Communications and Employee Relations

HR handbook communications FULLOur Philosophy

Our approach to human resources is to foster a workplace in which employees work to promote the interest of the University community as described in the President's letter. Our objective is to also maintain a harassment free workplace where our employees, whom we consider to be our most important assets, are provided with the opportunity to expand the level and scope of their education through our Employee Tuition Grant benefit. We also are committed to developing a sense of community among our employees. We work toward accomplishing this through our many campus activities that are both educational and social. Family participation in such activities is always encouraged.

Teamwork

We consider the preparation of our students to be our most important goal and realize that this can only be accomplished through teamwork. By working together and combining our skills, knowledge and abilities, we can accomplish great things.

All University employees are required to understand and meet the requirements of their positions and to maintain high standards of performance on a daily basis. This will ensure that we meet our commitment to provide friendly and reliable service to our students and colleagues.

Employee Recognition Program

Once each year, employees who have reached a milestone anniversary of employment, (10 years, 15 years, 20 years, etc.) are invited to celebrate the occasion at a luncheon hosted by the president.

Pillars of Fairleigh Dickinson University

The Pillars of Fairleigh Dickinson University Award was instituted to recognize those exceptional individuals who, over time, have made extraordinary contributions to the character and quality of the University, and its community and culture.

Each year the Human Resources Department announces the beginning of the process whereby nominations must be received in HR by April 30th. Nominations of individuals who meet established criteria are forwarded to a committee made up of former Pillar recipients. Individuals who are chosen to receive the Pillar Award will be honored at the annual Academic Convocation.

Communication Programs

We believe in keeping our employees fully informed about our policies, procedures, practices and benefits. This employee handbook has been designed to give you this basic information. We reserve the right however, to add, delete or modify any information at any time.

Employees are provided with the opportunity to keep abreast of University events and other information of interest through the Web site, e-mail and hard copy memoranda.

Open Door Policy

As important as it is for us to serve our students, it's equally important to satisfy the needs of our employees. Our Open Door Policy is designed to ensure an open means of communication between our employees and department chairs/school directors, deans, supervisors and managers. We want communication to be open and easy. We encourage you to speak with your manager concerning any complaints or problems that you might have. You'll find that frank talk is often the best way to resolve any problems. You can be sure that all concerns will be given appropriate attention.

It is Fairleigh Dickinson University's intention that every member of our community receives fair and equitable treatment from managers, peers and fellow employees. We are committed to working directly with all employees to resolve any problems, differences or disputes that may arise in relation to the employee's job. We want our employees to feel confident that complaints will be handled in an open and fair manner.

Even though our open door policy will serve to address and solve many problems before they become serious, there will be times when department chairs/school directors, deans, supervisors and managers will need to communicate to an employee that his or her performance or conduct does not meet acceptable standards. This is handled through our disciplinary process. Prior to holding a meeting to discuss unacceptable performance or conduct, the union employee can exercise his or her legal right to have a campus union representative present. The non-union employee can request that a co-worker be present. The supervisor cannot deny either of the requests.

Human Resources Staff

The University has human resources staff members available to assist you in all matters relating to your employment. The role of the human resources staff is to administer University policies, procedures and guidelines to serve both you and your supervisor in a fair and objective manner. During orientation you will be given the names and telephone numbers of the Human Resources staff located on both the Teaneck-Hackensack and Florham-Madison campuses.

Resolution Process

Fairleigh Dickinson University has a strong commitment to ensure that employees' concerns are addressed promptly. Our goal is to open the lines of communication within the University and to give employees the opportunity to convey their concerns. Our Open Door Policy encourages employees to speak with their supervisors. Failing to obtain satisfactory resolution, the employee may use the Resolution Process. This process is available to all non-union, non-exempt employees or faculty.  Faculty and union employees have alternative grievance processes available to them. Local 153 members should refer to the Union contract. Professional Administrative staff should refer to the PAS website. Faculty members should refer to the Faculty Handbook.

The Resolution Process is a method for employees to have a management review of incidents/issues that results in formal counseling or corrective action. Employees are able to participate in the Resolution Process without fear of retribution. No employee will be disciplined, harassed or treated unfairly in any manner as a result of using the Resolution Process.

Listed below are the steps for the Resolution Process:

Step 1

Employee to Supervisor

The employee should talk with his/her immediate supervisor. Then the immediate supervisor must be given a chance to resolve the problem under the Open Door Policy. In cases of an interchange between an employee and a supervisor that does not produce a mutually satisfactory conclusion, that meeting constitutes Step 1.

Step 2

Management Review

If the issue is not resolved to the employee's satisfaction, the employee must complete the Resolution Process Form and send it to the appropriate vice president or provost within seven days from the date of the notification from his/her immediate supervisor. The vice president or provost, along with the assistant director of human resources, will conduct a review. Upon the completion of the management review, the vice president or provost can uphold, amend or overturn the decision of the supervisor. In certain circumstances, a Peer Review may be granted.

Peer Review

A Peer Review may be granted as a result of Step 2, 3 or 4.

The Peer Review is chaired by a member of human resources and is comprised of an employee-designated peer, a manager-designated peer and a human resources chairperson-designated peer. The Peer Review team can uphold, overturn or amend the decision rendered by the manager. The decision of the Peer Review team is final and binding.

Step 3

Executive Review

If a peer review is not requested and the outcome is still not resolved to the employee's satisfaction at the Management Review level, the employee has the option to request an Executive Review within seven days from the date of notification of the vice president's or provost's decision.

An Executive Review is comprised of the executive vice president and the associate vice president of human resources. The executive vice president can uphold, overturn or amend the decision rendered by management or grant a Peer Review.

FOR TERMINATION ONLY

Step 4

President Review

If the issue is still not resolved to the employee's satisfaction, the employee may complete the Resolution Process Form and send it to the president within seven days from the date of notification of the executive vice president's decision. The decision of the president will be final and binding and may include granting a Peer Review.

Supervisory/Managerial Responsibility

Being a supervisor/manager at Fairleigh Dickinson University includes special duties and responsibilities. If you pursue a career in management, you are expected to bear heavy responsibilities and to build a foundation of trust and confidence. This must be earned through an effort of fair dealing through honesty and decisiveness with all those with whom you work.

Security of Files and Confidential Material

As an employee of Fairleigh Dickinson University you are expected to maintain the security of your department files. Files may never leave the department or University property without the approval of the supervisor. You may have access to confidential material like educational records and other private information of students and other University employees that must be handled with the utmost discretion.

Employees are not permitted to remove or copy University records, reports or documents without prior approval of the supervisor. Sensitive or non-public information will be released to authorized employees only, on a need-to-know basis, with prior approval of the supervisor. When approval has been received, information will only be released with the understanding that the records will remain confidential.

All sensitive and non-public documents, including information stored in the computer system, must be handled with the utmost care at all times and properly secured at the end of the work day.

Public Relations and Media Relations

In keeping with our commitment to provide the best service to present and prospective students and their parents, other University constituents and the general public, we expect you to be helpful, supportive and responsive to everyone with whom you come into contact. We feel that good public relations go hand-in-hand with treating our employees well.

You have been chosen as a University employee, in part, because we trust your ability to provide exceptional service to all with whom you come into contact during the course of your workday. No matter where you work, what department or what task you are assigned; your primary responsibility is to be responsive to the needs of our constituencies and the general public and protect the integrity of Fairleigh Dickinson University.