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Employee Development, Performance Management, and Tuition Benefit

1. Purpose

Brigham Young University—Hawaii (BYU–Hawaii or university) strives to identify and develop the job-related skills of its employees. The university seeks to provide employees’ opportunities to have input into their career progression and to help supervisors and managers recognize and reward accomplishments in the workplace.

2. Policy

The university is committed to: investing in and enabling its employees to develop or improve skills valued by the university; promoting alignment, where appropriate, of employee career aspirations with the university’s workforce needs; and strengthening assessment of and accountability for work performance.

3. Implementation

3.1 Definitions

The following terms (Capitalized hereafter in the text) have the specific definitions given.

3.1.1 Accredited Institution

A degree-granting institution of higher education accredited by a recognized accrediting organization or a nationally recognized professional organization that awards certifications attesting to an individual’s competency in a specified professional discipline.

3.1.2 Development Plan

A written summary of an employee’s plan to acquire the competencies required for advancement to more responsible positions at the university. The plan will often identify the employee’s development goals, the learning or work experiences that will contribute to attainment of these goals, and the resources needed to acquire these experiences.

3.1.3 Graduate Degree

A master’s or doctoral degree or equivalent certification granted by an Accredited Institution.

3.1.4 Professional Certification

An earned designation awarded by an Accredited Institution attesting to a person’s knowledge and competence of the conceptual, legal, and/or operational application of a professional practice.

3.2 Professional Development

The university’s commitment to invest in its workforce includes the following:

3.2.1 Training

University management provides formal and informal training opportunities for university employees.

a. University policies, procedures, and tools

Internal service units of the university (e.g., Human Resources, Financial Services, Purchasing, IT) provide instruction on university policies, procedures, systems, and tools that employees need to effectively perform their jobs.

Departmental management provides instruction on tools, techniques, safety protocols, and processes specific to job positions and practice areas.

Employees are expected to have a working knowledge of and ability to apply concepts, principles, and competencies associated with their specific job responsibilities.

b. Job related training

When technology improvements, changes in regulatory or legislative requirements, process engineering, or similar external factors have an impact on the organization or performance of work, employees may be required by management to participate in focused job skills training, which is considered work time.

c. General competencies training

From time to time, the university may offer training opportunities for employees with respect to general competencies (e.g., leadership, communications, problem solving, etc.) which may be applicable to many jobs on campus. Employees wishing to participate in these training opportunities must receive approval from their supervisors. Approved time spent in university-sponsored training events is considered work time.

d. Professional associations or certifications

Managers may use department funds to cover individual employee membership and participation expenses in professional organizations or certifications when there is a reasonable expectation that the university will derive a net benefit from these activities. Managers may opt to require the employee to sign a payback agreement which prorates the cost of acquiring the certification if the employee leaves university employment prior to a specified time. If this occurs, Managers should work with HR to formalize all payback agreements.

If departments have sufficient budget for this expense, they may reimburse employees for work-related certifications that they obtain. This reimbursement would only be for an examination fee that employees are required to pay in order to take the exam and obtain the certification. Departments may also cover books or materials needed in order to prepare for the exam if they have the budget for it. If the employee does not pass the exam, then the employee would not receive a reimbursement for the examination fee.

e. Conferences and workshops

The university may cover an employee’s reasonable and necessary expenses incident to attend a professional conference or workshop when budgeted funds are available and the employee’s supervisor concludes that at least one of the following conditions applies:

  • The employee has an official role at the conference or workshop which is likely to bring positive attention to the university.
  • The agenda for the conference or workshop offers learning opportunities or training directly related to the employee’s job duties and the knowledge gained can generally benefit the university.
  • The conference or workshop provides needed information about legislative or regulatory changes that affect the university.
  • The event provides a forum in which the employee has an opportunity to influence policies, regulations, or social movements that positively impact the university’s operations.

3.2.2 Tuition waiver

Regular full-time university employees may register, tuition-free, for any available course offered at BYU–Hawaii per the terms of this policy. Part-time, adjunct, on-call, and temporary personnel are not eligible for the tuition waiver benefit. Course registration is subject to any prerequisites, if seeking a degree, and availability.

The provisions and limitations associated with this benefit include:

a. Courses

Registration for any BYU–Hawaii course is available tuition-free to all regular full-time employees. Although desirable, it is not necessary for courses taken by the employee to be part of an established degree program.

b. Eligibility

Employees become eligible for the tuition waiver benefit at their hire dates.

Employees on an approved leave of absence are eligible for the tuition waiver benefit, with no limitation on the number of courses to be taken during the leave of absence period.

c. Limitations

Active full-time employees cannot take more than two courses per semester and can register one class per term. The first priority for enrollment in a class is given to matriculated students.

Faculty members under contract but not teaching or between contracts are still considered to be employed by the university and may register for as many credit hours as their department permits.

d. Released time

Supervisors may grant an employee who is enrolled in a BYU–Hawaii course up to five hours per week of unpaid time off to attend class or participate in required learning activities.

Subject to the requirements of business necessity, supervisors may accommodate an employee’s class attendance by approving a temporarily modified work schedule for that employee.

3.2.3 Graduate Degree Assistance Program

The Graduate Degree Assistance Program helps regular full-time employees to obtain Graduate Degrees or from accredited institutions.

a. Eligibility

Regular full-time university employees become eligible for Graduate Degree tuition assistance at their hire date.

b. Tuition Assistance

An applicant for tuition assistance must provide evidence that (s)he has been accepted into a Graduate Degree program and that the content of the educational experience in the program has relevance to the university. An application for tuition assistance reimbursement must include a written endorsement from the appropriate university vice president that the degree has substantial relevance and/or benefit to the university.

c. Payback Agreement

Participants in this tuition assistance program will be required to sign a payback agreement under the terms of which, at the time of separation from the university, the employee agrees to repay any outstanding balance of tuition assistance advances that have not been forgiven.

d. Tuition-assistance payments

Assistance will be paid as a reimbursement to the employee of one half of tuition paid, not to exceed $15,750 per employee. Tuition assistance beyond the IRS prescribed limit are taxable to the employee and those taxes will be paid by the employee. Requests for payment must be accompanied by a receipt for the tuition paid and evidence of successful completion (e.g., passing grade) of the course(s) taken. The university will provide tuition assistance for only one graduate degree. Exceptions require approval of the President's Council.

e. Loan forgiveness

The university will forgive an employee’s obligation to repay each tuition reimbursement at a rate of one third for each year of employment following receipt of the financial assistance disbursement.

While educational assistance is expected to improve an employee’s readiness for movement into other positions at the university, completion of an advanced degree does not guarantee advancement, change in job assignments, or pay increases.

3.3 Performance Management

Providing employees an annual assessment of their job performance is an important part of employee development including frequent, formal monitoring conversations and encouragement throughout the year. Annual assessments are required of all regular full and part-time employees.

3.3.1 Human Resources Responsibilities

The university’s Human Resources department maintains systems, forms, instructions, and support services to facilitate compliance with the performance management parameters specified in this policy.

The Human Resources department is to receive a copy of the annual performance evaluation summary for each regular full or part-time university non-student employee and include this report in the employee’s personnel record.

3.3.2 Goals/expectations

Job performance is to be primarily assessed against stated goals, policies, standards, and expectations, including those that have been established at the beginning of a review period or prior performance evaluation.

Satisfactory performance of the essential functions of a job, such as defined in the official job profile, is the primary criterion for this annual performance evaluation. Additional, project-specific objectives and development goals may also be considered.

3.3.3 Feedback

Managers are encouraged to provide their employees with ongoing verbal and written feedback that is respectful, candid and resolution oriented.

3.3.4 Annual Performance Evaluation summary report

Each regular full or part time university employee and his/her supervisor(s) are required to prepare an annual performance evaluation summary report documenting the employee’s achievement of job expectations.

Prior to submission of the report to the Human Resources department, the employee must have an opportunity to review the supervisor’s observations and judgments. An employee’s signature on the report denotes compliance with this requirement and is not interpreted as the employee’s agreement with the supervisor’s conclusions.

3.4 Contingency and Succession Planning

Supervisors are responsible for identifying the critical positions in their organizations and developing contingency and succession plans for promptly filling vacancies in those positions.

3.5 Recognition

The university may recognize and reward regular full and part-time employees who make sustained positive contributions to the university and/or who accomplish distinguished results in their classrooms or employment positions.

3.5.1 Sustained contribution - Years of Service Awards

The university recognizes employees for years of service to the university. All employees who hold regular full-time and part-time positions, on the anniversary of each five years of service, are eligible for a university Years-of-Service Award.

Years of Service Awards are given to the employee following the calendar year in which (s)he completes a years-of-service milestone.

a. Eligibility

Only the time spent in regular full or part-time active employment on campus counts toward the achievement of a years-of-service milestone.

One must be a current, regular full or part-time university employee to receive a Years-of-Service Award.

b. Excluded service

Time spent working as a temporary employee (except as provided in 3.5.1a of this policy) is not counted toward the employee’s years of service.

Part-time service counts toward full-time service awards or vice-versa. An employee who shifts between full and part-time employment may combine time spent in both categories as each category will be calculated aggregately.

c. Award Amounts

The Human Resources department maintains a list of service recognition award amounts associated with each five-year service milestone. The amount awarded to regular part-time employees will be in proportion to their part-time status (i.e., a part-time employee that works the equivalent of one-half a full-time position will receive an award amount/value that is half the amount/value of an award received by a full-time employee).

3.5.2 Outstanding performance awards

a. Exemplary Faculty of the Year Award
The Exemplary Faculty-of-the-Year Award recognizes excellence in teaching and other university service. Each recipient of this award is nominated by his/her dean and approved by the President’s Council.

b. David O. McKay Lecture Award

The David O. McKay Lecture Award honors a faculty member who has distinguished himself/herself among colleagues within the university. The award recipient is nominated by fellow faculty members and is selected by the Faculty Advisory Committee (FAC).

The David O. McKay Lecture is scheduled each year during the Winter Semester and is normally followed by a luncheon honoring the current recipient as well as past recipients.

c. Employee Recognition Awards

Employee recognition awards recognize the outstanding performance of administrative and regular full or part-time staff work that is above and beyond expectation.

Supervisors and fellow employees may nominate current administrative and regular full and part-time staff employees. Recipients who have received a named award (e.g., Baker, Feinga, McKay) are not eligible to receive that same award again.

All nominations are reviewed by an Awards Review Committee comprised of past award members, who serve for two years, and a representative from the Human Resources and University Communications departments. The Committee’s recommendation is submitted to the President’s Council for final approval. Only exceptional candidates will be considered for these awards.

Employee recognition awards are presented at the university’s annual Ho’omaika’I dinner.

Awards Summary

Award NameEmployee TypeAmountQuantity
V. Napua Baker AwardAdministrative$1,5001
Sione Feinga AwardFull-time staff
President’s Appreciation Award (given to runner up for Baker and Feinga awards)


Full-time staff

Part-time staff







Faculty AwardFaculty$1,0001-4
David O. McKay Lecture AwardFaculty$1,0001

3.6 Business Purpose and Reporting

All awards, regardless of the dollar amount, must have a valid, documented business purpose and must comply with all university purchasing and expense procedures. Awards and gifts (cash and non-cash) may be subject to federal and state taxes as reportable income. The university Financial Services department evaluates any reporting or withholding requirements to external taxing authorities, such as the Internal Revenue Service.


4. Related Policies and Procedures

Compensation Policy


Policy Owner: Director of Human Resources

Executive Sponsor: Academic Vice President

Approved by President's Council: 05/03/2019
Modified: 5/09/2023

Full revision history maintained by the Office of Compliance & Ethics.