Special Concerns

XXIV.

A. Academic Integrity, Academic Freedom and Responsibility

The following statements were produced by the TCCTA Professional Development Committee, unanimously adopted by that committee, endorsed by the TCCTA Executive Committee. They were also unanimously, and, finally, approved by the general membership in the association’s conventions in 1981, 1982, 1983, and 1986. The statements thus became formal expressions of the organization’s membership on the vital topics they address.

      1. Academic Integrity
        The principles enumerated below have been among the cornerstones of academic integrity for years. The faculty members reaffirm them here to provide a fuller view of our beliefs and our expectations for the future.

        1. We fully accept the responsibility of College teachers to establish and maintain standards of excellence in the courses they teach.
        2. We recognize the need for consistency and fairness in the evaluation of student performance.
        3. We fully recognize the need to maintain public confidence in the academic integrity of our colleges.
        4. We know that inflated grades have cheapened value, and therefore we strongly affirm the need to strengthen and preserve credible measures for evaluating student performance.
      2. Academic Freedom
        Lee College, like all other institutions of higher education, serves the common good, which depends upon an uninhabited search for truth and its open expression. The points enumerated below constitute our position on academic freedom:*

        1. Faculty members of Lee College are appointed to impart to their students and their communities the truth as they see it in their respective disciplines. The teacher’s right to teach preserves the student’s right to learn.
        2. The mastery of a subject makes a faculty member a qualified authority in that discipline and competent to choose how to present its information and conclusions to students. The following are among the freedoms and responsibilities which should reside primarily with the faculty: planning and revising curricula, selecting textbooks and readings, selecting classroom films and other reaching materials, choosing instructional methodologies, assigning grades, and maintaining classroom discipline.
        3. Faculty members of Lee College are citizens and, therefore, possess the rights of citizens. These rights include, among others, the right as private citizens to speak freely outside the classroom on matters of public concern and to participate in lawful political activities.
        4. Prior restraint or sanctions should not be imposed upon faculty members of Lee College in the exercise of their rights as citizens or duties as teachers. Nor should faculty members fear reprisals for exercising their civic rights and academic freedom.
        5. Faculty members of Lee College have a right to expect their governing board and administrators to uphold vigorously the principles of academic freedom and to protect their faculty from harassment, censorship, or interference from outside groups and individuals. (Approved by the Lee College Board of Regents on October 21, 1993.)

*Due to the constraints of the prison environment, certain restrictions on faculty teaching in a prison setting are necessary. Refer to “Handbook for Contracted Personnel” provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

    1. Academic Responsibility
      The academic freedom of Lee College faculty members is accompanied by equally compelling obligations and responsibilities to their profession, their institutions and their communities. Faculty-members must defend the rights of academic freedom while accepting willingly the responsibilities enumerated below:

      1. Faculty members of Lee College should be judicious in the introduction of material in the classroom without forfeiting the instructional benefits of controversy.
      2. Faculty members of Lee College are entitled to all rights and privileges of academic freedom in the classroom while discussing the subjects they teach. No faculty member, however, should attempt to force on his or her students a personal viewpoint or be intolerant of the rights of others to hold or express diverse opinions.
      3. Faculty members of Lee College recognize their responsibility to maintain competence in their discipline through continued professional development and to demonstrate that competence through consistently adequate preparation and performance.
      4. Faculty members of Lee College recognize that the public will judge their institution and their profession by their public conduct. Therefore, faculty members should always make clear that the views they express are their own and should avoid creating the impression that they speak or act in behalf of their employing institutions or of their profession.

B. Academic Regalia

The faculty members shall contact the Campus Store/Bookstore Manager in order to purchase or rent the appropriate academic regalia to be worn in the graduation exercises or other special occasions.

Regalia must be ordered at least six weeks prior to the event.

C. Board Policy

The Lee College Board Policy Manual is designed for comprehensive coverage of the policies that govern the Lee College District. In any instance where it is determined that the Employee Handbook is not compatible with the Lee College Board Policy Manual, the board policy shall prevail.

Copies of Lee College Board Policy Manual are available for all employees to review in the following locations:

  • The President’s Office
  • The Lee College Library
  • The Human Resources Office
  • The Office of the Instructional Deans
  • The Office of the Dean of Student Development & Institutional Planning
  • The HC/LC Office
  • The College Attorney’s Office
  • The Office of the Faculty Assembly Representative for Policy Change

D. Budget

The College budget is developed annually in the Spring. All employees contribute to its development in one or more of the following ways:

  1. Participation in department/division budget development.
  2. Participation on or presentation to the Planning Committee during its annual hearings on new expenditures.

The budget is amended as necessary throughout the fiscal year. All amendments must be approved by the division chair, appropriate supervisory dean, the Dean of Financial Services, the College President and the Board. When these amendments occur between program areas or from transfers of administrative contingency funds, they will be periodically reported in either Faculty Assembly meetings or individual division meetings.

E. Cash Receipts

All employees who receive cash for the College must do so by using sound accounting principles following the guidelines of the Lee College Office of Financial Services.

F. College Facilities

Rooms are available throughout the College for special activities and events. They must be reserved in advance by calling the numbers below:

  • Student Center – Student Activities Coordinator (ext. 6861)
  • Phyllis Davis Reception Room- President’s Office (ext. 6300)
  • Testing Center- Counseling Center (ext. 6384)
  • Tucker Hall – Secretary of Purchasing Office (ext. 6320)
  • Gazebo – Secretary of Student Development and Institutional Planning (ext. 6462)
  • Edythe Old Studio (ext. 6379)
  • The Sports Complex (ext. 6487)

The above lists only some of the rooms available. Also division secretaries schedule the rooms in their areas for classroom needs through the office of the Dean of Administrative Services.

G. College Property

College property is not intended for personal use and, therefore, is not to be taken from the campus for use at home, in business places, or in the community. If it is necessary to move College property to a non-campus location for instructional purposes, or when an employee is directly representing the College, the employee must secure written approval from the Dean of Administrative Services. When the property is returned to campus the employee must notify the Dean of Administrative Services that the property has been returned.

H. College Vehicles

College vehicles must be used only for school business and driven only by approved drivers. Employees requesting use of College owned vehicles should contact the Purchasing Office.

A complete set of regulations on use of vehicles is included in the Financial Services Policy Manual.

I. Communication Channels

All requests for newspaper, radio, or television publicity should be submitted to the appropriate Dean prior to submitting to the Marketing and Public Relations. Suggestions for news releases and feature stories are encouraged and should be made directly to the Marketing and Public Relations Office. Paid advertising requests should be made in the same manner, and the Public Information Manager will place the ads depending on the advertising budget status.

J. Compensation, Benefits, Payroll, etc.

Any questions relating to compensation, benefits, payroll, etc. should be referred to the College Human Resources Office.

K. Conflict of Interest35

No employee of the College District shall have any interest, financial, or otherwise, direct or indirect, or engage in any business, transaction, or professional activity or incur any obligation of any nature that is in substantial conflict with the proper discharge of duties in the public interest.

No College District employee who has authority to make recommendations or decisions regarding contracts with business entities shall accept outside employment with, or have a substantial interest in, a business entity that has a contract, work, or business with the College.

L. Copyrighted Materials

Guidelines for copyrighted materials are found in Board Policy EDD Local, issued 10-16-1989.

M. Drug-Free Work Place Policy36

Employees shall not unlawfully manufacture, distribute, dispense, possess, use, or be under the influence of any of the following substances during working hours while at the college or at college-related activities during or outside of usual working hours:

  • Any, controlled substance or dangerous drug as defined by law, including but not limited to marijuana, any narcotic drug, hallucinogen, stimulant, depressant, amphetamine, or barbiturate.
  • Alcohol or any alcoholic beverage.
  • Any abusable glue, aerosol paint, or any other chemical substance for inhalation.
  • Any other intoxicant, or mood changing, mind altering, or behavior-altering drugs.

An employee who uses a drug authorized by a licensed physician through a prescription specifically for that employee’s use shall not be considered to have violated this policy. Each employee shall be given a copy of the District’s statement regarding drug-free workplace and drug-free schools, a description of the applicable legal sanctions under local, state, or federal law and a description of the health risks associated with the use of illicit drugs and the abuse of alcohol.

N. Drug-Free Workplace Requirements

The District prohibits the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of controlled substance, illegal drugs, inhalants, and alcohol in the workplace. The District shall establish a drug-free awareness program to inform employees about the dangers of drug abuse in the workplace; the District’s policy of maintaining a drug-free workplace; any available drug counseling, rehabilitation, and employee assistance abuse programs; and the penalties that may be imposed upon employees for drug abuse violations.

Employees who violate this prohibition shall be subject to disciplinary sanctions. Such sanctions may include referral to drug and alcohol counseling or rehabilitation programs or employee assistance programs, termination from employment with the District, and referral to appropriate law enforcement officials for prosecution. Information on available rehabilitation or employee assistance programs is available in the Human Resources Office.

Compliance with these requirements and prohibitions is mandatory and is a condition of employment. As a further condition of employment, an employee shall notify the College President of any criminal drug statute conviction for a violation occurring in the workplace no later than five days after such conviction. Within ten days of receiving such notice—from employee or any other source—the District shall notify the granting agency of the conviction.

Within 30 calendar days of receiving notice from an employee of a conviction for any drug statute violation occurring in the workplace, the District shall either (1) take appropriate personnel action against the employee, up to and including termination of employment, or (2) require the employee to participate satisfactorily in a drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program approved for such purposes by a federal, state, or local health agency, law enforcement agency, or other appropriate agency.

O. Emergency Closures

The Dean of Administrative Services or his designee monitors status of the impending emergency. After collecting the information, the Dean of Administrative Services makes a recommendation to the President or her designee for a decision.

Early morning decisions for delayed openings and/or all-day campus closures will be made by 5:00 a.m. Afternoon decisions for early, full, partial or specific location closures/evacuations will be made by 2:00 p.m. for evening classes.

The President, designee or Dean of Administrative Services notifies the Dean’s Council and the Assistant to the President for Special Projects:

The Deans and Executive Director for Institutional Advancement begin the campus-wide process of calling department heads who are to call their lead people, who call their section heads and so on until all full and part-time employees/student workers are notified. Establishment and maintenance of calling system is the responsibility of each area.

The Public Information Manager prepares and provides written/verbal statement(s) and notifies:

  1. Media —-Read Communications (who notifies all Houston area media outlets) and calls/emails KWWJ 1360 AM in Baytown and KSHN 99.9 FM in Liberty, and WNZH-1610 AM. Baytown Department of Emergency Management and Disaster Preparedness.
  2. Campus Security—with information for signs if posted on campus doors, or whether to secure entrances, and/or guide exiting traffic as necessary.
  3. Director of IT–who has the switchboard operator record a message on the main campus telephone system and has the web coordinator put the message on the Lee College home page.
  4. Sends all-user email, as appropriate.
  5. Calls satellite location managers, especially if their location (only) is affected.
  6. Calls Athletic Director.
  7. Calls Student Activities Director with request that he notify/email appropriate student organizations.

P. Emergency Procedures

The handling of all emergency situations is covered in detail in the Lee College Emergency Procedures Manual which is distributed to all employees in the Fall of each year, and is available in the Security Office located in Rundell Hall.

Q. Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action37

Lee College shall not fail or refuse to hire or discharge any individual, or otherwise discriminate against any individual with respect to compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because of the individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Nor shall the College limit, segregate, or classify its employees or applicants for employment in any way that would deprive or tend to deprive an individual of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect the status as an employee because of the individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

Lee College shall not discriminate in employment, as set out above, because an individual is age 40 or above.

As an exception to the policy stated above the Board may employ an individual on the basis of an individual’s religion, sex, national origin, or age in those certain instances where religion, sex, national origin, or age is a bona fide occupational qualification reasonably necessary to the normal operation of the College.

The College district shall not deny initial employment, reemployment, retention in employment, promotion or any benefit of employment on the basis of membership in a uniformed service, performance in a uniformed service, application for uniformed service, or obligation to a uniformed service. The College District shall not take adverse employment action or discriminate against any person who takes action to enforce protections afforded by the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA).

The College District may not substantially burden an employee’s free exercise of religion, unless the burden is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest and is the least restrictive means of furthering that interest.

The College shall not discriminate, as set out above, against a qualified individual with a disability because of the individual’s disability in regard to job application procedures, the hiring, advancement, or discharge of employees, employee compensation, job training, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment. Discrimination includes not making reasonable accommodations to the known physical or mental limitations of an otherwise qualified individual with a disability, unless the College can demonstrate that the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the College.

Lee College shall not exclude or deny equal jobs or benefits to, or otherwise discriminate against, a qualified individual because of the known disability of an individual with whom the qualified individual is known to have a family, business, social, or other relationship or association.

Lee College shall designate at least one employee to coordinate its efforts to comply with and carry out it’s responsibilities under Title II, Subtitle A, of the Americans with Disabilities Act and its implementing regulations, including any investigation of any complaint communicated alleging the College’s noncompliance or actions prohibited by those provisions. The College shall make available to all interested individuals the name, office address, and telephone number of the employee(s) so designated.

The College shall make available to applicants, participants, beneficiaries, and other interested persons information regarding the provisions of Title II of the American Disabilities Act and its applicability to the College’s programs, services, and activities. The information shall be made available in such manner, as the Board and College President find necessary to apprise such persons of the protections against discrimination assured them by the ADA.

The College shall post notices in an accessible format to applicants, employees, and members describing the applicable provisions of Title I of the ADA.

The term “disability” means, with respect to an individual, a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the individual’s major life activities, a record of having such an impairment, or being regarded as living with such an impairment. “Major life activities” means functions such as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.

The term “qualified individual with a disability” means an individual with a disability who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the employment position that the individual holds or desires. Consideration shall be given to the College’s judgment as to what functions of a job are essential, and if a written description has been prepared before advertising or interviewing applicants for the job, the description shall be considered evidence of the job’s essential functions.

The term “reasonable accommodation” may include:

Making existing facilities used by employees readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities and job restructuring, part-time or modified work schedules, reassignment to a vacant position, acquisition or modification of equipment or devices, appropriate adjustment or modification, of examinations, training materials or policies, the provision of qualified readers or interpreters, and other similar accommodations for individuals with disabilities.

The term “undue hardship” means, an action requiring significant difficulty or expense, when considered in light of factors related to the nature and cost of the accommodation needed, overall financial resources of the affected facility and the College, and other factors set out in law.

The term “qualified individual with a disability” does not include any employee or applicant who is currently engaging in the illegal use of drugs, when the College acts on the basis of such use. Nor does it include any individual who is an alcoholic whose current use of alcohol prevents the employee from performing the duties of the job in question or whose employment, by reason of such current alcohol abuse, would constitute a direct threat to property or the safety of others.

As a qualification standard, the College may require that an individual shall not pose a direct threat to the health or safety of other individuals. In the workplace. Although the term “physical or mental impairment” includes such contagious diseases as HIV disease (whether symptomatic or asymptomatic) and tuberculosis, an individual who by reason of such disease or infection would pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others that cannot be eliminated or reduced by reasonable accommodation or who is unable to perform the duties of the job shall not be considered a “qualified individual.”

The determination that an individual poses a “direct threat” shall be based on an individualized assessment of the individual’s present ability to safely perform the essential functions of the job. The assessment shall be based on a reasonable medical judgment that relies on the most current medical knowledge and/or the best available objective evidence. In determining whether an individual would pose a direct threat, the factors to be considered include:

  • The duration of the risk;
  • The nature of the severity of the potential harm;
  • The likelihood that the potential harm will occur; or
  • The imminence of the potential harm.

R. Ethical Standards for Employees38

Faculty members are expected to meet the education and experience requirements in their subject fields and to demonstrate continuing professional growth beyond minimum requirements.

They are expected to support the philosophy of the College and to be aware of and concerned with the broad range of objectives and capabilities of the students who the College seeks to serve. They will seek to develop the most effective instructional techniques and will be receptive to new approaches which offer promise. They will provide guidance to students which will promote their welfare and their proper educational development.

The following standards of conduct shall apply to all employees of the College.

  1. No employee shall accept or solicit, any gift, favor, or service that might reasonably tend to influence the employee in the discharge of official duties or that the employee knows or should know is being offered with the intent to influence official conduct.
  2. No employee shall accept employment or engage in any business or professional activity that the employee might reasonably expect would require or induce the disclosure of confidential information acquired by reason of the official position.
  3. No employee shall accept other employment or compensation that could reasonably be expected to impair the employee’s independence of judgment in the performance of official duties.
  4. No employee shall make personal investments that could reasonably be expected to create a substantial conflict between the employee’s private interest and the public interest.
  5. No employee shall intentionally or knowingly solicit, accept, or agree to accept any benefit for having exercised the employee’s official powers or performed official duties in favor of another.

S. Expunging Personnel Files, Right to Review Material39

If an employee does not receive any written disciplinary action for a 48-month period, all disciplinary and/or derogatory material placed in the file prior to the said 48-month period shall not be considered toward discharge, promotion, transfer, or any other personnel action. Cases involving sexual harassment will be handled according to the Sexual Harassment Policy. (See Section KK, Sexual Harassment) Therefore, upon instruction, personnel files shall be purged, and all such material removed and destroyed. No material relating to personal conduct, service, or performance shall be placed in an employee’s personnel file unless the employee has had an opportunity to read the material and so signify by signing or initialing the material to be filed. By signing or initialing the material, the employee merely indicates that the material has been read. Agreement or concurrence with the materials is not to be construed.

Materials originated by the employee may be placed in the personnel file without examination by, or notice to, that employee.

In the event an employee fails or refuses after a reasonable time to sign or initial material as provided above, the College President shall cause to be forwarded to the employee, by certified mail, return receipt requested, a copy of the material in question. A notation shall be placed on the file copy of the material in question showing the fact and date of mailing. Proof of delivery shall also be attached if available.

An employee shall have the right to respond in writing to any material placed in his/her personnel file. Any such response shall be attached to the material in question.

T. Faculty Credentials40

Instructors shall meet or exceed the current standards of the College Delegate Assembly of the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

U. Faculty Offices

The College will provide a private office to each full time faculty member as offices are available. Offices will be assigned by the appropriate dean prior to the opening day of each academic year.

V. Field Trip Procedures

Information and forms should be secured from Division Chairs and Instructional Deans.

W. Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986

The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 requires that Lee College hire only American citizens and aliens who are authorized to work in the United States. Lee College is required to verify employment eligibility on all new employees and retain a one page Employment Eligibility Verification (1-9) form.

X. Intellectual Property Policy41

College employees are encouraged to publish, copyright, invent and patent materials and objects of their own creation that will contribute to the advancement of knowledge. The College shall encourage this and shall protect the interest of its personnel in relation to disclosure of scientific and technological developments, including inventions, discoveries, trade secrets, computer software, and original works and ideas which may have monetary value. The College shall ensure that public funds and property are not used for personal gain. The author, creator, or inventor is free to benefit from royalties and monies accruing from such publication or invention subject to the following guidelines:

  1. All classes of intellectual property, scientific and technological developments, materials or objects created on the employee’s own time, and without the use of College facilities, equipment, materials, or support, shall be the sole property of the creator.
  2. Materials or objects created by employees at College expense or on College equipment shall be the property of the College. The College, in return for unrestricted license to use and reproduce original work without royalty payment, shall transfer full ownership to the creator of any present or subsequent copyright/patent in accordance with the following paragraph.
  3. In the event that materials or objects are sold to entities outside the College, all income shall go to the College until all developmental expenditures incurred by the College for that project, including, but not limited to, stipends paid to the developer (over and above contract salary), prorated support staff salaries, supplies, and other expenses related to the creation of the materials or objects, are recovered. Thereafter, all remuneration as a result of copyright publication or patented sale shall go to the creator(s) of the materials or objects.
  4. It is the intention of the Board that any employee developing materials, and the like, defined by this section will be permitted to participate in any royalties. The staff members and/or College District may market the intellectual property upon written notification to the other party at which time an agreement on the division of any royalties received shall be made between the staff member and the College District. The division of any royalties received shall be contingent on the approximate amount of participation in the project by each party as determined by the College President and his or her staff. Further, the inventor or copywriter may participate in the management of a business related to development of his or her intellectual property. Finally, the inventor or copywriter may share in the equity of a company designed to market for profit the invented product, disclosure, trade secret, computer software, or other item or service.
  5. No College District employee shall realize a profit from materials sold exclusively to Lee College students.

License agreements made with third parties under this policy should contain all provisions as are determined to be in the best interest of both the College District and the inventor and shall be submitted for confirmation to the Board. Materials produced under an externally funded grant will be guided by the terms of the grant.

Y. Keys/Security of Teaching Space

Keys are issued to all full time personnel for the area they are assigned. Individuals desiring keys to another area must receive written permission from the Appropriate Dean and forward the written request to the Human Resource Officer for approval. Keys are assigned to Custodial and Maintenance Personnel at the discretion of the Dean of Administrative Services. Employees are responsible for the costs associated with replacing lost or stolen keys.

Z. Library Privileges and Circulation

Library privileges are available to employees. A complete set of guidelines on employee use of these services is available from the Director of the Library.

Recognizing that faculty use library resources differently than students and other employees, a circulation policy will be written that applies to their special needs. Needs of faculty include extended borrowing privileges and suspension of late fees.

All faculty bear the responsibility for returning borrowed library materials. Items that are checked out on a faculty card are the responsibility of that faculty member. All book items (including government documents) checked out during a semester will be due at the end of that semester. Items of this nature can be renewed for one additional semester. Media items have a one-week circulation period with a two-week renewal extension. Items that are significantly late or not returned will be declared lost and become the financial responsibility of that faculty member.

If faculty require extended circulation periods, such as materials checked out at the end of a semester that are needed for preparation for the next semester, please notify circulation personnel upon checkout. Items may be recalled by other patrons, including other faculty members. Recalled items should be returned in one week. Faculty who recall media items may need them returned sooner than one week so that items can be used in class instruction. Library staff will communicate this need to original borrowing faculty. Library staff cannot provide faculty with information regarding another patron’s circulation record.

Faculty will be provided notification when materials become/are overdue. Failure to return overdue items will result in borrowing privileges, ordering privileges, and remote privileges being blocked.

AA. Mail

The central mailroom is located in the switchboard area in the Social Science Building. Mailboxes are provided for all full time employees. Full time employees are to collect their mail on a daily basis.

BB. Media Services

The college offers a variety of media services to faculty and staff, including the use of VCRs, overheads and other equipment. To reserve equipment or to get an explanation of services offered, the employee should call the Computer Center at ext. 6451 and put in a work order.

CC. Naming of Buildings

College buildings, or parts of buildings, may be named in honor of individuals who have made significant contributions to the growth and educational development of the College. The Building and Grounds Committee of the Lee College Board of Regents shall first discuss any such naming. Criteria specified by the Board shall be addressed in any and all nominations to the Board, who has final authority in the matter.

DD. Nepotism42

      1. Relation to Board Member:

No person shall be employed in the District who is related to a member of the Board by blood (consanguinity) within the third degree, or by marriage (affinity) within the second degree.

CONSANGUINITY–Two persons are related to each other by consanguinity if one is a descendent of the other or if they share a common ancestor. For this purpose, an adopted child is treated as a natural child of the adoptive parents.

The degree of relationship by consanguinity between a person and his/her descendent is determined by the number of generations that separate them. If a person and his/her relative are related by consanguinity, but neither is descended from the other, the degree of relationship is determined by adding the number of generations between the person and the nearest common ancestor shared by him/her and his/her relative to the number of generations between the relative and the nearest common ancestor.

If a Board member is the prospective employee’s parent or child, there exists a relationship in the first degree. If a Board member is the prospective employee’s grandparent, grandchild, sister, or brother, there is a relationship in the second degree. If a Board member is the prospective employee’s great grandparent, great grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece, or nephew, there is a relationship in the third degree. These are the only relationships by consanguinity that is prohibited by the nepotism policy.

AFFINITY–Two persons are related to each other by affinity if they are married to each other or if the spouse of one of the persons is related by consanguinity to the other person.

A husband and wife are related to each other in the first degree by affinity. For other relationships, the degree of relationships by affinity is the same as the degree of the underlying relationship by consanguinity. If a Board member’s spouse is the prospective employee’s parent or child, or if the prospective employee’s spouse is a Board member’s parent or child, there exists a relationship in the first degree. If a Board member’s spouse is the prospective employee’s grandparent, grandchild, sister, or brother, or if the prospective employee’s spouse is a Board member’s grandparent, grandchild, sister, or brother, there is a relationship in the second degree. These are the only relationships by affinity that are prohibited by the nepotism law.

Divorce or the death of a spouse terminates relationships by affinity created by a marriage unless a child of the marriage is living. If a child of the marriage is living, the marriage is considered to continue until the youngest child of that marriage reaches the age of 21.

This policy shall not affect any person who has been employed by the College for a continuous period of six months prior to the date of the election of the Board member to whom that person is so related, or 30 days before the appointment of the member to whom that person is so related.

When a person is allowed to continue in employment under this exception, the Regent who is related to the employee shall not participate in the deliberation or voting on the appointment, reappointment, employment, reemployment, change in status, compensation, or dismissal of the employee if the action applies only to the employee and is not taken with respect to a bona fide class or category employee.

It is illegal to evade the provisions of this policy by trading.

NOTE:An example of trading would be if a Board member employed the relative of a person subject to the nepotism statute, in return for which that person employed a relative of the Board member, given the fact that neither employer could legally employ his or her own relative.

The rules against nepotism apply to employees paid with public funds, regardless of the source of those funds. Thus, the rules apply in the case of a teacher paid with funds from a federal grant.

    1. Relation to Employee:

      No person shall be employed by the College who is related within the third degree by consanguinity or second degree by affinity to an employee who has authority to make decisions relating to employment practices for the position in question, including employment and approval of pay.

      After March 15, 1990, when a person in a supervisory position marries a person whom he or she supervises, the supervised spouse shall be transferred to another position for which he or she is qualified if such position is available within the College. In the event such position is not available within the College, the supervised spouse shall be deemed to have resigned his or her employment with the College effective as of the date of the marriage.

      This policy shall not apply to persons employed in either full time or part-time positions prior to March 15, 1990.

EE. Outside Employment43

Except as otherwise provided, full-time employees of the College may accept outside employment if approved by the appropriate dean and the College President in advance of said employment, and if it does not interfere with their regular College work. If there is a change in employment status during the year, the employee shall be responsible for notifying the dean of the change. However, it is the intent of the Board that such employment be discouraged.

FF. Part-time Faculty

Part-time faculty will be assigned less than half of a regular load, based on the discipline, during fall and spring terms. The President must approve additional hours. Lecture and lab hours are paid at their respective rates.

It is not necessary to advertise for part-time employees if a sufficient “applicant pool” is present. However, the position may be advertised locally. Part-time employees will compete with all other candidates for advertised full-time positions. Part-time faculty must meet the same credential requirements as full time faculty.

Part-time faculty are supervised by the division chair in their subject area and the appropriate instructional dean. In addition, several divisions assign full-time faculty mentors to part-time faculty.

More detailed information about the responsibilities of part-time faculty is available in the Part Time Faculty Handbook.

GG. Payroll and Work Schedules

Paychecks will be distributed on the fifteenth of the month or on the last working day prior to the fifteenth of the month and the last working day of the month unless otherwise specified in written communication from the President. Direct deposit of pay is also available. Forms for this service are available in the Payroll Office.

  1. Faculty
    Nine-month faculty are employed for 180 working days, Twelve month faculty personnel are employed 240 working days. Faculty work schedules will be governed by the schedule of classes and Official College calendars.
  2. Professional
    Personnel Non-teaching professional personnel shall work at least a 40-hour week during a seven-day period. Professional personnel, who are exempt from provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act, are not eligible for overtime pay or compensatory time off in lieu of overtime pay. The Administration may make exceptions to the minimum length of the workweek and the maximum length of a workday in order to achieve and maintain operational efficiency at the College or any of its offices, departments, or divisions provided that no full-time salaried employee may be authorized to work fewer than 40 hours in a calendar week by reason of action taken pursuant to this provision.
  3. Classified Personnel
    Classified personnel shall work 40 hours per week during a seven-day week. Computation for payroll purposes is made on the basis of 2,080 hours per year. Classified employees are covered under provisions of the FLSA, and, therefore, are eligible to receive premium overtime pay, or compensatory time off in lieu of overtime pay. (See Section XXIII (MM))

HH. Practicum

Faculty are to observe the administrative regulations for practicums as outlined in the Lee College Practicum Handbook.

II. Professional Development Opportunities

      1. Professional Development

The Professional Development Committee of the Faculty Assembly is responsible for assessing needs and planning in-house professional development workshops for faculty. The Professional Development Committee also oversees additional funds for professional travel/development beyond those allocated in departmental budgets. Applications for these funds are available from the Chair of Professional Development of the Faculty Assembly. Divisions or other College units may also arrange professional development activities.

The president shall appoint annually a professional development committee of staff and faculty that is responsible for planning and facilitation of professional development activities.

The Staff Advisory Council (with the assistance of the President) also assess needs and plans in-house professional development workshops and activities.

    1. Opportunities for Professional Development

      Professional development goals are suited to individual needs, educational background and areas of assigned responsibility, but they also mesh with overall Lee College directions and priorities. Activities are designed to facilitate accomplishment of goals.

      The following opportunities are available for faculty and administrators:

      1. Professional travel.
      2. Tuition exemption for Lee College credit classes.
      3. Tuition assistance to pursue relevant graduate classes.
      4. Professional development leave.
      5. Leave without pay for study.
      6. On-campus workshops.
      7. Teaching excellence awards.
      8. Release time for extensive curriculum development work/special projects.

      The following opportunities are available for staff professional development:

      1. Tuition exemption for Lee College credit classes.
      2. On-campus workshops.
      3. Planned field trips to Texas community colleges.
      4. Workshops, seminars, college credit classes at colleges other than Lee College.
      5. Community Education job related classes.
      6. Staff Development Leave.

JJ. Purchasing Procedures

The Lee College Board of Regents has set forth certain requirements for the purchase of goods and services. All purchases must have the prior approval of the appropriate Dean, the Purchasing Agent and/or the President. If this provision is not met, the individual making such a purchase assumes personal liability. Please refer to the Financial Services Policy Manual for detailed purchasing procedures.

KK. Secretarial Services

Secretarial services are available only for activities directly related to the official functions of the College. See the division chair or supervisor for particular regulations on accessing secretarial services.

LL. Sexual Harassment/Misconduct Procedures

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MM. Smoking in Designated Areas

Smoking shall be permitted only in designated smoking areas.

NN. Social Security

All benefit eligible employees of the College are covered by Social Security. Each employee must complete the W 4 Certificate (front and back) and return it to the Personnel Office.

OO. Staff Development Leave

      1. Eligibility For Application

All full-time classified staff members become eligible for a staff development leave after the date of their fifth anniversary at Lee College and every fifth anniversary following the date of an awarded staff development leave.

For continued eligibility, the selected applicant should enroll in:

  • 6 or more credit hours (full time) for graduate work
  • 1 to 11 hours to complete undergraduate work
  • 12 or more credit hours (full time) for undergraduate work
  • 12 or more credit hours (full time) for certificate work
      1. Review Committee (Staff Advisory)

A seven-member committee, consisting of the elected Staff Advisory committee, is responsible for evaluating applications and making recommendations to the President. The chair will be the appointed Assistant to the President. A recorder will be elected from the committee at the first meeting.

The review committee shall provide a list of persons recommended in priority order to the President. Should persons recommended not be able to initiate the leave for personal or professional reasons, the first alternate shall be offered the leave.

The President recommends the finalist to the Board of Regents for approval.

      1. Funding

The recipient(s) of the staff development leave(s) shall receive full pay for a semester. (A semester is defined as a fall semester, a spring semester, or two summer semesters.) Staff development leave may be for times shorter than a semester.

If permission is granted for a two-semester leave, the recipient shall be entitled to one-half pay with apportioned benefits.

An employee on staff development leave will continue to receive all institutional benefits, including participation in the retirement program and group insurance plans. The manner of compensation will be the same as for all regular employees and will be contingent upon the satisfactory participation of the employee in the approved program of leave.

Persons awarded staff development leaves may not engage in employment during the leave unless such paid employment is a condition of the leave for insurance or other reasons. (Such pay will be deducted from the salary component of the staff development leave.)

      1. Method Of Application

Application will be made to the Staff Advisory Committee. The proposed application must indicate how the staff development leave is in compliance with Lee College goals and he/she must demonstrate through the proposed application that the primary purpose of the leave is to enhance his/her professional growth, and benefits the College.

      1. Selection Criteria

Each applicant shall be judged solely upon the merit of his/her application and its potential benefit to Lee College, the applicant, and to the students. Institutional need shall be the number one priority on considering applications, with available funds and the quality of the application being considered as well. The appropriate supervisor and dean will indicate approval on the application form.

      1. Purposes For Which A Staff Development Leave May Be Granted

One reason staff development leave may be granted is to enrich knowledge of staff in the field in which they are employed. Other reasons for application include completion of an associate’s, bachelor’s or master’s degree. Certification programs would also apply.

      1. Other Provisions Of The Staff Development Leave Agreement

The recipient of a staff development leave must agree, in writing, to return to Lee College for a period of two years, or upon completion of leave, return the entire leave stipend (including benefits) to the College.

The time encompassed by the leave shall apply toward Lee College Salary classification. This does not imply that an employee returning from a leave will be promoted. Also, employment status does not change if the leave is granted.

Persons who receive staff development leaves will present a program on their staff development leave. This presentation should be announced to the Lee College community-administrators, faculty, staff and students. Such presentation will be reflected in the division minutes. In addition, a written report should be prepared which compares the objective of the leave to what was actually accomplished. This report will be submitted to the appropriate supervisor, dean, and the President. A copy will be placed in the employee’s personnel file.

The supervisor is responsible for verifying in writing to the President that persons awarded a staff development leave fulfilled the conditions of the leave.

      1. Mentor Program

A faculty/administrator will volunteer to be an advocate for the recipient throughout the process of transition and provide support for personal and intellectual development. They would help overcome barriers to learning that adults face and help the recipient overcome them; share knowledge, skills, wisdom, and information with the recipient; be an attentive listener, yet provide feedback; provide a model to develop, nurture and give vision; provide structure; and serve as an advocate.

    1. Procedural Date-Line
      October 15 Final date for Review Committee (Staff Advisory Committee) to receive staff development leave proposals.
      October 20 Review Committee convenes
      November 1 Review Committee submits recommendations to the President
      November 15 President notifies recipient of pending recommendation to the Board
      November 20 Board approval

PP. Textbooks

During the term of employment, an instructor, or the College President shall not act as agent or attorney for any textbook publishing company selling textbooks in Texas. Acceptance of such agency or attorneyship shall by operation of law forfeit the person’s position with the College.

QQ. Sabbatical46

1. Eligibility for Application

Any full-time faculty, administrator, librarian, or counselor becomes eligible for a professional development leave (sabbatical) after the date of their fifth anniversary at Lee College and every fifth anniversary following the date of an awarded sabbatical. At no time can the number of faculty recommended exceed 6% of the full-time faculty.

2. Review Committee

A seven-member committee (two elected from academic faculty, two elected from Applied Science faculty, one elected from Huntsville, one elected from counselors/librarians and one elected by administrators; also, two alternates, one from academic faculty and one from Applied Science faculty are elected) shall be responsible for evaluating applications and making recommendations to the President. A chair and a recorder will be elected from the committee at the first meeting. Committee members serve a two-year term and may be reelected. Four of the members will be elected in odd-numbered years and three will be elected in even-numbered years for the purpose of continuity.

The Review Committee shall provide a list of persons recommended in priority order to the President. Should persons recommended not be able to initiate the leave for personal or professional reason, the first alternate shall be offered the leave.

The President recommends the finalists to the Board of Regents for approval.

3. Funding

The recipient(s) of the sabbatical(s) shall receive full pay for a semester. (A semester is defined as a fall semester, a spring semester, or two summer sessions.) Sabbaticals may be for times shorter than a semester.

If permission is granted for a two-semester leave, the recipient shall be entitled to one half pay with apportioned benefits.

An employee on sabbatical will continue to receive all institutional benefits, including participation in the retirement program and group insurance plans. The manner of compensation will be the same as for all regular employees.

Persons awarded sabbatical may not engage in employment during the leave unless such paid employment is a condition of the leave for insurance or other reasons. (Such pay will be deducted from the salary component of the sabbatical.)

4. Method of Application

The applicant must submit a written proposal to the Human Resources Office. The proposal must indicate how the sabbatical is in compliance with Lee College goals and also he/she must demonstrate through the proposal that the primary purpose of the leave is to enhance his/her professional growth, benefits the College, and will enrich students’ learning experiences. Application forms are available through the Human Resources Office.

5. Selection Criteria

Each applicant shall be judged solely upon the merit of his/her proposal and its potential benefit to Lee College, to the applicant, and to the students. Institutional need shall be the number one priority in considering applications, with available funds and the quality of the application being considerations as well. The appropriate dean and division chair will indicate approval on the application form.

6. Purposes for Which a Professional Development Leave May be Granted

One reason a sabbatical may be granted is to take courses in the recipient’s teaching field (or in a teaching field that will prepare him/her to teach in a field offered by Lee College and for which the opportunity to teach is highly probable) or administrative area. Other valid reasons for application include research in one’s teaching or administrative area; writing which centers on one’s discipline or area; travel when related to research or writing in one’s discipline; development of major course materials to be used by the College; or a return to business/industry.

Other areas of study or work related activities may qualify if deemed appropriate by the deans, division chairs, Review Committee, and the President.

7. Other Provisions of the Professional Development Leave Agreement

The recipient of a sabbatical must agree in writing to return to Lee College for a period of two years, or upon completion of leave, return the entire leave stipend (including benefits) to the College.

The employee may apply credits earned and research or work experience accomplished during the leave toward salary classification, in accord with College policies. Likewise, the time encompassed by the leave shall apply toward Lee College salary classification.

Evaluation as agreed upon prior to the granting of the leave must be completed in a satisfactory manner at the conclusion of the leave.

Persons who receive a sabbatical will present a program on their leave. This presentation should be announced to the Lee College community–administrators, faculty, staff and students. Such presentation will be reflected in the division minutes. In addition, a written report should be prepared which compares the objectives of the leave to what was actually accomplished. This report will be submitted to the appropriate division chair, dean, the President, and a copy will be placed in the employee’s personnel file.

The supervising dean is responsible for verifying in writing to the President that persons awarded a sabbatical leave fulfilled the conditions of the leave.

8. Procedural Date-line

October 1 Election of Review Committee Members (Human Resources Office initiates)
December 1 Final date for Human Resources Office to receive sabbatical proposals
January Review Committee convenes
March 1 Review Committee submits recommendations to the President
April 1 President notifies recipients of pending recommendation by the Board. The sabbatical is not official until the Board approves the budget
June Board Meeting Preferred finalization

RR. Worker’s Compensation45

All employees of the College are covered by Worker’s Compensation for job related injuries. The appropriate supervisor and the Human Resources Office must be notified immediately of any job related injury. The Texas Worker’s Compensation Commission and the insurance carrier must be notified in writing within 7 calendar days of the injury.

An employee shall use his/her available local sick leave for absences due to injuries covered by Worker’s Compensation until he/she is eligible for Worker’s Compensation pay benefits (7-day period of continuous absences). When an employee receives Workers’ Compensation pay benefits, Lee College shall pay the difference between the weekly income benefit and the employee’s regular weekly compensation up to six (6) months.

If, after the 180-day elimination period, an employee is still receiving Worker’s Compensation benefits, the employee shall be provided with an application for the State Long-Term Disability program.

An employee who has been receiving Worker’s Compensation benefits, and who returns to regular duties with an unrestricted release from his/her personal physician, and who subsequently misses work for the same medical condition will have the absence charged against accrued personal illness.

Lee College may require employees who wish to return to work under this program, to receive an independent assessment regarding the employee’s fitness to return to work. This assessment may be provided through the College’s Employee Assistance Program or other medical provider contracted by the College.

SS. DIVISION CHAIR ELECTION PROCESS

RR. Designated Smoking Areas

Beginning with the spring 2016 semester, Lee College will restrict smoking, vaping, and use of tobacco products on college property to designated areas only. There are six (6) designated areas for use by students and employees.

  1. West side of the Republic Whiting Building
  2. East side of TV-3
  3. South side of the Performing Arts Building (just off Gulf Street)
  4. West side of 909 Decker
  5. Area between Huddle and the gymnasium
  6. West side of the McNair facility

Each of the designated areas is identified by signage and has covered seating and a smoking receptacle.

Smoking, vaping, and other use of smokeless tobacco products will be effectively banned from any area of campus except those areas designated. The only other area that will be allowed outside of the designated areas will be inside your personal vehicle. Smoking outside your vehicle in the college parking lots is prohibited.

Students who violate the policy are subject to disciplinary measures including fines. Employees who violate the policy will be referred to their supervisor.

35 Board Policy DBD Local, Issued 08-19-2002
36 Board Policy DH Local, Issued 2-5-1996
37 Board Policy DAA Legal, Issued 12-18-2000
38 Board Policy DH Local, Issued 02-05-1996
39 Board Policy DBA Local, Issued 8-26-1991
40 Board Policy DN Legal, Issued 07-01-1982
41 Board Policy DBD Local, Issued 08-19-2002
42 Board Policy DBE Legal, Issued 02-05-1996
43 Board Policy DBF, Issued 09-17-1990
44 Board Policy DHA Local, Issued 11-08-1999
45 Board Policy DEC Local, Issued 05-09-1994
46 Board Policy DEC Local, Issued 07-05-2004