Chapter 9 – Academic and Family Life Balance

Chapter 9 contents

9-AA General Provisions

9-A Paid Parental Leave

9-B Family Responsibilities

9-C Childcare Responsibilities of Probationary Faculty

9-D Length of Probationary Period

9-E Expectations Concerning Scholarly Productivity

9-F Phased Retirement

9-G Coordination and Conditions of Paid Parental Leave

The University seeks to assist faculty in balancing their academic commitments and family life.  In particular, it is in the interest of both the University and society as a whole that the demands of childbearing and childrearing not discourage talented women and men from pursuing academic careers.

9-AA General  Provisions

(1)     When this Chapter mentions a “child” that means a biological or adopted child of the faculty member (or of the faculty member’s spouse or partner) who lives with the faculty member and is under six years of age.  When this Chapter mentions an accommodation that is available for “child or children,” it is available once no matter how many children.

(2)     When this Chapter mentions the “primary caregiver” of a child, that means the parent who has the greater childcare responsibility, if such responsibility interferes substantially with academic responsibilities, and the child is not cared for more than half-time by a spouse, partner or childcare provider.

(3)     When this Chapter mentions “faculty” that includes benefits-eligible non-tenure-track faculty as well as tenured and probationary faculty, except where a provision specifically refers to probationary faculty.

(4)     When this Chapter mentions “partner” that means Registered Domestic Partner as defined by USC Benefits.

(5)     Requests under this Chapter are submitted by the faculty member for the Provost’s decision, and the department chair and dean will have opportunity to comment. When this Chapter uses language like “may request,” or “may approve,” it indicates a possible accommodation that the Provost will consider after receiving the considered comments of the department chair and dean.

(6)     When this Chapter mentions that the individual is “entitled,” the right is provided automatically upon proper notification by the individual to the Provost, as long as the notification is accompanied by documentation satisfactory to the Provost.

9-A Paid Parental Leave

A full-time faculty member is entitled to receive a ten-week paid parental leave in connection with the birth or adoption of a child, if the faculty member is the primary caregiver of the child (or will be, immediately following the birth).  When this ten-week paid parental leave is taken within a single semester, the faculty member will have no classroom teaching assignments during that entire semester. For the timing of the leave, coordination with other leaves and benefits, and other conditions, see Section 9-G, below.

9-B Family Responsibilities

To accommodate family responsibilities, including caring for a child or an aged or ill relative, the Provost may approve

(1)     part-time leave, with reduced duties at proportionate compensation, up to two years.

(2)     unpaid leave of absence, up to one year, to run concurrently with any leave provided by law.

(3)     modified responsibilities, up to two years, where the faculty member is given special consideration as to assignments of substantial service, large classes, night classes, and new course preparations.

See also Section 9-G (1).

9-C Childcare Responsibilities of Probationary Faculty

To accommodate the special responsibilities of the probationary period with the demands of childrearing, a probationary faculty member who is the primary caregiver of one or more children,

(1)     shall be entitled to a half-time leave, with half-time duties at half pay, up to a maximum of two years.

(2)     may request, as an alternative to part-time leave, a reduced teaching and service load for up to a maximum of two years (so that there is a total two course reduction or equivalent over that period, including application of Section 9-A), without reduction in pay, subject to the approval of the Provost.

(3)     as another alternative to part-time leave or a reduced teaching and service load, may request a limited period of assistance such as provision of a laboratory technician or teaching assistant, subject to the approval of the Provost.

See also Sections 9-AA and 9-G (1).

9-D Length of Probationary Period

(1)     If a probationary faculty member gives birth prior to 12 months before the Tenure Decision Date, she shall be entitled to an exclusion of one year from the probationary period, but she need not take advantage of the exclusion and may be considered for tenure at the usual time, as provided in Section 9-D (6).  If she also qualifies under Section 9-D (2) she is entitled to an exclusion of two years from the probationary period,

(2)     A probationary faculty member who is the primary caregiver of one or more children in the period prior to 12 months before the Tenure Decision Date shall be entitled to an exclusion of one year from the probationary period.

(3)     After advice of the Committee on Probationary Deadlines, the Provost may approve up to one year exclusion from the probationary period of a probationary faculty member to accommodate unusual circumstances beyond those mentioned in paragraphs (1) and (2) that significantly reduce the person’s ability to make progress on scholarly work, according to the usual standards applied by the committee.

(4)     A faculty member’s leave under this Chapter, if it is at least one-year or half-time for two years, shall entitle the faculty member to an exclusion of one year from the probationary period.

(5)     If the Provost approves exclusions under more than one of the preceding subsections, two years will be excluded from the probationary period.  Absent special approval by the Provost for extraordinary reasons, however, there shall not be more than a total of two years exclusion from the probationary period or extension of the Tenure Decision Date, or both, for any reason or combination of reasons under this Section or other policies.

(6)     A faculty member for whom there has been an exclusion from the probationary period will nevertheless be entitled, if he or she wishes, to be considered for tenure as if there has not been an exclusion.

See also Section 9-AA.

9-E Expectations Concerning Scholarly Productivity

A faculty member’s taking of a paid parental leave or an exclusion from the probationary period as provided in this Chapter will not raise the expectations for scholarly productivity on account of the leave or exclusion.  This standard shall be applied at the department, school and University level and, at the candidate’s request, will be explained in requests to external referees.

9-F Phased Retirement

See Section 10-B.

9-G Coordination and Conditions of Paid Parental Leave

(1)     Leave and benefit provisions under this Chapter are to be fully coordinated with each other and other leave and benefit provisions, so as to avoid duplication.  No more than one of the accommodations mentioned in Section 9-C is provided for caregiving for a child or children.  It would be unusual to approve an accommodation based on caregiving for a child or children under Section 9-B in addition to an accommodation under Sections 9-C.

(2)     Accordingly, paid parental leave will run concurrently with any leave provided by law in connection with the birth or adoption of a child.  Similarly, when a faculty member is eligible to receive maternity-related disability benefits or paid family leave benefits while on leave connected with the birth or adoption of a child, the paid parental leave will run concurrently and supplement  the benefits that the individual would be entitled to receive, so as to equal full pay for up to ten weeks.

(3)     A faculty member’s commencement of any leave or benefit with which paid parental leave is to be coordinated under this Chapter, whether before or after the birth, will be deemed a notification that the member is exercising his or her entitlement to paid parental leave, subject to appropriate documentation satisfactory to the Provost.  If a faculty member has commenced paid parental leave but does not exhaust his or her entitlement to ten weeks, subsection (4) applies to the remainder of the entitlement.

(4)     The remaining paid parental leave shall be scheduled as mutually agreed between the faculty member and his or her Dean, in situations where the faculty member is not eligible for, or has exhausted, maternity-related disability benefits, leave provided by law, and paid family leave benefits, but has not exhausted his or her entitlement to ten weeks paid parental leave under this policy.

  • The Dean’s agreement on the scheduling of the parental leave under this subsection (4) will be based on the academic needs of the School.
  • In all cases the paid parental leave shall be concluded within one year of the birth or adoption of the child.
  • Paid parental leave is not convertible to a cash benefit under any circumstance.

(5)     If a second parent is a University faculty member who qualifies as the primary caregiver at some point within the first year after the child’s birth or adoption, the second parent to qualify is also entitled to a ten-week paid parental leave, subject to the conditions and coordination stated above, but does not have an entitlement under other provisions of this Chapter.