Administrative Policy News for July 2021

The University is committed to an inclusive policy-making process. This quarterly communication highlights new or significantly revised administrative policies recently posted for the campus community to offer feedback.

Campus Public Art

If you’ve been fortunate enough to visit some or all of the system campuses, you’ve likely enjoyed that campus’s public art. The Eagle sculpture in Crookston; the Natural History of the Enigma by Eduardo Kac (outside the Cargill Genomics Building, Saint Paul campus); John Mooney's Wild Ricing Moon located on the Duluth Campus; and the Nokoomis Nibii Equay (Grandmother Water Woman) by Duane Goodwin on display at Morris are just a few of the many public works of art on our campuses.

Until now, we have had practices in place to address the administrative aspects of the work associated with selection, acquisition, installation, and maintenance of public works of art. This policy captures all that key information as well as covering how or when a public work of art might be retired.

We look forward to hearing your comments on this new administrative policy.

Vacation Donation Program Enhancements!

The University has offered a vacation donation program since 1992 to aid Civil Service and Bargaining Unit employees who are facing a serious medical condition or who need to assist a family member with a serious medical condition. In the past two years alone approximately 50 employees benefited from this program.

The proposed revisions to this policy provide some wonderful enhancements.

  • Academic Professional and Administrative (P&A) employees may now donate vacation time to a Civil Service or Bargaining Unit employee, including those P&A paid on federally sponsored funds.
  • The policy specifies that an individual may use up to 65 days of donated time per rolling calendar year.
  • The reasons for requesting use of the program have been simplified.
  • The immediate family member definition has been changed to match the Civil Service Employment Rules definition.
  • Any denials to use the donated vacations will be reviewed by the Senior Director of Total Compensation. If the denial is upheld, that decision may not be appealed or grieved.

These changes were first proposed by the Civil Service Consultative Committee. Please view the draft policy.

Early and Select Terminations of Academic Professional and Administrative Employees

This policy covers those situations where it is necessary to end an employee’s contract prior to the end date of the appointment period. The reasons for this occurrence are: 1) fiscal emergency; 2) program curtailment; or 3) a just cause sanction. A fiscal emergency is a drastic reduction in University budget that has been officially recognized and declared by the Board of Regents. Program curtail is reserved for rare and unusual circumstances that must be approved by the vice president for the Office of Human Resources and senior vice president for Financial and Operations. A just cause sanction is a disciplinary action.

This latest version of the policy provides greater clarity around program curtailment, adds the requirement for the approval from OHR and Finance and Operations and clarifies that employees who are impacted by program curtailments are eligible for the Non-Renewal Program. The purpose for this change is to emphasize the rarity of the action of program curtailment and to provide a severance to those P&A employees impacted by such an action.

Non-Renewal of Appointment of Academic Professional and Administrative Employees

P&A employees who receive a non-renewal notice and who meet the eligibility requirements in the policy are afforded a notice period that is based on years of continuous service at the University. This latest policy version specifies that the years of continuous service will be expanded to include service earned in both P&A positions as well as civil service positions. Prior to this change, only time service in P&A positions would be considered for the purpose of determining the notice period. This is especially critical for those employees who have spent a significant portion of their careers in a civil service position(s) and then are reclassed to or accept a P&A position. With this change, should there later be the possibility of a non-renewal of the P&A position, these employees will now have their civil service years of service included in the calculation of the notice.

We encourage you to review the draft and the eligibility requirements.

Vacation Leave for Faculty and Academic Professional and Administrative Employees

Employees in the above appointments (twelve month appointments of 67% or greater) accrue 22 days (176 hours) of vacation annually. Once that maximum is reached, which occurred frequently during this past year, no further time is accrued until the balance is below the maximum level. This policy version includes an increase in the maximum from 176 to 216 hours. It is important to note that if an employee terminates their employment, worked 67-100% time for a full eleven months and was not terminated for cause, they may be paid out to a maximum of the original 22 days (176 hours). This change is being made after significant consultation with P&A leadership over recent months. The increased number of hours possible to accrue will allow for more flexibility in the use of vacation, or to plan for a vacation that could require more time.