Printed on: 10/22/2019. Please go to http://policy.umn.edu for the most current version of the Policy or related document.
University of Minnisota  Administrative Policy

Professional Development Leaves for Academic Professional and Administrative Employees

Responsible University Officer(s):
  • Vice President, Office of Human Resources
Policy Owner(s):
  • Senior Director of Total Compensation
Policy contact(s):
  • See Contacts Section
Date Revised:
Sep 10, 2019
Effective Date:
Mar 1, 2006

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 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.

P&A employees must demonstrate that activities undertaken during a professional development leave are 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 the leave is taken at 100 percent time. 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

P&A employees may be granted mini, short-term, and extended leaves 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. Refer to Appendix to Policy for requirements based on duration of leave.
  • 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. The responsible administrator/supervisor will grant a written waiver to P&A employees who receive a notice of non-renewal during the period of the professional development leave at the time of the notice. 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. The P&A employee will provide a summary report of leave activities to the responsible administrator/supervisor upon request shortly after returning from 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

Contacts

Subject Contact Phone 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
Office of Human Resources Specialist and Consultant List Office of Human Resources Specialist and Consultant List

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.

Professional Development Leaves
See Appendix for varying types of and requirements for professional development leave.
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 and communicates 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.
  • Monitors compliance with the unit-specific criteria and procedures.
  • 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 summary report on the activities of the leave consistent with the administrator/supervisor’s request.
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.
  • Shortly after the employee returns from leave, requests from the employee a summary report of leave activities.

Related Information

History

Amended:
September 2019 - Comprehensive Review. Minor Revision. 1. Minor changes to contacts and titles. 2. Minor updates to policy, procedure and form for clarity and consistency with current practice.
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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