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Attendance and Absence


Promptness in being on the job, at the specified time, as well as completing the contracted work week is expected. When an employee cannot for any reason report to work on schedule or when an employee will be absent from work it is the employee’s responsibility to notify the supervisor. Advanced notice enables the supervisor to meet the obligations of the unit in the absence of the employee.

Leave of Absence Without Pay

A full-time regular employee upon application in writing and upon written approval by the President may be granted a continuous leave of absence without pay for a period of time not to exceed one year.

The President, at his/her/hir discretion, may require the written approval of the supervisor before accepting the written application of an employee for a leave of absence without pay.

The President, at his/her/hir discretion, shall determine if the purpose for which such a leave is requested is proper and within sound administrative policy.

At the expiration of leave of absence without pay, the employee shall be reinstated without loss of any rights unless the position is no longer available due to reduction of staff caused by curtailment of funds or a reduced workload. Failure of the employee to report promptly at the expiration of a leave of absence without pay, except for satisfactory reasons submitted in advance, shall be cause for termination of employment by the institution.

Petitions for leave without pay should be submitted prior to the eighth of the month in which leave is requested. In order for the University payroll not to be delayed in processing at the state capital, an employee who requests leave without pay will be removed from his or her salary position and placed on the hourly category on the payroll records. No reduction in pay will result from this procedure, but the employee will not receive his or her check on the same date as those employees on the salaried payroll. Hourly paychecks will be distributed one pay period in arrears.

If a faculty member submits a request of leave of absence for an entire semester, then the following deadlines should be observed. Requests for leaves during the fall semester should be submitted no later than March 1 of that calendar year. Requests for the following spring semester should be made on or before October 1 of the preceding fall. Leaves of absence granted for requests submitted after these dates will be contingent upon the ability of the University to make satisfactory arrangements to fulfill responsibilities for the absent faculty members.

Illness and Other Absence

Faculty on nine-month appointments do not accrue sick leave days.  Arrangements are to be made with the Department Chair/School Director for coverage of classes or other duties.  Under extraordinary circumstances arrangements to cover classes or other duties because of faculty absence due to sickness may be made after consultation between the Department Chair/School Director, the College Dean, and the Provost.

Faculty members should notify their Department Chair/School Director promptly concerning all absences from instructional duties.  Notification is to be given even if arrangements have been made by the faculty member to cover responsibilities.

The Shepherd University form, Class Arrangements for Faculty Absences and Faculty Sick Leave Report, must be filed for each occasion of absence.  Forms on which the cause for absence is indicated as personal illness or cause charged as sick leave must be filed with the Department Chair/School Director.

The University makes no deductions from salary for faculty absence from classes or other responsibilities because of illness unless: (1) the absence continues for more than a few days, or (2) in case of protracted illness, a substitute is employed.  Such cases will be handled on an individual basis as they arise.  If a substitute is employed, the President must approve the temporary appointment.  A Department Chair/School Director shall report his or her absence from class or other duties to the Dean.

Parental Leave for Faculty

All full-time faculty (tenured, tenure-track, and non-tenure-track faculty) on 9-, 10-, or 11- month contracts who do not accrue sick/annual leave are provided parental leave benefits from Shepherd University with full pay and full benefits, as specified herein; specifically, these faculty will be released from teaching and other responsibilities upon any of the following (for which documentation is required):

Faculty covered by this benefit who become parents, regardless of gender, are able to request and be granted paid parental leave during the regular academic year through a modification of assigned duties for one semester with no reduction in salary or benefits. The modification of assigned duties shall in no way be equivalent to less than half of an academic semester’s release from duties (approximately seven weeks), and every effort will be made to address the unique needs of the faculty member while addressing the needs of the department and the University in planning such modifications of assigned duties. The faculty member will consult with their Department Chair/School Director and/or Program Coordinator, Dean and/or Graduate Dean, and the Provost to arrange for the modification of assigned duties under this policy.  Modifications could include, but are not limited to, a simple seven weeks of leave during the given semester; a reduction of 50% of faculty workload responsibilities over the course of a full semester; opportunities for the faculty member to cover at least 50% of their workload or 50% of the semester employing an online or blended delivery format rather than in-person or a compressed course format; and opportunities to cover half of a faculty’s member’s full semester workload in the semester(s) before and/or after the leave is taken, allowing for a full semester of leave.

The modification of, or release from, a faculty member’s traditional duties would occur for the semester in which the birth/guardianship/adoption occurs. If the birth/guardianship/adoption occurs near the end of a semester, faculty may be released from or modify duties for the following semester in accordance with the policy outlined in the previous paragraph; if it occurs mid-semester, faculty will consult with their Department Chair/School Director and/or Graduate Program Coordinator, Dean and/or Graduate Dean, and the Provost/VPAA to determine when and how to best assume leave, taking into account the faculty member’s anticipated needs. It is expected that regardless of timing, faculty will be granted and will take the equivalent of a half semester of release. Exigent circumstances may require extended release time beyond the half-semester timeframe (i.e. associated medical emergencies of parent and/or child, etc.), in which case, faculty will consult with their Department Chair/School Director and/or Graduate Program Coordinator, Dean and/or Graduate Dean, and the Provost/VPAA to establish arrangements that adhere to the equanimous spirit of this document, while simultaneously addressing the needs of the department, the institution, and the students it serves.

Faculty should request the modification of duties as soon as possible for the birth/guardianship/adoption of a child. The HR Office should be contemporaneously notified and will be engaged in the discussions to ensure equitable treatment of the faculty member. Department Chair/School Directors of faculty on parental leave are expected to address the teaching needs of their departments when faculty request leave.

This parental leave benefit is provided to all faculty covered by the policy.  In all cases, whether parental leave is used pursuant to this policy or by 12-month faculty using sick-leave/annual leave, no person may discriminate against the faculty member or make any adverse judgment or action as to the faculty member on the basis of use of parental leave. A participating faculty member will not be asked to teach extra course(s) before or after the leave, as an “offset” for the released/modified time.

The use of parental leave does not impact a tenure-track faculty member’s path toward tenure.   However, the faculty member may choose, at their sole personal discretion, to apply for an extension of “Tenure Clock”, pursuant to the procedures specified in the Faculty Handbook for extension of the tenure-track period.

Justification for a parental-leave policy at Shepherd University: 

Witness and Jury Leave

Upon application in writing, a permanent, tenure-track, provisional or temporary employee of Shepherd University may be granted leave as a witness or juror. Annual leave will not be charged under the provisions of this policy.

When, in obedience to a subpoena or direction of proper authority, an employee appears as a witness for the Federal Government, the State of West Virginia, or a political subdivision thereof, the employee shall be entitled to leave with pay for such duty and for such period for required absence.

When attendance in a court is in connection with an employee’s usual official duties, time required in going and returning shall not be considered as absence from duty.

When an employee serves upon a jury, or is subpoenaed in litigation, the employee shall be entitled to leave with pay for such duty for such period of required absence.

Military Leave

An employee who is a member of the National Guard or any Reserve Component of the Armed Forces of the United States shall be entitled to and shall receive a leave of absence without loss of pay, status, or efficiency rating, for all days in which engaged in drills or parades ordered by proper authority, or for field training or active service for a maximum period of thirty (30) calendar days in any one calendar year ordered or authorized under provisions of state law

Without loss of pay shall mean that the employee shall continue to receive normal salary or compensation notwithstanding the fact that such employee may receive other compensation from federal sources during the same period. Furthermore, such leave of absence shall be considered as time worked in computing seniority, eligibility for salary increase, and experience with the institution.

An employee shall be required to submit an order or statement in writing from the appropriate military officer in support of the request for such military leave. The terms of this policy shall not apply under the provisions of any Selective Training and Service Act, or other such Act whereby the President may order into active duty the National Guard and the Reserve Components of the Armed Forces of the Federal Government.