Faculty Leave Policies

3.13  FACULTY LEAVE POLICIES 

Faculty members under the Virginia Sickness and Disability Program (VSDP) should contact the HRO for information regarding sick leave (including medical condition of pregnancy), 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 or injury full pay and benefits for up to six months but not to exceed his or her 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 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 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 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 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 (b) permanent disability (covered by the permanent disability program provided by the Virginia Retirement System or by Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association, whichever may apply).

3.13.3  Infant-Care Leave    Two forms of infant-care leave are provided for full-time, tenured, tenure-track, or renewable term appointment teaching faculty:  (1) short-term disability leave and (2) extended leave.

3.13.3.1  Short-term Disability    Each female full-time tenured or tenure-track teaching faculty member shall be provided leave at full salary and benefits for up to six weeks upon the birth of a child.  If the faculty member’s absences due to the birth of a child are not expected to exceed ten class days, the department chair 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 shall proceed to have the courses covered by either a member of the department or a part-time faculty member.  Full financial compensation, including compensation for the first ten class days, shall be awarded to any faculty member who covers the classes of a colleague whose absence for infant care has exceeded the ten day class period.

3.13.3.2  Extended Leave    Upon the birth or adoption of a child, a full-time tenured or tenure-track teaching faculty member of either gender is eligible to receive a one-semester (or a part of one semester if applicable) extended leave of absence at half salary with full benefits.  This extended leave is available without regard to sex or marital status.  (For female full-time teaching faculty who have given birth, the period of extended leave will begin after the six-week period of short-term disability leave ends.)  At the end of the extended leave of absence at half salary, the faculty member may choose to take an additional extended leave of absence for one semester without salary or benefits.  In cases where birth or adoption of a child occurs between semesters, the faculty member may take an extended leave of absence for the next semester at half-pay and full benefits.  (The extended leave portion of infant-care leave also covers persons under VSDP.)

3.13.3.3  General provisions    The following conditions apply to disability and extended infant-care leaves:  (1) faculty members initiate requests for infant-care leaves by writing to their department chair and to the dean; (2) faculty members should initiate such requests no later than ninety days prior to the date they wish to cease teaching (except in cases where emergency circumstances preclude such prior notice); (3) faculty members granted infant-care leaves shall have their full-time faculty positions reserved for them until they return to their normal duties; (4) faculty members shall complete each infant-care leave within two consecutive semesters, (5) faculty members who apply for and receive infant-care leaves do so with the expectation that they will return to full-time work at the University; and (6) infant care leaves are not deferrable. If a faculty member elects not to take the leave when the birth or adoption occurs, the option cannot then be used in subsequent semesters.

3.13.3.4  Alternative Part-Time Infant Care Leave    A faculty member may propose to the department chair and dean that he or she work part-time for one or two consecutive semesters upon the birth or adoption of a child rather than taking the standard infant care leave arrangement described above.  This option applies only to the extended infant care leave, not the short-term disability leave.   A request for part-time infant care leave must be made in writing and requires approval of the College Dean. In a part-time infant care leave arrangement, the amount of 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 part-time leave. For example, if the faculty member proposed to teach half time during the semester of an extended infant care 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 infant care 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 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 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, 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 the viable 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.

3.13.6  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   Each 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, 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 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 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).