Personnel policies for all employees of Valdosta State University, including faculty, are enumerated in Valdosta State University’s Classified Employee Handbook. This handbook lists employee policies, leave policies, benefits, and other information. Please consult this handbook for full information on a variety of policies.


Vacation/Annual Leave (BOR Policy Manual

A faculty member employed on an academic year (9- to 10-month) basis does not earn vacation/annual leave. An academic year contracted faculty member who teaches during Maymester and/or summer semester will not be eligible to accrue vacation/annual leave for such service.

A full-time faculty member employed on a 12-month or fiscal year basis shall be entitled to vacation/annual leave earned at the rate of one and three-fourths working days (14 hours) per month. All working days during the fiscal year shall be counted. Absences during academic calendar breaks shall be recorded as vacation. All vacation days shall be recorded on institutional leave records.

Last updated March 24, 2022.

Sick Leave with Pay (BOR Policy Manual

For all regular full-time USG employees as defined in Section 8.1 of the Policy Manual, sick leave shall be accumulated at the rate of one working day per calendar month of service.

Sick leave may be granted at the discretion of the institution and upon approval by the supervisor for an employee’s absence for any of the following reasons:

  1. Illness or injury of the employee
  2. Medical and dental treatment or consultation
  3. Quarantine due to a contagious illness in the employee’s household
  4. Illness, injury, or death in the employee’s immediate family requiring the employee’s presence

If sick leave is claimed for a continuous period in excess of one week, a physician’s statement is required to permit further claim of sick leave rights by the employee-patient.

VSU faculty members who must miss class, office hours, or other scheduled activities for the reasons above should report the absence to their departmental office and take the leave time in One USG.

Last updated March 24, 2022.

Sick Leave Without Pay (BOR Policy Manual

Any employee unable to return to work after exhausting all accumulated sick leave and accrued vacation leave may be granted sick leave without pay for a period not to exceed one (1) year. Furthermore, such approved sick leave shall allow the employee the right to elect to continue his or her group insurance benefits, and the institution will continue its share of the cost for such period. All other benefits are prohibited which otherwise would accrue to the employee.

Last updated March 24, 2022.

Academic Leave


In accordance with policy of the Board of Regents, academic leave (referred to as Educational and Professional Leave in Board policy) of one year or less, with or without pay may be granted by the president and reported to the Chancellor.

The policy of the Board is that the leave is granted for only “the purposes of promoting scholarly work and encouraging professional development” (Board of Regents Policy Manual

Academic leave at Valdosta State University will be awarded in accordance with board practice of awarding one semester of leave with full pay and two semesters of leave with half pay.  An additional year without pay may be granted with justification endorsed by the department chair, dean, and provost with the approval of the President; additionally, academic leaves of more than one year require the approval of the Chancellor of the USG or her/his designee.


To be eligible to apply for the academic leave with pay for one semester, a faculty member must have completed at least 3 years as a full-time, tenure-track / tenured faculty member at VSU. However, preference for leaves will be given to full-time, tenured faculty members with six or more years of full-time service to the university.  The faculty member will provide a minimum of two years of full-time service to the university upon completion of the academic leave. Additionally, the faculty member can hold no employment elsewhere during leaves with full pay.  Failure to meet the agreed upon timeline for production of the approved tangible product means the applicant is ineligible for consideration of further approved leaves, reassigned time release for scholarly activity, and from summer teaching assignments for a period of two years, or until the product is submitted as agreed.

Each academic College may award academic leave each year in proportion to the ratio of full-time, tenured/tenure track faculty members, number of majors and hours. That ratio will currently result in 2 awards per year for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, 2 for the College of Science and Mathematics, 1 for the College of Arts, 3 for the College of Education and Human Services, 1 for the College of Business Administration, 1 in alternate years for the College of Nursing and Health Sciences. Review of the enrollment basis for this distribution will be annual. An additional 2 “at large” leaves will be considered for exceptional proposals from any College and vetted through the Deans’ Council. No more than one academic leave with pay per seven-year period may be awarded to any individual faculty member. Resources to accommodate the leave will be garnered at the Department/College level through existing avenues available. For example, lecture type classes may allow consolidation of two sections of a course as one; external funds may be applied to support part-time faculty members to instruct courses; funds for reassigned time for scholarship may also be used to support a part-time faculty member. However, the faculty member who is approved for the leave will continue to be paid in full for the semester of the approved academic leave.


Application for academic leave must be completed and submitted to the faculty member’s department head by the first day of classes, one academic year (fall, spring) before the requested period. For example, a faculty member requesting a leave for fall semester must have the application completed and to the department head for consideration at the beginning of the previous fall semester. This is necessary to account for course scheduling. Any application approved by the department head must be forwarded to the dean before the end of the semester in which approval by the department head occurred. Unit allocations of leaves will be sent forward from each dean to the Deans’ Council. Final recommendations for leave will be sent forward from the Deans’ Council to the Provost.

Primary criteria for approval will be the unique product that elevates the stature of Valdosta State University and of the faculty member. All leaves must result in a tangible professional product related to the professional discipline of the faculty member. A description of the product and a timeline for production will be required in the application for the educational leave.

(Approved by Faculty Senate on 4/21/2011)

Application for Academic Leave

Submission and Review Timeline for Leave Applications

Last updated March 24, 2022.

Military Leave

With Pay

Regular employees shall be entitled to leave with pay while engaged in the performance of any ordered military duty, to include schools conducted by the Armed Forces of the United States, and while going to and from such duty. To be considered, such duty must be in the service of the State or of the United States and must not exceed a total of thirty days in any one calendar year. Maximum pay shall be limited to eighteen days per calendar year and shall not exceed eighteen work days in any one continuous period unless the Governor declares an emergency and orders an employee to active duty as a member of the National Guard. A copy of military order(s) to active duty service shall be required in such cases.

Without Pay

Military leave without pay shall be granted when a regular employee enlists, or is ordered to active duty service with any branch of the Armed Forces of the United States for the initial period of such service. Upon completion of active service, such employee shall be restored to his or her former position upon request, or, at the discretion of the institution in which he or she is employed, to one of similar status with all privileges of accumulated seniority, salary increases, etc., provided:

  1. His or her discharge is under conditions other than dishonorable.
  2. He or she requests reinstatement within ninety (90) days after his or her discharge or separation from active duty.

If, as a result of military service, a person is not physically or mentally qualified to perform the duties of his or her former position or one of like status, his or her institution shall offer him or her employment in a position at a level which his or her physical or mental condition will permit him or her to perform at the established rate of compensation for that position

Last updated March 24, 2022.

Parental Leave

1) Employee Eligibility. An eligible employee is defined as a full-time regular employee, part time regular employee, or temporary employee who has been employed with the USG for at least 6 months of continuous service and has worked a minimum of 700 hours over the six (6) months immediately preceding the parental leave qualifying event.

2) Qualifying Life Event. The following are eligible qualifying life events:

  1. The birth of a child of an eligible employee.
  2. The placement of a minor child for adoption with an eligible employee; and
  3. The placement of a minor child for foster care with an eligible employee.

Key Provisions of the Parental Leave Policy

  • Eligible leave amount: Up to a maximum of 120 hours of paid leave.
  • The maximum of 120 hours is the same, regardless of the number of qualifying events within the year and across USG institutions.
  • Leave may be used on a continuous or intermittent basis.
  • Unused leave does not carryover for future use.
  • Parental leave has no cash value upon separation.

Requests for Paid Parental Leave

  • Employees must provide their supervisor and the office of human resources with notice of the request for leave at least 30 days prior to the proposed leave date (or if the leave was not foreseeable, as soon as possible). The employee must complete the necessary HR forms and provide all documentation as required by the HR department to substantiate the request.
Last updated March 24, 2022.

Family and Medical Leave (FMLA)

Consistent with the provisions of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993, an eligible employee may be entitled to up to twelve work weeks of leave during any 12-month period, for one or more of the following reasons:

  • The employee’s own serious health condition, including an on-the-job injury or occupational disease covered by Worker’s Compensation, which causes the employee to be unable to perform the functions of his or her job.
  • The care of an immediate family member with a serious health condition
  • The birth and care of a newborn child
  • The legal placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care
  • A spouse, son, daughter, or parent being on active duty or having been notified of an impending call or order to active duty in the Armed Forces. Leave may be used for any “qualifying exigency” arising out of the service member’s current tour of active duty or because the service member is notified of an impending call to duty in support of a contingency operation.

Consistent with the provisions of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 and the National Defense Authorization Act of 2008, an eligible employee may be entitled to up to twenty-six work weeks of leave during any 12-month period, for the following reason:

A spouse, son, daughter, parent, or nearest blood relative caring for a recovering service member. A recovering service member is defined as a member of the Armed Forces who suffered an injury or illness while on active-duty that may render the person unable to perform the duties of the member’s office, grade, rank or rating.

For more information about FMLA, including FMLA and Health Insurance, Leave, Employee Responsibilities, and Military Notification, see the VSU Employees Handbook.

Last updated March 24, 2022.


The Board of Regents has delegated to each President the authority to implement a mandatory furlough program. In the event it becomes necessary for the President to exercise this authority, employee furloughs would be conducted in accordance with the guidelines promulgated by the Office of the Chancellor.

Last updated March 24, 2022.


During the initial weeks of employment, all VSU employees are required to complete a mandatory ethics compliance training program. Other compliance information will also be completed based on the employee’s position and job duties. All employees are also required to participate in mandatory annual compliance training. Instructions on how to complete these programs will be posted via the university email distribution group.

Last updated March 24, 2022.

Equal Opportunity Employer

No person shall, on the grounds of race, ethnicity, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and/or expression, pregnancy, genetic information, religion, age, disabled status or status as a veteran, and other categories protected under the law be excluded from employment or participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity conducted by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia or any of its several institutions now in existence or hereafter established. Incidents of harassment and discrimination will be met with appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from the USG (BoR Minutes, 1969-70, p. 154; 1979-80, p. 15; October 2008).

Last updated March 24, 2022.

Americans with Disabilities Act

Valdosta State University is governed by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, which specifically prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. Valdosta State University is committed to complying with the goals and objectives of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Persons needing accommodations should contact the Office of Human Resources & Employee Development. VSU's full ADA policy is available at

Last updated March 24, 2022.

Employment of Relatives

No individual shall be employed in a department or unit, which will result in the existence of a subordinate-superior relationship between such individual and any relative of such individual through any line of authority. A marital or familial relationship shall constitute neither an advantage nor a disadvantage for any employee. For the purpose of this policy, relatives are defined as husbands and wives, parents and children, brothers, sisters, and any in-laws of any of the foregoing (BoR Minutes, February 14, 1973, p. 312). The basic criteria for the appointment and promotion of USG employees shall be appropriate qualifications and performance as set forth in the policies of the Board of Regents. Relationship by a family or marriage shall constitute neither an advantage nor a disadvantage. No individual shall be employed in a department or unit that will result in the existence of a subordinate-superior relationship between such individual and any relative of such individual through any line of authority. As used herein, “line of authority” shall mean authority extending vertically through one or more organizational levels of supervision or management (BoR Minutes, 1989-90, p. 250). This standard does not apply to the temporary or part-time employment of children under age 25, nor to any individual employed as of February 14, 1990, at any institution where a relative of such individual then holds a superior position at least one level of supervision removed from such individual in any line of authority. Exceptions may be approved by the Board of Regents upon recommendation of the Chancellor as being clearly in the best interest of the institution and the USG.

Last updated March 24, 2022.

Amorous Relationships

A USG faculty or staff member, including a graduate teaching assistant, is prohibited from having an amorous relationship with any student who the faculty or staff member supervises, teaches, or evaluates in any way. A USG employee is prohibited from having an amorous relationship with any other employee if either employee supervises, evaluates, or in any other way directly affects the terms or conditions of the other’s employment. Any individual who violates this policy is subject to disciplinary action commensurate with the offense, up to and including termination.

Last updated March 24, 2022.

Sexual Harassment Policy

Federal law provides that it shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice for any employer, because of the sex of any person, to discharge without cause, to refuse to hire, or otherwise discriminate against any person with respect to any matter directly or indirectly related to employment or academic standing. Harassment of an employee on the basis of sex violates federal law. Sexual harassment of employees or students in the University System is prohibited and shall subject the offender to dismissal or other sanctions after compliance with procedural due process requirements. Unwelcome sexual advancements, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:

  1. Submission to such conduct is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic standing
  2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment or academic decisions affecting an individual
  3. Such unreasonable conduct interferes with an individual’s work or academic performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or academic environment

All charges of sexual harassment will be investigated. The Title IX Coordinator located in the Office of Human Resources shall investigate the complaint of sexual harassment. [VSU Anti-Harrassment Policy and Sexual Misconduct and Title IX Policy]

Last updated March 24, 2022.

Discrimination Policy

The University System of Georgia is an affirmative action/equal opportunity/equal access employer that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and/or expression, pregnancy, genetic information, religion, age, disabled status or status as a veteran, and other categories protected under the law. Allegations of discrimination will be handled by the Office of Human Resources. [VSU Non-Discrimination Policy]

Last updated March 24, 2022.

Ethics Policy

All employees must complete an annual Ethics Compliance Training program as per the Board policy on Ethics BOR In the event an actively employed employee fails to complete USG Ethics training and certification or other required training the employee shall be subject to disciplinary action consistent with Board Policy up to and including termination. Every member of the VSU community is required to adhere to the University System of Georgia Statement of Core Values – Integrity, Excellence, Accountability, and Respect – that form and guide the daily work of the organization and to abide by the code of conduct.

Last updated March 24, 2022.

Gratuities Policy

An employee of the University shall not directly or indirectly solicit, receive, accept, or agree to receive a thing of value by inducing the reasonable belief that the giving of the thing will influence his/her performance or failure to perform any official action. The acceptance of a benefit, reward, or consideration where the purpose of the gift is to influence an employee in the performance of his/her official functions is a felony under O.C.G.A. §16-10-2.

An employee of the University or any other person on his/her behalf, is prohibited from knowingly accepting, directly or indirectly, a gift from any vendor or lobbyist as those terms are defined in Georgia statutes O.C.G.A. 21-5-70(6) and 45-1-6(a)(5)b. If a gift has been accepted, it must be either returned to the donor or transferred to a charitable organization. A gift may be accepted by the employee on behalf of the institution subject to reporting requirements of the Board of Regents. If the employee gift is accepted, the person receiving the gift shall not maintain custody of the gift for any period of time beyond that reasonably necessary to arrange for the transfer of custody and ownership of the gift.

For purposes of this policy a gift is defined as lodging, transportation, personal services, a gratuity, subscription, membership, trip, loan, extension of credit, forgiveness of debt, advance or deposit of money, or anything of value. A gift shall not include:

  1. Food or beverage consumed at an occasional meal or event, provided the value is reasonable under the circumstances but in no event exceeds $100 per person;
  2. Food, beverages, and registration at group events to which substantial numbers of employees of an institution and/or the University are invited;
  3. Food, beverage, or expenses afforded employees, relatives or others that are associated with normal and customary business or social functions or activities;
  4. Actual and reasonable expenses for food, beverages, travel, lodging, and registration provided to permit participation in a meeting, demonstration, or training related to official or professional duties if participation has been approved in writing by the President, or his/her designee;
  5. Promotional items generally distributed to the general public;
  6. Textbooks, software, and instructional materials to be reviewed;
  7. An award, plaque, certificate, memento, or similar item given in recognition of the recipient’s civic, charitable, political, professional, private or public service or achievement;
  8. Legitimate salary, honoraria, benefit, fees, commissions, or expenses associated with the recipient’s non-public business, employment, trade, or profession;
  9. Gifts from a person or entity who is neither a lobbyist nor a vendor as those terms are defined in State Statutes, nor a student or patient at an institution;
  10. Consulting fees, honoraria, or financial benefits from sponsors or foundations, received as part of a negotiated contractual agreement and in conformance with University and campus polices;
  11. Gifts to or from University foundations or other separately incorporated, charitable entities.
Last updated March 24, 2022.

Ownership of Intellectual Property Rights

The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia recognizes that research and scholarship should be encouraged and carried out without regard to financial gain from licensing fees, royalties, or other such income. However, the Board of Regents also recognizes that patentable inventions, discoveries, software programs, and other intellectual property often arise from University System of Georgia-related staff or faculty efforts. The policies governing the administration of inventions are included in the Board of Regents Policy Manual. Other board policies govern other forms of intellectual property including computer software. Those policies also provide recognition and incentive to inventors and at the same time ensure that University System of Georgia shares in the rights pertaining to inventions in which it has an investment. Any income accruing to the USG is used in furtherance of its academic mission.

At VSU, the Office of Sponsored Programs and Research Administration (OSPRA) oversees the intellectual property process for faculty. For full information, visit

Last updated March 24, 2022.

Drug Free Work Place

Valdosta State University, as a recipient of federal funds, supports and complies with the provisions of the Drug Free Work Place Act of 1988. As an employer, Valdosta State University will aggressively promote and strive to maintain a drug free work place for its faculty and staff. The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession or use of illegal drugs by VSU employees is prohibited. Violations of this policy, to include misdemeanor and/or felony drug convictions during the course of one’s employment will result in appropriate disciplinary actions being imposed by the institution. Said penalties may include suspension or termination of employment. Employees who feel they have a potential substance abuse problem are encouraged to seek professional assistance. The Valdosta State University Counseling Center staff may perform an initial referral to community resources. Random Drug Testing Employees of the University serving in “safety sensitive” positions are subject to random drug testing. Such positions include public safety, health care, heavy equipment operators, and positions requiring the Commercial Driver’s License. When an employee is advised to report for a random drug test, such must be accomplished as defined by policy. Failure to report or testing positive for illegal drug use may lead to termination of employment in accordance with University procedures. [VSU Drug Free Workplace Policy]

Last updated March 24, 2022.

Tobacco and Smoke Free Campus

In accordance with the Georgia Smoke Free Air Act of 2005, Title 31 Chapter 12A, this policy reinforces the USG commitment to provide a safe and amicable workplace for all employees. The goal of the policy is to preserve and improve the health, comfort and environment of students, employees and any persons occupying our campuses. The use of all forms of tobacco products on property owned, leased, rented, in the possession of, or in any way used by the USG or its affiliates is expressly prohibited. “Tobacco Products” is defined as cigarettes, cigars, pipes, all forms of smokeless 15 tobacco, clove cigarettes and any other smoking devices that use tobacco such as hookahs or simulate the use of tobacco such as electronic cigarettes. [VSU Tobacco and Smoke Free Policy]

Last updated March 24, 2022.

Campus Wellness Committee

Campus Wellness provides programs and resources to assist you in a healthy lifestyle. Programs include Weight Watchers, Walk Georgia, fitness classes, and the annual health and wellness fair. See their webpage for a calendar of events

Last updated March 24, 2022.

Personal Property

The University is not responsible for the damage, destruction, loss, or theft of any faculty member’s or administrative professional’s personal property. Personally-owned items brought to campus may include automobiles, clothing, personal papers, books, musical instruments, scientific instruments, money, cameras, technology, or any other movable objects of value.

Last updated March 24, 2022.

Campus Carry

The safety of the university’s students, employees, and visitors is paramount. The presence of firearms and weapons of any kind is forbidden. However, anyone with a valid Georgia Weapons Carry License to carry a handgun in a concealed manner on property owned or leased by public colleges and universities, with some exceptions, is allowed. It will not allow any other type of gun to be carried around campus, nor will it allow handguns to be carried openly. For more information, see

Last updated March 24, 2022.

Grievance Procedures and Dispute Resolution

Valdosta State University recognizes the value of constructive dispute resolution. VSU faculty are encouraged to seek resolution of any conflict through informal discussion with those persons involved. If such informal efforts do not resolve the dispute, the parties may choose to utilize the services of VSU’s Conflict Management and Restorative Practices Program and/or pursue resolution through the Faculty Senate’s Grievance Committee.

Last updated March 24, 2022.


VSU’s holiday policy and schedule are posted on the Human Resources website at

Last updated March 24, 2022.