St. Cloud State University Policies & Procedures

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Current Status: Approved

Policy Type: All University

Effective Date: 11/15/2018

Last Updated: 09/21/2018

Applies To: Students, Faculty, Staff, Visitors

Responsible University Officer: Vice President for Finance and Administration

Policy Owner: Assistant Vice President of Safety and Risk Management

Policy Contact: Assistant Vice President of Safety and Risk Management

Rationale

St. Cloud State University recognizes the value of establishing and supporting volunteer positions both on and off the SCSU campus. Volunteer positions provide benefits to both parties. St. Cloud State University furthers its mission through the specialized talents, knowledge, and experience of our volunteers. Volunteers gain new knowledge and experiences as well as personal satisfaction through sharing time and talents in service to SCSU and the community.

Policy

Volunteers are subject to, and must comply with, applicable Minnesota State and SCSU policies as well as state and federal laws and regulations while participating in SCSU affiliated programs, projects, or events. Volunteers acting in good faith within the scope of their volunteer assignment may be covered under the State Tort Claims Act, Minn. Stat. 3.736. Volunteers serving in a faculty, coach, or trainer capacity must be sponsored or invited by a university employee and approved by a university administrator.

Volunteers will not routinely have access to protected data. If it is necessary for a volunteer to access protected data to perform a required task or service, they shall be instructed on the requirements of the law and sign a release and agreement assuring proper treatment of data.

Volunteers are not allowed to drive state owned or operated vehicles, but they may be transported in such vehicles in accordance with Minnesota State Procedure 5.19.3.

Volunteers are not to be used to eliminate the need for, or take the place of, paid staff. Volunteers are not eligible for compensation, worker’s compensation, staff development funds, sick leave, health insurance, retirement or other employer benefits. Sponsors and administrators must not make or approve direct payment to a volunteer as this type of compensation is for employees or those with contractor status. Independent contractors are not volunteers - they require different agreements and forms (see Supporting URLs).

At the discretion of St. Cloud State University and using prior written authorization, an administrator may choose to allow for the use of university resources in support of the volunteer activity such as access to secured areas within residence halls, an office, research areas, or creative/performance activity space; a university provided tech suite to include email; access to specific databases or software; an identification card; or access to payment systems, cash registers, or credit card processing equipment. They may also approve reimbursements for meals, transportation, or incidental expenses incurred while providing volunteer services. Requests for reimbursement must follow usual policy/procedures. 

NOTE: Volunteers who are not citizens of the United States may not be paid or provided support such as housing, transportation or any benefit that may be characterized as compensation by the Internal Revenue Service unless SCSU’s Hosting International Visitors and Guests procedure is followed. If a sponsor is hosting a non-citizen, they should first contact the Center for International Studies for direction and assistance with the process and completion of all appropriate forms.

Procedure

Volunteer Roles

Volunteers are categorized by roles based on the type of assignment or service being performed. In other words, a faculty member could serve in a non-faculty volunteer role or a retiree could serve in a faculty research type role. There are three categories of volunteer roles or assignments:

  • Volunteer Non-faculty: those who assist with university events or activities other than instruction, athletic coaching/training, research, or academic creative work/ performances. They generally serve at the request and in support of SCSU employees engaged in alumni, student, university, or community events that may involve university facilities. Examples of Non-faculty assignments could include a guest speaker in a class, time-keeper at a competition, a pacer at a fun run sponsored by SCSU, a chaperone on a study abroad program, or an information booth attendant during move-in weekend.
  • Volunteer Faculty: those in instructional, research, or academic roles appointed by an administrator upon the recommendation of a sponsoring department, program, or employee and according to terms outlined and approved in their application. Volunteer Faculty may be given titles such as Visiting Scholar, Artist-in Residence, Visiting Professor, Collaborating Researcher, Visiting Lecturer, or another appropriate title that will not lead to confusion.
  • Volunteer Coach/Trainer: those in roles related to coaching or teaching about athletics who are appointed by an administrator upon the recommendation of a sponsoring department, program, or employee and according to terms outlined and approved in their application. Individuals serving in these roles may be given titles such as Visiting Coach/Trainer, Volunteer Coach/Trainer, Guest Coach/Trainer, or other appropriate title that will not lead to confusion.  Examples of volunteers in this category could include a coach at a summer baseball camp hosted by SCSU or a trainer at a football clinic.

Application

All volunteers serving in a faculty, coach, or trainer role must complete the St. Cloud State University Volunteer Faculty/Coach/Trainer Application (Volunteer F/C/T Application).  The application will be routed to the relevant university offices according to the approved assignment details and resource needs.

Agreement and Release

 There are three Agreement and Release forms that are based on the role of volunteer:

  • Volunteer Non-Faculty Agreement and Release;
  • Volunteer Faculty Agreement and Release; and
  • Volunteer Coach/Trainer Agreement and Release.

An Agreement and Release will be required for all volunteers, including University employees and students who volunteer to contribute time, effort or expertise outside their usual roles, who may or will:

  • Have unsupervised access to minors;
  • Have access to protected data;
  • Be transported in a state owned, rented/leased, or operated vehicle;
  • Be approved for and given access to significant university resources;
  • Be exposed to or involved in activities with inherent or considerable risk.

Significant university resources may include, but are not limited to, access to secured areas within residence halls, an office, research areas, or creative/performance activity space; a university provided tech suite to include email; access to specific databases or software; an identification card; or access to payment systems, cash registers, or credit card processing equipment.

Due to the inherent risk associated with athletics, coaches and trainers will always sign an agreement and release. 

All release forms must be signed and routed to the Assistant Vice President for Public Safety and Risk Management, AS 205 or riskmanagement@stcloudstate.edu. Volunteers should not begin their assignment until the release form has been approved, signed by the Assistant Vice President for Public Safety and Risk Management, and routed back to the Sponsor who signed the Volunteer F/C/T Application or the Non-Faculty Agreement and Release. This process will take more time if a background check is required.

Volunteers may be restricted from certain volunteer activities or the complete volunteer service at any time, by either oral or written notice, at the sole discretion of SCSU. An agreement and release may be refused or terminated by either party at any time for any reason upon immediate notice, oral or written, to the other party.

Criminal Background Checks

A criminal background check is needed if the volunteer will:

  • Have unsupervised access to minors
  • Process credit card, cash or other financial transactions
  • Have access to secured areas within residence halls

For faculty, coaches, or trainers there is a place on the application and for non-faculty there is a place on the agreement and release for the Sponsor to indicate whether a background check is required.

Public Safety will order the background check, which will ordinarily take one week to complete. The results will be delivered to SCSU’s Assistant Vice President for Public Safety and Risk Management, who will then determine whether the volunteer will be accepted to serve in the intended role. The Assistant Vice President for Public Safety and Risk Management or his/her designee will communicate approval, denial, or restrictions to the Sponsor who signed the application or release form. The Sponsor is responsible for communicating the decision to the volunteer.

Any required background check must be successfully completed prior to involvement in the volunteer assignment. The results of the check are valid for one year, and once expired must be renewed again before a returning volunteer may begin a new assignment. 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

There is a flow chart, which can be found in the Supporting Documents section, that can assist in understanding which forms to use for different types of volunteers. The following information and FAQ’s are also designed to add clarity about volunteer forms and processes:

Coach/Trainer (instructional, athletics) Type Volunteer = Application + Agreement & Release (always 2 forms)

Faculty (instructional, research, academic) Type Volunteer = Application + MAYBE an Agreement & Release (always 1 form and possibly 2 forms)

Non-Faculty (non-instructional) Type Volunteer = MAYBE an Agreement & Release (may have zero forms or possibly 1 form)

The reason that we say “MAYBE” an Agreement & Release is needed is because it all depends on whether the volunteer may or will:

  1. Have unsupervised access to minors;
  2. Have access to protected data;
  3. Be transported in a state owned, rented/leased, or operated vehicle;
  4. Be approved for and given access to significant university resources;
  5. Be exposed to or involved in activities with inherent or considerable risk.

An athletics coach/trainer volunteer will ALWAYS have to fill out both the application and the release because the nature of athletics will naturally expose or involve them in activities with inherent or considerable risk (bullet #5). A faculty type volunteer will always fill out the application, but will only fill out the release if they meet one of the 5 criteria.  A non-faculty volunteer may end up having no forms to fill out at all.  They will only fill out a release if they meet one of the 5 criteria.

Any time an Agreement & Release is required, ALL forms must be routed to Risk Management in AS 205 or at riskmanagement@stcloudstate.edu.  For example, if the volunteer is in a coach role, both the signed application and the signed release must go to Risk Management. 

Q: What constitutes significant university resources (bullet #4)?

A: Significant university resources may include, but are not limited to, access to secured areas within residence halls, an office, research areas, or creative/performance activity space; a university provided tech suite to include email; access to specific databases or software; an identification card; or access to payment systems, cash registers, or credit card processing equipment.

Q: What are some examples of the coach/trainer volunteer?

A: The following is not an exhaustive list of Coach/Trainer type volunteers:

  • A trainer at a football clinic who may be providing instruction in the classroom about muscle memory which includes demonstrations and participation by the clinic attendees.
  • A coach of a summer baseball skills camp for high school juniors and seniors who are interested playing at the college level.

The following are some examples that could be confused as coach/trainer, but are not:

  • A volunteer who provides water to the players on a football field, paces runners at a fun run sponsored by the university, flips the lap counter at a swim meet, chaperones a bus ride to a sports competition, etc. These volunteers would fill out a release because there are considerable safety concerns, but they would not fill out the coach/volunteer application or release. They would fill out the Non-faculty Agreement & Release.
  • A guest speaker who volunteers to come in for one day or one class and talk about concussions. This person is not considered a volunteer trainer or faculty person because they are not in charge of the athletic clinic or class, are not in a continual teaching or co-teaching role, and are not fulfilling or assisting with significant portions of curriculum or high-level research projects. This person would not normally have to fill out any forms, but they would if they met one of the five criteria such as if an administrator agreed we could pay for their hotel stay or if a Dean provided rides using an SCSU vehicle or was reimbursed for using a personal vehicle for this state related purpose.

Q: What are some examples of the faculty volunteer?

A: The following is not an exhaustive list of faculty type volunteers:

  • A well-known and celebrated pianist who volunteers to do a week-long series of instructional clinics and masterclasses that culminates in a concert in which they are featured as a guest artist.
  • A visiting scholar invited by SCSU to teach, lecture or perform research for a semester with Geography Masters students, and conduct faculty seminars on cutting edge technologies being used in the geography field.
  • A local biologist brought in to assist with a year-long research project in which a student is attempting to discover a biological method of controlling zebra mussels.

The following are some examples that could be confused as faculty volunteer, but are not:

  • A volunteer agrees to talk about their personal experiences with theft and money laundering and the temptation to manipulate finances in the MBA course on ethics. This lecturer is only speaking for one day per semester on very specific and small section of the curriculum.
  • A volunteer, who happens to be a faculty member at another institution, helps with an activity that is not an ongoing, unpaid instructional or research appointment and not related to the volunteer’s regular work assignment.
  • A chemist who serves as a line judge at a volleyball match.

Q: What are some examples of the non-faculty volunteer?

A: The following is not an exhaustive list of non-faculty type volunteers:

  • An alumni who volunteers to hand out commencement programs at a graduation ceremony.
  • A volunteer from a traveling theatre company who agrees to watch an SCSU play practice and give feedback to the actors and director.
  • Local volunteers from Bursch Travel, Hampton Inn, and Explore Minnesota who each talk for 20 minutes to a Travel and Tourism class.
  • An athlete’s parent, an alumni, or a professor who agrees to wear a “volunteer” jacket and assist patrons with locating their seats, restrooms, concessions, etc. at a SCSU athletics event.

Q: What if my volunteer is an international student or visiting scholar?

A:  If a sponsor is hosting a non-citizen, they should first contact the Center for International Studies for direction and assistance with the process and completion of all appropriate forms.

Keywords

colaborative, unpaid, offer help, serve, researcher, lecturer

Supporting Documents (Forms, Instructions)

Jan 25 2016 10:02AM
Jan 25 2016 10:04AM
Dec 12 2016 2:48PM
Jan 11 2018 3:34PM
Jan 11 2018 3:34PM

Related St. Cloud State University Policies

Supporting URLs

Websites, Related External Documents, Statutes

Definitions

Protected Data

Any data protected by the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act, Chapter 13, Minn. Stat., or by other applicable state or federal law.

Sponsor

The St. Cloud State University employee responsible for coordinating or being in charge of, the volunteer program , project, or event.

Tech Suite

A basic suite of technology services that is provided to faculty and staff, and may be provided to a volunteer upon request by a sponsoring department or program. The suite includes, but is not limited to, an email client, file storage space, an online learning management platform, a virtual lab, work station access, and wireless internet.

Contacts

Responsible University Officer
   Trubacz, Joseph
   Vice President for Finance and Administration
 
jtrubacz@stcloudstate.edu
320-308-2286
Owner
   Cashman, Jesse M.
   Assistant Vice President of Safety and Risk Management
 
jmcashman@stcloudstate.edu
320-308-3914
Contact
   Cashman, Jesse M.
   Assistant Vice President of Safety and Risk Management
 
jmcashman@stcloudstate.edu
320-308-3914

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