A. Hiring policies

Equal employment opportunity

Calvin University is committed to equal employment opportunity and strives to employ the best qualified personnel in all areas of operation. Calvin University prohibits unlawful discrimination. For more information, please refer to the university policy on discrimination and harassment.

Employment background checks

Employment at Calvin University is contingent upon a background check, which is required for all staff members. If the background check reveals a conviction or misconduct relevant to the position, or if an individual refuses to give consent for a background check, the individual may be disqualified from holding the position.

The university recognizes the need to conduct background checks on staff members while protecting the privacy of staff members. University policy as well as state and federal laws recognizes the individual's right to privacy and prohibits university staff members from unauthorized use or disclosure of personal information.

Staff hiring procedure

Open positions at the university are posted through Workday and displayed via the Calvin University external job board. Internal staff may apply directly through their Workday accounts via the internal job board. Questions about the hiring process can be addressed to the human resources office.

B. Employment policies

Categories of employment

The following definitions serve to clarify the difference between employees who are exempt and non-exempt from overtime rules.

Exempt staff members:

As defined by the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), exempt staff members have responsibilities that include a predominant amount of executive or managerial duties, or positions that require either an advanced educational degree or knowledge and experience in a specific field that is considered of a professional nature within the framework of the institution. These individuals are expected to carry out their expressed responsibilities on an as-needed basis without overtime pay. Exempt staff members are normally expected to work between forty and forty-five hours per week.

Non-exempt staff members:

As defined by the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), non-exempt staff members perform functions other than those stated above and have primary responsibilities that are not executive or managerial in nature. Such staff members qualify to be paid overtime rates (time-and-a-half) for hours worked in excess of forty hours per week.

Employment eligibility verification

Calvin University is required to comply with the rules issued by the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS, formerly known as Immigration and Naturalization Service) in 1987. All staff members are required to complete an I-9 form demonstrating their right to work in the US on or before their date of employment. Accurate documentation as required by the Department of Homeland Security must be provided.

Personnel files

The human resources office establishes and maintains all official personnel records concerning employment. When requested, this information may be made available to authorized persons. Authorized persons include a staff member's supervisor, department head, vice president or president. A staff member or former staff member may review his or her file after:

  • submitting a written request to the human resources office one week in advance, and
  • presenting proper identification to the human resources office upon request.

Copies of file documents will be provided to the staff member upon request.

Personnel record contents

Information contained in a personnel record will be maintained by the university to document an employee's identity, employment status and job performance at the institution.

Personnel records will include the following materials (if applicable):

  • resume
  • employment application
  • appointment letters
  • checklist form for new hires
  • HR/Payroll transaction forms
  • job description
  • information relating to a change in job status
  • information related to a change in salary status
  • letters of recognition and/or commendation
  • performance reviews
  • documentation of disciplinary actions

Personnel records will be securely housed by Calvin University human resources.

Personal information

Staff members’ personal information—date of birth, Social Security Number, mailing address, phone number, dependent and withholding information, beneficiary designations and background-check information—is required to be provided by a staff member to the human resources office at the time of employment. The university has a right to rely on the most recent information provided by the staff member; it is the responsibility of the staff member to notify the human resources office of any change in such information. For the protection of individual staff members, this information will not be released by the human resources office, unless legally required or with written consent.

View and/or change your personal information.

Privacy policy

As a community of individuals, Calvin University strives to balance an individual's right to personal privacy against the community's need to collect information for accountability, assessment, security and other purposes. For more information on privacy, please refer to Calvin University information security: ownership, right to use and protection of information.

Work hours

Depending upon locations and departments, the most common schedule for non-exempt staff is 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with an hour lunch break, Monday through Friday, during the regular academic year. During the period when our regular, academic-year students are not on campus, Calvin University adjusts “business hours” for administrative and academic offices. The most common schedule is from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. , with a half-hour lunch break. For some positions, especially the evening and night shifts, the lunch break is set at thirty minutes throughout the year. In any case, all non-exempt full-time staff members are expected to be at their workstations or on assigned university work at least forty hours per week, except for a fifteen-minute break during any four-hour period. Exempt staff members are normally expected to work between forty and forty-five hours per week. It is expected that exempt staff members will work as many hours as it takes to fulfill their job requirements.

According to the Department of Labor Standards, break periods of fifteen minutes are provided for staff members who work four or more consecutive hours. Such a rest period may not exceed 15 minutes, including the time a person leaves the work area and returns to the work area. Break periods and lunch breaks may not be accumulated or used to shorten the beginning or ending of a work day. Each supervisor is obligated to monitor departmental practice.

Alternative work schedules

Some positions permit alternative work schedules. However, not all requests for alternative work schedules will be granted. Requests for alternative scheduling will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

A staff member may request a change to regularly scheduled hours. Examples of this kind of change might include compressed working hours (40-45 hours in four days per week) or a reduction in FTE. If the period for which the change is requested exceeds two weeks, the staff member must submit an alternative work schedule request form or an alternative work arrangement form and the approval process must include the supervisor, the divisional vice president and the director of human resources. These changes may be long-term in nature but must be reviewed every six months. The university reserves the right, with adequate notice, to rescind the arrangement and require the staff member to return to regularly scheduled hours or previous FTE.

A staff member may request a change to regularly scheduled hours for a short period of time—two weeks or less. A temporary adjustment to the work schedule requires supervisor approval only.

Compensatory time

A non-exempt staff member has the option for compensatory time within a single pay period. In the event that a staff member works more than forty hours in the first week of a pay period, he or she has the option to be paid at time-and-a-half for the additional hours during the two-week pay period OR he or she may elect compensatory time within the same two-week pay period at a time rate of 1.5 hours for each overtime hour.

All compensatory time or overtime must be approved in writing in advance by the supervisor in consultation with the divisional vice president. A non-exempt staff member choosing to take compensatory time must first have the time off approved by his or her supervisor so it does not interfere with the overall work and efficiency of a particular office.

Discretionary time

An exempt staff member may not utilize compensatory time, as he or she is considered professional under the Fair Labor Standards Act. An exempt staff member may be eligible for discretionary time off. Discretionary time off is an approved absence that is a mechanism for a supervisor to grant an exempt staff member additional time off in response to extra long hours above and beyond what a professional would be expected to maintain over a period of weeks or months. At Calvin University, exempt staff members are normally expected to work between forty and forty-five hours per week. However, it is expected that an exempt staff member will work as many hours as it takes to fulfill his or her job requirements.

An exempt staff member, under federal regulations, is expected to conduct his or her professional time without keeping hours. There may be times within the work year given a sustained heavy schedule or unusual hours, an exempt staff member may be granted discretionary time off. This discretionary time off may be granted as time off that is immediately available, or it may be awarded as additional vacation. In all cases, discretionary time off must be approved in writing by the supervisor, vice president and the director of human resources and must be recorded as time away from work.

Alternative work arrangements

For the majority of positions at Calvin University, work must be performed on campus. Alternative work arrangements may be considered if special situations arise. Factors such as benefit to the department and university and the nature of the work will be used in considering such requests.

Working from home

“Working from home” is defined as occasional short-term periods (fewer than five business days) where a staff member works from his or her home. Calvin University does not promote working from home as a regular practice and most positions are ineligible for a work-from-home arrangement.


“Telecommuting” is defined as long-term employment periods in which a staff member's primary office is at his or her home. Calvin University does not promote telecommuting as a regular practice.

An alternative work arrangements form must be approved in advance by the supervisor, divisional vice president and the director of human resources, and the arrangement must be reviewed every six months by the supervisor and the staff member. When alternative work arrangements are in place, the university reserves the right, with adequate notice, to rescind the arrangement and require the staff member to return to regularly scheduled hours on campus.

Service-learning spring break trips

Mentors for service-learning spring break trips will be selected by the service-learning center. An employee selected to serve as an adult mentor on such a trip may do so at the discretion of her or his supervisor and with the approval of his or her vice president via signatures on the spring break form (obtained from the service-learning center). This time away is a separate assignment and is not considered regular work time. The employee will, however, not suffer any loss of fringe benefits, trip expenses will be covered and the employee will receive a payment amount equal to an employee’s typical weekly wages. More specific information regarding payment for this time away is available from the human resources office.

Approval for time away is vetted through the human resources office. All other information about service learning spring break trips is available from the service learning center at (616) 526-6455.

Voluntary termination

If a staff member decides to terminate employment with the university, written notification should be given to the direct supervisor and to the human resources office at least two weeks before the final day of work. If a staff member does not report to work and does not contact his or her supervisor for three consecutive days, it is assumed that he or she has voluntarily terminated his or her employment at Calvin University.

Involuntary termination

A staff member is subject to discharge if his or her performance or conduct is not satisfactory or violates the policies and procedures of the university. Ordinarily, the determination to terminate is made by the supervisor in consultation with department head, divisional vice president and the director of human resources. Calvin University is an at-will employer, meaning that any staff member may terminate his or her employment at any time, with or without cause, and Calvin University reserves the same right, subject to its obligation to comply with the policies and procedures of Calvin University. Pay for two weeks may be given in lieu of notice. Staff members will be compensated for accrued vacation and for wages earned to date of termination. Involuntary terminations are subject to Appendix B: problem review and grievance procedure.

Reduction in staff

There may be times when a department is restructured and a particular position or positions may no longer be required. When a position is eliminated, a minimum of two weeks notice is given to the staff member. Two weeks' pay may be given in lieu of notice if Calvin University or the staff member elects. The staff member will be compensated for accrued vacation and for wages earned to date of termination. Termination due to a reduction in staff may be subject to Appendix B: problem review and grievance procedure.


There is no mandatory retirement age for staff members. Staff members are eligible to retire from Calvin University beginning at age 62 and after completing at least 10 years of full-time employment. Calvin University provides a retirement plan with health insurance coverage for eligible staff members. For more information on retirement benefits, please contact the human resources office. Staff members may discuss the specific provisions of the plan with the human resources office.

Exit interviews

When a staff member leaves Calvin University, for whatever reason, he or she should schedule an exit interview with a representative of the human resources office during his or her last week of employment. Insurance conversion, information concerning retirement benefits and arrangements for the final paycheck are some of the subjects covered during a typical exit interview.

Return of university property

The return of all property of the institution, including but not limited to keys, ID cards, unviersity credit cards, pagers, cellular phones, library books and parking stickers is required no later than the final day of employment. All technology access ends immediately after the staff member’s last date of employment, and accrued vacation days do not qualify as “days worked” for purposes of extending technology access.

C. Calvin University policies

Policy on discrimination and harassment


Part of the three-fold purpose of Calvin University is to “perform all our tasks as a caring and diverse community.” The members of this community are part of a unity that transcends boundaries of personal characteristics. We are called to be a communion of saints in which each member contributes to the service and support of the other members. Each person, faculty, staff and student who has chosen to join the Calvin community thereby declares that he or she is willing to uphold the community's stated standards of conduct.

This policy statement on discrimination and harassment explicitly states our community's commitment to treat all its members with dignity and respect as image bearers of the Creator. Discrimination, harassment and retaliation which violate this policy will not be tolerated and will be subject to disciplinary action.

Policy statement

Calvin University prohibits unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, religion, disability, gender, marital status, sexual orientation or other characteristics protected by federal, state or local statute or ordinance.

Calvin University affirms its commitment to maintaining a learning, working and living environment which is fair, respectful and free from harassment. Calvin University will apply this policy to all persons who are members of the faculty, staff or student body. This policy expressly applies to forms of harassment which are prohibited by federal, state or local statute or ordinance. In addition, there are other forms of improper harassment, based on characteristics which are not protected by these statutes. It is the policy of Calvin University that, although such harassment may not be expressly prohibited by law, such harassment nevertheless has no place here and will be subject to disciplinary action. Illustrative examples include harassment based upon physical appearance or social or economic status.

No one at the university may retaliate in any way against a person who makes a report of discrimination or harassment.

Prohibited conduct

It is a violation of this policy to engage in any of the following conduct:

  • Unlawful discrimination in providing employment or educational opportunities, benefits or privileges; the creation of unlawful discriminatory work or educational conditions, or the use of unlawful discriminatory evaluation standards in employment or education if the basis of that treatment is, in whole or in part, the person's race, color, national origin, age, religion, disability, gender, marital status, sexual orientation or other characteristics protected by law or this policy.

  • Harassment is severe or repeated unwelcome sexual advances or verbal comments of a sexual nature or verbal or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual because of his/her legally protected characteristic, or other personal characteristic which is covered by this policy.

Harassment includes:

  • Unwelcome conduct or language which creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment, including epithets, slurs or negative stereotyping; threatening, intimidating, derogatory, or hostile acts; denigrating jokes; written or graphic material that degrades or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group. It also includes interfering with or blocking a person's legitimate movement or access in the classroom or workplace, the use of profanity to convey hostility toward others and pranks or horseplay intended to embarrass or humiliate others.

  • Making submission to unwelcome sexual advances, submission to requests for sexual favors, or submission to other unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature a condition of any person’s employment or association with the University. It also includes making submission to, or rejection of, such conduct the basis for decisions affecting a person's employment or academic status or opportunity, for example, decisions regarding salary increases, promotions, transfers, evaluations, etc., and decisions regarding grades, recommendations, admissions, fellowships or other opportunities, etc.

  • Retaliation against anyone for reporting discrimination or harassment or for participating in an investigation of a claim of harassment or discrimination.

Reporting, investigation and remedial action
The University encourages the reporting of all perceived incidents of discrimination, harassment or retaliation regardless of the offender’s identity or position. If you believe you have been the victim of conduct prohibited by this policy or witnessed such conduct, you should discuss your concerns as follows:
  • Students ordinarily will bring reports to the dean of students for Student Conduct. This would apply to student reports concerning faculty, staff or fellow students.
  • Staff ordinarily will report to the director of human resources.
  • Faculty Members ordinarily will report to an academic dean.

If the circumstances make it inappropriate to discuss the matter with the person designated above, the matter may be brought to any one of the other persons listed above.

While there is no specific reporting time, early reporting and intervention are the most effective method of resolving actual or perceived incidents of harassment.

In addition to reporting the behavior, persons who believe they are being subjected to such conduct may, either alone or with a colleague, advise the offender that his or her behavior is unwelcome and request that it be discontinued. Prompt notice often can resolve the problem. The university recognizes, however, that an individual may prefer to use only the reporting procedure described above.

Reported allegations of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation will be promptly and thoroughly investigated. Confidentiality will be maintained consistent with an adequate and thorough investigation and appropriate corrective action. At any time after a report is made, an informal resolution process may be suggested. However, participation in such a process is voluntary and if the reporting person or the accused declines, the formal procedure will continue.

Complaints against faculty will be processed according to the procedures in the Handbook for Teaching Faculty. Complaints against staff will be processed according to the procedures in the Employee Handbook. Complaints against students will be processed according to the procedures in the Student Handbook. Complaints against other persons, such as visitors or third party suppliers doing business within the Calvin community, will be processed in a manner suitable for the circumstances, as determined by the university.

Individuals found to have violated this policy will be subject to disciplinary action which may include sanctions up to and including termination of employment or enrollment.

False complaints

The university will seriously investigate all complaints. However, it also recognizes that false complaints are likely to cause significant damage to the person and reputation of an individual who is wrongfully accused. Individuals found to have knowingly made false complaints will be subject to disciplinary action which may include sanctions up to and including termination of employment or enrollment.

A complaint which is erroneous, but was made in good faith, will not be subject to disciplinary action.

First amendment considerations

Calvin University is a Christian institution situated within the Reformed tradition. As such, the university may, under the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and various relevant statutes, lawfully discriminate on the basis of religious and confessional criteria in its hiring, personnel practices and admissions. One example is the University’s use of religious faith, confessional commitments and church membership as conditions of employment for faculty and administrators with faculty status. Another example relates to sexual conduct. Though it is the university's policy to assure equal opportunity in its hiring, personnel practices and admissions without regard to marital status or sexual orientation, sexual relations outside of marriage are proscribed (See e.g., Handbook for Teaching Faculty – Section 6.1.2). Marriage is understood by the university and the Christian Reformed Church, with which it is affiliated, to be a covenantal union between a man and a woman.

The policies and procedures set forth in this document do not abrogate the university’s rights under the First Amendment or relevant statutes, nor do they limit the ability of the university to take disciplinary action against members of the community who violate the university's legitimate requirements or standards of behavior.

April 8, 2004 : Approved by Planning and Priorities Committee
May 3, 2004: Approved by Faculty Senate

Policy on Americans with Disabilities Act

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Michigan Persons with Disabilities Civil Rights Act, Calvin University supports employment of qualified individuals with disabilities. Consistent with legal regulations and current university policy, Calvin University provides individuals with disabilities reasonable accommodations to allow them to participate in university activities, programs and services. A staff member seeking accommodation can obtain a ADA request for reasonable accommodation form and a ADA medical inquiry form from the human resources office.

Policy on employment of relatives

Relationship to another individual employed by the university will not constitute an advantage for appointment, promotion, retention, salary or leave of absence granted by the university. The basic criteria for appointment and promotion of all university faculty, staff and student employees will be appropriate qualifications and performance. A staff member is not permitted to supervise a person to whom he or she is related. Calvin University follows the anti-nepotism guidelines further described in the university policy on employment of relatives.

Policy on consensual romantic relationships

Part of the three-fold purpose of Calvin University is “to perform all our tasks as a caring and diverse educational community.” As a Christian academic community, the members of Calvin University strive to live by a biblical sexual ethic; our sexuality is not to be expressed in a manipulative way. Consensual romantic relationships, when they involve a relationship of authority, can give rise to conflicts of interest and are potentially exploitative. In addition, such relationships can create an uncomfortable work or educational environment for other students, faculty and staff. Employees of Calvin University are expected to be aware of their professional responsibilities and avoid apparent or actual conflicts of interest, favoritism or bias in their relationships.

The term “romantic relationships,” as used in this document, is difficult to define in its entirety. However, evidence of a romantic relationship may include but not be limited to the following behaviors: a pattern of exclusivity between the couple; time spent together as a couple after work hours; physical touching that implies a romantic intention or desire; the sharing of personal information appropriate for a romantic relationship but beyond the boundaries of a professional workplace relationship; actual physical intimacy; written communications or other actions that imply or directly indicate romantic interest.

Faculty, and staff who have mentoring roles with students, have a special relationship with students. As with clergy or counselors, a mentoring relationship is particularly vulnerable to abuse, due to the elements of differential power. Romantic relationships are not allowed where a mentoring relationship exists.

Romantic relationships are not allowed between faculty members and students. The mentoring relationship exists between all faculty and all students, not merely in the many cases of direct professional responsibility, such as teaching, assigning grades, advising, writing recommendations, directing performances, coaching, supervising research, making decisions about awards, disciplining and any other action which may affect a student’s current or future study or employment. The decision to become a faculty member or a student at the university assumes this mentoring relationship and precludes engaging in such a romantic relationship.

Romantic relationships are not allowed between students and staff members in mentoring positions with students (e.g., administrative staff who work with students in Student Life, Admissions, and Financial Aid). The mentoring relationship exists between any such staff member and students, not merely in the many cases of direct professional responsibility, such as Prelude courses, admissions counseling, financial aid planning, writing recommendations for jobs, disciplining, and any other action which may affect a student’s current or future study or employment. The decision to become a student at the university or a member of staff in a position that is defined by a mentoring role with students assumes this mentoring relationship and precludes engaging in such a romantic relationship.

Romantic relationships are not allowed between employees of Calvin University when a supervisory relationship is involved. This applies to all employees (faculty, staff or student) and their supervisors. The power differential makes such relationships open to abuse and to charges of sexual harassment or unprofessional conduct. Such relationships can also create a hostile work environment for others.

Note that Calvin’s Policy on Employment of Relatives (Handbook for Teaching Faculty Section 6.7 and Employee Handbook) forbids spouses and other immediate family members from supervising one another, and requires approval of the president for spouses to be co-workers in the same department.

Where students have supervisory employment roles with other students (e.g., in Food Services), a mentoring role (e.g., resident assistants in the dorms), or otherwise have authority that affects the work or educational environment of other students, they are discouraged from having a romantic relationship with a student under their authority.

Exceptions to the above prohibitions (e.g. in the circumstances of a pre-existing relationship) will be considered by the provost or the director of human resources on a limited, case-by-case basis. Faculty or staff with questions about the application or effect of this policy should consult with the provost or the director of human resources.

Complaints may be filed by the student or subordinate in the relationship, by a supervisor, or by third parties who are affected by the relationship. The complaint could be of sexual harassment, unprofessional conduct, or hostile educational or work environment. Procedures for filing and handling of such complaints are addressed in the Student Handbook (Appendix C), Handbook for Teaching Faculty (Section 6.5), and Employee Handbook (Rules of Conduct & Policy).

Third parties who feel that their learning, campus life, or work environment has been negatively affected by a specific romantic relationship between faculty, staff, or students should report their complaint to the appropriate supervisor or department chair and to human resources.

Policy on outside employment

Full-time employment at Calvin University means that Calvin University is the primary employer, and that the working time of all staff members must be devoted to university work.


On occasion, Calvin University staff members may have the opportunity to act in a consulting role, either paid or unpaid, on normally scheduled workdays. Provided that the consulting arrangement is both beneficial to the university and enhances the staff member's skills, the university supports these opportunities by granting up to twelve additional days per year to provide the required services. “Consulting Leave” may be granted with or without pay for one day per month or twelve days per year. A consulting request form must be approved in writing by the divisional vice president (or president) prior to the consulting engagement. Consulting services may not constitute a conflict of interest, nor may the staff member use proprietary information of Calvin University. Calvin University facilities and equipment may be used only if approved by the divisional vice president (or president) as part of the consulting arrangement.

Conflict of interest

Staff members are prohibited from engaging in private business or professional activities in which there is, or appears to be, a conflict of interest between the individual's private interest and the interest of Calvin University.

A conflict of interest exists when any individual engages in activities that could reasonably be expected to impair or adversely influence his or her judgment with respect to promoting the best interest of the university; that impair or adversely influence the performance of his or her duties to the university; or when a person benefits financially beyond his or her normal compensation, either directly or indirectly, from his or her employment or appointment.

In any case in which a conflict of interest exists, or the appearance of a conflict of interest may exist, it is the duty of the staff member to disclose the conflict of interest to his or her supervisor.

Proprietary information

During the course of employment, a staff member may develop or have access to proprietary information. Proprietary information is not generally known to the public and is normally of economic benefit to Calvin University.

In consideration of employment, a staff member will not at any time during of after employment use proprietary information to his or her own advantage or disclose such proprietary information to any person or company unless first approved by the divisional vice president.

Technology policies

Certain standards of performance and conduct are expected from a university staff member when he or she uses university-owned computers, telephone, and other electronic devices (including but not limited to digital cameras, PDAs, cellular phones, e-mail, internet use, etc.).

Phone use

Personal telephone calls, both incoming and outgoing, are discouraged. They interfere with a staff member's work, and Calvin University is charged for each local call. However, it is recognized that there are times when personal calls must be made or received during business hours. These calls should be held to a minimum and should, if at all possible, be made during breaks or at lunch time. Charges for all personal long distance and cellular phone calls are the responsibility of the staff member.

Responsible use of technology

"Grateful for the advances in science and technology, we make careful use of their products, on guard against idolatry and harmful research, and careful to use them in ways that answer to God's demands to love our neighbor and to care for the earth and its creatures." (Paragraph 52, Our World Belongs to God, CRC Publications, 1988.)

As a community that yields to the leadership of Jesus Christ, Calvin University expects responsible use of technology by enfranchised users of Calvin information technology resources.

This policy defines responsible use as regards to:

  • Respect for one another's need for access
  • Respect for one another's values and feelings
  • Respect for one another's property
  • Respect for one another's privacy
  • The stewardly use of the university's information technologies

For more information, please refer to the policy on responsible use of technology.

Safety and health policy

Calvin University is committed to maintaining and improving a safe and healthful workplace for its employees. Compliance with environmental health and occupational safety (EHOS) regulations is essential to this task. Violations of these standards may pose serious safety and health risks not only to the employee but also to all who work in the vicinity of the employee.

Calvin University recognizes the importance of compliance with federal, state, and local EHOS standards. Accordingly, it is expected that all employees will abide by the requirements set forth by regulatory agencies as specified in Calvin's various EHOS programs.

The Committee on Environmental Health and Safety serves to identify and to help resolve issues related to personal safety in the work place. Any action or condition that is or might be unsafe or detrimental to the health of staff members should be reported to the human resources office, Campus Safety, or the environmental health and occupational safety officer. If a staff member is involved in an accident or suffers personal injury arising out of and in the course of university business, he or she should seek immediate medical treatment and fill out an injury report form within 24 hours of the injury.

For more information see the faculty handbook policy on compliance with Federal, State and Local environmental health and occupational safety standards.

Dress code policy

Clothing should be appropriate for the particular position and should be in good taste. Summertime and Friday attire is generally "business casual." For those offices where the public is encountered on a regular basis or for individuals who have appointments with the public, regular business attire is preferred. The goal is for all staff members to represent the university in the best possible light at all times.

Identification cards policy

Identification cards are issued to each staff member by the student housing office. Lost or stolen ID cards should be reported; replacements are furnished for staff at no cost. ID cards are required for building access, Campus Store discounts, box office purchases, library check-outs and so on. ID cards must be returned by the staff member upon leaving employment at Calvin University.

Name tags are issued to each new staff member by human resources. Each staff member is expected to wear his or her name tag as a matter of hospitality and campus safety.

Automobiles and parking policy

Each staff member must register his or her personal automobiles with campus safety and affix a staff parking sticker on the lower right-hand corner of his or her car windshield. Parking on campus is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Staff members may not park in spaces designated for visitors, handicapped individuals, delivery vehicles, service vehicles or in places prohibited for fire or safety reasons. Staff members are responsible for paying parking tickets promptly. The university assumes no responsibility for damage to vehicles or theft of articles from vehicles while on campus property. Staff members are asked to use caution while driving on campus and to observe the posted speed limit (the campus speed limit is 25 mph unless otherwise posted). Michigan motor vehicle regulations apply to all driving on campus.

Policy on use of university property, name, stationery and trademark

A staff member is expected to exercise due care in the use of university property and to use such property only for authorized purposes.

Calvin University does not permit the use of its name, image, trademark, service mark or stationery for any purpose other than official Calvin University business or correspondence.

Employee substance abuse policy

Calvin University has a vital interest in maintaining a safe, healthful and efficient workplace for its employees. Being under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol on the job may pose serious safety and health risks not only to the user but to all those who work with the user.

Calvin University recognizes that its future is largely dependent upon the physical and psychological health of its employees. Accordingly, it is the right, obligation and intent of Calvin University to maintain a safe, healthful and efficient working environment for all of its employees and to protect Calvin's reputation, property, equipment and operations.

Preemployment Screening

Calvin University maintains the right to require preemployment screening to prevent hiring individuals who use illegal drugs or individuals whose use of alcohol or marijuana would impair or cause unsafe job performance.

On-the-Job Use, Possession, or Distribution of Drugs or Alcohol

1. Alcohol: Being under the influence of alcohol by any employee while performing Calvin business or while on Calvin property is prohibited. Consumption or possession of alcohol in a Calvin vehicle is prohibited at all times. On Calvin property, consumption or possession of alcohol is prohibited with the exception of events hosted at the Prince Conference Center and/or sponsored by the university.
2. Marijuana: Being impaired by marijuana while performing Calvin business or while on Calvin property is prohibited. The consumption or possession of marijuana in a Calvin vehicle and while on Calvin property is prohibited at all times.
3. Illegal Drugs: The use, sale, purchase, transfer or possession of an illegal drug by an employee while on Calvin property, while in a Calvin vehicle or while performing Calvin business is prohibited. The presence in any detectable amount of any illegal drug in an employee while performing Calvin business, while in a Calvin vehicle or while on Calvin property is prohibited.

Disciplinary Action

An employee that violates the substance abuse policy could be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment. Ordinarily, the determination on the disposition of discipline is made by the supervisor in consultation with their department head, divisional vice president and the director of human resources. For more information about action steps, please reach out to the human resources office. Calvin University recognizes that its future is largely dependent upon the physical and psychological health of its employees. Accordingly, it is the right, obligation and intent of Calvin University to maintain a safe, healthful and efficient working environment for all of its employees and to protect Calvin's reputation, property, equipment and operations.

The employee substance abuse policy is also found in the faculty handbook.

Smoking policy

According to Grand Rapids Clean Indoor Air Ordinance and Calvin’s Smoking Policy, Calvin University is a smoke-free campus with the exception of specifically designated smoking areas. Smoking is prohibited in all campus buildings. Those who choose to smoke must do so only during regular break periods, in designated smoking areas and must dispose of trash appropriately.

Policy on civil defense and severe weather warning

In cases of fire, the fire alarm will sound and staff members should immediately evacuate their building. Evacuation directions are posted in each building's hallways and in classrooms, meeting rooms and other areas around the university. In cases of a tornado warning, the civil defense siren will sound and staff should move to the nearest shelter (typically located on the first floor or in the basement of each building).

Because Calvin University is primarily a residential university, it does not usually close normal operations in cases of severe winter weather. Exceptions are made only when it is clear that the university facilities cannot be used due to heating, electrical, or other mechanical failure, or when public and campus roadways are completely impassable. No academic or administrative department may close unless the university itself closes.

In those rare circumstances when the campus must be closed, local radio and television stations will be so notified for regular reporting to the public. In the event of a delayed opening, a partial closing, or a full closing, staff member compensation shall be governed as circumstances dictate. Please see the human resources office for further information.

Policy on solicitation

Calvin University encourages participation in charitable and other causes. For the continued efficiency of operations, however, the university must place some limitations on solicitation in university buildings and offices and on campus grounds. Specifically, either verbal or written solicitations on behalf of any organization, individual, or cause are allowed only during the non-working time of all staff members involved. In the same manner, distribution of pamphlets, petitions, or similar material on behalf of any organization, individual or cause is allowed only during non-working time in non-working areas.

Policy on pets in the workplace

To maintain an environment that enables work to be done with minimal distraction and disruption, shows respect and courtesy for co-workers, and reduces the potential of health concerns, safety concerns and facility damage, pets are not permitted in university buildings (this includes during both business and non-business hours), with the exception of approved service dogs.

All pets on university grounds must be kept under reasonable control by leash and may not be left unattended. Pet owners are required to keep their animals from being an annoyance to the students, faculty and staff of the university.

The owner or person having custody of any pet that defecates on Calvin property shall immediately remove all feces and dispose of it properly. Pet owners will be required to make restitution for any damage caused by pets or costs of cleanup after pets.

Faculty, staff and students who fail to abide by this policy may be subject to disciplinary action. Pets in violation of this policy may be impounded at the owner's expense.

Policy on Calvin University activities

One of the benefits of working for Calvin University is the opportunity for intellectual, physical, social and spiritual growth through participation in community events.

Staff members are encouraged to attend chapel services, campus-wide assemblies, January Series lectures, university-sponsored lunches, receptions and community-building events as departmental needs allow. These activities are voluntary and approval must be obtained from the supervisor if participation goes beyond regular breaks or lunch periods. If you receive approval, the time is treated as time worked. If the activity falls outside normal work hours, the time is not paid.

Additionally, the university offers two 30 minute periods* (up to an hour per week for full-time staff) for employees to participate in approved Calvin wellness activities. This time can include on-campus Healthy Habits classes and seminars as well as initiatives such as the campus-sponsored Bible study in the fall. The time must be approved by your supervisor and is designed to be used at the beginning or end of the day or in conjunction with your unpaid lunch break. *The two half hours are designed to be used for university scheduled activities and not in conjunction with personal exercise time.

Policy banning weapons on campus

No weapons of any kind are allowed on campus, except as authorized by the Board of Trustees. Weapons include but are not limited to firearms, ammunition, explosives, switchblades, paint-ball guns, "Air-soft" guns, BB guns, potato launchers, bows and arrows, slingshots and similar devices. Exceptions for Campus Safety supervisors are governed by the university’s Use of Force Policy.

D. Code of conduct & performance expectations

As stated in the introduction to this handbook, the mission of Calvin University forms the foundation for our working community, and the success of the university in living out this mission is related directly to the competence, performance and conduct of its staff members. Calvin University asks each staff member to participate in this community by being accountable to and responsible for one another. It is, therefore, necessary for the university to hold clearly stated expectations for performance and conduct, with consistent procedures both for review and resolution.


Staff members at Calvin University are expected to exemplify personal integrity, honesty, respect, humility, courage, generosity, gratitude, gentleness, kindness, patience and self-control in their words and actions. Many of these qualities are identified by the apostle Paul as the "gifts of the Spirit" (Colossians 3, Galatians 5), and staff members should strive with God’s help to demonstrate these virtues both in their professional activities and in their personal lives. Implementation of these standards and expectations is both an individual and a community responsibility.

Although each staff member is expected to strive to live out these virtues and to perform the tasks of his or her position in a satisfactory or exemplary manner, directors and supervisors are responsible for maintaining standards of performance and conduct, communicating and defining expectations and following the appropriate procedures for review and resolution. These procedures are outlined in Appendix B: problem review and grievance procedure.

Application and limitations

The standards of conduct and corrective action procedures contained in the appendices of this document are not intended to be all-inclusive. They do, however, take the place of any rules previously published. Though the university wishes to make its standards clear and to impose corrective action procedures in a progressive manner, certain actions could result in suspension or immediate discharge. In such a case, the fact that the action has not been specifically covered in this document or that progressive discipline has not been applied shall not affect the appropriateness of the immediate discharge.

Staff members are subject to discharge for misconduct that includes but is not limited to such offenses that appear to have caused, or appear likely to cause, serious and lasting harm to another person or the university. Among the offenses that may fall into this category are: fraud; theft; insubordination; dishonesty, unacceptable job performance; unauthorized release of confidential university data or information; professional misconduct; abuse of a spouse, child, or student; sexual misconduct, including sexual relations outside marriage; abuse or derogation on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender or other violation of the policy on discrimination and harassment; immoderate anger, slander, or verbal abuse; abuse of alcohol or other drugs; persistent use of profane or obscene language; and intentional destruction of the university’s property or another staff member’s property.

Staff members are subject to corrective action for other less serious misconduct such as, but not limited to, improper work performance, discourteous behavior, absenteeism, tardiness or other violations of university policies or standards of conduct.

Conflict resolution

In any organization with many jobs and many people, different points of view develop about a given situation. Recognizing this, Calvin University has developed a procedure for resolving these differences in an orderly and fair manner. The goal at Calvin University is to be a community that follows Christian principles while seeking to resolve any conflicts that may occur between members of the university community. These procedures are designed to protect the due process rights of complainants while at the same time resolving disputes at a personal level as close as possible to the point of origin. The hope is that the procedures described in Appendix B: problem review and grievance procedure are needed rarely, and when used, lead to restoration of community.