Human Resources Guidelines

HRG18 Paid Parental Leave for Faculty

Policy Status: 


Subject Matter Expert: 

Kathy Bieschke, 814-863-7494,

Policy Steward: 

Vice President for Human Resources






The University is committed to helping faculty balance the often conflicting demands of acclimating newly born or adopted children into the family with professional responsibilities. Toward this end, this guideline provides for paid parental leaves as well as release from teaching responsibilities for full-time faculty following the birth of a child, including birth by surrogacy, the placement of a child for adoption with the faculty member, or as appointment as legal guardian of a child/children. It is the intent of this guideline to provide consistency throughout the University community in granting paid parental leaves (and workload accommodations) without limiting any flexibility held by faculty and administrative heads.


  • This guideline does not pertain to faculty members who accrue time off. Faculty who accrue time off should refer to HR106
  • All other faculty members should contact Absence Management in order to initiate their leave for the birth, adoption, or appointment as legal guardian of a child as soon as the date of anticipated birth, adoption, or appointment is known. 
  • Faculty are eligible for paid parental leave after the completion of one semester of service. 
  • Leave does not extend an appointment when a faculty member is not be reappointed. 


Paid parental leave for faculty is defined as the period of time due to a Qualifying Event during which a faculty member is relieved of all responsibilities while receiving full salary.

A Qualifying Event is defined as the birth, including birth by surrogacy, of a child or children to the faculty member; the placement of a child or children for adoption with the faculty member; or the appointment of the faculty member as the legal guardian to a child or children. 


The total amount of time off (with and without salary) available to faculty is dependent upon a variety of factors and is outlined in the policies referenced below.

Leave following the Qualifying Event: Upon notification and request, a leave shall be granted following the Qualifying Event. During such leave, full salary shall be continued:

  • For at least six (6) weeks following the Qualifying Event.
  • If the parents are both full-time members of the faculty, each parent is eligible for six (6) weeks of paid parental leave during the fall or spring semester (or the summer, for faculty with a 48-week appointment) when classes are in session non-inclusive of scheduled breaks (e.g., spring break, Thanksgiving break). The leave must be initiated within one year of the Qualifying Event. 
  • If one parent is a faculty member and the other parent is a staff member, then the faculty member will follow this guideline (unless they accrue time off - see "Eligibility" above) and the staff member will follow Policy HR106
  • Paid Parental Leave taken under this policy will run concurrently with any remaining leave available under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
  • The Faculty member will be required to present the requisite documentation to verify the Qualifying Event. 
  • The University will maintain enrolled benefits for faculty members during the Paid Parental Leave period at the employee contribution rate. 


In addition to the paid parental leave following the Qualifying Event, a faculty member has the option to either take a leave of absence without pay for the rest of the semester or to be relieved of classroom and classroom-related teaching responsibilities at full pay during the semester of the Qualifying Event. In special circumstances, depending perhaps on the timing of the Qualifying Event, the semester free of teaching might follow the one in which the Qualifying Event occurs. For faculty with a 48-week appointment, the leave of absence without pay or release from teaching responsibilities may occur during the summer. 

Faculty members who have chosen to be relieved of teaching responsibilities at full pay are expected to pursue other appropriate non-classroom work, including, but not restricted to, course development, mentorship, scholarly work, student advising, research and other professional service, including departmental and University service, as appropriate and in keeping with reasonable expectations for flexibility, for the period of the semester that does not involve paid leave. 

Arranging teaching replacement throughout the semester is the responsibility of the department head or other appropriate academic administrator.

Use of this benefit shall not adversely affect the faculty member's standing or salary in any manner. Moreover, use of this benefit does not restrict faculty members and their department heads from making further personalized arrangements as necessary and appropriate. A leave with salary does not mean that the faculty member will be required to carry more than a normal load before or after the leave. A faculty member must not be required to "make up" for a paid parental leave. 

The funding for the teaching reduction is provided by the college.

A faculty member in the tenure provisional period may apply for a stay of the tenure provisional period as described in AC23, Promotion and Tenure Procedures and Regulations. Such an application is not in any way connected to these paid parental leave guidelines. 


Other policies should also be referenced, especially:

HR16 - Leave of Absence Without Salary

AC23 - Promotion and Tenure Procedures and Regulations

HRG07 - Absence From Work Resulting From Pregnancy or Childbirth

HRG11 - Family and Medical Leave


Leave and Absence Management 

Date Approved: 

August 1, 2023

Date Published: 

August 1, 2023

Effective Date: 

August 1, 2023