Jun 19, 2024  
Student/Code of Conduct, Housing & Residential Life, and Faculty & Staff Handbooks 
    
Student/Code of Conduct, Housing & Residential Life, and Faculty & Staff Handbooks

E.6 Employment Conduct


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E.6.1 General Standards of Conduct.

Some topics covered in this policy may be covered elsewhere in the Faculty and Staff Handbook. Employees should avoid any personal or outside interest that might conflict with the interests of the institution. Employees are expected to adhere to all federal, state, and municipal laws and ordinances and to adhere to all university policies and procedures, as well as other guidelines and rules of all regulating agencies or entities having jurisdiction over university activities. When there is a disagreement, employees are expected to use ethical means of dissent to rectify differences, i.e., the official grievance procedure and/or the appropriate chain-of-command.

Employees may not accept or solicit any gift, favor, service, or benefit that the employee should reasonably know is offered with the intent to influence their decisions or actions. Likewise, employees may not solicit, accept, or agree to accept any unauthorized gift, favor, service, or other benefits from having exercised the powers and responsibilities of their official university position.

Employees are required to notify their supervisor and vice chancellor of any outside employment (see sections E.2.14 and E.2.15 for more information). Employees may not accept other employment or engage in any business or professional activities that would require or induce the employee to disclose confidential information acquired through their official university position.

Employees may not conduct private or personal business using university equipment, systems, supplies, or facilities nor transport or use university equipment, systems, supplies, or facilities for personal purposes. Employees may not conduct private business with the university, including but not limited to selling services to the university. Private business on the part of the employee may not conflict with the duties, responsibilities, or time commitment required by the employee’s position with the university.

Employees may not use their position to lobby students or the general public on issues that are self-serving where the purpose is for personal or financial gain.

E.6.1 Updated June 2024

E.6.2 Use of the University’s Name and Logo.

The name of the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith is used in many official business contexts and for a wide range of purposes. It is important that any use of the name in any form be limited to UAFS activities. The following broad clarifications are applicable:

E.6.2.1 Public Appearance.

Public appearances by individual faculty, staff, and students frequently involve the use of the name of the UAFS. When university representatives appear on commercially sponsored radio and television programs, they should be identified as “guests.” Appearances on unsponsored radio and television programs are considered simply as public appearances and impose only normal obligations for responsibility.

E.6.2.2 Sponsorship/Co-Sponsorship of Activities.

When the name of the university is used in connection with seminars, conferences, workshops, and other activities, the university must in fact be a sponsor. Any sponsorship activities must be approved in advance by the appropriate vice chancellor.

E.6.2.3 Public Statements.

The chancellor of UAFS is responsible for official statements affecting the university, and the University of Arkansas System president is responsible for news releases affecting the UA System.

E.6.2.4 Use of Logo and Seal.

Guidelines for use of the university logo and seal and for the printing of stationery, business cards, and name badges are available from Marketing and Communications at 479-788-7154. Further details on logo usage and branding standards can be found in the Graphic Standards Manual.

E.6.2 Updated January 2022

E.6.3 Use of University Property and Facilities.

(Board Policy 715.1; System Policy 720.1; Governor’s Policy Directive #5; Arkansas State Personnel Policy)

Employees may use equipment and supplies provided by UAFS only for work-related purposes. University computers, telephones, long-distance authorization codes, calling cards, fax machines, cell phones, photocopying machines, vehicles, machinery, tools, disposable supplies, and other equipment and materials may not be used for personal activities. University equipment may not be discarded, but must be disposed of in accordance with established procedures. University bulletin boards may not be used for private or commercial activities. Campus metering services can only be used for mail being sent for university purposes. Unauthorized or personal use of equipment or supplies may be grounds for dismissal.

University facilities, grounds, and other resources (collectively “facilities”) exist for the primary purpose of serving a planned and scheduled program of educational activity. At times when not required in the regularly planned educational program, university facilities may be made available for extra-curricular use to colleges, departments, and other organizational units of the university; to organizations composed exclusively of faculty and staff; to organizations which exist solely for the benefit of the university; and to recognized student organizations with the approval of the faculty advisor.

University facilities under the law cannot be made available to other organizations for their own purposes. However, when a facility is in use neither for a regularly scheduled educational activity nor for an extra-curricular use by one of the university organizations listed above, the chancellor may approve use of the facility when such use serves the educational objectives of the university. It is an objective of the university to provide opportunities for university and broader communities to see and hear major leaders from throughout the state, nation, and world. Speeches and debates by or on behalf of candidates for major state or national offices may be scheduled in university facilities under arrangements that allow reasonable opportunities for opposing candidates or points of view. It must be made clear that the university neither supports nor opposes the views stated by and/or the candidacy of such individuals.

Per University of Arkansas System Policy 720.1, UAFS buildings’ roofs and exterior sides are not intended for general use. No rooftop research or classroom use is permitted, and no machinery, equipment, antennae, greenhouses, or other property may be installed on roofs or roof edges without the written permission of the director of plant operations. Rappelling and climbing are expressly prohibited.

E.6.3.1 Scheduling Facilities.

Contact the facilities coordinator at 479-788-7315 or scheduling@uafs.edu for additional information, to receive a copy of the facilities use policy, or to schedule any campus facility. The Facilities Use Policy is available on My.UAFS.

E.6.3 Updated November 2022

E.6.4 Serving the Public.

UAFS is a state-supported institution. The success of the university depends, to a large extent, on how its employees serve the public, our clients, and customers. Each employee plays an important role in building and maintaining good relations with the public because the university is judged not only on the quality of its graduates, but also on interactions with employees. Employees are expected to treat every member of the public courteously in all correspondence, emails, telephone conversations, and personal interactions when they visit the campus.

E.6.4 Reorganized January 2021

E.6.5 Arkansas Whistle-Blower Protection.

(ACA § 21-1-601; Arkansas State Personnel Policy; Board Policy 355.1)

The university has a responsibility for the stewardship of university resources and the public and private support that enables it to pursue its mission. The university is committed to compliance with the laws and regulations to which it is subject and to promulgating university policies and procedures to interpret and apply these laws and regulations in the university setting.

The university’s internal control system is intended to detect, prevent and deter noncompliance with applicable laws, regulations and university policies. However, even the best internal control systems cannot provide absolute safeguards against wrongful conduct. The university has a responsibility within its established control system to investigate and  report to appropriate parties disclosures of suspected wrongful conduct and the actions taken by the university to address those disclosures.

This policy is intended to encourage all university employees to report suspected or actual occurrences of alleged wrongful conduct without fear of retribution and to bring forward serious concerns to the university’s management for review, prior to seeking resolution outside the university. The university will provide fraud and compliance hotlines for the purpose of soliciting information from whistleblowers about alleged wrongful conduct.

This policy excludes federal funds, property, or manpower. No adverse action will be taken against an employee or a person authorized to act on behalf of the employee, in the following situations:

  • If an employee alleges a violation under this act and does so “in good faith,”
  • If an employee alleges a violation under this act and does so “in good faith” and participates or gives information in an investigation, hearing, court proceeding, legislative, or other inquiry, or in any form of administrative review; and/or
  • If an employee alleges a violation under this act and does so “in good faith” and has objected to or refused to carry out a directive that the employee reasonably believes violates a law, rule, or regulation adopted under the authority of the State.

Any reported violation must be more than technical or minimal in nature, of a state statute or regulation, of a political subdivision ordinance or regulation, or of a code of conduct or code of ethics designed to protest the interest of the public or a public employer. An employee’s communication about the violation or waste must be made at a time and in a manner that gives the public employer reasonable notice of the need to correct the waste or violation. An employee communicates in good faith when they have a reasonable basis in fact for their report of waste or a violation. The report of waste or violation should be made verbally or in writing to one of the employee’s superiors or to an appropriate authority.

Definitions:

  • Whistleblower - A person or entity making in good faith a protected disclosure on a matter of public concern is commonly referred to as a whistleblower. Whistleblowers may be university employees (academic or staff), applicants for employment, students, patients, vendors, contractors or the general public.
  • Wrongful Conduct - Wrongful conduct is an activity undertaken by a university employee in the performance of the employee’s official duties or by an individual, corporation or other entity doing business with the university that are in violation of law as defined in Arkansas and federal whistleblower laws.
  • Good Faith - Acting when the employee has personal and factual knowledge of the waste or violation. It will not be considered good faith when the employee knew or reasonably could have known that the report is malicious, false, or frivolous. Good faith is lacking when an employee does not have personal knowledge of a factual basis for the report or when they knew or reasonably should have known that their communication about the waste or violation was malicious, false, or frivolous.
  • Adverse Action - Discharging, threatening, discriminating, or retaliating against the employee in any manner that affects the employee’s employment, including compensation, job location, rights, immunities, promotions, or privileges.
  • Waste - A state agency’s or an institution of higher education’s conduct or omissions which result in substantial abuse, misuse, destruction, or loss of public funds, property, or manpower belonging to or derived from the State or local political subdivision’s resources

E.6.5.1 Whistleblower Rights, Role, and Responsibilities.

In accordance with the Arkansas Whistleblower Act, whistleblowers have the right to be protected from retaliation. A university employee who retaliates against a whistleblower who reports alleged wrongful conduct in good faith is subject to discipline up to and including termination of employment from the university. A whistleblower’s right to protection from retaliation however does not extend to immunity for any complicity in the matters that are the subject of the disclosure or an ensuing investigation. The university also has the right to act upon the intentional filing of a false report, whether orally or in writing.

Whistleblowers frequently make their reports in confidence and often wish to remain anonymous. Protection of a whistleblower’s identity will be maintained to the extent possible under applicable state and federal laws. Whistleblowers should be cautioned that their identity may become known for reasons outside of the control of university administrators and investigators. Should the whistleblower choose to self-disclose their identity to the university, the university may not be able to maintain confidence over the identity.

The whistleblower’s role is as a reporting party. Whistleblowers provide information related to a reasonable belief that alleged wrongful conduct has occurred within the university’s operations. Whistleblowers have a responsibility to be candid with the university’s board, management or investigators to whom they make a report of alleged wrongful conduct and shall set forth all known information regarding any reported allegations. Persons making a report of alleged wrongful conduct should be prepared to be interviewed by university employees who have the authority to conduct investigations. A whistleblower has the right to be informed of the subsequent disposition of their disclosure unless the information is legally protected from release.

E.6.5 Updated January 2021

E.6.6 Arkansas Fraud Policy.

(ACA § 21-1-601; Arkansas State Personnel Policy; Board Policy 350.1)

This fraud policy is established to facilitate the development of controls which will aid in the prevention and detection of fraud within the University of Arkansas System (the “System”). It is the intent of the System to promote consistent organizational behavior by providing guidelines and assigning responsibility for the development of prevention and  detection controls and conduct of investigations.

Scope: This policy applies to any fraud, or suspected fraud, involving Board of Trustees, employees, consultants, vendors, contractors, outside agencies doing business with employees of such agencies, students, and any other parties with a business relationship with the System.

Any investigative activity required will be conducted without regard to the suspected wrongdoer’s length of service, position or title, or relationship to the System.

Policy: Management is responsible for the prevention and detection of fraud, misappropriations, and other inappropriate conduct. Fraud is defined as the intentional, false representation, or concealment of a material fact for the purpose of inducing another to act upon it to their injury. Each member of the management team will be familiar with the types of improprieties that might occur within their area of responsibility and be alert for any indication of irregularity.

Any fraud that is detected or suspected must be reported to the Internal Audit Department, who coordinates investigations with the university’s general counsel and other affected areas, both internal and external.

E.6.6.1 Actions Constituting Fraud.

The terms defalcation, misappropriation, and other fiscal wrongdoings refer to, but are not limited to:

  • an entry into the accounting records of the System that is intentionally made to represent what is not true or does not exist, with intent to deceive the officers and trustees of the University of Arkansas System
  • forgery of a check, bank draft, wire transfer, or any other System financial document
  • unauthorized alteration of any financial document or account belonging to the System
  • misappropriation of funds, securities, supplies, or other System assets
  • impropriety in the handling or reporting of money or financial transactions
  • disclosure of confidential and proprietary information to outside parties for personal gain, except as allowed under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act or other law
  • theft of identity
  • accepting or seeking anything of material value from contractors, vendors, or persons providing services or materials to the System, except as provided in gift policies
  • unauthorized destruction, removal, or use of records, furniture, fixtures, and equipment for personal gain
  • any similar or related inappropriate conduct
  • other inappropriate conduct

Suspected improprieties concerning an employee’s moral, ethical, or behavioral conduct, should be resolved by departmental management and human resources personnel rather than Internal Audit.

If there is any question as to whether an action constitutes fraud, contact the internal audit director for guidance.

Identity Theft Prevention Programs: In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission issuing the Red Flags Rule under sections 114 and 315 of the Fair and Accurate Transactions Act (FACT), Subpart J, Section 41.90, each campus will prepare a written Identity Theft Prevention Program. This program should be designed to detect, prevent, and mitigate identity theft in regard to “covered accounts” as defined in the law. The programs must be approved by the Board of Trustees and include a requirement for an annual review and update filed with the UA System vice president for finance and chief fiscal officer through the Chancellor’s Office of each campus.

Investigation Responsibilities: The Internal Audit Department has the primary responsibility for the investigation of all suspected fraudulent financial acts as defined in the policy. If the investigation substantiates that fraudulent activities have occurred, the Internal Audit Department will issue reports to appropriate designated System officers and personnel and to the Board of Trustees through the Audit Committee.

Decisions to prosecute or refer the examination results to the appropriate law enforcement and/or regulatory agencies for further independent investigation will be made in accordance with Arkansas and Federal laws by the Officers and Trustees of the System in consultation with the General Counsel, as will final decisions on disposition of the case.

Confidentiality: The Internal Audit Department treats all information received confidentially. Any employee who suspects dishonest or fraudulent activity will notify the Internal Audit Department and should not attempt to personally conduct investigations or interviews related to any suspected fraudulent act.

Investigation results will not be disclosed or discussed with anyone other than those who have a legitimate need to know subject to Arkansas Freedom of Information Act. This is important in order to avoid damaging the reputations of persons suspected but subsequently found innocent of wrongful conduct.

Reporting Procedures and Fraud Hotline: Great care must be taken in the investigation of suspected improprieties or wrongdoings so as to avoid mistaken accusations or alerting suspected individuals that an investigation is underway.

An employee who discovers or suspects fraudulent activity will contact the Internal Audit Department either directly or through the System’s established Fraud Hotline. The employee or other complainant may remain anonymous. All inquiries concerning the activity under investigation from the suspected individual, their attorney or representative, or any other inquirer should be directed to the Internal Audit Department or general counsel. No information concerning the status of an investigation will be given out.

The reporting individual should be informed that they should not contact the suspected individual in an effort to determine facts or demand restitution or discuss the case, facts, suspicions, or allegations with anyone unless specifically asked to do so by the general counsel or the Internal Audit Department.

Termination: The Internal Audit Department does not have the authority to terminate an employee for committing fraudulent acts. Decisions to terminate an employee reside with the university’s senior management and officers in consultation with Human Resources and general counsel.

Administration: The Internal Audit Department is responsible for the administration, revision, interpretation, and application of this policy.

E.6.6 Updated January 2021

E.6.7 Handling Confidential Information.

(Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) or the Buckley Amendment) In performing work for the university, employees may have access to academic, personnel, or budgetary information that is considered confidential. Employees are expected to respect the confidentiality of such information and not disclose it to anyone who does not have an official need for it. If an employee has questions about the confidentiality of information entrusted to them or to which they have access, questions should be referred to the appropriate supervisor.

E.6.7.1 Student Records.

The Family and Educational Rights and Privacy Act, also known as FERPA or the Buckley Amendment, is a federal law that governs the confidentiality of student records (including concurrent and WATC students). The act prohibits, with certain limited exceptions, the release of information from a student’s educational records unless the student has given  written consent. The act also ensures that students have certain rights with respect to their education records and access to those records and that they have the opportunity to correct erroneous records. FERPA regulations apply to all student records, including student employment records for individuals employed in any capacity where school attendance is a condition of employment, i.e., workstudy program.

Unless a currently enrolled student has directed the university to withhold disclosure of “directory information,” that information may be released to the public without the permission of the student. UAFS has defined directory information as the student’s name, address, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, degrees and awards received, telephone listing, electronic mail address, photograph, date and place of birth, dates of attendance, grade level, enrollment status (i.e., undergraduate or graduate; full- or part-time), honors received, and most recent educational agency or institution attended. It is important to note that the institution, at its sole discretion, designates what is considered “directory information,” as well as what is released in each circumstance. As a general rule, no other information in an education record can be disclosed without consent of the student. Students may request that UAFS not release directory information by completing the proper form and  submitting it to the Registrar’s Office. Do not assume that it is okay to release any information without contacting the Registrar’s Office.

Educational records and personal information may be released under other special circumstances and conditions, i.e., in response to a judicial subpoena of records or in emergency situations. All inquiries should be referred to the Registrar’s Office. For more information contact the registrar at 479-788-7407 or refer to the Student Handbook.

E.6.7.2. Identity Theft Prevention Program (Red Flag Detection and Response) Policy.

In November 2007 the Federal Trade Commission, the federal bank regulatory agencies, and the National Credit Union Administration published a joint notice of final rulemaking in the Federal Register (72 FR 63718) finalizing the Identity Theft Red Flags regulation and guidelines. The Red Flags Rule, promulgated pursuant to the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003, requires financial institutions and creditors to develop and implement a written identity theft prevention program.

The University of Arkansas Board of Trustees approved an Identity Theft Prevention Program on April 17, 2009, for the University of Arkansas System. The UA System requires each UA campus to incorporate its own program. The University of Arkansas at Fort Smith developed a program and is covered by the Red Flags Rule.

The purpose of the UAFS program is to identify and detect any relevant Red Flags for new and existing covered accounts and to respond appropriately to any Red Flags that are detected in order to seek, prevent, and mitigate identity theft. The UAFS program is reviewed and updated periodically to reflect changes in risks to students and other covered  accounts. The vice chancellor for finance and administration serves as the program administrator.

Personnel of any UAFS office/department with activities that are considered covered accounts under the Red Flags Rule are required to review training documents and acknowledge completion of training under the UAFS Identity Theft Prevention Program on an annual basis. The program administrator is responsible for implementation of the annual training program and submission of the annual report to the UA System.

UAFS personnel who have concerns regarding potential identity theft should contact their immediate supervisor or the vice chancellor for finance and administration.

E.6.7 Reorganized January 2021

E.6.8 The Arkansas Freedom of Information Act.

(ACA §25-19-101; Arkansas State Personnel Policy)

Under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act, university documents, with some exceptions, are considered public records and must be made available to the public for inspection during regular business hours. Records covered by the act include data compilations in any format, including papers, microfilm, microfiche, computer disks and tapes, email, and audio and video recordings. Freedom of Information requests must generally be responded to within three (3) days of the date when a written request is received. The public may also request that disclosable documents be copied, which will be done at the requestor’s expense. If an employee receives a Freedom of Information request, it should be immediately forwarded to:

Director of Strategic Communication
5210 Grand Ave.
Advancement Center
479-788-7132

E.6.8.1 Expectation of Privacy.

In recognizing that university computer systems and networks are public and subject to the FOIA, users utilize such systems at their own risk. Likewise employees should not have an expectation of privacy in regards to any university-owned property and equipment. The university reserves the right to enter and inspect any university property at any time, with or without notice.

E.6.8 Updated June 2023

E.6.9 Political Activities.

(Board Policy 465.1; Arkansas State Personnel Policy)

University employees, as citizens, have the right to engage in political activity. However, no employee may involve the institution’s name, symbols, property, or supplies in political activities. If employees speak publicly on matters of public interest and are identified by their name and position with the university, they should make every effort to make it clear that the employee’s comments or opinions are those of the employee and not the university.

Any employee who intends to seek public office or to assume a major role in a political campaign is obligated to discuss their plans with their supervisor. If the supervisor determines that the activity will impinge, to any extent, upon the full discharge of the employee’s responsibilities to the university, the plans must be reviewed through regular  administrative channels, to include the chancellor, after consultation with the General Counsel’s Office, for a determination of workload and salary adjustment. Such determination shall be reported to and subject to review by the president.

Involvements that require part- or full-time services and for which more than token compensation is received will require a reduction of workload and pay, leave of absence, or resignation, depending on the extent of the activity. Any approved political activities of an employee must be taken on personal time by taking annual leave with approval of the  employee’s supervisor. This includes campaigning such as the wearing or displaying of campaign apparel or materials.

E.6.9.1 Political Leave.

If elected to a full-time county, statewide, or national office, employees may be granted a leave of absence without pay for one (1) year and for a second year at the discretion of the Board of Trustees. In no instance will the leave be extended beyond the second year. If an employee is elected to the Arkansas General Assembly, they will be required to take a leave of absence without pay when the General Assembly is in session.

E.6.9 Updated January 2021

E.6.10 Relationship with Legislators and Elected Officials.

(ACA §21-4-501 et.seq. and §25-19-105; Arkansas State Personnel Policy)

As citizens employees have the right to exercise freedom of expression on legislative matters. However, employees should not, unless authorized, attempt to speak on behalf of the university in discussions with members of the Arkansas General Assembly, Arkansas constitutional officers, members of Congress, or local and county elected officials. 

Employees have the right to communicate with elected officials concerning matters related to their job and cannot be subjected to discipline, threats of discipline, reprimands (oral or written), or notations in their personnel files disciplining or reprimanding or otherwise be discriminated against because the employee exercised the right to communicate with an elected public official. However, if an employee intentionally makes untrue allegations to an elected official concerning matters related to their job or if an employee communicates confidential information (as defined in the following paragraph), they may be subject to discipline.

State employees are prohibited from communicating certain matters deemed confidential obtained in the performance of their duties, i.e., medical records, education records as defined by FERPA, state income tax records, undisclosed investigation by law enforcement agencies, documents protected from disclosure by order or rule of court, personnel  records to the extent that disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, etc. as exempted under ACA. §25-19-105.

E.6.10 Updated January 2021

E.6.11 Children, Other Family Members, or Friends in the Workplace.

It is university policy that only those providing or making use of university programs and services should be on campus regularly or routinely except as bona fide visitors. Consequently, neither employees nor students should have family members, including children or friends, as a regular presence in their workplace or classrooms and other areas of instruction, including laboratories. Exceptions should only be made in response to special circumstances for short periods of time and must be approved by the employee’s supervisor.

E.6.11 Reorganized January 2021

E.6.12 Electronic Communications and Website Policy.

(Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, 20 U.S.C. §1232g; Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986, 18 U.S.C. §§ 2510 et seq.; 18 U.S.C. § 1030; Arkansas Freedom of Information Act, ACA §§ 25-19-101 et seq.; ACA §§ 5-41-101 et seq.)

UAFS’s computer and electronic communications systems offer powerful tools for research and dialog among members of the university community and those outside the university community. The university expects ethical and responsible behavior from individuals using these resources. The UAFS Acceptable Use of Technology Resources Policy applies to all UAFS students, faculty, and staff as well as members of the community who use or access university information technology resources. It is the responsibility of all users to read and be familiar with the requirements of the policy. Computing resources are provided to enhance teaching, research, service, and the activities which support them. When using university computing resources or being granted the use of a computing account, employees are expected to use their access, accounts, and resources responsibly and for the intended educational, research, and administrative purposes. Employees may not use the account for private consulting or personal gain. Access to privileged or sensitive information should be kept confidential. Any use of computing and network resources should always be legal and ethical, reflect academic honesty, and show restraint in the consumption of shared resources. It should demonstrate respect for intellectual property, ownership of data, system security mechanisms, the right to personal privacy, and the right of individuals to freedom from intimidation and harassment. All users of university computing resources must comply with all federal, state, and other applicable laws; all generally applicable university rules and policies; and all applicable contracts and licenses. Examples of such laws, rules, policies, contracts, and licenses include the laws of libel, privacy, copyright, trademark, obscenity, and child pornography; the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which prohibit “hacking,” “cracking,” and similar activities; the university’s Code of Student Conduct; the university’s Sexual Harassment Policy; and all applicable software licenses. Employees must adhere  to copyright and licensing agreements and should become familiar with those for each specific product used before using.

Faculty and staff may produce, in a manner consistent with this policy, an individual My.UAFS web page through their university account. The university does not approve, preview, or censor personal web pages and accepts no responsibility for their content or for the content of electronic mail communications.

Employees do not own their university computer accounts, but are granted use of them. The university will access electronic files, including email files, if: the employee consents in writing to such access; there is an emergency which may affect someone’s physical health or well-being or may result in the damage or destruction of university property; there is reason to believe that a violation of law or university policy is occurring or has occurred; or access is necessary for maintenance of computers, networks, data, and storage systems or to protect the rights or property of the university or other users. 

Electronic files, including email files, of university employees are potentially subject to public inspection and copying under the state Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which states that “All records maintained in public offices or by public employees within the scope of their employment are presumed to be public records.”

Records containing information directly related to a student are confidential and protected from public disclosure by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Employees may not access any such records maintained in an electronic format or disclose or distribute their contents in a manner inconsistent with federal and state laws and  university regulations. Confidential information placed in computers must be protected appropriately.

An employee should not give their password to any unauthorized user and should take advantage of system-provided protection measures to prevent unauthorized use of or to access accounts, computers, and its network. When an employee ceases to be a member of the campus community, is assigned new responsibilities, or takes a new position, their account and access authorization will be reviewed. Employees may not use facilities, accounts, access codes, privileges, or information which they are not authorized to use. Upon separation employee access to UAFS computer systems - including email - will be revoked.

Per UA System Policy 285.1 - Employees must not use University systems to express a personal political opinion to an elected official unless the opinion is within the scope of the employee’s regular job duties, or the opinion is requested by an elected official or public entity. Employees must not engage in lobbying an elected official on a personal opinion if the employee is not a registered lobbyist for the campus. Employees must not intentionally override or avoid the security and system integrity procedures of the campus or engage in illegal activities or activities otherwise prohibited by federal law or state law.

Any violation of UA System Policy 285.1 or the University Acceptable Use of Technology Policy  shall be subject to the progressive discipline policy.

Depending on the severity of the violation, disciplinary action may include suspension or termination.

E.6.12.1 Violation of Policy.

Employees must not attempt to access, copy, or destroy programs or files that belong to other users or to the university nor use university computing resources for unauthorized monitoring of electronic communications. Employees must not create, run, install, or knowingly distribute a computer virus, Trojan horse, or other surreptitiously destructive program, email, or data via any university computer or network facility, regardless of whether it results in demonstrable harm. University computers must not be used to annoy, harass, threaten, intimidate, terrify, or offend another person, disrupt or damage another person’s work, or invade another’s privacy. Sending electronic chain letters, spamming, spoofing, and engaging in resource-intensive activities unrelated to university functions are also prohibited. Violation of these policies by any member of the university community (student, faculty, staff member, or guest) shall result in discipline up to and including immediate suspension or expulsion for students, termination for faculty and staff members, and loss of user privileges for guests. Violation of these policies may also create civil and criminal liability. For more information refer to the full text of the UAFS Acceptable Use of Technology Resources Policy.

E.6.12 Updated October 2023

E.6.13 Solicitation, Fund-Raising, and Donor Gifts.

Generating philanthropic support from the private sector is a vital function of the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith. Success in this effort is necessary to meet goals and seize opportunities as outlined in the university’s strategic directions as well as its overall mission of educating students. The Division of University Advancement and the UAFS Foundation are charged with the responsibility of planning, implementing, and executing an effective program of external support and private gift solicitation, while coordinating with internal stakeholders university-wide for the purpose of moving the institution forward. Such coordination is vital for maintaining positive and productive relationships in the  community, aligning campus communication, generating external support, promoting comprehensive fundraising success, but also to:

  • comply with IRS, legal, and audit requirements
  • avoid duplication of external engagement and solicitation
  • comply with proper accounting regulations and procedures
  • effectively utilize university and community support services
  • ensure that solicitation considerations are based on university/unit priorities and needs and aligned with donor intent
  • maintain accurate and complete records for all external communications, and ensure proper credit and recognition for institutional supporters and donors
  • appropriately steward supporters and donors
  • apply best practices in building and maintaining institutional relationships
  • prepare solicitation and engagement teams so they are knowledgeable and well oriented
  • provide the best possible opportunity for success in reaching the financial targets of university fund-raising campaigns and achieving strategic external engagement goals

The full UAFS Campus Policy on Fundraising, External Engagement and Support can be found on My.UAFS.

(Board Policy 225.1; Governor’s Policy Directive #4; Arkansas State Personnel Policy) University facilities are for the non-profit, taxexempt use of the university’s program of higher education and may not be used for raising money not connected with a University activity or for the conduct of private business. However, in certain limited areas, the university contracts with private businesses to provide services on campus for students, faculty, and staff.

E.6.13 Updated January 2021

E.6.14 Relationship with Vendors.

(ACA §19-11-704 thru §19-11-707)

Employees may not accept gifts, either in-kind or of money, or excessive entertainment, from a vendor. Gifts include any items not obviously of an advertising nature. (Gifts of an advertising nature are all those with the name of the firm affixed or which typically have a unit value of $10 or less.) Excessive entertainment includes, but is not restricted to, transportation beyond university boundaries and overnight accommodations.

The university will not enter into any contract with an employee to sell or purchase from the employee or a member of the employee’s family. The university will in no way do business with any employee acting as an individual, partner, sole proprietor, officer, or director of any firm.

E.6.14 Reorganized January 2021

E.6.15 Solicitation of Employees.

(Governor’s Policy Directive #4; Arkansas State Personnel Policy)

Solicitation of employees on university property for membership in and/or contributions to any organization or association is prohibited. Solicitation by agents or salespersons or employees acting as agents or salespersons on university premises is prohibited. This policy also prohibits solicitations via UAFS’s email and other telephonic communication  systems. Any exceptions must have the written consent of the chancellor or their designee. This does not apply to recognized university student organizations.

E.6.15 Reorganized January 2021

E.6.16 Conflicts of Interest and Commitment.

(Board Policy 215.1 and 330.1; ACA §§19-11-704 thru §19-11-707; Arkansas Ethics Commission Rules on Gifts)

University employees need to be sensitive to the possibility that outside obligations, financial interests, or employment may affect their responsibilities and decisions as members of the university community. Involvement of university employees in outside activities, both public and private, often serves the interests of the individual, university, and general public. Participation of individuals in activities outside the university is encouraged to the extent that they do not interfere with the mission of the university in preserving, generating, and disseminating knowledge.

University employees may be faced with situations that conflict with their obligations, responsibilities, and decisions related to the mission of the university. These conflicts can generally be categorized as conflicts of interest and conflicts of commitment. Conflicts of interest are situations in which university employees may have the opportunity to influence university administrative, business, or academic decisions in ways that could lead to personal gain, give improper advantage to self or others, or interfere with the preservation, generation, or public dissemination of knowledge. Conflicts of commitment are situations in which university employees’ time and effort given to outside activities and interests interfere with their obligations and responsibilities to the university.

Conflicts of interest and commitment are not necessarily unwarranted, unethical, or illegal. Furthermore, conflicts of interest and commitment are not always avoidable. The failure to disclose situations that have the potential for or involve actual conflicts of interest or commitment, however, may be unethical and/or illegal.

E.6.16.1 Disclosure and Remediation.

Situations that have the appearance of, potential for, or involve actual conflicts of interest or commitment must be reported in writing to the employee’s appropriate supervisor (i.e., department head, dean, director, vice chancellor). Written disclosure should be made by the individual before any agreements are completed between the employee, university, and any outside organizations. Modifications to existing agreements should be reported as they occur. In addition, continuing agreements should be reported on an annual basis. In disclosing these situations, the employee should indicate any steps that can or will be taken to avoid or minimize any conflicts.

After consulting with the employee, considering whether an actual or potential conflict of interest or commitment exists, and the ramifications for the university, the appropriate vice chancellor will determine the course of action to be taken. (If the situation involves a vice chancellor, the chancellor will determine the course of action to be taken.)

E.6.16.2 General Guidelines.

The following list provides some examples of the type of situations that may involve conflicts of interest or commitment and should be disclosed. Because a particular situation appears on the list does not necessarily mean that a conflict of interest or commitment exists. Even if a conflict exists, the situation may be unavoidable or in the University’s best interest and allowed to continue. The list of situations is not all inclusive. Other situations or activities may exist that have the appearance of, potential for, or involve actual conflicts. Situations, whether listed below or not, that have the appearance of, potential for, or involve actual conflicts of interest or commitment should be disclosed.

  • Employee or immediate family member ownership, management, or other business ties with a private or public organization that has dealings with the university
  • Participation in outside business activities
  • Teaching credit or noncredit courses, seminars, or workshops for anyone other than the university
  • Requiring material for use by students for which the instructor derives direct or indirect financial benefit
  • Fees provided for professional service including consulting, honoraria, royalties, or expert testimony
  • Continuing role in the business efforts of a commercial enterprise
  • Service or financial interest in an entity that provides grants or contracts
  • Time and effort in extracurricular activities that interfere with obligations, duties, and responsibilities to the university
  • Employee or immediate family member having a financial interest in university decisions
  • Use of university facilities, employees, or students in personal or commercial activities
  • Use of official university position for personal/family gains/interests
  • Appointment, promotion, supervision, or management of an immediate family member
  • Acceptance of gifts offered because of university position valued at more than $100 should be disclosed to the employee’s direct supervisor within 10 days from the date the item was received
  • Use of university credit, purchasing power, or facilities for non-university activities
  • Advertising endorsements based upon university position

Related policies include: E.2.12 Nepotism, E.2.14 Outside Employment, E.6.3 Use of University Property and Facilities, and E.6.9 Political Activities.

E.6.16.3 Grants and Other Federally Funded Programs.

The above guidelines apply to all grants and other federally funded programs. Key personnel involved in programs funded by federal programs must complete a Financial Disclosure Form with the Grants Office. All project investigators must complete the form including the project directors, principal investigators, and any other key personnel who are responsible for the design, conduct, or reporting of a grant funded project. The actual reporting process is subject to change based on the guidelines of each grant. Also, sub-grantees, contractors, and other collaborators may be required to fill out a disclosure form
or provide certification from their organization to prove they are in compliance with federal policies regarding investigator significant financial disclosure.

All project investigators, as indicated above, must report

  1. their significant financial interests which could appear to be affected by the project, and
  2. the significant financial interests of their spouses and dependent children which could appear to be affected by the project.

A significant financial interest is anything of monetary value received from non-UAFS sources that could reasonably appear to be affected by the project including, but not limited to, the following:

  1. salary or other payments for services (e.g., consulting fees or honoraria),
  2. equity interests (e.g., stocks, stock options, or other ownership interests), and
  3. intellectual property rights (e.g., patents, copyrights, and royalties from such rights).

A significant financial interest does not include salary or other remuneration from UAFS. 

Disclosure forms will be returned to the appropriate vice chancellor who will determine whether any of the reported financial interests could directly and significantly affect the design, conduct, or reporting of the research or project activities. If a potential conflict of interest exists, the vice chancellor will review the disclosure forms and recommend action. Records of all financial disclosures and all actions taken by the university, with respect to each conflicting interest, will be retained for at least three (3) years (or as specified by the grant) from the date of submission of the final expenditure report on the specified grant project.

Any UAFS employee who knew of or could reasonably have been expected to know of and deliberately failed to respond appropriately to a potential conflict of interest will be subject to disciplinary action ranging from reprimand to discharge.

The disclosure form must be updated annually by Oct. 1 or when additional potential conflicts arise during the year. For further information or to obtain a Financial Disclosure Form, contact the grants officer at 479-788-7063.

E.6.16 Updated January 2022

E.6.17 Copyright and Licensing Agreements.

(Board Policies 210.1 and 210.2)

UAFS complies with all copyright and licensing agreements. Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States to the authors of “original works of authorship” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works. This protection is available to both published and unpublished works.

The Copyright Act generally gives the owner of the copyright the exclusive rights to use the work and to authorize others to use the work. It is illegal for anyone to violate those rights through unauthorized use of the copyrighted works. However, the act established certain limitations on these rights. In some cases these limitations are specified exemptions from copyright liability. One major limitation is the doctrine of “fair use.” In other instances the limitation takes the form of a “compulsory license” under which certain limited uses of copyright works are permitted upon payment of specified royalties and compliance with statutory conditions. Some academic uses of copyright materials are exempt from copyright restrictions by the Fair Use Doctrine. Often, however, a compulsory license is needed. To ensure full compliance with the law, never reproduce or distribute copyrighted materials without consulting the director of Library Services at 479-788-7200.

E.6.17 Reorganized January 2021

E.6.18 Contracting Authority.

(Board Policy 300.1)

Contracting authority for each campus is delegated to the Chancellor, Vice Chancellor for Finance & Administration, Procurement official, and other subdelegates. Authority to contract in the name of the University may be subdelegated only  with written authorization of the UA System President.

The term “contract” means an agreement or understanding that binds the University in any way. This includes a lease, license, purchase order, memorandum of understanding, letter of intent, or any other form of agreement or commitment. 

All contracts require review by the UA System General Counsel’s Office. The review must occur before the contract is signed. The Contracts Office must be involved early in the process to avoid delays or complications arising from required revisions by the UA System legal office.

Per UA Board Policy 300.1, no employee may execute any contract on behalf of a campus unless he or she has been delegated signature authority to do so. No contract signed by a person without signature authority shall be binding upon the campus or the Board of Trustees of the University of Arkansas, the result of which the employee may be subject to personal liability for any commitments made. 

E.6.18 Added April 2023

E.6.19 Communicable Disease Policy.

UAFS places a high priority on the need to prevent the spread of communicable diseases on campus. Because there is currently no cure or vaccine for a number of chronic communicable diseases, prevention of transmission is essential.

An employee with a communicable disease or who is a carrier of such a disease will be permitted to retain their position whenever, through reasonable accommodation, there is no significant risk of transmission of the disease to others.

No other person who has a communicable disease or who is a carrier of a communicable disease will be denied the use of university facilities or services whenever, through reasonable accommodation, there is no significant risk of transmission of the disease to others.

E.6.19.1 Definitions.

Communicable disease means an illness caused by an infectious agent or its toxins that occurs through the direct or indirect transmission of the infectious agent or its products from an infected individual or via an animal, vector or the inanimate environment to a susceptible animal or human host (CDC.gov). A significant communicable disease is one that poses a health threat to the infected individual, or those that she/he comes in contact with or is in close proximity to.

E.6.19.2 Right to Privacy.

The university will respect the right of privacy of any employee who has or is a carrier of a communicable disease. The medical condition of an affected person will be disclosed only to the extent necessary to minimize the health risks to other employees and students.

E.6.19.3 Protection Against Communicable Diseases.

Each individual employee will notify the appropriate vice chancellor if they have or are a carrier of a communicable disease when there is a risk of transmitting the disease to others on campus. The willful or careless exposure of other persons by an individual who has or is a carrier of a communicable disease is a reckless, inconsiderate, negligent act which endangers everyone. If it is determined that a person has or is a carrier of a communicable disease and that person has not taken adequate precautions to prevent transmission of the disease to others, that person will be subject to termination or dismissal from the university.

E.6.19.4 Reporting Procedures.

Employees and students will notify the vice chancellor in person or by confidential letter if they have or are a carrier of a communicable disease. Such notification allows the university to evaluate each individual case and take the necessary precautions to minimize the risks of transmission to others. It is essential that strict confidentiality be maintained regarding the health condition of any employee.

E.6.19.5 Education Programs.

The university will make available educational materials on the risks of exposure and transmission of communicable disease. Employees may contact Human Resources for more information. Educational brochures will be distributed to students as part of the registration process.

E.6.19.6 Precautionary Measures for Specific Groups.

E.6.19.6.1 Health Sciences Faculty and Students.

College of Health Sciences faculty members and students in health sciences programs could be exposed to communicable diseases on more than a casual, routine basis. Accordingly, special precautions and protective measures are necessary to prevent needless exposure to chronic communicable diseases. The dean of the College of Health Sciences will take action to see that precautions, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and the Arkansas Health Department, are rigidly practiced in all health occupation programs.

E.6.19.6.2 Faculty and Students in the Sciences.

Traditional methods of instruction in the laboratory sciences frequently involve contact and exposure to human blood and body fluids. Current scientific data indicate that special precautions need to be practiced in such contact/exposure situations. The dean of the College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics will take action to see that adequate precautions are taken in instructional situations that have the potential to present exposure risks to communicable diseases.

E.6.19.6.3 Faculty and Students During Certain Athletic Events.

Certain kinds of athletic activities involving bodily contact may occasionally result in accidents or injuries which expose blood or body fluids. The vice chancellor for student affairs will take action to see that faculty and students are aware of and practice precautionary measures in situations which have the potential to present exposure risks to communicable diseases.

E.6.19.6.4 Food Service Personnel.

The assitante dean of students and dining services will take action to see that food service personnel have an annual health assessment and that they routinely practice precautionary measures designed to prevent the transmission of communicable diseases.

E.6.19.7 Employees with Communicable Diseases.

There is no intent to automatically dismiss employees who have communicable diseases as long as the disease does not interfere with job performance and there are no significant risks of transmitting the disease to others. There are several communicable diseases, each presenting its own unique symptoms, effects, and transmission risks. 

Due to the variety of possible situations that may occur, it is not feasible to provide specific, definitive administrative procedures that will apply in each case. The following procedures will serve as a general guide which may be utilized as the specific situation dictates: An employee with a communicable disease may be temporarily excluded from campus until the risks of transmission of the disease to others can be reasonably determined.

The medical condition of the employee will be known only to the applicable vice chancellor. After advice from selected consultants, the vice chancellor will decide whether the employee with a communicable disease constitutes a threat to the health of others and will notify the employee of the decision. If the threat to other employees is unacceptable and reasonable accommodation is not possible, the employee may be suspended or discharged. The employee may appeal the vice chancellor’s decision to the chancellor.

In cases where employment is continued, the vice chancellor may require the employee to be evaluated periodically by selected consultants to assure that the risk of transmission remains stable and that job performance is not affected by the disease. In the event that a communicable disease in an advanced stage prevents an employee from being able to perform effectively, the employee may be placed on leave or disability status.

E.6.18 Updated January 2022 

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