Leaves of Absence and Professional Improvement Leaves
Faculty members may request a leave of absence without pay for a legitimate professional or personal reason (see the University Policy Register, Section 6.35). Such leaves may vary from one semester to one year in length. Unpaid leaves of absence involve no compensation from the University.
In keeping with University Policy (see the University Policy Register, 6.351), tenured Faculty holding the rank of assistant professor or higher who have completed at least seven years of full-time service to the University in tenure-track positions are eligible to be considered for a Faculty professional improvement leave (PIL). Such leaves may be granted to upgrade professional skills, to acquire new skills, and/or to engage in intellectual and professional development that will benefit the individual and the University. The specific application process is described in an annual memo from the associate provost; typically, a proposal is due to the Department Chair in mid-October. In consultation with the FAC, the Chair must determine how the staffing needs will be covered, and prepare a recommendation to be sent to the Dean in early November. Upon approval of a leave, the Faculty member shall receive full compensation if the leave is for one semester and not less than 50% of the contractual salary if the leave is for the academic year. Other types of leaves are available from time to time (e.g., research leaves, leaves based on teaching improvement awards) and interested Faculty should consult with the Chairperson concerning such leaves.
Upon completion of any leave of absence or professional improvement leave, the Faculty member has the obligation to return to the University in active service for at least one academic year. Requests for leaves of absence and professional improvement leaves should be initiated as early as possible so that scheduling of courses and hiring replacement Faculty can be accomplished (further guidelines are provided in the University Policy Register in sections 6.35, 6.351, and 6.352).