Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

 Email  Share  Print

Toolkit: Policy Trends at Research Universities

December 30, 1899

 

​ The Alfred P. Sloan Projects for Faculty Career Flexibility

Among the 55 research universities that applied for the Alfred P. Sloan Awards for Faculty Career Flexibility in 2005, 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

  • Part-time appointments for tenure-track and tenured faculty

  • Health insurance for same-sex partners

  • Phased retirement

  • Seminars and workshops for graduate students to consider careers in academe

  • Courses in one or more departments that examine the interactions of work, personal, and family life

A more detailed description of the common policies and practices at research institutions is available. The web page describes policy frequency at research 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.

 
Strategies From Research Universities For Creating And Sustaining Faculty Career Flexibility

Among the 55 research university applicants, many had indicated that they follow these practices for making structural and cultural changes that enhance the climate for faculty career flexibility on their campuses.

  • Extending eligibility for programs and policies to all, regardless of gender or tenure status

  • Communicating, in both print and electronic methods, available policies through marketing campaigns, orientations, and web pages

  • Training for Search Committees so that candidates who have documented gaps in their resumes resulting from flexibility choices are not penalized

  • Training for department chairs about flexibility options available to assist faculty to stay on the tenure-track and promote retention

  • Training for Promotion and Tenure Committees indicating how the time to tenure and how the work of faculty who have taken advantage of flexibility policies should be evaluated

  • Providing written statements for internal and external reviewers on promotion and tenure committees reminding them how workload should be evaluated

  • Tracking usage of these policies and measure outcomes associated with usage

  • Holding department chairs, deans, and provosts accountable for creating a climate of acceptance for flexibility usage through performance reviews

  • Commitment of leadership to supporting and sustaining a climate satisfying faculty needs for work/life balance

Examples of these policies and best practices can be found on the web sites of the winning institutions (listed below), and in the administrator's toolkit.

Additional resources for policies can be found on the websites of the Sloan Work and Family Research Network, and the College and University Work/Family Association.

 

Winners of the 2006 Alfred P. Sloan Awards for Faculty Career Flexibility

Each winner received a $250,000 accelerator grant that will enabled the universities to expand and enhance flexible career paths for faculty over the course of two years. The Alfred P. Sloan Awards for Faculty Career Flexibility recognized research universities 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 the American Council on Education (ACE) with support from the Families and Work Institute. 

In addition, Iowa State University and the University of Wisconsin, Madison (PDF), each was awarded $25,000 grants in recognition of innovative practices in career flexibility.  A more detailed description of the winners is available through the Past Initiatives and Research University Winners sections of these pages.



Angelica Stacy, Associate Vice Provost, UC Berkeley; Binnie Sigh, Director of Faculty Relations and Development in Academic Personnel, UC Davis; Debra Walker-King, Associate Provost, University of Florida; Davis Ward, President of ACE; Ralph Gomory, President, The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation; Nancy Allen, Vice Provost for Faculty Diversity and Faculty Development, Duke University; Jean Soderlund, Deputy Provost for Faculty Affairs, Lehigh University; Ana Mari Cauce, Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, University of Washington
 

Other ACE News

  • September 19, 2018

    Today's Headlines

    HEADLINES: Today's Top Higher Education News

    Starting next fall, the University of Pennsylvania will offer what it says is the first online bachelor’s degree at an Ivy League college . . . Inside Higher Ed writes about the Alamo Colleges District in Texas, which has seen successes with its...

  • ACE Annual Meeting

    September 19, 2018

    ACE2019 Image

    Register Now for ACE2019

    Registration is open for ACE2019, ACE’s 101st Annual Meeting, March 9-12, 2019, in Philadelphia, PA.Nearly 2,000 college and university leaders from deans to presidents will gather at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown for the nation’s most...

  • Student Mobility

    September 18, 2018

    Fees for Student and Exchange Visitor Program Set to Increase

    The proposal to increase programs fees for the Student and Exchange Visitor Program may have a negative impact on international students, scholars, and higher education institutions, according to ACE and 14 other higher education associations.

  • Innovative Practices

    September 17, 2018

    Innovative Leadership

    College Presidents Finding New Ways to Lead Amid Growing Challenges

    A newly released ACE report highlights how innovative college and university presidents are rising to a variety of daily challenges and empowering their own campuses to take risks and respond strategically.

  • Budget and Appropriations

    September 17, 2018

    Stairs leading up

    Spending Package for FY 2019 Includes Boosts for Pell Grants, NIH, Career and Technical Education

    Congress has reached an agreement on an appropriations package for FY 2019 that includes a $100 increase in the maximum Pell Grant award and a $2 billion boost in funding for the National Institutes of Health, among other priorities for higher...

 

 Resources for Administrators

 
 

 Resources by Institution Type