Faculty Senate approves maternity, paternity leave policy

The UCA Faculty Senate adopted a policy for faculty maternity/paternity leave at it?s meeting on Tuesday.

The policy places the final decision of maternity/paternity leave requests in the hands of the Provost who may consult with the requesting faculty member, the dean and the department chair.

This came after faculty expressed concern that an across-the-board policy was not in place, a situation that left open the possibility of preferential treatment for some.

The new policy also requires that adoptions be treated the same as pregnancies.

The senate worked with the Human Resources Office to coordinate a variety of maternity/paternity leave arrangements for nine-month faculty, including:

? Faculty have used various combinations of paid sick leave and unpaid leave time for a total of over six weeks but for no more than 12 weeks of leave.

? Leave has gone unreported beyond the department level. Departments have coordinated class assignments for a semester or portion of a semester without reporting or recording leave.

? Faculty have used various combinations of paid sick leave and unpaid leave time for a total of 12 weeks and then have returned to work on a temporary, part-time basis before returning to full-time duty.

? Faculty have used paid sick leave for 12 weeks and then have requested and received additional paid sick time within the six-month total available (for the care of seriously ill babies).

The senate also listed several examples of arrangements that have been made in the department and college to cover faculty teaching responsibilities during maternity/paternity leave, including:

? A faculty member was allowed to teach eight-week courses so that teaching responsibility was covered during the initial eight weeks of the semester.

? A faculty member was given a semester off.

? A faculty member was given a course reduction rather than time off.

The senate also approved changes to the University Admissions Committee. The faculty senate will now select one tenured faculty member from each college to sit on the committee. Before, one faculty member from each college was appointed by the president by recommendation from the college deans.

The faculty senate also amended the committee?s charge by adding a requirement that it meet at least once per semester.

Faculty senate elections were held recently and eight faculty were elected including: Bill Bandy (HAS), David Kim (BUS), Barbara Satterfield (FA), Mary Mosley (ED), Chuck Seifert (NSM), Phillip Anderson (LA) and senators at-large are George Bratton and Francie Bolter.

-Jennifer Boyett