Mar 05, 2024  
Faculty Handbook 2023 - 2024 
    
Faculty Handbook 2023 - 2024

4.2.5 - KSU Employee Benefits


KSU Human Resources Benefits Website - https://hr.kennesaw.edu/benefits/.

Vacation Leave

Teaching faculty who receive contracts with work commitments of less than twelve (12) months do not accrue vacation (annual) leave. Full-time teaching faculty who receive twelve (12) month contracts accrue vacation (annual) leave at the rate of 1 3/4 days per month (14 hours). The maximum number of days of vacation (annual) leave that may be carried from one calendar year to the next is 45 days (360 hours). Earned vacation (annual) leave shall be taken at times mutually acceptable to both the employee and supervisor. In the event of termination of employment or conversion to a work commitment of less than twelve months, accrued vacation (annual) leave shall be paid in a lump sum amount. The maximum amount of paid vacation (annual) leave shall be 45 days (360 hours).

The faculty member who takes vacation leave is responsible for making arrangements for the coverage of missed meetings, notifying the person to whom the faculty member reports at KSU, rescheduling appointments, and reporting the number of days of vacation leave used each month via the appropriate time reporting system.

Sick Leave Benefit and Reporting Responsibility for Faculty

One of the faculty’s employment benefits in the University System of Georgia is the award, accumulation, and use of sick leave. A day of sick leave (8 hours) is awarded to a faculty member for each month of benefited employment during the academic year. Faculty on twelve-month contracts and instructional faculty who work during June and/or July will accordingly also accrue a day of sick leave for those months. Accumulated unused sick leave is summarized monthly in the payroll time and labor management system.

The use of accumulated sick leave allows a faculty member to continue to be paid a salary during days when the faculty member is unable to perform teaching, service, scholarship, and professional development responsibilities as expected due to illness, injury, disability (including maternity leave), or family leave and health related emergencies. If the use of accumulated sick leave extends into a sixth consecutive business day, the individual must contact Human Resources to coordinate the use of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Likewise, if an illness/injury is causing frequent or consistent disruption of expected work duties, use and reporting of sick leave and coordination with Human Resources regarding your rights under FMLA is required. Examples of instances where Human Resources should be consulted include, but are not limited to, surgery, therapy, rehabilitation, on-going testing, bed rest, and any chronic condition(s) impacting work. Once a faculty member’s unused accumulated sick leave has been exhausted, the individual shifts to a leave without pay status if the individual is unable to resume faculty responsibilities. While this shift automatically occurs, the individual must contact Human Resources to discuss benefits continuation and further FMLA requirements. The faculty member should also contact the Academic Affairs Faculty Affairs office to complete those Leaves of Absence (Paid and Unpaid) forms.

Coordination of the sick leave benefit is particularly important during periods of illness or injury for purposes of utilizing short and long-term disability. If a faculty member has sufficient accumulated sick leave, this paid leave can provide an important financial bridge between the onset of a disability and the delay in the start-up of disability insurance benefits. All employees are encouraged to carefully review their personal need to enroll for short and/or long-term disability benefits and to subsequently coordinate with Human Resources in order to maximize the benefits platform offered to Faculty.

Accumulated sick leave also may provide an enhanced benefit at retirement. House Bill 859 allows unused accumulated sick leave to be converted to service credit towards retirement benefits under the Teachers Retirement System. One month of service credit in Georgia Teachers Retirement is granted for approximately 20 days of accrued sick leave not used. The employee must have at least 60 days of accrued sick leave upon retirement in order to be eligible for this benefit. For more information, visit https://www.trsga.com. Because retirement benefits under the Optional Retirement Plan are not service based, there is no equivalent benefit for faculty members who elect to participate in the Optional Retirement Plan instead of the Teachers Retirement System. All unused sick leave not eligible for conversion to service credit is forfeited upon separation/retirement.

Faculty frequently work days, nights, and weekends teaching and preparing for classes; grading, mentoring, and supervising students; conducting scholarship and creative activities; performing professional service; attending professional development workshops and conferences; pursuing formal academic achievements; and participating in work-related special events. The resulting work schedules of the faculty are highly diverse, variable, and flex-time oriented. However, if the faculty member is unable to fulfill responsibilities during a day that is usually devoted to teaching, service, scholarship, or professional development and those responsibilities are not completed at another time during the month, that day should be reported as a day (8 hours) of sick leave. Although many faculty devote more than 40 hours a week to their full range of faculty responsibilities, no more than 40 hours a week are expected to be reported as sick leave if a faculty member is unavailable or incapacitated for a week’s time. Resuming some, but not all, of one’s KSU responsibilities while on sick leave requires only partial use of sick leave days in proportion to the amount of work not completed.

Sick leave applies to days in a work week in which the faculty member is unavailable or incapacitated, regardless of whether the faculty member has formal teaching responsibilities on those sick days or not. Having a colleague cover one’s classes does not relieve the faculty member from the responsibility of reporting sick leave taken.

For more information on FMLA, visit: https://hr.kennesaw.edu/benefits/

The faculty member who takes sick leave is typically responsible for making arrangements for the coverage of missed classes and meetings, notifying the person to whom the faculty member reports at KSU, rescheduling his/her appointments, and reporting the number of days of sick leave used each month via the appropriate time reporting system.

Faculty members are expected to report the use of sick leave via the payroll system at least monthly. Administrators must approve these monthly time reports. Repeated failure to make appropriate reports of sick leave taken constitutes neglect of duty by a university employee and is subject to appropriate restitution and disciplinary action. Department chairs, directors, deans, and vice presidents are responsible for ensuring to the best of their abilities that sick leave is being reported in a proper and timely manner by faculty members in their administrative units.

Leaves of Absence

KSU leaves of absence policies conform to BoR leaves policies (BoR Policy Manual 8.2.7 and 8.3.7.4). The faculty member requesting the leave must ensure that the appropriate leave of absence form, which is on the Academic Affairs webpage, is completed, including securing appropriate administrative approvals, and returned to the Academic Affairs office. All faculty must coordinate with Human Resources prior to beginning their leave of absence to facilitate continuation or termination of benefits participation, make arrangements for benefit premium payment during any unpaid leave periods, and provide medical certification(s) as appropriate.

  1. Leaves of absence of one year or less with or without pay may be granted by the KSU President and reported to the Chancellor. Extensions of such leaves or the initial granting of leaves of more than one year, require the approval of the Chancellor or designee.
  2. In considering a request for a leave with pay, the KSU President adheres to BoR policy that such leave shall be granted only for the purposes of promoting scholarly work and encouraging professional development. The President will examine carefully the program or project on which the employee proposes to work and will also consider the likelihood of the faculty member’s being able to accomplish the purposes for which leave is requested. It is expected that scholarly and professional leaves shall be granted without pay where the leave is supported by an external grant or stipend. In considering the request for a leave, the President will take into consideration the effect that the granting of the leave will have on the institution or the department in which the faculty member is a member. If the faculty member’s work cannot be handled by other faculty and/or staff and if funds are not available for the employment of a substitute, the President will be justified in refusing to recommend that the leave be granted or in deferring action upon the request for a leave. For extensions of educational and professional leaves, or the initial granting of such leaves of more than one year, the President’s request to the Chancellor for such leaves must include the following:
  • A statement that the faculty member’s absence will not adversely affect institutional programming.
  • Strong justification for the request for leave with pay to a faculty member who has not been employed at KSU for at least three years.
  • A statement of the direct and significant benefits that will accrue to the institution as a result of the faculty member’s activities during the period of leave.
  • If the granting of leave with pay will require additional institutional expenditures, provide a note of that fact.
  • The amount of leave pay, determined with reference to the following:
    • The normal rate of leave pay shall be considered as an amount up to one-half of the regular salary of the faculty during the period of leave.
    • Extraordinary justification must accompany a recommendation of leave pay in an amount exceeding one-half of the faculty member’s regular salary during the period of leave or for leave pay at full regular salary for the period of leave.
    • The amount of any external stipend or any other external remuneration to be received by the faculty member for activities during the period of leave shall be taken into account in the determination of institutional leave pay recommended. The recommendation for leave must indicate the source and the amount of applicable external remuneration.

The President ordinarily will not approve a request for a leave with pay if the applicant for leave has been employed at KSU for a period of fewer than three (3) years. Any faculty member who has been granted a leave of absence with pay shall be required, before beginning the leave, to sign an agreement indicating that:

  • For a leave with pay of less than one year, the employee will return to KSU at the termination of the leave for a period of at least one (1) year. 

  • For a one-year leave with pay, the employee will return to KSU at the termination of the leave for a period of at least two (2) years; and that,

If the employee does not return to KSU for the full amount of time specified in the agreement, the employee will reimburse KSU for the amount of compensation received while on leave and any other expenses paid by the USG during the leave, including all benefit costs.

A faculty who returns from an authorized leave which enhances professional study and development shall be entitled to a salary that will include, at a minimum, the mandated across-the-board salary raises which occurred during the period of leave.

  1. In all cases in which an approved leave of absence is based on FMLA (the Family Medical Leave Act) or for educational/professional purposes, the faculty member’s pre-tenure/tenure/promotion/post-tenure review clock may be stopped for one academic year if the leave of absence is for a full, consecutive six (6) weeks or more and the request is made to the Provost by the faculty member within 14 days of the beginning of the leave of absence. The faculty member must make a request to the Provost within 14 days of the beginning of the leave that the pre-tenure/tenure/promotion/post-tenure review clock be delayed for one academic year for an approved leave of absence due to FMLA or for educational/professional purposes lasting less than a full, consecutive six (6) weeks or for an intermittent leave.

  2. Per BoR Policy Manual 8.3.7.4, extensions of the probationary term for non-tenured, tenure-track faculty will be limited to no more than a total of two years. Faculty who receive a one-year extension before completing their third-year, pre-tenure review may request a delay of this review until the end of their fourth year in rank. Faculty who receive a two-year extension before completing their third-year, pre-tenure review may request a delay of this review until the end of their fifth year in rank.
  3. A faculty member may request a one-year extension of the pre-tenure probationary period in situations that are qualifying events under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) but which do not necessarily result in the faculty member taking a formal leave of absence. This includes qualifying events that occur over the summer in which a nine-month faculty member is not receiving a paycheck. Examples of such qualifying events include an extended illness, disability, childbirth, adoption of a child, or extended care of an ill child or immediate family member. A faculty member should apply for an extension as soon as it becomes clear that an extenuating circumstance has substantially impeded (or will impede) progress toward tenure in specific ways. Such a request normally shall be made within three months of the extenuating event. Requests for an extension should not be made prematurely on the basis of speculation about how a coming event might affect progress toward tenure.
  4. No leaves of absence will be granted to USG retirees who are drawing retirement benefits from the Teachers’ Retirement System of Georgia or from the USG.
  5. Approved leave shall allow employees the right to elect to continue group insurance benefits with institutional participation.

Extended Absences from Teaching Responsibilities

Faculty members may not be absent from their teaching responsibilities except for illness, extraordinary personal circumstances, or performing professional obligations. The faculty member must notify the chair prior to any class cancelations or substitutions. In addition, faculty members may not cancel scheduled classes or meetings to take personal time.

Requests for leave will be handled in accordance with the policies and procedures detailed in the KSU Employee Handbook Section 4.0 (Vacation, Sick Leave and Leave of Absence) and/or the Americans with Disabilities Act policy. 

When leave circumstances may result in faculty member returning to duty when the semester is in progress, every effort will be made to minimize the potential disruption of the instructional experiences of the students involved. A primary goal of this policy is to allow both the faculty member and KSU the opportunity to maintain the integrity of the classroom and avoid placing undue burden on the faculty member or the department.  Generally, altering course instructors is only permissible when unavoidable due to the unexpected and/or sudden need for a faculty member to be removed from the classroom.  In such cases, once HR and/or Academic Affairs has notified the faculty member that the faculty member has been relieved of classroom duties and a substitute instructor has replaced the faculty member, then the faculty member will not be placed back in that classroom for the remaining semester.  In consultation with HR, Academic Affairs, and the department chair, upon return and as applicable, the faculty member will be expected to resume non-classroom duties, including, but not limited to, advising, committee work, course preparation, research and scholarship, and other duties which faculty members typically carry out beyond the classroom.

Additional Time-Off and Leave Information

For additional information concerning time-off and leave information not addressed in the KSU Faculty Handbook, please see the KSU Employee Handbook Section 4.0.

Faculty and Administrative Emeritus Status and Privileges

Emeritus/Emerita status is a title signifying honorable and distinguished service to Kennesaw State University. Consistent with Board of Regents policy (BoR Policy Manual 2.11), a President may confer the title of emeritus/a on any retired (not resigned) tenured or non-tenure track associate professor or professor, who at the time of retirement from KSU, had ten (10) or more years of continuous, full-time service (not equivalent) to the University System of Georgia with a minimum of the last five (5) of those years at KSU. For teaching faculty members with the rank of professor or associate professor, the “emeritus” designation is appended to the rank held at the time of retirement, e.g., professor emeritus. For academic administrators, the emeritus designation, upon approval by the Provost and the President, is appended only to the most senior administrative title held at Kennesaw State University, which may be held at or prior to the time of retirement, e.g., dean emeritus. The emeritus designation is not awarded for administrative titles held on an “acting” or “interim” basis. KSU’s President may recommend the emeritus title for faculty members of other ranks upon the recommendation of the dean of the college in which the faculty member was employed. This title may be conferred by the USG-BoR upon the recommendation of the KSU President. Emeritus appointment is not guaranteed and is not accorded to part-time faculty members nor to faculty terminated for cause.

The President’s decision will be based, in part, upon the recommendation of the unit in which the employee has served. In considering persons from Kennesaw State University for the “emeritus/emerita” title, the President shall, in addition to the Board of Regents criteria, base the recommendation upon:

  1. Meritorious service to Kennesaw State University
  2. Notable career performance at Kennesaw State University
  3. Nomination and recommendation by a department peer review committee, chair, dean, and the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

The following procedure will be used to develop recommendations:

The employee seeking the “emeritus/emerita” title shall submit the “Recommendation for Award of Emeritus/Emerita Status” form to the chair within a timeframe of 30 days prior to or 30 days following the official retirement date. An employee may be nominated for emeritus status by another employee in the same unit, with the nominee’s consent.

Process for faculty and academic administrators requesting Emeritus Status:

  1. The “Recommendation for Award of Emeritus/Emerita Status” form must be accompanied by a one-page description summarizing the faculty member’s accomplishments at KSU, and by a current vita.
  2. The chair or unit head will appoint a peer review committee consisting of a minimum of three members. This review committee may be the Department Promotion & Tenure Committee. After reviewing all materials submitted, by checking the appropriate box on the “Recommendation for Award of Emeritus/Emerita Status” form, the committee shall indicate their recommendation (either positive or negative). Their recommendation will be based on a simple majority vote of the committee. They will then forward the form, the employee’s summary of accomplishments, and vita to their department chair/school director.
  3. After reviewing all materials submitted, by checking the appropriate box on the “Recommendation for Award of Emeritus/Emerita Status” form, the chair/director shall indicate their recommendation (either positive or negative). They will then forward the form, the employee’s summary of accomplishments, and vita to their dean.
  4. After reviewing all materials submitted, by checking the appropriate box on the “Recommendation for Award of Emeritus/Emerita Status” form, the dean shall indicate their recommendation (either positive or negative). They will then forward the form, the employee’s summary of accomplishments, and vita to the Provost.
  5. The Provost will forward all recommendation materials to the President for final action.
  6. The recommendation of the President shall be conveyed to the candidate no later than three months after the initial request date.

Upon approval of emeritus status, the faculty member/administrator shall be entitled to the following subject to fiscal constraints placed upon the University:

  • KSU emeritus faculty/administrator photo identification card
  • Full library privileges, using emeritus I.D. card, including borrowing rights and interlibrary loan privileges
  • Emeritus Faculty and Administrators not currently employed by KSU may park in visitor parking at no charge
  • Faculty discount on selected KSU Bookstore purchases.
  • Admission to campus events the same as an active employee
  • Invitation to march in academic procession at Commencement or other occasions
  • Invitation to attend opening of university faculty meetings
  • Living emeritus faculty and administrators will be listed in the University catalogues and the faculty/staff directory
  • Emeritus faculty members and administrators shall be retained on all mailing lists that contain information of general interest, unless they specifically request that their name be omitted from such lists. They will also be retained on invitation lists for social functions to which non-retired faculty/administrators of equivalent rank are invited
  • Emeritus faculty shall have continued use of KSU e-mail address
  • Emeritus faculty and administrators may serve as a consultant to various standing and ad hoc committees of the University, college or department when called upon by a committee chairperson and approved by the President, Provost, dean, or department chair
  • All emeritus faculty and administrators are eligible for a free membership at the KSU Fitness Center on the same basis as regular faculty & staff
  • All emeritus faculty are eligible to be appointed as adjunct or as part-time faculty and teach courses on an as needed basis upon the approval of the department chair, dean, and Provost and subject to procedures for rehiring retired employees
  • Mail services shall be provided by the department for emeritus faculty, subject to certain restrictions

In some specific situations, with the approval of the appropriate department and/or unit authority, and subject to budgetary constraints, an emeritus faculty may be entitled to:

  • Laboratory/experimental/performance/studio space - This is not an entitlement for all faculty who make the transition to emeritus status. Rather, such space will be recommended by department chairs to the dean whenever possible for those individuals who maintain an active research/creative activity program that is characterized by: (a) sufficient external funding to support their research activities including the support of technical assistants, post-doctoral fellows, and students; (b) continuing contributions to the department’s academic mission and vision; and (c) demonstrable contributions to the discipline through the propagation of the products of their research in relevant mediums (books, articles, chapters, patents, presentations, performances, etc.).
  • Retention or use of certain pieces of equipment, computers etc. as approved by their department chair and dean - The retention and/or use of equipment, computers etc. must be for professional purposes associated with work continuing on behalf of KSU.
  • An emeritus faculty member can serve as the principal investigator on grants and can supervise doctoral, masters, or undergraduate students with approval from the respective department chair and subject to procedures for rehiring retired employees.
  • Serve as a dissertation/thesis committee member with approval from the respective department chair and subject to procedures for rehiring retired employees.
  • Emeritus business cards upon request to the chair of their home department and subject to budgetary constraints.

Implementation of Emeritus Policy

Individuals retiring from KSU prior to implementation of this policy in 2014 who were not awarded Emeritus Status at the time of retirement are no longer eligible to request consideration for Emeritus Status.