To illustrate eligibility, application procedures, benefit parameters, and return from employee professional development leave.

Professional development leave for bargaining unit employees is subject to collective bargaining agreements and shall be governed by the respective agreements. Failing such agreements, board policy and administrative rule shall apply. 

“Professional development leave” refers to a significant or recurring absence from duty for the purpose of pursuing a course of academic, training or experiential learning to advance the mission of the college. Professional development leave is distinguished from short-term professional development activities such as conferences, workshops, etc., which are addressed in Administrative Rule 6145-01. The college recognizes that offering ongoing employees time away from regular job responsibilities to engage in an extended professional development activity reinforces our pervasive commitment to life-long learning, and to excellence in the delivery of educational services. 

Employees having completed at least three (3) years of annually renewed employment with the college shall be eligible to apply for up to one year of half-time professional development leave.  Examples of professional development activities for which a leave may be granted include, but are not limited to:

  • Advanced study
  • Exchange teaching or administration
  • Professional improvement through study of business or industry as an employee or intern
  • Research related to employee’s area of responsibility
  • Work for a federal or state agency in a capacity related to employee’s area of responsibility

Application Procedure 

  1. To apply for professional development leave, the employee shall submit a letter of application to the appropriate vice president or the president a minimum of ninety (90) days prior to the first day of their proposed leave. The letter shall include a full description and duration of the activity, how the leave will benefit the college, how the leave fits the employee’s short and long term goals and the plan for coverage of the employee’s job responsibilities while on the leave.  The employee’s supervisor must approve the application by submitting a letter in support.  Both letters shall be forwarded to the appropriate vice-president for a final decision.  Such decisions shall be forwarded to Human Resources and retained in the employee’s personnel file.
  2. The employee granted professional development leave shall consult with his or her supervisor to configure the schedule for leave days and work days. No leave schedule shall exceed thirty (30) consecutive full calendar days at one time.   For example, the employee can alternate working for a month with taking leave for a month during the leave year, or work every other work day for the leave year, or take leave up to twenty (20) hours per week for the leave year. The final approval of the work schedule is the responsibility of the vice president and/or president.

Leave Benefits

  1. Portions of professional development leaves taken in full day increments will be funded at 75% of the employee’s regular salary with full benefits. Employees may use available paid leave to compensate themselves for the remaining 25% of any full-day absences. Exempt employees taking portions of a professional development leave in increments that are less than a full-day, need not charge any portion of the absence against their paid leave accruals.  During the period of leave, the employee’s total compensation (including LBCC and external sources) shall not exceed the employee’s regular college compensation.  If the employee receives additional compensation from an external source, he/she shall notify Human Resources.
  2. Employees on approved professional development leave shall continue to accrue seniority, paid leave and sick leave benefits. Returning employees shall receive any salary increases given to management/exempt staff by the college while the employee was on leave.
  3. When an employee is participating in an exchange agreement between the college and another institution, LBCC will be provided an “exchange” employee. The LBCC employee will receive their full salary and benefits and the “exchange” employee will be paid by their home institution.

 Return to Active Status

  1. Upon completion of the professional development leave, the employee shall provide their supervisor with a written report on the work undertaken during the leave or make a presentation to an appropriate audience.
  2. Recipients of approved professional development leave shall return to active status, barring factors beyond the control of the recipient, for a period of time equal to two times the period of leave or repay all funds received during the leave.  Reimbursement to the college is subject to pro-ration based upon the length of time spent in active status after the employee’s return from leave.

DATE(S) OF REVISION(S): 5/15/07, 6/7/12; 1/10/18