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Professional Development Resources

Online Professional Developmental Courses

Human Resources is pleased to make the online courses listed below available to faculty and professional staff. Courses are provided by Vital Learning.

To register for an online course, simply send an email message to Human Resources. Please include the name of the online course you plan to complete. After you have been registered, you will receive an email message with instructions for accessing the online course. Note: The College must pay for each course for which you register. Therefore, please assure you complete each online course after you register. You have one year to complete each course.

Online courses include (please see course descriptions below):

Leadership / Supervisory Skills

• Coaching Job Skills

• Communicating Up

• Delegating

• Developing and Coaching Others

• Developing Performance Goals and Standards

• Effective Discipline

• Essential Skills of Communicating

• Essential Skills of Leadership

• Improving Work Habits

• Managing Complaints

• Motivating Team Members

• Providing Performance Feedback

• Resolving Conflicts

• Solving Workplace Problems

• Supporting Change

Hiring / Talent Management

• Hiring Winning Talent

Customer Service

• Dealing with Difficult Customer Situations

• Delivering Customer-focused Service

• STAR Service

Productivity / Communications

• Achieving Communication Effectiveness

• Diversity Awareness

• Professionalism in the Office

Vital Learning’s online courses allow you to complete sessions at your own pace, and are

designed to keep you engaged. Online courses typically include a pre-test, interactive

course content with video demonstrations and simulations, and a post-test (your scores

are not tracked by the College). Each course takes approximately 60 - 90 minutes to


Following completion of a course, a participant can “chat” online with other participants.

This allows discussion of course content and related real-world situations.


Technical Requirements to Access Vital Learning Online Courses:

If you need help with your computer settings, please contact the Information Technology Services Call Center at 358-4483.

Key College Policies

Below is a summary of employment regulations and key College policies relevant to those who supervise others. Additional information relevant to those with supervisory responsibilities can be found in eDisk, in the Human Resources public folder under ‘Information for Managers/Supervisors’. More detailed information about College policies is available from and

Each member of the College community can expect to be treated with respect by his/her manager or department chair. Managers and department chairs are asked to interact with their staff members in a professional manner, and to treat each staff member with dignity.

Any performance issues involving a member of the professional staff should promptly be discussed with the Associate Director or Director, Human Resources. Human Resources is here to provide guidance to you so that performance issues are properly documented and resolved.

Please feel free to contact Human Resources with any questions about the information below.

Americans With Disabilities Act

The federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against qualified applicants for employment and employees because of a physical or mental disability, history of disability, or perceived disability. Under the ADA, a disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more "major life activities" (such as walking, talking, seeing, breathing, caring for oneself, learning, and performing manual tasks). The ADA prohibits:

• Questions about disabilities or medical conditions during the hiring and interviewing process.

• Discrimination against a qualified applicant with a disability when making hiring decisions.

• Discrimination in all aspects of employment based on disability or perceived disability, such as when making promotion, compensation, disciplinary, or termination decisions.

An individual with a disability is considered qualified for a position when he/she can perform the “essential”, or primary, functions of the job, with or without a “reasonable accommodation”.

All job descriptions are required to list the essential functions of the position. Employers are required to provide a reasonable accommodation to a disabled employee in order to allow the employee to perform his/her job, as long as the individual is otherwise qualified for the position and providing the accommodation does not create an undue hardship for the employer. Examples of reasonable accommodations may include providing special office equipment to accommodate a disability, assuring all work areas are accessible to the disabled employee, changing the physical layout of a work area, or modifying hours of work. Employers generally are not required to lower their performance standards for disabled employees, nor do they have to hire a disabled applicant who does not meet the essential requirements for the position even with a reasonable accommodation.

  • Managers and department chairs are not to ask questions about a disability or medical condition during the hiring process, nor base decisions on assumptions about an applicant’s disability or capabilities.
  • If an employee requests an accommodation due to a disability, the Director, Human Resources or the Associate Director, Human Resources is to be promptly notified. Human Resources will request medical verification of disability as appropriate, and provide guidance.
  • If an employee is disabled as defined by the ADA, his/her manager or department chair, a Human Resources representative, and the employee will jointly discuss possible accommodations. Human Resources will provide guidance to the manager or department chair.
  • All information pertaining to an employee's disability must be kept confidential. If an employee is receiving an accommodation due to a disability, the reason for the accommodation may not be communicated to co-workers.

Anti-Harassment Policy / Sexual Harassment Policy

Federal regulations and College policy prohibit harassment in the workplace. Harassment includes unwelcome and offensive behavior that intimidates or demeans an individual or group based on gender, race, national or ethnic origin, birthplace or ancestry, color, religion, age, disability, pregnancy or childbirth, or sexual orientation. Prohibited workplace behaviors include:

• Employing slurs, epithets, or insulting jokes which reference gender, race, national/ethnic origin, color, religion, age, disability, or sexual orientation.

• Posting or distributing offensive, indecent, or abusive material which references gender, race, national/ethnic origin, color, religion, age, disability, or sexual orientation, including material of a sexual nature.

• Comments, questioning, gesturing, or jokes of a sexual nature.

• Unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors.

• Threats, unwanted physical contact, abuse of personal property, or assault.

Retaliation against an individual who makes a good-faith complaint of harassment or who cooperates in the investigation of a claim of harassment is also prohibited.

All suspected harassment of College employees or students must be promptly reported and investigated, based on federal regulations and College policy.

  • All members of the College community are to be treated with dignity and respect.
  • Managers and department chairs are not permitted to ignore possible workplace harassment, even if the individual who makes the claim of harassment asks that no investigation be initiated. A manager or department chair who witnesses or becomes aware of possible harassment is to immediately notify either the College’s Title IX Coordinator: the Vice President for Finance and Administration, 291-3993; the Deputy Coordinator (for incidents involving students): the Director of Sexual Assault Services, 358-7178; or the Director, Human Resources.
  • Managers and department chairs are asked to help keep the work environment welcoming to all and free from harassment by posting and discussing the College’s anti-harassment policies (, and promptly addressing any policy violations.

Benefits Eligibility / Full-time and Part-time Status

Faculty and professional staff who are approved and regularly scheduled to work at least 30 hours per week during the academic year or year-round are classified as “full-time” and are eligible for benefits coverage. Those working less than 30 hours per week are classified as “part-time” and are not eligible for benefits coverage. Part-time personnel are scheduled to work: (a) no more than 29 hours in a week and (b) no more than 999 hours during their employment year (the 12-month period following their hire / anniversary date).

  • Managers and department chairs are asked to assure their part-time staff members do not: (a) work more than 29 hours in any one week, and (b) do not exceed 999 total work hours per employment year.

Business Expense Reimbursement

The College reimburses employees for reasonable and necessary business-related expenses. This applies to employees who travel on authorized College business or who incur other preauthorized expenses on behalf of the College. Personal, non-business-related expenses may not be charged to a College credit card. To receive reimbursement, an employee must complete an expense reimbursement form, attach receipts, and then forward to his/her manager.

  • Managers and department chairs are responsible for carefully reviewing business expense reimbursement forms and receipts, and authorizing reimbursement only of valid business-related expenses.

Drug-Free Workplace Act

Federal regulations stipulate that colleges must implement a program to prevent the unlawful manufacture, distribution, possession, or use of alcohol and illicit drugs by employees and students. College policy prohibits:

• The use of alcoholic beverages or an illegal drug by an employee on College premises (except the use of alcohol at an official College event).

• The transport of alcohol or an illegal drug while on College business or on College premises, or while operating College-owned vehicles.

• The use of alcoholic beverages or an illegal drug by an employee while not on College time or premises, if the employee reports to work under the influence, or the employee's work performance is affected by the use of alcohol or drugs.

Managers and department chairs are asked to help assure their staff members abide by the College’s policy.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Franklin & Marshall College is committed to having an inclusive campus community where all members are treated with dignity and respect. Federal and state laws, and College policy, prohibit discrimination in hiring and employment practices on the basis of gender, race or ethnicity, color, national origin, religion, age (age 40 and over), disability, use of a service animal, family or marital status, pregnancy, and sexual orientation. It is the College's policy to provide equal opportunity in all areas of employment. Prohibited practices include:

• Harassment or discrimination on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, birthplace or ancestry, religion, gender, pregnancy, family or marital status, care giving responsibilities, age, sexual orientation, or handicap or disability (including use of a service animal).

• Retaliation against an employee for filing a charge of discrimination, participating in an investigation, or opposing discriminatory practices.

• Employment decisions based on stereotypes or assumptions about the abilities, traits, or performance of applicants or employees of a certain sex, race, age, religion, or ethnic group, or individuals with disabilities.

• Denying employment opportunities to a qualified applicant or employee because of marriage to, or association with, an individual of a particular race, religion, national origin, or an individual with a disability. Title VII also prohibits discrimination because of participation in schools or places of worship associated with a particular racial, ethnic, or religious group.

Managers and department chairs are asked to become familiar with, adhere to, and to support the College’s Equal Employment Opportunity policy.

Managers and department chairs are asked to help keep the work environment welcoming to all and free from discriminatory practices and harassment by promptly contacting Human Resources if they suspect any violations of the College’s Equal Employment Opportunity policy.


Family & Medical Leave Policy

Under the federal Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA), eligible faculty and professional staff are entitled to an unpaid leave of absence, generally of up to 12 weeks in each 12 month period, if time off from work is needed due to an employee's serious health condition; because the employee needs to care for a dependent child, spouse or same-sex domestic partner, or parent with a serious health condition; or following childbirth or adoption (both the mother and father are eligible). Leave is also provided, in some cases, if an employee needs to care for a spouse or same-sex domestic partner, child, parent, or other relative who has been injured during military service, or is called to active duty.

Leave may be taken continuously or intermittently; for example, in half-day increments as necessary due to a chronic condition.

  • A faculty or professional staff member who requests leave should be referred to Human Resources so that eligibility can be determined, and required notices can be sent if the individual is eligible for leave.
  • Adverse employment actions (such as a negative performance review, lesser salary increase, loss of promotion or professional development opportunities, or disciplinary action) may not be taken against an individual because he/she has exercised rights available under the Family & Medical Leave Act.

Hiring Practices

It is the policy of the College that written authorization must be received from the appropriate Senior Officer, the Vice President for Finance, and the President before a manager or department chair may begin a search to hire a full-time, part-time, or temporary member of the professional staff.

  • The Associate Director, Human Resources is to be contacted before any search may begin or ads are placed to fill a full-time, part-time, or temporary professional staff vacancy. The Associate Director will initiate the required authorization process.
  • Human Resources is to be contacted before a College volunteer performs work on campus.

Human Resources maintains detailed, written hiring procedures for professional staff vacancies, as well as information regarding conducting fair and effective employment interviews. Please see for details.

Notification of Employee Status Changes

So that records and various College publications and web pages can be kept up-to-date, Human Resources is to be notified via an “Employment Notification and Change of Status Form” (available in the Human Resources public folder in eDisk) of relevant changes to a faculty or professional staff member’s terms of employment, such as a job title change, change in department, change in supervisor, salary account change, change in scheduled number of annual work hours, leave of absence, resignation or retirement, etc. As noted below, promotions or changes in compensation for professional staff must be approved, in advance and in writing, by the appropriate Senior Officer, the Vice President for Finance, and the President.

Whenever an employee experiences a change in status as outlined above, his/her manager or department chair must complete and sign the “Employment Notification and Change of Status Form” (available in the Human Resources public folder in eDisk) and forward to the Director, Human Resources in a timely manner for authorization and processing.

Pay Practices / The Fair Labor Standards Act

Faculty, professional staff, and student employees who perform work for the College are to be paid solely through normal payroll processes. This ensures compliance with relevant local, state, and federal regulations, and proper withholding of income tax. Employees, including student employees, College volunteers, and other individuals may not be compensated via personal check, gift cards, prizes, or other similar items.

Non-exempt Employees-- Based on federal regulations, some job holders must be paid an hourly wage, rather than a stipend or salary; must submit time sheets each pay period reflecting actual work hours; and must be paid an overtime premium if working more than 40 hours per week. Such individuals are classified as “non-exempt”; they are not exempt from federal regulations pertaining to the payment of wages and tracking of work hours.

• Any professional staff employee earning less than the equivalent of $455 per work week, whether full-time or part-time, is to be paid an hourly rate rather than a salary or stipend.

• As a general rule, all part-time professional staff members should be assigned an hourly rate rather than a salary or stipend. (Teachers are exempt from this federal regulation, therefore adjunct faculty may be provided a stipend.)

The current minimum wage is $7.25/hour; all “non-exempt” employees must be paid at least this minimum wage for each work hour.

Professional staff who are paid an hourly rate must accurately record all actual hours worked on time sheets each pay period. This includes hours related to:

• College work performed out of the office (from home, for example).

• College work performed during the normal lunch break period, or before or after the

normal work day.

• Attendance at job-related training sessions, seminars, meetings, or conferences.

• Travel for College-related business (with some exceptions, see for details).

  • As new professional staff positions are created, Human Resources is to be contacted in advance, and will determine the “exempt” or “non-exempt” status of the position and proper payment procedures.
  • Stipends or salaries should not be offered to part-time members of the professional staff or to “non-exempt” personnel, including employees who will be paid less than $455 per work week whether employed on a part-time or full-time basis.
  • Managers should make it clear to non-exempt staff members that work hours over and above normally scheduled hours must be approved in advance.
  • Employees, including student employees, College volunteers, and other individuals may not be compensated via personal check, gift cards, prizes, or other similar items.

Independent Contractors-- Independent contractors / consultants are not considered employees of the College, and are paid through accounts payable. Because taxes are not withheld from their payments, only those who meet the Internal Revenue Service's definition of an independent contractor may be paid through accounts payable.

  • Before paying someone as an independent contractor or consultant, the Director, Human Resources or the Controller, Business Office (291-4215) must be contacted.

Performance Reviews for Professional Staff / Addressing Performance Issues

Managers and department chairs are asked to:

• Establish and communicate department and individual objectives, as well as performance standards, to their direct reports.

• Provide regular, constructive performance feedback and guidance throughout the year to staff members, and complete a formal performance review on an annual basis.

• Help identify professional development needs, and help identify appropriate professional development activities for staff members.

• Promptly initiate corrective action when necessary to address unsatisfactory performance.

For professional staff, formal reviews of performance are completed early each spring; Human Resources sends relevant information to managers and department chairs each February. Detailed information and guidance is available at .

Properly and consistently documenting any instances of unsatisfactory work performance is essential to allow accurate evaluation of a staff member’s performance, and is a necessary step before any corrective action is taken. Detailed guidance for documenting unsatisfactory work performance and implementing correction action is available at

  • Each manager and department chair is asked to complete an objective and accurate performance review early each spring for each full-time and part-time member of the professional staff who reports to him/her.
  • Managers and department chairs are asked to work with their staff members to create individualized professional development plans.
  • Managers and department chairs are asked to keep written documentation of any instances of unsatisfactory work performance; to promptly discuss the issue and improvements needed with the professional staff member; and to document agreed-upon action steps to be taken to improve performance.
  • Managers are required to notify the Director or Associate Director of Human Resources before corrective action such as a final written warning, suspension, or employment termination occurs.

Providing Employment References

Only limited, factual information is provided in response to a request for an employment reference in the absence of a signed release from the former employee.

  • Requests for employment references should be reviewed with Human Resources before a reference is provided for a former employee.
  • Managers and department chairs should use caution if referring to or interacting with a former employee (or current employee) on a social networking site.

Salary Changes

Per College policy, members of the professional staff are generally eligible for an increase to their rate of pay once per year, effective July 1, based on their performance during the previous 12 months and the College’s budgetary guidelines.

Requests for adjustments to pay based on a change in job duties or promotion should be submitted to the appropriate Senior Officer and to the Director, Human Resources for review. Normally, a request for funding for any such pay increase must be submitted, by the department manager, for review during the annual budgeting process which begins each fall.

  • It is the policy of the College that all changes to an employee’s compensation and benefits, and promotions, must be approved in advance by the Vice President or Provost responsible for the area and the Vice President for Finance and Administration. No manager or College representative has the authority to establish pay levels, grant pay increases, or modify fringe benefits coverage for any employee without first obtaining the required, written approvals.
  • Human Resources will initiate proper authorization paperwork after the manager or department chair submits a request.

Workers’ Compensation / On-the-Job Injuries

Any faculty member, member of the professional staff, student worker, or College volunteer who is injured through the course of his/her College employment is required to promptly (within 24 hours) complete an injury report form and submit it to Human Resources. Injury report forms are available in the Human Resources public folder in eDisk.

  • Managers and department chairs are asked to help assure employees promptly report any on-the-job injuries to Human Resources.
  • Managers and department chairs are expected to encourage their staff members to work in a safe manner, to help prevent injuries.

Managers and department chairs are asked to assure corrective action is taken following an injury, to help prevent similar injuries from occurring and to keep the work environment safe for all. The manager should consult with Facilities and Operations as necessary when addressing an unsafe working condition.

In addition to participating in workshops or seminars, consider the following methods for enhancing your skills and capabilities:

  • attend professional meetings and conferences
  • join a professional association
  • attend networking events with other professionals
  • participate on a committee or task force, either at the College or in the community
  • participate on or lead a community organization's board
  • perform community service work
  • take a college-level class (see for online courses)
  • complete a special project
  • cross-train with a colleague / spend time learning about a colleague's work and inform him/her of your work
  • take on a new responsibility
  • read professional journals
  • benchmark or research other organizations' processes and procedures to learn best-practices
  • research a particular job-related topic
  • join the College's Toastmasters club (
  • attend some of the many meetings and events held on campus, including Common Hour events (

Below is a list of additional professional development resources: