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III. Faculty Employment Policies and Procedures

III.J. Employment Benefits

III.J.1. Leave III.J.2. State Employee Assistance Service
III.J.3. Professional Development III.J.4. Recreational Facilities
III.J.5. Awards III.J.6. Retirement Incentive Plan

Listed below are some of the employment benefits available to full-time faculty members. Other benefits are described in Faculty Handbook, Section VII.A.1.

III.J.1. Leave

The probationary status of an untenured faculty member in a tenure-track position will continue during a leave of absence, and the time while on leave will be counted as part of the probationary period, unless there is a negotiated agreement to the contrary. See Faculty Handbook, Section III.E.6. For types of leave other than those listed below, see Manual of Policies and Procedures, Policy 1338, Faculty Leave.

III.J.1.a. Educational Leave. Educational leave is awarded to instructional faculty members by a competitive process within each college. Eligibility for such leave is limited to instructional faculty members who have not had such leave in the previous five years and who have been at the university for at least three years. Each college shall develop and publicize its process for selecting its faculty members to be awarded educational leave.

Educational leave provides opportunities for faculty members to pursue full-time independent study, graduate/postgraduate study, research or creative activities that will enhance their teaching abilities, professional growth and intellectual renewal. An educational leave enables a faculty member to elect to take an academic year of leave at one-half salary or one semester of leave at full salary. There is no restriction on the additional earnings of a faculty member while he/she is on an educational leave.

Accomplishing the agreed-upon goal(s) of the educational leave shall be a significant component of the annual evaluation upon the faculty member's return. Recipients of educational leave to be taken during an academic year will be notified by the end of the preceding fall semester and are expected to return for at least one year of full-time service to the university following the leave. The university may require the repayment of the salary paid during such leave if the faculty member fails to return and fulfill this responsibility.

III.J.1.b. Administrative Leave. Administrative leave will be granted to an instructional or A&P faculty member to serve on a jury or appear in court as a witness under subpoena. Administrative leave may also be granted for testing and/or interviewing for other positions, at the discretion of the AUH or supervisor. Reasonable travel time may be included. Advance approval is required for administrative leave and written verification of the need for such leave may be required.

III.J.1.c. Required Leave. The university may require a faculty member to take a leave under circumstances that materially compromise the faculty member's ability to serve the university. For example, a faculty member may be placed on administrative leave in the process of attempting to resolve a work-related problem or dispute.

III.J.1.d. Medical Leave. A faculty member may be entitled to either paid medical disability leave or to peer coverage for leave due to illness, depending on the faculty member's participation in the Virginia Sickness and Disability Program (VSDP) and on the disability leave option chosen. Faculty members enrolled in VSDP must track any sick leave used through a tracking report, which must be signed by the supervisor and submitted to the Office of Human Resources. For more information, see Manual of Policies and Procedures, Policy 1338, Faculty Leave, or contact the Office of Human Resources.

III.J.1.e. Military Duty Leave. If a faculty member is a member of the National Guard or organized Armed Forces Reserves of the United States, he or she is entitled to 15 workdays of paid leave per federal fiscal year (Oct. 1 to Sept. 30) for federally funded military duty. Regardless of whether the duty is fragmented, a faculty member is still entitled to 15 workdays of leave per federal fiscal year. A faculty member must include a copy of his or her military orders or other official documentation with the request for military leave. If a faculty member is ordered to duty because of an emergency, supporting documentation must be supplied upon the return to work to confirm the use of military leave.

III.J.1.f. Political Activity. Faculty members, as citizens, are free to engage in political activities. On timely application, and for a reasonable period of time, an unpaid leave of absence may be granted to a faculty member for the duration of an election campaign or a term of office, at the discretion of the AUH or supervisor. The terms of such leave of absence shall be set forth in writing. The leave must be approved by the AUH or supervisor, dean and appropriate vice president.

III.J.1.g. Family and Medical Leave. It is the university's objective to provide eligible faculty members with up to 12 weeks of family or medical leave following the birth of the faculty member's son or daughter or the placement of a child with the faculty member for adoption or foster care, to care for a family member (son, daughter, spouse or parent) with a serious health condition, or because the faculty member's own serious health condition makes him or her unable to perform the functions of his or her position. For additional details including the status of other benefits during leave, see Manual of Policies and Procedures, Policy 1308, Family and Medical Leave.

III.J.1.h. Additional Educational or Personal Leave. A faculty member may also request a period of unpaid leave for an educational leave beyond the allowable leave with pay or for personal reasons. Such a request may be granted at the discretion of the AUH or supervisor and requires the approval of the dean and appropriate vice president

III.J.2. State Employee Assistance Service

A faculty member is entitled to use the Virginia State Employee Assistance Service in the resolution of personal difficulties. For more details, see Manual of Policies and Procedures, Policy 1110, Substance Abuse, or contact the Office of Human Resources.

III.J.3. Professional Development

III.J.3.a. Support
It is the policy of James Madison University to encourage and support the professional development of faculty members. As funding is available, participation in courses, workshops, seminars and meetings directly related to the goals and objectives of the university will be supported to enable faculty members to improve performance. See Manual of Policies and Procedures, Policy 1403, A&P Faculty and Staff Training & Development.

III.J.3.b. Travel
The university encourages faculty members to attend meetings that will enhance their professional development. Requests for reimbursement for travel and related expenses and to be absent from classes or other duties to attend these meetings must be approved by the AUH or supervisor. For details on the procedures of approval, payment and reimbursement for travel expenses, see Manual of Policies and Procedures, Policy 4401, University Supported Travel.

III.J.3.c. On-Campus Courses
Faculty members may enroll in a limited number and type of credit courses at the by the faculty member. For further information on this policy, see Manual of Policies and Procedures, Policy 1402, Faculty-Staff Waiver of Tuition Program for Non Degree-Seeking Coursework at JMU.

III.J.3.d. Tuition Reimbursement at Other Educational Institutions
The university may authorize departments to reimburse full–time employees for the tuition cost of certain courses taken at other educational institutions if the courses are unavailable at the university and if other criteria are met. For details, see Manual of Policies and Procedures, Policy 1401, Tuition Reimbursement for Courses Taken at Other Educational Institutions.

III.J.4. Recreational Facilities

Each faculty member is entitled to the full use of available recreational facilities at the university subject to existing policies for their general use. See for details.

III.J.5. Awards

The university prides itself on its academic programs and seeks to recognize faculty members who contribute to educational excellence. In each college of the university, there are annual awards to recognize a distinguished teacher and one or more annual awards to recognize Madison Scholars. In each case, a faculty selection committee chooses the award recipients after peer review of the candidates' accomplishments. Although criteria vary among the colleges, eligibility is limited to full–time faculty members with at least five years of service at the university at the rank of assistant professor or above. Individual colleges have annual awards to honor faculty members for specific contributions to achievement of the college's mission.

In addition, the university nominates faculty members as candidates for the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education Professor of the Year award and for the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award. In each of these award processes, the emphasis is on the faculty member's accomplishments as a teacher.

III.J.6. Retirement Incentive Plan

The Retirement Incentive Plan for faculty members is described in Manual of Policies and Procedures, Policy 1333, Retirement Incentive Plan for Faculty. Interested faculty members may contact the Office of Human Resources. See Faculty Handbook, Section VII.A.1., for information regarding other retirement benefits.