Volunteer Appointments

Essentials for Faculty Volunteers

Faculty Volunteer Appointment Form

Faculty Volunteer Appointments

The California State Government Volunteers Act sets out some general parameters which define the state's relationship to those who volunteer on its behalf. The act defines a volunteer as:

…any person who, of his own free will, provides goods or services, without financial gain, to any state agency. – California Government Code §3111 (a).

Faculty Affairs oversees the campus Faculty Volunteer Program, and assists campus departments in signing up faculty volunteers using the Faculty Volunteer Appointment Form. For assistance in completing the form, please see the Guidelines below.

Guidelines for Faculty Volunteers

Sonoma State University appoints faculty volunteers in accordance with the CSU Volunteer policy, HR 2015-10. A faculty volunteer is defined as an individual who performs work or provides services without compensation. These services may be performed for a semester, academic year, calendar year, fiscal year, session, event date, or any part thereof, either for a short term or on an on-going basis.

Volunteers are eligible for workers' compensation and state liability coverage. A volunteer may be authorized to drive a vehicle on official state business, in accordance with CSU and SSU policies and procedures as determined appropriate in accord with the volunteer duties and responsibilities. Additionally, a volunteer may be entitled to reimbursement for travel expenses in accordance with university procedures for reimbursement of travel expenses and allowances.

SSU faculty volunteers, while not paid, must meet the same standards and qualifications required of a compensated employee. They also must have the necessary training and/or supervision to safely carry out the volunteer work and, depending on the particular function performed, must meet the approved license/certification and CSU requirements. Requirements may include fingerprinting, background checks, and other processes established for specific types of work that may be required, as determined by the President, SSU or the CSU, or the external agency at which the individual provides volunteer services. In addition, faculty volunteer appointments must be consistent with the CSU Nepotism Policy and the CSU Policy on the Employment of Minors, as appropriate.

An individual who volunteers services in a field which requires a license or certificate must satisfy that requirement prior to performance of those duties. For example, a medical doctor, volunteering services, must have a current license to practice medicine before volunteering.

Volunteers are eligible for benefits including library privileges and parking permits, if eligible. The volunteers should take the faculty appointment form to the respective location to verify this benefits eligibility. The volunteer will receive details in Essentials for Faculty Volunteers included in their appointment letter.

Volunteer Appointment Procedures

  1. The department completes the Faculty Volunteer Appointment Form and obtains required signatures.
  2. Faculty Volunteer completes the required field of the Faculty Volunteer Appointment Form, attaches any required documents, certificates or licenses, and returns the form to the hiring department.
  3. The department forwards the form and all required documents to Faculty Affairs.
  4. Faculty Affairs will send the appointment letter to the faculty volunteer. The appointment letter will include a link to Essentials for Faculty Volunteers providing further details of the appointment and privileges.
  5. Volunteer appointments must be consistent with the CSU Nepotism Policy.

Volunteers Driving Vehicles on University Business

If the volunteer will be driving a personal, state, or rental vehicle on approved state business, they should sign the appropriate forms as any compensated employee on the Travel Policies and Information website.

In addition, if the volunteer will be driving a personal vehicle, they are required to fill out the State of California Authorization to Use Privately Owned Vehicles on State Business Form 261, located at http://www.documents.dgs.ca.gov/osp/pdf/std261.pdf. This form should be recertified annually, and completed in advance of travel.

Both authorized documents should be maintained in the appropriate administrator's department files, and not be sent to Faculty Affairs.

Questions and Contact Information

Any questions regarding faculty volunteer appointments should be directed to Faculty Affairs 664-2192.


Sonoma State University