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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.

IV.A.2. Non-Citizen Employees

IV.A.2.1. Policy

In addition to employing U.S. citizens, the College may employ non-citizens as permitted by applicable federal law. All College employees must show proof of authorization to work in the United States. The College uses eVerify or a similar program to verify employment authorizations for all employees in a non-discriminatory manner. All employees must complete USCIS Form I-9 on or before the first date of employment. Within three working days of employment, the Office of Human Resources ensures that new employees provide documentation establishing their work eligibility and identification.

IV.A.2.2. Definitions

  1. Immigrant means a non-U.S. citizen with non-temporary legal status in the United States.
  2. Non-immigrant means a non-U.S. citizen admitted into the United States temporarily for a specific purpose and time period.

(c)        USCIS means the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

IV.A.2.3. Employment of Non-U.S. Citizens

Except for certain limited categories of employment requiring U.S. citizenship, the College may employ immigrants in any position. The College may employ non-immigrants only if the USCIS has authorized them to work in the United States. Except in unusual circumstances involving persons with unique skills, the College does not sponsor non-immigrants for employment.

IV.A.2.4. Benefits Eligibility

Non-U.S. citizen employees are eligible for the same benefits as other employees in comparable positions, except that certain categories of non-immigrants may not be enrolled in any College retirement plan.

IV.A.3. Campus Peace Officers

IV.A.3.1. Policy

The Board has statutory authority to employ and commission campus peace officers to promote safety on College premises. TCOLE must certify all campus peace officers as police officers, and each officer must take and file the Texas peace officer’s oath.

IV.A.3.2. Definitions

  1. Appoint means to administer the Texas peace officer oath of office to a person the College hired.
  2. Campus Peace Officer means a person the College employs as a peace officer under Section 51.203 of the Texas Education Code.
  3. Commission means to grant a person licensed to serve as a peace officer in Texas authority to serve as a campus peace officer.
  4. College Premises means all real property the College owns, leases, or otherwise controls.
  5. TCOLE means the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, a state agency with duties and powers regarding peace officers

IV.A.3.3. Delegation of Authority

The Board delegates every campus peace officer’s appointment and commission to the Chancellor or designee. Such delegation of authority must be exercised in congruity with the College’s other hiring policies and procedures.

IV.A.3.4. Background Check

Before offering a job to any peace officer candidate, the College’s police commissioner or designee completes a comprehensive review of the candidate’s employment history, including a review of records maintained by TCOLE and by each law enforcement agency for which the candidate has previously worked.

IV.A.3.5. Campus Peace Officer Authority

Campus peace officers use all lawful means to preserve the peace within their jurisdiction. Although they shall typically confine their duties to the College’s premises, campus peace officers have primary jurisdiction within all counties containing College premises, including the counties of Harris, Montgomery, and San Jacinto.

Within his or her primary jurisdiction, each campus peace officer is vested with all powers, privileges, and immunities of peace officers and may, in accordance with Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Chapter 14, arrest without a warrant any person violating Texas law and may enforce all traffic laws on public streets and highways.

Outside his or her primary jurisdiction, a campus peace officer is vested with all powers, privileges, and immunities of peace officers and may arrest any person violating Texas law if (i) summoned by another law enforcement agency to provide assistance, (ii) assisting another law enforcement agency, or (iii) otherwise performing his or her duties as a campus peace officer.

IV.A.4. Credentials

IV.A.4.1. Policy

Each successful applicant selected to serve as an adjunct instructor, faculty member, administrator, executive officer, or chancellor must promptly submit all transcripts and other required credentials to his or her hiring manager. Each college’s vice president of instruction is responsible for verifying that all faculty, including adjuncts, meet all SACS and THECB requirements. Transcripts for all conferred degrees must be sent to the Office of Human Resources at System Office in a sealed envelope from the institution within the first 30 days of employment or electronically directly from the attending college or university. In unusual circumstances, an executive officer may authorize a new employee to submit his or her credentials after commencing work for the College. Failure to submit credentials by the end of the new employee’s first semester, or misrepresented credentials on the applicant’s résumé or employment application, may be grounds for disciplinary action—including employment termination. The Office of Human Resources is not responsible for credentialing faculty—the vice president of instruction, the associate vice chancellor of academic affairs, or the applicable executive vice chancellor must ensure that faculty members are satisfactorily credentialed by the SACS and the THECB.

IV.A.4.2. Official Personnel File

The Office of Human Resources keeps each employee’s official personnel record.

IV.A.4.3. Confidentiality of Employment Decisions

To protect employee privacy, supervisors and other administrators do not discuss employment decisions except with the employee, his or her representative as expressly allowed by law or policy, relevant supervisors, and representatives of the College’s Office of Human Resources, Office of the General Counsel, or the Office of Governance, Audit, and Compliance with a legitimate need to know the information to perform their job responsibilities.