Academic Catalog


Employment Conditions

Employment Policy

Employment at Denison University is not a right but rather a privilege based on the employee's merit and ability to perform the services required. Job Descriptions for each position are maintained in the Office of Human Resources. These serve as a basis for recruitment and employment. Job-related testing may also be done to determine the ability to perform certain jobs, as approved by the Office of Human Resources. Final hiring decisions are made jointly by the supervisor/department head and the Director of Human Resources and/or Associate Director of Human Resources. Employment policies may be revised at any time to comply with legislative changes of Federal, State or Local governments.

Position on Supervisor/Staff Relationships

A dual relationship is one in which a supervisor has both a professional and romantic or sexual relationship with an employee under his/her supervision. This includes those relationships that appear to involve genuinely mutual consent. Given the inherent inequality of power between the supervisor and the employee, there are numerous factors which can greatly complicate a dual relationship. It is clear, for example, that such dual relationships undermine professional integrity in supervisory contexts. And, given the inherent inequality of a dual relationship, what may appear to one participant as totally voluntary may in fact entail exploitation. For these reasons, dual relationships are not in the best interests of the university. Supervisory personnel have a greater responsibility than a coworker to avoid even the appearance of intimidating or harassing behavior. If a supervisor engages in such a relationship and it is perceived to affect on-the-job performance or seems to result in favoritism, the supervisor will be subject to disciplinary action.

Drug-Free Workplace Act

The Federal Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act requires that Denison University assume responsibility for the enforcement of state and local drug and alcohol laws, or run the rish of losing federal funding for financial aid, faculty research, and other educational programs. It is the policy of Denison University that the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession or use of controlled substances by University employees (faculty, staff, and student employees) in the University workplace facilities is prohibited. Additionally, students and employees of Denison are prohibited from the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of drugs and alcohol while on Denison property or as any part of its activities.

  1. It is a condition of employment that each employee abides by the terms of this policy.
  2. Employees violating the policy will be subject to appropriate disciplinary procedures and where appropriate, will be referred to local authorities.
  3. If an employee is directly engaged in the performance of work pursuant to the provisions of a federal grant or contract, the employee must notify the Office of Human Resources of any criminal drug statute conviction for a violation occurring in the workplace no later than five days after such conviction. The University will notify the appropriate granting or contracting agency within ten days after receiving notice from the employee.
  4. Within 30 days of notification of a criminal activity, the University will have the convicted employee undergo an assessment of drug use and/or addiction. Subsequently, the University will take appropriate personnel action on behalf of the employee, at a minimum requiring drug abuse education, additional assistance, or rehabilitation and (if the severity and/or repetition of conviction warrants it) actions consistent with existing policies up to and including termination. A complete policy statement is given to all new employees.

Outside Employment

A full-time administrative staff member's primary professional responsibility is to Denison University. Administrative staff members accepting outside employment are expect to remain fully effective in their responsibilities and service within the College.

Consulting or other similar activities are welcome provided they enhance the professional growth of the administrative staff member and/or bring favorable recognition to the University. Administrative staff members engaged in such activities are expected to discuss the nature and extent of these responsibilities in advance with their Division heads. Vacation time must be used to cover absences during this period. The number of days for such activities ought to take no more than the equivalent of the number of day's vacation earned during the year.

Regulations and guidelines have been established by both the State of Ohio and the U.s. Internal Revenue Service governing the use of facilities for private gain at tax-exempt institutions.

Anyone intending to use Denison facilities for private gain must first consult with their Department Head and the Director of Human Resources.

Employment of Relatives

Denison's policy does not prohibit hiring relatives of employees. However, employment of relatives which would result in a relative being in a direct supervisory role over another is prohibited. No staff member is permitted to participate in any decision or final recommendation on hiring, promotion, salary, leave of absence, retention or any other condition of employment of a relative. Relatives are considered to a employee's spouse, domestic partner (as defined in this handbook), son, daughter, mother, father, sister, brother, half-sister, half-brother, step-father, step- mother, current father-in-law, and current mother-in-law, an employee's aunt, uncle, grandparent, grandchild, niece, nephew, current brother-in-law, current sister-in-law and legal guardian. If a relationship develops during the course of employment that violates this policy, the university, through the Office of Human Resources, will work with the individuals involved to resolve the situations. In all cases, the needs of the university determine the resolution, including transfer and termination.

Performance Review

The performance review system is designed to enhance communication and professional development, and provide the opportunity for both positive and corrective feedback.

An employee must receive a formal performance evaluation at the end of each fiscal year but no later than June 1 of each year. Performance is one factor used to determin merit increases, which are effective the beginning of the fiscal year if approved by the Board of Trustees. Completed performance reviews are due to each divisional vice president by June 1. While the specific performance review format is flexible, reviews should include the following: a self review by the staff member, assessing progress toward goals and identifying new goals for next year; manager's review of goals and accomplishments; identification of training and development opportunities; and a summary of the staff member's performance relevant to goals and expectations. Performance reviews must be forwarded to the Office of Human Resources after their completed and signed.



The purpose of Denison University's promotion policy is to provide an opportunity for internal mobility using a fair and consistent process, as well as to provide a mechanism whereby employees can be recognized and rewarded for their exemplary performance and professional development at the University.

Process and Criteria

When an employee is considered uniquely qualified for an open position, the hiring manager/director may request to promote the employee and bypass the typical posting and advertising process. The hiring manager/director must write a proposal, with support and approval from the appropriate vice president, detailing how the employee is considered uniquely qualified for the position and forward it to the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity and the Office of Human Resources. The Directors of these two offices will make a recommendation to the President regarding the proposal to promote the employee. The final decision rest with the President, who will provide a written response to the manager's promotion request. Upon receipt of the president's written response, the Office of Human Resources will notify the parties of the final status of the request.

In making the case for the employee's eligibility for promotion, the hiring manager must show how the following criteria are met:

  • The employee must be considered uniquely qualified;
  • The employee's performance at the college must be exemplary;
  • The employee must possess all the required skills and abilities required of the position;
  • The employee must possess the relevant experience required;
  • The employee must be able to demonstrate continued professional development in his/her field since date of hire;
  • The employee must possess the minimum education required, and ideally possess the preferred education specified. 

Job Postings

Generally, all positions are posted except for those that qualify under the promotion policy (see promotion policy). Current employees who have the necessary skills and qualifications for the job are encouraged to apply for promotional opportunities.

Job openings are posted in the following areas:

  1. Office of Human Resources
  2. The Physical Plant
  3. Doane Administration Building - lower level and third floor bulletin boards
  4. Human Resources Web Page:
  5. May be posted on bulletin boards in other campus buildings
  6. Additionally, except as noted above, all administrative staff job openings are advertised nationally or regionally to better ensure excellence and compliance with affirmative action guidelines. 

Staff members interested in applying for a posted job are encouraged to submit to the hiring manager or director a letter of application, including their qualifications and why they are interested in the position, and an updated resume.

Internal and external candidates, when applicable, will be given equal consideration. The candidate who best fits the needs of the University will be selected for the position, as determined by the hiring manager or director, with consultation from Human Resources.

All transfers or promotions must be coordinated with the Director or Associate Director of Human Resources.

Administrative Staff Criteria

(Effective September 1, 2009)

For a position to be classified as administrative staff, it must be exempt as defined by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), meet the following education requirement, and at least two of the remaining four criteria described below:

Education Requirement   The position must require at least a bachelor's degree or equivalent to be qualified to carry out the position's primary responsibilities. A master's degree is often a preferred qualification for the position.

  1. Managerial Responsibility. Position requires the management/supervision of 2 or more college staff in a division, area, or department, and budget responsibility for one or more departments.
  2. Professional/Technical Competence. Position requires substantial professional and/or technical competence in a recognized field of study or profession requiring independent judgment, analysis, research, problem solving, and in-depth knowledge. This experience is gained from a combination of education and experience working in a particular field. Certification from a professional association could also be a source of training or validation of credentials.
  3. People Interaction and Communication. Position requires a high level of oral and written communication skills to inform, solve conflicts and/or problems, and persuade others of a course of action. Additionally, the position requires frequent interaction with both internal and external constituencies of the college.
  4. Leadership Responsibility. Position requires frequent leadership responsibility of others on projects or teams requiring directing an intact or adhoc group(s) in the accomplishment of goals. This work is characterized by collaboratively working with others, possibly across departmental boundaries. Staff member may or may not have direct supervisory responsibilities of group members. 

Evaluation and Review Process   The Office of Human Resources reviews the position and makes a recommendation to the Vice President, Finance and Management, who will consult with the Vice President of the relevant division. A memo from the responsible manager/director explaining how the job meets these criteria is required for the evaluation. Additionally, an updated job description will be written with input from the manager/director of job incumbent. Alternatively, an employee may write a memo to both the manager and Human Resources requesting reevaluation of the job.

Rehiring Former Employees

(Effective May 1, 2015)

An employee dismissed for cause is not eligible to be rehired. Employees with three (3) or more years of continuous service and who are re-hired by the University will have years of service calculated from date of original employment but without credit for the period of absence. This is the adjusted date of service. The adjusted date of service is used to determine eligibility for vacation, retirement, length of service awards, and dependent tuition benefit programs.

Applicable waiting periods for the long-term disability plan, and other relevant programs, begin from the date of rehire. Employees with less than three (3) years of prior service who are re-hired will have all staff benefits and length of service awards calculated from date of re-hire.

Smoking Policy

The Licking County Board of Health regulation prohibits smoking, including e-cigarettes, in all educational facilities, which includes private offices, restrooms, and all campus buildings. The complete policy is available in the Office of Human Resources. Your cooperation in carrying out this regulation will not only be appreciated but will contribute to a better environment for the Denison community.

Pets on Campus

Denison University is committed to providing a safe working environment. To help us accomplish this, please do not bring pets to work, not even occasionally. It is okay to walk an animal on a leash on campus grounds; however, animals are not to be brought inside campus buildings. Students are not permitted to have pets in residence halls or any other university-owned facilities.

The only exception to this policy is the use of a service animal. A service animal means any guide dog, signal dog or other animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. Service animals whose behavior poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others may be excluded regardless of training or certification.