Use of Volunteers

Individuals who volunteer their time and expertise to our colleges and universities provide an important service and help further our missions of teaching, research, and public service. In turn, volunteers gain valuable experiences and a sense of personal satisfaction.

These procedures are intended to help promote a productive, safe, and mutually beneficial environment for college, university, or system volunteers by setting appropriate expectations and clarifying roles and responsibilities for both the volunteers and their sponsoring departments or programs.

Restrictions and Conditions

  • Volunteers may not be used in full-time, long-term assignments.
  • Volunteer activities are expected to be part-time, sporadic, or of limited duration.
  • Volunteers are not to be used to eliminate the need for, or take the place of, paid staff.
  • Volunteers are not eligible for workers’ compensation. If injuries occur while performing volunteer duties, contact the individual who is responsible for processing tort claims.
  • Volunteers are not eligible for compensation, staff development training, sick leave, health insurance, retirement, or other employee benefits.

Travel and Expenses

The institution may choose to reimburse a volunteer for transportation, meals, and incidental expenses incurred while providing volunteer services. Volunteers must receive prior authorization for the expense by submitting required documentation in accordance with applicable policies and procedures.

Use of State Vehicle

In accordance with System Procedure 5.19.3 (Travel Management), volunteers are not allowed to drive state vehicles or state rental vehicles. Volunteers may ride in a state vehicle, in accordance with System Procedure 5.19.3, if on official business for the institution and have received prior authorization from the supervisor.

This procedure applies to:

  • Individuals offering their services directly to the college, university, or office of the chancellor, whether on an ad hoc basis or through a formal volunteer program.
  • Who receive no compensation for such services.


Volunteers must comply with all applicable college, university, and system policies and procedures pertaining to their assignment, computer use, and any other resources.

Volunteers must satisfactorily pass the appropriate background check before performing activities where it is required. e.g., access to residence halls. (See Minnesota Statutes Chapter 148A.)

Volunteers generally shall not be given access to protected students, personnel, or other data. Limited access may be granted if the data is necessary to their function, the volunteer has been instructed to protect the data, the requirements of the law and has signed a confidentiality form.

Volunteer coaches must sign a volunteer coaching release of liability form prior to performing such duties.

Use of Volunteers Policy   Lock icon