Faculty Leaves of Absence

Medical and Parental Leaves

Faculty Medical Leaves of Absence

  • Medical Absences of Fewer Than Six Days


    .5 FTE 


    Eligible faculty members will continue to receive their regular salary for occasional absences because of nonwork-related illness or injury.  


  • Medical/Short-Term Disability Leaves


    .5 FTE.  Faculty who are less than half-time are not eligible for short-term disability.  


    Eligible faculty members who are absent for six or more consecutive working days due to illness or injury should apply for short-term disability, which is subject to approval by Wesleyan's short-term disability insurance provider.   

    Filing a Short-Term Disability Claim 

    Please contact the benefits office in Human Resources at ext. 2100 for directions on how to file a claim.  

    Due to faculty members' unique teaching and semester-driven responsibilities, the faculty member may be placed on unpaid leave.  If a faculty member is placed on an unpaid leave and subsequently a medical leave is approved by the insurance provider, salary will then be continued along with a retroactive payment to the date of disability. The length of short-term disability will be determined by Wesleyan's short-term disability insurance provider, but can be no longer than six months. For a disability of longer than six months, eligible faculty may receive coverage for additional benefits provided under the University's long-term disability insurance program, which is administered by Wesleyan's long-term disability insurance provider.  


  • Long-Term Disability

    Wesleyan University provides long-term disability (LTD) insurance through Unum to all-benefits eligible employees at no cost. If your nonwork-related disability extends beyond the short-term disability period, long-term disability benefits are available. All employees on long-term disability will be eligible to participate in the group health insurance plan until age 65. 


    .75 FTE 


    The length of the long-term disability benefit is determined by Wesleyan's long-term disability insurance provider based on the medical documentation provided to them by your provider.     

    Benefit Begins 

    Maximum Benefit Duration 

    Benefit Amount 

    Maximum Monthly Benefit 

     181st day of disability  

    Disabled prior to age 62 – up to Social Security normal retirement age 

    60% monthly earnings 


     181st day of disability  

    Disabled after age 62 – based on your age at the time of disability 

    60% monthly earnings 



    Returning to Work After a Short- or Long-Term Disability Period Ends 

    A note is required from your provider before you return to work for all medical claims except maternity. 

Faculty Parental Leave

  • Full or Partial Parental Leave for Full-Time Tenured/Tenure-Track Faculty Members

    Full or Partial Parental Leave for Full-Time Tenured/Tenure-Track Faculty Members 

    Full parental leave with full pay is available to the birth mother (or in the case of adoption, the primary parent, of any gender) during the semester in which the birth or adoption occurred, or the semester immediately thereafter, if the birth or adoption occurred between semesters. This leave confers full benefits and no loss of status, but does not count toward accrual of sabbatical eligibility. 

    Full parental leave for one semester with two-thirds salary (without loss of benefits or status), or (ii) partial parental leave with a reduced load of at least one full course for a semester at full salary (without loss of benefits or status) is available to the non-birth parent of any gender (or in the case of adoption, the non-primary parent of any gender). A partial parental leave counts as a semester of service toward the accrual of sabbatical eligibility; a full parental leave does not. The leave will normally be taken during the semester in which the birth or adoption occurs or the semester immediately after. If a child is born or adopted between semesters, the leave may be taken the semester immediately after. 

    • Only one parental leave is granted for a birth or adoption (without regard to the number of children born or adopted); therefore, if both parents are eligible for a faculty parental leave benefit, the parents may propose a way to share one parental leave or designate one parent to take it. 
    •  If one spouse or domestic partner is a faculty member who is eligible for a faculty parental leave, and the other a Wesleyan staff member, the policy on parental leave for staff applies to the staff member. 
    • In certain unusual circumstances, and upon preapproval, faculty members who intend to take a partial parental leave may be permitted to fulfill their teaching obligation for that leave by offering the scheduled course in the semester prior to or after their parental leave. As per the University's policy on teaching loads, if enrollment in such courses is fewer than five students, the course will not be credited to the instructor's teaching load, and the instructor will be expected to make up the deficit in a later semester. This option may be taken only if it can be shown to be in the best interests of the department as well as that of the faculty member. Faculty who have obtained permission for this option must be available for other University responsibilities during the parental leave semester as is normally the case for faculty on partial parental leaves. Approval for this option has to be obtained in advance from Academic Affairs. 
    • The parental leave policy is intended to provide a leave for the birth or adoption of a child into a family; it is not intended for an adoption of a marital or domestic partner’s child. 
    • This policy is flexible on the question of whether the leave semester must count toward the canonical time for a tenure decision. If the parental leave concludes before a faculty member submits his or her dossier to the department for a tenure decision, the faculty member has until the end of the leave (but no later) to declare whether the semester's full or partial leave will count as a semester toward her or his probationary tenure period. As part of his or her declaration, the faculty member has the option (within the same time constraint) to declare that the semester immediately following the parental leave semester shall likewise not count as a semester toward her or his probationary tenure period. If the faculty member decides to count the leave semester toward the probationary period or if a leave is not taken, the appointment contract and the schedule for personnel decisions are not affected. If the faculty member decides not to count the semester toward her or his probationary period, the leave will have the effect of extending the appointment contract and the canonical time of personnel decisions for non-tenured faculty. If the parental leave concludes after a faculty member submits his or her dossier to the department for a tenure decision, the schedule for the tenure decision is unaffected, and the faculty member must have the support of both the department and the VPAA for the contract to be extended. 
    • This parental leave policy does not supersede the benefit that parents of adopted children receive for reimbursement of expenses associated with adoption. Consistent with University policy, this parental leave is a paid leave, which may not be used for purposes of salaried services elsewhere. 


  • Full or Partial Parental Leaves for Non-Tenure-Track Faculty

    Parental leaves are available for non-tenure-track faculty. The starting point for such leaves is the parental leave policy for staff, but the details will be decided on a case-by-case basis by the VPAA in consultation with the department and the faculty member. Typical complicating issues include: 

    • Summer. Because faculty members are already not on duty during the summer, there may be adjustments from the staff policy if the leave is partly in the summer. 
    • Vacation days. Because faculty members do not accrue vacation days, the time of paid parental leave for non-tenure-track faculty will generally be extended from the staff policy by the standard number of vacation days that staff accrue yearly (unless part of this time is in the summer). 
    • Teaching schedules. Every case is different and will require consideration of the specific details, including the faculty member's standard teaching load. 


Faculty are eligible for all state- and federally-mandated leaves of absence including: 

Family and Medical Leave 

Family Violence Leave 

Military Leave through USERRA

Please refer to the Faculty Handbook for other leave policies

Education and Support Materials 

Legal Notices 


Please contact benefits@wesleyan.edu with leave and disability questions. Once you’ve opened a disability claim, please contact Unum’s customer services department regarding your claim at 1-866-679-3054, Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m.–8 p.m. EST or by accessing www.unum.com. Click on "participants" under the login menu at the top of the screen. If you are a new user, follow the prompts to create your username and password. 


Benefit Disclaimer 

Benefit summaries are provided for the convenience of Wesleyan employees. Employees are directed to read the relevant benefit plan documents. In the event of a conflict between the terms of any summary and the terms of actual plan documents, the terms of plan documents will control. Except where prohibited by collective bargaining or other agreement, Wesleyan reserves the right to alter, modify, or suspend any benefit at any time. While Wesleyan selects its benefit providers after thoughtful review, it disclaims responsibility for the ultimate performance of such providers.