SPU is subject to the requirements of the federal Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (DFSCA). The University strongly supports the Act and consistently ensures compliance with it. SPU annually distributes information regarding the restrictions and consequences of violations of this Act. Any employee who has not received copies of the statement should contact the office of Human Resources at 330 West Nickerson.
The purpose of SPU’s Alcohol, Tobacco, and Drug Use Policy is to support the educational mission of the University with standards of personal health, moral integrity, and social consciousness. The policy is also intended to provide guidelines in order to be sensitive to the varieties of Christian perspectives represented on campus, the Free Methodist Church, which is the sponsoring denomination of SPU, and the community at large.
Misconduct related to alcohol consumption or drug use that creates risks for one's safety, threatens the safety of others, detracts from the living-learning community, disrupts the university community (either on or off campus) is a violation of SPU's policy and may result in disciplinary action. Illegal, underage consumption and/or possession of alcohol will not be permitted either on or off campus.
Violation of this policy by an SPU employee may result in disciplinary actions which could include verbal counseling, written warning, withholding of wage increases, suspension with or without pay, demotion, or other appropriate sanctions up to and including termination of employment. An employee who, while on SPU property or at any University sponsored activity, exhibits objective signs of being under the influence of intoxicating beverages or illicit drugs may be placed on immediate leave until the University completes its review of the matter. If the observed behavior is a result of drug abuse or alcohol use, the employee will be subject to further disciplinary action, up to and including termination. If the abnormal behavior resulted from prescription drug use in compliance with a physician's instructions, the University's sick pay policy applies.
The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of a controlled substance by employees will be grounds for immediate disciplinary action, up to and including termination and referral for criminal prosecution.
All employees must notify the University of any drug or alcohol criminal conviction. The University must be notified within five days after such conviction. Notice should be given to the director of human resources.
Supervisors should not attempt to diagnose alcoholism, drug dependency, or any other complex physical, mental, or emotional problem, but they should identify, document, and attempt to correct all employee job performance and/or work behavior problems, if appropriate.
The supervisor should immediately document any violation of this policy. The documentation should be forwarded the same day to the area vice president, with copies to the President's Office and Office of Human Resources.If an employee is required to complete a drug or alcohol treatment and rehabilitation program as part of the disciplinary action resulting from a violation of this policy, official records of the diagnosis or treatment will be kept for at least three years, separately from the standard personnel file, by the director of human resources. The file will be held in the strictest confidence and will only be used as evidence to governmental and granting agencies that the University did in fact take steps toward correcting the problem.
The purpose of the computer usage policy is to outline faculty, staff and student responsibilities in the legal and ethical use of University computers in an effort to maintain confidentiality of stored data, files, computers and networks as well as protecting the proprietary rights of third parties and of the University in commercial software. This policy also provides the general guidelines on how computer and electronic resources may be used.
Computer System User Responsibilities
All faculty, staff and students must participate in assuring legal and ethical use of University computers and user accounts. Specific responsibilities include the following:
General Use Guidelines
The following general guidelines describe how computer resources at SPU may be used.
Any violation of the stated responsibilities regarding system access, security or use should be reported to Computer and Information Systems. Violations of this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.
See Computer and Information Services Acceptable Use Policy for further information.
Each trustee, officer, and employee of Seattle Pacific University occupies a fiduciary relationship with the University based on loyalty, trust, good faith, and candor in the performance of job-related duties.
The University asks that each employee covered by this policy use good judgment, high ethical standards, and honesty in all job-related business dealings. The employee should avoid any conflict of interest or appearance of conflict of interest. Every employee of the University shall advise the President of any situation he or she is involved in which may give rise to a conflict of interest or appearance of conflict of interest. The President will review any perceived conflicts of interest and decide on the disposition of the situation.
As a matter of general policy, and not as a promise of specific treatment to any employee, the University may seek to engage in disciplinary action with staff. This means the University may provide a period of time, when appropriate in the University's sole discretion, for the correction of performance or behavior.
Disciplinary procedures may be initiated at any time and for various reasons, as deemed appropriate by the University. The severity of the action may generally depend on the nature of the problem and on the employee's past performance, and may range from verbal counseling to immediate dismissal.
Disciplinary procedures may consist of any or all of the following steps:
As a general policy, and not as a promise of specific treatment, disciplinary action may be progressive in nature (e.g., a verbal warning preceding a written warning). However, exceptions to or deviations from this general policy may occur whenever the University (in its sole discretion) deems appropriate. The University reserves its right to terminate any employee, at any time, at will, with or without cause and with or without prior disciplinary action.
Employees of Seattle Pacific University are members of a community. All communities expect their members to uphold certain standards of behavior and contribute to the welfare of the group in specific ways. The community expectations of SPU are standards of behavior which reflect the University's commitment to providing higher education in the context of an evangelical Christian and Wesleyan heritage. Employees serve as both ambassadors of SPU to the external community and role models for students.
Therefore, as members of this academic and faith community, SPU employees are asked to make behavioral and lifestyles choices consistent with biblical standards of moral integrity, social consciousness, and effective Christian witness. In keeping with these expectations and to ensure a spirit of Christian community, University employees are expected to refrain from:
Employees who engage in any of these activities may face disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment with the University.
Seattle Pacific University is committed to maintaining an environment free of sexual harassment. Members of our community have the right to work, study, and communicate with each other in an atmosphere free from unsolicited and unwelcome communication of a sexual nature. The sexual harassment policy and procedures are intended to provide fair and equitable treatment for both the complainant and the alleged harasser. If you believe you have been sexually harassed, you should immediately report the incident to a grievance officer.
Position of the University
Sexual harassment violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as well as of University policy. The University will not permit such harassment, and will promptly and aggressively investigate and pursue the resolution of any complaint of such conduct.
Sexual Harassment is defined under the guidelines of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as follows:
Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment, (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual, or (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.
Examples of sexual harassment are:
The professionals who have been designated by the University as grievance officers are the dean of students, a representative from the faculty, and the director of human resources. Grievance officers do not serve as legal consultants or advocates for either party. The role of the grievance officer is to collect information about complaints of sexual harassment and to facilitate a fair and equitable investigation process.
Need to Report Sexual Harassment
Any student or employee who believes he or she has been the subject of sexual harassment or has concerns about the appropriateness of the behavior of a student or employee should report the behavior immediately to one of the University's grievance officers.
Faculty and Supervisor Responsibilities
Any faculty member or supervisor who has knowledge of an incident or alleged incident of sexual harassment is required to contact one of the three grievance officers immediately, whether or not a formal complaint will be filed. Since failure to act could be interpreted as condoning the prohibited behavior, faculty and supervisors must act promptly.
Employee and Student Responsibilities
All employees and students are to participate in assuring that the workplace is free from sexual harassment. Their responsibility is to avoid any behavior which could be perceived by another as sexual harassment. Also, any employee or student who has been sexually harassed by a coworker, supervisor, student, or faculty/staff member should bring the complaint to the attention of one of the grievance officers. Additionally, any employee or student who has knowledge of an incident or alleged incident of sexual harassment should strongly encourage the complainant to seek the counsel of one of the grievance officers or should personally report the incident to a grievance officer if the complainant is reluctant to do so.
If the complainant wishes to proceed with filing a complaint, a prompt investigation should take place according to the following procedure. The grievance officer should interview the complainant and request that the complainant prepare a written complaint. Additionally, the officer will make any appropriate referrals (e.g., to counseling, rape relief, etc.). The grievance officer may begin the investigation prior to the receipt of a written complaint or receipt of the alleged harasser's response.
This policy and procedure statement does not interfere with the right of an individual to seek legal counsel or representation.
Any deviation from or modification of this policy must be approved by the Office of the President.
Notifications regarding garnishment of wages will be processed pursuant to state law. If garnishments on three or more separate debts are served on the University with respect to any employee within a 12-month period, disciplinary action (up to and including termination of employment) may be taken against that employee.
As a matter of general policy, and not as a promise of specific treatment to any employee, the University seeks to provide an avenue for staff who believe they have been unfairly treated by their supervisors. This policy does not apply to: (1) alleged sexual harassment (which is covered in the Sexual Harassment Policy), (2) alleged violations of the Policy of Nondiscrimination (which complaints are handled through the University's Discrimination Grievance Procedures), or (3) decisions to terminate an employee.
This policy is applicable to regular full-time and regular part-time staff of the University who have been employed by the University longer than 90 days. Temporary employees may not access the grievance procedure.
Definition of Terms
Description of Process
If a staff member has a grievance regarding an action or behavior of a supervisor or fellow employee they must first seek correction or resolution directly with their supervisor. If resolution is not achieved then the employee, if wanting to pursue a grievance, should contact their area vice president and present their grievance (in written form) for mediation and resolution. The vice president is expected to study the problem and attempt to resolve the differences. If no resolution can be reached:
If a grievance board is convened or an independent reviewer is appointed, the following steps will apply:
The final decision will be communicated in writing by the president or his designate to the grievance and to the vice president involved.
This procedure is available only to those individuals who meet the eligibility requirements defined above. Employees who feel they have been treated unfairly for having complained about unsafe conditions or illegal activity at the University should immediately inform the director of human resources or the president's office in the event that the unsafe conditions or illegal activity involves the director of human resources. Please see the purpose section above for other restrictions.
The grievance procedure must be initiated within 30 days of the incident being protested.
If an employee is served with or receives a legal summons, complaint, subpoena for trial or deposition testimony, or other notice of legal proceedings involving the employee because of his or her employment by the University or in any way related to or arising from the University's activities or activities conducted on its behalf, the employee must immediately notify and provide a complete set of the legal documents to the President's Office so that the University can consult legal counsel and make a timely response.
State law requires certain professionals to make an immediate oral report to law enforcement authorities (for example, to Child Protective Services or Adult Protective Services or local police) whenever they have a reasonable cause to believe that a child (person under 18 years of age), adult dependent, or developmentally disabled person has suffered abuse or neglect.
Staff required to report generally include those who, in the regular course of their employment, are involved in teaching, counseling, nursing, or administration. When such staff have reasonable cause to believe that such abuse or neglect has occurred, the staff person shall report the incident to the appropriate law enforcement agency by telephone at the first opportunity, but in no case longer than 48 hours after there is reasonable cause to believe the child or adult has suffered abuse or neglect. This reporting requirement does not apply to the discovery of abuse or neglect that occurred during childhood if it is discovered after the child has become an adult. However, if there is a reasonable cause to believe other children, dependent adults, or developmentally disabled persons are or may be at risk of abuse or neglect by the accused, then the reporting requirement still applies. For additional information or for consultation, contact Counseling and Health Services.
For purposes of this mandatory reporting law, "abuse or neglect" means injury, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation (allowing prostitution or obscene filming of a child), negligent treatment, or maltreatment by a person that indicates harm to serious disregard that endangers the victim's health, welfare and safety.
The report should be on the form provided in the appendix to this handbook and should include the name, address and age of the suspected victim; name and address of the victim's parents or persons having custody of the victim; the nature and extent of the suspected injuries, neglect or sexual abuse; evidence of any suspected previous injuries; and any other information that may be helpful in establishing the cause of a victim's injuries and the identity of the alleged perpetuators. Additional forms are available in the Counseling Center, the Office of Student Life, and the Office of Human Resources.
Any person who in good faith makes a report or testifies to the alleged abuse in a judicial proceeding is immune from liability arising out of such reporting or testifying under any state law.
Employees should refer any requests from outside persons for interviews, testimony, or statements on University matters or policies to the Office of University Communications. For example, staff should decline to give statements to the press ("on" or "off the record") or statements to insurance company claims adjusters or representatives (regarding accidents on campus or involving University employees or students), and instead refer them to the Office of University Communications. The Office of University Communications must be notified promptly of any such requests or contacts from outside parties.
While employees must of course comply with any order of a court or law enforcement officer, if an employee has knowledge of an event such that his or her testimony is needed, the employee must give prompt prior notice of the request to the President, Vice President of Academic Affairs, or Vice President for Business and Planning so that legal counsel may be present if appropriate.