University Coursework or Programs for Staff
The University of Kansas supports the training and development of its staff to facilitate opportunities for life-long learning, encourage employee productivity, and enhance career development. This policy outlines the criteria for staff participation in university coursework or programs.
Unclassified professional, academic and university support staff members appointed to regular positions.
Authorization to Attend Classes or Programs
Department heads and supervisors are strongly encouraged to support staff members who wish to enroll in academic courses and to participate in training programs, conferences, short courses, and workshops held on or off campus so long as the normal functions of the department/unit can be carried out.
Departments should make every effort to grant a staff member's request to attend a course or program considering such factors as department schedule flexibility, work load, availability of temporary/student help, fiscal factors, the number of similar requests from other employees, and the requesting employee’s job performance and/or attendance.
Educational Opportunity Categories
- Condition of Employment: These are programs or academic courses required by an employee's department or the University to provide skills or knowledge necessary for the current job. Employees will be granted work time for the purposes of attending such courses. It is the department's responsibility to determine scheduling and to provide coverage while the employee attends the course or program.
- Improvement of Job Skills: These are academic courses or programs that maintain and improve skills or knowledge for the employee's current job. Department heads and supervisors may grant work time to employees for the purposes of attending no more than one such academic course or program per semester when their release can be reasonably accommodated by the department. Any additional courses or programs in this category should not be counted as work time. Absence due to class attendance should not cause undue hardship to the department.
- Personal Development: These academic courses or programs are taken solely for personal educational development. Supervisors may, at the option of the department, permit employees to take such academic courses or programs during normal working hours if the time can be made up or flexible work hours granted (non-exempt staff) or the responsibilities of the job are met (exempt staff).
Any employee who feels that the employee has been unreasonable denied permission to attend a course or program may have the decision reviewed by the unit director or next level administrator. The employee may also elect to have the decision reviewed by the Department of Human Resource Management.
Temporary employees and faculty are excluded from this policy.
Courses or programs taken at other than normal working hours are not limited by this policy.
In some cases, staff may be eligible for tuition assistance to enroll in education opportunities. Being granted tuition assistance for a course does not require that course attendance be considered "work time," except as provided in this policy.
Completion of academic courses and/or programs do not guarantee promotion or transfer into another job within the University.
Failure to obtain supervisory authorization to take coursework during working hours or excessive absence due to coursework attendance may be grounds for disciplinary action.
Department of Human Resource Management
103 Carruth-O'Leary Hall
1246 W. Campus Road
Lawrence, KS 66045
07/11/2016: Updated to remove gendered pronouns.
05/04/2016: Added new category - Personnel>Staff>Benefits.
10/29/2015: This policy converts the existing policy for taking University courses from the former University Support Staff Handbook, applies to all staff, and reformats it for the Policy Library.