Policy 909.1

Employee Education Policy
(Proposal 2-16)

Senate Policy 909.1


I. Introduction

In an effort to increase the benefits offered to full-time employees, we propose the following
benefit enhancement, which we believe will be cost neutral.

As currently designed, Michigan Tech’s Employee Education Policy provides a tuition-and-fee
waiver for two classes per semester for most regular, full-time employees, both exempt and

In some cases, this feature of the Employee Education Policy presents a problem, as, for
example, when degree-seeking students are required to take one or more one-credit courses,
such as physical education classes and graduate-research-conduct classes. In such cases,
employee-students may be restricted to taking only two credits in a given semester, which can
significantly extend their time to completion. (On the other hand, the current policy might allow
some students to take two 5-credit courses, for a total of 10 credits in a given semester.)

Two of Michigan Tech’s unions have resolved this problem by defining the tuition-and-fee-waiver
benefit in terms of credit hours taken rather than in terms of classes taken. Consequently,
members of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
receive tuition-and-fee waivers of 6 credits per semester; and members of the United Auto
Workers (UAW) receive tuition-and-fee waivers of 9 credits per semester.

II. Proposed Changes in the Employee Education Policy

The University Senate proposes that the current policies on tuition-and-fee waivers remain the
same for off-campus courses. However, for on-campus courses, we propose that all nonrepresented
employees receive tuition-and-fee waivers for up to two courses or six credit hours,
whichever is greater. (Hence, for example, an eligible employee wanting to take two 5-credit
courses could do so, and an eligible employee wanting to take three 1-credit courses and one
3-credit course could also do so.)

III. Additional Considerations

a. This policy change would encourage Michigan Tech employees to take advantage of the
lower-cost, high-quality professional development opportunities available on campus, which are
also less disruptive of work schedules.

b. The proposal will not interfere with work obligations because employees must already receive
approval from their supervisors for professional development activities, including scheduling of
classes. Michigan Tech already allows for flexible scheduling under the Flexible Work Options
policies. Furthermore, many classes are scheduled outside of normal work hours, limiting or
eliminating disruption of employees’ work schedules.

c. Savings in this program might be realized by streamlining the approval process to eliminate
the current, paper-based system and allow supervisors to approve schedules by e-mail or
through other paperless systems.

d. Savings in this program might also be realized by conducting a Lean Kaizen review of the
program with the goal of identifying other possible improvements.



Proposal 2-16:
Introduced to Senate: 23 September 2016
Approved by Senate: 07 October 2016
Approved by Administration: 16 October 2016