8.1 Reference to State Contract Provisions

    The College will implement the Personal Development Leave program for Professional Staff except librarians. The program is specified in Article XVI Section J of the Agreement between the State of New Jersey and the Union [page 25]. The purpose of this program is to provide Professional Staff members with an opportunity for personal development. The personal development indicated in the Agreement is aimed at improving professional skills mutually beneficial to the University and the employee.



        All full-time Professional Staff not serving on the Professional Development Peer Review Committee are eligible to apply for Personal Development Leave of up to one semester.

    Leaves of one semester duration will be granted no more frequently than once every six (6) years. Leaves of shorter duration will be granted no more frequently than once every three (3) years.


        Applications should be made on the forms provided and the application should clearly state the objective and/or goals of the proposed professional development leave. Approved applications submitted in the Spring and requested for a Fall semester leave will be granted after the appropriate review absent undue hardship for the section and/or unforeseen circumstances for the individual. In this case, the individual must be given leave no later than the Spring semester of the academic year for which the application was made. When an approved leave is denied because of undue hardship for the section and that denial delays the leave into the next Fall, the individual may resubmit the application and must be placed at the top of the list by the Professional Development Peer Review Committee for the Fall semester.


        Applications will be submitted to the immediate supervisors and the Professional Development Peer Review Committee no later than the dates specified in the administrative calendar. If the immediate supervisor is also a candidate, applications will be submitted to the next level of supervision.


        Applications may be made for the purpose of pursuing a substantial project designed to enhance professional expertise. Personal Development Leaves may also be granted for advanced study or for the pursuit of an accredited terminal degree program in an appropriate field of study mutually beneficial to the University and the employee.


        8.3.1 COMPOSITION

        The Professional Development Peer Review Committee will consist of the following:

   Four Professional Staff members in the negotiating unit, including at least one (1) Professional Staff member from the Division of Academic Affairs, at least one (1) Professional Staff member from the Division of Institutional Advancement and at least one (1) Professional Staff member from the Division of Student Development and Campus Life, and having at least three (3) years of service at the University. They will be elected by the unit Professional Staff members.

            When considering applications for Staff Training for Professional Development, the Committee will expand to include one (1) representative from the librarian group.

   One Union observer (non-voting).

   The chairperson (non-voting), to be appointed by the President.

        8.3.2 READERS

        There will be two (2) Professional Staff members (Readers) appointed by the President or his or her designee from a list of four (4) Professional Staff members (unit or non-unit) suggested by the applicant on the basis of relevant expertise. The Readers will provide the Committee with their evaluation of an applicant's proposal.

         8.3.3 TERM

        Elected Professional Staff members will serve for a one-year term. No elected person may serve for more than three consecutive years. To provide continuity the Committee will, in years in which no member is reelected, elect one member to serve one additional year without vote.

        8.3.4 ELECTION

        The non-voting chair will solicit names for the Committee and conduct a mail ballot election by the date specified in the Administrative Calendar.

     8.4 FUNCTION    

        8.4.1 The Review Committee is charged with the responsibility of reviewing and making recommendations on applications for Personal Development Leaves. The Committee will announce the availability of Personal Development Leaves and make available to applicants instructions on how to apply.

        8.4.2 Upon receipt of applications the Committee will proceed as follows:

   The two (2) independent Readers' evaluations will be forwarded to the Committee.

   The Committee will evaluate the applications, taking into consideration the Readers' evaluations, and the four elected Professional Staff members will group them into two categories, recommended and not recommended.

            The recommended group will be arranged in rank order on the basis of the merit of the proposal. In the case of equal merit, seniority of the applicant will be a factor in the ranking.

   The application, the Readers' evaluations and the Committee's recommendations and rankings will be forwarded to the President's designee.



        Priority will be given to developmental activities that cannot be funded through other means (e.g., funds available for personnel development or staff training). Where the leave is granted for course work or pursuit of an advanced degree, the leave (maximally four months) may be taken according to the calendar of the institution the person is attending.

        8.5.2 GENERAL CRITERIA

        In assessing applications, the assessors will make their recommendations based upon how completing the proposed activity will improve professional skills mutually beneficial to the University and the employee in the following areas: contribution to office, department, division or University; contribution to the community; contribution to the profession; acquisition of new or improvement of current skills or knowledge; innovation/creativity; publications; research. These criteria will be made part of the leave announcement.



        The applicant will prepare his or her application in duplicate. One copy will be forwarded to the Peer Review Committee. One copy will be forwarded to the immediate supervisor. (See 8.7 Administrative Review.)


        Prior to completion of the review of applications by the Committee, a candidate may request in writing and must receive an appearance before the Committee to amplify his or her proposal.


        The Committee will provide a rank order of those applications that are recommended and an alphabetical list of those that are not recommended. Each applicant must be notified in writing of the action of the Committee with regard to his or her application.

         8.6.4 RIGHT TO A MEETING   

        The applicant may request in writing a meeting with the Committee. Such request must be received by the Committee within five (5) working days after the applicant's receipt of notification of the Committee's action. The Committee must meet with the applicant within five (5) working days after receipt of the applicant's request for a meeting.


        The Committee will indicate its recommendations in a letter to the President's designee and simultaneously inform each applicant of its final recommendation as it pertains to the individual applicant.

        Reasons for the Committee's decision to recommend or not recommend will be forwarded to the applicant and the President's designee.

        8.6.6 RIGHT TO APPEAL

        Appeals from Committee recommendations may be made to the Professional Staff Review Board within ten (10) working days of written notification. The Professional Staff Review Board will submit its written recommendations and rationale to the President's designee and the appellant.



   The immediate supervisor evaluates the merits of the application using the guidelines in 8.4 and indicates whether or not the absence of the individual for the period stated will create an undue hardship for the section in which the applicant is employed.

   If the immediate supervisor, in consultation with higher level supervision, indicates that the absence of the individual for the period requested will create an undue hardship for the section in which the applicant is employed, he or she must meet with the candidate and devise a plan that will accommodate the mutual interests of the applicant and the University with a maximum delay of one semester.

   The supervisor forwards his or her recommendation to the division head with a copy to the applicant. If more than one positive recommendation is made, a priority order must be indicated. Negative recommendations must also be reported.

         8.7.2 DIVISION HEAD

        Upon receipt of the recommendations from the supervisors, the division head will evaluate the applications as in above and forward his or her recommendations, positive ones in order of priority, to the President's designee. The applicant must be informed of the recommendation regarding his or her application.


   Upon receipt of the recommendations from the four division heads and the recommendations from the Review Committee, the President's designee will meet with the division heads to develop a combined list of recommended applications in priority order.

   The President's designee will attempt to resolve differences in the recommendations made by the division heads and those made by the Review Committee. In the event resolution cannot be accomplished, two lists will be forwarded to the President.

   Applicants will be informed of the final recommendation to the President.

   The President's designee will be the same person for each cycle in the application review and recommendation process.

   8.7.4 PRESIDENT     

   The President will receive and evaluate the recommendations and submit her or his positive recommendations to the Board of Trustees.

   The President will inform the candidates of her or his recommendations no later than ten (10) days prior to the BOT meeting at which the recommendations will be considered.


    Professional Staff members on such leave are permitted to receive additional compensation in the form of fellowships, government grants, and honoraria for purposes related to the leave, and part-time teaching positions at an institution where they are in residence for the purpose of study and research, in addition to the partial salary from the University, provided the total compensation from all sources does not exceed the Professional Staff member's full salary at the University. The leave may not be used to accept full-time paid employment during the period of the leave. Personnel on Personal Development Leaves may not be precluded from continuing outside employment which they had prior to going on leave.

     8.9 REPORT

    Professional Staff members receiving a Personal Development Leave will submit a summary of the activities or project accomplished during the leave within four weeks after returning to the University. This summary will be submitted to the President or her or his designee through his or her immediate supervisor and division head and a copy will be placed in the appropriate personnel file.


    Professional Staff members receiving a Personal Development Leave will, before accepting this benefit, commit themselves in writing to at least one more calendar year of association with the University upon return from this leave.

    If in the opinion of the President extenuating circumstances exist, the University may waive this requirement.


    To more closely address the needs and the importance of professional development for unit Professional Staff members and librarians a supplemental Staff Training for Professional Development account will be established in each academic year of this contract, subject to the availability of funds. In addition to other funding sources for seminars, workshops, courses and conferences related to their area of responsibility, professional staff and librarians may make application to the Professional Development Peer Review Committee to use these resources.