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Maternity leave experiences and policy workflows at the University of Dayton have not been formally reviewed since the creation of an all benefit-eligible employee paid maternity leave policy in 2017. This study examines the lived experience of faculty and staff who have taken maternity leave since the implementation of the policy and faculty, staff, and supervisor perceptions of the current leave policies and workflows. Interviews and surveys found a need for clearer documentation in policies, an expansion of parental leave for the non-birth parent, and supervisory support. The report concludes with recommendations based on this research for implementing updates to the parental leave policies and communication and training strategies.


Faculty maternity leave, University of Dayton, Catholic higher education


Educational Leadership | Family, Life Course, and Society | Higher Education Administration



To our survey and interview participants, thank you for being vulnerable and sharing your honest feedback. We hope that we can do your stories justice and work towards improvement.

Thank you to the University of Dayton's Women’s Center, Women’s and Gender Studies program, and the Office of the Provost, for supporting and sponsoring this research.

To Dean Kathy Webb and our University Libraries colleagues, thank you for your support and patience as we worked on this project this past year.

A special thank you specifically to Beth Schwartz from Human Resources. Not only did you spend time answering our questions, providing data, and reviewing our information, it was apparent how you have had such a profound impact on so many individuals that we heard from in interviews and surveys. Your work is valued and appreciated.

Last but not least, thank you to our families: Shannon, Dylan, Desmond, Dexter, Andrew, Reid, Miles, and Arthur for supporting and inspiring us in all that we do.