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Chapter 15: General Policies

This chapter summarizes a number of general policies that are not covered elsewhere in this handbook. Contact the Human Resources Office for further information about these policies.

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Tuition Reimbursement Program for Employees

Swarthmore College provides a tuition reimbursement program for employees taking undergraduate, graduate, and vocational/technical courses. All full-time or part-time benefits- eligible employees who have completed one year of employment and are in good standing are eligible to apply for this benefit.

The benefit covers the full cost of each course to a maximum of $4,000 per employee per calendar year tracked according to the date you receive reimbursement from the College as shown in the example below. The reimbursement is processed through payroll as an education benefit and is free of federal tax below the government limit of $5,250 per calendar year. However, the benefit is subject to state tax.

Example: Tuition Reimbursement Received in 2016
Submit in January 2016 proof of passing Fall 2015 approved course $2,000 Submit in June 2016 proof of passing Spring 2016 approved course $2,000 Maximum reimbursement for the calendar year 2016 $4,000
Submit in September 2016 proof of passing Summer 2016 approved course - 0 –

Employees are not guaranteed they will be granted the benefit every time they apply. Applications are available in Human Resources. You must first submit the application to your department head, chair, or supervisor. Your department head, chair, or supervisor will review the application, complete his/her portion of the application including a recommendation to Human Resources. You should then submit your application to Human Resources not later than two weeks after the start of classes. Should the number of applications exceed the funds available, the Human Resources Department makes approval decisions based on length of service and overall job performance.

To receive reimbursement, you must submit an official transcript with a passing grade or certificate of completion from the instructor and a copy of the bill for the course within 30 days following completion of the course. If the educational program is not successfully completed, you will be responsible to pay whatever is owed.

To ensure your reimbursement will be processed in the next pay cycles refer to the biweekly payroll deadline schedule. If you are paid on the monthly schedule remember that the reimbursement documentation must be submitted by the end of the month to ensure the reimbursement will be processed in the following month’s payroll.


Tuition Grant Program for the Children of Employees

The Swarthmore College Tuition Grant program offers dependent children of full-time benefits eligible employees a tuition grant of up to 40% of Swarthmore’s tuition and fees.  Dependent children of part-time benefits eligible employees will be eligible for a tuition grant of up to 20% of Swarthmore’s tuition and fees. The grant may be applied toward tuition and fees (excluding room, board and/or books) when an eligible child is a full-time student at an accredited college, university or technical school.

Following the completion of 5 years of benefit-eligible service, full and part time benefit-eligible employees may receive a tuition grant to support their children’s or stepchildren’s college education.

Full time, benefits eligible employees with a child enrolled full-time in an accredited college, university or technical school, may apply for a grant to cover up to 100% of their child’s tuition and related academic fees (excluding room, board and books), up to 40% of Swarthmore’s tuition and fees per year.

Part time, benefits eligible employees with a child enrolled full-time in an accredited college, university or technical school, may apply for a grant to cover up to 100% of their tuition and related academic fees (excluding room, board and books), up to 20% of Swarthmore’s tuition and fees per year.  

Regular, benefits-eligible faculty and staff who have been employed for less than five years with the College at the time their child enters college are eligible for the tuition grant benefit if their previous employer had a tuition benefit program and the employee was eligible to receive benefits from their previous employer’s benefit program at the time the employee accepted employment with Swarthmore College.

The maximum grant award per Family is equivalent to two children attending college for four years (i.e., 16 semesters, 24 trimesters, or 32 quarters total).

For more information about this program and the tuition program application, please visit the Tuition Grant Program page. This program may be changed or discontinued at any time by action of the Board of Managers of Swarthmore College.



Reporting Concerns About Inappropriate Activities

Swarthmore takes seriously its commitment to ensure a safe educational, living, and work environment. Our community places a high value on ethical behavior, individual responsibility, and personal integrity. We want you to know that if you encounter or become aware of behavior that is inappropriate or unethical, there are several different ways you can share your concerns.

Internal Contacts

  • Public Safety - For emergencies: (610) 328-8333 or other concerns: (610) 328-8281
  • Human Resources - (610) 328-8397
  • Dean of the College - 610) 328-8365
  • VP for Finance and Treasurer - (610) 328-8316
  • Provost - (610) 328-8319
  • Any other supervisor, manager, or senior officer of the College
  • Any member of the Audit and Risk Management Committee of the Board of Managers,

Contact Public Safety directly to report suspicious or suspected criminal activity as well as emergencies that involve an immediate threat to person, property, or the College environment. You should also contact Public Safety immediately if you suspect abuse of a child that is under the care or supervision of a College program. While you are encouraged to identify yourself when calling Public Safety, you are not required to do so. For more information on making child abuse reports, please also see the Swarthmore College Policy on Reporting Child Abuse.

You may also contact the Office of Human Resources, the Dean of the College, the Provost, or the Director of Equal Opportunity directly if you believe you are being subjected to inappropriate demands or conditions and would like to access the complaint processes.

External Hotline

If you do not feel comfortable with any of these options, the Swarthmore College Hotline - (866) 292-7713 - is another avenue you may choose. This toll-free line is available 24/7 and there will always be someone available to speak with you. The line is managed by an outside company that will listen to your concern and direct it to the appropriate college official for prompt and corrective action. You may remain anonymous or you may choose to identify yourself. Regardless of your decision, your information will be documented and investigated.

Swarthmore prohibits retaliation against anyone who makes a good faith effort to appropriately disclose perceived wrongdoing and the College makes every effort to redress such situations. While "whistle blowing" should not be an outlet for vindictive or malicious charges, we always want to know if members of the community feel they are being subjected to unethical, illegal, or unsafe activities or become aware of such activities going on at the College. Inappropriate activity can range from being asked to engage in a clearly illegal or unethical activity, such as falsifying research data; misdirecting College funds or resources; or requiring an employee or student to do something that is clearly not related to their role at the college (such as babysitting your children on College time or in exchange for academic favors). Suspected violations of college policy should also be reported. Examples include, but are not limited to, falsifying college records (such as applications or time records), or violations of the college's policies prohibiting discrimination, harassment, and sexual misconduct.

We value the need for, and strive to provide, a safe and ethical environment for every member of our community. Your help and support in assisting in this effort is greatly appreciated.

Swarthmore College strives to safeguard the well-being of minors visiting campus and/or participating in College-sponsored programs. The College's Mandatory Child Abuse Reporting Policy addresses the mandatory reporting obligations of all individuals who are employed by the College including staff, instructional staff members (including faculty), independent contractors, volunteers, or any individual who provides a program, activity, or service sponsored by the College, when child abuse is suspected. The policy also describes what to report and details on how to make a report. To understand your obligations, read the full Mandatory Child Abuse Reporting Policy. 


Conflict of Interest

We know that staff members have lives outside the College and are involved with family, friends, and other commitments such as recreation, community service, and professional development activities. Swarthmore encourages activity that contributes to a high quality of life as long as such activity is not in conflict with the duties that staff members have to the College.

Simply put, we expect that staff members will not engage in activities that compromise the College's position or integrity through actions such as self-promotion, appropriation of the assets of the College, influence peddling, or abuses of confidence. Staff, who own or have an interest in an outside business, should ensure that business activities are kept entirely separate from their employment at the College. They should not solicit or conduct their business on College time or property.

Staff members may not engage in activities that interfere with fully performing their position duties and responsibilities at the College. You are expected to avoid situations in which your judgment in making decisions or taking actions on behalf of the College may be adversely affected by personal consideration or situations where your position performance, loyalty, or stewardship to the College is compromised.

For example, using College facilities or supplies for non-College purposes or holding a financial interest in a business that supplies goods or services to Swarthmore may both constitute conflicts of interest.

The following guidelines are intended to help ensure that Swarthmore receives from its staff the amount and quality of effort, judgment, and loyalty that are necessary for the College to accomplish its objectives in ways that are consistent with its standards of excellence.

You must inform your supervisor and receive written approval before engaging in any outside activities that pose the potential for conflict of interest, for example:

  • Full-time employment outside of Swarthmore.
  • Employment at the College as an outside vendor.
  • Employment within the College in addition to your primary employment.
  • Outside business, philanthropic, community, political, or other interests or activities that would significantly impact your work commitment or would involve the use of College facilities.
  • The acceptance of gifts, gratuities, or favors in an amount in excess of $100 from individuals or organizations with which the College conducts business or that are seeking association with the College or the extension of such gratuities or favors, which might reasonably be interpreted as an attempt to influence the recipients in the conduct of their duties.
  • At no time should an employee of the College give or accept any gifts, gratuities, or favors from any federal, state or local government official.

  • Outside business interests, your own or those of members of your family, related to suppliers of goods and services to the College.

  • The use of information that the College considers privileged or confidential, for non-College purposes.

  • Using the name of the College for monetary profit or acting as a private person in a way that could create the impression you are speaking for the College.

Any activities and interests that are potential conflicts of interest require advance supervisory approval. Failing to report such activity immediately, or continuing an activity if your supervisor has disapproved it, is grounds for disciplinary action, including termination of employment.

For specific requirements related to Research and Other Sponsored Projects, see Financial Interest Disclosure Policy for Sponsored Projects at Swarthmore College.


Service Award Program

The College recognizes the value of employee contributions to its goals and mission and recognizes long service to the institution. Each year at the Winter Gathering held in December, those employees celebrating significant milestones in their service to the College, as well as the recent retirees for the applicable calendar year, are honored and recognized by their supervisors, President’s staff, and peers.

The Office of Human Resources partners with C. A. Short Company, a well-respected leader in the field of recognition and reward programs, to administer the Service Award program. Through partnership with C. A. Short Company, honorees have access to a remarkable variety of reward selections for the College’s diverse employee population.

At the Winter Gathering celebration when service award recipients are called to the stage to be recognized they are congratulated by the president and receive a presentation packet. The packet contains a certificate of appreciation, a congratulatory letter from the president and a gift selection brochure with instructions on placing a gift order.

An employee’s length of service is calculated from his/her hire date with the College through December 31st of the year in which the service awards are celebrated. For those employees with a break-in-service longer than six (6) months, length of service will be calculated from his/her re-hire date. If the break-in-service is less than six (6) months, the employee’s previous hire date will be used.

The 25-year award recipients have always been the centerpiece of the winter celebration. Each employee is called to the stage individually and his/her supervisor makes a presentation to the gathering about the employee’s years with the College.


Confidential Information 

Accessing without authorization, information that the College considers privileged or confidential, releasing such privileged or confidential information, or using such information for non-College purposes, violates College policy and is grounds for disciplinary action, including dismissal.


Privacy and Security of Confidential Information

Protecting personal privacy and maintaining confidentiality of personal information has always been a high priority of the College. The government, with the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 2000 (GLB), mandated that financial institutions safeguard the security and confidentiality of customer information. A follow-up action by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) ruled that GLB applies to higher education institutions.

The College’s formal Information Security Plan can be viewed by following the link provided, and then selecting the College Plan. The Information Security Plan is designed to ensure the security, integrity, and confidentiality of non-public customer information, protecting it against anticipated threats, and guarding it against unauthorized access or use. The College’s policies are reviewed annually and the designated GLB Security Program Officers for the College are the Vice President for Finance and Treasurer and the Registrar. All correspondence and inquiries about the College Information Security Plan should be directed to these Officers.

College employees are responsible for securing confidential information used in the execution of their duties and for following any additional departmental privacy and security procedures. The College‘s GLB Information Security Plan and departmental policies include measures to safeguard physical and electronic records and address the need for constant attention to privacy and security when using non-public information. Supervisors are expected to provide training for all staff and volunteers on the privacy and security procedures for their department.

Information that must be safeguarded includes “any record containing nonpublic information about a student, employee, alumni or any other third party engaged in a financial transaction with the College”. The information to be protected may be in paper, electronic or other forms. Typical examples of protected information include financial information, academic records and employee personal information. Each department will ensure that third party service providers maintain appropriate safeguards for non-public information to which they have access. Contracts with service providers must include specific provisions to secure the privacy and security of information according to the GLB.

All confidential material should be kept in secure locations using locked filing cabinets or offices with locked doors. Employees should turn off their computers, lock offices and secure data when leaving their work area for an extended period of time. If an employee is unsure if their actions are in compliance with the College Information Security Plan, they should consult with their supervisor. An employee failing to comply with the security policies of the College could be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal and legal action for personal liability.


Swarthmore Name, Logo, and Letterhead

You may not use Swarthmore's name, seal, any of its authorized logo emblems, or College letterhead without authorization. Improper use for commercial, personal, organizational, or political gain is subject to performance action, including termination of employment.



With the exception of authorized Swarthmore charitable giving campaigns such as the United Way or advancement/development activities, direct solicitation (one individual directly and actively asking another individual for a contribution or a sale) by staff members of other staff members on Swarthmore time or in work areas is prohibited. Work time is defined as any time that those soliciting, or those being solicited, are supposed to be on duty. While we recognize that there are many charitable groups and activities that staff members willingly support, directly soliciting contributions or sales can easily turn into an uncomfortable situation when some staff do not wish to support a particular effort.

Solicitation or distribution of unauthorized materials by anyone not employed by Swarthmore is prohibited at all times and in all areas of the College.


Charitable Giving

Swarthmore serves the community actively through its own education, research, and community service missions. Because of our not-for-profit status and our primary role of service to the community, it is inconsistent with Swarthmore's charter and policy to use College funds to make monetary contributions to other organizations or causes, including contributions for attendance at non-Swarthmore charitable fund-raising events. These guidelines are not intended to discourage individuals from making contributions of their own funds to charitable causes of their choice.


Employment of Family Members

Employment of immediate family members in situations where one family member has direct influence over the other's conditions of employment is not permitted. Immediate family for this purpose is defined as spouse, domestic partner, daughter, son, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sister, brother, mother-in-law, father-in-law, sister-in-law, brother-in-law, aunt, uncle, nieces, and nephews, including step-relations.

In some cases, a concern over conflict of interest may arise involving other relatives such as relatives by marriage. In any case where you are unsure about a potential conflict, you should fully disclose the circumstances in writing to your supervisor and Human Resources.


Children in the Workplace

Swarthmore College is committed to providing a safe work environment for faculty and staff and strives to be supportive of family values. Sharing in each other’s family lives helps keep us connected. However, there are health, safety, environmental, and regulatory concerns that must be addressed when considering the presence of children in the workplace. There are many imminent dangers for children and a great potential for accidents and incidents in which children either harm themselves or inadvertently create a hazard for others. Appropriate limitations and guidelines are required to protect health and safety and to maintain work productivity and regulatory compliance.

Children and minors are not allowed in the workplace on a regular basis. Rarely and with supervisory approval (in advance), an employee may bring children to work in an emergency situation. In all cases of children in the workplace, the College is not responsible for ensuring the child is safe and well supervised. Parents are fully responsible for the safety and supervision of the child for the entire visit.

Supervisors and department heads may place additional restrictions on the presence of children in the workplace consistent with the work being performed and the demands of the work area.

Guidelines for Children in the Workplace

  • Employees must always obtain permission in advance from their supervisor before bringing a child or minor to work.

  • A parent or guardian must provide line-of-sight supervision of the child at all times.
  • Children should not be left alone at any time or left with other employees.
  • Children can not interrupt normal workplace activities.
  • Children are not permitted to perform work of any kind at any time as required by the U.S. Department of Labor.
  • Children are not allowed to ride at any time in any College owned motorized vehicle, including golf carts.
  • Children are never permitted in the following high risk areas:
    • Laboratories, workshops, studios, power plant, garages, food preparation areas
    • Any area, indoors or out, containing power tools or machinery with exposed moving parts
    • Any area where College vehicles such as snow machinery, grounds equipment, heavy duty, or other motorized equipment are being used
    • Any other high risk area such as playing in a stairwell, access to rooftops, or access to construction zones
    • In the unlikely event that a visiting child becomes lost on campus, the parent should contact Public Safety for assistance in locating the child.

    • If there are repeated instances where the parent does not maintain supervision of the child, the College may decide that the risk of injury or harm to the child is too great to allow the employee to continue bringing the child to campus.


Pets in the Workplace

As a general policy, the College does not permit pets to be in the public areas of College buildings (research animals and guide dogs excepted). The College will permit employees to have their pets inside their private office, as long as this does not present any health and safety concern to others in the building and is not unreasonably disruptive to the regular work environment. These pets may not be allowed to wander outside the office into public areas. Employees who do bring their pets to work are wholly responsible for making sure that their offices remain clean.

Administrative offices open to the public during working hours are considered public spaces and thus pets may not be brought into these areas. Students are not permitted to have animals in their rooms in residence halls, with the exception of service animals and emotional support animals.

Pets on College Grounds

All dogs must be leashed at all times and must be under the control of and in close proximity to the caretaker. Caretakers must promptly and properly dispose of pet waste.


Prohibited Relationships

Friendships and personal relationships often develop in the workplace. Staff coworkers or staff members in different departments of the College are generally not prohibited from socializing or having personal relationships as long as they do not interfere with the work performance of either individual or with the effective functioning of the workplace.

However, romantic or sexual relationships between staff members and (a) students, or (b) employees when one of the participants is in an evaluative or supervisory position over the other are prohibited and can present serious ethical concerns about issues such as the validity of consent, conflicts of interest between personal and professional concerns, and unfair treatment of others. Power imbalances between individuals holding different positions at the College complicate such relationships. These relationships have the potential for negative reverberations that affect not only the individual participants, but also third parties and the climate of the community as a whole, thus potentially undermining the trust and integrity that are essential to learning and working at the College. The primary objective of Swarthmore College in addressing the topic of consensual relations is to maintain both the integrity of the academic process and a positive work environment. At a new employee’s time of hire, new hires are required to disclose all pre-existing relationships with other campus community members.

Although consensual relationships per se do not necessarily constitute sexual harassment, such relationships may give rise to claims of sexual harassment when:

  • a consensual relationship creates a hostile and intimidating work or learning environment,
  • a consensual relationship ends and one of the parties continues behavior that the other party has made clear is now unwelcome.

Claims that a relationship has been consensual are unlikely to protect individuals from charges of sexual harassment, nor will they guarantee a successful defense if charges are made. Faculty, instructional staff, and supervisors should keep in mind that a student or subordinate’s initial consent does not preclude a charge of sexual harassment in the future. When power differentials exist, charges of sexual harassment are difficult to refute on the grounds of mutual consent.

Employees who are involved in romantic or sexual relationships are expected to remove themselves from any activity or evaluation that may reward or punish the other individual. Employees should be aware that even if they are not currently in an evaluative or supervisory position over a particular individual, they may be in such a position at a future date. Failure to respect these standards may be grounds for College action up to and including dismissal.

Romantic or sexual relationships between staff members and students are particularly susceptible to exploitation. Such a relationship may place the student in a vulnerable position and may create a problematic learning environment for the student. Even when both parties have consented to pursuing such a relationship, it is generally the case that the employee, by virtue of his or her position, will be held responsible for unprofessional behavior in the event of allegations of inappropriate behavior by either party directly involved in the relationship, as well as by third parties who are indirectly involved and may be adversely affected. Given these general concerns, the College prohibits involvement of a staff member in a romantic or sexual relationship with a student.

Options for Resolution

Complaints alleging a violation of this policy may be initiated by any individual, including either party in the prohibited relationship or a third party. The College may also initiate action on its own accord. If a complaint is raised, there will be no presumption that the relationship was welcome to the student or subordinate employee.

The College will conduct a prompt and equitable investigation and take appropriate remedial or disciplinary action. Where the complaint also involves behavior that may constitute sexual harassment, the complaint will be referred to the Title IX Coordinator for resolution under the Sexual Assault and Harassment Policy. To see the Instructional Staff’s (including faculty) Policy on Prohibited Relationships, visit the Provost’s office site on Handbooks and Other College Policy.

Assistance and information are available from the Director, Equal Opportunity and Engagement or the Vice President of Human Resources.


Attendance at Student Parties & Social Events

Student parties and social events are intended for students and their invited guests. Staff should not be present unless their attendance is directly related to their role and responsibilities as an employee of the College. Inappropriate attendance will be considered misconduct and subject to disciplinary action.


Smoking Policy

The smoking policy prohibits smoking in all indoor public spaces throughout the campus, including classrooms, laboratories, libraries, lounges, hallways, and stairwells. There can be no smoking in all areas of Parrish Hall and in all areas of buildings in which circulated air is used for heating and cooling; these are Lang Performing Arts Center, Pearson Hall, Kohlberg Hall, Trotter Hall, and the Science Center. Smoking is prohibited within 25 feet of entrances to buildings as this creates a second-hand smoke zone for others entering or leaving the building.


Desks and Lockers

The College provides desks, lockers, and other storage space such as filing cabinets for many staff in the course of their work. Such storage space is the property of the College. The College reserves the right to have access to that space as needed. There should be no expectation of personal privacy of such spaces. Do not keep valuable or confidential personal items at work. The College is not responsible for your personal items. You should not lock storage space without authorization. Your supervisor also has access whenever necessary.


Computers and Electronic Communication

Swarthmore provides many employees with access to computers, electronic mail, and cell phones which include text messaging capabilities for the purpose of conducting the College's business. While Swarthmore does not monitor the usage of these systems and equipment except for normal maintenance, such equipment, systems, and messages are the legal property of Swarthmore College. Therefore, the College can be required to provide legal authorities access to systems, equipment, and messages and is permitted to retrieve information for internal purposes. In the case of a clear institutional need, (e.g., an internal investigation or the unanticipated absence of a staff member), the college reserves the right to retrieve and review the contents of an employee’s computer or electronic communications.

Computers and electronic networks are provided for business communications. Personal use should be minimal and occur during breaks and/or lunch so as not to interfere with the completion of your job responsibilities. More extensive personal use of college computers is permitted outside of working hours in public computing areas.

While the College makes reasonable efforts to protect the privacy of computers and electronic communications, the very nature of the technology makes it impossible for the College to guarantee privacy. It is possible that any communications created, sent, or retrieved, or even deleted may be retrieved and read by individuals other than the intended recipient.

Individuals with access to the Swarthmore College network have the following obligations and responsibilities:

  • to respect the intellectual property of individuals and the College and
  • to protect computer accounts from unauthorized use by others.

Each computer account is provided for the use of a specific individual and may not be used by another staff member without the employee’s expressed permission and only for legitimate College purposes. A staff member should report unauthorized use of a computer account immediately to the appropriate supervisor. Information Technology Services should be contacted when there is a suspicion of unauthorized use so an investigation can be conducted.

Notwithstanding Swarthmore's right to read and retrieve any email, such messages should be treated as confidential by other employees and accessed only by the intended recipient or an authorized supervisor or other authorized representative of the College. Employees are not authorized to retrieve or read any email that is not sent to them. Email messages are subject to the same standards of professionalism as other types of communication and must not violate the College's policies regarding equal employment opportunity, discrimination, or harassment. For more information, see Equal Employment Opportunity. The e-mail system is also subject to the College's non solicitation and confidentiality policies described in this chapter. In addition, the system may not be used to send or receive copyrighted materials.

Employees who violate these policies or who use the e-mail system for improper purposes are subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from employment.

Following a separation of employment, the College will end an employee’s e- mail privileges on the last day worked. 



The College provides telephones for many staff members to use in the course of their work. While phones are intended for business use, occasional use of Swarthmore business telephones for local personal calls can generally be accommodated. Be sure you know what the expectations are in your department. Excessive use of telephones for personal local calls may be grounds for disciplinary action. Making unauthorized long-distance calls is prohibited and may result in disciplinary action.


College Vehicle Driving Policy

General Safety Procedures

The following are general safety procedures that must be followed when using College vehicles or personal vehicles on College business.

  • Drivers are required to fully abide by local, state and federal vehicle regulations
  • Drivers must possess a valid driver’s license to operate vehicles
  • An employee whose license has been suspended or revoked is not permitted to drive his/her personal vehicle onto campus
  • The driver’s license must be in the possession of the driver at all times when operating the vehicle
  • The driver’s license must be of the appropriate class governing the vehicle being operated
  • All drivers and passengers must wear properly fastened safety belts.
  • No driver may operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or illegal drugs or substances.
  • No driver may operate a vehicle while under the influence of prescription or over the- counter medication that impairs or negatively affects the driver’s judgment or ability to drive
  • If a driver becomes aware of a hazardous condition or a malfunction of equipment, he/she should report the incident immediately to a supervisor

New Employees:

Any new employee whose job function may involve driving for the College either on a fulltime or part-time basis will have their driving record checked as part of the hiring process.

In addition, drivers must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Have two years of licensed U.S. driving experience
  • Have a current driver’s license
  • Have a “clear” or “acceptable” status on the College’s Motor Vehicle Report

Status based on the table below.

The College Standards for Motor Vehicle Reports are as follows:

  • No new driver will be hired with a “borderline” or “poor” MVR. MVR’s will be graded based upon the table below.
  • Driving records must remain “clear” or “acceptable” for continued employment in a position with driving duties.
  • Any major violation is automatically a “poor” MVR. Major and Minor Motor Vehicle Violations

Major and Minor Motor Vehicle Violations

Minor Violations
  • Failure to meet motor vehicle equipment, load, or size requirement
  • Improper/failure to display license plates
  • Failure to sign or to display registration
  • Failure to have valid driver's license in possession
  • Failure to maintain an insurance verification card with vehicle
  • Any moving violation other than a major
Major Violations
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs
  • Failure to stop/report an accident
  • Reckless driving/speeding contest
  • Driving while impaired
  • Making a false accident report
  • Homicide, manslaughter or assault arising out of the use of a vehicle
  • Driving while license is suspended/revoked
  • Careless driving
  • Attempting to elude a police officer
  • Verbal or physical assault on another vehicle operator

College Motor Vehicle Report Status

Number of minor violations (during last 3 years) number of accidents (During last 3 years)
  0 1 2 3
0 Clear Acceptable Borderline Poor
1 Acceptable Acceptable Borderline Poor
2 Acceptable Borderline


3 Borderline Poor Poor Poor
4 Poor Poor Poor Poor

Drivers' records that show consistent violations and yet do not exceed the College’s standards may still be deemed ineligible for employment.

Current Employees Driving Record Review

The Human Resources will review the driving records of the College’s authorized drivers. If your position is to drive a college vehicle this will be done on an annual basis. If your position is to drive a college vehicle as part of your job it will be done every two years.

Notification Responsibility

If your position is to drive a college vehicle you must notify your supervisor within 24 hours if either of the following occurs:

  • Any change in status of license (suspension, revocation, expiration)
  • Any accident or moving violation involving either a college or personal vehicle If your position is to drive a college vehicle, as part of your duties you must notify your supervisor within 24 hours if either of the following occurs:
  • Any change in status of license (suspension, revocation, expiration)
  • Any major moving violation

Failure to promptly notify your supervisors of these changes to your driving record within therequired 24 hour period will result in a final written notice.

If your license has been suspended or revoked you are not permitted to drive your personal vehicle onto campus.

It is the supervisor’s responsibility to inform the Human Resources Department immediately upon notification from the employee.

The College Standards for Continued Employment

The College standards for Motor Vehicle Reports are as follows:

  • Driving records must remain “clear” or “acceptable” for continued employment in a position for which driving is a main responsibility
  • Any major violation is automatically a “poor” MVR

If your position is to drive a college vehicle and the number of accidents or violations results in a MVR rating of poor, immediate termination will result. If the number of accidents or violations results in a MVR rating of borderline, you will be issued a final written warning and placed on a six- month probationary period. If your position is to drive a college vehicle as part of your duties and the number of accidents or violations results in a MVR rating of borderline or poor, you may be subject to loss of driving privileges within your position, mandatory and random drug testing and a MVR check every 6 months. If a second major violation occurs within 2 years, your employment will be terminated.

Accident Procedures

Drivers of College vehicles must report all accidents to the local police department where the accident occurred, to Public Safety, and their supervisor upon returning to campus.

Insurance Coverage

The College carries comprehensive, collision and bodily injury insurance for all of its vehicles. Authorized drivers using College vehicles are covered in the event of damages to property of others, or bodily injury to themselves or third parties. The College maintains a deductible on all vehicles. In case of an accident, if the authorized driver is at fault, the department using the vehicle will be charged the deductible.

Insurance Coverage for Commercial Rental Vehicles

When renting a car within the United States, employees should not purchase either Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) or liability insurance from the car rental agency as the College carries comprehensive, collision, and bodily injury insurance. If you are in an accident in a rental car while on College business, contact the Business Office as soon as possible.

Privately Owned Vehicles

If an accident occurs while faculty or staff are using their personal vehicles for College activities, their personal insurance is the primary insurance. College insurance will start only after the personal insurance has reached its limit.

College Van Policy

The passenger vans currently owned by the College must limit the number of occupants to a maximum of 10. All van drivers, including drivers of nonpassenger vans, must be at least 18 years of age and have completed the van driver training course through Public Safety.


Intellectual Property Policy

Swarthmore College is a community of creative thinkers and therefore the College recognizes that intellectual property is created by individuals, or groups of individuals. Academic freedom, including the freedom to choose how to disseminate creations, has higher priority than possible financial rewards, to the individuals or to the College. Specifically, the College will not be driven in its approach to intellectual property by a desire to develop new sources of revenue.

In addition, the College does not want to claim intellectual property in cases where making that claim may stifle or put procedural roadblocks in the way of creative endeavors or the dissemination of scholarly work.

An important way for the College to encourage creation and dissemination of intellectual property is to provide various types of production and dissemination support. In return, when it provides substantial support, the College is entitled to recoup costs, be granted certain usage or ownership rights, and receive a share of any financial returns. 

The College does have a claim to intellectual property in which it has an identity or functional interest. The College has an identity interest in IP that is more integral to, and reflects more directly on, the identity of the College than on the identity of the individuals who create it. In particular, it has an identity interest in items disseminated beyond the College, such as the catalog, institutional web pages, the alumni bulletin, admissions brochures, and campaign materials. (What is meant by institutional web pages is elaborated later.) The College has a functional interest in IP that is used or intended to be used to ensure the effective functioning, coordination and management of ongoing operations. For example, it has a functional interest in administrative and personnel procedures, including software, and internal handbooks and reports. (It may also have an identity interest in the latter two examples.)

Therefore, ownership of any IP produced with only normal support (see the definitions) and in which the College does not have an identity or functional interest shall default to the creator. Ownership of any IP in which the College does have an identity or functional interest shall default to the College, regardless of level of support.

The College has the right to protect its good name and therefore will have a say in the dissemination of any intellectual property that suggests endorsement, for instance, by the use of the College name or logo.

When community members working on a group project negotiate IP rights among themselves, they are under an obligation to recognize fairly each other's contributions, and the College should attempt to ensure that this obligation is met.

The College recognizes that even when IP is clearly the property of individuals, those individuals may wish to transfer rights to the College in exchange for help in developing, disseminating, and protecting their creations. The College will readily consider such requests. Such requests are especially recommended when the IP is created by a group.

Conversely, in some cases government legislation, regulations and case law dictate that IP ownership resides with the College, but the College stands willing to transfer such rights or parts of such rights back to individuals or their designees, to the extent allowed by law, if to do so is consistent with the policies herein explained.

Similarly, grant sponsors will often have positions on how IP created under their grants should be assigned. The grant applicant, along with the College, should attempt to align the grant conditions with the College policies herein explained, but the conditions specified in any grant, if accepted, shall apply.

The College expects that intellectual property policy will evolve, as its mission evolves and as the types of intellectual property evolve. As the policy evolves, consideration will be given to equalizing the traditions of intellectual policy rights in different parts of the College community.

For staff, the extent to which the College asserts ownership of the IP they produce has depended on the traditions of the staff member's specific affiliation, and these differences can generally be justified on the basis of the principle of identity or functional interest. For example, College librarians sometimes undertake professional activities of a scholarly nature, in which the College does not have a functional or identity interest. Such IP defaults to the librarians. On the other hand, in almost all cases, the College does have a functional interest in the work of ITS Staff. For instance, the College must have the rights to control the computer code produced by ITS staff in order to guarantee the smooth administrative functioning of the institution. Such IP belongs to the College. When staff works in a support role for faculty engaged in traditional faculty works, and the staff role falls within normal support for faculty, ownership of the IP produced will default to the faculty.

For information on the determination of IP rights and further matters, please refer to the complete document at the web site listed above.



Exempt Staff

Some staff members travel on College-related business as part of their professional responsibilities. All College-related travel must be authorized in advance by your department head. Additional travel information is provided on the Authorization for Official Travel Form, which must be completed and on file in the Business Office prior to your departure.

Authorized and documented travel carries accidental death coverage while you are conducting College business out of town, within the provisions of the coverage. You must file a Travel Expense Report within 10 days after you return from the trip. Original receipts, not copies, will be required.

For more information on travel authorization, travel advances, allowable expenses, or expense reporting, contact your supervisor or budget officer.

Non-Exempt Staff

For non-exempt staff that travels on College-related business for longer than one day, special Federal Wage and Hour regulations define how the staff member is paid for travel time. The College guidelines follow explicitly the relevant regulations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Travel time on public transportation that occurs during the employee’s normal work hours are paid at straight time even if they occur on a Saturday or Sunday. For example: if you work schedule is 8:30 to 4:30 and you travel on a Sunday between 8:00 a.m. and 11: a.m., you would be paid for 2.5 hours of travel time.

Employees will not be paid for travel time outside of their normal schedule unless requested to do so by their supervisor for legitimate business reasons. For example, if your supervisor requests that you travel from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on a Saturday, you would be paid for that travel time. If you chose to travel at that time for your convenience, the time would not be paid.

All hours worked while away on College business are paid at straight time, except for hours worked in excess of forty (40) in one week. Both work and travel time are considered in the calculation of overtime.


Personal Automobile Use

Occasionally staff members use their personal vehicles for travel related to their positions. All travel (local and non-local) should be authorized in advance by your department head. The College reimburses staff for their position-related vehicle expenses (gas, auto insurance, etc.) by providing a fixed-rate mileage allowance. Because the mileage allowance includes reimbursement toward your own insurance coverage, the College does not provide additional vehicle or personal insurance coverage.


Personal Appearance and Dress Code

Swarthmore's commitment to excellence and our position in the community require standards of personal appearance from staff that are consistent with departmental needs and with the expectations of our customers.

Some areas of the College that have limited public contact may be very flexible in terms of dress codes and blue jeans and tee-shirts, for example, may be fine. Other areas may require more professional dress standards because of the nature of the individual's contact with others. Departments may set reasonable codes for dress that reflect departmental needs, including the wearing of standardized uniforms.

Supervisors should be sensitive to cultural differences in dress and should accommodate such diversity as long as the style of dress is neat and moderate in appearance and is not inconsistent with health or safety requirements.

Good personal hygiene is expected at all times. If a staff member reports to work with a less than satisfactory degree of personal cleanliness, the supervisor may take performance action and may relieve the staff member of duty with the requirement that the individual correct the problem before returning to work.


Criminal Convictions

If you are convicted of a crime after you have made application or begun employment at Swarthmore, you must notify your supervisor within 72 hours of the conviction. Failure to do so, or conviction of a crime that makes you unsuitable for continued employment, may be grounds for immediate termination of employment.



Most jobs on campus require that one or more keys to buildings and/or offices be assigned to the employee. Keys are issued by Key Central in the Facilities department and an extensive database is maintained linking each key and person to whom it is assigned. Keys are College property and may not be given or loaned to anyone. Found keys should be returned to Key Central. There is a charge for lost keys.


Social Media Guidelines

The College understands that social media has become a popular way to share experiences in life, as well as opinions, with family, friends and co-workers. However, use of social media carries with it certain responsibilities. To assist employees in making responsible decisions about use of social media, as it relates to the workplace and/or your professional identity or role, the College has established the following social media best practices.

Social media includes all means of communicating or posting information or content on the Internet, including to your own or someone else’s web log or blog, journal or diary, personal web site, social networking or affinity web site, web bulletin board or chat room, whether or not associated or affiliated with the College, as well as any other form of electronic communication. This includes but is not limited to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Snapchat, Yik Yak, YouTube, and other forms of social media.

Know and follow the College’s other policies

Carefully review these guidelines, and ensure your postings are consistent with the College’s Notice of Non-Discrimination & Statement of Equal Opportunity, Sexual Assault and Harassment , Privacy and Security of Confidential Information, Intellectual Property, FERPA, and applicable HIPAAPA policies. Inappropriate postings, including discriminatory remarks, harassment, and threats of violence or similar inappropriate or unlawful conduct, will not be tolerated and may subject the offending employee to disciplinary action up to and including termination.

Using social media at work

Refrain from using social media while on work time or on equipment the College provides unless it is work-related as authorized by the manager or department. Do not use Swarthmore email addresses to register on social networks, blogs, or other online tools for personal use. Unless communicating through social media is part of your job description, don’t let social media affect your job performance or distract you from meeting work expectations.