Modified Duties for Faculty Due to Life Events, Policy on

Title: Modified Duties for Faculty Due to Life Events
Policy Owner: Human Resources
Office of the Provost
Applies to: All Faculty
Campus Applicability: Storrs and Regional Campuses
Approval Date: December 19, 2023
Effective Date: January 1, 2024
For More Information, Contact: Human Resources
Contact Information:
Official Website: 


The University of Connecticut is committed to fostering an educational community with a flexible and supportive work environment where faculty can thrive in both their professional and personal lives. Periodically, a faculty member may need to modify some level of academic duties in order to respond to an anticipated or unanticipated personal qualifying life event.

The university encourages faculty to utilize this policy as needed to respond to anticipated or unanticipated life events or situations.

This policy does not diminish, supersede or replace other employee entitlements, such as FMLA, the Faculty Medical Leave Guidelines, ADA, personal leave, or leaves under the By-Laws of the University of Connecticut, the UConn AAUP Collective Bargaining Agreement, or any other state or federal law. Instead, this benefit is available upon a faculty member’s return to on-campus activities following such a leave or when modified duties fully resolve the issue or supplement existing entitlements.


This policy allows a faculty member to request a temporary modification of academic duties in order to respond to an anticipated or unanticipated personal life event or situation (see Qualifying Events definition). Specifically, the intent of this policy is to modify or re-arrange a faculty member’s duties over the course of a semester or 12-month equivalency to address an immediate and short-term personal need or obligation. Of note, duty modifications do not decrease a faculty member’s responsibilities; instead, modification allows the faculty member, in conjunction with their Department Head and/or Dean, to exchange duties on a short-term basis.

Modified duties involve either 1) full-time work with flexible schedule, modified work duties as defined herein, remote work, and/or other arrangements as agreed upon and approved or 2) a combination of working less than full-time (Voluntary Schedule Reduction), paid leave and/or leave without pay (e.g. FMLG/FMLA if eligible), as appropriate.


Modified Duties: Modification, partial release, or complete release from teaching and/or other responsibilities in which alternative duties will be assigned for a period of one semester or the equivalent of one semester distributed over a longer period not to exceed 12 months.

Primary Caregiver: The person primarily responsible for the care and upbringing of a child or the care of an immediate family member with a serious illness or injury.

Secondary Caregiver: The person who provides backup care in the absence of the primary caregiver.

Immediate Family Member: Immediate family means spouse, parent, parent-in-law, sibling, sibling in-law, child, and any relative who is domiciled in the employee’s household.

Qualifying Event: In most instances, faculty members will seek the benefits of this policy following their return from an approved medical leave after the birth or adoption of a child. Other qualifying circumstances could include: short-term care for the employee or an immediate family member on a part-time basis following the completion of an approved personal or FMLA leave; or bereavement following the death of an immediate family member or other emergency circumstance. The University will not grant duty modifications for faculty members to devote time to consulting, outside employment, or non-medical related family obligations.


All full-time tenure-track and non-tenure-track (e.g., Clinical, In Residence, Lecturer, and Extension) faculty members, and Athletics’ titles (Article 37) serving as the primary or secondary caregiver shall be eligible for modified duties due to a qualifying life event involving themselves or immediate family member(s). The faculty member or an employee covered by Article 37 must submit a Modified Duties Request form to seek permission and receive approval before modified duties can be assigned or implemented.

All Academic Assistants (Article 13[1]), Facilities Scientists (Article 13), Research Assistants (Article 24), Research Associates (Article 24), and Temporary Faculty(Article 26), are not eligible for modified duties and will continue to be eligible to request remote work, flexible schedules or use of paid leave and/or leave without pay (e.g. FMLG/FMLA if eligible), when appropriate and with approval.

Approval for modified duties does not alter contractual employment agreements and cannot be used as a basis to extend employment contracts.


Violations of this policy may result in appropriate disciplinary measures in accordance with University By-Laws, General Rules of Conduct for All University Employees and applicable collective bargaining agreements.


Available from the Academic Affairs section of the Academic Affairs Governance Document Library.

  • Procedures for Modified Duties for Faculty Due to Life Events


Tenure Clock Adjustments for Qualifying Life Events for more information.
Leave of Absences (FMLA, Leave without pay, Military Leave)
Voluntary Schedule Reduction

Acknowledgments: This policy is based on the University of South Carolina’s, Modified Duties for Faculty policy ( Adaptations were made to fit the University of Connecticut context.


Policy created: 12/19/2023 (Approved by Senior Policy Council and the President)


[1] Article references are to the collective bargaining agreement between the University of Connecticut and the American Association of University Professors (AAUP-UConn).