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Office of the Provost
Fort Hays State University
600 Park Street
Sheridan Hall 302
Phone: (785) 628-4241
Fax: (785) 628-4157

Office Hours:
8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Mon - Fri


Faculty and Unclassified Staff Handbook
Chapter 5 -- Faculty: Leaves, Insurance, and Retirement Benefits


Annual Leave

Persons appointed to unclassified faculty positions of less than 12 months do not accumulate or earn annual leave. Their academic duties are closely related to the presence of students on campus. Student recesses offer persons appointed to positions that do not earn annual leave an opportunity to engage in research and perform other necessary professional duties. In consideration of the professional nature of a faculty position, faculty members are expected to fulfill appropriate, professional, and departmental responsibility throughout the academic year, including student recesses, exclusive of legal holidays. The academic year begins with student registration or similar duties in the Fall and continues for nine months through commencement and grade submission in the Spring. Specific periods of employment are to be governed by the annual notice of appointment issued by each institution.

Persons, including University Support Staff, appointed to full-time 12 month unclassified positions or to full-time, less than 12-month unclassified non-instructional positions shall earn paid annual leave not to exceed 176 hours per fiscal year. Persons appointed to less than full-time 12-month unclassified positions and persons appointed to less than full-time, less than 12-month unclassified non-instructional positions shall earn annual leave on a pro-rated basis.

Persons, including University Support Staff, appointed to unclassified positions that are eligible to earn annual leave may accumulate a maximum of 304 hours of annual leave; provided, however, that an employee may receive, upon termination from employment or upon moving from a position earning annual leave to a faculty position for less than twelve months, payment for no more than 176 hours of annual leave, and, at retirement or at termination of employment when retirement eligible, an employee may receive payment for up to 240 hours of annual leave.

Kansas Board of Regents: Policies and Procedures Manual (09-21-06).
Updated to correspond with current KBOR policy (09-01-15, 10-13-17).

Annual leave accrual rates differ for non-exempt and exempt unclassified professional staff. Refer to the FHSU Payroll Manual for detailed information on leave accrual reporting. Annual leave should be arranged in advance with the approval of the staff member's department head and dean for periods convenient to the work of the University. Every effort will be made to accommodate the personal wishes of the employee. Annual leave will be reported bi-weekly on time sheets. Annual leave is not earned while on sabbatical leave.

Updated (12-15).

Bereavement Leave

Unclassified and university support staff employees may be granted leave with pay upon the death of a close relative or that person's close relative. Such leave shall in no case exceed six working days. The employee's relationship to the deceased and necessary travel time shall be among the factors considered in determining whether to grant bereavement leave, and, if so, the amount of leave to be granted.

Kansas Board of Regents: Policies and Procedures Manual (1-27-94).
Updated to correspond with current KBOR policy (09-01-15, 10-20-17).

Family Medical Leave

For purposes of administering the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), each state university shall:

1. designate qualifying leave as Family Medical Leave whether or not the employee requests such a designation;

2. consider the twelve-month period, within which an eligible employee who experiences a FMLA qualifying condition or circumstance, to begin concurrently with the first day of Family Medical Leave and any subsequent twelve-month period would begin the first time an eligible employee again experienced a FMLA qualifying condition or circumstance after the expiration of the first twelve month period; and

3. require employees whose leave is designated Family Medical Leave to substitute accrued paid leave for unpaid Family Medical Leave in accordance with the federal FMLA.

Any state university may adopt a policy allowing a member of the faculty holding a tenure earning appointment who has taken Family Medical Leave to request an additional year in which to work toward tenure.

Subject to the above, each state university shall adopt policy and procedures to provide leave to its employees pursuant to the FMLA.

Kansas Board of Regents: Policies and Procedures (11-16-95).
Updated to correspond with current KBOR policy (09-01-15).

Leave period

The Family Medical Leave (FML) Act guarantees employees a maximum of 12 weeks of leave during a 12-month period without job jeopardy.

Employee eligibility

The University will grant FML to qualifying employees who:

  • Have been employed by the University for 12 months prior to the request for FML.
  • Worked a minimum of one thousand two hundred and fifty (1250) hours during the preceding year to become eligible for FML.
  • The 12 month period for purposes of FML shall be determined for each employee's request using a rolling 12 month period measured backward to the date an employee commences FML.
  • Spouses working for the University are entitled to a unit of 12 weeks per incident between the spouse/employees.

FML Categories

FML shall be granted for the following categories of leave spelled out in the FML Act.

  • Birth of a child and to care for the child. Expectant mothers may take FML before the birth of the child for prenatal care or if her condition makes her unable to work.
  • Adoption or foster care placement of a child in the employee's home.
  • Family leave: provide care for spouse, son, daughter or parent of employee.
  • Serious health condition making the employee unable to perform their job.

Employee FML notice requirement

Employees must:

  • Give a minimum of thirty (30) days notice when the need for FML is foreseeable.
  • Give notice as soon as practicable when emergency need arises (within 2 business days).
  • Supply sufficient information for the employer to grant the requested leave.

Medical certification

The University will require medical certification for the employees' own serious health condition or the serious health condition of the employee's family.

  • When leave is foreseeable, and thirty (30) days notice has been given to the University by the employee, the employee shall provide medical certification when requesting the FML or as soon as possible, before the FML begins.
  • When leave is not foreseeable, the employee must provide medical certification with fifteen (15) days of the request for FML.

If the University questions the validity of a medical certification, the University may require the employee to obtain a second opinion. A health care provider selected or agreed upon by the University shall give the second opinion. The costs of the second opinion shall be borne by the University, and shall extend only to the costs necessary to validate or invalidate the original medical certificate. If the second and first medical certification differ, the University or the employee may seek a third opinion. The party seeking the third opinion shall bear the costs of the same.

Paid v. unpaid leave

The University will require the employee to utilize available sick leave and vacation leave earned by the employee during FML. If such leave is not sufficient to cover the entire FML, the remainder of the leave will be unpaid. Employees on FML may be required to pay health insurance premiums during the absence.

Amount of Leave

An eligible employee is entitled to a total of 12 workweeks of leave during a 12-month period. The 12-month period begins when the FML begins. FML may take the form of one continuous leave, a reduced work schedule or intermittent leave. In the case of intermittent leave or reduced work schedule, the University may require the employee to transfer temporarily to an alternative position for which the employee is qualified and better accommodates recurring periods of leave than the employees regular position.

The University will provide, in writing, the following information:

  1. Notice leave will be counted against employee's FMLA entitlement.
  2. Requirements for medical certification.
  3. The University will require the use of paid leave, (Paid leave used under FMLA can be sick leave or vacation leave.)
  4. Requirements for making health insurance payments, if required, and consequences for failing to make the same.
  5. Requirements for a "return to duty certificate" to return to employment flowing an employee's absence for his or her own serious health condition.
  6. Employee's status as a "key" employee - if applicable.
  7. Employee's right to job restoration upon end of leave.
  8. Employee's potential liability if employer makes the employee's health insurance payments while the employee is on FMLA leave and employee fails to return to work.

Return to Work Certification

An employee who is granted leave for the employee's own serious health condition shall be required to present a medical certification that the employee may return to work.


Upon return from FML, the employee is entitled by law to be returned to the same position the employee held when leave commenced or an equivalent position with equivalent benefits, pay and other terms and conditions of employment. An employee has no greater right to reinstatement than if the employee had been continuously employed during the FML period. An employee is not entitled to reinstatement if the employee's appointment end date occurs before the scheduled FML return date.


Employees are entitled to use accumulated sick leave in excess of FML. The protections of FMLA may not apply to leave in excess of twelve (12) weeks.

Adopted by Cabinet (03-09-00).

Fulbright Grant Leave with Pay Policy

1. Scope

This policy applies to any full-time faculty member who is awarded a Fulbright grant from the U.S. Department of State to teach, perform research, or a combination thereof in a foreign nation.

2. Policy statement

A faculty member who receives a Fulbright grant for teaching, research, or a combination of teaching and research are eligible to receive leave with pay from Fort Hays State University during the period of time covered by the Fulbright grant award.

The faculty member agrees to surrender a negotiated portion of his or her Fulbright award to the university in order to continue his or her base salary as stipulated by the annual contract unless the stipend is larger than the actual salary. An appropriate amount of salary dollars must be available in the salary line after the award deduction to allow the department to continue to offer courses that would normally be taught by the faculty member receiving the Fulbright grant. The request for a Fulbright leave with pay shall include a detailed plan for how the department will offer courses normally taught by the faculty member (i.e. adjunct, overload assignments, course cancellations, schedule manipulations, etc.). If a request is denied, faculty members may still elect to apply for a leave without pay.

Faculty members who accept a Fulbright award shall agree to continue to work for Fort Hays State University for one year after the year the leave with pay is granted. Resignation or retirement prior to the fulfillment of this requirement shall require the faculty member to repay the university for the total amount of the grant received.

3. Responsibilities

Policy Administrator: Vice President for Administration and Finance

Responsible Parties: The Assistant Provost for Internationalization shall provide assistance and guidance to eligible faculty members and shall facilitate applications through communication with appropriate department chairs, academic deans, the Provost, and the Vice President for Administration and Finance.

4. Compliance

The Vice President of Administration and Finance shall monitor compliance for this policy.

5. Effective date and approval

This policy is effective April 1, 2009.

Approved by President's Cabinet (04-01-09).

Leaves With Pay

In order to fulfill jury duty, national guard duty, or other appropriate civic obligations, employees may be granted leave with pay pursuant to institutional policy.

Kansas Board of Regents: Policies and Procedures.

Leaves Without Pay

A leave without pay for up to three years may be granted by the chief executive officer of the employing institution when such is judged by the chief executive officer to be in the best interest of the institution. No leave may be granted to any employee who has accepted a permanent position with another postsecondary education institution.

Any extension of a leave without pay beyond three years requires the approval of the Board. The chief executive officer of the employing institution shall provide documentation of extraordinary circumstances justifying the extension of such leave beyond three years.

Leaves without pay shall not be regarded as a break in service; however, such leave shall not count toward the earning of sabbatical leave nor shall other than a scholarly leave count toward the tenure probationary period. Scholarly leave shall count toward the tenure probationary period unless the employee and the institution agree in writing to the contrary at the time the leave is granted.

During a leave of absence without pay, an employee's eligibility for health insurance shall be determined by and be in accord with the policies, rules, and regulations of the State Employees Health Insurance Commission.

Kansas Board of Regents: Policies and Procedures Manual (11-17-94).

Sabbatical Leave

Recommendations for sabbatical leaves are to be submitted to the President prior to January 20 each year. The following are the conditions under which a sabbatical leave may be granted:

In strictly meritorious cases, a full-time faculty member on regular appointment at any of the state universities who has served continuously for a period of six years or longer at one or more of these institutions, may, at the convenience of the institution and upon the approval of the chief executive officer of the institution with which connected, be granted not to exceed one such leave of absence for each period of regular employment for the purpose of pursuing advanced study, conducting research studies, or securing appropriate industrial or professional experience, such leave shall not be granted for a period of less than one semester nor for a period of more than one year, with reimbursement being made according to the following schedule:

1. For nine-month faculty members, up to half pay for an academic year, or up to full pay for one semester.

2. For twelve-month faculty members, up to half pay for eleven months, or up to full pay for five months.


Regular salary is defined as the salary being paid at the time the sabbatical leave begins. Outside grant funds received by the University in support of the individual's scholarly efforts during his or her sabbatical leave may be used for supplemental salary, but total sabbatical leave salary in these instances may not exceed the individual's regular salary. Normally, sabbatical leave shall not be used as a means of augmenting personal income (e.g., a faculty member will not be allowed to teach paid coursework during a leave period).

Provided further:

That the number of faculty members to whom leave of absence with sabbatical pay is granted in any fiscal year shall not exceed four percent of the number of equivalent full-time faculty with rank of assistant professor or higher, or equivalent rank for the institution concerned for the fiscal year for which the leave of absence is granted.

And provided further:

That no faculty member will be granted leave of absence with sabbatical pay who does not agree to return to the service of the state university granting the sabbatical leave for a period of at least one year immediately following the expiration of the period of leave. Persons failing to return to the institution granting sabbatical leave shall refund all sabbatical pay. Those who fail to remain for the full year of school service (9 to 12 months depending on annual term of employment) shall refund that portion of their sabbatical pay as represented by the portion of time they fail to serve.

Kansas Board of Regents: Policies and Procedures Manual (06-24-00).
Updated to correspond with current KBOR policy (09-01-15).

Preference shall be given to those applying for the full year over those applying for a single semester. Normally, sabbatical leave shall not be used as a means of augmenting personal income (e.g., a faculty member will not be allowed to teach paid coursework during a leave period). Faculty who are on a split appointment are also eligible to apply for sabbatical leave.

Application Procedures for Obtaining Sabbatical Leaves of Absence

Application forms are available on Lotus Notes Workflow or from the Office of the Provost.

The applicant will prepare a formal request (application) for a sabbatical leave that will contain the following:

1. A prospectus indicating how the applicant expects to use the time granted (timeline), breadth and depth of the project, achievability, what travel the project will mandate, and the anticipated outcome or end product.

2. An explanation of the benefits that would be tied to the goals of the department and University accrue to the institution as a result of the leave being approved.

3. Full disclosure of all known or expected funding from sources outside the institution.

4. A list of all previous leaves with dates.

5. A plan for the timely reporting of results of the leave to both the departmental faculty and the administration in the college and University.

6. The semester or academic year for which sabbatical leave application is made with specific dates.

7. A three-year faculty development plan (sample format available in provost's office)

The formal request shall be filed with the department chair by December 1 of the year prior to the fiscal year in which the leave is to commence.

Applications shall then be forwarded to the appropriate dean. The dean, in turn, shall forward the application with his/her recommendation to the provost (see current Administrative Calendar for specific deadlines). The latter shall form an advisory screening committee of five (5) faculty members which the provost will chair to study applications and make recommendations to the president no later than January 20. After official action has been taken by the president, immediate notification of decisions made shall be sent to applicants through administrative channels by February 8.

Revisions approved by Faculty Senate (12-09-96).
Updated to correspond with AAUP MOA timeline (09-01-15).

Sick Leave

Unclassified employees shall accumulate sick leave at the rate of 3.7 hours per biweekly pay period with no limit on the number of hours which can be accumulated. Sick leave for unclassified employees on less than full-time appointments shall be reduced proportionately. Sick leave accumulations for persons on sabbatical leave shall be proportionate to the pay status during that leave. No sick leave shall be awarded for periods when unclassified employees are on leave without pay.

Sick leave with pay may be granted only for the necessary absence from duty because of the personal illness, disability or legal quarantine of the employee; or the personal illness or disability of a member of the employee's family when the illness or disability reasonably requires the employee to be absent from work. "Personal illness or disability" shall be defined to include pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, adoption, childbirth, and the recovery there from. "Employee's family" shall include persons related to the employee by blood, marriage, or adoption and minors residing in the employee's residence as members of the employee's household.

If upon retirement, or upon termination of employment when retirement eligible, an unclassified employee has accrued 800 or more hours of sick leave, the employee shall be compensated for accumulated sick leave in accordance with the provisions of K.S.A. 75-5517 as amended.

If a separated unclassified employee returns within a year to an eligible position, the sick leave balance that the employee had upon termination is reinstated. Such reinstatement does not apply to an unclassified employee who retires and returns to the Board of Regents service after retirement.

Each state university shall adopt appropriate procedures for administering this policy.

Kansas Board of Regents: Policies and Procedures Manual (5-21-98).
Updated to correspond with current KBOR policy (09-01-15, 10-20-17).

When faculty members are ill and cannot meet with their classes, the department chair should be notified as soon as possible so that arrangements may be made to take care of classes.

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