Working at Excelsior College

Excelsior College is a vibrant and dynamic workplace. Here you’ll find unmatched opportunities and a
supportive environment as you help the College meet its mission to provide educational opportunity to
adult learners with an emphasis on those historically underrepresented in higher education.
Named among the Times Union Top Workplaces, Excelsior College is an
Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action/ADA employer committed to excellence and diversity.
In addition to a robust suite of employee benefits, here are some of things that make working at
Excelsior an exceptional experience:

  • Free parking at the Albany headquarters
  • A curbside mobile ATM every payday Fridays
  • An in-house cafeteria with weekly dinners to go
  • Discounted movie tickets
  • Weekly local produce deliveries from Field Goods
  • Subsidized gym memberships
  • A variety of on-site health and wellness opportunities, such as and yoga and Zumba classes.
  • Cellphone and computer purchase discounts
  • The College’s normal business hours are 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Full-time employees work 37.50
    hours per week (7.5 hours/day), and payroll is issued biweekly and delivered via direct deposit.
    New employees are immediately on payroll; no lag period is required. Excelsior’s dress code is
    business casual and Fridays are designated as casual day.

Benefits Summary

Here is an overview of the many benefits you’ll receive as an Excelsior College employee. Detailed information is available in the Employee Handbook and through the Office of Human Resources.

Time Off

Twelve paid holidays are observed.

Time Off Policy (Vacation/Sick time/Other)

Paid Time Off (PTO) combines all types of short-term paid leave time into one bank. Effective January 1, 2017, new employees who work full-time, will start their PTO accrual after their first two weeks at a rate of 5.50 hours bi-weekly. This will be prorated for part-time employees based on the percentage of time worked. With each pay period, employees accrue additional PTO based on their completed years of service. Staff can carry forward their PTO accrual from one year to the next. The maximum carry over PTO limits are 337.50 (9 weeks). PTO limits will change to 300 hours (8 weeks) effective January 1, 2018.

Extended Illness Bank (EIB) is accrued time that is set aside for hospitalization, long-term illness, or bereavement. Beginning with the one-year service anniversary date, and on all subsequent anniversary dates, an allocation of 37.5 hours will be added to your EIB (pro-rated for part-time employees).

Volunteer Hours (VTO): If you have six months of service, you may take up to 15 hours of Volunteer Time Off (VTO) each calendar year to participate in Excelsior-sponsored actives and/or external community service activities

New Research Time Off (ONLY for Faculty Program Directors): Faculty Program Directors are eligible for Research Time Off (RTO) based on an eligibility criterion that will be determined by Academic Leadership. This is on a use-it or lose-it basis by the end of the calendar year (12/31). More information will be available on this time off policy. The RTO schedule is as follows:

  • 1 year – 15 Hours (2 Days) per year
  • 3 years – 22.50 (3 Days) per year
  • 5 years and up – 37.50 (5 Days) per year

Jury Duty: You may be excused from your scheduled work time and be paid at the normal base rate for a maximum of ten days per year for jury duty.

Military Leave: Military leave benefits are provided in accordance with federal and state law.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FLMA): According to the Department of Labor, FMLA entitle eligible employees to take unpaid, job protected leave for specified family and medical leave reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage.

Employees who have been employed for at least (1) year and for at least 1,250 hours during the preceding 12-month period are eligible for FMLA leave. Regular Full-time and Part-time employees who meet the applicable time-of-service requirements, may be granted a total of twelve (12) weeks of FMLA Leave during a 12-month period, (for part time employees eligible FMLA hours will be prorated based on their part time schedule). Once the staff member has met eligibility requirements, FMLA will start immediately and will run concurrent with EIB and PTO. FMLA allows for 12 weeks of job protected leave. Any Leave of Absence (LOA) requests beyond that period must be reviewed and approved by the unit manager and Human Resources. For questions regarding eligible accommodations under FMLA, please contact Tricia Tice, Director of Payroll & Benefits at Extn: 8548.

New Parental Leave Policy: Employees that have completed six months of service at Excelsior College, you are eligible the new parent leave policy. The college will provide for a new parent (mom and/or dad), with 2 weeks of paid leave funded by EC (to run concurrent with FMLA) This will apply for:

  • The birth of the employee’s child, healing and to care for the child; or
  • The placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care (max of once per

Short Term Disability Gap Coverage: EC provides reasonable income protection for employees who experience a short-term disability and do not have sufficient accrued EIB and/or PTO to cover the duration of an absence as the result of a disability. Effective January 1, 2017, employees that have been employed at EC for at least 6 months are eligible for Gap coverage. Gap coverage begins after EIB and PTO has been exhausted and provides employee with 60% of compensation up to a $1,000 of taxable earnings per week until short-term disability ends or long-term disability begins.

Medical Benefits

Health Insurance

Two plans are available, both administered by Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield. For new employees, coverage is effective on the date of hire. Children/dependents are covered until age 26 (the end of the month in which they turn 26,) regardless of student status. Excelsior College recognizes both same and opposite sex domestic partnerships, with proof of eligibility. Please note that if your spouse/domestic partner has access to healthcare coverage through their employer, but you choose to have them on Excelsior’s Healthcare plan, your cost will be increased $25.00 (pre-tax) per pay period. You will need to sign an affidavit stating they do not have access to healthcare coverage before adding them to EC’s plan at no extra cost to you. The biweekly premiums are listed at the end of this benefits summary

Empire Total Blue Plan (HRA): The HRA plan utilizes a high deductible, Health Reimbursement Account that is funded in part by the College. The individual deductible is $2,000 and the two-person or family plan is $4,000. The College will pay the first 90% of the deductible, once this has been met, the employee will be responsible for the remaining 10%. There will be no out-of-pocket cost for copayments for covered medical, physician or hospital charges until after these limits are met. Prescriptions will have copayments beginning the first day of your eligibility date. After the deductible has been met, the plan has traditional copayments described in the plan document. The plan does require you to use an Empire BlueCross provider. However, this plan does give you a national provider network through the BlueCard Network.

Empire Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) Plan: This is a traditional PPO plan that provides provider-based coverage and outside the network coverage. Copayments start from day one of the plan year for all coverage including prescriptions. There is a deductible and coinsurance for out-of-network coverage which you will be required to pay, because there is a no Health Reimbursement Account funding for this option. This plan also includes the BlueCard Network.

Vision Insurance

Vision coverage is offered through Empire Blue View Vision. Coverage is effective on the date of hire. Children/ dependents are covered until age 26 (the end of the month in which they turn 26,) regardless of student status.

Dental Insurance

Dental insurance is offered through Delta Dental. Coverage is effective on the date of hire. Children/dependents are covered until age 26 (the end of the month of which they turn 26,) regardless of student status. There is a $50 deductible for individuals and a $150 deductible for two person or family.

Other Benefits

Retirement Savings

Excelsior College Retirement Plan—401(a)

After one year of employment, you are eligible to participate in the Excelsior College Retirement Plan. Effective January 1, 2017, the College will contribute seven (7) percent of your monthly base salary to an account that you create with Teachers Insurance and Annuity Associates – College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF).

Supplemental Retirement Plan—403(b)

A tax-deferred 403(b) arrangement provides the opportunity to save a designated portion of your salary through payroll deduction on a pre-tax basis. You may enroll in this plan at any time after the date of employment. Investment options are offered through TIAA-CREF. For 2016 the maximum contribution is $18,000 and we allow a catch-up contribution for any employee 50 years or older up to $6,000.

Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

Administered through Benefit Resources Inc., flexible spending accounts are available for both medical and dependent care expenses. You may enroll in the program on the first of the month following the date of hire.

  • Medical FSA
  • Dependent Care FSA

Tuition Assistance

Tuition assistance is available for employees, their spouses, children, and domestic partners. Employees are eligible to enroll in Excelsior College programs and/or take a limited number of Excelsior College courses or exams free of charge. A passing grade of “C” (undergraduate) or “B” (graduate) or better is required. Employees who wish to take courses outside Excelsior College are eligible for reimbursement of 50 percent of tuition costs. Employees pursuing a doctoral degree will receive an 80 percent reimbursement and a higher annual limit. Part-time employees are eligible for a prorated percentage of their tuition costs.

In addition, spouses, domestic partners, and dependent children are eligible to take Excelsior College classes, with tuition covered 100 percent. They may also take Center for Professional Development (CPD) courses at a discounted rate. Limits and restrictions apply. Certain tuition assistance benefits for family members are considered taxable to the employee.


Group Long-Term Disability Insurance

This coverage is funded by Excelsior College and provided by CIGNA at no cost to all active employees who work a minimum of 17.5 hours/week (50 percent). After a 180-day (6 month) waiting period, a disabled employee is eligible to collect the lesser of 60 percent of their monthly earnings or the maximum disability benefit of $6,000 per month.

Life Insurance—Basic & Supplemental

A life insurance policy, valued at two times the employee’s salary (minimum of $25,000/maximum of $150,000) is available to you at no cost. Every Employee will be eligible for this Life Insurance policy free of charge. This coverage is effective on the first day of the month following 30 days of employment. You may also elect to purchase additional supplemental term life insurance coverage for yourself, your spouse or domestic partner, and/or children.

Employee Assistance Programs


The EAP is a service to help employees and their families who are facing a problem such as marital, financial, personal, relationship, legal, alcohol, drug or any other concern that requires professional assistance and needs to be dealt with in a confidential manner.

Optional Programs

Several programs are available for employee purchase and are not subsidized by the College.

Aflac Insurance Options

  • Short-Term Disability Income Insurance
  • Cancer Care Specified Disease Insurance
  • Personal Sickness Indemnity Insurance
  • 24-Hour Accident Indemnity Insurance
  • Lump Sum Critical Care

Legal Shield

Legal Shield which offers a variety of legal services (legal advice, contract and document reviews, living will, health care proxy, traffic related issues, etc.) from a network of attorneys. Included is an Identity Theft Plan that features personal credit score and analysts, monitoring and identity theft consultation and restoration services.


This document is intended to provide highlights of certain benefit plans in which you may be eligible to participate. Complete details are found in the official plan documents, which are the complete and exclusive statement of the College’s obligations under the plan. The official plan documents shall govern in the event of a conflict between information contained in these or other documents and statements. The plan administrator retains exclusive authority and discretion to interpret the terms of the benefit plans and programs described herein.

Excelsior College reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to amend, change, suspend or terminate any benefit or other plan, program, practice or policy of the institution at any time. The College does not have any obligation to, and nothing contained in this document shall be construed as creating an express or implied obligation or promise on the part of Excelsior College to, maintain, continue to offer, or make available such plans, programs, practices or policies.