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Doctoral Tuition Assistance

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Murray State University

POLICY NUMBER: V M

SUBJECT: DOCTORAL TUITION ASSISTANCE

APPLIES TO: ALL REGULAR, FULL-TIME FACULTY AND STAFF

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2011

 

DOCTORAL TUITION ASSISTANCE

It is the policy of Murray State University to encourage the professional growth of all employees. To facilitate such growth for full-time faculty and staff, and in order to foster their continued employment with Murray State, Murray State University may, in accordance with guidelines to be established by the President, support full-time employees in the pursuit of doctoral degrees. Employees may inquire with their direct supervisors about the possible extension of this benefit.

 

1. General Qualifications

a. Regular, full-time staff, currently working or on an approved leave of absence with or without pay, that have worked continuously for at least six months are eligible to be considered for tuition assistance under this policy. Faculty members currently working or on an approved leave of absence with or without pay that have worked continuously for at least one academic semester are eligible to be considered for tuition assistance under this policy.

b. MSU may, in accordance with guidelines to be established by the President, determine to reimburse an eligible employee for tuition and fees incurred for classes in furtherance of and in the pursuit of the doctoral degree.

c. Tuition and fees will be reimbursed at a previously agreed rate upon the provision of a valid grade report and a bill correlating to the hours taken to the reimbursing unit(s) for each academic term. Documentation of grades and bills are to be maintained by the reimbursing unit. Only hours considered successfully completed by the reimbursing unit(s) will be reimbursed. No direct payment from MSU will be made to the institution the employee is attending.

d. Nothing set forth in this policy shall be construed as requiring MSU to hire or offer continued employment to the employee at any time. Any hire or offer of employment is subject to approval by the appropriate Vice President, MSU President and MSU Board of Regents and shall be subject to all MSU policies and procedures. Should MSU decline to continue the employment of the employee before or after completion of the doctoral degree, the employee shall have no obligation to repay any sums for tuition and fee expenses paid unless the decision is for cause.  In such event, the employee shall reimburse MSU for all such sums paid on the employee’s behalf within 90 days of notice to the employee. Any payments by MSU pursuant to this policy and any Agreement will automatically cease in the event the employee’s employment with MSU ends for whatever reason during the pursuit of the doctoral degree.

e. Should the employee fail to complete the doctoral degree within  the agreed upon period of completion the employee shall reimburse to MSU any and all sums paid by MSU pursuant to this policy within ninety (90) days of notice being given to the employee. Further, if the employee should decline to work for MSU upon completion of the doctoral degree, the employee shall reimburse to MSU any and all sums paid by MSU pursuant to this policy within ninety (90) days of notice being given. 

f. Tuition assistance binds the employee for one (1) year of service/employment with MSU, after completion of the doctoral degree, for each twelve (12) hours for which MSU has paid such tuition and fees.  In the event the employee begins but does not complete for whatever reason fulfillment of the employment obligations, the employee shall reimburse MSU for all such sums paid on the employee’s behalf pursuant to this policy with appropriate credit given for each year of employment completed with MSU after completion of the doctoral degree.

g. Both parties acknowledge that any sums paid by MSU on behalf of an employee may constitute a taxable benefit, and the employee shall be responsible for any taxes, whether State or Federal or otherwise, and any other withholdings.

h. A Tuition and Fee Assistance Agreement must be completed, signed and executed prior to the reimbursement of any tuition and/or fees. This agreement and accompanying documents are to be kept in the employee’s personnel file in Human Resources (HR).   Additionally, HR is to communicate any addition or termination of said agreement to Accounting and Financial Services and make available terms and contents to ensure any possible tax consequences to the employee will be properly reported.

 

2. Employee Responsibility 

a. Courses or sessions can be taken during working hours if (1) the supervisor approves the time off during working hours, and (2) the lost working time is made up at times satisfactory to the employee's supervisor.  An employee may use available vacation time in lieu of requirement 2a.

b. To receive tuition and fee reimbursement the employee must provide an invoice from the degree granting institution and a grade report corresponding to the term for which payment is sought.

3. Supervisor Responsibility

a. Prior to distribution of tuition and fee assistance, the direct supervisor must confirm that the employee has successfully completed the requirements in section 1(c).

b. The direct supervisor must identify funds to support any proposed Tuition and Fee Assistance Agreement. Other units of the institution may provide additional funds at their sole discretion.

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