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Funding for Leaves of Absence

Section E.4 of the Graduate School Handbook

E.4.1
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Appointing units at Ohio State currently manage the financial aspects of GA leaves of absence within their departmental budgets, seeking assistance from their colleges, the Graduate School or other offices (such as the Office of Research) in cases of hardship. College deans have expressed preference for continuing to use the present approach of managing GA leaves of absence locally.

As current practices are formalized, it is not intended that appointing units would experience financial hardship in managing leaves of absence. It is also recognized that principal investigators with externally funded research grants may have issue with the requirements of particular grants, where flexibility may be limited. If such concerns arise, appointing units should contact their college offices or the Office of Sponsored Programs (for PIs). The Graduate School will also be available to help with problem-solving.

In many cases, the costs associated with GA leaves of absence are fairly modest, such as the cost of temporarily increasing a funded graduate student’s appointment percentage (e.g., from 50 percent to 75 percent) or making a special payment to that graduate student to compensate for additional effort over a period of time. In some cases, it is not necessary to cover the duties, and the assignments can be held without harm until the student returns from a leave of absence.

There are cases where a person who is not currently on a university appointment has to be placed on a new appointment to cover the duties; this person would most often be another graduate student but, especially in the case of the performance arts, could be an instructor or lecturer with special skills. In such situations, costs could potentially include a stipend or salary and any benefits associated with the appointment, such as coverage of tuition and fees.

Projections about possible use of leaves of absence are given below. The impact of the program will be evaluated on a regular basis to determine actual use, document actual costs, and identify unanticipated consequences, so that adjustments can be made as necessary.

It is projected that this program will result in no more than 325 leaves of absence per year taken by GAs, fellows and trainees. This figure is based on projections of no more than 125 leaves of absence for childbirth/adoption situations per year and no more than 200 leaves of absence for medical/family reasons per year.