02-02.00 – Policy on Sabbatical Leave

  1. Policy Statement:

    To provide policies and implementing procedures governing the granting of sabbatical leave to faculty members. The primary purpose of such leave is to provide an opportunity for faculty members to conduct scholarly or creative work, or to engage in activities that may result in the generation and application of intellectual property through technology transfer, in order to increase their contribution to the institution, and to enhance their standing in a discipline or profession.

  2. Responsible Executive and Office:

    Responsible Executive:
    Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs

    Responsible Office:
    Office of the Provost

  3. Entities Affected by this Policy:

    All tenured faculty members.

  4. Procedures:

    1. To be eligible for sabbatical leave, a full-time faculty member shall have attained tenure and the rank of assistant professor, associate professor or professor; and shall have completed at least six years of service at Towson University (“University”) at the time of an initial sabbatical leave or since the last previously granted sabbatical leave. A part-time faculty member shall have been granted tenure and shall have completed six or more years of at least half-time service at Towson University. Ordinarily, a leave of absence without pay shall not be regarded as service to Towson University for purposes of determining eligibility for sabbatical leave. On rare occasions the University may approve a sabbatical leave for a tenured
    2. The faculty member applying for sabbatical leave shall schedule an interview with the dean of the college early in the fall semester preceding the academic year for which the sabbatical leave is requested to discuss the proposed sabbatical project. The “Sabbatical Leave Application” form can be accessed in the "Office of the Provost' section of the TU Forms Repository. The completed form must be submitted to the department chairperson who shall forward the Chairperson's recommendation to the  dean of the college. If approved, the dean of the college shall forward the “Sabbatical Leave Application” to the vice provost for academic affairs no later than the third Monday of November. The vice provost shall forward the application and related recommendations to the Provost. Upon recommendation of the Provost, the President may grant a sabbatical leave. The faculty member will be notified of the grant or denial of the sabbatical request in writing by the second Friday in February. An appeal of a decision of denial may be presented only to the dean and/or Provost (whichever denied the request) within 30 calendar days after the faculty member is notified of the denial of the sabbatical request.
    3. Faculty members applying for sabbatical leave shall agree as a precondition for accepting same to return to the University upon termination of the sabbatical period and to serve on a normal basis for at least one academic year immediately subsequent to returning, except under unusual circumstances in which the President may decide otherwise in writing, in advance. If faculty members fail to return, or fail to remain in service for at least one year, they shall be liable for the repayment of the whole or a proportionate share of the salary paid during the sabbatical period.
    4. Ordinarily, sabbatical leave will be granted within an annual contract period. A sabbatical leave may be granted to both full and part-time tenured faculty members who are on 10 month contracts for one-half of the recipient’s annual contract period at their normal compensation or for the full annual contract period at one-half normal compensation. Department chairs and 12-month faculty will be granted the period from August 15 to January 15 or February 1 to July 1 unless granted a full-year sabbatical. Full contract sabbatical can cross academic years (i.e., beginning in a Spring semester and continue through the following Fall semester) if this does not create undue hardship for the Department. Compensation will be one-half of the normal compensation across the two designated semesters. 
    5. All benefits and privileges of faculty members on sabbatical leave shall be continued in the same manner as if they were not on such leave. However, if the sabbatical leave is for the full annual contract period at one-half normal compensation, sick leave, annual leave and creditable service for retirement will be pro-rated at one-half of normal earnings.
    6. Full-time or part-time employment by faculty members while on sabbatical leave is prohibited. Faculty members on sabbatical leave shall be permitted to accept, in addition to the salary received from the University, only such awards, grants, contracts, or other compensation or stipends as may be related to the approved sabbatical leave project and approved by the President of the University upon recommendation of the Provost of the University.
    7. Participation in service activities while on sabbatical is prohibited, with the exception of engagement in either departmental PTRM activities or departmental-wide faculty search interviews. If faculty wish to engage in these activities, it should be requested at the time of sabbatical application. 
    8. Participation in teaching and advising is prohibited. Exceptions to continue mentoring graduate or research students can be requested at the time of sabbatical application. 
    9. While on sabbatical leave, recipients may accept compensation for consulting services rendered during the sabbatical leave, provided that such services shall not exceed those allowed by the University and the USM II-3.10 Policy on Professional Commitment of Faculty and that these services do not interfere with the approved sabbatical leave project. Failure to comply with these requirements will result in denial of future sabbatical requests.
    10. Upon return from the sabbatical leave, faculty members must submit a written summary report on their sabbatical activities to the chair of the department and the dean of their college and the vice provost. In addition, they must present a public seminar on the results of the sabbatical project open to the faculty and students of the University, all within the academic year in which the faculty member returns.
    11. If the faculty member fails to submit a written report and present a public seminar, as stipulated in section V.H. of this policy, then time in service counted toward the next sabbatical will not begin until the academic year in which these obligations are fulfilled. Furthermore, should faculty members not fulfill these obligations within the academic year in which they return, then any such faculty member will not be eligible for other University-funded financial support such as travel funds until the obligation to submit the written report and present a public seminar on the results of the sabbatical project has been fulfilled. 

Related Policies:

USM Policy II-2.00, Policy on Evaluation of Performance of Faculty;
USM Policy II-3.10, Policy on Professional Commitment of Faculty

Approval Date: 03/28/2011

Effective Date: 03/28/2011

Amended Date: 05/08/2012



Approved by: President’s Council 03/08/2011

Reviewed By:

Signed By:

How to Request the Policy PDF

This online version of the policy may include updated links and names of departments. To request a PDF of the original, signed version of this policy, email the Office of the General Counsel, .