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3.5.5 Reduced Teaching and Clinical Duties Policy for New Parents

Last updated on:
Friday, September 1, 2017
Formerly Known As Policy Number: 
3.5.E

This University policy is intended to provide faculty who become new parents with additional flexibility in their work schedule at the time of the birth or adoption of the child. To that end, a faculty member who gives birth may request a reduced teaching load during the quarter of the birth and/or in the subsequent quarter, if these are quarters in which she is normally expected to teach. Similarly, faculty who become fathers or adopt a child no older than five years of age may request a reduced teaching load during the quarter of the arrival of the child or in the subsequent quarter, if these are quarters in which they are expected to teach. During these quarters, the expectation is that faculty will remain on full salary and, except during pregnancy disability leave (if applicable), that they will continue to carry a full complement of professorial activities other than classroom teaching, such as research and scholarship, graduate and undergraduate student advising, committee work, etc. If the faculty member wishes to return to classroom teaching sooner, he or she may do so, but this should be a free choice on his or her part.


For most faculty in clinical departments in the School of Medicine, the closest analogy to classroom teaching with respect to time and effort is clinical service. A faculty member who gives birth may request to be excused from clinical responsibilities (as well as classroom teaching, if any) for 90 days following the end of her pregnancy disability leave. (During pregnancy disability leave, the faculty member is not on duty at all; as noted above, the period of pregnancy disability leave may be up to four months.) New fathers and adoptive parents may request to be excused from clinical duties (as well as classroom teaching, if any) for 90 days immediately following the arrival of the child. During these 90 days, the expectation is that faculty will remain on full salary and that they will continue to carry a full complement of professorial activities, other than clinical duties (and classroom teaching, if any), such as research and scholarship, advising, committee work, etc. If the faculty member wishes to return to clinical responsibilities (or classroom teaching, if any) sooner, he or she may do so, but this should be a free choice on his or her part. If advanced planning efforts of the faculty member and department indicate the need temporarily to hire a physician to provide clinical coverage, funds for this purpose will be provided by the Practice Plan. A justification of request for such funds will be required.


Eligibility under this policy is different from (and more limited than) eligibility under the policies for new parent tenure clock and appointment extensions. This reduced teaching and clinical duties policy is not intended for parents whose newborn or newly adopted child is cared for more than half-time by either a spouse/partner or a childcare provider. A faculty member using this policy would normally be the sole caregiver for at least twenty hours during the work week during the hours from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. To apply for this policy, faculty should complete the form entitled “Application for Reduced Teaching or Clinical Duties for New Faculty Parents.”

In implementing this policy, the faculty member should not be expected to assume a heavier than normal teaching load when returning to regular teaching duty. Department Chairs and Deans should guard against any possible adverse consequences to faculty members on account of using this policy. For instance, while it is proper for department Chairs and Deans to take into consideration an individual’s productivity and contribution to the department or school during the prior year when setting salaries, the same standards should apply to all faculty in the unit without respect to the type of leave taken. The reduction of teaching and clinical duties under this policy does not extend the seven year tenure clock or the ten year appointment clock.