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Sabbatical Leave Program

I. NATURE OF THE PROGRAM

The Sabbatical Leave Program provides one and two semester leaves to eligible faculty members to undertake projects of academic significance to themselves and their departments or units.  Faculty are not required to be in attendance at the University during a sabbatical leave. The Program is administered on the Camden, Newark and New Brunswick campuses by the offices of the respective academic deans. For library faculty, the Program is administered by the Vice President for Information Services and University Librarian, regardless of the librarian’s geographic location. 

II. PERIOD OF LEAVE AND APPLICATION CYCLE

There are several sabbatical leave options available for faculty, depending on their eligibility (see Eligibility below).  Faculty members wishing to be considered for a sabbatical leave may apply for:

     1. 80 percent of salary for one semester

     2. 80 percent of salary for both semesters of Academic Year or Calendar Year (spring and fall semesters) or for consecutive Fall or consecutive Spring semesters; or

     3. 100 percent of salary for one semester.

A leave with full salary may not be combined with a leave at 80 percent salary.  The University shall distribute information and required forms applicable to each application cycle in the Fall of each academic year.

III. ELIGIBILITY

The following conditions govern eligibility for sabbatical leaves:

1.      For a one semester leave at 80 percent salary:  Three years (6 semesters) of full-time service at the rank of Instructor (or equivalent) or above.

2.      For a one semester leave at 100 percent salary:  Six years (12 semesters) of full-time service at the rank of Instructor (or equivalent) or above.

Note:  For tenure-track Assistant Professors only (or equivalent), the prior service requirement for a one semester leave at 100 percent salary is three years (6 semesters)

3.      For a two semester leave at 80 percent salary:  Six years (12 semesters) of full-time service at the rank of Instructor (or equivalent) or above.

4.      Time spent in rank on a non-competitive fellowship leave program (with or without compensation) does not accrue as eligible service.  Time spent in rank on a Competitive Fellowship Leave does accrue as eligible service. Faculty members who hold at least half-time appointments are eligible for a sabbatical leave on a proportional basis. 

5.      Prior Service at Other Institutions:  Faculty members may request one-half year of eligibility for every year of full time prior service at other institutions at the rank of Instructor or above.  The request is limited to four years of eligibility (eight years of prior service at other institutions) for a one-semester sabbatical leave with 100 percent salary or a two-semester sabbatical leave; and to two years of eligibility (four years of prior service at other institutions) for a one-semester sabbatical leave with 80 percent salary.  Prior service may not be counted if previously used toward a sabbatical or other leave at another institution. 

6.      One cannot “bank” eligible years. Once a sabbatical leave is taken, regardless of the number of years since the prior sabbatical leave, eligibility must be established anew. The only exception to this (as noted in item 7 below) is when an approved sabbatical leave is delayed for up to two semesters for University necessity. 

7.     Previous Leaves:  Once a faculty member has been awarded a sabbatical leave (for either one or two semesters), regardless of the number of years since a prior sabbatical leave, he or she is not eligible for; (a) a subsequent one-semester sabbatical leave at 80 percent salary until he or she has provided three years of service at Rutgers following the most recent sabbatical leave; or (b) a subsequent one-semester sabbatical leave with full salary or a two-semester sabbatical leave at 80 percent salary until he or she has provided six years of service at Rutgers following the most recent sabbatical leave.  The semester between split leaves will count toward eligibility for subsequent leaves. Whenever a sabbatical leave is delayed at the written request of and for the benefit of the University, the period of such delay, up to a maximum of two semesters, shall be counted as service subsequent to the delayed sabbatical leave. Faculty members who participated in any other leave program (with the exception of a Competitive Fellowship Leave) in either of the two academic years prior to the academic year in which they seek a sabbatical, funded in full or in part by Rutgers, will not normally be awarded a sabbatical leave.  

Note: In all cases, a sabbatical leave which would have the effect of removing the faculty member from departmental service for a period of two consecutive academic years requires special approval by the department chair or director, and the academic dean or Vice President for Information Services and University Librarian.

8.      Candidates Entering the Terminal Year: A sabbatical leave is not awarded in a faculty member's terminal year of appointment.  Accordingly, a faculty member who has been notified of his or her non-reappointment is not eligible for participation in the sabbatical program.  If a faculty member has been granted a sabbatical leave and later receives notice of non-reappointment, the sabbatical leave is automatically rescinded if the leave is to fall within the faculty member's terminal year.

9.      Candidates in the Last Year of Probationary Period:  A faculty member in the last year of the probationary period is not eligible for a sabbatical.

IV. CRITERIA FOR SELECTION

Participation in the Sabbatical Leave Program is approved only on the basis of a detailed proposal from an eligible faculty member for the improvement of his or her academic functions at the University.  The proposal must accompany the application and must provide information on the nature and scope of the project to be undertaken during the period of leave.   

Three principles primarily govern the selection of sabbatical recipients from among applicants who meet the criteria for eligibility:

1.    First consideration is, in general, given to faculty with the greatest seniority in terms of University service and in terms of service between leaves.

2.    If two or more applications are judged to be of equal quality, first priority is given to applicants who have not been awarded sabbatical leaves for which they have been eligible in previous years.

3.     No more than 10 percent of the faculty of any unit may be awarded a sabbatical leave in any one year.

V. THE APPLICATION PROCESS: EVALUATION AND ENDORSEMENT

1.     An application for sabbatical leave by a faculty member is to be reviewed and endorsed by the candidate's department chair or program director and the dean of the candidate's academic unit. The academic dean has final approval authority for sabbatical leaves.  For library faculty on all campuses, an application is to be reviewed by, and signed by, the candidate’s director and the Vice President for Information Services and University Librarian, who has final approval authority for sabbatical leaves. 

2.     Each academic officer must indicate on the application whether he or she does or does not endorse a faculty member's application and, in the latter case, the reasons for non-endorsement.  A positive endorsement signifies that:

          (a) the basic staffing needs of the program will be met in the candidate's absence, and

          (b) that the officer supports the candidate's leave application and proposed project with respect not only to the candidate's own scholarly development, but also with respect to the development of the discipline in the department, college, or faculty.  

3.     The decision not to endorse an application based on a determination that subparagraphs (2)(a) and/or (2)(b) have not been met are not subject to the grievance procedure. 

4.      If the applicant has had a previous sabbatical leave, he or she must attach a copy of the report of his or her activities and accomplishments during the previous sabbatical leave period.  If the academic year for which a faculty member has applied for a sabbatical leave is a possible terminal or probationary year for the sabbatical applicant, the chair or director is required to note this fact in the space provided on the administrative endorsement form.  If a faculty member is eligible for a leave and his or her proposed project meets the aforementioned criteria, but he or she cannot readily be released from University duties in the academic year for which the faculty member has applied for a sabbatical leave, the faculty member is to be given priority consideration in the following academic year.  In this situation, the extra year of eligibility is preserved for accrual of years towards the next sabbatical leave.

Prospective applicants for sabbatical leave should discuss their interest in such a leave with their department chairs or directors before submitting an application.

VI. PATHWAY FOR APPLICATIONS

A candidate is to submit his or her completed sabbatical application to his or her department chair or program director. At each stage of review, the reviewing officer is to indicate endorsement or non-endorsement and forward the form to the next level.  The reviewing officer may elect to consult with the applicant with a view toward strengthening the proposal. Final approval of the application requires concurrence of the respective academic officers.

VII. OBLIGATIONS OF THE FACULTY MEMBER ON SABBATICAL LEAVE

1.     Changes in Projects:  If, because of unforeseen circumstances or conditions beyond his or her control, a faculty member finds it impossible to execute the project described in his or her sabbatical application, and approved through the endorsement and approval process described, whether before or during the period of leave, the faculty member must secure in writing the approval both of the department chair or program director and the academic dean, or Vice President for Information Services and University Librarian before undertaking an alternate project.  It is assumed that such approval will be given only for an alternate project of equal or greater academic merit.

2.      Changes in Time Period:  If, because of unforeseen circumstances or conditions beyond his or her control, a faculty member finds it either necessary or desirable to substitute one time period for another (e.g., Spring in lieu of Fall) with respect to a sabbatical leave which has been granted, the faculty member must secure in writing the prior approval of the department chair or program director and the final approving authority.  It is assumed that such approval will be granted only on the basis of sound academic justification.

3.      Outside Compensation:  During a faculty member's participation in the Program, the faculty member may accept outside compensation from externally funded sources only if it is relevant to the proposal and if the total compensation from Rutgers and from other externally funded sources does not aggregate to more than 100 percent of the faculty member's regular base pay.  Under no circumstance is a faculty member on sabbatical leave from Rutgers permitted to undertake a full-time compensated assignment at another university or elsewhere.

4.      Written Report:  Promptly upon returning from sabbatical leave, a faculty member is obligated to submit a written report of the activities accomplished during the leave, including documentary evidence of scholarly or creative activity, through the faculty member's department chair or program director to the academic dean or Vice President for Information Services and University Librarian, where it becomes a part of the faculty member's personnel file.  The academic dean or Vice President for Information Services and University Librarian is required to submit a summary report, through the chancellor where appropriate, to the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, covering all faculty in the unit and their projects by November 1st of each year.  

5.      Resumption of Duties:  Faculty members must agree in writing to resume their duties at Rutgers for a period equivalent to their sabbatical leave.  Failure to return to University service for an amount of time equivalent to the sabbatical leave obligates the sabbatical recipient to repay to the University all salary monies received during the period of leave.            

SABBATICAL SALARY

Faculty members are paid 80 or 100 percent of their base salary, and there will be no payroll deductions required to support the program. Applicable federal income tax, FICA, Medicare, state income tax, and state unemployment and disability tax will be based on the sabbatical salary and any compensation earned from externally funded sources. The mandatory employee pension contributions and supplemental 403(b) plan contributions will also be based on the sabbatical salary. However, the 8 percent matching employer pension contribution will still be based upon the full base salary.

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