Faculty Handbook 2018-2019

Procedures for Sabbatical Leave

Sabbatical leave with compensation is normally granted as an acknowledgment of esteem and is a reward for exemplary service and scholarship. It is viewed by the Institute as a means to broaden one's field of inquiry, to make connections with scholars outside the Institute, and to achieve particular scholarly objectives while free from the normal responsibilities and activities of the faculty. Sabbatical leave allows for professional development and for the potential for increased service by the faculty member of the Institute. Sabbaticals are only granted to full-time faculty currently holding the rank of associate professor or professor, and only after six years of service as a full-time ranked member of the faculty. A person classified as an academic administrator and holding a faculty appointment is eligible for a sabbatical leave under the same conditions as the faculty at their base faculty salary. 

Sabbatical leaves are granted no more than once every seven years. Sabbatical leaves may be for one-half year with full pay and benefits or for one year at one-half salary and benefits. The faculty member granted a sabbatical leave is committed to at least one year of subsequent service to the Institute. Failure to return after a paid sabbatical leave will obligate the faculty member to refund the salary received during the sabbatical leave, unless the Board of Trustees makes an exception. A report of sabbatical activities must be submitted to the department chair, director, or dean and Provost upon the faculty member’s return. 

All sabbatical leaves must be approved by the department chair, director, or dean, the Provost and Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, and the Board of Trustees.

Faculty members seeking a sabbatical leave must submit a letter of application along with the Institute’s Sabbatical Leave Application form. The letter should address:             

  • The purpose of the sabbatical leave
  • The relevance of the intended sabbatical leave to the applicant’s career development
  • The relationship of the proposed program to the Institute’s mission
  • Plans for disseminating the outcome and impact of sabbatical leave (such as publications, presentations, grant applications, etc.).

Timeline and Process

December 15: The fiscal year prior to the proposed period of the sabbatical, the applicant shall submit a sabbatical leave request to his/her department chair, director, or dean.

January 1: The department chair, director, or dean forwards the application to the Provost along with their recommendation. In the case of a department chair or program director, a copy of the application is also sent to the appropriate dean. Where there is no department chair, the dean sends the application and recommendation to the Provost. The recommendation should address the following:

  • the impact of the leave on program and Institute goals and operations
  • a plan to assure that the individual’s duties are adequately met during the leave
  • the rationale for the recommendation

If more than one application is received, the department chair, director, or dean will rank order the applications and provide the rationale for each.

February 1: A Sabbatical Leave Committee shall be appointed for a one-year term by the Provost. The Committee shall be made up of senior faculty (excluding department chairs and deans) with representation from each school. In making appointments, the Provost will consider potential conflicts of interest. The purpose of the committee is to evaluate the soundness of the applicants’ sabbatical leave plan. In addition, the committee will consider the relationship of the proposed sabbatical to the mission of the Institute.

The committee will make a recommendation to the Provost based upon the criteria. The committee has three options: highly recommend, recommend if the logistics can be worked out, and do not recommend. They will rank order applications. The committee also will address the impact on the mission of the Institute, evaluate the consequences of the absence of the faculty member, and provide the rationale for ranking.

February 15: The Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs makes a recommendation in writing, along with supporting rationale to be presented to the Board of Trustees for consideration at its March meeting.

March: Applicants will be notified of the action of the Trustees in writing by the Provost following the Trustees’ meeting. 

Sabbatical Leave Criteria