Office of Faculty and Staff Labor Relations

Social Media Policy


Title: Social Media Policy
Policy Owner: University Communications
Applies to: Faculty and Staff
Campus Applicability: All Campuses
Effective Date: June 15, 2018
For More Information, Contact Office of University Communications
Contact Information: (860) 486-3530
Official Website:

This policy establishes standards for the use of University-affiliated social media accounts and provides guidelines for differentiating an employee’s personal voice on social media from their professional connection to the University. Social media is a common and important communication tool for the University, as well as its faculty and staff.

This policy is a guide for professional and civil communications when communicating on social media accounts directly affiliated with the University. Specific guidance on how to establish, monitor and use such accounts can be found on UConn’s Social Media Brand Guidelines.

In addition, this policy provides guidance on communicating in a professional and civil manner related to personal social media accounts to the extent that such activities are covered by existing University policies or may be construed as the representations or opinions of the University. See UConn’s Policy on Communication with External Media.

Use of Social Media

The University fully affirms the rights of its employees to voice their own opinions and otherwise express themselves through their own personal social media accounts. This policy is not intended to and does not restrict an employee’s ability to engage in all forms of lawfully protected speech on social media. Personal use of social media should not interfere with job duties, responsibilities to the University and others affiliated with the University, or co-workers.

  • Personal Disclaimer: To avoid confusion between professional and personal social media activity employees are encouraged to include a statement on personal social media accounts that acknowledges statements and messages made from the account reflect their personal views only, and not those of the University.
  • University Standards for Individuals: When communicating on social media, it is important to act in manner that is consistent with applicable University policies.
  • No University Marks: The University does not authorize individuals to use University logos or trademarks on their social media accounts, therefore no University logos or trademarks should be incorporated into posts on personal social media accounts except as permitted by University policy. See UConn’s Trademark Licensing and Branding Standards.
  • Sharing University News: University faculty and staff are encouraged to repost and share publicly available information about the University on social media. Sharing the original source of the information is preferred, such as press releases, articles on UConn Today, etc. Personal social media accounts should not be used for announcing official University news if not otherwise announced publicly. Formal news announcements should be made by the University.
  • Maintain Confidentiality: Do not post confidential or proprietary information about the University, its students, its alumni, or fellow employees. Use good ethical judgment and follow University policies and federal requirements, such as HIPAA and FERPA.
  • Rights of Others: Content shared on social media must respect the copyright and other intellectual property rights of others, even if the content was shared online by others.
  • Strive for Accuracy: Check the facts before posting them on social media. Review content for grammatical and spelling errors. See UConn’s Editorial Guidelines.
  • Terms of Use: Be aware of terms of service for the social media platforms. The service may be “free” to use, but that use is subject to contractual terms binding on the user.
  • Emergency Notifications: University Communications is the official source of information during emergencies and other major campus events. It is recommended that University faculty and staff share or repost messages from University Communications during these moments to ensure information is communicated accurately and consistently.
  • Basic Tips: Basic tips for using social media are often the most important for avoiding unwanted issues.

A few helpful reminders include:

Be Active: Social media should be social. Engaging with others can be rewarding, when done constructively. Sometimes it is better to not engage too.

Be Respectful: Social media is a unique social environment. Be respectful of others’ views, regardless of how unartfully or inappropriately communicated.

Think Twice: Social media is a public platform. Consider whether you would make a statement on social media at a conference or to the media before posting.


This policy is intended to help inform University faculty and staff of their existing responsibilities to use social media in a responsible manner. A failure to conform to the guidelines established by this policy could result in disciplinary action, personal liability or other penalties, particularly where social media is used in a manner that violates University policy, laws regarding the privacy of information, infringes on copyright or the intellectual property rights of others, or that is threatening, harassing or otherwise illegal.

Additional Notes

This policy was prepared by University Communications to apply to all forms of social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, blogs, YouTube, Flickr, text messages, and other, lesser known platforms. These standards may be updated from time to time. Active users of social media at the University should regularly consult these standards.

As explained above, this policy is intended to complement existing University policies and guidelines.

Questions on these standards or the use of social media generally should be directed to University Communications.

Policy Revised:  November 29, 2018

Policy Created*: June 18, 2018

*Approved by the Vice President of Communications

Separation Policy for Unclassified Board of Trustees Exempt Managers and Confidential Employees

Title: Separation Policy for Unclassified Board of Trustees Exempt Managers and Confidential Employees
Policy Owner: Board of Trustees
Applies to: June 26, 2013
Campus Applicability: All Campuses
Effective Date: June 26, 2013
For More Information, Contact Office of Faculty and Staff Labor Relations
Contact Information: (860) 486-5684
Official Website:




This policy applies to the University of Connecticut at Storrs, all regional campuses including the Schools of Law and Social Work and the University of Connecticut Health Center. Managerial and Confidential employees of the University of Connecticut who do not have academic tenure are generally employed at-will and may be separated from employment for any lawful reason without advance notice. Management and Confidential employees who are involuntarily separated from the University of Connecticut for reasons  unrelated to their job performance such as lay off, position elimination, or management reorganization  may, at the sole and exclusive discretion of the University, be eligible for  separation benefits in accordance with this policy. This policy does not apply to: (i) separation of an employee due to voluntary resignation or retirement; (ii) separation of an employee as the result of disciplinary action or for misconduct; or (iii) separation of an employee due to job performance.


The separation benefits, if offered, will be in accordance with the guidelines provided below.
1.  Release

In order to receive separation benefits, the employee must execute a separation agreement and general release in a form acceptable to the University.  Typically, the University will require a non-disparagement provision.
2. Notice and/or Lump Sum Payment
At the discretion of the employer, the University may offer one of the following:
(a)     written notice in advance of the effective date of separation, based on years of credited service at the University as shown below;
(b)     lump sum payment of salary in lieu of notice according to years of credited service at the University as shown below;
(c)    a combination of written notice and lump sum payment up to the maximum allowable limit, based on years of credited service at the University as shown below.

Less than
Years of Service

1 year
Notice Period or Lump Sum Payment


1 year

2 months


2 years

3 months


4 years

4 months


6 years

5 months


8 years

6 months

3.  Health Insurance:
If the separating employee is receiving health insurance through the University, the  University may extend the employee’s health insurance beyond the date of separation until the earlier of (a) up to six months (or such shorter time as the University specifies) or  (b) when the separated employee becomes employed with an employer who offers health insurance.
Upon expiration of University-subsidized health insurance, the separated employee may elect to purchase additional health insurance continuation by paying the employee and employer share of the premium as provided by relevant state and/or federal law.
4.  Outplacement Counseling
The University may choose, in its discretion, to offer job search assistance, career counseling or outplacement services.


Compensation or benefits in excess of this Policy may only be extended for good cause and only with the written approval of both the relevant Vice President or Vice Provost and the Director of Labor Relations.
Policy Created: 6-26-2013 (BOT Approved)

Smoking Policy

Title: Smoking Policy
Policy Owner: Department of Human Resources; the Office of Faculty & Staff Labor Relations; the Division of Environmental Health and Safety
Applies to: Faculty, Staff, Students, Others
Campus Applicability:  All Campuses except UConn Health
Effective Date: June 7, 2016
For More Information, Contact Department of Human Resources or the Office of Faculty & Staff Labor Relations
Contact Information: (860) 486-5684 or 8478
Official Website: or

Reason for the Policy

The University of Connecticut recognizes that tobacco use is a leading cause of preventable illness, disease and death in the United States and that exposure to second-hand smoke also contributes significantly to preventable illness, disease and death.  This policy is in keeping with the University’s goal to provide a safe and healthy working and learning environment and it ensures compliance with Connecticut General Statute 31-40q(d) and 19a-342.

Policy Statement

Smoking is prohibited:

  1. In all University owned or leased buildings, facilities and vehicles.
  2. Within 25 feet of all campus buildings, including residence halls[1].

Signage communicating this policy must be posted within 10 feet of all building entries.


For the purposes of this policy, “smoking” includes all tobacco-derived or containing products, including and not limited to, cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, cigars, pipes and similar products.


All University employees, students, visitors, guests and contractors are required to comply with this policy.  Organizers of public events, such as conferences, meetings, public lectures, social events, and cultural events using campus facilities will be mindful of this Policy and encourage compliance.

Individuals in management or supervisory roles are responsible for communicating the policy to their employees and enforcing the policy in their respective area(s).  Those rare instances where an individual refuses to comply with this policy after being warned by the appropriate University officials should be handled in accordance with the status of the individual involved as follows:

  • Students should be referred to the Office of Community Standards for appropriate action. Please contact the Office of Community Standards at 860-486-8402 with questions.
  • Employees should be dealt with by the appropriate supervisor through the application of progressive discipline in accordance with the applicable collective bargaining agreement.  Please contact the Office of Faculty & Staff Labor Relations, 860-486-5684 with questions concerning how to deal with employee violations of this policy.
  • Contractors should be referred to their respective employers, Project Managers and/or Procurement for appropriate action. Contact Procurement Services at 860-486-2619 with questions.

No person who makes a complaint of a violation of this policy or who furnishes information concerning a violation of this policy shall be retaliated against in any manner.


Violations of this policy may result in appropriate disciplinary measures in accordance with University By-Laws, General Rules of Conduct for All University Employees, applicable collective bargaining agreements, and the Student Code.

[1] For all new construction/major renovation buildings that will be registered for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certification, smoking is prohibited in the building AND outside of the building except in designated exterior smoking areas. Those designated areas must be located at least 25 feet away from building openings (entries, windows, air intakes). For more information on the University’s commitment to sustainable design and construction, visit

Academic Course Work Taken by Faculty or Non-Teaching Professionals

Title: Academic Course Work Taken by Faculty or Non-Teaching Professionals
Policy Owner: Provost & Office of Faculty and Staff Labor Relations
Applies to: Faculty, Staff
Campus Applicability: Storrs and branch campuses
Effective Date: September 25, 2014
For More Information, Contact Office of Faculty and Staff Labor Relations
Contact Information: (860) 486-5684
Official Website:

Background and reasons for the Policy:

To provide guidance to faculty and non-teaching professionals on the circumstances under which they may take a course for credit during the employee’s regular work hours.

Purpose of Policy:

To support the University’s need to ensure effective delivery of instructional and other services for which faculty and non-teaching professional staff are hired and to mitigate against conflicts of commitment.

Expected Institutional Outcome:

To support uninterrupted delivery of programs, instruction and services.

Applicability of Policy:

Faculty and Non-Teaching Professionals.

Policy Statement:

No member of the faculty or non-teaching professional staff may take for credit any academic work at this institution or elsewhere during the employee’s normal work time/days, without written approval of his or her Dean or Director. The Dean or Director may consult with the Office of Faculty and Staff Labor Relations regarding flexible schedule options.


The Provost, Deans and Department Heads and other supervisors have a responsibility to support compliance with this policy by faculty and staff in their units.

Policy History

Supersedes version of policy effective 06/23/2008

General Rules of Conduct

Title: General Rules of Conduct
Policy Owner: Office of Faculty & Staff Labor Relations
Applies to: Faculty, Staff
Campus Applicability:  Storrs and Regional Campuses
Effective Date: January 2004
For More Information, Contact Office of Faculty and Staff Labor Relations
Contact Information: (860) 486-5684
Official Website:


Employees are forbidden to engage in the conduct listed below and may be disciplined or dismissed for doing so. The list is not exhaustive.

  1. Unlawfully distributing, selling, possessing, using, or being under the influence of alcohol or drugs when on the job or subject to duty;
  2. Misusing or willfully neglecting University property, funds, materials, equipment, or supplies;
  3. Fighting, engaging in horseplay, or acting in any manner which endangers the safety of oneself or others. This prohibition includes acts of violence as well as threats of violence.
  4. Marking or defacing walls, fixtures, equipment, machinery, or other University property, or willfully damaging or destroying property in anyway;
  5. Interfering in any way with the work of others;
  6. Stealing or possessing without authority any equipment, tools, materials, or other property of the University, or attempting to remove them from the premises without written permission from the appropriate authority;
  7. Being inattentive to duty including sleeping on the job.
  8. Refusing to do assigned work or to work overtime if directed, or failing to carry out the reasonable directive of a manager, supervisor, or department head.
  9. Falsifying any time card, attendance report, or other University record or giving false information to anyone whose duty it is to make such record;
  10. Being repeatedly or continuously absent or late, being absent without notice or reason satisfactory to the University, or leaving one’s work assignment without authorization;
  11. Conducting oneself in any manner, which is offensive, abusive, or contrary to common decency or morality; carrying out any form of harassment including sexual harassment;
  12.   Operating state-owned vehicles or private vehicles for state business without proper license or operating any vehicle on University property or on University business in an unsafe or improper manner;
  13. Having an unauthorized weapon on University property;
  14. Appropriating state or student equipment, time, or resources for personal use or gain;
  15. Engaging in actions which constitute a conflict of interest with one’s University job; including but not limited to, in the case of academic administrators and faculty, the teaching of credit courses at other educational institutions, unless approved in advance in accordance with established procedures;
  16. Gambling or soliciting money or other types of solicitation;
  17. Smoking within no-smoking areas, a no-smoking operation, or an area of the University that must be entered for the conduct of University business;
  18. Computer abuse, including but not limited to. plagiarism of programs, misuse of computer accounts, unauthorized destruction of files, creating illegal accounts, possession of unauthorized passwords, disruptive or annoying behavior on the computer, and non-work related utilization of computer software and hardware;
  19. Conviction of a crime;
  20. Engaging in activities which violate either the state’s or the University’s code of ethics.

Violating these rules is cause for disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. A supervisor’s failure to enforce a rule does not excuse an employee from complying with it, not does it prevent the University from taking disciplinary action thereafter.

Nothing in this policy constrains the University from pursuing criminal prosecution in addition to dealing with or responding to issues administratively.

For questions about which disciplinary action to take in a given situation, please consult with the Office of Faculty and Staff Labor Relations at 860-486-5684. Additional guidance is provided in the appropriate collective bargaining agreement and the University’s pre-disciplinary and disciplinary procedures, which are found in the Office of Faculty and Staff Labor Relations Procedures Regarding Potential Disciplinary Action and the University Administrator’s Guide to Corrective Action and Progressive Discipline.

These documents can be found at the Office of Faculty and Staff Labor Relations website at:

Employment and Contracting for Service of Relatives, Policy on

Title: Employment and Contracting for Service of Relatives, Policy on
Policy Owner: Office of University Compliance and the Office of Faculty & Staff Labor Relations/Human Resources
Applies to: Faculty, Staff, Others
Campus Applicability: All Campuses
Effective Date: February 7, 2011
For More Information, Contact Office of University Compliance and the Office of Faculty and Staff Labor Relations (Storrs) or Human Resources (UConn Health)
Contact Information: UConn Health: (860) 679-4180 or (860) 679-2426
Storrs/Storrs Based Campuses: (860) 486-2530 or (860) 486-5684
Official Website: or


The employment or contracting for service of relatives in the same department or area of an organization may cause conflicts and serve as the basis for complaints concerning disparate treatment and favoritism as well as violations of the state’s Ethics statute.

This policy is established to protect against such conflicts and complaints, and to provide for the ethical and legally consistent treatment of individuals with relatives seeking employment or who are employed by the University.

No employee of the University of Connecticut may be the direct supervisor of or take any action which would affect the financial interests of one’s relative. This may include decisions regarding appointment, award of a contract, promotion, demotion, disciplinary action, discharge, assignment, transfer, approval of time-off, and approval of training or development opportunities, as well as conducting performance evaluations or participating in any other employment action, including serving on a search committee acting on a relative’s application, or otherwise acting on behalf of a relative except as noted under “Procedure” below. Further, no employee may use his/her position to influence an employment action of a non-relative if such action would benefit one’s relative.

For purposes of this policy, relative is defined as: spouse, child, step-child, child’s spouse, parent, brother, sister, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, dependent relative or a relative domiciled in the employee’s household.

The University recognizes the potential for conflict of interest, claims of disparate treatment and/ or discrimination in the employment of relatives in the same department, work unit or in a direct or indirect supervisory relationship. The University further recognizes that there are infrequent but compelling circumstances under which such employment relationships may be in the best interests of the institution. Thus, to protect both the involved employee and the institution in those situations, the following procedure must be followed.

  1. No employee may sign any document that would affect an employment action on behalf of a relative.
  2. An employee who is confronted with an employment decision or action involving a relative must inform the immediate supervisor in advance, in writing, of the situation. The employee will describe the relationship and the proposed action requiring a decision by using Section 1 of the Conflict of Interest (COI) Disclosure form available here.
  3. The COI is submitted through the supervisory chain to the dean/director and then to the appropriate senior manager.  Using Section 2 of the COI Disclosure form, the dean/director shall propose to the senior manager an appropriate conflict resolution plan (CRP) to resolve the conflict.  In general the CRP  should address how the required decisions will be made to avoid any conflicts.
  4. The senior manager shall determine if the proposed plan for the resolution of the conflict is within the best interest of the institution, and approve or modify the plan using Section 3 of the COI Disclosure form. The written resolution and implementation of the plan shall be communicated to the dean/director and through the supervisory chain to the employee(s) involved in the conflict of interest.
  5. The supervisor, dean/director, or provost/vice president (the first level outside of the reporting process of each person in the conflict) shall oversee the implementation of CRP.
  6. Should the conflict involve the provost or a vice president, then the actions/decision shall be directed to the president or designee.

Note:  Under no circumstances will the University approve the employment of dependent children or step-children as student employees under direct or indirect supervisory relationships.

* Senior Manager is defined as the Provost or Vice President level.

This policy was approved by the Board of Trustees on 11-09-2010.