The University of Michigan: A Commitment to Families
If you’re a prospective faculty member, you already know about the University of Michigan’s preeminent role in research and education. But you may not know about the wide variety of benefits we offer to you, your spouse or partner, and your children and other family members.
The programs and resources described here are an important part of the University’s effort to assist faculty in balancing their roles. We hope you will explore this website fully to learn about the resources available to assist you and your dependents. If you have questions or need more information, please contact your school, college, or department.
We are also proud to provide two (2) significant benefits for new parents. Effective September 1, 2018, UM established two (2) standalone paid leaves (“Maternity/Childbirth Leave” and “Parental Leave”) that each provide six (6) weeks of paid leave and are wholly separate from available “sick” policies (e.g., short-term and extended sick):
- Six (6) weeks paid Maternity (Childbirth) Leave — intended to provide birth mothers with time for the physical recovery associated with childbirth; and
- Six (6) week paid Parental Leave — intended to provide all new parents (whether by birth, adoption, foster care placement, or child guardianship events) with a period of bonding (birth mothers are also eligible for this paid leave).
Also effective September 1, 2018, UM reduced the eligibility period from two (2) years from time of hire to one (1) year for paid Extended Sick Leave benefits.
The University of Michigan is proud to provide a comprehensive set of policies, programs, services, benefits, and resources for faculty members and their families. As part of the U-M faculty, you and your family are eligible to benefit from:
- Reduced teaching assignment to care for your newborn or newly adopted child (or children)*.
- The exclusion of one countable year from your tenure probationary period for childbirth, adoption, or dependent care*.
- The University’s excellent dual career services, one of the most comprehensive in the country*.
- The ability to enroll a dependent (where applicable) who meets the eligibility criteria in the category of “Other Qualified Adult” in some of your benefit plans (more information is available from the Benefits Office).
- Effective September 1, 2018 — six (6) weeks paid Maternity (Childbirth) Leave to provide birth mothers with time for the physical recovery associated with childbirth; this leave is wholly separate from other available “sick” policies (e.g., short-term and extended sick);
- Effective September 1, 2018 — six (6) weeks paid Parental Leave to provide all new parents (whether by birth, adoption, foster care placement, or child guardianship events) with a period of bonding (birth mothers are also eligible for this paid leave); and
- Effective September 1, 2018, eligibility period for paid Extended Sick Leave benefits reduced from two (2) years from time of hire to one (1) year.
* For tenure-track and tenured faculty members.
Please Note: This portion of the Provost’s website is one source of information only. Official University policies can be found in the Regents’ Bylaws and the Standard Practice Guide (SPG).
The U-M’s commitment to faculty and their families is demonstrated by our childbirth, adoption, foster care placement, and child guardianship policies, which include those listed here. Please note that the numbers in parentheses are links to the applicable information in the Standard Practice Guide.
(All parents [including birth mothers] should see the Childcare & Dependent Care: Policies and Resources section on this website.)
- Paid Sick Leave. As advised by your physician, you will receive paid leave during pregnancy and following childbirth, including paid short term sick leave and, effective September 1, 2018, reduced eligibility period from two (2) years from time of hire to one (1) year for paid Extended Sick Leave benefits. (SPG 201.11-1)
- Modification of Teaching Assignments (Modified Duties). If you give birth, you are entitled to a period of time during which your teaching duties will be modified to allow you to adjust to this new set of life demands–with no reduction in salary. For example, an academic unit may relieve you from direct teaching responsibilities for a semester. (SPG 201.93)
- Excluding Time from the Tenure Clock Due to Childbearing. If, as a female faculty member, you have one or more children during your tenure probationary period, upon request your tenure review will be postponed by a year. (SPG 201.92 ) See also Children, Dependents and Childcare—Excluding Time from the Tenure Clock Due to Dependent Care.
- Six (6) weeks paid Maternity (Childbirth) Leave, effective upon hire, to provide birth mothers with time for the physical recovery associated with childbirth; this leave is wholly separate from other available “sick” policies (e.g., short-term and extended sick) (SPG 201.30-6 — effective September 1, 2018).
Childcare & Dependent Care
At the U-M, we recognize that affordable, quality childcare is a must for working parents. We are proud to offer five different childcare centers, as well as sick-child services. The U-M also: offers significant paid leaves for birth mothers and other new parents; offers leaves of absence for childcare; excludes time from the tenure clock for dependent care; and adheres to the Family Medical Leave Act.
The numbers in parentheses provide direct links to the applicable policy in the Standard Practice Guide (SPG).
Policies Specific to New Parents
(Birth mothers should see the section of this website on Childbirth Policies for additional policies specific to childbirth.)
Modification of Teaching Assignments (Modified Duties)
If you are the parent of a newly born child or the parent of a newly adopted child, you may request a period of time during which your teaching duties will be modified to allow you to adjust to this new set of life demands–with no reduction in salary. For example, an academic unit may relieve you from direct teaching responsibilities for a semester. To be eligible for a period of modified duties, you must meet the criteria described in SPG 201.93.
Excluding Time from the Tenure Clock Due to Dependent Care
As a faculty member who must help meet the demands of caring for dependents (e.g., children, ill or injured partners, or aging parents), you may ask for your tenure review to be postponed by a year. (SPG 201.92)
Policies and Resources Applicable To All New Parents
Effective September 1, 2018 — 6 weeks paid Parental Leave to provide all new parents (whether by birth, adoption, foster care placement, or child guardianship events) with a period of bonding (birth mothers are also eligible for this paid leave). (SPG 201.30-6).
Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
The University supports leaves of absence under the Family Medical Leave Act (please see the University Human Resources web page for more details), which are available to all faculty and staff members. When you meet the eligibility criteria, you are entitled to receive University contributions toward medical and dental premiums for up to 12 weeks in a 12-month period. If you have questions or need further details, please visit the Work/Life Resource Center web page.
Leaves of Absence Without Salary for Childcare
If you or your spouse or partner has given birth to or adopted a child under the age of six, you may request a leave of absence without salary for childcare. You may also request such leaves for other purposes (e.g., educational, government or public service and outside teaching, research, and scholarly activity). (SPG 201.30-1)
The University operates the following University childcare centers:
If you have sick children or need back-up emergency childcare (e.g., your regular child care is not available), you can contact a qualified child care provider through the Kids Kare at Home program, which is operated by the U-M’s Work/Life Resource Center. After calling, an assigned, trained caregiver will come to your home within 3-4 hours.
Faculty and Their Families
The Work/Life Resource Center (WLRC) helps University of Michigan families achieve a family-career balance through connections with campus and community resources that help you integrate your personal life and your work life. Through these programs, the University’s goal is to help recruit and retain the best faculty and staff members. A summary of services can be found in the Work-Life Resource Center Brochure.
WLRC services include help in locating childcare and eldercare, educational programs, and the newest addition — U-M Family Helpers — a listing of University of Michigan students who are available to perform various services depending on their profiles, including childcare, yard work, tutoring, housekeeping, and pet sitting (site requires a University of Michigan sign-on).
FASCCO is a University of Michigan Benefits Office Program that offers a number of services designed to help staff, faculty, and their immediate family members with personal difficulties encountered at both work and home. FASCCO also offers personalized coaching services to help you achieve your professional and personal goals. All services are free of charge and completely confidential.
The UCCF provides mental health assessment and treatment for children, adolescents, families, and couples at a moderate cost.
Established in 1964, CEW was the nation’s first comprehensive, university-based women’s center of its kind. Projects targeted to women faculty include the Women of Color in the Academy Project (with the Women’s Studies Program), the Dual Ladder in Higher Education—Research, Resources, and the Academic Workforce Dual Ladder Clearinghouse (project underway). Now CEW+, you can find support for your spouse or partner, including programs, counseling services, and access to CEW+’s library.
This five-year, grant-funded project promotes institutional transformation in science and engineering fields. The program’s goals are to improve recruitment and retention of women faculty in science and engineering and to improve the institutional climate. Publications include Giving and Getting Career Advice (career advising handbook) and the Faculty Recruitment Handbook & Candidate Evaluation Tool.
The Spectrum Center provides a comprehensive range of education, information, and advocacy services, and works to create and maintain an open, safe, and inclusive environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students, faculty, and staff, their families and friends, the campus, and the community at large.
In 1992 a University-wide group of faculty and deans formed the University of Michigan Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Faculty Alliance (UMFA). The Alliance helps to address the needs of new faculty, providing them with social support on their arrival and with advice and support for scholarly work on lesbian and gay issues. The group also works on University policies and curriculum and helps meet the needs of students. Each fall the group holds an annual reception.
As a faculty member, you can purchase a Rec Sports membership for yourself (several types of which are available) and also memberships for your family members at varying rates for children (under the age of 18), dependents (children between the ages of 18 and 25), and sponsored adults (spouse, partner, or children over the age of 25). Members have access to several UM sports facilities.
The Geriatrics Center is dedicated to providing educational opportunities, advancing research on the healthcare issues of older adults and providing exemplary multidisciplinary care and services for the older population. Their offerings include the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
About Ann Arbor
One of the biggest perks of working at the University of Michigan is living in Ann Arbor. Our beautiful city offers all the music, arts, dining, and cultural opportunities of a large city while still retaining that “home-town” feel. Situated on the banks of the Huron River, Ann Arbor is also known for its abundant parklands, excellent schools, low crime rate, and a community as diverse as that of large metropolitan cities. For more information about the Ann Arbor area, see Explore Ann Arbor (Michigan Ross) and Destination Ann Arbor (Leaders & Best).
Your source of information on benefits plans offered by the University of Michigan, allowing you to create a program best suited to your needs and those of your eligible dependents. The website offers Benefit Plan Forms and Documents that explain the benefits packages available, and also lists news, updates, and resources of interest to U-M employees.
The University of Michigan recognizes that health insurance is a benefit of vital importance to our faculty and staff. Since January 1, 2008, a new category of dependent called Other Qualified Adult (OQA) has been available to all benefits-eligible U-M employees.
The Other Qualified Adult status went into effect after the University discontinued its benefits to same-sex domestic partners to comply with Michigan state law. To be eligible for University benefits, same-sex partners must meet the eligibility criteria for OQA status.
Sick Leave Income Plan
The University also offers a sick leave income plan. You may use your available sick leave income up to three weeks per calendar year to care for a family member, depending on his or her circumstances. This includes time to care for a family member who loses time from work because of pregnancy, miscarriage, abortion, or childbirth. You may also use this time to care for a newly born, newly adopted or newly fostered child–within the first year from when the child was born or arrived in the home. (SPG 201.11-1). Effective September 1, 2018, UM reduced the eligibility period from two (2) years from time of hire to one (1) year for paid Extended Sick Leave benefits.
Paid Leaves for Birth Mothers and Other New Parents (Separate from Sick Leave Income Plans)
UM established (effective September 1, 2018) two (2) significant new six (6) week paid leaves (“Maternity/Childbirth Leave” and “Parental Leave”) that are standalone and wholly separate from available “sick” policies (e.g., short-term and extended sick), described in SPG 201.30-6.
- Six (6) weeks paid Maternity (Childbirth) Leave is intended to provide birth mothers with time for the physical recovery associated with childbirth; and
- Six (6) weeks paid Parental Leave is intended to provide all new parents (whether by birth, adoption, foster care placement, or child guardianship events) with a period of bonding (birth mothers are also eligible for this leave).
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)
Flexible Spending Accounts are a great way to pay for dependent care and health care while saving you tax dollars. FSAs allow you to set aside pre-tax dollars for out-of-pocket expenses like day care, medical and prescription co-pays, and much more. And every dollar you defer to an FSA account decreases your taxable income.
In many cases, the dependents of newly hired faculty and staff who enroll at the University of Michigan and apply for resident classification are determined by the Residency Office to be Michigan residents. For these dependents, in-state tuition rates apply. However, if, as a U-M faculty member, one of your immediate family members enrolls at the University as a non-resident, a dean or executive officer may offer him or her a one-year tuition differential grant (SPG 201.69-1).
For more information about benefits available to faculty and their families, contact your school, college, or department.
- Gender in Science and Engineering: Report of the Subcommittee on Family Friendly Policies and Faculty Tracks (March, 2004, PDF format)
- Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs (SACUA) Childcare Task Force (October, 2004)
Balancing Faculty Careers and Family Work, Academe Online, November–December 2004 (Volume 90, Number 6), featuring:
- Balancing Work and Family for Faculty, Curtis
- Developing and Implementing Work-Family Policies for Faculty, Sullivan/Hollenstead/Smith
- Family-Friendly Policies and the Research University, Quin/Lange/Olswang
- Fear Factor: How Safe Is It to Make Time for Family?, Ward/Wolf-Wendel
- Hitting the Maternal Wall, Williams
- Working Part-Time after Tenure, Lobel
“Tenure Clock, Modified Duties, and Sick Leave Policies: Creating ‘A Network of Support and Understanding’ For University of Michigan Faculty Women During Pregnancy and Childbirth”, Jean Waltman and Louise August
“Child Care Task Force issues recommendations”, University Record, March 25, 1998
“How Babies Alter Careers for Academics”, Robin Wilson
“Do Babies Matter? The Effect of Family Formation on the Life Long Careers of Academic Men and Women” part 1 | part 2, Mary Ann Mason and Marc Goulden
From Academe, a publication of the American Association of Higher Education.
Abstract: For women academics, deciding to have a baby is a career decision. Traditional narratives of the academic career must adapt to new demands and new constituencies.
“Academic Work and Family Responsibility: A Balancing Act”, Portia L. Cole and John W. Curtis, Science’s Next Wave, January 16, 2004
“Paid Family and Medical Leave: Why We Need It, How We Can Get It”, Lissa Bell and Sandra Newman
Policy Brief Family Caregiver Alliance National Center for Caregiving (September, 2003)
Additional Information from the Schools and Colleges
- College of Engineering: Family Friendly Policies
- College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA): Policies on Modified Duties, Delayed Tenure Reviews, and Reduced Appointments
- Medical School: Maternity and Dependent Care Leave Policies
- Diversity Matters: A U-M gateway to people and programs that support and advance diversity at the University of Michigan and beyond.
- Faculty Handbook: Contains useful information of interest to current and prospective faculty members.
- Regents of the University of Michigan: An introduction to the Board of Regents, this website also includes the Regents’ Bylaws.
- Standard Practice Guide: The U-M’s guide for rules, regulations, best practices, and more.