Parental Leave & Work-Life Policies

These FAQ address questions of general interest to faculty members at the University of Maryland at College Park, in regard to UMD policies that pertain to work and family, leave, and tenure. Below we discuss issues related to “Stop the Clock” (Delay of Tenure Review due to childbirth or adoption), Part-time Tenure Status due to childbirth or adoption, Faculty Parental Leave and Other Supports, and Private Spaces for Lactation. 

Delay of Tenure Review (Stop the Clock)

Q. How long do I need to be employed at the institution in order to be eligible for a delay of tenure review due to childbirth or adoption?

A. An extension of the tenure clock due to childbirth or adoption is available immediately upon employment with the University.

Q. How do I receive an extension of the tenure clock for childbirth or adoption?

A. Any tenure track faculty member who becomes the parent of a child by birth or adoption will automatically be granted a one- year extension of the deadline for tenure review, provided that they notify their unit head and complete the requisite paperwork.

Q. What paperwork do I need to submit in order to obtain an extension for childbirth or adoption?

A. Faculty members must submit a Notification of Delay of Mandatory Tenure Review Due to Childbirth or Adoption, to the Office of Faculty Affairs. Normally this process should be initiated within a month of the expected arrival of the child.

Q. How many times can I receive an automatic extension?

A. A second extension of the tenure clock due to the birth or adoption of another child will be granted automatically, so long as the faculty member receives no more than a total of two extensions (including those granted for reasons other than the birth or adoption of a child).

Q. If my spouse/partner is also a tenure-track faculty member at UMCP, does she/he also receive an automatic one-year extension of time for tenure for childbirth or adoption?

A. Yes.

Q. Can I receive an extension of the tenure clock for reasons OTHER than childbirth or adoption?

A. Yes, but the request is not automatically granted (this response does not apply to faculty who took the COVID-19 Tenure Delay). Faculty members may request a delay of tenure review based on personal or professional circumstances that substantially impede normal professional development of the faculty member.

These circumstances may include: o Personal illness or injury. o Care of ill or injured dependents, including children, relatives, or any other persons who are dependent on the faculty member for care. o Death of a spouse, partner, family member, or other closely affiliated person. o Individual departmental, or facility-related situations that are beyond the control of the faculty member.

Note: requests for delay of tenure review under these circumstances must be made at the time the circumstance occurs.

Alternative (Part-Time) Status of Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty

Q. When may tenured and tenure-track faculty become part-time?

A. Per University policy, such faculty are eligible for temporary part-time appointments from the time of hire.

Q. Are child-rearing responsibilities a basis for requesting temporary part-time status?

A. Yes. Tenured or tenure-track faculty may request a temporary reduction to part-time status in order to prepare for a newborn child and/or to care for a child under the age of five years (including children placed in the home via adoption or foster care).

Q. How will part-time status affect my tenure clock?

A. The faculty member may receive a one-time, one-year delay of mandatory tenure review due to childrearing-related temporary part-time status. Normally, only faculty with temporary part-time appointments of 50% FTE will be considered for this delay; faculty with part-time appointments greater than 50% will not normally be eligible for a one-year delay of tenure review. Q. If my spouse/partner is also a tenure-track faculty member at UMCP, is she/he also eligible for a temporary part-time appointment? A. Yes. Q. How long can I be on part-time status?

A. Tenure-track faculty may be authorized for part-time status for a minimum of one semester, up to two years. Tenured faculty may request part-time status for up to two years, with the option of renewal (with proper approvals).

Q. Does the length of my part-time status affect the length of my delay of tenure review?

A. No. A one-year delay of tenure review is authorized regardless of the length of the temporary parttime status, as long the part-time status meets the criteria specified above.

Q. How do I request temporary part-time status?

A. The faculty member makes a written request to his or her chair/unit head. This request must be submitted before the end of the semester before the appointment is slated to begin. The proposed reduction is discussed and a mutually acceptable MOU is prepared, outlining the specific terms of the reduction (e.g., reduction of teaching load, service commitments, etc.). This MOU and a letter of support/opposition from the chair are submitted to the Dean of the college, and subsequently to the Provost, for approval or denial.

Q. What can I do if my department chair or dean says no?

A. A faculty member who believes that her/his request for part-time status has been unfairly or improperly denied may bring the matter to the Faculty Ombuds Officer.

Q. What if I return from leave due to childbirth/adoption (with an automatic one-year delay of tenure review) but then decide to do a part-time appointment? Can a faculty member seek delay of tenure review under both policies?

A. Yes. Tenure-track faculty may receive a one-year delay of tenure review due to childbirth or adoption and an additional one year delay of tenure review due to a request for a temporary part-time appointment, resulting in a two year delay of the mandatory tenure review. Note: Tenure-track faculty may receive no more than two one-year delays for any reason.

Faculty Parental Leave and Other Supports

Q. What is meant by Parental Leave and Family Supports?

A. The amended USM Policy on Parental Leave is intended to promote a family-friendly environment to support faculty in balancing professional and family demands during and after the birth or adoption of a child. Eligible faculty members shall be assured a period of up to 12 weeks of continuous paid parental leave and have the opportunity to establish a “Family Support Plan”.

Q. Who is eligible to take paid parental leave?

A. Tenured and tenure-track faculty, and non-tenured-track faculty with multi-year contracts with 6 months of institutional service who be the child’s primary caregiver during the paid parental leave period.

Q. When may I take the 12 weeks of paid parental leave?

A. The 12-week paid parental leave assurance shall be available on a continuous basis during a 6- month period surrounding the birth or adoption of a child.

Q. How many weeks of paid parental leave am I entitled to, and who pays for it?

A. Each eligible faculty member shall be assured a period of up to 12 weeks of continuous paid parental leave that consists of any form of annual and personal leave, holiday leave for holidays observed during the leave period and/or discretionary paid administrative leave. If none of these categories of leave are available, supplemental paid parental leave shall be provided by the University to attain the 12-week paid parental leave assurance. For faculty receiving sponsored research funding, the costs associated with the paid parental leave benefit to which they are entitled shall be paid by the unit if the agency does not provide the benefit.

Q. My spouse/partner is also a faculty member. Can she/he also take paid parental leave?

A. Yes. If a child’s parents are employed by the same institution, both parents may be eligible for paid parental leave for the birth or adoption of a child as follows: Both parents may concurrently use accrued annual, sick, collegial, personal, and/or holiday leave; and Only one parent may use supplemental paid parental leave during a period in which they are the child’s primary caregiver.

Q. What are my required duties during the 12-week paid parental leave period?

A. No institutional work-related duties are required of the faculty member by the University while on parental leave.

Q. May I also take leave without pay in association with childbirth or adoption?

A. Yes, faculty members may take leave without pay subject to the provisions provided for under the USM Policy on Family Medical Leave for Faculty and/or approval of the department head or dean.

Q. If I have more than 60 days of accrued leave, may I take additional paid leave?

A. Yes, however, beyond 60 days leave is subject to the approval of the dean.

Q. How do I set up a family support plan?

A. The family support plan should be developed jointly by the faculty member and department chair, or the designee of the chair or dean, upon request of the faculty member. Completed family support plans shall be shared with the appropriate dean or other academic affairs administrators.

Q. Are there duties I must maintain under a family support plan?

A. Family support plans are intended to assure that continuity in student instruction and other critical duties are not disrupted during a period of parental leave. Workload modifications, to the extent authorized by the Institution and feasible within the faculty member’s department, may include but may not be limited to the redistribution of duties to substitute a teaching assignment with other department or academic service. Please note that as with paid leave, faculty whose salaries are funded solely via external agencies will need to take into consideration specific limitations set by those agencies.

Q. If I get a release from classroom teaching duties, will I have to make it up later?

A. No. Instructional faculty utilizing a family support plan shall not be required to offset the reduced classroom course load by making up the load in another semester.

Q. If my partner or I give birth or adopt a child near the end or the beginning of a semester, when may we utilize a family support plan?

A. Typically, a faculty member would utilize a family support plan during the semester in which the bulk of the paid parental leave will take place e.g. the 6-month period surrounding their continuous paid parental leave will take place e.g. the 6-month period surrounding the birth or placement of a child. Private Space for Lactation

Q. I heard the new parental leave policy also stipulates that faculty have access to a private space where nursing mothers may express milk. Where are these lactation rooms? A. The University provides a number of lactation rooms across campus where nursing mothers may breastfeed or express milk. Campus lactation rooms may be found by double-clicking the lactation room icon on the campus map.

Q Can a bathroom be designated as a lactation space?

A. No.