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4.0.1 – Use of Volunteers

MnSCU Policy

Part 1: Purpose

Individuals who volunteer their time and expertise to the colleges provide an important service and help us to further our mission. In turn, volunteers gain valuable experiences and a sense of personal satisfaction.

These procedures are intended to help promote a productive, safe, and mutually beneficial environment for college volunteers (including unpaid interns) by setting appropriate expectations and clarifying roles and responsibilities for both the volunteers and their sponsoring departments or programs.

Volunteers perform supplemental tasks that generally would not be completed without volunteer assistance. Volunteers are not to be used to eliminate the need for, or take the place of, paid staff.

Part 2: Applicability. This procedure applies to individuals who:

    1. volunteer their services directly to the college, whether on an ad hoc basis or through a formal volunteer program, including spouses or partners of the president performing ceremonial roles or otherwise engaged in a volunteer capacity on behalf of the college;
    2. provide services under the supervision of the college and;
    3. receive no compensation for such services.

Volunteers may not be used in full-time, long-term assignments. Volunteer activities are expected to be part-time, sporadic, or of limited duration.

Part 3: Requirements for Volunteers. The following requirements apply to volunteers.

Subpart A: Compliance with Policies. Volunteers must comply with all applicable college policies and procedures.

Subpart B: Background Checks. Before performing any activities, a volunteer must complete and satisfactorily clear a criminal background check.

Subpart C: Access to Protected Data. Volunteers generally shall not be given access to protected student, personnel, or other data. Limited access may be granted if the information is necessary to the volunteer function, the volunteer has been instructed on the requirements of the law and protecting the data, and the volunteer has signed a confidentiality form.

Subpart D: Volunteer Coaches. Persons who volunteer to coach students must sign a volunteer coaching release of liability form prior to performing such duties.

Part 4: Other Restrictions and Conditions

Subpart A: Injuries. Volunteers are not eligible for workers’ compensation for injuries incurred while performing volunteer duties. If injuries occur while performing volunteer duties, the volunteer should contact the individual at the campus who is responsible for processing claims.

Subpart B: Employee Benefits. Volunteers are not eligible for compensation or for staff development training and benefits, sick leave, health insurance, retirement, or other employee benefits. However, active volunteers may take advantage of the following items during the semester in which the volunteer work takes place:

    1. Use of Wellness Center at the employee per semester fee.
    2. Use of the day care center while volunteering for the normal fee, on a space available basis.
    3. Access to tickets for employee alumni activities, etc.

Subpart C: Travel and Expenses

    1. Expenses. The college may choose to reimburse a volunteer for transportation, meals, and incidental expenses incurred while providing volunteer services. Volunteers must receive prior authorization for the expense and must submit required documentation of eligible expenses in accordance with applicable policies and procedures.
    2. Use of state vehicle. In accordance with System Procedure 5.19.3 (Travel Management), volunteers are not allowed to drive state vehicles or state rental vehicles. Volunteers may ride in a state vehicle, in accordance with System Procedure 5.19.3, if on official business for the college, and the traveler has received prior authorization from the appropriate supervisor.

Subpart D: Liability and Indemnification. A volunteer who acts in good faith, within the scope of the volunteer assignment, may be covered under the state tort claims act, Minnesota Statutes section 3.736. State law provides for legal representation and indemnification for eligible persons involved in authorized activities.

Part 5: Volunteer Procedures.  Volunteer assignments must be submitted by a supervisor/administrator with complete information. The request for an assignment must be submitted to the Human Resources office for approval before any volunteers can be recruited. The Human Resource Office will assist with recruiting volunteers, if requested. All volunteers must complete an application form. Human Resources will process the application and conduct a background check. When the volunteer is cleared for service, Human Resources will notify the supervisor or administrator.

Date Implemented: February 2009