Guidelines and Policy




University Policies

IANR Policies and Procedures

UNL Human Resources

University of Nebraska Employee Benefits

Requests of Public Records Recording   Slide Notes

Faculty Guidelines for Teaching in Community or State Colleges

University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension administrators can expect that faculty (Educators and Specialists), because of their expertise and ability to teach effectively, will increasingly be asked to teach in community and state colleges. Usually the request is initiated by the host institution, and teaching includes both credit and non-credit learning.

  • Prior approval for teaching within the community or state college structure must be sought from the appropriate Unit Administrator (District Director, Department Head or Chair) by the affected faculty member.
  • The proposed teaching function must support desired outcomes of an Extension Action Plan or compliment an emphasis within the IANR Strategic Plan.
  • Compensation similar to the normal salary of the Nebraska Extension Educator or Specialist is expected unless the situation warrants negotiation by the Unit Administrator. Compensation received for teaching should go into appropriate Extension program fund accounts. Occasional guest lectures without compensation can be considered a part of normal programming provided the requirements in items one and two are met.
  • The level of commitment should not exceed teaching more than one course per semester.

Faculty Involvement with Citizen Groups, Organizations and Associations in the Private Sector Policy Statement 83-002, October 1983, Rev. February 1999

Questions are often raised by University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension staff regarding the appropriateness of being involved in the formation and operation of organizations and associations. The primary concern relates to the fact that on occasion these groups become directly involved in the functions of political and legislative activity, thus creating the perception that Extension staff are actively participating in such activities.

The following quotation taken from THE COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE, edited by H. C. Sanders, is the basic philosophy behind Extension's participation with a wide variety of organizations and groups:

The framers of the Smith-Lever Act of 1914 saw the Extension Service as one of many institutions charged with the task of educating the American public. Clearly they saw the role of Extension as that of working with other agencies, institutions, and organizations in the broad field of education--not that of doing the job alone. Thus, the mandate to "aid" has made it imperative that the Extension Service identify it self with the great multiplicity of organizations, institutions, and social systems that form the framework of American society.

With the limited resources in Extension, we cannot possibly fulfill our education mission unless we utilize a wide variety of organizations and groups to deliver our education programs. In addition, we would not be fulfilling our assigned role as part of the land grant system unless we provided assistance and counsel to groups of people interested in forming organizations, both formal and informal, for the benefit of the state. The following general policy set forth on this issue in 1958 for Extension staff holds true today:

  1. Staff members serving citizens in the general welfare have the responsibility of making available to people information about:
    • The principles of sound organization.
    • Suggested procedures for forming a proposed organization.
    • Opportunities to serve the intended purposes through organizations already in operation.
    • The advantages and limitations of the purposes, aims and nature of the proposed organization.
  2. They may, when requested, perform such functions as:
    • Helping survey the need and interests for the proposed organization.
    • Assisting with publicizing and calling together of people to discuss the proposed organization.
    • Helping to train officers in the conduct of their business.
    • Serve in an advisory or non-voting role.
  3. Except as indicated in 1 and 2, it is not part of a staff member's official duty to:
    • Act as an organizer for any group or for any group of people.
    • Conduct membership campaigns.
    • Act as financial or business agent for organizations.
    • Call official meetings of organizations.
    • Edit official organization publications.
    • Serve as officer for an organization.
    • University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension will not assist with the formation of organizations where the primary purpose is for political or legislative activity.

Individual staff members, as citizens in the communities, have a right to hold membership in and participate in organizations. They may serve in organizations and have the right to express themselves so long as they express their opinions as their own and not as opinions of Nebraska Extension.

Staff members are encouraged to participate and take leadership roles in service clubs and similar groups interested in community development and welfare. In accepting a leadership role, Nebraska Extension staff must exercise caution if the service club or similar group adopts an advocacy position.

In setting forth this policy, it is recognized that border-line cases may arise. When a staff member has a question in regard to the policy to be followed in any given case, he should consult with his Unit administrator or the Dean's office in regard to the action to be taken.

Policy on Collecting Information or Answering QuestionnairesPolicy Statement 81-03, February 27, 1989, Rev. February 1999

Extension staff receiving requests to complete questionnaires or conduct surveys for agencies or organizations should refer such requests to the Unit Administrator for approval.

This policy is intended to protect staff from time consuming activities which might have little relevancy to their job responsibilities or might have an adverse effect on University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension's position as an educational organization.

Policy on Mailing ListsFebruary 1989, Rev. May 1990, February 1999

It has been policy of long standing that requests for mailing lists by individuals, by commercial companies or agencies be referred to the Unit Administrator's office. The reasons for this policy are:

  • U.S.D.A. regulations prohibit the release of lists of Extension clientele to other agencies, where they may become the basis for enforcement or selections.
  • It is not compatible with the mission of University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension to engage in an activity which has the potential of being viewed as promoting a particular product or service.
  • Supplying a mailing list to an individual or a business may result in solicitation or product promotion, and could have a negative effect on the Nebraska Extension/client relationship.

If appropriate, the Extension office could volunteer to direct the information to a specific mailing list through a normal newsletter mailing.

Distribution of Mailing Lists

Mailing lists comprise a system of records established to assist in carrying out the various programs of Nebraska Extension. These mailing lists are for the sole use of Extension personnel and shall not be furnished directly or indirectly to any other person, firm, association, or Federal Government agency. The release of these lists could adversely affect the credibility of Nebraska Extension within the community. Mailing lists are notFederal records and, therefore, not covered by the Federal Freedom of Information of Privacy Acts that pertain to Federal records. This longstanding policy of the U.S. Department of Agriculture is based in part on 18 U.S.C. 1902, 7 U.S.C. 472, 7 U.S.C. 1373 (c), and Title 7 C.F.R., Part O, Subtitle A, Subpart B, which provides: "Lists of names of farmers, business people, or employees that may be available in the Department shall not be released to anyone unless it is determined that such release is required by the Freedom of Information Act. Lists of manufacturers, dealers, breeders, etc., shall not be furnished so as to imply that the Department endorses certain firms to the possible detriment of others, or that the lists necessarily include all dealers of a certain line."

Using Mailing Lists to Mail Material for Other Federal Government Agencies

Discretion should be exercised in determining whether to mail for another Federal Government agency using Nebraska Extension mailing lists. Factors to be considered are propriety and nature of material, responsibility for total costs of the mailing, including how the agency will provide the postage, etc. The foregoing in no way implies furnishing lists to other agencies for their use.

Policy on Probation/TerminationSeptember 2000

Termination of an Extension Educator should only be the final step in a well communicated and documented process.

Probation/Termination

The Interlocal Agreement signed with each County Board of Commissioners/Supervisors in Nebraska should clearly identify Extension Educators as University of Nebraska employees. If there are performance concerns, the following procedures shall be used to implement performance probation and/or termination:

  • The Educator shall be contacted by their District Director whenever information becomes available or behaviors are observed indicating poor performance. This should be done verbally, but must include written communication indicating the poor performance and include suggestions for improving performance.
  • Written Annual Performance Evaluations shall contain documentation of performance concerns when the Educator receives an overall rating of "Unsatisfactory" or "Below Expectations." District Director will notify the Extension Educator of performance concerns. The specific performance deficiencies and suggestions for a strategy to correct the identified deficiencies shall be included as an attachment to the Annual Performance Evaluation (can include self-improvement or professional development suggestions). A time-line, not less than 180 days or not to exceed one year, to accomplish correction of the deficiencies shall be included in the attachment. At the end of the specified period to correct deficiencies, a performance evaluation will be completed by the District Director.
  • Under all circumstances the University reserves the right at any time to terminate the employment of an Educator by giving adequate advance notice of termination of employment as prescribed by Section 4.4.1 of the Bylaws of the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska (the "Bylaws") for termination of a Special Appointment, or by taking action in accordance with Section 4.7.1 of the Bylaws for termination of employment for reasons constituting adequate cause (Bylaw Sections attached). However, Performance Probation may be implemented at the discretion of the University.

An overall rating of "Unsatisfactory" on the Educator's Performance Evaluation after the opportunity to correct deficiencies as described in paragraph 1-b will initiate a 180-day Performance Probation.

A written notice telling the Educator they are being placed on Performance Probation shall include:

  • the period of Performance Probation with starting and ending dates
  • specific performance expectations and means to measure accomplishment
  • a schedule of formal reviews during and at the conclusion of the Probation
  • three potential outcomes from the Probation
  • continued employment without Probation
  • extension of the Probation period
  • termination of employment in no less than 90 days from the end of the Probation period
  • A confidential copy of this notice shall be shared with the Extension Board Chair(s).

If satisfactory performance expectations are not met as determined by periodic verbal and written performance review during the probation period or an extended probation period, the termination notice will be given. If employment termination is to be accomplished by giving adequate advance notice of termination of a Special Appointment as provided in the Bylaws, termination of employment shall be effective in no less than 90 days after delivery of written notice of termination. The termination date shall be included in the termination notice. Upon delivery of the termination notice, the Educator may be placed on administrative leave with pay for the entire 90 day period. Administrative leave shall include turning in office-related keys, returning any office equipment, and removing personal belongings from the office. A confidential copy of the termination notice shall be shared with the Extension Board Chair(s).

Adequate Cause

If warranted, the employment of an Educator may be immediately terminated for adequate cause in accordance with procedures prescribed by Section 4.7.1 of the Bylaws. Adequate cause includes, but it not necessarily limited to, incompetency, neglect of duty, insubordination, misappropriation or misuse of funds, official or professional misconduct, or other conduct which interferes substantially with continued performance of duties of employment. A confidential copy of the written "Termination for Adequate Cause" notice shall be shared with the Extension Board Chair(s).

Extension Board Concerns

If there is a clear signal from an Extension Board that they do not want a particular Educator to continue to be employed in their county(ies), the District Director will work with the Extension Board and the Educator as defined in the Interlocal Agreement to resolve the situation. A 'clear signal' must include written documentation by the Extension Board of a problem and of attempts to resolve the problem. If remaining in the position is not in the best interest of the Educator or University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension, the District Director shall communicate with the Educator any performance concerns (see Item 1 a). If Nebraska Extension has no performance concerns, employment opportunities available in Nebraska Extension will be communicated and the Educator will be assisted in making a transfer to a more suitable position, if such a position is available.

Resources Available
  • Director of Extension Human Resources
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Academic Rights and Responsibilities Committee of the Academic Senate
  • UNL Equity, Access and Diversity Programs office

In this entire process, communication between the Extension Board, the Extension Educator, and the District Director is important.