E.2.1 Employment Philosophy.
The university’s philosophy is based on the conviction that the well-being of the university and the wellbeing of its employees are synonymous. The university is dedicated to the belief that its most valuable asset is its people. UAFS employs people in a nondiscriminatory manner, treating everyone with respect and dignity, and applies policies and procedures in a fair, consistent, and equitable manner. The university is committed to work with, encourage, and aid employees in realizing their full potential.
The university will not tolerate employees who violate the law. If an employee believes that anyone in or associated with the university has required or directed them to do anything that violates the law or has prohibited the employee from doing anything the law requires them to do, the employee should immediately report this to Human Resources or the appropriate vice chancellor.
E.2.1 Updated January 2021
E.2.2 Eligibility for Employment.
(Immigration Reform and Control Act, Public Law 99-603; Arkansas State Personnel Policy)
Employers are required by federal law to verify that every person hired after Nov. 6, 1986, is authorized to work in the United States using the Employment Eligibility Verification Form (Form I-9). New employees or prospective employees are required to present documents that identify the employee as well as their eligibility to work in this country.
The federal government may, from time to time, change the list of acceptable I-9 documents. The following documents are currently acceptable to attest to both identity and employment eligibility: U.S. passport or U.S. passport card; Permanent Resident Card or Alien Registration Receipt Card (Form I-551); foreign passport that contains a temporary I-551 stamp or temporary I-551 printed notation on a machine-readable immigration visa; employment authorization document that contains a photograph (Form I-766); in the case of a non-immigrant alien authorized to work for a specific employer incident to status, a foreign passport with Form I-94 or Form I-94A bearing the same name as the passport and containing an unexpired endorsement of the alien’s non-immigrant status or passport from the Federated State of Micronesia (FSM) or the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) with Form I-94 or Form I-94A.
Substitute documents that can be used to prove identity are: a state-issued driver’s license or ID card with a photograph or information including name, date of birth, gender, height, eye color, and address; ID card issued by federal, state, or local government agencies, provided it contains the same information; school ID card with a photograph; voter registration card; U.S. military card or draft record; military dependents ID card; U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner card; Native American tribal document; or driver’s license issued by the Canadian government authority.
Substitute documents that attest to employment eligibility are: original Social Security card, unless it specifies on the face that the issuance of the card does not authorize employment in the United States; certificate of birth abroad issued by the Department of State (form FS-545); certificate of Report of Birth issued by the Department of State (form DS- 1350); original or certified copy of birth certificate; Native American tribal document; U.S. Citizen ID card (form I-197); ID for Use of Resident Citizen in the U.S. (form I-179); or employment authorization document issued by the Department of Homeland Security.
Human Resources staff can help complete the I-9 and other forms, including the University Acknowledgement of Policies Form and the W-4 tax withholding form that should be completed and signed on or before the first day of employment. Forms are available online at My.UAFS. Non-resident aliens must complete their W-4 forms in Human Resources to ensure compliance with IRS regulations.
E.2.2 Reorganized January 2021
E.2.3 Age Requirements.
(U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act; Age Discrimination in Employment Act; Arkansas State Personnel Policy; ACA §11-6-110 et seq.)
The minimum age for employment at the university is 16 years. Employees who hold hazardous jobs must be 18 years of age or older. Public safety officers must be age 21 or older. There is no maximum age for employment and no mandatory retirement age.
E.2.3 Reorganized January 2021
E.2.4 Equal Employment.
(Various federal and state laws; Arkansas State Personnel Policy)
Equal employment opportunity is the law. The State of Arkansas does not discriminate in access to employment opportunities or in employment or practices on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or genetic information. As an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, the university is committed to provide equal employment opportunities (EEO) for all qualified applicants and employees with regard to recruitment, hiring, transfer, promotion, compensation, training, fringe benefits, and all other aspects of employment. EEO is to be implemented throughout the campus, in all programs and activities, and is the responsibility of all departments and all faculty and staff.
The university is committed to a policy of EEO and to a program of affirmative action. Any employee who believes they have been discriminated against or is aware of discrimination against another employee is encouraged to contact:
Director of Human Resources/EEO Officer
University of Arkansas - Fort Smith
P.O. Box 3649
5210 Grand Ave.
Fullerton Administration, Room 235
Fort Smith, AR 72913-3649
Telephone (479) 788-7086
Contact Human Resources for additional information or assistance. Also see E.2.8.24 Discrimination and Harassment Not Covered Under Title IX Policy.
E.2.4 Updated June 2023
E.2.5 Notice to Employees.
As required by law, notices of applicable state and federal laws, including information on equal employment opportunity, wage and hour, health and safety, and other issues, are posted on the Human Resources bulletin board located on the second floor of the Fullerton Administration Building adjacent to the elevator outside of the Human Resource Department. Notices can also be found on My.UAFS. It is the employee’s responsibility to be familiar with the information contained on the bulletin board.
E.2.5 Reorganized January 2021
E.2.6 Personnel Records.
(Arkansas Freedom of Information Act, ACA§25-19-101 et seq.; Arkansas State Personnel Policy)
Personnel files contain official documents related to employment. There is only one official personnel file for each employee. All files and documents maintained in an employee’s personnel file are confidential, unless disclosure is required by law. Those files are securely maintained in Human Resources with access limited to supervisory and administrative personnel who have an official business reason to view the files, including but not limited to prospective supervisors of employees who have applied for a promotion or transfer, persons involved in the investigation or settlement of a formal grievance or complaint filed by an employee, and attorneys and others who are investigating state workers compensation claims. Employees have the right to examine and copy the information contained in their own personnel file at any time during regular business hours by making an appointment with the director of Human Resources. Employees may view their records in the presence of a record custodian, but may not remove any document or entry from the file.
Personnel file requests may be made to:
Fullerton Administration Building, Room 239
Fort Smith, AR 72913
Under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act, any citizen of the state of Arkansas may inspect and copy personnel records except to the extent that disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. Before others are allowed to inspect or copy an employee’s records, the following types of information will be removed: Social Security and income tax information, medical and insurance status, unlisted telephone numbers and addresses not intended for publication, and scholastic or academic records (transcripts). Job performance records, including performance evaluations, are disclosed only if there has been a final administrative resolution of a suspension or termination proceeding at which the records formed the basis for the suspension or termination and there is a compelling public interest in the disclosure.
Within 24 hours of receiving a request for inspection of personnel records, the university will determine whether the records are subject to disclosure and make every effort to notify the employee of the request and determination. The employee, requestor, or custodian may seek an opinion from the attorney general about whether the records are subject to disclosure.
In the event that personnel records are relevant to a law enforcement or internal investigation, they will be made available to university attorneys and others involved in the investigation. Records may also be made available in response to a lawfully issued subpoena or court order.
E.2.6.1 Change of Information.
Any personal status change affecting record keeping, payroll, or benefits should be reported to Human Resources in a timely manner. This includes a change of name, home address or telephone number, marital status, dependent status, emergency information, and office address or telephone number. Changes should be initiated by the employee in Workday and will be routed for approval when necessary. Questions about changes in information should be directed to Human Resources by calling 479-788-7080 or emailing HRDept@uafs.edu.
E.2.6 Updated January 2022
E.2.7 Records Retention.
The university follows the State of Arkansas’s record retention schedule. More information and the complete schedule can be found here.
E.2.7 Added January 2021
E.2.8 Sexual Misconduct, Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation (Title IX).
E.2.8.1 Notice of Nondiscrimination Under Title IX.
The University of Arkansas - Fort Smith does not discriminate on the basis of sex in the education programs and activities that it operates and is prohibited from doing so by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq., and the U.S. Department of Education’s implementing regulations, 34 CFR Part 106. The university’s nondiscrimination policy extends to admission, employment, and other programs and activities. Inquiries regarding the application of Title IX and 34 C.F.R. Part 106 may be sent to the university’s Title IX coordinator, the U.S. Department of Education Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, or both.
E.2.8.2 Jurisdiction and Scope.
Sexual harassment as defined in this policy (including sexual assault) is a form of sex discrimination and is prohibited. Title IX requires the university to promptly and reasonably respond to sexual harassment in the university’s education programs and activities, provided that the harassment was perpetrated against a person in the United States. At the time that a formal complaint is filed, the complainant must be participating in (or attempting to participate in) an education program or activity of the university. An education program or activity includes locations, events, or circumstances over which the university exercised substantial control over both the respondent and the context in which the sexual harassment occurs, and also includes any building owned or controlled by a student organization that is officially recognized by a postsecondary institution.
This policy applies to allegations and complaints of sexual harassment as defined herein. All other complaints of discrimination or misconduct that do not fall within the jurisdiction of Title IX may be addressed through other campus procedures.
This policy shall not be construed or applied to restrict academic freedom at the university. Further, it shall not be construed to restrict any rights protected under the First Amendment, the Due Process Clause, or any other constitutional provisions. This policy also does not limit an employee’s rights under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
All complaints or reports about sex discrimination (including sexual harassment) should be submitted to the Title IX coordinator or a deputy coordinator:
Title IX Coordinator
Campus Center, Room 201-A
Title IX Deputy Coordinator for Students
Campus Center, Room 231-A
Title IX Deputy Coordinator for Employees, Visitors, and Associates
Fullerton Administration, Room 235
Title IX Deputy Coordinator for Athletics
Stubblefield Center, Room 147
Additionally, the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights may be contacted by phone at 800-421-3481 or by email at email@example.com.
Any person may report sex discrimination, including sexual harassment (whether or not the person is the person alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute sex discrimination or sexual harassment), in person, by mail, by telephone, or by electronic mail using the contact information listed above or by any other means that results in the Title IX coordinator receiving the person’s verbal or written report. Such a report may be made at any time (including during non-business hours) by using the telephone number or electronic mail address or by mail to the office address listed for the Title IX coordinator.
The university encourages reporting of incidents of prohibited conduct and seeks to remove any barriers to reporting. The university recognizes that an individual who has been drinking or using drugs at the time of an incident may be hesitant to make a report because of potential consequences for their own conduct. Individuals who report prohibited conduct or participate as witnesses will not be subject to disciplinary sanctions for personal consumption of alcohol and/or other substances.
The university may initiate an educational discussion with individuals about their alcohol and/or drug use or may direct these individuals to services such as counseling for alcohol and/or drug use. Amnesty will not be extended for any violations of university policy other than alcohol/drug use. The use of alcohol, drugs, and/or legally prescribed medication does not justify or excuse behavior that constitutes prohibited conduct under this policy.
E.2.8.5 Filing a Report with Local Law Enforcement.
In some instances, sexual harassment may constitute both a violation of this policy and criminal activity. The university grievance process is not a substitute for instituting legal action. The university encourages individuals to report alleged sexual misconduct promptly to campus officials AND to law enforcement authorities, where appropriate. Individuals may file a report directly with local law enforcement agencies by dialing 911. Individuals may also contact any of the following for assistance in filing a report with local law enforcement:
UAFS Police Department
51st Annex - Room 100
Fort Smith, AR 72913
Fort Smith Police Department
100 S. 10th St.
Fort Smith, AR 72901
E.22.214.171.124 Preserving Evidence.
It is important that evidence of sexual assault be preserved, because it may be needed for prosecuting a criminal case. Victims and others should not alter the scene of an attack. The victim should not change clothes, bathe or shower, drink or eat anything, or brush their teeth before reporting the assault. Any items worn by the victim during the assault, but are not currently being worn, and any materials encountered during the assault (i.e., bed sheets, blankets, etc.) should be placed in a paper bag and brought along with the victim to a local hospital emergency department that has kits to collect and preserve evidence of sexual assault.
E.2.8.6 Employees’ Duty to Report to Title IX Coordinator.
In order to enable the university to respond effectively and to proactively stop instances of sexual harassment, employees must, within 24 hours of receiving information regarding a potential violation of this policy, report information to the Title IX coordinator. Any employee who fails to promptly report a matter to the Title IX coordinator may be subjected to disciplinary action for failing to do so. There are two categories of employees who are exempt from this requirement: (1) licensed healthcare professionals and other employees who are statutorily prohibited from reporting such information and (2) persons designated by the campus as victim advocates.
E.2.8.7 Off-Campus Conduct.
Conduct that occurs off campus that is the subject of a formal complaint or report will be evaluated to determine whether the matter falls within the university’s jurisdiction under Title IX or should be referred to a different department or official within the university.
Except as compelled by law or as required to conduct a full and fair grievance proceeding in response to a formal complaint, the university will treat the information obtained or produced as part of the Title IX procedures as confidential. The university will keep confidential the identity of any individual who has made a report or complaint of sex discrimination, including any individual who has made a report or filed a formal complaint of sexual harassment, any complainant, any individual who has been reported to be the perpetuator of sex discrimination, any respondent, and any witness, except as may be permitted by the FERPA statute, 20 U.S.C. § 1232g, or FERPA regulations, 34 CFR Part 99, or as required by law, or to carry out the purposes of 34 CFR Part 106, including the conduct of any investigation, hearing, or judicial proceedings arising thereunder.
E.2.8.9 Availability of Counseling and Advocacy.
Counseling and other mental health services for victims of sexual assault are available on campus and in the community. Students may use the Student Counseling Center (Pendergraft Health Sciences Center, Room 129, 479-788-7398). Employees of the university may be able to seek help through the Employee Assistance Program (contact Human Resources). Community mental health agencies, such as the Guidance Center (479-478-6664), may also assist, in addition to counselors and psychotherapists in private practice in the area who can provide individual and group therapy. The Crisis Intervention Center in Fort Smith may assist with referrals for individual counseling and support groups and in identifying non-counseling campus and community resources that may be of additional help. The Crisis Center may also have victim advocates upon request. The CIC can be reached at 479-782.-1821; their hotline is 800-359-0056.
E.2.8.10 Education and Awareness Programs.
The university’s Title IX coordinator is responsible for planning and coordinating campus education and awareness programs about all forms of sexual harassment. Programs are presented regularly throughout the academic year, both general education sessions and customized training. Customized sessions often focus on the needs and obligations of specific populations, such as residential students, sorority and fraternity members, ROTC, student-athletes, student organizations, and academic classes. Employee training and professional development is another domain. Campus-wide education and awareness activities are also conducted during Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Welcome Back Week.
E.2.8.11 Grievance Procedure.
These procedures apply to all grievances regarding conduct that may constitute sexual harassment as defined in this policy (including sexual assault) and that falls within the university’s Title IX jurisdiction. All other grievances by students, employees, or third parties shall be addressed through other procedures. The university’s Title IX grievance process includes formal and informal procedures that encourage prompt resolution of complaints. In most cases, the complainant’s submission of a formal, written complaint to the Title IX coordinator will initiate the formal grievance process. However, the Title IX coordinator may also submit a formal complaint under the circumstances described below. The university will respond promptly to all formal complaints of sexual harassment.
E.126.96.36.199 Basic Requirements.
The university’s grievance process shall adhere to the following principles:
• All relevant evidence - including both inculpatory and exculpatory evidence - will be evaluated.
• Credibility determinations may not be based on a person’s status as a complainant, respondent, or witness.
• The Title IX ccoordinator, investigator, hearing officers or panel members, decision-makers on appeal, persons involved with the informal resolution, and any other persons that play a significant role in the Title IX grievance process shall not have a conflict of interest or bias for or against complainants or respondents generally or for or against an individual complainant or respondent.
• The respondent is presumed to not be responsible for the alleged conduct until a determination of responsibility is made at the conclusion of the grievance process.
• The time frames for concluding the grievance process shall be reasonably prompt, as set forth in more detail in the procedures below.
• The grievance process may be temporarily delayed, and limited extensions of time frames may be granted, for good cause. In such instances, written notice to the complainant and the respondent of the delay or extension and the reasons for the action will be provided. Good cause may include considerations such as the absence of a party, a party’s advisor, or a witness; concurring law enforcement activity; or the need for language assistance or accommodations of disabilities.
• Questions or evidence that constitute, or seek disclosure of, information protected under a legally recognized privilege will not be required, allowed, relied upon, or otherwise used. The university shall not consider, disclose, or otherwise use a party’s records that are made or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other recognized professional or paraprofessional acting in the professional’s or paraprofessional’s capacity, or assisting in the capacity, and which are made and maintained in connection with the provision of treatment to the party, unless the university obtains that person’s voluntary, written consent to do so for a grievance under this section.
• No party shall be restricted from discussing the allegations under investigation or to gather and present relevant evidence.
• A party whose participation in a hearing, investigative interview, or other meeting shall be provided with a written notice of the date, time, location, participants, and purpose of all hearings, investigative interviews, or other meetings, with sufficient time for the party to prepare to participate.
E.188.8.131.52 Initial Report/Intake Process - Initial Meeting with Complainant.
Promptly upon receiving a report of conduct that could potentially be a violation of Title IX, the Title IX coordinator (or designee) will contact the complainant to schedule an initial meeting to, as applicable:
- Provide a copy of this policy
- Explain the process for filing a formal complaint and provide a copy of the Sexual Harassment Complaint Form on which the complainant may, if they agree to disclose the information, provide details regarding the allegation, including the name of the accused individual and the date, location, and general nature of the alleged violation of policy
- Explain avenues for resolution, including informal and formal
- Explain the steps involved in an investigation and hearing under this policy
- Discuss confidentiality standards and concerns
- Refer to law enforcement, counseling, medical, academic, or other resources, as appropriate
- Discuss, as appropriate, possible supportive measures, which are available with or without the filing of a formal complaint
If the complainant requests that no further action be taken and/or that no formal complaint be pursued, the Title IX coordinator (and/or their designee) will inform the complainant that retaliation is prohibited and that honoring the complainant’s request may limit the university’s ability to fully respond to the incident. In the event the complainant stands firm on their request that no further action be taken, the Title IX coordinator will evaluate whether to file a complaint under the criteria set forth below.
E.2.8.12 Formal Complaint Process.
E.184.108.40.206 Form and Filing of Complaint.
The filing of a formal, written complaint initiates the formal grievance process and is available to any person who is participating in (or attempting to participate in) a university educational program or activity. The Title IX coordinator (or an investigator designated by the Title IX coordinator) will investigate the allegations in the formal complaint. Formal complaints can be filed in several ways. The complainant may utilize the form provided or may submit the complainant’s own document that contains the complainant’s signature (either physical or digital) and is filed with the university’s Title IX Office by U.S. mail, in person, through the Title IX portal provided for this purpose, or by email. The formal complaint should set forth the allegations and request that the Title IX Office investigate the matter.
E.220.127.116.11 Filing by Title IX Coordinator.
The Title IX coordinator may initiate the grievance process, even where the complainant declines to file a formal complaint, if the coordinator determines that the particular circumstances require the university to formally respond to and address the allegations. Circumstances to be considered include, among others, a pattern of alleged misconduct by a respondent and whether the complaint has alleged use of violence, weapons, or other similar conduct. The Title IX coordinator will also consider the complainant’s wishes with respect to supportive measures and desired response by the university. Where a report is made anonymously and the Title IX coordinator files the complaint, both the complainant and respondent will receive notice of the allegations with written details and identities of the parties if known.
E.18.104.22.168 Consolidation of Formal Complaints.
The Title IX coordinator may consolidate formal complaints as to allegations of sexual harassment against more than one respondent, or by more than one complainant against one or more respondents, or by one party against the other party, where the allegations of sexual harassment arise out of the same facts or circumstances.
E.22.214.171.124 Dismissal of Complaint Prior to Resolution.
A formal complaint must be dismissed by the Title IX coordinator if the alleged conduct (1) does not constitute sexual harassment, as defined in this policy, even if proved; (2) did not occur in the university’s education program or activity; or (3) did not occur against a person in the United States. In addition, a complaint may be dismissed if, at any time during the investigation or hearing, a complainant notifies the Title IX coordinator in writing that the complainant would like to withdraw the formal complaint or any allegations therein; the respondent is no longer enrolled or employed by the recipient; or specific circumstances prevent the gathering of evidence sufficient to reach a determination as to the formal complaint or any allegations therein.
Upon dismissal of a formal complaint, for any reason, the Title IX coordinator will send simultaneous written notice of and reason(s) for the dismissal to the parties. The dismissal decision may be appealed pursuant to the procedure for appeals set forth in this policy. Dismissal of a complaint under this Title IX policy does not preclude a complainant from pursuing a grievance through other appropriate campus procedures.
E.126.96.36.199 Notice of Formal Complaint.
Upon receipt of the formal complaint, the Title IX coordinator will send simultaneous notifications of the filing of the complaint to the complainant and the respondent (if known). If, in the course of an investigation, the Title IX coordinator decides to investigate allegations about the complainant or respondent that are not included in the initial notice, the Title IX coordinator will provide notice of the additional allegations to the parties whose identities are known. The initial notice will contain the following:
- The allegations of the complaint that potentially constitute sexual harassment, including sufficient details known at the time and with sufficient time to prepare a response before any initial interview (including the identities of the parties involved in the incident, if known, the conduct allegedly constituting sexual harassment under this policy, and the date and location of the alleged incident, if known)
- A copy of the Title IX policy
- A statement that the respondent is presumed not responsible for the alleged conduct and that a determination regarding responsibility is made at the conclusion of the grievance process
- A statement informing the parties that they have a right to have one advisor of their choice to assist them throughout the proceedings who may be (but is not required to be) an attorney
- A statement that the parties have the right to inspect and review all evidence collected during the complaint process
- A statement that any party who knowingly makes false statements or submits false information during the grievance process will be subject to disciplinary procedures
E.188.8.131.52 Initial Meeting with Respondent.
If a formal complaint is filed, the Title IX coordinator will promptly schedule an initial meeting with the respondent after the written notice of the formal complaint is sent as described above. Prior to the initial meeting, the Title IX coordinator shall provide a written notice of the date, time, location, participants, and purpose of the meeting, with sufficient time for the party to prepare to participate. During the initial meeting with the respondent, the Title IX coordinator (or designee) will, as applicable:
- provide a copy of this policy (if not previously provided).
- explain avenues for resolution, including informal and formal.
- explain the steps involved in an investigation and hearing under this policy.
- discuss confidentiality standards and concerns.
- discuss non-retaliation requirements.
- inform of any supportive measures already determined and being provided to the complainant that would directly affect the respondent.
- refer to law enforcement, counseling, medical, academic, or other resources, as appropriate.
- discuss, as appropriate, possible supportive measures that can be provided to the respondent.
E.184.108.40.206 Right to Advisor.
Both parties will be advised that they may be accompanied by one advisor/support person to assist them throughout the Title IX process, which can be (but is not required to be) an attorney. The advisor is not allowed to speak or otherwise actively participate during the pre-hearing interviews or meetings. It is the party’s responsibility to obtain the services of an advisor, except that the university will make an advisor available to the parties during the hearing to determine responsibility upon request. A party who wants the university to provide an advisor for the determination hearing should make a request within 15 days after the party’s filing or receipt of the formal complaint. The advisor’s role at the hearing is further explained below.
E.220.127.116.11 Emergency Removal.
If, after the UAFS Behavioral Intervention Team undertakes a safety and risk analysis, the university determines that the respondent poses an immediate threat to the physical health or safety of any student or other individual arising from the allegations of sexual harassment, it may remove the respondent from the university’s programs or activities. In such instances, the respondent will be provided with a written notice of the reasons for the removal. Within five (5) days of receiving the notice, the respondent may challenge the decision by requesting a meeting with the vice chancellor for student affairs (or designee, as currently the vice chancellor for student affairs is the Title IX coordinator).
E.18.104.22.168 Administrative Leave.
Nothing in this policy precludes the university from placing a non-student employee respondent on administrative leave during the pendency of the grievance process.
E.22.214.171.124 Supportive Measures.
Supportive measures, as defined in this policy, will be based on the facts and circumstances of each situation. The Title IX coordinator is responsible for coordinating the effective implementation of supportive measures. They may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Extensions of deadlines or other course-related adjustments
- Modifications of work or class schedules
- Campus escort services
- Mutual restrictions on contact between the parties
- Changes in working or housing locations
- Leaves of absence
- Increased security and monitoring of certain areas of the campus
The university will maintain as confidential any supportive measures provided to the complainant or respondent, to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality would not impair the ability of the university to provide the supportive measures.
Informal Resolution - At any time after a formal written complaint is filed but prior to reaching a determination regarding responsibility, the university may facilitate a resolution without a full investigation and adjudication. The complainant and respondent must give their voluntary, written consent to the informal resolution process. The informal resolution process will not be utilized to resolve allegations that an employee sexually harassed a student.
Prior to commencing the informal resolution process, the Title IX coordinator or designee must provide the parties a written notice that includes the following information:
Notice of the allegations contained in the formal complaint, including dates, location(s), and identities of the parties
Any agreed upon resolution reached at the conclusion of the informal complaint process will preclude the parties from resuming a formal complaint arising from the same allegations
At any time prior to agreeing to a resolution, any party has the right to withdraw from the informal resolution process and resume the grievance process with respect to the formal complaint
Any consequences resulting from participating in the informal resolution process, including the records that will be maintained or could be shared
E.2.8.13 Comprehensive Investigation.
If resolution of the allegations does not proceed through the informal process, the matter will proceed with a comprehensive investigation and resolution through the formal complaint processes. The Title IX Ccoordinator will be responsible for overseeing the prompt, equitable, and impartial investigation during the formal complaint process. The burden of proof and the burden of gathering evidence sufficient to reach a determination regarding responsibility shall rest on the university and not the parties.
E.126.96.36.199 Assignment of Investigator.
If the Title IX coordinator’s designee is to conduct the investigation, the Title IX coordinator will forward the complaint to the investigator and share the investigator’s name and contact information with the complainant and the respondent.
E.188.8.131.52 Conflicts of Interest and Bias.
Immediately after the identity of the person who will conduct the investigation is determined and communicated to the parties, the investigator, the complainant, or the respondent may identify to the Title IX coordinator in writing any real or perceived conflicts of interest or bias that the person charged with conducting the investigation (including the Title IX coordinator, where applicable) may have. The Title IX coordinator will carefully consider such statements and will assign a different individual as investigator if it is determined that a material conflict of interest or bias exists.
E.184.108.40.206 Overview of Investigation.
Upon receipt of the formal complaint, the Title IX coordinator/Investigator (hereinafter “investigator”) will promptly begin the investigation, which shall include but is not limited to the following:
- Conducting interviews with the complainant, the respondent, and any witnesses (including expert witnesses, where applicable) and summarizing such interviews in written form
- Visiting, inspecting, and taking photographs at relevant sites
- Where applicable, collecting and preserving relevant evidence (in cases of corresponding criminal reports, this step may be coordinated with law enforcement agencies)
- Obtaining any relevant medical records pertaining to treatment of the complainant, provided that the complainant has voluntarily authorized release of the records in writing to the investigator
E.220.127.116.11 Inspection and Access to Evidence.
The parties may identify to the investigator any evidence or witnesses they wish to be included as part of the investigation. Both parties will also have equal opportunity to inspect and review any evidence obtained during the investigation. The investigator will complete the gathering of evidence as soon as practicable, which will ordinarily occur within approximately 30 days after the filing of the formal complaint.
After the gathering of evidence has been completed but prior to completion of the investigative report, the investigator will provide to each party and party’s advisor, if any, any evidence obtained as part of the investigation that is directly related to the allegations raised in the formal complaint, including the evidence upon which the university does not intend to rely in reaching a determination regarding responsibility and inculpatory or exculpatory evidence (whether obtained from a party or other source), so that each party can meaningfully respond to the evidence prior to the conclusion of the investigation. The evidence will be provided in an electronic format or a hard copy. The parties will have 10 calendar days to submit a written response to the evidence, which will be considered by the investigator prior to completion of the investigative report. The evidence will be made available for the parties to use at the hearing to determine responsibility.
E.18.104.22.168 Investigative Report.
The investigative report shall fairly summarize the relevant evidence and must include the following items and information that is relevant to the allegations in the formal complaint:
- The dates of the Title IX coordinator’s initial receipt of a report of alleged sexual harassment against the complainant, intake meeting, and the filing of the formal complaint
- A statement of the allegation(s), a description of the incident(s), the date(s) and time(s) (if known), and location of the alleged incident(s)
- The names of all known witnesses to the alleged incident(s)
- The dates that the complainant, respondent, and other witnesses were interviewed, along with summaries of the interviews
- Descriptions or summaries of any physical or documentary evidence that was obtained (e.g., text messages, emails, surveillance video footage, photographs)
- Any written statements of the complainant, respondent, or other witnesses
- The response of university personnel and, if applicable, university-level officials, including any supportive measures taken with respect to the complainant and respondent
The investigator shall provide a draft of the investigative report to the Title IX coordinator for review before the report becomes final. An electronic or hard-copy version of the final investigative report will be provided to each party (and each party’s advisor) concurrently. The investigative report shall be provided as soon as practicable after the parties have submitted their written responses to the evidence (if any) and at least 10 calendar days prior to the determination hearing. The parties may provide a written response to the investigative report within five (5) calendar days after receiving it.
E.2.8.14 Determination Hearing.
Following the conclusion and distribution of the investigative report, a hearing will be conducted to determine the outcome and resolution of the complaint. The parties and their advisors, if any, will be notified by the hearing officer, Hearing Panel chairperson, or Title IX coordinator of the date, time, and location of the hearing as set forth in the notice provisions below.
E.22.214.171.124 Hearing Officer or Hearing Panel.
Within three (3) days of the release of the investigative report to the parties, the chancellor or their designee, typically the Title IX coordinator, will appoint (1) a three-member Hearing Panel, which shall be composed of at least two (2) faculty and/or staff members and may include (but is not required to include) one (1) outside person who is not permanently employed by the university. If a Hearing Panel will be used, the chancellor or their designee will select one member of the Hearing Panel to act as the chair. The Title IX coordinator will provide a copy of the formal complaint and the investigative report, along with the parties’ written responses to the investigative report, to the hearing officer or each member of the Hearing Panel.
Promptly after the appointment of the members of the Hearing Panel, the Title IX coordinator will provide concurrent written notice to the complainant and the respondent, setting forth the names of the individuals selected to serve as members of the Hearing Panel. The parties may challenge the participation of any decision-maker based on bias or a conflict of interest by submitting a written objection to the chancellor or their designee within three (3) calendar days of receipt of the notice. Any objection must state the specific reason(s) for the objection. The chancellor or their designee will evaluate the objection and determine whether to select a new hearing officer or alter the composition of the Hearing Panel. Failure to submit a timely and proper objection will constitute a waiver of the objection. Any changes in the hearing officer or Hearing Panel will be provided in writing to both parties prior to the date of the hearing.
E.126.96.36.199 Submission of Witnesses Lists.
Within five (5) calendar days of receipt of the notice of the hearing officer or Hearing Panel, both parties may provide to the hearing officer or chair of the Hearing Panel a list of witnesses, if any, that they propose be called to testify and a brief description of each proposed witness’s connection to and/or knowledge of the issues in dispute. Absent good cause, a party cannot include a witness on the party’s pre-hearing witness list unless the witness was identified during the investigation. The hearing officer of Hearing Panel reserves the right to call relevant witnesses who may not have been included on a party’s witness list.
E.188.8.131.52 Notice of the Hearing.
Not less than five (5) days but not more than 10 days after delivery of the notice of the hearing officer’s identity or initial composition of the Hearing Panel, the hearing officer or chair of the Hearing Panel will provide a separate notice to the complainant, respondent, and any other witnesses whose testimony the hearing officer or Hearing Panel deems relevant, requesting such individuals to appear at the hearing to determine responsibility. The notice should set forth the date, time, and location for the individual’s requested presence. The hearing officer or Hearing Panel shall provide, in its notice to the parties, the names of the witnesses that the hearing officer or Hearing Panel plans to call. The hearing shall be conducted promptly but no sooner than 10 calendar days after release of the investigative report.
E.184.108.40.206 Failure to Appear.
If any party fails to appear at the hearing if requested to do so, and such party was provided notice of the hearing as set forth above, then absent extenuating circumstances, the hearing officer or Hearing Panel will proceed to determine the resolution of the complaint. As explained below, if a party fails to appear, it is unlikely that the hearing officer or Hearing Panel will consider the non-appearing party’s version of events based on another source, such as the formal complaint or a prior statement.
E.220.127.116.11 Option for Virtual or Separate Presence.
Live hearings may be conducted with either all parties present in the same geographic location or, at the university’s discretion, any or all parties and witnesses may appear at the live hearing virtually, with technology enabling participants simultaneously to see and hear each other. Either party may request not to be in the same room as the other party. If any party makes such a request, then both parties will be required to attend the hearing from a location or room different from where the hearing officer or Hearing Panel is sitting. If the hearing is virtual or there is a request for separate rooms at a physical location, the university will ensure that all participants are able to simultaneously see and hear the party or witness answering questions. Instructions will be provided for accessibility prior to the hearing date.
An audio or audio-visual recording will be created of the live hearing and will be made available for inspection and review at any party’s request.
E.18.104.22.168 Advisor’s Role at Hearing.
The complainant and respondent may be accompanied by an advisor during the hearing to determine responsibility. A party must identify their advisor (if any) at least five (5) days prior to the hearing. The advisor’s role at the hearing shall consist of (1) providing private advice to the party they are supporting and (2) questioning the opposing party and other witnesses. The advisor can be anyone, including an attorney. A party may arrange for the party’s advisor of choice to attend the hearing at the party’s own expense. Alternatively, the university will select and provide an advisor to assist a party at the hearing to determine responsibility, without fee or charge, upon request. In either scenario, the advisor may only participate in the hearing to the extent allowed under this policy. A party who wants an advisor to be provided by the university should notify the Title IX coordinator within 15 days after the filing or receipt of the formal complaint.
E.22.214.171.124 Evidentiary Matters and Procedure.
The parties, through their advisors, shall have an equal opportunity to question the opposing party and other witnesses, including fact and expert witnesses, and present other inculpatory or exculpatory evidence. Formal rules of evidence will not be observed during the hearing. The hearing officer or Hearing Panel will conduct the initial questioning of witnesses prior to the questioning by an advisor. The hearing officer or chair of the Hearing Panel (acting alone or in consultation with other panelists) will make all determinations regarding the order of witnesses, relevancy of questions, and the evidence to be considered or excluded during the hearing and decision-making process. The hearing officer or Hearing Panel may, in its discretion, choose to call the Investigator for the purpose of providing an overview of the investigation and findings.
E.126.96.36.199 Witness Examinations by the Parties.
Each party’s advisor is permitted to question the opposing party and the other witnesses, so long as the questions are relevant and not duplicative of the questions posed by the hearing officer or Hearing Panel. The questions may include challenges to credibility. No other questioning or speaking participation by an advisor will be allowed. A party may not examine a party or witness directly; rather, a party must utilize the services of an advisor for the purpose of posing questions to another party or witness. A party not represented by an advisor may, however, submit a list of proposed questions to the hearing officer or chair of the Hearing Panel and ask that the questions be posed to the opposing party or witness.
The hearing officer or chair of the Hearing Panel will make determinations regarding relevancy of questions before a party or witness answers. If a determination is made to exclude the question based on relevancy, the hearing officer or panel chair will provide an explanation of why the question was deemed irrelevant and excluded.
The hearing officer or panel chair may disallow the attendance of any advisor if, in the discretion of the hearing officer or panel chair, such person’s presence becomes disruptive or obstructive to the hearing or otherwise warrants removal. Advisors will be not be permitted to badger or question the opposing party or any witness in an abusive or threatening manner. Absent accommodation for a disability, the parties may not be accompanied by any other individual during the hearing process except as set forth in this policy. University officials may seek advice from the university’s Office of General Counsel on questions of law, policy, and procedure at any time during the process.
E.188.8.131.52 Prior Sexual Conduct.
Questions and evidence about the complainant’s sexual predisposition or prior sexual behavior are not relevant, unless such questions and evidence about the complainant’s prior sexual behavior are offered to prove that someone other than the respondent committed the conduct alleged by the complainant, or if the questions and evidence concern specific incidents of the complainant’s prior sexual behavior with respect to the respondent and are offered to prove consent.
E.184.108.40.206 Refusal to Submit to Cross-Examination.
If a party or witness does not submit to cross-examination at the live hearing, the decision-maker(s) must not rely on any statement of that party or witness in reaching a determination regarding responsibility; provided, however, that the decision-maker(s) cannot draw an inference about the determination of responsibility based solely on a party’s or witness’s absence from the live hearing or refusal to answer cross-examination or other questions.
E.220.127.116.11 Confidentiality and Disclosure.
To comply with FERPA and Title IX and to provide an orderly process for the presentation and consideration of relevant information without undue intimidation or pressure, the grievance process is not open to the general public. Accordingly, documents prepared in anticipation of the hearing (including the formal complaint, investigative report, evidentiary materials, notices, and pre-hearing submissions), recordings of the hearing, and documents, testimony, or other information used at the hearing may not be disclosed outside of the hearing proceedings, except as may be required or authorized by law.
E.18.104.22.168 Decision of the Hearing Officer or Panel and Standard of Evidence.
Following the conclusion of the hearing, the hearing officer or Hearing Panel will confer and determine whether the evidence establishes that it is more likely than not that the respondent committed a violation of this policy. In other words, the standard of proof will be the preponderance of the evidence. This standard applies to complaints against both students and employees. In reaching the determination, the hearing officer or Hearing Panel will objectively and thoroughly evaluate all relevant evidence, both inculpatory and exculpatory, and reach an independent decision, without deference to the investigative report. If a Hearing Panel is utilized, the determination of responsibility shall be made by majority vote.
E.22.214.171.124 Written Determination of Responsibility.
As soon as practicable following the hearing (and ordinarily within 10 days thereafter), the hearing officer or panel chair shall complete a report of the decision-maker’s findings. The hearing officer or panel chair will send simultaneous notification of the decision to both parties and their advisors, where applicable, with the following information:
- identification of the allegations potentially constituting sexual harassment under the policy
- description of the procedural steps taken from the receipt of the formal complaint through the determination, including any notifications to the parties, interviews with parties and witnesses, site visits, methods used to gather other evidence and the hearing held
- findings of fact that support the determination
- conclusions regarding the application of the university’s conduct standards to the facts
- statement and rationale for the result as to each allegation, including a determination as to responsibility using the preponderance of the evidence standard
- any disciplinary sanctions imposed on respondent
- whether any remedies designed to restore or preserve equal access to the university’s education program or activity will be provided to the complainant (description of remedies is not included)
- procedures and permissible bases for the parties to appeal
If the hearing officer or Hearing Panel determines that more likely than not the respondent committed a violationof this policy, then the hearing officer or Hearing Panel will determine sanctions and give consideration to whether a given sanction will (a) bring an end to the violation in question, (b) reasonably prevent a recurrence of a similar violation, and (c) remedy the effects of the violation. Sanctions for a finding of responsibility will depend upon the nature and gravity of the misconduct, any record of prior discipline for a violation of this policy, or both. The range of potential sanctions is set forth in the definitions section of this policy.
Ordinarily, sanctions will not be imposed until the resolution of any timely appeal under this policy. However, if it is deemed necessary to protect the welfare of the victim or the University community, the hearing officer or Hearing Panel may recommend to the decisionmaker on appeal that any sanctions be imposed immediately and continue in effect until such time as the appeal process is exhausted.
Where a determination is made that the respondent was responsible for sexual harassment, the hearing officer or Hearing Panel will determine any final remedies to be provided to the complainant, if any, and the Title IX coordinator will communicate such decision to the complainant and the respondent to the extent that it affects them. Remedies must be provided in all instances in which a determination of responsibility for sexual harassment has been made against the respondent. Remedies must be designed to restore or preserve equal access to the university’s education program or activity. Such remedies may include the same individualized services described above as “supportive measures”; however, remedies need not be non-disciplinary or non-punitive and need not avoid burdening the respondent.
E.126.96.36.199 No Retaliation.
The Title IX coordinator will take steps to prevent any harassment of or retaliation against the complainant, the respondent, or third parties, such as informing them about how to report subsequent problems, following up with them to ensure that there are no subsequent problems, and providing training for the campus community.
E.188.8.131.52 Procedure for Appeals.
Both the complainant and the respondent may appeal from (1) the Title IX coordinator’s dismissal of a formal complaint or any allegations therein or (2) the hearing officer or Hearing Panel’s determination. The appeal should be submitted in writing to the Title IX coordinator within five (5) days of receipt of the hearing officer or Hearing Panel’s decision. The Title IX coordinator will forward the appeal to the chancellor. The appeal will be decided based on the written record and without deference to the decision of the hearing officer or Hearing Panel.
If the respondent is an employee, the chancellor or their designee will decide the appeal. If the respondent is a student, the chancellor will designate an Appeal Panel comprised of three (3) faculty and/or staff members. One of the members of the Appeal Panel can be (but need not be) an outside person who is not an employee. If an Appeal Panel is utilized, the chancellor shall designate one (1) of the panelists as the chair of the Appeal Panel. The chair of the Appeal Panel (in cases where the respondent is a student and a panel is utilized) or the chancellor or designee (in other cases) shall make any decisions concerning appellate jurisdiction under the permissible grounds for appeal described below.
The party appealing may use the Appeal Form or the party may submit their own written and signed document. Acceptable means of notification include email, facsimile, hand-delivered notification, or postal delivery. The Title IX coordinator will promptly inform the other party of the appeal.
E.184.108.40.206 Grounds for Appeal.
The appeal from the decision of the hearing officer or Hearing Panel must be for one of the following reasons, which must be specified in the appeal notice: (1) a procedural irregularity that affected the outcome of the decision; (2) there is new evidence that was not reasonably available at the time the determination regarding responsibility or dismissal was made and that could affect the outcome of the matter; or (3) the Title IX coordinator, investigator(s), hearing officer, or panel member(s) had a conflict of interest or bias for or against complainants or respondents in general or against an individual complainant or respondent that affected the outcome.
Within five (5) days of receipt of the appeal, the other party may submit a written statement in response to the appeal and which supports or challenges the dismissal or determination. The response should be submitted to the Title IX coordinator, who shall provide a copy to the decision-maker and the appealing party.
E.220.127.116.11 Decision on Appeal.
As soon as practicable after receiving the parties’ written submissions (and ordinarily within approximately 10 days), the chancellor (or designee) or Appeal Panel will issue a written decision describing the result of the appeal and the rationale for the result. The decision on appeal may uphold the decision, modify it, or remand for further factual development. The decision-maker on appeal will concurrently notify the complainant and the respondent of the decision, with a written copy provided to the Title IX coordinator.
All non-tenure track faculty and staff members of the university without term contracts are at-will employees who may be terminated at any time, with or without cause. With regard to such faculty and staff, nothing in this policy shall create an expectation of continued employment with the university or be construed to prevent or delay the university from taking any disciplinary action deemed appropriate (including suspension and immediate termination of employment) for any violation of state law, federal law, or university policy.
E.2.8.17 Time Periods.
The university will make every reasonable effort to ensure that the investigation and resolution of a complaint occurs in as timely and efficient a manner as possible.
Any party may request an extension of any deadline by providing the Title IX coordinator or their respective deputies with a written request for an extension that includes reference to the duration of the proposed extension and the basis for the request.
The Title IX coordinator may also modify timelines in cases where information is not clear, judged to be incomplete, relevant parties are not available for interview, absence of an advisor, concurrent law enforcement activity, the need for language assistance or disability accommodation and/or other circumstances that may arise.
E.2.8.18 Retaliation Prohibited.
No person may intimidate, threaten, coerce, or discriminate against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX, 34 C.F.R. Part 106, or this policy, or because an individual has made a report or complaint, testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under this part. Intimidation, threats, coercion, or discrimination, including changes against an individual for code of conduct violations that do not involve sex discrimination or sexual harassment, but arise out of the same facts or circumstances as a report or complaint of sex discrimination, or a report or formal complaint of sex discrimination of harassment, for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX, 34 C.F.R. Part 106, or this policy, constitutes retaliation. However, the exercise of rights protected under the First Amendment does not constitute retaliation.
E.2.8.19 False Reports.
Willfully making a false report of sexual harassment or submitting false information during these proceedings is a violation of university policy and is a serious offense. However, a determination regarding responsibility, alone, is not sufficient to conclude that any party made a materially false statement in bad faith. Any person who willfully makes or participates in making a false or frivolous report of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, or sexual misconduct will be subject to disciplinary action. False reporting may also violate state criminal statutes and civil defamation laws.
E.2.8.20 External Reporting Agencies.
Although complainants are encouraged to resolve their grievances related to discrimination by utilizing this complaint/grievance procedure, they may have the right to file a complaint directly with the following agencies. Individuals who wish to file complaints with these external agencies should make contact as soon as possible and verify any applicable time limits and deadlines.
Office of Civil Rights (OCR)
U.S. Department of Education
1999 Bryan St., Suite 1620
Dallas, TX 75201-6810
Toll Free: 800-421-3481
NSF Grantees Only
National Science Foundation
Office of Diversity and Inclusion
2415 Eisenhower Ave.
Alexandria, VA 22314
E.2.8.21 Effective Date.
The University reserves the right to make changes and amendments to this policy as needed, with appropriate notice to the campus community. However, the policy in force at the time that a complaint is filed will be the policy used throughout the investigation, hearing, and any appeals.
E.2.8.22 Retention of Records.
For a period of at least seven (7) years, the university will maintain the records of:
- each sexual harassment investigation, including any determination regarding responsibility, any recordings or transcripts, disciplinary sanctions, and remedies provided to the complainant.
- any appeal and the result therefrom.
- any informal resolution and the result therefrom.
- all materials used to train Title IX coordinators, investigators, decision-makers, and any person who facilitates an informal resolution process. These materials will be made publicly available on the university’s website.
- any actions, including supportive measures, taken in response to a report or formal complaint of sexual harassment, along with documentation of the university’s bases for its conclusion that its response was not deliberately indifferent Documentation pertaining to terminations, expulsions or educational sanctions may be retained indefinitely.
Complainant - Any individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment. At the time of the filing of a formal complaint, a complainant must be participating in or attempting to participate in the education program or activity of the recipient with which the formal complaint is filed. Any person may report sex discrimination, including harassment, whether or not the person reporting is the person alleged to be the victim of discrimination or harassment.
Consent - Consent is clear, knowing, and voluntary. Consent is active, not passive. Silence, in and of itself, cannot be interpreted as consent. Consent can be given by words or actions, if those words or actions create mutually understandable clear permission regarding willingness to engage in (and the conditions of ) sexual activity. If coercion, intimidation, threats, or physical force are used, there is no consent.
If a person is mentally or physically incapacitated so that the person cannot understand the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual situation, there is no consent. Incapacitation can be due to alcohol or drugs or being asleep or unconscious. This policy also covers incapacity due to mental disability, involuntary physical restraint, or from the taking of rape drugs. Possession, use, and/or distribution of any of these substances, including Rohypnol, Ketamine, GHB, Brundage, etc., is prohibited, and administering one of these drugs to another person is a violation of this policy. More information on these drugs can be found at 911rape.org.
Use of alcohol or other drugs will never function as a defense to a violation of this policy. An individual violates this policy if the individual initiates and engages in sexual activity with someone who is incapacitated and (1) the individual knew the other person was incapacitated or (2) a sober reasonable person under similar circumstances as the person initiating the sexual activity would have known the other person was incapacitated.
There is also no consent when there is force, expressed or implied, or use of duress or deception upon the victim. Whether an individual has taken advantage of a position of influence over an alleged victim may be a factor in determining consent. Force is the use of physical violence and/or imposing on someone physically to gain sexual access. Force also includes overt threats, implied threats, intimidation, and coercion that overcome resistance or produce consent.
Coercion is unreasonable pressure for sexual activity. Coercive behavior differs from seductive behavior based on the type of pressure someone uses to get consent from another. When someone makes clear to you that they do not want sex, that they want to stop, or that they do not want to go past a certain point of sexual interaction, continued pressure beyond that point can be coercive.
Under Arkansas law the age of consent varies with the degrees of assault, the age of the actor, and the relationship of the actor to the other party. For specific information, please refer to Arkansas statutes (e.g., Arkansas Code Annotated § 5-14-125, Sexual Assault in the Second Degree).
Consent to any one form of sexual activity cannot automatically imply consent to any other forms of sexual activity. In addition, previous relationships or prior consent cannot imply consent to future sexual acts.
Dating Violence - Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim and where the existence of such relationship is determined based on consideration of the following factors: (1) the length of the relationship, (2) the type of relationship, and (3) the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship
Days - Refers to working days rather than calendar days, unless otherwise specified.
Domestic Violence - The term includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current spouse or intimate partner of the victim; by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common; by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner; by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of Arkansas; or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the laws of Arkansas. Under the Arkansas law on domestic abuse, “family or household members” means spouses, former spouses, parents and children, persons related by blood within the fourth degree of consanguinity, in-laws, any children residing in the household, persons who presently or in the past have resided or cohabitated together, persons who have or have had a child in common, and persons who are presently or in the past have been in a dating relationship together.
Education Program or Activity - Includes locations, events, or circumstances over which the university exercised substantial control over both the respondent and the context in which the sexual harassment occurred and also includes any building owned or controlled by an officially recognized student organization.
Formal Complaint - A document filed by a complainant or signed by the Title IX coordinator alleging sexual harassment against a respondent and requesting that the recipient investigate the allegation of sexual harassment. The phrase “document filed by a complainant” means a document or electronic submission (such as by electronic mail or through an online portal provided for this purpose by the university) that contains the complainant’s physical or digital signature or otherwise indicates that the complainant is the person filing the formal complaint.
Party - The complainant or respondent.
Preponderance of the Evidence - A standard of proof where the conclusion is based on facts that are more likely true than not.
Respondent - An individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment.
Sanctions - The determination of sanctions to be imposed against a respondent who is found to have been responsible for violating this policy will depend upon the nature and gravity of the misconduct, any record of prior discipline for a violation of this policy, or both. Sanctions against students may include, without limitation, expulsion or suspension from the university, disciplinary probation, expulsion or suspension from campus housing, mandated counseling, and/or educational sanctions. Sanctions against employees and other non-students may include, without limitation, a written reprimand, disciplinary probation, suspension, termination, demotion, reassignment, revision of job duties, reduction in pay, exclusion from campus or particular activities, and/or educational sanctions deemed appropriate.
Sexual Assault - The term “sexual assault” means an offense classified as a forcible or non-forcible sex offense under the uniform crime reporting system of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. A non-forcible sex offense includes incest (i.e., the non-forcible sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law) and statutory rape (i.e., non-forcible sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent). A forcible sex offense is any sexual act directed against another person, without the consent of the victim including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent. A forcible sex offense includes:
- Forcible Rape: the penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any part of the body or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.
- Forcible Sodomy: Oral or sexual intercourse with another person, forcibly and/or against that person’s will or not forcibly or against that person’s will in instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of their youth or because of their temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity;
- Sexual Assault with an Object: Using an object or instrument to unlawfully penetrate, however slightly, the genital or anal opening of the body of another person, forcibly and/or against that person’s will or not forcibly or against that person’s will in instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of their youth or because of their temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
- Forcible Fondling: The touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, forcibly and/or against that person’s will or not forcibly or against that person’s will in instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of their youth or because of their temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
Sexual Harassment - Sexual harassment is conduct on the basis of sex constituting one of the following:
- An employee of the university conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the institution on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct;
- Unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the university’s educational programs or activities; or
- Any of the following:
- “Sexual assault” as defined in 20 U.S.C. 1092(f )(6)(A)(v) and this policy
- “Dating violence” as defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(10) and this policy
- “Domestic violence” as defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(8) and this policy
- “Stalking” as defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(30) and this policy
Stalking - Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their safety or the safety of others or suffer substantial emotional distress.
Supportive Measures - Non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered as appropriate, reasonably available, and without a fee or charge to the complaint or respondent before or after the filing of a formal complaint or where no formal complaint has been filed. Such measures are designed to restore or preserve equal access to the recipient’s education program or activity without unreasonably burdening the other party, including measures designed to protect the safety of all parties or the university’s educational environment or deter sexual harassment.
E.2.8.24 Discrimination and Harassment not Covered Under Title IX Policy.
I. Policy Statement
The University of Arkansas - Fort Smith is committed to providing an environment that emphasizes the dignity and worth of every member of its community and that is free from harassment and discrimination. Such an environment is necessary to a healthy learning, working, and living atmosphere. The university expects students, applicants for admission, employees, applicants for employment, affiliates, subcontractors, on-site contractual staff, community members, and visitors to uphold the university’s commitment to nondiscrimination and harassment by conducting themselves in manner that is appropriate and consistent with this policy. Accordingly, all acts of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation are prohibited. The university will take prompt and equitable action in response to complaints about such conduct.
II. Policy Scope and Relationship to Title IX
“Discrimination” under this policy refers to action or conduct that (1) is based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, service in the uniformed services (as defined in state and federal law), veteran status, sex, age, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, or genetic information and (2) materially affects a term or condition of an individual’s employment, education, living environment, or participation in a program or activity.
“Harassment” under this policy means detrimental action or a course of conduct that is based on one of the foregoing categories and that is sufficiently serious (i.e., severe and/or pervasive) and objectively offensive to deny or limit a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the university’s programs, services, opportunities, or activities or when such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s employment.
Reports and complaints regarding sexual harassment, sexual assault, relationship violence, stalking, and similar conduct should first be made to the Title IX coordinator under the university’s separate policy on sexual assault and harassment. Other forms of discrimination and harassment may be the subject of an initial complaint under this policy. In addition, this policy may be used to address complaints of sexual harassment or assault that may negatively affect the campus community but are dismissed by the Title IX coordinator based on lack of jurisdiction. In such situations the appropriate office will have discretion on whether to commence an investigation under this policy.
III. Offices Hearing Complaints
The Office of Human Resources is responsible for investigating complaints of discrimination and harassment against faculty, staff, and administrative employees. The Office of the Dean of Students is responsible for investigating complaints of harassment and discrimination against students. A complaint to the appropriate office, using the Complaint Form, should be made within 30 days of the act of discrimination or harassment. The time limit may be waived or extended by the Department of Human Resources or the Office of the Dean of Students if good cause is demonstrated.
After receiving the complaint, the appropriate office will explore whether the matter can be resolved informally, without disciplinary action or a finding that discrimination or harassment has occurred. If the issue can be resolved informally, no further action will be taken. If the complaining party chooses to proceed with a formal complaint, the individual against whom the complaint is filed (i.e., the “respondent”) will be instructed to provide a written response to the allegations within five (5) working days of the request. The matter will then be investigated promptly. At the conclusion of the investigation, the investigating office will issue a written determination of responsibility and provide the decision to the complaint and respondent. The determination shall also identify any sanctions or remedies that the investigator believes should be imposed. In the case of employee-respondents, the proposed sanctions and remedies shall serve as a nonbinding recommendation to the appropriate campus administrator. The institution reserves the right to address, as an administrative matter, conduct that does not constitute a violation of this policy, but nevertheless is inappropriate in a professional work or educational environment.
If a student-respondent is dissatisfied with the decision, the respondent may request that the dean of students convene a hearing. The request for a hearing must be made within 5 working days of the decision. After receiving the request, the dean
of students will promptly schedule a hearing that generally follows the procedures used for cases of student misconduct. If an employee-respondent is dissatisfied with the decision, the respondent may appeal the matter to the chancellor or their designee. A respondent who chooses to appeal must, within five (5) working days of receiving the decision, deliver a written statement to the chancellor or designee that concisely explains why the decision should be overturned or modified. The chancellor or their designee may elect to convene a committee to review the allegations, consider the evidence, and make a recommendation; alternatively, the chancellor or designee may decide the matter in the absence of a committee. The final decision shall be rendered as soon as practicable and ordinarily no later than 10 working days after receiving the written appeal.
It is a violation of this policy to take an action against an individual because that person has opposed any practices forbidden by this policy or because that person has filed a complaint, testified, assisted, or participated in an investigation or proceeding under this policy. Retaliation includes intimidating, threatening, coercing, or in any way discriminating against an individual because of the individual’s opposition, complaint, or participation. Adverse action is retaliatory if it would deter a reasonable person in the same circumstances from opposing practices prohibited by this policy.
The university requests confidentiality from all parties and witnesses involved in an investigation. During an investigation, it may be necessary for the investigator to provide details to individuals with a legitimate need to know about the allegations. This may include: (1) information provided to respondents to allow them to fully respond to the allegations, (2) information provided to witnesses or other people with whom investigators communicate in order to obtain or verify information; (3) where appropriate, information provided to management during or following an investigation to allow any necessary actions to be taken. In addition, the identity of the investigation participants and the details of the investigation may become known for reasons outside the control of the investigator.
VIII. False Reports
Willfully making a false report of discrimination (including discriminatory harassment) is a violation of university policy and is a serious offense. Any person who willfully makes or participates in making a false report under this policy may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination or expulsion.
All new employees should receive training on preventing, reporting, and addressing discrimination (including discriminatory harassment) within 30 days of beginning employment or enrollment. Employees must receive refresher training at least every two (2) years.
X. EEOC and NSF Reporting
Although complainants are encouraged to resolve their grievances related to discrimination by utilizing this policy, they may have the right to file a complaint directly with the appropriate agency.
The contact information for the EEOC and NSF are as follows:
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
820 Louisiana St., Suite 200
Little Rock, AR 72201
Toll Free: 1-800-669-4000
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Office of Diversity and Inclusion
2415 Eisenhower Ave.
Alexandria, VA 22314
E.2.8 Updated January 2022
E.2.9 Alcohol- and Drug-Free Workplace; Substance Abuse Testing.
(U.S. Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988; Board Policy 705.2; Governor’s Policy Directive #5; Arkansas State Personnel Policy)
E.2.9.1 Purpose of Policy.
UAFS has a vital interest in providing for the safety and well-being of all employees and the public and maintaining efficiency and productivity in all of its operations. In fulfillment of its responsibilities, the university is committed to the maintenance of a drug and alcohol free workplace. In order to further provide a safe environment for university employees and the public, the university has adopted the following Alcohol- and Drug-Free Workplace Policy for those employees. To the extent that employees are subject to substance abuse testing for operation of motor vehicles requiring a commercial driver’s license pursuant to federal law and regulations, the motor vehicle-related policy takes precedence over this policy. However, such employees may be tested as authorized by this policy if the circumstances giving rise to such testing make the motor vehicle-related testing policy inapplicable.
E.2.9.2 Policy Statement.
All university employees must be free from the effects of illegal drugs and alcohol during scheduled working hours as a condition of employment. Drinking alcoholic beverages or using drugs while on duty, attending universitysponsored events, activities, or programs, on university property, in university vehicles, during breaks or at lunch, or working or reporting for work when impaired by or under the influence of alcohol or when drugs and/or drug metabolites are present in the employee’s system is strictly prohibited and grounds for disciplinary action up to and including immediate discharge.
In addition, university employees are subject to disciplinary action up to and including immediate discharge for the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, concealment, or sale of alcohol or drugs while on duty, attending universitysponsored events, activity or program, on university property, in university vehicles, during breaks, or at lunch.
The university reserves the right to require employees to submit to urine drug testing and/or Breathalyzer alcohol testing to determine usage of drugs and/or alcohol as provided below. Employees must submit to all required tests. Any university employee who refuses to submit to any required test without a valid medical explanation will be subject to immediate discharge. Refusal to execute any required consent forms, refusal to cooperate regarding the collection of samples, or submission or attempted submission of an adulterated or substituted urine sample shall be deemed refusal to submit to a required test.
The university also reserves the right to require return to duty and/or follow-up testing as a result of a condition of reinstatement or continued employment in conjunction with or following completion of an approved drug and/or alcohol treatment, counseling, or rehabilitation program. However, nothing in this policy obligates the university to reinstate or continue the employment of an employee who violates the policy.
E.2.9.3 Prohibited Substances/Legal Drugs/Unauthorized Items.
E.18.104.22.168 Prohibited Substances.
Alcoholic beverages and drugs are considered to be prohibited substances in the workplace. For purposes of this policy, the term “drugs” includes controlled substances (as identified in Schedules I through V of Section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act, 21 USC 812, and the regulations promulgated thereunder, as defined in the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, Ark. Code Ann. 5-64-201-216, or as defined by federal and state law), including synthetic narcotics, designer drugs, and prescription drugs, excepting: prescription drugs approved by and used in accordance with the directions of the employee’s physician.
The abuse, overmedication, inappropriate consumption, or mistreatment of prescription drugs approved by the employee’s physician is considered to be the abuse of “drugs” as stated in § 5(a) of this ordinance.
E.22.214.171.124 Legal Drugs.
The appropriate use of prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications is not prohibited. Any employee using a prescription drug should consult with their physician and pharmacist regarding the effects of the drug. Employees should read all labels carefully.
E.126.96.36.199 Unauthorized Items.
University employees may not have any unauthorized items in their possession or in any area used by them or under their control. Unauthorized items include, but are not limited to, alcoholic beverage containers and drug paraphernalia.
E.2.9.4 Use of Alcohol and Drugs/Prohibited Conduct.
All university employees covered under this policy are subject to the following prohibitions regarding the use of alcohol and drugs (controlled substances):
- Employees shall not report for duty or remain on duty while impaired by the consumption of alcohol. An employee will be deemed to be impaired by alcohol if that employee has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.04 percent or greater.
- Employees shall not consume alcohol while on duty.
- Employees required to undergo post-accident testing shall not consume alcohol for eight (8) hours following the accident or until they undergo a post-accident alcohol test.
- Employees shall submit to all authorized drug or alcohol tests.
- Employees shall not report for duty or remain on duty while under the influence of any controlled substance, except when the use thereof is pursuant to the instructions of a licensed physician who has advised the employee that the effect of the substance on the employee does not pose a significant risk of substantial harm to the employee or others in light of their normal job duties.
- Employees shall not abuse, knowingly overmedicate, inappropriately consume, or otherwise mistreat any prescription drugs. In addition, subject to disciplinary rules set forth below, employees who are found to have an alcohol concentration of 0.02 percent or greater but less than 0.04 percent in any authorized alcohol test shall be removed from duty, and may not return to duty until the start of the employee’s next regularly scheduled shift, but not less than 24 hours following administration of the test.
The foregoing rules shall apply to all employees, regardless of whether they are performing safety or security sensitive functions, and shall apply while on duty and during periods when they are on breaks or at lunch. Limited exceptions to this policy may be approved for official university functions conducted after normal business hours or on weekends.
E.2.9.5 When Drug and Alcohol Testing May Be Required.
University employees and applicants covered by this policy shall be required to submit to urine testing for use of prohibited drugs and/or Breathalyzer alcohol testing in the following circumstances:
- When the university has reasonable suspicion based on observation or credible information that an employee has violated any of the above prohibitions regarding use of alcohol or drugs. Reasonable suspicion should generally be based on specific, contemporaneous, articulable observations or credible information concerning the appearance, behavior, speech, or body odors of the employee, including but not limited to abnormal conduct or erratic behavior or a significant deterioration in work performance; or based on other credible information regarding a violation or suspected violation of the university’s drug and alcohol policy.
- As part of a pre-employment screening, as identified in the university’s policy on background checks and substance abuse testing.
- When a university employee suffers an on-the-job injury or following a serious or potentially serious accident or incident in which safety precautions were violated, equipment or property was damaged, an employee or other person was injured, or careless acts were performed by the employee, when such factors, alone or in combination with other factors, give rise to reasonable suspicion that the employee may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- As part of a return to duty or follow-up drug and/or alcohol test required under an agreement allowing an employee to return to duty following disciplinary action for a positive drug and/or alcohol test, or as the result of a condition of continued employment or reinstatement in conjunction with or following completion of an approved drug and/or alcohol treatment, counseling or rehabilitation program.
- If an employee is allowed to return to duty, the employee must have a verified negative drug test and/or an alcohol test indicating an alcohol concentration of less than 0.02 percent and be evaluated and released by a substance abuse professional (SAP). In addition, the employee may be subject to follow-up testing. (The university also reserves the right to require return to duty and follow-up testing of an employee who has an alcohol test indicating an alcohol concentration of 0.02 percent or greater but less than 0.04 percent based on an SAP’s recommendations.)
- When any prohibited drug or alcoholic beverage (including related containers or paraphernalia) is found in an employee’s possession or work space or in a vehicle utilized by the employee.
- When the laboratory values in any authorized drug test indicated the need for additional testing, as determined by the medical review officer (MRO), or where any authorized drug test must be canceled due to a collection, chain of custody or other procedural problem.
Employees required to submit to immediate drug and/or alcohol testing shall be transported to and from the testing site by a
member of the Human Resources staff or another appropriate university official.
E.2.9.6 Disciplinary Action.
University employees may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including discharge, for any of the following infractions:
- Refusal to submit to an authorized drug or alcohol test. Refusal to submit to testing means that the employee fails to provide an adequate urine or breath sample for testing without a valid medical explanation after they have received notice of the requirement to be tested, or engages in conduct that clearly obstructs the testing process. Refusal to submit to testing includes, but is not limited to, refusal to execute any required consent forms, refusal to cooperate regarding the collection of samples, and/or submission or attempted submission of an adulterated or substituted urine sample.
- Drinking alcoholic beverages or using drugs while on duty; attending a university-sponsored event, activity, or program; on university property, excluding the residence of the chancellor or other authorized venue; in university vehicles; during breaks or at lunch. (This provision does not prohibit consumption of alcoholic beverages by adult employees at approved university functions following university business hours).
- Unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, concealment, or sale of any prohibited substance, including an alcoholic beverage, while on duty; attending a university-sponsored event, activity, or program; on university property; in university vehicles; during breaks or at lunch.
- Any criminal drug statute conviction and/or failure to notify the university of such conviction within five (5) calendar days.
- Having an alcohol concentration of 0.04 percent or greater in any authorized alcohol test.
- Testing positive for drugs and/or their metabolites in any authorized drug test.
Although the foregoing infractions will ordinarily result in discharge regardless of the employee’s position, the university reserves the right to consider extenuating circumstances and impose lesser discipline when such action is deemed appropriate.
E.2.9.7 Employment Status Pending Receipt of Test Results.
In addition to appropriate disciplinary measures, including suspension, which may be taken in response to the incident or course of conduct which gave rise to the test, the university reserves the right to decide whether the incident or course of conduct prompting the test is of such a nature that the employee should not be put back to work until the test results are received. If such a decision is made, the employee may be suspended without pay. Where the test result is negative, the employee will be reinstated with back pay, provided the employee has not been given an appropriate disciplinary suspension for violation of another work rule which also covers the time missed waiting for the test results.
E.2.9.8 Voluntary Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation.
If an employee who is not otherwise subject to disciplinary action voluntarily admits that they have a drug and/or alcohol abuse problem, university officials will meet with the employee to discuss the various treatment, counseling and rehabilitation options that are available. For purposes of this section, an employee’s admission to having a drug and/or alcohol abuse problem will not be defined as “voluntary” if it is made after the employee learns that they have been selected for drug testing.
These options may include allowing the employee to continue working while receiving outpatient treatment, counseling or rehabilitation in an approved drug and/or alcohol abuse program, or placing the employee on a medical leave of absence while they are receiving treatment, counseling or rehabilitation in an approved inpatient or outpatient drug and/or alcohol abuse program.
When an employee voluntarily admits that they have a drug and/or alcohol abuse problem, the university shall have the right to require the employee to be evaluated by SAP and/or submit to drug and/or alcohol testing prior to deciding what action is appropriate. No disciplinary action will be taken by the university against an employee who voluntarily admits that they have a drug and/or alcohol abuse problem in the situation described above. However, the university shall have the following rights in such a situation:
The employee may be required to enroll in and successfully complete an approved inpatient or outpatient drug and/or alcohol abuse program, and remain drug and alcohol free for its duration as a condition of reinstatement or continued employment. However, the university will not be responsible for financial obligations associated with treatment.
If the employee is required to enroll in such a program, they must submit to any drug and/or alcohol tests administered as part of the program, and provide the university with the results of such tests. The employee must also provide the university with progress reports from their therapist or the agency running the program on at least a monthly basis. (Failure to provide such reports or the results of such tests will result in discipline up to and including termination.)
The employee shall be required to agree to be subject to unannounced follow-up drug and/or alcohol tests, at the university’s discretion.
Nothing in this provision shall prohibit the university from taking personnel actions for disciplinary or performance-related reasons notwithstanding the disclosure of a drug or alcohol abuse problem.
E.2.9 Reorganized January 2021
E.2.10 Tobacco-Free Policy.
UAFS is a tobacco-free campus Smoking and the use of tobacco products (including cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, cigars, pipes, smokeless tobacco and other tobacco products) by students, faculty, staff and visitors are prohibited on all UAFS properties. The use of tobacco products is prohibited at all times in all interior space on campus, on all outside property or grounds of the campus, in all university vehicles, and in all outdoor and indoor athletic facilities. Littering the campus with remains of tobacco products or any other disposable product is prohibited.
Organizers and attendees at public events using university facilities are required to abide by the University policy. Organizers of such events are responsible for communicating the policy to attendees and for enforcing the policy.
The university is committed to support employees who wish to stop using tobacco products. For more information contact Human Resources.
Adherence to the university’s tobacco-free policy is the responsibility of all members of the campus community. Therefore, it is expected that employees not only comply with the policy, but encourage compliance by reminding violators of the policy.
E.2.10 Reorganized January 2021
E.2.11 Medical Marijuana.
This campus policy implements the substance abuse-testing aspects of UA Systemwide Policies and Procedures 470.1, Background Checks and Use of Criminal Record, Financial, and Substance Abuse-Testing Information in Employment Decisions and for Volunteers with Similar Responsibilities; Training for Positions Working with Minors, and Fayetteville Policies and Procedures 402.1 Background Checks and Substance Abuse Testing. This policy is also in furtherance of the objectives of the Drug-Free Workplace Act and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act.
State and federal statutes and regulations or unit-specific policies may provide more specific restrictions, requirements or procedures regarding employment categories. This policy does not create any procedural or substantive due process rights beyond that mandated by federal and state laws, if any, nor does it create any contract rights in any person. Furthermore, this policy is subject to all policies of the university, including, but not limited to the policies of the Board of Trustees of the University of Arkansas.
In general, this policy is intended to promote a healthy, safe, and productive work and learning environment.
- Pre-employment Substance Abuse Testing - A mandatory drug test required for finalists for employment in safety-sensitive and other positions designated under Fayetteville Policies and Procedures 402.1, based on job duties on a business necessity basis.
- Reasonable Suspicion-Based Substance Abuse Testing - A substance abuse test required when an employee’s behavior is characteristic of use of a substance that may negatively impact the performance of job duties or tasks or constitute a threat to health or safety. In making a decision to require reasonable suspicion-based substance abuse testing, the totality of the situation will be examined, taking into consideration all facts and circumstances of the employee’s behavior. Such facts and circumstances may include but are not limited to:
- Odors (i.e., smell of alcohol and/or other substances, body odor or urine)
- Behavior/Movements, (i.e., unsteady, fidgety, unresponsive, agitated, argumentative, irrational, unusual behavior that is inconsistent with usual behavior, sleeping)
- Appearance (i.e., flushed complexion, bloodshot eyes, dilated pupils, constricted pupils, watery eyes)
- Speech (i.e., slurred, incoherent, inability to verbalize thoughts)
- Accidents (i.e., impaired judgment, negligence or carelessness in operating equipment or machinery, reduced response to emergency situation, disregard for safety)
- Periodic Substance Abuse Testing - Drug testing of employees in safety-sensitive positions designated under Fayetteville Policies and Procedures 402.1, based on job duties on a business necessity basis using a random sampling methodology.
As part of our commitment to providing a drug-free workplace, the university has established a drug testing program that consists of (1) pre-employment substance abuse testing for specified positions, (2) reasonable suspicion-based substance abuse testing, and (3) periodic substance abuse testing for specified positions. Pre-employment and periodic substance abuse testing will be performed for positions that have been designated under the Fayetteville Policies and Procedures 402.1. Reasonable suspicion-based tests will be performed on employees who are suspected of being in an impaired state while on duty. Refusal to submit to drug screening, falsification, or screening results that indicate substance abuse may be cause for termination or withdrawal of an offer for employment. Additional information about the university’s commitment to providing a drug-free workplace can be found in the campus Drug-Free Workplace Policy.
1. Pre-Employment Substance Abuse Testing
For safety-sensitive and other positions designated under Fayetteville Policies and Procedures 402.1, based on job duties on a business necessity basis, substance-abuse testing shall be completed prior to beginning work. When an offer of employment is extended, the potential employee must agree to submit to substance-abuse testing at a designated time and location. Employment will be finalized only upon receipt of a negative substance-abuse test.
2. Reasonable Suspicion-Based Substance Abuse Testing
Whenever an employee’s behavior is characteristic of alcohol or substance abuse, a supervisor should be immediately notified. The supervisor is responsible for assessing the situation and notifying Human Resources. Human Resources will order a reasonable suspicion-based substance-abuse test when appropriate. The behavior observed should be documented on the form appended to this policy (Attachment 1) or in a similar manner, and the documentation will be retained by Human Resources. When practicable, more than one person observing and documenting the behavior is recommended.
When a substance abuse test is determined to be necessary, the employee shall be temporarily relieved of their duties and given a specific time (less than two hours) to report to a testing facility. Refusal or failure to report at the specified time and place, without pre-approval of the supervisor, is sufficient cause for immediate termination for cause. Human Resources will make arrangements for reasonable suspicion-based substance abuse testing, including transportation of the employee to a testing facility if necessary. For situations occurring outside of normal business hours, UAPD should be contacted for assistance in reaching a Human Resources representative.
The employee will be placed on administrative leave with pay until the test results are received and evaluated.
3. Periodic Substance-Abuse Testing
Periodic substance abuse testing for incumbent employees may be conducted as required by law or as specifically determined to be necessary by the appropriate vice chancellor based on need. Positions for which periodic substance abuse testing is required for incumbents are designated under Fayetteville Policies and Procedures 402.1. Unless unit-specific policies have been reviewed and approved, when testing is to occur, the Office of Human Resources will provide a list of employees who have been randomly selected for such testing to the appropriate department head or designee. The appropriate supervisors will be notified and will inform the selected employees. The employees must report to a specified location for testing within two hours or be subject to termination. Employees who are not located on the main UA campus will report to drug testing collection sites as designated by their location.
4. Types of Tests
Pre-employment and periodic substance-abuse testing will generally consist of a drug screen that tests for substances including, but not limited to marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, opiates and phencyclidine (PCP). Reasonable suspicion-based testing may include the above and/or a blood alcohol or breath testing if abuse of alcohol is suspected.
5. Screening Results
Any attempt to alter or substitute a specimen will be considered withdrawal of the application for employment or cause for immediate termination, even if the attempt is discovered later. Individuals may be asked to provide personal medical information to the testing facility’s medical review officer (MRO) when necessary to interpret drug test results. Such information will be maintained as confidential with the medical review officer.
Refusal to submit to a test, falsification, or a test result that indicates prohibited use of drugs will be subject to future disciplinary action up to and including termination.
All tests will be reviewed and interpreted by a medical review officer (MRO). If the laboratory reports a positive test to the MRO, the MRO shall contact the individual to determine if there is an alternative explanation for the positive result, such as
a permissible medical basis. If the MRO determines the result is due to a permissible medical basis, the test will be reported as negative. Regarding medical marijuana, please see the statement below.
The department head, in consultation with their supervisory chain, Human Resources, and other university officials as appropriate, will determine the action to be taken when an employee’s test results indicate prohibited use of drugs or alcohol. Any disciplinary action is subject to the university’s relevant grievance processes and other applicable university policies.
6. Confidentiality and Mandatory Reporting
Test results will remain confidential in accordance with all Federal and State laws and regulations and UA policy. Substance abuse test results will be stored separate from the employee’s personnel file and will be maintained by Human Resources. Negative substance abuse test results will be discarded after three years. Substance-abuse test results will remain confidential to the extent permitted by law. Tests will be paid for by the UA. Licensing boards shall be notified of positive drug screens by the appropriate department as required by law. Any questions about mandatory reporting should be directed to the Office of Human Resources or, as necessary, to the Office of General Counsel.
Statement Regarding Medical Marijuana
- Notwithstanding any state constitutional or statutory provisions permitting the use of medical marijuana, the university remains subject to and will continue to comply with the federal Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988 and Drug Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989. The university will also comply with applicable state laws and regulations.
- Medical marijuana in any form shall not be possessed or used on the university campus or in university-owned or leased space, including housing, or at any university-sponsored events or activities.
- All employees remain prohibited from possessing, smoking, ingesting, or otherwise engaging in the use of, or being under the influence of, marijuana or other controlled substances on university property, during working hours, or while operating a vehicle or equipment owned or leased by the university. Employees who violate the drug-free workplace policy remain subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.
- Any employee may be required to submit to drug testing if there is a reasonable suspicion the employee is impaired from marijuana or other substances while on duty.
- In the event an employee tests positive for marijuana and is a qualifying patient, the Office of General Counsel should be consulted before action is taken.
- The university shall not discriminate against an applicant or employee in hiring, termination, or any condition of employment based on past or present status as a qualifying patient. For specified positions, a pre-employment substance abuse test is required for employment.
Compliance with Equal Employment Opportunity and Related Requirements
The university is committed to providing a fair and welcoming workplace. This policy must be implemented in accordance with all applicable state and federal equal employment opportunity (EEO) laws and university policies which prohibit discrimination or retaliation on the basis of race/color, sex, gender, pregnancy, age (40 or over), national origin, disability, religion, marital or parental status, protected veteran or military status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity, and any other protected characteristic.
E.2.11 Added January 2022
E.2.12 Employment of Relatives (Nepotism).
(Board Policy 410.1; Governor’s Policy Directive #8; Governor’s Executive Order 98-04; ACA §25-16-1002; Arkansas State Personnel Policy)
The practice of employing members of the same family at the university opens up the possibility of conflicts of interest and may not always be in the best interest of the institution, its employees, and the students it serves. The following guidelines are established as the conditions under which persons related (by blood or marriage) may be employed by the university:
- The individuals must meet regular University employment standards.
- Under most circumstances, related employees may not work within the same college, organizational unit or department of the university. The exception to this policy will be faculty appointments where supply and demand and academic credentials for exceptionally well qualified faculty are factors in the employment decision.
- In no case will anyone be employed when the recommendation and/or final decision regarding employment or salary rests with a relative.
- Immediate family members, as defined in UA Board Policy 410.1, may not have direction or supervision of the other and shall not participate in decisions to hire, retain, promote, or determine the salary of the other.
In any case where a relative of an existing staff member is considered for employment, the selecting supervisor must substantiate to their supervisor(s) and the director of Human Resources that the relative is clearly the best qualified person for the position in question. The hiring action must be approved by the appropriate vice chancellor and the chancellor.
Except in the case of a supervisor, if two employees marry during their current employment at UAFS and are then in violation of this policy, one of the two must resign within 90 days of such marriage or at the end of the contract in effect for contractual employees if a suitable reassignment is not available. If one of the two supervises the other, one employee must resign (or be reassigned) immediately. Any reassignment is subject to availability of a vacant budgeted position, must be mutually agreeable to the employee and the university, and must be in the best interest of the institution. Additionally, employees must be fully qualified for any applicable position and may be required to compete with other applicants.
This policy does not apply to students employed in a university work-study program and to relatives employed short-term for seasonal assignments. However, in no case may an employee supervise a relative.
E.2.12 Updated January 2022
E.2.13 Employment of Constitutional Officers and Spouses.
(Governor’s Executive Order 98-04; Governor’s Policy Directive #8; ACA §21-8-304; Arkansas State Personnel Policy)
If an individual is elected to a constitutional office (including governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, treasurer of state, attorney general, commissioner of state lands, auditor of state, member of the Arkansas House of Representatives, or member of the Arkansas Senate) they may not be hired by any state agency or institution after being elected and during the elected term, unless they resign the constitutional office prior to being hired.
If the individual was employed by a state agency or institution prior to being elected to a constitutional office, they can continue employment. However, their position cannot be reclassified unless it is a general reclassification affecting all positions in the employee class and grade equally. The employee will not be eligible to receive any pay increases, other than cost-of-living increases authorized by the General Assembly, without the prior approval of the Joint Budget Committee (or the Legislative Council if the General Assembly is not in session) and the governor.
If the individual’s spouse is elected to a constitutional office, the employee may not be hired by a state agency or institution after the spouse is elected and during the spouse’s term of office without the prior approval of the Joint Budget Committee (or the Legislative Council if the General Assembly is not in session) and the governor.
If the individual was employed by a state agency prior to the spouse being elected to a constitutional office or if the employee is hired by a state agency during the spouse’s term of office, the employee is subject to the following restrictions:
- their position cannot be reclassified unless it is a general reclassification affecting all positions in the employee class and grade equally,
- while the spouse serves as a constitutional officer and for two years after the spouse leaves office, the employee cannot be promoted or transferred without the prior approval of the Joint Budget Committee or the Legislative Council and the Governor,
- the employee cannot receive any pay increases in excess of 15 percent without prior approval of the Joint Budget Committee (or the Legislative Council if the General Assembly is not in session) and the Governor.
Former members of the General Assembly and their spouses cannot be employed by a state agency within 24 months after the legislator leaves office in any job which:
- was newly created by legislative action within 24 months prior to the legislator leaving or
- had a maximum salary increase of more than 15 percent authorized by legislative action within 24 months prior to the legislator leaving office.
E.2.13 Reorganized January 2021
E.2.14 Outside Employment.
(Board Policy 450.1; ACA §21-8-203; Governor’s Policy Directive #1; Arkansas State Personnel Policy)
Outside employment is permitted, provided employees notify their supervisor and vice chancellor and the following conditions are met:
- The employment does not constitute a conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest.
- The employment does not interfere with the performance of the employee’s job at the university. For some nonexempt employees this includes the ability to work overtime if required of their position.
- The work is completed off university premises.
- The work is completed on the employee’s own time, not on university work time.
- The work does not involve the use of materials, supplies, or equipment belonging to the university.
- Employees must submit information regarding all aspects of outside employment, including but not limited to employer name; schedule; location, to their supervisor, who will submit it to their immediate supervisor for review . A copy of the document, with an approval or outlining steps to manage the potential conflict, will be returned to the employee and the original will be kept by the supervisor.
While emphasizing the fact that full-time faculty and other professional staff are obligated to devote their working time and efforts primarily to university activities, the university recognizes that a limited amount of outside work for private compensation may be advantageous to all concerned. Therefore, employees are not discouraged from engaging in outside employment which will affirmatively contribute to their professional advancement or correlate usefully with their university work, provided they follow the guidelines outlined above.
If an employee has questions about whether an outside job would constitute a conflict of interest, they should check with their immediate supervisor, dean, department head, director or vice chancellor.
Arkansas law states that “…all state employees who are employed on a regular salary basis shall be required to disclose each source of income in excess of five hundred dollars ($500) earned during any calendar year from sources other than their regular salary from employment or from professional or consultant service rendered for any public agency.” This includes income from any city, county, or school district, or any agency, division, or instrumentalities which are funded in part with funds provided by state appropriations; or any area or regional program in this state which derives financial support in whole or in part from state funds or from any nonprofit corporation, foundation, or organization.
E.2.14.1 Extra Income Statement.
All state employees who earn extra income of $500 or more (as defined above) must file a statement with their employer on or before Jan. 31 of each year. Employees will receive inbox items in Workday to complete this item. Forms are subject to review by legislative and UA System auditors. Contact Human Resources for more information or for assistance.
E.2.14 Updated June 2023
E.2.15 Concurrent Employment.
(ACA §19-4-1604 and §6-63-307(1995)(b); Arkansas State Personnel Policy)
Concurrent employment is defined as employment by more than one state institution or agency at the same time, and, in some circumstances, it is defined as employment in more than one capacity at one institution or agency.
E.2.15.1 Employment by Two State Agencies or Institutions.
Under certain circumstances and with prior state approval, UAFS employees may work for two (2) state agencies or institutions concurrently. The work performed for the second agency or institution must not interfere with the proper and required performance of the employee’s duties in the primary position. The combined salary payments from both agencies or institutions may not exceed the maximum allowable salary for the higher paid position, except that, under Ark. Code Ann. §19-4-1604, state employees may teach temporarily at state-supported institutions of higher education even though their combined salaries will exceed the line-item maximum. This exception is subject to the approval of the director of the Arkansas Division of Higher Education (ADHE).
With prior written approval from ADHE, employees may be on paid leave from one state agency or institution while being paid by another state agency or institution. Contact Human Resources for more information or for assistance with the concurrent employment approval process.
E.2.15.2 Employment in More than One Capacity at UAFS.
Under certain circumstances, and with prior approval, UAFS employees may work at UAFS in more than one capacity. The following conditions/restrictions apply:
- Supervisor(s) must approve of the additional assignment.
- The work performed in the second position must not interfere with the proper and required performance of the employee’s duties in the primary position.
- The work must be performed outside of the employee’s regular work schedule or the employee’s work schedule must be altered to accommodate the additional hours.
- The combined salary from both positions cannot exceed the maximum allowable salary for the primary position.
- In the case of a part-time employee, the total hours worked may not exceed the authorized institution and state limits for part-time positions for the employee’s status.
- Prior ADHE approval may apply in certain situations.
- As a general rule, internal concurrent employment excludes overload assignments for faculty and overtime assignments for non-exempt staff.
E.188.8.131.52 Approval Process.
Concurrent employment requests must be submitted by the heads of the institutions or agencies involved, and must be approved in advance by the director of ADHE. Contact Human Resources for more information.
E.184.108.40.206 Penalties for Noncompliance.
The law penalizes employees for holding more than one position without approval. The following excerpt is from the Arkansas Code dealing with concurrent employment:
Arkansas Code Annotated 6-63-307(1995) (b) states “… Any employee knowingly violating the provisions of this sectionshall be subject to immediate termination and shall be barred from employment by any agency or institution of the State of Arkansas for a period of not less than three (3) years or until the employee shall repay to the State of Arkansas any sum received by such employee in violation of this section, together with interest at a rate of 10 percent per annum.”
If an employee is working or plans to work in a capacity other than their primary position or for another institution or state agency, the employee needs to verify that the work has been approved. Employees should not assume that the request was made on their behalf. Concurrent employment does not apply to secondary schools or to private colleges. It does apply to all other institutions within the University of Arkansas System.
Contact Human Resources for further information or to initiate a concurrent employment request.
E.2.15 Reorganized January 2021
E.2.16 Job Sharing.
(ACA §21-5-203, as amended; Arkansas State Personnel Policy)
Arkansas law allows job sharing, a form of employment in which two people arrange their work hours in a way that covers a single, regular, full-time salaried position. The combined number of hours worked by the two part-time employees cannot generally exceed the number of hours a full-time employee would work in the same position (usually 40 hours per week.) Both employees must be part-time and must use the position in the same way. For example, if the position is classified as an administrative assistant, both employees must perform administrative assistant duties. Hourly positions may also be shared.
E.2.16 Reorganized January 2021
E.2.17 Personal Appearance Expectations.
UAFS is committed to the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion for all employees. An employee’s appearance is a very personal matter. All employees will use good judgement and should be mindful of the fact that their images reflect on the university.
Clothing, or the lack of it, which may offend or shock the public or is generally considered inappropriate for the work location or assignment is not allowed. Any item of attire that includes offensive graphics or language should not be worn.
In order to promote and protect the UAFS brand, clothing or décor in workspaces that promotes institutional competitors should only be used as part of an intentional program that is sponsored by the university (i.e., a day to promote graduate school admissions for programs we do not offer). Degrees, certificates, licenses, awards, and the like from other institutions are acceptable.
Attire promoting a specific political candidate or that would be identified as promoting a political campaign is not allowed. (Examples include but are not limited to: t-shirts, hats, buttons, etc.) For more information regarding Political Activity, please see section E.6.9 Political Activities.
Expectations may be different for individual employees - and vary by department - depending on the type of work performed and interaction with the general public. Uniforms are required in some areas. Safety clothing (including but are not limited to helmets, shoes, goggles, PPE, specific athletic clothing, etc.) must be worn when required. Questions about appropriate dress should be discussed with the employee’s direct supervisor and/or Human Resources.
E.2.17 Updated January 2021