A legislative mandate to correct data inconsistencies has prompted officials throughout the North Dakota University System to review faculty annual and sick leave.
In 2015, the North Dakota Legislature passed House Bill 1003, which called for the State Board of Higher Education to move forward with policy and procedure changes addressing concerns over data inconsistencies within the system. Some of those inconsistencies included simple definitions such as employment statuses, and others were more complex involving processes relating to financial reporting. One of the more complex issues was faculty sick leave, partly because faculty contracts can be either nine months or 12 months in length and vary widely, and accrued leave can become a budgetary issue when faculty members terminate employment. Previously, leave for faculty has been determined by local campus policy.
The legislation set a deadline for all processes to be put in place by the time the full legislature met again next January. Significant progress has been made with regular reporting being done to both the Board and the Legislature’s Interim Committee on Higher Education.
Discussions have taken place internally at the Council level, the Cabinet level and at the Board level during the past year, stressing the importance of successfully addressing this issue. Recently, Chancellor Mark Hagerott called for the formation of a Faculty Leave Task Force with a deadline for a recommendation due to him by December 15.