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IV.A.1. Hiring Practices

IV.A.1.1. Policy

The College does not deny initial employment or reemployment in any manner that violates local, state, or federal law. The College fills all employment positions with candidates meeting the position’s required minimum qualifications.  An applicant that meets the minimum qualifications of a position is a qualified candidate.

(a) Non-Faculty Position Searches

The Chancellor, or a designee, may appoint individuals into non-faculty positions for which the individual meets at least the minimum qualifications.  When the Chancellor, or a designee, does not directly-appoint an individual into a non-faculty position, the vacant or new position will be advertised internally and externally to solicit qualified candidates through an official search stewarded by the Office of Human Resources.  The Chancellor, or a designee, may elect to direct appoint an individual or go through a formal, official search for non-faculty positions.  Only the Board of Trustees, however, may ratify or approve employment contracts.

(b) Faculty Position Searches

All vacant or new faculty positions will be advertised internally and externally to solicit qualified candidates through an official search stewarded by the Office of Human Resources.  No college administrator may direct-appoint a full-time faculty member—this includes moving an adjunct faculty member into a full-time faculty member position.  A department chair, instructional dean, vice president of instruction, or college president may directly appoint an individual into an adjunct faculty member position (or may elect to conduct a search as well).

(c) Administrative Positions

All vacant or new college administrator positions will be advertised internally and externally to solicit qualified candidates through an official search stewarded by the Office of Human Resources.  No college administrator may direct-appoint an individual into a college administrator position.  College administrator positions exhaustively include—solely for the purposes of this subsection—deans, vice presidents, and the college’s president. Official searches under this subsection must include at least one full-time faculty member—selected by the college president—on the screening, search, or hiring committee.

(d) Search Integrity

Applicants that do not meet the application submission deadline, or who otherwise do not participate in the official search, if applicable, cannot be hired for any such position once the official search begins.  Applicants and search committee members cannot be related within the second degree by affinity or within the third degree by consanguinity.  Search committee members are ineligible to become applicants once the search committee is selected.  Search committee members interested in applying for a position must decline participation on the search, screening, or hiring committee for that position.

(e) Nepotism

The College may not hire any person related within the second degree by affinity to any Trustee. The College may also not hire any person related within the third degree by consanguinity to any Trustee.  The only exception to both just-mentioned rules arises if the College already employed the person before the Trustee’s election or appointment and the person’s prior employment was continuous for at least 30 days (if the Trustee was appointed) or at least six months (if the Trustee was elected). A College employee may not directly supervise any person related within the second degree by affinity or third degree by consanguinity without Chancellor approval or in the case of the Chancellor without Board approval.

(f) Chancellor’s Procedures

The Board of Trustees specifically empowers and authorizes the Chancellor to develop procedures to implement these policies.

 LSCS Policy Manual Section adopted by the Board of Trustees on May 4, 2017

IV.A.2. Credentials, Records and Confidentiality

IV.A.2.01 - Credentials

Each successful applicant selected to serve as an adjunct instructor, faculty member, administrator, Location Executive Officer (LEO), or Chancellor must promptly submit to his or her hiring manager transcripts and other required credentials. The chief instructional officer at each college shall be responsible for verifying that all faculty, including adjunct faculty members, meet all requirements of Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (Coordinating Board). The LEO may authorize the submission of credentials after commencing work for the System in unusual circumstances. Failure to submit the official credentials by the end of the new employee's first semester or the presence of any misrepresentation of credentials or on the applicant's resume may be grounds for disciplinary action up to and including discharge of employment.

IV.A.2.02 - Official Personnel File

The System's Human Resources Department shall be the custodian of official personnel records maintained for each employee.

The following types of records will be maintained in the System Human Resources office. The Human Resources office may create separate or sub-files in addition to a person's official personnel file for sensitive information such as criminal background, workers' compensation, and medical information.

  1. Copies of completed I-9;
  2. Information pertaining to an employee's benefits, leave and workers' compensation claims;
  3. Unemployment claims information provided by Texas Workforce Commission; and
  4. Official personnel file records including:
    1. Application and resume
    2. Personnel Action Request forms
    3. Positions held
    4. Personal information (name, address, emergency contact information)
    5. Official transcripts
    6. Copies of employment contracts
    7. Memoranda of assignment
    8. Evaluations, commendations
    9. Participation in professional development and training
    10. Official communications regarding performance or misconduct (letters of reprimand, corrective action plans and the employee's written response to official communications about performance or misconduct)

IV.A.2.03 - Access to Official Personnel File Information

Official Personnel Files are kept in the Human Resources Department, and are confidential to the extent permitted or required by law. Therefore, access shall be limited as follows:

Each employee or former employee may request to view and copy information contained in his or her official records by personally visiting the Human Resources Department.

A supervisor may review the "official personnel file" of any System employee reporting to him or her, however the Human Resources Department may deny access to files or information deemed sensitive (such as criminal background, workers' compensation and/or medical information.

A System hiring manager may review the evaluations and any disciplinary records maintained in an applicant employee's official file prior to making a job offer.

System officials in the chain of supervision over an employee may review the Official Personnel File of an employee where such an official has a legitimate need to know in the performance of his/her job duties and responsibilities.

IV.A.2.04 - Requests for Information about LSCS Employees and Former Employees

The Human Resources Department will provide the following information about current or former employees unless disclosure is prohibited by law:

  1. Dates of employment;
  2. Position(s) held; and
  3. Status at time of departure.

Other information may be provided when the Human Resources office is presented with written authorization from the employee or in conformance with the laws of Texas and the United States.

Information about LSCS police officers that relates to their home address, home telephone number, social security number, and that reveals whether the police officer has family members is confidential as long as the officer has notified LSCS in writing of the desire to keep it confidential.

The Chief Human Resources Officer or his or her designee will notify an employee by letter or e-mail of any Public Information Act Request seeking the release of his or her employment records, unless prohibited by law. Upon receipt of a Public Information Act Request that seeks information that may be protected from disclosure, the System will request an opinion from the Attorney General of the State of Texas regarding the propriety of such disclosure.

IV.A.2.05 - Use of Social Security Numbers

All applicants for employment are required to either disclose their social security number (SSN) as part of their application or to identify a number that contains the same number of digits. This number will be used as a unique number in order to identify the applicant within the System's applicant tracking system.

Employees who are selected and hired must provide their SSN for payroll and benefits purposes before they can be employed. Failure to provide a valid SSN may be grounds for termination of employment. The System will report income and SSNs for all employees to Federal and State agencies on forms required by law.

The System will take steps to restrict the use of an employee's SSN to those uses which are required by law and to take steps to protect against the inadvertent disclosure of the number.

IV.A.2.06 - Confidentiality of Employment Decisions

To protect the privacy of LSCS employees, supervisors and other administrators will not discuss employment decisions except with the employee, supervisor, Human Resources representatives, his or her representative, and with elected leaders of official employee groups.

 

LSCS Policy Manual Section adopted by the Board of Trustees on August 7, 2008

IV.A.3. Immigration and Hiring Non-Citizens

IV.A.3.01 - Non-Discrimination

The System may employ immigrant and non-immigrant aliens within the provisions of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, as amended. All persons employed by the System must show proof of authorization to work in the United States. The System will verify employment authorizations for all employees in a non-discriminatory manner.

All employees must complete the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS) Form I-9 on, or before the first date of employment. Within three business days of employment, hiring departments must ensure that documentation is provided by the employee to establish their work eligibility and identification.

IV.A.3.02 - Immigrants

Immigrants are persons who have been granted permanent resident status, but who are not United States citizens. Immigrants may engage in all forms of employment.

IV.A.3.03 - Non-Immigrants

Non-immigrants are persons who are admitted into the United States temporarily for specific purposes and periods of time. The System may employ non-immigrants only if permission to work in the United States has been authorized by the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS).

Two categories of non-immigrant visa holders are eligible to work in the System:

  1. F-1 visas
  2. J-1 visas

Except in unusual circumstances involving persons with unique skills, the System does not sponsor non-immigrants for employment.

IV.A.3.04 - F-1 Visa

Non-immigrants with F-1 visas are persons temporarily admitted to this country under Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS) rules, to study at a higher education institution.

International students who are taking a full course of study and otherwise maintaining valid F-1 status may hold any on-campus employment, less than 20 hours per week during the fall and spring semesters. During the summer or when school is not in session, students on F-1 visas may work full-time when not enrolled in classes. The students' employment must not displace a United States citizen or permanent resident.

Students with F-1 visas seeking off-campus employment must receive permission for this type of employment from the College Human Resources Manager and Designated School Official (DSO).

Students with F -1 visas who are enrolled at an institution of higher education other than the System and seek employment with the System under "optional practical training" or "curricular practical training" must provide the System with documentation stating the terms and limitations under which they may be employed.

Spouses or children of students on F-l visas may not be employed by the System.

IV.A.3.05 - J-1 Visa

Non-immigrants with J-1 visas are students, scholars, trainees, teachers, professors, research assistants, specialists or similar persons temporarily admitted to this country to participate in a program designated by the United States Information Agency.

A non-immigrant with a J-1 visa who is a student may be employed in part-time employment with the System if he or she presents a confirmation letter from his or her sponsor. Non-immigrants with J-1 visas who are professors employed by the System or another college or university may engage in employment stated on their Form IAP66. All departments must check with the Designated School Official (DSO) at the campus of the J-1 visa-holder prior to offering him or her employment.

IV.A.3.06 - Benefits Eligibility

All Non-citizens who are employed by the district are eligible for the same benefits as are other employees in comparable positions, except as noted below:

  1. Immigrants employed by the System must participate in one of the System's retirement plans and in income tax withholding.
  2. Non-immigrants who have been authorized to work by the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services may not be enrolled in any System retirement plan.

 

 

LSCS Policy Manual Section adopted by the Board of Trustees on August 7, 2008