Work-Family Balance Resources for Faculty

Catholic social teaching affirms the importance of growing in community and respecting family life. Over the years we have developed a variety of policies and programs at UST to support faculty in their efforts to balance work with their commitments to children, elders, and others. Below are descriptions and links to policies and programs designed to help you find resources, arrange parenting leave, stop the tenure clock (upon birth or adoption of a child), and identify relevant Human Resource programs. Questions? Contact Ann Johnson or Joe Kreitzer.

Finding Local Day Care, Eldercare, and Back-up Care

UST Child Development Center

The University of St. Thomas Child Development Center (CDC) is located on the St. Paul campus on the corner of Finn Street and Grand Avenue.  The CDC website is a great source of information about the facility, teachers, and the Center's programs.  The CCD is open on weekdays year-round and has a structured fee schedule based on the child's age and schedule of care.  For more information, please contact the CDC at or 651-962-5040.

Using the Employee Assistance Program to find day care, eldercare, or back-up care

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP), brought to you by Guidance Resources, provides cost-free professional consultation and referral services for staff and faculty.  Immediate family members are also eligible for EAP services.  Your benefits include:

  • Confidential counseling on personal issues
  • Legal information, resources, and consultation
  • Information, referrals and resources for work-life needs-including day care and eldercare resources
  • Financial information, resources, and finding a financial planner
  • Online information, tools, and services
  • Free online will preparation

For more information, please visit the EAP section of the UST Human Resources website.  To set up an EAP account, just click the link on the HR page to register and start searching for resources!

Policies for Managing Pregnancy, Adoption, and Family Leave

“Stopping the Tenure Clock” (extending the probationary period)

St. Thomas recognizes the impact of significant family changes or illnesses. The following policies allow you to extend the number of years of your probationary period. To pursue an extension, discuss with your department chair as soon as possible. Plans to extend your tenure clock need to be approved in advance by your department chair, dean, and provost. (Exerpted from the Faculty Handbook; chapter 4, section III B, parts 1 and 2; April 29, 2014) 

B. Extensions to the maximum probationary period

The maximum time on tenure track can be extended:

1. Because of the birth or adoptive placement of a child. A faculty member may extend the tenure clock by one year when an extension is needed due to the birth or the adoptive placement of the faculty member’s child. A second one-year extension is permitted if the faculty member has a second child during the probationary period. The maximum amount of time that can be added to the tenure clock under this exception is two years.

In order to give the university adequate notice of an extension, faculty members must inform their chair/program director, their dean, and the executive vice president/chief academic officer in writing that he or she will need an extension by January 31st of the calendar year when the tenure application is due. When a qualifying event occurs after January 31st of the calendar year when the tenure application is due, an extension can be obtained at any time prior to the submission of the tenure dossier to the department tenure committee. In the case when an extension is obtained in the year prior to when the tenure dossier is originally due, if the candidate has already undergone the peer review of teaching that is mandated in the year prior to submission of the dossier or the external review of scholarship, then these will not be repeated but will be included in the dossier when the faculty member applies for tenure in the following year.

2. Because of an extended illness of the faculty member or an immediate family member. A faculty member may extend the tenure clock by one year at the request of a tenure track faculty member in the case of an extended illness of the faculty member or an immediate family member (e.g. parent, spouse, child) requiring significant care from the faculty member. Ordinarily even if multiple such qualifying events occur during a faculty member’s probationary period, the maximum amount of time that can be added to the tenure clock under this exception is one year. In extraordinary cases, or as required by law, the executive vice president/chief academic officer may grant a tenure track faculty member additional extensions. All timing requirements related to requesting an extension are as in exceptions granted for the birth or adoptive placement of a child immediately above.

Parental Leave Policy for Faculty

The parental leave policy is designed to allow a faculty member to be out of the classroom for one semester, coinciding with the birth or adoption of a child. The faculty member is allowed a two-course release from teaching and is able to make up his or her third course obligation after returning from leave, or may choose to teach one course during that semester. See below for specifics. (Exerpted from the Faculty Handbook; chapter 11, section VI C, part 3; April 29, 2014)

b) Parental Leave 

Parental Leave is available to full-time, tenured, or tenured-tracked faculty members. This policy provides for up to two (2) weeks of paid leave, for either birth or adoptive mothers or fathers. The faculty member may also request a two (2) course release from teaching to facilitate a full semester leave for the birth or adoption semester. The faculty member choosing this option would agree to teach one (1) course during the birth or adoption semester or to make up his/her third course obligation at another time within one (1) year of the leave period, and would also arrange with the department chair to perform an appropriate number of service activities to compensate for non-covered leave time. The two (2) course release replaces the Parental Leave and Short-Term Disability leave benefits. If both parents are eligible for a faculty parental leave benefit, they may either share one parental leave (e.g., each person takes a single course release) or they may designate one of them to take the leave. The details for sharing a faculty leave must be approved by the Office of Academic Affairs. Parental leave will normally be taken the semester in which the birth or adoption occurs or the semester immediately after. A faculty member with a pregnancy due date occurring during a semester is provided with the two weeks of paid leave in addition to her 6 or 8 weeks of disability leave period.

Note: Full-time non-tenure-track faculty members may also be eligible for some reduction in teaching load during the birth/adoption placement semester and should discuss this possibility with the relevant department chairperson and with the Provost.


How to implement the parental leave policy: As soon as you have determined an arrival/adoption date, and as early as possible, talk with your department chair about the semester of parental leave you are seeking (in accordance with the policy parameters). You will need to develop a plan to make up the third course obligation and clarify your service obligations during the leave period. Then you should summarize your proposal, including all details, in an email message to your chair, who will indicate approval/support and send your proposal on to the dean for her/his approval. The dean sends your proposal to the Provost for final approval. 

Family and Medical Leave Policy for Faculty

Numerous leave options are available to faculty members. Depending on the situation, more than one type of leave may apply. When appropriate under applicable laws and UDT guidelines, those leaves will run concurrently. (Exerpted from the Faculty Handbook; chapter 11, section VI C, part 1; April 29, 2014)

1. Family and Medical Leave
Under Minnesota State law, faculty will be granted a leave of up to six weeks upon the birth or the adoption of a child. The leave must begin within 6 weeks after the birth or adoption; however, if the child must remain hospitalized longer than the mother, the leave may not begin more than 6 weeks after the child is discharged. The same or a comparable position will be provided upon the faculty member’s return. A faculty member intending to take parenting leave should inform his/her supervisor as soon as possible, but at least 30 days in advance.

Under the provisions of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), St. Thomas provides eligible faculty with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year for the birth or adoption of a child, to care for a spouse or an immediate family member with a serious health condition, or when unable to work because of his/her own serious health condition. The faculty member may be required to provide 30 days advance leave notice, if leave is foreseeable, and medical certification of the serious health condition must be provided at the time of the request for leave. Leave may be denied if requirements are not met.

Since any leaves of absence must be reported to, and approved by the appropriate dean and the vice president, chairs should contact them as soon as the request for a leave is made to verify the eligibility of the faculty member and the specific benefits available. Also, the faculty member requesting leave needs to contact the Benefits Team at 651-962-6519.

A) Eligibility for FMLA
To be eligible to take leave under this policy, the faculty member must have worked at St. Thomas for at least 12 months and for at least 60% FTE during the year preceding the start of the leave. (For paid benefits, please refer to Part 2 above, Pregnancy Leave and Part 3 above, family Emergency/Parental Leave under this section (K) and Short-Term Disability, Section E.)

B) Type of Leave
An eligible faculty member is entitled to take up to 12 weeks of FMLA leave in “any 12-month period”. St. Thomas has elected to use the “rolling year” calculation method to determine eligibility for FMLA benefits. For administrative flexibility, St. Thomas has adopted the following guidelines:
(1) With approval, a faculty member taking FMLA leave for the birth of a child or because of an adoption or foster care may take leave intermittently or by working a reduced workweek. Parental leave under the FMLA expires one year after the birth or placement.

In the case of intermittent or part-time leave, the portion of the workweek that is used for FMLA will be determined on a pro rata basis. The same pro rata method is used for part-time faculty members. St. Thomas may dock a faculty member’s pay in hourly increments for FMLA leave. NOTE: Intermittent leave is not available to the birth mother
following birth during the presumptive six (6) week disability period for a regular birth or eight (8) week disability period for a cesarean birth.

Another option open to the department head is to transfer the faculty member to an alternative position in order to accommodate the intermittent leave or a reduced work schedule.

Additionally, the following conditions apply:
(a) State agency or judicial action is required in the placement of a foster child;
(b) Leave for adoption may begin prior to actual placement if the faculty member’s absence from work is necessary to the placement, e.g., counseling, interviews, court appearances, and travel to a foreign country for purposes of adoption.

(2) FMLA leave, to care for a seriously ill family member or because of a faculty member’s own serious health condition, may be taken when medically necessary. Under this policy, a family member is defined as a legal spouse, parent or child:
(a) Spouse is the person to whom the faculty member is legally married; this does not include domestic partners.
(b) Parent is a biological parent or person who had day-to-day responsibility to care and financially support the faculty member when the faculty member was a child. This does not include parents- in-law.
(c) Child means biological, adopted, foster child, stepchild, legal ward. The term includes children age 18 or over if the child is incapable of self care due to a mental or physical disability.

St. Thomas will require the health care provider to certify that the faculty member’s presence is necessary. Verification of the relationship may also be required.

C) Benefits Available During Leave
(1) FMLA leave is generally unpaid for faculty members, however there are some instances where salary continuation would apply. For paid benefits, please refer to Part 3, Pregnancy Leave and Part 4, Family Emergency/Parental Leave under this section (K) and Short Term Disability, Section E.
(2) St. Thomas will maintain benefit coverage and continue making the appropriate employer contributions during the duration of the FMLA as if the faculty member had not taken the leave, however, St. Thomas’ obligation to maintain these benefits ceases when and if a faculty member informs St. Thomas of his/her intent not to return to work. At the time leave is approved, St. Thomas will provide notice to the faculty member of the method by which the faculty member is to make payment of the faculty member’s share of the various benefit costs. However, if the faculty member’s share of the cost is more than 30 days late, the benefit coverage will lapse. Upon return to work, this faculty member’s benefits will be reinstated without any waiting period, or any proof of insurability, if allowed by the various laws and contracts. The timing of the reinstatement is also dictated by various laws and contracts.
(3) When the faculty member returns, following the pre-approved FMLA leave, he/she will be restored to the same position held when the leave started or to an equivalent position. An equivalent position must have the same pay, benefits, and working conditions, and must involve the same or substantially similar duties, skills, effort, responsibility and authority.
(4) Under very limited circumstances, a faculty member who qualifies as a “key” faculty member may be denied restoration to employment.

Faculty Development Resources for Faculty Parents

Resources from the Faculty Development Library

The Faculty Development Library has a number of books on the topic of balancing family life with an academic career.  The full list of books in the FD Library can be found by clicking here.

Mentoring for Success Program

The Faculty Development Center sponsors a faculty Mentoring for Success Program. Junior faculty can find mid-career and senior faculty through this program who will help them navigate work/life balance issues and find appropriate resources. For more information, see the MSP web page.! Resource Page! is an online resource that houses articles on balancing work and family while pursuing an academic career, curated by Ann Johnson.  You can view the articles by clicking here.

Other Resources

Tuition Remission for Family Members

The University of St. Thomas provides tuition assistance to its employees and their spouses and dependents.  For information on this benefit, please visit the Human Resources website.

To receive tuition remission benefits at UST the Tuition Remission Application must be completed and submitted to prior to the first day of the semester in which the employee, spouse, or dependent is taking the course.  Any form submitted after the course has been completed will be rejected.  All applications must be submitted online.

To receive tuition remission benefits at ACTC Schools employees must contact the ACTC institution their spouse/dependent would like to attend to obtain information about tuition remission applications and deadlines.  The employee must comply with the ACTC institution’s guidelines and deadlines.  Upon notification of acceptance from the ACTC institution, the employee must complete the ACTC Tuition Waiver Application and submit it to UST Human Resources.

In addition, St. Thomas is part of a Catholic College Cooperative Tuition Exchange, and employees exchange benefits with other Catholic colleges and universities in the U.S. For more information, see

UST Human Resources Health and Wellness Program

The University of St. Thomas is enhancing our employee wellness program to encourage and promote employee health and well-being.  At the core of the enhanced program will be a new benefit: The Vitality Wellness Program, an interactive, rewards-based program, which employees can use to set wellness goals and develop individualized wellness plans.  For more information on Health & Wellness, click here.

Articles on Work-Family Issues

Articles on work-family issues by Teresa Rothausen-Vange, Professor of Management in the Opus College of Business at St. Thomas and Susan E. Heckler Endowed Chair in Business Administration.  She is also the recipient of the John Ireland Award for Outstanding Achievement as Teacher-Scholar, awarded in 2011 by the Office of Academic Affairs.

"Job Satisfaction and the Parent Worker: The Role of Flexibility and Rewards" in Journal of Vocational Behavior, 1994. Read it ‎‎here.

"Family-Friendly Backlash--Fact or Fiction? The Case of Organizations' On-Site Child Care Centers" in Personnel Psychology, 1998. Read it here.

"'Family' in Organizational Research: A Review and Comparison of Definitions and Measures" in Journal of Organizational Behavior, 1999. Read it here.

"Research Productivity, Gender, Family, and Tenure in Organization Science Careers" in Sex Roles, 2005. Read it here.

"Management Work Family Research and Work Family Fit: Implications for Building Family Capital in Family Business" in Family Business Review, 2009. Read it here.

"Unpacking Work-Family: Core Overarching But Underidentified Issues" in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 2011. Read it here.