University Volunteers

Policy Number: I.26
Policy Level: Operating Policy

Originally Issued: August 20, 2018

Policy Owner: Vice President for Financial Affairs
Policy Implementation: Vice President for Financial Affairs

I.    Policy Statement and Purpose

Individuals who volunteer and donate their time and services to the University are vital members of the University community.  Volunteers play a valuable role in advancing the University’s mission.  The purpose of this policy is to ensure that the University takes appropriate steps to protect its volunteers, while also protecting the interests of the University community.

II.  Eligibility

From time to time, the University may engage in activities or programs that involve the support and contribution of volunteers.

A volunteer is an individual who, without any obligation to do so, performs services for and with no expectation of compensation at the request of, for the benefit of, and under the supervision of, the University.  University volunteers serve at the pleasure of the University.  As such, a volunteer engaged in activities for or in support of the University may halt those activities at any time, and likewise, a volunteer assignment may be terminated at the discretion of the University at any time, without notice or cause.  A volunteer does not receive any compensation or benefit from the University. Volunteers are not covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and are not considered employees for any purpose.

University volunteers are expected to abide by University policies and external regulations that govern their actions, including, but not limited to, ethical behavior, confidentiality, financial responsibility, drug/alcohol use, health and safety, protected health information, non-discrimination and computer use.

To be eligible to serve as a University volunteer, an individual:

  1. Must engage in volunteer services on less than a full-time basis, unless the volunteer is performing services for a limited and defined period (e.g., a semester or a set number of weeks).
  2. Must willingly provide goods and services without any promise, expectation or receipt of pay or payment in kind.
  3. Must be at least 19 years of age.  Any individual under 19 years of age may only volunteer at the University while under the supervision of an authorized adult as set forth in the Minors on University Property policy.
  4. Should not perform work usually or typically performed by a regular employee of the University, unless specially authorized to do so by the President, Provost, or applicable Dean or Vice-President.
  5. Should not be permitted to perform volunteer activities in conjunction with a University department where the volunteer would be supervised by a member of his or her relative to the third degree of kinship (e.g., a volunteer’s parent, child, niece, nephew, sister, brother, spouse, or grandparent), unless specially authorized to do so by the President, Provost, or applicable Dean or Vice-President.
  6. Must successfully complete any and all training deemed necessary for the volunteer activity by the sponsoring University department/supervisor.
  7. Must successfully pass a background check (if applicable). The University may require that any volunteer working with sensitive populations or who will have unsupervised access to liquid assets for the University complete a satisfactory background check prior to engaging in a volunteer activity.  Sensitive populations include children under 19 years of age or any other individuals entitled to enhanced supervision or protection based on University practice or state or federal law.  Unsupervised means the volunteer will, for any period, of time, have access to liquid assets of the University without the physical presence of a supervising University employee.

Human Resources will perform the background check upon request of the sponsoring department and after receipt of a consent signed by the potential volunteer.  The sponsoring department is responsible for the cost.  Individuals who do not agree to a background check may be refused a volunteer assignment.

III.  Sponsorship, Supervision and Documentation

All University volunteers must be sponsored and supervised by a University department/supervisor.  When engaging the services of an eligible University volunteer, it is the sponsoring University department/supervisor’s responsibility to make sure that the volunteer meets all of the eligibility requirements listed above.

Except in unusual situations where a volunteer is performing a very minor and incidental service that (i) is on campus in a secure area, (ii) does not involve any risk of damage or injury, and (iii) is limited in duration to 4 hours or less, any and all volunteers should complete a Volunteer Information Sheet and Release form that has been approved and made available by the Vice President for Financial Affairs, and it is the responsibility of the sponsoring department/supervisor to obtain a signed form from each such volunteer.  A signed copy of this form must be forwarded to the Security Office and the Financial Affairs Office.  However, the terms of the policy apply to all University volunteers regardless of whether or not they have completed such forms.

IV.  Responsibility for this Operating Policy

Policy Owner

As part of the initial approval of this policy by the President and subsequent to the original dissemination of the policy, the Vice President for Financial Affairs is the policy owner for the ongoing evaluation, review, and approval of this policy.  Subsequent reviews and revisions to this policy must be in accordance with approved operating policy procedures and processes.

This policy will be reviewed every two years or more frequently as needed.

Responsibility for Policy Implementation

The President has assigned the responsibility of implementing this policy to the Vice President for Financial Affairs.