Texas Tech University

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Civility in the Classroom

Texas Tech University is a community of faculty, students, and staff that enjoys an expectation of cooperation, professionalism, and civility during the conduct of all forms of university business, including the conduct of student-student and student-faculty interactions in and out of the classroom. Further, the classroom is a setting in which an exchange of ideas and creative thinking should be encouraged and where intellectual growth and development are fostered. Students who disrupt this classroom mission by rude, sarcastic, threatening, abusive, or obscene language and/or behavior will be subject to appropriate sanctions according to university policy. Likewise, faculty members are expected to maintain the highest standards of professionalism in all interactions with all constituents of the university 


Commencement ceremonies are scheduled three times each academic year. The December ceremony honors fall graduates. The May commencement honors spring graduates, and the August ceremony honors those students who complete their degree requirements during the summer. Faculty members are encouraged to participate in commencement ceremonies. The Convocations Committee coordinates commencements and is a very popular service opportunity for many faculty.

Communicable and Transmittable Disease Control in the Employee Workforce

Texas Tech University is committed to providing fair and equal employment opportunities for all individuals, including those who have been exposed to communicable and/or transmittable diseases. The university is also committed to providing a safe workplace for all employees and a safe environment for its students which meets or exceeds federal, state, and local regulations.

The university is legally and ethically required to refrain from releasing any information pertaining to a person diagnosed as having a serious medical illness. Knowledge of any person so affected will be confined to those persons with a direct need to know.

This policy applies to all areas of the university and personnel administration including, but not limited to, hiring, job assignment, opportunities for training and development, pay, benefits, promotions and demotions, layoffs and terminations, and standards of personal conduct.

The following definitions apply:

  1. Communicable Disease — A disease easily spread by casual contact and which poses a threat to other employees and/or to students.
  2. Transmittable Disease — A disease not easily spread by casual contact but which may be blood borne, transmitted sexually or through other bodily fluids, or transmitted in other ways so as to pose only a limited threat to other employees and/or students.
  3. Noncommunicable Disease — A disease not considered transferable from person to person so as to pose no threat to other employees and/or students.

An employee who is a victim of a communicable or transmittable disease as determined by medical certification may elect to utilize sick leave, vacation leave, and temporary disability leave without pay benefits in accordance with normal university policies (OP 70.01) and/or family and medical leave policies (OP 70.32).

An employee who is a victim of a communicable or transmittable disease which poses a threat to other employees or students may be required by the applicable administrative officer to utilize additional sick leave, vacation leave, and/or leave without pay benefits until such time as the threat is removed. The employee may also be required by the university to obtain a medical certification that he/she does not represent a threat to other employees or students prior to being permitted to return to work at the discretion of the applicable administrative officer.

The employee may also be reassigned to other work or to other work areas in order to reduce or remove the threat posed to other employees or students.

Each case will be evaluated on the basis of that particular case taking into consideration the desires and rights of the employee, the safety of the workplace, and the needs of the university.

An employee who is a victim of a noncommunicable disease as determined by medical certification may elect to use sick leave, vacation leave, family and medical leave, and temporary disability leave without pay benefits in accordance with normal university policies. Such employees may be permitted to work as long as they are able to work a regular schedule and fulfill the duties and responsibilities of their position (OP 70.24).

Conflict of Interest and Ethics Code

By state law, no officer or employee of a state agency shall have any direct or indirect interest, financial or otherwise, or engage in any business transaction or professional activity or incur any obligation of any nature which is in substantial conflict with the proper discharge of duties in the public interest. The full text of this law may be found in Texas Government Code, Section 572.001 (Vernon, 1994) (OP 10.11).

Holding Non-Elective Offices and Multiple State Employments. In November 1967 the voters of Texas approved an amendment to the Texas Constitution that would allow "non-elective state officers and employees to serve in other non-elective offices or positions under this state or the United States . . . if the offices or positions are of benefit to Texas or are required by state or federal law, and there is no conflict of interest with the original office or position . . ." (Art. 16, Sec. 40-Texas Constitution). Notification of such appointments should be made in writing and submitted through administrative channels for Board of Regents' approval before the faculty member accepts (OP 32.07, OP 70.15).

Sponsored Research. In response to federal requirements, the university has established a policy on conflicts of interest in sponsored research. The policy requires that any faculty or staff member listed as an investigator on a proposal disclose any significant financial interests, including interests of their spouse and dependent children, that would reasonably appear to be affected by the research or educational activities proposed for funding, or any significant financial interest in an entity whose financial interest would reasonably appear to be affected by the research or educational activities funded, or proposed for funding, by an external sponsor (OP 10.20, OP 74.17).

Consulting or Outside Employment

It is desirable that the faculty be composed of persons with such competence in their fields that their service in a professional capacity will be sought outside the university. Hence, a faculty member may, with prior approval of administrative authorities, do outside work for pay beyond the hours of a standard workweek, not to exceed 10 hours per week, during the months of regular employment. However, such outside work must not interfere with normal duties, including those extra responsibilities expected of all faculty members. Therefore, the amount of time involved and absence from the campus while rendering outside services are of primary concern.

Outside employment must be compatible with the interests of the institution and of such a nature that it will not impair the usefulness of the individual as a teacher and scholar.

Details regarding consulting or outside employment are covered in OP 32.07.

Correspondence Requiring Official Action

Correspondence requiring official action goes from the faculty member to the department chairperson or school director for transmittal to the academic dean, to the Provost, and to the Office of the President. Routine correspondence (such as requests for information of general interest) is normally routed only to the person designated to take the action requested. No correspondence of a personal nature should be transmitted on university letterhead.

Day(s) of No Classes

During the day(s) of no classes before final examinations, no university activities may be scheduled without prior approval by the Provost's Office. These include study periods, make-up examinations, or any other activity that would interfere with the individual study time available to students.

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