Alternatives-to-Teaching Duties Associated With the Birth or Adoption of a Child

Tenure-track and tenured academic year faculty, who have substantial responsibility for the care of a newborn child or a child placed for adoption, may request an alternative work assignment for one semester or the balance of the semester in which the birth or adoption occurs. The alternative assignment may begin three months prior to the birth or adoption but must conclude within twelve months of the birth or adoption.

The alternative assignment may substitute for up to the faculty member’s full teaching load. No faculty member will be penalized for making use of this policy. Please be aware that during the alternative work assignment, a faculty member is not eligible for overload compensation.

Examples of Alternative-to-Teaching Duties Options:

  • Work on departmental administrative projects.
  • Work associated with university reaccreditation
  • Work associated with departmental external review, including writing the self-study, compiling information needed for the self-study, working with external reviewers
  • Work associated with curriculum development, including curriculum transformation and the introduction and development of technology in the classroom, and the development of distance learning options
  • Work associated with the development of new departmental initiatives
  • Work associated with networking with community groups linked to the department or to alumni of the department mentoring colleagues
  • Mentoring colleagues
  • Work on college projects
  • Workshops on teaching or research topics
  • Participation in college committees, such as chair search committees, standing and ad hoc committees
  • Involvement in college level work for accreditation
  • Curriculum development
  • Involvement in networking and development work
  • Work on university and system projects
  • System-wide committees and project
  • Comparative analysis of UM programs and programs at other universities

Departmental options for covering the faculty member’s courses may include reassigning the course to another qualified departmental faculty member as part of their normal load, assigning the course to a faculty member as an overload, hiring adjunct faculty, canceling the course, or rescheduling the course in a different semester. The cost for one course from a resulting overload or adjunct hire will be funded by the Provost’s Office.


  • Inform your peer committee and, in consultation with the department head, develop a plan for alternative-to-teaching duties.
  • Complete the Request for Alternative to Teaching Duties form (PDF) and forward, along with the plan outlining alternative duties to be performed, to the chair, dean and Provost. Approval of such plans shall not be unreasonably denied.
  • File a report with the department chair/director upon completion of these duties. This report will become part of your personnel file.

For More Information

Please contact the Office of Human Resources at 581-1581 if you need additional information or have questions about this policy or the process.