Policy: Article XIII, Title E of the “Policies” of the Board of Trustees stipulates that the objective of a sabbatical leave "is to increase an employee's value to the University and thereby improve and enrich its programs.” Sabbaticals are granted for “planned travel, study, formal education, research, writing, or other experience of professional value.” All requests for sabbatical leave should clearly and specifically describe how the how the proposed project(s) will meet the criteria in the “Policies.” All requests should be accompanied by a current curriculum vitae and by 1) the ballots and commentary from the Department Personnel Committee; 2) the recommendations of the appropriate department chair or director, dean, and Provost/VPAA; and 3) the applicant’s response(s), if any. The chair’s letter should clearly state how the faculty member’s teaching, advising, and other responsibilities will be covered during the sabbatical.
Eligibility: According to the “Policies” Article XIII, Title E, section 3, “Academic employees having continuing appointments and college administrative officers not in a negotiating unit established pursuant to Article XIV of the Civil Service Law 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 shall be eligible for sabbatical leave. In computing consecutive years of service for the purpose of this section, periods of vacation leave and periods of sick leave with salary shall be included; periods of leaves of absences, other than vacation 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.”
Notice: Although the Academic Calendar delineates the application deadline, this date - with guidance about the application process and timeline - will be a routine outreach item each year. The following venues are recommended:
- Academic Affairs LISTSERV distribution (recommend 1st week in September).
- Information item at Academic Leadership meetings in September/October, with guidance to Chairs/directors to disseminate and advise in their units.
- The PDC (Professional Development Center) will host a panel annually, in advance of the annual sabbatical application submission deadline. The panel will be comprised of cross-discipline faculty who have completed one or more sabbaticals. The panel members will relate their personal experiences with sabbaticals as relevant to their professional development. PDC staff will disseminate information about the application/approval process. The event will be advertised on the usual PDC calendar.
- All unit/department chairs/heads/directors will be asked by their respective supervisors to communicate to eligible faculty: (a) the timeline; (b) application procedures; and (c) information that may be helpful in the application process.
Terms and Conditions: There are two types of sabbatical leave as provided in the “Policies” Article XIII, Title E, section 4:
- Sabbatical leave for one year at up to half pay.
- 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.
Applications: Requests for sabbatical leave are to be submitted to the Departmental Personnel Committee by the second Friday in November. The review process will follow the dates published annually in the Academic Affairs Master Calendar. When signing the application, applicants must agree to the following requirements:
- Applicants are required to file a statement outlining the program to be followed identifying any proposed income other than salary from the campus while on leave.
- Applicants are required 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 he/she is obligated to reimburse all salary paid during the leave.
- Any substantive change in the proposed activities (following its approval) must be submitted in writing to the Chair and then approved by the Chair, Dean, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and President.
- The faculty member is required to 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.
- 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 college and the employee.
Leave Credits: Employees on sabbatical leave are not eligible to earn or use leave credits during sabbatical leave.
- Requests for sabbatical leave are subject to review by the applicant's Departmental Personnel Committee, department chair, dean, and the Provost/VPAA. The final decision is rendered in writing by the President, who shall inform the applicant of the decision. The President shall report approved sabbaticals to the SUNY Chancellor (Policies Article XIII, Title E, sec. 6).
- For the purposes of sabbatical review, the Departmental Personnel Committee shall comprise of all of the tenured faculty regardless of rank, but shall not include any faculty who are applying for a sabbatical in the same year.
- In the event that the composition of the DPC is fewer than three faculty members, the department will follow the process of recruiting alternate(s) as outlined in HARP II.E.2.b.
- Should the chair of a department apply for a sabbatical, the chair of the DPC shall make the formal recommendation of the department for all sabbatical requests, including information on class coverage.