Chapter 4

Section A. Professional Development Program

Faculty Senate Bill 11-A-21 begins here.

The University utilizes a multi-faceted professional development program to serve the professional aspirations of the individual faculty member, as well as the instructional and programmatic needs of the University in its service to students. Elements of this program include opportunities for funding for professional development activities of the individual faculty member, participation in other institutional grant programs, and several different types of professional leave. These opportunities are described below.

Individual Professional Development Program

The Faculty Tenure and Promotion Policy requires that a one-time individual professional development allocation be awarded to a faculty member who receives promotion or post-professorial merit. These funds are to be used by the faculty member to support his/her professional development activities broadly construed, subject to the conventional university and state financial procedures.

Department Level Professional Development Program

Each academic year funds are allocated to every academic department on a full-time-equivalent basis to help individual faculty members defray the costs of their professional development activities, including attending professional meetings. Each department will establish procedures for the distribution of these funds, subject to the conventional university and state financial procedures.

College Level Professional Development Program

The Faculty Development Program at the college level exists to provide support and opportunity for faculty members to realize their potential and to improve the quality and effectiveness of the total educational effort of the University. To this purpose the Provost will allocate a specific sum of money to each college at or near the beginning of each fiscal year to support the professional needs of the faculty. The funds will be made available according to the “College Level Professional Development Procedures.”

Other Institutional Professional Development Support

The University may maintain a variety of internal grant opportunities for faculty to fund certain specified activities or goals. The eligibility requirements, funding levels, and application and selection procedures shall be determined by the granting entity.

On occasion, a faculty member may be offered a release from part of his or her usual teaching load in order to pursue approved development goals. These arrangements are typically negotiated on an ad hoc basis.

Sabbatical Leave Program

As an institution of higher education, the University is committed to maintaining a quality learning environment in which faculty and students can develop skills and ideas, acquire knowledge, and engage in creative activities covering a wide range of disciplines and fields. As an expression of this commitment, the University provides a sabbatical leave program for tenured faculty to enhance their professional competence and the total teaching/learning environment. The sabbatical leave, therefore, represents a dual investment--an investment of time and expertise on the part of the individual faculty member and a financial investment by the University--which promises to result in improved teaching, enriched programs, and the advancement of knowledge and creative activity at the University.

Sabbatical Purposes
A sabbatical leave may be granted tenured faculty for the purpose of professional advancement. A sabbatical leave is not automatic; rather, it is awarded on the basis of professional need and accomplishment. The leave provides a means for improving teaching or instructional programs, engaging in research or writing for publication, pursuing creative activities, developing programs directly related to institutional needs, or exploring alternative career patterns. Sabbatical requests require prior joint faculty/administrative endorsement.

Because of the diversity of fields and disciplines within the University, it is possible to define a wide range of activities that constitute legitimate use of a sabbatical leave. Such activities may include, but are not limited to, the completion of books, monographs, or articles; completion of creative projects; professional travel, study or other work contributing to projects already underway; development of new instructional programs; extensive revision of existing programs; post-doctoral experiences and study; and advanced preparation for academic respecialization. If the respecialization is administratively prompted, it is assumed that a majority of those costs would come from outside the sabbatical program funds. A sabbatical leave is not to be used for work toward the completion of an advanced degree.

Definition of Sabbatical Leave
A sabbatical leave is a leave of absence taken for a full academic year at one-half salary plus one-half the maximum elective contribution for the Family Medical Care Plan under Southeast Missouri State University's Cafeteria Plan or for one semester at full salary. The base salary is that which would have been forthcoming in the year of the sabbatical. While on sabbatical leave, the faculty member is an employee of the University and will receive all benefits due to faculty who are regularly employed. Faculty on sabbatical leave will receive their salaries in regular payments, as they would if they were normally employed.

Since it is essential to maintain the integrity of programs and offerings at the University, arrangements must be made to compensate for the absence of faculty members on sabbatical leave.

Eligibility requirements, application and selection processes, and related procedural provisions shall be set out in the “Sabbatical Leave Procedures.”

Other Leaves

In addition to sabbatical leaves, there are other types of leaves which may be available to the faculty member. In most cases, these leaves will permit the faculty member to take advantage of professional development and/or other types of personal enrichment opportunities. These leaves are of two main types:

Leave Without Compensation

A faculty member on this type of leave receives no salary, but will be given the opportunity to continue under the University benefits package by compensating the institution for the costs of continuing coverage, subject to the terms of existing University policy on faculty compensation. The faculty member may apply for and receive faculty development funds in accordance with conventional college procedures.

Leave With Compensation

A faculty member on this type of leave receives salary, benefits, and/or other compensation, the amount of which is determined through the deliberative process which awards the leave. This type of leave entails a teaching and/or financial commitment, the nature of which is also determined through that deliberative process. These leaves are of two types:

  1. Leave To Complete Appropriate Terminal Degree
    In certain circumstances, leave with compensation will be awarded to a faculty member to facilitate his/her completion of the appropriate terminal degree. These leaves will only be available to faculty hired in fields where market forces make it unlikely that a candidate with similar qualifications or characteristics and with the terminal degree can be hired.
  2. Leave To Pursue Other Professional Development Opportunities
    In certain circumstances, other professional development opportunities may be presented to the faculty member which are unique in their value to that person and the University; or which have such time constraints as to justify treating them outside the framework of the conventional sabbatical leave policy. Leaves may be awarded to support faculty pursuit of these opportunities. Procedures regarding these Other Leaves shall be set out in the “Faculty Leave Program Procedures.”

Faculty Senate Bill 11-A-24 begins here.

Faculty Leave Program Procedures:

In all cases, it is essential that the temporary absence of a faculty member on leave not unreasonably compromise the quality of educational programs. The determination of the impact of the absence of a faculty member will be made by that person's department, as qualitative judgments regarding the program are most suitably made by those within that discipline. If an applicant's department agrees that appropriate measures can be taken to ensure that the absence of the applicant will not unreasonably compromise the quality of the program, the application can go forward. If the department determines that the absence of the applicant cannot be reasonably compensated for, the application will be denied and will not go forward.

Decisions regarding allocation of faculty resources among departments are normally made by the dean and the Provost. If they agree that sufficient resources are available to provide for overloads, part-time or term instructors, or other means the department feels necessary to reasonably maintain the quality of a department's program during the leave of a faculty member, the application shall go forward for action by the President and/or Board of Regents as necessary. It is understood that a lack of sufficient resources may be reason for a department to withdraw its approval of a leave application.

A faculty member applying for a leave shall be given a timely written response to that request from the appropriate individual(s) or group(s) considering the request. A faculty member applying for a leave to pursue a terminal degree must have a written educational plan approved by the appropriate parties in accordance with the requirements of the section of the Faculty Handbook on Faculty Professional Responsibilities.
Procedures contain portions of:Faculty Senate Bill 93-A-1, approved by Faculty Senate January 27, 1993Amended by Faculty Senate Bill 11-A-24, approved by Faculty Senate April 20, 2011, by President April 20, 2011, Posted for 15 Day Review April 2011

Professional Travel

When conducted under the auspices of the University, faculty professional travel will follow established procedures, maintained here (hyperlink).

Chapter contains portions of:Faculty Senate Bill 93-A-1, approved by Faculty Senate Jan. 27, 1993Faculty Senate Bill 87-A-02R, approved by Faculty Senate Apr. 1987, by Board of Regents May 1987Faculty Senate Bill 85-A-05, approved by Faculty Senate Apr. 1985, by Board of Regents June 1985Faculty Senate Bill 10-A-06, approved by Faculty Senate Mar. 24, 2010, by Board of Regents June 22, 2010Entire chapter amended by Faculty Senate Bill 11-A-21, approved by Faculty Senate April 20, 2011, by Board of Regents October 21. 2011