Granting of professional improvement leaves, staff: an ad Hoc professional improvement leave committee shall consist of the director of human resources, the supervisor of the staff member making the request, the classified staff representative, and two (2) other staff members, one supervisory and one support staff, nominated by the director of human resources and approved by the president. The president has the authority to modify this structure on a case-by-case basis in the event of a conflict of interest or other pertinent cause.
An employee’s application for professional improvement leave shall be in writing to the division administrator, who may deny the request in writing or request the director of human resources to form the professional improvement leave committee. The professional improvement leave committee shall make its recommendations to the division administrator, who will then submit his/her recommendation to the President. The President may submit the recommendations of the professional improvement leave committee, the division administrator, as well as his own, to the board of trustees.
The employee’s initial request shall include:
- The nature of the leave including, if applicable, the name of the proposed institution and/or the location of the proposed education experience.
- The outline of the experiences to be provided to the applicant.
- The anticipated value of the leave to the college.
- The timing and length of the leave.
The written request for professional improvement leave shall be filed no later than December 1 of the fiscal year preceding the fiscal year in which the employee desires to leave.
Professional improvement leaves shall be limited to purposes that clearly promise reciprocal advantage to the college and the applicant. In making its recommendation to the President, the professional improvement leave committee may also consider the following:
- The previous contribution and successful service of the applicant to the college.
- The extent to which plans submitted for use of time while on leave are definitive and professionally constructive.
- The extent to which the stated object of the leave could ultimately impact the service provided by the college through the employee’s increased competence in his/her field.
- The recency of advanced graduate work or professional study completed by the applicant.
- Reasonable and equitable distribution of leaves across the classified workforce.
- Budgetary limitations.
- The means to continue to offer the service provided by the employee during the employee’s leave of absence.
The professional improvement leave committee has the authority to request additional or supplemental information from the applicants. If the professional improvement leave committee feels that a conference with the applicant would be helpful, it has the authority to schedule an interview.
It shall be understood that during a professional improvement leave, an employee shall not accrue vacation or sick days. However, the employee is entitled to the medical benefits for which they were otherwise qualified for the period of professional improvement leave.
Any deviation from the stated plan for professional improvement leave shall be reported immediately to the President. The President shall inform the professional improvement leave committee of the changes. The professional improvement leave committee shall inform the President, in writing, if it determines that the recipient is not meeting the conditions of his/her appointment. The President shall convey this information with his recommendation to the board of trustees. The board shall determine its appropriate action and render the final decision on the matter, which may include disciplinary action up to and including termination from employment.
To view the policy, go to POL 5.075 Professional Improvement Leave