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ADMINISTRATIVE POLICY
Home : Human Resources : Leaves

Faculty Development Leaves

Effective Date: March 2006
Last Update: January 2013
Responsible University Officer:
  • Vice President for Human Resources
Policy Owner:
  • Director, Employee Relations and Compensation
Policy Contact:
CONSULTED WITH: Faculty Senate

Printed on: . Please go to http://policy.umn.edu for the most current version of the Policy or related document.

POLICY STATEMENT

Eligible faculty members may request development leaves to spend time away from the University in order to focus more intently on significant work already in progress or pursue new studies, investigations, research, scholarly writing or artistic projects. Leaves may also be used for curriculum development and other improvements to teaching. Senior leaders, returning to the faculty, may choose to request a development leave to refresh and increase expertise in teaching and research in their discipline following a significant period of administrative service. While development leaves for entrepreneurial work may typically involve ventures related to the development of University intellectual property (IP), other types of activities that can demonstrate substantial institutional benefit or that constitute an innovative and collaborative project relating to the public good are also eligible for consideration.

Faculty are provided the following types of leaves, based on their faculty appointment and other eligibility requirements:

  • Tenured faculty – single semester, sabbatical and entrepreneurial leaves
  • Tenure-track faculty – single semester and entrepreneurial leaves
  • Contract faculty members – single semester and sabbatical leaves
  • Tenured faculty members returning to a faculty role following the conclusion of a senior leadership appointment – single semester and sabbatical leaves

Temporary, visiting, adjunct or clinical faculty from outside the University and faculty covered by a collective bargaining agreement are not eligible for these development leaves.

Single Semester Leaves

Allocation of Leaves

The senior vice president for academic affairs and provost determines the number of single semester leaves and the allocation among colleges/campuses. Up to four percent of the regular faculty at the probationary rank of instructor or probationary and tenured ranks of assistant professor, associate professor, or professor can be authorized for single semester leaves. Competition for these leaves takes place at departmental and collegiate levels. Contract faculty holding the rank of instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, or professor at the discretion of the department head/chair and dean may be granted single semester leaves.

Basis of Award and Eligibility

Single semester leaves for regular faculty are awarded on the basis of years of service and results of the review of the proposal within the department and college, subject to final approval by the dean. The president may also grant this leave, in consultation with the appropriate dean, to a senior leader resuming a faculty role at the conclusion of a significant amount of time in a senior leadership position. Single semester leaves for contract faculty are awarded on the basis of years of service, results of the review of the proposal within the department and college and availability of funds. Both the department head/chair and the dean must approve the leave.

Probationary and contract faculty are eligible for a single semester leave after two academic or fiscal years of service in a University faculty appointment of 67 percent time or greater. Tenured faculty are eligible for a single semester leave after four academic or fiscal years of service in an appointment of 67 percent time or greater. Subsequent single semester leaves may be taken following four additional eligible years of service, in a University faculty appointment of 67 percent time or greater. Refer to Procedures, Determination of Years of Service For A Single Semester Leave.

Salary and Benefits During Leave

A single semester leave is at full salary and benefits. For a senior leader returning to the faculty, the salary will be at the faculty salary rate. The salary and benefits paid during a single semester leave are not to be regarded as additional compensation for services already rendered, but as contemporaneous compensation for services rendered by the faculty member in developing professional knowledge and skill for subsequent service to students and the University.

Obligations
  1. Faculty members granted single semester leaves must return to University service immediately following the leave for a period of time at least equal to the period of the leave and at the percentage of appointment held during the leave. A delay to return to service may be granted by the dean, with concurrence of the department head/chair, for a period without pay, not longer than the period of the leave.
  2. Faculty members who do not return or return for only a portion of the time due and have not been granted a written waiver by the appropriate senior vice president must reimburse the University for all or a prorated amount of the salary, retirement contributions, and value of benefits received during the leave. For senior leaders, refer to the Administrative Policy: Senior Leader Compensation and Separation.
  3. Contract faculty members receiving a notice of non-renewal during the period of the single semester leave will be provided a written waiver at the time of notice. The contract faculty member is not required to return to the unit for a period at least equal to the period of leave and is not required to reimburse the University for the amount of salary, retirement contributions, and all other fringe benefits received during the leave.
Reporting

Faculty members must file with their department and college a summary report addressing the results of the work done while on leave. The report is to be submitted within three months of their return from leave.

Sabbatical Leaves

Length of Leave

A sabbatical leave may be granted for one or two semesters for faculty on an academic year appointment, five and one-half months, or eleven months for faculty on a fiscal year appointment. A leave of more than one semester normally is taken in consecutive (fall, spring) terms. For choosing to take a sabbatical leave of one semester only, the privilege to the second semester (or second half of the year) is waived.

Basis of Award and Eligibility

Sabbatical leaves for tenured faculty are awarded on the basis of years of service and review within the department and college, subject to approval by the dean. The president may also grant this leave, in consultation with the appropriate dean, to a senior leader resuming a faculty role at the conclusion of a significant amount of time in a senior leadership position. Sabbatical leaves for contract faculty are awarded on the basis of service, review within the department and college, and availability of funds. Both the department head/chair and the dean must approve the leave, Although worthy sabbatical leaves may not be denied for administrative convenience, deans may delay and restructure them for up to one year in order to relieve constraints upon department or unit budgets or to ensure that key courses remain available to students. Such delay reduces by the same time the period of eligibility for a subsequent sabbatical leave.

A tenured faculty member is entitled to the privilege of a sabbatical leave of up to one year after six academic years of service. A senior leader resuming a faculty role may be granted a sabbatical leave. A contract faculty member may be awarded a sabbatical leave of up to one year after six academic years of service. Refer to Procedures, Determination of Years of Service For A Sabbatical Leave.

Accrual of Credit

No more than six years of credit may accrue toward a sabbatical leave. Credit toward a sabbatical leave is accrued during continuous years of service. Such credit is for the purpose of a sabbatical leave and cannot be cashed out or traded for other benefits.

Income and Benefits During Leave
  1. Salary and Benefits
    Sabbatical leaves are compensated at one-half salary and full benefits. The salary during the leave is based upon the faculty member's regular University salary at the time the leave is initiated. For a senior leader returning to the faculty, the salary will be at the faculty salary rate. The salary and benefits paid during a sabbatical leave are not to be regarded as additional compensation for services already rendered but as contemporaneous compensation for services rendered by the faculty member in developing professional knowledge and skill for subsequent service to students and the University.
  2. Income Augmentation
    Faculty members on sabbatical leave may augment their sabbatical income up to the level of their regular University salary, provided that the activities yielding the additional compensation are consistent with the purpose of the sabbatical leave. Permission must be obtained from the department head/chair and dean. In establishing the level of permissible sabbatical income, University-approved consulting activities in which the faculty member has been engaged, that do not conflict with the purposes of the leave, will not be considered when calculating the permissible level of income augmentation. Expenses related to the purposes of the leave may also be taken into account in determining the level of permissible income. Faculty members are encouraged to seek funding from non-University sources to cover the portion of salary not provided under this leave.
  3. Faculty Sabbatical Supplement Program
    The Faculty Sabbatical Supplement Program provides supplemental funds to colleges to support sabbaticals for recommended tenured faculty. The program provides additional income for tenured faculty who seek to enhance their ability in scholarship, creative work, teaching, or service to the community. Tenured faculty taking a sabbatical leave for nine months or longer may compete for supplementary funding, with review by the department head/chair and dean. Upon the advice of the dean, the senior vice president for academic affairs and provost grants supplementary funding. The senior vice president for academic affairs and provost funds two-thirds of the supplemental pool and the colleges fund one-third. Availability of funds and the distribution of those funds are generally announced around December/January.

    For sabbatical leaves of one or two semesters (or five & a half or eleven months) for those on fiscal-year appointments, tenured faculty may request supplemental funds to cover an additional 30 percent of their recurring base salary (not including fringe), not to exceed $30,000. Procedures with regard to these requests are to be established by each college or campus. The dean is to provide the office of the senior vice president for academic affairs and provost an annual report of the faculty granted supplementary funds to support sabbatical leaves.

Obligations
  1. Faculty members granted sabbatical leaves must return to University service immediately following the leave for a period of time at least equal to the period of the leave, and at the percentage of appointment held during the leave. A delay to return to service may be granted by the dean, with concurrence of the department head/chair, for a period without pay, not longer than the period of the leave.
  2. Faculty members who do not return or return for only a portion of the time due and have not been granted a written waiver by the appropriate senior vice president must reimburse the University for all or a prorated amount of the salary, retirement contributions, and value of benefits received during the leave. For senior leaders, refer to  Administrative Policy: Senior Leader Compensation and Separation.
  3. Contract faculty members receiving a notice of nonrenewal during the period of the sabbatical leave will be provided a written waiver at the time of notice. The contract faculty member is not required to return to the unit for a period at least equal to the period of leave and is not required to reimburse the University for the amount of salary, retirement contributions, and all other fringe benefits received during the leave.
Reporting

Faculty members are to file with their department and college a summary report addressing the results of the work done while on leave. The report is to be submitted within three months of their return from leave.

Entrepreneurial Leaves

Entrepreneurial leaves may be granted to tenured or tenure-track faculty. While this leave may typically involve ventures related to the development of University intellectual property (IP), other types of activities that can demonstrate substantial institutional benefit or that constitute an innovative and collaborative project relating to the public good are also eligible for consideration.

Basis of Award and Eligibility

Entrepreneurial leaves for faculty are awarded on the basis of years of service and results of the review of the proposal within the department and college, subject to administrative approval.

Tenured faculty may be eligible for an entrepreneurial leave after four academic or fiscal years of service in a University faculty appointment of 67 percent time or greater, upon recommendation of the department head/chair and final approval of the dean. Under special circumstances, tenure-track faculty may be eligible for an entrepreneurial leave after four academic or fiscal years of service in a University faculty appointment of 67 percent time or greater. This leave requires the recommendation of the department head/chair and the dean with final approval of the senior vice president for academic affairs and provost.

Subsequent entrepreneurial leaves may be taken following four additional eligible years of service in a University faculty appointment of 67 percent time or greater, subject to administrative approval.

Length and Percentage of Leave

An entrepreneurial leave may be a) a leave up to 50 percent time or b) a leave at 100 percent time. This leave may be granted for up to one year, with an extension of up to six months under special circumstances.

Salary and Benefits During Leave

An entrepreneurial leave up to 50 percent time is at no salary for the percent of leave and full benefits. A leave of 100 percent time is at no salary with the department providing a taxable lump sum amount that may be used to help offset the cost of the University contribution to medical, dental, basic life and retirement plan contributions. The lump sum amount is equal to the value of the fringe benefit rate in effect as of the date the leave begins, multiplied by the individual’s base salary. Neither the University subsidized benefits nor the lump sum amount is to be regarded as additional compensation for services already rendered, but as contemporaneous compensation for services rendered by the faculty member in furthering a culture of innovation and entrepreneurialism in service to the University.

Obligations
  1. Faculty members granted entrepreneurial leaves must return to University service immediately following the leave for a period of time at least equal to the period of the leave and at the percentage of appointment at the time the leave commenced. A delay to return to service may be granted by the dean, with concurrence of the department head/chair, for a period without pay, not longer than the period of the leave.
  2. Faculty members who do not return or return for only a portion of the time due and have not been granted a written waiver by the appropriate senior vice president must reimburse the University for all or a pro-rated amount of the retirement contributions and value of benefits received or the lump-sum payment received during the leave.
Progress Updates

During the course of their entrepreneurial leave, faculty members are expected to initiate monthly activity and progress discussions with their department head/chair. When University IP is involved, a representative from the Office of Technology Commercialization is to be included in these discussions.

Overall Frequency of Leaves

The use of sabbaticals and other leaves (including, but not limited to, single-semester leaves, entrepreneurial leaves, those from foundations, leaves without pay, etc.) should not affect adversely the delivery of instruction or the functioning of a unit. Over a seven-year period, faculty members may not be on leave for a total of more than three years, all leaves combined. Exceptions may be granted by deans and chancellors for additional leave time in rare circumstances (e.g. service to a federal granting agency).

Conflict Resolution

Faculty members who are dissatisfied with decisions made under single semester, sabbatical or entrepreneurial leave policy may contact the Office for Conflict Resolution and submit the disagreement for processing under the options provided in Board of Regents Policy: Conflict Resolution Process for Employees. In addition to the remedies provided by policy, other possible remedies may include granting the leave in question and subtracting the period of time during which the leave was inappropriately denied from the eligibility period for a future sabbatical leave.

REASON FOR POLICY

This policy implements Board of Regents Policy: Employee Compensation and Recognition. Faculty development leaves are provided by the University as an opportunity for faculty to acquire new skills and knowledge, to enhance the communication of knowledge to students and society, to apply current knowledge to new applications, and to prepare senior leaders for their return to the faculty following a significant period of administrative service. The entrepreneurial leave would also increase the potential for successful translation and commercialization of research and increase public engagement and industry relationships. These leaves benefit individuals, the students, the University, the citizens of the state, and all who are affected by the teaching, research, and outreach mission of the University.

During recent years, rapid changes in the nature and number of tasks to be carried out by faculty members in their teaching, research, creative, and outreach activities have made it all the more necessary for them to acquire these new skills and knowledge in order to discharge their duties in the best manner possible. Development leaves aid in attracting and retaining faculty dedicated to teaching, research, and service/outreach; and ensure the future vitality and quality of the University.

PROCEDURES

FORMS/INSTRUCTIONS

APPENDICES

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

ADDITIONAL CONTACTS

Subject
Contact
Phone
Fax/Email
General Information or Procedural Assistance
  • Primary: Responsible administrator/supervisor
  • Secondary: Local campus, college, or administrative unit HR administrator
  • Other (as needed): Office of Human Resources specialist or consultant
Document Processing
  • HRMS Key Contact
  • Office of Human Resources Call Center
Conflict Resolution
  • Office of Conflict Resolution
612-624-1030

DEFINITIONS

Academic Year of Service
The equivalent of two semesters of employment at 67 percent time or greater as a member of the faculty at the University.
Department
The organizational group with which an employee is identified; a department or division within a college or an administrative unit.
Fiscal Year of Service
The equivalent of more than two semesters of employment at 67 percent time or greater.
Full Benefits
The following benefits are provided while on a Faculty Development Leave pursuant to this policy.
  • Medical and Dental Benefits
    The University's contributions to the University-sponsored medical and dental insurance plans continue during the faculty development leave period, provided that these plans continue to be offered to regular benefits-eligible employees of the University.
  • Faculty Retirement Plan Contributions
    Under the faculty development leave, the University's contributions to the Faculty Retirement Plan continue regardless of the percentage of leave that is without salary that may be in effect during the leave. Contributions to the individual's Faculty Retirement Plan account will be based on the individual's unreduced salary, subject to contribution limits imposed by law.
  • Life Insurance
    The University's contribution to life insurance coverage continues under this program, regardless of the percentage of leave that is without salary in effect during the faculty development leave. Life insurance coverage will continue during the leave period, based on unreduced salary, subject to the terms of the group insurance policy.
  • Academic Disability Program
    The University's contributions to the Academic Disability Program continue under the faculty development leave, regardless of the percentage of leave that is without salary in effect during the leave.
  • Vacation
    Vacation will continue to accrue for vacation-eligible individuals, according to the Administrative Policy: Vacation Leave for Faculty and Academic Professional and Administrative Employees.
Intellectual Property (IP)
A work or invention that is the result of creativity, such as a manuscript or a design and for which one may apply for a patent, copyright or trademark.
Salary
The employee's regular University salary at the time the leave is initiated.
Senior Leaders
Individuals specified as senior leaders in Board of Regents Policy: Reservation and Delegation of Authority. This includes senior vice presidents, chancellors, vice presidents, provost, general counsel, University librarian, the director of audits, deans (on all campuses), athletic director (Twin Cities), and others as directed by the Board, to include the Executive Director and Corporate Secretary, Board of Regents and the Chief of Staff, Office of the President.
Year of Service
An academic year or fiscal year of service as a University faculty member and as documented in the faculty member's annual notice of appointment.

RESPONSIBILITIES

College/Campus
  • Makes opportunities for single semester, sabbatical, and entrepreneurial leaves available to eligible faculty.
  • Establishes unit/departmental guidelines and procedures for review and awarding of faculty development leaves.
  • Reviews and approves development leave requests and sabbatical supplement requests in accordance with unit/departmental guidelines and procedures.
  • Establishes criteria and procedures applicable to sabbatical supplemental funds.
  • Submits reports on leave activity and funding as required.
Faculty Member
  • Applies for a development leave if eligible and interested in accordance with established procedures.
  • Applies for supplemental funding if eligible and interested in accordance with established procedures.
  • Files a report of single semester or sabbatical leave results with the department and college within three months of returning to work.
  • Discusses progress monthly with department head/chair and, if University IP is involved, a representative from the Office of Technology Commercialization.
Department Head/Chair
  • Forwards recommended single semester leave requests to the college screening committee.
  • Makes recommendations to the dean regarding individual sabbatical and entrepreneurial leave requests.
  • Participates in decision-making and approvals of single semester and sabbatical leaves.
  • Reviews and approves with the dean any income augmentation requests in conjunction with a sabbatical leave and as outlined in Procedures.
  • Approves with concurrence of the dean requests of faculty members to delay return to University service following a development leave.
  • Determines how responsibilities of the individual on leave will be covered.
Dean
  • Approves single semester and sabbatical leave requests, with recommendations of the department head/chair.
  • Consults with the president regarding the granting of a single semester or sabbatical leave to senior leaders returning to their faculty role in the respective college.
  • Approves entrepreneurial leave requests from tenured faculty.
  • Recommends to the senior vice president for academic affairs and provost approval of entrepreneurial leave requests from tenure-track faculty.
  • Agrees to timing of an approved sabbatical leave request.
  • Reviews and approves with the department head/chair any income augmentation requests as outlined in Procedures.
  • Reviews and approves with the department head/chair requests of faculty members to delay a return to University service following a development leave.
  • Submits summary reports as required in accordance with Procedures.
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
  • Determines the number of single semester leaves offered each year and the allocation among colleges.
  • Grants requests for supplemental funding upon advice from individual deans.
  • Approves entrepreneurial leave requests from tenure-track faculty.
Senior Vice Presidents
  • Grants waiver, if appropriate, for faculty member non-repayment of the amount of salary, retirement contributions, and all other fringe benefits, or lump sum payment received during the leave should the individual not return to the University.
President
  • Grants, in consultation with the appropriate dean, a single semester or sabbatical leave to senior leaders returning to their faculty position.

RELATED INFORMATION

HISTORY

Amended:
January 2013 - Major Revision, Comprehensive Review. Added a third type of faculty development leave, the entrepreneurial leave. Inserted language regarding Overall Frequency of Leaves.
Amended:
October 2012 - Eligibility for faculty development leaves extended to senior leaders resuming a faculty role following a significant period of administrative service. Definition of full benefits clarified.
Amended:
May 2009 – General editing and formatting changes made to the policy. Additional questions and answers added to FAQ to clarify vacation eligibility, service credit earned. Additional information added regarding expense reimbursement while on a single semester leave.
Amended:
November 2007 – Policy converted to the new University-wide format for administrative policies.
Adopted:
March 2006 – Language contained in the Administrative Policy: Granting Faculty Development Leaves incorporates policy information previously contained in the Board of Regents Policy: Faculty Development Leaves and Administrative Procedures for the Regents Policy on Faculty Development Leaves. Provisions and information regarding development leaves for contract faculty were added to the policy language. This policy supports a new single Board of Regents Policy: Employee Development, Education, and Training that supersedes several Board policies, concerning development leaves.
Effective:
March 2006

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Last modified on February 6, 2014