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Toolkit: Common Policies and Practices at Master's Large Institutions

December 30, 1899

 

 

The Alfred P. Sloan Projects for Faculty Career Flexibility

The following statements are based on the results of an Institutional Survey completed in the Spring by 2007 of institutions which applied for an Alfred P. Sloan Award for Faculty Career Flexibility.

 
Master's Large Institutions and Stopping the Tenure Clock

Policy: Out of 56 institutions answering this question, 64% allow faculty members for stop the tenure clock under certain circumstances. Only 11% of institutions claim that stopping the tenure clock is not allowable on their campus.

 
Institutional Structures and Climate that Support Faculty Adjusting the Tenure Clock:

Arrangements before and after adjusting the tenure clock: Unfortunately, the majority of institutions (68%) do not provide some type of written statement to internal Promotion and Tenure reviewers indicating how the time to tenure and how the work of faculty who stop the tenure clock should be evaluated. Likewise, at the master's large institutions which use external reviewers, no written statement is likely to be provided to outside reviewers.

Climate: At more than half of the institutions, faculty have an unlimited amount of times they can adjust the tenure clock for family care (i.e., childbirth, adoption, eldercare) as well as their own disability.

 
Master's Large Institutions and Modified Duties

Policy: Out of 56 institutions answering this question, 61% had some type of a formal, written modified duties policy that allowed for a temporary period of modified duties with no reduction in pay. When institutions did not have a formal, written policy, they were likely to have practices available on an ad hoc basis.

Faculty who are eligible:

People: 86% of institutions claimed that tenured and tenured track faculty were eligible for a reduction of duties. 84% of institutions allow both men and women to be considered for modified duties, with only 4% allowing only women to be considered.

Reason: Listed below are eligibility rates based on reason for requesting modified duties.


What groups of faculty members are potentially eligible for temporary relief from teaching, research or service duties with no reduction in pay?
 
Groups Percent​​
New biological mothers  86% 
New biological fathers  68% 
New adoptive mothers 71% 
New adoptive fathers  68% 
Faculty members caring for a seriously ill or injured child  70% 
Faculty members caring for an elderly family member  66% 
Faculty members providing ordinary child care beyond the period of medical disability  30% 
Faculty members with a serious personal illness or injury 86%
 

Institutional Structures and Climate that Support Faculty Taking Modified Duties:

Funding: In institutions which provide funding for replacing instructional faculty on leave, 52% provide funding from a centralized, university-level source. 18% of institutions rely on the department for funding, and 16% of institutions have no special funds.

Arrangements before and after the period of modified duties: Unfortunately, master's large institutions were unlikely to have written policies about how faculty will be evaluated for tenure with a period of modified duties in their dossier. These colleges and universities were also unlikely to have written policies about how workload would be determined during the period of modified duties.

Climate: At 27% of institutions, instructional faculty were likely to be asked to makeup their teaching duties before or after the period of modified duties. However, the majority of the institutions (63%) did not require such a make-up.

 
Master's Large Institutions and Maternity Leave

According to the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, employers are required to treat pregnant women the same as they would another employee with a medical disability. Therefore, this section lists policies and practices for biological mothers only.

Policy: Out of 56 institutions answering this question, 75% had some type of a formal, written policy providing full or partial pay during the academic year for new biological mothers for disability related to pregnancy and childbirth.

Faculty who are eligible:

People: Most institutions did not make distinctions on who was eligible for maternity leave based on tenure status.

Institutional Structures and Climate that Support Faculty Taking Maternity Leave:

Funding: The sources for funding during the period of medical disability are listed below. Note that some states (e.g., California and New York) use state-funded disability pay to cover these costs. Surprisingly, 25% of schools did not offer pay to a biological mother on disability leave.

What is the source of this pay during the period of disability?

​Source Percent​
General temporary disability funds​ ​49%
Special college/university funds ​ ​30%
The faculty members own accrued sick leave time​ ​32%
​The faculty members own accrued vacation time ​13%
​Salary savings that are not used to hire replacement teaching ​14%

 

Climate: The majority of institutions (59%) fully paid women during the period of medical disability. At some colleges, the amount of pay (i.e., partial pay) was related to length of service. At 1 school, the amount of pay was dependent on the department or school where the faculty member was housed.

 
Master's Large Institutions and Parental Leave

Adoptive parents, women after the period of medical disability, and biological fathers are generally grouped together when considering parental leave not covered by disability or pregnancy–related legislation. This section compares the parental leave policies of these faculty members.

Policy: Out of the 56 institutions answering these questions, the majority of master's large institutions liberal arts colleges did have some type of policy providing full or partial pay for faculty members on leave. However, a large amount of faculty (from 25% to 43%) were not offered any paid time off. Men were more likely not to be offered paid time off.

Does the college/university have policies providing full or partial pay during the academic year for faculty members during parental leaves?

Biological Mothers during the period of disability ​ ​Biological Mothers during the period of disability ​Adoptive Mothers Biological Fathers*​ ​Adoptive Fathers *
​There is a college university-wide formal written policy providing pay ​ ​59% ​30% ​52% ​43% ​43%
There is no college/university-wide policy but some schools have formal written policies providing pay​ ​0% ​0% ​0% ​0% ​0%
​There are no such formal policies but ad hoc arrangements exist ​16% ​16% ​14% ​9% ​5%
​No such policy is offered to the faculty member for full or partial pay ​25% ​30% ​32% ​43% ​41%
* 5%–11% of colleges claim that no male faculty members have ever requested parental leave. 

 

Institutional Structures and Climate that Support Faculty Taking Parental Leave:

Funding: The amount of funding differed among faculty members, with biological mothers most likely to receive full pay. Again, this may be due to state policies on disability pay.

How much pay do faculty members receive during this parental leave? 

Biological Mothers during the period of disability ​ Biological Mothers after the period of disability ​ Adoptive Mothers ​ Biological Fathers ​ Adoptive Fathers
Full pay​ ​59% ​20% ​38% ​34% ​29%
​Partial pay ​5% ​7% ​9% ​7% ​7%
​Amount of pay varies by length of service ​9% ​7% ​14% ​4% ​7%
​Amount of pay varies by department/college ​2% ​7% ​4% ​4% ​2%

 

Climate: Again, as expected, biological mothers are afforded a longer period of time off, most likely due to the period of medical disability that accompanies pregnancy and childbirth.

 

Assuming that the request for parental leave occurs at the beginning of an academic semester/quarter/term, for what period can the faculty member typically receive full or partial pay, during the academic year? 

​Biological Mothers Adoptive Mothers​ Biological Fathers​ Adoptive Fathers​
Amount of time allowed varies by colleges/schools/department ​ ​5% ​7% ​5% ​5%
Less than the remainder of the academic semester/quarter/terms ​ ​11% ​29% ​27% ​23%
The remainder of the academic semester/quarter/term ​ ​21% ​25% ​14% ​14%
An additional academic semester/quarter/term ​ ​4% ​2% ​0% ​0%
More than 2 academic semesters/quarters/terms ​ ​0% ​2% ​0% ​0%
 

When unpaid leave was considered, institutions were likely to give both women and men the remainder of a semester of unpaid leave.

 
Personal Disability Leave Not Related to Childbirth

Policy: Both tenure and tenure-track faculty have access to personal disability leave policies that provide full or partial pay, excluding disability related to pregnancy and childbirth, at 71% of schools surveyed. 

Financial Source and Length of Leave: The majority of schools had two primary financial sources that faculty used to finance their personal disability leave. The first was the institution’s disability insurance available to the faculty member (50%), and the second was the faculty member’s own accrued sick leave (36%). For 46% of the schools, the faculty member received full pay when on disability leave, 17% received partial pay, and 37% received full or partial pay depending on length of service.

 
Disability leave not related to childbirth vs. disability leave during the period of childbirth
 

We compared differences in disability policies between women who were on medical disability for childbirth, and other faculty who were on disability leave not related to childbirth. We looked at three questions and calculated responses using n=56 to make comparisons between the two categories. These questions were related to eligibility to take leave; eligibility to take leave at full or partial pay; source of funding of faculty salary during the leave; and maximum length of leave.

 
Written Policies regarding Pay during Periods of Disability
 
Tenure and tenure-track  faculty that have access to disability leave policies providing full or partial pay, excluding disability related to pregnancy or childbirth Biological Mothers during the period of disability​
Yes, formal written policies​ 71% 58%
​Informal practices, or not offered at all 13% 16%
​Not at all ​16% 26%​
 
 
Amount of pay a faculty member can typically recieve during personal disability leave, excluding disability related to pregnancy and childbirth​ Amount of pay a biological mother can typically receive, including the period of disability?
Full paid leave​ ​46% 58%
​Partial paid leave ​17% 5%
​Amount of pay varies by length of service ​37% ​9%
​Amount of pay varies by colleges/schools/departments ​0% ​2%
 
Source of Funding for Paid Leave
 
Disability not related to childbirth Biological Mothers during the period of disability
​ Funded by the Institution​ ​
Disability insurance​ ​50% ​28%
​Special university funds ​30% ​29%
​ Funded by the Individual
Accrued sick leave time ​36% 32%
​Accrued vacation time ​14% 12%​
​ Funded by Other Source
​Salary savings that are not used to hire replacement teaching ​16% 14%​​
 
 
Phased Retirement

Policy: Of the 56 institutions answering this question, 68% offered some type of phased retirement option, with 41% having a formal written policy governing phased retirement. 38% of institutions have a specific time period over which faculty phase, while 29% had no specific time period.

Institutional Structures and Climate that Support Faculty Phasing Towards Retirement:

Funding: Most institutions (61%) still contribute to faculty's retirement as they phase towards retirement, with 20% contributing the same amount as if the faculty member were working full-time.

Climate: Liberal arts colleges and universities provide a variety of ways that faculty can still be engaged on their campuses after retirement. Listed below are some examples.

How does the college/university offer faculty members who are retired opportunities to remain engaged in college/university life and continue to make contributions?

Method ​Percent
​Attend and vote at departmental faculty meetings? ​2%
Attend but not vote at departmental faculty meetings?​ ​45%
​Attend and vote at faculty senate meetings? ​5%
​Attend but not vote at faculty senate meetings? ​43%
​Have library privileges? ​98%
​Have parking privileges? ​79%
​Have access to recreational services? ​88%
​Use research facilities? ​61%
​Have office space in their department? ​39%
​Have office space elsewhere in the university? ​45%
​Have access to college/university-provided clerical and technical support? ​30%
​Have computer system privileges? ​82%
​Have a professorial title? ​80%
​Be a Principal Investigator? ​46%
Direct or participate in dissertations/theses?​ ​46%
Teach part-time?​ ​89%
Advise students? ​ ​32%
 
 
Part-time Appointments

Policy: Of the 56 institutions answering this question, 64% had some type of part-time work option available to faculty, with 36% having a formal written policy.

Faculty who are eligible:

People: The majority of institutions offered part-time appointments to tenured (63%) and tenure-track faculty (52%). Only tenure-track faculty were ineligible to take a part-time appointment at some institutions. At a handful of institutions (27%), part-time faculty were eligible to remain on the tenure-track if they so desired.

Reason: 54% of schools allowed part-time faculty load for reasons of child care.

Institutional Structures and Climate that Support Faculty Taking a Part-time Position:

Funding: 41% of schools protected the budget lines of tenured faculty members, so that they could return to full-time status if they chose. 50% of the institutions provided part-time faculty with full health coverage, and 36% offered full retirement benefits.

Arrangements before and after taking a part-time appointment: Only 39% of schools had written expectations for faculty workload for part-time appointments. However, only a handful of institutions (14%) had written policies about tenure-related productivity and performance expectations for those with part-time appointments.

 
Examples of Institutional Structures and Climate that Support Faculty Career Flexibility at Master's Large Institutions

Institutions should consider developing practices that encourage faculty to use career flexibility policies, and reduce or eliminate bias for faculty using these policies. Some examples of practices that can be used to encourage faculty at different points in their career cycle are listed below.

During the recruitment phase and new employee phase: The majority of institutions (80%) provide mentors for new faculty to encourage work-life balance along with productive academic careers. Unfortunately, the majority of institutions (52%) claimed that they provided little or no training search committees to ensure there is no penalty given for documented dependent care gaps.

During the pre-tenure phase: Fortunately, the many institutions (48%) training do provide some type of training for Promotion and Tenure committees to ensure there is no penalty given for documented dependent care gaps. However, only 4% of institutions provide letters to Promotion and Tenure committees to send to external reviewers that address how the reviewer is to assess candidates who have been on the tenure clock longer than 7 calendar years. It should be noted that many master's large institutions do not use external reviewers at all.

During all parts of the faculty career cycle: Institutions were asked to list ways in which they communicated to faculty important information and institutional commitment about faculty career flexibility.

In what ways does your college/university make a systematic and ongoing effort to communicate its commitment to career flexibility to faculty members?

​Method ​Percent
​Orientations for new faculty ​54%
​Handbooks ​57%
​University Web site ​34%
​Ongoing communication/ training for department chairs ​30%
​Emails/mailings to faculty ​21%
​Dedicated work life office ​4%
 
 
Sustaining Faculty Career Flexibility

Institutions should also consider developing practices that hold institutional actors accountable for promoting faculty career flexibility policies. For example, are department chairs or deans evaluated in their performance review for a reasonable usage of flexibility policies given the age and gender of the faculty in their department? Listed below are some ways to think about how to hold decision-makers accountable in promoting a positive culture for faculty career flexibility.

In what ways does your college/university make a systematic and ongoing effort to communicate its commitment to career flexibility to department chairs, deans and others in decision making positions?

Method​ ​Percent
​As a part of leadership education and training for department chairs ​23%
In meetings with chairs deans and others where leadership expectations are discussed​ ​50%
​In performance review meetings with chairs deans and others ​18%
​In consistent mailings or Web site announcements ​4%
There is no systematic process for communicating this commitment​ ​46%

 

To what extent are department chairs held accountable for encouraging and effectively managing flexible work arrangements during their job performance appraisals/merit reviews?

Extent​ ​Percent
​To a great extent ​7%
​To some extent ​36%
​Very little ​30%
​Not at all ​25%
 
 

To what extent are deans held accountable for encouraging and effectively managing flexible work arrangements during their job performance appraisals/merit reviews?

​Extent Percent​
​To a great extent ​13%
​To some extent ​48%
​Very little ​25%
​Not at all ​20%
 
 

To what extent is the provost/dean of the faculty (or president if there is no provost/dean of the faculty) held accountable for encouraging and effectively managing flexible work arrangements during his/her job performance appraisal/merit review?

​Extent ​Percent
​To a great extent ​14%
​To some extent ​36%
​Very little ​32%
​Not at all ​16%

 

Finally, institutions should commit to tracking and measuring outcomes of faculty who use these types of policies. In this manner, institutions can determine usage patterns among departments, identify departments which may benefit from education and training on these policies, and hold department chairs accountable for creating a positive climate for faculty using these policies. Listed below are the faculty career flexibility policies that are tracked at the liberal arts colleges which participated in our survey.

Does your college/university track the use of the following forms of flexibility in relation to tenure outcomes (e.g., for women and minorities)?

​Use ​Percent
​Temporarily modified/reduced duties ​36%
Part-time/partial appointments ​ ​29%
​Stopping the tenure clock ​50%
​Parental or parenting leaves of all types ​46%
​None of the above ​43%
 

 

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