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Investigation and Administrative Leave

Policy Number: HR-44
Effective Date: March 2013 
Responsible Official: Senior Vice President of Student Life and Administrative Services

PURPOSE

This policy identifies the procedures to be followed when a Faculty Member or Professional Staff Member is the subject of an investigation of suspected or alleged misconduct and has been placed on Administrative Leave, with or without pay, in conjunction with such investigation.

 

APPLICABILITY

This policy applies to all eligible Faculty and Professional Staff Members, including Professional Staff Members affiliated with a collective bargaining unit.

 

IMPLEMENTATION

Implementation of this policy is the responsibility of the Executive Director, Human Resources, in consultation with the Office of the General Counsel, Office of the Provost, Public Safety, Office of Equality and Diversity and Internal Audit department, as applicable.

 

ADMINISTRATIVE OVERSIGHT

The Senior Vice President of Student Life and Administrative Services is the Drexel University official responsible for the administration of this policy.

 

POLICY

A Faculty Member or Professional Staff Member may be placed on Administrative Leave with or without pay in circumstances following an allegation of misconduct, which requires an investigation and review of the related facts. Compensation for Administrative Leave with pay will be equal to the Faculty Member or Professional Staff Member’s base rate of pay.  Administrative Leave will not continue beyond the length of the investigation.

 

DEFINITIONS

Administrative Leave is defined as the temporary removal from the work environment of a Faculty Member or a Professional Staff Member, with or without pay, following an allegation of misconduct, or other similar circumstance, that requires an investigation and review of the related facts.

Department Head is defined as the highest-ranking administrator in a department, center, school or college of the University (e.g., Vice President, Dean or Department Chair).

Faculty Member is defined as an individual employed by Drexel University in a tenured, tenure-track, non-tenured track or adjunct position who teaches at any college, school, center or institute in the University.  A Faculty Member also is deemed to be exempt under the provisions of the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and/or applicable state law.

Professional Staff Member is defined as an individual employed in any non-faculty category by Drexel University, including an individual who is deemed to be either exempt or non-exempt under the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and/or applicable state law.

 

PROCEDURES

When a Faculty Member or Professional Staff Member is to be placed on Administrative Leave with or without pay, and an investigation is either pending or foreseeable regarding suspected or alleged misconduct involving that Faculty or Professional Staff Member, the following procedures shall be observed:

  1. Prior to any contact with the Faculty Member or Professional Staff Member, the affected individual’s immediate supervisor or Department Head shall meet (face-to-face and/or by telephone) with Human Resources and, as necessary, representatives from the Office of the General Counsel, Public Safety, and Provost Office to discuss the appropriate course of action under the circumstances, including termination or Administrative Leave.  In cases in which Internal Audit or the Office of Equality and Diversity have been involved, a representative from such office(s) shall also be consulted.
  2. The representatives shall address any safety concerns arising out of the alleged or suspected misconduct as well as the scope of any investigation and the need for the preservation of evidence.  The representatives shall determine the role of each department, and establish an action plan (i.e. who should attend the meeting with the Faculty Member or Professional Staff Member, what property, if any,  can be removed, next steps, etc.).
  3. After a review of the facts and circumstances relating to the grounds for the Administrative Leave, Public Safety, in consultation with Human Resources, shall determine whether the safety and security of University personnel requires the presence of an officer.  Public Safety, in consultation with Human Resources, shall also determine whether its representative shall accompany the representative from Human Resources to the meeting with the Faculty Member or Professional Staff Member, or alternatively, remain in the general vicinity.
  4. In any situation in which an investigation is pending or foreseeable, the Faculty Member or Professional Staff Member shall be permitted to leave the University premises with only his or her personal items approved jointly by Public Safety and Human Resources.  Based on the circumstances, the Faculty Member or Professional Staff Member may be escorted by a representative from Public Safety to the appropriate exit from University facilities.
  5. Pending the completion of the investigation, steps must be taken to secure or prevent the destruction of documents relevant to the investigation.  It is the responsibility of the immediate supervisor or manager, with the assistance of Human Resources and IRT, to (a) terminate or suspend, as applicable, the Faculty Member’s or Professional Staff Member’s access privileges to University information systems; and (b) to inventory and remove (or request removal of) the Faculty Member’s or Professional Staff Member’s personal belongings.  Pending the outcome of an investigation, the University will use reasonable efforts to keep the Faculty Member or Professional Staff Member’s personal belongings in a secure manner.
  6. Investigations shall be conducted in an expedited manner as circumstances allow and personal belongings shall be returned to the Faculty Member or Professional Staff Member as soon as feasible.
  7. At the conclusion of the investigation, the Faculty Member or Professional Staff Member who were on an administrative leave without pay; and if determined not to be at fault, any wages owed while on administrative leave without pay may be restored. 

 

AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT NOT AFFECTED

Notwithstanding anything to the contrary stated in this policy, nothing herein is intended to alter the at-will status of any Professional Staff Member.  Drexel University at all times retains the right to terminate any Professional Staff Member at any time for any lawful reason, or for no reason at all.