Family friendly policies
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Family-Friendly Policies. Focus: Policies at Wesleyan and some of its Peer Institutions. Wesleyan’s Parental Leave Policy (in place essentially since 1983).

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Family-Friendly Policies

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Family friendly policies

Family-Friendly Policies

Focus: Policies at Wesleyan and some of its Peer Institutions


Wesleyan s parental leave policy in place essentially since 1983

Wesleyan’s Parental Leave Policy(in place essentially since 1983)

A full-time, tenured/tenure-track faculty member or a full-time adjunct faculty member on the instructional budget and on a multiyear contract may take a one-semester full parental leave with two-thirds salary without loss of benefits or status, or, if she or he prefers, may take a partial parental leave by teaching a reduced load of at least one full course for a semester at full salary without loss of benefits or status. The latter option counts as a semester of service towards the accrual of sabbatical eligibility, the former does not. This parental leave policy is available to men and women and to the parents of adopted children as well as children born to the parents. If both parents (or domestic partners as defined by University benefits policies) are eligible for a faculty parental leave benefit, they may either share one parental leave or designate one to take it. If one of the parents or domestic partners is a Wesleyan staff member, they may either share one leave or designate one to take the leave for which the faculty or staff member is eligible. The details for sharing a faculty and a staff parental leave must be approved by the Office of Academic Affairs.


Wesleyan s policy continued

Wesleyan’s Policy, continued

The leave will normally be taken the semester in which the birth or adoption occurs or the semester immediately after. If a child is born or adopted between semesters, the leave may be taken the semester immediately after. In certain unusual circumstances, faculty members who intend to take a partial parental leave may fulfill their teaching obligation for that leave by offering the scheduled course in the semester prior to or after their parental leave. As per the university's policy on teaching loads, if enrollment in such courses is fewer than five students, the course will not be credited to the instructor's teaching load, and the instructor will be expected to make up the deficit in a later semester. This option may be taken only if it can be shown to be in the best interests of the department or program as well as that of the faculty member. Faculty who avail themselves of this option must be available for other university responsibilities during the parental leave semester as is normally the case for faculty on partial parental leaves. Approval for this option has to be obtained in advance from the Office of Academic Affairs.


Wesleyan s policy continued1

Wesleyan’s Policy, continued

This policy is flexible on the question of whether the leave semester must count toward the canonical time for a tenure or promotion decision. If the parental leave concludes before a faculty member submits his or her dossier to the department for a tenure decision, the faculty member has until the end of the leave (but no later) to declare whether the semester’s full or partial leave will count or not as a semester toward her or his probationary tenure period. If the faculty member decides to count the leave semester toward the probationary period or if a leave is not taken, the appointment contract and the schedule for personnel decisions are not affected. If the faculty member decides not to count the semester toward her or his probationary period, the leave will have the effect of extending the appointment contract and the canonical time of personnel decisions for nontenured faculty. If the parental leave concludes after a faculty member submits his or her dossier to the department for a tenure decision, the schedule for the tenure decision is unaffected, and the faculty member must have the support of both the department and the vice president for academic affairs for the contract to be extended. […]


Faculty parental leave

Faculty Parental Leave


Faculty parental leave1

Faculty Parental Leave


Tenure clock

Tenure Clock


Further developments less expensive

Further Developments – Less Expensive

  • Place available policies in easily accessible and easily recognized site.

  • Small re-entry grants to faculty returning from parental leave; for example $1500 per year for two years to finance research-related travel and visitors.

  • Automatic 1-year tenure clock extension, with possibility to opt out upon request.


Less expensive continued

Less Expensive, continued

  • Encouragement for departments to plan committee meetings during typical elementary school hours (for example: lunch-time meetings).


Further developments more expensive

Further Developments – More Expensive

  • Change parental leave policy to 1 semester leave at full pay.

  • Option of one-course reduction at full pay, taken over two consecutive semesters around birth.

  • Other options. Key: Flexibility to adapt to personal circumstances.

  • A parental leave policy for graduate students (see e.g. Dartmouth, Yale).


More expensive continued

More Expensive - continued

  • Expanded on-campus, high-quality, affordable childcare.

  • On call childcare.

  • Allowance to take small children to conferences.

  • Spousal hiring policy. E.g. Yale policy

  • Partially subsidized dependent care leave (recall: Family and Medical Leave Act, see http://www.dol.gov/esa/whd/fmla/ ).


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