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Sabbatical and Pre-Tenure Leaves

Sabbatical online form.           Deadline for sabbatical applications: October 28, 2013

Pre-Tenure online form.          Deadline for Pre-Tenure applications: September 25, 2013

Purpose: The primary objective of a sabbatical or pre-tenure leave is to provide reassigned time from teaching for enhancing the professional development of the faculty member in ways that help maintain and improve the quality of intellectual life at DePauw University. The sabbatical or pre-tenure leave project and product should develop, enhance, or extend some aspect of the person’s academic or scholarly specialty, or some area of curricular and classroom expertise consistent with a person’s role at DePauw. The intellectual vitality of an academic community is nourished in a variety of ways by its individual members. Some will explore the frontiers of knowledge within or between disciplines. Others will expand knowledge of fields to be taught or develop new ways to teach the requisite knowledge more effectively. Personal renewal, professional development, and the maintenance of institutional vitality are complementary processes, which can be accomplished in part through careful planning for a thoughtful implementation of sabbatical or pre-tenure leaves. Since the interests and abilities of each faculty member and the needs of the institution do not intersect at the same fixed point, sabbatical or pre-tenure leave proposals will vary considerably. In every case, however, the kinds and number of proposed leave activities should go well beyond what could be accomplished during teaching semesters.

Eligibility for Pre-Tenure Leaves: Tenure-track Assistant Professors with probationary periods of five or six years and whose appointments extend for more than one year following their satisfactory interim review will be eligible for a pre-tenure leave of one-semester at full pay for a curriculum development or scholarly/creative project. Typically these will be taken in the fourth or fifth year with applications due the preceding year.

Eligibility for Sabbatical Leaves:  A full-time tenured faculty member above the rank of instructor may apply in his or her seventh year of service at DePauw for a sabbatical leave for part or all of the eighth year. After the initial sabbatical, the faculty member is eligible to apply for the next (and thereafter for subsequent) sabbatical leave in the sixth year of additional full-time service for part or all of a seventh year. A faculty member who does not seek or who is not granted a leave after the minimum period of eligibility remains eligible in each succeeding year.

Expectations & Rules:

  • Semester-long (or longer) grants of sabbatical or pre-tenure leave will be made only to DePauw faculty members who continue with the University for at least one year following the year in which the grant is used. Should a grant be awarded to a member of the faculty who, subsequent to the award, finds that he or she will not be continuing his or her professional relationship with DePauw University during the next academic year, such an award will be withdrawn. Faculty members who accept payments for salary and/or benefits during a leave agree that, if they do not return to work at DePauw for the full academic year subsequent to the year in which they complete the leave, they or their subsequent employer will reimburse DePauw for all salary and benefits paid during the leave. Exceptions to this provision may be granted as part of pre-retirement agreement between a faculty member the the University.

  • Departments are encouraged to negotiate the scheduling of approved leaves to balance the number of faculty members on leave between two semesters and across years. The administration reserves the right to limit the total number of faculty members on leave during any year or semester.

  • If a leave project overlaps with other projects funded by FDC, the faculty member must explain the relationship between the projects. Distinct products are expected for Faculty Development awards for overlapping or related projects.

  • Whenever possible, leave recipients should explore ways they might share the fruits of a leave with others, at a Faculty Forum, for example, so that the entire community share in the intellectual nourishment.

  • Faculty members considering projects that involve information technology should consult with Faculty Instructional Technology Support (FITS) at least two weeks prior to the application deadline to gain assurance that the needed technology will be available to support the proposed project. Evidence of this assurance should be provided with the leave proposal.

  • Faculty members are not eligible for a Fisher Course Reassignment during the same academic year as a pre-tenure leave or during the same two semesters as a sabbatical leave.

Types of Sabbatical or Pre-Tenure Leave Projects: Most leave applications will fall within the following categories:

A. Research, Publication, Performance, or Production: A proposal should meet the highest professional standards, including demonstrated expertise requisite for the complexity and difficulty of the project, and in most cases show promise of publication. Applicants are encouraged to submit a reasonably detailed description of the project (e.g., a prospectus, table of contents, sample chapters, or correspondence with other scholars or editors). In the case of the arts, proposals can specify activities, which lead to performance or exhibition. After the first sabbatical, applicants for a subsequent leave for scholarly purposes should provide evidence of previous publishing, performance, or production. Normally the university will not grant a leave to continue a project started on a previous leave.

B. Curricular and Pedagogical Development:  Leaves may also help faculty members to meet changing curricular and pedagogical needs. Some faculty members may wish to develop a new--or to renew an old--area of teaching competence, while others might explore new modes of teaching. Applicants should describe the project’s objectives and procedures (including a timetable), place the proposal in the context of their professional development, and justify the project in terms of contributions to the discipline, department and university.

C. Projects which combine these projects will be hybrids of Category A and B.

Scope and Product: Because the interests and aims of colleagues vary, there will be a great deal of variation among leave applications. An over-riding expectation, however, is that leave activities go substantially beyond the normal expectations of professional activity during the regular school year. Approved leaves need to have:

  • a clearly defined goal

  • been developed and documented adequately

  • an explicit product.

In the past, some applications have been returned to colleagues for further development. Inadequate scope is often a reason. Merely "reading in one's field" is not enough to distinguish a leave from the normal expectations of a semester's routine. Reading, however, as part of the larger goal of document preparation, work in a research seminar, preparation for a series of public lectures, etc. would add greater focus and evidence of a product. For all leaves, a tangible product is required. Products may take the form of writing, works of art and music, lectures or performances, presentations to collegial groups or the general public, new course syllabi with accompanying materials, description of new pedagogical methods and their incorporation into courses.

Planning and Documentation: Advance planning is a key to an acceptable proposal. Discussion with colleagues both at DePauw and off-campus, as well as the Dean of Faculty, may prove helpful in the early stages. In the design of the proposal, emphasis usually falls on one of two areas: scholarly/artistic work or teaching and curricular development. The locale of the leave is another important issue. Colleagues are encouraged whenever possible to leave the campus, if but for a brief period. Supplemental funding through the John and Janice Fisher Fund for Faculty Development is available automatically to assist persons in defraying expenses incurred for relocation during sabbatical leaves.

An adequate leave proposal must be fully documented. Prior to submission, documents such as a proposed itinerary of travel abroad and supporting letters from publishers, collaborators, and host institutions should be obtained and attached to your proposal. While these materials are due with the application, there may be times when a delay in submitting some supporting materials is unavoidable. In these instances an extension may be given, but all materials must be in no later than the first Thursday in February. Evidence of seed work, rough drafts of material, tentative tables of contents, etc. all enhance the quality of a proposal. A current vita must be submitted with your proposal if updated since last Activity Report. All recipients of leaves are required to submit a report of their activities and an evaluation of goals and objectives set forth in the proposal. This document should be submitted by mid-semester of the term following the leave.

Tips and Advice: Start planning early. A year or two in advance of the leave is a critical time in project selection and development. This is especially important when planning a year long sabbatical in seeking outside funding. Conversations with colleagues and mentors can be most helpful at this stage.

Leaves come only occasionally in a career and often provide key time for renewal. Initially, try not to allow the realities of moving the kids, sub-letting the house, food to eat, etc., temper the admittedly idealistic goals of creating the ideal research project or proposal for developing new pedagogical styles. Investigation or retraining that will provide a new focus to one's career is an appropriate goal.

Financial Stipulations and Supplements

For Pre-Tenure Leave faculty members receive three courses of reassigned time (a semester) for the leave.  For Sabbatical leaves there are two options: a semester leave with an additional course reassigned to the leave project at full salary; or a full-year leave at two-thirds salary. Most full-year leaves are for an academic year, but in exceptional cases a yearlong leave during a calendar year may be approved. The Fisher Fund provides supplementary leave support including a relocation award and a monthly allowance for living expenses for an approved leave that includes a month or more away from the faculty member’s primary residence. For faculty members receiving external grants to support sabbatical projects, DePauw contributes to salary and expenses may be reduced (consult the Vice President for Academic Affairs for details). Professional Development funds for research expenses related to a leave project may be requested as part of the application. Faculty members are eligible for all appropriate faculty development funds during their leaves; these include conference funds and workshop funds. Please note that appropriate application procedures need to be followed for all funds.

Specific sources of funding for sabbatical projects:

Fisher Fund - automatic "relocation" supplement:

Each faculty member on a pre-tenure leave or sabbatical leave is eligible for support for relocation to a new home base for part of the leave project (or under limited circumstances, more than one new home base) for a total of 3 months for a pre-tenure leave; 4 months for a four-course sabbatical leave or for a total of 8 months for a full year sabbatical leave. It is recommended that you check with Terry Bruner prior to making plans or travel arrangements to determine the full amount of funding available.

  1. For persons whose sabbatical includes a period of at least 1 month (continuous four-week period) outside the USA - base supplement is $750 (intended for relocation costs) plus $1000 (as a per diem allowance) for each full month abroad. Stays shorter than one month are not supported under these awards and funding is only provided for each full month; separate shorter trips are not supported under this program. No additional support from Faculty Development programs may be used for relocation or housing or meal costs at the base location--though Professional Development grants for travel expenses originating from the new base location may be awarded, and additional meal and lodging costs may be supported, not to exceed one week per month. Eligible periods include the summer months contiguous to the leave year. For a pre-tenure leave the maximum of 3 months is $3750; a four-course sabbatical leave the maximum of 4 months is $4750; and for a full year leave support for the maximum of 8 months is $8750.

  2. For persons whose sabbatical includes a period of at least 1 month (continuous four-week period) within the USA but away from the faculty member's primary residence - base supplement is $500 (intended for relocation costs) plus $750 (as a per diem allowance) for each full month's stay. Stays shorter than one month are not supported under these awards and funding is only provided for each full month; separate shorter trips are not supported under this program. No additional support from Faculty Development programs may be used for relocation or housing or meal costs at the base location--though Professional Development grants for travel expenses originating from the new base location my be awarded, and additional meal and lodging costs may be supported not to exceed one week per month. Eligible periods include the summer months contiguous to the leave year. For a pre-tenure leave the maximum of 3 months is $2750; a four-course sabbatical leave the maximum of four months is $3500; and for a full year leave support for the maximum of 8 months is $6500. 

Receipt of monies: Faculty members will receive the appropriate amount for each semester, as indicated in their approval letter. Faculty members will need to inform Terry Bruner in Academic Affairs which option is preferred:

  • Option One: Faculty members may submit receipts for expenses up to the maximum amount; in this case the monies are not considered taxable income.

  • Option Two: If preferred, faculty members may request a check for the appropriate amount at the beginning of each semester. This amount then becomes part of the faculty member's taxable income.

Tuition for Courses: Limited funding (ordinarily $1,000 or less) is available toward tuition at an accredited institution or approved institute. This must be approved in advance of registration to the institution.

Professional Development Funds:  Faculty members may receive Professional Development funds for their leave projects. The regular application and approval procedure must be followed to receive these funds.  These funds may not be used for travel and subsistence expenses during a relocation period qualifying for the Fisher supplement. Whenever possible, you need to request these funds as part of your leave proposal. Please see the Professional Development Fund page for more information.

Salary and Fringe Benefits if DePauw is the only provider of compensation:

  • Pre-tenure leaves: DePauw provides full salary and benefits for the one-semester leave. Faculty members may not accept additional employment during the Winter Term or academic semester of this leave as DePauw provides full salary for the completion of the approved project. Exceptions may be granted for minor work engagements or honoraria under the guidelines and approval procedures detailed in the University policy on outside employment for full-time faculty members.

  • Sabbatical leaves: Those who take the option of reducing teaching by four courses (16 of the usual 24 annual contact hours) will receive full salary and benefits. Those who take the option of a full-year leave at two-thirds salary, receive fringe benefits on the salary paid. Additional salary for faculty members on full-year leave may be paid for such things as the teaching in Winter Term above what was obligated, or for "reassigned time" as part of faculty fellowships or professorships which is taken during the sabbatical period. Total salary compensation from DePauw during a full-year leave (excluding supplements for fellowships or professorships) may not exceed 100% of the base salary. Faculty members may not accept additional employment during the period of a sabbatical leave for which DePauw provides full salary for the completion of the approved project. If DePauw provides less than full salary for a full year leave, the faculty member may accept additional employment for the uncompensated fraction of the academic year; notice of such an arrangement should be given in advance to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Exceptions may be granted for minor work engagements or honoraria under the guidelines and approval procedures detailed in the University policy on outside employment for full-time faculty members.

Reporting Process: Reports are normally due for fall leaves - by the first Monday of the following spring semester, and for year long and spring leaves - by the first Monday of the following fall semester. Your report should be addressed to the Faculty Development Committee Chair for Pre-Tenure Leaves and the Dean of Faculty for Sabbatical Leaves.  Like your proposal, your report should be readily understandable by colleagues outside your field. You should refer to the product you promised in your original proposal, and show how the funding enabled you to meet your goals and advanced your professional development. Depending on the nature of the project, you may include a narrative or reflective statement (no more than 3 pages). You should attach or provide documentation of the promised product, or in some cases, as for instance with a draft of a manuscript or a syllabus, you should attach the product itself along with a brief cover letter (up to 1 page). The report will be reviewed and you will receive a response.

Please submit your report electronically to Terry Bruner in the form of a WORD or PDF document (tbruner@depauw.edu).

Faculty members who fail to submit reports on time will be ineligible for Faculty Development funding until the report(s) have been submitted and approved.