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DOCUMENTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY

MOTION TO RECOGNIZE TEMPORARY DISABILITIES CAUSED BY PREGNANCY AND CHILDBIRTH FOR GRADUATE STUDENTS

Linda E. Reichl (professor, physics) submitted the following motion to recognize temporary disabilities caused by pregnancy and childbirth for graduate students. The secretary has classified this resolution as general legislation. The Faculty Council will discuss the motion at its meeting on February 20, 2006.


Sue Alexander Greninger, Secretary

The Faculty Council

MOTION TO RECOGNIZE TEMPORARY DISABILITIES CAUSED BY PREGNANCY AND CHILDBIRTH FOR GRADUATE STUDENTS

MOTION: I move that The University of Texas at Austin adopt a policy allowing extension by one semester of the 14-semester rule* for graduate students who give birth while in graduate school , and that this recommendation be forwarded to the Graduate Assembly for action.1The university currently recognizes the temporary disabilities caused by pregnancy and child birth for faculty members on the tenure clock (http://www.utexas.edu/provost/policies/leave/sick_leave.html#7); it is important to extend to graduate students giving birth the recognition of additional time to accomplish progress toward completing their dissertations.

JUSTIFICATION: Giving birth while in graduate school slows down a student's progress toward their degree; having an additional semester of employment will help students complete their degrees.  The proposed change represents a small but crucial step by U.T. Austin to retain in the academic pipeline outstanding women graduate students who become pregnant while in graduate school.

*The 14 semester rule refers to the Graduate School policy that a graduate student may NOT receive support (in the form of a GRA or TA) for more than 14 semesters.



Distributed through the Faculty Council web site on February 14, 2006. Copies are available on request from the Office of the General Faculty, WMB 2.102, F9500.


1Legislation amended by Linda Reichl the morning of March 20, 2006.