Americans with Disabilities Act Compliance Policy


Each person who has met the academic and technical standards for admission to or participation in university programs, and applicants for employment and employees shall receive the accommodations needed to ensure equal access to educational opportunities, programs and activities.


It is the policy of Black Hills State University, in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, to ensure that no qualified person shall, solely by reason of disability, be denied access to, participation in, or the benefits of any program or activity operated by Black Hills State University, including employment practices. 

Any employee who is found to be in violation of this policy will face disciplinary action up to and including the possibility of termination of employment.

The ADA Employment Coordinator for Black Hills State University is the Director of Human Resources. Any employment issue regarding ADA compliance may be brought to the ADA Employment Coordinator for resolution in accordance with the procedures contained herein. The Disability Services Liaison serves as the ADA Academic Coordinator. Any academic issues regarding ADA compliance in the classroom should be brought to the ADA Academic Coordinator for resolution.

Employment Practices

Black Hills State University, in conjunction with the Board of Regents and the State of South Dakota, will take reasonable steps to ensure that:

  • Applicants are able to make application and take pre-employment tests even if accommodation is needed;
  • Applicants are not discriminated against on the basis of a disability and hiring practices and interview techniques are consistent with the intent of the ADA; 
  • Where reasonable, accommodation is made for qualified applicants with disabilities who are offered a position with the University; 
  • Employee retention and promotion decisions will not be based on any real or perceived disability; and 
  • No other benefits or rights of employment will be denied otherwise qualified individuals with disabilities.

The Director of Human Resources will work with employees with disabilities to coordinate reasonable accommodations based on individual needs.

Employees or applicants who feel they have been wrongly discriminated against on the basis of a real or perceived disability must seek redress in accordance with Board of Regents policy 1:18 - Human Rights Complaint Procedures.

Physical Facilities

Black Hills State University has prepared a transition plan for all its physical facilities which makes a good faith effort to identify all physical barriers to access and makes necessary plans for removal. In preparing the Facilities Transition Plan, each building was surveyed, input was gained, and a Final Facilities Transition Plan was prepared.

The Facilities Transition Plan:

  • Makes a good faith effort to identify all physical barriers and their impact on the programs and services offered by the University;
  • Provides a plan for the barrier removal if necessary; and 
  • Provides an interim plan for circumventing the barrier prior to the complete removal of the barrier.

In those instances where barrier removal is readily achievable, the barrier will be removed.

Individuals who identify a physical barrier to a program or service offered at BHSU and who want some action taken to eliminate the barrier may make a written request to the Coordinator describing the barrier and requesting its removal. Faculty and staff may route their request through the Employment Coordinator, and student requests may be routed through the ADA Academic Coordinator.

Educational Programs and Services

It is our mission to provide the comprehensive support necessary in meeting the individual needs of students with disabilities.  Specific resources in regard to Services, accommodation planning, Faculty Guide, helpful links, and the process itself can be found on the Disability Services web site.

Students who feel they have been wrongly discriminated against on the basis of a real or perceived disability must seek redress in accordance with Board of Regents policy 1:18 - Human Rights Complaint Procedures.


Essential functions - the basic job duties that an employee must be able to perform, with or without reasonable accommodation.

Qualified individual with a disability -  a person who meets legitimate skill, experience, education, or other requirements of an employment position that s/he holds or seeks, and who can perform the essential functions of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.

Reasonable accommodation - any modification or adjustment to a job or the work environment that will enable a qualified applicant or employee with a disability to participate in the application process or to perform essential job functions. Reasonable accommodation also includes adjustments to assure that a qualified individual with a disability has rights and privileges in employment equal to those of employees without disabilities.

Regarding participation in university programs, accommodations are steps taken to help remove, whenever reasonable, barriers to participation in the educational experience presented by an individual's disability.  Determination and responsibility for provision (including financial) of a reasonable accommodation are considered on an individual basis through interactive collaboration between the student, Disability Services Coordinator, faculty, and administration when necessary.

Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination Policy

Black Hills State University is committed to the achievement of equal opportunity in student admissions, student financial assistance, and faculty and staff employment. BHSU prohibits discrimination based on the arbitrary consideration of such characteristics as race, color, religion, creed, national origin, age, marital status, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran’s status, or disability, except to the extent allowed by law. Discrimination will not be tolerated in any aspect of the access to admission, or treatment of students in its programs and activities, or in the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment (including but not limited to recruitment, hiring, assignment, training, promotion, tenure, transfer, compensation or termination). Furthermore, University and Board of Regents policy includes prohibitions of harassment of students and employees, including racial harassment, sexual harassment, and retaliation for filing complaints of discrimination.

Black Hills State University affirms its commitment to the objectives of equal opportunity and non-discrimination in accordance with state and federal law. The University complies with the regulations of Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as well as other applicable Federal and State laws and regulations pertaining to discrimination. Redress for alleged violations of those laws may be pursued through the procedures established by the provisions of BOR Policy 1:18, or through the legal system.

Black Hills State University is further committed to taking affirmative action to achieve equality of opportunity with regard to the disabled, minorities, women, and Vietnam-era veterans. The Director of Human Resources holds primary responsibility for maintaining the Affirmative Action Plan, monitoring related university policies, and assisting individuals who have questions or problems related to discrimination.

The following policies and procedures are important elements in equal opportunity. The sources are also listed.

Sexual Harassment Policy: BOR Policy 1:17

Human Rights Complaint Procedures: BOR Policy 1:18

Faculty Grievance Procedure: COHE Agreement, BOR Policy 4:7

Non-Faculty Exempt Grievance Procedure: BOR Policy 4:8

CSA Grievance Procedure: BOR Policy 4:9

Americans With Disabilities Policy: BHSU Policy 01-02.0

Accountability: All members of the University community (faculty, staff, administrators and students) are responsible for maintaining a working and learning environment free from discrimination and harassment. This same responsibility extends to employees of third parties doing business with the University or on University premises and to campus visitors. It is the responsibility of each employee and student to become fully informed of the provisions of this policy and ensure individual compliance. Any supervisor, advisor, or other university member to whom discrimination is reported or who becomes aware of harassment by co-worker, subordinate, peer, or student is responsible for taking immediate steps to end the discriminatory practice and/or for reporting the harassment to administrators with authority to take action. All persons are charged with ensuring that they do not retaliate in any way against a person who files a discrimination complaint. Employees and students may be subject to disciplinary action for violation of any of the obligations set forth in this policy statement.

Complaints: Any person who feels that he or she has been subject to discrimination should report the incident immediately to the Director of Human Resources. Inquiries and allegations may also be lodged with any university administrator or, in the case of students, with any faculty member. That person is responsible for forwarding the inquiry or allegation to the Director of Human Resources for response and/or investigation according to BOR policy 1:18. If warranted, disciplinary action will be initiated under existing faculty, staff, or student disciplinary procedures. Confidentiality consistent with due process will be maintained.

Policy Creation

Black Hills State University policies will be formulated through the participation of faculty, students, Career Service staff, and administrators when permissible by law.

Black Hills State University policies provide a means for formalized, systematic documentation and communication of policies established by the President and Administration. This policy enables students, faculty, and staff to more fully participate in the formulation of University policy. In case of any conflict or question with reference to the policies of BHSU, the BOR Policies, Administrative Rules of SD, and SD Codified Law shall be deemed controlling in all circumstances.

Proposed policies will be submitted to the President. Policies will be reviewed by the President and Administrative Team, and revised as appropriate before receiving the final approval of the President. Final policies will then be posted to the website for inclusion in the online BHSU Policies Manual.

Policies should be reviewed periodically by the Office of Record to insure continued accuracy.

The policy manual is divided into the following categories:

Each policy is numbered according to topic (see example in upper left-hand corner. The first number of a policy indicates the general topic, the second digits indicate the sequence of the policy in the general topic, and the last digit identify if there is more than one policy related to the same overall topic. If the last digit is ".0", then there are no additional policies or procedures, but a number such as ".1" identifies that there is more than one policy in this topic area. For example, a policy numbered 02-002.2 indicates a policy in the second general topic division of the manual (Academic Affairs), the second topic area in that division, and the second policy of that particular sequence of related policies. The policy number is assigned by the President’s Office.

The heading for each policy contains reference information. "Office of Record" indicates the office responsible for the execution of the policy and serves as a reference for questions pertaining to the policy or procedures. "Issued By" indicates the source of the policy, such as Faculty Senate, Director of Human Resources, President, etc. All policies must receive the approval of the President and the date they were signed into final policy. Policies are subject to change unilaterally and without notice.


Student Employment Policy

Black Hills State University has established a student employment wage scale to help maintain equitable hiring practices across the University.  BHSU's policy is to compensate these services using the salary schedule below. The schedule provides wage ranges for different levels of responsibility without dictating specific pay rates for each job.  The schedule reflects the Federal and State minimum wage; differing knowledge, skills, and abilities; and to the degree feasible, the market demand for the area. This schedule will be modified to reflect any future changes in Federal and State wage scales.

The Human Resources Office is responsible for the classification of student jobs, with input from the Career Specialists in the Student Success Center. The Pay Classes are designed to compensate students for special knowledge, skills, and abilities required for a particular position. At no time can a student's pay rate exceed the maximum of the Pay Class, except in Pay Class III, and only with the approval of the respective Administrative Team member and the Vice President for Finance & Administration.

When students move from one position to another, the rate earned will fall within the Pay Class of the position to which they are transferring.

To insure equal pay for equal work, all student employees shall be paid according to the rates listed regardless of the source of funds from which they are paid. Compensation for student employees beyond the maximum per hour rate in Pay Class III will only be authorized with the approval of the respective Administrative Team member and the Vice President for Finance & Administration for extraordinary circumstances where expertise and the labor supply require higher rates.  The wage rate must be appropriate and reasonable in light of such factors as type of work performed and the proficiency of the employee. Pay Class IV is reserved for those cases where Black Hills State University is participating in a program involving outside entities at predetermined hourly rates.

Balancing work and responsibilities to the student’s academic program is paramount in determining the student’s work schedule.  When students are employed by more than one department on campus, it is the responsibility of those departments to coordinate hours worked and student earnings. In the rare circumstance where the student works more than 40 hours per week, the departments will share the overtime cost, the payment for which is required by federal law.

Student employment is a large part of the learning process, creating meaningful work experiences for students on campus is a key element in an overall strategy designed to foster student achievement & success.   Empirical research suggests that students who work 20 hours or less a week on campus report higher levels of engagement.  Student employees also benefit from feedback regarding their performance and its relationship to the department’s goals and mission.  The Center for Student Success has developed a tool to assist you in setting Student Employment Learning Outcomes, which is available under Forms on the HR Web page.  Wage increases at the beginning of each academic year are encouraged to recognize the students’ contributions to the mission of the department and to encourage employment retention.  Departments are encouraged to use objective criteria in determining the increase.  Either a percent increase or a set amount ($0.25/hr or 3% is typical, but is not mandated) is acceptable.


Supervisors who wish to create/fill a student labor position must complete (or have on file) a BHSU Jacket Job Link Form and send it to Human Resources for evaluation/classification into Pay Class. Classification should be determined prior to the time of the job listing, and must be completed before a student is interviewed/selected for the position. Once a position has been established, it will be assigned a position number. In general, a position will be reviewed prior to the start of each academic year at the request of a department.  The student labor position will exist until the department requests that it be eliminated.

Departments will continue to seek approval for spending through the use of a Student Authorization  or ePAF.

In the event that a department plans to work a Federal Work Study student in excess of their FWS award, they must identify, in advance, the source of additional funds on a PAF, which will transfer the student to an Institutional Student position.  Any budgetary transfers from Operating Expenses (OE) to student labor lines must be approved by the corresponding Administrative Team member and the Vice President of Finance & Administration.  Requests for supplemental funding for student labor should be routed through the appropriate Dean or Director and then Administrative Team member.

Following are hourly wage ranges and classification descriptions for the four student wage classifications. Some examples of jobs that fall into various classifications are included in the following table. Wage rates for the classifications are subject to change due to increases in the Federal or State minimum wage.

Student Employee Compensation Plan

Hourly Rate




Performs work of a routine or average nature under direct or limited supervision. Requires little decision-making.  Includes data entry, basic clerical, general labor, custodial and grounds assistants. 









Under general supervision, performs a variety of skilled tasks which require previous experience and/or technical or advanced knowledge related to the position. Includes high level comprehensive skills, responsibilities, training, and requires appropriate experience or course work beyond sophomore level and/or considerable discretion in judgment.  Includes tutors, computer repair assistants, web design assistants and network services assistants.








Under minimal supervision, works independently to perform work of a specialized or technical nature. Requires advanced training and/or experience. Work is normally within the student’s course of study at the senior or graduate level.  Employee may direct the work of others and/or be responsible for the project/assignment from conception through implementation and evaluation.  Includes positions such as tutors, student interns in information systems or research assistants.








Pay Class IV is reserved for those cases where Black Hills State University is participating in a program involving outside entities at predetermined hourly rates, such as Student Technology Fellows, or where the nature of the position warrants a higher rate to attract candidates, such as the Life Draw Models.



*Wages above the maximum of Class IV require mandate by University or Board policy (Life Draw Models & Technology Fellows) or explicit approval by the Vice President for Finance & Administration.





































Examples of Positions

The following are examples of position classifications. Depending on specific duties required, it is possible, for example, for a science lab assistant to be classified into Pay Class II if the position requires the individual to work independently, completing work that requires discretion, independent judgment, and latitude in decision-making.


Class Examples

Class I

  • Routine clerical work such as filing, incidental typing, operating office machines, mail sorting, answering telephones
  • Library assistant
  • Sales clerk, ticket sales
  • Printing Assistant
  • Custodial work such as dusting, sweeping, mopping, emptying wastebaskets
  • General grounds work such as weeding, planting flowers, lawn mowing
  • Science lab assistants
  • Computer lab assistants

Class II

  • Supervisor of student workers in Class I
  • Clerical work involving complex procedures.
  • Web Design Assistant
  • NCS Student Technician

Class III

  • Supervisor of student workers in Class II
  • Research Assistants
  • Sr NCS Student Technician
  • Student interns
  • Tutors

Class IV

Student Technology Fellows


Sabbatical Policy

  1. A faculty unit member may be granted sabbatical leave after six (6) or more consecutive years of full-time employment in the system.
  2. Approval for such leave will be contingent upon the faculty unit member presenting plans for formal study, research, or other experiences which are designed to improve the quality of service of the faculty unit member to Black Hills State University, to the Board of Regents, and to the state of South Dakota.
  3. The number of all faculty unit member improvement, career redirection or sabbatical leaves granted by Black Hills State University during any fiscal year will not exceed five percent (5%) of the faculty unit members or one (1) FTE, whichever is greater, in any one year, unless additional awards are recommended by the president and approved by the Board of Regents.
  4. Sabbatical leave for nine (9) month faculty unit members will be for not more than two (2) semesters at one-half salary which would have been paid had the faculty unit member been on full-time employment, or not more than one (1) semester at the full salary which would have been paid had the faculty unit member been on full-time employment.
  5. Sabbatical leave for twelve (12) month faculty unit members will be for not more than twelve (12) months at one-half salary which would have been paid on full-time employment, or not more than six (6) months at the full salary which would have been paid on full-time employment.
  6. All faculty unit members receiving sabbatical leave are required to return to Black Hills State University for at least two (2) academic years of full-time service or to refund the full salary and institutional costs of fringe benefits received while on leave.
  7. If a faculty unit member returns, but fails to perform the full two (2) years return-to-service obligation, then the repayment obligation will be prorated. Any repayment obligation will be due in full one (1) calendar year after the end of the leave period.
  8. Any repayment obligation that remains unpaid after falling due, shall earn interest at a rate equal to the monthly average prime rate of interest offered by the Wells-Fargo Bank system, or its successor, during the leave period plus two percentage points.
  9. A faculty unit member who cannot perform return-to-service obligations due to death or permanent and total disability or reduction in force will be released of all repayment obligations. Determination of whether a faculty unit member is to be considered disabled will be made by the Board of Regents. 
  10. All faculty unit members, upon return from sabbatical leave will be returned to their former positions or be assigned to positions of like nature and status and will be granted increment increases that were given during their leave.
  11. As noted in the BOR-COHE contract section 19.1(2)(H), for purposes of performance-based salary increases, absent more current documentation provided to the department head, faculty unit members who were on approved leave during the year being evaluated for purposes of determining salary increases will be presumed to have continued to serve at the levels and with the assignments recorded on their most recent evaluation documents.
  12. Documentation of relevant professional accomplishments during approved leaves taken during the previous calendar year must be considered if received by the last working day in January. The faculty unit member may be considered for merit increases as if they had served at the institution during such period.
  13. The faculty unit member will maintain tenure, insurance benefits, accumulated sick leave, and all other accrued benefits.
  14. If the faculty unit member is on less than fifty percent (50%) compensation, service for retirement is not accumulated during the period of such leave.
  15. The following criteria will be considered in selecting the candidates for faculty unit member sabbatical leave:

    a.  The merit of the objectives as they relate to improving the instructional program and enhancing the professional growth of the applicant, and where other institutions are involved, evidence of acceptance of the faculty unit member's program or project by the institution offering the advanced study or research.

    b. Years of experience in the system.

    c. Previous leaves.

    d. Distribution of applicants by academic area.

    e. Anticipated program changes.
  16. All grantees of faculty unit member sabbatical leave will execute a promissory note with the Board of Regents that is consistent with the terms of this agreement.
  17. Applications for sabbatical leave should be submitted in accordance with the current BOR-COHE contract. (BOR-COHE contract section 21.6 Sabbatical, Faculty Unit Member Improvement, and Career Redirection Leaves).


Reference Policy for CSA Employees


This policy establishes guidelines for Black Hills State University employees to be used to respond to reference requests for Career Service employees. This policy specifically deals with references that would be given based on job related information. Personal references are not included in this policy.


It is the policy of Black Hills State University to provide employment information on current and former employees. Reference information such as name, job title, salary information and dates of employment will be released upon written request. If there are questions about the origination of the request, the information will not be released until the legitimacy of the request is established. The Human Resources Office is responsible for responding to these requests.

In the event that a more complete reference check is sought, Black Hills State University personnel will adhere to the following:

Any current employee is allowed to release job related information about a current or former employee to prospective employers as long as the employee who is the subject of the reference check has provided a written release and waiver for each person authorized to release information. The Release and Waiver form should be completed and delivered to the Human Resources Office. The Human Resources Office will notify the employees that they have been listed as authorized to respond to reference checks. A copy of the Release and Waiver form is attached. Additional copies can be printed from the Forms tab on the BHSU HR web site.

Any current employee who receives a request for reference and has not been authorized in writing to release information must refuse to answer the reference check. If a current employee does answer when no authorization exists they understand that they are acting as an individual and not as an agent of Black Hills State University.

Any current employee who receives a telephone request for reference information must inform the caller that it is the policy of BHSU to respond to written requests only. Responses to written requests must also be in writing.

In cases where there is a request for a reference from another state agency, the designated person may respond either in writing or over the phone. A signed Release and Waiver is not necessary.

When proper authorization exists, employees are encouraged to respond to legitimate and proper reference request in a prompt manner. However, employees are not required to respond and neither this policy nor the signed Release and Waiver create any obligation to respond.


Career Service employee: an employee covered by the provisions of SDCL 3-6A-2, whose position has been classified into the Career Service Personnel Management System.





 I authorize Black Hills State University, specifically those individuals listed below, to furnish any prospective employer who provides a written request for reference information with information regarding my employment.

I understand that any job related information may be released and request that Black Hills State University respond with full and complete information regarding my employment. I also understand that this release and waiver does not create an obligation for BHSU or the listed individuals to respond.

Further, I waive and release Black Hills State University and its authorized employees from any claims or causes of action in law or equity, including but not limited to, defamation of character or invasion of privacy which might arise from responding to a reference check.


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Complimentary Copy Policy

It is the policy of Black Hills State University that complimentary copies of textbooks are the property of the State of South Dakota. No such copies shall be sold to profit individuals. Under BHSU solicitation policy, book buyers are not authorized for campus business. Please contact campus security if buyers are on university grounds.