Chapter 4

Section D. Sabbatical Leave: Policies and Procedures


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 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.

Program 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 publications, 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 gull 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.

Faculty Senate Bill 11-A-23 begins here


Eligibility and Special Conditions
  1. Only tenured faculty are eligible to apply for a sabbatical leave.
  2. A sabbatical leave may not be taken prior to the seventh year of full-time employment at the University. Faculty who have not yet received a sabbatical leave are eligible to apply in their sixth year of full-time employment; or in any year thereafter for a sabbatical leave to be taken in the following year.
  3. A sabbatical leave may be granted the same person only once every seven years.
  4. The applicant agrees to return to the University for at least one year following the year of the sabbatical.
  5. The applicant will file a report summarizing the use of the sabbatical leave not more than sixty days following the return to regular employment at the University. Three copies of the report will be submitted to the department chairperson.
  6. An individual may combine a grant, such as a Fulbright, or other professional awards with a sabbatical leave. Any employment for financial gain during the period of the sabbatical leave must be approved in advance by the Provost. Normally, the total income after sabbatical leave expenses should not exceed the salary which would have been forthcoming in the period of the sabbatical leave.
  7. Applications should contain a clear account of the impact of the faculty member's absence on departmental programs and of measures to be taken to absorb this impact, including an accounting of the financial commitment necessary to compensate for the faculty member's absence. As a guiding principle, no more than five percent of the faculty may be on leave in any academic year.
Faculty Replacement

When an individual is on one-semester leave at full pay, departments are expected to make appropriate adjustments in course offerings and faculty loads to maintain their responsibility to serve students. Such arrangements must be approved by the dean. In those cases where appropriate adjustments cannot be made within existing resources, additional resources may be provided by the college dean or the Provost. The awarding of the sabbatical will be contingent upon the approval of suitable arrangements. When an individual is on leave for the entire academic year at half pay, the remaining one half of the salary will be made available for part-time replacement.

Preparation of Sabbatical Proposals

Applicants should indicate the relevance of their proposals to University goals and department objectives, including the enhancement of academic programs and instruction, and the professional growth of the faculty member. The objectives of the sabbatical leave should be clearly defined, and the proposed use of time, including travel, should be justified with reference to these objectives. The itinerary of any proposed travel should be included. If the proposal requires a formal relationship with another institution or agency, these details must have full endorsement of the outside group.

In addition, there should be evidence relating to the quality of the proposal and the qualifications of the applicant to achieve the proposal's objectives. Such evidence will typically include a bibliography of past publications, an account of relevant professional activities, and supporting letters from colleagues at the University.

Supporting letters from colleagues outside the University are appropriate when another institution or agency is involved. Finally, sabbatical proposals should indicate substantial promise of success. Evidence should be included indicating the likelihood that the project can be completed in the allotted period of time and that the proposed use of time is sufficient to achieve the stated objectives. If a book or article is planned, evidence that it is publishable or will receive professional distribution should be included. If a new program is to be developed, there should be evidence that it will be instituted when completed. If academic respecialization or post-doctoral study is intended, there should be evidence that the faculty member's newly acquired knowledge and skills will be put to use in the classroom or in other professional activities.

Applicants are responsible for the submission of their Record of Service form and other appropriate documentation.

Assessment of Sabbatical Leave Proposals

University-wide guidelines are followed in the assessment of applications for a sabbatical leave. In general, consideration should be given to the following:

  1. The potential value of the proposed project to the applicant's professional development;
  2. The potential value of the proposed project to the University, to the students, and to the applicant's discipline, department, or college;
  3. The evidence of preliminary planning to complete the project;
  4. The qualifications of the applicant to undertake the project; and
  5. The applicant's record of teaching, professional growth, and University service.
  6. Departments and colleges may develop specific criteria within these guidelines.
Application and Review
  1. At the end of each spring semester, department chairpersons should inform faculty of the application deadline for sabbatical leave requests.
  2. Interested faculty should obtain an application for sabbatical leave from their department chairperson. Applicants are expected to include all information relevant to the University guidelines for sabbatical leave and to the specific criteria developed within their respective departments and colleges/schools.
  3. Initial review of requests shall take place at the department level. Chairpersons will coordinate sabbatical leave review according to procedures established by the continuing faculty members of their departments. The chairperson will make recommendations to the dean of the college/school including favorable and unfavorable recommendations, and submit all support materials. The chairperson should include an assessment of the applicant's absence on the mission of the department.
  4. The dean, with the recommendation of the College/School Sabbatical Review Committee, shall select qualified applicants from the college/school and forward positive recommendations to the Provost. The College/School Sabbatical Review Committee shall be chosen by a method approved by the college faculty and shall be representative of the academic units within the college/school.
  5. The Provost, in counsel with the University Promotion and Sabbatical Leave Committee consisting of the Dean of the Graduate School (non-rotating) and a member from each of the colleges, and Kent Library, shall make recommendations to the President. Faculty members serve terms of five years, with one faculty member rotating off every year. Appointments to the committee are to be made in alternative years by the Faculty Senate and the President of the University.
  6. The President will present recommendations to the Board of Regents for action.
The calendar for sabbatical application and review is as follows:
September 1

Faculty desiring sabbatical leave should submit their applications, including all supporting materials, to the department chairperson for review at the department level.

October 1

Recommendations from the department chairperson should be submitted to the dean for review and recommendation by the College Sabbatical Review Committee.

November 1

Recommendations from the dean should be submitted to the Provost for review and recommendation by the University Promotion Committee.

December 1

Recommendations from the Provost should be submitted to the President, who will submit the final recommendations to the Board of Regents.

February 1

Applicants should be notified of the action of the Board of Regents by the President.

Final Report

Within sixty days after returning to regular employment, recipients of a sabbatical leave will submit three copies of a final report to the respective department chairperson. The final report should contain a brief summary of the proposal, a review of the objectives, an assessment of the accomplishment, and copies of articles, monographs or creative works prepared during the sabbatical. The chairperson will retain one copy of the report for department files and forward the remaining two copies of the report to the dean. The dean will retain one copy for the college files and forward the remaining copy to the Provost. The Provost will forward an acceptance of the report to the individual faculty member and send copies to the department chairperson, dean and President.

Procedures contain portions of:
Faculty Senate Bill 85-A-05, approved by Faculty Senate Apr. 1985, by Board of Regents June 1985 Amended by Faculty Senate Bill 11-A-23, approved by Faculty Senate April 20, 2011, by President April 20, 2011, Posted for 15 Day Review April 2011