Faculty leaves of absence policies
The Department Chair has the authority to approve paid leave up to 15 calendar days. Anything over 15 calendar days requires the Dean’s approval.
It is department policy to further delegate approvals of leaves up to 5 contiguous business days to the faculty member in question, with the understanding that such absences must conform to all stated policies. In addition, all absences that fall within this 5 day time period must be reported to the Chair and Department Manager in advance
All planned absences from campus longer than one business day’s duration must be reported to the Department Chair and Department Manager via email.
Planned absences come under campus policy from the CAPM, which mentions “attendance at professional meetings”. The department construes this phrase to include trips to collaborate with fellow researchers and travel in connection with specific UC-related duties, such as system wide meetings and meetings on other campuses, and service to other government agencies.
Any medical leave of absence whether your own or your family members as defined in APM 715-0, that are over 5 working days, please consult with the Divisions’ Academic Coordinator (Laura Lopez).
This policy document is intended to cover faculty activities that require them to be present at specific times on campus, such as lectures, laboratories, and office hours. It discusses what absences are permissible, which need to be approved in advance, and the roles and responsibilities of faculty, teaching assistants, and the department chair when unforeseen absences occur. The policies in this document are meant as a supplement only and not meant to replace or supersede all applicable information regarding faculty absences as found in the APM or CAPM.
Short-term faculty absences are of two types, planned absences and emergencies. Policies and procedures differ for the two types.
Planned absences are those that are foreseen well in advance and for which substitutes can and should be found for important activities that faculty will miss. Sabbatical leaves and leaves for off-campus consulting are of longer duration and are covered by other campus policies.
Emergency absences are unexpected and are such that detailed plans for that specific absence cannot be made in advance. Any medical leave of absence whether your own or your family members as defined in APM 715-0, that are over 5 working days, please consult with the Divisions’ Academic Coordinator (Laura Lopez).
The following departmental policies are adopted that conform to and extend where necessary the above campus and divisional policies, for planned absences and emergency absences separately.
II. PLANNED ABSENCES
Paid leave of 15 calendar days or less to attend professional meetings
Paid leave of 15 calendar days or less for service to governmental agencies
Teaching obligation: it is expected that faculty will arrange for pedagogically valuable material to be presented that fully fills every scheduled classroom session regardless of whether they are present or not.
- The department expectation is that faculty will miss no more than 3 lectures per class per term. A larger number of absences may be approved by the Department chair in exceptional circumstances, provided appropriate plans are in place. Faculty planning to miss more than three lectures must obtain approval from the chair.
- Depending on circumstances, the following activities may be suitable in-class alternatives to substitute for missing faculty. The overriding criteria are that the chosen activity be both pedagogically meaningful and appropriate to the goals of the course:
- Lecture by another qualified faculty member or other qualified
person (such as a knowledgeable postdoctoral fellow)
- Lecture by TA(s), by prior agreement (see below)
- Midterm examination
- Lecture by another qualified faculty member or other qualified
- Rescheduling classes to accommodate faculty absences: This will not in general be possible for large classes. For certain small classes (e.g., graduate classes), it may be possible to lengthen or reschedule lectures to a new time by mutual agreement of the students. Faculty are expected to provide extra help in the form of office hours or extra lecture sessions to students who cannot make the new times.
- TA responsibilities for planned faculty absences:
- Delivering lectures to substitute for absent faculty is an expected part of TA duties
- Such lectures need to be planned well in advance by mutual agreement between the faculty member and the TA
- Appropriate support should be provided including guidance from the faculty member on the pedagogical goals plus final lecture notes and materials (e.g., a ready-to-go powerpoint)
- TA workloads may need to be adjusted, depending on the amount of effort needed to prepare and deliver lecture(s). Per the TA Bargaining Contract, faculty must not assign more work than can be completed in 220 hours for the quarter.
TAs should be able to accomplish their assignments in an average of 20 hours per week, but may be required to work more than 20 on occasion. A TA with an appointment of 50% or less shall not be assigned a workload of more than 40 hours in any one week or assigned to work more than eight (8) hours in any one day. The number of hours worked in excess of twenty (20) hours per week may not total more than 50 hours per quarter.
- Faculty should make every effort to make up for missed office hours by mutual agreement with their students.
III. EMERGENCY ABSENCES
- Emergency leaves due to sickness are covered by CAPM policy. Note that the department chair must approve all such leaves up to 5 work days, and the Dean must approve all such leaves in excess of 5 work days.
- A faculty member who finds themselves unable to conduct a class on account of an emergency is responsible if circumstances permit for reporting their absence immediately to the Chair and to the department Administrator by email and by cell phone.
- If at all possible, the faculty member has first responsibility for finding substitute pedagogical activities during their absence. See list under item (2) for acceptable substitutes. Faculty are expected when planning a course to have substitute activities sufficient to accommodate an absence of 5 business days that can be called on in case they are suddenly absent. These activities should be known and discussed in advance with TAs and other course assistants. The policy is similar to planned absences in that the possibility for emergencies should be anticipated in advance, discussed at the beginning of each quarter with TAs and teaching assistants, and plans and supporting materials made known in the event that an emergency absence occurs.
- Additional responses will depend on how much notice is available and the length of the anticipated absence.
- The department chair will assist in covering emergencies lasting longer than 5 business days. He/she may call on other qualified faculty to fill in as needed.
- It is expected that TAs will fill in for absent faculty in emergencies.
- TA workloads may also need to be adjusted over time to reflect extra effort put in to covering emergencies. Per the TA Bargaining Contract, faculty must not assign more work than can be completed in 220 hours for the quarter.
TAs should be able to accomplish their assignments in an average of 20 hours per week, but may be required to work more than 20 on occasion. A TA with an appointment of 50% or less shall not be assigned a workload of more than 40 hours in any one week or assigned to work more than eight (8) hours in any one day. The number of hours worked in excess of twenty (20) hours per week may not total more than 50 hours per quarter
- Making up missed lectures. This will not in general be possible for large classes but may be possible for certain small classes, such as graduate classes. Remarks in (4) above for planned absences apply.