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Policies and Procedures

4.13 Drug-Free Workplace and Schools


This policy is intended to serve in maintaining the health and safety of the University’s faculty, staff, students, and visitors, in addition to providing the practice and procedure for managing issues regarding drug and alcohol abuse in the workplace and on campus.

Policy Statement:

It is the policy of the University of Northern Iowa and the Board of Regents to provide a drug-free workplace and learning environment. Alcohol and drug abuse pose a threat to the health and safety of University faculty, staff, students, and visitors. In compliance with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, the University of Northern Iowa is committed to the elimination of drug and alcohol abuse in the workplace.  In compliance with the provisions of the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989, alcohol and drug prevention programs include policy enforcement, education programs, and treatment services.

The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession or use of a controlled substance by employees and students on property owned or leased by the University of Northern Iowa or in conjunction with a University-sponsored activity is prohibited.  See also UNI policy 13.18 Alcohol and Drugs.

In accordance with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, employees must report any conviction under a criminal drug statute for a violation occurring while conducting official business on or off University premises, within 5 days of the conviction to the department head. The department head may consult with the Director of Human Resources.  See also Personal Conduct Rules.


All employees are expected and required to report to work in an appropriate condition to carry out their responsibilities.  In particular:   

  1. While performing work for the University, operating any University vehicle, or conducting University business, faculty and staff are prohibited from using, being under the influence of, possessing, buying, selling, manufacturing or dispensing an illegal drug (to include possession of drug paraphernalia).  Any illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia found on University property will be turned over to University Police and may result in criminal prosecution.
  2. Employees are prohibited from being impaired or under the influence of legal drugs and/or alcohol, including prescription medication, if such impairment or influence adversely affects the employee's work performance, the safety of the employee or others, or creates an unnecessary risk for the University.  If taking necessary medication could compromise workplace safety or affect work performance, the employee is responsible for communicating with his/her supervisor to evaluate temporary job modification/re-assignment during the course of the treatment. 

Employees who violate this policy may be referred for an educational/treatment program and may be subject to disciplinary action including a formal reprimand, being placed on enforced leave status, suspension, termination and/or referral for prosecution.  Employee policy violations shall be addressed by the supervisor, in conjunction with the Director of Human Resource Services and/or the Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs.  See also employee handbooks: Merit, P&S, and the Faculty Resource Guide.

Students who violate this policy may be referred for an educational/treatment program and may be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the policies and procedures outlined in the Student Conduct Code.  The Dean of Students or a student conduct administrator will determine if the student is responsible for violating this policy and will impose appropriate sanctions.  Sanctions may include warning, probation, suspension, expulsion, and other discretionary sanctions.  See also Student Conduct Code.

Employee Assistance Program

Drug and alcohol abuse can lead to adverse health effects, legal ramifications, and may negatively impact work performance.  The University offers an Employee Assistance Program designed to assist UNI employees and their families with problems affecting personal relationships, health, and work performance.  All services are confidential.  For more information on the Employee Assistance Program contact Human Resource Services.

Student Assistance & Resources

Substance Abuse Services,
University Health Services
101 Wellness and Recreation Center, (319) 273-3423
Preventative and supportive services for students concerning alcohol and other drug use.

Counseling Center,
University Health Services
103 Student Health Center, (319) 273-2676
Individual counseling, consultations and referrals.

Student Health Clinic,
University Health Services
16 Student Health Center, (319) 273-2009
Consultation and referrals for substance abuse-related problems.

UNI Police,
30 Gilchrist Hall, (319) 273-2712
UNI Police are committed to providing a safe campus environment.

Local Hospitals
All local hospitals provide 24-hour emergency medical services.

Sartori Hospital
515 College St.
Cedar Falls, IA 50613
(319) 268-3090
Allen Hospital
1825 Logan Avenue
Waterloo, IA 50703
(319) 235-3697   
Covenant Medical Center
3421 West 9th St
Waterloo, IA 50702
(319) 272-7050

The University’s contact for any question regarding this policy for Students is the Substance Abuse Services Coordinator, telephone (319) 273-3423.  The University’s contact for any question regarding this policy for Employees is the Employee Disability and Leave Coordinator, telephone (319) 273-6164.  Information can also be found on the Human Resource Services web page, and the Wellness web page.


Human Resource Services, approved April 22, 2009.President’s Cabinet, approved October 15, 2009.