06-16.00 – Volunteer Policy
Towson University’s (“University) Volunteer Policy forms the basis of the volunteer program, giving direction to the issues affecting volunteers.
Reason for Policy:
This policy is designed to enable the University to accept volunteers, reduce volunteer risk and protect the interests of the University, its volunteers, and the community it serves. It demonstrates the University’s commitment both to its volunteer program and to its individual volunteers. The University Volunteer Policy enables volunteers to be aware of their responsibilities and rights and applies to all University volunteers.
“Volunteer” shall mean a person who is appointed by and is authorized to perform services for the State of Maryland through the University. To qualify as a University Volunteer, a person must have completed the Towson University Volunteer Designation Form (Appendix A), be appointed by a University department and be properly licensed or authorized for the activities or practices (i.e. driver’s license, EMT, professional designation, etc.). A person remains a volunteer only for that period specified in the Volunteer Designation Form. Volunteers do not receive wages and are not in an employer/employee relationship with the University.
Responsible Executive and Office:
Vice President for Administration and Finance and Chief Fiscal Officer
Environmental Health and Safety
Entities Affected by this Policy:
All University departments and all University volunteers.
Rights & Responsibilities
University volunteers are expected to abide by the University policies and procedures and external regulations that govern their actions, including but not limited to those relating to ethical behavior, safety, confidentiality, protected health information, computer use, financial responsibility, and drug use. Departments utilizing volunteers shall be responsible for providing University policies and procedures to the volunteer.
When selecting and engaging a volunteer, it is the department or unit’s responsibility to be certain the individual has adequate experience, qualifications, and training for the task he or she will be required to perform.
It is the department or unit’s responsibility to ensure the attached Volunteer Designation Form (Appendix A) (and the attached Parental Consent Form (Appendix C), if appropriate) is completed.
If the individual is a current volunteer but their duties are changed, all applicable forms must be completed once again.
A University Volunteer’s term of service may be terminated at any time and without prior notice.
Who May Volunteer
Anyone, including retirees, students, alumni, or others may provide volunteer services to the University, with the following restrictions:
An individual under the age of eighteen must obtain parental consent to volunteer (see Appendix C, Parental Consent Form for Volunteers).
A current employee may not become a University volunteer at the University in any capacity in which he or she is employed at the University, or which is essentially similar to or related to the individual’s regular work at the University.
Prohibited Volunteer Activities
University volunteers cannot replace employee positions or impair the employment of a University position. Volunteers’ services are generally limited to humanitarian, charitable or public services.
University volunteers are also prohibited from performing certain activities, including:
operating heavy equipment;
working with stored energy (e.g. steam, electricity, hydraulics);
activity considered inappropriate for any employee or person associated with the University or the State of Maryland;
entering into any contract on behalf of the University;
except for a licensed medical professional, working with infectious or potentially infectious agents, including human blood.
The University requires all volunteers operating a motor vehicle to possess an operator's license and maintain insurance. See the letter from the Attorney General’s Office, “Risks and Liabilities of Automobile Use within the Scope of Public Duties” in Appendix B. All drivers of State vehicles must be cleared by the University Fleet Services and complete Driver Improvement Training. Individuals driving a 10-passenger van must also complete Van Driver Training.
Liability Coverage under the Maryland Tort Claims Act (MTCA)
Under the MTCA, a University volunteer may be immune from liability for certain acts or omissions if the act or omission occurred while the volunteer was providing an authorized service to or for the State (Towson University). (Section 12-101, State Government Article, Annotated Code of Maryland.)
A University volunteer may be personally liable for acts or omissions occurring outside the scope of the authorized duties and responsibilities stated in the “Volunteer Designation Form,” or for acts or omissions which are malicious or grossly negligent and for which defense of sovereign immunity is not available. (Governor’s Office Volunteerism, 1992.)
Maryland’s Workers’ Compensation Act
Pursuant to §9-231.1 of the Labor and Employment Article of the Maryland Code, University volunteers are eligible to receive medical services and treatment for compensable injuries which occur while performing volunteer work for the University.
It is each Department’s responsibility to maintain a completed copy of the Volunteer Designation Form for each of its volunteers. The form must be kept for at least five (5) years after the volunteer’s last date of service on the form. Recordkeeping requirements are subject to audit by Management Advisory and Compliance Services.
Approval Date: 06/02/2010
Effective Date: 06/02/2010
Approved By: President’s Council 03/09/2010
Signed By: President’s Council
How to Request the Policy PDF
This online version of the policy may include updated links and names of departments. To request a PDF of the original, signed version of this policy, email the Office of the General Counsel, generalcounsel AT_TOWSON.