university seal Editor's notes:

POLICY TITLE: Carnegie Mellon University Policy on Faculty Leaves

DATE OF ISSUANCE: This policy was adopted in summer 1973 and revised to include the Faculty Family Leave Policy, adopted in spring 1992. These policies appear in the current issue of the Faculty Handbook. See also the Faculty Parental Leave Policy.

ACCOUNTABLE DEPARTMENT/UNIT: Office of the Provost. Questions about policy content should be directed to Susan Burkett, associate provost for research and academic administration, x88746. Questions about a specific leave should be directed to your department head or dean. For benefits available during leave, contact the Benefits Office at x82049.

ABSTRACT: Defines the different leave options to which eligible faculty are entitled, including personal, professional and family.

RELATED POLICIES: See also policies on:


Policy on Faculty Leaves

Personal Leaves

Leaves for personal circumstances are granted on either a half-time or a full-time basis. For example, a faculty member might request such leave to care for an ill, elderly parent. Also, such leave can be granted to assist in child care.

Benefits Provided to Faculty on Full-time Leaves

Normally, full-time leaves are unpaid by the university. When on full-time leave, a faculty member may continue only the following benefits: group life, health, dental and vision insurance. These benefits are available only if the faculty member pays the COBRA cost of the benefit coverage.

Benefits Provided to Faculty on Half-time Leaves

Faculty members who are on half-time leave can continue to participate in the university's health insurance plan by paying the part-time rate. Dental and/or vision coverage can be continued as long as the faculty member pays the COBRA cost of these coverages. Life insurance may also continue in the amount equal to the coverage level in effect prior to the leave of absence. The university continues its contribution for basic life insurance, and faculty members who have supplemental life insurance would continue to pay the full cost of the supplemental coverage.

Retirement contributions will continue, based on the salary paid by the university during the period of the leave.

Eligibility for tuition benefits for faculty members themselves continues for the duration of the leave for one course per semester. Eligibility for tuition benefits for dependents terminates at the end of the academic term following the effective date of the leave.

Participation in the Short-Term Disability and Long-Term Disability Benefits Programs terminates on the effective date of the leave.

The Child Care Center 25% discount and sliding scale benefit terminates at the end of the month in which the leave begins.

Faculty Family Leave Policy

This policy provides options to which eligible faculty are entitled. Application for any of these options should be made with a faculty member's department head and dean and must be approved by the provost.

Eligibility for Family Leave

To be eligible for family leave, a faculty member must, during the period of the leave, be the primary care-giver for a child or other dependent. The definition of "primary care-giver" will vary across family situations but the individual must have exclusive care responsibility for a dependent for a significant fraction of the day during the regular work week. A faculty member who has dependent care assistance for more than 30 hours per week on average, for instance, would not generally qualify as primary care-giver. Within these guidelines, the determination of whether a faculty member is a primary care-giver is determined by the provost, upon the recommendation of the department head or dean.

Faculty members should apply for family leave as early as possible, generally at least one semester in advance. In some cases the need for family leave cannot be anticipated. In these cases, all parties should make a good-faith effort to resolve the situation to the parties' mutual satisfaction.

Faculty who meet the primary care-giver criterion are eligible for family leave subject to approval by the provost provided two years have elapsed since the last use, if any, of such leave.

Characterization of Family Leaves

A family leave may extend up to one year. The term for family leave is ordinarily one semester or one year.

Faculty on "full" family leave have no teaching, research or administrative duties and receive no salary. Faculty on "partial" family leave have a reduced workload and receive a comparable reduction in salary (e.g., half-time teaching and other duties would be associated with half of the faculty member's regular salary).

Benefits for faculty on full or partial leave are specified in the university's benefits policy. Faculty on full or partial family leave should schedule an appointment with the Benefits Office to discuss the nature of benefits available during the leave.

Tenure Clock

Untenured faculty members who are eligible for family leave, whether such leave is taken or not, are entitled to have the corresponding period fully or partially excluded, at their discretion, from current service for the purpose of determining the tenure decision deadline (i.e., they can "delay the tenure clock"), subject to the constraint that the aggregate exclusion for such family reasons may not exceed two years. To make any such exclusion effective, it has to be requested by the faculty member no later than the date on which the eligibility for family leave ends.

Other Family Leave Options

The policy is not intended to preclude other arrangements for family leave. Any such arrangements require the mutual consent of the faculty member, the relevant department head or dean, and the provost, and are subject to the relevant provisions of the Promotion and Tenure Policy, the Tenure Clock and Family Leave section of this policy, and the university's benefits policies.

Professional Leaves

It is important for the university to have a leave policy to enable faculty to develop themselves professionally. Such a policy will be particularly important during the 1990s when Carnegie Mellon is likely to have fewer new members added to the faculty. Two policies concerning professional faculty leaves are outlined below: The first concerns leaves which are supported in large part by the university; the second concerns leaves which are supported wholly by outside funds.

University-Supported Leaves

The university-supported leaves will be financed by departments and colleges through teaching load exchanges or through the utilization of funds at their disposal, by as much outside money as faculty members can raise, supplemented by budgeted university funds which are administered, individually, by each dean solely for support of professional leaves.

The important criterion for awarding leaves will be faculty development. Thus, the quality of the project proposed and the impact that it will have on the faculty member's development are most important in the final decision to grant a leave.

Purpose

The purpose of a university-supported leave is to permit a faculty member to devote himself/herself to a creative activity which will contribute to his/her professional stature as a scholar, teacher and/or artist and to his/her value to Carnegie Mellon.

Leaves will be granted on the merits of the projects to be undertaken.

Eligibility

A faculty member of the rank of professor, associate professor or assistant professor is eligible to apply for leave after six years of service to Carnegie Mellon. When a faculty member has been on a Carnegie Mellon-supported leave, he/she will become eligible to apply again after six more years of service.

Terms of the Leave

  1. When a leave is granted with all financial support coming from Carnegie Mellon, the grant will consist of half salary for an academic year or full salary for one semester.
  2. It is expected that faculty members will apply to other agencies (Fulbright, Guggenheim, National Science Foundation, etc.) for leave support. Carnegie Mellon funds can be applied to supplement funds from other sources when the regulations of these agencies permit. Supplemental funds will not be approved in such amounts that the total would exceed the applicant's salary, plus reasonable travel expenses, for the period of the leave. Faculty members are encouraged to seek assistance from the department heads, deans, vice presidents and development office in applying to outside agencies.
  3. In addition, if benefits are not available through the host institution, Carnegie Mellon will continue all benefits for a faculty member based on the faculty member's full salary for that academic year. The college or department would pay the fringe rate on the faculty member's full salary. (The faculty member will include the Carnegie Mellon fringe rate in his/her account of outside support needed. The faculty member will arrange for reimbursement to the college or department to the extent that the fringe rate is provided by the outside agency.)
  4. Before the leave becomes effective, the applicant's dean and department head will determine and inform the applicant whether the leave period is or is not to be counted against the term of the academic appointment if the applicant does not hold indefinite tenure.
  5. A faculty member who receives a leave supported by Carnegie Mellon funds will be required to make a commitment to return to Carnegie Mellon for one year and, if he/she decides not to return, to reimburse Carnegie Mellon for the full amount of the leave grant made to him/her by Carnegie Mellon.

Procedure

  1. Eligible faculty member submits application (available from deans and department heads), giving particulars of his/her proposal to department head by December 15.
  2. Department head forwards the application and a written comment to the dean.
  3. Dean decides how the university funds, budgeted exclusively for support of professional leaves, are to be awarded within that college. The dean's recommendations are forwarded to the provost by January 1.
  4. The provost will then discuss with the deans and department heads the arrangements for financing the leaves. The number of leaves to be granted will depend on the financial arrangements which are finally made.
  5. Notification of approved leaves will be made by March 1.

Professional Leaves Supported by Outside Funds

The university encourages leaves of absence supported by outside funds. In general, such leaves will be granted for the purpose of professional development by the faculty member, but such purposes as service to the government, to corporations and to foundations will also be recognized and encouraged.

Eligibility

A faculty member of the rank of professor, associate professor or assistant professor is eligible to apply for a leave supported by outside funds at any time. Normally, such leaves will not be granted more often than once in four years. The period spent on such a leave will not be counted towards the six-year service period required for university-supported leaves.

Terms of the Leave

  1. Leaves will ordinarily be granted for a one-year period (or less). Renewal for a second year can be requested.
  2. Leaves will not extend beyond two years. Exceptions to this rule may be made for certain kinds of government service (i.e., cabinet or agency appointments).
  3. Benefits will ordinarily be paid by the outside funding agency. If benefits are not available through the host institution, Carnegie Mellon will continue all benefits for a faculty member based on the faculty member's full salary for that academic year. The college or department would pay the fringe rate on the faculty member's full salary. (The faculty member will include the Carnegie Mellon fringe rate in his/her account of outside support needed. The faculty member will arrange for reimbursement to the college or department to the extent that the fringe rate is provided by the outside agency.)

Procedure

  1. A faculty member is to submit an application for a leave supported by outside funds to the department head or dean by December 15 or earlier. Applications which are submitted after December 15 may be rejected if a replacement cannot be obtained for the following year.
  2. The approved application should be forwarded by the dean to the provost, who will send a letter of approval by January 15.



[Policies Home Page]