Faculty Sabbatical Leave Process

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Purpose:

To enable faculty members to engage in intensive study in order to become more effective teachers and scholars and to enhance their services to the University. Sabbatical leave may be granted for the purpose of enhancing teaching, course and curriculum development, or conducting research or any other scholarly activities related to instructional programs within the field of expertise of the faculty member. <Link to campus policy and application>

Eligibility: (campus policy)

The faculty member must have completed six or more years of full-time instructional service, or the equivalent, at the University of Wisconsin (excluding leaves of absence, regardless of funding source), and not have taken a sabbatical in the UW System during those six years.

Preference shall be given to those making significant contributions to teaching and those who have not had a leave of absence, regardless of funding source, during the prior four years.

Sabbatical Support:

  1. The school will provide financial support of 65% salary for full-year faculty sabbatical.
  2. A single semester sabbatical is available with the following provisions:
  • One of two required courses must be absorbed by the department (e.g. another faculty member, double up enrollment or curricular flexibility),
  • The SoHE will provide one course financial support if needed, and
  • Only one single-semester sabbatical per department per year will be approved so as not to affect course offerings.

Sabbatical Expectations:

We respect time reserved for sabbatical leave for sabbatical projects; however, from time to time, we may seek advice, input, and engagement for certain critical department or school functions.

  • We expect those on sabbatical leave remain connected to the School’s activities to the extent possible via online communications. It’s the individual’s responsibility to keep up with the critical departmental/school decisions and graduate student oversight.
  • Sabbatical report must be filed with the Dean’s office in addition to the campus expectation.

Criteria:

  • One faculty member per department may be on sabbatical leave during any given academic year (exceptions must be discussed with the Dean)
  • Negotiations for timing should take place in advance to minimize the impact on the department.
  • Preferences should be given to those who exceeded the eligibility time frame, and those whose contributions to teaching programs will be greater.
  • Priority will be given to those who are requesting the full year of sabbatical (given that teaching can be covered with salary savings).

Process:

  1. Each January the Dean’s office will provide the Chairs a list of all faculty eligible for sabbatical leave. Interested faculty must share their intention for sabbatical application with the chair no later than February 15th. The Chair reviews the sabbatical requests and seeks departmental input on impacts to department teaching resources and committee service responsibilities.
  2. Upon initial departmental approval, candidates may assemble the formal online application in consultation with the Chair regarding the goals and scope of the proposal, including the intent to be available for communications and availability for urgent student and/or department/school matters.
  3. All applications are submitted to the department executive faculty for recommendation to the Dean and Associate Dean no later than April 30th
  4. All approved sabbatical applications with Dean’s recommendation are forwarded to SoHE September Executive Faculty Committee meeting for final approval.

 Sabbatical-like leaves:

The SoHE encourages faculty to take advantage of fellowship and grant opportunities to support their time in the conduct of research or creative scholarship while taking a sabbatical leave. When fellowship and grant competitions are available during years when a faculty member is not due for sabbatical, the SoHE encourages faculty to apply AFTER they have consulted with the Department Chair and the Dean. Such consultations are critical in advance of the application for ‘sabbatical-like’ leaves in light of the implications for the department and for the school. Specifically, other members of the department will have to fulfill the normal teaching and service obligations of the faculty member on leave. In addition, there are equity implications for other faculty in the department and the SoHE with respect to how frequently individual faculty are relieved of normal duties for sabbaticals and sabbatical-like scholarly time away.

With that in mind, the following guidelines for these ‘sabbatical-like’ opportunities are recommended:

 Definition:

When faculty members are selected as a recipient of an award that:

  • requires salary matching or salary support from SoHE such as fellowships and residencies (and/or)
  • requires the faculty member to be relieved of faculty obligations including teaching, service and other departmental activities for one semester or one academic year.

Process:

  1. If a faculty member is considering a fellowship or grant that would require him/her to be relieved of faculty obligations during the academic year, the faculty member must first discuss and get the approval of the Chair of the department and the Dean of the SoHE before applying.
  2. If the faculty member receives the fellowship or grant and must be relieved of faculty obligations as part of the award, the next sabbatical opportunity:
  • will be delayed up to three years for pre-tenure faculty, depending upon the scheduling of sabbatical for eligible faculty in the department
  • will be delayed up to four years for tenured faculty from their next scheduled eligible year.