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Part 4. Personnel Policies

Section VI. Benefits/Compensation/Personnel Files

E. Sabbatical/Special Leaves (Updated 3-11-08)

1. Faculty Sabbatical Leave

Sabbatical leaves are granted as an acknowledgment of outstanding service, and provide an opportunity for advanced learning, research, or performance. The sabbatical leave program promotes excellence in the faculty and enhances the reputation of the University. Members of the academic faculty with rank of assistant professor or higher who will have completed six years service since appointment to the faculty or since their last sabbatical leave may apply for a sabbatical leave. Application should be sent to the Dean of the faculty member’s college. Each college determines its own procedures for reviewing sabbatical applications. The Dean shall forward its College’s recommendations to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, who will forward the recommendation to the President for approval. The Provost will then notify the faculty member. The President will submit the list of faculty receiving sabbatical leaves to the State Board of Education as required by the Governing Policies and Procedures.

Compensation while on sabbatical leave shall be full salary for one semester, or one-half salary for two semesters. Additional income may be derived from fellowships, part-time assistantships, or other sources of limited income, but full-time employment while on sabbatical leave is not permitted unless specifically authorized by the President. A sabbatical leave which has been awarded may be deferred at the request of the recipient by the President and the State Board of Education for a period up to one year. A recipient of a sabbatical leave is expected to return to the University for at least one academic year, or repay the money received while on leave. At the conclusion of the sabbatical, the recipient is to file a brief report of sabbatical activities to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

2. Staff Professional Leave

a. Standards

(1) Purpose of Professional Leaves The professional leave will be granted as an acknowledgment of service to the University and for purposes that will improve the ability of the recipient to discharge effectively her/his professional duties. Professional leaves may include, but will not be limited to the following:

(a) Research and writing in the recipient’s field of specialization

(b) regular attendance at classes of a university or institution

(c) institute or university exchanges or other specifically defined activities which would clearly enhance the employee’s performance.

(2) Eligibility

Those full time individuals who do not have faculty rank will be eligible for the professional leave covered within this policy.

Employees who have completed six (6) years of service since appointment may apply for a professional leave.

(3) Professional Leave Term and Compensation

The terms of the leave will be appropriate to the purpose, to be not less than one (1) month or exceed twelve (12) months in length.

Compensation while on professional leave will be full salary plus all payments from University funds for benefits for one (1) to six (6) months leave and one half the salary plus all payments from University funds for benefits for seven (7) to twelve (12) months leave. Total leaves granted during any fiscal year shall not exceed three (3) FTE positions thirty-six (36) months).

Additional travel related expenses may be awarded when the leave is for six (6) months or less. These allowable expenses will be awarded according to current State policies regarding travel. The applicant shall submit an estimate of anticipated expenses.

(4) Obligation to return to the University

A recipient of a professional leave must agree to return to the service of the University for a period of time at least the equivalent to the leave or repay the money received while on leave. Upon determination that the enforcement of this obligation will create an extreme hardship or would be seriously inequitable, the President may waive the refund in whole or in part.

(5) Salary Increase and Related Benefits During Leave

While on professional leave the recipient will be entitled to all salary increase benefits afforded other non-classified personnel.

To the extent permitted by law, personnel on leave will be regarded as in active University employment status and accrue such benefits under applicable University policies as if they were in active University service. However, payments for insurance premiums and retirement contributions which are related to the amount of the employee’s compensation will be based upon actual payments made to the individual by the University during the period of the leave and not upon the budgeted salary for the position.

(6) Deferment of Leave

A professional leave which has been awarded may be deferred at the request of the recipient by the President and the State Board of Education for a period up to one (1) year.

b. Application for Professional Leave

The application for professional leave should include the following information:

(1) The applicant’s range of service and record of accomplishment at the University.

Materials should be included as appropriate to the applicant’s professional abilities.

(2) Statement of Purpose of the Professional Leave

A concise discussion of how the applicant plans to use the professional leave should be included. The goal(s) and objective(s) of the project should be outlined, including a description of the activities to be pursued.

If research is anticipated, a review of the pertinent research or relevant situational elements should be included.

The applicant should include starting and ending dates of the leave, as well as the anticipated location.

(3) Justification of Request

The rational for the request should include a statement of anticipated value/benefits for the applicant and the University. These benefits should be listed as specifically as possible (e.g., publication, course improvement, program development, recognition to the University).

(4) Letters of Support

The applicant should include letters of support from her/his supervisor(s), dean, vice president and/or colleagues, and/or professionals outside the University.

(5) Review of Proposal

The proposed professional leave should be reviewed by persons sufficiently knowledgeable in the subject to judge the technical merit, feasibility and relevancy of the proposal. This written review may be made by the applicant’s supervisor, dean, vice president, colleagues, and/or professionals outside the University.

(6) Statement of Impact

Pertinent information regarding how the applicant’s responsibilities will be discharged during her/his absence including the implications for the department or divisional personnel and activities shall be provided.

c. Application and Notification Timetable

(1) Application Deadline

The University will call for applications annually. The completed application shall be sent to the Financial Vice President who will seek the advice of a joint committee from the Council of Professional Employees (COPE) and the Classified Employees Council (CEC). The Financial Vice President will submit the request to the President for final approval.

(2) Evaluation of the Proposal

The professional leave proposals will be evaluated by a committee composed of three members appointed by the Executive Board of COPE. Three members appointed by the Executive Board of COPE, three members appointed by the Executive Board of CEC. The Financial Vice President shall appoint the Chair. Members will be appointed to two year staggered terms. Any member of the evaluation committee who has applied for leave may not participate in the evaluation and recommendation process.

(3) Award of the Leave

The applicant shall be informed of the award or denial of the leave pending State Board approval. Justification for denial of leave will be indicated in writing to the applicant by the Financial Vice President upon the written request of the applicant.

(4) Report of Leave

At the conclusion of the professional leave, the recipient will file a brief written report on the activities with the President, the Financial Vice President, the COPE and CEC Executive Boards and his/her supervisor. If appropriate, the recipient shall present a brief oral report to colleagues.

d. Nothing contained in this program shall limit or enlarge any authority granted to the University or the President to grant leaves of a professional nature.

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