Procedures for Sabbatical Leave Proposal

As of Fall 2022, all sabbatical applications are submitted by the Dean via HRTS.


Applicants must submit a full proposal with all required documentation to their dean’s office by the school or college deadline.

The documentation required for all applications is detailed below. Applicants should consult their dean’s office for all internal deadlines and procedures prior to submission to the dean.

Completed proposals must be submitted by dean’s office staff to the Office of the Provost via HRTS by December 1

Questions regarding the sabbatical request process should be directed to Dr. Glyne Griffith ([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 salary.
  2. Sabbatical leave for one-half year at up to full salary.

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.



To assist planning for both faculty members and the institution, applicants must submit a full proposal with all required documentation to their dean’s office by the School/College deadline.

Completed proposals must be submitted by dean’s office staff to the Office of the Provost via HRTS by December 1

Proposals submitted after December 1 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 December 1 must include a statement justifying the late initiation. 


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 must notify 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, to include the following documents:

    • Proposed Activities: A document describing proposed activities for the leave period, including the anticipated outcomes of the proposed activities, as well as their importance to the University’s mission and the applicant’s professional development

    • Statement of Other Income: A statement identifying any anticipated income other than salary from the campus while on leave or a statement attesting there will be no other income

    • Obligation to Return: 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: Any supporting materials (for example, copies of invitations from host institutions for a period of residency, or other letters of support for proposed activities)

    • Curriculum Vitae: A current curriculum vitae

    • Report from Previous Sabbatical: If the candidate has taken a sabbatical leave previously, a copy of the report from that sabbatical leave must be included

  3. The employee's supervisor (typically the department chair) reviews the request and may ask for additional information and/or consult with others in evaluating the request. The chair then submits the following to the dean:

    • Chair’s Letter: a letter stating the chair’s recommendation, describing the benefits/impact to the department and the applicant’s professional development, and a clearly articulated plan for covering the applicant's teaching and other responsibilities during the leave with to the number of student seats. If the sabbatical request is not supported by the chair, the letter should explain the reasons for the negative recommendation. (Note: It is expected that one-semester leaves will be covered on a load-absorbed basis for teaching and other service)

    • Copies of all materials that were submitted by the applicant.

  4. The dean reviews the request and submits the application via HRTS by December 1 with all the aforementioned documents attached.

    • If the dean agrees with the recommendation by the supervisor, indicate this in the comment box in HRTS and attach all materials that were submitted by the applicant and the applicant's supervisor. A letter from the dean is not required if the dean supports the supervisor’s recommendation.

    • If the dean disagrees with the recommendation by the supervisor, the dean should submit the above in HRTS and attach a letter describing their reasons for not supporting the recommendation of the supervisor.

  5. The Provost reviews the application.

    • If the request is supported, the Provost will inform the dean by email. In addition, the Provost selects “Approve” in HRTS. HR will generate a leave confirming approval letter and UP3 for president’s signature and send signed letter to Dean’s Office for distribution

    • If request is not supported:

      • The Provost discusses with the dean.

      • The Provost will generate leave denial letter to applicant (cc: Chair, Dean, Personnel file) and will distribute accordingly.  HR will place the letter in personnel file for the record.

      • The Provost selects “Deny” in HRTS with the denial letter attached.

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.

Chairs and Deans should ensure that the report content is adequate and appropriate. Once approved, the Dean’s signature should be affixed to the report and the report submitted to Human Resources at [email protected] and to the Office of the Provost at [email protected].


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 Provost such action is in the best interest of the University and the employee.



For questions regarding the sabbatical request process, please contact Dr. Glyne Griffith ([email protected]).