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Sabbatical and Pre-Tenure Leaves

Sabbatical and Pre-tenure leave online form.      
Deadline for sabbatical and pre-tenure leave applications: October 23, 2019.

"Better to take a risk and fail than not to take a risk at all." -- FDC, 2018-2019

Purpose: Sabbaticals and junior leaves are precious opportunities for scholarly, creative, and pedagogical renewal. Exposure to new ideas, new landscapes, or even new languages allows DePauw faculty to be lifelong learners. A leave offers faculty the chance to set fresh goals, embark on a new direction, finish a project, think, research, and wonder. Ideally, leave projects enable faculty to return to campus re-invigorated in their next chapter as teacher-scholars.

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

In thinking about a leave project, you might find it useful to consider the following questions:

  1. What exciting things would you like to undertake or achieve as a faculty member over the next few years? As you think about your long-term goals as a teacher-scholar, you may want to talk over your plans and ideas with your chair, a colleague, the Dean of Faculty, a member of FDC, or the FDC Coordinator.
  2. In light of your professional goals, what project would you like to undertake during your leave? Where do you see joy, growth, renewal, or satisfaction in this endeavor? How might possibilities for travel, intellectual community, or new work environments (labs, studios, or libraries) invigorate your leave time?
  3. From your vantage point, what would constitute success during your leave?

A variety of leave opportunities support faculty members at various stages of their careers and accommodate as many different professional directions as are appropriate at an institution such as DePauw.  The leave program will be carried out insofar as finances and staffing needs permit.  Types of leaves include Sabbatical Leaves, Pre-Tenure Leaves, Pre-Retirement Leaves in lieu of sabbaticals, Special Leaves for Faculty-in-Residence opportunities, Academic Leaves, and leaves for other personal or professional reasons.

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, this leave 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 must coordinate with his or her department and Academic Affairs to determine when a leave may be granted.

Expectations & Rules:

  • Grants of sabbatical or pre-tenure leave will be made only to DePauw faculty members who continue with the University for at least the amount of time of the leave 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, 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 amount of time of the leave 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 a pre-retirement agreement between a faculty member and the University.

  • Departments are encouraged to negotiate the scheduling of approved leaves to balance the number of faculty members on leave between 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 Faculty Development, the faculty member must explain the relationship between the projects. Distinct products are expected for Faculty Development awards for overlapping or related projects.

  • The University expects leave recipients to share the fruits of a leave with others, at a Faculty Forum, for example, so that the entire community may 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 Exhibition: A proposal should meet the highest professional standards, including demonstrated expertise requisite for the complexity and difficulty of the project, and, with rare exceptions, show promise of publication, performance, or exhibition. 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, that 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 exhibition. 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 expertise, while others might explore new modes of teaching. Applicants should describe the project’s objectives and procedures (including a timetable), place the project in the context of their professional development, and justify the project in terms of contributions to the discipline, department and University.

C. Projects that 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 the following pieces:

  • a clearly defined goal

  • adequate development and documentation

  • a specific product.

Your proposal should describe a product that demonstrates your intellectual or creative labor during the leave. Such products might take the form of an annotated bibliography; initial analyses of data; a draft or submission of a major grant, book chapter, article, performance, or work of art; or new course syllabi and accompanying materials. Reading in one's field may be a component but not the entirety of the project.

When taking a true risk or venturing a new direction, failure--or a change in plans--is always a possibility. If your work takes a significant turn, or life events make your original plans a challenge to complete, please submit to FDC a short amendment to your proposal. You should also use your final report to explain how your work -- despite the change in plans -- contributed to your growth as a teacher-scholar.

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: scholarly/artistic work or teaching and curricular development. The locale of the leave is another important issue.  There are some funds through Faculty Development for colleagues to relocate to defray relocation costs.

Please include a current vita with your proposal. Applications can be strengthened by including documentation that provides information about the nature of the proposed project and/or evidence of its feasibility. Such documents might take the form of a proposed itinerary of travel; supporting letters from publishers, collaborators, or host institutions; or evidence of seed work, rough drafts of material, or a tentative table of contents. It is preferable that all such documentation be included with your proposal, but 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.

Financial Stipulations and Supplements

For Pre-Tenure leaves, faculty members receive three courses of reassigned time (one semester). For Sabbatical leaves, there are two options: a one-semester leave at full salary, or a two-semester leave at half of salary. Most two-semester leaves are for an academic year, but in exceptional cases a year-long 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's contribution to salary and expenses may be reduced (consult the Vice president for Academic Affairs for details).

Professional Development Fund grant 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 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 three-course sabbatical leave or for a total of 8 months for a full year sabbatical leave. It is recommended that you check with Becky Wallace 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 continental 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. No additional support from Faculty Development programs may be used for relocation, 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 three-course sabbatical leave the maximum of four 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 continental 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, 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 $2750; a three-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 Becky Wallace 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 stipend for the appropriate amount at the beginning of each semester. This amount then becomes part of the faculty member's taxable income.


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 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: Faculty members who take the option of reducing teaching by three courses (12 of the usual 24 annual contact hours) will receive full salary and benefits. Faculty members who take the option of a full-year leave at half of 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 curricular Extended Studies courses in Winter Term or May Term (subject to University need as approved by the Vice President of Academic Affairs), or for "reassigned time" as part of Faculty Fellowships or Professorships which are 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. For Pre-Tenure Leaves and Sabbatical Leaves, your report should be addressed to the Faculty Development Chair.  Like your proposal, your report should be readily understandable by colleagues outside your field. Please include a reflective statement on your leave experience and progress toward your professional goals (2-3 pages) and a product that reflects your leave labors.

Please submit your report electronically to Becky Wallace in the form of a WORD or PDF document (facdev@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. Funded proposals, approved reports, and brief responses from the Faculty Development Committee will be placed automatically in a faculty member's personnel file.