Section 5.0 ABSENCES AND TRAVEL
5.1 FACULTY ABSENCES
A faculty member should inform his departmental chairperson, who will report to the appropriate dean, of any anticipated absence from an individual class so a substitute may be secured. It is thought to be to the best interest of the students, the department and the faculty that the classes of absent instructors be taught by members of the department if at all possible. The instructor who wishes to be absent from class for personal or professional reasons should apply through the departmental chairperson to the appropriate dean. Full pay is deducted from a faculty member's salary for unauthorized absences and such absences may result in dismissal.
5.2 FACULTY LEAVE
5.2.1 Sick Leave
All full-time employees are allowed one (1) day of sick leave for each month of full time service rendered at South Plains College. This may accumulate to a total of sixty (60) working days. Full pay will be deducted from each employee's salary for the days absent beyond accumulative sick leave.
When an employee returns to work after his sick leave, an absentee form should be completed, signed by the departmental chairperson and the divisional dean and turned in to the college business office.
5.2.2 Personal Leave
Personal leave for full-time employees for whatever reason and sick leave because of illness of dependents or immediate family of the employee may be allowed up to three (3) days per year, with such leave charged against the employee's sick leave.
South Plains College is covered by the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (the “FMLA”) and will comply with the requirements of the Act. For details on this policy please refer to Policy and Procedures Manual DHDA. Family and Medical Leave of Absence or contact the Office of Human Resources.
5.2.3 Commencement Leave
Permission for leave during spring commencement must be approved by the president of the college.
5.2.4 Bereavement Leave
All employees are allowed three (3) days bereavement leave each year because of death in the immediate family. Immediate family is defined as spouse, mother, father, sister, brother, children, grandchildren, grandparents, mother or father-in-law, and sister or brother-in-law. This type of leave does not accumulate and full pay will be deducted after the first three (3) days.
5.2.5 Professional Leave
A request for absence from class for reasons of professional leave must be cleared with the departmental chairperson, filed with the divisional dean and approved by the vice president for academic affairs. Professional leave is defined as professional development activities, which directly contribute to performance of duties as a faculty member.
5.3 TRAVEL REQUEST AND REIMBURSEMENT
Travel expenses are limited to professional trips only and will be paid on the basis of the most economical and practical means of transportation. A travel request form must be completed and approved by the department chairperson, divisional dean and vice president before the trip is started. Forms are available in the business office and from your departmental chairperson.
Receipts for hotel or motel accommodations, registration or other expenditures must be obtained and turned in for reimbursement. Receipts are not required for each meal; however, each person traveling at college expense must submit a record of meals including date, meal, place and amount of each meal before reimbursement will be authorized.
Mileage will be reimbursed to full-time instructors who teach for the convenience of the college according to established policy. Part-time instructors and overload assignments may be reimbursed mileage at the option of the college.
5.4 PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT LEAVE
- To enhance the learning experiences of South Plains College students through professional development of faculty and staff.
- To encourage faculty and staff to explore methods for providing greater service to the community.
- To reward faculty and staff for meritorious service to the college and community.
- To establish a mechanism to award professional development leave through a competitive proposal system.
5.4.2 Eligibility Criteria
The applicant must have completed five consecutive years of full-time professional service with South Plains College immediately prior to the beginning of the leave of absence. An application for a leave of absence must be submitted no later than March 1 prior to the beginning of a requested leave for the subsequent summer, fall, and/or spring semester.
5.4.3 Application Criteria
Application shall include, but not necessarily be limited to the following criteria:
- Written Proposal: The applicant must submit a written proposal clearly detailing the purpose, objectives, cost, and time frame of the leave of absence. Documentation supporting the request should be incorporated into the proposal, and the applicant may add support from peers, supervisors, etc.
- Purpose of Leave: The applicant must demonstrate through his/her written proposal that the primary purpose for the leave shall be to enhance the learning experiences of the students at South Plains College and/or to help meet the community service responsibility of the college.
Applicants shall be judged upon, but not necessarily be limited to, the following criteria:
- The merit of the proposal and its potential benefit to the college and the applicant.
- Their demonstrated dedication of the applicant to the college, students and community, as reflected by the applicant's past service. Meritorious service shall be a major factor in the approval process.
- Capability of the institution to replace the services of the applicant during the leave. (The college will make every effort to assist in this request.)
- Availability of funds.
Funding for the leave of absence may include, but not necessarily be limited to the following:
- Up to full pay and benefits for a one-semester leave of absence.
- Up to one-half pay with apportioned benefits for a two-semester leave of absence.
- Project expenses when deemed appropriate and necessary to the objectives of the proposal.
- Specific funding amounts will be determined upon recommendation of the selection committee and approved by the president. Factors considered may include, but shall not be limited to, such items as the necessity of project expenses, availability of other sources of financial support, personal benefit to the applicant, etc.
The selection committee shall be appointed by the president for each academic year.
The selection committee shall recommend to the president of the college approval or disapproval of the request. If approval is recommended, the committee shall also recommend the conditions of the project, including amount of financial support, time frame of the project, format for the reporting of results, and other conditions as required.
5.4.7 Special Conditions
- Persons who are approved for developmental leave must agree to return to South Plains College for three academic years following their leave. Failure to comply with this condition will result in required repayment of all salary received and all other approved expenditures on a prorated basis.