5.29 - P&S Policies and Procedures -- Professional Development

Purpose

To highlight learning and development opportunities that may be available to Professional & Scientific (P&S) staff. 

Policy Statement

University staff development programs are designed to increase employee effectiveness through activities which contribute both to individual development and to overall organizational performance. The following programs, together with university sponsored training, are provided to foster continuing personal development of Professional and Scientific (P&S) employees and improved performance required of positions in which such employees serve.

A.  Professional Organizations

1)     University sponsored - The university maintains institutional memberships in professional organizations which provide development materials and offer enrichment programs for P&S employees. With supervisor’s approval, employees may use university funding to attend meetings or participate in conferences in accordance with established university policies and procedures relative to expense reimbursement.

2)     Personal membership - P&S employees are also encouraged to hold membership, on their own, in professional organizations that serve to enhance professional development. Release time for attendance at activities of such professional organizations may be approved by the appropriate supervisor on the merits of the request and as work schedules permit. If the membership or participation benefits the university, the employee may request approval from the director/department head to cover the cost in accordance with applicable accounts payable protocols.

B. Staff Tuition Reimbursement Program

P&S employees are encouraged to apply for funds under the Staff Tuition Reimbursement Program in connection with position related and/or position improvement course work offered by the university or by other accredited and pre-approved post-secondary institutions. Qualified applicants must be working for UNI for at least one year. Applications and additional information can be obtained from policy 4.75 Staff Tuition Reimbursement Program and the Human Resource Services’ (HRS) website.

C. Class Audit Program

P&S employees may register for approved university classes on a non-credit or audit basis if a space is available in the class. Requirements for participation include written approval from the P&S employee’s director/department head and written approval from the faculty offering the course.

Class attendance will be arranged through college and department offices with the faculty member offering the course. Class audits are not recorded on the university's permanent student records unless such attendance is formally requested by the employee and approved by the instructor of the class.

D. College Funding Awards

P&S employees who are also registered as a UNI student may be eligible to apply for travel and research funding or scholarships as available through the Provost Office. Further information is available on the https://provost.uni.edu/.

E. University-Sponsored Online Resources

Online resources, such as LinkedIn Learning, and similar programs are available through the Human Resource Services web site and the UNI Learning Suite.

F. Training

Professional development opportunities fall under two categories, Mandated and Non-Mandated. See below for definitions of each.

  1. Mandated Training – Employer mandated training that falls under institutional, federal, or state obligations (e.g. OSHA regulations) will be provided at the cost of the university.

  2. Non-Mandated Training - Beyond employer-mandated training, and as part of the professional development opportunities provided to employees, departments may elect to include payment or reimbursement for continuing education and/or certifications, whether or not they are required for the position. Professional development opportunities should be relevant to the role of the position and/or in preparation for role enhancement or promotion opportunities. These opportunities should also be offered equitably within the department to the extent reasonable, given budget and departmental objectives. Costs incurred for such, including travel, must be in accordance with university policy and applicable funding source restrictions.

P&S Council, approved April 2023
Human Resource Services, approved April 2023
University Council, approved September 18, 2023
President and President’s Cabinet, approved September 25, 2023
[Last reviewed and/or updated 9/2023, 1/2013]