Employee Handbook

Human Resources Office - Abilene Christian University   
Employment Policies and Procedures

Section 500: Employee Communications

Policy No. 501   
February 2008

INTERNAL COMMUNICATION

I.  PURPOSE
The Internal Communication Policy seeks to define groups, message classifications, guidelines, distribution and channels for group communication using technology at ACU.  These policies and procedures will distinguish the various messaging mediums including myACU announcements and forums and large group or mass email communications with the goals of increasing efficiency in communicating to broad and specific groups, encouraging community interaction and information exchange, and using technology effectively.  Specifically it is the aim of this policy to acknowledge that email is the primary medium of communication for faculty and staff while also addressing the problem of unwanted email or "spam" through the proper use of the myACU portal.

II. SCOPE
This policy applies to all faculty and staff at ACU.

III.  POLICY

  1. myACU Announcements
    1. Users of myACU will be able to view these announcements under the community section of myACU.  Users will be divided into the following groups:
      1. Employees
      2. Students
    2. Any university employee (faculty or staff) or student with an announcement to post to one of these groups will provide (via email, form submission, phone or fax) the text/information to the Gatekeeper of that announcement group as identified below in Section D.  The Gatekeeper will have discretion to determine if that announcement is appropriate for that group based on its audience.
  2. Large Group Email Lists
    Currently the university utilizes email lists that go out to all employees and all students.  Employees receive myACU News emails, and the VP for Student Life/Dean of Students controls a student email list.  Because of concerns about spam, the declining readership of mass emails - especially when overused - and the risk of viruses and other difficulties, mass emails should not be the primary communication tool for ACU.  With the additional communication channels provided by myACU, dependence on email should be lessened.  However, large group email may still be used in the following situations:
    1. myACU News - myACU News, the employee newsletter, will continue to be sent weekly via email; if a high volume of announcements are needed to go out, and it is determined necessary by the Internal Communications Coordinator, a second email may go out that week.
    2. Emergencies and Threats to Campus Operation - other than myACU News, the all-student email lists/all employee email lists will be reserved for urgent messages that pertain to immediate threats to the ACU family, threats to the daily campus operation or emergency situations (imminent weather emergencies, campus-wide cancellations, urgent crime or public safety issues, etc.)
    3. Subscribed email lists - employees may maintain an email list for sending out information relating to their position or, if the person is a Gatekeeper, they may email a message for their specified audience as long as there is an opt-out option (e.g. Adams Center Announcements, COBA Connection email, Agriculture Department newsletter, etc.)
    4. Other Mutually Agreed Upon Exceptions - any other all-employee email (e.g. health insurance change notifications) must be mutually agreed upon by the Internal Communications Coordinator, Director of Human Resources, Vice President of University Relations and the Executive Assistant to the President.  Any all-student email must be approved by the VP for Student Life/Dean of Students.
  3. myACU Community Forums
    myACU Community Forums will be an appropriate place for topics that involve or would be enhanced by feedback, interaction and discussion from all myACU users, with the supervision of a moderator.
  4. "Gatekeepers"
    Gatekeepers are responsible for approving messages to be distributed to the specified audience.  Once the message has been approved by the Gatekeeper, if going to the entire campus or all employees or all students, it may be posted or emailed by the Internal Communications Coordinator, VP for Student Life/Dean of Students, Director of Student Activities, Chief of Police or Executive Assistant to the President.  If the approved message is going to the specified audience for the Gatekeeper, the Gatekeeper may determine an appropriate medium for the message.
Audience Gatekeeper
All EmployeesHuman Resources
FacultyProvost/Human Resources
Staff/Student EmployeesHuman Resources
All StudentsVP for Student Life/Dean of Students
CollegeDean
DepartmentDepartment Chair
MajorDepartment Chair
Class (freshman, sophomores, etc.)Student Activities Coordinator (Freshman class also belongs to the First Year Program)
ParentsFirst Year Program/Admissions
RecruitsDirector of Recruiting 
AdmitsDirector of Recruiting
Alumni/FriendsAlumni Relations Communication Coordinator
TrusteesExecutive Assistant to the President
Residence HallsDirector of Residence Life
DonorsDirector of Development
Crime/Public Safety/Parking/TrafficChief of Police
Technology Alerts for CampusChief Information Officer

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Policy No. 502   
July, 2009

CAMPUS MAIL POLICY

The policy on campus mail can be located at: Campus Mail Policy

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Policy No. 510   
January 1, 1994
Reviewed July 2004

OFFICIAL NOTICE AND SAFETY BULLETIN BOARDS

PURPOSE
To provide a permanent and official channel of communication to employees.

SCOPE
This policy applies to the campus of ACU.

POLICY
Important university information will be displayed permanently on the official notice and safety bulletin boards located outside Room 213 of the Hardin Administration Building and in the Physical Plant Building between the main office and the break room.

  1. Legally required posters and notice.
  2. University standards and rules of conduct.
  3. Safety rules and related information. 

    Employees will be responsible for regularly checking and reading the official notice and safety bulletin board and for following the rules, regulations and instructions posted there.

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Policy No. 530   
January 1, 1994
Reviewed November 2011

COMPLAINT PROCEDURE

PURPOSE
To provide a process for employees to discuss complaints or problems with management and to receive careful consideration and a prompt resolution.

SCOPE
This policy applies to all employees at ACU.

POLICY
It is in the best interest of the university and the employee to resolve work-related complaints as soon as possible at the lowest possible level of supervision.

  1. Each employee of the university should discuss work-related complaints or problems with management.
  2. It is the policy of the university to consider and attempt to resolve employee complaints or problems in a prompt and fair manner.

DEFINITIONS
"Complaint" is defined as a condition of employment or application of a policy that the employee thinks is unjust or inequitable.

PROCEDURE

  1. Supervisor's Role.  To resolve complaints and problems, the employee is encouraged to first seek assistance from his or her immediate supervisor, who should attempt to resolve the problem.  The supervisor is responsible for handling the complaint as an important business matter, striving to arrive at a prompt, equitable solution.  The immediate supervisor, after obtaining all of the facts and reviewing the problem, will give the employee an answer within two (2) working days, or will notify the employee if additional time is needed to investigate the problem.  If desired, the supervisor may request assistance from the Director of Human Resources. Occasionally, an employee's complaint involves his or her supervisor.  Supervisors should realize that employees often do not feel free to express such concerns to them.  Therefore, employees are encouraged to discuss complaints with the next higher level of management to avoid an awkward situation.  As an alternative, the employee may discuss the complaint at any time with the Director of Human Resources.  An employee may ask the Director of Human Resources, another employee or another manager to be present at a complaint discussion with any level of management.
  2. If the employee feels that the supervisor's response is not satisfactory, the employee, with or without his or her supervisor, may present the problem to the department head.  The department head should be sure that all efforts have been made to solve the problem, including working out solutions with other departments should more than one department be involved in the matter.  The department head will provide the employee with a response within five (5) working days, or notify employee if additional time is needed.
  3. Should the employee involved be dissatisfied with the department head's response, the employee will so notify the department head and may then present the problem to the dean of the college of the vice president of the division for his or her review.  During this presentation, the employee may act alone, or with his or her supervisor and/or the department head.  The vice president will provide the employee with a response within five (5) working days, or notify the employee if additional time is needed to investigate the problem.
  4. If the employee feels that the vice president's response is not satisfactory, he or she may make a written appeal to the President.  All written documentation on the case will be furnished to the President for review.  The President may, in his or her discretion, empanel the other members of management to review the facts of the particular case, and offer recommendations.  The President's decision shall be final.

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Policy No. 502
January 1, 1994
Reviewed July 2004

OFFICIAL NOTICE AND SAFETY BULLETIN BOARDS