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UVM Employee & Labor Relations

Learning and Development at UVM

Recently, Rick’s work in the University Advancement Office has led him into the field of computing although he does not have a degree or even much training in this area. He would like to apply his experience with alumni affairs to new knowledge about computing with the goal to find solutions to departmental needs. He has learned that he can receive formal computer training in a semester-long class offered by the School of Business Administration. He discusses this with his supervisor who immediately affirms the value to the department and agrees that Rick should attend the class even though it meets during his regular working hours.

Margaret has been on the staff at UVM for four years and she would like to become more involved in activities to get to know more people and become involved with campus-wide initiatives. She has volunteered to work on the Staff Appreciation Week planning team. This requires regular attendance at meetings and work at other times during the week to handle her share. As she gets involved, she meets people from around the campus and becomes more familiar with project teams at UVM. Her supervisor expects that he will be able to count on Margaret to navigate through administrative processes after she has spent several months on this project. He also believes she will make many valuable contacts who can provide her with the right directions when she needs to solve problems in the future.

Professional Development and Service at UVM

Education is the foundation of the University of Vermont’s mission. As such, the promotion of life-long learning must be modeled organizationally, in all we do.

At UVM and in most work environments, it has become very clear that the more education we have, the better equipped we will be to face the challenges of our job. Each of us needs specialized, current knowledge to do our jobs, and each of us needs to understand how our profession is changing.

At the University of Vermont, we work in an ideal learning environment. But we all must take personal responsibility for continuing our individual education and learning, either formally through classes or by experience through service committees and governance groups at UVM. It is the policy of the University of Vermont to encourage participation in educational opportunities which increase our effectiveness in our present position and prepare us to take on new responsibilities in the future.

Part of each manager’s job at UVM is to encourage and support learning and professional development for the individual staff member. Deciding upon the nature of that learning is a joint effort between the employee and supervisor. It is a good idea to make a plan for professional development and skills training and incorporate it into the annual performance appraisal so that it becomes a fundamental part of the work and a dimension that can be discussed and reviewed regularly.

With this in mind, the University expects managers and supervisors to encourage staff participation in developing skills, knowledge and experience through course work and service committees. If pursuit of an educational opportunity takes place during the regular work schedule, release time may be approved and work schedules may be modified when necessary. Please bear in mind, however, that each supervisor must balance individual needs with those of other staff and faculty and with the overall work of the department. When possible, minimize conflicts with work schedules. Arrangements for release time must be approved in advance by the supervisor or department head.

In addition to release time, alternatives such as job sharing, flexible scheduling, paid or unpaid leave can be used to support life-long learning. Each of these is described in this handbook.

Avenues for additional training and education are virtually limitless. Tuition remission makes earning a degree a real possibility. HRS Learning Services offers a variety of programs for professional development in communication, computing, supervisory skills, and fundamental workplace skills. Campus organizations and service committees are always looking for new members. Professional organizations offer specialized training and the chance to make contacts within the professional field.

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Last modified October 22 2013 11:58 AM