II. Academic Policies

Leaves of Absence

Although there is no formal vacation and/or sick leave policy for faculty, the University grants several types of leaves, both with and without salary. Plans to apply for any leave should be discussed with the department head or director of academic affairs. Questions of salary continuation, health-care coverage, etc., often arise when a faculty member is absent from the normal schedule for an extended period. The following information is intended to provide summary information addressing questions most frequently asked about leaves of absence. This information is not intended to be definitive on policy matters. Faculty should call the Employee Benefits Office (814-865-1473) for information regarding benefits coverage, etc., and the Employee Relations Office (814-865-1412) for more detailed policy information.

A faculty member who needs to be absent from work upon the birth or adoption of a child or in order to care for a seriously ill child, spouse, or parent (as defined by law) shall be eligible for and considered to be utilizing time off under the provisions of the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act. See Human Resources Guideline No. 11, "Family and Medical Leave," for details.

Paid Absences

Leaves of Absence with full or partial pay are provided to the extent provided by policy for the following reasons:

Reason Policy (HR)/Guideline (HRG)
Childcare HRG-11, HRG-18
Family Leave HRG-11
Graduate Study HR-18
Maternity HRG-7, HRG-18
Sabbatical HR-17
Short-term Military Leave HR-19

Faculty on leave with pay have access to the same benefits and privileges as are available to active, regular employees. See applicable policies for details.

Unpaid Absences

Leaves of absence without pay may be available to the extent provided by the policy. Benefits continuation during such leaves are as follows:

Reason Policy/
Guideline #
Life
Insurance
Health, Dental and Vision Coverage Educational Privileges Contribute to Retirement

Childcare


HR-16
HRG-11
HRG-7


Yes

Yes6

Only first
12 weeks of
absence*

TIAA-CREF only3

Family Leave

HR-16
HRG-11

Yes

Yes6

Only first
12 weeks of
absence*

TIAA-CREF only3

Formal Study

HR-16
HRG-13

Yes

Yes4

Yes

TIAA-CREF only3

Illness/
Injury

HR-16

Yes

Yes4

Yes

TIAA-CREF only3

Maternity

HR-16
HRG-7

Yes

Yes4

Yes

TIAA-CREF only3

Military
Long-Term

HR-19

Yes1

Yes1,4

Yes

TIAA-CREF3
SERS2

Personal

HR-16

Yes

Yes5

No

TIAA-CREF only3
1Claim covered, except if caused by war
2Active service may be purchased in SERS
3Only personal, after-tax contributions are possible
4Charges shall be at the normal applicable contribution rates for active, regular employees
5Charges shall be at the entire cost (employee and University costs)
6For the first twelve weeks of absence (*regardless of the reason for the absence), charges shall be at the normal applicable contribution rates for active, regular employees. After the first twelve weeks of absence, charges shall be at the entire cost (employee and University costs).

Note: All Human Resources policies and guidelines are now available on both GURU and www.ohr.psu.edu. This chart has been prepared as a ready reference. Because policies may change, the policy and/or guideline should be consulted for more precise and up-to-date definitions.

Sabbatical Leaves

Sabbatical leaves are leaves of absence with salary (see University Policy HR-17, "Sabbatical Leave"). The leave is granted for the purpose of intensive study or research that increases the quality of the individual's future contribution to the University. The leave may be granted to tenured faculty who have served the University for a minimum of six years of full-time service.

Application is made early in the fall semester of the year preceding the leave. Sabbatical Leave Guidelines may be obtained from the department head, the director of academic affairs, or the dean. A leave with salary may be granted for a maximum of one contract year. The most common arrangements are 67 percent of salary for a full contract year or 100 percent salary for one-half of a contract year.

The application should be accompanied by a detailed proposal specifying the project to be undertaken, the results to be expected, and the way in which the leave will benefit the individual's capacity to serve the University. The application is forwarded with the department head's recommendation to the dean.

A sabbatical leave review committee in each college reviews the applications and submits its recommendations to the dean. The dean considers the recommendations and weighs the fiscal and academic load responsibilities of the unit. Every effort is made, however, to ensure that no sabbatical leave is denied because of the cost of covering the instructional responsibilities of the faculty member on leave. Final approval for sabbatical leaves is made by the President, after recommendation by the executive vice president and provost of the University.

Leaves of Absence without Salary

A leave of absence without salary may be granted by an academic dean for personal reasons involving travel, study, creative activity, or research that will benefit the individual and the University; for sickness; for maternity; for child care; for extended military service; or for other reasons determined by the University (see University Policy HR-16, "Leave of Absence without Salary" [other than for active military service or training]).

Guidelines covering absences from work as a result of pregnancy or childbirth (HRG-7, "Absence from Work resulting from Pregnancy or Childbirth") and provisions applicable to child care leave (HRG-11, "Family and Medical Leave") are provided in the University Policy Manual.