Jess & Mildred Fisher College of Science & Mathematics

Fisher College of Science and Mathematics Guidelines for Submitting a Sabbatical Leave Request to the Dean’s Office

Nature and Purpose of a Sabbatical:

A sabbatical represents an opportunity for a tenured faculty member to engage in a planned scholarly activity that may integrate work to date, lay the foundation for continued inquiry or serve as a bridge to new perspectives, topics or methods of inquiry. Sabbatical leaves represent a privilege earned through scholarly efforts made during the past six or more years, and as such, sabbatical leaves are not automatically granted every seven years or considered a reward for longevity. The plan must clearly describe the uniqueness of the scholarly activity and why a leave is necessary to accomplish the goals. The purpose and plan for the sabbatical must be carefully considered and endorsed by the Department Chair, the College Dean and the Provost. To access this opportunity, a faculty member must meet the temporal criteria set forth in the Faculty Handbook (Chapter Four, Section IX) and prepare a formal request (detailed below) in a timely manner.

Sabbatical Submission Deadline:

Faculty members contemplating a sabbatical leave application are requested to notify the Dean’s office and make an appointment to discuss the proposed sabbatical activities well before the application deadline published by the Provost’s office. Therefore, a September meeting with the Dean is recommended.

Final sabbatical leave requests for the upcoming year should then be submitted to the Dean’s Office by October 15. For example; requests for sabbatical leave during the Fall, Spring or entire 2010 – 2011 Academic Year are due in the Dean’s Office on or prior to October 15, 2009.

Requests must include the completed University Sabbatical Leave Application form and all documentation as described below.

Sabbatical Project Description and Guidelines:

The sabbatical project must be clearly linked to the faculty member’s scholarship plan; and it must serve to advance the faculty member’s expertise or be focused on the faculty member’s development of a related or new area of expertise that relates to scholarship. The proposal must address advancement of that plan. Thus, the sabbatical project ordinarily is not a stand-alone project. The focus of the sabbatical project must be deemed to be “significant” within the discipline. A broad definition of scholarship is used relative to sabbatical projects.

Sabbatical Proposal Criteria:

The sabbatical project proposal must:
  • have a clear, logical, well-developed plan for completion or implementation,
  • have one or more substantive outcomes, which might be a publication, a body of data for continuing analysis, or a teaching project carried through that has scholarly value,
  • reflect a full-time commitment to the sabbatical activities and
  • include a description of how the scholarly work will positively impact the faculty member’s teaching and associated student learning.

Sabbatical Reports and Deadlines:

All faculty are required to submit a written report and give an oral presentation regarding the sabbatical project.

The written report must provide a substantive description of the sabbatical activities. Depending on the form of the work undertaken, it might normally include as well a copy of manuscripts or published work; photographs, explanations, data, or summaries of qualitative and quantitative research; or other materials illustrating results of the sabbatical project. In addition, the report must include a description of the project’s impact on the faculty member’s scholarship plan and, when appropriate, a plan for integration of the project’s activities and/or outcomes into teaching. The written report is due one month following completion of the sabbatical. Accomplishment of sabbatical outcomes and submission of the sabbatical report will be included in the faculty member’s Annual Review process and Five-Year Comprehensive Review for the time period in which the sabbatical occurred.

The date and time of the sabbatical presentation should be selected to maximize attendance by interested faculty and students and published at least two weeks prior to the sabbatical presentation. The scholarly presentation should include a substantive description of the project and its results and allow for questions/discussion by attendees. The oral presentation must be given within a semester following the faculty member’s return from sabbatical.

Changes to Sabbatical Plans:

Any proposed substantive change to a sabbatical plan must be submitted in writing to the Department Chairperson at least three months prior to the beginning of the sabbatical. The change in plans must be approved by the Chairperson, the Dean, and the Associate Provost.

Sabbatical Leave Application

Click here to download the Sabbatical Leave Application form.


Faculty are referred to the current Faculty Handbook for other information related to sabbaticals. This is available on the University Web site at

The Jess and Mildred Fisher
College of Science and Mathematics
Smith Hall, Room 312 (campus map)
Phone: 410-704-2121
Fax: 410-704-2604




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