Administrative Policy News for July 2019

The University is committed to an inclusive policy-making process. This quarterly communication highlights new or significantly revised administrative policies currently posted for the campus community to offer feedback. Your comments and suggestions are invited through the dates specified by each policy. Following the review period, all feedback will be forwarded to the policy owner who will then consider any revisions to the final policy.

Family and Medical – FMLA Leave

The University has a number of policies that govern various leaves for employees (e.g., vacation, parental, bereavement, paid medical). In some cases, there are interrelationships between the different leaves that could come into play for a particular employee’s situation. Thus is the case of parental leaves and family and medical – FMLA leave.

The University’s Administrative Policy: Parental Leave allows for paid leave related to the birth, adoption, or gestational surrogacy of children in accordance with Minnesota statues, for those individuals who are on a 50% appointment or greater. The latest revision of this policy (October 2018) expanded the time frame in which a parent might begin the parental leave, from six weeks after the birth or adoption event, to beginning the leave no later than thirteen weeks after the event.

That significant enhancement triggered the need to revise the Administrative Policy: Family and Medical – FMLA Leave. In the latest version of this policy, there is a new section on the use of paid leave that clarifies the order in which leaves would be taken.

Animals on Campus

This proposed policy clarifies which kinds of animals can be on campus and in buildings as well as outlines the rights and responsibilities for individuals with service and assistance animals.

In a large, complex organization like the University, for every benefit a pet brings there is also a challenge. For example, while many people find a pet in the workplace to be desirable, there are many others who do not. At the same time, the University has veterinary clinics, ag facilities, and successful therapeutic programs involving animals, for which this policy continues to allow. These are key policy points:

  • All animals are allowed outdoors on university property and the individual who brings them remains responsible for the behavior and actions of the animal. The animals must have current vaccinations and be licensed as required by the municipality.
  • Service animals may accompany its owner on university grounds and in university buildings at all times, except under rare circumstances where health or safety may be compromised (as described later in the policy).
  • Assistance animals are permitted in university housing (see additional parameters in the policy).
  • Pets (non-service animals) generally speaking, are not allowed in buildings or classrooms.

A list of animals that are permitted in university buildings/facilities under this policy, with specific limitations, is included in the policy.

How do we compare to other institutions?

Expectations around what are appropriate venues for pets continue to change. Prior to drafting the policy, benchmarking with the other universities in the Big 10 conference (e.g., Ohio State, University of Wisconsin, Nebraska) as well as other large institutions was conducted to determine how animals on campus were handled there and what policy covered. By and large, pets were prohibited in buildings and classrooms. While discussing this draft, it was discovered that two of the system campuses were already underway in drafting a campus-wide policy.

Your comments and questions are welcome on the Administrative Policy: Animals on Campus policy page.

Going, Going, Gone! The Internal Access to and Sharing University Information Policy has been Retired

Policy owners continually seek ways to reduce the number of policies/documents while still providing the information needed to protect University resources and comply with governing rules and regulations. In this case, the Internal Access to and Sharing University Information policy has been retired and the relevant information has been folded into Administrative Policy: Information Security. Along with this combining of policies, other notable changes have been made:

  • updated the Managing Access to University Information to include procedure for provisioning and access review;
  • updated the security controls in the information security standards (in appendices) to provide more clarification and identify which are required at each security level;
  • combined security standards and controls for multi-user and single-user systems into a new information security standard and add new standards for software development, virus/malware protection management and encryption; and
  • updated the policy statement, reason for the policy, contacts, definitions, responsibilities, related information, procedures and appendices (standards).

This policy update was published in the Policy Library but your comments/feedback are always welcome by completing the Document Feedback form located at the bottom of each policy.

What is the Policy News?

This is where you will find the latest information on updates to policies, procedures, and more. We also have a couple of new features: spotlight on policy and a summary of recent Board of Regents policy changes.

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