Changes in Parental Benefits

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Dear Colleagues -  

Yale is committed to helping faculty balance their work, academic, and personal lives.  As part of this effort, the university is increasing and streamlining the support we offer for ladder faculty who are welcoming new children into their families.  I am writing to outline these policies and highlight some changes.  

For more details and to read the full policies, please see the Faculty Handbook, particularly sections III.F and XVII.D.

For more information on the university’s other work-life benefits for faculty and staff, please see

These benefits are available to all full-time ladder faculty, and will be retroactive to July 1, 2018.  (For a description of analogous parental benefits for ladder faculty in the Medical School, please see

Teaching Relief for Childrearing
One way that Yale supports ladder faculty members with new children is through teaching relief.  Ladder faculty members who assume significant and sustained responsibility for the care of a newborn or newly-adopted child may take one semester of teaching relief for childrearing (TRC) within one year of the birth or adoption.   

The purpose of the teaching relief is to allow the faculty member to care for the child, and the expectation is that the faculty member will be a caregiver at least half-time during normal working hours.  Any other administrative and departmental responsibilities should be consistent with this purpose.

In the past, TRC was restricted to “primary caregivers” whose spouse or partner was working.   To give families more flexibility, we are changing this policy to focus on the child care that the faculty member is providing, rather than on other factors.  This simplified policy also allows for the possibility of co-caregivers.  In the case where both parents are ladder faculty members, each of them is eligible to take a full semester of TRC, and they may take TRC in the same semester or in different semesters.

We have also removed the “primary caregiver” requirement and made analogous changes to focus on caregiving in the policies for non-ladder teaching faculty and research faculty.

Tenure Clock and Contract Extensions for Non-Tenure Ladder Faculty

All new parents in non-tenure ladder faculty positions who provide significant and sustained care to a newborn or newly adopted child are eligible to receive one-year clock and contract extensions on their current appointment.  In the case where both parents are ladder faculty members, we are changing the policy so that each of them is eligible to receive a full extension.

Previously, only those caregivers who took TRC were eligible for these extensions.  We are changing this policy to include any ladder faculty who assumed significant and sustained responsibility for the care of a newborn or newly adopted child, whether they take TRC or not.  Conversely, faculty who take TRC are not obligated to take the extension and may elect to follow their original clock.  The eligible faculty member does not need to elect to take the extension at the time of the birth, but should inform the chair or dean at least one year before a review or promotion consideration is scheduled to begin to ensure that both the faculty member and the department have adequate planning time.

Non-tenured ladder faculty may take advantage of these clock and contract extensions for up to two years (one year per birth or adoption event).  For additional details about the maximum time in non-tenure ladder ranks, please see section III.F in the Faculty Handbook.

Unpaid Leaves
Ladder faculty members may also request unpaid leaves to care for newborn or newly adopted children (Child-Rearing Leaves) or to care for seriously ill family members including spouses and children (Caregiver Leaves).  For more information about these leaves, please see section XVII.D.1 and 2.

If you have questions about these policies, including how they may apply in your own case, you may contact any of the people listed below.  In extreme or exceptional cases, faculty members may also consult with their chairs or deans about requesting exceptions from the provost’s office or other options.

These policies are designed to support academic excellence, faculty development, fairness, and equality.  These are values that we all share.  I look forward to continuing this important work with you as we welcome the youngest members to our community.


Ben Polak
William C. Brainard Professor of Economics

For more information, please contact:

Faculty in any school can contact the Provost’s Office for assistance:
Richard Bribiescas, Deputy Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity
Karen Anderson, Associate Provost for Academic Resources and Faculty Development

Faculty of Arts and Sciences:
Debra Fischer, Deputy Dean of Faculty Affairs, or Larry Gladney, Deputy Dean for Diversity and Faculty Development (starting January 1, 2019)

School of Medicine:  Tracy Larmer, Director of Academic Analytics



I am writing today to share several updates regarding the child rearing leave policy for faculty with a primary appointment at the medical school. The policy provides relief from administrative, clinical, research, and teaching responsibilities, together with full salary continuation for up to eight weeks for faculty who assume significant and sustained responsibility for the care of a newly born or adopted child. There is also an option for an additional eight weeks’ part-time status with pay commensurate with percent work effort.

Through the collaborative efforts of the Faculty Advisory Council (FAC), the Dean’s Office, and the Office of the Provost, I am pleased to announce the following policy enhancements effective for the 2018-2019 academic year:

? The “primary caregiver” restriction has been eliminated, permitting all new parents the option to take a paid child rearing leave.

? If both parents are eligible faculty members, each is independently entitled to a child rearing leave. Leaves will no longer be shared by faculty couples.

? If both parents are eligible ladder faculty members, each is independently entitled to a one-year extension of appointment.

? Ladder faculty who take a child-rearing leave will automatically be granted a one-year extension of appointment at the time of request for child rearing leave. Faculty are not obligated to take the extension and may follow their original clock.

? Faculty who do not take a child rearing leave, but who assume significant and sustained responsibility for the care of a newly born or adopted child during the first year after the birth or adoption and wish to receive a one-year extension of appointment may do so by requesting an extension of term.

These changes are in addition to the creation of a central pool of funds for clinical departments to pay the clinical component of a faculty member’s salary while on a paid child-rearing leave.

The updated policy, along with a form to request a child rearing leave and answers to frequently asked questions can be found on the Office for Faculty Affairs website.Tracy Larmer, director of academic analytics, serves as a centralized resource for faculty on parental leave and can answer any further questions.

I am truly grateful for the sustained and spirited efforts of the FAC and faculty across the campus and the University in bringing about policy changes that improve our support of medical school faculty in caring for their families as they build successful careers.

Robert J. Alpern, MD
Dean and Ensign Professor of Medicine