University of Colorado Boulder Graduate Student Parental Leave Policy
Effective 12/15/2014

It is the practice of the University of Colorado Boulder (CU-Boulder) to support to the greatest extent possible, and in a manner consistent with the effective and efficient operation of CU-Boulder, graduate students with a need for pregnancy, childbirth, adoption, and parental leave. Supervisors and advisors of graduate students shall comply with these rules to accommodate graduate students with such needs.

 

Introduction

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 states that, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance." CU-Boulder is committed to providing its graduate students who may become pregnant, are pregnant, who gave birth, or who are parents with the same access to school programs and educational opportunities that other students have access to.

 

Statement of Eligibility

A graduate student is eligible to use the Time-Off Program for parental leave under these rules within the first 12 months of the birth or adoption of a child if the graduate student is currently enrolled in a graduate program at CU-Boulder and in good academic standing, regardless of graduate status and whether or not the student has passed the comprehensive examination. The child may be the student’s child or that of a spouse or domestic partner.   

 

  1. Leave for Pregnancy

If a graduate student’s physician deems it medically necessary to be absent, graduate students who are pregnant should be treated in the same manner as those students with other serious medical conditions. If requested, the graduate student shall provide documentation from the student’s physician that evidences the need for and length of the absence. Such documentation shall be submitted to and retained by the Dean of the Graduate School’s office.

For short term absences, graduate students will work with the course instructor to make arrangements to complete course assignments and make up the work missed due to pregnancy or related conditions. Beginning when their medical leave ends, graduate students will receive the same amount of time to complete their work as was allotted before they left. If a graduate student will miss a significant amount of the semester, the student should speak with her department regarding starting the Time-Off program.

 

  1. Parental Leave for Child Care Following Birth or Adoption

During the time that the student will be on leave, the student should be enrolled in the University’s Time-Off program. By participating in the program, students may take up to one year off from their graduate studies and maintain their student status while not being enrolled. Eligible graduate students will be granted an extension on University and departmental requirements and academic milestones based on the approved leave.

Students on Time-Off are eligible to retain enrollment in the student health insurance plans offered by the University. For information on this process, students should contact Wardenburg Health Center.

Upon return from the Time-Off program, the graduate student will be returned to the academic status previously held, including the ability to work with an advisor and to enroll in necessary courses. To the extent feasible, the graduate student will receive a level of financial support similar to what the student had before taking leave. For example, this may not be possible if grant funding has a limited duration or if the student’s supervising principal investigator has left the University.

 

  1. Procedure

Process Step

Responsibility

 

1.

The graduate student shall inform the chair of the department and/or their advisor or supervisor as early as possible of the intent to use the Time-Off program for the purposes of parental leave.

 

Student

 

2.

The graduate student and department will formally agree upon the dates constituting parental leave under this policy. The parties will specify the academic term in which the student will resume graduate studies. Family Medical Leave must also be designated if the student is eligible.[1]

 

Student and Department

3.

International students should discuss taking leave with the Office of International Education to ensure there are no unforeseen consequences to their visa status.

Student

4.

Student will apply for the Time-Off Program through the registrar’s office and obtain required approvals.

Student

 

5.

If the student does not return after the completion of the Time-Off period or request an extension, the student will be considered withdrawn from the university. In these cases, if the student wishes to return to the university they will be required to reapply.

 

Student

 

6.

Upon return from the Time-Off program, the graduate student will be returned to the status they held previously, including the ability to work with an advisor and enroll in necessary courses.  To the extent feasible, the student will receive a level of financial support similar to what the student had before taking leave.

 

 

Department

 

D. Possible Financial Implications

If a student leaves in the middle of a semester and is on a student appointment, that appointment will be terminated on the student’s last day of work.

Students with loans, scholarships, or any other aid should consult with the Office of Financial Aid and/or their home department before beginning the Time-Off program.

Any graduate student who anticipates a request for leave is encouraged to read the guidelines surrounding the Time-Off program. Graduate students, departments, and faculty advisors who have questions about this policy should consult as needed with the Dean of the Graduate School’s office. In complex situations, the Dean of the Graduate School should consult with University Counsel to determine eligibility for leave under these rules.

 

[1] The provisions of this Policy are intended to be interpreted in conjunction with the University of Colorado’s Family Medical Leave Policy. Leave under this Policy will be considered leave under the Family Medical Leave Policy, and leave under the Family Medical Leave Policy that is taken for the purpose of child care as described herein shall be considered leave under this Policy. Thus, leave taken under this Policy counts as part of, not in addition to, the twelve weeks of leave permitted under the Family Medical Leave Policy. Please note that Family Medical Leave must be designated to those individuals who meet eligibility requirements. Any graduate student who anticipates a request for leave under this Policy is encouraged to read both policies closely. Graduate Students, Departments, advisors, and supervisors who have questions about this Policy should consult as needed with the Dean of the Graduate School’s office. In complex situations, the Dean of the Graduate School should consult with University Counsel to determine FMLA eligibility.