Employee Handbook

Work Environment and Conditions

Fire and Emergencies

All employees should be familiar with the extension number of the guard station for the building in which they work. During non-business hours, the Fox Building guard station may be called at (443) 423 3333 (extension 3333 from MICA phone).

In the event of an emergency (injury, fire, crime), you should call 911 for the appropriate emergency service and then call the nearest College guard station. No employee should attempt to resist an armed intruder.

In the event of fire, the building should be evacuated swiftly and calmly (don't run). Supervisors should ensure that their offices are clear before leaving.

An emergency situation should be reported to the President as soon as possible.

Life-threatening Illness

We are committed to providing equal opportunity to all employees, including those who have a life threatening illness or communicable disease (cancer, AIDS, cardio pulmonary diseases, avian influenza, etc.). We are also committed to providing a safe work environment that meets or exceeds state and federal regulations.

Consequently, if you have a life threatening illness or communicable disease, you will be treated like other employees, as long as you meet performance standards and medical and other evidence indicates that your continued employment is not a direct threat to yourself, our clients or others. We also believe all information regarding your medical history should remain private and confidential, as much as possible.

It is imperative that all employees respect our work environment and the safety of co-workers and not expose the workplace to potentially dangerous conditions that could be easily transmitted. If you suspect that you may have been exposed to such a situation, you should contact Human Resources and make arrangements for a leave until you are no longer contagious.

Employees with life-threatening illnesses or communicable diseases may use their sick leave or may request leave without pay, including leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FML) for treatment and recuperation.

The College may require an employee to undergo a medical examination by a health care professional chosen by the employer when job-related and consistent with business necessity. This includes circumstances where the College has a reasonable belief that the employee's ability to perform the essential functions of the employee's job is impaired or the employee's condition will pose a direct threat.

When necessary, the College may inspect and/or search all College property, as well as any employee's personal property on College premises, to ensure the health and safety of its employees.


Security is everyone's responsibility. When safe to do so, please report any suspicious people or activity in or around our facilities to Campus Safety by calling extension 2245 (410-225-2245). A patrol officer will be dispatched to investigate. In an emergency call 911 for police, fire, or medical assistance. After you call 911, please call 3333 so that, Campus Safety Patrol officers can also respond to assist you and/or the Baltimore city officers who are responding to your request for emergency assistance.

We have taken precautions to ensure your safety; however, the College assumes no responsibility for personal articles that may be stolen or lost and recommends that you do not bring personal items of value to the workplace. Please take precautions to reduce the opportunity of theft by not leaving your purse in plain sight, hanging your jacket on the back of a door with your wallet in it, or leaving your laptop unattended in your office even for a minute.

From time to time, students and others visit our college campus. In most cases they must be accompanied by a college representative, or wear a visitor's pass. Your help with making these visits a pleasant experience is important to ensuring that MICA projects the best possible image.

All employees are required to obtain a photo ID. Employees should check with Human Resources about the availability of a photo ID. You are required to display your MICA ID when entering any campus building, and produce it upon request by a campus authority. Please report a lost or stolen ID card immediately. It is used to permit entry into authorized campus buildings, to check-out items from the college, and you may also deposit money into an account with Fiscal Affairs and use an MICA ID to pay for color photocopying, purchases at our College Store and dining services, etc. MICA employees and students are required to pay a replacement fee for a lost or damaged ID card.

All visitors must be announced and referred to the person(s) they are calling upon. Please make sure that visitors know your campus telephone number and the campus building where your work, and instruct them to report to the security guard's desk in the campus building they are visiting for assistance connecting with you.


Cleanliness is essential for the safety and comfort of our staff. Therefore, you are expected to keep our College facilities and property clean and in good working order at all times. You should notify your supervisor if any damage occurs to College property, such as chairs, windows, carpeting, furniture and equipment, so that repairs or replacement can take place.

A neat and orderly environment increases efficiency and helps to make your day more pleasant. By observing the following simple rules of housekeeping, we can all contribute to keeping MICA a pleasant place to work.

  • Keep your work area as neat and orderly as possible.
  • After using the conference rooms or classrooms, remove all working materials, glasses, etc. Also, put all chairs back where they belong.
  • After using the break areas, ensure the areas are neat and clean, wash dirty dishes and make sure any unnecessary debris is thrown away.
  • Use your filing cabinets and desk drawers to store your working materials. Do not let them accumulate on the floor.
  • Exercise care in handling of all types of food to avoid damage to the carpet and furnishings.
  • Turn off lights when leaving classrooms, offices, etc.

Media Relations

College personnel are prohibited from making comments to the media including print, Internet or television without first obtaining approval from the Communications Department.

It is imperative that only the President and/or officially designated college spokesperson speak on behalf of the College. If you receive a request to speak to the media, please direct the request to Communications at extension 2300.

Closing During Inclement Weather

The communication procedures outlined below are followed in any campus emergency/crisis communication situation, so please familiarize yourself with where to get information about MICA's campus status (open/closed/opening late, etc.) in an emergency.

If, due to inclement weather or an emergency situation, classes at MICA are cancelled or starting late, or offices are closed or opening late, every effort will be made to post an official Campus Status Notice by 7 a.m. for daytime classes, events, and administrative offices; and by 3 p.m. for evening classes and evening events.

We generally do not post a message if the College is operating on its usual schedule-if there is no message posted, MICA is opening on schedule. There may be a different "campus status" for day classes, evening classes, and weekend classes; for administrative offices; for off-campus sites; and for specific events/activities. SO-please read/listen to the official campus status notice carefully to see how it applies to you.

Please do not call Campus Safety or other MICA offices during a weather event to ask about the status of classes and campus opening. Check the "Official Information Sources" below.

Where You'll Find the "Official Campus Status Notice"

  • on the MICA homepage* at www.mica.edu (a link to a campus status press release on the News & Events page)
  • by calling the main campus telephone number: 410-669-9200 (recorded message)
  • in a bulk e-mail* sent to degree-program students, all faculty, and all staff at their MICA e-mail addresses

*If a power outage makes Web or bulk e-mail unavailable, bulk voice mail to on-campus telephones may be used to alert the campus community to a change in campus status.

Office of Open Studies as well as Young People's Studio class/event status can ALSO be found:

This allows OOS and YPS students to go directly to a message relevant to them and skip other details.

What about the status of campus events?

  • Whenever the Official Campus Status Notice states, "MICA is Closed," all events & activities on campus scheduled for the time when MICA is closed are canceled/postponed.
  • If MICA is open, but you are unsure about the status of an event, you should contact the event organizer directly (event organizer information should be included in the event description on the MICA Web calendar).
  • If possible and appropriate, the status of events will be included in the official notice; please note that MICA does not always have information about the status of non-MICA events on our campus-you must contact the event organizer for this detail.

TV and radio stations listed in the complete Inclement Weather Policy will be informed of MICA's campus status, but we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of TV/media reports-so do not rely on them.

Changing weather conditions may require updates at any time due to deteriorating conditions, so check the Official Information Sources regularly during a weather event.

Updates on the status of campus shuttles and other services will be sent by bulk e-mail as needed to students, faculty, and staff-The Shuttle Coordinator will send notices about shuttle service as needed to address changing road conditions, so if you want to know the shuttle status, check your email regularly during a weather emergency.

Official Campus Status Notices will list the College's operational status on a range from "Open" to "Closed":

  • If no notice is posted/sent, or if a Campus Status Notice states, "MICA IS OPEN," the College will open on time, classes will run on schedule, and all faculty, students, and staff are expected to report on their normal schedule. However, please note that some events may be canceled or postponed, even if classes and offices are on schedule, so check with event organizers if you're coming to campus only for an event.
  • "MICA WILL OPEN AT [time]" means normal operations and classes will resume at the time indicated, but until then there will be no access to campus, except by essential personnel (applies only to staff-see below).
  • "CLASSES ARE CANCELLED" means that classes will not run; some or all offices may be open, although services may be limited; essential personnel must report (applies only to staff-see below); studios, labs, and work areas may be available, but access should not be expected. Shuttle services and academic trips are suspended when classes are canceled.
  • "MICA WILL CLOSE AT [time]" or "MICA IS CLOSED" means classes are canceled and administrative offices closed at the times indicated; campus buildings are closed, with no access to studios, labs, or work areas; shuttle service is suspended, and all trips cancelled or postponed. Essential personnel (applies only to staff-see below) must report, but other employees, faculty, and students should NOT come to campus.
  • MICA is open but "LIBERAL LEAVE IS IN EFFECT" means that essential personnel (applies only to staff-see below) must report, but other staff ("liberal leave" does not apply to faculty or students) prevented by travel conditions from coming to campus may, with their Supervisor's permission, use accumulated leave or leave without pay to stay home. This notice is usually posted only when the College is not in session.

"Essential Personnel" applies ONLY to staff-not to faculty or students.  If your supervisor has not informed you that you are "essential personnel" (these are generally staff members whose job is provides essential services for resident students, or who keep the campus safe and address physical plant issues like clearing snow, etc.) then you probably are not.  If you are unsure, ask your supervisor.  If you are not "essential personnel," please do not come to campus if "MICA is Closed." Having to provide assistance to or track down non-essential personnel, students, and faculty who come to campus at these times only makes more difficult the already tough jobs of those who must keep the campus safe and secure during a weather emergency.

Pets and Animal Policy

Faculty, staff, and students who wish to bring any pet to campus must complete the registration process and comply with all rules described below. You may not bring your pet to campus until you have completed the registration process and received a MICA pet ID tag. No guests may bring pets or animals on campus.

Pet Registration:

All animals on campus must be registered with the Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Manager. The Campus Pet Registration, Waiver and Veterinarian Verification Forms can be found at Campus Safety desks, and available for download <LINK>.

Before bringing your pet to campus, you must register by presenting the following forms, which will be kept on file. Please bring them in person along with your pet to the EHS office in the Firehouse. A photo will be taken of your pet for MICA records.

  • Veterinarian Verification Form as proof that your pet is up-to-date on all inoculations
  • Current rabies certificate, which must be kept on file and updated as needed
  • Signed pet waiver

Once the registration process is complete, a MICA Pet ID tag will be assigned to your pet and must be displayed on the pet at all times while on campus. No pet will be allowed on campus without an ID tag.

Rules about Pets on Campus:

  • Complaints about pet behavior or pets in a "Pet-Free" zone should be brought to the attention of Campus Safety (just visit the nearest Campus Safety desk or call x2355) and/or the EHS Manager (x7593) or dbowser@mica.edu.
  • The City of Baltimore law requires that all dogs be leashed at all times (including when inside buildings), and that owners curb and pick-up after their pets.
  • Don't get between the animals if a fight occurs between pets. Call 311 to request a Baltimore City first responder, and then notify Campus Safety immediately.
  • Campus lawns and gardens are an extension of our classrooms and are important relaxation spaces for the campus community. They are not to be used as dog walks or pet waste areas.
  • No exotics, insects, rodents, or reptiles (including snakes, lizards, and ferrets) may be on campus unless pre-approved for a class project by an instructor with prior written approval by EHS.
  • No pets are allowed in campus areas designated as "Pet Free" zones. The only exception to this rule would be for those animals used for service (i.e., seeing-eye dogs). Each semester, Operations will post a sign on the door of each classroom, studio, lab, or shop if that area is to remain pet-free.

Designated "Pet-free" Zones:

The following locations are designated as "pet-free" zones:

  • Any room with a "No Pets" sign
  • All food service areas, including Meyerhoff Dining Room, Java Corner, Café Doris, and catered food areas
  • College owned and/or managed housing
  • Computer and print labs and the Art/Tech Center
  • Falvey Hall
  • All galleries
  • Decker Library
  • All studio shops

Use of College Equipment and Facilities

To ensure the proper use and care of our property and equipment, you must be given permission by your supervisor or higher to remove College property or equipment from the premises. Employees who fail to return College property or equipment are liable for its replacement. You may not take furniture or equipment for use in your work area or office without the authorization of the Operations Department. Employees found to have violated this policy will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

Telephone, Fax and Voice Mail Use

College telephones and fax machines are to be used for business purposes in serving the interests of our students and in the course of normal College operations.  On occasion, personal calls may be necessary, but we ask that you limit them to emergencies or essential personal business, and keep them brief.  The College does not allow use of the College's telephones for long distance personal calls.

The College provides employees with voice mail by which they can send and receive business messages.  For those employees who will utilize the voice mail system, it is important that you learn how to use it by reading the Voice Mail Handbook or asking your supervisor. 

As with all College assets, voice mail is only intended for authorized business use in the course of your assigned business duties.  Inappropriate use may result in loss of access privileges and disciplinary action, up to and including termination. 

Inappropriate use includes, but is not limited to:

  • Unauthorized attempts to access another person's voice mail box.
  • Transmission of sensitive or proprietary information to unauthorized persons.
  • Transmission of obscene or harassing messages or material to any other individual.
  • Any illegal or unethical activities or any activity that could adversely affect the College or the College's image.
  • Solicitation of others for any non-business related purpose during working time.

Management will have unrestricted access to information stored in the voice mail system and may review the contents of stored voice mail records.  Employees should not expect any documents or messages stored in phone systems or other electronic media to be private.

From time to time, especially if you are on vacation, business trips or leaves of absence, your supervisor or another employee may listen to your voice mail messages to better serve our students and other business needs.

This policy is not intended to and does not prohibit protected, concerted activity.

Computer Usage

As with all College assets, our computer systems, hardware and software are intended to be used for authorized business use. Inappropriate use of computer hardware and/or software may result in loss of access privileges and disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

  • Inappropriate use includes, but is not limited to:
  • Unauthorized attempts to access another employee's e-mail account.
  • Unauthorized sharing of any access codes or passwords.
  • Transmission of sensitive or proprietary information to unauthorized persons or organizations.
  • Transmission or storage of cartoons, sexually explicit images or messages or any transmission containing ethnic slurs, racial epithets or anything which may be construed as harassment or disparagement of others based on their age, gender, race, national origin, color, disability, religious beliefs or other protected classification.
  • Any illegal or unethical computer-related activities or any computer-related activity which could adversely affect the College or the College's image.
  • Use of the College's computers, systems, e-mail, Internet access, etc. for personal entertainment purposes, such as accepting or transmitting chain letters, gambling, or game playing.
  • Use of the College's computers, systems, e-mail, Internet access, etc., for downloading or transmitting excessively large files or pictures; and other uses which could cause system malfunctions.
  • Use of the College's computer, e-mail and Internet access systems that is disruptive, threatening, derogatory, harassing, discriminatory or offensive to others.
  • Failure to perform a virus scan before accessing any file received via the Internet.
  • Accessing any Web site that may violate copyright infringement rights.
  • Accessing or submitting messages to any news or blog group for non-business reasons.

Management will have unrestricted access to information stored in the computer systems. Personal passwords should not be considered a guarantee of privacy. Employees should not expect any information stored on the College's computer system to be private.  From time to time, especially if you are absent, Management may access your computer or files to better serve our students and other business needs.  The confidentiality of all student information and documents stored on our system should be protected, as described in the College's Confidentiality policy Section 3.3 of this handbook.

This policy is not intended to and does not prohibit protected, concerted activity.

PC and Virus Policy

Copying/transferring software:

  • Employees are prohibited from intentionally copying, moving, transferring, altering or destroying any program or software package from/on any of the College's workstations or network server without the permission of the Technology Systems and Services (TSS).  Because of licensing restrictions on certain software packages, violation of this rule can result in severe penalties to the College and for the employee.  Disciplinary action, up to and including termination, may follow for any such violation.
  • Employees are prohibited from copying, moving or transferring any program or software package to any of College's workstations or network server; or for personal use without the permission of TSS.  TSS will decide what software can be introduced to the College's system and conduct the virus screening necessary to protect the system security and integrity.  Failure to adhere to this policy may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

Workplace Safety

In compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), the College strives to furnish a workplace free of recognized hazards that could cause physical harm to its employees. Employees are responsible for reporting any unsafe conditions or circumstances to their Supervisor to prevent accidents.  In the event of a workplace violence, employees are responsible for being familiar with information found in Workplace Violence Policy.  Serious or recurring problems involving equipment maintenance or procedural problems that have an adverse effect on an individual's or the College's well being should be reported to your supervisor or Human Resources.  

Job related injuries and illnesses, regardless of severity, should be reported immediately to your supervisor or Human Resources to provide prompt and trained evaluation and obtain medical attention, if necessary.  It is important to report job related injuries and illness immediately, as certain injuries must be reported to OSHA within eight (8) hours.  If medical treatment is not immediately available, telephone the paramedics promptly at 911, then call x3333 so that a Campus Safety Patrol Officer who is trained as a medical first responder can assist you with your medical emergency until EMS arrives.  If medical treatment is required and the situation is not life-threatening, the injured employee supervisor must be notified of the injury or illness and the employee should be taken by Campus Safety to the closest medical facility for treatment.  If medical attention is not needed, you must report the accident to your supervisor, Campus Safety and Human Resources for evaluation and appropriate documentation. 

Failure to immediately report an unsafe condition, injury or job-related illness occurring while on the job, in accordance with this policy, is considered a violation of the College's safety policy and may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination.


We hope you will find your MICA Employee Handbook to be a useful resource during your employment with MICA. If you have any questions about these or any policies at the College, please contact your Supervisor or Human Resources and they will be happy to assist you.