Dr. Beth Avery, who is entering her fifth year at the UT Knoxville, took advantage of the Faculty Modified Duties Assignment benefit.
This benefit allows primary caregivers to take one semester of paid leave, which Avery took last fall following the birth of her baby in the summer.
Having this benefit has made Avery's job as assistant professor of public relations and co-director of the Risk, Crisis, and Health Communication Research Unit even more satisfying. With the time off, she was able to adequately adjust to the life-changing event of becoming a primary caregiver.
Avery has learned the dual roles of being a parent and an employee are not mutually exclusive. She believes the university is to be commended for taking an appropriate long-term and holistic view of its employees' values and successes.
"Knowing that UT has priorities for its employees that are complementary with my own priorities as a new parent and professor gives me much cause to recognize the University as a workplace that is a leader in more than research, teaching and service," Avery said.
"In offering such benefits to its employees, the University distinguishes itself as a leader in human resource management, and I'm proud to work for an institution of such balance and integrity."