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Administrative policy regarding telecommuting

  1. Policy statement. Kent state university is a workplace that values the in-person experience, supports a student-first focus and emphasizes a sense of belonging for all students, faculty, staff and other stakeholders. This is best achieved through collaborative communities within units, departments, divisions and across all Kent state campuses. Any arrangements involving telecommuting should be guided by what is best for students. Also, these must meet the operational needs of the unit involved and of the overall university.
  2. Eligibility. This policy shall apply to eligible full-time unclassified employees and full-time, non-represented classified employees on all Kent state university campuses. Any telecommuting arrangements covering represented employees require further discussion between relevant administrators and union leadership. The policy shall not apply to student employment under rules 3342-6-25 and 3342-6-25.1 of the Administrative Code.
    1. Not all positions are eligible for telecommuting and any such arrangements must be approved by the supervisor with the oversight of the applicable dean or vice president.
    2. As a general matter, the following positions shall not be eligible for telecommuting: those that involve supervision and those that are student facing. In any event, telecommuting arrangements must be limited to no more than twenty per cent of any division/unit’s staff so that on any given day at least eighty per cent of employees are working on campus in person.
    3. Among other things, to be eligible for telecommuting, employees must meet the following requirements:
      1. Successful completion of any applicable probationary period, and
      2. Have been deemed satisfactory on the latest performance evaluation, with continuing satisfactory performance thereafter.
    4. All telecommuting arrangements, or exceptions to requirements, must have written approval from the supervisor and division vice president, or designated approver, prior to commencement.
    5. Telecommuting arrangements are not intended to be used as an alternative to, in conjunction with, of as a replacement for leave as provided for in Chapter 3342-6 of the Administrative Code.
  3. Definitions. Telecommuting is an arrangement of two weeks or longer that involves the completion of a portion or all of the forty-hour workweek from a location off campus. 
  4. Implementation.
    1. Telecommuting work arrangements must meet the needs of the university, the employing area, and the position and require collaboration and consensus by both the employee and the immediate supervisor. Supervisors should consider the impact on the unit and other units’ workload and productivity; other faculty, staff, students and other members of the university community; cost; and business needs.
    2. Telecommuting work arrangements shall not: materially change the duties of the position; adversely affect the academic and administrative services provided to students, faculty, and staff; and shall be structured to maintain the equivalence of a full-time work schedule (i.e. do not reduce the number of total hours worked in a week).
    3. Telecommuting work arrangements are not guaranteed and may be revised or discontinued for any reason at any time by the supervisor. The approval, denial, revision or discontinuation of all telecommuting arrangements must be in writing with a copy provided to the employee. A copy of all approved telecommuting arrangements shall also be retained in the employee’s personnel file.
    4. Telecommuting work arrangements shall be in compliance with university technology and data policies in Chapter 3342-9 of the Administrative Code.
    5. Employees must have a dedicated workspace to perform their work. The university shall not be responsible for any costs or expenses accrued by the employee during periods of telecommuting (e.g., internet, utilities, insurance, equipment). An employee engaging in telecommuting must be available during normal hours of operation for meetings, assignments and routine communications as if the employee was present on campus. Moreover, employees may be required to attend in-person meetings and activities as appropriate – at their own commuting expense.
    6. The vice president for human resources is responsible for the development, implementation, communication and training of the operational policies and procedures necessary to establish telecommuting at Kent state university. The vice president for human resources shall also be responsible for revising such policies and procedures as necessary.
  5. Application procedures.
    1. Upon approval for telecommuting at the departmental/unit level, the employee must initiate the formal request form for telecommuting to human resources. The formal request form must be executed and signed off by the employee and their supervisor prior to commencing telecommuting and will remain in effect until action is taken to revise or terminate the arrangement.
    2. If a telecommuting arrangement is being terminated at the request of the employee or supervisor, the employee will initiate a telecommuting termination form to reflect that the employee has resumed their usual, on-campus work location. The termination form will be retained in the employee’s personnel file.
Policy Effective Date: 
Sep. 07, 2021