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Faculty Benefits

The University of Houston Powerhouse Faculty enjoy a number of both personal and professional benefits. As university employees they are offered an excellent benefits package, which includes medical, dental, life, accident, short-term disability, long-term disability, and short-term disability, long-term care insurance and flexible spending accounts. Optional benefits include accident, cancer, critical illness and hospital protection plans as well as universal life with long-term care. Medical coverage is provided through Employees Retirement System of Texas (ERS) at no cost to full-time benefits eligible faculty and staff.  Dependent medical coverage and other insurance coverage are available at group rates. Effective June 26, 2015, same-sex spouse/partners and dependent children of those spouse/partners became eligible for medical/dental and life insurance coverage. Progressive policies are in place to assist faculty men and women who become parents. UH offers a variety of tax-deferred and post-tax retirement savings options, and numerous resources to support your overall well-being.

In addition to the personal benefits noted above, there are professional resources and benefits that may influence a prospective Powerhouse Faculty member’s decision to accept a position at UH.  At the University of Houston they will have access to a world-class library and research facilities, technology and graduate student assistance, and numerous programs to help orient them as new faculty members.

Professional Development

Office of Faculty Engagement and Development (FED): FED provides resources to support growth in teaching proficiency and effectiveness, successful faculty career progress, research productivity, and service to the University. Professional development is supported at all stages of faculty careers and for all faculty groups, including actively promoting existing opportunities for professional development.

Provost's Travel Fund: A source of support for Tenured/Tenure-track faculty and librarian travel when presenting peer-reviewed work at important professional meetings.

Global Faculty Development: This Provost initiative helps faculty to defray the costs of engaging in innovative global activities.

National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD): A source of support to faculty providing professional development, training, and mentoring. The services are provided by highly trained and successful mentors that offer a confidential “safe space” for problem solving and can be accessed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. It’s all about learning the secrets to increasing your research productivity, getting control of your time, and living a full and healthy life.

Cougar Chairs Leadership Academy (CCLA): CCLA is dedicated to developing a network of problem solvers in all UH departments who will work together to produce and sustain high quality programs through the leadership of faculty. 

Provost Visiting Scholars Program: Supports visits by faculty who are potential candidates for current or future faculty hires, and contributes to increasing Tier One excellence, student success, and equity and diversity at UH.

Learning and Talent Development(LTD): The Department of Human Resources’ Learning and Talent Development unit offers staff and faculty classes and resources on leadership and management. 

Faculty Awards: The Office of the Provost is proud to sponsor a number of awards for faculty, with the vision of promoting and recognizing excellence at the University of Houston.

Research

Office of Contracts and Grants (OCG): ORPCC works with faculty to ensure compliance with federal regulations in areas concerning human subjects, animal subject, conflicts of interest, grant congruency, and responsible conduct of research. ORPCC conducts congruency reviews prior to award set up (verification of IRB, IACUC, COI, safety approvals).

Research, Integrity, and Oversight (RIO) Office: The Research Integrity and Oversight (RIO) Office is committed to the support and education of the UH research community in all areas of compliance with federal regulations concerning human subjects, animal subjects, conflicts of interest, grant congruency, and responsible conduct of research.

Office of Tech Transfer and Innovation: The Office of Tech Transfer and Innovation manages patents, copyrights and trademarks, and works with faculty and the Intellectual Property Committee to file patents for inventions. The principal goal is to foster research and scholarship through the effective transfer of University-wide technology to industry.

Animal Care Operations (ACO): ACO provides professional veterinary and husbandry services to support animals used in biomedical and behavioral research, including the maintenance of standards for animals, facilities, equipment and procedures. ACO provides such services to faculty, such as animal procurement, training, veterinary consultation in research design, transportation of animals and veterinary care. ACO also provides professional veterinary medical, husbandry and proposal review services to support animals used in biomedical research.

Teaching

Faculty and Departmental Instructional Support (FDIS): FDIS provides professional support services to the University of Houston faculty community with guidance in the use of technology needed in the online environment as well as in the traditional classroom.

Innovative Teaching: Innovative Teaching includes funding resources such as Teaching Innovation Program (TIP), a grant award opportunity for departments to develop and implement a plan for new and innovative approaches to teaching in the online and hybrid environments.  The Provost and Office of Academic Affairs is committed to providing resources and support to departments and faculty who can present a collaborative and innovative plan for accomplishing the TIP program objectives.

Learning Opportunities: The FDIS office provides the consultations, workshops, and knowledge base services to UH faculty or graduate teaching assistants.

UH Writing Center: The UH Writing Center staff can assist in designing discipline-specific writing assignments that effectively communicate your expectations, developing rubrics that ensure workable feedback and reduce the grading workload, and training TAs on an individual and departmental basis.

UH Libraries: The UH Libraries offers services such as teaching support, course reserves, distant education support, off campus access, open educational resources and research services.

Libraries' Technology Training Program: Offers free technology courses. Classes are offered year-round.

UH Bookstore: The UH Bookstore offers Faculty Enlight which makes it easier for faculty to research, discuss, discover, and adopt learning materials.

University Information Technology (UIT): UIT offers classroom equipment, telephone service, and video conferencing assistance.

Dean of Students: The DOS office is available to help faculty promote positive behavior in the classroom. The office aims to help students chart a path toward success, overcoming barriers as they arise and ensuring that the proper support services are being utilized as needed. The Office also provides Student Advocacy Services and is dedicated to helping students find answers and resolutions to any barriers to their success. Faculty and staff can refer students to the Dean of Students office or advocacy@uh.edu.

Center for Students with DisABILITIES (CSD): CSD provides individual and departmental consultation and assistance to faculty and staff regarding student ADA accommodations and disability-related issues. CSD offers faculty and staff customized training on working with students who have disabilities. The services and resources include a dedicated testing center, adaptive equipment, and computer labs.

Veteran Services: Veteran Services is a hub for info and services that address the needs and concerns of our nation’s Military, Veterans and their dependents who attend UH.  Veteran Services has a wealth of knowledge and resources that can assist faculty in the classroom to support Veterans.

Diversity Resources

Center for Advancing UH Faculty Success: The University of Houston is the recipient of a National Science Foundation Institutional Transformation (IT) ADVANCE grant to create a Center for ADVANCING UH Faculty Success. The goal of the NSF ADVANCE program is to increase the number and success of women faculty in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. The five-year ADVANCE grant supports sustainable activities and programs that are part of a systemic effort that will transform the institution.

Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI): CDI fosters an inclusive university community by providing services, programs, and support that engages, empowers, and educates our highly diverse student population and campus partners.

LGBTQ Resource Center: The LBGTQ Resource Center is committed to cultivating safe spaces on campus and providing LGBTQ friendly policies. The center also offers monthly Cougar Ally workshops to assist faculty, staff and students in increasing their awareness of issues that Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer people face.

Women and Gender Resource Center: The Women and Gender Resource Center (WGRC) promotes gender equity, and justice through advocacy, education, and support services. The WGRC serves students, faculty, and staff of all gender identities and expressions.

 

Work-Life Balance

Dual Career Program: Recognizing dual career partner assistance is a crucial element in recruiting and retaining excellent faculty, the University of Houston has initiated a program that offers customized assistance to qualified couples. The UH Dual Career Program is a partnership between the departments, deans, the Provost's Office and broader community.  For additional information, please contact the Office of Faculty Recruitment, Retention, Equity, and Diversity at 713-743-3213 or fac-rred@uh.edu.

Lactation Rooms: Recognizing the importance and benefits of breastfeeding for working mothers and their infants and in promoting a family-friendly work environment, UH has accessible lactation rooms across campus.

Family and Medical Leave: The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides faculty and other employees with up to twelve (12) weeks of job protection for covered family and medical situations.

Parental Leave: Individuals who do not qualify for Family and Medical Leave because they are new to UH or work a part time schedule that does not meet the FMLA minimum, may qualify instead for Parental Leave, which provides up to twelve (12) weeks of job protection for the birth of a child or the adoption or foster placement of a child under 3.

Extension of Probationary Period for Childbirth or Adoption: (page 9): An untenured tenure-track faculty member who becomes a parent due to the birth or adoption of a child and who is responsible for the primary care of that child will be given upon request a one-year extension of the probationary period.  The policy details are listed in the UH Faculty Handbook.

Childbirth and Adoption Workload Redistribution Program: The workload redistribution program is designed to provide flexibility in the teaching obligations of tenured and tenure-track faculty members at UH who are the primary or co-equal caregiver to a newborn infant, or to a newly adopted infant or child.

Sick Leave: Full-time faculty earn sick leave hours at the rate of eight hours per month. Part-time faculty earn sick leave hours at a rate proportionate to the scheduled work hours for their position.

Sick Leave Pool: The sick leave pool provides a source of additional paid sick leave for employees who have suffered a catastrophic illness or injury and have exhausted all accrued leave. If sick leave pool hours are needed the employee or their designee must submit an application to Human Resources.

Back-Up Care: Provides temporary care when regular child or adult/elder care arrangements are not available. Care reservations are required and requests can be made one month in advance or up to the day the care is needed in your safety net, subsidized by your employer, for when disruptions to your regular dependent care arrangements (for children or adult/elders) happen and you need to get to work. Through this arranged temporary care for you, quickly and conveniently, at one of our high-quality child care centers or find a fully screened and credentialed caregiver to come to you, where and when you need one.

Collaborative for Children: Finding quality child care is important and Collaborative for Children is a rich resource for finding the right provider. Collaborative for Children is a nonprofit that strengthens early education throughout Greater Houston.

UH Children’s Learning Centers (CLC): Conveniently located on campus, the Children’s Learning Centers provides a nationally accredited exemplary early childhood program.  The staff is dedicated to ensuring that every child's needs are met in a stimulating and developmentally appropriate environment that is joyful, safe, warm and secure. To assist in the recruitment of Tenured/Tenure-Track faculty and as a hiring incentive, the Provost has reserved 15 slots prior to the start of each fall semester. In addition, current Tenured/Tenure-Track faculty have access to a spot at the CLC if they apply one semester in advance and are interested in a beginning of semester start date.

UH Charter School (UHCS): The UHCS is a Texas Education Agency Recognized Public school serving kindergarten through fifth grade students in a model constructivist program. They provide a student-centered curriculum that enhances the intellectual development, technological fluency and leadership ability of students.

UH Summer Camps: UH offers summer camps for all ages, in a wide range of interests and specialties including sports, music, STEM, pharmacy, art, business and recreation. Many UH summer camps offer discounts for the children of faculty members.

Houston Area Summer Camps: This searchable resource is a rich resource for camps of all types throughout the Houston area.

Health and Wellness Resources

A.D. Bruce Religion Center: The A.D. Bruce Religion Center is a non-denominational facility offering programs and activities in many different spiritual traditions with an emphasis on Interfaith Dialogue. No religious affiliation is required to host or attend an event at the A.D. Bruce Religion Center.

Campus Recreation & Wellness Center: The UH Campus Recreation and Wellness Center is a vibrant facility with indoor and outdoor pools, spas, and a sauna; a fitness zone comprised of weight, cardio, and functional training spaces; an indoor track, climbing wall, multi-purpose rooms for group fitness, and courts for volleyball, soccer, basketball, racquetball, and squash.  Faculty membership rates are available.

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS): The CAPS staff consists of licensed psychologists, doctoral and masters level mental health professionals, and advanced graduate trainees in counseling and clinical psychology. CAPS recognizes the critical roles of faculty and staff at the university, as you are often the frontline contact with students. We offer crisis triage and consultative support to UH faculty and staff. For more details, including self-help resources, please visit the faculty and staff page of our website.

Wellness Education: UH Wellness seeks to empower the campus community to make healthy choices across all dimensions of wellness through evidence-based programs and services that contribute to student success. The office offers educational programs on-request to classrooms, student organizations, and other campus events. UH community members can also take advantage of free educational materials and brief wellness consultations with staff.

Dental Services: The UH Health Center offers high quality, convenient dentistry to the University community, and the UH PPO Dental Insurance is accepted.

Dining Services Nutrition Information The UH Dining Services offers free nutritional news and tips on a variety of topics such as vegetarian menu options, understanding food allergies, dietary sodium and the importance of hydration.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP): The University of Houston’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a service that is designed to help employees find balance between their personal and professional life. The EAP is available to all faculty and staff and provides free and confidential access to Licensed Counselors: Family or marital problems, Stress, Alcohol or drug problems, and Birth of child rearing; Financial Advisers: Retirement planning, Personal budgeting, Debt consolidation, and IRS questions; Legal Services: Criminal Law, Elder Law, Family & Divorce, and Hiring a Lawyer.

UH Health Center: The UH Health Center has been accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) since 2012 and offers general medical, immunization and pharmacy services to faculty and staff.

Campus Pharmacy: The Health Center Pharmacy's limited formulary carries a variety of both prescription and OTC medication at competitive prices. Pharmacy services are available to all currently enrolled students, faculty and staff.

Powerup Employee Wellness: Human Resource’s Powerup Employee Wellness website offers monthly wellness tips on such topics as eye health, nutrition, and cholesterol and stress reduction. Power Up is a wellness initiative that offers weight management programs such as Naturally Slim and Real Appeal, online weight loss programs available to HealthSelect (Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas) plan members.

University Eye Institute: The University Eye Institute has been serving the vision needs of the city of Houston since 1952. Faculty who are insured with HealthSelect (Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas) are eligible for one free eye exam per year. The clinic also offers competitive pricing for glasses and contact lenses.

UH Wellness: UH Wellness seeks to empower the campus community to make healthy choices across all dimensions of wellness through evidence-based programs and services that contribute to student success. The office offers educational programs on-request to classrooms, student organizations, and other campus events. UH community members can also take advantage of free educational materials and brief wellness consultations with staff.

Medical Insurance: University of Houston faculty and staff enjoy a comprehensive choice of insurance plans including medical, dental, vision care, life, accident, short-term disability, long-term disability, long-term care insurance and flexible spending accounts.  Optional benefits include accident, cancer, critical illness and hospital protection plans as well as universal life with long-term care. Medical coverage is provided through Employees Retirement System of Texas (ERS) at no cost to full-time benefits eligible faculty and staff.  Dependent medical coverage and other insurance coverage are available at group rates.

Campus Life

Things to do in Houston: UH offers links to a variety of information about Houston shopping, museums, sports venues and parks. A searchable local event guide is also linked.

UH Calendar and Events: The UH Arts and Athletics calendars are available in one place so faculty can plan for upcoming campus events such as football games, theatre performances and concerts. Many campus events are free or offer faculty discounts.

UH Athletics: The University of Houston Athletics is the home of a wide variety of varsity team sports played on campus. Men’s sports include: Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Football, Golf, and Track and Field. Women’s sports include: Basketball, Cross Country, Golf, Soccer, Softball, Swimming and Diving, Tennis, Track and Field, and Volley Ball.

Blaffer Art Museum: The Blaffer Art Museum furthers the understanding of contemporary art through exhibitions, publications, and public programs of merit and distinction. Its exhibitions and programs are free and open to the public.

Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts: The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts is an interdisciplinary collaboration in the performing, visual and literary arts. Many events are free.

Moores School of Music: The Moores School’s primary purpose is to educate and train professional performers and teachers, but it also serves the community at large with public concerts and class offerings. Priced affordably.

School of Theatre and Dance: The School of Theatre and Dance offers a full schedule of performances each year. With Tony award nominated faculty, and nationally renowned dance faculty, the program provides an opportunity to see wonderful works on stage. Priced affordably.

Faculty-in-Residence Program: Faculty members from an array of disciplines live on campus and work closely with Student Housing & Residential Life staff members to provide opportunities where residents can interact with professors outside the classroom environment.

Houston Association of Realtors (HAR): HAR is the most frequently visited website for Houston real estate.

Employee Perks:

Parking and TransportationIn an effort to better serve UH’s ever-growing campus and community, Parking and Transportation Services now offers eligible faculty, staff and students the opportunity to join COAST (Coogs on Alternative and Sustainable Transportation), a new incentive program for individuals who carpool or utilize alternative and sustainable options, such as METRO to get to campus.

Employee Discounts: As an employee of the university and the state of Texas, faculty have access to discounts with various external vendors.

Passport for Coogs: The Learning Abroad office has been officially designated as a U.S. Passport Facility Acceptance Facility by the U.S. Department of State. As such, they are authorized to receive and execute faculty applications for a U.S. passport book and/or passport card.

Flex Spending Plans: The Flex Spending plans allow our UH employees to enroll in a TexFlex day care account if they have eligible expenses. Health Care account maximum is $2,500.00, Dependent Care account maximum is $5,000.00.

Dependent Care: Tex-Flex Flexible Spending Accounts let you pay for planned out-of-pocket dependent care costs tax-free. The minimum contribution to a Dependent Care FSA is $180 per year and the maximum is $2,500. If you and your spouse both have dependent care accounts, you can contribute up to $5,000 between the two of you. You can only spend what has been taken from your paycheck.

Commuter Spending Accounts (CSAs): CSAs are similar to flexible spending accounts such as TexFlex in that they allow you to set money aside on a pre-tax basis for work-related parking or mass transit.

Cougar Gear: UH employees can enjoy a 15% discount on apparel, accessories and souvenirs when they present their Cougar Card ID at the campus bookstore when checking out.

UH Retirement TRS & ORP Supplemental

Teacher Retirement System (TRS): All TRS-eligible employees at Texas public institutions of higher education and Texas public educational institutions (e.g., K-12 ISDs) are automatically enrolled in the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) on their first day of employment. TRS is a traditional defined benefit pension plan that provides formula-bases retirement annuities. Vesting occurs after 5 years of participation.

Optional Retirement Program (ORP): ORP-eligible employees at Texas public institutions of higher education may elect to participate in the Optional Retirement Program (ORP) as an alternative to TRS. ORP is a defined contribution plan that is similar to a 401(k) plan with employer “matching” contributions. The vesting period is after a year and a day of participation.

403(b) Plan: The tax deferred annuity program or supplemental retirement annuity is offered to all employees, upon date of hire or anytime thereafter. Investments are through life insurance companies and mutual fund companies licensed to do business in the State of Texas. You may defer monies into the plan as either before-tax or Roth contributions or both.

457 Plan: The TexaSaver is a voluntary retirement savings program offered through ERS to all employees, upon date of hire or anytime thereafter. You may defer monies into the plan as either before-tax or Roth contributions or both.