An institutional commitment to continuous learning and innovation will enhance the University of Arizona's ability to fulfill its mission of teaching, research, and service. In support of that commitment, all benefits-eligible employees shall be provided at least 16 hours of paid release time annually to pursue professional development opportunities. Release time shall be prorated for those with less than full-time appointments.
This policy applies to all benefits-eligible employees, both classified staff and appointed personnel.
The focus and means of an employee's professional development activity should be guided by departmental objectives, available resources, and the employee's career goals. Conferences, university-sponsored educational programs, academic coursework, internships, and time for research or intensive reading are but a few of the ways members of our community may pursue professional development. While departments are encouraged to fund professional development activities that will enhance the employee's contribution to the university, fees for professional development programming are not automatically reimbursed.
Employees must receive approval from their supervisors before using release time for professional development. If an employee chooses to participate in professional development activities on his or her own time, the time spent is not considered as time worked and will not be considered for overtime or compensatory time.
Can I request time off to pursue professional development opportunities?
Yes, all full-time benefits-eligible employees are eligible for at least 16 hours of paid release time annually to pursue professional development. Release time is prorated if you work less than full time. Supervisors may approve more than 16 hours of paid time at their discretion. You must request approval from your supervisor before using release time for professional development.
What can I do if my supervisor is unwilling to release me to attend professional development opportunities?
Seek to understand your supervisor's concerns and offer solutions to address them. You may need to plan your professional development activities for a less disruptive time. Be prepared to show how the professional development would contribute to departmental objectives and enhance your value to the University.
I am an ancillary employee. Can I request paid time to pursue professional development opportunities?
The Continuing Professional Development policy applies only to benefits-eligible employees. However, supervisors have the discretion to support non-benefits-eligible employees in their pursuit of professional development. Discuss the matter with your supervisor, and be prepared to show how the professional development would contribute to departmental objectives and enhance your value to the University.
My supervisor says the department cannot afford to pay conference or professional development fees. Can the department really ask me to pay my own way?
Yes. Departments are encouraged to fund professional development activities that enhance employees' contributions to the University, but fees are not automatically reimbursed.
I am an appointed not a classified staff employee. Does the professional development policy apply to me?
Yes. The University's commitment to continuous learning and innovation applies to all benefits-eligible employees.