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Employment Policies

Contents of this Section:

   Affirmative Action and Equal Employment Opportunity

The University is an equal opportunity institution of higher education. As a matter of policy, the University does not discriminate in employment, educational services and academic programs on the basis of an individual's race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age (over 40 years), sex, sexual orientation, marital status, medical condition (cancer-related and genetic-related), and disability, and other bases prohibited by law. The University reasonably accommodates qualified individuals with disabilities under the law.

The Office of Human Resources coordinates this policy in relation to the recruiting, compensation and benefit processes. For inquiries concerning the application of Federal and State Laws and Regulations, or to file a complaint regarding employment discrimination, please contact the Affirmative Action Officer in the Office of Human Resources.

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   Employment of Relatives

The University will refuse to hire relatives of present employees if doing so could result in actual or potential problems in supervision, security, safety, or morale, or if doing so could create potential conflicts of interest. The University defines "relatives" as spouses, registered domestic partners, live-in partners, children, siblings, parents, in-laws, cousins, aunts and uncles, or other relatives living in the household. This policy covers biological relationships, marriage relationships, and step relationships. All employees must inform the Office of Human Resources of potential or existing situations concerning employment of a relative.

Current employees who marry or become registered domestic partners, or become related will be permitted to continue working in the job position held only if they do not work in a direct supervisory relationship with one another or in job positions involving conflict of interest. If the situation occurs or family members are employed in the same work area reporting line, each family member must arrange to be relieved from processes concerning any other family members such as: assessing the performance of the family member; considering the family member for reappointment, promotion or salary adjustment; providing a leave of absence for the family member; or participating in other decision separates a possible conflict of interest or impropriety.

If already employed, they cannot be transferred into such a reporting relationship. If the relative relationship is established after employment, the individuals concerned will decide who is to be transferred insofar as a position is available for which the person is qualified. If that decision is not made within 30 calendar days, the University will decide.

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   Employment Opportunities

Administrators are encouraged to explore career development opportunities at the University. Administrators who have completed the evaluation period may apply for a transfer or promotion. The Office of Human Resources will prepare and display all employment opportunities, as required, for a minimum of 10 working days for administrative positions. The "job posting" includes the job title, minimum qualifications required to perform the job and salary range, in most cases.

In order to be considered for a position, administrators must complete an application for each position they are applying for at https://www.usfjobs.com.

Normally, administrators who are promoted or transferred will have benefits, accumulated leave, and service credit carried over from the previous position.

Job postings are accessible through the Office of Human Resources' on line application system at https://www.usfjobs.com.

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   Proof of Work Eligibility

The University of San Francisco employs only United States citizens or other individuals who have the legal right to work in the United States. The University complies with the rules and regulations of the Immigration Reform & Control Act of 1986. On their first day of work, but within three business days, all employees must complete the Department of Homeland Security Form I-9 (Eligibility to Work) and provide documentation proving their identity and eligibility to work in the United States. The I-9 form is included with the employee's job offer letter and other new hire information documents. The I-9 form is also available at the Office of Human Resources.

If an employee has worked for the University previously, they need only provide this information if it has been more than three years since they last completed their I-9 form for the University or if their current I-9 form is no longer valid.

To retain their employment status, employees must provide proof of continued eligibility no later than 72 hours after their work eligibility expiration date. If prrof of eligibility is not provided by this time, the University will terminate employment.

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   New Administrator Orientation Program

During administrators' first few weeks of employment, they will participate in New Staff Orientation. During this program, information is shared regarding the history, mission and philosophy of the University, affirmative action, safety and security. In addition, other programs and services are provided to acquaint new administrators with the University. Benefits orientations are usually held in small groups. New administrators should make an appointment with the Benefits Representative in the Office of Human Resources during the first week of employment, if they have questions.

Administrators are encouraged to ask questions so that they will understand the guidelines that affect and govern their employment relationship with the University.

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   Evaluation Period

All new administrators and current administrators who change jobs have a 12-month evaluation period. This period is designed to allow an appropriate orientation, training, and evaluation period for the administrator to assess their aptitude, interest, and ability to perform satisfactorily the requirements of the position. During the evaluation period the employment relationship is at-will. The administrator is free to resign at-will at any time, with or without cause. Similarly, the University may terminate the employment relationship at will at any time, with or without cause. The evaluation period may be extended by the supervisor for a maximum of three additional months in consultation with the appropriate Vice President and the Office of Human Resources. Administrators will also receive a formal evaluation after completing six months during the one-year evaluation period.

The supervisor will seek to provide training, guidance, and feedback during the evaluation period, giving the new administrator the opportunity to reach the desired level of performance in a timely manner. All administrators are subject to performance counseling.

Administrators in an evaluation period have the same benefits as all other University administrators, except where specifically stated otherwise in University policies. A new administrator is not eligible to take vacation during the first six months of the evaluation period; however, there may be occasions where approval may be given. A written request must be made by the administrator to the supervisor who will consider the request in conjunction with the Office of Human Resources.

Administrators who have transferred or been promoted or demoted are eligible to use their accrued vacation time during the evaluation period of the new position.

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   Performance Reviews

To ensure that administrators perform their jobs to the best of their ability, it is important that they be recognized for good performance and receive appropriate suggestions for improvement when necessary. Consistent with this goal, performance will be evaluated at least once each year by supervisors. Administrators will also receive a formal evaluation after completing six months during the one year evaluation period. This is the time to discuss the administrator's achievements and to consider performance problems and ways for improvement. Finally, it is a time to plan for the future.

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   Outside Employment

The University discourages, but does not prohibit, outside employment (holding additional and outside job(s)). However, it does require that there be no conflict of interest involved. In addition, the second job cannot interfere with the administrator's scheduled work hours and work performance.

   Freedom of Expression

The Mission Statement of the University declares the University's commitment to the highest standards of learning and scholarship in the American, Catholic and Jesuit tradition. As an American university, USF is committed to teaching and scholarship in an atmosphere of academic freedom. As a Catholic University, USF recognizes its role in supporting the educational role of the Roman Catholic Church. As a Jesuit University, USF fosters values from the vision of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus, of a world created, loved and redeemed by God.

These religious values find their campus expression in many ways, including voluntary religious services, the teaching of theology, a high respect for the uniqueness of each individual, concern for the whole development of the student: intellectual, spiritual, moral, social, psychological and physical. It fosters academic excellence, and prepares men and women who are committed to the betterment of society through their own efforts.

While the University is dedicated to these ideals, it recognizes the rights of its employees to hold and articulate their own values, whether or not these are in agreement with the values expressed above. The University does not discriminate on the basis of religious beliefs. Nevertheless, the University seeks individuals who respect and support its mission. Such respect and support does not call for agreement with Catholic teachings. Nor does it prohibit sincere expression of opinions contrary to Catholic teaching. Rather, it does ask its employees to respect opinions of those with religious beliefs (including Catholic beliefs), not to speak disparagingly of such beliefs, and to support those aspects of the University mission which they can without compromise of their own values. It is the object of the University to foster a campus-wide environment in which values and ethical standards are fully discussed, where students develop a strong sense of personal values and ethical standards which guide them through life.

When speaking or writing as a citizen unrelated to the workplace, an administrator shall be free from institutional censorship or discipline; however, each administrator shall remember that the public may judge the University by his or her utterances. Hence, he/she shall at all times endeavor to be accurate, exercise appropriate restraint, show respect for the opinions of others, and not indicate that he/she is speaking for the institution, when, in fact, this is not so. (This shall not be construed to prohibit the administrator in the course of his or her pursuit of community affairs, from identifying himself/herself and stating the position he/she holds at the University.)

The freedom of expression of administrative personnel does not extend to deliberately misrepresenting or disparaging the teachings of the Catholic Church.

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   Personnel Records

All official personnel records are maintained by the Office of Human Resources.

Because it is important to have current information in each personnel file, the administrator is expected to notify the Office of Human Resources of any change of name, address, telephone number, education or job related training.

The University observes the Buckley Amendment. Personnel files are confidential; however, they are accessible in the following circumstances:

  1. A director, supervisor, or University official who has a valid business reason, may review a current administrator's file.
  2. Administrators who wish to review their files, may do so in the presence of a Human Resources representative by scheduling an appointment at a reasonable time.

Some information may be withheld to protect the confidentiality of another individual.

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   Release of Information

The Office of Human Resources will provide written responses to requests for employment verification provided the request is in writing and that the request is considered to be appropriate. Information regarding dates of employment, job title, and full-time or part-time status will be provided to a valid requestor. Salary information is released only if the request is accompanied by a signed release from the administrator.

Job references may be provided by the Office of Human Resources or a supervisor with personal knowledge of the administrator's employment to prospective employers. Only factual, job-related information on current and former administrators will be released.

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   Photo Identification Cards

The University issues an official photo identification (I.D.) card to all regularly employed, full-time and part-time administrators. The card is to be presented whenever identification is required, such as when using the University library or Koret Health and Recreation Center

or when requested by a University official. New administrators are issued photo I.D. cards by Public Safety. Lost or stolen I.D. cards should be reported to the Office of Human Resources. A fee may be charged for replacement cards.

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   Professional Associations

Administrators are encouraged to enhance their knowledge of developments and trends in their career areas. Management personnel are encouraged to become involved in professional associations which relate to their University duties. Participation in professional association activities, conferences, committees, etc., are encouraged but shall not interfere with tasks necessary for effective and responsible job performance.

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   Professional Development Programs

The University’s success and resilience comes from outstanding people who contribute their best to the campus community. The Human Resources (HR) Department strives to support faculty and staff by offering opportunities to invest in their professional development.

HR Professional Development provides an array of learning opportunities, including workshops, seminars and online programs. These learning opportunities provide staff, faculty and student employees with essential training and tools to advance the knowledge, skills and competencies necessary for job success. To see the current Professional Development Calendar, please visit the HR website at: http://www.usfca.edu/hr/resource_center/.

For more information, please call the Office of Human Resources, Professional and Organization Development at extension 6707.

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   Policy on Non-Faculty Staff Layoffs


The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines for non-faculty staff layoffs. This policy aims to ensure that layoffs are handled in a manner consistent with the University’s values and in compliance with state and federal law.

Policy Statement

There may be times when the University deems it necessary to reduce the number of staff doing a particular kind of work to reorganize or reallocate financial resources. The basis for layoff decisions is contingent upon current and future University and/or departmental operational requirements. Seniority, education level, experience, knowledge, and skill-set may be considered when determining needs to fulfill work requirements. Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) provisions will be followed where they apply; where CBA provisions do not apply, this policy will be followed.


This policy applies to all regular, full-time non-faculty staff at the University of San Francisco.

Layoff Definitions and Selection

As used in this policy, the term staff refers to regular, non-faculty staff at the University of San Francisco. A layoff is the elimination of a position(s) within the University and occurs when the University deems it necessary to reduce the number of staff doing a particular kind of work, to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of University and/or departmental operations, and/or to contain or reduce expenses. Department leadership will identify the work functions, work groups, units, or departments that will be affected by layoffs. The basis for these layoff decisions is explained in the Policy Statement section.

Salary Payouts

In the event of a layoff, the University will provide at least one month written notice or pay in lieu of notice to affected staff. Accrued and unused vacation time will be paid in accordance with University policy. Additionally, salary payouts may be provided to staff who have completed their probationary period, according to the schedule below:

Years of Continuous, Full-time Service with USF

Salary Payout

1 year to less than 3 years

1 month

3 years to less than 5 years

2 months

5 years to less than 10 years

3 months

10 years to less than 15 years

4 months

15 years or more

5 months

In order to receive salary payouts, affected staff must sign a general release agreement. Salary payouts will be paid in a single lump-sum payment at the end of the notice period. During the notice period, staff who are subject to layoffs are expected to meet all performance standards.

Re-employment Eligibility for Laid Off Employees
  • Staff who are subject to layoffs may apply for available University positions. There is no guarantee that laid off staff will be recalled to former positions or rehired to other University positions.
  • Laid off staff who are rehired within six months from their last day of work will retain their previous date of hire from their last position.
  • Staff who are rehired for different positions than their original positions must complete a probationary period for one year.
  • Staff who return to work after a break in service exceeding six months will not be considered rehires and given a new date of hire. These staff must complete a probationary period and fulfill relevant waiting periods for benefit eligibility.

Benefits Information

Staff who are subject to layoffs are eligible for certain benefits during the notice period. Detailed benefits information can be found in the USF Information for Non-Faculty Staff Layoffs pamphlet.

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   Background Check Policy and Procedure:


The University conducts pre-employment background checks to promote a safe work environment and to assist those hiring in making prudent employment decisions based upon comprehensive job-related information.


The University conducts background checks on all new hire employees.  All candidates for full-time and part-time assignments with the University must authorize a lawful background check as part of the application packet. An offer of employment is contingent upon verifying the accuracy of the information provided by the candidate and the background check results will determine his/her suitability for employment at the University.

All background checks are conducted by a third-party service provider (vendor).

University background checks comply with all applicable federal and state laws, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the California Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act.  

  • NEW HIRES: A background check is required for all full-time, part-time and temporary employees.
    • In some cases, new hires may start work before the background check has been initiated or  completed. Continued employment is contingent upon the satisfactory results of the background check.
    • The background check does not relieve the hiring department of its obligation to perform reference and employment history checks or obtain copies of degrees, licenses or certificates required for a specific position.  
  • REHIRES:  A background check is required for all full-time, part-time and temporary employees who have separated from the University and are subsequently rehired. 


Initiation of Background Check:

  • Once a candidate has been identified for hire a background check consent form is sent by Human Resources to the new hire. 
  •  The candidate returns the signed consent form to Human Resources.
  •  Human Resources initiates the background check with the vendor.

Background Check Results:

  • The vendor forwards the results to Human Resources.  The vendor also informs the candidate of the results, provides the candidate an opportunity to review the report, and informs the candidate of his/her rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the California Investigative Consumer Reporting Act.
  •  If the results are satisfactory, Human Resources finalizes the hiring process.
  •  If the results are unsatisfactory, Human Resources consults the Hiring Manager and the Office of General Counsel to determine a course of action. The Hiring Manager or Human Resources consults with the employee to determine the basis for the unsatisfactory results.
  •  The Hiring Manager or Human Resources communicates the final decision to the candidate.

   Terms of Employment

This handbook is intended for informational purposes only. Neither this handbook nor any language contained herein shall be construed as creating a contract or limiting the right of the University and the employee to end the employment relationship at any time. To the extent that any statement in this handbook is inconsistent with other official policies and procedures or benefit plans of the University of San Francisco, the latter shall be controlling.

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    Smoke Free Campus Policy 

To promote a safe and healthy learning and work environment for students, staff, faculty and visitors and to reduce the health risks associated with tobacco smoke, the University of San Francisco is a smoke-free campus.

Smoking is not permitted anywhere within the boundaries of University-owned or leased property and vehicles with the exception of two designated smoking areas, one on main campus and one on Lone Mountain. After a transition period of two years, these two designated areas will be re-evaluated as the campus transitions toward a completely smoke-free environment in 2010. The existing prohibition on the sale and promotion of tobacco products on the campus continues.

The University’s Smoke-Free Campus policy is in compliance with state and local laws generally prohibiting smoking in buildings and within 30 feet of building entrances/exits.

The implementation of this policy is augmented by an education and awareness campaign that may include but not be limited to:

-          Notification of the smoke-free policy to prospective students and staff/faculty hires.

-         Informational meetings, postings and e-mail notifications.

-          Publication in staff/faculty human resources manuals, student Fogcutter handbook, and appropriate web sites.

-          Educational campaigns employing students and staff/faculty.

-         Ongoing smoking cessation programs.

In support of this policy, clear signage regarding the smoke-free policy and designated areas should be posted throughout the campus.  Supervisory personnel are responsible for implementation of this policy in their areas and addressing problems through the existing administrative structure.  Student violations will be handled through the existing Student Conduct Rights & Responsibilities process.

To facilitate the transition to a smoke-free environment and lifestyle, Smoking Cessation Resources are provided by the University for:

Students - Provided by the Health Promotion Services

Staff/Faculty - Provided by Well Life Program

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   USF Service Animal Policy

The following information is provided to help define the role and the place of service animals at The University of San Francisco in promoting the safety, dignity, and independence of persons with disabilities.

As established by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), service animals may not be excluded from University facilities or activities, except as provided below.  The ADA defines a service animal as:

"...any . . . animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including, but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals who are hearing impaired to intruders or sounds, providing minimal protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, or fetching dropped items."

To work on campus for the benefit of an individual with a disability, a service animal must be specifically trained to perform a service function. If an animal meets this definition, it is considered a service animal regardless of whether it has been licensed or certified by a state or local government or a training program.

Service animals whose behavior poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others or is disruptive to the campus community may be excluded regardless of training or certification.

The guidelines below have been developed with the understanding that most service animals working on the USF campus will be dogs.  If another kind of animal is to be employed as a service animal on campus, the partner (person with a disability) should contact Student Disability Services (students) or the ADA Coordinator in Human Resources (staff, faculty, and visitors to the university) as soon as possible to explore any additional health or safety concerns.


Guide Dog is a carefully trained dog that serves as a travel tool for persons with severe visual impairments or who are blind.

Hearing Dog is a dog who has been trained to alert a person with significant hearing loss or who is deaf when a sound, e.g., knock on the door, occurs.

Service/Support Dog is a dog that has been trained to assist a person who has a mobility or health impairment. Types of duties the dog may perform include carrying, fetching, opening doors, ringing doorbells, activating elevator buttons, steadying a person while walking, helping a person up after the person falls, etc.

SsigDog is a dog trained to assist a person with autism. The dog alerts the partner to distracting repetitive movements common among those with autism, allowing the person to stop the movement (e.g., hand flapping). A person with autism may also have problems with sensory input and need the same support services from a dog that a dog might give to a person who is blind or deaf.

Seizure Response Dog is a dog trained to assist a person with a seizure disorder; how the dog serves the person depends on the person's needs. The dog may stand guard over the person during a seizure, or the dog may go for help. A few dogs have somehow learned to predict a seizure and warn the person in advance.

Companion or therapy animals are not considered service animals.


1.        Allow a service animal to accompany the disabled partner at all times and everywhere on campus except, where service animals are specifically prohibited.

2.        Do not pet a service animal; petting a service animal when the animal is working distracts the animal from the task at hand.

3.        Do not feed a service animal. The service animal may have specific dietary requirements. Unusual food or food at an unexpected time may cause the animal to become ill or to be distracted.

4.        Do not deliberately startle a service animal.

5.        Do not separate or attempt to separate a partner from her or his service animal.


A student with a disability who utilizes a service animal must register with the Student Disability Services office. For use of a service animal by a resident partner or potential resident partner in University Housing, see Section VI of this document. Faculty, staff, or university visitors who utilize a service animal must contact the ADA Coordinator in Human Resources.

The service animal's partner is at all times solely responsible for the cost of care, arrangements and responsibilities for the well-being of a service animal as well as any property damage.

Service animals on campus must:

1.        Meet Non-University Requirements: All requirements for the presence of animals in public places (vaccinations, licensure, ID tags, etc.) mandated by state or local ordinance must be followed.

2.        Be Healthy: The animal must be in good health.

3.        Be Under Control of Partner: The person with a disability must be in full control of the animal at all times. Reasonable behavior is required from service animals while on campus.

Cleanup Rule: The partner must follow local ordinances in cleaning up after the animal defecates.  Individuals with disabilities who physically cannot clean up after their own service animal are not required to pick up and dispose of feces.


Disruption: The partner of an animal that is unruly or disruptive (e.g., barking, running around, bringing attention to itself) may be asked to remove the animal from University facilities. If the improper behavior happens repeatedly, the partner may be told not to bring the animal onto the University campus until the partner takes significant steps to mitigate the behavior. Mitigation can include muzzling a barking animal or refresher training for both the animal and the partner.

Health: Animals to be housed in University housing must have an annual clean bill of health from a licensed veterinarian.  Service animals who are ill should not be taken into public areas.  As stated in Section III, only animals in good health will be permitted on campus.  A partner with an ill animal may be asked to leave University facilities. 

Uncleanliness: Partners with animals that are unclean, malodorous and/or bedraggled may be asked to leave University facilities. An animal that becomes wet from walking in the rain or mud or from being splashed on by a passing automobile, but is otherwise clean, should be considered a clean animal. Animals that shed in the spring sometimes look bedraggled. If the animal in question usually is well groomed, the animal should be considered tidy even though its spring coat is uneven and messy appearing or it has become wet from weather or weather-related incidents.

If a situation arises whereas the presence of a service animal threatens the health or safety of another individual (for example, in the case of a severe allergic reaction to animal dander), then the concerned parties must contact either Student Disability Services or Human Resources to mediate the situation on a case by case basis.


Research Laboratories: The natural organisms carried by dogs and other animals may negatively affect the outcome of the research. At the same time, the chemicals and/or organisms used in the research may be harmful to service animals.

Mechanical Rooms/Custodial Closets: Mechanical rooms, such as boiler rooms, facility equipment rooms, electric closets, elevator control rooms and custodial closets, are off-limits to service animals. The machinery and/or chemicals in these rooms may be harmful to animals.

Areas Where Protective Clothing is Necessary: Any room where protective clothing is worn is off-limits to service animals. Examples include the carpenters shop, lock shop, paint shop, and cogeneration facility.

Areas Where There is a Danger to the Service Animal: Any room, including a classroom, where there are sharp metal cuttings or other sharp objects on the floor or protruding from a surface; where there is hot material on the floor (e.g., molten metal or glass); where there is a high level of dust; or where there is moving machinery is off-limits to service animals.

If a student, faculty, or staff member has an off-campus internship, clinical lab, service-learning opportunity, or other university-related activity, then the student, staff, or faculty member must abide by the service animal policy at the off-campus entity.


A laboratory director may open her or his laboratory to all service animals.

A laboratory director of a research laboratory or an instructor in a classroom or teaching laboratory with moving equipment may grant permission to an individual animal/partner team to enter the research laboratory or classroom or teaching laboratory with moving machinery. Admission for each team will be granted or denied on a case-by-case basis. The final decision shall be made based on the nature of research or machinery and the best interest of the animal. Exceptions to this policy may be made by the dean or her/his designee.


Service animals may not reside in University Housing without written approval of University Housing. Such requests will be processed, as follows:

-               A requesting individual must provide the Student Disability Services office appropriate documentation at least 30 days before prospective housing will be needed for the service animal.

-               The Student Disability Services Office will review the documentation and seek to arrange a meeting with a  University Housing representative, the person requesting that a service animal be

                 housed in University Housing, and a Disability Services Office staff person. Residence Hall Directors/Managers are not authorized to approve the housing of service animals in University Housing.

                A student with a disability who utilizes a service    animal must register with the Student Disability Services office for authorization to house a service animal.

-               A person who has a service animal on campus (including University Housing) is financially responsible for property damage caused by his or her service animal.

-               All service animals to reside in University Housing must meet the following weight restrictions: at least 8 pounds, but not more than 125 pounds.

The Student Disability Services Office, in consultation with the Director of University Housing, may approve an exception to this policy when an exception is deemed necessary due to unique circumstances.


Any partner dissatisfied with a decision made concerning a service animal should follow the applicable Dispute Resolution Procedures.  Students, please refer to the Fogcutter Services to Persons with Disabilities Policy Section E or the Student Disability Services Student Handbook Dispute Resolution Procedure.  Staff and faculty members should refer to the appropriate handbook or collective bargaining agreement. 

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   Remote Hire Policy (Form I-9)

The Remote Hire Policy (Form I-9) can be accessed here.

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