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Faculty Sabbatical Leave (Policy 4400)

University Policy 4400

Download a Printable Version of Policy 4400

Effective Date

July 1989

Last Revision Date

January 2020

Responsible Party

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, (208) 426-1202

Scope and Audience

This policy applies to all University faculty.

Additional Authority

State Board of Education Policy II.G.

1. Policy Purpose

To provide the procedure for requesting and receiving sabbatical leave.

2. Policy Statement

A sabbatical leave is awarded to provide time and resources for tenured faculty members to revitalize themselves in order to become more effective teachers and scholars and to enhance their services to the university.

The purpose(s) for which a sabbatical leave may be granted include: research, scholarship, writing, or professional/artistic development; enhancing teaching, course and curriculum development; attendance at classes, symposia, or seminars; and/or other well-defined purposes.

The selection of the applicants to receive sabbatical leaves is based on the merit of the proposed use of the sabbatical leave time. The Boise State University Sabbatical Committee will evaluate the applications and notify the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs (the Provost) those recommended for approval. Final approval of sabbatical leaves and funding allocation rests with the Provost. In the event that insufficient sabbatical funds are available the Provost may ask the Sabbatical Committee to prioritize the Committee-approved applications.

3. Sabbatical Leave Guidelines

3.1 Eligibility

a. Applications for sabbatical leaves are considered only from tenured faculty members or those who will have tenure at the time of sabbatical leave.

b. A faculty member is eligible for an initial sabbatical leave after six (6) years of full-time service at Boise State University.

c. According to Idaho State Board of Education Policy II. G. Human Resources, Faculty may not count service at other institutions toward their service time at Boise State University when applying for Sabbatical Leave.

d. Faculty who have been awarded a sabbatical leave are eligible for a subsequent sabbatical after six (6) additional years of full-time service at Boise State University have been rendered.

e. The use of a workload release, or one or more authorized leaves of absence other than the use of sabbatical leave, will not interrupt the service eligibility requirement.

3.2 Conditions

a. Sabbatical leaves may be granted for a period of two (2) semesters or twelve (12) months at 65% pay or for one (1) semester or six (6) months at full pay. The semester or month pattern of sabbatical leave is determined by the academic or annual appointment base of the faculty member.

(i.) If an applicant seeks two (2) semesters, or twelve (12) months of leave, the applicant must clearly identify if the leave is for the academic year or calendar year. If an applicant seeks leave for a calendar year, additional explanation and rationale must be provided by the applicant and Department Chair.

(ii.) For those on sabbatical leave for one (1) semester or six months, the existing retirement annuity arrangements will continue unchanged. For those on sabbatical leave for two (2) semesters or twelve (12) months, the retirement program is as follows: the individual will be classified as a full-time employee at a reduced rate of pay, and the deduction for retirement contribution will be prorated.

b. The university will provide funds for support for temporary replacement instructional staff at a rate consistent with the adjunct salary rate for up to nine (9) credits per semester when the sabbatical leave is for one (1) semester, and up to eighteen (18) credits per year when sabbatical leave is for a full year. Instructional replacement cost for full-year sabbaticals cannot exceed the lesser amount of either 35% of the faculty member’s nine-month salary or Lecturer rates.

c. Sabbatical leaves for faculty on academic appointment do not begin until the end of the academic year in which the application has been made and approved.

d. A faculty member on sabbatical leave is relieved from all teaching, research, administrative functions, and committee work for the leave period so that full time may be devoted to the purpose for which the leave is granted.

e. A faculty member is encouraged to seek supplementary grants or other awards while on sabbatical leave, provided they are routed through normal University channels and do not interfere with the stated purposes of a faculty member’s sabbatical program. Supplemental funding from a University appropriation, not to exceed 100% of salary, may be granted for unusual circumstances with approval from the Provost.

f. With the exception of a tenure-track appointment at another institution, a faculty member on sabbatical leave may accept additional employment that does not interfere with the stated purposes of a faculty member’s sabbatical program.

g. Sabbatical leaves cannot be granted when the ongoing program of instruction or research will be jeopardized. Because administrative supervisors must attest to the ability of the academic unit to adjust the responsibilities of the person on sabbatical leave, applications must be forwarded in accordance with deadlines in Section 3.4.

h. If, after a sabbatical leave has been awarded, significant changes are to be made in objectives, locations, or other important aspects of the project design, these changes must be approved by the faculty member’s department chair, Dean, and Provost.

i. A person receiving a sabbatical leave may be required to postpone it to a subsequent fiscal year at the university’s request.

j. A person who has been granted a sabbatical leave may request to delay that leave into the next fiscal year; such requests must be sent to the Provost for consideration.

k. A faculty member receiving a sabbatical leave must return to active duty as a member of the faculty for a period of a least one (1) academic year after the completion of the sabbatical. A faculty member who fails to return for at least one (1) academic year without approval from the Provost is required to repay all or part of the salary and benefits received while on leave. Repayment must comply with all state and federal laws and regulations related to insurance premiums, tax withholding, payroll taxes, and retirement plans.

l. A person accepting a sabbatical leave remains a University employee and is bound by all University policies.

m. Within one (1) month of the start of classes in the semester of their return to the university, the faculty member must submit a written report of sabbatical activities and accomplishments to their department chair. The report must (a) state proposed goals and a summary of work completed toward the goals and (b) contain information on how the new knowledge will be utilized in continuing the faculty member’s institutional responsibilities and any other benefits to the university as a result of the sabbatical leave. The Post Sabbatical Leave Report Approval Form must be attached to the front of the written report. A copy of this form appears below. Upon receipt of the approval form and report, the department chair will review the report. Acceptance of the report will be acknowledged by signing the approval form. The approval form and report will be forwarded to the Dean. Providing there is concurrence with the Chair’s review, the Dean will sign the approval form and will forward the approval form and report to the Provost for review. If accepted, the Provost will sign the approval form and forward the approval form and report to the University Library for placement in the Archives. The University Archivist will return a signed copy of the final report approval form back to the faculty member. This form will be returned to the faculty member within one (1) month after submission of the report.

n. Unacceptable reports will be returned to the faculty member for modification.

o. The faculty member will not accrue time toward another sabbatical until an acceptable report has been processed and placed in the University Archives. The faculty member must make sure the required approval and reporting steps have been completed.

3.3 Application Package

A faculty member desiring a sabbatical leave must submit one application package in either electronic or paper form with the following seven (7) sections, in sequential order, to their Chair.

a. A complete Application for Sabbatical Leave;

b. Abstract of leave proposal not to exceed fifty (50) words;

c. Statement of sabbatical leave plans with the following information. (This section cannot exceed six (6) letter-quality typed pages.)

(i.) Detailed description of activities to be engaged in: e.g., research, writing or library work, study and/or travel. Goals, objectives, and methodology to achieve such should be clearly specified. Use language understood by a person unfamiliar with your area of expertise. Specific jargon should be avoided or explained.

(ii.) List any foundations, institutions, or other organizations with which you will be affiliated during the sabbatical leave period. Indicate what facilities and/or personnel are of particular relevance to your project. A letter from the affiliated organization specifying the nature of the arrangement must be provided at the time of application. If the letter of affiliate support is also used as a letter of peer review, it must meet the requirements stated below in Section 3.3.d.

(iii.) A timeline and calendar of activities.

(iv.) If the project is dependent on research grant or funds not in hand at the time application for sabbatical leave is made, a statement must be provided as to how the project will be completed without receipt of such funds or an alternate proposal must be submitted.

(v.) Statement of anticipated outcomes: e.g., benefits to the university, its students, the community, and to self (i.e., publications, recitals, exhibits).

(vi.) Supporting bibliography.

d. In addition to a letter of project evaluation from the department Chair, two (2) letters of peer review must be appended to the application. The authors of these letters must be familiar with the detailed plans and must be professionally qualified to evaluate the proposal on its research methodology and merit. One of these letters must come from off campus. Peer review letters may not come from the department Chair;

e. A vitae of no more than six (6) pages containing the most pertinent information that may include: on educational background, previous professional or scholarly work, publications, creative activities, and pertinent University and/or community service must be included;

f. Chair Evaluation Letter;

g. A statement of intention to return to the university as a full-time faculty member for a period of at least one (1) academic year, indicated by signature on the sabbatical application cover page;

h. The application package containing the seven (7) sections, in sequential order, must be forwarded to the applicant’s department Chair who must then forward it to the applicant’s Dean. The applicant’s Dean will then forward it to the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs who will forward the application to the Sabbatical Committee. It is the responsibility of the faculty member to make sure the application is complete and the following deadlines are met. It is the responsibility of the chairs and Deans to adhere to these deadlines.

3.4 Process and Deadlines

3.4.1 Applicants

Sabbatical Leave applications must be submitted to the department chair on or before December 1.

3.4.2 Department Chairs

The application will be forwarded to the appropriate Dean along with the chair’s evaluation letter, which must include any instructional replacement costs, on or before December 31.

3.4.3 Deans

The original application, with the chair evaluation letter and approval from the Dean must be forwarded to the Provost’s Office by January 15. In the event of the Dean’s disapproval, the Dean’s letter must illustrate the reasons for such disapproval.

3.4.4 Provost’s Office

The Provost’s Office will forward the application and letters to the Sabbatical Committee, and notify the faculty their application was received and is available for review. The applicant will have one (1) week to review the electronic version of their application for completeness.

3.5 Project Evaluation

a. The applicant’s department chair will attach a letter to the application, addressing:

  • Performance;
  • Competence of the applicant;
  • The value of the project to the individual and the department;
  • Documented financial requirements; and
  • Instructional needs of the department to replace the applicant (such as usual teaching load of the applicant and the expected course replacement needs of the department).

b. Leave applications are evaluated on the basis of their feasibility, appropriateness, value to the individual and the institution. Criteria on which proposals will be evaluated are:

(i.) Submission of all required information in proper format according to Section 3.3;

(ii.) Adequacy of description and goals;

(iii.) Timetables and availability of materials;

(iv.) Ability of the individual to complete the project based on background, previous experience, and personal bibliography;

(v.) Value of project to the students, University and community; and

(vi.) Letters of evaluation of project.

  • Two (2) peer letters.
  • Chair: If the Chair is an applicant, the Dean is responsible for the Chair’s evaluation letter.

(vii.) The availability of funding.

c. The application package will be evaluated using the Sabbatical Leave Evaluation Form. The Sabbatical Leave Evaluation is not a required component of the application but can be used to assist with the application’s organization.

3.6 Notification and Appeals Process

3.6.1 Sabbatical Committee

The Sabbatical Committee (the Committee) is a standing subcommittee of the Faculty Senate. The Committee has the following responsibilities.

a. After review of the proposals, the Committee decides whether it intends to forward a positive or negative recommendation to the Provost of each sabbatical. All applicants will be notified by the Committee Chair of their respective recommendations. If an applicant receives a negative recommendation, the applicant will have one (1) week from date of this notification to inform the Committee Chair in writing of the intent to appeal this decision.

b. The Committee Chair will then call an appeal meeting at the earliest possible date. At this meeting, the faculty member will make a brief presentation (5-10 minutes) to the committee followed by questions from the committee members to further explain or clarify any details in their original application. The candidate may be accompanied by their department chair. The Committee Chair will provide written notification to the candidate and department chair of the Committee’s appeal decision.

c. After the Sabbatical Committee has considered all appeals and made its final decisions, the Sabbatical Committee Chair will notify the Provost of the Committee’s final recommendations for sabbatical leave.

3.6.2 Provost’s Office

a. The Provost will then review the proposals and recommendations and formally notify the candidates applying for sabbatical leave of the decision within four (4) weeks. If funding is insufficient to grant all sabbaticals approved by the sabbatical committee in a given year, the Provost will ask the committee to rank the sabbatical applications based on merit. Applicants whose sabbaticals are subsequently denied due to insufficient funding may resubmit their application the following year, without change or bias for submitting dated materials, with the exception that a statement be included that the work proposed can still be completed despite the one-year delay.

b. The faculty member has the right to appeal the decision of the Provost. Notification of intent to appeal must be made in writing within one (1) week of receipt of the sabbatical leave decision. The Provost’s Office will arrange a meeting between the faculty member and the Provost, or the Provost’s representative. The candidate may be accompanied by their department chair. The Provost’s Office will provide written notification to the candidate of the appeal decision.

c. The Provost’s Office will provide each department chair with a copy of the letter sent to the candidate. This letter will indicate the recommendation for approval or denial of the application and the distribution of funds to the department.

d. The Provost will submit the list of faculty members awarded sabbatical leaves and a brief statement of the purposes of each sabbatical in their report to the State Board of Education.

4. Forms

Application for Sabbatical Leave Form

Post Sabbatical Leave Report Approval Form

Request for Instructional Replacement Costs Form

Sabbatical Leave Evaluation Form

5. Related Information

Provost’s Office Faculty Sabbatical Leave Resources

University Policy 4700 (Faculty Workload Release Plan)

University Policy 7230 (Family and Medical Leave)

University Policy 7610 (Paid Parental Leave)

Revision History

July 1995; April 1998; March 2000; November 2001; July 2003; November 2007; October 2008; September 2013; April 2016; November 2019; January 2020