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April 10, 2014

University committee looking at faculty and staff leaves

The complex array of leaves the University provides for employees is being studied by a group of faculty and staff from the West Lafayette, Calumet, Fort Wayne and North Central campuses.

"Our current leaves program is too complicated and involves 17 different policies," says Luis E. Lewin, vice president for human resources. "It's difficult for our employees -- and even our resident leave experts -- to determine how much leave a person is entitled to in some situations."

Lewin hopes this committee can simplify the leaves program and make it easier to understand.

Chaired by Vic Lechtenberg, special assistant to the president, the committee has been charged with gathering and analyzing leave plan and policy design alternatives for all aspects of faculty and staff leave.

The committee is scheduled to make preliminary recommendations by early summer. The committee's goal is to recommend a leave program that is:

* Simply expressed and understandable for faculty and staff.
* Competitive, allowing Purdue to attract and retain talented faculty and staff.
* Easy to administer and track for business offices and Human Resources.
* In line with the University's obligation to use its resources responsibly.

The preliminary recommendations will be presented to the University community for feedback before final decisions are made. No date has been set for implementing any changes that result from the committee's work.

In addition to the ideas and experiences committee members bring to the discussion, the group has conducted faculty and staff focus groups and has enlisted the help of Pacific Resources, a consulting firm that specializes in employee leaves and benefits.

Pacific Resources has benchmarked Purdue's current leaves program against the programs of other universities, the state of Indiana and employers in industry. The company is also sharing what it considers best practices related to employee leaves.

To keep faculty and staff informed about its work, the committee has set up a Web page at www.purdue.edu/hr/Benefits/UniversityLeavesCommittee.html. It provides the following:

* Overview of the project.
* Benchmarking information.
* Summary of focus group findings.
* List of those serving on the committee.

More information will be added to the website as the project progresses.

Faculty and staff may submit questions or comments to the committee anonymously at https://purdue.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_1ZZB5jZulYKNhVb