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.
Responsible Executive and Office:
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs
Office of the Provost
Entities Affected by this Policy:
All tenured faculty members.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Participation in teaching and advising is prohibited. Exceptions to continue mentoring
graduate or research students can be requested at the time of sabbatical application.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
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
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, generalcounsel AT_TOWSON.