Faculty Leave Policies

3.13  FACULTY LEAVE POLICIES 

Faculty members under the Virginia Sickness and Disability Program (VSDP) should contact the Office of Human Resources for information regarding sick leave (including medical conditions resulting from pregnancy and delivery), family sick leave, and short-term and long-term disability.

3.13.1  Sick Leave    The sick leave policy provides each tenured or nontenured full-time teaching faculty member disabled due to illness, injury, or medical conditions resulting from pregnancy and delivery with full pay and benefits for up to six months but not to exceed the faculty member’s annual salary.  Sick leave benefits for a nontenured, full-time, teaching faculty member shall be limited to the length of his or her contract if the contract expires before six months.  If the full-time teaching faculty member is unable to return to work at the end of the six-month period, he or she would be covered under the University’s disability leave policy. If a faculty member’s absences are not expected to exceed ten class days, the department chair (or associate dean in the Colleges of Business or Education) shall ask colleagues in the department to cover the courses of the absent faculty member.  If the faculty member’s absences exceed ten class days, the chair (or associate dean) shall proceed to have the faculty member’s courses covered by either a member of the department or by a part-time instructor.  Full financial compensation, including compensation for the first ten days, shall be awarded to any faculty member who covers the classes of a colleague whose absence due to illness or injury has exceeded the ten-class day period.

3.13.1.1  Application for Sick Leave   To request sick leave beyond the ten-class day period, a faculty member must present to his or her chair (or associate dean in the Colleges of Business or Education) a written statement from the attending physician stating that he or she, as a result of illness or injury, is unable to perform his or her full-time teaching responsibilities with an estimate of the period of incapacitation.  The chair or associate dean immediately shall forward the request and physician’s statement to the dean.  The dean shall inform the Provost and then the faculty member of his or her recommendation to approve or disapprove the request for sick leave, concurrently working with the department chair to provide coverage for the faculty member’s courses.  The Provost places requests for sick leave on the Personnel Docket for the Board of Visitors so that the Board may take final action on the request.  In order to return to the classroom, the faculty member must present a written statement from the attending physician to the dean certifying that he or she is capable of resuming his or her professional duties.  If the faculty member’s request for sick leave is denied, he or she may appeal the decision through the Faculty Grievance Policy and Procedure (see §5.8).

3.13.1.2  Using and Accruing Sick Leave   Upon initial appointment, a faculty member has a total of six months of sick leave available.  Any portion of this sick leave used is deducted from the faculty member’s sick leave balance.  Upon the return to work, the faculty member earns additional sick leave (to replace sick leave used) at the rate of one month of sick leave earned for each two successive semesters worked (not counting summer sessions).  Additional sick leave accrues until the faculty member’s sick leave balance totals six months, at which point no additional sick leave accrues.  If the faculty member’s sick leave balance falls to less than six months at some future point, the faculty member is again eligible to accrue sick leave until the maximum of six months of available sick leave is reached.

3.13.2  Disability Leave   If a full-time teaching faculty member’s absence extends beyond the six months of sick leave, he or she will be considered for: (a) short-term disability, covered under a short-term disability leave policy provided by the University or by the Virginia Sickness and Disability Program (VSDP), whichever may apply; or (b) permanent disability, covered by the permanent disability program provided by VSDP or by Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association, whichever may apply. Faculty members should contact the Office of Human Resources for additional information and assistance.

3.13.3  Parental Leave    Parental leave is available for full-time, tenured, tenure-track, or renewable term appointment teaching faculty upon the birth, adoption or foster placement of a child younger than 18 years of age. Parental leaves are provided without regard to sex, gender, or marital status. Adjunct faculty or persons on visiting full-time faculty appointments are ineligible for parental leaves. Two forms of parental leave are available: (1) initial parental care leave and (2) extended parental care leave.

3.13.3.1  General Provisions   The following conditions apply to all parental leaves:  (1) faculty members initiate requests for parental leaves by writing to their department chair (or associate dean in the Colleges of Business or Education) and to the dean; (2) faculty members should initiate such requests no later than ninety days prior to the date they wish to commence the parental leave; (3) parental leave shall be taken within six (6) months following the birth, adoption, or foster placement of the child; (4) faculty members granted parental leaves shall have their full-time faculty positions reserved for them until they return to their normal duties; (5) faculty members shall complete each parental leave within two consecutive semesters, (6) faculty members who apply for and receive parental leaves do so with the expectation that they will return to full-time work at the University; (7) a parental leave shall only be taken once in a 12-month period and only once per child; (8) a parental leave does not count against an eligible faculty member’s sick leave; (9) parental leave shall run concurrently with leave provided under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), if the faculty member is eligible; and (10) parental leave may run concurrently or sequentially with the Virginia Sickness and Disability Program (VSDP), if the faculty member is eligible for VSDP. If a faculty member elects not to take the leave when the birth, adoption or eligible foster placement occurs, the leave option cannot then be used in subsequent semesters.

3.13.3.2  Initial Parental Leave   Eligible full-time faculty members may receive an initial parental leave at full salary and benefits for eight weeks upon the birth, adoption or foster placement of a child younger than 18 years of age.

3.13.3.3  Extended Parental Leave    Following the initial parental leave, a tenured, tenure-track, or renewable term appointment teaching faculty member is eligible to receive a one-semester (or a part of one semester, if applicable) extended parental leave at half salary with full benefits.  At the end of one extended parental leave, the faculty member may choose to take an additional extended parental leave for one semester without salary or benefits.  In cases where birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child younger than 18 years of age occurs between semesters, the faculty member may take an extended parental leave for the next semester at half-pay and full benefits.

3.13.3.4  Alternative Part-Time Parental Leave    A faculty member may propose that he or she work part-time for one or two consecutive semesters upon the birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child younger than 18 years of age rather than taking the standard parental leave arrangements described above. A request for part-time parental leave must be made in writing to the department chair (or associate dean in the Colleges of Business or Education) and requires approval of the College Dean. In a part-time parental leave arrangement, the salary reduction is based upon the amount of teaching to be done during the leave as stated in the written arrangements made between the faculty member and the College Dean. A faculty member electing this form of leave receives a half salary for the semester plus an additional pay increment equal of one-half of the portion of the full teaching load being taught during the extended portion part-time leave (after having eight weeks of full-time salary). For example, if the faculty member proposed to teach half time during a full semester of extended parental leave, the leave would be compensated at 3/4 pay and full benefits for the semester rather than the half pay and full benefits for the semester that would be provided if the person took a full extended parental leave for the semester.

3.13.4  Sick Leave Due to Family Emergency and Bereavement Leave    Each full-time faculty member shall be provided up to ten class days of absence, per academic year, for an illness, injury, or death of a spouse, child, or parent. In addition, the University complies with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) in providing leave with or without pay to eligible employees for situations defined in that Act. Faculty should contact the Benefits Administrator in the Office of Human Resources for additional information regarding FMLA provisions that may apply in cases of leave needed for family emergency or bereavement.

3.13.5  Sabbatical Leave    Sabbatical leaves of either one semester with full pay and full benefits or one academic year with half pay and full benefits are available for tenured full-time teaching faculty members.  Those applying for sabbatical leave must have completed, by the time of the leave, six years of full-time teaching at the University (and be tenured) or six years of full-time teaching after the completion of a previous sabbatical leave.  Approval of a sabbatical carries with it relief from the requirement to perform other duties for one semester or for one academic year (depending on the length of the sabbatical term approved).  Faculty members granted leave will be obligated to continue employment at the University for at least one full academic year after the leave or to repay the full amount of the sabbatical support received.

3.13.5.1  Application Procedures for Sabbatical Leaves    A written application for sabbatical leave, together with a letter of acknowledgment from the department chair (or associate dean in the Colleges of Business or Education), must be submitted to the faculty member’s college dean by the second Monday in September of the academic year prior to the academic year for which the leave is requested.  The application must include a proposal for a project to be undertaken during the sabbatical period.   Requirements for sabbatical proposals are made available by the start of the fall semester each year.  Each college dean will submit all sabbatical proposals simultaneously to the Provost and to the University Committee on Sabbaticals, Fellowships, and Faculty Awards by the first Friday in October.

3.13.5.2  Announcements of Sabbatical Leaves    Recommendations from the University Committee on Sabbaticals, Fellowships, and Faculty Awards regarding sabbatical leaves are due to the Provost by the last day in October.  The Provost reviews these recommendations, and announces which sabbatical recommendations will be taken to the Board of Visitors for final action at its next meeting, generally in November or December.  While it is the hope and intention that all eligible applicants with appropriate proposals will be able to receive sabbatical leaves every seven years, financial and staffing constraints limit the actual number of leaves granted.

3.13.5.3  Required Final Report   Following the first full post-sabbatical semester, the faculty member is required to submit a sabbatical report to the Provost at the beginning of the consequent semester (i.e., early September for a preceding fall’s sabbatical, early January for a preceding spring’s or full academic year’s sabbatical). There is no standardized format for the report but it should review the proposed sabbatical goals with respect to what was accomplished during the sabbatical period. Applications for future sabbaticals will take into account the submission of this report.

3.13.6  Civil Leave    Faculty members may be granted leave with full pay for any absence necessary for serving on a jury or attending court as a witness under subpoena.  Such leaves are approved by the dean.  If faculty members on civil leave receive compensation for witness fees, they must endorse the payments to the University of Mary Washington.  Expense fees paid for service on a jury are retained by the faculty member.

3.13.7  Annual Leave Annual leave is not earned by either full-time or part-time teaching faculty.  Faculty have various breaks and vacation times when classes are not in session; these times are listed on the academic calendar and also published in the current Academic Catalog.

3.13.8  Leave of Absence Without Pay    A full-time teaching faculty member who has served for a minimum of two years may apply for a leave of absence without pay and benefits for one semester or one academic year.  A written request for a leave of absence without pay, together with a letter of acknowledgment from the department chair (or associate dean in the Colleges of Business or Education), normally must be submitted to the dean by the second Monday in September of the academic year prior to the academic year for which leave is requested.  The dean will consult with the department chair (or associate dean in the Colleges of Business or Education) and thereafter submit a recommendation to the Provost who will forward his or her recommendation to the President and Board of Visitors for a final action, generally in November or December of that same year.  The acceptance of a leave obligates the faculty member to continue his or her employment with the University for at least one full academic year after the leave.  Any faculty member granted a leave of absence without pay shall have his or her full-time faculty position reserved until he or she returns from his or her leave.  If a faculty member’s request for a leave of absence without pay is denied, he or she may appeal the decision through the Faculty Grievance Policy and Procedure (§5.8).