[Minor revision–posted 5/4/21 (replaces 1/23/19 edition)]
Operating Policy and Procedure
OP 70.41: Employee Training and Development
DATE: May 4, 2021
PURPOSE: The purpose of this Operating Policy/Procedure (OP) is to establish the policy and procedures regarding employee training and development, and to provide information on employees enrolling for courses and attending classes at Texas Tech University.
REVIEW: This OP will be reviewed in September of even-numbered years by the Assistant Vice President for Human Resources with substantive revisions forwarded to the Chief of Staff for the President.
1. General Policy
Texas Tech is an institution of higher education dedicated to the pursuit of educational, research, and public service objectives. To attain these objectives, Texas Tech recognizes the importance of its employees, acknowledges their valued contributions to the accomplishment of its mission, and promotes lifelong learning opportunities for all employees.
It is the policy of Texas Tech to encourage the development of employees so that employees may gain job-related knowledge, behaviors, and professional skills to improve job performance and contribute to the long-term improvement of the institution.
Therefore, employees of Texas Tech may be permitted to enroll in courses and training opportunities.
2. Required Employee Training
Pursuant to state legislation, all employees must attend EO non-discrimination and sexual harassment prevention training within the first 30 days of employment and receive supplemental training every two years.
New benefits-eligible staff employees are required to complete the Texas Tech orientation program to include New Employee Orientation, customer service training, workplace violence prevention training, EO non-discrimination and sexual harassment prevention training, Title IX, Clery Act training, and ethics training within the first 30 days of hire or becoming benefits-eligible, as well as any orientation training or activities provided by the new employee's department and/or division. Information regarding specific courses is provided on the Human Resources website at http://www.depts.ttu.edu/hr/.
In addition, all new benefits-eligible staff employees must complete new employee lab safety training online within the first 30 days of employment.
Managers and supervisors should attend university-provided training designed to support leadership success at Texas Tech within the first 60 days of hire or promotion.
• For purposes of this OP, a manager/supervisor is defined as anyone who has authority to hire or affect employment of another university employee or is responsible for completing the annual performance evaluation.
Texas Tech may require an employee to attend a development program if it is related to the employee's current or prospective job duties. The university may also require an employee to attend trainings as necessary based on the employee's performance.
3. Development Programs
a. Extended Development Program
An extended development program is one that is paid for by Texas Tech, or during which the employee's salary is continued, and where the employee does not perform regularly assigned job duties for three months or more. This includes faculty development leave.
• It does not include training required by state or federal law.
• It must be approved by the appropriate chancellor, president, vice president, or provost.
• The employee must work for Texas Tech following the development program for at least one month for each month of the development period or repay Texas Tech for all costs associated with the development program, including any amounts of the employee's salary that were paid and were not accounted for by paid vacation or compensatory leave.
• Texas Tech shall require the employee to agree in writing by filling out an Employee Extended Development Agreement, which is available on the TTU Human Resources website, to comply with the above requirements before the development program begins.
• The Board of Regents may waive the requirements prescribed above and release the employee from the obligation if such action is in the best interest of Texas Tech or is warranted because of an extreme personal hardship suffered by the employee.
• If an employee does not provide the services required, provides those services for less than the required term, or fails to make payments as required, and the employee is not released from her/his obligations, then the employee is liable to Texas Tech for any costs and reasonable expenses incurred in obtaining payment, including attorney's fee.
• Each year the Senior Vice President for Administration & Finance and Chief Financial Officer will submit an annual report to the Legislative Budget Board, which details the amount of money expended for extended development programs in the preceding fiscal year, based upon notification by the Provost and Senior Vice President of those approved.
b. Texas Tech Programs
These are development programs deemed necessary by Texas Tech to carry out the mission, vision, or strategic plan of the institution and provided by Texas Tech at low or no cost to the employing department or the employee. These programs are either sponsored or provided by departments within Texas Tech. The programs are provided to:
• Fulfill state and federal requirements;
• Clarify Texas Tech's systems, policies, and procedures;
• Ensure the quality, service, and productivity improvement of the institution; or
• Orient employees to Texas Tech; to train institutionally specific knowledge, behaviors, and skills for job-related duties; and to provide ongoing improvement of professional knowledge, behaviors, and skills.
c. External Programs
External Programs are development programs authorized by the employing department for selected employees, which are funded from department accounts, and/or where the employee is provided release time. The development program must provide job-related knowledge, behaviors, or skills for current or prospective job duties. External programs may consist of workshops, seminars, institutes, training sessions, and other special programs or activities and include continuing education for licenses or certifications that are a required qualification of the position.
4. Funding and Approval for Development Programs
a. The State Employees Training Act allows Texas Tech to use public funds for development programs related to either current or prospective duty assignments.
b. Funds may be expended from departmental accounts for employees to participate in development programs upon supervisor and departmental approval.
c. Appropriate expenses include, but are not limited to, salary, tuition, and other fees, travel and living expenses, training stipend, training materials, and other necessary expenses of an instructor, student, or other participant in a training or education program.
d. Time spent in class and time spent traveling to and from class are considered working hours when Texas Tech funds the development programs.
5. Employees Enrolling for Courses
Employees may be permitted to enroll in courses and special training programs in order to promote self-development. The following rules will govern employee participation in such programs:
a. A regular full-time faculty or staff member may enroll in courses subject to the following restrictions:
(1) During normal duty hours, a maximum of three hours of work per week may be taken off for class attendance or course-related activities. The time taken off during normal duty hours is subject to approval by the employee's administrator, and any work time missed must be made up or charged to vacation accruals.
(2) Enrollment in any class that requires more than three hours per week of lost work time must be approved by the appropriate vice president.
(3) There is no limit on the number of class hours that may be taken during off-duty time, providing the employee's job performance is not affected.
(4) Members of the faculty who hold a rank higher than instructor or equivalent are not normally eligible to pursue a graduate degree. Deans of the appropriate colleges and schools should be consulted regarding specific rules and requirements.
b. A part-time employee may not take time off during scheduled work hours to attend class, but there is no limit on the number of class hours that may be taken during off-duty time. Depending on the business needs of the department, the supervisor may rearrange the work schedule to facilitate the class schedule. If work time plus leave time routinely fall below the appointed full time equivalent (FTE), the employee will be reduced to an appointment (FTE) equal to the revised schedule.
c. An employee may audit courses subject to the same rules as above.
d. Eligible employees may receive financial assistance through the Employee Tuition Assistance Waiver Program when enrolling in regular classes at Texas Tech University. More information about this program can be found on the Texas Tech Graduate School website under Faculty and Staff information, or at the following link, http://www.depts.ttu.edu/gradschool/financial/tuition.php, as well as the Texas Tech Student Business Services website.
6. Authoritative References
Government Code 656 Job Notices and Training, Subchapters C., Training, and D., Restrictions
of Certain Training
Employee Working Hours, OP 70.06
Faculty Development Leaves, OP 32.29
Travel Authority and Definitions for Texas Tech University and TTU Employees, OP 79.01
Transportation Requests, OP 79.06
Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy and Complaint Procedure, OP 40.02
University-related Travel by Motor Vehicle, Commercial Carrier, and Aircraft, OP 79.13
University Health and Safety Program, OP 60.01
Educational Incentive Pay, OP 70.18
7. Right to Change Policy
Texas Tech University reserves the right to interpret, amend, or rescind this policy, in whole or in part, at any time without the consent of employees.
The Employee Extended Development Agreement is available on the TTU Human Resources website at the following link http://www.depts.ttu.edu/hr/abouthr/forms.php.
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