Faculty who are considering making a request for Parental or Medical leave should start the process with a discussion with their Department Chair. Usually, Parental Leaves are granted for one academic semester. The length of time requested for short-term medical leave is worked out between the faculty member and department chair (who will often consult with the Dean’s Office). At the conclusion of those meetings the faculty member should contact Senior Associate Dean of Faculty to discuss the specifics and parameters of the impending leave. The purpose of this contact, which may occur in person, via email, and/or by phone, is to share a summary of the meeting with the department chair, as well ask any questions about the leave process. During this meeting, faculty will be instructed to reach out to the WFU HR Benefits Counselor to let HR know of the decision to request the Medical or Parental Leave. Furthermore, faculty considering Parental or Medical Leaves should visit the WFU HR Parental Leave Policy website. Also, the faculty member will need to fill out the Certification of Health Care Provider form once the terms of the leave have been agreed to (HR can provide assistance in completing this form). Finally, the Dean’s Office will provide the faculty member a letter with the terms of their leave, which will be shared with HR, Payroll, the Provost Office, and the Department Chair.
Faculty who may have a prolonged medical condition, illness or injury, should consult with their Department Chair and HR regarding long-term disability.
Two final notes on leaves. First, faculty members are contractually obligated to return to campus for at least one academic year after completion of any paid leave, or to refund leave salary and benefits to the University if they do not return. The second point is specific to pausing a faculty member’s “tenure clock.” As outlined in the Faculty Handbook:
“An extension of the probationary period will be granted for other leaves including disability leaves and family and medical care leaves. The length of the postponement of tenure review for family or medical leave will be based on the total number of semesters the individual is on such leave: one or two semesters will constitute grounds for a one-year postponement, while three semesters or more will constitute grounds for a two-year postponement.
Upon notification of the Dean, postponements of tenure review for documented reasons as described above will be automatically granted unless the faculty member requests in writing to the Dean and the Provost that there be no delay, and the request is submitted prior to March 1 of the year in which the tenure review was originally scheduled. Except in the most unusual cases, the postponement of tenure review as a result of any combination of leaves will not exceed two years.“