Senate Procedures 706.1.1
1. Philosophy of Sabbatical Leaves
Sabbatical leaves are not a fringe benefit and are not automatically granted. The purpose of sabbatical leaves is to give faculty a respite from their normal duties in order to facilitate their exploration of professional avenues which performance of their normal duties would prevent. Faculty are encouraged to leave the Houghton area, develop contacts with other academic institutions, research institutes, businesses, or government agencies as part of the sabbatical. These encouragements are in keeping with the philosophy underlying sabbatical leaves. They are, however, not required.
Sabbatical leave is governed by Board of Trustees Policy 6.7.
3. Proposal Guidelines
In order to be considered for a sabbatical, faculty must prepare a sabbatical leave proposal, using the current guide for preparation of applications as provided and approved by the Sabbatical Leave Committee. Copies of the guide will be available online and from the Chair of the Sabbatical Leave Committee.
Sabbatical leave will be approved only under these conditions:
- The faculty member agrees to perform no substantive duties at Michigan Tech, including instruction, committee work, or administrative functions at the department, college, or university level during the time allotted for the sabbatical. Graduate student committee work and research are specifically excluded from this prohibition.
- The proposed leave is:
- for at least one full semester (for tenured faculty);
- for no more than one semester (for non-tenured faculty) unless an
exception is granted by the president in response to a compelling situation.
- The faculty member agrees to return to Michigan Tech after the leave, subject to exceptions approved by the president according to Board of Trustees policy.
- The faculty member agrees to provide:
- a written report at the end of the sabbatical leave (for tenured faculty);
- a written report or a workshop, performance, or other presentation open to the entire campus community designed to facilitate dissemination of information related to the sabbatical (for non-tenured faculty).
- The faculty member has provided all paperwork required (e.g., written report) for the previous sabbatical leave (if any).
- For non-tenure-track faculty only: The faculty member was selected, through a competitive process, to receive funding from the Office of the Provost in support of the sabbatical leave.
- Compensation is governed by Board of Trustees Policy 6.7.
Note: Most faculty are on nine-month appointments. For those who are not on nine-month appointments, academic year salary is what their salary would be if they were on normal, nine-month appointments. Pay for administrative duties is not part of a normal, nine-month faculty salary.
Faculty agree to adhere to Board Policy 6.7 Program for Sabbatical Leave regarding full time employment and funding from fellowships, grants or other sources during the course of the sabbatical. University funds under discretionary control of the faculty member, but not general university funds, may be used to subsidize travel as described in the sabbatical leave proposal.
Any funds “released” by an individual faculty member’s sabbatical leave (i.e. the remaining 33% of a full-year’s leave) will be left in control of the individual academic unit.
5. Fringe benefits
During the period when a faculty member is on sabbatical leave:
- Insurance benefits remain the same as when actively employed on campus.
- TIAA/CREF retirement plan contributions and social security are paid on the salary received.
- Contributions to the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System, in accordance with MPSERS policy, are discontinued. Service time will be purchased by the University upon completion of one year service after return from leave.
- Sick leave does not accrue.
6. Application Procedure
- The individual faculty member begins the process by sending to their immediate supervisor a written statement of intent to submit a proposal for sabbatical leave.
- The applicant writes a sabbatical leave proposal using the preparation guide of Section 3 above.
- The applicant presents the sabbatical leave proposal to their immediate supervisor (e.g., chair or dean).
- The supervisor (e.g., chair or dean)
- writes a recommendation, with advice from the faculty as described in the unit’s charter;
- sends the electronic proposal including their recommendation (even if negative) to the chair of the University Sabbatical Leave Committee;
- sends an electronic copy of the proposal and recommendation, for informational purposes, to the provost, and, if applicable, to the college dean;
- sends a copy of the recommendation to the applicant.
- The University Sabbatical Leave Committee reviews proposals. The Committee may suggest modifications to the proposal, if appropriate, and the applicant may submit a modified proposal directly to the Committee.
- The Committee makes a written recommendation for each applicant to the president. Recommendations for non-tenure-track faculty applicants will be prioritized by the Committee.
- The president will notify each applicant as to whether the sabbatical leave has been granted. The president will send copies of the notification to the immediate supervisor (chair or dean) of the applicant, with a copy to the college dean, if applicable. The president will send the proposal, recommendations, and notification to the Academic Human Resources for deposition in the academic record file of the applicant.
See the Faculty Grievance Procedures in the Faculty Handbook Section 8.1.
Everyone involved in the sabbatical leave approval process should act in a timely manner. Even though plans for sabbatical leaves sometimes do not solidify until rather late in the academic year, applicants should begin the process as early as possible. Applications received after March 15 will be less likely to be approved.
9. Changes in Approved Sabbatical Leaves
Once a sabbatical leave has been approved, any substantive changes in the faculty member's sabbatical plans, including changes while the leave is underway, must be submitted in writing and approved by the faculty member's supervisor, the University Sabbatical Leave Committee, and the President. The final decision on approval of modifications of proposed plans rests with the President. Copies of the notification of approval or disapproval will be distributed as in 6.g. above.
10. Reports of Sabbatical Leave Activity
The faculty member must prepare a narrative report of accomplishments during the sabbatical
leave, including a description of the extent to which the activities indicated in
the approved proposal were realized.
This report must be submitted to the Sabbatical Leave Committee and as a permanent attachment to the next annual update of the curriculum vitae after completion of the leave. The Provost will deposit the sabbatical narrative report in the faculty member's academic record file.
11. Sabbatical Leave Committee
The Sabbatical Leave Committee shall consist of five tenured members of the Academic Faculty appointed by the President of the University. The Committee is to (1) review and make recommendations on applications for sabbatical leave; (2) review reports of and evaluate completed sabbatical leaves; (3) recommend modifications of sabbatical leave procedures.
Members of the Committee shall serve for five-year terms ending on August 1. Any vacant position on the Committee, including temporary vacancies, shall be filled by a tenured member of the Academic Faculty selected by the President of the University from a list of three candidates submitted by the University Senate. The Senate shall assemble and forward the list to the President as soon as possible after any vacancy occurs. Each Senator representing an academic department shall be permitted to make one nomination. At a regular meeting of the Senate, each senator eligible to vote on academic matters shall vote for up to three nominees from the list of all nominees. The three nominees receiving the largest number of votes shall be the candidates which the Senate will submit to the President of the University.
The Sabbatical Leave Committee is responsible for development of the format and guidelines for applications for sabbatical leave. The current guidelines are attached as an appendix to this proposal. A notice of any substantial changes to the guidelines should be transmitted to the Senate office.
In consultation with the Provost, the Sabbatical Leave Committee will submit an annual report to the Senate which details sabbatical leave activities. The Senate will undertake periodic review of these reports and investigate additional initiatives to encourage sabbatical leaves as an avenue for faculty professional development.
The Center for Teaching, Learning and Faculty Development (or successor unit) may consult if necessary with the Committee in developing information, particularly web-based material, to inform faculty and academic departments about the sabbatical leave policy and about avenues for funding of sabbatical leaves.
This proposal supersedes, and upon approval nullifies, previous Senate Proposals concerning sabbatical leaves, including Proposals 13-78, 1-95, 29-96, 5-00, 6-00, 12-00, and 9-05.
Other Relevant Policies or Procedures
Board of Trustees Policy 6.7: Sabbatical Leave
Faculty Handbook 4.1, Sabbatical Leave Program
Faculty Handbook Appendix E, Sabbatical Leave Procedures
Adopted by Presidential Advisory Committee: 26 January 2005 Approved by President Mroz: 17 March 2005
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Introduced to Senate: 22 January 2014
Approved by Senate: 05 February 2014
Administration offered amendment: 28 February 2014
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Introduced to Senate: 7 April 2021
Approved by Senate: 21 April 2021
Approved by Administration: 26 April 2021
Approved by Board of Trustees: 30 April 2021