Drug-Free Schools and Workplace

Drug-Free Schools and Workplace

Statement of Policy

In compliance with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989, Excelsior University has a long-standing commitment to providing a safe, quality oriented, and productive work environment. Alcohol and drug abuse pose a threat to the health and safety of Excelsior staff, our students and to the security of our facilities. For these reasons, Excelsior University is committed to the elimination of drug and/or alcohol abuse in the workplace and University community. Excelsior University is committed to maintaining an alcohol- and drug-free workplace and University community. The University is also committed to rigorous enforcement of applicable laws and policies and to support those trying to cope with alcohol- or drug-related problems. Illegal drug use and alcohol abuse can seriously injure the health of employees, adversely impact the performance of their responsibilities, and endanger the safety and well-being of fellow employees. In addition, illegal drug use and alcohol abuse by our students can lower academic achievement, diminishing student success at Excelsior University. Individuals who wish to obtain information on drug and alcohol abuse prevention programs may contact the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Clearinghouse for Alcohol & Drug Information at: https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline or 1-800-662-HELP (4357) | TTY: (800) 487-4889, or the Excelsior University Office of Human Resources. For its employees, Excelsior University has retained the services of ComPsych, an employee assistance provider, that provides awareness, counseling and rehabilitation referrals related to the abuse of alcohol and drugs. For more information, please contact the Office of Human Resources or visit Excelsior Central, Human Resources (EAP-ComPsych). In addition to the above, Excelsior University has a student assistance program available with ComPsych. Please visit MyExcelsior Resources (Student Assistance Program) for more information about this confidential resource. Excelsior University will assist and support employees and students who voluntarily seek help for such problems before becoming subject to discipline and/or termination under this or other Excelsior College policies. Such individuals will be allowed to use accrued Paid Time Off, placed on leave of absence, referred to treatment providers, and otherwise accommodated as required by law. Such individuals are required to document that they are successfully following prescribed treatment.

Procedures

Requirement Whenever Excelsior University students and employees are present on Excelsior University premises (whether or not Excelsior University students are on the premises) or conducting Excelsior University business, they are prohibited from:
  • Using, possessing, buying, selling, manufacturing, or dispensing an illegal drug (including possession of drug paraphernalia);
  • Being under the influence of alcohol or an illegal drug;
  • Abusing illegal, prescribed, or over-the-counter drugs.
This policy does not prohibit employees from the lawful use and possession of prescribed medications. Employees, however, must first consult with their medical providers regarding the effect on their fitness for duty and their ability to work safely, and promptly report any work restrictions to their supervisor. The University will not take disciplinary action against employees for certified medical use of cannabis. In addition, the University will comply with the New York Law in regard to adult recreational use of cannabis. However, like all other employees, employees who are certified patients or who are legally using cannabis for recreational purposes may be subject to disciplinary action if they exhibit articulable symptoms of impairment on the job, on University premises, on University business, or are otherwise in violation of this policy. Excelsior University reserves the right to inspect all portions of its premises for drugs, alcohol, or other contraband. All employees, visitors and students may be asked to cooperate in inspections of their persons, work areas, and property that might conceal a drug, alcohol, or other contraband. Employees who possess such materials and/or refuse to cooperate in such inspections are subject to appropriate discipline, up to and including discharge. Law enforcement personnel shall be notified, as appropriate, when criminal activity is suspected. Possession of an illegal substance is a serious crime, resulting in criminal penalties ranging from a Class A misdemeanor to Class A1 felony under New York State law (Article 220 of the Penal Law), and federal penalties ranging from a term of imprisonment of not more than 1 year, a minimum fine of $1,000 (21 U.S.C. 844). Unlawful possession of an alcoholic beverage with the intent to consume by persons under the age of twenty-one years is, in New York State, subject to a fine not exceeding fifty dollars and/or completion of an alcohol awareness program and/or community service not to exceed thirty hours. Students who violate this Policy will face disciplinary action, up to and including, expulsion from Excelsior University. Employees who violate this Policy, will face disciplinary action, up to and including, termination of employment from Excelsior University. Excelsior University reserves the right to refer any Employee or Student for criminal prosecution for violations of the standards of conduct described in this Policy. Notification Requirements for Students As an institution receiving Federal grant funds, Excelsior University is required to observe certain requirements related to criminal drug convictions:
  • As a condition of enrollment in Excelsior University a student must notify the Executive Director of Student Registration and Financial Services (518-738-8850) if such student is convicted of a criminal drug offense within five calendar days of such conviction.
  • In the event of any such conviction, Excelsior University will notify the appropriate federal agency (i.e., Department of Education for Title IV) within ten days of receiving notice of a conviction.
  • Within 30 calendar days of receiving such notice, Excelsior University may:
    • Take action against such student, as appropriate, up to and including administrative withdrawal from the University, consistent with the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended; or
    • Require such student to participate satisfactorily in a drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program approved for such purposes by a Federal, State, or local health, law enforcement, or other appropriate agency.
    In addition to the foregoing, students convicted of a drug-related offense may lose federal financial aid under Title IV and/or other financial aid.
Notification Requirements for Employees As an institution receiving Federal grant funds, Excelsior University is required to observe certain requirements related to criminal drug convictions:
  • As a condition of employment, an employee of Excelsior University must notify the Excelsior University Vice President of Human Resources (518-464-8508) if such employee is convicted of a criminal drug offense within five calendar days of such conviction.
  • In the event of any such conviction, Excelsior University will notify the appropriate federal agency (i.e., Department of Education for Title IV) within ten days of receiving notice of a conviction.
  • Within 30 calendar days of receiving notice with respect to any employee who is convicted, Excelsior University may:
    • Take personnel action against such an employee, as appropriate, up to and including termination, consistent with the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended; or require such employee to participate satisfactorily in a drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program approved for such purposes by a Federal, State, or local health, law enforcement, or other appropriate agency.
    • Require such employee to make a good faith effort to maintain a drug-free workplace.
This policy and its requirements are promulgated in accordance with the requirements of the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 (48 CFR 52.223-6) and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 (P.L. 101-226; 34 CFR 86) both of which were enacted by Congress. Excelsior University will continue its efforts to maintain an alcohol- and drug-free environment by adhering to the above policy.