How to Apply for a Sabbatical Leave

Terms and Conditions:

There are two types of sabbatical leave as provided in Article XIII, Title E of the Policies of the Board of Trustees:

  1. Sabbatical leave for one year at up to half pay.
  2. Sabbatical leave for one-half year at up to full pay.

Employees on sabbatical leave may, with the prior approval of the President, accept fellowships, grants-in-aid, or earned income to assist in accomplishing the purposes of their leaves. In such cases, the President may adjust sabbatical leave salaries to reflect such income. In no case shall the sabbatical leave salary be reduced if total earnings are less than full salary.

Time Consideration:

To assist planning for both faculty members and the institution, applicants are strongly encouraged to submit proposals for sabbatical leaves to their immediate supervisor (typically the Department Chair or in some cases the Dean) as far in advance as possible, and in any event not later than October 15th for proposed leaves in the following academic year. As a result of the review and approval process, proposals initiated after October 15th will be less likely to be approved unless they relate to an unanticipated contingency – e.g., an unexpected prestigious fellowship, an unusual research result that requires more immediate follow-up.

To apply for a Sabbatical Leave:

Eligible employees may apply to the Campus President for sabbatical leave through their applicable Department Chair, Dean, and the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

  1. A complete application for sabbatical leave consists of the following:
    (a) a “Change of Status Request” form (HRM-3);
    (b) a one or two-page statement of the activities to be conducted during the leave period, including a description of the outcomes of the proposed activities as well as their importance to the University’s educational program and the applicant’s professional development;
    (c) a statement identifying any proposed income other than salary from the campus while on leave;
    (d) a statement acknowledging an obligation to return to the University at Albany for a minimum of one year at the conclusion of the leave;
    (e) a copy of the applicant’s current curriculum vitae; and
    (f) where applicable, a copy of the report following the applicant’s last sabbatical leave and/or other statements describing the value of the last leave. Supporting materials – e.g., copies of invitations from host institutions for a period of residency, other letters of support – may also be attached as appendices.
    Incomplete applications will be returned to the applicant.
  2. Applications will be reviewed by the applicant’s immediate supervisor, who will provide a written statement recommending or not recommending the proposed leave. The immediate supervisor (normally a Department Chair or Dean) may ask for additional information and/or consult with others in evaluating the request. The immediate supervisor’s recommendation must address the impact of the leave on the applicant’s department or program – i.e., describe how the leave will benefit the institution. It will normally be expected that one-semester leaves will be recommended on a load absorbed basis.
  3. Applications will subsequently be submitted for review and endorsement to the applicant’s Dean. All applications will subsequently be sent to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, who will forward the application with his/her recommendation to the President. If the Dean and/or the Provost decline to endorse the proposal, the application form and supporting materials will also be forwarded to the President with a statement indicating the reasons for not recommending the leave; in such cases, a copy of the Dean and/or Provost’s statement will be transmitted to the applicant.
  4. The President will send the applicant a written notification of approval or disapproval of the sabbatical leave request. Normally notification will be provided by December 1st.
  5. As required by Trustees Policies, the faculty member must submit an activity report as soon as possible following the leave, and no later than the end of the first full semester after return from the leave.

Note: Since the State legislature has placed restrictions on the granting of sabbatical leaves in the past, all letters confirming approval of sabbatical leave include a provision that approval is subject to possible statutory restrictions by the State legislature.

Other Considerations:
As required by Trustees Policies, the faculty member must submit an activity report as soon as possible following the leave, and no later than the end of the first full semester after return from the leave.

  1. Applicants are required to acknowledge an obligation to return to the campus for a minimum of one year at the conclusion of their leave. Where justified, the President may request a waiver of this condition, which must be reviewed and approved by the Chancellor.
  2. If the faculty member fails to return for the minimum period, then he/she is obligated to reimburse all salary paid during the leave.
  3. All changes to an approved sabbatical plan must be approved, in writing, by the appropriate campus officer as soon as such need is known. At the University at Albany this will be the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.
  4. In the event of illness or other unplanned circumstances that interrupt an approved sabbatical, the faculty member will be placed on another leave as appropriate, when in the discretion of the President such action is in the best interest of the University and the employee.

Appendix I: Sabbatical Request Checklist
Appendix II: Change of Status Request form (HRM-3)
Appendix III: HRM-3 directions
Article XIII, Title E., Sabbatical Leave, Policies of the Board of Trustees
Appendix IV: Article 23.6, Sabbatical Leave, 2011-2016 Agreement between the State of New York and United University Professions

Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, December 15, 2016