Senate Document Number 4900S

Date of Senate Approval 3/02/00

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Statement of Faculty Senate Action:

FWDC 1:  Amendments to Policy on Extended Illness and Serious Disability for Faculty of UNCA (revision of SD2495S)

Effective Date: Fall 2000

AMENDMENTS: FWDC proposes the following amendments to make UNCA's policy similar to UNCC's which provides one semester paid leave for extended illness and serious disability as well as for family-related care-giving.

1. DELETE existing title. REPLACE WITH:

"Policy on Family and Medical Leave"

2. DELETE first line of rationale. REPLACE WITH:

"Members of the UNCA faculty entitled to benefits may apply under this policy for up to a semester off with full pay."

3. From Policy Statement, section II (page 2), DELETE first sentence and REPLACE WITH:

"A faculty member for whom any of the following conditions apply may request up to one semester off with full pay:

medically verifiable extended illness or serious disability



primary care-giving responsibilities for an infant, or seriously ill child, spouse/domestic partner, parent or other dependent

other medical or family situations which may require absence from work

FWDC, in recognition of prior efforts made here (this is the fourth in seven years), and successful efforts made elsewhere in the NC system, urges the adoption of the attached FML policy to provide greater consistency across departments at UNCA and throughout the state system. The proposed Family and Medical Leave Policy would enable faculty to be higher achievers, and to be more loyal to UNCA as their job satisfaction improves, even as it enables the institution to retain top faculty (especially women who have a higher attrition rate), and make a commitment to faculty members as people not just employees.


February 10, 2000

To: Faculty Senate

From: Tracey Rizzo for FWDC

Re: Proposed Revisions to Senate Document 2495S, "Policy on Extended Illness and Serious Disability for Faculty of the University of North Carolina at Asheville"

UNCA's current policy enables faculty to request up to 60 days paid leave in case of extended illness or serious disability, after which time faculty are eligible for one of two disability coverages provided by their retirement plans; these coverages pay 66% of the salary. The intent of these revisions is to expand the length of time at full pay, and the range of circumstances, for which faculty may apply for this benefit.

SCOPE: The scope of FWDC's work is limited to faculty; this does not imply that leave policies affecting staff need not be addressed/augmented.

Policies vary widely throughout the system. Some, like Pembroke, lack any formal policy and make arrangements on a case-by-case basis. Others like Chapel Hill and Charlotte, have comprehensive policies. At UNCC, eligible faculty members are entitled to a full
semester off, with pay.

Moreover, in cases of family leave, many campuses across the country are enacting FML policies that relieve the pressure to "schedule" family-related needs (childbirth in particular) during the summer months. Such policies also remove the disadvantages incurred by women faculty in particular whose career trajectories are complicated by family-related responsibilities. According to a recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education (June 25, 1999), "Large research universities with more money at their disposal are typically more generous with paid leave. Institutions like Harvard University, the University of California, and the University of North Carolina allow faculty women to take paid time off from teaching for an entire semester (A15)." However, UNC-Charlotte has the most generous leave plan in our system, while liberal arts colleges throughout the country are also enacting them. Thus, resource limitations have not prohibited the implementation of FML policies either at non-flagship institutions in NC, or at liberal arts colleges. Justifying expenditures, Alison Byerly, the Associate Dean of Faculty at Middlebury College wrote in response to the Chronicle's article (July 23, 1999, p. B5):

We feel that a generous leave policy [semester off with full pay] not only benefits faculty members, by allowing them important family time without robbing them of much needed research or class-preparation time, but also benefits students, who do not have to face the experience of being taught by exhausted and distracted faculty members who have returned to the classroom prematurely. And in the end, it benefits the institution, by suggesting that Middlebury demands high performance from its faculty members, but takes responsibility for creating the conditions under which high performance is potentially achievable by everyone, regardless of gender or circumstance.