Policy F-2

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This is an archived version of the policy. See the most recent version here


(Based on Trustees 6/2/39; Amended and Approved Faculty Council 5/5/64; Amended and Approved: BFC 2/1/72; Amended: BFC 3/4/80, 4/7/81; UFC 10/13/81, 4/27/82)


A faculty member has two academic functions, teaching and research. Travel to use other libraries or research centers, to work with other scholars, or to conduct field research is generally necessary for scholarly endeavor. The sabbatical leave program is undertaken to provide time for such scholarly research and any travel incident thereto and to allow members of the faculty to keep abreast of developments in their fields of service to the University.

A sabbatical leave is not a leave which a faculty member automatically "earns" by having been employed for a given period of time. Rather, it is an investment by the University in the expectation that the sabbatical leave will significantly enhance the faculty member's capacity to contribute to the objectives of the University. For this reason, sabbatical leave applications are approved only if there is adequate reason to believe that they will achieve this purpose.

A statement of proposed use of time is required to indicate the manner of achieving these general objectives. Adherence to an approved plan is expected of a faculty member. At the termination of the leave, and not later than three months after his/her return to the campus, the faculty member shall submit a report of his/her activities to the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs on a form available in the Vice Provost's office. A copy of this report should also be delivered to the appropriate departmental chairperson or dean. This report must be filed because it will be attached to the faculty member's application for a future sabbatical leave before it is circulated to the committee. Acceptable programs for the use of time may include:

1. Research on significant problems;
2. Important creative or descriptive work in any means of expression, for example, writing, painting, and so forth;
3. Postdoctoral study along a specified line at another institution; and
4. Other projects satisfactory to the Committee on Sabbatical Leaves of Absence.


Sabbatical leave will be for one semester at full salary or for one year at half salary. A sabbatical leave need not be taken in a single academic year but may be divided over several years. The sabbatical-leave program requires that persons on sabbatical leave devote full time to the scholarly activity for which leave is granted and will receive no salary or stipend from other sources than the University except that (l) persons on leave for a year at half pay may engage in other scholarly activity consistent with that for which leave is granted and receive salary, stipend, or honoraria from other sources in such amounts that total salary, stipend, and honoraria do not exceed approximately the annual income normally earned, and (2) persons on leave may receive grants from other sources for travel and research expenses incident to their scholarly activity.


A faculty member at Indiana University is eligible for one sabbatical leave during each period of seven year's full-time service (including time on sabbatical leave), following the completion of his first six years of full-time service as a faculty member. For example, a faculty member may be granted one sabbatical leave in his/her seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, eleventh, twelfth, or thirteenth year of service, and one in his fourteenth, fifteenth, sixteenth, seventeenth, eighteenth, nineteenth, or twentieth year of service. Ordinarily, however, a sabbatical leave will not be granted within less than four years following a preceding sabbatical leave. For example, a faculty member who is granted sabbatical leave in his/her twelfth year would not again be eligible until his/her seventeenth year. Leaves without pay do not count as part of the period by which eligibility for sabbatical leave is determined, except that recipients of nationally or internationally competitive fellowships may count up to one year toward their next sabbatical leave. The sabbatical-leave program applies only to persons who will return to their positions at Indiana University for at least one academic year following a period of sabbatical leave. For example, a sabbatical leave will not be granted for the last year of a faculty member's service prior to retirement. To be eligible for sabbatical leave, a faculty member must agree to reimburse Indiana University for any salary, retirement contributions and insurance premiums paid during the sabbatical leave in the event the faculty member does not return for at least one year following the leave.


As far as possible, departmental schedules should be arranged so as to permit eligible members of the staff to take leaves. In arranging schedules, an attempt should be made to minimize the cost of substitute instruction and the disruption of the departmental program. To facilitate this planning, faculty members who intend to apply for leave during any part of one school year must give notice of intention to apply to the appropriate departmental chairperson or dean by December l, and applications shall be in the hands of the Committee no later than January l5 of the preceding school year. Application forms may be obtained from the Chairperson of the Committee.


Applications for leave will initiate with the eligible faculty member. The application will be routed through successive administrative stages for appropriate action.


The departmental chairperson is responsible for making sure that no essential departmental and students' needs are jeopardized because of the number of faculty members in a given area on sabbatical leave. He will attach a statement showing the proposed schedule adjustments to permit the leave and the additional staff or other expenditure that may be necessary. The departmental chairperson (or corresponding officer) is also responsible for attaching his specific evaluation of the faculty member's project. He may utilize the advice of a departmental committee or of individual colleagues, here or elsewhere. Whether he approves the project or not, it must be forwarded to the Dean of the School and the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs.

Dean of the School or College

The dean will forward the application to the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs for determination of eligibility. The application, if eligible, will then be transmitted to the Sabbatical Leaves Committee for determination of the merit of the project.

Committee on Sabbatical Leaves of Absence

The Committee (consisting of four faculty members appointed by the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs and chaired by an associate vice provost) will then forward the application to the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs with appropriate recommendation for action. In arriving at its recommendation, the Committee will take into consideration the record of accomplishment on previous sabbatical leaves and may call on other members of the faculty, or on outside experts, for an evaluation of the worth of the proposed program. The Provost's Office may also call on the chairman of the department and the dean of the school or college if scheduling problems are the only bar to the leave. If the number of otherwise acceptable applications for one semester or year is so great as to entail excessive expense to the University or an unreasonable increase in the teaching load of resident staff, the Provost's Office will of necessity have to determine a schedule of priorities among the applications.

The applicant shall be given the opportunity to make representation to the Committee, as well as to the Provost's Office, if he/she considers it advisable, to support his/her application. The Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs will notify each applicant for sabbatical leave of his/her recommendation to the Provost, and a copy of the notification will be sent to the appropriate department chairperson or dean. All administrative recommendations are subject to final approval by the Board of Trustees. However, a favorable recommendation by the Committee and the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs establishes sufficient likelihood of a grant of sabbatical leave so that applicants are justified in proceeding with plans and arrangements for leave.