The University depends upon University volunteer support to accomplish its missions of education, research, and public service and wishes to ensure that volunteers’ relationships with the University are clearly established and understood by both parties.

Defining a Volunteer

University volunteers are uncompensated individuals who perform services directly related to the business of the University, to support the activities of the University, or to gain experience in specific endeavors.

An individual who performs volunteer services for an entity that is not directly related to the business of the University (e.g..., an alumni association), is not considered a University volunteer for the purposes of this policy. However, an individual who performs volunteer services in the community on behalf of the University when there is no outside agency involved is considered a University volunteer.

These situations may appear ambiguous. Whenever you are not certain as to whether an individual should be classified as a University volunteer, contact the Department of Risk Management and Insurance for assistance.

Responsibilities and Rights

A University volunteer is an agent of the University while performing assigned duties. Therefore, University volunteers are expected to abide by University policies and external regulations that govern their actions, including but not limited to those of ethical behavior, confidentiality, financial responsibility, and drug use.

Who May Volunteer

Anyone, including current or retired employees, students, alumni, or others may provide volunteer services to the University, with the following restrictions:

  • A non-student under the age of eighteen may only become a University volunteer for services for which a Volunteer Agreement is not necessary (see the "Services Not Requiring a Volunteer Agreement" segment of this document), and only with parental consent (see the "Selecting and Engaging a Volunteer" segment of this document).
  • An 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 the individual’s regular work at the University.

Services Not Requiring a Volunteer Agreement

The following activities are generally considered low-risk, and do not require a completed Volunteer Agreement:

  • Advisory council participation; 
  • Clerical work; 
  • Commencement volunteer; 
  • Gallery/program guide; 
  • Museum docent (provided there is no travel requirement); 
  • Phone-a-thon volunteer; Public speaker.

Services Requiring a Volunteer Agreement

For the following activities, volunteers are generally required to complete a Volunteer Agreement (see the "Forms" Section of this document).

  • Laboratory Work;
  • Professional services, such as those performed by accountants, architects, doctors, engineers, etc.;
  • Travel of any kind;
  • Work with animals,
  • Work with confidential information;
  • Work with minors, other than University students or applicants to Liberty.
  • Athletic event crowd control or Ambassador program.

Prohibited Activities

University volunteers are generally prohibited from performing the following activities:

  • Operation of heavy equipment; 
  • Work with hazardous materials; 
  • Work with stored energy; 
  • Any activity considered inappropriate for an employee; 
  • Entering into any contract on behalf of the University


Selecting and Engaging a University Volunteer

When engaging a University volunteer, it is the 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. The following procedures are suggested, to ensure that your selection process is satisfactory.

  1. Complete a Description of Volunteer Service for your University volunteer position before recruitment (see the "Forms" Section of this document). 
  2. Determine if a volunteer agreement is necessary (see the "Services Not Requiring a Volunteer Agreement," "Services Requiring a Volunteer Agreement," and the "Prohibited Activities" segments of this document).
  3. If an agreement is necessary, ask each potential University volunteer to complete a Volunteer Profile (see the "Forms" Section of this document).
  4. At your discretion, you may ask the individual to complete a Volunteer Profile even if no agreement is necessary.
  5. Ascertain whether the individual is at least eighteen years of age. If so, continue to step 7. 
  6. If the individual is between fifteen and eighteen years of age, he or she may only become a University volunteer for services that do not require a Volunteer Agreement (individuals under fifteen may not volunteer for services). In these cases a Parental Consent Form must also be completed (see the "Forms" Section of this document).
  7. When your unit accepts an individual as a University volunteer, explain the description of duties and, if appropriate, the Volunteer Agreement. Fill in your unit's name on the agreement (see the "Forms" section of this document). 
  8. When an agreement is warranted, have the individual sign it, and provide a copy, with the Description of Volunteer Service attached. 
  9. Forward a copy of the signed Volunteer Agreement, with the Description of Volunteer Services attached, to the Department of Risk Management and Insurance. 
  10. Retain any forms completed during the above procedures, as well as copies of any attachments, for a period of three years from the date of the University volunteer's separation. 
  • Note: For some University volunteers, it may not be appropriate to follow some of the steps above (e.g..., advisory council members, trustees, reunion chairs). If you believe such a case exists, contact the Office of Risk Management and Insurance for guidance.


You may end a University volunteer's term of service at any time and without prior warning.

University Volunteer Indemnification

Indemnification is provided to University volunteers in the same manner as is applicable to employees, that is: for acts or omissions arising within the scope of the volunteer’s performance of specifically authorized duties or assignments on behalf of the University. In order to ensure adequate documentation, it is important that the department or unit engaging the University volunteer provide a copy of the Volunteer Agreement (with the Description of Volunteer Services attached) to the Department of Risk Management and Insurance.

Payments to University Volunteers

Payment for volunteer services is not allowed. However, the University will reimburse University volunteers for actual and reasonable expenses, following standard University reimbursement guidelines.

The University also allows an honorarium to be awarded to a University volunteer. An honorarium is not a payment for services or fee charged, but an award primarily intended to confer distinction or to symbolize respect, esteem, or admiration. The value of the honorarium must not be related to the performance of services.


The major responsibilities each party has in conjunction with the University are defines below.


  • Recruit, screen and engage University volunteers using the procedures specified in the University Volunteer Policy.

Office of Risk Management

  • Determine when exceptions to this policy exist.
  • Provide policy clarification.
  • Consult with departments and units regarding application of this policy.

University Volunteer

  • Refrain from engaging in activities that are not specified in your University Volunteer Duty Description, if provided.
  • As an agent of the University, abide by all University policies and external regulations that govern your actions.



Volunteer Profile

  • Provides necessary information to individuals who wish to engage University volunteers.

Description of Volunteer Services

  • Specifies duties that will be allowed and expected from the University volunteer.

Volunteer Agreement

  • Ratifies the engagement of certain University volunteers.

Parental Consent Form

  • Establishes parental permission for the University volunteers between the ages of fifteen and eighteen years.
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