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Toolkit: Policy Trends at Liberal Arts Institutions

December 30, 1899


The Alfred P. Sloan Projects for Faculty Career Flexibility

Among the baccalaureate colleges (arts & sciences classification) that applied for the Alfred P. Sloan Awards for Faculty Career Flexibility in 2008, the following encouraging trends were available to faculty. For all of the policies and practices listed below, at least half of the applicant institutions indicated having them in place:

  • Tenure Clock Adjustment
  • Active Service-Modified Duties (ASMD) or Partial Relief from Duties, with no reduction in pay
  • Paid Leaves for Biological or Adoptive Mothers
  • Paid Leaves for Biological or Adoptive Fathers
  • Parental leave for same-sex and opposite-sex couples when their partner gives birth or adopts
  • Disability policy for serious illness or injury
  • Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) stating faculty member's expectations during leaves
  • Health insurance for same-sex and opposite-sex partners
  • Phased retirement
  • Committee on addressing family-friendly and/or career flexibility issues

A more detailed description of the common policies and practices at baccalaureate institutions is available on this page. The document describes policy frequency at baccalaureate institutions for the following topics: Adjusting the tenure clock, modified duties, maternity and paternity leaves for biological and adoptive parents, phased retirement, and part-time appointments. Each section includes information about institutional structures and climate that support faculty, such as funding, eligibility for these programs, and maximum usage of policy options.

Winners of the 2009 Alfred P. Sloan Awards for Faculty Career Flexibility for Baccalaureate Colleges and Universities

The 2009 Alfred P. Sloan Awards for Faculty Career Flexibility recognized baccalaureate colleges for their leadership and accomplishments in implementing groundbreaking policies and practices supporting career flexibility for tenured and tenure-track faculty. The awards program was sponsored by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and conducted by ACE.

Albright College (PA), Bowdoin College (ME), Middlebury College (VT), Mount Holyoke College (MA), Oberlin College (OH), and Washington and Lee University (VA) each received $200,000 that will enable the institutions to expand and enhance flexible career paths for faculty.

In addition, Dickinson College (PA) and Smith College (MA) will receive $25,000 awards in recognition of innovative practices in career flexibility.

These colleges and universities will work over the next two years to accelerate career flexibility on their campuses. ACE will monitor their progress and provide assistance as needed. 



Front Row, left to right: Darlene Roth, Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations, Albright College; Andrea Chapdelaine, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Albright College; June Aprille, Provost, Washington & Lee University; Amy Barnes, Executive Director of Human Resources, Washington & Lee University; Donal O'Shea, Elizabeth T. Kennan Professor of Mathematics and Dean of Faculty/Vice President for Academic Affairs, Mt. Holyoke College; Cheryl Kramer, Senior Associate Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations, Dickinson College; Maureen Mahoney, Dean of the College, Smith College; Kathleen Christensen, Program Officer, The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

Back row, Left to right: Molly Broad, President, ACE; Jim Ralph, Dean for Faculty Development and Research, Rehnquist Professor of American History and Culture, Middlebury College; Sean Decatur, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Oberlin College; Walter Chromiak, Associate Provost, Dickinson College; Elizabeth Ruddy, History Department Chair, Associate Professor of History, and Director of Latin American & Caribbean Studies, Albright College; Martin Krislov, President, Oberlin College; Sally Sutherland, Associate Dean of Faculty, Mt. Holyoke College; Bill Vanderwolk, Associate Dean for Faculty Development, Bowdoin College; Hank Dobin, Dean of the College, Washington & Lee University

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