Announcement of New Faculty Family Leave Policy
During the past year, President Bienen and I reviewed recommendations received at the end of the 2004-05 academic year from the Faculty Family Leave Committee, a group of faculty convened by me to provide advice on issues of concern to all faculty (and, in particular, those of concern to women faculty). In response to the recommendations of that Committee, I am pleased to announce the initiation of expanded accommodations for parents, for childbearing, adoption and childrearing.
The new provisions, effective September 1, 2006, are available to full-time benefits-eligible tenured and tenure-track faculty and to full-time benefits-eligible non-tenure-eligible teaching faculty with a specified length of service. In general, the new program formalizes the availability of ten weeks or one academic quarter of paid leave for a childbearing mother; provision has been added for a similar period of paid leave for either parent of a newly adopted child.
A similar additional period of paid leave is available to parents, male as well as female, who share equally the responsibility for rearing of a young child. Given differences in academic calendars, etc., among schools, slightly different provisions apply for faculty in different schools. The new provisions are in addition to the longstanding availability of a year's extension of the probationary period for untenured, tenure-track faculty with childrearing responsibilities.
Northwestern University is committed to ensuring a family-friendly work environment that will enhance the recruitment and retention of excellent faculty. The University recognizes the stresses that balancing the demands of work and family places on faculty, and the importance of helping faculty balance these demands. We believe that a clearly articulated institutional family leave policy is essential to our goal of recruiting and retaining first-rate faculty, irrespective of gender. This expansion of the family leave policy advances us toward that goal.
I want to extend my thanks to the Faculty Family Leave Committee for their fine work. The Committee was chaired by Katherine Faber, McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science; other members of the committee included Jack Doppelt, Medill School; Janice Eberly, Kellogg School of Management; Kathleen Thelen, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences; and James B. Young, Feinberg School of Medicine.
Lawrence B. Dumas