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Temporary Change in Duties for Full-Time Teaching Faculty Who Expect a New Family Member through Birth or Adoption

Old Dominion University complies with Federal and State laws when overseeing employee benefits for faculty, staff, and administrators. Further, the University supports members of the University community in areas of work-life balance, including policies related to telecommuting, job sharing, flexible scheduling, extension of the tenure clock, and other institutional practices. For the University, such benefits become important components of faculty recruitment and retention. For full-time teaching faculty, several key benefits are particularly important during semesters in which births or adoptions are anticipated.

           The University is committed to supporting teaching faculty who expect a new family member through birth or adoption by encouraging flexible work arrangements such as research, advising, and other non-teaching duties that would ease the transition from work to parental care. As such, faculty members are eligible to request a temporary change in duties that would cover a maximum of one semester for the birth or adoption of a child. This change of duties would only release the faculty member from teaching duties. Faculty must consult with her/his chair in order to arrange for one semester (fall, spring or summer) in which she/he has no teaching responsibilities. In the event both parents have teaching responsibilities in the same department and both wish to access this policy, they are required to propose staggered periods to ensure that the instructional needs of the department are met.

           An application process is available for ten-month teaching faculty with anticipated due /adoption dates during the year. Upon approval, the faculty member is assigned non-teaching duties with pay for the approved period. For ten-month faculty who access this policy during the summer, pay equivalent to a three-credit course is available, providing the faculty member has regularly taught in the summer in previous years. A fund is maintained in the Office of Academic Affairs for departments that request support for replacement faculty during the semester or summer term.


           Application process

           Eligible faculty must submit a written request for a temporary change in duties to their respective department chair. The request, to be made as soon as practicable, must include the following information:

  • The circumstances that have prompted the request for a change, including the anticipated birth date or adoption date of the new family member

  • A statement regarding the dates of the proposed change in duties

  • Information about the manner in which the change in duties may be implemented

           Note: If applicable, a separate application is required for those who wish to request an extension to his/her promotion and tenure review date.

The department chair will review the request, prepare a recommendation and forward it, along with the faculty member's request, to the dean of the college. The dean will forward a recommendation to the provost and vice president for academic affairs for final approval.


           Temporary Change in Duties for New Parents and Approved Leave

           If a faculty member uses her sick leave for pregnancy or childbirth, a physician's certification is required, as specified in the University's sick leave policy. If the faculty member who has approval for a temporary change in duties is also eligible for FMLA leave, that leave will run concurrently for up to 480 hours or 12 weeks. Medical certifications and other requirements of FMLA must be met. Although the use of this policy mirrors portions of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), eligibility criteria are different such that the proposed change in duties may be available when FMLA is not (e.g., the new parental policy regarding a temporary change of duties is available in the first year of employment regardless of hours worked).

- Approved by the president
January 22, 2015


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