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Penn State Revises Faculty Paid Parental Leave Policy

After revisions to policies HRG18 and HR106, all full-time Penn State faculty members with new children will be eligible for at least six weeks of paid parental leave beginning on July 1. The revisions cover parents with newborn and newly adopted children, as well as those who are newly appointed legal guardians, according to a university release.

“We’re happy to provide our faculty and our staff this valuable time to bond with their new children,” Jennifer Wilkes, interim vice president for Human Resources, said in the release. “These latest updates build on this comprehensive review of our policies, align our paid parental leave practices across the University and continue Penn State’s efforts to retain high-quality faculty and staff.”

Under policy HRG18, faculty members will also have two alternative options — taking a non-paid leave of absence for the remainder of the semester or being relieved of classroom teaching duties for the semester while still completing non-classroom work at full pay.

Two additional changes to HRG18 include extending the unpaid leave option to non-tenured faculty, a reversal of its previous tenured faculty-only parameters, and accounting for situations where two parents are employed by the university.

Under policy HR106, eligible staff members may claim parental leave after working with the university for six months, which is a change from the previous rule of one year. This change gives faculty and staff members consistent waiting periods, whereas originally only faculty members received the six-month period.

Policy HRG18 was adjusted as a collaborative effort between the Penn State Faculty Senate, Penn State Human Resources, the Office of General Counsel, and the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs. In April 2021, the Faculty Senate passed an advisory report on the policy, which eventually informed the university’s updates.

“This is an example of how shared governance can help both the faculty and the University administration to problem-solve cooperatively, productively and for the benefit of our community,” Faculty Senate member Denise Costanzo said in the release. “We believe that this positions Penn State as a leader in how we are supporting our colleagues who are starting families, in whatever way they choose.” 

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About the Author

Sam Fremin

Sam is a senior from Ashburn, Virginia, majoring in journalism and political science & minoring in German and creative writing. He is a Dallas Cowboys fan who relishes the misery of Eagles fans. All hate messages can be sent to [email protected] or @SamFremin on Twitter.

He may or may not read every single comment he gets.

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