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Office of General Counsel Policies & Guidelines

Policy Number: 
P-130
Policy/Guideline Area: 
Personnel Guidelines
Applicable Divisions: 
TCATs, Community Colleges, Universities, System Office
Purpose: 

The purpose of this guideline is to establish the process and procedures regarding educational assistance for TBR System employees. 

Definitions: 
  • Institution shall refer to the University, Community College, College of Applied Technology, or the System Office as appropriate.
  • Chief Executive shall refer to the President, Director of the Institution, or Chancellor, as applicable. 
Policy/Guideline: 
  1. Support for Educational Assistance
    1. The Tennessee Board of Regents is committed to the need for the continued professional growth and development of employees.
      1. Support for educational assistance of personnel and their dependents is an important vehicle for addressing that need.
      2. The programs described in this guideline provide benefits to personnel at TBR institutions to further their formal education.
      3. With the exception of the Fee Waiver (formerly referred to as PC-191) which is mandated by the State of Tennessee, the classes and programs for TBR employees and dependents are available subject to funds being budgeted and available within the institution.
      4. The programs are:
        1. Fee Waiver for TBR/UT System Employees Program (formerly PC-191)
        2. Faculty and Staff Tuition Reimbursement Program
        3. Employee Audit/Non-Credit Program
        4. Faculty or Administrative/Professional Staff Grant-in-Aid Program 
    2. Campuses may develop and administer educational or professional development programs that are designed to advance the objectives of the institutions diversity plan.
    3. Exceptions to the provisions of the programs for TBR employees can be made upon recommendation of the institution's chief executive and approval by the Chancellor.
    4. For-credit coursework attempted through one of the programs in this guideline must be through an institution accredited by one of the Regional Accrediting Organizations recognized by the Council for Higher Education (www.chea.org). 
  2. Taxation of Educational Assistance Programs
    1. A portion of undergraduate and graduate course tuition, paid by the Tennessee Board of Regents institutions and the University of Tennessee System for their employees may be eligible for exclusion from the employees' gross annual income, in accordance with Internal Revenue code (IRC). Employees should seek assistance from their personal tax consultants on this issue, however.
  3. Fee Waiver for TBR/UT System Employees Program
    1. Full-time regular employees of the TBR and UT systems are eligible to enroll in one credit course per term at any state of Tennessee public postsecondary institution (TBR or UT), with fees waived for the employee.
    2. Part-time regular and part-time temporary employees, excluding adjuncts, of community colleges and TN Colleges of Applied Technology (TCATs) are eligible to enroll in one credit course per term at the college in which they work, with fees waived for the employee.
    3. The waiver is limited to one class, not to exceed 4 credits or 120 clock hours. It may apply for partial payment of classes of more than 4 credit hours or 120 clock hours.
    4. The enrollment is limited to available space with the intent that tuition-paying students shall not be denied enrollment by a student using a fee waiver.
    5. If applicable, the fee waiver should be used before other forms of educational assistance that may be offered by the institution.
    6. Eligibility
      1. All full-time employees (faculty, administrators, and support staff) of an institution are eligible to participate.
      2. Part-time regular and part-time temporary employees, excluding adjuncts, of community colleges and TN Colleges of Applied Technology (TCATs) are eligible to enroll in one credit course per term at the college in which they work, with fees waived for the employee.
      3. The employment status of an employee on the published first day of classes for each term determines eligibility for participation in this program. Any change in employment status after the first day of classes shall not affect eligibility for that term or the amount of assistance received.
    7. Fees Paid/Type Course Paid/Number of Hours
      1. This waiver applies to one credit course, graduate or undergraduate, which includes maintenance fees, registration fees, tuition, debt service fees, technology access fees, online course fees,TN eCampus (formerly RODP/ROCC) fees, and service charges.
        1. There is a limit of one course per term with a maximum limit of four (4) terms per year.
        2. Term shall mean any period of time in which a student may receive a grade for the completion of a course.
        3. Employees are responsible for special course fees, books and supplies, application fees, applied music fees, lab fees, off-campus facility fees, parking fees, traffic fines and similar fees.
        4. Employees are not eligible for fee waivers at more than one institution per term.
      2. This waiver applies to courses that are normally offered for-credit, although auditing a course is allowed.
        1. Employees must meet the regular academic rules and regulations of the institution offering the course.
        2. This program does not apply to continuing education or other non-credit courses.
      3. Fees will not be waived for programs for which part-time or course-by-course enrollment is prohibited as determined by the institutions, or where costs exceed regular for-credit courses.
        1. Examples include, but are not limited to, programs of law, medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, and veterinary medicine.
    8. Payback Provisions
      1. Payback provisions do not exist.
    9. When the Participant May Attend
      1. Supervisors/Department Heads who approve Fee Waiver applications should keep in mind that job performance is paramount and must receive priority.
      2. Courses should be scheduled at times other than during regularly scheduled work hours unless the use of annual leave or an alternate work arrangement is documented and approved by the supervisor prior to enrolling in the course.
    10. Accounting/Budgeting Provisions
      1. An employee must complete the  Fee Waiver section of the Request for Educational Assistance form (Exhibit 1) (System Office employees use DocuSign) and receive approval from his/her supervisor prior to registering for a course.
      2. If the employee is attending the employer institution, the expenditure is charged to employee benefits.
        1. If the employee is attending another institution, the institution attended charges the expenditure to scholarships and fellowships.
        2. The employer institution does not recognize an expenditure when an employee attends another institution.
      3. The University of Tennessee and the Tennessee Board of Regents do not exchange funds for employees taking courses between the systems. 
  4. Faculty and Staff Tuition Reimbursement Program
    1. This program's general goal is to encourage faculty and staff members to develop their skills and knowledge through participation in educational programs and is intended to serve as a means of job-related career development.
    2. The program is designed to provide assistance for an employee who takes credit courses in a degree program while continuing work responsibilities.
    3. The program should be used in the employee's pursuit of a degree that is judged by the employer in its sole discretion to be beneficial to the institution.
      1. Eligibility
        1. Any regular part-time or full-time employee who has been continuously employed by the institution for at least six months, may, upon verification of service, be eligible to participate.
          1. Regular part-time employees may receive a pro rata portion of assistance based on percentage of employment.
          2. Employees with prior temporary service immediately preceding regular employment shall receive credit for such service if they qualify for leave accrual and longevity adjustments.
        2. TBR employees who retire with at least 10 years of state service maintain eligibility under this program.
      2. Fees Paid/Type Course Paid/Number of Hours
        1. This program is designed to provide maintenance or tuition-related fees for a maximum of six (6) credit hours per term, as term is defined by the employing institution, with a maximum of four (4) terms per year.
        2. An employee may enroll in more than one course during the summer as long as the summer terms in which the courses are to be taken do not overlap. Tuition-related fees may include maintenance fees, registration fees, tuition, debt service fees, technology access fees, online course fees,TN eCampus fees, service charges and incidental fees payable at the time of registration.
        3. Employees are responsible for required deposits, special course fees, books and supplies, application fees, applied music fees, lab fees, off-campus facility fees, parking fees, traffic fines and similar fees.
        4. Employees must meet the requirements for admission and the regular academic rules and regulations of the institution offering the course.
      3. Payback Provisions
        1. Unless retired, the recipient shall be required, after completion of the course or courses, to be employed for not less than one (1) month of full-time employment for each month of the term of participation in the Staff Tuition Reimbursement Program.
          1. Early voluntary separation will, therefore require the employee to reimburse the institution for the remaining balance of this commitment.
        2. In order to receive future reimbursement, participants must satisfactorily complete all course requirements as defined by the academic program in which they enrolled. A grade of Incomplete at the conclusion of the grading period or a withdrawal is not considered as satisfactory completion. The employee must pay for and satisfactorily complete the same number of hours before again being eligible for this program. Exceptions will be made only in cases (1) where a course is failed for health reasons or (2) where another substantial reason is recognized by the attending institution's academic guidelines.
      4. For employees taking courses at other than the home institution, reimbursement applications shall be conditionally approved and held by the office designated by the institution to process these requests until the employee requests reimbursement and documents satisfactory course completion. At that time, the employee will be reimbursed for the prior course(s) and subsequent applications may be conditionally approved.
      5. At the institution's discretion, fees may be waived for classes taken at the home institution, but employees will be subject to the provisions of this guideline regarding service time after the class and satisfactory course completion. Successful completion of courses must be documented before being granted approval to take subsequent classes under this program.
      6. When the Participant May Attend
        1. Courses should be scheduled at times other than during the regularly scheduled work hours unless the use of annual leave or an adjusted work schedule has been documented and approved by the supervisor prior to enrolling in the program.
      7. Accounting/Budget Provisions
        1. Requests for approval to participate in the Reimbursement Program shall be submitted via the form which appears in (Exhibit 2) (System Office employees use Docusign).
          1. If the employee is required to pay fees when due, fees may be paid in accordance with the provisions of Deferred Payment Plan Guideline B-070, provided a Deferred Payment Plan has been implemented at the institution the employee is attending.
        2. The employer institution shall account for the chargeback as an employee benefit to indicate the employer institution is paying the cost for the benefit of the employee. The charged institution shall remit the tuition fees to the institution providing instruction as maintenance income.
      8. Limits on Tuition Reimbursement Rates
        1. Requests for participants attending public institutions will be reimbursed at the current semester hour rate for that institution.
        2. For individuals who wish to attend other than a Tennessee public institution under this program, reimbursement will not exceed the highest current semester hour rate for a comparable program offered by a Tennessee public institution.
        3. Reimbursement for concentrated programs at public or private institutions will be limited to the prevailing graduate fee rate for a comparable program within a Tennessee public institution.
  5. Employee Audit/Non-Credit Program
    1. This program is designed to provide course or maintenance fees only for an employee who takes courses based on one of the following:
      1. Audit;
      2. Job-related non-credit basis;
      3. Any wellness-related courses that are clearly designed to positively affect one’s physical well-being as defined by the institution.
    2. Such courses may be taken at the home institution or another Tennessee public institution while continuing work responsibilities at the home institution.
      1. Eligibility
        1. Any regular part-time or full-time employee who has been employed by the institution for at least six months may, upon verification of service, be eligible to participate.
          1. Employees with prior temporary service immediately preceding regular employment shall receive credit for such service if they qualify for leave accrual and longevity adjustments.
          2. Requests for approval to participate shall be submitted on the request form (Exhibit 1). Regular part-time employees may receive a pro rata portion of assistance based on percentage of employment.
        2. TBR employees who retire with at least 10 years of state service immediately preceding retirement maintain eligibility under this program.
        3. With the exception of retirees, as stated above, the employment status of an employee on the published first day of classes for each term determines eligibility for participation in this program. Any change in employment status after the first day of classes shall not affect eligibility for that term or the amount of assistance received.
        4. Retired state employees with 30 or more years of service are eligible to audit courses at state institutions of higher education without charge.
      2. Fees Paid/Type Course Paid/Number of Hours
        1. This program is designated to pay maintenance or tuition-related fees for audit, job-related non-credit courses, or wellness courses to a maximum of six credit hours or two job-related non-credit or wellness courses per term.
        2. Tuition-related fees may include maintenance fees, registration fees, tuition, debt service fees, technology access fees, online course fees, TN eCampus fees, service charges and incidental fees payable at the time of registration.
        3. Job related courses designed to prepare an individual to sit for specific certification or licensure exams may be eligible for reimbursement under this program, subject to approval by the employing institution.
      3. Payback Provisions
        1. Payback provisions do not exist.
      4. When the Participant May Attend
        1. Supervisor/Department Heads who approve participation in this program should keep in mind that job performance is paramount and must receive priority.
        2. Courses should be scheduled at times other than during regularly scheduled work hours unless the use of annual leave or and adjusted work schedule has been documented and approved by the supervisor prior to enrolling in the course.
        3. Course enrollment will be permitted on a "space available" basis. The enrollment is limited to available space with the intent that tuition-paying students shall not be denied enrollment by a student using the Employee Audit/Non-Credit Program.
        4. An employee may register only after the formal registration period ends as defined by the institution.
      5. Accounting/Budgeting
        1. Requests for TBR employees shall be submitted to Human Resources on a Request for Educational Assistance form at least two weeks prior to enrollment in the course or courses.
          1. State retirees shall submit forms developed by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission available at http://www.tn.gov/thec/topic/fee-waiver-and-fee-discount-programs
        2. The institution where the person is an employee shall account for the chargeback as an employee benefit to indicate the employer is paying the cost for the benefit of the employee.
          1. The charged institution shall remit the tuition fees to the institution providing instruction as maintenance income.
        3. Forms for state retirees shall be processed by the institution in the same manner as fee waivers for state employees.
      6. Where the Participant May Attend
        1. All such audit/non-credit courses must be accomplished at the institution where the person is/was employed or another Tennessee public institution.
        2. Employees requesting the program must meet the requirements for admission and are subject to institutional regulations and academic procedures.
  6. ​​​Faculty or Administrative/Professional Staff Grant-in-Aid (GIA) Program
    1. The grant-in-aid is intended to serve as a means of job related career development as well as individual professional development. GIA shall be available to eligible employees when the employing institution in its sole discretion determines that the proposed courses of study will enhance the value of the employee to the home institution. This program is dependent upon the availability of funds at the home institution.
      1. Eligibility
        1. Any regular full-time faculty member or administrative/professional staff member at a TBR institution who has been employed by the institution for two or more years may be eligible for receipt of a grant-in-aid award.
          1. Employees with temporary service immediately preceding regular employment shall receive credit for such service if they qualify for leave accrual and longevity adjustments.
          2. Requests for grant-in-aid shall be submitted on a TBR GIA Recommendation Form. (Exhibit 3)
        2. The grant-in-aid shall be awarded on the basis of demonstrated need for further academic development which will ultimately benefit the institution; written justification must be submitted to and approved by the chief executive of the institution.
        3. Grant-in-aid normally will be limited to employees working toward the doctorate, or other terminal degree.
          1. However, requests for aid to pursue degrees below the doctoral level in technical/professional disciplines, and for the training or retraining of administrative/professional staff may be considered.
        4. Grant recipients must be placed on an approved leave of absence and enroll as full-time students in credit courses, except where less than full-time status is needed to complete the program.
        5. No grant-in-aid shall be awarded for a period longer than twelve (12) months.
          1. In general, a full-time grant-in-aid will be awarded on a one-time basis.
          2. If the program objectives are not achieved by the end of the designated period, the institution may grant a leave of absence for a maximum of an additional twelve-month period.
          3. A second grant-in-aid may only be awarded after the recipient has fulfilled the return employment commitment of the first award.
        6. The status of an employee on the published first day of classes for each term determines eligibility for participation in this program.  Any change in status after the first day of classes shall not affect eligibility for that term or the amount of assistance received.
      2. Fees Paid/Type Course Paid/Number of Hours
        1. This program is designed to provide an individual with institutional funds for tuition or maintenance fees and/or living allowances in accordance with the following provisions:
          1. Reimbursement of tuition-related fees may not exceed actual maintenance fees or tuition.  Tuition-related fees may include maintenance fees, tuition, debt service fees, online course fees, TN eCampus fees, service charges and incidental fees payable at the time of registration, but shall not include room, board, and supplies.
          2. Monthly living allowances may not exceed 50% of the grantee's monthly salary. Academic year salaries are to be divided by twelve to derive an equated monthly salary rate.
      3. Payback Provisions
        1. A contract form, (Exhibit 4), shall be executed between the institution and the recipient of the grant-in-aid stating the conditions under which the grant-in-aid is awarded. The conditions of a grant-in-aid shall comply with the following minimum requirements:
          1. The recipient shall be required to return and be employed by the institution for not less than three months of full-time employment for each month of grant-in-aid awarded. Repayment of time shall commence immediately after completion of the period of study or withdrawal from program. In exchange for reimbursement of allowable expenses, a participant will commit to work for the sponsoring institution or, if no appropriate employment is available, at one of the other Tennessee Board of Regents institutions or within the University of Tennessee system.
          2. Failure on the part of the recipient to remain employed for the period of time agreed upon in the contract shall result in a financial obligation to the institution based upon the terms of the contract. The contract, (Exhibit 4), specifies that if employment is voluntarily terminated prior to fulfillment of the employment obligation, the final paycheck and check representing the amount of accrued, but unused annual leave may be withheld as repayment of the financial obligation. If such amounts are insufficient to recoup the amount owed by the employee, the institution has the option of pursuing one of two methods to achieve repayment as stated below:
            1. The amount or balance owed shall become an account receivable and the institution shall follow the procedure outlined in Guideline B-010, Accounts Receivable - Employee Receivables. If payment in full is not obtained, the debt shall be assigned to a collection agency; or
            2. The employee will be required to execute a promissory note acknowledging receipt of the grant-in-aid and containing repayment terms and conditions consistent with the grant-in-aid contract prior to the employee leaving the institution should he/she fail to fully complete the employment requirements of the contract.
          3. The institution may terminate the employee prior to the commencement of or during the employment service period provided herein. In the event of such termination by the institution, the employee shall be relieved of repayment of the Grant in Aid.
          4. Summer or short-term employment shall be considered part-time employment in cases where the employee holds an academic year appointment. No part-time employment shall be creditable toward the fulfillment of the contract.
      4. When the Participant May Attend
        1. After approval by the chief executive, the institution may issue and execute the contract stating to the recipient the conditions under which the grant-in-aid is awarded, including when the participant may attend.
      5. Accounting/Budgeting Provisions
        1. The number of grants-in-aid of each institution shall not exceed three percent (3%) of the number of full-time faculty and administrative/professional staff at the institution at the time the awards are requested. At institutions where the number of full-time faculty and administrative/professional staff totals less than one hundred (100), three (3) such grants may be awarded.
        2. Requests for grants-in-aid shall be submitted using the form (Exhibit 3) to the chief executive for approval prior to the beginning of the semester. After approval, the institution may issue and execute the contract.
        3. Complete materials supporting each grant-in-aid request shall be maintained by Human Resources. Also, each grant recipient shall be required to provide the official grade reports during and upon completion of the grant period.  Continual participation is dependent on the recipient's satisfactory progress toward completion of a course of study.
      6. Where the Participant May Attend
        1. Participants may attend public and private institutions of higher education. Requests for participants attending Tennessee public institutions will be reimbursed at the current semester hour rate for that institution.
        2. For individuals who wish to attend other than a Tennessee public institution under this program, reimbursement will not exceed the highest current semester hour rate for a comparable program offered by a Tennessee public institution.
        3. Reimbursement for concentrated programs at public or private institutions will be limited to the prevailing graduate fee rate for a comparable program within a Tennessee public institution.

 

Sources: 

TBR Presidents Meetings:  May 12, 1992; August 10, 1993; May 10, 1994; August 9, 1994, August 8, 1995; February 6, 1996; May 14, 1996; August 13, 1996; August 5, 1997; February 17,1998; November 3, 1999; May 21, 2001; November 6, 2002; November 5, 2003; November 8, 2006; November 5, 2007; February 17, 2009; May 19, 2009 Presidents Meeting; Presidents Meeting August 20, 2013: Revised at Presidents Meeting August 19, 2014.

Contact: 
Policy Number: 
P-120
Policy/Guideline Area: 
Personnel Guidelines
Applicable Divisions: 
TCATs, Community Colleges, Universities, System Office
Purpose: 

The purpose of this guideline is to establish the process regarding longevity pay for employees of institutions governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.

Policy/Guideline: 
  1. Introduction
    1. The 89th General Assembly of the State of Tennessee adopted a longevity pay plan to reward State employees for extended service to the State. The plan became effective on July 1, 1979, was amended July 1, 1980 to include faculty members of the State's public higher education institutions, and was further amended on July 1, 1994 to include regular part-time employees who are scheduled to work 1600 or more hours (82.1 percent time) in a fiscal year.
      1. In addition, effective July 1, 1995, regular full-time employees with 36 months of full-time service became eligible to receive longevity credit for prior part-time service that is equivalent to not less than 5 years of full-time service. Its continuation each year is subject to positive action by the State Legislature.
  2. Eligibility
    1. Upon completion of 36 months of service, all regular full-time and faculty, clerical and support staff, administrative/professional employees, and modified fiscal year (MODFY) employees are eligible for longevity payments.
      1. In addition, all regular part-time employees who are scheduled to work 1600 or more hours (82.1 percent time) in a fiscal year and have 36 months of service are also eligible for longevity payments. (Refer to Section IV, B for additional information regarding credit for part-time service.)
      2. The 36 months of qualifying service must be in an eligible status as defined below.
      3. For purposes of creditable service for longevity payments, the service base of employees in faculty, MODFY, or eligible regular part-time appointments shall be considered to be a full 12 months.
  3. Compensation
    1. Eligible employees shall receive longevity pay at an established rate for each year of creditable service up to the maximum provided by law.
      1. The rate per year of service is established annually by the Legislature.
      2. For employees who completed 15 years of creditable service prior to July 1, 1984, September 1 shall be their longevity anniversary date.
      3. Payments will be made in the institution's payroll corresponding with September anniversaries.
      4. All other employees who have three years or more of creditable service shall receive their longevity payments in conjunction with their longevity anniversary date and in accordance with institutional payroll procedures.
    2. Calculation of longevity pay is based on an employee's total years of eligible full-time service and eligible part-time service and the rate of pay in effect for the fiscal year in which the payment is made.
      1. Shown on the following table are the rates of pay per year of eligible service, the maximum years of service for which payment would be made, and the maximum payment made to any individual during each of the years since the longevity pay program began. Rate of Pay Per Maximum Longevity Pay Chart
        Fiscal Year Approved Rate of Pay Per Year of Service Maximum Years Paid Maximum Payment
        1979-1980 $30 15 $450
        *1980-1981 $60 15 $900
        1981-1982 $75 15 $1,125
        1982-1983 $75 15 $1,125
        1983-1984 $75 15 $1,125
        1984-1985 $75 16 $1,200
        1985-1986 $85 17 $1,445
        1986-1987 $90 18 $1,620
        1987-1988 $95 19 $1,805
        1988-1989 and after $100 20 $2,000
        1989-1990 $100 21 $2,100
        1990-1991 $100 22 $2,200
        1991-1992 $100 22 $2,200
        1992-1993 $100 22 $2,200
        1993-1994 $100 24 $2,400
        1994-1995 $100 25 $2,500
        2006-2007 $100 30 $3,000
      2. *Faculty members were included in the longevity pay plan effective July 1, 1980.
        1. During fiscal year 1980-81 faculty received $45 per year of eligible service up to a maximum of 15 years or $675.
        2. This special rate for faculty was provided for this one year because faculty improvement funds were provided in lieu of longevity pay during fiscal year 1979-80.
    3. The following describes longevity provisions for non-exempt employees under the FLSA.
      1. The method of paying overtime on longevity became effective with the coverage of non-exempt state employees by the Fair Labor Standards Act (workweek of April 15, 1986) and applies only to that portion of the employee's longevity work year after that date.
      2. The value of longevity pay is not included in the week-to-week calculation of regular hourly rate for overtime payment purposes.
      3. But, when longevity pay is given, ½ the hourly equivalent rate of the longevity payment is due for all premium overtime hours earned during the prior year of service for which the longevity payment is made.
        1. For example, a non-exempt employee worked 2150 hours during the year including 100 hours of premium overtime and received $750 longevity payment.
        2. The overtime due on the payment would be $750 divided by 2150 hours = $.348 hourly equivalent time ½ = $.174 per hour times 100 premium hours = $17.40 additional overtime longevity payment.
    4. Longevity pay is subject to Federal Withholding Tax and Social Security taxes.
      1. Effective January 1, 2004, institutions may select either Option A or Option B as provided in IRS Circular E - Supplemental Wages to determine the Federal Withholding Tax.
      2. The Social Security Tax is assessed at the prevailing rate.
    5. The gross dollar value of the longevity payment is considered as covered salary for purposes of calculating retirement benefits.
  4. Longevity Service Credit
    1. Adjusted Longevity Anniversary Date
      1. The adjusted longevity anniversary date shall be that date on which 36 months of creditable regular state service is completed.
      2. A longevity anniversary date is established for all employees who are eligible or potentially eligible to participate in the program.
      3. At the time of initial employment, the employee's longevity anniversary date is established utilizing all periods of prior eligible service with the State or one of its agencies or an institution within the Tennessee Board of Regents or the University of Tennessee systems.
      4. If the employee does not indicate prior service, the longevity anniversary date is the same as the initial employment date.
    2. Eligible Service
      1. The following types of service are considered eligible service when establishing an individual's adjusted longevity anniversary date:
        1. All regular full-time service with the Tennessee Board of Regents, University of Tennessee or Tennessee Government to include agencies, offices, departments or other subdivisions of the Executive, Judicial, or Legislative branches.
        2. Effective July 1, 1995, all regular full-time service of 36 months and prior regular part-time service that is the equivalent of 5 years of regular full-time service with any of the organizations listed above. Credit for such prior part-time service is prospective only.
      2. All regular part-time service in which the employee was scheduled to work 1600 or more hours in a fiscal year with any of the organizations listed above.
      3. Periods in which regular part-time employees work additional hours, resulting in a fiscal year work schedule of 1600 or more hours. (See IV.B.11.)
        1. Example: On July 1st, an employee was appointed as a regular part-time employee at 50% time. On September 1st, he was asked to work 100% time until another person could be hired. By June 30th of that fiscal year, he had actually worked more than 1600 hours. On July 1st, he changed to full-time on a regular basis; and he received longevity credit for the prior fiscal year. (See Section IV.B.12.)
      4. Eligible temporary service with any of the organizations listed in 1 above, which immediately precedes the regular full-time service.
        1. Effective July 1, 1995, eligible temporary service includes all part-time temporary service that is the equivalent of 5 years of full-time service which immediately precedes regular full-time service.
        2. Credit for eligible part-time service will be given when 36 months of regular full-time service has been rendered and will be prospective only.
      5. Periods during which the employee is in an approved paid leave status.
      6. Periods during which a normally eligible employee is working a temporarily reduced work schedule of not less than 50% of full-time and for a period not to exceed six months.
      7. Periods during which the employee is on leave of absence without pay and is receiving compensation from the State Board of Claims for an on-the-job injury or illness.
      8. Any employee otherwise eligible who is on military leave.
      9. Periods during which an employee is on an approved grant-in-aid.
      10. Periods during terminal leave status.
      11. Employees currently eligible for longevity pay who have prior part-time service consisting of at least a 1600 hours annual schedule shall receive longevity credit for each month of such part-time service in which the employee was scheduled to work a full month and actually worked one-tenth of one hour more than half the schedule.
        1. This provision became effective July 1, 1987. Effective July 1, 1995, eligible employees shall receive credit but not retroactive longevity payments.
        2. In other words, the employee who changes status as described in this section shall receive credit for the time worked, but will not receive longevity payments for credited time until the next fiscal year when the prior part-time service is calculated into the longevity payment.
      12. Regular employees may receive longevity credit for adjunct faculty service if the following conditions apply:
        1. The employee's work schedule for the fiscal year consisted of the equivalent of 1600 or more hours. Effective July 1, 1999, equivalent hours shall be calculated for each semester/quarter and then added together to obtain the total equivalent hours for the fiscal year. (The following formula will be used to determine the equivalent hours: semester/quarter hours taught x 2.5 x number of weeks in semester/quarter = clock hours)
          1. Example: Employee taught 9.0 hours the second session of Summer 1997, 15.0 hours Fall Semester 1997, 15.0 hours Spring Semester 1998, and 6.0 the first session of Summer 1998.

            Summer 1997 (2nd Session) 9 x 2.5 x 6 = 135.0

            Fall 1997 15 x 2.5 x 17 = 637.5

            Spring 1998 15 x 2.5 x 17 = 637.5

            Summer 1998 (1st Session) 6 x 2.5 x 6 = 90.0

            Total hours for 1997-98 FY 1500.0 This employees’ work schedule would not satisfy the 1600 or more hours criteria for the fiscal year.
        2. The adjunct faculty service immediately preceded eligible regular service.
        3. Eligible employees included in paragraphs 3, 4, and 7 above shall receive their longevity payment as normally scheduled.
        4. Eligible employees covered by paragraphs 5 and 6 shall receive their longevity payment upon returning to an active payroll status with the institution.
    3. Ineligible Service
      1. The following types of service are not considered as eligible service when establishing an individual's longevity anniversary date:
        1. Part-time service (except as specified in Sections I, II and IV, B.9) or service as a student employee.
        2. Temporary service unless such service is full-time and immediately precedes regular full-time service.
        3. Service with elementary or secondary (K-12) public schools.
        4. Periods during which the employee is on FMLA or non-FMLA leave of absence without pay except when the employee is on approved leave of absence without pay due to an on-the-job injury or illness and where the employee is receiving benefit payments from the State (as in item B.5. above).
        5. Services rendered in addition to the employee's regular duties, including the services of faculty for teaching summer school do not qualify as eligible service.
          1. Although such periods of service may immediately precede regular full-time service, they cannot be counted as eligible service in establishing the employee's adjusted longevity anniversary date.
          2. Exception: Such Service is included only if it is combined with other regular or adjunct service in the same fiscal year to determine the employee's eligibility for an adjustment under Section V.B.3., or IV.B.12.
    4. Rehiring Previous Employees
      1. When employing individuals with prior State service, the employee's adjusted longevity date will be established utilizing all eligible prior service.
      2. The adjusted longevity date will be used to initiate payments for current and subsequent fiscal years.
    5. Transfers
      1. Employees who transfer from one State agency to another without a break in service are eligible for longevity compensation in accordance with their adjusted anniversary month.
  5. Changes in Employment Status
    1. Employees who change from regular part-time service of less than 1600 hours in a fiscal year, temporary or student status to regular full-time status or eligible regular part-time status become eligible to participate in the longevity pay plan.
    2. Employees who change from regular full-time or eligible part-time positions to regular part-time service of less than 1600 hours in a fiscal year and are in the regular part-time status of less than 1600 hours at the time of their longevity anniversary date will not be eligible for longevity payments.
    3. Eligible employees on an academic year pay base changing to a fiscal year pay base shall be eligible to continue receiving longevity payments and shall receive no change in service credit as a result of the transfer.
    4. Eligible employees on a fiscal year pay base changing to an academic year pay base shall be eligible to continue receiving longevity payments and shall receive no change in service credit as a result of the transfer.
  6. Faculty
    1. Eligible faculty (other than those in Section III, Paragraph A) whose anniversary date is the beginning of the academic year shall receive their longevity payment in the last monthly payroll for the contract period.
    2. Eligible faculty members (other than those addressed in section III, paragraph A) whose anniversary date is other than the beginning of the academic year shall receive their longevity payment when the anniversary date occurs in the regular scheduled payroll cycle for that date.
  7. Leave of Absence
    1. All employees who are on FMLA or non-FMLA leave of absence without pay are entitled to longevity payment on their adjusted longevity anniversary date upon return from said unpaid leave.
  8. Termination of Employment  
    1. The following longevity pay regulations apply to persons who terminate their employment for any reason other than retirement:
      1. If a terminating employee has completed an additional year of creditable service for longevity payment purposes, and then the longevity payment shall be made. However, no pro-rata payment will be made for a partial year's service.
      2. Terminating faculty whose anniversary date is the beginning of the academic year and who are otherwise eligible, shall receive their longevity payment in the final month's payroll for the years’ service provided that the entire academic year was served.
  9. Retirement
    1. Eligible retiring employees may receive their longevity pay if the longevity anniversary date occurs during their terminal leave period.
    2. All retiring employees are eligible for longevity pay following the completion of one year of creditable service.
    3. Faculty who retire after completing their responsibilities for the academic year are eligible for longevity pay in their final payroll for the academic year.
    4. Due to the cost-of-living adjustment for retirement purposes, a 12-month employee with his/her longevity anniversary date as July 1, who plans to retire prior to June 30 must be in active pay status on June 29 in order to be eligible for longevity pay.
  10. Exceptions
    1. Exceptions to the provisions of these regulations may be recommended by the President for the Chancellor's approval.
Sources: 

Presidents Meeting November 1, 1988; Presidents Meeting May 15, 1990; Presidents Meeting November 9, 1993 ; Presidents Meeting November 9, 1994; Presidents Meeting May 8,1995; Presidents Meeting August 8, 1995; Presidents Meeting November 4, 1998; Presidents Meeting November 3, 1999; Presidents Meeting May 9, 2000; Presidents Meeting November 5, 2003; Presidents Meeting November 8, 2006; Presidents Meeting August 21, 2007.

Contact: 
Policy Number: 
P-115
Topics Outline: 
Policy/Guideline Area: 
Personnel Guidelines
Applicable Divisions: 
TCATs, Community Colleges, Universities, System Office
Purpose: 

The purpose of this guideline is to establish the process and criteria regarding the Certified Administrative Professional Examination for employees at the Central Office and institutions governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.

Policy/Guideline: 
  1. Procedure
    1. Employees who work in a clerical-secretarial or clerical-management non-exempt position, as defined by the Human Resource Office at each location, who pass the Certified Administrative Professional Examination (CAP) shall be granted a nine percent (9%) increase in salary.
      1. Employees must contact the institution's Human Resource Office regarding eligibility for the increase.
      2. Exempt employees are not eligible for the increase.
    2. The salary increase shall become effective with the next pay period beginning after the employee's passing grade on the examination is certified by the International Association of Administrative Professionals.
      1. The certification date is on the Candidate Performance Report generated by the IAAP.
      2. It is not the date that the test is administered or the date that the report from IAAP is received.
      3. It is the employee's responsibility to provide the appropriate verification to the Human Resources Office.
    3. An employee must pass the exam sponsored by the International Association of Administrative Professionals in order to receive the 9% increase.
      1. Individuals who previously received the 9% increase are not eligible for a subsequent 9% increase for passing the Certified Administrative Professional exam. 
Sources: 

Presidents Meeting November 1, 1988; Presidents Meeting May 14, 1991; Presidents Meeting September 19, 1991; Presidents Meeting August 21, 2007; Presidents Meeting May 16, 2012. 

Contact: 
Policy Number: 
P-111
Policy/Guideline Area: 
Personnel Guidelines
Applicable Divisions: 
TCATs, Community Colleges, Universities, System Office
Purpose: 

The purpose of this guideline is to establish the process regarding support staff grievances and/or complaints at the System Office and institutions governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.

Definitions: 
  • Support staff - means employees who are not faculty, executive, administrative or professional staff. Student workers and graduate assistants are not included in the definition of employee.
  • Grievance - means a complaint about one (1) or more of the following matters:
    • Demotion, suspension without pay or termination for cause; or
    • Work assignments or conditions of work which violate statute or policy.
  • Employment Action - means any action described under Grievance.
  • Complaint – (Committee review not available) – A complaint is a concern which an employee wants to discuss with supervisory personnel in an effort to resolve the matter. Personnel actions such as performance evaluations, rates of pay, position re-classifications, job assignments, or position terminations due to reduction in force do not fall under the definition of complaint.
Policy/Guideline: 
  1. Application of Guideline
    1. The following procedure is to be used for support staff employees who are demoted, suspended without pay, or terminated.
    2. If the grievance involves or is based on unlawful discrimination or unlawful harassment, the process set out in Guideline P-080 must be utilized; however, if the President’s/Director’s/Chancellor’s, as appropriate, decision includes demotion, suspension without pay, or termination, the employee so disciplined may use this procedure or the procedures described in TBR policy 1:06:00:05.
    3. Standard grievance forms shall be made available to support staff at each work site, but no grievance may be denied because a standard form has not been used.
  2. Complaint Procedure
    1. The complaint procedure should state a time limit within which a complaint must be presented after the date the employee received notice or becomes aware of the action which forms the basis of the complaint.
      1. If the complaint arises from a repeated or continuing occurrence, the time limit begins from the date of the last such occurrence.
      2. Any complaint not presented within the time limit is waived and shall not be considered.
      3. Once a final determination is made, the employee may not later present the same complaint in an attempt to gain a more favorable outcome.
    2. The institution policy shall indicate with whom a complaint is to be filed. It should also indicate that a complaint must be submitted in writing.
    3. Resolution of complaints at a minimum requires the institution to:
      1. Allow the employee to present facts and/or materials;
      2. Investigate the dispute; and
      3. Attempt to find a solution.
        1. The President/Director or his/her designee shall be the final decision maker.
        2. Complaints do not include a right to any type of hearing, adversarial proceeding, nor the right to appeal to the Chancellor.
  3. Grievance Procedure
    1. Time for Filing
      1. A grievance must be initiated within fifteen (15) workdays after the employee receives notice or becomes aware of the action which is the basis for the grievance.
      2. The administrator considering the grievance at each step shall issue a written decision with specific reasons stated for the decision.
      3. If the employee is not satisfied with the decision at any step, he/she must carry the grievance forward to the next step within fifteen (15) workdays after receiving the written decision.
        1. If the employee does not carry the grievance forward within fifteen (15) workdays, the grievance procedure shall be terminated and the grievance disposed of in accordance with the last written decision.
          1. For purposes of this procedure, the term “workdays” refers to Monday through Friday.
      4. Any party involved in the grievance proceeding may request an extension of any deadline set forth in the policy. The institution shall establish procedures for consideration of extension requests.
      5. Once a grievance is initiated, the grievant may not later present the same grievance again in an attempt to gain a more favorable outcome.
    2. Testimony, Witnesses and Representation
      1. At every step, the employee may testify and present witnesses and materials in support of his/her position.
        1. The testimony of an employee, given either on his/her own behalf or as a witness for another employee, will not subject an employee to retaliatory action.
      2. At every step, the employee may be accompanied by a representative as defined by the institution, which may also specify the parameters of participation by the representative during the hearing process.
        1. At the discretion of the panel chair, additional employees from the unit may be allowed to attend the employee panel hearing conducted as the final step.
    3. Steps of Review
      1. Step 1-- Supervisor or Administrator Instituting Employment Action:
        1. Within fifteen (15) workdays after the employee receives notice or becomes aware of the action which is the basis for the grievance, the employee completes a Grievance Form (which may be obtained from Human Resources), submits it to Human Resources and provides a copy to his/her supervisor or the administrator instituting employment action. While a particular form is not required to file a grievance, the employee must make it clear that she/he intends to utilize the grievance procedures for resolution of the employment action.
        2. Within fifteen (15) workdays after receipt of the grievance, the supervisor or administrator initiating the employment action and the employee meet and discuss the grievance in a face-to-face meeting.
        3. If the supervisor or administrator was not the one who recommended the original employment action, the supervisor or administrator will make a recommendation to the administrator who made the original employment action.
        4. Any changes from the original employment action must be approved by the President or Director, as appropriate, before being communicated to the employee.
        5. Within fifteen (15) workdays after the face-to-face meeting, the supervisor or administrator must communicate the decision in writing to the grievant with specific reasons stated for the decision.
        6. If the supervisor or administrator fails to respond or if the decision is not satisfactory to the employee, the employee may carry the grievance forward to Step 2.
      2. Step 2--Next Higher Level of Management:
        1. Within fifteen (15) workdays after receiving the written decision at Step 1, if the employee is not satisfied with the result of Step 1, the employee must notify Human Resources that he/she wants further review.
          1. Human Resources schedules a face-to-face meeting to occur within fifteen (15) workdays after receiving notice that the employee wants further review of the next level administrator.
        2. Within fifteen (15) workdays after the face-to-face meeting, the next level administrator issues a written decision that includes specific reasons for the decision.
        3. Any changes from the original employment action must be approved by the President or Director, as appropriate, before being communicated to the employee.
      3. Step 3--Hearing:
        1. Within fifteen (15) workdays after receiving the written decision at Step 2, the employee can request a grievance hearing before a panel of employees.
        2. The employee must notify Human Resources in writing whether he/she wants a hearing before an employee panel.
        3. Alternatively, the employee may request a hearing under TBR Policy No. 1:06:00:05 (Cases Subject to UAPA), if applicable.
        4. If the employee requests a hearing before an employee panel, Human Resources or the appropriate institutional person as defined by the institution policy selects the panel members, convenes the hearing and arranges for the grievance to be heard.
        5. The employee grievance panel may include non-exempt staff employees, exempt staff employees, or a combination of both exempt and non-exempt employees.
        6. The panel members representing the unit where the employee works may not serve on the grievance panel.
        7. Every effort should be made to include minorities, i.e. ethnic minorities and women, in the composition of the committee.
        8. The grievance panel shall hear the grievance within fifteen (15) workdays, if practicable, after the date on which the employee submits his/her written request to Human Resources.
        9. The written recommendation of the institutional panel or commission is subject to review by the President, Director, or in the case of grievances at the TBR System Office, the Chancellor.
      4. Step 4–Review by the President/Director/Chancellor, as appropriate:
        1. The written recommendation of the grievance panel will be forwarded to the President, Director, or Chancellor, as appropriate.
        2. Within fifteen (15) work days, if practicable, the President, Director, or Chancellor, as appropriate, or a designee will notify the grievant of the final decision.
    4. Grievances which are processed through the grievance committee and upon which the President/Director has made a decision are appealable to the Chancellor only where the grievance falls within the parameters set out in TBR Policy 1:02:11:00.
  4. Non-Retaliation
    1. No employee shall retaliate or discriminate against another employee because of the latter employee’s filing of a grievance or complaint.
    2. In addition, no employee shall coerce another employee or interfere with the action of another employee in the latter employee’s attempt to file a grievance or complaint.
    3. Administrative, academic and supervisory personnel should also be informed that they are responsible for ensuring that the employee is free from retaliation, coercion and/or discrimination arising from the employee’s filing of or intent to file a grievance or complaint.
  5. Responsibility for Implementation
    1. The President/Director/Chancellor, as appropriate, or his/her designee of the institution has ultimate responsibility for implementation of the grievance and complaint procedures.
    2. Administrative, academic, and supervisory personnel are responsible for insuring that they inform and make available to all employees information concerning their right to file a grievance or complaint and their right to be protected from retaliation.
  6. Maintenance of Records
    1. Copies of written grievances and complaints, and accompanying responses and documentation should be maintained at a specified location(s) at the institution for at least two years after the date of the employment decision.
    2. If a finding adverse to the grievant/complainant is made, the finding shall be maintained in the grievant/complainant’s personnel file.
    3. The Board of Regents shall provide an annual report summarizing grievance activities of the previous year to the Tennessee Legislative Education Oversight Committee.
    4. Each institution shall include information regarding the grievance procedure in employee orientations. 
Sources: 

TBR Meetings: February 13, 2002; May 21, 2002; February 13, 2008[Authority: Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-8-117, Acts 1993, ch. 301, § 1; Tenn. Code Ann. § 4-5-301 et seq.; Tenn. Code Ann. § 9-8-307, TBR Policy 1:06:00:05, Uniform Procedures for Cases Subject to the Tennessee Uniform Administrative Procedures Act.] Presidents Meeting May 21, 2013.

Contact: 
Policy Number: 
P-110
Policy/Guideline Area: 
Personnel Guidelines
Applicable Divisions: 
TCATs, Community Colleges, Universities, System Office
Purpose: 

The purpose of this guideline is to establish the process regarding employee grievances and/or complaints at the System Office and institutions governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.

Definitions: 
  • Grievance (Committee review available) – An employee may only grieve actions the institution has taken against the employee which:
    • Violates institution or TBR policy, or involves an inconsistent application of these same policies;
    • Violates any constitutional right. The most likely areas of concern are the First, Fourth or Fourteenth Amendment of the federal constitution when that action hampers free speech, freedom of religion, the right to association, provides for improper search and seizure, or denies constitutionally required notice or procedures; or
    • Violates a federal or state statute not covered by TBR Guideline P-080.
  • Complaint (Committee review not available) – A complaint is a concern which an employee wants to discuss with supervisory personnel in an effort to resolve the matter. Personnel actions such as performance evaluations, rates of pay, position re-classifications, or position terminations due to reduction in force do not fall under the definition of complaint.
  • Employee - For purposes of the grievance and complaint procedures, an employee is defined as faculty (though not including faculty on adjunct contracts), executive, administrative, or professional staff. Probationary employees, student workers and graduate assistants are not included in the definition of employee.
  • Employment Action – Employment action is the demotion, suspension without pay, termination of an employee, or work assignments or conditions of work which violate statute or policy.
Policy/Guideline: 
  1. Application of Guideline
    1. This Guideline applies to employees of an institution and has been developed to assist in drafting procedures for addressing grievances and complaints filed.
      1. There shall be two types of procedures, which each institution shall address through policies developed pursuant to this Guideline.
      2. The two types are:
        1. Grievances, which are subject to committee review; and
        2. Complaints, which must be resolved without committee review.
      3. Standard grievance forms shall be made available to employees at each work site, but no grievance may be denied because a standard form has not been used.
    2. The following is a minimum which must be incorporated in the institutional grievance and complaint procedures. The procedures may vary from institution to institution, but may not establish any right to a hearing except as set out herein.
    3. This Guideline has no application to a termination procedure initiated against a tenured faculty member under TBR policy No. 5:02:03:60 Section IV.I., or 5:02:03:70 Section V.I.2.
      1. This Guideline is not to be used for support staff employees who are demoted, suspended without pay, or terminated.
      2. In accordance with T.C.A. § 49-8-117, Support Staff Grievance Procedure, support staff employees who are demoted, suspended without pay, or terminated must follow the grievance process contained in Guideline P-111.
        1. Support staff employees who wish to challenge other employment actions not covered by P-111, however, may utilize the procedures set forth in the guideline, as applicable.
        2. If the grievance involves or is based on unlawful discrimination or unlawful harassment, the process set out in Guideline P-080 must be utilized; however if the President’s/Director’s/Chancellor’s, as appropriate, decision includes demotion, suspension without pay, or termination, the employee so disciplined may use this procedure or the procedure described in TBR policy 1:06:00:05.
    4. An employee may choose to utilize the procedure for review by the grievance committee established pursuant to this Guideline in actions relating to the suspension of employees for cause or termination in violation of an employment contract which fall under TBR Policy No. 1:06:00:05 (Cases Subject to UAPA), or TBR Policy No. 5:02:03:60 Section IV.I.1.b or 5:02:03:70 Section V.I.b.(2) (suspension of tenured faculty) or TBR Policy No. 5:02:03:10 Section III (O)(2) (suspension of tenured faculty at TCATs).
    5. The institution may choose to utilize the procedure for review by the grievance committee (established pursuant to this Guideline) when resolving a complaint initiated pursuant to TBR Policy No. 5:02:02:10 (Faculty Promotion at TCATs), 5:02:02:20 (Faculty Promotion at Universities), or 5:02:02:30 (Faculty Promotion at Community Colleges).
  2. Complaint Procedure
    1. The complaint procedure should state a time limit within which a complaint must be presented after the date the employee received notice or becomes aware of the action which forms the basis of the complaint.
      1. If the complaint arises from a repeated or continuing occurrence, the time limit begins from the date of the last such occurrence.
      2. Any complaint not presented within the time limit is waived and shall not be considered.
      3. Once a final determination is made, the employee may not later present the same complaint in an attempt to gain a more favorable outcome.
    2. The institution policy shall indicate with whom a complaint is to be filed. It should also indicate that a complaint must be submitted in writing.
    3. Resolution of complaints at a minimum requires the institution to:
      1. Allow the employee to present facts and/or materials;
      2. Investigate the dispute; and
      3. Attempt to find a solution.
        1. The President/Director or his/her designee shall be the final decision maker.
        2. Complaints do not include a right to any type of hearing, adversarial proceeding, nor the right to appeal to the Chancellor.
  3. Grievance Procedure
    1. Procedure
      1. A grievance must be initiated within fifteen (15) workdays after the employee receives notice or becomes aware of the action which is the basis for the grievance.
      2. The administrator considering the grievance at each step shall issue a written decision with specific reasons stated for the decision.
      3. If the employee is not satisfied with the decision at any step, he/she must carry the grievance forward to the next step within fifteen (15) workdays after receiving the written decision.
        1. If the employee does not carry the grievance forward within fifteen (15) workdays, the grievance procedure shall be terminated and the grievance disposed of in accordance with the last written decision.
          1. For purposes of this procedure, the term “workdays” refers to Monday through Friday.
      4. Any party involved in the grievance proceeding may request an extension of any deadline set forth in the policy. The institution shall establish procedures for consideration of extension requests.
      5. Once a grievance is initiated, the grievant may not later present the same grievance again in an attempt to gain a more favorable outcome.
    2. Testimony, Witnesses and Representation
      1. At every step, the employee may testify and present witnesses and materials in support of his/her position.
        1. The testimony of an employee, given either on his/her own behalf or as a witness for another employee, will not subject an employee to retaliatory action.
      2. At every step, the employee may be accompanied by a representative as defined by the institution which may also specify the parameters of participation by the representative during the hearing process.
        1. a. At the discretion of the panel chair, additional employees from the unit may be allowed to attend the employee panel hearing conducted as the final step.
    3. Steps of Review
      1. Step 1-- Supervisor or Administrator Instituting Employment Action:
        1. Within fifteen (15) workdays after the employee receives notice or becomes aware of the action which is the basis for the grievance, the employee completes a Grievance Form (which may be obtained from Human Resources), submits it to Human Resources and provides a copy to his/her supervisor or the administrator instituting employment action. While a particular form is not required to file a grievance, the employee must make it clear that she/he intends to utilize the grievance procedures for resolution of the employment action.
        2. Within fifteen (15) workdays after receipt of the grievance, the supervisor or administrator initiating employment action and the employee meet and discuss the grievance in a face-to-face meeting.
        3. If the supervisor or administrator was not the one who recommended the original employment action, or is recommending a change from the original employment action, the supervisor or administrator will make a recommendation to the administrator who made the original employment action.
        4. Any changes from the original employment action must be approved by the President or Director, as appropriate, before being communicated to the employee.
        5. Within fifteen (15) workdays after the face-to-face meeting, the supervisor or administrator must communicate the decision in writing to the grievant with specific reasons stated for the decision.
        6. If the supervisor or administrator fails to respond or if the decision is not satisfactory to the employee, the employee may carry the grievance forward to Step 2.
      2. Step 2--Next Higher Level of Management:
        1. Within fifteen (15) workdays after receiving the written decision at Step 1, if the employee is not satisfied with the result of Step 1, the employee must notify Human Resources that he/she wants further review.
          1. Human Resources schedules a face-to-face meeting to occur within fifteen (15) workdays after receiving notice that the employee wants further review of the next level administrator.
        2. Within fifteen (15) workdays after the face-to-face meeting, the next level administrator issues a written decision that includes specific reasons for the decision.
        3. Any changes from the original employment action must be approved by the President or Director, as appropriate, before being communicated to the employee.
      3. Step 3--Hearing:
        1. Within fifteen (15) workdays after receiving the written decision at Step 2, the employee can request a grievance hearing before a panel of employees.
        2. The employee must notify Human Resources in writing whether he/she wants a hearing before an employee panel.
        3. Alternatively, the employee may request a hearing under TBR Policy No. 1:06:00:05 (Cases Subject to UAPA), if applicable.
        4. If the employee requests a hearing before an employee panel, Human Resources or the appropriate institutional person as defined by the institution policy selects the panel members, convenes the hearing and arranges for the grievance to be heard.
        5. The employee grievance panel may include non-exempt staff employees, exempt staff employees, or a combination of both exempt and non-exempt employees.
        6. The panel members representing the unit where the employee works may not serve on the grievance panel.
        7. Every effort should be made to include minorities, i.e. ethnic minorities and women, in the composition of the committee.
        8. The grievance panel shall hear the grievance within fifteen (15) workdays, if practicable, after the date on which the employee submits his/her written request to Human Resources.
        9. The written recommendation of the institutional panel or commission is subject to review by the President, Director, or in the case of grievances at the TBR System Office, the Chancellor.
      4. Step 4–Review by the President/Director/Chancellor, as appropriate:
        1. The written recommendation of the grievance panel will be forwarded to the President, Director, or Chancellor, as appropriate.
        2. Within fifteen (15) work days, if practicable, the President, Director, or Chancellor, as appropriate, or a designee will notify the grievant of the final decision.
    4. Grievances which are processed through the grievance committee and upon which the President/Director has made a decision are appealable to the Chancellor only where the grievance falls within the parameters set out in TBR Policy 1:02:11:00.
  4. Non-Retaliation
    1. No employee shall retaliate or discriminate against another employee because of the latter employee’s filing of a grievance or complaint.
    2. In addition, no employee shall coerce another employee or interfere with the action of another employee in the latter employee’s attempt to file a grievance or complaint.
    3. Administrative, academic and supervisory personnel should also be informed that they are responsible for ensuring that the employee is free from retaliation, coercion and/or discrimination arising from the employee’s filing of or intent to file a grievance or complaint.
  5. Responsibility for Implementation
    1. The President/Director/Chancellor, as appropriate or his /her designee of the institution has ultimate responsibility for implementation of the grievance and complaint procedures.
    2. Administrative, academic, and supervisory personnel are responsible for insuring that they inform and make available to all employees information concerning their right to file a grievance or complaint and their right to be protected from retaliation.
  6. Maintenance of Records
    1. Copies of written grievances and complaints, and accompanying responses and documentation should be maintained at a specified location(s) at the institution for at least two years after the date of the employment decision.
    2. If a finding adverse to the grievant/complainant is made, the finding shall be maintained in the grievant/complainant’s personnel file. 
Sources: 

Presidents Meeting: August 18, 1987; May 16, 1989; August 21, 2001; February 13, 2002; February 13, 2008, May 21, 2013.

Contact: 
Policy Number: 
P-100
Policy/Guideline Area: 
Personnel Guidelines
Applicable Divisions: 
TCATs, Community Colleges, Universities
Purpose: 

This guideline supplements Tennessee Board of Regents Policy No. 5:01:07:00 regarding the commissioning of law enforcement and security personnel by presidents and directors of the Tennessee Board of Regents universities, community colleges, and colleges of applied technology.

Policy/Guideline: 
  1. Minimum Qualifications for Employment
    1. Any person employed as a campus police officer, public safety officer, or campus security officer, as those terms are defined in Tennessee Board of Regents Policy No. 5:01:07:00 shall meet the following minimum qualifications:
      1. At least eighteen years of age;
      2. A citizen of the United States;
      3. A high school graduate or possess equivalency;
      4. Not have been convicted of or pleaded guilty to or entered a plea of nolo contendere to any felony charge or to any violation of any federal or state laws or city ordinances relating to force, violence, theft, dishonesty, gambling, liquor or controlled substances, and not have been released or discharged under any other than honorable discharge from any of the armed forces of the United States;
      5. Have his/her fingerprints on file with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation;
      6. Have passed a physical examination by a licensed physician;
      7. Have a good moral character as determined by a thorough investigation conducted by the employing institution; and
      8. Be free of all apparent mental disorders as described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV-TR) of the American Psychiatric Association. Applicants must be certified as meeting these criteria by a qualified professional in the psychiatric or psychological fields.
    2. In addition to the mandatory minimum qualifications outlined in sections (1) – (8) above, any person employed as a campus police officer or public safety officer must meet all the other minimum certification requirements of the Tennessee Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission (the Commission).
  2. Commissioning of Law Enforcement Officers
    1. Each individual hired as a campus police officer or public safety officer must receive certification from the Commission within the time limits required by T.C.A. § 38-8-101 et seq. pertaining to the Employment and Training of Police Officers and the rules and/or regulations promulgated pursuant to that statute in order to be commissioned by the institution.
    2. Any individual hired as a campus police officer or public safety officer shall remain on probationary status for six (6) months or until certification is received by the Commission, whichever is longer.
    3. Each campus police officer or public safety officer is required to fulfill in-service training requirements in accordance with the Official Rules and Regulations of the Tennessee Peace Officer's Standards and Training Commission, Chapter 1110-4-.01, et seq.
    4. Any campus police officer or public safety officer whose certification is denied, suspended or revoked by the Commission may be reassigned to duties for which certification is not required, such as the duties of a non-commissioned campus security officer pending that officer's appeal to the Commission of the denial, suspension or revocation.
      1. The decision of the Commission in those matters, or subsequent appellate decisions as provided in the Official Rules and Regulations of the Tennessee Peace Officer's Standards and Training Commission, Chapter 1110-2-.04 if pursued, shall be determinative of the individual's qualification to be commissioned by the institution.
  3. Compliance with Rules and Regulations
    1. Each institution or school and campus police officer or public safety officer must comply with the requirements of the Commission pertaining to all phases of the hiring and certification of law enforcement officers as found in the rules and regulations promulgated for the Tennessee Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission published in the Official Rules and Regulations of the Commission, Chapter 1110 of the Tennessee Secretary of State’s Administrative Compilation.
    2. Failure to maintain certification shall be grounds for immediate termination as a commissioned campus police officer or public safety officer.
Sources: 

TBR Presidents Meeting, August 18, 1987; November 9, 2004.

Contact: 
Policy Number: 
P-090
Policy/Guideline Area: 
Personnel Guidelines
Applicable Divisions: 
TCATs, Community Colleges, Universities, System Office
Purpose: 

The following guidelines are designed to facilitate the consistent application of the provisions of Board policy No. 5:01:00:06 on Nepotism. These guidelines supplement Board policy and are intended to serve as a reference document for all institutions.

Definitions: 
  • Relative is defined as "a parent, foster parent, parent-in-law, child, spouse, brother, foster brother, sister, foster sister, grandparent, grandchild, son-in-law, brother-in-law, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, or other family member who resides in the same household". (T.C.A. § 8-31-102)
Policy/Guideline: 
  1. General Statement
    1. State nepotism law is designed to prevent occurrences whereby relatives who are employees of the State are in a direct supervisory line with respect to each other. In order to guard against these practices the State prohibits governmental employees who are relatives from being placed within the same line of supervision where one relative is responsible for supervising the job performance or work activity of another relative.
    2. The provisions of this guideline are not to be construed to limit the hiring, promotion, or employment opportunities of any particular group of applicants.
  2. Application
    1. Tennessee Board of Regents policy on nepotism shall be applied as follows:
      1. The nepotism policy applies to any person who is employed as a full, part-time, student or temporary employee by a Tennessee Board of Regents institution.
      2. The nepotism policy does not apply to individuals hired prior to July 1, 1980, and shall not be retroactively applied; however, change in the status of employees hired prior to 1980 shall be governed by this policy.
      3. The employment of relatives is permitted; however, no employee shall participate in the process of review, recommendation and/or decision making in any matter concerning hiring, opportunity, promotion, salary, retention, or termination of a relative as herein defined.
        1. Pursuant to this provision, a relative may serve an administrative function within the same institution, college or unit so long as the duties do not require or include participation in the process of review, recommendation and/or decision making in any matter concerning hiring, opportunity, activities, promotion, salary, retention or termination of a relative as defined by T.C.A. § 8-31-102.
        2. An administrator shall not make employment decisions and/or recommendations which impact a relative individually; however, the policy does not prohibit an administrator who does not otherwise violate the nepotism policy, from making recommendations that pertain to all faculty and/or staff members at an institution while he/she has a relative who is a faculty or staff member.
      4. The nepotism policy shall not be used or considered in the granting of tenure.
  3. Hiring
    1. In searching for qualified candidates for a new or vacated position persons responsible for recruitment shall evaluate each individual on his/her merits without consideration of their relationship to another employee.
    2. Prior to hiring any individual, the department wishing to hire the individual must conduct an analysis to assure compliance with state law.
  4. Remedies
    1. The institution may remedy any violation of this policy by voluntary transfer, or if an agreement cannot be reached, by involuntary transfer, from a unit or position, or by termination when appropriate.
Sources: 

TBR Policy No. 5:01:00:06. Guidelines issued May 21, 1987 TBR Presidents Meeting; May 19, 2009 Presidents Meeting.

Contact: 
Policy Number: 
P-080
Policy/Guideline Area: 
Personnel Guidelines
Applicable Divisions: 
TCATs, Community Colleges, Universities, System Office
Purpose: 

The purpose of this Guideline is to supplement Board Policies 6:02:00:00 and 5:01:02:00 relative to the orderly resolution of complaints of discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, ethnic or national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, age (as applicable), status as a covered veteran, genetic information, and any other category protected by federal or state civil rights law related to the institutions, and office of the Tennessee Board of Regents.

Policy/Guideline: 
  1. Introduction
    1. Fair and prompt consideration shall be given to all complaints in accordance with the procedures set forth.
      1. These procedures may be utilized by any employee, applicant for employment or student who believes he or she has been subjected to discrimination or harassment.
      2. Former employees or students may file complaints concerning conduct which took place during the time of employment or enrollment provided the complaint is timely filed pursuant to Section V.B of this Guideline, and the conduct has a reasonable connection to the institution.
    2. All employees, including faculty members, are to be knowledgeable of policies and guidelines concerning discrimination and harassment.
      1. Using the procedures outlined in Section V below, supervisory employees must promptly report, to the appropriate institutional contact, any complaint or conduct which might constitute harassment, whether the information concerning a complaint is received formally or informally.
      2. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.
    3. All faculty members, students and staff are subject to this Guideline.
      1. Any faculty member, student or staff found to have violated this Guideline by engaging in behavior constituting discrimination or harassment will be subject to disciplinary action which may include dismissal, expulsion or termination, or other appropriate sanction.
    4. All faculty and staff members are required to cooperate with investigations of alleged discrimination or harassment.
      1. Failure to cooperate may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.
      2. Students are also required to cooperate with these investigations; failure to do so may result in disciplinary action up to and including expulsion.
    5. Because the courts have imposed strict obligations on employers with regard to discrimination and harassment, institutions must take measures to periodically educate and train employees regarding conduct that could violate this Guideline.
      1. All employees, including faculty members, are expected to participate in such education and training.
      2. All faculty members, students and staff are responsible for taking reasonable and necessary action to prevent and discourage all types of discrimination and harassment.
  2. General Statement
    1. It is the intent of the Tennessee Board of Regents that the Board and all of the institutions within the Tennessee Board of Regents System shall fully comply with the applicable provisions of federal and state civil rights laws, including but not limited to;
      1. Executive Order 11246, as amended;
      2. The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended;
      3. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended;
      4. The Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Act of 1974, as amended;
      5. The Equal Pay Act of 1963, as amended;
      6. Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended;
      7. Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, as amended;
      8. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967;
      9. The Age Discrimination Act of 1975;
      10. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act;
      11. The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008; and
      12. Regulations promulgated pursuant thereto.
    2. The Board of Regents will promote equal opportunity for all persons without regard to race, color, religion, creed, ethnic or national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, age (as applicable), status as a covered veteran, genetic information, and any other category protected by federal or state civil rights law.
    3. Campuses and the Central Office affirm that they will not tolerate discrimination against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, creed, ethnic or national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, age (as applicable), status as a covered veteran, or genetic information, nor will they tolerate harassment on the basis of these protected categories or any other category protected by federal or state civil rights law.
    4. Similarly, the campuses shall not subject any student to discrimination or harassment under any educational program and no student shall be discriminatorily excluded from participation nor denied the benefits of any educational program on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, ethnic or national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, age (as applicable), status as a covered veteran, genetic information, or any other category protected by federal or state civil rights law.
  3. Discrimination and Harassment
    1. Discrimination - Discrimination may occur by:
      1. Treating individuals less favorably because of their race, color, religion, creed, ethnic or national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, age (as applicable), status as a covered veteran, genetic information, or any other category protected by federal or state civil rights law; or,
      2. Having a policy or practice that has a disproportionately adverse impact on protected class members.
    2. Harassment – based on a protected class
      1. Harassment is conduct that is based on a person’s race, color, religion, creed, ethic or national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, age (as applicable), status as a covered veteran, genetic information, or any other category protected by federal or state civil rights law that;
        1. Adversely affects a term or condition of an individual’s employment, education, participation in an institution’s activities or living environment;
        2. Has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s employment or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, offensive or abusive environment of the individual; or
        3. Is used as a basis for or a factor in decisions that tangibly affect that individual’s employment, education, participation in an institution’s activities or living environment.
      2. Examples of such conduct include, but are not limited to verbal or physical conduct relating to an employee’s national origin, race, surname, skin color or accent, offensive or derogatory jokes based on a protected category, racial or ethnic slurs, pressure for dates or sexual favors, unwelcome comments about a person’s religion or religious garments, offensive graffiti, cartoons or pictures, or offensive remarks about a person’s age.
      3. Not every act that might be offensive to an individual or a group will be considered harassment. Whether the alleged conduct constitutes harassment depends upon the record as a whole and the totality of the circumstances, such as the nature of the conduct in the context within which the alleged incident occurs. Harassment does not include verbal expressions or written material that is relevant and appropriately related to course subject matter or curriculum.
    3. Examples of sexual harassment - Examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to, the following;
      1. Refusing to hire, promote, or grant or deny certain privileges because of acceptance or rejection of sexual advances;
      2. Promising a work-related benefit or a grade in return for sexual favors;
      3. Suggestive or inappropriate communications, email, notes, letters, or other written materials displaying objects or pictures which are sexual in nature that would create hostile or offensive work or living environments;
      4. Sexual innuendoes, comments, and remarks about a person’s clothing, body or activities;
      5. Suggestive or insulting sounds;
      6. Whistling in a suggestive manner;
      7. Humor and jokes about sex that denigrate men or women;
      8. Sexual propositions, invitations, or pressure for sexual activity;
      9. Use in the classroom of sexual jokes, stories, remarks or images in no way or only marginally relevant to the subject matter of the class;
      10. Implied or overt sexual threats;
      11. Suggestive or obscene gestures;
      12. Patting, pinching, and other inappropriate touching;
      13. Unnecessary touching or brushing against the body;
      14. Attempted or actual kissing or fondling;
      15. Sexual violence; including rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion;
      16. Suggestive or inappropriate acts, such as comments, innuendoes, or physical contact based on one’s actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity/expression.
        1. The examples listed above are not exclusive, but simply represent types of conduct that may constitute sexual harassment. Campus policies may delineate additional examples.
    4. Please note that incidents of sexual violence may constitute criminal acts and as such, investigation and processing by the criminal justice system, local police, campus security and crisis intervention centers may occur in addition to the process developed under this Guideline.
      1. Complainant must be notified of his/her right to file a criminal complaint.
  4. Consensual Relationships
    1. Intimate relationships between supervisors and their subordinates and between faculty members and students are strongly discouraged due to the inherent inequality of power in such situations.
      1. These relationships could lead to undue favoritism or the perception of undue favoritism, abuse of power, compromised judgment or impaired objectivity.
      2. Engaging in a consensual relationship with a student over whom the faculty member has either grading, supervisory, or other evaluative authority (i.e., member of dissertation committee, thesis director, etc.) constitutes a conflict of interest.
      3. The faculty member must take steps to remove the conflict by assigning a different supervisor to the student; resigning from the student’s academic committees; or by terminating the relationship at least while the student is in his/her class.
      4. Likewise, it is a conflict of interest for a supervisor to engage in a consensual relationship with a subordinate over whom he or she has evaluative or supervisory authority.
        1. The supervisor must take action to resolve the conflict of interest by, for example, assigning another individual to supervise and/or evaluate the subordinate.
  5. Procedures
    1. General
      1. The following procedures are intended to protect the rights of the aggrieved party (hereinafter, "the Complainant") as well as the party against whom a complaint of discrimination or harassment is lodged (hereinafter "the Respondent"), as required by state and federal laws. Each complaint must be properly and promptly investigated and, when warranted, appropriate disciplinary action taken against the Respondent.
      2. The Office of General Counsel shall always be consulted prior to investigation. If institutions have on-campus legal counsel, that office must be consulted. Hereinafter, references to "Legal Counsel" shall mean either the Office of General Counsel or on-campus legal counsel, as appropriate.
      3. In situations that require immediate action because of safety or other concerns, the institution may take any administrative action which is appropriate, e.g., administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of the investigation.
        1. Students may be placed on interim suspension under the appropriate circumstances pending the outcome of the investigation.
        2. Legal Counsel should be contacted before any immediate action is taken.
      4. Each employee, applicant for employment and student shall be notified of the name, office, and telephone number of the designated EEO/AA, Student Affairs, Title VI or Title IX officer(s) responsible for assuring compliance with this Guideline, Board policy, and federal law.
    2. Filing Complaints
      1. Any current or former student, applicant for employment, or current or former employee who believes he or she has been subjected to discrimination or harassment at an institution or who believes that he/she has observed discrimination or harassment taking place shall present the complaint to the designated EEO/AA, Student Affairs, Title VI or Title IX officer (hereinafter "the Investigator") responsible for compliance with this Guideline.
      2. Complaints under Title VI must be brought within 180 days of the last incident of discrimination or harassment pursuant to Guideline G-125. All other complaints must be brought within 365 days of the last incident of discrimination or harassment.
        1. Complaints brought after that time period will not be pursued absent extraordinary circumstances.
        2. The determination of whether the complaint was timely or whether extraordinary circumstances exist to extend the complaint period must be made in conjunction with Legal Counsel.
      3. Every attempt will be made to get the Complainant to provide the complaint in writing. The complaint shall include the circumstances giving rise to the complaint, the dates of the alleged occurrences, and names of witnesses, if any. 
        1. The complaint shall be signed by the Complainant.
        2. However, when the Complainant chooses not to provide or sign a written complaint, the matter will still be investigated and appropriate action taken.
        3. Complaints made anonymously or by a third party must also be investigated to the extent possible.
      4. If the complaint does not rise to the level of discrimination or harassment, the Investigator may dismiss the complaint without further investigation after consultation with Legal Counsel.
        1. The Complainant should be informed of other available processes such as the employee grievance/complaint process, or a student non-academic complaint process.
    3. Investigation
      1. Legal Counsel shall be notified of the complaint, whether written or verbal, as soon as possible after it is brought to the attention of the Investigator and the investigation will be under the direction of Legal Counsel.
        1. All investigatory notes and documents shall be attorney work product.
        2. The Investigator shall notify the President/Director that an investigation is being initiated.
      2. When the allegation of discrimination or harassment is against the EEO/AA Officer, Student Affairs Officer, Title VI or Title IX Officer, the President/Director will identify an individual who has been trained in investigating such complaints to investigate the complaint and carry out the responsibilities assigned pursuant to this Guideline.
        1. When the allegation of harassment is against the President/Director of the institution, the EEO/AA Officer shall notify the Office of the General Counsel who will assign an investigator who will make his/her report to the Chancellor.
      3. When the Respondent is a student, the Student Affairs Office will investigate the complaint in compliance with the procedures outlined in this Guideline.
        1. If a finding of violation is made, any resulting disciplinary action will be undertaken in compliance with the institutions’ student disciplinary procedures.
      4. When a student is involved as the Complainant, the Respondent or an individual interviewed, all documentation referring to that student shall be subject to the provisions and protections of the Family Educational Records and Privacy Act (FERPA) and T.C.A. § 10-7-504(a) (4) which requires that certain student disciplinary records are subject to disclosure pursuant to a public records request.
      5. Investigation of complaints against employees of a Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) shall be initiated by the Vice Chancellor for Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology or his/her designee.
        1. In certain circumstances, the lead institution for the TCAT may be asked to conduct the investigation.
        2. Investigations of complaints made against TCAT students will be undertaken by TCAT Student Services personnel.
        3. The TCAT Directors are responsible for notifying the Vice Chancellor whenever a verbal or written complaint is made.
      6. In consultation with and under the direction of Legal Counsel, the Investigator shall conduct an investigation of the complaint.
        1. This investigation shall include interviews with both the Complainant and the Respondent, unless either declines an in-person interview.
        2. The investigation shall also include interviews with relevant witnesses named by the Complainant and Respondent.
        3. The purpose of the investigation is to establish whether there has been a violation of the Guideline.
        4. It is the responsibility of the Investigator to weigh the credibility of all individuals interviewed and to determine the weight to be given information received during the course of the investigation.
      7. To the extent possible, the investigation will be conducted in such a manner to protect the confidentiality of both parties.
        1. However, the Complainant, Respondent and all individuals interviewed shall be informed that the institution has an obligation to address harassment and that, in order to conduct an effective investigation, complete confidentiality cannot be guaranteed.
        2. Information may need to be revealed to the Respondent and to potential witnesses.
        3. However, information about the complaint should be shared only with those who have a need to know about it.
        4. The Complainant and Respondent shall also be informed that a request to inspect documents made pursuant to the Public Records Act may result in certain documents being released.
        5. A Complainant may be informed that if he or she wants to speak privately and in confidence about discrimination or harassment, he or she may wish to consult with a social worker, counselor, therapist or member of the clergy who is permitted, by law, to assure greater confidentiality.
        6. Additionally, the Complainant shall be given assurances that measures will be taken against the Respondent should there be retaliation against him or her.
        7. Retaliation is prohibited and should be reported to the investigator immediately.
        8. Allegations of retaliation must also be investigated pursuant to the procedure set out in this Guideline.
      8. The Investigator shall notify in writing the Respondent within five (5) working days of receipt of the complaint.
        1. The Respondent may respond in writing to the complaint within five (5) working days following the date of receipt of the Investigator’s notification.
      9. If either the Complainant or the Respondent is a student, the Investigator should communicate the prohibition against disclosure of personally identifiable information with regard to the student, based on FERPA.
      10. The Complainant, the Respondent and all individuals interviewed shall be notified that any retaliation engaged in connection with the complaint or its investigation is strictly prohibited regardless of the outcome of the P-080 investigation and may, in itself, be grounds for disciplinary action.
      11. At any time during the course of the investigation, the Investigator may meet with both the Complainant and the Respondent individually for the purpose of resolving the complaint informally.
        1. Either party has the right to end informal processes at any time.
        2. Mediation will not be used in cases involving sexual assault.
        3. If informal resolution is successful in resolving the complaint, a report of such, having first been reviewed and approved by Legal Counsel, shall be submitted to the President/Director.
      12. If informal resolution is unsuccessful, the Investigator shall draft a report summarizing the investigation which shall be sent to Legal Counsel for review.
        1. Each report shall outline the basis of the complaint, including the dates of the alleged occurrences, the response of the Respondent, the findings of the Investigator, whether there were any attempts made to resolve the complaint informally, a determination of whether there was a violation of the Guideline, and recommendations regarding disposition of the complaint.
        2. After review and approval by Legal Counsel, the report shall be submitted to the President/Director within sixty (60) calendar days following receipt of the complaint, absent cause for extending the investigation timeline.
        3. If the complaint involves a college of applied technology, a copy of the final report should also be sent to the Vice Chancellor for Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology.
        4. No working papers, statements, etc. generated in the investigation should be attached to the report.
        5. In situations where more time is needed to complete the investigation, for reasons such as difficulty in locating a necessary witness, or complexity of the complaint, additional time may be taken, but only following notice to Legal Counsel and written notice to both the Complainant and the Respondent.
      13. If, after investigation, there is insufficient evidence to corroborate the complaint or, in any situation in which the Complainant refuses to cooperate in the investigation, it may be appropriate to discuss the complaint with the Respondent, informing him or her that he or she is not being accused of a P-080 violation, but that the conduct alleged, had it been substantiated, could be found to violate this Guideline.
        1. Any investigation and subsequent discussion should be documented and a report submitted as set forth in this procedure.
        2. It should also be noted that conduct which does not rise to the level of legally actionable discrimination or harassment may, nevertheless, provide a basis for disciplinary action against the Respondent.
      14. The President/Director shall review the Investigator’s report, and shall make a final written determination, within a reasonable time as to whether a violation has occurred and, what the appropriate resolution should be.
        1. After the President/Director has made this determination, the Investigator shall, absent unusual circumstances and after consultation with Legal Counsel, provide both the Complainant and the Respondent with a copy of the determination, along with a copy of the Investigator’s report.
      15. If the investigation reveals evidence that a violation of the Guideline has occurred, the President/Director must take immediate and appropriate corrective action.
        1. Such action may include meeting with the Respondent and/or the Complainant and attempting to resolve the problem by agreement, except in the case of sexual assault.
        2. Appropriate steps must be taken to ensure that the discrimination or harassment will not reoccur.
      16. After completion of the investigation and any subsequent disciplinary proceedings, all documentation shall be forwarded to Legal Counsel.
        1. However, copies of the President’s/ Director’s determination, the Investigator’s report, the complaint (if it concerns an employee) and documentation of any disciplinary action taken against the Respondent should be placed in a file maintained on campus.
        2. This file shall be maintained in a location designated by the President.
        3. If such action was taken, copies of documentation establishing disciplinary action taken against the Respondent, whether an employee or student, shall also be maintained in the Respondent’s personnel or student record, as appropriate.
          1. Some documents involved in a P-080 matter may be subject to the Public Records Act and thus open to public inspection.
          2. Other documents may be protected under FERPA, the attorney/client privilege, or attorney work product and would not be releasable.
          3. If a Public Records request is received, Legal Counsel must be consulted prior to the release of any documents.
      17. A complaint found to have been intentionally dishonest or maliciously made will subject the Complainant to appropriate disciplinary action.
    4. Appeal of Decision
      1. Because TBR institutions are committed to a high quality resolution of every case, each institution must afford the Complainant and Respondent an opportunity to appeal the President’s/Director’s decision concerning Respondent’s responsibility for the alleged conduct.
        1. The appeal process shall consist of an opportunity for the parties to provide information to the institution’s attention that would change the decision.
        2. The appeal process will not be a de novo review of the decision, and the parties will not be allowed to present their appeals in person to the President/Director unless the President/Director determines, in his/her sole discretion, to allow an in-person appeal.
      2. The institution shall provide written notice of the appeal process to the parties at the time that the parties are advised of the outcome of the investigation.
      3. Either party may send a written appeal to the President/Director within ten (10) working days, absent good cause, of receipt of the President’s/Director’s determination.
        1. The appealing party(ies) must explain why he or she believes the factual information was incomplete, the analysis of the facts was incorrect, and/or the appropriate legal standard was not applied, and how this would change the determination in the case.
        2. Failure to do so may result in a denial of the appeal.
      4. The President/Director will issue a written response to the appeal as promptly as possible. This decision will constitute the institution’s final decision with respect to President’s/Director’s determination.
  6. Other Applicable Procedures
    1. If the President’s/Director’s decision includes disciplinary action, the procedures for implementing the decision shall be determined by the applicable policies relating to discipline (e.g., employee grievance/complaint procedure, student disciplinary policies, and academic affairs policies).
  7. Other Available Complaint Procedures
    1. An aggrieved individual may also have the ability to file complaints with external agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Tennessee Human Rights Commission (THRC), the Office of Civil rights (OCR), and the courts.
      1. Please note that the deadlines for filing with external agencies or courts may be shorter than the deadline established for filing a complaint under this Guideline.
      2. Examples of shorter deadlines include, but are not limited to 180 days to file a complaint under Title VI & Title IX, as well as 300 days to file a complaint under Title VII.
  8. Exception to Guideline for Universities
    1. In lieu of following this Guideline, a university may adopt its own procedures for consideration of complaints of discrimination or harassment, subject to the approval of the Chancellor.
    2. A university seeking to adopt alternative procedures must first submit the proposed procedures to the TBR General Counsel, who will evaluate the proposed procedures to determine whether they are substantially equivalent to this Guideline.
    3. If the General Counsel determines that the proposed procedures are substantially equivalent to this Guideline, she/he will recommend their approval to the Chancellor.
Sources: 

Presidents Meeting: November 14, 1984 and November 16, 1984 AVTS Sub-Council meeting; August 16, 1988; February 14, 1989; November 10, 1992; August 13, 1996; February 13, 2001; August 16, 2005; November 8, 2005; February 13, 2008; February 14, 2012: Changes in Title VI procedures became effective October 1, 2013 (Ratified at President's Meeting, Nov. 5, 2013); Revision approved at November 11, 2014 President's Meeting.

Contact: 
Policy Number: 
P-065
Policy/Guideline Area: 
Personnel Guidelines
Applicable Divisions: 
TCATs, Community Colleges, Universities
Purpose: 

The purpose of this guideline is to establish a program to expedite recovery of employees with work-related injuries by returning them to productive employment status as soon as possible while minimizing the risk of re-injury.

Definitions: 
  • Authorized Treating Physician – the doctor approved to treat the compensable injury. This physician is selected from the state’s workers’ compensation preferred provider network.
  • Full Duty – the employee’s pre-injury duties and tasks.
  • Modified/Transitional Duty Assignment – a restricted or light duty short-term position, for a defined period, that recognizes an employee’s temporary limitations during recovery and rehabilitation as set forth by the Authorized Treating Physician.
  • Occupational Injury – an accident arising out of and in the course of employment.
  • Occupational Illness – a disease arising out of and in the course of employment, but not an ordinary disease of life to which the general public is exposed outside of the employment.
Policy/Guideline: 
  1. Intent
    1. The intent of the program is to be supportive of temporary assignments for employees placed on light or sedentary light duty restrictions by their Authorized Treating Physician during recovery. This guideline does not address the procedure for assessing requirements for reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or eligibility for leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or Tennessee Family Leave Act (TFLA).
  2. Applicability
    1. The guideline shall apply to employees who are on leave as a result of work related injuries or illnesses and who are receiving workers’ compensation benefits and who are restricted in the performance of their duties due to compensable work-related injuries.
    2. The Tennessee Board of Regents does not guarantee placement and is under no obligation to offer, create, or encumber any specific position for purposes of offering placement.
      1. In the event an employee refuses a Modified/Transitional Duty Assignment outside the employee’s FMLA leave eligibility period, which is within the employee’s medical restrictions, the institution is not obligated to provide alternatives.
      2. Failure to accept a Modified/Transitional Duty Assignment that has been approved by the Authorized Treating Physician may result in reduction of the workers’ compensation wage replacement benefits and/or disciplinary action.
      3. A Modified/Transitional Duty Assignment must meet the institution’s staffing needs.
  3. Program Objectives
    1. For any return-to-work program to be successful, the cooperation of the employee, the employee’s department (or another department), Human Resources and the employee’s Authorized Treating Physician is necessary.
    2. Objectives include, but are not limited to:
      1. Assist the employee to return to work as soon as possible;
      2. Maintain pre-injury income;
      3. Minimize work delays/interruptions;
      4. Maintain communication with employee;
      5. Minimize isolation and assist the injured employee in maintaining a positive connection to the workplace;
      6. Maintain pre-injury routine;
      7. Confirm commitment to the employee;
      8. Reduce workers’ compensation claim costs.
  4. Modified/Transitional Work Requirements
    1. For work to be considered suitable modified employment, the following conditions must be met:
      1. The employee must meet the required qualifications for the Modified/Transition Duty Assignment which the employee will be required to perform;
      2. The work must conform to the medical restrictions set by the Authorized Treating Physician;
      3. The Modified/Transitional Duty Assignment and/or modified work schedule cannot exceed 90 calendar days unless approved by written recommendation.
    2. The Modified/Transitional Duty Assignment ends when any of the following occur:
      1. The Authorized Treating Physician releases the employee to return to full duty.
      2. Circumstances require that the Modified/Transitional Duty Assignment be discontinued.
      3. 90 calendar days have elapsed.
  5. Procedures
    1. An employee must immediately notify his or her supervisor of any work-related injury.
    2. The supervisor will complete, sign, and submit the First Report of Injury form along with any additional applicable forms to Human Resources.
    3. Human Resources will submit the claim to the Claims Management Service with any available medical documentation.
    4. Human Resources will consult with the injured employee, supervisor, department administrator, division administrator (if applicable) and the Authorized Treating Physician to determine if a proposed Modified/Transitional Duty Assignment is suitable.
    5. If a suitable Modified/Transitional Duty Assignment is identified, Human Resources will contact the employee to discuss the assignment, length of assignment, restrictions and expectations regarding the assignment, medical evaluations, and other pertinent information.
    6. Human Resources will communicate with the employee on a regular basis for updates and to support the employee through the transitional process.
    7. All medical appointments and injury/work status reports for the injured employee will be tracked, to the extent possible, by Human Resources and communicated by Human Resources, to the employee’s supervisor regarding any updates or changes.
    8. Human Resources will review the Modified/Transitional Duty Assignment every 30 calendar days to determine if the employee is still in transition based on the Authorized Treating Physician’s recommendation.
    9. If a supervisor encounters issues during the Modified/Transitional Duty Assignment, the supervisor shall report such issues to Human Resources. Human Resources will determine necessary changes or if continuation of the assignment is appropriate.
    10. Upon completion of the Modified/Transitional Duty Assignment, Human Resources will coordinate the return to normal full duty assignment in the employing department and the return to work file will be closed.
  6. Guidelines for Developing a Return-to-Work Assignment
    1. When determining if a proposed Modified/Transitional Duty Assignment is suitable, Human Resources will consult with the injured employee, the department, and the Authorized Treating Physician. Other individuals may participate in the discussion as needed (e.g. safety coordinator).
    2. The employer will consider physical requirements, job descriptions, job analysis questionnaires, and medical opinions of the Authorized Treating Physician to determine if transitional duties are available.
      1. Every effort will be made to place the employee in his/her employing work unit; however, if this is not possible, Human Resources may recommend an alternative work assignment as long as the conditions for return to work outlined above have been met.
Sources: 

TBR Presidents Meeting August 21, 2012.

Contact: 
Policy Number: 
P-062
Topics Outline: 
Policy/Guideline Area: 
Personnel Guidelines
Applicable Divisions: 
TCATs, Community Colleges, Universities
Purpose: 

The purpose of this guideline is to establish the procedure and processes for faculty sick leave at institutions governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.

Policy/Guideline: 
  1. Faculty Sick Leave
    1. Sick leave is intended to meet the legitimate health needs of employees who were absent from the work place due to illness.
      1. Faculty, even though their work assignments often require variable schedules both day and evening as well as assignments which include a wide variety of activities -- classes, office hours, committee assignments, research in laboratories and libraries, etc. -- are, nevertheless, subject to sick leave policy in a very specific and direct way.
    2. The charging of sick leave for time away from work by a faculty member due to legitimate health reasons is not a penalty; sick leave was instituted by the Tennessee Board of Regents to cover just such absences.
      1. It is the responsibility of each faculty member to report his or her sick leave to the appropriate authority.
      2. As a general guideline, all faculty have responsibilities Monday through Friday for a minimum of 37.5 hours of any week in which the institution is in session.
      3. Any day-long absence during the regular work week due to illness should be charged to the faculty member as sick leave at the rate of 7.5 hours per day.
    3. Arrangements to cover a class either by the faculty member or the institution do not mitigate the fact that the faculty member was away from his or her work assignment and sick leave should be charged accordingly.
    4. If a faculty member is absent from his or her work assignment for part of a day, he or she should discuss the appropriate sick leave time to be charged with his or her department chair, dean, or immediate supervisor.
Sources: 

November 1, 1988 presidents meeting.

Contact: 

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