F. Leaves of Absence

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The Bloomington campus recognizes the need for and has made provision for a number of types of leaves of absence. The various types and the impact on fringe benefits are described below. Reimbursements for travel and other research-related expenses while on leave should follow normal internal guidelines with the deans and unit heads determining if the expenditure is appropriate, “that the primary beneficiary of the expenditure is the University.” The same University policies apply to travel and research-related expenses charged to individual faculty research accounts that apply to expenses charged to any other University account.

Leaves of Absence Without Pay

When a faculty member or other academic appointee wants to take a leave of absence, a request by memo explaining the need for such a leave, accompanied by the initiation of an e-Doc for appropriate approval signatures, should be sent through usual approval channels. Leaves of absence are normally limited to one year. Exceptions may be approved under unusual circumstances. In the case of non-tenured faculty and librarians, the submission should include the form, Understanding on Tenure Status Associated with Leave of Absence (www.indiana.edu/~vpfaa/forms.shtml#leaves).

The "Understanding" form indicates whether or not the leave is to count toward tenure, and must be agreed to by the appointee, the chairperson, the school dean, and the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs. Such leaves normally count toward tenure unless the department can demonstrate that the leave will significantly interrupt the faculty member's progress toward tenure.

A year or semester Leave of Absence without pay does not normally count as a year or semester of service to the University for the following purposes, unless the leave was in connection with a prestigious fellowship:

University obligations to make contributions to retirement funds.

Years of credit toward tenure, except as explained above. (See Tenure Policy, Policy E-2).

Years of credit toward sabbatical leave eligibility. (See Sabbatical Leave Policy, Policy F-2).

Years of service which may be relevant under any other University regulations, such as those concerned with early retirement.

See Policy F-8 for details of tenure clock adjustments for faculty leaves.

Research Leave Supplements

In cases where a leave of absence without pay is requested to allow acceptance of a prestigious fellowship or research-related award of demonstrable value to the University, and the leave is not to be taken in conjunction with a sabbatical leave, the faculty member may apply to the Office of the Vice Provost for Research for a Research Leave Supplement (see DOCUMENT F-I). Under this program the University may grant a supplement of up to 60% of the applicant's base salary during the period of the leave to help relieve financial sacrifice entailed by acceptance of the external fellowship or award. Awards such as Guggenheims, ACLS grants, Fulbright Research Grants, Lilly (open) Fellowships, NEA, NEH, Mellon, Rockefeller, Sloan, Spencer, and von Humboldt awards are covered by this program. Awards such as Fulbright Teaching Grants, grant-supported salaries, ordinary leaves-without-pay, research associateships, memberships at research institutions or centers, and visiting positions at other institutions are not covered.

Applications and guidelines can be downloaded at http://www.research.iu.edu/irc/pdforms/RLS_app_form.pdf Primary deadline is June 1; late deadline for Spring is November 1.

Fringe Benefits While on LWOP

The University recognizes no obligation to make Retirement Plan contributions while a faculty member or other academic appointee is on leave of absence without pay (LWOP). A member of the faculty who plans to take a leave of absence without pay should make appropriate arrangements with the prospective employer or grantor agency to cover Retirement Plan contributions. Options for retirement contributions for IU appointees during leaves or for visiting IU appointees should be discussed with the Benefits Office.


If a faculty member takes a leave of absence without pay, the University will continue life insurance in force for three months. If the leave extends beyond three months, the employee may suspend the insurance, or may continue it in effect by paying the full premium, at the group rate. If the insurance is suspended during the leave, it will be automatically reinstated in accordance with the plan certificate when the appointee returns.

It is also the policy of the University to continue its contributions toward medical insurance for faculty or other academic appointees while on LWOP if the individual continues his/her own share of the coverage. The appointee is asked to make arrangements with the University well in advance of the beginning of the leave to pay the employee share of medical insurance premiums. The University strongly urges that such insurance be continued.

A voluntary accidental death and dismemberment group insurance plan is available to appointees at their own expense via payroll deduction. This coverage may be continued while on LWOP by making prepayment of the necessary premium for the period of the LWOP not to exceed one year. Coverage for periods beyond the initial twelve months may be applied for on an individual basis. Because this plan is optional, the appointee may terminate coverage if desired.

Leave of Absence from Departmental Duties

A leave of absence from departmental or school duties may be granted to a faculty members assigned to work full-time on an extra departmental assignment or on a grant project (funded usually by an outside agency). When such a leave is approved, the individual will remain on the University payroll but will be released from the usual teaching and committee assignments, etc., for a semester or academic year. Such an assignment for a non-tenured faculty member must be made with great caution in that she/he must provide evidence of satisfactory performance in two areas of responsibility, and excellence performance in the third, by the sixth year of the probationary period. (See DOCUMENT E-VII.) Leaves should be requested by memo accompanied by an e-Doc (and an "Understanding on Tenure Status" form for non-tenured faculty) l. Time spent on such leaves will normally count toward tenure.

Partial Leave of Absence

A partial leave of absence may be granted where the appointee, the chairperson and/or dean agree that a reduction in assignment will be mutually beneficial to the appointee and the University. The same cautions and procedures apply as set out above for leaves from departmental duties.

Fringe Benefits: Partial Leave and Leave from Departmental Duties

During a leave of absence from departmental duties, the funding source will normally pick up the University's contribution to fringe benefits and all coverages will remain in full force automatically. During a partial leave of absence, IU Retirement Plan contributions will be made by the University at the percent of salary paid.


Sabbatical Leave Program

Purpose of Sabbatical Leaves


Application Due Dates

Duration of Leaves/Divided Sabbaticals

Sabbatical Leave Application Reviews

External Support

Sabbatical Leave Reports

Retirement Plan Contributions while on Sabbatical

Insurance- Sabbatical

Sick Leave (including pregnancy)

Leave for other purposes (includes Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993)

Tenure Clock Adjustments for Faculty Leaves