Sabbatical Leave Guidelines

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 IV) and prepare a formal request in a timely manner.

Sabbatical Submission Deadline:

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.  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. 

Requests must include the completed Sabbatical Leave Application form (DOCX) 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.

Detailed Information from the Faculty Handbook:

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 Vice Provost.


For other information related to sabbaticals, faculty are referred to the current online

Faculty Handbook