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Parental Work Assignment Case Studies

General Disclaimer: The purpose of this document is to highlight key aspects of the parental work assignment procedure. These sample cases do not cover every possible scenario.

Case 1

Susan Smart, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Ecology at WVU. She is pregnant, and her anticipated due date is September 30 (or November 25, or June 15). Dr. Smart is eligible for which benefits?

WVU Parental Work Assignment (for 9-month non-leave accruing Tenured/Tenure Track Faculty): Yes.

In consultation with her Chair, she should complete the Parental Work Assignment Form.

Due Date: September 30th
She should (unless she requests otherwise) receive six weeks for a vaginal birth or eight weeks for a C-section of uninterrupted time to accommodate the birth. It is also reasonable to expect that she have a release of her traditional teaching role for the Fall semester.

Due Date: November 25th
Because November 25th is so close to the end of the Fall semester, she may choose to have her traditional teaching release during the Fall OR Spring semesters. Once again, she should (unless she requests less) have the opportunity for six to eight weeks of uninterrupted time to accommodate the immediate birth of the child.

Due Date: June 15th (prior to her 1st year of employment)
There is no requirement for faculty to have worked at WVU for any time period prior to the use of this procedure. She can expect to have a release of her traditional teaching role for her first Fall semester.

Due Date: June 15th (prior to her 2nd year of employment) She can expect to have a release of her traditional teaching role during the Fall semester.

Extension of the Tenure Clock – Board of Governors Policy 51:
Dr. Smart is permitted, but not required, to apply for a one-year extension of her tenure clock, as a result of childbirth. This request must be made within one year of the birth. Because there is a one-year limit on when one can apply for Policy 51 in this context, if there is uncertainty, it is advisable to apply for an extension. The faculty member may request that the original critical year be re-instated. Request for Extension of the Tenure Clock Policy 51 Form.

Although extending the tenure clock (i.e., changing the critical year) means she has an additional year to complete the expectations for tenure, she is NOT expected to produce more, because of the extension. She should be held to the same standards as her peers who did not invoke Policy 51.

Under the WVU Parental Work Assignment Procedure, Dr. Smart is released from her traditional teaching for one semester and has the opportunity for 6 (8) weeks of uninterrupted time to accommodate the birth of her child.

1. Let’s consider release from traditional teaching. What are the guiding principles that will shape the Chair’s opinion?

a. Is she released from the traditional courses that meet once a week? Yes

b. Is she released from her on-line course? Yes

c. Is she released from supervising a graduate student’s thesis or dissertation? Not necessarily

d. Is she released from advising undergraduates? Maybe. She could be if the timeframe for advising occurs during the six (eight) weeks of uninterrupted time.

2. What does Dr. Smart’s workload document look like? What are the guiding principles that will shape the Chair’s opinion?

a. Will she be required to teach more courses than normal in the following semester? No

b. Will her 40% teaching assignment be reduced? Will her 40% research assignment or 20% service assignment be increased? No

c. Could she be asked to develop a new course during the Parental Assignment? Maybe

d. What criteria should be used to evaluate her teaching for the year? The quality of all the teaching activities that occurred during the year under review. As a result, the normal proportions of the assignment need not be changed.

Case 2

Dr. Success has been an Assistant Professor in the Department of Underwater Basket Weaving at WVU for three years. Dr. Works is also employed at WVU. Dr. Success and Dr. Works are adopting a baby girl from China. Although their future daughter has been identified, they are not certain when the paperwork will be finalized allowing Dr. Success’ travel to China to bring back their daughter. Dr. Success keeps the Chair informed of the updates on the situation. Dr. Success is eligible for which benefits? What about Dr. Works?

WVU Parental Work Assignment Procedure: Yes, they qualify. Dr. Success and Dr. Works have decided that Dr. Success will be the “first” parent, defined as the parent taking“...primary responsibility for the child shortly after birth…”

Dr. Success is eligible for a minimum of six weeks (30 working days) of uninterrupted time immediately following the placement of the child. Dr. Success is also eligible for release from traditional teaching responsibilities during the semester in which the adoption (or guardianship) occurs. A late semester child placement (i.e., December) can move the teaching release to the following semester (i.e., Spring semester).

In consultation with the departmental Chair, Dr. Success will need to complete the Parental Work Assignment Form.

What about Dr. Works?
If Dr. Works is a twelve-month WVU employee, this faculty member may be eligible (decided in consultation with the supervisor) to take personal leave.

If this second parent is a nine-month WVU non-leave accruing employee, Dr. Works would be eligible for two weeks (ten working days) of uninterrupted time within three months of the child placement, under the WVU Parental Work Assignment Procedure.

Extension of the Tenure Clock – Board of Governors Policy 51:
Dr. Success is permitted to apply for a one-year extension of the tenure clock (i.e., change the critical year) as a result of an adoption (or new guardianship). If Dr. Works is a tenure-track faculty member a request can be made to extend the tenure clock. This request must be made within one year of the child placement. Because there is a one-year limit on when one can apply for Policy 51 in this context, if there is uncertainty, it is advisable to apply for an extension. If the extension is not needed, the faculty member may request that the original critical year be re-instated. Request for Extension of the Tenure Clock Policy 51 Form.

Now, for some more ambiguous questions:

1. Is it possible for Dr. Success and Dr. Works to co-parent their child with a 50-50% split of childcare? Yes, it is possible. Both would need to work with their departmental Chairs/Directors and these supervisors would need to agree. In addition, both faculty need to complete the Parental Assignment Form. Utilization of Policy 51 by both parties could be considered.

2. If Dr. Success’ critical year is extended under Policy 51, how should the departmental P&T committee evaluate the overall research contributions?

For example, the minimum expectation for your department is six articles. The most recent successful tenure cases had seven to eight articles.

a. Should you expect nine-ten articles from Dr. Success because of the extra year added to the contract? No, but as always, the faculty member is expected to meet the other indicators of significant contributions in research as defined by departmental or college documented agreements and guidelines.

b. Should you expect seven-eight articles? Yes. In addition, the faculty member is expected to meet the other indicators of significant contributions in research as defined by departmental or college documented agreements and guidelines.

c. Should you expect six articles because a child was adopted? No. The faculty member is expected to meet all the indicators of significant contributions in research as defined by departmental or college documented agreements and guidelines.

3. Dr. Success did not teach as many courses as the most recent successful tenure cases.

a. Should this faculty member be penalized for teaching fewer courses? Not if the reduction in courses taught is directly linked to utilizing the parental work assignment procedure. In general, the focus should be on the quality of the instructional efforts, not the number of courses taught.

b. What criteria should be used to evaluate this faculty member’s overall teaching performance? The focus should be on the quality of the instructional efforts, not the number of courses taught.

Case 3

Kanya Teach, PhD is a Teaching Assistant Professor (TAP) in the Department of Mustard Making at WVU. She is pregnant, and her anticipated due date is September 30 (or November 25, or June 15). Dr. Teach is eligible for which benefits?

WVU Parental Work Assignment (for 9-month non-leave accruing TAP): Yes.

Because of the nature of the TAP positions, there is less flexibility in the modifications. Therefore, discussions with the Departmental Chair should begin as soon as possible. After consulting with her Chair, she should complete the Parental Work Assignment Form.

Due Date: September 30th
Unless she requests otherwise, she should receive (during the Fall semester) modification of her traditional teaching role, including six to eight weeks of uninterrupted time to accommodate the birth.

Due Date: November 25th
Because November 25th is so close to the end of the Fall semester, she may choose to have the modification of her traditional teaching role during the Fall OR Spring semesters. Once again, she should (unless she requests less) be assigned six to eight weeks of uninterrupted time to accommodate the immediate birth of the child.

Due Date: June 15th (prior to her 1st year of employment)
There is no requirement for faculty to have worked at WVU for any time period prior to the use of this procedure. She can expect to have a modification of her traditional teaching role for her first Fall semester.

Due Date: June 15th (prior to her 2nd year of employment)
She can expect to have a modification of her traditional teaching role during the Fall semester.

Under the WVU Parental Work Assignment Procedure, Dr. Teach has the opportunity for 6 (8) weeks of uninterrupted time to accommodate the birth of her child. Modifications of her instructional assignment are appropriate.

1. Let’s consider modifications of her traditional teaching. What are the guiding principles that contribute to the Chair’s response to her request for modifications?

a. When should Dr. Teach begin conversations with her Chair about PWAP? As soon as possible. In addition, Chairs should routinely inform all faculty of this procedure and the departmental process for initiating PWAP. For example, early morning courses and evening courses may be particularly challenging for parents because newborns typically feed throughout the night. Thus, long term planning is essential to utilizing this procedure.

b. What kinds of modifications might be appropriate for the period following the six (eight) weeks of uninterrupted time during which she will be responsible for her assigned courses at some level. The following possibilities may be affected by the specific needs of the department. In some units, additional personnel might be hired to cover some of the teaching.

i. Monitoring the personnel covering the courses assigned to her.

ii. Monitoring the personnel covering the assigned courses and engaging in other instructional activity (possibly non-teaching instructional activities). Examples may include: developing a new on-line course, developing a new program, activities related to program re-accreditation, etc.

iii. A combination of monitoring one (or more) course(s) and completely taking over one (or more) course(s). For example, she would monitor the personnel covering the courses that meet: Wednesdays from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. AND Monday, Wednesday, & Friday from 8:00 – 9:00 a.m. She would also resume teaching her on-line course and the graduate course that meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:00 – 2: 15 p.m.

iv. Completely take over all of her assigned courses.

c. Is she expected to advise undergraduates? Not during the six (eight) weeks of uninterrupted time to accommodate the birth of her child.

2. What does Dr. Teach’s workload document look like? What are the guiding principles that will shape the Chair’s opinion?

a. Will she be required to teach more courses than normal in the following semester? No

b. Will her 80% teaching assignment be reduced? Will her 20% service assignment be increased? No

c. Could she be asked to develop a new course during the Parental Assignment? Yes, it is possible. This work could be the equivalent of teaching a course.

d. On what basis should the committee evaluate her assignment during the year? The Chair and the Faculty Evaluation Committee should asses the quality of all instructional assignments that occur during the year under review. As a result, the normal proportions of the assignment need not be changed.

Case 4

Dr. French has been a Teaching Associate Professor in the Department of Delicious Pies at WVU for nine years. Dr. Fry is also employed at WVU. Dr. French and Dr. Fry are adopting a baby boy from Ohio. They are not certain when they will be permitted to bring home the baby. Dr. French and Dr. Fry keep their Chairs informed of the updates on the situation. Dr. French is eligible for what benefits? What about Dr. Fry?

WVU Parental Work Assignment Procedure: Yes, they qualify. Dr. French and Dr. Fry have decided that Dr. French will be the “first” parent, defined as the parent taking“...primary responsibility for the child shortly after birth…”

Dr. French is eligible for a minimum of six weeks (30 working days) of uninterrupted time immediately following the placement of the child. Dr. French will also negotiate what the remainder of the semester’s activities will look like (e.g., resume teaching two courses and continue to monitor the personnel assigned to cover the other two courses).

In consultation with the departmental Chair, Dr. French will need to complete the Parental Work Assignment Form.

What about Dr. Fry? If Dr. Fry is a twelve-month WVU employee, this faculty member may be eligible (decided in consultation with the supervisor) to take personal leave.

If this second parent is a nine-month WVU non-leave accruing employee, Dr. Fry would be eligible for two weeks (ten working days) of uninterrupted time within three months of the child placement, under the WVU Parental Work Assignment Procedure.

Extension of the Tenure Clock – Board of Governors Policy 51:
If Dr. Fry is a tenure-track faculty member a request can be made, but not required, for a one-year extension of the tenure clock, as a result of the adoption. This request must be made within one year of the child placement. Because there is a one-year limit on when one can apply for Policy 51 in this context, if there is uncertainty, it is advisable to apply for an extension. The faculty member may request that the original critical year be re-instated. Request for Extension of the Tenure Clock Policy 51 Form.

Now, for some more ambiguous questions:

1. Is it possible for Dr. French and Dr. Fry to co-parent their child with a 50-50% split of childcare? Yes, it is possible. Both would need to work with their departmental Chairs/Directors and these supervisors would need to agree. In addition, both faculty need to complete the Parental Assignment Form.

2. How should Dr. French be evaluated for P&T?

a. Should this faculty member be penalized for teaching fewer courses? Not if the reduction in courses taught is directly linked to utilizing the parental work assignment procedure. In general, the focus should be on the quality of the instructional efforts, not the number of courses taught.

b. On what basis should the committee evaluate Dr. French’s assignment during the year? The Chair and the Faculty Evaluation Committee should asses the quality of all instructional assignments that occur during the year under review.

Alternate-Parental Work Assignment Form