Family and Medical Leaves and Accommodation for Similar Issues

Faculty members may experience difficulty at work when caring for an ill child, spouse, domestic partner, or parent or dealing with a serious illness or personal crisis of their own.  When these challenges are prolonged, faculty on regular appointment may request up to one year of unpaid leave of absence.  Alternatively, when these stresses are short-lived and require absences of up to five days in length faculty may apply for a short-term medical, funeral, or compassionate leave.  Sometimes, however, a personal, family, or medical need may fall between these two extremes.  The Dean encourages chairs to work with faculty members in such situations to find ways the department might reasonably support colleagues through these moments while giving students the best education possible.  Depending on the situation this may include:

  • Finding a department member or a local expert to guest lecture in a course to minimize lost class time
  • Excusing the faculty member from aspects of department service
  • Contacting the FAC about short-term relief from College committee service
  • Granting accommodations in course scheduling (the timing of the one-course term, the class periods during which courses are offered, the specific courses taught, etc.) when a stress can be anticipated in advance
  • Working with the Dean’s Office to reallocate advisees
  • Encouraging the faculty member to talk with HR, who can direct them to the full range of support the College provides (e.g. the free Employee Assistance Program, free TIAA-CREF financial consulting, and the student babysitting list)

Call the Dean’s Office if you are unsure whether a particular situation falls in the category of an unpaid leave or short-term accommodation.