11.1 Academic Freedom
The University System is committed to the principle of academic freedom. This principle acknowledges the right of a teacher to explore fully within the field of assignment and to give in the classroom and elsewhere such exposition of the subject as the teacher believes to represent the truth. This principle also includes the right of a member of the academic staff of the University System to exercise in speaking, writing, and action outside the University the ordinary rights of a citizen, but it does not decrease the responsibility which the member of the academic staff bears to the University System, the State, and the Nation. When a member of the academic staff is not officially designated to represent the University System, the staff member must indicate clearly that he or she is speaking as an individual citizen.
Among the many implicit responsibilities that must be assumed by those enjoying the privileges of academic freedom shall be that of refraining from insisting upon the adoption by students or others of any particular point of view as authoritative in controversial issues.
[Board of Supervisors of Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College. (10/2/08). Bylaws and Regulations (Article VIII, Section 1). http://www.lsusystem.edu/docs/bylaws/BYLAWS_Article%20VIII.pdf]
Allegations that the academic freedom or other rights of a faculty member have been violated are to be settled according to the procedures outlined in Section 11.11 on the Faculty Appeals Process in this Handbook.
11.2 The Statement of Professional Ethics
The “Statement on Professional Ethics” promulgated by the American Association of University Professors is a reminder of the variety of obligations assumed by all members of the academic profession. This Statement, which has been adopted as the Statement of Ethics for the Health Sciences Center, is as follows:
- Professors, guided by a deep conviction of the worth and dignity of the advancement of knowledge, recognize the special responsibilities placed upon them. Their primary responsibility to their subject is to seek and to state the truth as they see it. To this end professors devote their energies to developing and improving their scholarly competence. They accept the obligation to exercise critical self-discipline and judgment in using, extending, and transmitting knowledge. They practice intellectual honesty. Although professors may follow subsidiary interests, these interests must never seriously hamper or compromise their freedom of inquiry.
- As teachers, professors encourage the free pursuit of learning in their students. They hold before them the best scholarly and ethical standards of their discipline. Professors demonstrate respect for students as individuals and adhere to their proper roles as intellectual guides and counselors. Professors make every reasonable effort to foster honest academic conduct and to ensure that their evaluations of students reflect each student’s true merit. They respect the confidential nature of the relationship between professor and student. They avoid any exploitation, harassment, or discriminatory treatment of students. They acknowledge significant academic or scholarly assistance from them. They protect their academic freedom.
- As colleagues, professors have obligations that derive from common membership in the community of scholars. Professors do not discriminate against or harass colleagues. They respect and defend the free inquiry of associates, even when it leads to findings and conclusions that differ from their own. Professors acknowledge academic debt and strive to be objective in their professional judgment of colleagues. Professors accept their share of faculty responsibilities for the governance of their institution.
- As members of an academic institution, professors seek above all to be effective teachers and scholars. Although professors observe the stated regulations of the institution, provided the regulations do not contravene academic freedom, they maintain their right to criticize and seek revision. Professors give due regard to their paramount responsibilities within their institution in determining the amount and character of work done outside it. When considering the interruption or termination of their service, professors recognize the effect of their decision upon the program of the institution and give due notice of their intentions.
- As members of their community, professors have the rights and obligations of other citizens. Professors measure the urgency of these obligations in the light of their responsibilities to their subject, to their students, to their profession, and to their institution. When they speak or act as private persons, they avoid creating the impression of speaking or acting for their college or university. As citizens engaged in a profession that depends upon freedom for its health and integrity, professors have a particular obligation to promote conditions of free inquiry and to further public understanding of academic freedom.
[American Association of University Professors Statement on Professional Ethics (2009). http://www.aaup.org/AAUP/pubsres/policydocs/contents/statementonprofessionalethics.htm] Health Sciences Center faculty members are also expected to adhere to other professional codes of ethics related to their disciplines.
11.3 LSUHSC-S Code of Conduct
All employees and affiliated professionals of LSUHSC-S shall conduct all activities in a manner that will promote integrity and compliance while practicing sound, ethical, and professional judgment.
All employees and affiliated professionals of the HSC shall abide by regulations set forth by the state and federal healthcare programs and their appointed agents in conjunction with the policies and procedures established by the HSC.
LSUHSC’s employees and affiliated professionals shall prepare complete and accurate medical records, financial information, and bills.
LSUHSC’s employees and affiliated professionals shall report suspected non-compliant behavior that violates any statute, regulation, or guideline applicable to a state or federal healthcare program or HSC policies. All reports are confidential. All employees have the right to remain anonymous. LSUHSC-S will not retaliate upon any employee that reports suspect behaviors in any form or fashion.
All employees shall attend and/or complete the mandated annual training requirements. All employees shall participate in reviews, investigations, or audits whether conducted by an internal or external agency.
All employees shall refuse any type of illegal offers, remuneration, or payments to induce referrals or preferential treatment from a third party.
All employees shall disclose to the Compliance Officer any information received from the state or federal healthcare programs or their agents.
All employees shall adhere to the Code of Conduct as a condition of employment at LSUHSC-S. All employees and affiliated professionals can be suspended, terminated, or barred from further employment or affiliation with the HSC as a result of non-compliant behavior.
Code of Conduct. (11/15/10). http://www.lsuhscshreveport.edu/Compliance/ComplianceCodeofConduct.aspx]
11.4 Compact Between Teachers And Learners of Medicine
Preparation for a career in medicine demands the acquisition of a large fund of knowledge and a host of special skills. It also demands the strengthening of those virtues that undergird the doctor/patient relationship and that sustain the profession of medicine as a moral enterprise. This Compact serves both as a pledge and as a reminder to teachers and learners that their conduct in fulfilling their mutual obligations is the medium through which the profession inculcates its ethical values.
DUTY: Medical educators have a duty, not only to convey the knowledge and skills required for delivering the profession’s contemporary standard of care, but also to inculcate the values and attitudes required for preserving the medical profession’s social contract across generations.
INTEGRITY: The learning environments conducive to conveying professional values must be suffused with integrity. Students learn enduring lessons of professionalism by observing and emulating role models who epitomize authentic professional values and attitudes.
RESPECT: Fundamental to the ethic of medicine is respect for every individual. Mutual respect between learners, as novice members of the medical profession, and their teachers, as experienced and esteemed professionals, is essential for nurturing that ethic. Given the inherently hierarchical nature of the teacher/learner relationship, teachers have a special obligation to ensure that students are always treated respectfully.
COMMITMENTS OF FACULTY
- We pledge our utmost effort to ensure that all components of the educational program for medical students are of high quality.
- As mentors for our students, we maintain high professional standards in all of our interactions with patients, colleagues, and staff.
- We respect all students as individuals, without regard to gender, race, national origin, religion, or sexual orientation; we will not tolerate anyone who manifests disrespect or who expresses biased attitudes towards any student.
- We pledge that students will have sufficient time to fulfill personal and family obligations, to enjoy recreational activities, and to obtain adequate rest; we monitor and, when necessary, reduce the time required to fulfill educational objectives, including time required for “call” on clinical rotations, to ensure students’ well being.
- In nurturing both the intellectual and the personal development of students, we celebrate expressions of professional attitudes and behaviors, as well as achievement of academic excellence.
- We do not tolerate any abuse or exploitation of students.
- We encourage any student who experiences mistreatment or who witnesses unprofessional behavior to report the facts immediately to appropriate faculty or staff; we treat all such reports as confidential and do not tolerate reprisals or retaliations of any kind.
COMMITMENTS OF STUDENTS
- We pledge our utmost effort to acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors required to fulfill all educational objectives established by the faculty.
- We cherish the professional virtues of honesty, compassion, integrity, fidelity, and dependability.
- We pledge to respect all faculty members, all students, residents and staff as individuals, without regard to gender, race, national origin, religion, or sexual orientation.
- As physicians in training, we embrace the highest standards of the medical profession and pledge to conduct ourselves accordingly in all of our interactions with patients, colleagues, and staff.
- In fulfilling our own obligations as professionals, we pledge to assist our fellow students in meeting their professional obligations, as well.
11.5 Student-Teacher Consensual Relationship Policy
The integrity of the teacher-student relationship is the foundation of the School of Medicine’s educational mission. This relationship vests considerable trust in the teacher, who, in turn, bears authority and accountability as a mentor, educator, and evaluator. The unequal institutional power inherently vested in the faculty heightens the vulnerability of the student and the potential for coercion. The pedagogical relationship between teacher and student must be protected from influences or activities that can interfere with learning and personal development or create a perception of impropriety. Sexual or amorous relationships between teacher and student create the potential for coercion, jeopardize the integrity of the educational process by creating a conflict of interest and may impair the learning environment for other students. Further, such situations may expose the School of Medicine and the teacher to liability for violation of laws against sexual harassment and sex discrimination.
Medical students are particularly vulnerable to the unequal institutional power inherent in the teacher-student relationship and the potential for coercion, because of their age and position in a high-stakes, highly competitive educational setting. Therefore, no teacher who has any type of faculty appointment shall have a sexual or amorous relationship with any medical student. Likewise, no graduate student, postdoctoral fellow, or physician in a residency or fellowship training programs shall have a sexual or amorous relationship with any medical student they are currently teaching or supervising. In the case in which a teacher has a relationship that predates the entry of the other partner into medical school or residency/post graduate training, the partner who has the role of teacher must not directly supervise, grade or evaluate the partner who has the role of student throughout the period of his/her matriculation. Teachers or students with questions about this policy are advised to consult with the department chair, the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, or one of his designees. If an alleged violation of this policy cannot be resolved satisfactorily at the departmental level, a student may lodge a complaint with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs of the School of Medicine or his designee. Violations of the above policies by a teacher will normally lead to disciplinary action.
The faculty member’s right of defense and due process shall be as stated in the faculty handbook section 9.3.2 paragraph 2. This section covers all rights including those of appeal to the Dean and Chancellor.
For purposes of this policy, “direct supervision” includes the following activities (on or off campus): course teaching, examining, grading, advising for a formal project such as a thesis or research, supervising required research or other academic activities, serving in such a capacity as course or clerkship director, Department Chairperson or Dean, and recommending in an institutional capacity for admissions, employment, fellowships or awards. “Teachers” includes, but is not limited to, all tenured and non-tenured faculty of the University. It also includes graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, and physicians in residency and fellowship training programs, with respect to the students they are currently teaching or supervising. “Students” refers to those enrolled in the curriculum of the School of Medicine. Additionally, this policy applies to members of the LSUHSC-Shreveport community who are not teachers as defined above, but have authority over or mentoring relationships with students, including supervisors of student employees, advisors and directors of student organizations, as well as others who advise, mentor, or evaluate students.
11.6 Violation of Statements, Codes, and Policies of Ethics and Conduct
In the event that a faculty member is accused of violating the Statement of Professional Ethics (Handbook Section 11.2), the Code of Conduct (Handbook Section 11.3), the Compact between Teachers and Learners of Medicine (Handbook Section 11.4), or the Student-Teacher Consensual Relationship Policy (Handbook Section 11.5), the following process will occur:
- The faculty member will receive a written statement of the charges, including a list of the names of all witnesses, delivered by certified U.S. mail.
- The faculty member charged will have the opportunity to obtain copies of all documentary and other available evidence.
- The faculty member, if he desires, will have an opportunity to prepare and to present a defense to the charges in a hearing before an impartial ad hoc committee appointed by the Dean of the School. The intent to present a defense must be submitted to the Dean in writing within ten (10) working days of receipt of the written statement of charges.
- The ad hoc advisory committee will consist of three tenured faculty members and shall be advisory to the Dean. This committee shall establish a procedure for the investigation. After hearing all evidence, the committee shall make a determination to the Dean as to whether the charges are substantiated by the evidence. Legal counsel is not permitted at the hearing. Committee findings and all documentation shall be forwarded to the Dean. In the event that the faculty member is found to have violated the Statement, the committee will also forward to the Dean recommendations for sanctions.
- If the Dean, upon review of the matter and taking into account the ad hoc committee recommendation(s), finds that the faculty member has violated the Statement, the Dean shall inform the faculty member of such a decision in a letter sent by certified U.S. mail. Included in the letter will be sanctions to be imposed, if any.
- In the letter, the faculty member will also be informed that he may initiate an appeal based on the Faculty Appeals Policy found in Handbook Section 11.11. The faculty member, if terminated, may initiate an Appeal of Termination for Cause ( Handbook Section 10.3.2 ) only on the grounds of violation of due process.
- The faculty member may accept the decision of the Dean or may elect to appeal. The faculty member’s decision to appeal must be submitted in writing within ten (10) working days after receipt of the Dean’s letter.
- The appeal, if allowed, will follow the process of the Faculty Appeals Policy found in Handbook Section 11.11.
11.7 Duties and Responsibilities of The Faculty
It is expected that each member of the academic staff shall be devoted to the accomplishment of the purposes for which the University System exists: instruction, research, and public service. Those members of the academic staff who comprise the faculty of the University System are charged to determine the educational policy of the System through deliberative action in their respective units and divisions.
[Board of Supervisors of Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College. (10/2/08). Bylaws and Regulations (Article VIII, Section 2). http://www.lsusystem.edu/index.php/policies/bylaws-regulations]
The faculty or Faculty Council (the terms “faculty” and “Faculty Council” are used interchangeably in this Section) (Bylaws 1-2-2) shall establish curricula, fix standards of instruction, determine requirements for degrees, and generally determine educational policy, subject to the authority of the Board. Except as otherwise provided, each faculty shall establish its own educational policies. It shall, within the framework of the educational policy of the System, have legislative power over all matters pertaining to its own meetings and may delegate its own authority to an elected Senate and/or to standing committees, whose authority shall be limited to matters which are proper to the faculty and which have been specifically delegated by the faculty. It shall make recommendations for the granting of degrees through its respective colleges or schools not within a college.
[Board of Supervisors of Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College. (10/2/08). Bylaws and Regulations (Chapter I, Section 1-2.2b). http://www.lsusystem.edu/index.php/policies/bylaws-regulations]
11.7.1 Responsibilities of The Faculty
It is the basic principle that every member of the academic staff of whatever rank shall at all times be held responsible for competent and effective performance of appropriate duties. No principle of tenure shall be permitted to protect any person from removal from a position after full and careful investigation, according to procedures of due process, has revealed that the person has not met and does not give promise of meeting the responsibilities of the position.
[Board of Supervisors of Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College. (10/2/08). Bylaws and Regulations (Article VIII, Section 5). http://www.lsusystem.edu/index.php/policies/bylaws-regulations]
11.7.2 Principal Occupation
Each full-time faculty member is expected to foster the mission of the Health Sciences Center as his principal occupation. Faculty members owe their professional activities to the Health Sciences Center in proportion to their appointment obligation.
Employment activities outside the Health Sciences Center are governed by PM-11 and Handbook Section 13.
11.7.3 Course Offerings and Content
Course offerings and curricula are established by the faculties of the Schools of the Health Sciences Center. Individual faculty members are responsible for following the curriculum and for providing course content that will appropriately meet the needs of the students.
Planning and presentation of course material is the responsibility of the course director. Course directors are responsible for ordering textbooks and other course materials. Course plans and evaluation procedures should be presented to students in writing at the outset of each course. Faculty members should teach material that is appropriate to the assigned level of each course.
Faculty members are responsible for evaluating students and for assigning grades. Faculty members shall report the results of student evaluations within a reasonable time after the students’ work is submitted for assessment. Course directors shall provide the Registrar and other appropriate individuals with grades and evaluations of students based on their academic and professional performance.
Each faculty member is responsible for meeting deadlines established by the office of Academic Affairs, course directors, Department Heads, the Registrar, the Health Sciences Center Bookstore, and other appropriate administrative offices.
11.7.4 Class-Related Responsibilities
Faculty members are responsible for conducting instructional activities as scheduled. If a faculty member is unable to meet a regularly scheduled class, appropriate alternate instruction must be arranged and approved by the course director or Department Head.
Faculty members shall be reasonably accessible to students and shall inform students about their availability for consultation about course work.
11.7.5 Student Advising
Since a fundamental objective of the Health Sciences Center is assisting students to develop their personal and professional potential, the Health Sciences Center emphasizes the role of its faculty in advising students. Appropriate advising must be founded on a sustained concern for the academic growth of students as well as for their personal well-being. Responsibilities for advising students may be allocated to individual faculty members by the administration of the School.
The Faculty member’s role as a student’s advisor includes advising the student on academic program and career goals and recognizing a student’s need for professional help in solving personal or academic problems and directing the student to the appropriate resource.
SERVICE TO THE HEALTH SCIENCES CENTER
Each faculty member shares responsibility for the administration and governance of the Health Sciences Center and is expected to participate regularly in faculty meetings and in such committee work as he assumes. Each faculty member should be available on a regular basis to assist the Department Head as needed in departmental affairs and to consult with colleagues.
As members of the larger LSUHSC-S community, faculty members are expected to make every effort to work cooperatively with members of all Departments and Schools.
SERVICE TO THE COMMUNITY
Faculty members are encouraged to participate in community service related to their particular disciplines. When a faculty member engages in community service related to his discipline, his role as a representative of the University should be considered carefully and made clear to others in his service group. Service activities in the general community, unrelated to a faculty member’s discipline, include participation in civic programs and social endeavors. These service activities are generally encouraged by the Administration of the University.
11.8 Legal and Ethical Considerations and Constraints
11.8.1 Use of Copyrighted Material
United States copyright law governs the legally enforceable rights of creative and artistic works. The power to enact copyright law is granted in the U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 8, Clause 8, (also known as the Copyright Clause), which states:
The Congress shall have Power…To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.
This clause forms the basis for U.S. copyright law and patent law and includes the limited terms allowed for copyrights and patents as well as the items they may protect. http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html
Administrative aspects of copyright are the responsibility of the U. S. Copyright Office.
Faculty members are responsible for knowing and observing the laws about the use of copyrighted material. U.S. copyright law and policy is set forth at the U.S. Copyright Office’s website: http://www.copyright.gov/laws/
Circular #1, Copyright Basics, is also available on the following website: http://www.copyright.gov/
11.8.2 Reporting Misconduct in Research
LSUHSC-S seeks excellence in discovery and dissemination of knowledge while maintaining high standards and ethical practices in research conduct. Dishonesty, fraud, and misconduct in research erode the reputations and credibility of investigators, institutions, and the scientific community at large and are not tolerated at LSUHSC-S.
All allegations of misconduct in research are evaluated promptly with due regard for the reputation and rights of all individuals involved. Complainants acting in good faith who make allegations of research misconduct will be protected from retaliation in accordance with federal and University requirements.
LSUHSC-S Policy and Procedures for Dealing with Allegations of Research Fraud follow the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Public Health Service (PHS) Policies on Research Misconduct. Research misconduct is defined as fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research, or in reporting research results.
- Fabrication is making up data or results and recording or reporting them.
- Falsification is manipulating research materials, equipment, or processes, or changing or omitting data or results such that the research is not accurately represented in the research record.
- Plagiarism is the appropriation of another person’s ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit.
Research misconduct does not include honest errors and ambiguities of interpretation.
When the institution receives an allegation of research misconduct, an initial inquiry is conducted to determine if the evidence of misconduct is sufficient to proceed with a full investigation. If there is sufficient evidence of misconduct, a full investigation is initiated to evaluate evidence. The Investigation Committee assesses whether misconduct has occurred and determines responsibility. In conducting the inquiry and investigation, the institution makes every effort to ensure that: (1) persons involved in the evaluation of the allegations and evidence have appropriate expertise; (2) no person involved in the procedures is biased against the accused person(s) or has a conflict of interest; and (3) affected individuals receive confidential treatment to the maximum extent possible.
If misconduct in research is determined to have occurred, the institution will provide research sponsors relevant information of the findings and penalties. In addition, journal editors will be notified, if necessary. In misconduct cases involving PHS-funded research, LSUHSC-S is obligated to keep the U.S. Office of Research Integrity appropriately informed and to protect federal funds.
The full LSUHSC-S Policy and Procedures for Dealing with Allegations of Research Fraud can be found at the following URL: http://www.sh.lsuhsc.edu/oor/pdf/Model%20Procedure.pdf
For more information regarding research misconduct, visit the U.S. Office of Research Integrity website at the following address: http://ori.hhs.gov/
11.8.3 Drug Free Workplace/Workforce
To state the University’s commitment to providing a drug free workplace and workforce pursuant to the provisions of the federal Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988 and interim Department of Defense rules for a program to achieve and maintain a drug free workforce.
“Drug free workplace” means a site for the performance of work at which employees are prohibited from engaging in the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of a controlled substance in accordance with the requirements of the federal Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988.
“Drug free workforce” means employees engaged in the performance of Department of Defense contracts who have been granted access to classified information; or employees in other positions that the contractor determines involve National Security, health or safety, or functions other than the foregoing requiring a high degree of trust and confidence.
“Controlled substance” means a controlled substance in schedules I through V of section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812).
“Criminal drug statute” means a criminal statute involving manufacture, distribution, dispensation, use, or possession of any controlled substance.
“Conviction” means a finding of guilt (including a plea of nolo contendere) or imposition of sentences, or both, by any judicial body charged with the responsibility to determine violations of the federal or state criminal drug statutes.
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center is committed to providing a drug free workplace and seeks to make its employees aware of the dangers of drug abuse in the workplace as well as the availability of drug counseling, rehabilitation and employee assistance through various communications media. In accordance with the Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988 and pursuant to applicable law, the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession or use of a controlled substance in the workplace is prohibited. Workplace shall include any location on University property in addition to any location from which an individual conducts University business while such business in being conducted. Without reference to any sanctions, which may be assessed through criminal justice processes, violators of this policy will be subject to University disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.
Violations of law regarding controlled substances (illegal drugs) that occur in the workplace are to be reported to the LSUHSC Campus Police. Action by LSUHSC upon conviction of any employed for violation of the law as provided herein may include but is not limited to written disciplinary action, suspension without pay, demotion, and/or mandatory participation in a drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program at the employee’s expense, or termination of employment.
Specific provisions regarding a drug free workplace apply to employees directly engaged in the performance of work pursuant to the provisions of a federal grant or contract.
The federal Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988 contains specific requirements relating to University employees who are engaged in the performance of a federal grant or contract as follows:
Each such employee must receive a copy of the University policy providing a drug free workplace, which shall be provided through the official promulgation of this Policy Statement and such other means as may be appropriate, and each such employee:
- Agree as a condition of employment to abide by the terms of the drug free workplace policy.
- Must notify the LSUHSC Office of Human Resource Management of any criminal drug statute conviction for a violation occurring in the workplace no late than 5 days after such conviction.
The University is required to:
- Notify the granting agency; within 10 days after receiving notice of conviction as above, or otherwise receiving notice of such conviction, the Director of Human Resource Management must notify the Grants Office so that they may comply with the federal requirements for notifying the federal funding agency within 10 days.
- Within 30 days after receiving such notice, impose a sanction on, up to and including termination of employment, or require satisfactory participation in a drug abuse assistance or drug rehabilitation program approved for such purposes by a federal, state, or local health, law enforcement, or other appropriate agency at the employee’s expense by any employee so convicted with such sanction or required participation to be coordinated by the Office of Human Resource Management through normal LSUHSC administrative processes.
- Make a good faith effort to continue to maintain a drug free workplace through implementation of the requirements of this Act.
Further specific provisions regarding a drug free workforce apply to employees directly engaged in the performance of work pursuant to Department of Defense contracts who have been granted access to classified information: or employees in other positions that the contractor determines involve National Security, health or safety, or functions other than the foregoing requiring a high degree of trust and confidence.
In addition to requirements of the Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988 which apply to all employees engaged in the performance of a federal grant or contract, the Department of Defense has issued regulations which specifically apply to employees engaged in the performance of a Department of Defense contract which are provided below.
Covered employees include those employees engaged in the performance of Department of Defense contracts as follows:
- All Department of Defense contracts, involving access to classified information.
- Any other Department of Defense contract when the contracting officer determines such application to be necessary for reasons of national security or for the purposes of protecting the health or safety of those using or affected by the product of or the performance of the contract (except for commercial or commercial-type products).
- Excepted are any contracts or parts of contracts to be performed outside of the United States, its territories, and possessions, except as otherwise determined by the contracting officer.
For those Department of Defense contracts to which these regulations apply, the following specific conditions or appropriate alternatives apply:
“(1) Employee assistance programs emphasizing high level direction, education, counseling, rehabilitation, and coordination with available community resources (which shall be as provided through any LSUHSC Employee Assistance Program);
“(2) Supervisory training to assist in identifying and addressing illegal drug use by Contractor employees (which shall be as provided through the Office of Human Resource Management);
“(3) Provision for self-referrals as well as supervisory referrals to treatment with maximum respect for individual confidentiality consistent with safety and security issues (which shall be as provided through the provisions of any LSUHSC Employee Assistance Program and this Policy Statement);
“(4) Provision for identifying illegal drug users, including testing on a controlled and carefully monitored basis. Employee drug testing programs shall be established taking account of the following:
“(c) Contractor programs shall include the following, or appropriate alternative.
“(ii) In addition, the Contractor may establish a program for employee drug testing–
“(A) When there is a reasonable suspicion that an employee uses illegal drugs; or
“(B) When a employee has been involved in an accident or unsafe practice;
“(C) As a part of or as a follow-up to counseling or rehabilitation for illegal drug use;
“(D) As a part of a voluntary employee drug testing program.
“(iii) The Contractor may establish a program to test applicants for employment for illegal drug use.
“(iv) For the purpose of administering this clause, testing for illegal drugs may be limited to those substances for which testing is prescribed by section 2.1 of Subpart B of the Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Program,” (53 FR 11980 (April 11, 1988) issued by the Department of Health and Human Services.
“(d) Contractors shall adopt appropriate personnel procedures to deal with employees who are found to be using drugs illegally. Contractors shall not allow any employee to remain on duty or perform in a sensitive position who is found to use illegal drugs until such time as the contractor, in accordance with procedures established by the contractor, determines that the employee may perform in such a position.
“(e) The provisions of this clause pertaining to drug testing programs shall not apply to the extent they are inconsistent with state or local law, or with an existing collective bargaining agreement; provided that with respect to the latter, the Contractor agrees that those issues that are in conflict will be a subject of negotiation at the next collective bargaining session.”
Listed below are substance abuse programs offered by professional organizations or societies for specific groups.
|Office of Graduate Studies
||Office of Student Affairs
|LSUHSC-S School of Graduate Studies
||LSUHSC-S School of Medicine
|1501 Kings Hwy
||1501 Kings Highway
|Shreveport, LA 71130-3932
||Shreveport, La. 71130
|Allied Health Students
|Office of Student Affairs
|LSUHSC-S School of Allied Health Professions
|1450 Claiborne Avenue
|Shreveport, La. 71130
|Ms. Betty Anderson
||Impaired Physicians Program
||LSU School of Medicine, Shreveport
|1501 Kings Highway
||1501 Kings’ Highway
|LSU Health Sciences Center
||Shreveport, LA 70130
|Shreveport, La. 71130
|Employees - LSU Health Sciences Center
|Employee Assistance Program
|LSU Health Sciences Center - Shreveport
|1501 Kings Hwy
|Shreveport, LA 71130-3932
Employee Assistance Program
An Employee Assistance Program is being established at LSU Health Sciences Center to assist employees who may be suffering from substance abuse or addiction to controlled substances. Services to be provided are described below:
INFORMATION AND REFERRAL: A counselor who will provide patient information on professional agencies and individuals in the community who are qualified to assist the patient in the resolution of his/her problem.
ASSESSMENT/PROBLEM CLARIFICATION: The E.A.P. counselor during an initial assessment will clarify problem areas and identify clinical needs by psychosocial histories and individual/family interviews. Identification of problems and/or clinical issues will be made with recommendations that can resolve the problem when possible. If resolution is not possible referral to an appropriate resource that will assist the patient in the resolution of their problem will be made.
SHORT TERM COUNSELING: The counselor will provide short-term counseling of a problem clarifying/solving nature to assist patients with problems which can adequately be resolved and/or addressed in 1 to 5 counseling sessions.
EXCEPTIONS: Exceptions to the foregoing will be made when it is deemed in the patient’s interest to be referred upon initial contact and/or assessment.
MEDICAL INSURANCE: Employees should check their hospitalization insurance to determine their policy’s coverage for mental health counseling. This might be of some limited assistance if there is a need for long-term counseling.
PATIENT ADVOCACY: The counselor will serve in the capacity as advocate for the patient in obtaining services as appropriate to his/her needs, serve as a liaison for the patient on an as needed basis and additionally provide follow-up on the referral. To facilitate expeditious and appropriate referrals to community services, a current file of all potential service providers will be maintained.
SUPERVISORY AND DRUG SCREEN REFERRALS: The counselor operating under the guidelines governing confidentiality will provide a clinical assessment and referral to the patient and provide to LSUHSC only information regarding the patient’s level of cooperation and participation in the E.A.P. services and recommended referral only after a release of information has been obtained from the patient. After obtaining a release of information, monthly follow-up reports may be provided to management.
Patient records will be handled in accordance with the confidentiality requirements of PL93-282 and the Federal regulations of 42 CFR Part 21 (section 2.11n) and P193-579 (Privacy Act) Treatment records will never become part of an employee’s personnel and medical files, but will remain available only to the E.A.P. staff. Records will be stored securely, and professional standards of content, legibility and timeliness will be maintained.
[LSUHSC-S. (6/1/01). Chancellor’s Memorandum 7 (CM-7). Drug Free Workplace and Workforce. http://www.medcom.lsuhscshreveport.edu/cfdocs/policies/Chancellors/CM-7.cfm]
11.9 Return to Work
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC-S) provides workers’ compensation benefits to its faculty and staff in accordance with state law. This coverage includes the University’s modified duty program designed to encourage employees, who have been released to perform work with limitations to return to work.
To return an employee to the workplace, LSUHSC-S will make reasonable efforts to place the returning employee into a meaningful assignment, which he/she can perform while on modified duty on a temporary basis. LSUHSC-S cannot guarantee placement and is under no obligation to offer, create, or encumber any specific position for purposes of offering placement. All final decisions regarding placement shall be made by the human resource management office.
This policy is not intended to instruct the procedure applicable to employees who are eligible for reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or leave benefits under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Inquiries about eligibility under the ADA or FMLA should be directed to the human resource management office.
This policy only applies to permanent employees of LSUHSC-S who are on leave as a result of work related injuries or illnesses and who are receiving worker’s compensation benefits. In the event an employee refuses an accommodation or reassignment of duties (outside the employee’s FMLA benefit eligibility period), which are within the employee’s restrictions and ability to perform, LSUHSC-S is not obligated to provide alternatives. In such a case, LSUHSC-S will notify the State Office of Risk Management, which may result in termination of the employee’s workers’ compensation benefits.
Modified Work Requirements
For work to be considered suitable modified employment, the following conditions must be met:
- the employee must meet the required qualifications for the modified job assignment which the employee will be required to perform,
- the work must be a meaningful and productive part of the department’s operations,
- the work must conform to the medical restrictions set by the medical care provider, and
- the modified job assignment and/or modified work schedule cannot exceed six months.
GUIDELINES FOR PLACING EMPLOYEES IN TEMPORARY MODIFIED EMPLOYMENT
When determining if proposed modified work is suitable, the team comprised of representatives from Human Resource Management, Safety, Director of department in question, and Physical Therapy representative will consult with the injured employee, the departmental administrator, the campus office of risk management, and the medical health care provider. Other individuals may participate on the team such as the safety coordinator as determined by the team.
The evaluation will be based on, but not limited to, a list of essential duties (based on the job description for which the employee was hired) along with the completed job analysis form for completion by the employee’s physician.
The return-to-work team shall identify job functions and physical requirements that can be considered “transitional” duties in the work environment. Every effort will be made to place the employee in his/her original work unit, however, if this is not possible, the team may recommend an alternative work assignment as long as the conditions for return to work outlined above are met. The appropriate administrator of the work unit in which the “transitional” duty assignment is identified must approve the proposed placement prior to further action being taken.
Upon return to work, the return-to-work team will review the “transitional” assignment every 30 days to determine if the employee is still in transition based on the physician’s recommendation. An employee who refuses to return to “transitional” duty for which he or she was medically cleared will be reported to the Office of Risk Management for appropriate action.
Civil Service rules, as outlined below, shall govern personnel actions for classified employees accepting “transitional” duty assignments:
- Employees may be detailed to special duty, with Civil Service approval, for a period not to exceed six months (usual time required for an employee to remain on Workers’ Compensation). No extension of this type of detail shall be authorized.
- The detail to special duty may be lateral or downward. Details to a higher position may also be approved on a case-by-case basis, when justified.
- A position may be double encumbered, if necessary.
- The employee’s base pay cannot be reduced during the detail to special duty.
[LSUHSC-S. (9/1/00). Administrative Directive 2.5.2. Return to Work Policy for Employees on Worker’s Compensation. http://www.sh.lsuhsc.edu/policies/policy_manuals_via_ms_word/Admin/2.5.2.pdf]
11.10 Sexual Harassment/Gender Discrimination
The LSUHSC-S policy and procedure with regard to sexual harassment and/or gender discrimination can be found in Administrative Directive 2.1.1 (June 1, 1999)
[LSUHSC-S. (6/1/99). Administrative Directive 2.1.1, Sexual Harassment. http://www.sh.lsuhsc.edu/policies/policy_manuals_via_ms_word/Admin/2.1.1.pdf]
Policy. LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport (LSUHSC-S) is committed to providing a professional work environment that maintains equality, dignity, and respect for all members of its community. In keeping with this commitment, LSUHSC-S prohibits discriminatory practices, including sexual harassment. Any sexual harassment, whether verbal, physical, or environmental, is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. The purpose of this policy is to define sexual harassment and to establish a procedure whereby alleged sexually harassed employees, staff, and students may lodge a complaint immediately.
Sexual harassment is illegal under federal (Section 703 of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964) http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/titlevii.cfm state, and local law. It is defined as any unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
- Submission to the conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment;
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting the individual; or
- The conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with the individual’s performance, or of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.
Types of behavior that constitute sexual harassment may include, but are not limited to:
- Unwelcome sexual flirtations, advances or propositions;
- Derogatory, vulgar, or graphic written or oral statements regarding one’s sexuality, gender or sexual experience;
- Unnecessary touching, patting, pinching or attention to an individual’s body;
- Physical assault;
- Unwanted sexual compliments, innuendo, suggestions or jokes; or the display of sexually suggestive pictures or objects.
Any member of the LSUHSC-S community, who has a sexual harassment complaint against a supervisor, co-worker, visitor, faculty member, or other person, has the right and obligation to bring the problem to the Health Sciences Center’s attention. Any supervisor who witnesses such conduct or receives a complaint must report the incident to Human Resource Management (HRM), an appropriate administrator, or the Dean of the respective school. It is the responsibility of all LSUHSC-S employees in a supervisory capacity to ensure that the work/academic environment is free from sexual harassment.
A staff member, who believes he or she has been sexually harassed, should immediately report the incident to the Assistant Director of Employee Relations, Human Resource Management (318/675-5611), the Director of Human Resource Management (318/675-5610), or to an appropriate administrator or the Dean of the respective school. In addition, staff members may report the incident to any supervisor. Any recipient of such a complaint shall notify Human Resource Management.
The Department of Human Resource Management will be responsible for investigating complaints of sexual harassment occurring between staff members; complaints made by staff against students; and complaints made by staff against other third parties. HRM will either investigate or assist those responsible for investigating complaints made by or against faculty members, students, or house staff officers.
Actions taken to investigate and resolve sexual harassment complaints shall be conducted confidentially to the extent practicable and appropriate in order to protect the privacy of persons involved. An investigation may include interviews with the parties involved in the incident, and if necessary, with individuals who may have observed the incident or conduct or who have other relevant knowledge. The individuals involved in the complaint will be notified of the results of the investigation. The Health Sciences Center will not tolerate discrimination or retaliation against any individual who makes a good faith sexual harassment complaint, even if the investigation produces insufficient evidence to support the complaint, or any other individual who participates in the investigation of a sexual harassment complaint. If the investigation substantiates the complaint, appropriate corrective measures and/or disciplinary action, up to and including termination, will be taken swiftly. LSUHSC-S will make every reasonable effort to ensure that all members of the LSUHSC-S community are familiar with this policy. You are encouraged to address questions or concerns regarding this policy with the Assistant Director for Employee Relations, Human Resource Management.
(6/1/99). Administrative Directive 2.1.1, Sexual Harassment. http://www.sh.lsuhsc.edu/policies/policy_manuals_via_ms_word/Admin/2.1.1.pdf
11.11 Procedures For Faculty Grievances/Appeals
The following procedure is established to provide faculty members with a mechanism to address personnel and other work-related problems. The issue presented by grievance, and when applicable, by appeal should be one that has not or cannot be resolved within the regular administrative procedures. These procedures do not apply to Termination for Cause. The applicable due process procedures for Termination for Cause are found in Handbook Section 10.3.2 .
“Chancellor” refers to the Chancellor of the LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport or his designee.
“Parties to the Appeal” refers to the complainants, i.e. the person making the complaint, and the person or persons against whom the complaint is made or whose decision is contested.
“Faculty Member” refers to any full-time salaried academic member of the Health Sciences Center in Shreveport or any part-time individual enfranchised by any of the schools of the Health Sciences Center in Shreveport.
“Days” refers to official LSUHSC-S working days.
“Peremptory Challenges” refer to challenges as to those persons scheduled to serve on a Committee or a chairperson of a Committee, which challenges do not require assignment of reasons and which challenges shall be granted.
“Dean” refers to the Dean of the applicable LSUHSC-S school or his designee.
- The filing of a grievance or appeal does not relieve the complainant of assigned duties and responsibilities.
- This grievance procedure is written in terms of a complaint against the decision of the Department Head. A complaint against the decision of a Dean or Vice Chancellor also follows the steps as delineated, beginning with informal discussion, and then the filing of an appeal, if applicable, to the next level in the chain of authority.
- All Parties to the appeal shall attempt to resolve the conflict or dispute at the lowest administrative level possible. If these efforts fail, then informal reconciliation and/or a formal appeal can be initiated. The faculty member who believes that he has been treated unjustly is obliged to confer informally with the individual or individuals responsible for the action.
- Two or more faculty members who allege that they have received similar unfair treatment may petition the Chancellor to have their appeals considered together. This decision to consolidate appeals shall be made by the Chancellor. If the appeals are consolidated, the Standing Appeal Committee may make separate recommendations regarding each faculty member. Claimants can refuse consolidation.
- A faculty member who at any stage of the process fails to follow a request for further action by the deadline indicates acceptance of the determination at the previous stage. A faculty member who does not receive a response by the deadline may immediately proceed to the next stage of the procedure.
- Any time limit set forth in this procedure may be extended by mutual written agreement of the Parties and, when applicable, the consent of the Chairperson of the appropriate committee.
- If a faculty member seeks resolution of the matter through any agency outside of the Health Sciences Center, whether administrative, judicial, or other agency, the Health Sciences Center shall have no obligation to continue appeal proceedings subject to constraints of law.
Informal Reconciliation. A faculty member shall discuss a grievance with his Department Head within thirty (30) days of the most recent incident. Thereafter, both the faculty member and the party allegedly responsible for the action that resulted in the complaint shall meet with the Department Head in a serious, good faith attempt to resolve the dispute. In the case of a complaint against an action by the Department Head, the faculty member shall first discuss the grievance with the Department Head in an attempt at informal resolution. Regardless against whom the complaint is made, the majority of issues should be resolved at this stage.
If after informal discussion, the matter is not resolved between the faculty member and the party allegedly responsible, the faculty member may request intervention by the Dean. The faculty member shall deliver the Request for Intervention to the Dean within ten (10) days after the meeting with the Department Head. The Request for Intervention shall include the following: a concise statement of the complaint; a reference, when applicable, to the section(s) of the Faculty Handbook that were allegedly violated, any written documentation the complainant wishes to submit, and a statement of relief sought.
The Dean or his designee shall arrange a meeting with the concerned Parties within ten (10) days of receipt of the Request for Intervention. At the close of the meeting or within five (5) days thereafter, the Dean shall render a decision. The decision shall be in writing and a copy of the decision shall be delivered by certified mail to the faculty member. Copies of the decision shall also be provided to the Department Head and the party allegedly responsible. The decision of the Dean shall be final in matters deemed not appealable.
Formal Appeal. Not all personnel and work-related problems are of a nature such that they will be subject to formal appeal. In the case of grievances that do not involve appealable issues, the decision of the Dean will be final. In cases involving appealable issues as defined in this policy, the following procedure will be applicable. The following are defined as appealable issues:
- Alleged denial of academic freedom;
- Alleged failure to follow due process procedures with respect to appointment renewals, tenure, promotion, compensation, suspension or reassignment;
- Alleged violation, misinterpretation, or inequitable application of a Faculty Handbook provision;
- Alleged discrimination on the basis of age, sex, race, religion, national origin, marital status, disability, or veteran status;
- Findings of sexual harassment, sexual discrimination, or any other discrimination;
- Personnel decisions by Department Heads, other administrators, or faculty committees, which allegedly do not conform to the letter or intent of established and accepted procedures and criteria.
Non-reappointment and judgments regarding academic quality or professional performance, including the granting or denial of tenure, are not proper subjects for appeal; however, the propriety of the procedures employed in making such determination is subject to the appeals procedure.
STANDING APPEAL COMMITTEE
A Standing Appeal Committee shall be formed to hear faculty appeals. This Committee shall be advisory to the Chancellor and shall report only to him. The Committee shall be constituted of six (6) faculty members and six (6) faculty alternates appointed by the Chancellor from the elected
representatives of each school of the Health Sciences Center. As each member and alternate rotates off the Committee, a replacement and corresponding alternate shall be selected to serve for a period of six (6) years. The Chairperson of the Committee and his alternate shall serve in such capacities for a one-year period and shall be that individual and his corresponding alternate serving in their last year on the Committee. The Chancellor may reappoint Committee members though no Committee member may serve consecutive terms.
If a member of the Committee believes that it would be inappropriate for him to hear and decide a particular case due to a perceived conflict of interest, he may recuse himself prior to convocation of the formal hearing. Under these circumstances, the member’s corresponding alternate shall replace the recused Committee member. If members become unable to continue to serve after deliberations have begun, the Committee shall continue without its full complement. However, a minimum of four (4) Committee members must be present at each session, or the session will be canceled. If vacancies occur after the deliberations have begun, such that the Appeal Committee is reduced to fewer than four (4) members, the Appeal Committee procedure will be void, the Chancellor will designate an ad hoc Committee and alternates, and the Formal Appeal procedures will begin again.
In cases involving appealable issues, a faculty member dissatisfied with the decision of the Dean may institute a formal appeal as follows:
The faculty member shall deliver Notice of Appeal to the Chancellor within five (5) days after receipt of the Dean’s decision. The Notice of Appeal shall include the Request for Intervention and a copy of the Dean’s decision. The Chancellor shall make the determination as to whether an issue presented is appealable under the provisions of this procedure. This decision of the Chancellor is not subject to appeal. Appeals involving allegations of discrimination, which have not yet been investigated pursuant to Handbook Section 5.5.3 , shall be referred to the Director of Human Resources or his designee by the Chancellor for investigation and report.
Upon receipt of the Notice of Appeal (or in cases where there has been an allegation of discrimination, after receipt of the report and recommendations of the Director of Human Resources or designee), the Chancellor shall within ten (10) days take one of the following actions:
- Consider the matter and grant the relief sought or adopt the decision of the Dean.
- Grant the appeal and convene the Standing Appeal Committee.
- Deny the appeal in whole or part as not setting forth an appealable issue. In cases where an appeal is based in whole or part on discrimination, the Chancellor shall refer that portion of the appeal to the Standing Appeal Committee.
The Chancellor’s decision shall be in writing and a copy of the decision shall be delivered by certified mail to the concerned Parties. Copies of the decision shall also be provided to the Dean. If the Chancellor grants the appeal and decides to convene the Committee, he shall within ten (10) days of his decision:
- Notify the Chairperson of the Standing Appeal Committee in writing and provide the Chairperson with a copy of the Notice of Appeal, and (in the case of alleged discrimination), a copy of the report and recommendation of the Director of Human Resources or his designee; and
- Notify the parties to the appeal of the names of the Committee members.
Upon receipt of the Notice of Appeal, the Chairperson shall distribute a copy of the formal appeal to the Committee members. Each party to the appeal shall be allowed two (2) peremptory challenges, which must be submitted in writing to the Chairperson of the Committee within five (5) days of receipt of notification by the Chancellor of those persons constituting the Standing Appeal Committee. Thereafter, the challenged Committee member (including, if appropriate, the Committee Chairperson) shall be recused, and his alternate shall serve. The Chairperson shall establish the hearing date and notify both Parties by certified mail. The Parties shall be given at least fifteen (15) days notice of the date, time, and place of the hearing. The Chairperson shall send the notice by certified mail, and copies of the notice shall be provided to the Dean and Chancellor. Each party shall provide the Committee Chairperson and the other party a witness list, a brief summary of the testimony expected to be given by each witness, and a copy of all documents to be introduced at the hearing at least ten (10) days prior to the hearing. In addition, the Appeals Committee shall conduct its own independent investigation with regard to the action being challenged. If during its own independent investigation, the Committee deems documents to be relevant which have not been submitted by the Parties, the Committee shall provide copies to each party at least ten (10) days
prior to the hearing. Health Sciences Center records and documents relevant to the case shall be made available to the Committee on request, subject to legal constraints or applicable pledges of confidentiality.
The hearing shall be conducted as follows:
The Chairperson of the Committee shall conduct the hearing. Each party shall have the right to appear, to present a reasonable number of witnesses, to present documentary evidence, and to cross-examine witnesses. The Committee may call additional witnesses the Committee believes have relevant testimony to offer. Testimony is under oath or affirmation, and an audio recording shall be made of the entire hearing. Testimony may be received telephonically, subject to the convenience of the Committee members. The Parties may be excluded when the Committee meets in executive session.
An attorney may accompany the faculty member as a non-participating advisor. If the faculty member elects to have an attorney present, the party allegedly responsible for the action may also be accompanied by an attorney. The attorneys for the Parties may confer and advise their clients upon adjournment of the proceedings at reasonable intervals to be determined by the Chairman, but may not question witnesses, introduce evidence, make objections or present argument during the hearing. However, the right to have an attorney present can be denied, discontinued, altered, or modified if the Committee finds that such is necessary to ensure its ability to properly conduct the hearing. Rules of evidence and procedure are not applied strictly, but the Chairman shall exclude irrelevant and duly repetitious testimony. The Chairman shall rule on all matters related to the conduct of the meeting and may be assisted by University Counsel. Upon request, the Chairman shall invite a representative from the American Association of University Professors to be present during the hearing as a non-participating observer.
The hearing shall be audio recorded. At the request of the Chancellor, Dean, or Committee Chairperson, the recording of the hearing shall be transcribed, in which case each party to the appeal, upon written request, shall receive a copy of the transcript.
Following the hearing and after reviewing all of the evidence, the Committee shall render a written report to the Chancellor within ten (10) days. This report shall include the Committee’s findings and recommendations, a summary of the testimony presented, and any dissenting opinions. The Chancellor shall review the Committee’s report and may accept, reject, or modify the Committee’s findings and
recommendations. The Chancellor shall render a written decision within
ten (10) days of receipt of the Committee’s report. The Chancellor’s final
decision along with a copy of the Standing Appeal Committee’s findings
and recommendations shall be sent to the Parties by certified mail, and
copies shall be sent to the members of the Standing Appeal Committee,
the Dean, Department Head, and any other appropriate administrators.
The Chancellor’s decision shall be final, except for appeal to the President
of the LSU System as provided for in the Bylaws and Regulations of the
Board of Supervisors of Louisiana State University.
11.12 Faculty Responsibilities Under Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (“FERPA”) is a federal law that protects the privacy of information contained in students’ education records. FERPA restricts the release of information contained in the students’ education records and access to those records. Unauthorized disclosure of information from students’ education records or unauthorized access to that information is a form of misconduct.
An “education record” is a record that is directly related to a student and is maintained by Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center at Shreveport (or a party acting on the University’s behalf). An education record can exist in any medium (e.g., e-mail, typewritten, handwritten, audiotape). Education records do not include “sole possession records,” which are records kept in the sole possession of the maker, used as a personal memory aid, and not revealed to others (e.g., a faculty member’s notes). Education records also do not include employment records, unless employment is conditional upon the individual being a student (e.g., graduate assistants’ employment records are education records protected by FERPA).
A “student” is any person who is or has been in attendance at the University. For purposes of FERPA, a person becomes a student when the student has been admitted to the University and attends classes (either on-campus or distance learning). FERPA does not apply to records containing information created after the person is no longer a student if the information is not directly related to the individual’s attendance as a student.
“Written consent” means a printed document, voluntarily signed and dated by the student, that specifies the records to be disclosed, the purpose of the disclosure, and the party to whom the disclosure may be made.
“Directory information” is limited to a student’s name, address, telephone number, email address, photograph, major field of study, date and place of birth, participation in officially recognized activities, dates of attendance, classification, degrees and awards received, most recent previous educational institution attended, and current enrollment status. Neither a student’s social security number nor a student identification number is directory information.
Release of Student Information
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center at Shreveport shall not disclose information contained in a student’s education record to a third party without the student’s written consent, except under certain limited conditions. Highly sensitive information includes students’ social security numbers, race, ethnicity, gender, nationality, academic performance, disciplinary records, and grades.
When a student reaches the age of 18 or begins attending the University (regardless of age), FERPA rights transfer from the parent to the student. Accordingly, parents, spouses, and other family members do not have a right to receive information from a student’s education records without the student’s written consent. Faculty members should refer all inquiries from parents or other family members to the Office of the Registrar, who will obtain or confirm the existence of a valid written consent from the student to release information to the parent or other family member. Faculty members should also encourage family members to speak with the student directly.
The University may disclose information contained in a student’s education records without the student’s consent to University officials with “legitimate educational interests.” A University official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review a student’s education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities to the University. Faculty members who request another University employee to release information from a student’s education records shall demonstrate a legitimate educational interest in accessing the information (e.g., to fulfill the duties of an academic advisor). Access to education records shall not be used for any other purpose (e.g., casual conversations among faculty members about students’ grades or other information in students’ education records).
The University may disclose a student’s “directory information” to a third party unless the student has chosen to restrict the disclosure of directory information by completing a form in the Office of the Registrar.
Requests for information from a student’s education records from anyone other than the student or a University official with a legitimate educational interest should be directed to the Office of the Registrar.
FERPA and Grades
FERPA prohibits faculty members from publicly posting grades by a student’s name, a student’s ID number, a student’s social security number (even the last 4 digits), or any other information that would personally identify the student, without a student’s written consent. This includes posting on websites, bulletin boards, or office doors. A faculty member may post grades by using randomly assigned numbers known only by the faculty member and the individual student as long as the grades are not listed in alphabetical order.
Mailing grades to students is only acceptable if the grades are enclosed in a sealed envelope. Grades shall not be mailed via postcards. When returning students’ tests or papers, faculty members shall use a system designed to prevent the release of a student’s information to another student. Faculty members shall not leave students’ tests or papers where third parties can view the tests or papers (e.g., leaving tests in a stack for students to sort through).
E-mail is an official means of University communication. FERPA does not prohibit the use of e-mail for transmitting FERPA-protected information to a student or authorized third party. However, like information disclosed over the telephone or via U.S. mail, information disclosed via e-mail can inadvertently be disclosed to someone other than the intended recipient. The University would be held responsible for an inadvertent disclosure.
Faculty members should use e-mail with the amount of caution appropriate to (1) the level of sensitivity of the information being disclosed, (2) the likelihood of inadvertent disclosure to someone other than the intended recipient, and (3) the consequences of inadvertent disclosure to someone other than intended recipient.
As a general rule, e-mail should contain the least amount of FERPA-protected information as possible. The subject line of e-mail should not include FERPA-protected information. The body of e-mail should not contain highly sensitive FERPA-protected information, such as a student’s social security number.
When using e-mail, faculty members should use their official University email account to transmit FERPA-protected information to students. When sending e-mails, faculty members should send e-mails to students’ official University e-mail addresses.
Letters of Recommendation
Written consent of the student is required before a faculty member writes a Letter of Recommendation for the student if any information included in the letter comes from the student’s education records (grades, GPA, etc.)
Letters of Recommendation that are based solely on a faculty member’s personal knowledge or observation do not require the written consent of the student.
If a Letter of Recommendation is kept on file by the person writing the recommendation, it then becomes a part of the student’s education record, and the student has the right under FERPA to read the letter unless the student specifically waived that right.
If the University determines that there is an articulable and significant threat to the health or safety of an individual, the institution may disclose information from education records “to any person whose knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety” of the individual.
For questions about FERPA, please contact the Office of the Registrar.