40.056: Voluntary Short-Term FTE Reduction for Administrators




June 12, 2006

Initiated by:

James E. Kemper | Assistant Vice President for Finance and Administration for Human Resources

Endorsed by:

Kathy Krendl | Provost

Approved by:

Roderick J. McDavis | President

Signatures and dates on archival copy
  1. Overview

    Planning units and departments can address short-term budget concerns while fulfilling scheduling needs of their full-time contract administrative staff by offering a voluntary short-term full time equivalent (FTE) reduction. The program objectives are:

    1. To offer employees an option of greater workplace flexibility to meet their personal needs.

    2. To offer departments a short-term budget reduction option.

    3. To allow adjustment of staffing to predicted workload variations.

    Employees may arrange with their supervisors, department heads, and planning unit heads for a voluntary, short-term reduction in the employee's position FTE. Review of these arrangements by university human resources (UHR) will include examination of their voluntary nature.

  2. Process

    Voluntary short-term FTE reduction occurs according to the following process:

    1. Employee requests FTE reduction from immediate supervisor (see part (C)(1) of this policy).

    2. Immediate supervisor, department head, and employee clarify terms of reduction and complete the "Voluntary Short-term Reduction Form." This may include specification of the minimum notice for early cancellation; if not specified, it defaults to two weeks; see part (A)(9) of this policy.

    3. Department head evaluates operating needs, service levels, and other FTE reduction requests from within the department (see part (C)(2) of this policy).

    4. Department head forwards request(s) with recommendations to planning unit head for approval or disapproval.

    5. Planning unit head informs the department head and employee of the decision (see parts (C)(3) to (C)(6) of this policy), including any modifications of the duration and vacation accrual described in the submitted "Voluntary Short-term Reduction Form."

    6. The employee confirms in writing his or her acceptance of the FTE reduction as approved.

    7. Department head processes approved FTE reductions with UHR and payroll services.

    8. Approved reductions are short-term reductions with a duration as specified in the submitted "Voluntary Short-term Reduction Form," unless modified by the planning unit head at the time of approval.

    9. The department may cancel the reduction based on the needs of the university or department. The employee may also cancel the reduction. Such cancellation by the department or employee takes effect two weeks after notice is given, unless a different date is mutually agreed upon, or a different minimum notice was specified under part (A)(2) of this policy.

  3. Compensation and benefits

    The following apply to short-term reductions:

    1. Pay:  will be reduced and pro-rated in accordance with the FTE reduction.

    2. Health insurance:  There will be no change in the health insurance coverage or premium.

    3. Payroll deductions:  The employee will need to arrange (with UHR) for direct payments for those months, if any, when pay is zero or so small that no payroll deduction takes place. This applies to health insurance and other payroll deductions.

    4. Vacation accrual:  For the duration of this short-term FTE reduction, the vacation accrual will be adjusted. If the employee works 40-hour weeks for a reduced number of months per year, vacation will accrue at the regular two days per month rate:

      If the employee works fewer hours per week, vacation will accrue on a pro-rated basis, as specified in the submitted "Voluntary Short-term Reduction Form," unless modified by the planning unit head at the time of approval.

      These vacation accrual schedules are an exception to policy 41.010.

      1. 11 months - earn up to 20 days per year

      2. 10 months - earn up to 18 days per year

      3.   9 months - earn up to 16 days.

    5. Education benefits:  no change.

    6. Retirement:  OPERS retirement credit will be earned for every month worked. To receive credit for a month, the employee must earn a minimum of $250.00 and be on active pay status (includes time worked, vacation, sick, and personal-time pay) during that month.

    7. Sick time accrual:  no change (see policy 40.029).

    8. Twelve-Month Pay Plan:  During their short-term FTE reduction, employees may choose to receive their pay in twenty-four equal semi-monthly amounts, as described in policy 41.007.

  4. Notes

    1. The reduction can be in many forms, examples of which include:

      1. Reduced days per week.

      2. Reduced weeks per month.

      3. Reduced months per year (OPERS credit is only available for months worked; contact UHR for advice and counsel).

    2. Department heads and planning unit heads must consider the operating needs of their units and all requests from other employees to determine what should be approved. Requests from other employees and service impact will influence the planning unit head's decision to accept, alter, or deny any requests.

    3. Savings accrued from the FTE reductions will be used at the discretion of the planning unit head to meet short-term budget shortfalls.

    4. Approval of the reduction does not reduce the authorized FTE strength of the planning unit.

    5. The reduction can be extended by mutual consent. A new "Voluntary Short-term Reduction Form" should be completed and the process of part (A) of this policy, followed. All documentation must be forward to payroll services and UHR's records department.

    6. If a "permanent reduction" is later mutually agreed upon, the department and employee will officially change and adjust the FTE of the position, as governed by separate guidelines available from the provost's office.


Proposed revisions of this policy should be reviewed by:

  1. Vice President for Finance and Administration, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer

  2. Administrative Planning Unit Heads

  3. Administrative Department Heads

  4. Administrative Senate