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University Volunteers Policy

University Volunteers Policy


Recognizing the value of volunteers in furthering the University’s vision, mission, and core values, this policy outlines the relationship between volunteers and the University of Dayton.  This policy is meant to reduce risk and protect the interests of the University, its volunteers, and the community it serves.


Any individual, who is not otherwise currently affiliated with the University as a member of the Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, or student body, who seeks to serve or perform services for the University as a volunteer, either taking place on the University campus or under the authority and/or direction of the University at other locations.

Policy History

I.  Effective Date:  January 1, 2017

II.  Approval:  April 1, 2024

III.  History:

  • Approved in Original Form:  December 14, 2016
  • Approved as amended:  April 1, 2024

IV.  Maintenance of Policy:  Vice President and General Counsel, Office of Legal Affairs; Vice President, Office of Human Resources; and Associate Provost for Faculty and Administrative Affairs, Office of the Provost


(a) "Volunteer" (also known as an "affiliate" in certain areas of campus) is a nonemployee who, of the nonemployee’s own volition, performs services for the University of Dayton, where such services are offered and performed with no expectation of compensation in any form, and where such services are of mutual benefit and related to the business of the University, meant to support official University activities, or intended to provide experience in a specific area. A volunteer is an individual who is not currently enrolled as a student or employed by the University, as those individuals are already subject to University policies and/or the Student Code of Conduct.  For purposes of this policy, "Volunteer" does not include members of the Board of Trustees who are solely serving the University as a trustee, as trustees are already subject to a Code of Business Conduct/Conflict of Interest Policy and other expectations set forth in the University’s governing documents.

(b)  "Additional Preconditions" are additional requirements for Volunteers (generally above a Level 1) prior to providing their service, dependent upon the nature of the service to be provided. Such requirements are determined by a University Representative and may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following: reviewing policies and procedures, visiting/working in a laboratory, signing a confidentiality agreement, completing driver certification, successfully passing a background check, signing the Nonemployee Agreement, providing signed documentation of receiving the health and safety program and questionnaire, signing a waiver or University terms and conditions, etc.

Level 2 and 3 Volunteers are required to sign the University of Dayton Nonemployee Agreement.

(c) "University Representative" is a University of Dayton employee who engages with a potential Volunteer regarding the Volunteer’s performance of services or who supervises the Volunteer’s services.  University Representatives are responsible for determining a Volunteer’s level classification and Additional Preconditions needed, as well as ensuring all such Additional Preconditions are satisfied prior to a Volunteer’s service.  Leaders of student organizations recognized by the Center for Student Involvement may serve as a University Representative for a Level 1 Volunteer.


The University may accept the services of a Volunteer, provided the terms of this policy are met.  In its sole discretion, the University may refuse, decline, or discontinue the services of a Volunteer for nondiscriminatory reasons.

Before an individual becomes a Volunteer, a University Representative must determine the Volunteer’s classification level and any necessary Additional Preconditions.  Most Volunteers will be classified as Level 1 Volunteers. Level 1 Volunteers are subject to this policy but are not expected to complete any Additional Preconditions.  Additional Preconditions are required for Volunteers that exceed the ordinary range of volunteer duties, i.e., beyond minimal time and engaging in more than a low level of risk.  These Volunteers will be classified as a Level 2 or 3.  Examples of services that trigger a Level 2 or 3 classification can be found in Section I below with corresponding Additional Preconditions found in Section II.

I.  Volunteer Level Classification

Level 1 – Generally, most Volunteers will be classified as Level 1.  Volunteers serving at this level are expected to expend minimal time and engage in lower risk activities. Examples of Level 1 Volunteers include:

(a) a single afternoon passing out water;

(b) guest speaking in a lecture; or

(c) serving as a tour guide for short periods of time.

Level 2 – Volunteers who provide services above minimal time or above the level of a low risk activity will be classified as a Level 2.  Examples of Level 2 service includes:

(a) service within a potentially hazardous area such as a University laboratory or mechanical room, e.g., Kettering Laboratories;

(b) driving University owned, leased, or rented property, e.g., University vehicles, golf carts, or utility vehicles;

(c) use of University owned and controlled equipment, e.g., University tools, forklift, etc.;

(d) service that includes handling cash;

(e) service in which the likelihood of an accident while performing the service or work is more than negligible, e.g., physical activity could result in injury;

(f) service where the chance of damage of property from an accident is more than negligible if an accident occurred, e.g., any alteration to a University-owned facility or ground; or

(g) service that is performed more than three feet off the ground but no higher than a step stool or a 2-step ladder. 

Level 3 – If the services provided by a Volunteer requires controlled access to University systems or buildings, the Volunteer shall be classified as Level 3.

II.  Additional Preconditions to Service Based on Level Classification

All Volunteers are subject to the terms of this policy, and certain Additional Preconditions may need to be satisfied prior to that individual becoming a Volunteer, depending on the Volunteer level classification determined by a University Representative.  Level 1 is the default level for Volunteers, while Levels 2 and 3 require Additional Preconditions.  The University reserves the right to require the completion of Additional Preconditions for any Volunteer, regardless of level.  Below are the designated levels and corresponding standard Additional Preconditions.

Level 1

Level 1 is the default level for Volunteers.  Level 1 volunteers must comply with the general terms set forth in this policy.

Level 2

Level 2 Volunteers must comply with the general terms set forth in this policy, sign the University of Dayton Nonemployee Agreement, and successfully complete any Additional Preconditions as determined by a University Representative.

Level 3

Level 3 Volunteers must comply with all requirements set forth in this policy, sign the University of Dayton Nonemployee Agreement, successfully complete a background check consistent with the requirements of the University’s Background Check Policy, successfully complete any Additional Preconditions determined by a University Representative, and provide any other applicable documentation required by the Office of Human Resources or Environmental Health & Safety/Risk Management (e.g., proof of insurance, etc.).

III.  General Terms Applicable to All Volunteers

a. Generally, an individual must be at least age eighteen (18) to serve as a Volunteer.  Individuals who are at least age sixteen (16) but not yet age eighteen (18) may serve as a Volunteer so long as a signed parental/guardian consent or waiver form is on file with the University Representative’s office or department.  In certain situations, exceptions may be considered for individuals less than age sixteen to serve as Volunteers.  Such exceptions are subject to the written approval of the Office of Legal Affairs in coordination with (a) the Office of Human Resources if the Volunteer is undertaking staff services; (b) the Office of the Provost if the Volunteer is serving with or as faculty; and/or (c) the Division of Student Development if the Volunteer is assisting in student activities.

b. All Volunteers must be under the general supervision of a University Representative. 

c. Volunteers are expected to abide by all applicable University policies and procedures (including but not limited to the Nondiscrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy and the University’s Statement of Dignity), any agreements included as Additional Preconditions (e.g., nonemployee agreement, confidentiality agreement, etc.), as well as any external regulations that govern the Volunteer's actions.

d. A background check may be required prior to certain volunteer services under the University of Dayton’s Background Check Policy and the University of Dayton's Children on Campus and Working with Minors Policy.  Additional training may also be required.  Performance of a Volunteer's service may be contingent on successful completion of one or both.

e. Volunteers are not employees of the University of Dayton, nor are they covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act or other employment laws through the University of Dayton. Volunteers are not eligible for wages, compensation, employee benefits, workers’ compensation, or unemployment both.

f. A Volunteer serves at the discretion of the University of Dayton.  The University may discontinue the service of a Volunteer for any reason, at any time, without prior notice or cause.

g. Volunteers are prohibited, and therefore must refrain, from the following:

     i. Performing hazardous activities or operating heavy equipment without prior written approval, including driving University-owned, leased, or rented vehicles without first being certified according to the University Vehicle Use and Training Policy or other departmental safety training;

     ii. Entering into any contract on behalf of the University of Dayton, unless such approval is previously granted in writing (Level II and III Volunteers only);

     iii. Performing any activity that would be considered inappropriate for a University of Dayton employee; and

     iv. Working in laboratories or with infectious agents, including human blood, unless all the necessary training has been completed.

h. A Volunteer may not use their position to compete with the University in any manner.  A Volunteer is expected to disclose any conflicts of interest (i.e., any circumstances that would impair the Volunteer's ability to perform their services in a fair and impartial manner) to the Volunteer’s University Representative.  A Volunteer shall avoid conflicts of interest with the University subject to any contractual requirements between the University and the Volunteer’s sponsoring organization. 

i. All rights, title, and interest (including any and all intellectual property rights pertaining thereto) in any and all works created, made, conceived, invented, developed, discovered or reduced to practice by a Volunteer in the performance of the Volunteer’s services for the University shall belong to the University, unless specified otherwise in writing and agreed to by the Office of Legal Affairs.

j. A Volunteer may not hold a University leadership position, cannot be responsible for University programs or be identified as "director" or by a similar term, does not have the authority to make decisions regarding employment or affecting the terms of a University employee’s employment (e.g., supervisory responsibilities, including but not limited to the ability to hire, fire, etc.), and does not have the authority to commit significant University resources to another party, service, project, etc. 

IV.  Expense Reimbursement, Stipends, and Other Nominal Benefits

a. In accordance with University guidelines, Volunteers may be reimbursed for expenses in carrying out their services.  Such expenditures must be authorized in writing in advance by the Volunteer’s University Representative.

b. Volunteers may be provided certain nominal benefits related to their service, such as admission to University events or other privileges, as approved by their University Representative.

c. All cash and cash equivalent (e.g., gift cards) awards, gifts, or prizes given to the Volunteer represent taxable income to the Volunteer, beginning with the first dollar.  All non-cash awards, gifts, or prizes valued greater than $100 represent taxable compensation to the Volunteer.  Such taxable income may be subject to the appropriate federal and state tax withholdings, as well as the Volunteer’s receipt of a year-end tax document.

V.  General Eligibility and/or Disqualification of Volunteers

a.  Any questions regarding the eligibility or suitability of an individual to serve as a Volunteer, or the applicability or satisfaction of the requirements of this policy, should be directed to the Office of Legal Affairs, the Office of Human Resources, or the Office of the Provost. 

b.  Any University Representative or University employee who becomes aware of a Volunteer's noncompliance with any University policies, or applicable laws or regulations should, in addition to following any protocol that may be required by the policy or law/regulation that has been violated, report the matter to the Office of Legal Affairs.  The Office of Legal Affairs will coordinate resolution of the issue with (a) the Office of Human Resources if the Volunteer is undertaking staff services; (b) the Office of the Provost if the Volunteer is serving with faculty; or (c) the Division of Student Development if the Volunteer is assisting in student activities.

VI.  Relationship to Other Standards, Practices or Requirements

Nothing in this policy is meant to supersede or replace the standards of any other applicable University policy, law, or regulation, or the protocols of any other entity involved with a Volunteer’s service for the University.  Satisfying the requirements of this policy does not relieve a person from any obligation to follow the protocols of another policy or another entity that may apply to the particular situation.  A Volunteer’s services shall align with the University's Catholic and Marianist values.  Additionally, individual University units maintain the discretion to impose measures beyond those required by this policy on Volunteers they have engaged.

VII.  Unique Situations

Rare circumstances may arise where a Volunteer is desired to take on responsibilities beyond those contemplated by this policy.  Such a Volunteer is permitted only with written approval by the University President, the Vice President and General Counsel, and (a) the Vice President for Human Resources (if the Volunteer is undertaking staff services); (b) the Provost (if the Volunteer is serving with or as faculty); or (c) the Vice President for Student Development (if the Volunteer is assisting in student activities).  Protocols and requirements will be developed for that particular volunteer situation which, at a minimum, will require compliance with all requirements applicable to a Level 3 Volunteer.



For questions relating to the University policies of Legal Affairs, please contact:

Office of Legal Affairs