Office of the Provost

Policies & Guidelines FAQs

1. Where can I find University Policies and Procedures?

You can find University Policies and Procedures here. Policies and procedures are grouped by general subject areas, such as "Academic Affairs" and "Personnel." Additional guidance can be found in the Faculty Handbook, which contains information based on University Policies and Procedures. Please see the "Faculty Guidelines and Processes" section for other information for faculty.

2. How much vacation time does the University grant to faculty members?

Deans, directors, department chairs, faculty, faculty librarians, and research associates on 12-month appointments are entitled to one month vacation (20 days) each year. Faculty members holding a less-than-12-month appointment or who work part-time do not earn vacation benefits. (For further information, please refer to the Faculty Handbook, Chapter II, Employment, Vacations.)

3. Does the University provide sick leave for faculty members?

Under the University’s Faculty Medical and Family Leave Policy, an eligible faculty member can receive paid leave for a period of up to 26 workweeks, during any 12-month period in the event of his or her own serious medical condition or illness, contingent upon certification by a health care provider.

Faculty members who have been employed at the University for 24 calendar months or more are eligible for up to a maximum of four weeks of paid leave during any consecutive 24-month period in the event of a serious medical condition or illness of a spouse, biological or adopted child, or parent for whom the faculty member has a major responsibility. (Please refer to University Policy 02-11-01, Faculty Medical and Family Leave, for eligibility requirements and specific details.)

For more information and answers to other Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on FMFL, please visit: the FMFL page and FMFL FAQs.

4. Does the University provide maternity and parental leave for faculty?

While there is nothing at the University that is officially titled “maternity leave,” the University offers medical leave and family leave under the FMFL policy. A pregnant faculty member may wish to take medical leave for the birth of a child and/or family leave to care for a child. Medical leave is paid leave and family leave can be paid or unpaid depending on the length of leave taken.

The medical portion of the University policy covers leave requests due to pregnancy and childbirth. The eligible faculty member submits a completed Certificate of Physician or Practitioner, indicating the amount of leave medically necessary (this is generally six weeks for a normal pregnancy and delivery, eight weeks for a normal pregnancy with a surgical (c-section) delivery). Eligible faculty members on medical leave continue to receive full salary and medical insurance benefits.

The family leave portion of the policy provides four workweeks of paid leave for eligible faculty members within one calendar year after the birth or adoption of a child. This time can be taken as four straight weeks or pro-rated (one day a week for 16 weeks for instance); the faculty member and his or her department work together to decide how best to utilize the family leave. Unpaid leave of up to one calendar year to care for a child is also provided under this policy. Please refer to 02-11-01 Procedure for Faculty Medical and Family Leave.

For more information and answers to other Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on FMFL, please visit: the FMFL page and FMFL FAQs.

5. Does the University have a policy on faculty/student relationships?

Yes, University Policy 07-14-01 Consensual Relationships. The policy pertains to the University’s approach to consensual romantic or sexual relationships. The policy has been established in an effort to ensure that the University’s educational and work environment is based on professional relationships in an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect. When individuals involved in a consensual romantic or sexual relationship are in positions of unequal power at the University, or closely work together, there is the potential for a conflict of interest, favoritism, and exploitation. In order to protect the integrity of the University’s academic and work environment, and recognizing the unpredictable nature of human relationships, this policy outlines limitations on consensual romantic, sexual or intimate relationships between faculty, staff and students at the University.

As an academic institution, the well-being and safety of our students is a primary concern and this concern will be paramount in administering this policy. Consensual relationships between faculty/staff and students that commence after the student has enrolled at the University are strongly discouraged and in certain situations, as discussed in more detail in the policy, not permitted. Similarly, consensual relationships between faculty/staff members who work closely together are usually ill-advised and in certain situations, as discussed in more detail in the policy, not permitted.

6. Does the University have a policy on sexual misconduct?

Yes, University Policy 06-05-01 Sexual Misconduct. All members of the University community are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that does not infringe upon the rights of others. The University does not discriminate on the basis of sex in employment, or in its educational programs or other activities. Sexual misconduct that affects the educational or employment environment is a form of sexual discrimination. Such conduct violates Policy 06-05-01, and generally also violates federal, state or local laws. The University of Pittsburgh is committed to the maintenance of a community free from sexual misconduct.

When sexual misconduct occurs, the University will act to end the conduct, prevent its recurrence, and remedy the effects on both individuals and the University community, in accordance with the accompanying Procedure on Sexual Misconduct 06-05-01. Policy 06-05-01 and the accompanying Procedure shall serve as the only internal University forum of resolution and appeal of sexual misconduct complaints for members of the University community (except as noted in the Procedure on Sexual Misconduct 06-05-01). Discrimination which is not sexual misconduct under the Policy is subject to and should be analyzed under the University’s Nondiscrimination, Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Policy and Procedure 07-01-03 or other appropriate policy or procedure.

7. What is the procedure for emeritus status?

Please see the Faculty Handbook for information on the emeritus process.

8. What are the required notification dates for non-renewal of faculty contracts?

For tenure-stream faculty: A faculty member on a one-year appointment shall be notified in writing no later than March 15; on a second or subsequent consecutive one-year appointment by December 15; by December 15 of the second year of a two-year appointment; and 12 months prior to the end of a three-year appointment. (See: Faculty Handbook, Chapter II, Article IV, 4.6,b.)

For non-tenure stream faculty: For a faculty member who has completed less than five full years of continuous service, he/she shall be notified in writing no later than three and a half months prior to the end of the appointment; for faculty who have completed at least five full years of continuous service, he/she shall be notified in writing no later than five and a half months prior to the end of the appointment. (See: Faculty Handbook, Chapter II, Article VI, 6.3.)

9. What mechanisms are available to a faculty member if there is an unresolved difference between a faculty member and his/her supervisor, department chair, or dean?

University Policy 02-02-10, Faculty Reviews and Appeals, establishes the right of faculty members to appeal appointment decisions affecting renewal and tenure. Any eligible member of the faculty may appeal appointment decisions of nonrenewal or promotion related to allegations of inadequate consideration, academic freedom violations, or discrimination.

University Policy 02-03-01, Faculty Grievances, applies to actions or decisions that have adversely affected an eligible member of the faculty in his or her professional capacity that has occurred or been reached unfairly, improperly, or in violation of University policy.

Faculty members are encouraged to contact the University Senate Tenure and Academic Freedom Committee for assistance or to initiate an information investigation and dispute resolution process.