Sabbatical Leaves for Faculty and Librarians
About This Policy
- Effective Date:
- Date of Last Review/Update:
- Responsible University Office:
- University Faculty Council
- Responsible University Administrator:
- Board of Trustees, Indiana University
- Policy Contact:
- Susan McCammon
Assistant Vice Provost, Director of Academic Personnel Policies and Services
- Policy Feedback:
- If you have comments or questions about this policy, let us know with the policy feedback form.
- Print or view a PDF of this policy
- Many policies are quite lengthy. Please check the page count before deciding whether to print.
Sabbatical Leaves for Faculty
Purpose. A faculty member has two academic functions, teaching and research. Travel to use other libraries or research centers, to work with other scholars, or to conduct field research is generally necessary for scholarly endeavor. The sabbatical leave program is undertaken to provide time for such scholarly research and any travel incident thereto and to allow members of the faculty to keep abreast of developments in their fields of service to the University.
A sabbatical leave is not a leave which a faculty member automatically “earns” by having been employed for a given period of time. Rather, it is an investment by the University in the expectation that the sabbatical leave will significantly enhance the faculty member’s capacity to contribute to the objectives of the University. For this reason, all periods of sabbatical leave count as full-time service to the University and will be approved only if there is adequate reason to believe that they will achieve this purpose.
A statement of proposed use of time is required to indicate the manner of achieving these general objectives. Acceptable programs for the use of time may include:
- Research on significant problems
- Important creative or descriptive work in any means of expression, for example, writing, painting, and so forth
- Postdoctoral study along a specified line at another institution
- Other projects satisfactory to the responsible committees and/or deans
Adherence to an approved plan is expected of a faculty member. At the termination of the leave, and not later than three months after returning to the campus, the faculty member shall submit a report of activities undertaken, which will be used in evaluating future applications for sabbatical leave of persons who have had one or more sabbatical leaves.
Terms of Leave. Sabbatical leave will be for one semester at full salary or for one year at half salary. A sabbatical leave need not be taken in a single academic year but may be divided over several academic years. The sabbatical leave program requires that persons on sabbatical leave devote full time to the scholarly activity for which leave is granted and will receive no salary or stipend from other sources than the University except that (l) persons on leave for a year at half pay may engage in other scholarly activity consistent with that for which leave is granted and receive salary, stipend, or honoraria from other sources in such amounts that total salary, stipend, and honoraria do not exceed approximately the annual income normally earned, and (2) persons on leave may receive grants from other sources for travel and research expenses incident to their scholarly activity.
Eligibility. A faculty member is eligible for one sabbatical leave during each period of seven years’ full-time service in faculty rank (including time on sabbatical leave), following the completion of the first six years of full-time service as a faculty member at Indiana University. For example, a faculty member may be granted one sabbatical leave in the seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, eleventh, twelfth, or thirteenth year of service, and one in the fourteenth, fifteenth, sixteenth, seventeenth, eighteenth, nineteenth, or twentieth year of service. However, a faculty member or librarian may not be granted sabbatical leave during the probationary period of a tenure-eligible appointment. Ordinarily, however, a sabbatical leave will not be granted within less than four years following a preceding sabbatical leave. For example, a faculty member who is granted sabbatical leave in the twelfth year would not again be eligible until the seventeenth year. Leaves without pay do not count as part of the period by which eligibility for sabbatical leave is determined, except that recipients of nationally or internationally competitive fellowships may count up to one year toward their next sabbatical leave. The sabbatical leave program applies only to persons who agree to return to their positions at Indiana University for at least one academic year following a period of sabbatical leave. A sabbatical leave will not be granted to a faculty member denied reappointment for the academic year immediately following the proposed leave. A sabbatical leave will not be granted for the last year of a faculty member’s service prior to retirement, or for a person who fully intends to resign at the end of the year for which sabbatical is requested.
(Board of Trustees, June 2, 1939; December 5, 1981; April 11, 2013; Faculty Council, November 15, 1949; May 25, 1956; and May 5, 1964; and University Faculty Council, October 13, 1981; April 27, 1982, March 26, 2013)
To be eligible for sabbatical leave, a faculty member must agree to reimburse Indiana University for any salary, retirement contributions, and insurance premiums paid during the sabbatical leave in the event that the faculty member does not return to the University for at least one academic year immediately following the leave.
Scheduling. As far as possible, departmental schedules should be arranged so as to permit eligible members of the staff to take leaves. In arranging schedules, an attempt should be made to minimize the cost of substitute instruction and the disruption of the departmental program. [Deadline dates relevant to these scheduling issues are to be found in the campus-specific documents.]
(Faculty Council, November 15, 1949)
After appropriate review procedures on each campus have been completed, the approved applications shall be forwarded through the President to the Board of Trustees. Final approval rests with the Board of Trustees, but a favorable recommendation by the appropriate Vice President or Chancellor and the President establishes sufficient likelihood of a grant of leave so that applicants are justified in proceeding with plans and arrangements for leave.
Sabbatical Leaves for Librarians
A leave program was established for librarians to be administered as part of the faculty sabbatical leave program. The policies and criteria applied to faculty applications for leave apply also to requests from librarians.
(Board of Trustees, February 25, 1952)
As with faculty members, a statement of proposed use of time is required to indicate the objectives of the proposed sabbatical leave program. Acceptable sabbatical leave proposals for librarians include scholarly and pedagogical research, creative work, postmaster’s study such as a second master’s degree or doctorate (normally undertaken at another institution), and other projects satisfactory to the responsible committees and/or deans. The terms of librarians’ sabbatical leave are that the leave will be for one semester at full salary or for one year at half salary. For purposes of reckoning the time for librarians, a semester is computed as five months and a year as ten months. Eligibility for librarians is calculated in the same manner as eligibility for faculty members. In matters such as scheduling, eligibility for fringe benefits while on leave, filing of reports, and reimbursement agreements, procedures for librarians are the same as those for faculty members.
Benefits While on Sabbatical Leave
Group Life Insurance. The University continues this coverage, and the related benefits, based on the full-time salary rate and at no cost to the faculty member for either a one-year or a one- semester sabbatical leave.
Group Medical Insurance. Medical insurance, which is in any case optional for faculty members, will be automatically continued during the semester or year in question, if it was in force immediately prior to that semester or year. The individual’s contribution will continue by payroll deduction, and the University will make its normal contribution.
IU Retirement Plan Contributions. For a faculty member taking a one-semester sabbatical leave at full pay, the University will make the full retirement plan contribution for the semester in question.
For a full-year sabbatical leave at one-half salary, the normal University contribution is the customary amount payable on that one-half of the faculty member’s salary. Thus, a faculty member taking such a leave coupled with some type of external financial support should look to this external source for any retirement plan contributions supplemental to the one-half of normal contributions paid by the University. For more information, the faculty member should consult the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs/Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and the Benefits Office on his or her campus.