Personnel Policies & Procedures

III. Personnel Policies and Procedures

Equal Opportunity in Education and Employment
Harassment Policy 
ADA Compliance
Drug-Free Workplace
Standards of Professional Behavior 
Conflict Resolution
Personnel Record Information
Evaluation Procedures
Resignations and Abandonment of Position
 Leave with Pay
 Leave without Pay
 Family and Medical Leave Act
Duty Days and Holidays
Hiring Process
Criminal Background Checks (623.01 - Board Policy
Conflict of Interest (615.01-Board Policy) | (615.01 - Chancellor's Procedure)
Ethics/Outside Employment
Procedures for Reporting Outside Employment
Secondary Employment Form
Professional Development Opportunities
Salary Schedule 
Public Relations
Student’s First Act


601.01 - Board Policy

It is the official policy of Southern Union State Community College that no person shall, on the grounds of race, color, disability, gender, religion, creed, national origin, or age, be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program, activity, or employment.

Southern Union State Community College complies with non-discriminatory regulations under Title VI, Title VII, and Title IX of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Title IX Educational Amendment of 1972; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990. Inquiries concerning this policy may be directed to the ADA Coordinator ext. 5351. Grievance Procedure Forms are available in the President’s Office, at ext. 5352 and online at

Southern Union State Community College is an equal employment/equal educational opportunity institution. Inquiries of recipients concerning the application of the above regulations and their implementing regulations may be referred to either one of the Compliance Officers listed below or the Office for Civil Rights.


601.04 - Board Policy
620.03 - Harassment Complaints

The College’s sexual assault policy defines sexual assault and states consideration and rights to be afforded to all campus community members who are victims of sexual assault.  The policy includes sexual assault procedures which provide directions for responding to sexual assault cases, a listing of appropriate legal authorities and service agencies, and specific notification and response procedures for College personnel.  The sexual assault policy and procedures in detail is available from the Dean of Student’s Office.



Americans with Disabilities Act

Employee Request for Accommodation

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires Southern Union State Community College to reasonably accommodate qualified individuals with disabilities. It is the policy of Southern Union to not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities in regard to application of procedures, hiring, advancement, employment separation, salary, or any other conditions of employment.

Southern Union will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with a disability so that they can perform the essential functions of their position.

Current employees who pose a direct threat to the health or safety of the other individuals in the workplace will be placed on appropriate leave until a decision has been made in regard to the employee’s immediate employment situation to include the determination of an accommodation than can reasonably be made.


As used in this policy, the following terms will be adhered to in relation to the ADA policy.

“Disability” means a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of the individual; a record of such an impairment; or being regarded as having such an impairment. Major life activities include, but are not limited to, caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating and working.

“Qualified individual” means an individual who, with or without reasonable accommodation, who can perform the essential functions of the position.

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

“Essential functions of the job” refers to those job activities that are determined by the College to be essential or core to performing the job; these functions cannot be modified.


Information about an employee's documented disability will be kept in a file separate from the personnel file in HR. This file will be kept confidential to the extent practicable and will only be shared with individuals within the College on an as-needed basis.

Requests for Accommodation

All employees seeking an accommodation of any kind must submit a Request for Disability Accommodation along with a current physician statement which includes: the nature of the impairment/disability, its severity, the duration; the activities limited by the impairment(s)/disability; the extent to which the impairment(s)/disability limits the employee’s ability to perform the essential duties/functions of the job along with recommendations for the reasonable accommodation. Please contact one of the ADA Coordinators listed below to request an accommodation. The College may require further testing or evaluation by qualified professionals to verify or further establish the impairment/disability and the need for accommodation.



Americans with Disabilities Act
Employee Accommodation Procedures

  1. Documentation of Disability: When submitting a Request for Disability Accommodation Form, the employee must provide documentation of the disability from an appropriate health care provider. The employee will be required to sign a Medical/Health Care Information Release Form, so that the health care provider can provide the College with the appropriate documentation. 
  2. Upon request, the department chair, supervisor, or cabinet member will provide a written description of the essential functions of the job, which may include the mental and physical demands of the employee’s job. It is the employee’s responsibility to ensure that the medical documentation/information requested is provided.
  3. Temporary Accommodations: After consultation with the employee, department chair, supervisor, or cabinet member, temporary accommodation may be provided pending receipt and evaluation of the documentation of the disability.
  4. Evaluation of Documentation: Upon receipt of documentation from an employee’s health care provider, a determination will be made as to whether the employee has a disability as defined by the ADA, and if the employee can perform the essential functions of the position, with or without reasonable accommodation.
  5. Final Determination and Notification to Employee: The College has the authority to make the final determination regarding what accommodation, if any, is appropriate. When a final determination is made, the Director of Human Resources will send written notification to the employee of the determination, whether an accommodation has been granted, and if so, will specify what accommodation has been granted. Notification will also be given to the department chair, supervisor, and cabinet member.
  6. Right to Appeal: If an accommodation is denied, the employee may submit a notice of appeal to the Disability Services Committee within seven (7) working days of receipt of the written accommodation decision.



613.01 - Board Policy


Employees are expected to treat each other as well as students and others in a professional manner while conducting SUSCC business. Discourteous or offensive behavior directed toward staff, students or others will not be tolerated.  Examples of such behavior include, but are not limited to:

  • Bullying or berating others
  • Physical or verbal intimidation, such as shouting or angry outbursts, directed toward others
  • Derogatory verbal or physical behavior such as name-calling
  • Directing profanity toward others
  • Behavior that has the effect of humiliating others
  • All forms of dishonesty, including theft, cheating, plagiarism, and/or furnishing false information to the College
  • Forgery, alteration, or misuse of college documents, records, or identification
  • Intoxication or the display, possession, or use of alcoholic beverages or illicit drugs on any area of the campuses
  • Use, possession, or distribution of firearms, ammunition, fireworks, incendiary, or any type of explosive device or material on any area of the campuses
  • Participating in any form of gambling
  • Unauthorized entry or use of any college facility
  • Unauthorized use of equipment, facilities, or other college resources
  • Insubordination toward a supervisory college official
  • Misfeasance, malfeasance, or failure to perform assigned duties and responsibilities
  • Violation of any federal, state, or local laws
  • Other unprofessional or inappropriate behavior

Discourteous or offensive behavior also includes written or electronic communication as well as group behavior (e.g. “mobbing”) which has a negative impact on the workplace and/or on others.

Workplace bullying is behavior that harms, intimidates, offends, degrades or humiliates an employee, possibly in front of other employees, students, or customers.  Workplace bullying may cause the loss of trained and talented employees, reduce productivity and morale, and create legal risks.

Employees who believe they are being subjected to discourteous or offensive behavior are encouraged, when appropriate, to ask the person engaging in the behavior to stop.  If an employee is uncomfortable doing so, or if the behavior continues, the employee should report the incident to his/her immediate supervisor.  If the employee is not comfortable reporting the matter to his/her immediate supervisor, the employee should follow the chain of command according to the Organizational Chart.

Reports of unprofessional behavior should be taken seriously by supervisors and managers and followed up on as promptly as is reasonably possible.  Upon completion of any follow up, the responsible supervisor or manager should also advise the person who made the report that the matter has been reviewed and addressed.

Violation of these standards may be cause for disciplinary action, up to and including termination.  Disciplinary action will be determined on a case-by-case basis depending upon the severity of the behavior and whether it is a repeated or an isolated instance.  Employees may also be subject to disciplinary action for making false complaints of allegations of discourteous or offensive behavior.

Professional behavior is expected of all employees.  Display of unprofessional behavior such as physical violence or abusive language will not be tolerated and will result in disciplinary action.


Southern Union State Community College promotes the open exchange of ideas among all members of the Southern Union State Community College community, students, faculty, staff, and administration.  An environment conducive to the open exchange of ideas is essential for intellectual growth and positive change.  Southern Union State Community College recognizes that in order to efficiently and effectively carry out its mission, its employees and students must feel confident that any valid grievance or complaint an employee or student may make concerning the College will be promptly addressed by the appropriate authorities.  Therefore, the following procedures for resolving such grievances and complaints have been adopted by the College.

Employee Grievance

Employee Complaint

List of Responsible Officials

Below is a list of officials who are responsible for responding to complaints.

  • President - Mr. Todd Shackett
  • College Complaint Officer, Director of Accounting, Ms. Marty Kirby
  • Executive Director of Human Resources, Ms. Sandra Hughley
  • Title IX Coordinator (Students), Associate Dean of Students, Derika Griffin
  • Title IX Coordinator (Employees), Executive Director of Human Resources, Sandra Hughley


616.01 - Board Policy

The college shall follow the State Board Policy 616.01 pertaining to personnel records. 

Anyone desiring to photograph personnel or applicant records may do so under the direction of the custodian.The custodian may establish a charge for this service.  Anyone desiring photocopies of personnel or applicant records may request this of the custodian.  The custodian may establish a charge for this service.

Applicant and search records for positions at the College may be designated as confidential by the President if, in the opinion of the President, public access to such records would have a "chilling" effect on the ability of the College to attract qualified applicants.  All letters and documents and other material of any kind or character which relate to or are germane to employee performance, including, but not limited to, all performance evaluations and records of conferences related to performance, are designated as limited-access employee records and are confidential.  Such material shall be open to inspection only by the employee or by officials of the employing institution who are responsible for supervision of the employee.  Except as required for use by the President in the discharge of official responsibilities, the custodian of limited-access records shall release information from such records only upon authorization, in writing, from the employee or the President, or upon order of a court of competent jurisdiction.

Effective November 6, 1986, the Immigration Reform and Control Act requires that all employers must attest, under penalty of law, that they have verified that a newly hired worker is not an unauthorized alien.  This attestation must be made on Form I-9 issued by the Immigration and Naturalization Service.  Copies of this form are available from the Business Office.  The completed I-9 form must be kept by the employer for three years after the individual begins work or one year after termination of employment, whichever period is longer.  All employees hired after September 1, 1987, must have the form completed within three days after commencement of employment.  This requirement is for all employees, including seasonal, hourly, and part-time.

Faculty and Staff Evaluations

The President shall be responsible for the development and implementation of an evaluation system whereby all instructors and other employees at Southern Union are evaluated at least annually, with the exception of temporary employees.  Individual written evaluation records shall be maintained for all employees.

The purpose of the annual evaluations is to improve student outcomes by monitoring and improving instruction and to better facilitate student services through high standards in all areas of the College. The annual evaluations will determine strengths, identify areas for improvement, and set goals for professional development at all levels of employment within the College.

Southern Union Evaluation Guidelines and Procedures

Evaluation Manual


All faculty and staff will be expected to participate in the annual evaluation process. For more information please see the Evaluation Procedures Manual which is located online.


617.01 - Board Policy

All instructional personnel shall give written notice of resignation at least 30 calendar days prior to the beginning of a term.  Each instructional staff member shall complete all instructional duties and be cleared by the President or designee for any term started, except by mutual written agreement by both parties.

All other personnel shall give written notice of resignation at least 30 calendar days prior to the effective date of resignation, except by mutual written agreement of the President or designee and employee.

All employees must participate in an exit interview before separation of employment.
Exit Interview Form

Abandonment of Position
618.01 - Board Policy

All absences from work shall be approved in accordance with procedures established by the institution.  Any employee who is absent from work without approved leave or without appropriate notification to his or her supervisor shall forfeit compensation and shall be subject to disciplinary action.

Any employee who is absent from work for three (3) consecutive workdays without approval shall be considered to have abandoned the position and to have resigned from the employing institution.  However, personnel at Southern Union affected by this policy shall have ten (10) working days from the third day of absence to submit to the President an explanation in writing of the extenuating circumstances causing the unapproved absence from work. The explanation shall be considered before the abandonment of position policy is applied.


The salaries of all Alabama Community College System employees are subject to a lawful writ of garnishment.


Instructors, Librarians, Counselors

Full-time instructors, librarians, and counselors employed on an academic year contract (Fall and Spring Semesters) shall work a minimum of 175 days.  Full-time instructors, librarians, and counselors employed on a twelve-month contract shall work a minimum of 229 days. Those employed full-time for the summer shall work a minimum of 54 days.

The Alabama Community College System Board of Trustees requires faculty members to spend a minimum of 35 hours per week on campus, exclusive of any regularly scheduled breaks.  This does not mean that every faculty member is required to be on duty seven hours a day, but does mean that each faculty is to have a regular schedule of instruction, office hours, student counseling and preparation. Faculty is also expected to work five days each week.  Faculty schedules must be approved by the appropriate Dean.  Schedules should be posted on each faculty member’s office door each term.  A copy of the form used for posting schedules is available from the Instructional Deans.


The normal work week for non-instructional personnel is forty (40) hours.  Days that the college is officially open are duty days for all full-time, non-instructional employees of the College. Southern Union State Community College shall be open Monday through Friday of each week and on such other days and at such other times as deemed necessary by the President.  Employees shall be allowed the following official holidays on which days the college shall be closed:

  • New Year's Day
  • Martin Luther King/Robert E. Lee Birthday
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Veterans Day
  • Thanksgiving Day (2 days)
  • Christmas

In addition to the above listed dates, the President will designate five (5) other days on which the institution will be closed in the official, approved calendar of the institution.


Full-time personnel may be granted professional and/or vocational leave with pay for up to ten (10) days per year upon approval by the President.   Professional and/or vocational leave with pay for more than ten (10) days per year shall be granted upon written request of the President and approval of the Chancellor.


602.02 - Board Policy
602.02 Posting and Hiring - Chancellor’s Procedures

College Volunteers
Volunteer Form

A college volunteer is defined as any uncompensated individual whose services are offered freely to support the activities of the College. College volunteers are expected to abide by all College and Alabama Board of Trustees policies, procedures and all external laws and regulations that govern their actions. College volunteers are not eligible for compensation or any College benefit as a result of their volunteer association with the College. College volunteers may not replace employee positions at the College.

No individual may volunteer without the approval of the President. It is the responsibility of the supervisor to submit a volunteer approval form to the Office of Human Resources. All volunteers must receive a criminal background check clearance before becoming a volunteer.


The Office of Public Relations develops and implements events and initiatives to promote the overall well-being of the college, to create awareness of the college’s mission, history, and contributions to the region, and to foster positive relationships with prospective students, alumni and friends of the college.

Public relations and marketing activities include, but are not limited to, distributing press releases and news stories concerning college activities, developing and distributing publications regarding college mission and programs, participating in community activities, and designing and implementing marketing material for print and electronic media.

We strive to maintain a consistent brand, one that is easily identified as Southern Union.   In order to present a unified message, any promotional materials or information pieces created for your department should be coordinated with the public relations office. Please use the PR Project Request Form to submit requests for materials. The form can be found here:

As the official spokesperson for the college, the public relations staff will handle request for information from the media.  We want to highlight our faculty and staff’s expertise as much as possible, but please notify the PR office of any media requests that you may receive.  Any questions regarding public relations activities can be directed to Shondae Brown at extension 5145.