Office of the Vice President for
Administration and Finance
SECTION: HUMAN RESOURCES INDEX: C-18
SUBJECT: EMPLOYEE TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT
The University of Houston-Victoria (UHV) is committed to fostering an environment that encourages individuals to seek opportunities for professional growth and enrichment and encourages supervisors, managers, and employees to identify educational, training, and development opportunities that will improve job performance and develop employee potential in current or prospective positions.
This policy establishes processes for implementation of training and development programs including the College Release Program, in accordance with the State Employees Training Act (SETA), Texas Government Code, Chapter 656.041 and UH System Administrative Memorandum 02.A.26. (References)
No person shall be discriminated against in opportunities for training and development on the basis of race, sex, color, religion, national origin, age, marital status, disability or veteran status.
Training – Instruction, teaching, or other education received by a state employee that is not normally received by other state employees and that is designed to enhance the ability of the employee to perform the employee’s job. The term includes a course of study at an institution of higher education.
College Release Program – An educational benefit that allows full-time, benefits eligible staff to attend face-to-face graduate and undergraduate college courses of up to three (3) hours per week, per regular semester (fall and spring) at UHV or another accredited institution of higher education.
Full-time Benefits-Eligible Staff – University employee who is employed for 40 hours per week for a period of at least four and one-half (4 ½ ) continuous months, excluding students employed in positions for which student status is required as a condition of employment and employees holding a teaching and/or research position and classified as faculty.
The State Employees Training Act allows the University to use public funds for development programs related to current or prospective duty assignments. Funds may be expended from department accounts for employees to participate in development programs upon supervisor and departmental approval. Appropriate expenses may include salary, registration fees, travel expenses, and training materials. Any reimbursement for travel expenses associated with seminars, workshops, or similar training events must comply with all applicable travel policies, rules and statutory provisions.
The goal of training and development is to increase the knowledge, proficiency, ability and skills of university employees by providing opportunities to gain:
- knowledge about higher education and an understanding of the institution's mission and goals and how each part of the organization affects and is affected by these goals;
- an appreciation for academic values, concerns, and needs;
- a better understanding of the goals and problems of other areas of the UH System;
- training in technical, general and leadership skills;
- information about skills and knowledge needed for the future; and
- quality customer service skills to improve services and support recruitment and retention initiatives.
All university employees may participate in training and development opportunities, subject to:
- Supervisor’s approval
- Any eligibility restrictions for the individual courses or programs
- Availability of funds (where costs are involved)
To be eligible to participate in the College Release Program, an employee must meet university admission requirements and meet the definition of a full-time UHV employee.
Supervisors may require attendance at certain training programs as part of the employee’s assignment.
Normally training and development programs are offered during an employee’s regularly scheduled work hours. Employees are encouraged to take courses during times that accommodate the department work schedule. To the extent that it is possible and practical, supervisors and managers are encouraged to allow their employees to participate in training and development programs. Employees who attend training and development programs with their supervisor’s approval are not required to make up time spent in these programs.
In-House Training Programs
The University has established the Office of Training and Development to provide quality training, continuing education and development opportunities to all UHV faculty and staff. (References)
Other UHV departments also offer training programs on an on-going basis, including Human Resources/Affirmative Action, Information Technology, Finance and Business Services.
Departments may request training that is specific to the department.
All employees may participate in in-house training and development opportunities offered subject to their supervisor’s approval.
College Release Program
This program provides full-time, benefits eligible employees the opportunity to be granted up to three hours per week of release time from normal duties to take courses toward a degree plan at an institution of higher education. General guidelines:
- Release time is for face-to-face courses that meet during employee work hours.
- Prior to registering for a class, the employee must apply for and obtain the approval of the immediate supervisor and the cabinet-level supervisor. (References)
- Classroom time including travel to and from class may not exceed three hours per week.
- Release time from regular duties may not be granted for study time.
- The employee is required to go through the regular admission processes and meet relevant admission requirements of the institution.
- The costs of tuition, fees, and books are the responsibility of the employee.
The classroom time required to complete the course will not be charged against vacation or sick leave, nor will salary deductions be made. These hours shall be reported as release time on bi-weekly and monthly timesheets. The employee is obligated to job responsibilities when the class is not in session. For purposes of determining overtime, College Release hours are considered regular work hours and counted towards the 40 hour workweek. Employees are encouraged to take classes at times that accommodate the departmental work schedule.
Supervisors are encouraged to make a good faith effort to accommodate requests for participation. Disapproval of a request will be so noted on the application form, together with the reason for the disapproval.
Mandatory Training Program
UH System mandated training (References) is considered a minimum job expectation of all employees. It is the responsibility of each employee to complete annual mandatory training. This includes all full-time and part-time staff and faculty, part-time and temporary employees including adjuncts and student employees. Employees who do not complete annual mandatory training by the published deadline will not have met their job expectations and will not be eligible for merit increases. Failure to complete the required training may subject the employee to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.
Role based mandatory training may also be assigned to an employee and must be completed within 30 days of the initial notice.
The Office of Training and Development coordinates the mandatory training for UHV, however, department heads are responsible for monitoring their employees’ training completion in a timely manner.
Outside Training Opportunities
Employees as well as supervisors and managers are responsible for identifying training opportunities outside of UHV that will enhance the employee’s job performance. Reimbursement for any expenses for outside training is subject to availability of funding in the department. Funding exceptions must be reviewed and approved by the Budget Committee.
Benefits-eligible employees may qualify for scholarships toward tuition and fee expenses in connection with courses taken at UHV. Interested employees should request information and appropriate forms from Financial Aid. Approval of applications will be on a first-come basis and is subject to the availability of scholarship funds.
Guidelines for Staff Enrolled as UHV Students
Since the University Houston-Victoria (UHV) is a public institution providing instruction in higher education, UHV allows its employee and other UH System employees to enroll in UHV courses. To ensure that all students including UHV and UH System employees receive the same level of access and treatment, it is expected that employees who enroll in classes offered by UHV abide by the following guidelines:
- Employees will not use their positions at the University to try to gain faculty/student privileged information.
- Employees realize that when they are enrolled in a University course, their rights and responsibilities become no different from other students.
- Employees will respect the authority of faculty and not use the employee's position within the university to gain preferential treatment.
- Employees with administrative access to the university’s course delivery system agree not to use their administrative privileges to access any online courses within their degree program.
- State Employees Training Act (SETA), Texas Government Code, Chapter 656.041
- UHS Administrative Memorandum 02.A.26, Employee Development and Training
- Office of Training and Development
- College Release Time Approval Form
- Mandatory Training Program
Philip Castille, Ph.D.
Origination: Human Resources Department
Next review date: August, 2016