Faculty Leave Policy | St. Lawrence University Academic Affairs

Faculty Leave Policy

1. Sabbatical Leave

Definition
Sabbatical leave is relief from normal duties for the purpose of enhancement of the capabilities of faculty as teachers and scholars through study, travel, research, writing or other professionally motivated activity. Traditionally, sabbaticals occur every seven years. The sabbatical leave differs from leaves-of-absence in two major respects: eligibility is based upon an established period of teaching service, and fundamental support by the University in the form of continued income and benefits is assured. It is recognized that professional development, experience, or service occurring in the course of a sabbatical leave is equivalent to full-time service.

Criteria
Tenure-track faculty whose appointment begins prior to fall 2000 are eligible for sabbatical leave after six years of full-time teaching at St. Lawrence, i.e., in their seventh year, and at seven-year intervals thereafter. Tenure-track faculty whose appointment begins in fall 2000 or later are eligible for sabbatical leave after three years of full-time teaching at St. Lawrence, i.e., in their fourth year, and at seven year intervals thereafter. One one-year leave of absence may be substituted for one year of full-time teaching upon prior approval of the Dean of Academic Affairs. Application may be made for the entire year or for either the fall or spring semester. Subsequent sabbatical leaves may be requested when the above conditions have again been satisfied.

If a member of the faculty who is eligible for sabbatical leave is awarded a grant or fellowship that provides full income and covers related expenses, he or she should apply for a leave of absence rather than a sabbatical leave. It is understood that anyone granted a sabbatical leave will return to teach at St. Lawrence for at least one year.

Benefits
When a sabbatical leave is taken for an entire academic year, the faculty member will receive half salary. If he or she should be awarded a grant or fellowship that contributes income in excess of one half his or her normal salary for that year, the University’s salary obligation will amount to only the difference between the grant or fellowship and the full salary. Travel and special expense allowances provided by the grant or fellowship will not be considered income and, therefore, will not reduce the University’s salary obligations to faculty during the sabbatical period.

When a sabbatical leave is taken for the fall or spring semester, the faculty member will receive full salary. If he or she should be awarded a grant or fellowship that contributes income, the University’s salary obligation will amount to only the difference between the grant or fellowship and the full salary. Travel and special expense allowances provided by the grant or fellowship will not be considered income and, therefore, will not reduce the University’s salary obligations to faculty during the sabbatical period.

The faculty member is eligible to apply to St. Lawrence University for assistance in meeting his or her program expenses while on sabbatical leave.

All contributory fringe benefits will continue during the period of the sabbatical leave if the faculty member on sabbatical leave agrees to continue his or her share of the contributions. All noncontributory fringe benefits will continue as a matter of course. Before beginning sabbatical leave, faculty should arrange such matters with Human Resources. The “Procedures for Administering Benefits for Leaves” is available for consultation through Human Resources.

Replacements
Faculty on sabbatical leave for the full academic year will be replaced through normal hiring procedures at the request of the department or program and the approval of the Dean.

The instructional duties of faculty members on sabbatical leave for one semester should, when possible, be covered by members in that department or program. If this involves teaching an extra course, those doing so will receive the current compensation from the University for such teaching. In cases where the department or program cannot cover, at its request a replacement should be obtained through normal hiring procedures. The perceived ability of a department or program to cover for the member on a one-semester sabbatical leave will not be considered in granting the sabbatical leave.

Procedure
Written applications stating the detailed proposal and purpose of the sabbatical leave shall be made first to the department or program chairperson. Recommendations for sabbatical leave then will be made by the chairperson, after consultation with the department or program, to the Dean of Academic Affairs through the Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs. In the case of the refusal of a requested sabbatical leave by the department or program chairperson, the department or program, or the Dean of Academic Affairs, an appeal may be made by the faculty member to the Professional Standards Committee. Final decision will rest with the President.

Ordinarily, the request for a sabbatical leave should reach the Dean not later than fourteen months preceding the sabbatical year or semester, and the Dean should respond to the request at least six months prior to the beginning date of the proposed sabbatical leave. A member of the faculty recommended for sabbatical leave, upon approval of the President, will receive a statement of the terms of his or her sabbatical leave which he or she will sign and return to the Dean.

Limitation
The number of approvals for sabbatical leaves will necessarily be limited by budgetary considerations. As a result, there may be occasions when all requests for sabbatical may not be able to be filled by the University.

2. Professional Leaves of Absence

Definition
A faculty “leave of absence” is an absence for a semester or longer. A leave of absence is usually granted for one semester or one year. An extension beyond one year may be made in exceptional cases; an extension beyond two years cannot be expected.

Criteria
Leaves of absence are granted for significant professional service to the state or the nation, for work contributing in a special way to the profession, for the purpose of encouraging scholarly research or creative activity, and for professional development.

Faculty members may request leaves of absence after two or more years of full-time service at St. Lawrence. For faculty members who do not hold the Ph.D. degree, leaves are not usually granted for the purpose of beginning study toward the advanced degree.

The criteria for a leave of absence are subject to the ability of the department or program involved to adjust to the absence of the person applying for leave. The raison d’être of leaves of absence is that they permit faculty members to take advantage of opportunities for professional development and experiences which enhance both the University and the teaching enterprise; therefore, departments or programs are encouraged to make the necessary short-term accommodations which such leaves entail in view of their significant long-run contributions.

The criteria for leaves of absence are applied more broadly and flexibly than is the case with sabbatical leaves. However, leaves of absence shall not be permitted to interfere with the granting of sabbatical leaves to department or program members.

Procedure
A faculty member seeking a leave of absence makes application through his or her department or program chairperson to the Dean of Academic Affairs. Recommendations for leaves of absence will be made by chairpersons in consultation with senior department or program members. Ordinarily, the request should reach the Dean not later than February 15 for fall semester leaves and October 15 for spring semester leaves in order to facilitate their presentation by the President to the Board of Trustees.

A written report to the Dean of Academic Affairs at the conclusion of the leave is expected and will be added to the faculty member’s portfolio.

Benefits
A professional leave of absence, in contrast to a sabbatical leave, is not granted with salary. However, normal salary increments will accrue to the individual on leave.

Leaves of absence shall not represent services toward tenure unless prior written agreement with the Dean is made to the contrary.

All contributory fringe benefits will continue during the period of the leave if the person on leave agrees to continue his or her share of the contributions. All non-contributory fringe benefits will continue in effect as a matter of course. The faculty member concerned should understand that it is to his or her interest to determine the status of the various benefits in effect during the period of leave.

Future Service
It is assumed that a faculty member applying for a leave intends to return to the university upon termination of the leave. If such an intention is changed, the courtesy of as much advance notice as possible is expected. In exceptional cases, a faculty member may request return to university service before the expiration date of his or her leave. The prospect of special arrangements being made for return to service before expiration of leave shall depend upon department or program needs and budget, as well as sufficient advance notice.

Notification Each person recommended for leave, upon the approval of the President and the Board of Trustees, will receive a statement of the terms and conditions of his or her leave, including fringe benefits, which he or she will sign and return to the Dean certifying his or her understanding of the terms.

3. Faculty Maternity Leave Policy

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4. Maternity, Paternity, and Adoption Leaves

Employees may not be penalized in their condition of employment because they require time away from work for pregnancy and related medical conditions, childrearing, adoption, or the care of very young children.

  • a. During any disability period of pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, a female employee is eligible for disability benefits as outlined in the section on Disability Leave.
  • b. An employee (male or female) may apply for and be granted a maternity/paternity/ childrearing leave, without pay, up to four months to care for a child, natural or adopted, below the age of six months.
  • c. Requests for extension of the above time limits, normally not to exceed one year, will be given fair and reasonable consideration.

In administering the foregoing leave policies, the following guidelines will apply:

  • a. The age of the child at the time the leave begins will govern eligibility.
  • b. Requests for extension of leave time must be made thirty (30) calendar days prior to the expiration of the initial leave.
  • c. Requests for extension where the age of the child is more than six months may be granted if there are compelling medical reasons.
  • d. Multiple applications for childrearing leave for the same child, within the first year of life, may be granted if there are compelling medical reasons, i.e., an employee may be granted a leave of four months, return to work and one month later apply for a second leave.

An employee may use accrued vacation time (if earned and justified) for a portion of a maternity, paternity, or adoption leave. Following a maternity, paternity, or adoption leave, an employee is offered reinstatement to the original position or to one of like status and pay without loss of seniority or accrued benefits.

Vacations, sick leave, and other benefits paid for by the University, will not accrue during the period of maternity, paternity, or adoption leaves. (See III.H.5.) 5. Employee Rights Under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993