Stephen F. Austin State University

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the procedure for getting a contract approved and signed?
The procedure for getting a contract approved and signed is outlined on the Forms page of this website.
Can the General Counsel help me with personal legal questions?
No. The General Counsel's role is explained in detail on the About page of this website.
What are the rights and responsibilities of employers and individuals with disabilities regarding reasonable accommodation and undue hardship?
The U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission has an excellent article on this subject called Enforcement Guidance: Reasonable Accommodation and Undue Hardship Under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
How do I apply for a copyright?

The procedure for applying for a copyright can be found in the links that are listed below. The forms necessary for applying for a copyright are also available on that page through the U.S. Copyright Office link.


Links for Copyright Information

What happens if I drive my own vehicle for University related travel?

You are entitled to full state mileage reimbursement, but your own liability insurance would provide coverage for accidents. See the 2000/2001 Employee Vehicle Use Guidelines below for more information.

2000/2001 EMPLOYEE VEHICLE USE GUIDELINES
(These guidelines are provided as an overview of the complexities involved in employee vehicle use matters.They do not constitute official University policy, but are meant only as general guidance. University policies, insurance, state contracts and applicable laws are subject to change.)

University Owned or Leased Vehicles

Definitions

  • University owned vehicles: University owned vehicles includes all vehicles purchased by the University and maintained as part of the University's property inventory.

  • University leased vehicles: University leased vehicles include all long term leased vehicles for the use of the University or as otherwise provided for use by certain University employees.

Insurance

A fleet vehicle insurance policy is maintained by SFA for all University owned and leased vehicles. This policy provides liability coverage for the University and authorized drivers within the damage limitations of the Texas Tort Claims Act. The policy also covers damage to the University owned vehicles and includes hired car physical damage coverage for University leased vehicles. There is $10,000.00 in medical payments coverage for passengers of the University owned vehicles. Additional coverage for passengers who are University employees would likely be available through workers' compensation. An employee driver's injuries would also likely be covered through workers' compensation.

Rented Vehicles

Definitions

  • Rented vehicles: Rented vehicles are short term rentals obtained through Enterprise Leasing, Tipton Ford Rentals, Avis, Hertz and all other rental car companies.

Rental Contract

Almost all rented vehicles are personal rentals between the employee and the rental car company paid on a personal credit card or by some other personal obligation. In the rare circumstances where vehicles are rented by the University for activities where the rental vehicle is not appropriately reimbursable as part of employee travel, those procurements must be done through the University's purchasing system, i.e., by Purchase Order, and be properly approved.

Travel Reimbursement

Travel regulations allow for the reimbursement of the motor vehicle rental charge when on official state business, if the employee paid the cost directly to the vehicle rental company. Reimbursable costs include applicable taxes and collision damage waiver or loss damage waiver, unless the waiver is included in the state contracted rate. The following companies currently have state contracted rates: Advantage Rent-a-Car, Dollar Rent a Car, and Enterprise Rent-a-Car. Please ask for the rate and confirm the collision damage waiver inclusion, in case the company is no longer a state contract rate participant. Liability insurance, personal effects insurance, etc., are not reimbursable. Alternatively, employees may elect to receive the state allowed mileage rate in lieu of rental reimbursement.

Liability

Because the rental is considered a personal transaction between the employee and rental car company, liability for accidents, property damage, loss, theft, etc., rests upon the employee. Employees who do not have personal vehicle liability coverage for another vehicle which they own, should consider purchasing such coverage if they plan to rent vehicles.

Personal Vehicles

Personal Vehicles

Personal vehicles include privately owned, leased, rented, or other personally borrowed vehicles.

Liability

The employee's personal insurance when using a personal vehicle is responsible for liability coverage, regardless if it is used on University business. Mileage reimbursement paid for travel in a personal vehicle includes cost for gas, vehicle wear and tear, and insurance. For this reason, an employee's personal insurance is primary when using a personal vehicle. If the personal insurance is not sufficient to cover damages, then the State (more directly, the University) may provide secondary coverage if the accident occurred while conducting official business. Passengers of another employee's personal vehicle who are University employees on official business may receive workers' compensation coverage through the State; however, the driver's personal insurance would still provide primary coverage for injuries and liability to the passengers.

Miscellaneous

Driver Certification

All drivers of University owned, leased, or rented (in rare circumstances) vehicles should be certified pursuant to University policy, with the one exception as described in the car benefits section below. Only University employees may be certified drivers.

Students

Students who are not employed with the University must not be permitted to drive University owned, leased, or rented (rare) vehicles. Such students could incur great personal liability. Student employees who drive such vehicles must obtain University driver certification in accordance with the University's policy.

Accident & Damage Reports

Accidents or damages involving University owned, leased, or rented (rare) vehicles should be reported to UPD and the Director of Safety for insurance reporting purposes. Accidents or damages involving personal vehicles while conducting official business should be reported to your insurance company and your supervisor.

Vehicle Logs

Vehicle logs reporting purpose of use, mileage, gasoline and oil consumed, passengers carried, and other necessary information must be maintained and filed for all University owned or leased vehicles, except those with car benefits as described below. Individuals provided car benefits are encouraged to maintain vehicle logs for income tax purposes, and must coordinate income tax reporting with the University Controller.

Car Benefits

  • Definition - A limited number of employees who receive car benefits as part of their compensation package are provided a University owned or leased vehicle for official and personal use. The personal use portion is taxable income to the employee, unless otherwise exempted in the law.

  • Insurance - The University's fleet insurance policy provides coverage for both the official and personal use of the vehicle as outlined in Section I. B. above. Permissive use of the vehicle by non-University drivers is permitted, but state law protections for employees may not apply (e.g., workers' compensation, immunities, damage limitations, etc.) Permissive users may also have personal automobile policies as additional coverage.

Questions

  • Insurance - Contact the Director of Safety

  • Liability - Contact the General Counsel

  • Driver Certification - Contact UPD

  • Accidents - Contact UPD and Director of Safety (or personal insurance company if it involves a personal vehicle)

  • Policies - Refer to the University Policy and Procedure Manual

Who can hold a raffle?

Generally, only non-profit entities with 501(c) designation are permitted to conduct raffles, however, qualified student organizations are permitted to conduct raffles on campus.

The following is a brief outline of requirements for raffles:

  • Only "qualified" organizations can hold raffles. Qualified organizations consist of a qualified religious society, qualified volunteer fire department, qualified volunteer emergency medical service, or qualified nonprofit organization.

    A qualified nonprofit organization is one that holds a certificate of authority under the Texas Non-Profit Corporation Act (Article 1396-1.01 et seq., Vernon's Texas Civil Statues), a 501(c) organization, or a local chapter, affiliate, unit or subsidiary organization of a qualified nonprofit organization.

  • Only two raffles may be conducted by the qualified organization per calendar year, and only one raffle may be held at a time.

  • The proceeds of the raffle must be used for the charitable purposes of the organization.

  • Paid advertising through television, radio or newspaper may not be used to promote a raffle.

  • Raffles may not be promoted statewide.

  • Only members of the qualified organization or individuals who are authorized by the organization can sell raffle tickets. The organization may not compensate anyone for organizing or conducting the raffle, or for selling raffle tickets.

  • Money may not be offered as a prize at a raffle.

  • The value of a prize may not exceed $50,000.

  • Qualified student organizations that are recognized by an institution of higher education may sell raffle tickets at any facility of the institution, subject to reasonable restrictions on the time, place and manner of the sale.
  • University policies and procedures regarding time place and manner must be complied with.

Please refer to the Charitable Raffle Enabling Act for complete information regarding raffles.

Charitable Raffle Enabling Act, Occupations Code, Chapter 2002

University Policy 16.25 -Solicitation on Campus

Someone has had an accident. What do I do?

Document the incident in accordance with the Accident Report Checklist. Do not promise to pay medical bills. Automobile accidents should be reported to UPD through appropriate procedure.

Accident Report Checklist

I. Identification Information

  • Class, activity or event in which accident occurred
  • Date and time of accident
  • Person in charge
  • Person injured
  • Witnesses

II. Accident Information

  • Location of accident.
  • What was the injured doing? (Just the facts, do not include opinions or determination of cause.)
  • Safety steps taken or not taken. (Do not write preventative steps the institution could have taken.)

III. First Aid or Medical Assistance

  • What type of injury? (Just facts about general nature of injury.)
  • What emergency care was given?
  • Was the injured taken to the hospital? How?
  • Who did what?

IV. Follow-up

  • Take notes of communications with the injured or their family and friends.
  • Inform risk manager, safety officer, proper administrator, and/or attorney.
  • Do not take immediate steps to make changes without the advice of your attorney.
  • Save any possible evidence.
How do I request mailing labels or lists?

The procedure for requesting mailing labels or lists is outlined in a memo from the General Counsel.

How can I determine whether an individual is an employee or contract labor?

The amount of control exercised over the individual by the employer determines whether that individual should be considered an employee. If the employer has the right to direct and control the way the individual works regarding the details of when, where, and how the work is to be done, as well as the final result, that individual is considered an employee. The IRS 20 Questions can be used to help determine whether they employer's control is sufficient