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Penn State expands paid parental leave to non-tenure track faculty and to staff after six months

Penn State's Old Main administrative building, with a large tree on the left side.
Emily Reddy

Penn State has announced expanded eligibility for parental leave for both faculty and staff.

All full-time Penn State faculty who become a parent to a new baby, adopt a child, or become the new legal guardian of a child will now be eligible for six weeks of paid parental leave. Before, if the faculty member was not the one giving birth, they were allowed two paid weeks off.

The policy revisions released Tuesday also give non-tenure track faculty a release from teaching responsibilities for the rest of the semester. Tenured and tenure-track faculty already had that option. To continue to be paid during the semester off, all faculty must continue non-classroom work like research and student advising. The changes came from recommendations in a report by the Penn State Faculty Senate.

"Based on the benchmarking we’ve done, we believe that this positions Penn State as a leader in how we are supporting our colleagues who are starting families, in whatever way they choose,” said former vice-chair of the senate’s Faculty Benefits Committee Denise Costanzo.

In addition to these changes for faculty, Penn State staff will be eligible for four weeks of paid parental leave after six-months of employment at the university instead of after a year.

These changes will go into effect July 1.

Emily Reddy is the news director at WPSU-FM, the NPR-affiliate public radio station for central and northern Pennsylvania.