Human Resource Policy Manual

1. Introduction

1.The institutions of the North Dakota University System are established for the people of the state. They are governed by the State Board of Higher Education whose authority derives from the state constitution.

2.Every staff employee of the institution has a part in the educational, research, and service effort of the institution. It is an effort which can best be carried out within a harmonious employer-employee relationship. As an Equal Opportunity Employer, each institution has adopted the policy of providing equal employment opportunities without discrimination to all applicants and employees regardless of race, religion, color, national origin, age, gender, physical or mental disability, or status with regard to marriage or public assistance, sexual orientation, participation in lawful activity off the employer’s premises during nonworking hours or information which is protected by the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (“GINA”). To this end each institution endeavors to provide working conditions and compensation based on fair and equitable standards.

3.An employee, or a group of employees, has the right to discuss with supervisors or other appropriate officers any condition of employment without discrimination or retaliation.

4.This manual is not intended to and does not constitute a contract between the State Board of Higher Education and its employees. None of the provisions contained herein are interpreted as contractually binding upon the State Board of Higher Education. The State Board of Higher Education retains the right to alter any or all of the terms of this manual whenever it elects to do so.

2. Appointments

1. Non-Banded Staff Employee – A person employed in an executive position that is excluded from the broadbanding system by policy or the institution’s president.

2. Staff Employee – A person employed primarily for work other than teaching or holding a position the institution’s president has excluded from the broadbanding system by designation.

a. Regular Staff Employee – A person who satisfactorily completes a probationary period, (See Section 4) who is appointed to an approved and regularly funded position, and who is employed at least seventeen and one-half hours per week if hired before August 1, 2003 or twenty hours per week if hired on or after August 1, 2003, and at least twenty weeks each year. The policies and benefits included in this manual shall apply to all such persons except when specifically excluded by statute or these policies (See Section 10, for example).

b. Temporary Staff Employee – A person employed in a position of intermittent or limited duration not to exceed one year, a seasonal position, or in a position working less than seventeen and one-half hours per week if hired before August 1, 2003, or less than twenty hours per week if hired on or after August 1, 2003. The policies and benefits included in this manual shall not apply to temporary employees except as noted. A temporary staff employee may be terminated at any time with or without cause.

i. Full-time Affordable Care Act (ACA) Temporary Employee – A person employed 30 hours or more per week or 130 hours per month or 1, 560 hours per year; including any employee that is reasonably expected to work 30 hours per week for a month, qualifying variable hour employee, and any employee who is not a seasonal employee.

ii. Seasonal Employee – A person employed in a position in which a person works 6 months or less per year during an institutionally designated “season”.

3. Full-time Staff Employee – A regular staff employee employed for forty hours or more per week.

3. Qualifications for Employment

1. The institution shall employ persons on the basis of merit without unlawful discrimination due to race, religion, color, national origin, age, gender, physical or mental disability, status with regard to marriage or public assistance, sexual orientation, participation in lawful activity off the employer’s premises during nonworking hours or information which is protected by the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (“GINA”).
2. Appropriate tests may be required to evaluate qualifications of an applicant for a position.
3. After a conditional offer of employment, an applicant may be required to complete a medical statement form and may be required to have a physical examination. All such examinations shall be job related and consistent with operational necessity. Examinations will be provided at the expense of the institution. Failure to meet the physical requirements for a position may disqualify the applicant.

a. After a conditional offer of employment, applicants for positions that require a commercial driver’s license or a pilot’s license will be required to take a drug and alcohol test. These tests will be conducted in the manner prescribed by the Department of Transportation (DOT) or the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), respectively. In addition, applicants must sign a written agreement authorizing former employers to release to the institution all information on the applicant’s alcohol tests with a concentration result of 0.04 or greater, positive controlled substances test results, and refusals to be tested within the preceding two years. Failure to pass this test or sign the written authorization will result in a withdrawal of the offer of employment.
b. Current employees in positions that require a commercial driver’s license (CDL) or a pilot’s license will be required to undergo drug and alcohol testing under the following circumstances:

i. reasonable suspicion;
ii. post-accident;
iii. return-to-duty following a violation of DOT or FAA drug/alcohol testing regulations;
iv. follow-up testing as directed by a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP); and
v. a random testing program.

Employees who do not pass the test, or those who refuse to test, are subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.

c. Each institution must develop a full drug and alcohol testing policy as prescribed by the DOT or FAA and distribute it to applicants for, and current employees in, positions that require a commercial driver’s license or a pilot’s license. Receipt of this document must be acknowledged in writing by the applicant or employee.

4. Candidates who have not reached the age of eighteen are ineligible for regular employment.
5. Each person recommended for regular appointment must have an application for employment on file.

4. Probationary Period

1. New staff employees are in a probationary status for the initial six months of employment. During such period, the employee is employed “at will” and may be terminated with one week’s notice with no right to appeal. One week’s pay may be given in lieu of notice. Employees not in probationary status who are promoted or transferred to another staff employee position at the same institution or agency are not subject to a probationary period for the new position. (See NDUS HR Policy 17.2 for probationary review requirements.)

a. The original probationary period may be extended for a specific period of time not to exceed six months upon recommendation by the supervisor to the appropriate campus official. The reasons for the extension shall be in writing, signed by the supervisor, and a copy given to the employee and the appropriate campus official.

5. Pay Policy

1. All staff positions are assigned market rates for each position determined by each institution. Market rates represent the average or median salary paid for like positions. Market rates are a guideline for salary levels.

a. Hiring Rate – Employees are hired with consideration the market rate for the position. Additional consideration may be given to substantial, directly related experience and equity, which may include factors such as job performance and level of responsibility.
b. Probationary Adjustments – Upon successful completion of the initial probation period, an employee may be eligible for a salary adjustment up to five percent. The amount of the adjustment may vary depending on such factors as performance, equity, and budget appropriations. An employee evaluation form must be completed before the probationary adjustment is approved.
c. Other Salary Adjustments – Staff salary adjustments are not automatic and may increase, decrease, or stay the same, with a change in job responsibility. Adjustments in salary will be made with appropriate administrative approval and consultation with the Human Resource Office. Rationale for these adjustments will include changes in level of responsibility as documented by a Position Description; and changes in band and/or job family. If the adjustment results in a lower pay rate, the employee may appeal the decision (see section 27).

i. Temporary Adjustments – An adjustment may be given with proper administrative approval to an employee serving in an interim position. Adjustments should not be given for interim periods of less than thirty days. Employees may not retain the higher compensation level for more than 30 days after the interim period ceases to exist.
ii. Merit Adjustment – A merit adjustment is made solely in recognition of work performance which exceeds performance standards documented through an established review process.
iii. General Adjustment – General adjustments are made based on the decisions and directions of the Legislature or the State Board of Higher Education. General adjustments may also be determined for an institution at the discretion of the institution’s president.
iv. One-time payment – One time payments may include but are not limited to hiring or retention bonuses, performance awards, or cost-of-living adjustments.
v. Promotion Adjustment – A promotion adjustment may be made when an employee is moved to a position with additional authority.

d. Equity Adjustments – An equity adjustment is intended to mitigate a documented internal salary inequity. Factors generally considered are the institution’s market rate for the position in question, directly related experience, education, job performance, and level of responsibility.
e. Market Adjustments – A market adjustment is intended to mitigate a documented external inequity using North Dakota University System recognized market data. Market adjustment proposals must consider institutional equity.

2. Pay day shall be the last day of the month for the period from the first day of the month to the fifteenth day of the month and the fifteenth day of the following month for the period from the sixteenth day of the month to the end of the month; however, if a pay day is a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday, the preceding work day shall be pay day. Effective not later than for the pay period beginning July 1, 2008 and subject only to individual exceptions in exceptional circumstances as approved according to institution or system office procedures, employee wages shall be paid with direct deposit in the financial institution of the employee’s choice. Institutions and the system office may enact implementing procedures defining exceptional circumstances under which individual exceptions to mandatory direct deposit may be approved by an authorized institution or system official.
3. The institution shall not grant automatic salary increases. Salary changes are based on legislative action, Board of Higher Education direction, and individual campus salary administration policy.
4. Compensation in Lieu of Pay – Compensation in the form of meals, living quarters, etc., or an allowance in lieu thereof shall be considered pay for salary comparison purposes. Reimbursement for traveling expenses including mileage, meals, and lodging expenses that result from assigned duties away from the normal conduct of business shall not be considered as pay for salary comparison purposes.
5. Employee Suggestion Incentive Program – All employees except presidents, vice presidents, deans, department chairs, and department heads are eligible to participate in the Suggestion Incentive Program.

a. An employee may submit a recommendation or proposal to reduce expenditures within the university or the employee’s work area with the appropriate campus official. All recommendations or proposals presented by an eligible employee will be forwarded to the State Suggestion Incentive Committee. The State Suggestion Incentive Committee shall review all recommendations or proposals and forward its recommendation to the institutional president. The president shall make the final decision on acceptance or rejection of a recommendation or proposal.
b. A university employee whose recommendation or proposal to reduce expenditures is approved by the State Suggestion Incentive Committee and the institutional president, is entitled to receive ten percent of any savings realized, to a maximum of one thousand dollars. The institutional savings must relate directly to the employee’s proposed change. The suggestion incentive must be computed on the actual savings for a twelve-month period beginning from the time that the proposed change is instituted. The employee is entitled to the suggestion incentive payment at the end of the twelve-month period in a lump sum payment which is in addition to the employee’s regular salary. Employees who qualify for the suggestion incentive are entitled to an award for the first year’s savings only and not for any subsequent years.

6. Annual Leave

    1. Annual leave with pay is earned by staff employees. Upon approval, annual leave may only be used in place of regularly scheduled work hours and shall not cause overtime. Institutional operations govern annual leave periods. Consider¬ation is given first to the convenience of the administration, departmental needs, then the employee’s departmental seniority and finally to employee’s preference. All requested leave must be reported in Absence Management.
    2. Annual leave with pay for benefited full-time employees accrues based on rate per hour and is earned on the basis of continuous service from date of employment as follows:

      First through third year – the equivalent of 12 days per year

      Fourth through seventh year – the equivalent of 15 days per year

      Eighth through twelfth year – the equivalent of 18 days per year

      Thirteenth through eighteenth year – the equivalent of 21 days per year

      Over eighteen years – the equivalent of 24 days per year

      Years of service shall be computed from employment anniversary date.

    3. Annual leave for benefited part time employees is earned on a prorated basis.
      1. Accumulated annual leave, up to 240 hours (or the equivalent on a prorated basis for benefited part-time employees) shall be carried forward on January 1 of each year.
    4. Presidents, executive deans, provosts, vice presidents, positions excluded from the broadbanding system, and other positions approved by the president or chancellor at the time of hire are entitled to accrue a minimum of twelve working days and a maximum of twenty-four working days of annual leave each year to be taken at the convenience of the administration. Accrual rates for these employees are determined by the institution president or chancellor.
    5. Benefited staff employees eligible to accumulate annual leave must take forty hours (or the equivalent on a prorated basis for benefited part-time employees) of annual leave per year except for the year during which they are hired.
    6. When a holiday occurs during annual leave, the holiday is not considered a day of annual leave.
    7. Benefited staff employees terminating employment, or transferring to a position wherein annual leave accrual benefits do not apply, must be paid for earned unused annual leave at the hourly rate applicable at the time of termination or transfer subject to all approved payroll matched reductions/deductions. Unused annual leave shall include any leave carried over from the previous year and all accrued leave up to the date of termination.
    8. In case of death, all earned, unused annual leave shall be paid according to Sec. 34-01-12 of the North Dakota Century Code.
    9. Accrued annual leave for employees previously employed with other North Dakota institutions or agencies may be transferred to institutions under the State Board of Higher Education according to agreements between the employee and institution. If re-employment occurs within one calendar year, the re-employing institution shall credit the employee with prior years of service from any state agency in computing the annual leave accrual rate.
    10. At the discretion of the department head and the concurrence of the appropriate administrative officer, an employee may be granted annual leave in advance of the accumulation thereof. If an employee terminates employment, any annual leave taken in advance of accumulation may be deducted from the employee’s last paycheck provided the employee has signed an agreement authorizing the deduction.

7. Sick Leave

1. Sick leave, including maternity, is a benefit granted by the institution to staff employees and is not a benefit considered to be earned by the employee such as annual leave. It is an insurance benefit allowing employees to build a reserve of days they can use for their extended illnesses. Sick leave may be used by an employee when:

a. The employee unable to work due to a mental or physical condition (including maternity).
b. The employee has an appointment for the diagnosis or treatment of a medically related condition.
c. The employee wishes to attend to the needs of an eligible family member who is ill or to assist them in obtaining other services related to their health. Eligible family members include the employee’s spouse, parent (natural, adoptive, foster, and step-parent); child (natural, adoptive, foster, and step-child); or any other family member who is financially or legally dependent upon the employee providing care to the family members. Sick leave used for these purposes shall not exceed eighty hours (80) hours per calendar year.
d. In the case of a serious health condition of an eligible family member, an employee may take up to a total of four-hundred-eighty hours of sick leave in any twelve-month period, including the eighty hours in subsection (c.) above.
e. The employee is caring for a newborn child or for a child placed with the employee, by a licensed child-placing agency, for adoption or as a precondition to adoption, but not both. Sick leave in such cases is limited to six weeks during the first six months from birth or placement.
f. The employee seeks for oneself or to assist a parent, child, spouse, sibling, or any other individual who regularly resides in the household or who within the prior six months regularly resided in the household, with the consequences of domestic violence, a sex offense, stalking, or terrorizing. Sick leave may be used to seek legal or law enforcement remedies; treatment by a health care provider for physical or mental injuries; obtain services from a domestic violence shelter, rape crisis center, or social services program; obtain mental health counseling; and participate in safety planning, relocation or other actions to increase the employee’s or immediate family member’s safety from future domestic violence, a sex offense, stalking or terrorizing. The immediate supervisor may limit the use of sick leave for this section to forty (40) hours per calendar year.

2. Employees who use sick leave are responsible for informing their supervisors prior to the start of their scheduled work period. All requested leave must be reported in Absence Management. The employing department may require satisfactory medical verification as deemed necessary by the department head prior to the payment of sick leave. Sick leave may only be used in place of regularly scheduled work hours and shall not cause overtime.
3. Sick leave is granted on the basis of continuous service from date of employment for benefited staff employees.
4. Sick leave for full-time benefited staff employees accrues based on rate per hour at a rate equivalent to twelve days per year. Sick leave for benefited part-time employees working twenty hours or more per week is granted on a prorated basis. Sick leave accumulation is unlimited.
5. Sick leave may be granted to employees who become ill while on vacation provided satisfactory medical proof of such illness is submitted.

a. When a holiday occurs during a paid sick leave the holiday is not considered a day of sick leave.

6. An employee with at least ten continuous years of state employment who leaves the employ of the state, is entitled to a lump-sum payment equal to one-tenth of the pay attributed to the employee’s unused sick leave accrued under this Section 7 and in accordance with N.D.C.C. Section 54-06-14. The pay attributed to the accumulated, unused sick leave must be computed on the basis of the employee’s salary or wage at the time the employee leaves the employ of the state.
7. At the discretion of the department head and the concurrence of the appropriate administrative officer, an employee may be granted sick leave in advance of the accumulation thereof up to a maximum of forty hours. In rare cases, such as leave due to a workers compensation claim or shared leave, the HR/Payroll office may process leave which exceeds the forty hour advance. If an employee terminates employment, any sick leave taken in advance of accumulation may be deducted from the employee’s last paycheck provided the employee has signed an agreement authorizing the deduction.
8. Accrued sick leave is transferable from any state agency to the employing institution if employment with the institution occurs within one calendar year of termination of service with the state agency.

8. Worker's Compensation

8.1 The North Dakota State Board of Higher Education recognizes that the safety, health and well-being of its employees is important. To this end, a priority will be placed on the prevention of accidents and occupationally-incurred illnesses. It is a goal to reduce claims costs. It is the responsibility of every employee to work in a safe manner, and to intervene when others are performing in an unsafe manner.
8.2 All employees are protected by workers compensation against work-related injuries or diseases fairly traceable to employment in the performance of their official duties.
8.3 Each institution will maintain an approved North Dakota Workforce Safety and Insurance Risk Management Program. Components of this program include

8.3.1 All on-the-job accidents and injuries or occupationally-incurred diseases must be reported within twenty-four hours to the employee’s supervisor and the appropriate campus official. This is for the protection of the employee, as well as the institution.
8.3.2 All employees must receive training or information on general safety rules, safe operating procedures, ergonomic hazards and the institution’s claims management procedures. Employees in unique work environments must receive additional training relevant to their position.
8.3.3 To have a claim paid by, Workforce Safety and Insurance, employees must seek medical care from the institution’s designated medical provider(s). However, employees have the option of choosing their own medical provider for care if they make that known in writing to the appropriate campus official in advance of any work-related injury or treatment for an occupationally-incurred disease.

8.4 In case of absence due to illness or injury, for which worker’s compensation benefits are received, sick leave pay may be used to the extent of the difference between such benefits and the employee’s regular pay. The employee may elect to use worker’s compensation only or use it in combination with sick leave and/or annual leave. However, the employee’s leave account shall only be charged that percentage of time which corresponds to the percentage of pay that the institution shall pay. The total wage-loss payment shall not be more than the employee’s regular pay.
8.5 During the time the injured employee is using sick leave and/or annual leave, the institution will continue to issue a payroll check. Thus, when the injured employees receives a check from Workforce Safety and Insurance, that check must be turned over to the appropriate campus official.
8.6 Upon using all accrued benefits, an employee will be placed on leave without pay for a maximum of ninety calendar days. At the end of that period, the employee, the supervisor, Workforce Safety And Insurance and the appropriate campus official shall evaluate the medical prognosis. If it is unlikely that the employee will return to work in a reasonable amount of time (within ninety days of being place on leave without pay), the position the employee holds shall be filled through regular procedures. When the employee, upon medical approval, is able to return to work (within two years of being placed on leave without pay), the employee is entitled to be placed in the same classification, if qualified, when a position becomes available.
8.7 If an employee must be completely retrained into a different capacity from his or her employment at the time of injury, the employee’s position shall be filled through regular procedures. When the training is complete, the employee may compete as an internal candidate for a position at the institution.
8.8 If an employee is not able to return to work at the institution within two years of being placed on leave without pay, his or her employment with the institution shall be terminated.

8.8.1 For Workforce Safety And Insurance purposes, North Dakota Public Employee Retirement System (NDPERS) maintains employee records for two years. If an employee is not able to return to work in any capacity after two years, that employee forfeits his or her rights to be considered for placement into a position at the original institution except to participate in regular recruitment procedures.


(Replaces Staff Personnel Handbook (Old Manual) as revised March 26, 1976).
Amend. Sec. 8, 8.1, 8.2, 8.3 SBHE Minutes, June 20-21, 1991, pg 6143.
Amend. Sec. 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 8.3.1, 8.3.2, 8.3.3, 8.4, 8.5, 8.6, 8.7, 8.8 SBHE Minutes, March 20, 1997, pg 6744.
Amend Sec. 8.2, 8.3, 8.3.1, 8.3.3, 8.4, 8.5, 8.6, 8.7, 8.8, added 8.8.1. SBHE September 3, 2015.

9. Insurance

9.1 The institution makes available to regular staff employees certain types of group insurance expressly for the purpose of insuring personal security planning. Such coverage may include medical insurance, life insurance and disability insurance.

10. Retirement

1. North Dakota law requires regular staff employees who are eighteen or more years of age and who work twenty hours or more per week for five or more months per year to participate in the Public Employee’s Retirement Plan.

a. Employees in 1000, 2000, and 3000 bands shall participate in the TIAA retirement plan within the same guidelines noted in Sec. 10.1.
b. In lieu of participation in the TIAA retirement plan, eligible employees having accrued retirement benefits under the North Dakota Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) may elect to continue participating in PERS. A PERS participant changing to a position that qualifies for participation in TIAA may elect to become a participant by making such election within sixty days from the change. In absence of such election, the right of participation is irrevocably waived.

Amend Sec. 10.2 SBHE minutes, March 13, 1987; Amend Sec. 10.1 and, 10.2, SBHE minutes, June 20-21, 1991; Amend Sec. 10.1, 10.1.1, and 10.1.2, SBHE minutes, March 20, 1997; Amend Sec. 10.1.1 and 10.1.2, SBHE minutes, May 12, 1999; Amended, SBHE minutes, July 19, 2018.

11. Work Week

11.1 The work week shall be from 12:01 a.m. Sunday through 12:00 midnight Saturday unless otherwise established for individual positions.

12. Overtime

1. Overtime compensation at a time-and-one-half rate shall be provided to all non-exempt employees when hours worked exceed forty hours in a work week. Compensatory time off at a time-and-one-half rate may be provided in lieu of cash overtime payments upon prior agreement. Upon approval, compensatory time may only be used in place of regularly scheduled work hours and shall not cause overtime. All overtime must be reported in time and labor. Use of compensatory time must be reported through Absence Management.
2. Each campus is responsible for periodic review of positions to ensure proper identification as exempt or non-exempt pursuant to definitions provided within the Fair Labor Standards Act.
3. Official closings and holidays shall be counted as hours worked during a work week. In establishing a forty-hour work week, annual leave, sick leave, official closings and holidays shall be counted as hours worked. Annual leave, sick leave, other forms of paid leave, and compensatory time shall not be counted for overtime purposes.
4. Overtime hours may be approved on the basis of emergency circumstances or when it is impractical to maintain an additional temporary work force adequate to handle peak loads during regular hours. Overtime hours must be authorized by the appropriate administrative officer.
5. Overtime work shall be assigned on an equitable basis.
6. An employee not at work or on duty and called back for emergency service shall receive compensation in accordance with the institutional agreement in effect or at the rate of time-and-one-half. Guaranteed minimum pay for call-back to a work site when required is two hours at time-and-one-half and guaranteed minimum pay for call-back when return to the work site is not required, for example, when services are provided from home by telephone, is fifteen minutes at time-and-one-half.

13. Employment of Relatives

13.1 No head of a department or institution may appoint a member of their immediate family to a position under their control or direction. (See Nepotism, N.D.C.C. 44-04-09).

13.2 When two or more members of the same immediate family are employed in the same department or institution, the head of the department or institution shall reassign responsibility for performance evaluations, salary recommendations, disciplinary actions, and other supervisory authority as necessary in order to eliminate any conflict or potential conflict of interest in the exercise of that authority.

13.2.1 Immediate family means parent (by birth or adoption), spouse, son or daughter (by birth or adoption), stepchild, brother or sister (by whole or half blood or adoption), brother-in-law or sister-in-law, or son-in-law or daughter-in-law.

13.3 Each campus shall establish and maintain specific procedures which identify and act upon instances of nepotism.

14. Broadband Policy

14.1 The North Dakota University System Human Resource Council is responsible for managing bands (as defined by the US Department of Education). The bands include job families of positions with similar skills.

14.1.1 Complete and accurate position descriptions will be written and maintained by the supervisor. The position description will be used by Human Resource personnel for placement of the position in a band and job family. Within each job family, job duties may vary depending on need as determined by the supervisor. Duties and responsibilities assigned a position may change without changing band or job family.

14.2 The job family title of each position is the official title which is used on payroll records, budget documents, personnel and other official records. The institution may use functional titles for other purposes.

14.3 The campus Human Resource Office is responsible for the assignment of staff positions to the proper band and job family after review by other Human Resource offices within the University system.

14.4 If, after the band/job family assignment decision, the employee or employee’s supervisor is dissatisfied with the decision, an appeal may be initiated by the proper completion and submission of forms available from the institution’s Human Resource Office.

14.4.1 The appeal must be received in the institution’s Human Resource Office no later than thirty days from the date on which the band/job family decision was mailed. All sections of the appeal form must contain an appropriate entry or, if not applicable,
must contain an explanation as to why the item(s) is/are not applicable. All required signatures and attachments must be complete when the appeal is received by the institution’s Human Resource Office. The Human Resource Council shall establish a process for appointment by the Council of an audit team or other group to consider the appeal and make a decision. The review may be done based upon written submissions and/or informal meetings. This is the last step in the band/job family appeal process.

15. Vacancy Procedure

15.1 It shall be the responsibility of institutional departments to list all staff vacancies. Vacant positions shall be recruited for and filled according to the institution’s Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity guidelines.

16. Changing Positions

16.1 Notice of regular staff position vacancies shall be made available so that current employees of the institution may apply for the position.

16.2 Regular staff employees, when changing positions, shall retain their status for purposes of appealing employer actions and pre-termination hearing rights provided there is no break in service.

16.3 Changes in position shall be made on the basis of qualifications for the job, and current and past performance records.

16.4 In the event of changing positions, the employee’s sick leave and vacation accrual become the obligation of the department to which the employee transfers.

17. Performance Development

17.1 Performance development is a positive, goal-oriented means to improve individual performance on the job and to recognize improved performance at all levels of employment. Performance development is based on job clarification; improved communication and understanding between management and employees; and upon the definition and review of results for both personal, group, and organizational achievement.
17.2 At the completion of an employee’s probationary period and at least once a year thereafter, each staff employee shall participate in a performance development review. At a minimum, the performance development review shall include:

• The mutual review of job responsibilities insuring they continue to accurately represent the employee’s contributing role in departmental objectives and the institution’s overall mission;
• A mutually agreed upon performance development plan which includes a review and discussion of the progress made in accomplishing goals established within prior year performance plans;
• Determination of an individual’s future training needs including necessary resources to achieve the goals as established within the performance development plan; and
• Solicitation and follow-up on suggestions for continuous improvement of organizational processes and systems within which the individual works.

18. Rest Periods

18.1 Employees may be allowed a rest period of fifteen minutes each half day to be arranged by the department head. The work day may not be shortened and lunch periods may not be lengthened by omitting rest periods.

18.2 Employees who work more than five (5) hours in any one day shall be allowed a minimum of thirty consecutive minutes for one meal.

19. Holidays

19.1 Employees of all state institutions of higher learning shall observe the following legal holidays:

• New Year’s Day
• Martin Luther King Day
• President’s Day
• Good Friday
• Memorial Day
• Independence Day
• Labor Day
• Veteran’s Day
• Thanksgiving Day
• Christmas Day
• Employees of state institutions of higher learning shall also observe every day appointed by the President of the United States or by the Governor of this state for a public holiday.

19.2 If such holiday falls on Saturday, the preceding Friday shall be the holiday or if the holiday falls on Sunday, the Monday following shall be the holiday.
19.3 Institution offices must be closed at twelve noon on December 24, Christmas Eve Day, which is an office closure and not a holiday; however, if December 25, Christmas Day, falls on a Saturday, institution offices must be closed all day on the preceding Friday, which is then a holiday as indicated in Section 19.2.
19.4 Operational units of the institution shall close or operate with a minimum staff on observed holidays. Employees who because of work schedules have a regular day off that coincides with a holiday shall have an additional day off with pay at the convenience of the institution.
19.5 Special religious holidays may be observed with the advance approval of the department head. Such time shall be charged to accumulated annual leave.
19.6 A holiday is an eight hour day for a full-time employee and a prorated part of an eight hour day for employees who work less than full-time.


Amend. Sec. 19.2, 19.3, 19.4, 19.5, SBHE Minutes, June 20-21, 1991, pg 6143.
Amend. Sec. 19.1, 19.3, 19.4, SBHE Minutes, March 20, 1997, pg 6744.
Amend. Sec. 19.3, SBHE Minutes, June 17, 2004.
New, Sec. 19.6, SBHE Minutes, December 16, 2010.

20. Other Paid Leave

20.1 Funeral Leave – An approved absence from work, with pay, of up to twenty-four working hours, may be provided to an employee to attend or make arrangements for a funeral, as a result of a death in the employee’s family, or in the family of an employee’s spouse.

20.1.1 Family means husband, wife, son, daughter, father, mother, stepparents, brother, sister, grandparents, grandchildren, stepchildren, foster parents, foster children, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, daughter-in-law, and son-in-law.
20.1.2 Funeral leave for employees working less than forty hours per week will be prorated.
20.1.3 Funeral leave may only be used in place of regularly scheduled work hours and shall not cause overtime.

20.2 Jury Duty – An employee shall be allowed leave with pay for jury or other legal duty when subpoenaed for such service. Any compensation received for such duty may be retained by the employee.

20.2.1 When an employee is called as a witness on behalf of the State, and the employee’s institution reimburses the employee for mileage, sustenance and room (which it may do), no witness fee or mileage may be claimed by said employee, no time shall be deducted for the absence of such employee, and such employee shall be deemed to be performing duties or services for the State.
20.2.2 When an employee is called as a witness when the institution is not a party to the action and the institution does not reimburse such employee for mileage, sustenance, and room, the employee may collect witness fees and mileage from the proper party if the employee is on authorized leave.
20.2.3 An employee who is personally interested in or a party to a criminal or civil action or who voluntarily appears as a witness must charge their absence against earned annual leave or request leave without pay.
20.2.4 Jury duty leave may only be used in place of regularly scheduled work hours and shall not cause overtime.

20.3 Military Leave – An employee who is a member of the National Guard or Armed Forces Reserves shall be granted military leave annually in accordance with Sections 37-01-25 and 37-01-25.1 of the North Dakota Century Code which provides:

20.3.1 Military leave with pay shall be granted to all state employees up to a maximum of twenty work days for those employees who have been employed continuously for a period of ninety days or more immediately preceding the leave.
20.3.2 In addition, any military leave of absence necessitated by a full or partial mobilization of the reserve or national guard forces of the United States of America, or emergency state active duty, shall be without loss of pay for the first thirty days less any other military leave which may have been granted during the calendar year.
20.3.3 If leave is required for weekend, daily or hourly periods of drill for military training on a day on which the employee is scheduled to work, the employee must be given the option of time off with a concurrent loss of pay for the period missed, or must be given an opportunity to reschedule the work period so the reserve or national guard weekend, daily, or hourly drill or period of training occurs during time off from work without loss of status or efficiency rating.
20.3.4 Employees are also covered under the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act 38 USC § 4301 et. seq., which provides that members of the uniformed services are entitled to leave without pay and to reemployment rights upon return to civilian employment. The time requirements for reporting back to work after completion of service vary depending upon the length of the leave and can be found at 38 USC § 4312.
20.3.5 Military leave may only be used in place of regularly scheduled work hours and shall not cause overtime.

20.4 Institution Closures- An institution or part of an institution may be closed due to severe weather or other reason justifying closure.

20.4.1 The institution president or officer delegated authority by the president has authority to close the institution. In Bismarck, if the capitol building is closed, NDUS Offices in the capitol shall be closed. If a campus is closed, NDUS offices located on the campus shall be closed. The chancellor or other NDUS officer delegated authority by the chancellor has authority to close NDUS offices at other times. The action shall be communicated to employees, students and other interested persons through local media or other reasonable means.
20.4.2 Only institution employees designated by the employees’ department head, core technology services (CTS) employees designated by the NDUS CIO or officer delegated such authority by the CIO or other NDUS office employees designated by the chancellor or other officer delegated such authority by the chancellor may be required to work during the period when the institution is officially closed.
20.4.3 All other regular employees shall be granted leave with pay for hours they would normally work during a closure. Employees not scheduled to work during the closure because of a previous arrangement, including annual or sick leave, will not be charged leave for that closure. All non-exempt employees properly authorized to work shall receive additional pay at straight time rates for hours worked during the official closing, unless the employee exceeds 40 hours in the work week. (See Policy 12, Overtime)
20.4.4 When the institution remains open, employees unable to report to work shall notify their supervisor and take annual leave or leave without pay.

20.5 Conferences or Convention Leave – Two days per year may be allowed for employee organization conference/convention leave. Attendance is limited to three institutional officers, any state officers on campus, one delegate at large, and one delegate for each fifty members. If the conference/convention is held on a working day, the delegates will be paid as usual. If it is not a working day there will be no reimbursement. Leave may be denied if the employee’s absence would unduly disrupt the operations or services of the institution.
20.6 Leave Sharing Program- All non-temporary, non-probationary employees with over six months of continuous service with the State are eligible to receive shared leave pursuant to the following conditions:

a) The appropriate campus official has determined that the employee meets the criteria described in this section.
b) The employee has abided by University System policies regarding the use of sick leave.
c) The employee’s use of shared leave, including both annual and sick leave, does not exceed four months in any twelve month period.

20.6.1 Employees may donate leave to other state employees pursuant to the following conditions:

a) Annual Leave Donations —

1. The receiving employee has exhausted or will exhaust, all annual leave, sick leave, and compensatory time off due to an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition, that is of an extraordinary or severe nature, and that involves the employee, a relative of the employee, or a household member of the employee.

o “relative of the employee” is limited to the spouse, child, stepchild, grandchild, grandparent, stepparent, or parent of the employee.
o “household members” means those persons who reside in the same home, who have reciprocal duties to and do provide financial support for one another. This includes foster children and legal wards even if they do not live in the household.
o “extraordinary or severe” means serious, extreme, or life threatening. It does not include conditions associated with normal pregnancy.

2. The condition has caused, or is likely to cause, the receiving employee to go on leave without pay or terminate employment.
3. The donating employee donates leave in full hour increments and retains a leave balance of at least forty hours.

b) Sick Leave Donations —

1. The receiving employee has exhausted, or will exhaust, all annual leave, sick leave, and compensatory leave due to an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition, that is of an extraordinary or severe nature.
2. The condition has caused, or is likely to cause, the receiving employee to go on leave without pay or terminate employment.
3. The employee may not donate more than five percent of the employee’s accrued leave hours, and all leave must be donated in full hour increments.

20.6.2 The institution shall require the employee to submit, prior to approval or disapproval, a medical certificate from a licensed physician or health care practitioner verifying the severe or extraordinary nature and expected duration of the employee’s condition.
20.6.3 Donated leave is transferable between employees in different state entities.
20.6.4 One hour of donated leave must be regarded as one hour of shared leave for the recipient.
20.6.5 Any donated leave may only be used by the recipient for the purposes specified within this policy and is not payable in cash.
20.6.6 All forms of paid leave available for use by the recipient must be used prior to using shared leave.
20.6.7 Any shared leave not used by the recipient during each occurrence as determined by the institution may be retained by the recipient.
20.6.8 All donated leave must be given voluntarily. No employee may be coerced, threatened, intimidated, or financially induced into donating leave for purposes of the leave sharing program.
20.6.9 Shared leave may only be used in place of regularly scheduled work hours and shall not cause overtime.

20.7 Honor Guard Leave – Honor guard leave is an approved absence from work, with pay, of up to twenty-four working hours per calendar year for an employee to participate in an honor guard for a funeral service of a veteran. An institution is strongly encouraged to grant a request for honor guard leave even if the absence of the employee might interfere with the normal operations of the agency. The institution may ask for verification of membership in Honor Guard. Honor guard leave may only be used in place of regularly scheduled work hours and shall not cause overtime.

21. Leave Without Pay

21.1 Leave without pay may be granted to regular staff employees who have maintained a satisfactory service record. Such leave may be taken for the following reasons: (a) extended absences in the interest of the institution such as for research or advanced training leading to improved job ability, (b) necessary absences due to illness or other important matters.

21.2 Leave without pay may be authorized by the appropriate administrative officer for a period less than twenty-one working days. Leave without pay of twenty-one or more days requires approval of the appropriate administrative officer. In cases when a leave is requested due to sickness, the appropriate administrative officer, or designee may request the employee to provide a letter from the employee’s physician indicating the physician’s opinion when the employee will be able to return to work. Leave may not be granted for a period in excess of one calendar year, except for military service or Worker’s Compensation paid disability. Failure of an employee to report for duty on expiration of leave granted is cause for termination.

21.3 Leave of absence shall be granted with assurance of reinstatement to the same position or to other employment in the department recommending the leave unless circumstances make it impractical. Employees who do not apply for reinstatement within the time specified shall be subject to termination.

21.4 Employees while on leave shall retain their years’ service rights and accumulated benefits but shall earn no additional benefits.

22. Family (FMLA) Leave

  1. Family leave (FMLA leave) is an unpaid leave of absence of up to 12 weeks available to all eligible employees:
    1. For incapacity due to pregnancy, prenatal medical care or childbirth;
    2. To care for the employee’s child after birth, or placement for adoption or foster care;
    3. To care for the employee’s spouse, child, or parent, who has a serious health condition;
    4. For a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the employee’s job; or
    5. Because of the death of the employee’s child, if the leave concludes within six months of the child’s death. Child bereavement leave is limited to one hundred sixty hours and must be taken within six months following the death of the child.

    Consistent with applicable law and upon notice to the employee by the employing entity or election by the employee, family leave may be concurrent with paid sick or annual leave.
    FMLA leave also includes military family leave as provided under the 2008 National Defense Authorization Act and section 22.13 of this policy, including a special leave entitlement that permits eligible employees to take up to 26 weeks of leave to care for a covered service member during a single 12-month period.

  2. An “eligible employee” means an individual employed by the state for at least twelve months, and who has worked at least one thousand two hundred fifty hours for the state over the previous 12 months. Eligibility is determined as of the date FMLA leave commences.
  3. FMLA leave used for the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child must begin within 12 months of the event.
  4. Certification may be required by the institution to verify the existence of a serious health condition. A “serious health condition” is an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves either an overnight stay in a medical care facility, or continuing treatment by a health care provider for a condition that either prevents the employee from performing the functions of the employee’s job, or prevents the qualified family member from participating in school or other daily activities. Generally, the continuing treatment requirement may be met by a period of incapacity of more than 3 consecutive calendar days combined with at least two visits to a health care provider or one visit and a regimen of continuing treatment, or incapacity due to pregnancy or chronic condition. Other conditions may meet the definition of continuing treatment. Certification information that may be requested is defined and limited by implementing FMLA regulations (appendix A and B).
  5. The maximum length of available FMLA leave for eligible employees is 12 weeks in a 12-month period that begins with the first day of leave. The maximum length of all types of FMLA leave available during a 12-month period is 26 weeks. An employee is not required to use the FMLA leave in one block or at one time. Leave can be taken intermittently or on a reduced schedule, provided that for a serious health condition of the employee or to care for someone with a serious health condition, it is medically necessary. Employees must make reasonable efforts to schedule leave for planned medical treatment so as not to unduly disrupt the employer’s operations. A married couple is not limited to a total of twelve weeks if both are employed by the state; each is entitled to 12 weeks. However, the aggregated total number of workweeks to which both husband and wife may be entitled is limited to 26 weeks during a single 12-month period. Reasonable and practical notice must be provided to the agency.
  6. If an employee requests intermittent leave or leave on a reduced schedule, in order to care for a spouse, son, daughter, parent, service member, or their own serious health condition that is foreseeable based on planned medical treatment, the employer may require the employee to transfer temporarily to an available alternative position. The employee must be qualified for the alternate position and the position must have equivalent pay and benefits and better accommodate recurring periods of leave than the regular position of the employee.
  7. An employee is required to use accrued paid and donated leave and compensatory time before authorized unpaid FMLA leave. For any reason other than an employee’s own serious health condition, employees must first use any available paid family leave (the 40 hours of paid leave granted under NDCC section 54-52.4-03 and NDUS HR Policy 7.1), then accrued annual leave and donated leave and compensatory time for any of the 26 weeks. An employee who has exhausted all types of paid leave shall be provided unpaid leave to fulfill the authorized period of family leave.
  8. Employees must provide 30 days advance written notice of the need to take FMLA leave when the need is foreseeable. When 30 days notice is not possible, the employee must provide notice as soon as practicable and generally must comply with the normal call-in procedure. Employees must provide sufficient information for the employer to determine if the leave may qualify for FMLA protection and the anticipated timing and duration of the leave. Sufficient information may include that the employee is unable to perform job functions, the family member is unable to perform daily activities, the need for hospitalization or continuing treatment by a health care provider, or circumstances supporting the need for military family leave. An employee seeking leave to care for a family member is not required to demonstrate that the employee is the only family member available to provide care. Employees must inform the employer if the requested leave is for which FMLA leave was previously taken or certified. Employees also may be required to provide a certification and periodic recertification supporting the need for leave.
  9. NDUS entities must post and distribute FMLA employee rights notices to all employees. Notice may be distributed in employee handbooks or at hiring. Electronic notice may be used if all employees in the unit have computer access.
  10. Employees are entitled to eligibility notice within 5 business days of leave request, or the day the employer acquires knowledge that the employee leave may be FMLA qualifying leave. If an employee is ineligible, notice must identify at least one reason to explain the basis of the ineligibility determination. Employees are entitled to Designation Notice, or notice that leave is FMLA-qualifying, within 5 business days. The employer may provide eligibility and designation notices simultaneously if the employer has sufficient information to do so at the time of the leave request.
  11. When leave is completed, the employee must be returned to the same position, or a position with equivalent compensation and benefits. If a reduction in force would have caused the position to be eliminated, this reinstatement does not apply.
  12. Employees utilizing family leave will be provided health benefits at the same level and coverage as if the employee had not taken leave.
  13. Military Family Leave
    1. A “covered service member” means a member of the Armed Forces, including a member of the National Guard or Reserves, who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy, is otherwise in outpatient status, or is otherwise on the temporary disability retired list for a serious injury or illness.
    2. “Outpatient status” means the status of a member of the Armed Forces assigned to a military medical treatment facility as an outpatient; or a unit established to provide command and control of members of the Armed Forces receiving medical care as outpatients.
    3. “Serious injury or illness” means an injury to or illness incurred by the service member in the line of duty or active duty in the Armed Forces that may render the member medically unfit to perform the duties of the member’s office, grade, rank or rating.
    4. “Qualifying exigency” includes: (1) making arrangements for childcare required due to the service member’s absence; (2) making financial and legal arrangements to address the service member’s absence; (3) attending counseling related to the service member’s active duty; (4) attending official ceremonies or programs where the military requests participation of the family member; (5) attending a farewell or arrival arrangements for the service member; or (6) attending affairs caused by the missing status or death of the service member.
    5. An eligible employee with a spouse, child or parent who is on armed forces active duty, or has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty, may take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave due to a qualifying exigency. If the need for leave is foreseeable, such as when the family member receives military orders in advance, the employee must provide the employer with reasonable and practicable notice of the need for leave. The employer may require the request for leave to be supported by a certification, such as a copy of the military orders.
    6. An eligible employee who is the spouse, child, parent, or nearest blood relative of a service member who has incurred a serious illness or injury while on active duty may take up to 26 weeks of unpaid leave in a single 12-month period to care for the injured service member.
      1. An employer may require that the service member or family member provide a medical certification certifying the service member is seriously injured or ill and is actively receiving medical treatment.

23. Resignations

23.1 In case of resignations, a regular staff employee is requested to give two weeks written notice to the department head. One week’s notice is requested for temporary and probationary employees (see Section 4.1). The period of notice may be reduced or waived upon recommendation of the department head.

23.2 Job abandonment is considered a resignation. Job abandonment occurs when an employee has not contacted the institution and has not reported to their scheduled work shift for three consecutive days without approval. The institution shall notify the employee, in writing by certified mail, that the employee’s failure to report to work or to contact the employer constitutes job abandonment and is effective the last day worked. Written notice shall include notice of the right to appeal and a copy of section 27 Appeal Procedures.

24. Reduction in Force

1. When necessary to achieve a reduction in force, institutions may terminate or reduce from full to part-time or hours worked of any staff employee due to an organizational or procedural change, diminished workload, lack of funds, or other exigency. The employee shall be given at least two weeks written notice of the reduction. At the institution’s discretion, employees who are terminated may be given two weeks pay in lieu of the two weeks notice.
2. Institutions shall not subject regular staff employees (see Section 2.2) to a reduction in force while there are temporary or probationary employees engaged in the same work, serving at the same work unit.
3. Institutions shall conduct reductions in force in a non-discriminatory manner (see Section 1.2) and shall not use such actions as a substitute for disciplinary measures.
4. Based upon departmental need and work to be performed, the department head shall determine which employees will be subject to reduction in force. In determining which employees shall be affected, the department shall consider the following:

a. An analysis of the acquired knowledge, demonstrated skills, and versatility of its employees compared to the work to be done and the available funding. Employees lacking the necessary skills and versatility should be considered for reduction.
b. An analysis of the level of demonstrated work perform¬ance. Employees having a consistently low level of performance should be considered for reduction.
c. A review of the length of service of its employees. Employees with the fewest years of service should be considered for reduction.
d. An analysis of the extent of required training needed to train a reassigned employee to full productivity in a different position. Employees requiring substantial retraining should be considered for reduction.
e. Any documented understandings concerning the position in place at the beginning of employment.

5. The department shall maintain written documentation of the required analysis and review in Section 24.4.
6. Rehiring of employees terminated or reducing hours worked shall be in the reverse order of the reduction in force when a similar job becomes available in their former department within two years from the date of the action.
7. Employees not on probation when terminated as a result of a reduction in force and rehired within two years shall be credited with:

a. Previous service for the purpose of determining annual leave accrual rates.
b. Sick leave hours accumulated prior to the reduction, less the amount paid pursuant to Section 7.5 of this manual.

8. Employees not on probation when terminated as a result of a reduction in force shall, for two years following the reductions, be provided the following additional services:

a. To the extent possible, institutions will assist terminated employees in searching for other employment.
b. Each institution shall maintain a list of employees, including their qualifications, who were terminated due to a reduction in force. Individuals from this list shall be treated as internal applicants by the hiring institution.
c. To assist in retraining efforts, employees terminated due to a reduction in force may continue to utilize the North Dakota University System’s employee tuition waiver as defined in Section 33 of this manual.
d. Employees that are terminated as a result of a reduction in force who are rehired within two years are no longer eligible to receive the above services (as documented in section 8 a-c).


SBHE Amendment, December 2, 1985.
SBHE Amendment, February 6, 1986.
SBHE Amendment, June 20-21, 1991.
SBHE Amendment, December 17, 1992.
SBHE Amendment, March 20, 1997.
SBHE Amendment, May 12, 1999.
SBHE Amendment, January 15, 2004.
SBHE Amendment, April 3, 2008.
SBHE Amendment, November 16, 2016.

25. Job Discipline/Dismissal

25.1 A regular staff employee may be dismissed from employment, suspended without pay, or changed to a lower pay rate for just cause. Just cause includes conduct related to the employee’s job duties, job performance, or working relationships which is detrimental to the discipline or efficiency of the institution in which the employee is or was engaged.
25.2 The employing department shall notify the employee and the appropriate campus official
of the proposed action in writing. The written notice must include:

1. a statement that the supervision intends to dismiss, suspend, or demote the employee;
2. a statement identifying any policies violated by the employee;
3. a statement of the specific charges against the employee; citing the employee’s behavior, dates and/or occurrences, witnesses, and other evidence against the employee;
4. notice that the employee may provide the supervisor with evidence, explanation, or other information in writing which contradicts the allegations and evidence; and
5. notice of the employee’s status until the final decision is made (i.e. whether the employee is to continue working or be placed on leave of absence with pay).

25.3 A regular staff employee who is being suspended without pay, dismissed or changed to lower pay rate for disciplinary reasons shall be entitled to a pre-action review. This review may be limited to the written record including the employee’s written response to the allegations, or at the option of the institution, may be conducted in person. The pre-action review shall be held no sooner than three working days from the time notice was provided to the employee.
25.4 The reviewing authority shall consider all evidence and will determine whether there remains reasonable grounds to believe the charges against the employee are true and support the proposed action.
25.5 The employee must be notified, in writing, of the final decision. A notice of dismissal, suspension without pay, or change to lower pay rate must include a written, detailed statement of the basis for the action and inform the employee of the right to appeal.

26. Termination Procedure

26.1 Employees leaving the service of the institution, either by their own volition or after having been informed of their separation, shall report to the appropriate campus official for information relevant to the separation process.

26.2 A regular staff employee is eligible to receive payment for accrued annual leave pay (see Section 6 Annual Leave). Annual leave pay shall be prorated for the month of termination if the employee has not completed a full month of employment.

26.2.1 The last day of work is the termination date, except that two weeks’ termination pay shall be provided when a two weeks’ notice of layoff is not possible. Upon termination, an employee shall be paid for all unused annual leave accrued through the termination date.

27. Appeal Procedures

27.1 A Staff Personnel Board shall be appointed by the president of each institution to hear employee appeals and employee grievances pursuant to Section 28.6.4. This Board shall consist of three appointed members. The three members shall appoint a chairperson who shall conduct the hearing, unless the Staff Personnel Board appoints a hearing officer pursuant to Section 27.3.
27.2 Any regular staff employee who has been suspended without pay, dismissed for cause, changed to lower pay rate, or dismissed due to a reduction in force, may request a hearing with the Staff Personnel Board by filing a written notice, accompanied by a specification of the reasons or the grounds upon which the appeal is based with the appropriate campus official. Such appeal must be filed within five working days following such action. The Staff Personnel Board shall hear both sides of the appeal and, after weighing all evidence presented to the Board, consider whether adequate cause for the institution’s action existed, reporting its findings of fact, conclusions, and recommendation to the president.
27.3 The Staff Personnel Board may appoint some other person as a hearing officer with authority to conduct pre-hearing meetings, supervise discovery, advise the Staff Personnel Board, or preside over the hearing.

27.3.1 The Staff Personnel Board may hold joint pre-hearing meetings with the parties in order to (a) simplify the issues, (b) effect stipulations of facts, (c) provide for the exchange of documentary or other information, or (d) achieve such other appropriate pre-hearing objectives as will make the hearing fair, effective, and expeditious. The employee, the institution, and their representatives shall participate in pre-hearing meetings upon request and comply with the directives of the Staff Personnel Board or its representative.
27.3.2 The Staff Personnel Board shall serve written notice of hearing on the employee and the president, or their representatives at least twenty calendar days prior to the hearing.
27.3.3 The employee and the institution may stipulate to a decision on the basis of the written statements, in which case the Staff Personnel Board shall make its decision on that basis.
27.3.4 During the proceedings, the institution is entitled to have counsel, and the employee is entitled to have a representative or counsel of their choice at their own expense. Proceedings concerning the removal of an employee shall be closed, unless the employee requests that the proceedings be open. Either party or the Staff Personnel Board may invite up to two observers each to attend the proceedings.
27.3.5 A record of the hearing or hearings shall be made at the institution’s expense and shall be accessible to both parties. The record shall be made by a reporter or a stenographer, or, by the use of an electronic recording device. A party shall be provided a copy of the record, or part of the record, at the requesting party’s expense.
27.3.6 The findings of fact, conclusions and the decision shall be based solely on the evidence received by the Staff Personnel Board. The burden of proof that grounds for the institution’s action exist shall rest with the institution and be satisfied by a preponderance of the evidence in the record considered as a whole.
27.3.7 The Staff Personnel Board may admit any evidence which is of probative value in determining the issues or if the interests of justice will best be served by admitting the evidence. Every reasonable effort shall be made to obtain the most reliable evidence available. The Staff Personnel Board may grant adjournments to enable either party to investigate evidence as to which a valid claim of surprise is made.
27.3.8 The employee shall be afforded an opportunity to obtain necessary witnesses and documentary or other evidence. The institution shall cooperate with the Staff Personnel Board in securing witnesses and making available documentary and other evidence. The employee and the institution shall have the right to confront and cross-examine all witnesses. Testimony may be taken by deposition, including deposition by telephone, or witnesses may testify by telephone, facsimile, video, or other electronic means, as long as such use does not substantially prejudice the rights of any party. Affidavits may be received into evidence upon stipulation of the parties.
27.3.9 The Staff Personnel Board’s findings of fact, conclusions, and recommendations, with supporting reasons, shall be reported, in writing, to the president, the employee, or their representative. If the institution’s action was a notice of dismissal and if the Staff Personnel Board concludes that adequate cause for dismissal has been established, but that a lessor penalty would be more appropriate, it may so recommend with supporting reasons. The president shall make a final decision and provide written notice of the decision to the Staff Personnel Board and the employee within fifteen calendar days of receiving the report.

28. Grievance Procedures

28.1 The grievance process begins when a regular staff employee presents in writing an allegation that there has been a violation, misinterpretation, or misapplication of a policy, procedure, or practice regarding the employee’s employment conditions. Dismissal, change to lower pay rate, suspension without pay, reduction in force (see section 27 Appeal Procedures), and job family assignment (see section 14 Broadbanding Policy) and issues of illegal discrimination (see SBHE procedure 603) cannot be grieved pursuant to this section.

28.2 If an employee feels unfairly treated or has a complaint, the employee shall first discuss the issue with the immediate supervisor in an attempt to solve the problem at the lowest level possible. The discussion may include others within the supervisory chain.

28.3 All employees have the right to present grievances to their supervisors or department heads and are assured freedom from discrimination, coercion, restraint, or reprisal in presenting grievances.

28.4 At each step of the grievance procedure, the employee may be represented by another institutional employee or by a representative of the employee’s choosing.

28.5 Process: NOTE: All references to work days shall be to actual days worked at the normal work site by the person required to respond. Any disposition which is not advanced within the time allowed at each level shall be considered settled and binding on the employee and the institution. At any level, the employee and the appropriate supervisor may agree, in writing, that additional time is required after the grievance has been filed in writing. A copy of all documents must go to the Director of Human Resources or other designated campus official who shall keep official records of the progress of the grievance.

28.5.1 (Step 1) If the discussion described in 28.2 does not lead to a resolution of the issue, then an employee shall submit his/her grievance in writing to the immediate supervisor and deliver a copy to the Director of Human Resources or other designated campus official. If the grievance involves the immediate supervisor, the employee may begin the process with the next level of supervision. The written grievance will describe with specificity the management action which is the cause of the grievance, cite the policy, procedure, or practice involved, and provide a suggested remedy. The remedy must be applicable to the person grieving. A grievance must be brought within twenty working days from the act causing the grievance unless a longer period of time is provided by law or written agreement. The Director of Human Resources or other designated campus official shall notify the employee and the supervisor whether the complaint meets the criteria for a grievance. Within ten working days from this notification that the criteria has been met, the supervisor shall reach a decision and communicate it in writing to the employee. Every effort should be made to settle grievances at this stage. A supervisor may confer with his/her supervisors.

28.5.2 (Step 2) If the grievance is not settled at step one, the employee shall advance the written grievance to the next level of supervision within ten working days. The advanced grievance must include a copy of the original written grievance, the supervisory responses, and a letter describing the disagreement with the supervisory responses. The supervisor shall reply in writing to the employee’s grievance within ten working days. Advance of the grievance may not exceed three levels (not including the President). The third level of review will be at the Vice President level except in the case of other direct reports to the President. To facilitate the process where an employee has multiple layers of supervisory oversight, the Director of Human Resources will designate the responding supervisors.

28.5.3 If a grievance is advanced to the institution president or designee after the Vice President’s response or if an employee reports directly to the president, the president or designee shall review the grievance and render a decision within ten working days, or the president may appoint a Grievance Review Committee (GRC) within ten working days. A GRC consisting of at least three staff employees shall review the grievance and supervisory responses and may investigate any issue pertaining to the grievance in an effort to provide a recommendation to the president or designee. The GRC must provide their recommendation within twenty working days of their appointment. The president or designee shall render a decision within ten working days of the GRC’s recommendation. The decision of the president or designee shall be final.

29. Reinstatement

29.1 A former regular staff employee who resigned or was separated while in good standing will be allowed credit for prior service in establishing eligibility for employment benefits provided reemployment occurs within one year after termination.

30. Wage Garnishments

30.l All employers are required by law to accept garnishments against the wages of employees in satisfaction of legal judgments.

31. Travel Expense

31.1 Employees who are authorized to travel at institutional expense are required to submit a detailed record of travel expenses on a travel reimbursement voucher. However, coaches and other authorized employees may detail and document athletic team and other organized group travel expenses, including expenses of coaches, trainers and other employees, on a team or group travel expense report. Employees are not required to submit separate individual travel reimbursement vouchers for expenses detailed and documented on a team or other organized group report.

32. Staff Personnel Advisory Committee

32.1 A Staff Personnel Advisory Committee may be established by the president of the institution to meet and advise on matters relating to staff personnel.

32.2 The Staff Personnel Advisory Committee may recommend revisions or amendments, or review proposed revisions and amendments to these policies.

33. Continuing Education for Employees

33.1 The North Dakota State Board of Higher Education encourages its employees to pursue a program of continuing education.

33.2 All benefited employees are eligible for tuition waivers as provided under SBHE Policy 820 and may be allowed release time from their regular duties for the purpose of enrolling in one academic class per school session. Release time shall be granted so long as it does not interfere with the essential work of the institution. This education program is subject to the following:

33.2.1 The employee must obtain initial approval from their supervisor or department head and final approval from the designated administrative official appointed by the president.

33.2.2 Release time may be granted only for the amount of time required to attend the regular class session. Field trips and outside activities are not included.

33.2.3 The employee shall not pay tuition and the student government activity fee and university/college fee for the class taken for credit or audit. (See SBHE Policy 820, 2e)

33.2.4 The tuition waiver is limited to no more than three academic classes per calendar year.


Amend. Sec. 33 (previously 32. Amendments and Exceptions), 33.1, June 20-21, 1991, pg 6431.
Amend. Sec. 33, 33.1, 33.2, 33.2.1, 33.2.2, 33.2.3, 33.2.4, SBHE Minutes, March 20, 1997, pg 6744.
amend. Sec. 33.2, SBHE Minutes, January 15, 2004.
Amend. Sec. 33.2, SBHE Minutes, December 16, 2010.

34. Amendments and Exceptions

34.1 These policies may be revised or amended at any time by the State Board of Higher Education.


HISTORY: (Replaces Staff Personnel Handbook (Old Manual) as revised March 26, 1976).

Amend. SBHE Minutes, January 12-13, 1984, pg 5200.
Amend. SBHE Minutes, June 26-27, 1985, page 5384.
Amend. SBHE Minutes, July 25, 1985, page 5397.
Amend. Sec. SBHE Minutes, Nov. 7, 1985, pg 5422.
Amend. Sec. 24.1. SBHE Minutes, Dec. 2, 1985, pg 5433.
Amend. Sec. 24.2, 24.5, 24.5.1, 24.5.2. SBHE Minutes, Feb. 6, 1986, pg 5442.
Amend. Sec. 34.1 SBHE Minutes, Sept. 18, 1986, pg 5520.
Amend. Sec. 23.5, 23.6, 26.5. SBHE Minutes, Feb. 6, 1987, pg 5566.
Amend. Sec. 3.4, 10.2 SBHE Minutes, March 13, 1987, pg 5578.
Amend. Sec. 7.1. SBHE Minutes, June 27, 1988 pg 5731.
Amend. Sec. 26.6.1 and 26.7 SBHE Minutes, March 14, 1989, pg 5800.
Amend. Sec. 16.2 SBHE Minutes, April 24, 1989, pg 5813.
Amend. Sec. 31.2 SBHE Minutes, Sept. 12, 1989, pg 5891.
Amend. Sec. 5.1.1 SBHE Minutes, Dec. 7, 1989, pg 5915.
Amend. Several sections, SBHE Minutes, June 20, 1991, pg 6143. Also refer to exhibit H June 20, 1991 minutes.
Amend. Sec. 2.3.1, 5.1, 7.5, 7.6, 14.1, 14.3, 14.4, 14.4.1. June 25, 1992, pg 6253.
Amend. Sec. 24 SBHE Minutes, December 17, 1992 pg 6312.
Amend. Sec. 5.6, 20.6, 22 SBHE Minutes, June 24, 1993, pg 6374.
Amend. Sec. 32.2.3 SBHE Minutes, Dec 9, 1993, pg 6419.
Amend. SBHE Minutes, March 20, 1997 pg 6744.
Amend. Sec. 27 SBHE Minutes, January 15, 1998 pg 6823.
Amend. Sec. 20.3.4 SBHE Minutes, April 17, 1998 pg 6874.
Amend. Sec. 2.1, Sec. 5.1-5.1.7, 5.3, 6.4, 10.1.1, 10.1.2, 11.1, all of sec. 14, sec. 16, 16.2-16.4, 24.8, 25.1, 25.1.1, 25.3, 25.5, 27.2, 28.1, SBHE Minutes, May 12, 1999 pg 6984.
Amend. Sec. 12.3 and 20.4 SBHE Minutes, Nov. 18-19, 1999.
Amend. Sec. 20.1.1; Sec. 6.2, 6.3, 6.5, 6,7, 6.10; Sec. 7.2, 7.3 SBHE Minutes, April 26-27, 2001.
Amend. Sec. 6.3, SBHE Minutes, September 26, 2002.
Amend. Sec. 5.2, SBHE Minutes, November 21, 2002.
Amend. Sec. 6.2 and 6.4, SBHE Minutes, May 8, 2003
Amend. Sec. 7.3, 12.3, 22.1, 22.2, 22.5, SBHE Minutes, September 25-26, 2003.
Amend. Sec. 2.2, 2.3, 5.2, 24.7, 24.8, 28.1, 28.2, 28.5 (deleted), 28.5 (new), 28.5.1,,, 28.5.2, 28.5.3, 28.6.4 (deleted), 28.6.5 (deleted), 28.7 (deleted), 33.2, SBHE Minutes, January 15, 2004.
Amend. Sec. 2.2, 7.3, 19.3, 22.5, SBHE Minutes, June 17, 2004.
Amend. Sec. 12.6,, SBHE Minutes, December 16, 2004.
Amend. Sec. 5.1, 14.1, SBHE Minutes, June 16, 2005.
Amend. Sec. 2.4, 20.4 (deleted), 27.2, SBHE Minutes, June 15.2006
Amend. Sec. 28.5.3, Pat Seaworth OK’d 1-30-07
Amend. Sec. 4.1, 6.7, 6.10, 7.6, SBHE Minutes, May 3, 2007.
Amend. Sec. 6.1, SBHE Minutes, December 20, 2007.
Amend. Sec. 5.2, SBHE Minutes, February 21, 2008.
Amend. Sec. 6.1, SBHE Minutes, December 20, 2007.
Amend. Sec. 24.1, 24.4, 24.4.5, 24.6, SBHE Minutes, April 3, 2008.
Amend. Sec. 20.4, SBHE Minutes, September 18, 2008.
Amend. Sec. 31.1, SBHE Minutes, December 18, 2008.
Amend. Sec. 6.3.1, 20.4, 22.1, 22.2, 22.3, 22.4, 22.5, 22.6 (new), 22.7 (new), 22.8 (new), 22.9 (new), 22.10 (new), 22.13- (new), SBHE Minutes, May 14, 2009.
Amend. Sec. 1.2, 3.1, 19.6 (new), 33.2, SBHE Minutes, December 16, 2010.
Amend. Sect. 6.4, 22.7, SBHE Minutes, April 12, 2012.
Amend. Sect. 6.1, 7.1.1, 12.1, 12.2, 12.3, SBHE Minutes, June 20, 2013.
Amend. Sect. 20, 20.1.3 (new), 20.2.4 (new), 20.3.5 (new), 20.4.2, 20.6.9 (new), 20.7, SBHE Minutes, February 27, 2014.
Amend. Sect. 4.1, SBHE Minutes, May 29, 2014.
Amend. Section 23.2, SBHE Minutes, November 20, 2014.
Amend. Section 7.1, 7.1.1, 7.3, 7.5. Chancellor provided interim approval July 31, 2015.