Section 5 - Conditions of Employment




Revised: 5/30/03; 1/01/07, 12/6/18

1. Purpose

The Employee Education and Training Plan ("the Plan") provides employees of Lamar University with assistance in obtaining additional college-level education and training to increase their value to the University. The Plan is intended to operate such that payments made under it qualify, in the case of undergraduate classes required in a degree plan, as qualified tuition reduction under Section 117 of the Internal Revenue Code; or, for all other courses, as business expenses for courses related to the employee’s present position, under Section 162 and thus excluded from taxable income under Section 132(d). As such, the Plan represents an internal administrative procedure for the Lamar components. It is not intended to operate as a fringe benefit plan under Section 127 of the Internal Revenue Code.

2. Definitions:

2.1 Eligibility: Any full time employee who has satisfactorily completed a minimum of six months, excluding those employees who are required as a condition of employment to be enrolled as students.

2.2 Course: Any course offered by Lamar University for which academic or technical credit is awarded upon successful completion of the course. The term ―course shall include any associated laboratory or other practical instruction only if such instruction is an integral part of the course, and is not separately numbered. The term course shall include ―Developmental and ―Pre-Collegiate courses and laboratories that are offered on a regular basis by a Lamar component and published in its official undergraduate academic catalog.

2.3 First Class Day: For a class offered under any regularly published semester or term schedule, the official ―first class day established for that semester or term regardless of the actual date of the first meeting of the specific class. For any class for which an official ―first class day is not established or cannot be determined under the preceding definition, the date of the first scheduled meeting of the class.

2.4 Standard Workload: The standard workload for an employee (100% FTE) shall be the workload defined in State law or regulation as the standard workload. If no such definition is available, the percent FTE reported for that employee to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in accordance with Lamar University rules and procedures shall be used for purposes of the Plan.

  1. Eligibility:

3.1 Eligible employees are eligible to apply for a tuition and fee waiver under the plan for any course, where the first class day falls on or after the day the employee has been an eligible employee for a continuous period of six (6) calendar months.

3.2 An employee whose application contains significantly incorrect information, who violates the provisions or procedures of the Plan, or who fails to complete his or her obligations under the Plan, may be declared ineligible for any subsequent participation in the Plan.

  1. Detailed waiver information:
4.1 Waivers will be made, subject to the other provisions of the Plan, for any course which will maintain or improve the skills required for the employee’s current job. The institution has determined that, since the primary business of the University is to provide courses leading to a degree, any undergraduate degree will improve the skills required of any employee. Waivers will thus be made for any undergraduate course which is required on any degree plan that the employee may be pursuing.

Waivers for graduate classes or other undergraduate classes will be made only if the employee’s supervisor certifies that the specific course is directly relevant to the employee’s current position.

4.2 Waivers will be made, subject to the other provisions of the plan, for no more than two courses in each of the Fall and Spring semesters, and one course during the Summer term. Students choosing to enroll in less than the two allowed courses, courses are non transferrable to future semesters.

4.3 Waivers are applicable only for the courses for which approval was granted. A new application must be fully approved as specified in Section V before a different course may be substituted under drop and add procedures for the originally approved course.

4.4 To be eligible to receive the waiver, students must be in good academic standing and must comply with the satisfactory academic progress policy. Undergraduate student must maintain a cumulative 2.0 GPA, Graduate students must maintain a 3.0 GPA. Failure to comply will result in a students ineligibility for the waiver until their cumulative GPA has improved.

4.5 If an employee has previously been the beneficiary of a waiver under this plan for a course, a waiver will not be made a second time for the same or an equivalent course, except when the course was officially dropped (or the student officially withdrew) owing to documented medical causes or at the request of the employee’s supervisor on account of workload considerations.

4.6 Waivers will be allowed, subject to the other provisions of the Plan, for no more than five courses per academic year (nominally September 1 through August 31) for any employee. Tuition coverages will be made for summer terms for eligible employees even though they are not employed during the summer months if such employees are eligible during the semester immediately preceding the summer, unless they have resigned or their employment has been permanently or indefinitely terminated.

4.7 Mini-sessions may be approved for tuition coverage; however, they will not be approved for absences from work.

4.8 The maximum waiver amount shall comprise tuition and all fees associated with the courses. In the event that an employee is enrolling in more than the allotted course(s) during the same semester, the employee shall pay the incremental charges for tuition and other fees resulting from the additional course(s). Tuition coverages will not be made for any deposits or other charges which are refundable at the end of the course or subsequently.

4.9 Travel expenses will not be reimbursed under this Plan.

4.10 For courses dropped or withdrawn after census, the waiver will be revoked. Students with extenuating circumstances may appeal to the Director of Financial Aid via email to have these charges covered by the waiver.

4.11 In order to conform to IRS regulations and guidance, tuition coverage will be made for Physical Activity Courses (PEGA or PHED prefixed courses) only to the extent that such courses are required for graduation.


4.12 Undergraduate students above 150 attempted hours must have approval of their supervisor and the Director of Financial Aid.

  1. Availability of Funds for the Plan: Tuition coverages under the Plan are subject to funds being available in the Lamar University budget. The Lamar University is not required to make any funds available in any given fiscal year. In the event that funds available in any given year are not sufficient to fund all applications for tuition coverage, approved applications shall be funded in order of receipt by the finance office until available funds are exhausted.

   6. Procedures for waiver:

6.1 Applications for waiver: An employee applying for a waver under the Plan must complete the appropriate application form and submit it to his/her Account Manager and/or Dean (as indicated on the form) for approval of the course to be taken. The Account Manager or Dean may decline to approve the waiver for a course if the employee is not in good academic/disciplinary standing or is not making satisfactory academic progress as defined in the rules governing federal student financial aid. If approved, the application shall then be submitted to the Human Resources Office. Waivers will be authorized only after the application has been completed and all other requirements have been met.

  1. Plan Administration/Release Time:

7.1 Nothing in the Plan shall in any way modify or waive any Lamar University entrance or other academic requirements or course prerequisites.

7.2 Approval of a waiver under the Plan does not constitute approval to be absent from assigned duties during normal working hours.

7.3 With the employee’s supervisor and those above the supervisor’s approval, release time for one class may be granted. Release time is not to exceed the time required for one course. An employee may take only one course a semester during the employee’s scheduled work day.

7.3.1 Permission to be absent from assigned duties will only be granted if the designated course is not available after work hours.

7.3.2 Variation in a work schedule or flex-scheduling is not permitted solely for an employee to take a course. Flex-scheduling is to be used only when it improves or benefits the operation of the department or office.

7.4 Permission to be absent from assigned duties is at the sole discretion of the institution. Nothing in this policy shall be construed as requiring any administrator or supervisor to approve release time during normal working hours. Supervisors and administrators may treat each application for release time based on the particular expertise, duties, and responsibilities of the individual employee involved, even though this may result in some employees being permitted release time and others not.

7.5 Release time under this plan shall not be used for prerequisite testing, advisement, or other non-instructional activities.

7.6 Nothing in the Plan shall be construed as prohibiting Lamar University from making payment outside this plan for any course or training for any employee when taking such course or training is initiated by a supervisor or administrator.

7.7 Completed applications must be in the Human Resources Office on or before the census date of the semester as defined in subsection 2.3 of this policy.