I. Purpose and Scope
In view of the demands of parenting newly born or newly adopted children or children newly placed in foster care, Northeastern University provides to full-time faculty members who become parents one semester of classroom teaching relief in order to support these faculty members to maintain their career progress. The policy applies to all full-time faculty at Northeastern. It does not apply to non-faculty university employees or visiting faculty.
For the purposes of this policy, “classroom teaching relief” means temporary relief from assigned classroom teaching responsibilities while the faculty member’s other professional responsibilities, including but not limited to research, service, and graduate student supervision, continue.
Northeastern University provides to full-time faculty members who meet the following criteria, upon request, one semester of classroom teaching relief without a reduction in salary.
A faculty member may receive up to a total of two periods of classroom teaching relief under this policy, for separate new births, adoptions, or foster care placements. A multiple birth or simultaneous adoption of more than one child may occasion only one request for one semester of classroom teaching relief. A faculty member who has more than one foster care placement in a year is eligible for one semester of classroom teaching relief in a 12-month period.
A faculty member qualifies for one semester of classroom teaching relief under this policy if the faculty member:
- Gives birth to a child, or becomes a parent of a newly born or newly adopted child or a child newly placed in foster care); and
- Begins and will conclude the period of classroom teaching relief within twelve months of the date of the relevant birth, adoption, or placement.
The faculty member’s unit head and/or dean, in consultation with the eligible faculty member, will determine how the faculty member’s other professional responsibilities will be modified during the teaching relief semester. Faculty members should reach out to their department chairs (or equivalent) to discuss these modifications. Faculty members will ordinarily be expected to fulfill their other professional responsibilities, including research, service, and graduate student supervision, during the period of classroom teaching relief. The faculty member’s dean and department chair are responsible for making any arrangements needed to fulfill the faculty member’s teaching assignments or other needed coverage during the period of classroom teaching relief.
If both parents are employed in an eligible position at the university, each of them may take one semester of classroom teaching relief per qualifying event provided that both parents meet the other eligibility criteria.
Tenure-track faculty members who request and receive a semester of classroom teaching relief under this policy may request to have their tenure clocks extended by one year under the terms of the university’s Policy on Tenure Clock Extension. This request should be included in the request for parental teaching relief. If not requested, then the tenure clock will remain unchanged.
The semester during which full-time non-tenure-track faculty receive teaching relief will not be counted towards their promotion clock. The Faculty Handbook states that “Full time non-tenure-track faculty members may request consideration for promotion to the next academic rank after completing at least three years of full-time service at the faculty member’s current rank.” For the purpose of this policy, three years of full-time service is equivalent to six semesters of full-time academic service (two semesters each academic year).
IV. Additional Information
A faculty member seeking a semester of classroom teaching relief must submit a written request to his or her unit head and dean with as much advance notice as is possible, preferably at least six months before the teaching relief semester, for planning purposes. Typically, only a single semester of teaching relief will be available per parental event. Exceptions are possible in unusual instances if approved by the dean and SVP Academic Affairs. Following consultation with the faculty member and her or his unit head, the dean will communicate the terms of the classroom teaching relief in writing to the faculty member, with a copy to the Provost’s Office.
Policy on Parental Teaching Relief for Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty
Tenure Clock; Maternity; Paternity; FMLA
Last Revision Date: May 31, 2023
Issued: October 5, 2011