Human Resources

General Policies and Procedures

Data Security Policy

Administrative information is one of the College's most valuable resources and requires responsible use by members of the College community. Amherst College faculty and staff are charged with safeguarding the integrity, accuracy, and confidentiality of this information as part of the condition of employment.

Employees are expected to ensure that the information that they are authorized to access is protected from unauthorized access, unauthorized use, invalid changes, or destruction.

Access to administrative systems is granted to a particular individual based on the need to use specific data, as defined by position responsibilities, and subject to appropriate approval. As such, this access cannot be shared, transferred, or delegated. Failure to protect these resources may result in disciplinary measures in accordance with policies described in this handbook.

System privileges will be authorized by the department head or designated department security manager and centrally assigned by the system administrator(s) in the database services group. Inquiry Access to administrative information will be authorized on a 'need to know' basis. Maintenance access to processes will be authorized based on job responsibilities.

Flag Lowering

The flag is lowered for 24 hours to mark the passing of a) any current College employee or b) a former employee who worked for the College until the time of retirement. The flag is also lowered for children and spouses of people in the above categories, for current students and trustees, and during memorial services in Johnson Chapel. Details are available in the Office of Human Resources.

The Public Affairs Office and the President's Office are authorized to ask Campus Police to lower the flag. Anyone with definitive information about a death should call the Public Affairs Office, who will notify Campus Police and give the name of the deceased to the College switchboard.

Key Control Policy

The Physical Plant and Campus Police work together to provide accessibility to buildings and facilities while maintaining appropriate levels of security.

All keys, locks, electronic access cards and access codes are the property of Amherst College and must be returned to the lock shop upon termination of employment.

Employees may be issued keys based upon need as authorized by the appropriate Amherst College director, manager or supervisor. Master keys to College facilities should not be removed from campus. The Chief of Police may make exceptions for compelling reasons. All stolen or lost keys or electronic access cards should be immediately reported to the campus police.

The College retains the right to change access codes and locks, and to deny access to facilities based upon security issues.

Details of this policy are available in the Office of Human Resources.


In accordance with the requirements the state building and fire prevention regulations and the policies of the town of Amherst, smoking is not permitted in schools, colleges, universities or public buildings. In addition, smoking is prohibited in areas of assembly, around flammable liquids and gases and in other areas so designated as "No-Smoking" for reasons of fire prevention, health and safety.

Smoking shall be permitted outside of buildings at a distance of not less than 25 feet. This requirement applies to entrances, exits, and loading docks, areas of assembly, air intakes, building overhangs, porches, areas used for the storage and transfer of flammable liquids and gases and other similar situations through which non-smokers would have to pass through, or where there may be a risk of fire or explosion.

Employees interested in smoking cessation classes or clinics may obtain information from their health plans or the Office of Human Resources.

Vehicle Safety Policy

In accordance with the requirements of the Massachusetts Department of Motor Vehicles and the Amherst College environmental health & safety policy, guidelines have been established to reduce the risk of incident and injury when it comes to the operation and use of a motor vehicle by employees and students working for Amherst College.

It is the responsibility of each and every supervisor to oversee the implementation and enforcement of this guideline. The Director of Facilities/Associate Treasurer for Campus Services, the Environmental Health and Safety Committee, Amherst College Police Department and the office of Environmental Health and Safety have approved and implemented this policy for reasons of health, liability and safety.

In the event that an employee is involved in an accident while driving a College owned vehicle, they shall make every effort not to move the vehicle(s) until the arrival of police. It is important for investigating officers to see the positioning of the vehicle(s). The exception is when the vehicle(s) may compromise public safety.

On campus accidents should be reported to the campus police, off campus accidents should be reported to the appropriate police agency and later to the campus police. All accidents must be reported.

Details of the policy are available in the Office of Human Resources.