Academic Affairs

Chapter 6. Faculty Rights, Legal Protections, Obligations, and Discipline

 

Academic Freedom
At the University of Missouri, professors enjoy complete academic freedom, in the traditional sense of the term, and enjoy the benefits of a tenure system. They also enjoy legal protection against losses that may occur from the performance of their professorial duties in the areas of research, teaching, and service (See Collected Rules and Regulations, Section 490.010).

Grants Incentive (GIF) Policy
The rights of faculty under the Grants Incentive Policy are in Chapter 3, Section V.

Legal Defense and Protection of Faculty and Students
Faculty are entitled to defense and protection against loss, damage or expense in connection with any claim or suit allegedly rising out of the performance of duties for, or employment with, or by the Curators of the University of Missouri, a public corporation. To receive protection, a faculty member must submit a written request for protection to the President of the University (see Collected Rules and Regulations, Section 310.010.) Students are protected against claims or suits allegedly arising out of the performance of duties as a member of a university committee. See Collected Rules and Regulations, Section 490.010.

Academic Grievance Procedure
As set forth in the Collected Rules and Regulations, Section 370.010, any member of the faculty may file a grievance when she/he believes that her/his rights under university policies have been violated, misinterpreted, or applied in an arbitrary or discriminatory way. It is important to note that the right of grievance applies whether or not others have been treated in the same manner. This policy is separate from, but in no way interferes with the policy on Discrimination Grievance Procedures for Students (see Rules and Regulations, Section 390.010.)

Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Grievances
Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action grievances are addressed under the comprehensive policy and procedures in Collected Rules and Regulations, Section 370.010, Academic Grievance Procedures, section IV above.

Copyright Policy
The policy is intended to foster the traditional mission of a university to encourage the creation, preservation, and dissemination of knowledge. This policy is intended to clarify and protect the respective rights of the university, its faculty, staff, and other employees, by establishing policies governing the ownership, use, and rights to income of copyrightable materials. (see Collected Rules and Regulations, Section 100.030).

Sexual Harassment
The Human Resources Policy Manual states: In accord with providing a positive discrimination-free environment, the university intends that sexual harassment in the work place or the educational environment is unacceptable conduct. Sexual harassment is subject to discipline, up to and including separation from the institution. This policy aims for an increased awareness regarding sexual harassment by making available information, education and guidance on the subject for the university community.

The university's definition of sexual harassment, non-retaliation policy, redress procedures, and discipline policy may be found in HR 510. Faculty are also referred to the Collected Rules and Regulations, Section 330.060.

Discrimination Grievance
The university protects its faculty, students, and staff from discrimination as promulgated in Executive Order No. 19, 9-17-79, Faculty Grievances Relative to Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, Collected Rules and Regulations, Section 370.020, which has been incorporated within the later and more comprehensive policy on Academic Grievances, Collected Rules and Regulations, Section 390.010) as covered in Chapter 4 of this Handbook. The University' s general Academic Grievance Procedures policy guarantees faculty the right to a work environment that is free of discrimination.

AIDS Policy
University of Missouri Policy on AIDS and Related Conditions is uniform for all faculty, staff, and students. See the policy at Chapter 4.II.K in this document.

Conflict of Interest Disclosure Policy
Each faculty member is responsible to file a conflict of interest disclosure form with the appropriate official for public access filing, when she/he has direct or indirect business, financial, employment or consulting interests which are related to their employment by the university. A conflict of interest disclosure form is available on the Academic Affairs web site (see Collected Rules and Regulations, Section 330.015)

Book Buying Policy
The University of Missouri-St. Louis does not allow book buyers on its campus, except through specific contractual agreements. As a service to students, and under a contract with a reseller, the University Book Store will continue to purchase books but will do so only from UM-St. Louis students and will not knowingly purchase complimentary or examination copies of books (see Book Buying Policy).

Departure Checklist for Employment Terminated Faculty
Faculty whose employment is, for any reason, terminated are required to surrender University property and certain other privileges upon departure. The checklist/form provides a list and procedure for this task.

Faculty Discipline
Under special circumstances, faculty may be disciplined with warnings, suspension, or dismissal for failure to perform their duties. See the Human Resources Policy Manual, HR 601.

Drug/Alcohol Abuse in the Workplace
Federal law requires that the university have a policy on drug and alcohol abuse in the workplace that meets certain statutory requirements. The federal law also mandates that the university have a drug and alcohol free awareness program. The complete policy, including details on support to which employees are entitled may be found at, HR 508.

Political Activity
University employees may engage in lawful political activities of organizations of political parties qualified to place candidates on the ballot in accordance with Missouri Statutes or of political parties seeking such qualification; nonpartisan or bipartisan groups seeking the election of candidates to public office; nonpartisan or bipartisan groups seeking the approval or disapproval of issues which are or may be submitted to the voters for approval; and individual candidates seeking public office, including candidates for membership of any political committee established by Chapter 120, RSMo. Such activity, like any other personal, nonofficial undertaking, must be done on the individual's own time and should not interfere with University duties.

Faculty who intend to declare their candidacy for elected public office must notify their superior officer in advance. The superior officer will notify the President of the University, who will verify that there is not a conflict of interest. Finding none, faculty may hold part-time elected office but may not hold a full-time political office while employed full-time by the university (see Collected Rules and Regulations, Section 330.050, and HR 509 for further policy guidelines).

Consulting and Conflict of Interest
The conflict of interest policy addresses a wide range of issues in addition to the most common ones discussed below, including the use of confidential information, university stationary, and the university logo. See Collected Rules and Regulations, Section 330.015.

Violence in the Workplace
The University of Missouri strives to provide a safe and secure work environment for all employees. Toward this end, intimidation, threats and acts of violence, with or without the presence of a weapon, will not be tolerated. Individuals found to engage in behavior in violation of this policy will be subject to discipline up to and including termination. For definitions and procedures, see HR 517

Computer Utilization
The campus takes seriously unauthorized downloading of copyrighted materials (music, movies, software, etc.), unauthorized used of programs, and other violations of law regulating computers and electronic media. The university requires its employees to comply with the law in these matters. When in violation of university policy, faculty and students are responsible for the legal consequences of their use of e-media, and to discipline by the university.

"Utilization of university computer networks, equipment, and connecting resources are restricted. This policy applies to all users including faculty, staff, students and their guests" (HR 518). Special attention is directed to guidelines protecting copyright, to the inspection policy, special use prohibitions, and enforcement and discipline (see also HR 507 and also above).

Property Use
Assignment of space in university buildings for use by divisions, departments, or other units is made only by the Chancellor upon recommendation of the dean (or designated representative), director, or other official in charge of the activity. The Chancellor or a designated representative assigns classrooms and laboratories for scheduled classes and examinations. University buildings or grounds may not be used by individuals or organizations not connected with the university except by written permission of the Chancellor (UM Business Policy Manual, Section 400 and UM Collected Rules and Regulations, Section 110.010).

Nepotism
No person who is related by blood or marriage to any member of the Board of Curators shall be employed by the university. There may be no exception to this rule. No restriction, however, is imposed on the employment of persons who are related more remotely than second degree to university employees. The employment of any person who is related by blood or marriage as closely as the second degree to any employee of the university is discouraged, but where such a person is needed to perform university services and appears to be the best-qualified person available, such a person may be employed by the university. There are two exceptions to this rule: (1) where a prospective full-time employee is related to a university employee who would be his or her administrative superior, and (2) where a relative of an administrative superior in one department is employed in another department and where a prospective employee for the first department is related to an administrative superior in the other department (Collected Rules and Regulations, Section 320.040, and Human Resources Policy Manual, HR 115).