the job and cannot return to work, income benefits will begin on the day of the absence. RGS the institution will provide the employee with a continuance of regular gross pay for the period of one month (30 calendar days). This benefit is in lieu of the partial benefit typically received through worker’s compensation. However, the employee must turn over to the institution any worker’s compensation checks received in order to receive the normal paycheck. If the work-related injury extends beyond one month, the employee will continue to be compensated by the worker’s compensation carrier, but the institutional payments will cease. Since the work-related injury runs concurrent with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the health insurance benefits of an employee eligible for FMLA leave will continue to be paid by the institution for up to three months, after which arrangements must be made for payment with the Office of Human Resources in order to insure continued coverage. There is no continued accrual of time-off benefits after the one-month institutional contributions end.
All bills and documentation related to a staff member’s work-related injury must be submitted to Vice President in a timely fashion in order to be processed for payment. Questions in regard to individual claims or regarding this policy should be directed to the Office of the Vice President.
The president or designee may declare an emergency closing of the institution. Such closings, although rarely necessary, may be required because of extreme weather conditions or other emergencies. RGS sends out closure notifications via e-mail messages, a telephone answering message, and a public announcements made through WFMZ TV 69 News.
RGS is committed to providing a community in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity, and that is free from all forms of discrimination and conduct which can be considered harassing, coercive, or disruptive. Sexual harassment, including sexual violence is unlawful, as is harassment based upon race, color, religion, national origin, disability, age, or membership in any other protected group. It is also unlawful to retaliate against a member of the community for filing a complaint of harassment or for cooperating in an investigation of harassment.
This policy applies to all members of the community, which for purposes of this policy includes but is not limited to employees, students, independent contractors, consultants, leased employees, visitors, and others working on RGS premises and/or with employees or students. The scope of this policy includes, but is not limited to, all settings in which members of the campus community may find themselves in connection with their employment and/or education and/or other institutionally-related activities, such as off-site meetings, conferences, social events, etc., including time spent traveling and socializing on the way to and from, and while at, such events. It also extends to other interactions between or among members of the RGS community to the extent that a community member’s right to a campus community free from harassment or other inappropriate conduct is involved.
The institution will not tolerate harassment of or retaliation against its employees, students, or any other members of the community by anyone, including other members of the community. Furthermore, the institution will also attempt to protect its community members from harassment by other individuals who may be encountered within the community, such as vendors, customers, service employees, etc.
The Vice President or designee is responsible for overseeing the implementation of this policy in the case of administrators and staff; in the case of faculty the Dean of Academics will provide the oversight, and the Dean of Students with regard to members of the student body.
Prohibition of Harassment and Inappropriate Conduct
Harassment consists of unwelcome conduct, whether verbal, physical, or visual, that is based on a person’s protected status, such as race, color, sex, national origin, religion, disability, age, or any other basis prohibited by federal, state, or local law; and which has the effect of interfering unreasonably with another’s work or academic performance, or creating an intimidating, offensive, or hostile environment.
Harassing conduct includes, but is not limited to: slurs; negative stereotyping; ethnic jokes; offensive written or graphic material; displaying offensive objects; or threatening, intimidating, or hostile acts that denigrate or show hostility or aversion towards an individual or group because of membership in a protected group.
Note that conduct of the kind described above may not be sufficiently severe or pervasive to constitute harassment in a legal sense. However, RGS considers any conduct of this nature to be inappropriate within the campus community, and complaints concerning such conduct should be brought to the institution’s attention as set forth below.
Prohibition of Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is prohibited. This includes unwelcome or unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, physical, or visual conduct of a sexual nature when: (1) submission to such conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of a community member’s employment, education or other participation in the community; (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by a community member is used as the basis for decisions affecting the community member’s employment, education or other participation in the community; or (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with a community member’s work or academic performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or academic environment.
It is not possible to list all of the circumstances that may constitute sexual harassment. However, the following are some examples of conduct which, if unwelcome, may constitute sexual harassment depending upon the totality of the circumstances including the severity of the conduct and its pervasiveness.
- Unwelcome sexual advances or propositions (whether they involve unwelcome physical touching or not)
- Either explicitly or implicitly conditioning any term of employment or education (for example, continued employment, wages, evaluations, advancement, assigned duties, on-call assignments, grades etc.) on the provision of sexual favors
- Inquiries into another’s sexual experience, discussions of one’s sexual activities, comments on an individual’s body, and comments about an individual’s sexual activity, deficiencies or prowess
- Sexual innuendo, sexually suggestive comments, and the use of sexually explicit or vulgar language
- Sexually oriented kidding, teasing, or practical jokes, or jokes about gender-specific traits
- Sexually suggestive body language or gestures
- The display or transmission of sexually suggestive objects, pictures, posters, cartoons, or other printed or visual material
- Unwelcome leering, whistling, and physical contact, such as unwelcome touching, patting, pinching, or brushing against another’s body
- Continuing to ask a community member to socialize on or off-duty, or on or off campus when that person has indicated he or she is not interested
- Continuing to write sexually suggestive notes or letters if it is known or should be known that the person to whom they are addressed does not welcome this behavior
- Derogatory or provoking remarks about or relating to an employee’s sex or sexual orientation
Note that conduct of the kind described above may not be sufficiently severe or pervasive to constitute sexual harassment in a legal sense. However, RGS considers any conduct of this nature to be inappropriate within the campus community, and complaints concerning such conduct should be brought to the attention of RGS administrators.
It is institutional policy that no community member will be subject to retaliation for making a complaint of harassment or inappropriate conduct, cooperating in the investigation of alleged harassment or inappropriate conduct, or otherwise opposing unlawful harassment or other inappropriate conduct.
Complaints of Harassment/Retaliation
RGS will respond promptly to complaints of harassment. As such, the institution strongly encourages any member of the community who believes he or she has been the target of harassment or inappropriate conduct to promptly report, in writing, the harassing or improper conduct. In addition, every member of the community is strongly encouraged to report, in writing, any harassment or inappropriate conduct he or she observes, whether or not he or she is the target of the harassment. A prompt written report will enable the institution to respond rapidly in investigating the allegations and, where it is determined that harassment or inappropriate conduct has occurred, to take the necessary steps to eliminate the objectionable conduct or condition and to impose corrective action where appropriate.
As an initial matter, if any community member believes that he or she is being harassed or subjected to inappropriate conduct, the community member may wish to directly and immediately notify the offender that the behavior is unwelcome and offensive, and must stop. However, if for any reason a community member does not wish to discuss the matter directly with the offender or if the discussion does not successfully end the harassment or inappropriate conduct, it is the community member’s duty to report the conduct immediately. RGS is committed, and may be required by law, to take action if it learns of potential harassment or inappropriate conduct, even if the aggrieved community member does not wish to formally file a complaint.
Depending on the identities of the complaining community member and the individual alleged to have engaged in prohibited conduct, the report should be made to the appropriate Dean or supervisor. If for any reason a community member is not comfortable reporting the conduct to the designated individuals, he or she may contact the Vice President. The Vice President or designee is available to discuss any concerns community members may have and to provide information to community members about this policy and the complaint process in person or via telephone at the RGS phone.
A complaint of harassment will be investigated promptly in a fair and expeditious manner. To the extent practicable, care will be taken to protect the identity of the complaining party and of the accused party or parties, consistent with a thorough and appropriate investigation.
Institutional investigation will include a private interview with the person reporting the complaint and any witnesses. It will also include an interview with the person alleged to have engaged in the harassment or inappropriate conduct. If, after investigation, it is determined that harassment and/or inappropriate conduct has occurred, the institution will act promptly to eliminate the offending conduct and, where appropriate, will also impose corrective action. The institution will, to the extent appropriate, inform the person filing the complaint, and the person alleged to have engaged in the harassment or inappropriate conduct, of the results of the investigation and what corrective actions will be taken. The complaining party may not be informed of the specifics of any discipline imposed to the extent that might invade the privacy of the alleged perpetrator.
False statements made in connection with a complaint of harassment or inappropriate conduct, or during the course of an investigation, whether by a complaining party, a person alleged to have engaged in harassment or inappropriate conduct, or any other community member, will constitute the basis for appropriate corrective action, up to and including termination of the individual’s relationship with the institution.
If it is determined that harassment or inappropriate conduct has occurred, corrective action may range from a written warning and disciplinary probation to expulsion, and may include such other forms of corrective action as the institution deems appropriate under the circumstances.
While this policy sets forth institutional goals of promoting a community that is free of harassment and other forms of inappropriate conduct, this policy is not intended to limit the institution’s authority to discipline or take remedial action for conduct it deems unacceptable. This is a general statement of policy and no more. It does not constitute a term or provision of any contract of employment or implied contract of employment between the RGS and any individual employee, nor does it create contractual obligations on behalf of the institution to any person. Likewise, this policy does not constitute a guarantee of continued student status to any person, or otherwise create any obligations on the part of the institution.
Employees are expected to perform their work efficiently and effectively and to be mindful of the expectations of the institution and its employees. Supervisors are expected to set an example by their own conduct, attitude, and work habits.
This policy applies to administrative and support staff employees other than faculty, and does not apply to probationary employees. Matters pertaining to the conduct of faculty members are within the cognizance of the RGS deans.
The employee’s supervisor is responsible for ensuring that each employee is aware of the employee’s role in the RGS.
If disciplinary action is to be taken concerning an employee, such action will depend upon the circumstances and gravity of the particular conduct at issue, the employee’s past record, and the responsibilities of the employee’s post. The kinds of disciplinary action that can be pursued include:
- A Verbal Warning, which may be given in respect of a first minor offence arising from an employee’s misconduct or from an unsatisfactory standard of work
- A Written Warning, which may be given for a more serious offence, or if a minor offence is repeated, or if the standard of work continues to be unsatisfactory
- A Second or Final Written Warning, which may be given for a serious offence, or repeated offences, or a continuing failure to improve (In particularly serious cases, suspension for a fixed period and accompanied by a written warning)
Partial List of Disciplinary Actions
Each situation is different. In the case of more serious violations, an employee may be terminated immediately without the benefit of prior corrective actions. The appropriate administrator, in conjunction the Vice President may take less severe corrective action than that listed below, if, in their judgment different corrective action is appropriate.
Examples of violations typically leading to progressive discipline include:
Substandard quality of work; excessive use of telephones (including cellular phones), or pagers for personal matters; interference with other employees’ work; failure to maintain satisfactory working relations with employees, students, and the public; working on personal job during work hours; mishandling of department funds or documents; abusive sick leave use or excessive tardiness; unreported absences; deliberate violations of safety practices or rules; the loss of institutional keys; deliberate falsification of time sheets or work; and use of institutional facilities or equipment without permission.
Examples of violations that may lead to discharge on first offense include:
Unauthorized release of confidential information; physical violence; insubordination; unreported absences of 3 days or longer; working under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs; use, sale, distribution or possession of alcohol or illegal drugs; theft; conduct reflecting unfavorably on the reputation of the institution or conduct that adversely affects or interferes with the normal operations of the institution
The above is illustrative only, and not intended to be inclusive of all situations that may require corrective action, nor are supervisors limited in applying corrective action to those personal conduct violations listed above or in the exact sequence indicated.
For proper cause, any administrative or support staff employee, regardless of occupation, position, profession, or work performed, may be reprimanded, suspended, or terminated whenever such action is considered necessary by supervisors or other persons in positions of authority in conjunction with the Office of the Vice President and President. RGS strives to ensure that the administration of disciplinary measures is fair and appropriate under the circumstances, and is free of prejudice or favoritism.
Corrective Action Appeal Procedure
An employee who believes that a disciplinary action has been taken unfairly may request an appeal of the action using the Corrective Action Appeal Procedure. Use of this procedure is limited to full and part-time employees who have been disciplined with written warnings, time-off without pay and/or termination.
The request for an appeal must be put in writing and submitted to the Vice President. The written appeal must be submitted within three working days from the date of the disciplinary action. The Vice President will schedule a meeting with the employee and supervisor, witnesses for either party, as well as the appropriate member designated by the President to discuss the appeal. This meeting will be scheduled, if possible, within three working days of the receipt of written appeal. The Vice President or designee will analyze the information presented and investigate the matter thoroughly before rendering a decision. A written decision by the Vice President or designee will ordinarily be returned to the employee, with a copy to the supervisor and the President within one week after the meeting.
If the employee desires a second appeal, a request for a second appeal must be made in writing by the disciplined employee to the Vice President within three working days after receipt of the answer to the first appeal. The Vice President will forward this request to the President along with copies of the original appeal form, the decision from the first appeal and all other supporting documents.
The President will appoint an ad hoc committee that consists of one RGS faculty member, one administrator and one person proposed by the employee. The latter may be a student. The President will name the chair of this ad hoc committee. If possible, the committee will be convened within three working days after its appointment. All documents will be submitted to that committee for review.
The ad hoc committee will review the facts and information, meet with the parties involved in the action, and make a recommendation regarding the appropriateness of that action to the President. The recommendation will be accompanied by all supporting documents. The president will accept or reject the recommendation of the ad hoc committee. The President’s final decision will be given in writing to the employee and will end the appeal procedure.
Employment Separation Policy
The Vice President provides guidance to employees leaving the institution in order to gather information, collect institutional property, review pertinent employee benefit matters, and arrange for distribution of the final paycheck. This policy applies to all employees.
A voluntary separation occurs when an employee resigns from the institution at his or her request. An employee who plans to leave the institution must give at least two weeks’ notice in writing to his or her immediate supervisor and to the Vice President. A staff member who resigns is entitled to payment for any accrued but unused vacation time. However, if the employee does not give at least a ten (10) working day notice, the employee may not be paid for unused vacation time. Employees may not use vacation time in lieu of the ten-day notice period or to extend their employment. There is no severance pay or payment for unused sick days, excused absences, or floating holidays. If the effective date of resignation is an institutional holiday, the staff member is not eligible for payment for the holiday unless the staff member works the day before and after the holiday.
The period of notice may be shortened if there is mutual agreement between the staff member and the supervisor.
An involuntary separation is initiated by the institution. Accrued but unused vacation will be paid except in the case of willful or gross misconduct. Termination of an individual may also result from reorganization or financial exigencies. At the institution’s discretion, pay may be substituted for all, or a portion of, the notice period. An involuntary Separation/Termination in this instance is not appealable.
Borrowing privileges: Staff may check out unlimited materials with a valid RGS ID for a period of four months, and can renew items twice. Staff spouses and their children of any age may obtain a free outside borrowers’ card, which allows borrowing with some restrictions.
Hours: The library is open Monday – Saturday during the academic year, and hours are posted in the library, as well as on the RGS library webpage.
Parking is available for the use of faculty, staff, and students. Automobiles and other vehicles must be registered with the Operations Manager. RGS is not responsible for employee vehicles damaged either while parked or moving on the parking lot, nor is the institution responsible for personal articles left in employee vehicles.
Privacy of Information
As a matter of institutional policy, information about employees is not released upon outside inquiry without written authorization by the employee, or subject to a court order or other legal requirement, such as properly identified and duly authorized law enforcement officials. Specific requests about performance, income, length of service, and related data must be referred to the Vice President. General inquiries from media sources should be referred to the Office of the President. In keeping with these policies, anyone who handles personal information about students or other employees has the obligation to maintain strict confidentiality. Employees should refrain from discussing confidential institutional business with outsiders and with anyone else who does not have a legitimate need to know the information. Employees should refer outside inquiries regarding the institution to the Vice President.
Except as properly authorized by the institution, it is the responsibility of all employees to maintain the confidentiality of:
Proprietary information of RGS: Information entrusted to the institution by trustees, employees, students or other visitors, which is otherwise not readily available to the public
Employee Records and Information
The Vice President’s Office maintains a record of each employee’s employment at the institution, including such information as education, experience, work performance, and progress. These records are carefully reviewed when an employee is being considered for promotion, salary increase, etc. In accordance with institutional policy and applicable law, all employee records (including but not necessarily limited to application forms and other records pertaining to hire, promotion, demotion, transfer, work schedule, layoff, termination, rates of pay or other terms of compensation, performance appraisal, and selection for training) kept by the institution will be preserved for at least three years from the date of the personnel action.
A personnel file may contain personal data as well as employment information. The Vice President’s Office regards this information as confidential and will release it only with the written permission of the employee or by court order or other legal requirement.
When the Vice President’s Office receives a request for information from agencies, stores, banks, or other institutions, only non-confidential information such as dates of employment will be released. Confidential information such as pay rate, past earnings, home address, or phone number will not be released unless authorized in writing by the employee.
Any change of home or work address or telephone number, a change in emergency contact information, or other personal data changes is to be reported to Vice President and the Operations Manager. Employees may also designate the suppression of home address and telephone number in the staff directory. The acquisition of further education or work-related skills should also be reported to the Vice President.
The information in individual personnel files may be accessed only by the employee, and other members of the administration on a need-to-know basis. An employee may inspect his or her individual personnel file by contacting Vice President. The following rules apply:
- Individuals may only inspect their own file
- Individuals may take notes on the contents of their file
- Individuals may request Human Resources to make copies of specific documents
- Individuals may not remove any of the contents of their file
- Individuals must sign an “Inspection Statement” upon completing their inspection
- Individuals may submit a rebuttal to any information deemed inappropriate
Confidential Disclosure of Possible Inappropriate Activities
All employees have responsibility to report any questionable activity. Employees wishing to raise a questionable matter should first discuss the matter with their immediate supervisor. RGS will protect the “reporting person” from any retaliatory action from the supervisor should it arise. Either the “reporting person” or the supervisor is required to report the matter in accordance with the procedure described below.
If the “reporting person” believes it would be inappropriate to discuss the matter with their supervisor, or is not satisfied after discussion with their supervisor, the matter should be reported in accordance with the following procedure.
Reports, either signed or anonymous, involving any of the matters that are subjected to this Policy, should be sent to the President. Reports should be in writing, marked “Confidential” and should contain details of the matter under question. Upon receipt of any such reports, the President will report the matter to the Chair of the Board of Trustees as appropriate.
Information related to any reported matters and details of any investigations will be kept confidential to the maximum extent possible, consistent with the need to conduct an investigation and correct any matters or procedures.
Retaliation of any kind against any personnel involved in reporting or investigating any matters is forbidden and any person engaging in retaliation is subject to disciplinary action.
RGS faculty and staff are not to participate in employment decisions that result in a direct benefit to their relatives. In addition, a relative is not to have direct supervisory responsibility over another relative. A situation may develop that may be advantageous to employee relatives or partners who have expertise that would normally place them in the same department or area. In that case, arrangements must be made in consultation with and the approval of the Vice President so that one does not directly supervise the other and so the reporting lines for each person are clarified. In all cases of potential conflicts of interest, employees are required to remove themselves from decision-making processes that directly affect their relatives and partners. Employment decisions include but are not limited to initial appointment, reappointment, promotion, performance appraisal, and salary changes. A relative for purposes of this policy is considered a spouse, domestic partner, parent, child, sibling, grandparent, in-law, nephew, niece, cousin, aunt, or uncle.
RGS maintains a high-speed, campus-wide computer network serving students, faculty, and staff. The network allows Apple and Windows based PCs to share printers, computer programs, and information. The network is available in all classrooms and offices in all RGS buildings. All RGS personnel shall confirm their compliance with this policy when requested by the institution.
Electronic mail accounts shall be made available to all students, faculty, and staff in order to facilitate communication both locally and via the Internet.
Electronic facilities that are property of the institution are provided to the institution’s personnel to enable them to better conduct the business of the Institution and to promote the interests of the Institution. RGS personnel are required to use electronic facilities solely for these purposes and in a professional, ethical and lawful manner cognizant of the risks that may arise from their use.
The institution shall, at its sole discretion, determine whether and to what extent its personnel should have access to electronic facilities. Personnel not granted access to some or all electronic facilities shall not utilize such electronic facilities. Personnel shall not afford or facilitate third party access to any electronic facilities at any time.
Violation of these policies and guidelines may be grounds for disciplinary action up to and including termination.
RGS’s computing equipment and network resources are dedicated to business to enhance and support the educational mission of RGS. These resources include all computers, workstations and multi-user computer systems along with local area networks as well as connections to other computer networks via the Internet.
Use of RGS’ computer equipment and peripherals is a privilege that is available to users for occasional use on personal, important issues provided such use does not interfere with the job responsibilities of the individual or others. RGS has the right to inspect information stored on its system at any time, for any reason, and users cannot and should not have any expectation of privacy with regard to any data, documents, electronic mail messages, or other computer files created or stored on computers within or connected to the RGS’ network. All Internet data composed, transmitted, or received through RGS’ computer system is considered part of RGS’ records, and as such, is subject at anytime to disclosure to the institution’s officials, law enforcement, or third parties. RGS reserves the right to monitor user activities on all RGS computer systems and to monitor communications utilizing the RGS’ network to ensure compliance with RGS’ policy and with federal, state and local law. Monitoring shall be performed only by individuals specifically authorized by the Vice President and will collect only the minimum data necessary to meet institutional requirements. Data collected through monitoring shall be made accessible only to individuals authorized by the Vice President. These individuals are responsible for maintaining its confidentiality.
The intent of this Acceptable Use Policy is to give an overview of acceptable and unacceptable uses of RGS’ computing resources without exhaustively enumerating all such uses and misuses. This statement is intended as an addition to existing policies concerning academic honesty and the use of facilities.
The predominant goal of this policy is to safeguard the RGS’ computing resources, promote honesty, respect for individuals, and respect for both physical and intellectual property. All expectations regarding academic honesty and professional ethics extend to assignments completed in electronic form. It is never permitted to use another person’s computer authorization for any purpose or to provide your own authorization to another person. It is never permitted to access someone else’s work without explicit permission. It is not permitted to engage in any activity that would harass others or impede their work. All members of the campus community are required to adhere to all copyright laws. As part of the Internet community, students connecting their computers to our network are required to take reasonable precautions against viruses, spyware, and adware.
While RGS makes every effort to maintain the security of its systems, it should be noted that there is no guarantee of privacy of electronically stored information or electronic mail. Users of institution-owned computing resources should also be aware that the institution reserves the right to inspect information stored on its systems when there is probable cause to suggest a violation of institution policies. Furthermore, RGS actively monitors and scans its network for unauthorized network devices and services such as network switches and wireless access points.
Logging into or otherwise connecting to the campus network implies acceptance of this policy.
Acceptable Use of Electronic Facilities
- Use consistent with the RGS mission, vision and mandates
- Use for purposes of, or in support of education, research or in matters that are in the best interests of RGS
- Use related to administrative and other support activities considered consistent with the mission, vision, and mandates of RGS
Personal use, including personal communications, should be limited, occasional, and infrequent, as long as these do not interfere with the functioning of the institution or overload system or network resources.
Personal purchases for other than business use should not routinely be transacted using electronic facilities. Any use of personal equipment, software or other devices other than personal planners utilized with institutionally owned electronic facilities must be approved by the Operations Manager.
Unacceptable Use of Electronic Facilities
- Use of RGS computers, networks or other electronic facilities that violates federal, state or local laws or statutes
- Providing, assisting in, or gaining unauthorized or inappropriate access to RGS’ computing resources or other electronic facilities
- Use of RGS’ computers, networks or other electronic facilities for unauthorized or inappropriate access to systems, software or data at other sites
- Use of RGS’ systems, networks or other electronic facilities to copy, store, display, prepare derivative works of, or distribute copyrighted material in any medium without the express permission of the copyright owner, except as otherwise allowed under copyright law
- Installation of software on RGS-owned computers or other electronic facilities that is not either in the public domain, or that legal licensing has not been acquired by the individual user, or by the institution, either by the RGS IT staff or another department
- Activities that interfere with the ability of others to use RGS’ computing resources, other network connected services or electronic facilities effectively
- Activities that result in the loss of another person’s work or unauthorized access to another person’s work
- Connecting one’s personal computer to RGS’ network without active and current anti- virus protection
- Similarly, no electronic facilities is to be used to create, store, send, or receive viruses, worms or other material that will adversely affect electronic facilities
- Distribution of obscene, abusive, harassing, derogatory, discriminatory or threatening messages via electronic facilities such as email or instant messaging as well as the creation, storage, and reception of such
- Distribution, creation, storage, and reception of chain letters or broadcasting to lists of individuals in such a manner that might cause congestion of the network or other electronic facilities
- Use of RGS computers, networks electronic facilities for commercial use or profit making enterprise, except as specifically agreed to with the RGS
- Use inconsistent with the acceptable use policies of RGS’ internet providers
Employees should not use electronic facilities to create, store, copy, send or receive confidential information belonging to the institution, its personnel, or its students unless they have determined that adequate steps have been undertaken to protect such confidential information. Passwords and other security information related to electronic facilities are confidential information of the institution and should be handled accordingly. Peer-to-peer file-sharing software is not to be installed on RGS owned computers due to its potential for distributing viruses, for network congestion, and for copyright infringement. Screensaver passwords are to be set up on all employees’ desktop computers to protect against unauthorized network access through unattended logged-in computers. Employees are to change passwords periodically and activate other security protections. Employees are to use encryption and other similar technology provided by RGS to appropriately protect information from unauthorized sources. Institutional information, including email, is not to be encrypted, password protected, or otherwise shielded from authorized personnel.
Waiver of Privacy
Employees waive any expectation or right of privacy in information that they create, store, send, or receive on or with RGS electronic facilities. Employees expressly authorize the institution to access and review any information created, stored, copied, sent or received on or with electronic facilities where there is reasonable cause to suggest violation of institutional policies
Employees acknowledge that e-mail is: (a) not private; (b) not secure; and (c) may contain viruses, worms or other material that will adversely affect electronic facilities. All employees should exercise caution in opening e-mail and especially e-mail attachments. Similarly, employees should not access their individual personal e-mail systems through the institution’s electronic facilities unless absolutely necessary, or where such use has been sanctioned by RGS. Employees should refrain from responding to surveys and questionnaires received by e-mail unless they are specifically related to their work. Personnel are responsible for establishing and maintaining their mailboxes, schedules, and directories in electronic facilities but recognize that they are the property of the RGS. Automatic forwarding of sensitive or confidential institutional e-mails is prohibited without authorization.
Observance of Rights of Third Parties
Employees acknowledge that electronic facilities often utilize software and other items owned or licensed by third parties and protected by patents, copyrights, trademarks and other legal protections. Further, personnel acknowledge that electronic facilities can be used to access books and databases, as well as to create, store, copy, send, or receive information that is similarly protected. Electronic facilities should never be used in a manner that violates the rights of third parties.