University Policy 102.6, Leaves of Absence for Members of the Faculty(Formerly Policy Statement #46)
The University supports leaves of absence from University duties for faculty members when such leaves will assist them in meeting personal and family-related needs, will contribute to their professional growth and development, or will permit their involvement in activities which will benefit the University. This policy provides general conditions governing leaves of absence, personal leaves of absence, and educational leaves of absence.
I. Statement of Policy
It is the policy of The University of North Carolina at Charlotte to support leaves of absence from University duties for members of the faculty when such leaves will assist them in meeting their personal and family-related needs, or will contribute to their professional growth and development, or will permit their involvement in activities which will benefit them or the University.
II. General Conditions Governing Leaves of Absence
- A leave of absence is an authorized absence from regular employment.
- Provisions of this policy are designed to apply to faculty leaves of six weeks or more. Less extensive leaves are usually handled informally at the department and college levels.
- Generally, a person on leave does not continue to participate in campus activities but may do so by prior approval of the Department Chair or Dean, as appropriate.
- The leave period must begin after the first day of the employment period and end before the last day of the employment period unless the University and the faculty member have agreed to an extension of the employment period prior to the leave.
- A leave of absence may be granted with or without pay as described below, or in the case of faculty military leave, as set forth in University Policy 102.12, Faculty Military Leave.
- The specific terms of each leave of absence granted under this policy must be recorded in writing on an agreement form prescribed by the Office of the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (AA-32 form). Each agreement must specify:
1. Whether the leave will be with or without pay, and whether there are any fringe benefits to be received during the leave period;
a. If the leave is with pay, the agreement must contain the promise of the faculty member to return to the University for a period at least equal to that of the leave granted, or to repay the value of salary and fringe benefits received during the leave period, unless the University agrees in writing to some other understanding concerning the obligation of the faculty member to return or repay.
b. The faculty member taking a leave of absence should consult with the Benefits Office before beginning the leave to ensure that any arrangements pertaining to benefits have been implemented.
2. Whether or not the faculty member is to be considered for salary adjustments, reappointment, promotion, or tenure during the leave period; and
3. In the case of probationary faculty members, whether the period of the leave will count as part of the probationary period or whether the probationary term will be extended as specified in the UNC Charlotte Tenure Policies, Regulations, and Procedures.
In all cases, whether the period of the leave of absence will count as part of the probationary period or whether the probationary term will be extended must be determined in advance at the time the leave is approved. Because of the prescribed annual cycle of reviews for reappointment, promotion, and tenure, requests for extension of the probationary period will be granted in one-year increments only, regardless of the length of the leave. The request of the faculty member and the recommendations of the Department Chair and the Dean will be considered by the Provost whose decision is final.
Agreements for faculty military leave regarding salary, benefits, and types of military leave must be in accordance with the procedures set forth in University Policy 102.12 Faculty Military Leave.
III. Personal Leaves of Absence
Personal Leaves of Absence are designed to implement the requirements of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 and address other personal needs of full-time members of the faculty on nine-month contracts. UNC Charlotte will provide nine-month tenure-track faculty members and senior lecturers with the amount of paid or unpaid leave of absence required by the FMLA and consistent with its requirements (twelve weeks during a twelve-month period determined by counting back twelve months from the date the leave begins). The Provost will cover the cost of part-time instruction to replace nine-month faculty members on paid maternity/child care leave (III.B.1.a and b) below. Faculty members on twelve-month contracts and who accrue sick leave are governed by policies set forth in Personnel Information Memorandum Number 9 ("PIM-9"). As used in this policy statement, the terms "parent," "child," "spouse," "serious health condition," "workweek," "reduced work schedule," and "intermittent work schedule" have the meanings set forth in PIM-9, Section 3.
Personal Leave Without Pay
- FMLA-Qualified Personal Leave Without Pay
- As required by FMLA, full-time faculty members on nine-month contracts will be granted Personal Leave Without Pay for a period of up to twelve work weeks (during a twelve-month period determined by counting back twelve months from the date the leave begins) for the following reasons:
- Because of the birth of a son or daughter of the faculty member and in order to care for that son or daughter;
- Because of the placement of a son or daughter with the faculty member for adoption or foster care;
- In order to care for the spouse, son, daughter, or parent of the faculty member, if that spouse, son, daughter, or parent has a serious health condition; or,
- Because of a serious health condition that makes the faculty member unable to perform the functions of his or her position.
- For any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is on (or has been notified of an impending call to) “covered active duty” in the Armed Forces, as specified in Section 825.126 of the FMLA Regulations.
In addition, a full-time faculty member on a nine-month contract who is the spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin of a “covered servicemember” may take up to 26 workweeks of FMLA leave in a single 12-month period to care for a “covered servicemember” with a “serious injury or illness,” as specified in Section 825.127 of the FMLA Regulations.A “covered servicemember” with a “serious injury or illness” is a member of the Armed Forces (including a member of the National Guard or Reserves) who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy, is otherwise in outpatient status, or is otherwise on the temporary disability retired list, for a serious injury or illness; or a veteran who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy, for a serious injury or illness and who was a member of the Armed Forces (including a member of the National Guard or Reserves) at any time during the period of 5 years preceding the date on which the veteran undergoes that medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy.
Faculty members who are married to each other are limited to a combined total of 26 workweeks in a single 12-month period. Except as otherwise set forth in this policy, faculty members may not exceed 26 workweeks of FMLA leave in a single 12-month period, regardless of the number of reasons set forth above for which the faculty member requires leave.
Such leave may be taken on an intermittent work schedule or a reduced work schedule.
b. The amount of FMLA-Qualified Personal Leave Without Pay to which a faculty member is entitled under Section III.A.1(a) above must be reduced by the amount of Personal Leave With Pay which the faculty member has been granted during the preceding twelve months if such Personal Leave With Pay was granted for any of the reasons listed in III.B.1 below.
- Personal Leave Without Pay Other Than FMLA-Qualified Leave
A faculty member may be granted Personal Leave Without Pay for personal or family reasons other than FMLA-qualifying reasons set forth in Section III.A.1, or for amounts in excess of the minimum amount required in III.A.1 above, in the discretion of the University.
- During a Personal Leave Without Pay for reasons other than those set forth in Section III.A.1, a faculty member is not entitled to make contributions to either the Teachers' and State Employees' Retirement System (TSERS) or the Optional Retirement Program. However, all accumulated retirement credits are retained.
- During a Personal Leave Without Pay for reasons other than those set forth in Section III.A.1, a faculty member may continue coverage under the State’s health insurance program by paying the full premium cost; the University will not make contributions to the health insurance program on behalf of the faculty member.
- All requests for Personal Leave Without Pay must be submitted to the appropriate department chair as early as possible. Such a request must be received at least thirty days in advance of the leave if the need for the leave is foreseeable based upon an expected birth, placement for adoption or foster care, or planned medical treatment for a serious health condition of the employee or a family member. Where the event giving rise to such leave is not foreseeable, notice must be given as soon as practicable.
- The total duration of a period of leave including a Personal Leave Without Pay will not exceed one year, but extensions may be granted according to the procedures described herein.
B. Personal Leave With Pay
1. Upon providing adequate advance notice of a request for Personal Leave With Pay, a faculty member subject to these policies must be granted up to twelve weeks or one academic semester of such leave with pay (during a twelve-month period determined by counting back twelve months from the date the leave begins) for any one or more of the following reasons:
a. Because of the birth of a child of the faculty member and to exercise primary responsibility for the care of an infant for the period immediately following the birth.
b. To exercise primary responsibility for care of a child under age five placed with the faculty member for adoption or foster care, provided the leave is taken immediately following the placement.
c. To exercise primary responsibility for the care of the faculty member's child, spouse, or parent when that child, spouse or parent has a serious health condition.
d. Because the faculty member has a serious health condition that renders him/her unable to perform the essential functions of his/her position.
2. The total period of a Personal Leave With Pay may not exceed twelve weeks or one academic semester in any twelve-month employment period, unless an exception is provided in accordance with the following:. a faculty member may be granted Personal Leave With Pay in excess of those limits in the discretion of the University, but such grants shall be approved only in exceptional circumstances.
3. If such Personal Leave With Pay is granted for any of the reasons listed in III.B.1 above, such Personal Leave With Pay shall reduce the amount of Personal Leave Without Pay to which a faculty member is entitled under Section III.A.1 above during the same twelve-month period.
4. All requests for Personal Leave With Pay shall be submitted to the appropriate department chair at least four months in advance of the leave, unless the need for such leave did not become foreseeable until after that time, in which case the request must be submitted as soon as practicable after the need becomes foreseeable. A request received after those deadlines will be considered only where there are convincing reasons shown for the delay. Late requests may still be approved for Personal Leave Without Pay.
C. Procedures for Requesting and Granting Personal Leaves and for Return to Work After Leave
1. The request for personal leave shall state the reason(s) for the leave and shall be accompanied by the completed form prescribed by the Provost for this purpose.
2. The University may require such medical certifications, second or third medical opinions (at its expense) or other documentation of the need for leave, ability to return to work, or intent to return to work as it may deem necessary. (See PIM-9, Section 9, for examples of the documentation which may be required.) The University may also require satisfactory evidence that the faculty member will exercise primary responsibility for the care of others as provided in Section III.B.
3. A probationary faculty member requesting a Personal Leave With Pay or a Personal Leave Without Pay may seek an extension of the probationary period, but is not obligated to do so.
4. In recommending approval of a leave to the Provost, the Department Chair or Dean will certify that they are prepared to develop a plan to cover the responsibilities of the faculty member for the duration of the requested leave.
5. The faculty member's appointment and benefits will be protected during periods of leave covered by the FMLA, whether taken as Leave With Pay, Leave Without Pay or a combination of the two, as provided in PIM-9, Section 10. More extensive protection may be provided in the University's discretion.
IV. Educational Leaves of Absence
Educational Leaves of Absence are designed to permit faculty members to conduct activities or engage in endeavors which will enhance their professional growth and enrich their teaching, research, or service. An Educational Leave may be with or without pay. The function of an Educational Leave is to provide the faculty member with the opportunity for continued growth and intellectual achievement through study, research, writing, travel, and similar activities. In all cases, there must be convincing evidence that the faculty member intends to engage in such activities or endeavors and that successful completion of the leave will be beneficial to the faculty member and the University. A typical Educational Leave would be one that involves acceptance of a scholarly fellowship or award; participation in an academic, governmental, or industrial exchange program; or service in a public or private institution in a capacity related to the faculty member's professional background and expertise.
A. In general, an Educational Leave will count as part of the probationary period. However, in limited circumstances where a proposed Educational Leave involves activities that might for some reason jeopardize the faculty member's opportunity to obtain a favorable decision on reappointment and tenure, extensions of the probationary period may be requested. An example of such a situation might be where the faculty member's leave involves service in a government agency and does not contribute directly to their scholarly record of teaching and research. Extension of a probationary period will in no circumstance prohibit a faculty member from requesting review for reappointment, promotion, and tenure at the time mandated by the date of initial appointment.
B. The total period for an Educational Leave (with or without pay) shall not normally exceed one year.
C. Within thirty days after returning from an Educational Leave, the faculty member must submit to the Department Chair a written report evaluating achievement of the objectives of the leave.
D. Procedures for Requesting Educational Leaves
1. All requests for Educational Leave must be submitted to the appropriate department chair at least four months before the leave period is to begin; late requests will be considered only where there are convincing reasons shown for the delay.
2. Each request must be accompanied by a statement of the faculty member's objectives for and planned activities during the period of leave, and by the completed form prescribed by the Provost for this purpose.
3. In recommending approval of a leave to the Provost, the Department Chair and Dean will certify that they are prepared to develop a plan to cover the responsibilities of the faculty member for the duration of the requested eave and that the leave is not inconsistent with departmental and institutional interests. All reasonable efforts will be made to accommodate the circumstances of individual faculty members, but Chairs and deans are authorized to deny requested leaves that will seriously disrupt instructional schedules or the quality of instruction offered to students.
V. Faculty Military Leave
The terms of military leave for faculty are set forth in University Policy 102.12, Faculty Military Leave.
- Initially approved April 17, 1989
- Revised December 9, 1994
- Revised December 21, 1998
- Revised July 12, 1999
- Revised June 1, 2001
- Revised March 25, 2011
Responsible Office: Academic Affairs
University Policy 102.13, Tenure Policies, Regulations, and Procedures
University Policy 102.12, Faculty Military Leave
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
Personnel Information Memorandum Number 9 ("PIM-9")
AA-32 Request for Leave of Absence for a Member of the Faculty in 9-month Appointment