14 Jun Professional Development funds are a part of your compensation!
- The UICUF 2018-2022 contract guarantees every faculty member professional development funds as a part of their compensation package.
- Many departments ask faculty to submit claims for reimbursement by the end of the fiscal year, June 30: August 15 is the hard deadline.
From our contract:
Article VI. Compensation, Leaves, and Group Health
A.1.c Professional Expense Reimbursements
Funds will be allocated each year of this Agreement so that each bargaining unit member shall receive up to ($600 NTT or $900 TT) for expenses related only to research and/or teaching-related professional development, to be reimbursed in accordance with University policy and guidelines. In the event that a bargaining unit member has an opportunity to travel for professional meetings/conferences, specific to their employment duties, then they may be eligible for an additional $600. Pre-approval for the additional funding must be obtained from the Unit Executive Officer prior to the event and, if approved, will be reimbursed in accordance with University policy and guidelines. These funds supplement departmental professional development budgets, if any, rather than replace them.
Professional development funds should be considered a part of your compensation/benefits package, although system policy stipulates that they must be used in a manner that befits and benefits the university. All programs and department bylaws should outline what is and is not acceptable use for these funds. In addition to the professional development funds, all faculty are entitled to an additional $600 dollars specifically for travel-related expenses related to meeting/conference attendance. This $600 dollars must be pre-approved by the faculty member’s Executive Officer. It is important to note that the funds established by the union contract is a minimum amount, and does not limit the amount departments may grant faculty for important development opportunities.
The hard deadline to use these funds is August 15th, although many departments ask faculty to use funds in advance of the deadline, either citing the end of the university fiscal year–June 30–or potential delays in processing a sudden onslaught of requests. In the spirit of collegiality, faculty should make every effort to comply with these requests when possible, but August 15th is the contractual deadline. Some members are reporting increased delays in reimbursement due to the system’s switch to a new reporting system for expenses. With these issues in mind, we would like to emphasize the importance of all faculty using their professional development funds as soon as possible as they do not roll over from previous academic years.
If you encounter issues with using your professional development funds, please do not hesitate to reach out to your local UICUF Representative Assembly Member (see list below) or email us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com.