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Faculty Senate

Faculty Resources

Sabbatical Guidelines

Eligibility for Sabbatical Leave

Before going through the formalities of applying for sabbatical leave, each applicant should determine whether or not he or she is eligible. The policy governing the sabbatical leave programs contains the following statements concerning the eligibility for sabbatical leave:

  • All tenured members of the faculty with a minimum of six academic years full time and continuous service immediately preceding the sabbatical leave year at the University of Denver are eligible for the program. University service as a full-time tenure track instructor counts in determining eligibility. In computing the six academic years of continuous service, time spent in official leave of absence granted by the University will not be counted, but time both before and after such leave will be counted.
  • At the discretion of the appropriate Dean, faculty with the rank of Lecturer or Senior Lecturer and faculty in the Library Professorial Series and Clinical Professorial Series (as defined in the Faculty Personnel Guidelines Relating to Appointment, Promotion and Tenure) with a minimum of six academic years full time and continuous service immediately preceding the sabbatical leave year at the University of Denver may be eligible for the program.
  • The appropriate Dean may recommend that leave be granted before the accrual of six academic years of continuous service if a faculty member is presented with an unusual opportunity for research, travel, writing, studying, or teaching improvement, or the Dean may recommend temporary deferral of a sabbatical leave due to fiscal or programmatic constraints. However, acceleration or deferral of a sabbatical leave is expected to be highly unusual and justifications for such recommendations must be documented and necessitate the approval of the Provost.

Upon returning from sabbatical leave a faculty member must accumulate a minimum of six academic years of full-time additional University service, as described above, in order to become eligible again for a sabbatical.

Four conditions deserve special mention:

  1. An "official leave of absence" means that the faculty member has been released, with or without pay, from all duties for a period of time in order to pursue special projects, for personal reasons, or according to the terms of the Family Medical Leave Act.
  2. A "mini-sabbatical" granted under special programs established by Deans is not considered an official leave of absence and, therefore, time spent on such a sabbatical will be counted as part of the six academic years continuous service for sabbatical leave eligibility.
  3. Sabbatical leaves are not to be used to complete requirements for the terminal degree expected in a discipline, although sabbatical leaves may be appropriate for post doctoral work.
  4. While on sabbatical leave, a faculty member cannot accept full-or part-time employment elsewhere for remuneration beyond assuring normal full salary and unusual expenses resulting from the leave. This restriction does not apply to occasional honoraria.

Any questions concerning the eligibility should be directed to the Office of the Provost or the Faculty Senate Personnel Committee.

Sabbatical Duration and Remuneration Criteria

Faculty on nine-month appointments will be granted one-academic year (three-quarter) sabbatical leaves at one-half the regular nine-month salary, two-quarter leaves at seven-ninths of the regular nine-month salary, or one-quarter leaves at full salary. Faculty on nine-month appointments in units on the semester system will be granted one-year (two semester) sabbatical leaves at one-half the regular nine-month salary, or one semester leaves at full salary.

Faculty on a twelve-month appointment will be granted leaves for a twelve-month period at one-half the regular twelve-month salary, three-quarter leaves at 7/10 of the regular twelve-month salary, two-quarter leaves at 7/8 of the regular twelve-month salary or one-quarter leaves at full salary. Faculty on twelve-month appointments in units on the semester system will be granted leaves for a twelve-month period at 1/2 salary, two semester leaves at 7/10 salary, or one semester leaves at full salary.

Each year, some applications of exceptionally meritorious quality as determined by the appropriate dean and the Faculty Senate personnel sabbatical subcommittee may be recommended for increased leave time or remuneration. The final decision will be made by the Provost and the Board of Trustees. According to the guidelines for implementing the sabbatical policy, faculty will not specifically apply for these special sabbaticals. Rather, they will be awarded on the basis of recommendations from the appropriate deans and from the Faculty Senate personnel sabbatical subcommittee after those groups have reviewed sabbatical applications.

Application Procedure

Applications for sabbatical leave must be submitted in triplicate to Department Chairs (or the appropriate Dean or Direct when there is no Chair of the academic unit) by October 1 of the year prior to the academic year in which the leave will be taken.  Download the application here.

Department Chairs ( or the appropriate Dean or Director) will review the applications for the quality of the proposal, appropriateness of the plan, and, where appropriate, the extent to which the faculty member has explored opportunities for external funding. Chairs will then transmit applications with their recommendations to the appropriate Dean by October 15.

Deans or appropriate administrators shall review the applications, shall share the applications with an internal evaluation committee, and forward them with their recommendations to the Sabbatical Subcommittee of the Faculty Senate Personnel Committee by November 1.

The Sabbatical Subcommittee will review the applications and make recommendations to the Provost by November 15 to approve, defer, or not approve sabbatical requests.

The Provost's recommendations will be communicated to the Board of Trustees at its January meeting and applicants will be notified of their action no later that February 15.

Criteria for Selection

The Sabbatical Subcommittee of the Faculty Senate Personnel Committee will use the following criteria in reviewing applications:

  • Eligibility
    (See Section I of this document and Section A.2.a. - f. of the DU Sabbatical Leave Policy, approved 1/95, for details).
  • Quality of Proposal
    The proposal should contain a description of the project, project objectives and the possibilities for outside support. It should indicate clearly what results can be expected from the work. If a book is planned, the current or potential interest of publishers should be identified. (See Section A.1. of the DU Sabbatical Leave Policy, approved 1/95, for a description of the purposes of sabbatical leave.)
  • Value of the Sabbatical to the Department and the University
    The application should indicate the ways the sabbatical will contribute to future programs within the department and the University.
  • Value of the Sabbatical to the Individual
    The application should describe the ways the sabbatical will strengthen the future teaching or research of the applicant. It should also include any important personal reasons for a sabbatical leave at the time requested.
  • Value of the Sabbatical to the Field or Profession
    The application should indicate clearly any expected contributions to the applicant's profession that will accrue.
  • Recommendations of the Department Chairperson and Dean

Ranking of Proposals

Using the above criteria, and the "conditions of special mention" in Section I.A. - D. of this document, the Personnel subcommittee will prepare a rank order of the applications within four categories: priority Proposals, acceptable proposals, conditional proposals, and unacceptable proposals. The rankings will be forwarded to the Provost with appropriate explanations. In addition, the subcommittee will recommend those proposals deemed to be of exceptionally meritorious quality and, therefore, eligible for increased leave time or remuneration.

Report on Sabbatical Experience

Each applicant who is granted a sabbatical leave is expected to prepare a brief report after the completion of his or her experience. The report is to be forwarded to both the appropriate Dean and the Chair of the Faculty Senate Personnel Committee by the end of the quarter following the completion of the sabbatical leave. For example, the report for a fall quarter sabbatical should be filed with the professor's Dean and the Personnel Committee by the end of the following winter quarter. The reports will be stored in the home department of the applicant and copies will be kept in the Faculty Senate Office.

Besides and overview, the report should contain:

  • A restatement of the plan outlined in the application.
  • An explanation of major variations from the approved application.

Funds for the Sabbatical Leave

Since monies are limited and it is the wish of the University of Denver to grant as many sabbaticals as possible each year, the following guidelines have been established:

  • When a faculty member is on sabbatical, his or her annual salary will be included in the department's budget.
  • The department, in consultation with the appropriate dean, will determine how needs for replacement funds, if any, are met.