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ADMINISTRATIVE POLICY
Home : Human Resources : Leaves

Professional Development Leaves for Academic Professional and Administrative Employees

Effective Date: March 2006
Last Update: October 2012
Responsible University Officer:
  • Vice President for Human Resources
Policy Owner:
  • Director, Employee Relations and Compensation
Policy Contact:

Printed on: . Please go to http://policy.umn.edu for the most current version of the Policy or related document.

POLICY STATEMENT

Eligible academic professional and administrative (P&A) employees (93xx, 96xx, and 97xx) are provided opportunities for professional development leaves, to include mini, short-term, and extended leaves. Excluded from coverage are professionals-in-training, graduate assistants, civil service and union-represented staff, and “Without Salary” appointments. Specific eligibility for these leaves varies according to job classification, type of leave, and years of service. Leaves pursuant to this policy are not entitlements and do require approval. Units are expected to offer opportunity for professional development to eligible P&A employees and to have guidelines and procedures that provide more specific detail regarding leave opportunities.

Professional Development Leaves

Refer to the Appendix: Professional Development Leaves for Academic Professional and Administrative Employees for information regarding types and duration of leaves, salary and benefits provided during leaves, and service eligibility requirements.

Activities undertaken during a professional development leave must be demonstrably related to the betterment of the P&A employee's unit or professional competence. Development activities may include:

  • Study: studies substantially related to the position or positions;
  • Internships: (a) exchange and/or loan programs or (b) unpaid internships;
  • Research: (a) leading to or resulting in publishing and (b) contributions to the field of applicant's current employment; and
  • Other: special studies, investigations, research, scholarly writing, artistic projects, and curriculum development.

Involvement in professional organizations, including attending and presenting at local, regional, or national meetings, is an expectation of P&A employees and does not constitute professional development leave under this policy.

While on leave, P&A employees are relieved of all regular University duties because typically these are taken as 100 percent leaves. It is the responsibility of the unit granting the leave to determine if and how funding and replacement costs will be provided. No central monies are available.

Eligibility for Leave

Mini, short-term, and extended leaves may be granted to professional and administrative employees with a notice of appointment that is (1) a minimum of nine months at 100 percent time; or (2) twelve months at 75 percent time or greater. Professional development leaves are awarded based on years of service, criteria established within each unit, and approval by the responsible administrator. Criteria are to include standards by which to evaluate the merits of the proposal and an assessment of the availability of resources to support the leave. Refer to the Procedures section in this policy for specific information on counting years of service.

Income and Benefits during Leave

Salary and Benefits:

  • Mini-Leave: full salary and full benefits.
  • Short-Term Leave: one-half to full salary (at unit discretion) and full benefits
  • Extended Leave: one-half salary and full benefits.

Income Augmentation: With the approval of the responsible administrator, P&A employees on an extended leave may augment their income approximately to the level of their regular University salary, provided that the activities yielding the additional compensation are consistent with the purpose of the leave. University-approved consulting activities that do not conflict with the purposes of the leave and comply with University policy are not included in determining the level of permissible income. Expenses related to the purpose of the leave may also be taken into account in determining the level of permissible income. While on a professional development leave, P&A employees may accept grants or scholarships to defray travel, study, or research expenses.

Obligations
  1. P&A employees granted a professional development leave must return to the unit granting the leave for a period of time equal to the period of the leave, unless provided a written waiver by the unit administrator.
  2. P&A employees who do not return or return for only a portion of the time due and have not been granted a written waiver by the responsible administrator must reimburse the University for all or a prorated amount of the salary, retirement contributions, and value of benefits received during the leave. A written waiver by the responsible administrator/supervisor at the time of notice will be granted P&A employees receiving a notice of non-renewal during the period of the professional development leave. In such cases, employees are not required to return to their unit for a period at least equal to the period of leave and are not required to reimburse the University for the amount of salary, retirement contributions, and all other fringe benefits received during the leave pursuant to this policy.
  3. Upon request and within one month after the conclusion of the leave, a summary report of leave activities is to be submitted to the responsible administrator/supervisor.
Implications of Notice of Non-Renewal during Leave

If a notice of non-renewal is received during the time of the professional development leave, P&A employees are not required to return to their unit for a period at least equal to the period of leave if one or more of the following apply:

  • The notice period is shorter than the period of the leave;
  • The P&A employee, if eligible, opts to participate in the Academic Staff Non-Renewal Program; or
  • The P&A employee resigns during the period of the leave or during a return to service time prior to the end date of the appointment. Under this circumstance, the P&A employee is not required to reimburse the University for the amount of salary, retirement contributions, and all other fringe benefits received during the leave.

Rescinding a Leave

A professional development leave may be rescinded if P&A employees are given notice of non-reappointment (for an academic professional employee on a probationary [H] appointment) or termination of appointment.

REASON FOR POLICY

This policy implements Board of Regents Policies: Employee Compensation and Recognition and Employee Development, Education, and Training. Professional development leaves are provided by the University as an opportunity to develop or enhance knowledge, skills, and performance of academic professional and administrative (P&A) employees. The professional development leave benefit is important for attracting, hiring, and retaining highly competent P&A employees. Maintaining or increasing expertise in rapidly changing fields, both in teaching and research, is an important outcome of the administrative leave benefiting the individual, students, and the institution.

PROCEDURES

FORMS/INSTRUCTIONS

APPENDICES

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  1. Are P&A employees eligible for a professional development leave as defined in this policy while on disability leave?

    No, a professional development leave cannot be granted while a P&A employee is on full or partial disability leave.

  2. Will P&A employees on a professional development who are otherwise vacation eligible, continue to accrue vacation time?

    Yes, under such circumstances P&A employees whose appointment remains vacation eligible (regardless of pay status) will continue to do so if they have not reached the maximum number of days (hours) permitted.

ADDITIONAL CONTACTS

Subject
Contact
Phone
Fax/Email
General Information or Procedural Assistance
  • Primary: Responsible administrator/supervisor
  • Secondary: Local campus, college, or administrative unit HR administrator
  • Other (as needed): Office of Human Resources specialist or consultant
Document Processing
  • HRMS Key Contact
  • Office of Human Resources Call Center

DEFINITIONS

Academic Professional and Administrative Employee
In the context of this policy, an employee whose primary position at the University is classified within the 93xx, 96xx, or 97xx job code and title series.
Academic Year of Service
The equivalent of two semesters of employment at 67 percent time or greater as a member of the faculty at the University.
Fiscal Year of Service
The equivalent of more than two semesters of employment at 67 percent time or greater.
Full Benefits
The following benefits are provided while on Professional Development Leave pursuant to this policy.
  • Medical and Dental Benefits

    The University's contributions to the University-sponsored medical and dental insurance plans continue during the P&A professional development leave period as is defined within the Administrative Policy: Professional Development Leaves for Academic Professional and Administrative Employees, provided that these plans continue to be offered to regular benefits-eligible employees of the University.

  • Faculty Retirement Plan Contributions

    Under the P&A professional development leave, the University's contributions to the Faculty Retirement Plan continue regardless of the percentage of leave that is without salary that may be in effect during the leave. Contributions to the individual's Faculty Retirement Plan account will be based on the individual's unreduced salary, subject to contribution limits imposed by law.

  • Life Insurance

    The University's contribution to life insurance coverage continues under this program, regardless of the percentage of leave that is without salary in effect during the P&A professional development leave. Life insurance coverage will continue during the leave period, based on unreduced salary, subject to the terms of the group insurance policy.

  • Academic Disability Program

    The University's contributions to the Academic Disability Program continue under the P&A professional development leave, regardless of the percentage of leave that is without salary in effect during the leave.

  • Vacation

    Vacation will continue to accrue for vacation-eligible individuals, according to the Administrative Policy: Professional Development Leaves for Academic Professional and Administrative Employees.

Salary
The P&A employee’s regular University salary at the time the leave is initiated.
Unit
The campus, college, or administrative unit that employs the person.
Unit Administrator

The administrator who is charged with leadership and oversight of the campus, college, or administrative unit.

Year of Service
An academic or fiscal year of service as a P&A employee and as documented in the individual’s annual Notice of Appointment.

RESPONSIBILITIES

Unit
  • Makes opportunities for professional development leaves available to eligible P&A employees.
  • Establishes unit criteria and procedures to be used in application, consideration, and approval for professional development leave requests.
  • Provides for review and approval of professional development leave requests.
  • Submits annual summary report on leave activity as required.
P&A Employee Requesting Leave
  • Applies for a professional development leave if eligible and interested in accordance with established procedures.
  • Prepares and submits a report on the activities of the leave as requested and in accordance with unit guidelines.
Responsible Administrator/Supervisor
  • Awards professional development leaves.
  • Reviews and approves any income augmentation requests in conjunction with a short-term leave of less than full salary or an extended leave as outlined under Procedures.
  • Determines how the responsibilities of the person on leave will be covered.
  • Under special circumstances, provides for a written waiver covering reimbursement of salary, retirement contributions, and value of benefits received during leave.

RELATED INFORMATION

HISTORY

Amended:
October 2012 - Comprehensive Review, Major Revision. The Administrative Transitional Leave was eliminated.
Amended:
November 2010 - Clarified definition of full benefits. Edits made.
Amended:
May 2009 - General editing and formatting changes made to the policy. Clarification was made permitting administrative transitional leaves to be either full- or part-time.
Amended:
November 2007 - Policy converted to the new University-wide format for administrative policies.
Adopted:
March 2006 - Language contained in the Administrative Policy: Granting Professional Development and Transitional Leaves for Academic Professional and Administrative Employees incorporates policy information previously contained in Board of Regents Policy: Professional and Administrative Staff Development Leaves, the accompanying Administrative Guidelines and Procedures, and Board of Regents Policy: Administrative Transitional Leaves. This policy supports a new single Board of Regents Policy: Employee Development, Education, and Training that supercedes the several Board policies concerning development leaves.

The Extension Study Leave was eliminated as a separate leave, leaving the other three P&A professional development leaves to cover the purpose of the study leave.

Provision for an administrative transitional leave was extended to an additional classification 9330 Director (University-wide) in addition to adding language that allows the president or delegate to extend this leave opportunity to other administrators such as collegiate department head.

Forms were developed for both the professional development leave and the administrative transitional leave.

Effective:
March 2006

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Last modified on February 6, 2014