Employee Resources - Engineering Policies

Engineering Policies

Faculty Affairs and Human Resources

Salary Guidelines for College of Engineering Postdoctoral Research Associates
Approved by College of Engineering Dean and Department Executive Officers
Updated November 23, 2016

The minimum annual salary for postdoctoral research associates in the College of Engineering is $47,500 for 1.0 FTE. All new research proposal budgets must reflect this amount when planning for the hiring of post docs.

Salary Guidelines for College of Engineering Graduate Research and Teaching Assistants
The minimum monthly salary amount paid to graduate research assistants and graduate teaching assistants is $1,800 for .49 FTE.

Teaching Buyout Policy

To further our research mission, College of Engineering faculty may from time to time, at the discretion of the Department Chair, buyout of teaching responsibilities for one or more courses. The intent is that this policy is applied for short-term adjustments whereas changes in apportionment provide a means for long-term changes in responsibilities.

Faculty Overload Payment Policy

The College of Engineering does not allow overload payments to College of Engineering faculty for performing additional duties within the college. To the maximum extent possible, meritorious performance will be rewarded through increases to salary base, college and university professorship programs, and tenure and promotion processes. Meritorious performance is a measure of quality.

Outside Activity and Employment Policy

The University encourages its faculty to engage in professional activities outside the University as a means of broadening their experience and keeping them abreast of the latest developments in their specialized fields, provided such activities do not interfere with their regular duties at the University or represent a conflict of interest. They may accept temporary or occasional employment of up to two days per month for such professional services when such employment is recommended by the Dean of the College and approved by the Chancellor and the Board of Regents.

For the complete policy, refer to the UNL website. The address is http://www.unl.edu/svcaa/policies/outside_activity.shtml

Requests for Extension of Faculty Start-up Funds

Approved by College of Engineering Dean and Department Executive Officers
Updated November 1, 2017

Requests for Extension of Nebraska College of Engineering Faculty Start-Up Funds

Please submit start-up extension requests to the Dean’s Office attention of Mark Riley, Associate Dean for Research (mriley3@unl.edu) with a copy to Kathy Glenn, Director of Administration (kglenn2@unl.edu). Requests should be submitted as a hard and electronic letter no later than three months prior to the startup expiration date. In general, such requests should not be longer than two pages. The Dean’s Office, at its discretion, may approve start-up extensions beyond the original expiration date. Such approval is not automatic and will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis taking into account the faculty member’s justification for the request, the rate at which funds have been spent to date, and the faculty member’s intended use of the funds.

Faculty members must review and confirm their remaining start-up balance to ensure accuracy with any extension request.

Requests must contain the following:

  • Faculty member’s name, department/unit, start-up fund expiration date, and duration for which extension is being requested.
  • Brief summary of UNL research activity that includes awards, graduated students, publications, funded work, and proposals in process or planned.
  • Brief summary of start-up expenditures to-date and estimated expenditures by the original end date.
  • Brief justification of the need for extension of the start-up and a specific timeline for expenditures including breakdown of personnel, equipment, and operations. For equipment yet to be purchased, the specific equipment and supplier must be identified.
  • Letter from department/unit head summarizing the discussion regarding start-up with the faculty member and concurrence with the requested start-up extension based on that discussion, which may include any additional justification information.

Procedure for approval of faculty start-up extensions

  • The Dean’s Office will review and contact the faculty member and/or department/unit chair for additional information, if needed, in order to determine if an extension will be granted. Every effort will be made to complete the review and approval process prior to the original startup expiration date.
  • Faculty members and department/unit chairs will be notified in writing upon approval of the request for extension. Dean’s Office financial staff and appropriate departmental/unit administrative staff will be included in the notification string.

Academic Leave of Absence Policy

The University of Nebraska Board of Regents has established an academic leave of absence policy. The Faculty Development Fellowship program (paid leave) is limited to persons who have held full-time appointments within the University of Nebraska for at least six years at the rank of assistant professor, associate professor or full professor. Faculty Development Fellowships will be available on a competitive basis, rather than as an automatic reward for years of service. The program cannot be used for the purpose of pursuing an advanced degree.

More information on UNL Faculty Development Fellowships may be found at this link:  https://academicaffairs.unl.edu/faculty/development-fellowships

Procedures for submitting Faculty Development Fellowship applications
Please submit Faculty Development Fellowship applications to the Dean's Office at least six months in advance (for Fall Semester and Academic Year applicants no later than February 1; for Spring Semester applicants no later than July 1)

Applications must contain the following:

  • A completed “Application for Faculty Development Fellowship Cover Sheet” with applicant and unit head signatures
  • A statement by the applicant (no more than 5 pages) describing the proposed project. This statement should include:
    • a description of the work to be undertaken during the proposed leave
    • an explanation of the benefits of the proposed leave to the University and the faculty member
    • an updated report on the dates, activities and accomplishments from any previous paid leaves while at UNL, if applicable
  • The applicant’s current CV
  • A letter of support from the applicant’s Unit Head
The criteria for the award of FDFs will be the following:
  1. Potential for the proposed activities to promote a faculty member’s prominent scholarly activities, particularly towards enhancing the prospects for obtaining external funding support
  2. The FDF proposal must present a clear goal and plan.
  3. The benefits of the leave to the University and the faculty member must be explained in terms of departmental, college and campus priorities.
Procedures for recommending the award of an FDF
  1. The Dean of the College of Engineering will review and either approve or disapprove each FDF application.
  2. All approved FDF applications will be forwarded to the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor with a recommendation for approval.
  3. The Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor reviews and sends all approved applications to the Office of the President for review and approval on behalf of the Board of Regents.
  4. When the College is notified of approved applications it will notify faculty and department heads accordingly.
Reporting requirements
Upon return to normal academic duties, a person awarded an FDF must submit an electronic written report to Kathy Glenn (kglenn2@unl.edu) in the Dean’s Office no later than 60 days after the faculty member returns to work following the FDF. The Dean’s Office will forward the report to the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor. The report should compare the faculty member's actual activities with those outlined in the proposal, the relationship of these activities to his/her intellectual, artistic, and/or professional growth within his/her discipline, and the ways in which the faculty member feels that experience gained during the fellowship will improve his/her performance as a faculty member at the University.

College of Engineering Policy on Annual Evaluations when on Faculty Leave
Approved by College of Engineering Dean and Department Executive Officers Effective October 17, 2017

Faculty can take extended leave from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln in a number of ways. Purposes for taking leaves include faculty development leaves, medical leaves, family reasons, and others such as military duty, jury duty, etc. UNL forms to be submitted when requesting leave and more information may be found at this website: http://academicaffairs.unl.edu/faculty/leaves

For faculty within the College of Engineering, the following policy applies with regards to annual evaluations for faculty on leave.
  • When a leave is planned or anticipated, whether paid or unpaid, the faculty member shall meet with their Unit Head in advance of the leave to determine appropriate guidelines and metrics for the faculty member’s evaluation while on that leave. A summary memo shall be submitted to the Dean’s Office to be maintained in the faculty member’s College file.
  • When a leave is unplanned or unanticipated and an emergency, the faculty member shall meet with their Unit Head as soon as feasible to determine appropriate guidelines and metrics for the faculty member’s evaluation while on that leave. A summary memo shall be submitted to the Dean’s Office to be maintained in the faculty member’s College file.
When annual evaluations are being conducted for periods that include the faculty leave in question, faculty shall be evaluated based on the guidelines and metrics as agreed upon by the faculty and their Unit Head. The faculty member’s annual review shall not be advantaged nor disadvantaged, relative to other faculty members in the Unit or College.

Application for Appointment or Reappointment to an Endowed Chair Position in the College of Engineering

Approved by the College March 18, 2010

When considering nominees or reappointees for Endowed Chair positions in the College of Engineering, a completed application form (PDF Version) should be submitted to the Dean’s Office as indicated by instructions provided to the nominee, nominator or reappointee. The purpose of the form is to document professional accomplishments of the faculty member to be nominated or reappointed as recommended to University of Nebraska administration by the Dean of the College of Engineering.

Policy on Inclement Weather

The College of Engineering operates at two distinct locations, Lincoln and Omaha. Weather activity may have differing impacts on these locations. The effects could cause one location to close operations at a time, when operations at the other location remain in force. For the purposes of attendance, the primary location of employment will govern, such that employees based in Lincoln will follow the closure directives of the University of Nebraska - Lincoln and the employees based in Omaha follow the closure directives of the University of Nebraska – Omaha. The time reporting protocol for all College of Engineering employees will follow the standards established by the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.

For additional information related to closures due to inclement weather:
Lincoln: http://bf.unl.edu/policies/winter-weather-policy-and-procedures
Omaha: http://emergency.unomaha.edu/weather/

Apportionment Appeals Committee

The College of Engineering (COE) Apportionment Appeals Committee (AAC) exists in response to BOR 4.3 (b) (2). The AAC is responsible for reviewing and deciding issues of faculty apportionment that are unresolved between a faculty member and the faculty member's unit administrator. The AAC is concerned with apportioned responsibility (e.g., teaching, extension, service, research, and administrative responsibilities) and issues related to the equitable expectations for each apportionment.

Click on the COE Apportionment Appeals Committee PDF for the full document and information.

Resource Allocation

Cost Share and Matching Funds Policy

Oftentimes it is necessary to show some matching when applying for grants. Due to financial exigencies, the College of Engineering must limit matching funds on grants as much as possible. However, in certain cases, matching funds will be considered.

  1. Proposals for grants or contracts shall not volunteer cost-sharing nor matching.
  2. Written evidence of REQUIRED match must be submitted at the time of the request and routed with the proposal.
  3. Principal Investigators are encouraged to seek in-kind cost-sharing alternatives to the maximum extent possible prior to requesting matching funds.
  4. Commitments from other departments or units, including the Vice Chancellor for Research Office, does not constitute a commitment from the College of Engineering.

Travel Funding Policy

From time to time faculty may need to request funding for travel to support the Research enterprise. In this case, the faculty member should first request departmental support from the Department Chair. The Department Chair may at their discretion subsequently request College travel funding to support faculty endeavors designed to enhance externally funded research activities. It is expected the faculty member and department will provide no less than 50% of the cost of travel with up to $750 provided by COE.

Use this form to request College travel funding to support faculty endeavors designed to enhance externally funded research activities. Please complete the form and forward it to the College of Engineering Associate Dean for Research in order to obtain College of Engineering signature and cost object. As outlined on the form, a written report must be returned to the Associate Dean for Research within ten days upon return.

F & A (Indirect Cost) Return Policy

The College of Engineering typically recovers one-third of the Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs generated by sponsored projects within the College. The College of Engineering will share with Departments and Principal Investigators the recovery of all F&A returned to the College. Distributions will be allocated into separate funds. The following formulae will be used when determining allocations:

  • PI’s will receive 20% of the amount recovered by the College that is directly attributed to their sponsored projects that earmark F&A return to the College of Engineering.
  • Departments will receive 30% of the amount recovered by the College that is directly attributed to their PIs’ sponsored projects that earmark F&A return to the College of Engineering.
  • The College of Engineering will retain the remaining F&A recovery.

Space Policy

Space within the College of Engineering is allocated by the Dean. Requests for space generally should be submitted in writing by Department Chairs to the Associate Dean for Facilities and Operations. Space will be allocated based on the following prioritizations:

  1. Office space for faculty, staff and supported graduate students in the college will have the highest priority.
  2. Classroom space will have the next highest priority.
  3. Labs utilized at least partially in courses will have the next highest priority.
  4. Labs used only for research will have the next highest priority.
  5. Space not mentioned in items one through four will have the lowest priority.

Laboratory Space Policy

Lab space is to be assigned by Department Chairs based on need and available space. However, due to severe space shortages in the College of Engineering, the following guidelines may apply:

  1. Faculty who have not had any external funding during the previous three year period will be given lower priority for lab space than those with current funding.
  2. Faculty who have external funding, but have not utilized their labs within their funded research programs during the previous three year period, will be given lower priority for lab space than those with current funding.
  3. Faculty designated as “teaching faculty” with no research component in their apportionment may not be granted laboratory space.

Business Operations

Authorization of Expenditure Policy

The University of Nebraska Board of Regents has established signature delegation limits for all UN campuses. This policy can be accessed at http://bf.unl.edu/policies/. In order to ensure compliance with this statement and the established policies and procedures at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, every expenditure using college funds must be approved by a college administrator. College administrators are defined as the Dean, the Associate and Assistant Deans, and their designees. The most appropriate method of gaining college approval is through Faculty Service Representatives in Engineering Administrative Services.

Reporting of Material Financial Issues

If you are aware of a material financial issue, error or risk, you are encouraged to report the matter to the Assistant Dean for Business and Fiscal Affairs for the College of Engineering. If after submitting to the Assistant Dean, you believe your concerns need further review, please forward your concerns to the Dean of the College of Engineering. As required, all reports will be forwarded to the University Controller.

Travel Policy

Travel Policy Quick Sheet

This procedure is designed to help faculty and staff adhere to reporting and accounting standards and regulations.  The College of Engineering encourages its employees to travel and conduct business in relative comfort while using good judgment and discretion when incurring business-related expenses.  This procedure:

  • Defines the college’s procedure pertaining to travel expense.
  • Outlines the types of expenditures that are and are not reimbursed.
  • Provides guidelines to those who travel and, also, to those who authorize and approve travel expenses.
  • Establishes a procedure so that travel expense can be monitored.

Automobile Mileage Rate effective September 1, 2017
$ 0.25/mile

Automobile Mileage
The College of Engineering follows the UNL travel policy for mileage reimbursement which may be found here http://travel.unl.edu/policies/mileage-reimbursement.

The following additional policies and procedures apply for College of Engineering students, staff and faculty travelling between City or East campus in Lincoln and Scott campus in Omaha:

  • Faculty and staff may use their personal vehicles for travel between City and Scott campuses. Travel approval will be made through the Department and/or the Dean’s office. Mileage reimbursement will be at 25 cents per mile. Students are not approved to use personally owned vehicles.
  • The College of Engineering (CoE) has two vehicles from the UNL Motor Pool; one at the City campus and one at the Scott campus. The College also has bus service available between campuses during the school year for students, faculty and staff.
  • All CoE faculty, staff and students are encouraged to use the bus service for travel between the City and Scott campuses to teach classes, attend meetings, or conduct other University business.
  • College vehicles may be reserved during normal business operating hours, M-F, 8 am – 5 pm from the Dean’s Office at both City and Scott campuses. (Employee Resources).
  • Faculty, staff, and students must be approved as authorized drivers through UNL Transportation Services, prior to reserving and driving a College vehicle. (Transportation Services).

Priority will be given to those reserving the College vehicles for the following purposes in the order shown: (1) teaching purposes, (2) official College business, and (3) other University business.

Overall responsibility for monitoring compliance with this policy will rest with the Dean of the College and the Assistant Dean for Business and Fiscal Affairs. The Dean of the College of Engineering has the express authority to refuse reimbursement for any expense deemed inappropriate or excessive.

Procedure -- All Other Travel:

  • All travel must have prior approval in the form of a Travel Authorization.   If an approved travel authorization form is not completed prior to travel, no reimbursement will be made. 
  • Faculty and staff are encouraged to use the university’s prime vendor for travel arrangements.  
  • No advances for travel expenditures will be authorized. 
  • Expense reimbursement requests must be received in the Dean’s office no later than 30 days after the final day on which expenses were incurred. Each request must be fully itemized, including the amount, date and place of each expense incurred.   Forms submitted after this date may not be reimbursed
  • All expenses submitted for reimbursement must include an original, itemized receipt.  If the travel includes a foreign component/destination, all receipts must be translated to English and converted to US$ prior to submission.
  • A receipt is required for any non-meal expense in excess of $25 to qualify for reimbursement
  • It is the responsibility of each Department Chair to ensure consistent compliance of travel. 
  • Overall responsibility for monitoring compliance will rest with the Dean of the college and the Assistant Dean of business and fiscal affairs.
  • The Dean of the College of Engineering has the express authority to refuse reimbursement for any expense deemed inappropriate or excessive.

The following are offered as examples of appropriate reimbursable expenses

  • Air Travel
    • Coach class air travel will be reimbursed by the College. Any upgrades are the personal financial responsibility of faculty/staff.
    • Airline reservations should be made as far in advance of the date of travel as is reasonable and appropriate to take advantage of discount fares. 
    • On out-of-state trips when commercial air service could have been used advantageously, mileage will be reimbursed at the price of an airline (coach) ticket or at the prescribed mileage rate, whichever is less. No meals or lodging will be reimbursed while en route.
  • Ground Transportation

The most cost effective method of transportation should be used in all cases. 

  • Hotel shuttle vans are recommended.
  • Taxis should be used only when shuttle services are not available. 
  • Town cars and limousines are not appropriate modes of transportation and will not be reimbursed. 
  • Rental cars will be reimbursed when appropriate. 
Lodging expense
  • Itemized receipts are required for all lodging expenses.
  • Certain items provided by lodging vendors are considered personal items and therefore will not be reimbursed. Examples of non-reimbursed items include in-room movies, laundry, dry cleaning and shoe shine expenses
  • Meals purchased by an employee traveling on University business are reimbursable.
  • The reported cost of meals and beverages includes taxes and tips as applicable.
  • Itemized receipts are required detailing all meals and beverages.
  • Tips should be itemized separately from the cost of meals and beverages.
  • No reimbursement will be made for alcoholic beverages (Foundation discretionary funds may be used if so designated.)
Miscellaneous Expenses
  • Employees will be reimbursed for reasonable long-distance telephone calls (including access charges) with appropriate receipts
  • Tips to service personnel such as bellhops, porters and skycaps are reimbursed provided they are reasonable. 
  • Airport parking will be reimbursed with an appropriate receipt.  Recreational tours, programs, etc. offered as a part of a conference at a reduced price are not reimbursable expenses. 
  • Any non-employee expense associated with companion travel will not be reimbursed.
  • Additional baggage charges will not be reimbursed unless a business reason is authorized prior to travel.