APS 5019 - Parental Leave for Faculty, Officers, and Exempt Professionals

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Policy Profile

Policy Title: Parental Leave for Faculty, Officers, and Exempt Professionals
APS Number: 5019
Effective: June 6, 2005
Approved by: Jack O. Burns
Responsible University Officer: Vice President for Academic Affairs and Research
Responsible Office: Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Research
Policy Contact: Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Research
Supersedes: Parental Leave for Faculty, Officers, and Exempt Professionals dated March 26, 2003
Last Reviewed/Updated: June 6, 2005
Applies to: University-wide

Policy Snapshot

Brief Description:  Provides the university parental leave policy for faculty, officers, and exempt professionals, in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Policy.

I. Introduction

At its meeting of January 18, 1990, the Board of Regents approved a university parental leave policy for faculty, officers, and exempt professionals1. In 1998 and 1999, the faculty council women's committee, working with the office of the vice president for academic affairs, explored alternatives to the existing policy that better meet the needs of faculty. The Board of Regents revised the policy on April 20 and again on June 9, 2000, on March 20, 2003, and on June 4, 2005, to reflect those needs and to be congruent with the Family and Medical Leave Policy and other policy changes.

II. Policy Statement

It is the policy of the University to support to the greatest extent possible, and in a manner consistent with the effective and efficient operation of the University, faculty, officers, and exempt professionals with a need for pregnancy, childbirth, adoption and parental leaves. Pursuant to the following policies, deans, primary unit chairs and other supervisors shall make reasonable efforts to accommodate faculty, officers, and exempt professionals with such needs.

III. Statement of Eligibility

A faculty member, officer, or exempt professional is eligible for parental leave under this policy after one year of continuous employment at the University of Colorado2. A part-time faculty member with an appointment of 50% or greater is eligible for the benefits of this policy on a pro-rata basis. For purposes of this administrative policy statement, eligible faculty are defined as: instructors, senior instructors, assistant professors, associate professors, and full professors.

  1. Parental Leave for Child Care Following Birth or Adoption
    1. Standard Parental Leave for Faculty on Nine-month Appointments

      Faculty on nine-month appointments are entitled to use accrued sick leave to provide care for the faculty member's child within twelve months of the birth or adoption of the child3. Accrued sick leave may be used up to a maximum of one semester.

      If the accrued sick leave is not enough to cover the one-semester period, then the faculty member who is the primary caregiver may continue the leave for the remainder of the period at half pay with full benefits.

      The faculty member shall inform the chair of the primary unit as early as possible of the intent to use parental leave. The chair may require that the leave be taken consistent with the teaching schedule of the unit.
    2. Negotiated Parental Leave for Faculty on Nine-month Appointments

      Nine-month faculty who prefer not to take the leave described in Section A.1 have the option to negotiate with the chair of the primary unit to develop alternative ways for dealing with child care, such as differentiated work loads, "banked" courses (i.e., courses taught as an overload in a prior semester or summer session for no remuneration that can be exchanged for course off-loads in the semester of parental need), and other strategies or combinations of strategies. Such negotiations shall take into account the effect of the negotiated agreement upon the students and other faculty in the unit. Negotiated leave arrangements must be in writing, signed by the faculty member and the chair, and approved by the dean.
    3. Timing of Parental Leaves

      One purpose of this policy is to minimize the disruption of students' education that occurs when faculty leave their classes in mid-semester and must be replaced by another instructor. Thus, it is the intention of this policy that nine-month faculty selecting the standard parental leave or the negotiated parental leave will employ the provisions of this policy to minimize the disruption of student learning by arranging parental leaves, when possible, to coincide with the semester calendar (or appropriate teaching module in effect in the unit).
    4. Parental Leave for Twelve-Month Faculty, Officers, and Exempt Professionals

      Twelve-month faculty members, officers and exempt professionals are entitled to use up to a maximum of six months accrued sick leave and vacation leave to care for the faculty member's, officer's, or exempt professional's child within twelve months of birth or adoption of the child. The faculty member, officer, or exempt professional shall inform the chair of the primary unit or appropriate supervisor as early as possible of the intent to use parental leave.

      In most cases, the nature of twelve-month faculty members' work does not lend itself to negotiated parental leave (described in A.2). However, in exceptional circumstances, if the chair and dean of the unit agree, a twelve-month faculty member may negotiate a child care leave, following the process outlined in A.2 and provided the negotiated leave does not result in significant financial, academic, or clinical harm to the unit.
    5. Tenure Probationary Period for Tenure-track Faculty 

      Consistent with Article 5.B.4 (D) of the Laws of the Regents, leave taken pursuant to this policy, including negotiated leave, does not count as part of the tenure probationary period. Parental leave results in a "stop" on the tenure clock; such "stops" must be taken in one-year increments. However, a faculty member may elect, no later than six months following his or her return to full-time service, to have the leave time count as part of the tenure probationary period. Such an election shall be made in writing and must be approved by the dean and the chancellor. The faculty member's election is irrevocable and not subject to modification. Normally, a maximum of two "stops" on the tenure clock for parental leave is allowed under this policy.

      In the case of the birth or adoption of a child, for which the faculty member does not seek parental leave, the faculty parent who is the primary caregiver may elect to stop the tenure clock for one year. The department chair and dean must be notified in writing of this election within six months of the birth or adoption of the child; this election is irrevocable and not subject to modification. Normally, a maximum of two such "stops" on the tenure clock is allowed under this policy.
  2. Other Parental Leave

    For purposes of caring for their minor children, faculty members, officers, and exempt professionals, upon timely request and with reasonable accommodation to the needs of the primary unit, shall be entitled to parental leave without pay, or reduced loads at reduced pay, up to a total of two semesters for faculty or twelve months for officers, exempt professionals and faculty on twelve-month contracts. This maximum of two semesters or twelve months of parental leave includes, and is not in addition to, any leave taken under Section A of this policy or leave taken under the Family and Medical Leave Policy. (See Section D below.)
  3. Simultaneous Leave

    If both parents are employed by the University of Colorado, leaves under this policy may not be taken simultaneously unless there are documented medical reasons requiring both parents to be absent, except that parents may simultaneously take a reduction in load of one-half or less at reduced pay.
  4. Relation of Parental Leave to Family and Medical Leave Policy

    The provisions of this Parental Leave Policy are intended to be interpreted in conjunction with the university's Family and Medical Leave Policy. Leave under this Parental Leave Policy will be considered leave under the Family and Medical Leave Policy, and leave under the Family and Medical Leave Policy that is taken for the purposes of child care as described herein shall be considered leave under this Parental Leave Policy. Thus, leave taken under the Parental Leave Policy counts as part of, not in addition to, the twelve weeks of leave permitted under the Family and Medical Leave Policy.

    Any faculty member or other employee who anticipates a request for leave under this Parental Leave Policy, including primary unit chairs, deans, and other supervisors, is urged to read both policies closely and to consult as needed with appropriate human resources professionals on campus.
  • 1. The rules of the state personnel system should be consulted for policies applicable to classified staff.
  • 2. For 9-month faculty, the summer "counts" toward eligibility.
  • 3. Care for sick children is covered in Regent Policy 11-H 2.B