Faculty Handbook

Continuation of Benefits for Faculty on Leave of Absence No Pay Status to Receive Prestigious Awards, Fellowships and/or Special Assignment Opportunities

Last updated: 4/22/1987

IV. ACADEMIC HUMAN RESOURCES POLICIES (Cont.)

This policy was issued by the Office of the Provost on May 6, 1985 and revised on April 22, 1987. 1

Michigan State University encourages continuing professional development by faculty members. This encouragement takes many forms, e.g., substantial time as part of regular assignments devoted to scholarly, research, and other creative activities; sabbatical leaves; an environment supportive of scholarship such as a major research library.

Continuing professional development that is in the interest of both the individual faculty member and the University may be facilitated when a faculty member receives a prestigious award, fellowship, or special assignment opportunity requiring a leave of absence without pay, with partial pay or a reduction in percent employment below full-time, normally for periods usually six months or longer.

Examples of prestigious awards, fellowships, and special assignment opportunities for which leaves of absence without pay often are requested include the following:

  1. Prestigious awards and/or fellowships provided by national and international organizations and foundations supporting research and scholarship broadly defined, for example, those provided by the National Endowment for the Arts/Humanities, Guggenheim Foundation, Fulbright Commission, Rockefeller Foundation, National Science Foundation, Social Science Research Council.
  2. Prestigious awards and/or fellowships provided by national and international organizations and foundations supporting research and scholarships in specific disciplines, for example, those provided by the Wenner-Green Foundation for Anthropological Research, Charles Warren Center (of Harvard University), Sloan Foundation, and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
  3. Assignments with international, national, and state public agencies and institutions, private businesses, foundations, and organizations, and professional associations.
  4. International faculty exchange programs and participation in teaching/scholarly activities with educational institutions in other countries with which Michigan State University has important formal cooperation or linkage agreements.
There are instances when such awards, fellowships, and special assignment opportunities, as a consequence of the policy of the source institution, do not include benefits similar to those provided by Michigan State University for full-time tenure system faculty.

Request Procedures

On receipt of the above-referenced types of awards, fellowships, and special assignment opportunities for which the source institution does not provide applicable benefits, a tenure system faculty member may request, with written endorsement of the applicable chairperson/director and dean, that the Office of the Provost arrange with the Benefits office for the continuation of the applicable University benefits (see below) not provided by the source agency or institution. Such written requests must provide a statement that the leave of absence without pay is to accept a prestigious award, fellowship, or other special assignment opportunity that is in the interest of both the individual and the University. Information in support of the request must include: a) specifics of the award/fellowship or assignment, including the regular University benefits provided as well as not provided by the source agency/institution; b) documentation from the source agency/institution of its benefits policy; c) the specific assignment(s) to be performed while on leave of absence without pay; and d) how the activities entailed in the award, fellowship, or special assignment opportunity advance the interests of the individual and the University. Requests must be initiated by the faculty member, and the continuation of benefits is not an entitlement; each case is to be reviewed on its merits.

On approval of such requests, the Office of the Provost will arrange with Human Resources for continuation of the faculty benefits stated below for the faculty member for a leave without pay of up to one year, with an additional one-year extension based on a written request approved by the chairperson(s)/director(s), dean(s), and the Provost. In exceptional cases, benefit eligibility may be continued for an additional period.

Possible Benefit Coverage

Those benefits set forth below which are not provided by the applicable source agency/institution (for which full-time Michigan State University faculty appointed nine months or more are now eligible) may be provided for faculty members for whom continued benefits eligibility is approved by the Office of the Provost. (The benefits continued will be limited to those in force for the individual immediately prior to leave of absence without pay status);

  1. Health Care coverage with applicable University contribution;
  2. Dental plan coverage;
  3. Basic Employer Life;
  4. Long-Term Disability (LTD);
  5. Employee-paid life insurance if the employee continues to pay premium;
  6. Accidental Death and Dismemberment coverage if the employee continues to pay premium.
Salary-related benefits, e.g., University contributions to the 403(b) Base Retirement Program, social security, etc., will not be provided during a leave of absence without pay. Continued benefits which are linked to an individual's salary status, e.g., expanded life insurance, LTD, will be based on the applicable University salary rate immediately prior to the leave of absence without pay.

Requests for eligibility under this program should be directed to the Associate Provost and Associate Vice President for Academic Human Resources after review and concurrence by the chairperson(s) and dean(s)/separately reporting director(s).


Footnote:

Eligibility under this program is provided for tenure system faculty members who are recipients of prestigious awards or fellowships or participate in special assignment opportunities which are in the interest of both the individual and the University. Individuals holding either full-time appointments in other academic personnel continuing appointment systems (the Librarian Continuous Appointment System, the Continuing Appointment System for the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams/National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory, the Academic Specialist Continuing Appointment System, MSU Extension Continuing Appointment System,and those holding Executive Management appointments) or full-time regular, university support staff appointments also are eligible to request coverage under this policy if they are recipients of awards, fellowships, or special assignment opportunities comparable to those described above. Requests from individuals appointed in academic personnel continuing appointment systems should be forwarded to the Associate Provost and Associate Vice President for Academic Human Resources after review and endorsement by the applicable unit administrator and dean/separately reporting director. Requests from university support employees should be forwarded to the Assistant Vice President for Human Resources after review and endorsement by the applicable unit administrator and dean/separately reporting director, or other appropriate administrator.

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