PPM 3-25, Faculty Sabbatical Leaves

Responsible Office: Academic Affairs


This policy outlines the purpose, criteria, and standards applied to granting of faculty sabbatical leaves. 


2.1 Sabbatical Leave - A leave of absence granted in accordance with this policy with compensation for one semester or two semesters as approved by the Board of Trustees for purposes of study, research or other pursuit, the objectives of which are the professional improvement and advancement of faculty members as well as an increase in their usefulness to the institution.


3.1 Acknowledgement

University faculty are at the forefront of teaching, scholarship, and service, and are continuously expanding their capabilities in those categories. The University supports faculty by providing regular periods of leave for the purposes of concentrated study, scholarship, and/or enhancing teaching, the objectives of which are professional improvement and advancement of faculty as well as an increase in their continuing contributions to the institution and community. The University recognizes that faculty members teach, are expert practitioners in their respective fields of inquiry, and serve as leaders, analysts, documentarians, and ambassadors for the wider community. Because faculty occupy these many roles, and because these activities contribute to evaluation, the University acknowledges the value of sabbaticals for more intense work in the above areas.

3.2 Purposes of Faculty Sabbatical Leave

Sabbatical leaves are granted to faculty members only for purposes that will improve the ability of the recipient to discharge effectively teaching, research, or service obligations to the University including the following:

3.2.1 Research and writing in the recipient's field of specialization;

3.2.2 Regular attendance at classes or laboratories of an institution of higher learning;

3.2.3 Pursuance of training in the recipient's field of specialization; or

3.2.4 Other specifically defined purposes which would clearly further the objectives of the sabbatical-leave plan.

3.3 Eligibility for Faculty Sabbatical Leave 

3.3.1 A faculty member taking sabbatical leave must hold academic rank and tenure. (Requests of leave may be made prior to actual attainment of tenure, but the recipient may not go on leave until tenured.) A one-course reduction in a tenure-track faculty member's contracted workload for one semester may be available for the purpose of promoting scholarly activity before tenure is granted (see section 3.6).

3.3.2 Faculty sabbatical leave eligibility shall accrue at the rate of one semester of eligibility per three years of full-time equivalent University service, excluding time spent on leave.

3.3.3 Each semester of faculty sabbatical leave taken shall decrease faculty sabbatical leave eligibility by one semester.

3.3.4 The maximum accrued faculty sabbatical leave eligibility shall be two semesters.

3.3.5 On recommendation of the president, the Board of Trustees may waive the normal eligibility and application timeline requirements when in its judgment conditions exist which justify granting a requested faculty sabbatical leave.

3.3.6  Whenever sabbatical leaves are taken in two consecutive semesters, the sabbatical will be treated as a two-semester sabbatical even if the semesters are in different academic years.

3.4 Standards Governing Faculty Sabbaticals

3.4.1  Faculty members may apply for one or two semesters of leave limited only by the amount of eligibility for leave accrued.

3.4.2 The salary rate paid during sabbatical leave as a percentage of base contract salary depends on the length of leave as follows:
One semester: 100% of one semester's salary 
Two semesters: 75% of two semester's salary
Leave accrued under the quarter system will be converted as follows:
3 years = 1 semester @ 100% salary for the semester
6 years = 2 semesters @ 75% salary for the 2 semesters

3.4.3 The University shall not give additional funds beyond the percentage indicated for the sabbatical leave.

3.4.4 Money accrued from sabbaticals (25% of two semesters' salary) shall be used in each college to defray the costs of instruction during sabbaticals. Colleges and departments are responsible for determining how to cover the remaining instructional costs.
Central administration has a responsibility to find additional sources of funding for sabbaticals.

3.4.5 If the recipient of the sabbatical leave received a foundation grant or other compensation from non-University sources for the period of the leave, such compensation must be consistent with the objective of the sabbatical experience and approved by the appropriate dean.

3.4.6 Faculty members are covered by fringe benefits while on sabbatical leave.

3.4.7 Faculty on sabbatical are eligible for merit, advancement in rank, one-time bonuses, or other general or special adjustments of salary received by other faculty.

3.4.8 Sabbaticals and subsequent retirements or resignations: faculty who take sabbaticals are obliged to return to their University assignments: those who take one-semester sabbaticals must work another semester before retiring/resigning; those who take two-semester sabbaticals must work another two semesters before retiring/resigning.  Those who fail in these obligations make themselves liable: they must return to the University the sum of their salaries and benefits they took during their sabbaticals.  Or, if circumstances prevent them from working completely through those last semesters, faculty must repay the portions of their salaries and benefits that correspond to their outstanding obligations. The provost or the president may waive those repayments (1) due to extenuating circumstances or (2) because illness or accident prevent faculty from meeting this stipulation.

3.5 Procedures for Faculty Sabbatical

3.5.1 Applications for sabbatical leaves shall describe in detail the purpose for which the leave is requested and the manner in which it is expected to improve the applicant's ability to discharge obligations to the University.

3.5.2 Applications for sabbatical leaves should be submitted to the appropriate department by December 1 of the academic year preceding the academic year in which the sabbatical leave is to occur. The department chair shall forward the application with a recommendation as to its disposition to the dean of the college. The dean shall review this application, make a recommendation and, in consultation with the provost, determine if the leave ought to be granted. A report and recommendation to this effect shall be submitted to the president and, if the president concurs, to the Board of Trustees for final approval. The applicant will receive notice of the final decision by February 15 of the academic year preceding the academic year in which the sabbatical leave is to occur.

3.5.3 Applications by faculty members holding appointments in more than one department or college shall be submitted to and be the subject of a recommendation from each appropriate chair, dean and the provost.

3.5.4 Upon the completion of a sabbatical leave, the recipient shall file with the provost, the dean and the department chair a detailed report of activities during the leave and of the extent to which the purposes of the leave were met.

3.5.5 At the beginning of every fall semester, each college will report the number of sabbaticals granted for the preceding year, the number of faculty returning from sabbatical leave, and the number of sabbatical reports filed (see section 3.5.4) from the previous academic year to the Salary, Benefits, Budget and Fiscal Planning Committee within 45 days of each new fall semester. Each faculty member returning from sabbatical will present the outcomes of their sabbatical at a department and/or college meeting no later than the last day of the semester in which that faculty member returns.

3.6 One-course Reduction for Tenure-Track Faculty

If the review of a tenure-track faculty member shows satisfactory progress towards tenure, the faculty member is eligible for a one-course reduction of the faculty member’s contracted workload for one semester. This course reduction must be awarded before the faculty member is granted tenure and is for the purpose of promoting scholarly activity. In order to be granted this course reduction, the faculty member must submit to the faculty member’s department chair and dean an application describing plans for the research or creative activities the faculty member plans to pursue during the semester in question. Such applications must be submitted six months in advance and approved by both the faculty member's chair and dean. Before the start of the semester in which the workload reduction is to occur, the dean will forward a list of the names of all faculty members who have been approved for such a reduction to the provost.

Revision History  
Creation Date: 02-15-78
Amended: 02-14-19; 4-27-23