So just got hired for a tenure-track job (yay!) but also very recently found out that I am pregnant and due partway through fall semester. There doesn't seem to really be "official" maternity leave at this institution. Wondering if anyone else has experience with something similar - how did you broach the topic with your new department? when (before registration for that semester? not until you arrive on campus?)? and, suggestions for good solutions I could raise for that month or so of the semester that I'd be missing?
Date: 27 Feb 2016 06:46
Number of posts: 4
RSS: New posts
Tell them as soon as possible. This will allow them to have someone else teach your classes. This shouldn't be a problem but don't wait until the last minute.
Congratulations on both fronts!
Tell them right away, even though you probably aren't telling your best friends and family yet. Your department and school will have to start working on a solution now, especially before fall registration starts.
If you are at a more elite school, you probably have a light load anyway with first year course releases and can probably just put all of your classes in the spring semester or next year, and just spend the fall setting up your lab and prepping for that more teaching-intensive semester. They also might just give you leave or a course release even though this isn't part of a policy. If you are at a more teaching focused place then moving around your courses won't likely be possible.
If you must teach your courses, you can ask about online/hybrid options and also plan your lessons ahead of time so substitutes can step in for some number of weeks in the middle of the semester. The best case scenario is if you can get out of all teaching or at least all but one class, though. Pregnancies, deliveries, and recoveries are so unpredictable. Moreover, being postpartum can be downright miserable between the hormones, breastfeeding, sleeplessness, etc.
You might need to defer your start date by a semester. This is what I would recommend if you can afford it. You will not get paid and will need a different insurance plan, though (e.g. your partner's). OR you can stay in your current job during the fall (e.g. if you are a postdoc), which would solve the payment issue and the insurance problem.
Unfortunately, in most cases the solutions are pretty bad. Maternity/parental leave in this country is abysmal. Hopefully your institution will work out something that works well for you.
You should also look up the disability leave policy (and whether it kicks in right away vs. after some time of service such as a year on the job.) You should be able to take some leave officially from disability.
I agree with asstprof's assessment 100%. A new job + new baby is a lot to take on at the same time. Time is worth more than money; if you can afford it financially I strongly recommend trying to delay your start date and giving yourself as much flexibility as possible. You never know how things are going to play out with the pregnancy, delivery, recovery etc and the more flex you can build in to your schedule the better.