1. Statement of Ethics and Equal Opportunity
It is the policy of Victoria College to strive to create and to maintain a safe employment and educational environment free from illegal discrimination and harassment.
Victoria College at all times desires to fill all vacancies with the best qualified persons available and retain them through a process of evaluation. All non-tenured employees are employed at-will.
3. Employee Classifications
All non-tenured employees are employed “at-will” meaning that such employment can be terminated at any time by either employee or employer with or without cause or with or without reason.
Employees will be classified as one of the following:
3.1 Regular Employee
A regular Victoria College employee is one who works one-half time (50%) or more of the standard workload at a rate comparable to the rate of compensation of other personnel in similar positions. A regular Victoria College employee who has not been awarded tenure is an "at will" employee. Regular employees may be paid hourly, semi-monthly or monthly. All regular employees are eligible for benefits at Victoria College. Regular employees will be referred to as benefits eligible employees.
3.2 Regular, Academic Schedule
A regular, academic schedule Victoria College employee is one who works one-half time (50%) or more of the standard workload at a rate comparable to the rate of compensation of other personnel in similar positions. These employees are generally employed during the Fall and Spring terms. A regular academic schedule employee who has not been awarded tenure is an "at-will" employee. All regular academic schedule employees are eligible for benefits at Victoria College, except vacation leave. Regular, academic schedule employees will be referred to as benefits eligible employees.
3.3. Adjunct Employee
A Victoria College adjunct faculty member is one who works whenever his/her services are required. Adjunct faculty are not hired to work on a regular basis and work less than 50% of a standard work load. Adjunct faculty may be hired to teach only a specific portion of a course instead of the whole course.
3.4 Part-Time Employee
A Victoria College part-time employee is an "at will" employee who works nineteen (19) or less hours per week. Part-time employees are only paid for the hours they work. Part-time employees who are not eligible to participate in retirement and insurance are not eligible for benefits at Victoria College.
3.5 Student Employee
Victoria College student employees are "at-will" employees whose condition of employment requires that they be a student. They generally work less than nineteen (19) hours per week. Student employees are not eligible for Victoria College benefits.
4. Employee Benefits
Benefits-eligible employees are entitled to benefits depending on the employee classification of each individual’s position at Victoria College. (See Employee Classifications)
5. Faculty Policies
Victoria College is committed to assuring freedom for faculty in teaching, research, and publication.
5.1 Academic Freedom & Responsibilities
5.1.1 Academic Freedom
It is essential that a faculty member be able to pursue scholarly inquiry without undue restriction and to voice and publish his or her beliefs concerning the significance of evidence considered relevant. The faculty member must be free from fear that others with differing views may threaten his or her professional career or the material benefits accruing from it. A faculty member is entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing the disciplines which he or she teaches. A faculty member is also a citizen of the nation, state, and community and when speaking or writing as such must be free from institutional censorship or discipline.
5.1.2 Academic Responsibilities
The concept of academic freedom must be shared by governing boards, administrators, and faculty members.
The essential responsibilities of governing boards and administrators are set forth by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools as updated and revised.
The fundamental responsibilities of faculty members include recognition that the public will judge their profession and their institution by their statements. Therefore, they should strive to be accurate, to exercise appropriate restraint, to show respect for the opinions of others, and to avoid creating the impression that they speak or act for the College when they speak or act as a private person.
5.2 Assistance To Faculty Whose Primary Language Is Not English
In compliance with The Texas Education Code, Victoria College has established a program of assessment and assistance for faculty members whose primary language is not English.
5.3 Copyrighted Materials
Employees of the College shall comply with the provisions of the United States Copyright Law. Subject to certain specific exceptions, the owner of a copyright has the exclusive rights to reproduce, distribute, perform or display the copyrighted work or to authorize such reproduction, distribution, performance, or display by others.
5.4 Faculty Evaluations
Regular faculty evaluations (including student evaluations of instruction) will be conducted based on a schedule and process determined by the President in collaboration with the Vice President of Instruction.
5.5 Non-Credit Courses
Non-credit courses may be offered by the College to meet specific educational or training needs of individuals and business. Tuition and fees for these courses will be reviewed by the Board of Trustees prior to September 1 of each year.
The College administration is authorized to adjust tuition and fees for existing courses or establish appropriate charges for new courses on an interim basis. However, such interim charges should be submitted to the Board of Trustees for review and approval at the next regularly scheduled board meeting at which tuition and fees are considered.
5.6 Tuition Waiver Based on Contractual Training Agreements
Where the full cost, or a significant portion of the cost for a continuing education program or training course, including facilities, instructional salaries, equipment, and other expenses, has been covered by a business, industry or other public or private client, whether in-cash or in-kind, tuition may be set at zero as part of a contractual training agreement. In no event will this tuition waiver apply where cash or in-kind contribution fails to cover at least instructional costs.
Victoria College recognizes the necessity of tenure in attracting a superior candidate pool for open positions, establishing a level of mutual commitment to the College and the community, creating a positive atmosphere which in turn motivates faculty towards excellence and achievement, allowing faculty to set appropriate standards for learning outcomes and guarding against academic entitlement, and accessing the benefits of a long-recognized status in the academic community. The President will make faculty tenure recommendations to the board at its regular March meeting.
The fundamental responsibility of a faculty member as a teacher and a scholar includes maintenance of competence in the field of specialization and the exhibition of competence in the classroom.
"Tenure" shall mean the entitlement of a qualified faculty member, after serving a probationary period, to continue his or her employment unless just cause for dismissal is demonstrated by the institution in a fair hearing following established procedures of due process. Tenure at Victoria College is in no way a guarantee of lifetime employment.
The terms and conditions of every appointment to the faculty of Victoria College should be in possession of both the administration and faculty member before the appointment is consummated.
Eligibility for tenure is limited to full-time teaching faculty who meet the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools minimum criteria and have been employed five consecutive academic years (fall/spring) at Victoria College. Eligibility for tenure does not guarantee tenure will be awarded. All those who attained tenure prior to March 22, 2010 shall retain tenure.
5.8 Faculty Dismissals, Non-Renewals, and Causes for Loss of Tenure
Victoria College is not required to give non-tenured faculty members a reason for denying reappointment for another employment term or to provide a hearing. Faculty members are entitled to see and obtain a copy of their personnel files at the expense of the person requesting it.
Tenure at Victoria College is in no way a guarantee of lifetime employment. Tenured faculty members may be dismissed or non-renewed only for just cause. Just cause for dismissal, non-renewal, or loss of tenure of a faculty member with tenure may include any of the following:
- 5.8.1 Professional incompetence or the habitual neglect of professional responsibilities;
- 5.8.2 Inability to perform duties;
- 5.8.3 Conviction of a criminal act;
- 5.8.4 Failure to comply with reasonable requirement as the employer may prescribe for achieving professional improvement and growth or a refusal to comply with Victoria College policies and procedures;
- 5.8.5 Fraud or dishonesty in connection with employment or other college business;
- 5.8.6 Being under the influence of alcohol or a non-prescribed controlled substance while on duty;
- 5.8.7 A reduction in, discontinuance of, or reorganization of an instructional, instructional support, or student services program as a result of a change in Victoria College’s needs, including but not limited to a decline in enrollment, a reorganization, or a reduction in available funding for programs.
- 5.8.8 Sexual harassment or any unlawful discrimination;
- 5.8.9 Moral turpitude or other egregious conduct which jeopardizes the college’s standing or reputation in the community; or
- 5.8.10 Any conduct which unduly disrupts or interferes with the college’s operations.
The President has the authority to reorganize all departments/units within the college to best meet college objectives and student needs. Changing patterns of student enrollment at Victoria College along with consistently increasing costs dictate that the college administration make every effort to operate the college as efficiently as possible consistent with providing a quality education program. The college administration is expected to scrutinize on a continuing basis the operation of each department/unit.
Reorganization may result in a reduction of force. Employees, including faculty, affected by the reorganization will be given up to 30 days notice except when the change is in response to a serious financial emergency.
6. Conflicts of Interest
No employee of Victoria College 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.
7. Employee Conduct
All persons employed by Victoria College assume the obligation to conduct themselves in accordance with the ideals of their profession.
8. Intellectual Property
Victoria College supports the development, production, and dissemination of intellectual property by its employees. Intellectual property includes, but is not limited to, inventions, copyrightable works, trademarks, and tangible research property.
The College has a responsibility for and an interest in the advancement of scientific knowledge and creative work that will enhance its educational and service missions and benefit the public it serves.
View VC's entire Use of Copyrighted Materials & Intellectual Property Policies.
9. Grievance Policy
Victoria College shall provide a timely and orderly process for the resolution of employee complaints.
10. Employee Compensation
Victoria College strives to provide compensation that is fair and equitable to all employees, that provides incentives for professional development and superior performance, and that reflects current market conditions under which the college operates.
It is the policy of Victoria College to reimburse reasonable travel expenses incurred while traveling on college business. Approval to travel on College funds should be secured prior to making travel arrangements. Use of the most economical travel arrangements is encouraged.
12. Computer/Electronic Security
Victoria College has established and will maintain procedures and practices to conform to all local, state, and federal laws and regulations. The purpose of this security policy is to minimize the risk of loss of information resources and protect the confidentiality of data. All electronic information accessed with the College equipment is considered to be a college record, and may be subject to review.
13. Emergency Response
One measure of an organization’s strength is to respond well in an emergency. Since every scenario cannot be predicted, an emergency response plan must be able to quickly adapt to events as they unfold. The College response will be quick, professional, supportive, and meet the demands of any foreseeable emergency or crisis situation.
14. Use of College Facilities
In keeping with its philosophy, mission, and purpose, Victoria College encourages use of its facilities for the physical, social, and cultural growth of its students. In addition, it allows use of the facilities by other schools and governmental units and by community non-for-profit organizations. As time and space permit, the College may allow private, for-profit organizations to use the facilities provided that such use is not contrary to the goals of the College.
Adopted by the Victoria College Board of Trustees 7/19/2010