Roderick J. McDavis

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President announces Parental Leave Pilot Program

This message was updated 6/1/12 at 11:45 a.m.

On Friday, Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis sent an email to all faculty and staff about the Parental Leave Pilot Program.

Dear Faculty and Staff,

The purpose of my message is to announce the development of a pilot program of parental leave for benefits-eligible faculty, administrators, and classified employees at Ohio University. Successfully developing this program has the potential to strengthen our ability to recruit and retain outstanding faculty and staff at Ohio University.

This pilot program is the result of the work of a Parental Leave Task Force, which gathered feedback across the University in developing a report for Dr. Pam Benoit, our Executive Vice President and Provost. Dr. Benoit found that the report presented a compelling rationale and a thoughtful set of recommendations. I agreed and approved the development of a pilot program to help us gauge the interest of eligible employees, measure the full costs of the program, and provide the time needed to secure sustainable funding sources. During the pilot phase, the Health Benefits Surplus will be used to fund the program, a funding source identified in consultation with the leadership of Faculty Senate.

I have asked Dr. Benoit and Mr. Stephen Golding, our Vice President for Finance and Administration, to appoint a university-wide implementation team charged with developing a pilot parental leave program ready for enrollment during Fall Semester 2012 with leaves to begin in January 2013. The team will work on:

  • Creating a Pilot Parental Leave Program offering a total of 12 weeks leave (six weeks paid and six weeks unpaid, which can be covered by accrued vacation time and sick leave if available and appropriate, according to FMLA and University policies);

    • Including provisions to include both parents if they are benefits-eligible faculty, administrators, or classified staff and the opportunity for parents to take their leave concurrently or consecutively;

  • Drafting policies and procedures regarding the replacement of employees on parental leave;

  • Designing several pathways for employees and supervisors to use for individuals who want to take parental leave but need to minimize lost work time following a birth or adoption; and

  • Developing a website with information about parental leave policies and related resources for faculty, staff, and students.

We thank the Parental Leave Task Force members for their great work and inclusive approach. The members were: Betty Sindelar (Chair), Joe Bianco, Brian Bridges, Susanne Dietzel, Andrew Escobedo, Donna Goss, Jody Lamb, Laura Larson, Linda Lonsinger, Kathleen Sullivan and Eleni Zulia.


Roderick J. McDavis