Procedures for Sabbatical Leave Proposal

Overview

Applicants must notify their supervisor in writing of their intention to apply for sabbatical by October 15.

Applicants must submit a full proposal with all required documentation by their unit's internal deadline. The documentation required for all applications is listed below. Internal deadlines, processes and procedures vary by unit and applicants should consult their dean's office for more information.

The dean's office staff must submit a full application with all required documentation and approvals by December 1. Applications and documentation must be submitted through this online form.

Questions regarding the sabbatical request process should be directed to Dr. Benjamin Weaver, Assistant Vice Provost for Academic & Faculty Affairs at [email protected].

 

University at Albany Policy Statement on Sabbatical Leaves

SUNY Policies provide for sabbatical leaves for the professional development of faculty and professional staff.

The objective of a sabbatical leave is to increase an employee’s value to the university and thereby improve and enrich its program. Such leave shall not be regarded as a reward for service or as a vacation or rest period occurring automatically at stated intervals. Sabbatical leaves shall be granted for planned travel, study, formal education, research, writing or other experience of professional value.

Faculty with continuing appointments who have completed at least six consecutive years of service within the university — or who, if they have previously had a sabbatical leave, have completed six consecutive years of service since they returned from that leave — are eligible. In computing consecutive years of service for this purpose, leaves at less than full pay, leaves without pay and part-time service are not included. However, these do not constitute a break in otherwise consecutive service.

Sabbaticals may be granted for one year at rates not to exceed one-half basic annual salary or for one semester at rates not to exceed full basic annual salary. Employees do not earn or use leave accruals while on sabbatical. Upon return from sabbatical leave, faculty members are expected to file a detailed report of professional activities and accomplishments while on the leave. (Article XIII, Title E, SUNY Policies of the Board of Trustees).

These policies are reaffirmed in the applicable Agreement between the State of New York and the United University Professions, Inc. (Article 23.6, 2011-2016 Agreement).

 

Eligibility for Sabbatical Leave

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 approval of the Provost, accept fellowships, grants-in-aid or earned income to assist in accomplishing the purposes of their leaves. In such cases, the Provost 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.

The following types of employees are eligible for sabbatical leave: academic employees having continuing appointment and managerial/confidential employees with the title of vice president or dean who have completed at least six consecutive years of service within the University or who, if they previously had a sabbatical leave, have completed at least six consecutive years within the University from the date of return from their last sabbatical leave.

In computing consecutive years of service for the purpose of determining eligibility, periods of leaves of absence, other than vacation leave and sick leave with salary, and periods of part-time service shall not be included but shall not be deemed an interruption of otherwise consecutive service.

 

Deadlines

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 not later than October 15, for proposed leaves starting the following academic year.

Proposals initiated after October 15 will only be considered if they relate to an unanticipated contingency – for example, an unexpected prestigious fellowship or an unusual research result that requires more immediate follow-up.

Any proposals initiated after October 15 must include a statement justifying the late initiation. Completed proposals must be submitted by Dean's Office staff to the Office of the Provost by December 1

Applications and all required documentation must be submitted using this online form.

 

How to Apply for a Sabbatical Leave

Eligible employees may apply to the Provost for sabbatical leave through their applicable Department Chair and Dean.

  1. The employee notifies their supervisor in writing of their intention to apply for sabbatical by October 15.
     
  2. The employee submits a full proposal to their supervisor by their unit's internal deadline, including:
     
    • a document describing proposed activities for the leave period, including the outcomes of the proposed activities as well as their importance to the University’s educational program and the applicant’s professional development;
       
    • a statement identifying any anticipated income other than salary from the campus while on leave;
       
    • a statement acknowledging an obligation to return to the University at Albany for a minimum of one year at the conclusion of the leave;
       
    • supporting materials, like copies of invitations from host institutions for a period of residency, other letters of support; and
       
    • a current curriculum vitae.
       
    • Note: If the candidate previously has taken a sabbatical leave, a copy of the report from that sabbatical leave must be included.
       
  3. The employee's supervisor reviews the request, may ask for additional information and/or consult with others in evaluating the request, then submits the following to the dean (or provost in units without departments):
     
    • a letter stating their recommendation, describing the benefits/impact to the department and a plan for covering the applicant's responsibilities during the leave (Note: It will normally be expected that one-semester leaves will be recommended on a load-absorbed basis); and
       
    • copies of all materials that were submitted by the applicant.
       
  4. The dean reviews the request and submits the full application via the online form by December 1 with all necessary attachments.
     
    • If the dean agrees with the recommendation by the supervisor, indicate this on the online form and submit all materials that were submitted by the applicant and the applicant's supervisor.
       
    • If the dean disagrees with the recommendation by the supervisor, they should submit the above and:
       
      • submit a letter describing their reasons for not supporting the recommendation of the supervisor (Note: A letter is not required if the dean supports the supervisor's recommendation).
         
  5. The provost makes a determination about whether to approve or deny the sabbatical request and communicates the decision to the applicant, the applicant's supervisor and the dean, typically by the end of the fall semester. The dean's designee (typically the personnel officer) submits the change request through the Human Resources Transaction System (HRTS).

Note: The application must be advanced at all stages of review, regardless of the recommendation.

 

Requirements after a Sabbatical Leave

As required by Trustees' Policies, the faculty member must submit a written report describing outcomes and activities from the leave period. 

The report must be submitted to the Department Chair (if applicable), the Dean and to Human Resources no later than the end of the semester following the leave.

Note: Copies do not need to be submitted to the Provost or President.

 

Other Considerations

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.

If the faculty member fails to return for the minimum period, then they are obligated to reimburse all salary paid during the leave.

All changes to an approved sabbatical plan must be approved, in writing, by the Provost as soon as such need is known.

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.

 

Contact

For questions regarding the sabbatical request process, please contact Dr. Benjamin Weaver, Assistant Vice Provost for Academic & Faculty Affairs at [email protected].