Section 2.30 - Faculty

2.30   Benefits.

1. Holidays. For faculty the following days are University holidays: (usually including the Friday preceding any such holiday which falls on Saturday and the Monday following any such holiday which falls on Sunday)

New Year's Day Thanksgiving
Memorial Day day following Thanksgiving Day
Independence Day day preceding Christmas Day
Labor Day Christmas Day
day preceding New Year's Day  


Two (2) floating holidays scheduled during the Christmas break; plus up to two (2) additional floating holidays scheduled during the Christmas - New Year's break, if the university is officially closed.

A faculty member is not eligible for holiday pay if the holiday occurs during an unpaid leave of absence, or if the holiday falls during a suspension without pay, or the holiday occurs during a time when he/she is not on pay status.

2. Vacation. Vacation for faculty members on academic year appointments is limited by the academic calendar and is not accrued. Faculty on annual appointments accrue vacation at the rate of five days per calendar quarter of completed service. A prorated number of days for a partial quarter of service will be computed when necessary. Approval of the use of accrued vacation is the responsibility of the appropriate unit head. Vacation time may not be charged until it is earned. Faculty members with accrued vacation terminating their employment will be eligible for their accrued vacation, not to exceed 20 days, provided at least four weeks' notice of their intent to leave is received. Up to 20 days of accrued vacation may be carried from one calendar year into the next.

3. Salary Continuation. The University will provide to the extent described below a salary continuation program for full-time faculty members which is designed to provide salary protection in the event of personal circumstances which do not allow a faculty member to continue work. This program is intended only as a form of insurance and is subject to careful scrutiny of each appointing officer. The appointing officer may require proof that any absence at any time is appropriate. Salary continuation may be approved only for the following reasons:

A. Faculty member's childbirth, illness, injury, hospitalization, and appointments pertaining to health. In cases of injuries compensable under worker's compensation or no fault auto insurance, salary continuation may be used to the extent that the payments fail to equal the faculty member's regular base earnings.

B. Faculty member's child, step child, foster child, spouse, parent, or household member's illness, injury, hospitalization and appointments pertaining to health (limited to a reasonable amount).

C. The death of a faculty member's child, stepchild, foster child, spouse, brother, brother-in-law, sister, sister-in-law, parent or parent-in-law, grandparent, grandparent-in-law, or household member.

D. Attendance at a funeral other than above (maximum one day).

E. Inclement weather causing unusually hazardous conditions which necessitates the closing of the university.

All full-time faculty members will be allowed compensation at their regular base rate of pay for an absence that falls under paragraph "A" above for the entire absence period not to exceed six months from the date of illness, injury or hospitalization. No salary continuation as such will be accrued or reported although each appointing officer will be responsible for the equitable application of the policy.

4. Sabbatical Leave. A sabbatical is defined as a period of release to provide an opportunity for the faculty member to learn, develop or enhance understanding or skills that will improve the applicant's teaching, scholarly/creative and/or professional competence beyond their normal workload (as described in Section D). Sabbaticals are a part of the university's responsibility in relation to faculty growth and development. Such leaves contribute to the accomplishment of these ends by enabling the faculty to undertake specific, planned activities involving study, research, or creative work of mutual benefit to the applicant and to Grand Valley State University. The providing of resources necessary for sabbatical leaves is a high priority for the University.

A. Eligibility. By March 15 each year the Human Resources Office will provide the academic deans with the names of the faculty members eligible to apply at the beginning of the Fall semester. The deans then send a notice to each eligible person as a reminder, offering assistance in refining plans and indicating sources of relevant information.

Subject to the provisions listed below (Section J), sabbatical leave may be granted after six years of service. Such leave may not be awarded to the same person more than once in seven years and leave time shall not be cumulative. Up to two years of service prior to serving in a tenure track faculty position at the rank of instructor or above, or its equivalent, at GVSU or other accredited institutions of higher education may count toward fulfillment of the eligibility period. Only tenured Grand Valley faculty members are eligible to receive a sabbatical.

In computing consecutive years of service for the purpose of establishing eligibility, periods of vacation leave and periods of sick leave with salary shall be included; periods of leaves of absence other than vacation leave and sick leave will not ordinarily be included but shall not be deemed an interruption of otherwise consecutive service.

If a current full-time faculty member previously served part time, then their sabbatical will be delayed until the equivalent of six years of full-time service has been accrued. A part-time faculty member is eligible for a sabbatical after six years of service at or above their current appointment rate; a part-time faculty member will receive their current appointment rate while on sabbatical. In the case of the faculty member on leave from a faculty position to hold an administrative position at Grand Valley, the provisions of Section 2.11 apply. 

In computing years of service for the purpose of establishing eligibility, periods of vacation leave and periods of sick leave with salary shall be included; periods of leaves of absence other than vacation leave and sick leave will not ordinarily be included. 

B. Application and Approval Process.
1. Applicants shall electronically submit the completed proposal via the sabbatical website. The completed proposal will then move through the review process. 

2. At each level of review, the proposals shall be evaluated with reference to the objectives and criteria in Sections D and E. The applicant shall be notified, in writing, of any negative recommendation, along with an explanation, within three (3) working days of the date of transmission of the notice. 

3. Applicants whose proposals have been rejected may appeal to the next level of review within three (3) working days of their receipt of the reasons for rejection. This appeal must be in the form of a written statement and include the reasons that the proposal meets the objectives, criteria, and format in Sections D and E. If the next level of review wishes to overturn a rejection on appeal, their written statement must provide an explanation addressing the reasons for reversing the previous decision, including how the proposal meets the requirements outlines in Sections D and E. 

  • If the proposal is approved on appeal, a written explanation of the reasons for the approval will be sent to the previous level(s) of review and to the applicant; a written record of both the positive and negative recommendations will accompany the proposal when it is forwarded to the next level of review.
     
  • If the proposal is rejected at two stages of review (Unit, College, Dean, or University Sabbatical Review Committee) on appeal, it ends for that academic year and may not be considered by higher levels of review. 
     
  • All appeals of a negative recommendation by the unit or college sabbatical review committee must be decided by November 1. 
     
  • All appeals of a negative recommendation by the dean must be decided by November 20. 
     
  • All appeals of a negative recommendation by the University Sabbatical Review Committee must be decided by December 10.

4.  Timetable for Approval Process.

September 1: applicants submit proposals to the sabbatical website. 

September 15: Units forward recommended proposals (including revisions or amendments, if any) to College Sabbatical Review Committee; no further revisions to proposals are permitted. The sabbatical proposals will be classified in tiers (Excellent, Good, Satisfactory, and Not recommended) using the standard evaluation instrument by the appropriate College Sabbatical Review Committee based upon objectives and criteria outlined in Sections D and E. 

October 15: College Sabbatical Review Committee forwards recommended proposals by tiers to the Dean.

November 1: Dean forwards recommended proposals to the University Sabbatical Review Committee. The Dean may choose to not recommend any proposal. 

November 20: University Sabbatical Review Committee forwards recommendations to Provost. The University Sabbatical Review Committee will consider but are not bound by the tier rankings of the College Sabbatical Review Committee. The University Sabbatical Review Committee will classify the proposals in tiers (Excellent, Good Satisfactory and Not Recommend) using the standard evaluation instrument based upon objectives and criteria outlined in Sections D and E. 

December 1: Provost forwards decisions to the President and informs Deans and University Sabbatical Review Committee. The Provost will inform the Board of Trustees of the titles and authors of approved proposals. 

C. Remuneration.
Faculty shall receive full salary when on leave one academic semester and fifty percent of base salary when on leave two academic semesters (or up to three academic semesters for faculty on a 12-month appointment). Applicants for sabbatical leave must specify other salaries, grants, fellowships, or financial support they expect to receive (or do receive) during the period of the leave. The combined incomes from such sources and the sabbatical grant shall not exceed the faculty member's normal salary plus expenses incurred because of the sabbatical leave. The recipient is expected to return to a regular appointment with Grand Valley for at least one academic year (or twelve months in the case of faculty on twelve-month appointments) after the sabbatical period.

D. Objectives.
A sabbatical proposal shall concern a significant problem, area, or issue in the field of study and show promise that it will enhance the teaching, scholarly/creative and/or professional capabilities of the applicant. The scope of the sabbatical project should require the faculty member to have one or two ( or three in the case of faculty with 12-month contracts) semesters of continuous release from normal teaching and service responsibilities. The sabbatical project should not be accomplishable in shorter intervals with other forms of assistance available. A request for sabbatical leave must be accompanied by a well-developed proposal for use of the leave time. The proposal shall conform to one or more of the objectives listed below:  

1. Promise of a significant contribution to a new or existing subject under study or problem undertaken. 

2. Expansion of skills or application of research that deepens or extends the applicant's professional capabilities. 

3. Development of new capabilities for teaching through research or creative endeavors. 

4. A planned effort to retrain professionally, in a manner appropriate to the applicant's discipline and the unit's and university's needs. 

E. Criteria and Format.
The sabbatical requests must address the following: 

1. A descriptive title for the project. 

2. Conceptual Focus- the proposal needs a clear conceptual focus and must be explicit about the desired results or outcomes of the project. In addition, the applicant must state which of the objectives listed in Section D are addressed in the proposal. 

3. Background and significance of project- the proposal must clearly express how the project represents significant research or creative exploration within the context of the applicant's discipline, and explain ow the sabbatical fits in to the applicant's overall teaching, scholarly/creative and/or professional endeavors. 

4. Relevant preparation- the proposal must demonstrate that detailed planning and specific preparation has already been done toward the successful completion of the sabbatical project. 

5. Project Plan- the proposal must outline specifically how the sabbatical project will be conducted. 

6. Timeline- the proposal must detail a clear timeline for proposed activities during the sabbatical. 

7. Benefit to one's own or other units- the proposal must connect the sabbatical project to other aspects of the applicant's work at the University.

8. The proposal shall not exceed ten (10) pages, excluding references and other supporting documents. 

9. The prior sabbatical report must be submitted with the proposal as well as any results completed if promised after the prior sabbatical. 

10. A condensed Curriculum Vitae (not to exceed 5 pages in length) focused on the applicant's scholarly or creative accomplishments most relevant to the sabbatical application must submitted with the proposal. 

11. The Unit Head must provide a summary of the unit's discussion with vote results, in addition to verification that requested amendments have been made (this should be submitted electronically via the sabbatical website). 

F. Selection Process When Not All Recommended Sabbaticals Can Be Awarded. There are two circumstances when not all recommended sabbaticals can be awarded: (1) inadequate funding, and (2) staffing problems.

1. Inadequate Funding.
In the event that the University anticipates that the number of recommended sabbaticals requires funds greater than the amount available for support, the Provost will explain the financial situation to the Chair of the Faculty Salary and Budget Committee. The Chair of the Faculty Salary and Budget Committee and the Chair of the University Sabbatical Review Committee may respond to the Provost within seven (7) calendar days. The Provost will select proposals for funding based on the final classifications provided by the University Sabbatical Review Committee and his/her own review.

Applicants who are not awarded sabbaticals because of inadequate funding should reapply to be reviewed the following year. 

2. Staffing Problems
The recommendation not to award a sabbatical because of staffing problems will be made by the Dean after consultation with the appropriate unit head. Applicants who are not awarded sabbaticals because of staffing problems will receive a written explanation from the Dean. If an applicant's recommended sabbatical is delayed because of staffing problems, the applicant will be given priority for the following year, assuming the applicant's proposal has been recommended and approved by the Provost. If the applicant makes alterations in the sabbatical proposal or delays beyond one year, then the applicant must seek approval of alterations as outlined in Section H. A faculty member whose sabbatical is delayed because of staffing problems will not be required to wait an additional 6 years from the later date before becoming eligible to apply for another sabbatical, but will be eligible to apply 6 years from the previous eligibility year provided an approved final report is on file for the delayed sabbatical. 

G. Delayed Sabbaticals.
An applicant whose sabbatical was awarded but must be delayed for reasons other than staffing problems will not have to resubmit their proposal for review and will automatically be recommended for a sabbatical the following year without reapplication or review of their sabbatical, provided the project has not altered (see Section H). A faculty member whose sabbatical is delayed will not be required to wait to an additional 6 years from the later date before becoming eligible to apply for another sabbatical, but will be eligible to apply 6 years from the delayed eligibility year of the delayed sabbatical provided an approved final report is on file for the delayed sabbatical. 

H. Alteration of Project.
If a faculty member finds it necessary to alter the original project approved for the sabbatical leave by the Provost, then three months before the sabbatical would have commenced the faculty member must submit a revised proposal to his/her College Dean. This deadline may be waived in unusual circumstances by the Dean. If the Dean supports the revised proposal, the Dean will submit the revised proposal to the University Sabbatical Review Committee for special review and approval. If the proposed alteration is judged to significantly change or weaken the spirit of the original proposal, then the appropriate Dean or the University Sabbatical Review Committee may recommend to the Provost that the proposed alteration not be accepted. In this event, the sabbatical proposal would enter the standard review process (as outlined in Section B). In the event that an alteration is proposed after the sabbatical has already commenced, the University Sabbatical Review Committee will recommend a course of action to the Provost. Depending on the nature and the extent of the alteration, the university may take action as it deems appropriate, including repayment to the university for time spent on sabbatical.  

I. Cancellation of Project.
If a faculty member decides not to take a sabbatical leave which has been approved by the Provost, then the faculty member must inform the Dean of the appointing unit at least three months before the sabbatical would have commenced. If the faculty member cancels a sabbatical leave later than three months before the start of the leave, the Dean shall be free to deny the request. This deadline may be waived in unusual circumstances. 

J. Final Report and Dissemination.
Each faculty member returning from sabbatical leave shall prepare a final report of the sabbatical activities and accomplishments in accordance with the guidelines on the sabbatical website. The faculty member must submit the report electronically via the sabbatical website. This final report shall be filed no later than the end of the first semester after return to campus and shall include an account of the financial remuneration received during the sabbatical leave. The Provost will review the final report. If the Provost does not approve the final report as submitted, the faculty member may revise and resubmit it. The Provost will notify the faculty member, the Dean, and the Human Resources Office whether or not the final report has been approved. Eligibility for the next sabbatical leave shall be calculated from the academic year in which the Provost approves the final report.  A copy of the approved sabbatical report will automatically be sent electronically to the faculty member's Unit Head, Dean, the Provost, the President, the University Sabbatical Review Committee, and the library University Archives. 

Faculty members are also required to participate in a University Wide Sabbatical Showcase in the year following their sabbaticals or in the year after the final report is approved. 

K. The College and University Sabbatical Review Committee. 
Each College Personnel Committee or other designated committee will serve as the College Sabbatical Review Committee. 

The University Sabbatical Review Committee is a subcommittee of the Research and Development Committee. The University Sabbatical Committee membership comprises seven standing members from the Research and Development Committee (of the seven no more than three members from a single college, including the chair), one representative from each of the College Sabbatical Review Committees, one representative from university libraries, and the Executive Director, Center for Scholarly and Creative Excellence (Ex officio, non-voting). The chair of the Research and Development Committee will serve as the chair of the University Sabbatical Review Committee. No member of the University Sabbatical Review Committee can vote or participate in discussion about his/her own sabbatical proposal. The University Sabbatical Review Committee reports to the Research and Development Committee, and the Research and Development Committee reports to the Provost. 

The University Sabbatical Review Committee shall be responsible for reviewing sabbatical leave policies and procedures and shall recommend changes, when needed, to the UAS for feedback and endorsement. It shall also facilitate ways in which returning faculty can make new knowledge and insights available to Grand Valley State University 

5. Leaves of Absence with Partial Pay. 

A. Jury Duty. A faculty member who loses time from his/her assigned responsibilities because of jury duty will receive the difference between his/her pay for jury duty and his/her regular base pay if such service occurs at a time when the faculty member is on pay status.

B. Military Duty. A faculty member who loses time from his/her assigned responsibilities because of military training as a reservist or National Guardsman or due to a civil disturbance, not exceeding four weeks per year, will receive the difference between his/her military base pay and his/her regular pay if such service occurs while the faculty member is on pay status.

6. Leaves of Absence without Pay from the University. A faculty member may request a leave of absence without pay for educational, medical, or personal reasons for a period of from one to twelve months. Such request shall be approved by the appointing officer. Any accrued benefits will be protected during the leave although additional benefits will not accrue. The faculty member may continue existing group benefits with the appropriate university's contribution. Contribution to the retirement plan will not accrue during the leave period. In case of medical leave the university may require a physician's statement concerning the faculty member's ability to perform his/her assigned responsibilities either before departure or just prior to returning to active employment.

Absences without pay for a period of less than one month will be considered as lost time and are subject to the approval of the appointing officer.

7. Alternate Service. Faculty on academic year appointments may fulfill their full academic year responsibilities on the basis of working any two of the three academic semesters without loss of base academic year salary with the balance of the year considered vacation. A faculty member who serves in a full time capacity for an additional (third) academic semester, without additional compensation, shall be entitled to a compensatory equivalent semester of vacation during the subsequent academic year at the compensation level in effect when the vacation was earned, if all arrangements are approved by the appointing officer, the provost, and the president in advance. Should, due to a change of circumstances, a faculty member who has fulfilled the prior service obligation be allowed to work during the semester he/she expected to be on vacation, all such work shall be at a rate and under the conditions described in Section 2.20.3.

8. Group Life, Medical and Dental Insurance. The university will provide coverage for all faculty appointed one-half time or more and their dependents and household members (as defined in plan documents) to the extent of the group insurance policies in effect providing the faculty member's appropriate payments are maintained. The schedule of benefits provided and their cost are described in materials available through the Human Resources Office.

9. Group Disability. All full-time faculty are eligible to participate in the total disability benefits program subject to the provisions of the master contract. The benefits provided are described in materials available through the Human Resources Office.

10. Retirement.

A. University Base Plan. Effective July 1, 1996, regular faculty and executive, administrative and professional staff with appointments of one-half time or more will be eligible to participate in the base retirement plan comprised of three investment alternatives:

1) Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA),

2) College Retirement Equities Fund (CREF),

3) Fidelity Investments - institutional retirement plan

Eligible faculty and staff will begin participation immediately upon employment. Participants are fully vested after completion of two years of employment.

The University will make a contribution equal to 12% of the participant's base salary. No contribution is required from the faculty or staff member.

Participants may elect an allocation of their university contribution among the three investment alternatives once a year. Allocation changes within those alternatives will be allowed as frequently as permitted by that carrier.

The normal retirement age used as a basis for calculating a full benefit is age 65. There is no mandatory retirement age.

A more detailed description of the base retirement plan related to pay out options, availability of funds and allocation changes and transfers within funds is contained in materials available in the Human Resources Office.

B. Supplemental Retirement Accounts. All regular faculty and staff may elect to have the university provide payment for tax deferred saving plans which qualify for IRS Code Section 403(b) and beginning July, 1, 2002 section 457(b) status through companies approved by the university. Faculty and staff can defer in such amounts as permitted by IRS Code Section 403(b) and 457(b). The election of such a benefit in no way affects the faculty or staff member's mandatory participation in the university's retirement program. The university retains the right to modify or terminate this optional deferral program upon reasonable notice to faculty and staff.

C. Medical Insurance for Retirees. The university will provide a medical insurance plan for official retirees hired before January 1, 2014. An official retiree (including early retirees) for purposes of this benefit, will be defined as any regular university faculty or staff member who is employed by the university at the time of retirement, who is vested in a university sponsored retirement plan and whose years of university service and age total a minimum of 75.

Official retirees will be reimbursed for participation in the plan based on years of service.

Benefits will also be provided to the spouse, dependents, and household member of the retiree based on the same formula, less the dependent charge. The materials describing the program are available through the Human Resources Office. The university retains the right to modify or terminate this plan upon reasonable notice to faculty, staff and retirees.

11. Tuition Reduction Programs

A. Academic Participation for Faculty, Staff and Retirees. Effective fall semester, 1988, a regular faculty or staff member may with approval of his/her supervisor, enroll in Grand Valley State University courses tuition free, one of which may be taken during working hours each fiscal year. Retirees may enroll with the approval of the Human Resources Office. The materials describing the program are available through the Human Resources Office.

B. Reduced Tuition for Spouses, Eligible Dependents and Household Members of Faculty, Staff and Retirees. Effective fall semester, 1988, spouses, eligible dependents, and household members of regular faculty, staff and retirees are eligible for a 50 percent reduction of their tuition costs for all Grand Valley State University courses. Spouses, eligible dependents, and household members of regular faculty, staff and retirees who use this benefit are subject to the admission and academic requirements of the university. The materials describing the program are available through the Human Resources Office.

12. Flexible Spending Accounts. Faculty may elect once a year to participate in the Flexible Spending Accounts pursuant to the plan established under IRS Code Section 125. The materials describing the program and its options are available through the Human Resources Office. The university retains the right to modify or terminate this program upon reasonable notice to the faculty members.

13. Adoption Assistance. Effective January 1, 2001 all regular full-time and part-time faculty members and staff are eligible for adoption assistance. The benefits provided are described in materials available through the Human Resources Office.

14. Maternity and Other Temporary Medical Leave Policies. Section 2.30.3 provides for Salary Continuation for faculty members subject to the terms of that section. The Maternity and Other Temporary Medical Leave Policies are intended to supplement and not substitute for Salary Continuation. 

A. Maternity Leave Policy
Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), a pregnancy will be treated the same as any other "disability." The standard medical disability leave for childbirth is six weeks for a regular birth and eight weeks for a Caesarean. Depending on the timing of the standard medical disability leave, this faculty absence can cause significant interruption in students' learning. Therefore, to ensure continuity in students' learning, a faculty member will, with full pay, be released from responsibilities for student learning except when, for example, the birth date occurs in the late spring or early summer, in which case, no release time may be needed for faculty on an academic-year appointment. A release from "responsibilities for student learning" means a release from teaching as a principal instructor of a regularly scheduled, semester-long course. 

A written maternity leave plan signed by the faculty member, the unit head, and the dean should be submitted to the Work Life Consultant in the Human Resources Office prior to the beginning of the faculty member's absence. This plan should note the medical disability leave dates, whether additional paid maternity release is being granted under the above policy, and if so, describe what duties will be resumed and what other assigned responsibilities will be completed after the standard medical disability leave is expired. Finally, the anticipated date of complete return should be included in the plan. The plan can be amended if unanticipated medical issues occur. 

Additional information about the Maternity Leave Policy and possible leave arrangements can be found on the Human Resources website. 

B. Other Temporary Medical Leave Policy
Temporary disability leave due to illness, surgery, or recovery from injury of a faculty member can also cause disruptions to student learning in that faculty member's class(es). If a temporary disability leave will exceed six weeks, to ensure continuity in students' learning, a faculty member will, with full pay, be released from responsibilities for student learning, except when, for example, the temporary disability occurs in the late spring or early summer, in which case, no release time may be needed for faculty on an academic-year appointment. A release from "responsibilities for student learning" means a release from teaching as a principal instructor of a regularly scheduled, semester-long course. 

A written medical leave plan signed by the faculty member, the unit head, and the dean should be submitted to the Work Life Consultant in the Human Resources Office prior to the beginning of a faculty member's absence. This plan should note the disability leave dates, whether additional paid medical release is being granted under the above policy, and if so, describe what duties will be resumed and what other assigned responsibilities will be completed after the standard medical disability leave is expired. Finally, the anticipated date of complete return should be included in the plan. The plan can be amended if unanticipated medical issues occur. If the disability leave is an emergency, a plan should be submitted when there is enough information to do so. 

 

 

 

 

Page last modified July 14, 2014