Two recent changes to employee benefits now provide additional cost savings and more flexibility for employees who are eligible for tuition wavers. NIU now covers 100-percent of the tuition costs for faculty and staff in programs with differential tuition. Tuition waivers have also been expanded to include more flexibility regarding using credit hours in any one academic year. Both changes required amendments to Board regulations which were approved in June.
The move came after members of the Operating Staff Council, the Supportive Professional Staff Council and leaders across campus expressed concern that differential tuition costs added unexpected financial pressures on faculty and staff and limited their ability to pursue advanced degrees.
The differential tuition rates help to offset program costs for certain programs offered at NIU. There will be a slight financial impact to the university, but President Lisa Freeman says it “pales in comparison with the benefit to the university of being able to advance and retain talented employees.”
“We are always delighted when our staff and faculty pursue the amazing educational opportunities offered at NIU,” commented Executive Vice President and Provost Beth Ingram. “Central to our mission is a commitment to making sure our staff and faculty can take advantage of those opportunities and I’m delighted we could make this change happen.”
In another move aimed at reducing financial burdens for employees, the Office of the Bursar worked with Human Resource Services (HRS) and the Department of Information Technology over the summer to ensure tuition waivers were applied early to the accounts of those who submitted them before the semester started. Historically, waivers have been applied after classes began so HRS could verify employment status, resulting in additional fees and penalties.
More information on the employee educational benefit is available on the HRS Website.