335 Sabbatical Leaves

335.1  Purpose. 

Sabbatical leaves are granted to faculty members for the purpose of enhancing professional skills and knowledge to better enable them to contribute to the mission of the University.  Leaves may be for professionally-related activities, including but not necessarily limited to, advanced study, scholarly travel, research, writing, creative performance, service, development of new skills, or a combination of these. 

335.2  Process for Sabbatical Approval. 

In making a request for sabbatical leave, the applicant is responsible for explaining how proposed sabbatical activities might enhance professional capabilities, benefit students, and/or accomplish the goals of the University.

335.2.1  Regular Faculty Members.  A tenured or tenure-track faculty member is eligible for a sabbatical leave after completion of twelve (12) semesters of full-time service subsequent to the date of appointment or since the end of the previous sabbatical leave. 

335.2.1.1  Temporary Service.  One year temporary full time service spent on a continuing contract may be applied if, and only if, the temporary service resulted in a regular faculty appointment which is in force immediately prior to the sabbatical. 

335.2.2  Request Form.  Sabbatical leave requests are made using standard forms supplied by the Academic Affairs Office.

335.2.3  Approvals.  A sabbatical is not granted automatically.  It must be approved by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, who considers recommendations from the department and the appropriate college.  These recommendations are based on the overall quality and value of the proposed activity (see Procedures for Sabbatical Leave Proposals 335.5). 

335.2.4  Reassigned Courses.  Courses and other responsibilities regularly assigned to a faculty member on sabbatical leave will ordinarily be reassigned to colleagues in his/her department.  If granting the leave requires replacement faculty, this may be a factor in the decision to approve, defer, or deny a sabbatical leave during a particular year.

335.2.5  Delay or Advance of Leave.  Because of programmatic reasons related to the smooth functioning of a University and/or financial reasons, a department, college, or the University may request faculty to delay or to advance sabbatical leaves. 

335.2.6  Time for Delay.  The delay of a leave (as opposed to the denial of a leave) is limited to no more than twelve (12) months, and the time before faculty can apply for a subsequent sabbatical will be calculated from the date of original eligibility.

335.2.7  Report and Presentation.  All faculty members granted a sabbatical leave must submit, within one semester of returning from leave, a report to their academic deans (via their chairperson) on activities and accomplishments during the leave.  Approvals of subsequent sabbatical requests are contingent upon submission of this report.  The chairpersons, deans, and Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs must acknowledge to the faculty that the sabbatical leave report has been received.  Faculty members may, at the discretion of their department chairpersons, be asked to make a presentation to their department of the activities during the sabbatical leaves.

335.2.8  Commitment by Faculty Member.  When granted a sabbatical leave, the faculty member commits to returning to full faculty status employment at Indiana State University for a minimum of the number of semesters spent on the latest sabbatical leave.

335.3  Duration and Payment of Sabbatical Leaves. 

A sabbatical leave may be for either a fall or spring semester at full pay, or for one (1) academic year (fall and spring semesters) at 60 percent pay.  Sabbatical leave for a full calendar year can be granted to those on academic year appointments, with a 60 percent pay calculated separately for the spring and subsequent fall semesters of the leave period.  In those cases, the University will provide no summer compensation.  A faculty member holding a fiscal year appointment shall be granted special leave for six (6) months at full pay or twelve (12) months at 60 percent of the fiscal year pay.  Benefits calculations during a sabbatical leave will be based on the amount of the base appointment salary earned.

335.3.1  Limitation on Leave.  A sabbatical leave may not be preceded or followed by any other leave of absence with pay, with rational exceptions, such as medical leave.

335.4  University Leaves Oversight Committee. 

The University Leaves Oversight Committee makes recommendations to the President of the University regarding appeals by faculty members whose proposals for sabbatical leave are disapproved by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs (see “Procedures for Sabbatical Leave Proposals” 335.5).  The committee is composed of eight (8) faculty, three (3) of whom are from the College of Arts and Sciences, and one (1) from each professional college and the library.  The members of the committee are elected to staggered three-year terms by the faculty of their respective colleges or the library.  Only tenured faculty members are eligible to serve.

335.5  Procedures for Sabbatical Leave Proposals. 

335.5.1  Department Review.  By September 1, any special needs or priorities of the department, college, or university affecting approval of sabbaticals will be communicated by the appropriate unit head or heads to individual faculty members eligible to apply for sabbatical. 

335.5.1.1  Notification to Department.  By September 15 of the year prior to the academic or fiscal year during which the requested sabbatical is to begin, an eligible faculty member must notify the department chairperson of the intent to file for a sabbatical leave.

335.5.1.2  Application Deadline.  On or before November 5, the actual application for sabbatical leave must be submitted to the department chairperson.  Until the application is delivered to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, a faculty member has the opportunity to withdraw the application.

335.5.1.3  Review and Recommendation by Faculty Governance Committee.  Departments are permitted to have a faculty governance approved committee participate in the review process.  Following review of a proposal, the committee must present its written recommendation to the applicant and department chair.  The recommendation must address the same criteria used by the department chairperson, and accompany the proposal throughout the review process.

335.5.1.4  Review and Recommendation by Department Chairperson.  The department chairperson reviews the leave proposal for the following:  the overall quality of the proposal, how the proposal contributes to the overall professional development of the applicant, and how the proposal contributes to the mission of the department.  After reviewing each proposal, the department chairperson provides each applicant with a written recommendation.  If the chairperson has questions about the proposal, he or she should seek clarification from the applicant.  The applicant has five (5) working days to respond to the chairperson’s recommendation and/or provide additional documentation to strengthen the proposal. 

335.5.1.5  Submission to College.  By January 10, the department chairperson forwards all proposals and recommendations to the dean for review.  Any faculty response is forwarded with the proposal.  In addition, the chairperson must indicate the costs and benefits associated with the proposed leave and explain how the responsibilities for each faculty member on leave will be met by the department.

335.5.2  College Review. 

335.5.2.1  Review and Recommendation by Faculty Governance Committee.  Any college is permitted to have a faculty governance approved committee participate in the review process.  Following the review of the proposal, the committee must present its written recommendation about a particular proposal to the applicant, the department chair, and the dean of the college.  The recommendation must address the same criteria used by the dean and accompany the proposal throughout the remainder of the review process.

335.5.2.2  Review and Recommendation by College Dean.  The dean reviews each sabbatical leave proposal forwarded by a department chairperson for the following:  the overall quality of the proposal, how the proposal contributes to the overall professional development of the applicant, and how the proposal contributes to the mission of the college.  Following the review, the dean provides each applicant and his or her department chairperson with a written recommendation regarding the proposal.  The applicant has five (5) working days to respond to the dean’s recommendation and/or provide additional documentation to strengthen the proposal. 

335.5.2.3  Submission to Provost.  By February 1, the dean forwards all proposals, along with faculty responses and recommendations from the department and college, to the Provost.

335.5.3  Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Review.  The Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs reviews recommendations accompanying each forwarded proposal and make decisions concerning approval.  In cases of inconsistency among the recommendations from the department chairperson, the dean, and any departmental or college committees, before making a decision the Provost shall consult jointly with the concerned department chairperson and dean.  In cases where the recommendations are consistent at the previous steps but the Provost intends to disagree, the Provost shall consult, as above, with those who made the recommendations. 

335.5.3.1  Time for Decision.  By March 1 the Provost provides each applicant, his or her dean, department chairperson, and the chairperson of the University Leaves Oversight Committee with a written recommendation and rationale for approval or disapproval of the proposal.

335.5.3.2  Approval of the Board of Trustees.  All approvals of sabbatical leaves are contingent upon the final approval of the Board of Trustees of the University.

335.6  Appeals. 

Any individual who has had his or her proposal disapproved has the right to appeal to the University Leaves Oversight Committee. 

335.6.1  Time for Appeal.  The faculty member has ten (10) working days to appeal in writing to the University Leaves Oversight Committee chairperson. 

335.6.2  Copies of Appeal.  Copies of the appeal shall also be provided to the department chairperson, the dean, and the Provost. 

335.6.3  Review and Recommendation by University Leaves Oversight Committee.  The committee may call on concerned parties to clarify their positions orally or in writing. 

335.6.3.1  Time for Recommendation.  The University Leaves Oversight Committee will make its recommendation to the President, copying its deliberations to all concerned parties by March 31. 

335.6.4  Review and Decision by University President.  The President of the University receives all documentation from the chairperson of the University Leaves Oversight Committee concerning appealed sabbatical leave requests.  The President may ask for additional clarification from any concerned party. 

335.6.4.1  Time for Decision.  By April 15, the President will render a final decision in writing with respect to the approval or disapproval of appealed sabbatical leave requests, informing all parties (appellant, department chairperson, dean, and members of the University Leaves Oversight Committee) of his/her decision. 

335.6.4.2  No Further Appeals.  No further appeals are possible through any internal University process.

Policy 335 was included in the 2001 University Handbook revision and was substantially amended by the ISU Board of Trustees on December 3, 2004; Section 335.2.1 amended on December 16, 2011.

Last revised December 17, 2011.

Related Information

Procedures to request sabbatical leaves