Sabbatical Requests

Sabbatical Requests

Article 19 of the AFUM collective bargaining agreement grants Sabbatical Leaves to unit members. Faculty members, department heads, Deans, and other administrators or staff should utilize the information referenced below when planning or coordinating sabbatical leave requests to ensure adherence to all university and system policies or procedures.

Timeline & Funding

  • The application process for central University sabbatical funding occurs once per year, with a deadline in late February.
  • While the AFUM bargaining agreement stipulates only a six-month notice for sabbatical requests, you should work with faculty members to encourage prompt notice of the intent to apply for a leave.
  • There will be no central funding for spring-semester sabbatical requests that miss the February deadline, even if the request meets the AFUM deadline.
  • Central funding typically covers a fraction of the cost of replacement teaching during a sabbatical. Additional funding will be supplied by the College so that necessary replacement costs are covered.
  • A written report of sabbatical activities and accomplishments is required after return from a sabbatical.

Process & Approvals

  1. Faculty members must attach a written statement to their Sabbatical Educational Leave request describing, in detail, their proposed leave program, its contribution to their professional improvement, and addressing the following questions:
    • If you previously had a sabbatical leave, what specific changes occurred in your professional activities as a result?
    • What will your proposed leave accomplish, specifically, for you?
    • What is there about this proposal that would require a leave?
    • What are the expected benefits to the University?
    • If your leave is in cooperation with another institution or organization, include documentation of the preliminary arrangements with the host institution or organization.
  2. A peer committee recommendation is required for sabbatical requests. It is not required for unpaid leaves or for paid administrative leave awarded at the end of a chair’s term.
  3. Providing a detailed plan for coverage of the faculty member’s responsibilities is crucial to the support of the sabbatical leave request. The department head should consult with the applicant and the administrator at the next academic/administrative level in developing a plan for how the applicant’s responsibilities, especially for how teaching, research, public service, student advising and other areas will be handled during the proposed leave period. This written plan should accompany the sabbatical/leave request.
  4. The Request for Sabbatical or Unpaid Leave of Absence for Professional Improvement or Educational Purposes form must be completely filled out and signed by the employee, department chair/school director, and dean. The completed form and accompanying documentation (detailed written statement from faculty member outlining their planned leave program, peer committee recommendation letter, written plan for handling responsibilities of the faculty member) should be emailed to

Policy on Department Chair Leaves

Upon receipt and approval of an acceptable plan of study and/or research, chairpersons shall be eligible for leave at full pay for up to one year after five or more consecutive years as chair, including any interim appointment. The one-year paid chair leave is for the purpose of obtaining professional development opportunities to facilitate return to the role of a full-time teacher/scholar/researcher.

The chair should complete the Sabbatical or Unpaid Leave of Absence for Professional Improvement or Educational Purposes form including the questions on the proposed leave program. It is strongly advised that the dean address a written plan for handling responsibilities of the faculty member and that a peer committee recommendation be attached to the leave request. The application should be submitted no later than six months prior to the proposed effective date of the leave.

Upon completion of the leave, the leave recipient is required to submit a written report regarding the leave period and to return to the campus for a minimum of two years of service after the leave period. Should they not return to the University, the salary received during the leave period must be returned to the University.

The recipient of a chair leave shall be eligible to apply for a regular sabbatical leave after completion of six years of service following the chair leave except those in the rank of professor who shall be eligible to apply for a regular sabbatical after five years of full-time service following the chair leave.

Leaves for less than one year shall be governed by existing sabbatical policies.

Questions regarding this policy should be directed to the Office of Human Resources or the Provost’s Office.

Policy Effective Date: May 1998
Policy Initiated by: Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs & Provost