April Minutes:  Faculty Welfare Committee – April 8, 2010


Meeting was called to order at 3:30 p.m.


Members present:

Katrina DuBose (Chair), Charles Boklage, Archana Hegde, Donna Lillian, Chris Locklear, Melissa Nasea, John Reisch. Others: Ruth Ann Cook, John Toller, Lori Lee.


1.         The committee approved the minutes of the March 4, 2010 meeting.


2.         Serious Illness and Leave Policy

                        Katrina briefly reported the events that occurred after the meeting with the faculty senate.  The concerns addressed and discussed were as follows:

-          Senate questioned the concept of primary and secondary caregivers.

-          After discussions the committee members believed that these terms need to be clarified.  Thus, it was agreed upon that the concept of primary and secondary caregiver was not gender specific, rather it was role defined.  That is, father or mother could be the primary or secondary caregiver.

-          Giving examples to explain this point was deemed essential by the group members.

-          Overall the reduction of maternity leave from 15 to 12 weeks was accepted by the most ECU faculty as a necessary step in the current economic climate. However, committee members suggested that distinctions need to be made between 9 and 12 month employees. The concept of “being under contract” with the university was highly debated. 2.4 section of the manual does define the concept of “contract period” stated Chris Locklear. Further, John Toller argued “that any paid leave is the true cost to the institution”.

-          Ruth Ann sated that altering the maternity leave from 15 to 12 weeks meant a 20% reduction cost for ECU.

-          There was a motion by Donna and seconded by Melissa:  To Insert as in FSIL draft:  “For a nine-month employee, if the qualifying event occurs during the summer months when the faculty member is not on contract, the paid leave will be deemed to begin on the first day of the Fall semester.”  Motion defeated.

-          Katrina discussed faculty concerns regarding the adjustments to the FSIL policy and its implication for an individual and the department.

Comment 1


I appreciate very much the good faith efforts being made by the members of the Academic Council to respond to previous concerns raised by the faculty with regard to the Faculty Serious Illness and Disability Leave Policy. I do, however, want to call the committee’s attention to provisions in the current version that were found problematic in the original memo from the Women’s Studies Executive Committee and that are still of concern. These items are contained in Sections 2.4, 3.1.1, and 3.2.3.

Section 2.4 limits leave benefits to the period in which the faculty member is contractually employed and specifies that nine-month faculty members are covered only during the time between Opening Day Convocation for Fall Semester in August and Commencement at the end of Spring Semester.  I am concerned that this provision means that nine-month faculty would get no paid leave if they became sick or had a birth during the summer when not on contract, even if the illness began or the baby was born near the opening day of the semester.

While section 3.1.1 specifies that the leave time for 12-month faculty begins on the date of the qualifying event, it does not mention 9-month faculty. Section 3.2.3., however, states that for birth, adoption or foster care, the primary caregiver must begin leave on the date of the documented qualifying event. This section does not specify if that means an event occurring near the end of the summer would still qualify for some part of the 12-week leave in the fall semester.  Since the majority of our non-administrative faculty are on 9-month contracts, it would help to have clarification. Is the intent of these sections to deny 9-month faculty any paid leave at all if an illness or birth/adoption occurs during the summer months when they are not technically on contract? Such an intent would create serious problems for those on 9-month contracts because a faculty member who had a baby on September 1st  would receive 12 paid weeks to be with the child or to recover from illness and would still have the summer to conduct research and produce publications. The faculty member who had an illness or birth in the summer, however, would get no leave and would have to either sacrifice care of the child or sacrifice work on research and publication, putting him or her at a potential disadvantage in the tenure process. It would be helpful if the committee could get clarification on the start date for 9-month faculty and the intent of these provisions. I cannot find any similar language in the policies at our peer institutions.

                Perhaps more importantly, we have still seen no data that indicate that these policy changes are being driven by fiscal necessity, especially on the east campus. The perception among many of my colleagues is that the administration is being punitive and cutting benefits for no reason. I think this perception has been intensified by the use of anecdotes that suggest a few faculty members abuse the system while no proof has been furnished to demonstrate these claims. Some of my colleagues are also concerned that a denial of benefits to faculty when they are out for the summer suggests that the large amount they do for the university during the period when they are not on contract is unacknowledged and/or unappreciated. To use my own example, I am currently chairing three MA committees. It is very difficult for most students to finish and defend by the April deadline for a spring graduation.  If I refused to schedule their defenses after Commencement Day because I was not technically on contract, these students would have to register for the fall semester and pay extra tuition to get a degree.  This past summer, I also served on the Honors Task Force that met regularly to draft a report for the Provost, and this summer I will be serving on the search committee for the Dean of the Honors College. I also came in last summer to do orientation advising when needed. These tasks had to be done for the greater good of the university, and I did them without being paid.  However, if the university appears not to value such efforts and moves to hold faculty benefits to the strict letter of the law, then I am afraid we will end up with a hostile atmosphere where faculty refuse any and all assignments that are not remunerated. Such a situation actually occurred at an institution in Florida with which I am familiar, and the university ended up having to pay stipends to faculty to carry out some of the essential summer tasks that they had previously done without compensation. I think this would end up being more costly than extending the option of leave time to 9-month faculty for 12 paid weeks regardless of whether the “event” began in the summer or not.

                As we pointed out in the previous memo from the Women’s Studies Executive Committee, policies at our peer institutions specify that leaves for birth/adoption or serious illness must be taken “within a 12-month period: of the event. This provides both the unit head and the faculty member with the flexibility to negotiate a leave time that best serves the interests of the unit and the students. I do not understand why our university feels the need to restrict the time interval in a way that is inconsistent with what our peer institutions are doing . I think it would be important to get an explanation for this provision. If it is being driven by financial concerns, then I stress again that we need to see the data that demonstrate such concerns are real. Otherwise, the perception that the policy is punitive will continue.

                I appreciate that the administration is anxious to proceed to finalize the form of this policy; however, I would point out that there are still many unanswered questions about the exact nature of some of the changes being proposed and the rationales for them. While I think the faculty are willing to compromise in the formulation of a policy revision, the compromises need to be thought out carefully and justified if there is to be widespread support for the new policy. It is in everyone’s best interests to maintain positive relationships between the faculty and the administration. I thank you for considering these comments in your deliberations.


Comment 2

 I am a faculty member of a small department, potentially due to give birth a few days before the fall semester begins, and am eligible for paid leave.  Therefore, I will be directly affected by the proposed revisions to the ECU Faculty Manual, Part VI. Section VII. C. Serious Illness and Disability Leave for Faculty Policy.  I am writing to express my concerns about the specific ramifications of the proposed revisions which would result in significant faculty discontent.  These ramifications do not appear to have been considered thus far and directly target female faculty of child-bearing age who are most commonly untenured or on fixed term contracts. I wish to emphasize that this is a particular concern for female faculty members of small departments, like myself.  These serious and potentially negative ramifications would be caused by two specific changes made by the proposed revisions of the current policy: 

  1. These proposed revisions remove power from unit heads and college deans in making decisions about leave approval and transfer this power to the vice-chancellor. 
  2. These proposed revisions transfer the responsibility of funding leaves to the faculty member’s unit from the vice-chancellor. 

The current policy states that approval of leave is made by the unit head and administrator:

“The immediate supervisor will review the request and forward the documentation to the dean. The dean is responsible for reviewing the documentation and consulting with the Office of Human Resources. The dean will provide written notification of the decision to the immediate supervisor, who will then advise the faculty member. The dean will provide a copy of the notice to the appropriate vice chancellor and to the Office of Human Resources (Section V)”.


The proposed revisions transfer this power of approval of leave to the Human Resources Benefits Counselor and vice chancellor:

1.      Faculty member makes request in writing to Benefits Office (Section 4.1).

2.      Faculty member must provide medical certification (Section 4.2).

3.      Human Resources Benefits Counselor reviews medical certification and determines eligibility for leave (Section 4.3).

4.      “The Human Resources Benefits Counselor will provide the appropriate vice chancellor with written notification of the faculty member’s eligibility for leave with pay under this policy.  For approved leave with pay, the appropriate vice chancellor will issue a letter to the faculty member informing him or her of the beginning and ending dates of leave with pay authorized, with copies to appropriate unit administrators (Section 4.4)”.


The current policy states that leave is funded by the vice chancellor:

“The immediate supervisor is responsible for securing, to the extent possible, substitute personnel for the duration of the faculty member’s leave. Any adjustments in work schedules within the unit are at the discretion of the immediate supervisor with the approval of the dean and are subject to departmental and institutional needs and resources. In recommending approval of a leave, the immediate supervisor will develop a written plan to cover the responsibilities of the faculty member for the duration of the leave.  Funding of substitute personnel is the responsibility of the appropriate vice chancellor (Section V)”.


The proposed revisions transfer this funding burden to the faculty member’s unit:

“The unit administrator is responsible for securing, to the extent possible, substitute personnel for the duration of the faculty member’s approved leave (with or without pay).  The cost of substitute personnel is the responsibility of the academic unit (Section 4.5.1)”.


In summary, the proposed revisions remove unit head and administrator authority on requested faculty leaves but require them to fund such leaves approved by the vice chancellor.  As a result, small departments, such as mine, will be required to accommodate leaves approved by the vice chancellor whether they have the funds to cover her classes or not.  If a department does not have the funds, such as mine, their options would be to cancel her classes or coerce fellow faculty members to cover her classes. 


Without funding to cover leave, the following could result in small departments:

Resulting faculty discontent could not only lead to a drop in faculty morale within departments but also divisiveness between departments since larger departments would be able to fund teaching replacements more easily whereas smaller departments would be forced to increase the teaching loads of current faculty.  This not only affects numerous faculty members but may also lead to negative consequences for a female faculty member who went on leave to care for her new child.  Frankly, the new mother would receive her leave but the workplace ramifications of her leave potentially outweigh the benefit, particularly for female faculty who are untenured or on fixed term contracts.  Many would feel concern for the effects on their future promotion and renewal of contracts and choose not to take leave due to these potential consequences.  Therefore, a reasonable maternity leave benefit for female faculty of small departments would virtually no longer exist under the proposed revisions


This leads to the final point which I would like to highlight: the following statement which concerns discrimination of female faculty is present in the current policy but is clearly omitted in the proposed revisions:


Female faculty shall not be penalized because they require time away from work caused by or contributed to by pregnancy, miscarriage, abortion, childbirth or recovery. Disabilities resulting from pregnancy shall be treated the same as any other temporary disability (Section IV)”.


Clearly, female faculty of small departments who choose to take leave to care for a new child will be informally penalized.


I believe that the proposed revisions to the current policy have been formulated too quickly.  Based on the evidence presented above, it is clear that there has not been thorough examination of the potential ramifications caused by these policy changes for female faculty in untenured and fixed term contract positions at East Carolina University.  In addition, the maximum cost of paying a teaching replacement for my courses in the fall would cost less than $12,000-14,000 depending on the length of leave, not the approximately $50,000 which has been suggested by the administration.  Therefore, the financial justification of making such revisions to the current policy is faulty. 


I strongly urge you to encourage the administration to take more time in examining this policy and reformulate their revisions more carefully by taking the concerns mentioned above under consideration.  Thank you for your consideration of my request.


-          There was an extensive discussion related to the comment made by faculty 2 (addressed as comment 2). Katrina, stated that the faculty member was worried that the financial responsibly to cover a female faculty member’s   leave of absence was moving from the administration to the department.  However, clarifications followed, and Ruth Ann reported that it was always the unit’s responsibility to cover their faculty member’s leave of absence. If there was no money available the unit administrator went to the dean and the others up the higher rank (Dean, Vice Chancellor and others).  Katrina moved and Melissa seconded that this statement be inserted in 4.5.1 as follows:  “If the academic unit cannot secure funding, then the unit administrator is responsible for requesting the necessary funding from the next higher level of administration, up to the level of the appropriate Vice Chancellor.”  Motion carried forward.


Appendix A: Notes from the 3rd Faculty Open Forum related to the FSIL policy changes.  This forum occurred on April 14th, so after the FWC April meeting; however, many of the items discussed at the forum were also discussed in the April meeting or earlier FWC meetings.  As requested by the Chair of the Faculty Senate these notes are included as an appendix to this meeting so all comments regarding the FSIL policy will be accessible to faculty.

Other reports

re: Faculty Senate resolution 10-15, for Part V.II C & D of Faculty Manual.  Moved by Melissa, seconded by Donna, that we accept the revisions as written by Bill Koch in the April 7 email.  Motion carried.

FM – Senate wants more description in the items listed.  Regarding the section on Benefits for Retired Faculty, Melissa will send John Toller the complete list of links she has compiled, for inclusion in the University Policy Manual.  Melissa will review this section and will suggest 1-2 sentences per item.  All remaining FM items will be carried over to the 2010-2011 academic year.

Katrina introduced an item from John Chin in the Office of Research Compliance, dealing with risk management issues as they concern non-ECU members who volunteer in various capacities on ECU campuses and at ECU events.  Katrina suggested that Chin’s office might send out a survey in the Fall to determine what sorts of volunteer work are being done on campus.


Katrina reported that the Faculty Salary Study Committee, of which she is a member, are gathering data and preparing to report in the Fall to Faculty Senate.

The meeting adjourned at 6:15p.m.

Respectfully submitted by Archana V. Hegde

Appendix A


Faculty Forum

Faculty Serious Illness and Disability Leave Policy (FSIL)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Bate Room 1026

12:00 noon - 1:00 pm

Donna Lillian (FWC) gave overview /history and updates for FSIL to date.  Additionally reported other concerns that have been expressed to the FWC:



Question – has there been discussion of having 2 separate policies, one for 9 month employees and one for 12 month employees?  Has not been discussed at length.  When discussed is usually dismissed.  Vice Chancellor Horns responded:  Primary peer institution with med school (UNC-CH) does not have separate policies.  (Academic Council) is open to discussing this and will take it back to her colleagues. 

Do 12 month employees accrue sick leave?  12-month faculty do not, but there are current discussions on that possibly occurring. Should that occur, this policy will no longer apply.


Concern that there is too much input from HR making “medical decisions”  -- HR has too strong a role in the process instead of chair, physician

Confidentiality issue is why HR must decide if employee is eligible


Revised policy related to previous policy – whether you have a relationship with someone else employed at ECU – your benefits if you are married may not be equitable to those who are co-habitating and outside of ECU.  FMLA is different than offering faculty a benefit.  Spouses have different benefits under this revised policy. 

D. Lillian and VC Horns responded – it is a medically based policy.  The mother delivering has had a medical event and the “secondary caregiver” has not.  VC Horns also noted that all policies must go through legal review prior to approval and implementation.

As written in the policy we are opening ourselves up to legal action.  We define it as both employees working at ECU – puts faculty under scrutiny for being primary or secondary – develops inequity and is a discriminatory act.

If it’s based on a medical event and a man’s spouse works elsewhere, then it may that man be considered the primary caregiver and receive the 12 weeks?

The way in which the policy is worded indicates that this could also be a problem in caring for a family member with a serious illness.

Primary and secondary caregiver policy creates a gender tension in the workplace.  Dept chairs might keep these distinctions in mind when making personnel decisions.

D. Lillian:  Source of language re: primary/secondary caregiver was from the memo from Women’s Studies.  Am hearing that the language is a problem – is that correct?

Language is not the problem, but as there are differences in allocation of funds, it’s about the benefits and not the language.


The number of joint leaves (at most 4 according to data presented at March Faculty Senate) is very low and therefore not a true monetary savings (esp on East Campus). 


How will the 12 week leave apply given our teaching mission and the length of a semester?  It will not create cost savings as a result.


Comments from Anthropology – documents at end as Attachment 1 and Attachment 2

Policy is being put in the University Policy Manual – up to administration to enact the policy fairly and that all parties clearly understand the policy.  Should not be dependent upon resources of unit.


Can the policy be changed from starting at the event date to what is best for the department and faculty, especially for faculty who experience the qualifying event mid-way through the semester?


Administrators will have to take to the Board of Trustees (BOT) and the BOT likes to compare ECU to UNC.  Anthropology has given us the data that UNC-CH gives 15 weeks.  Perhaps there should be a compromise for 9 and 12 month.

Jim Mullen:  Parental leave is 15 weeks and serious illness is 60 calendar days at UNC-CH.


Question re: putting 12 month faculty on a policy to accrue sick leave.  When will we know and what will our balance be when this begins?

J. Mullen:  Draft has been started but it is currently tabled.  You would start with an accrual of leave, it could be banked, etc – not too far into it at this time.

Would this policy then separate East and West campus? 

VC Horns – FSIL is because we do not currently have a faculty policy for sick leave/vacation.  If faculty start accruing these, then FSIL would not be necessary.

If these policies on sick leave and vacation occur and would separate the two campuses, then why do we need to revise the policy?


Unclear as to justification for changing the policy based upon data received at Faculty Senate.

VC Horns:  Believe we have provided data that we will see real dollar savings while be as generous as possible and being financially sustainable.

Attachment 1.

The Department of Anthropology

April 12, 2010

Response from Faculty in the Department of Anthropology to Proposed Revisions to Faculty Serious Illness and Disability Policy

At a faculty meeting held on April 12, 2010, faculty members in the Department of Anthropology voted unanimously to recommend reconsideration of the following proposals in the most recent revision to the policy on Serious Illness and Disability Leave for Faculty formulated by the Administrative Council. These recommendations will be submitted to the Faculty Senate for consideration at the April 20th meeting.

Provisions 2.4. and 3.1.1.

     Provision 2.4 states that faculty members on 9-month contracts would not be eligible for leave between the date of spring commencement and the opening day convocation of fall semester. None of our peer institutions restricts leaves in this way, which is discriminatory to 9-month faculty. Our 9-month faculty continue to receive health insurance benefits during the summer. Why should this benefit be any different? Faculty do a great deal of work for the university during the summer and also conduct research vital for tenure and promotion. Administrators, including department chairs, by virtue of having 12-month contracts, will qualify for the benefit but the majority of the teaching faculty will be disenfranchised. We recommend this provision be removed from the current version of the policy.

     Provision 3.1.1. states that paid leave for illness, birth or adoption must occur at the time of the qualifying event. Many  of our peer institutions require that paid leave must be taken “within 12 months of the event.” We recommend the latter because it provides greater flexibility to the individual and the unit to arrange leaves with timing in the best interests of unit priorities and the needs of students and faculty members. Second, the current wording disfranchises 9-month faculty since any event that occurs between commencement in May and opening convocation in August would not be covered under the proposed revision. A person could become seriously ill on the day before convocation and not receive any paid leave. That does not seem congruent with the spirit of promoting faculty welfare.  We recommend changing the language to state, “leave must be taken within 12 months of the qualifying event.”

Provision 3.1.

      The benefit of paid leave has been scaled back from the current 15 weeks to a proposed 12 paid weeks. On east campus, unit administrators are still going to have to hire a replacement to cover the full semester or 15 weeks. The replacement cost, therefore, will be the same whether or not the faculty member is accorded 12 or 15 weeks. If the length of leave time is an issue in health sciences and medicine, then we recommend a change of language to accommodate both situations. We recommend adoption of the language found  in many of our peer institution policies, “a faculty  member subject to these policies shall be granted up to 12 weeks or one academic semester of paid leave.” The assumption contained in this statement is that the unit administrator and faculty member would negotiate the appropriate amount of leave time and thus flexibility would be preserved.

Provision 3.2.3.

     This provision restricts the primary caregiver of a child to taking paid leave on the date of the qualifying event but allows the secondary caregiver to take it any time within the 12-month period following the documented qualifying event. This is inconsistent. We again recommend, for the same reasons stated above, that the language be changed to state that the primary and secondary caregivers may take leave any time within the 12-month period immediately following the documented qualifying event.

Provision 4.5.1.

     This provision marks a significant change from the current policy and shifts the burden of securing replacement personnel and bearing the cost from the office of the appropriate Vice Chancellor to the administrative unit. The existing policy reads:

“The immediate supervisor is responsible for securing, to the extent possible, substitute personnel for the duration of the faculty member’s leave. Any adjustments in work schedules within the unit are at the discretion of the immediate supervisor with the approval of the dean and are subject to departmental and institutional needs and resources. In recommending approval of a leave, the immediate supervisor will develop a written plan to cover the responsibilities of the faculty member for the duration of the leave.  Funding of substitute personnel is the responsibility of the appropriate vice chancellor (Section V)”.


If paid leave for serious illness and disability is a faculty benefit, then it should be covered by the university and not the individual unit. The proposed revision to this practice will discriminate against faculty members in small units with insufficient funds to cover paid leave. Such units will be forced to ask other faculty to cover classes or to drop sections and lose FTE. This provision places an undue burden and an unfunded mandate on individual units and could directly compromise the ability of the individual faculty member to take advantage of a universal benefit.  The proposed policy explicitly states in provision 5.2 that “faculty will not be penalized because they require time away from work caused by or contributed to by conditions such as pregnancy, miscarriage, childbirth or recovery.” Yet the effect of provision 4.5.1. may be to create exactly this kind of penalty. For these reasons, we recommend changing the language of provision 4.5.1. back to the form it has in the current policy, to read, “Funding of substitute personnel is the responsibility of the appropriate vice chancellor.”

Rationale and Concluding Remarks

       To date, the data furnished to justify the proposed changes to the policy are incomplete. There is no calculation of what real replacement costs have been for faculty members taking paid leave on the east campus. In addition, many faculty have taken partial leaves which are treated for cost purposes as full leaves. In the absence of justification, the faculty can only conclude this revision is being undertaken for other reasons. If the real driving rationale is lost clinical revenue, then the obvious solution is separate policies for clinical and non-clinical faculty. There is justification for such a solution as clinical faculty members have superior health care coverage and, when involved in the practice plan at Pitt Memorial Hospital, also have access to childcare. These are not benefits available to the non-clinical faculty. We find it objectionable that the administration’s answer to the potential hardships caused by changes to this policy is to urge faculty to buy supplementary disability insurance.

Given that faculty have not received raises for the past two years while health insurance costs have increased and benefits decreased, the idea that they should go out and buy more insurance to cover benefits the university wishes to remove for no apparent financial reason is appalling and reinforces the perception among faculty that the administration is not interested in improving faculty welfare or fostering the recruitment and retention of talented individuals.



Attachment 2.

Comparison of Faculty Serious Illness and Disability Policy Provisions at other UNC Institutions


Institution:                   Parental Paid              Paid Leave for                      Timing of Leave                    Time availableto                     Responsibility for funding leave

                                   Leave                        Serious Illness                                                                        9-month faculty


UNC-CH                           Full Semester             60 calendar days                  “within 12 months”              year-round, not restricted                   Not specified

                                        (15 weeks)                                                                                                             ( http://hr.unc.edu/EPA-Data/Faculty/facserillness)


ASU                               12 weeks                            same as                          “within a 12-month                  not restricted                                    Not specified

                                                                parental                following birth/placement”                         (www.hrs.appstate.edu/benefits/leave/fmla.php)


UNC-W                             12 weeks                            same as                          “completed within 12             not restricted                                       Dean

                                                                            parental                   months of birth/adoption”                          




UNC-C                           Up to 12 weeks or            same as                         “immediately following          not restricted                                    Provost

                            one academic semester            parental                                birth or placement”                                    (http://legal.uncc.edu/policies/ps-46.html)



UNC-Asheville            Up to one semester          same as                     “leave period begins with          not restricted                                   VC for Academic Affairs

                                                                                    parental                         first day of absence”                     (http://www2.unca.edu/aa/handbook/4.htm#



NCSU                                  60 calendar days                same as                             not specified                         not restricted                                   Dept Chair/Dean

                                                                                    parental                                                         (http://www.ncsu.edu/policies/employment/leave/POL05.30.1.php)


UNC-G                          60 calendar days               same as                   “during first year of care               not restricted                                      Dept Chair/Dean

                                                                                    parental                 following birth/placement”  (http://provost.uncg.edu/documents/personnel/extillness.pdf)


Western Carolina      60 calendar days               same as                           not specified                            not restricted                                      Provost

                    parental                                                                                                                         (http://www.wcu.edu/25363.asp)


*Proposed for

ECU                              12 weeks                              same as                     “day of qualifying event”           restricted to period                            Dept. Chair

                                                                parental                                                           of 9-month contract



Observations:          *We are in line with most at 12 weeks, although UNC provides 15 and UNCC and UNCA provide up to a semester.  We are the only institution to grant additional 21 paid days to secondary caregiver.

    *However, we will be the only university proposing to prohibit 9-month faculty from taking leaves for events occurring in the summer

                                    *ECU and UNC will be the only university restricting timing of leave to date of qualifying event or birth/adoption although UNCC allows  up to one semester.

                            *We will be the only university placing the full financial responsibility for funding leaves on the department/unit chair


The preamble to the policy at UNC-A is the best statement of a positive philosophy to guide a generous benefit policy. We should consider similar language as an indication of similar philosophies:

Members of the UNCA faculty entitled to benefits may apply under this policy for up to a semester off with full pay. While brief absences from faculty duties, including teaching, can usually be accommodated informally, those that involve prolonged illness and/or disability can result in significant burdens to colleagues, especially in small departments.  Furthermore, the faculty person who must call upon that assistance may face uncertainties and discomforts concerning the employment situation at a time of great personal stress.  This policy is designed to overcome these difficulties in a manner consistent with The Family Leave and Medical Act, The Code of The University of North Carolina and The Regulations on Academic Freedom, Tenure and Due Process of The University of North Carolina at Asheville