University of Minnesota  Appendix

Supervisor Job Aid


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Please use the contact section in the governing policy.

A supervisor has three potential approvals with respect to the Regents Tuition Benefit Program. This Job Aid is intended to be a quick guide to help supervisors when working with the Regents Tuition Benefit Program.

  1. Work schedule approval: Supervisor approval is required when an employee is requesting the Regents Tuition Benefit for courses and course components are taken during their regular work schedule. In these situations, consider authorizing time away from work and alternative work scheduling.
    • Have a conversation with your employee. Supervisors should try to accommodate requests to take courses during regularly scheduled work hours if doing so would not present a hardship or service disruption to the department or the University.
    • Consider if workload will be covered by other team members or departments, or if the employee may be able to make up these hours at a different time:
      • Exempt: If the employee is exempt (salaried), they can complete their duties during alternative times.
      • Non-exempt: If the employee is non-exempt (hourly or exception-hourly), they need to report the time as unpaid. These hours may be worked through an alternative schedule, if the work allows, and as long as the schedule is set by term and does not fluctuate week to week. Supervisors should consult the applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) to ensure that any schedule changes comply with the CBA.
    • Supervisors need to indicate whether or not they approve this time away. If a request is denied, rationale for this denial must be shared with the employee and documented on the Request for Regents Tuition Benefit Program Form (UM 1454).
  2. Academic appointment summer term approval: Supervisor approval is required when an employee is requesting the Regents Tuition Benefit for summer courses and course components and the employee is on an academic appointment (9 or 10 month term). The supervisor must indicate that the employee will be returning to employment with the University in the fall term.
  3. Job related approval: If the employee is taking a graduate level course and the course is job-related and other criteria are met, the value of that course can be nontaxable to the employee. See Tax Appendix for more information. Employees must complete the Job-Related Graduate Course Exclusion Application (pdf), and this application must be reviewed and approved by their supervisor.

    Some key concepts supervisors should keep in mind when reviewing these applications:

    • A separate application is needed for each course.
    • Each application must be reviewed and approved prior to submission to the Tax Management Office for final review. Timeliness is key:
      • Late applications may create over-withholding and subsequent manual corrections if later approved.
      • Once the last pay period for the calendar year is closed, applications for that year’s courses can no longer be processed.
    • The Tax Management Office relies on the information provided by the employee and their supervisor. Course description tips:
      • Review is on a course-by-course basis and not a degree or program as a whole.
      • The course should improve or maintain a skill that the employee uses in their current job.
      • The description should be concise and clearly state how the course connects to the employee’s current job.
      • By signing, the employee and supervisor certify that the answers on the form are accurate.
      • Additional details are provided in the form’s Instructions.