Leave Policies

Policies on paternity or maternity leave for the birth of a child or leave to care for a sick child are available (to greater or lesser degrees) at most institutions. The research, however, shows that these policies are underutilized, as employees perceive it may not be professionally prudent to use such policies. Campuses playing a leadership role in work-family issues report that employees use flextime and leave for dependent care moderately and rarely use job sharing or elder-care referral services. The dilemma that administrators need to address is how to create workplace cultures that support the utilization of leave policies. (See K.Ward and L. Wolf-Wendel. 2003. Academic Life and Motherhood: Variations by Institutional Type contained in the Truman State University Report and Proposals "Stop the Tenure Clock" Committee March 2003; For an overview of family leave policies at “Big Ten” universities, see Robert Drago and Kelly Davis,  Parental Leave and Modified Duties Policies across the Big Ten; see D.R. Euben and S.R. Thornton. 2002. The Family and Medical Leave Act Questions and Answers for Faculty published by AAUP). For the  Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), see http://www.dol.gov/compliance/laws/comp-fmla.htm, and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/pregnancy.cfm.

A discussion of family-care and disability leaves is contained within the AAUP's Statement of Principles on Family Responsibilities. See examples of institutional policies below:

University of Virginia (.pdf)

Denison University (.pdf)

Cornell University (.pdf)

Michigan State University (.pdf)

University of California (.pdf)

Boston University (.pdf)

(posted 12/03)