Sabbatical Leave Policy

This document describes the policies on this campus regarding sabbatical or academic leaves. Its aim is to ensure coherent and uniform guidelines and procedures and to clarify state policies. Further information is to be found in the State University Policies and Procedures related to Sabbatical Leaves in Article XIII, Title E, of the Policies of the Board of Trustees of the State University of New York.

A sabbatical leave is defined as a leave for the purpose of encouraging faculty members to engage in scholarly development or other activities that will increase their scholarly achievement and their capacity for service to the University. As a leave of absence with pay constitutes a significant investment on the part of the University in the future career of the individual faculty member, it is granted to eligible faculty on the understanding that the faculty member has an explicit obligation to return to his or her position at the University for a minimum of one year. If a faculty member fails to return from sabbatical to accept employment elsewhere, he or she will be expected to remit to the University any salary paid by the University during the leave period. At the conclusion of the sabbatical leave the faculty member must forward to the Provost, with the endorsement of their department Chair and Dean a detailed report on professional activities and accomplishments during the period of the sabbatical leave.

Application for a sabbatical should be made in writing on the appropriate form. The application should include a detailed description of the proposed research or other scholarly project and the relevance of the proposed activity in contributing to the University's objectives, as well as the suitability of the faculty member's background and qualifications for carrying out the project. Circumstances beyond control of the faculty member may necessitate a change in plans. All such changes must be approved, in writing, through the normal administrative channels as soon as such need is known. Applicants should also include information on significant scholarly contributions since the last sabbatical leave.

Sabbatical leave applications should include information on salary from any non-State University sources to be earned by the faculty member while on leave. Whether this sabbatical leave is for six months at full salary or half state salary for one year, the total salary to be earned while on sabbatical from state plus other sources should normally not exceed the faculty member's full basic annual salary rate (for faculty in the School of Medicine and Dental Medicine who are subject to Article 29 of the UUP agreement, this means their total annual compensation). Faculty applying for sabbatical leave may, with prior approval, accept fellowships, grants-in-aid, or earned income to assist in accomplishing the purpose of their leave. Any such income during the leave period which is to accrue from non-State University sources for assisting in scholarly and research objectives, for relocation expenses, or to offset loss of certain State University benefits (such as health and retirement contributions) may be allowed if proper detailed justification is provided. Salary from grants, contracts or fellowships may be paid for those on a one-half time leave. The amount to be paid can be as high as 50% of the regular annual salary, and the regular state line in all cases must reflect no more than a 50% salary rate.

The application form must be submitted to the department Chair no later than February 15 preceding the academic year for which the leave is requested. The department Chair must forward the application with an accompanying recommendation to the appropriate dean on or before March 1.

If the period of sabbatical is not the normal academic year or the Fall or Spring semesters, the application must be submitted to the department Chair no later than six months prior to the beginning date of the proposed sabbatical leave. Since no extra allocations of funds are available to implement the sabbatical policy, support of sabbaticals must be covered by regular departmental allocation. Therefore, the department Chair's recommendation should include a statement about the proposed method of handling the normal duties of the faculty member on leave.

On or before March 15, the dean of the division shall review the application and with his or her own recommendation forward it to the Provost for core campus divisions or the Vice President for Health Sciences, who has been designated by the Provost to approve applications submitted to deans of the Health Sciences schools. The Provost or the Vice President may approve such leave deemed appropriate and shall forward his or her recommendation to the President for final approval. It should be noted that administrative approval of applications for sabbatical leave will include both a budgetary and substantive review.

Illness, or other unplanned circumstances, may cause interruption of an approved sabbatical. In all such cases, the faculty member shall be placed on another leave, with or without salary as appropriate. The President may reestablish the balance of the sabbatical leave at the mutual convenience of the campus and the employee.

The above structure is to ensure the continued integrity of an extremely valuable University mechanism for the professional development of its faculty.

Sabbatical Leave Request Form (pdf)

Sabbatical Leave Request Form (Word Doc)