General Information

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A.1 Introduction

The Dawson Community College Employee Handbook is designed to provide all employees and supervisors with clear, concise, and accessible information about Board of Regents’, Board of Trustees’, and Montana Operations Manual policies and procedures relating to employment at Dawson Community College.

This handbook is intended solely to provide guidance concerning the mutual expectations shared by the College and its employees. It is not an employment contract and does not create any type of contractual obligations.

As mutual governance bodies, the Montana Board of Regents of Higher Education and the Dawson Community College Board of Trustees reserve the right to change, revise, or eliminate any of the policies described in this handbook or in other official publications. Policies of the Montana Board of Regents are available at its website ( Policies of the DCC Board of Trustees are available at both the DCC website ( and in offices throughout the campus. The Montana Operations Manual is available at the following website:

Faculty members are employed on a contractual basis. Provisions applying solely to the faculty are described in Section B, titled “The Faculty,” of this publication.

Classified staff members are employed on an hourly basis, by contract. Provisions applying solely to the classified staff are described in Section C, titled “Classified Staff,” of this publication.

While this handbook provides considerable information, it does not cover every situation. Questions about the information in this handbook can be directed to the Office of the President.

A.1.1 Dawson Community College Offers

The College seeks to provide its employees with job satisfaction and opportunities for personal and professional growth.

In addition to the usual group benefits, such as medical, life, and disability insurance, the College offers other benefits, such as the use of the athletic facilities, tuition waivers for credit courses, and free admission to athletic events and various campus events.

A.1.2 Dawson Community College Expects

The College expects employees to accomplish their tasks and duties competently and responsibly. Several resources have been provided to assist the employee when and if problems arise. If work problems do arise, an employee is asked to discuss them first with his/her immediate supervisor.

An attitude of cooperation and goodwill benefits everyone, in work and in contact with students, alumni, and visitors to the campus.


A.2 Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity


It is the policy of Dawson Community College not to discriminate against any individual on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, age, disability, or veteran status in matters of admissions, employment, housing, or services or in the educational programs or activities it operates, in accordance with civil rights legislation and College Commitment.


A.3 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)


Dawson Community College recognizes and supports the standards set forth in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and similar state laws, which are designed to eliminate discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities. The College is committed to making reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals as required by law. Qualifying disabilities can include, for example, vision, hearing or mobility impairments, psychological and medical conditions, and learning disabilities, which substantially limit one or more of an employee’s major life activities. Employees with ADA-related concerns should contact their immediate supervisor.


A.4 Bomb Threats


A.4.1 Letter and Package Bombs

See Letter and Package Bomb checklist in the Forms section.


A.4.2 Telephone Bomb Threats

See Telephone Bomb Threat checklist in the Forms section.


A.5 Budget


The college budget is prepared by the administration with input from the personnel comprising the three administrative divisions (administrative, instructional, and student services). The Dean of Administrative Services prepares and manages budgets related to all buildings, grounds, and non-teaching personnel; the Dean of Instructional Services prepares and manages budgets related to all instructional areas; and the Dean of Student Services prepares and manages all budgets related to all student service areas. The annual budget is presented to and approved by the Board of Trustees in the spring of each year. The Dean of Administrative Services is responsible for the fiscal management of the annual institutional budget.


Requests for equipment, supplies, repairs, and travel expenses for faculty, staff, or student groups must be submitted through proper channels before approval will be given (see A.15 and A.20).


A.6 Business Office


The Business Office operates as a service to college personnel and students in conducting the financial affairs of the college.


Bills are paid the day following the monthly meeting of the Board of Trustees (4th Monday of each month). Travel Reimbursements requests, vouchers, etc. must be submitted to the Business Office, with appropriate approvals, by noon of the Thursday preceding the monthly Board meeting to allow time for processing.


The Business Office is charged with handling all monies received and expended by the college. All budgetary purchasing is done through the Business Office according to prescribed procedures as detailed in A.14 – Purchasing.


A.7 Cooperating with Law Enforcement Agencies


From time-to-time, a member of a local law enforcement agency may arrive on campus to make an arrest or serve a warrant. In such cases, the officer should be directed to an administrator (the President or a Dean). The administrator will ask the officer to stay by the Main Office while he/she goes to the classroom to ask the instructor to excuse the student. The administrator will escort the student to the Main Office where the law enforcement officer can carry out his/her duties with minimal disruption to the college, its faculty, staff, and students.


A.8 Emergency Notification Procedure


At the start of each academic year, the President will publish a list of names and phone numbers of authorities to be contacted in the case of an emergency. This call list will provide faculty, staff, and students with the means to secure emergency assistance. Police and/or fire departments are to be called when situations warrant their assistance.


A.9 Employee Safety/On-the-Job Injury and Illness


Safe working conditions are of primary importance throughout the college. Each employee shall report any unsafe conditions to an appropriate supervisor. Typical examples of unsafe conditions include, but are not limited to the following: wet or slippery floors; equipment which presents a safety hazard; defective or broken equipment; careless handling of equipment; defective electrical outlets, lamps, etc.


In case of work-related injury or illness, the employee’s supervisor and the Business Office must be notified within 24 hours and, if necessary, the employee must seek immediate medical care. If the injury is life-threatening or appears to be so, call 911. A form for reporting an incident of on-the-job injury is available at the Business Office.


College employees are covered by Workers Compensation.


A.10 Employment at Dawson Community College


The President confirms all appointments to full-time and part-time positions as well as all promotions, job transfers, and changes in employee status, in writing, usually in the form of a contract. Before being placed on the payroll, new employees must complete the necessary state and federal employment forms in the Business Office.


The College, in accordance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, is committed to employing only those applicants authorized to work in the United States. As a condition of employment, all new employees must properly complete, sign, and date the first section of the Immigration and Naturalization Service Form I-9. A newly rehired employee must complete the form before starting work if he/she had not filed an I-9 with the College previously; his/her previous I-9 is more than three years old; his/her previous I-9 is no longer valid. An employee who did not properly complete the I-9 will not be paid.


A.10.1 Starting Work


When an employee first reports to work, his/her supervisor will show him/her the workplace, explain the responsibilities and procedures of the position, and answer any questions. A new employee shall make an appointment with the Dean of Administrative Services, within the first two weeks of employment, to review benefit options, eligibility requirements, and to discuss payroll.

Additionally, the new employee will receive information from the Dean of Administrative Services about, but not limited to:

  • College policies regarding overtime, compensatory time, sick leave, annual leave, attendance, and performance evaluation;
  • Records;
  • Keys; and
  • Lunch schedules and facilities.

In addition, the new employee’s supervisor will provide a tour of the campus.


A.10.2 Categories of Employment


The College has developed a series of employment categories to identify the type of position held by each staff member.


If, at any time, an employee is unclear about the type of appointment he/she holds, clarification should be sought from either the supervisor or the Dean of Administrative Services.


A.10.3 Employment Categories Defined


Faculty members teach and advise students (see Master Agreement).


Classified staff members are employees who are not faculty or administrators. Staff members are hired on a full-time or part-time basis.


Administrators manage the day-to-day operation of the institution.


Full-Time employees work a standard full-time schedule, depending on the stated appointment terms. They are eligible for enrollment in all College benefit programs.


Part-time employees, who work regularly scheduled, but less than full-time hours, are eligible for some benefits.


Temporary employees hired for a mutually agreed upon period of time or for the duration of a particular project at an agreed on rate of pay may be eligible for employee benefits.


A.10.4 Work Schedule/Hours


Faculty members are required to comply with the provisions of the academic calendar and hours per week as cited in the Master Agreement.


Full-time classified employees work 40 hours each week, usually in five 8-hour days. The bi-weekly work week begins on Sunday and ends on the following second Saturday. Most positions allow for one half-hour of unpaid time for a meal during a work shift. This may vary according to the department.


All departments provide two 15-minute breaks each day, scheduled by the supervisor.


Work schedules are subject to change, given seasonal and weekend demands. Any variations in the standard schedule for a given position must receive advance approval from the supervisor, who will advise all employees of their working hours.


In order to meet the needs of the College community, attendance and promptness are taken into account in performance reviews. If an employee is unable to work for any reason, he/she must contact the appropriate supervisor or the Business Office before the start of the workday. The College appreciates as much notice as possible. Specific notification times may be set by individual departments due to coverage needs.


A.11 Harassment Policy


Dawson Community College affirms the right of all employees and students to work and study in an environment that is free from all forms of discrimination, harassment, and intimidation and is committed to providing a climate of mutual respect among students and employees. The College is opposed to any practice or action that denies human dignity or infringes upon academic and personal freedom.


A.11.1 Sexual Harassment


Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct or written communications of an intimidating, hostile, or offensive sexual nature. In addition, sexual harassment behavior includes:

  • The employee’s or student’s submission to another is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual’s employment or education.
  • The employee’s or student’s submission to, or rejection of, such conduct is used as a basis for employment or education decisions.
  • The conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, offensive environment.

Furthermore, sexual harassment and/or intimidation is a violation of state and federal equal opportunity and nondiscrimination regulations. The College is committed to taking action against an offender through a disciplinary process. Employees or students seeking advice on, or wishing to file a grievance related to alleged sexual harassment, must contact the Affirmative Action Officer located in Room 127 of the Main Building.


A.11.2 Informal Harassment Complaint Procedure


A complainant should file a verbal complaint with the Affirmative Action Officer. The Affirmative Action Officer and the complainant will work together to attempt to resolve the issue and work toward an acceptable solution at the lowest possible management level.


A.11.3 Formal Harassment Complaint Procedure


A written formal grievance must be filed with the Affirmative Action Officer who will notify the president, and the respondent of the allegation. Within five working days, the grievance officer shall initiate whatever steps necessary to produce a resolution of the complaint, which is acceptable to both parties. If a resolution is not agreed upon, further investigation is warranted and resulting information will be transmitted to the members of the appeals board.


A.11.4 Other Forms of Harassment


Threats, whether or not a person has the intention of carrying them out, are serious matters with possible criminal implications.


Disciplinary action will be taken when instances of harassment are identified and confirmed, filed and result in a finding of probable cause. Retaliation against persons who file complaints is a violation of laws prohibiting discrimination and will result in disciplinary action against offenders.


It is expected that DCC employees and students are aware of the above expectations and responsibilities and that he/she will always abide by those realistic standards of performance and citizenship that are conducive to self-growth and to the well-being of the college community.


A.12 Leaves/Absences


A.12.1 Bereavement Leave


Employees are entitled to three (3) days leave to be deducted from sick leave for the death of any member of his/her immediate family. Members of the immediate family are defined as: husband; wife; son; step-son; son-in-law; daughter; step-daughter; daughter-in-law; father; father-in-law; mother; mother-in-law; step-father; step-mother; brother; sister; step-half-brother; step-half-sister; grandparents; grandchildren; brother-in-law; sister-in-law; significant other or any relative living in the immediate household. Faculty members are required to give written notice to the Dean of Instructional Services, who will notify the Dean of Administrative Services. All other employees are required to give written notice to the Dean of Administrative Services. The President may grant exceptions.


A.12.2 Maternity/Paternity Leave


Maternity/Paternity leave shall be granted according to the terms of the Family Leave Act of 1993.


A.12.3 Military Leave


Upon application, military leaves without pay shall be granted.


A.12.4 Personal Leave


Personal leave is awarded to all full-time employees. The following rate table identifies the amount of personal leave awarded annually per the number of years of continuous service:

A. 0 through 14 years: 3 days

B. 15 through 24 years: 4 days

C. 25 or more years 5 days


College employees must use their personal leave in the fiscal year awarded.


Personal leave for part-time employees is calculated on a pro rata basis.


Planned-for-absences must be documented on an absence report and be authorized by the immediate supervisor prior to the absence. Unplanned-for-absences (e.g., illness, bereavement, etc.) must also be documented on an absence report and be authorized by the immediate supervisor upon the employee’s return to campus.


A.13 Offices and Office Decorating


Office assignments will be made by the respective Dean of the area in which the employee is assigned. Employees are encouraged to personalize their offices to make them a comfortable working environment. Please fill out work orders for the Physical Plant staff to arrange for any wall hangings that require more than a straight pin or tack.


A.14 Payroll


The College pays its employees twice each month (on the 5th and 20th or the last working day prior to these dates if these dates fall on a weekend or holiday).


A.15 Purchasing


A.15.1 General Acquisitions

See BP/CP 5-1: Institutional Purchasing.


If items are of a special nature, such as chemical or biological supplies, the employee is asked to help identify the best place to purchase and should name the company and price. If the items are more general in nature, such as paper, files, chairs, and such, the Business Office will determine the purchase of such items. Employees are expected to get the best possible price for any purchase.


A.15.2 Computer Hardware and Software


The Technology Committee is responsible for coordinating and overseeing purchases of institutional computer hardware and software with the exception of the administrative computer information system. Requests to purchase any computer hardware or software must be submitted to the Technology Committee on the “Computer Expenditure Request Form.” The form must be filled out completely indicating the proposed purchase(s), purpose, price and budget account (e.g., Technology Fee, Grant Source, Administrative Division Budget).

The Technology Committee will review the request and make a recommendation as to whether the expenditure makes sense for the proposed purpose. Purchases will be evaluated according to their compliance with the institutional technology plan developed by the Technology Committee. The committee may also make recommendations for alternative purchases or technical assistance needed by the originator of the purchase request.


Upon approval of the Technology Committee, the “requester” will be authorized to complete a Requisition Form to order the item(s). The completed form will then be submitted to the Business Office.


The Business Office maintains an inventory of all computer hardware and software being used by Dawson Community College.


A.16 Release of Information


Frequently, employees gain access to confidential information about the College, its employees, and students. In light of this knowledge, employees must safeguard this information and protect the privacy rights of others.


When an employee is solicited either by telephone or in person for information on a student, it is recommended to refer such individuals to the Registrar. When an employee is solicited either by telephone or in person for information on a fellow employee, it is recommended to refer such individuals to the Dean of Administrative Services.


The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is specific about the types of student information that colleges may disclose to others. Colleges may disclose, without consent, “directory” information such as a student’s name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance. However, colleges must tell parents and eligible students about directory information and allow parents and eligible students a reasonable amount of time to request that the college not disclose directory information about them. When in doubt about what should be disclosed, it is best to refer inquiries about DCC students to the Registrar.


A.17 Retirement Plans


All Dawson Community College employees are required to participate in Social Security. Employees will participate in either the Montana Teachers’ Retirement System (T.R.S.) or the Montana Public Employees’ Retirement System (P.E.R.S.).


A.18 Salary Deductions


A.18.1 Required Deductions


The college is required to withhold federal income tax, Montana income tax, TRS, PRS, and Social Security from an employee’s pay. When required to do so, the college shall withhold court-ordered, wage garnishments.


A.18.2 Voluntary Deductions


Various voluntary salary deductions, which the employee pays, can be arranged through the Business Office


A.19 Separation from Employment


Prior to terminating employment with the College, all employees are required to complete the “Employee Separation Report/Exit Interview” and the “Exit Questionnaire” forms, available from the Business Office.


A.20 Travel Expenses


Employees will be reimbursed for any properly authorized college related travel expense. Mileage and per diem reimbursement rates comply with those set by the State of Montana.


Routine travel, completed as part of the employee’s regular job duties, requires only the verbal approval of the appropriate Dean. In this case, the travel voucher needs to be submitted after the travel is completed unless a travel advance is requested. If a travel advance is requested, the employee should submit the appropriately authorized travel voucher to the Business Office. Following the completion of the trip, the employee should submit a final travel voucher detailing actual expenses, with receipts.


Employees desiring to attend a conference or meeting must complete a “Conference or Meeting Attendance Request Form” prior to attending such activities. See the Forms section of this handbook for copies of these forms.


A.21 Tuition Waivers


Full-time Dawson Community College employees (faculty, administration, and staff), their spouses, and dependents are eligible for the waiver of tuition for classes, but not workshops. The administration will determine which courses are categorized as classes and workshops. Board members, their spouses and dependents are also eligible for tuition waivers. Part-time employees are also eligible, but not their spouses and dependents. Additional information on this benefit is included at the end of this section.


A.22 Unemployment


All college employees, except work study students, are covered by the State Unemployment Insurance Plan.

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