|Document Title||Sabbatical Policy|
|Approved by||University Senate & President|
In accord with “The State University of New York Policies of the Board of Trustees” (“Policies”), Article XIII, Title E, sections 1-7, SUNY Fredonia should place high priority on maintaining a sabbatical leave system. A sabbatical leave is neither “a vacation” nor a “rest period.” Instead, it is “granted for planned travel, study, formal education, research, writing or other experience of professional value.” BOT policies recognize that funding sabbaticals for the purpose of professional development benefits the institution as well as the members of the faculty. This system also supports professional activities which are directly linked to promotions and discretionary salary increases. A robust sabbatical program is an important part of a comprehensive professional development plan. Thus, the institution should do everything feasible to grant requests for sabbaticals promptly at the time of eligibility. Otherwise, an accumulation of sabbatical requests will lead to selections being made from a growing backlog of applications.
Accordingly, the SUNY Fredonia Joint Sabbatical Task Force recommends the following regarding (I) providing notice about application; (II) funding; (III) process of selection; and (IV) reporting the results of sabbatical leaves.
I. Eligibility, Notice, Application, and Review Process
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:
Terms and Conditions: There are two types of sabbatical leave as provided in the “Policies” Article XIII, Title E, section 4:
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:
Leave Credits: Employees on sabbatical leave are not eligible to earn or use leave credits during sabbatical leave.
Funding for sabbaticals should be intentional and planned according to the number of sabbaticals anticipated in a given year based on faculty eligibility. Funding should follow these recommendations:
In accordance with the “Policies” Article XIII, Title E, sec. 5, “upon return the applicant will submit to the chief academic officer a detailed report of professional activities and accomplishments while on sabbatical leave.” This report is to be submitted to the department chair not later than the last day of classes of the semester in which the faculty member returns from sabbatical. The chair will forward it to the appropriate dean, who will in turn forward it to the Provost. The chairperson and Dean shall append their comments and evaluations indicating whether the conditions under which the leave was granted have been met. The dean shall provide the faculty member with a copy of the 5 comments at the same time they are submitted to the Provost. Faculty members who dispute the comments and evaluations by the chairperson and Dean may appeal directly to the Provost within 10 days after receiving their copy of the comments and evaluations. Faculty members returning from leave who do not file this report in the prescribed time period will be ineligible for any financial support for professional development (including campus grants or travel funds) until the report is filed. If, in the judgment of the Provost, the report indicates that the conditions under which the leave was granted were not met, or that the sabbatical activities did not include “planned travel, study, formal education, research, writing, or other experience of professional value,” the Provost may determine, after consultation with the dean and chair, that the faculty member should be ineligible for future sabbaticals or professional development funds. On an annual basis, the Provost will compile a complete list of the professional activities and attainments of faculty members on leave during the relevant time period. This list will be widely distributed and available to the public.
V. Library Faculty
Librarians with faculty status are equally eligible for sabbatical leave. According to the “Policies” Article II Definitions (i) and (j):
(i) “’Academic Staff.’ The staff comprised of those persons having academic rank or qualified academic rank.”
Because their job duties require full-time, on-site work for twelve months, their leave and replacement costs will differ from teaching faculty. Library faculty will also follow a modified approval procedure.