University of Oregon

Policy Statement

3.090 Personnel Practices

Title: Faculty and Classified Staff Participation in Educational and Development Activities

Purpose: This policy is designed to provide guidelines for administering a program of professional development and education for all employees of the University. It draws together relevant policies and procedures and provides guidance for deans, department heads, managers and supervisors in adapting them for their operations. It reaffirms that the university's commitment to education extends to its faculty and staff as well as its students.

Policy:

The University of Oregon's most valuable resource is its people, and meeting the training, education, and developmental needs of academic and classified staff is an important institutional priority. The university encourages its academic and classified staff to participate in educational and developmental activities which augment knowledge and skill levels and enhance the educational and scholarly mission of the institution. It is the responsibility of department heads, administrators, managers, and supervisors to encourage ongoing knowledge and skill development equitable for those whose work they oversee.

Guidelines and Definitions:

The relevance, desirability and timing of participation in educational and developmental activities are determined through work planning and goal setting discussions between an employee and his/her supervisor, with the supervisor having the final approval. While the conditions under which either paid or unpaid work-release time (see below) may be granted differ depending on department workload and demands on resources, such constraints should not be used to prevent these kinds of communications.

The University of Oregon recognizes the relevance of supporting life-long learning as an appropriate goal for all faculty and staff. Given this philosophy and for the purposes of this policy, staff and faculty education and development activities shall include, but not be limited to: 1/participation in classes, workshops, conferences or other professional activities that add to the knowledge or skills needed by the employee to perform his or her duties in the current job; 2) such activities that assist the employee in being better prepared to carry out expected new duties in his or her position; or, 3) such activities aimed at the development of additional knowledge or skills the employee will need to qualify for job or career changes.

There are a variety of ways employees can participate in educational and developmental activities. Examples include enrollment in academic courses; developmental work assignments; participation in mentoring programs; and, attendance at workshops, professional conferences, or training seminars including those sponsored by the Office of Human Resources.

Strategies which allow staff to participate in educational and developmental activities if coverage is a problem include rotating the opportunity for either paid or unpaid release time equitably among employees; adjusting work hours; arranging for other units or personnel to temporarily cover an area; and, encouraging staff to pursue training during periods of reduced work activity.

Work-release time is defined time off (paid or unpaid) during what would normally be an employee's regular work hours. Work-release time for employee education and development must be approved by the individual's supervisor, based on relevance of the activity to employment, operational circumstances, or staff development beyond the employee's current job duties.

As noted above, approved educational and development activities are those offerings which are job or career related. the following areas of knowledge and skill development should be considered as relevant to the success of all university employees and the institution's educational mission and may be viewed as legitimate use of paid work-release time whenever possible.

A) communication skills, including basic skills, conflict management and resolution, negotiation and mediation;

B) team communications and/or team building skills;

C) knowledge and skills related to acting as a member of an ethnically and culturally diverse student body and workforce in an inclusive and respectful manner;

D) knowledge and skills in recognizing and responding effectively to discrimination and harassment;

E) knowledge of university policies, procedures, mission or governance structures; and

F) knowledge and skills in the uses of technology to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the university's business and/or educational practices.

Staff Fee Privileges are available to faculty and staff members in positions of half-time or greater (not including temporary classified employees, graduate assistants, and student employees). Eligible employees may register for a maximum of ten hours of credit per term at the current staff rate. University of Oregon information about Staff Rates for Tuition can be found on the web at >http://hr.uoregon.edu/benefits/<.

Staff fee privileges apply to all Oregon University System (OUS) institutions. For fee information, consult the most current OUS Academic Year Fee Book, which can be found on the web at >www.ous.edu< by clicking on >Index<.

Employees on official leave are elibigle for staff fee privileges if the last FTE and job status on record qualifies them for use of these privileges. During time of leave, employees may take up to 18 undergraduate or 16 graduate credit hours per term.

Funding:

Department funding may be used to pay for the cost of courses, conferences, workshops, and other training activities, assuming the activity will benefit operational efficiency or effectiveness or is otherwise in line with the guidelines in this policy. Expenditures which involve out-of-state travel are governed by regulations which require advance approval.

The Employee Benefit Fund may be available to pay for approved educational and developmental activities, if the activity meets the Employee Benefit fund guidelines. These can be found on the web at >http://hr.uoregon.edu/training/< under #6. Employee Benefit Fund.

Implementation:

Deans, directors, and department heads are responsible for implementing this policy, and for assisting unit heads and supervisors in adopting flexible strategies which promote participation in educational-developmental activities.

Issued: 5-21-85

Revised: 5-15-92

Revision reviewed by President's Staff: 6-3-92

Revisions reviewed and approved by President's Staff: 10/11/00

Re-issued by: Vice-President for Administration


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