By Cady Inabinett, Managing editor of content
Members of Montevallo’s Faculty Senate unanimously voted to approve a paid parental leave policy at their April 7 meeting. The policy, which has been a joint effort between Faculty Senate and Staff Senate, has been in the works since the fall semester. It will now have to be approved by the Staff Senate and the university’s Board of Trustees to be implemented.
The policy grants eligible university employees who are the birth, adoptive or foster parent of a newborn, newly adopted or newly fostered child a maximum of 8 weeks of paid parental leave. The policy also provides leave for faculty members who have miscarried or are experiencing other serious pregnancy-related medical needs.
Paid parental leave must be taken within 6 months of the qualifying event. It must also be taken on a continuous basis, although the policy does say that intermittent leave may be considered. The policy allows for employees to take 16 weeks of paid parental leave over the course of their employment at Montevallo.
An employee is eligible for leave under this policy once they have worked for at least 12 months and have worked at least 1,250 hours during those 12 months.
Faculty Senate President Dr. Claire Edwards pointed out that several changes have been made to the policy as the senate has worked on developing it with Staff Senate and university administration. Some of the major areas to change have included the duration of leave, the time frame of eligibility and defining qualifying events.
Edwards also mentioned that some of the biggest struggles in working on this policy have included implementation and budgeting for the policy.
If the Staff Senate votes to approve the policy, it will still have to be approved by the university’s Board of Trustees to go into effect. It will be voted on by trustees at their May 3 meeting.
Also at this meeting, senators discussed nominees for this year’s Germaine Mitchell Faculty Service Award. The award is meant to recognize a Montevallo faculty member’s dedication and service to the university community.
To be considered for the award, faculty members are nominated by fellow faculty members to the Faculty Senate President through a letter of endorsement. Once nominated, the nominee stays eligible for the award for 3 years. Award recipients are honored at Founders’ Day and receive $1,000 from Faculty Senate.
This year’s nominees were environmental studies professor Dr. Susan Caplow, communication professor Dr. Tiffany Wang, biology professor Dr. Heather Tinsley, education professor Dr. Amy Samuels, family and consumer sciences professor Dr. Laura Bloom and Spanish professor Dr. Leonor Vásquez.
After discussing the merits of each nominee, senators voted to select three finalists for the award, selecting Caplow, Tinsley and Vásquez. Senators will vote on a recipient for the award at their next meeting on April 28.
Cady Inabinett is the editor in chief of The Alabamian. She’s majoring in English and double-minoring in political science and peace and justice studies. She enjoys reading, watching movies, caring for houseplants and generally just being pretentious in her free time.