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Childbirth and Adoption Workload Redistribution Program

Workload Redistribution Program Associated With Childbirth and Adoption for Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty

Download a copy of the program here

Purpose. The University of Houston (UH) has a vested interest in the long-term productivity and retention of its faculty. This 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. In doing so, this program serves to protect the University’s investment in its faculty while supporting the University’s research mission.

Guidelines. A tenured or tenure-track faculty member who is serving as primary caregiver for his or her newborn or newly adopted child qualifies for a workload redistribution and for completing their reallocated workload from an off-campus location. This guideline applies to both faculty members within their first year of service at the university as well as other faculty members who are eligible for flexible workplace initiatives described in MAPP 02.04.10. Departments are expected to be flexible in dealing with temporary interruptions in normal service. Therefore, department chairs shall work with faculty to arrange one regular length semester of relief from formal classroom teaching or other time-rigid duties for the birth or adoption of a new child for any eligible faculty member. The redistributed workload shall be designed to provide maximum flexibility in the faculty member’s schedule and advance the faculty member’s career trajectory while being consistent with the Faculty Workload Policy. The applicant shall not be assigned any compensatory teaching load either before or after the granted relief.

Eligible faculty members are those that are either tenured or tenure-track and will be the primary caregiver for the new child for the given term. The faculty member can be assigned alternate duties during their teaching relief term to meet workload reporting requirements. Such alternative duties must advance the faculty member’s career and research trajectory. Examples include, but are not limited to, preparation of scholarly manuscripts or other work products, peer review of manuscripts or grant proposals, grant proposal preparation, professional service to their profession, etc. In the case that both parents are employed by UH, each may take the teaching relief, either in consecutive semesters or simultaneously (in which case both would be considered co-equal caregivers).

Faculty shall not be required to take leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) since the flexibility in teaching obligations granted under this program is not a leave. However, they may voluntarily choose to take any appropriate leave under the FMLA that may be available to them, separate from any teaching relief granted under this program.

Application Process. Faculty who desire redistribution of their workload under this program should discuss their plans with their Department chair at the earliest opportunity in order to assess the potential impact it will have on the department’s teaching and/or instructional plans. The procedure for obtaining approval is parallel to that outlined in MAPP 02.04.10 which requires the approval of the immediate supervisor and the next-level supervisor, corresponding in this case to the department chair and the dean. Granting of a workload distribution under this specific program does not require approval by the Office of the Provost. However, once approved a copy of the approved documentation should be forwarded to Faculty Affairs for inclusion in the faculty folder.

Probationary Period. Unrelated to this workload redistribution program, faculty members who become parents during their probationary period are eligible for a one-year tenure clock extension upon approval by the Provost.