People Services

Employee Handbook – Chapter 6

Staff Employee Conduct


The College has adopted standards of conduct entitled Workplace Expectations. These standards describe the work-related behavior expected of all employees. College management staff may interpret these standards as necessary in order to administer them fairly, efficiently and in the best interest of the College. Violations of these standards of conduct may result in disciplinary action, up to and including immediate termination.


As a continuous learning environment built upon Berea’s Great Commitments and Common Learning Goals, Berea College expects all workers “to be active learners, workers and serves,” and seeks to be a place where the Christian values of human compassion, dignity, and equity are expressed and lived.

Therefore, workers are expected to:

I. Exhibit Enthusiasm for Learning
Striving to learn and to grow both intellectually and personally so everyone is a learner and everyone is a mentor.
Sample Indicators:

  • Learns new things in various ways, both formal and informal, that assist in professional and personal growth.
  • Demonstrates and applies newly learned skills and abilities.
  • Shares knowledge in useful ways with co-workers.
  • Contributes to a workplace environment that encourages continuous learning.

II. Act with Integrity and Caring
Exhibiting honesty, trustworthiness, and compassion in one’s work and relationships.
Sample Indicators:

  • Does what the person said he or she would do and demonstrates an ability to say no when it is appropriate to do so.
  • Actions match words.
  • Exhibits trust and can be trusted by others.
  • Shows concern for others.

III. Value all People
Working to create an inclusive and respectful workplace that models the Great Commitments and seeks to find the best in all people.
Sample Indicators:

  • Appreciates and works well with those different from oneself.
  • Strives to create a workplace and campus where everyone feels welcome.
  • Respects others’ opinions and considers all viewpoints even when there are disagreements.
  • Expresses concern for getting work completed and balances that concern with the goals and feelings of others.

IV. Work as a Team

Developing collaborative and team oriented abilities that will create a community of mutual respect, common vision, and shared accomplishments.
Sample Indicators:

  • Encourages collaboration while assisting in the development of independent thinking.
  • Actively listens to understand the views of others.
  • Respects and considers the views of others.
  • Recognizes and builds on all team member’s strengths.
  • Assists team members in achieving goals that support the mission of the College.

V.  Serve Others
Nurturing a climate of excellence in service that is responsive to others’ needs.
Sample Indicators:

  • Identifies who is served by one’s work, anticipates their needs, and delivers services in a professional manner to meet and exceed those needs.
  • Seeks input from others, including those served, in order to improve the work and its processes.

VI. Encourage Plain and Sustainable Living
Promoting a sustainable way of life through policies, procedures and practices in the workplace.
Sample Indicators:

  • Demonstrates responsible stewardship of all resources.
  • Encourages processes that sustain the environment.
  • Considers both natural and technological alternatives.

VII. Celebrate Work Well Done
Striving for excellence in all aspects of work and celebrating individual and collective accomplishments.
Sample Indicators:

  • Looks for and implements better ways of working.
  • Takes pride in work well done.
  • Shares credit for accomplishments with the entire team.
  • Acknowledges and expresses appreciation to co-workers for work well done.

With the Workplace Expectations serving as the model for how employees should conduct themselves on campus, it is usually helpful to also delineate types of behavior that are unacceptable in our workplace. These include, but are not limited to, the following behaviors/actions: falsifying employment or other College records; violating the College’s nondiscrimination or anti-harassment policies; excessive absenteeism or tardiness or leaving work without authorization; reporting to work under the influence of alcohol or non-prescribed drugs or the manufacturing, possessing, distributing or transporting of illegal drugs; fighting or gambling on duty; using obscene, abusive or threatening language or gestures in the workplace; theft of property from the College, its clients or staff; possession of firearms on the College’s premises or while on College business; insubordination; failure to complete work assignments satisfactorily; disclosure of confidential information about the College, its clients, its staff, students or donors; misuse of College funds; damaging or destroying College equipment or property; disregard of safety or security rules; excessive use of College telephones for personal use or excessive use of personal cell phones while on work time.


In their relationships with students, it is expected that faculty and staff members will conduct themselves with the highest level of professionalism. An open, fair, and effective educational environment depends on the respect of all members of the community for the appropriate roles of those who work and learn together. Accordingly, where they have direct and formal professional responsibilities (including, but not limited to teaching, advising, supervising, coaching, and evaluating in any way), faculty and staff members are prohibited from engaging in a consensual relationship (romantic or sexual) with a Berea College student. Even in the absence of such direct and formal responsibilities, consensual relationships between faculty/staff members and students may adversely affect the College’s learning environment and are strongly discouraged.

Approved by the General Faculty Assembly and the Board of Trustees, May, 2011.

Procedures: See Procedures for Reporting, Investigating, and Hearing Alleged Violations of Certain College Policies.


Every member of the campus community fills a role that has been determined to be essential to the College. The College expects all employees to be responsible in their attendance and promptness.  Recognizing that illness and injuries do occur, the College has established sick leave, family and medical leave and long-term disability policies to compensate employees for certain time lost for legitimate medical reasons. (Family Medical leave is addressed in depth in a separate section of this Handbook.)

All employees are expected to be prompt in reporting to work and returning from meal breaks or other absences from the workplace. An employee who anticipates being late in reporting or returning to work must call his or her supervisor.

Should you be unable to work because of illness, you must notify your supervisor no later than 9:00 a.m. on each day of your absence, unless you are granted an authorized medical leave, in which case different notification procedures apply. Failure to properly notify the College results in an unexcused absence. Any employee who is absent for three (3) consecutive working days without proper notification to the employee’s immediate supervisor will be deemed to have voluntarily quit his or her employment.

If you are excused for an absence of more than three (3) consecutive work days, the College may require a fitness-for-work statement from a physician before you will be permitted to return to work. In such instances, the College reserves the right to require you to submit to an examination by such physician as the College may designate. n addition, the College may require you either to submit a statement from your physician or to be examined by the College designated physician, in instances including, but not limited to, where abuse of the sick leave policy is suspected.

Excessive absenteeism or tardiness, as determined in the judgment of the College, shall be grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.


When you call any place of business as one of its current or potential customers, you expect courtesy, and this affects your feelings about that business as a whole. Likewise, our students, visitors, friends and donors judge us by our courtesy in answering the telephone, taking messages and conversing on the telephone. Often the telephone is the only contact that other persons have with us, and courteous telephone calls will always greatly enhance the College’s image and success.

Therefore, when answering the telephone you should:

  • Answer all calls promptly and pleasantly; keep a smile in your voice.
  • Always identify yourself when you answer.
  • Take messages when appropriate.
  • Make inquiries tactfully.
  • Give your undivided attention to the caller.
  • Avoid unnecessarily long conversations.
  • Treat the telephone as one of your most valuable business tools.

While personal telephone calls are essential from time to time, they should be held to an absolute minimum in order to maintain the business interests of the College as the primary focus while we are at work. Personal long distance calls are not permitted and are in violation of College policy. Personal cell phones should be turned off while at work so as not to distract or disturb other staff or the business of the College. If you need to make a personal call during the day, it should be made on your break or at lunchtime.


It is the policy of the College to ensure that the operations, activities, and business affairs of the College and our clients and donors are kept confidential to the greatest possible extent. If, during the course of their employment, employees acquire confidential or proprietary information about the College and its students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors and vendors, such information is to be handled in the strictest confidence and not to be discussed with outsiders. Employees are also responsible for the internal security of such information and should supply that information only on a “need to know” basis.

Employees are required to sign a statement of confidentiality at the time of hire and periodically throughout their terms of employment to acknowledge their awareness of, and reaffirm their commitment to, this policy. All employees must be mindful of the requirements under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) which is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records.


In the interest of maintaining a proper business and educational environment and preventing interference with work and inconvenience to others, employees may not distribute literature or printed materials of any kind, sell merchandise, solicit financial contributions, or solicit for any other cause during working time. Employees who are not on working time (e.g., those on lunch hour or breaks) may not solicit employees who are on working time for any cause or distribute literature of any kind to them.  Furthermore, employees may not distribute literature or printed material of any kind in working areas at any time.

Non-employees are prohibited from distributing material or soliciting employees on College premises at any time.

The College does support and endorse periodic fund-raising efforts for the United Way, Berea College and Habitat for Humanity. Any such fund-raising must be specifically approved by the President of the College or designated member of the Administrative Committee.


The College is committed to providing a safe and healthful working environment. In this connection, the College makes every effort to comply with relevant federal and state occupational health and safety laws and to develop the best feasible operations, procedures, technologies, and programs conducive to such an environment.

Public Safety staff members are available 24-hours per day to ensure the safety and security of the staff, students and visitors on our campus. The Emergency Phone Number is extension 3333 for all on campus emergencies. Additionally, the department is linked with the local 911 system in the event of a medical, police or fire safety emergency. Public Safety staff members should be contacted in the event of a work related accident or illness and will assist employees in completing a First Report of Injury. The Office of Public Safety is located in Woods-Penniman near the Crossroads Café.

College vehicles are maintained through the Office of Public Safety and are available for approved travel and student activities on a reservation and availability basis. (Motor Pool rules and regulations are available by calling x3333.) Additionally, safe driving courses are provided by this department and, in certain instances, are required.

The College’s health policy is aimed at minimizing the exposure of our employees, customers, and other visitors to our facilities to health or safety risks. To accomplish this objective, all College employees are expected to work diligently to maintain safe and healthful working conditions and to adhere to proper operating practices and procedures designed to prevent injuries and illnesses.

The responsibilities of all employees of the College in this regard include:

  1. Exercising maximum care and good judgment at all times to prevent accidents and injuries;
  2. Reporting to supervisors and seeking first aid for all injuries, regardless of how minor;
  3. Reporting unsafe conditions, equipment, or practices to supervisory personnel;
  4. Using safety equipment provided by the College at all times;
  5. Observing conscientiously all safety rules and regulations at all times;
  6. Notifying their supervisors, before the beginning of the workday, of any medication they are taking that may cause drowsiness or other side effects that could lead to injury to them and their coworkers.
  7. In appropriate circumstances, attending College sponsored safety classes.

The Office of Environmental Health and Safety is another resource for College staff and may be reached at the following numbers: x3350 or x3246.


Employees desiring to terminate their employment relationship with the College are urged to notify the College at least two weeks in advance of their intended termination for a non-exempt staff member and at least 4 weeks for an exempt staff member. Such notice should be given in writing to your supervisor and department head. Proper notice generally allows the College sufficient time to calculate all accrued vacation (if applicable) as well as other monies to which you may be entitled and to include such monies in your final paycheck.

Employees who plan to retire are urged to provide the College with a minimum of two months’ notice. This will allow ample time for the processing of appropriate pension forms to ensure that any retirement benefits to which an employee may be entitled commence in a timely manner.


The safety and security of Berea College employees and its visitors is of vital importance to the College. Therefore, acts or threats of physical violence including, but not limited to, intimidation, harassment or coercion, which may be directed towards another employee, visitor, or student or affect the College or occur on College property, shall not be tolerated. Weapons are prohibited on College property except as provided for under KRS 527.020(8). Any employee who is found, after a proper investigation, to have been in violation of this policy shall be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.


Berea conducts an extensive and continuous program of fund-raising. To maintain the coherence and effectiveness of these efforts, all fund-raising activities are centralized and coordinated in the Office of the Vice President for Alumni and College Relations. This is done to prevent an awkward situation in which two college representatives approach the same individual, foundation, or other donor and, in effect, begin to compete for a gift.

The development effort seeks to take full advantage of the ideas and contacts of faculty members. Suggestions are welcome and active participation in useful ways encouraged. Faculty are strongly urged, however, not to approach potential donors or engage in other fund-raising activities without first conferring with appropriate persons in the College Relation’s Office. 

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