New parental leave policy among several items trustees approve
The University of Louisville Board of Trustees acted Oct. 14 to improve employee benefits and make way for additional income to the university.
Trustees approved a policy change that will provide up to six weeks of paid leave for faculty and staff following the birth or adoption of a child. The original policy provided three weeks of paid leave. Human Resources is funding the additional three weeks as a wellness benefit.
The policy applies to all regular full-time employees, part-time employees whose status is at least 50 percent FTE and part-time employees who are at least 40 percent FTE and were hired on or before May 1, 1992.
Provost Shirley Willihnganz said the policy relieves employees' burden of finding child care when most child care centers will not accept infants younger than 6 weeks of age.
The leave must begin no sooner than two weeks before the anticipated delivery date and must end no later than six weeks after the child's birth or adoption.
Comparable universities have similar policies, Willihnganz said, and stressed that such campus organizations as the Staff Senate, Faculty Senate and Great Places to Work Initiative endorsed the change.
The trustees also approved
A ground lease that will lead to construction of the first office building at ShelbyHurst Research and Office Park off Shelbyville Road and around Shelby Campus. The UofL Foundation and NTS Development Co. will be partners in the building, which will be leased to generate revenue for UofL's academic programs.
Naming a plaza area near Miller Information Technology Center and Lutz Hall after longtime UofL friend and donor Bernard Trager. Trager has donated "Truth and Justice," a sculpture by Barney Bright, to the UofL for inclusion in the plaza. Completion is scheduled by spring.
Revisions to personnel policies and procedures in the College of Education and Human Development, Speed School of Engineering, School of Dentistry and the College of Arts and Sciences.
A resolution honoring Joseph McMillan, a longtime faculty member who died Aug. 29.
In other business, Trustees created an ad hoc committee to explore areas of collaboration between UofL and the University of Kentucky that can make both universities stronger.
Trustee Debbie Scoppechio read a statement to the board in which she praised UofL President James Ramsey and repeated the board's support of his leadership.
"We want to reassure the community that we will do everything in our power to keep Dr. Ramsey at least through 2020. We realize he has talked about retirement and we want to keep his talent as long as he wants to stay," Scoppechio said.
In his monthly report to the board, President James Ramsey reported that UofL and its partners have made capital investments of more than $150 million in a downtown Louisville Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district, which includes the Health Sciences Center. Pending an audit outcome, those investments allow for some portion of future tax revenues in that area to be allocated to UofL to fund development.
Ramsey also reported that the Louisville Metro Council, he said recently approved a TIF district for the Belknap Campus area. The proposal will be submitted to the state for approval.