University-Sponsored Service and Immersion Program Participation Policy for Staff
Loyola University Chicago, rooted in the Jesuit Catholic tradition, strives to engage all of its community members in its mission. One way in which Loyola seeks to accomplish this goal is by encouraging active participation in community service or cultural immersion programs. These experiences promote a commitment to live out the values of justice, common good and leadership in the service of others, build community within the University and explore our responsibility to others in our increasingly global society.
The purpose of this policy is to provide a framework to allow employees to participate voluntarily, with pay, in University sponsored, and/or endorsed, mission-related community service experiences or immersion programs that occur during an employee’s regularly scheduled work hours.
All regular, full-time benefits-eligible staff working at the Lakeside campuses and in the Health Sciences Division (i.e., the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Stritch School of Medicine) are included in this policy. Individuals employed at least 90 days but less than 1 year are eligible for participation in programs of up to 4 workdays in length. A minimum of 1 year of employment is required for programs of 5 or more workdays.
Process for Participation
In order for an employee to participate in a University-sponsored and/or endorsed, mission-related community service experience or immersion program that occurs during their regularly scheduled work hours, the following approval/selection steps must occur:
Staff members must complete an application for each community service experience or immersion program they wish to join. This application may include describing their interest in a specific community service experience or immersion program, the desired outcomes of the experience and what they hope to impart to the Loyola community upon completion. The application process may vary, depending on the nature of the experience.
Employees should meet with their supervisors to explain the nature of the project and the extent to which it will remove them from their normal work responsibilities. In order to participate in the service or immersion program, employees must obtain their supervisor’s written sign-off.
In deciding whether or not to invest the employee’s time in the service or immersion program, supervisors should consider:
a) the operational needs of the department,
b) the accommodations necessary to ensure that University needs are met while the employee is away,
c) the personal and professional development of the employee,
d) the recent performance and corrective action history of the employee,
e) whether the experience would be more beneficial for someone else in the department, and
f) the return on investment to the University.
Supervisors are strongly encouraged to support employees’ intentions to participate in service projects and immersions. Supervisor approval does not guarantee that an employee will be selected to take part in a service project or immersion program.
Please Note: For projects lasting 5 or more workdays in duration, written sign-off of the appropriate Dean or Vice-President is required.
Both completed application and supervisory approval must be received by the sponsoring department before a decision will be made regarding an applicant’s selection for program participation.
Participation in the program is considered regular work time, as a temporary change in assignment. Supervisors should code the employee’s involvement in the program as regular work time in the payroll time and attendance system. The time keeping record should reflect the time that the employee was normally scheduled to work for each day of program participation and should not exceed the hours they were scheduled for their regular work assignment.
It is the responsibility of the employee to:
- Follow the application process set forth by the program of which they wish to be a participant,
- Understand the activities and any associated risks involved in the specific program for which they are applying and confirm that they are able to participate in all those activities,
- Notify their supervisor of their interest in the program and the amount of time that they will be away from their normal work assignment,
- Obtain written supervisory authorization for program participation, and
- Forward their completed application packet to the program’s sponsoring department.
Supervisors have a responsibility to:
- Encourage the personal and professional development of staff,
- Be objective and consistent in considering employee requests for participation, and
- Arrange for appropriate coverage of services during employee absence from the department due to service or immersion program participation.
Sponsoring department Responsibility
Sponsoring departments have a responsibility to:
- Identify participation criteria and practice an objective and consistent participant selection process for each of their specific service or immersion programs, and
- Notify both the supervisor and the employee that the employee has been selected to be a participant in the service or immersion activity.
Human Resources Responsibility
Human Resources has the responsibility to administer the Employee Service/Immersion Program Participation policy.