Sabbaticals and Other Leaves of Absence
APPLICABLE TO THE ACADEMIC COUNCIL AND MEDICAL PROFESSORIATES
Last updated: March 29, 2010
It is important that members of the faculty be regularly available to students and colleagues, participating continuously in the educational programs of the University. Leaves of absence, in addition to sabbatical leaves, may not only reduce a faculty member’s contribution to the University, but may also disrupt instructional programs. In general, the granting or denying of leaves is at the discretion of the department Chairs or School Deans.
It is University policy to place limitations on the granting of leaves. When considering a faculty member’s leave request, the department Chair and school Dean should determine whether the following two limitations have been satisfied:
Overall limit on leave. The total time spent on leaves of any kind normally should not exceed six quarters in seven years for faculty with nine month appointments or 24 months in seven years for faculty with 12 month appointments. (To determine this limit, count back seven years from the end date of a proposed leave. In this calculation, partial leaves will be prorated.)
Limit on contiguous absence. In addition, leaves of any kind, or combinations of leaves, may not exceed 24 contiguous months for faculty with 12 month appointments or two consecutive academic years for faculty with 9 month appointments, irrespective of percent time off duty.
Retirement. Leaves may not be taken during the academic year immediately preceding retirement.
Exceptions to these limitations may be approved by the Provost, at the Provost’s discretion, in rare circumstances such as when positive advantages to the University outweigh the possible adverse effects on University programs, or when the following types of leave are involved: pregnancy disability or other disability leave, childcare leave, family and medical leave, workers compensation leave, or leave for government service at a high level. Faculty with questions about this policy should contact their Dean's Office.
When a department has requests for an unusual number of leaves at any one time, pregnancy disability or other disability leaves, childcare leaves, family and medical leaves, worker’s compensation leave, and sabbatical leaves have priority. It is appropriate for department Chairs and Deans to refuse or delay certain requests for sabbatical leave and for leave without salary when resulting absences would make it difficult for the department to meet its instructional and research obligations.
Faculty members do not accrue vacation leave or sick leave. However, short absences for personal business, illness, jury duty, military duty, and similarly limited absences normally are with full salary. It is expected that when scheduling periods of personal time off, one's academic responsibilities are taken into consideration and continue to be fulfilled. The department Chair should be notified in advance of any absence of a faculty member on active duty that may affect class, laboratory, research, or other University commitments, including graduate student supervision.
As noted above, in the granting or denying of leaves is generally at the discretion of the department Chairs and school Deans. Schools have different policies and practices with regard to sabbatical leaves and other leaves of absence. To the extent that these may be at variance with University-wide policy, advance approval must be obtained from the Provost by the department Chair and the school Dean. Exceptions to the University’s leave policies may be approved by the Provost, at the Provost's discretion. Questions regarding leaves should be referred to the school Dean’s Offices.
The purpose of the sabbatical leave program is to free faculty members from their normal University duties, enabling them to pursue their scholarly interests full-time and maintain their professional standing so that they may return to their posts with renewed vigor, perspective, and insight.
Those eligible to take sabbatical leave are: Assistant Professors, Associate Professors, and Professors in the Tenure Line; Non-Tenure Line Assistant Professors (Research), Associate Professors and Professors (Teaching), (Performance), (Clinical), and (Research); Senior Fellows at designated policy centers and institutes; and Assistant Professors, Associate Professors, and Professors in the Medical Center Line. Center Fellows are not eligible to take sabbatical leave.
Faculty on sabbatical leave remain subject to the policies on conflict of commitment and interest and outside consulting activities, which may be found at http://rph.stanford.edu/Chpt4.html.
Sabbatical leave is not automatic. It is granted by the school Dean following approval of a leave request proposal by the department Chair(s). In the case of joint/secondary appointments, faculty must take sabbatical leave from all ( primary, joint, secondary) departments, schools and designated institutes. Sabbatical leaves must be approved by all departments, schools and designated institutes. The leave request form is provided in Appendix A.
A faculty member on sabbatical leave may not take a regular faculty or administrative position at another institution of higher education. However, faculty on sabbatical leave may accept a visiting professor appointment at another educational institution.
To be counted toward sabbatical leave, full-time service must include a reasonable amount of teaching (which may take a variety of forms) each year at Stanford. (Exceptions to this rule are the faculty at SLAC, members of the Non-Tenure Line (Research) professoriate, and Senior Fellows.) Participation at a Stanford overseas program or in field work that is an integral part of a department’s academic program is considered regular service at Stanford and accrues eligibility toward sabbatical leave. Time spent on leave without salary, extended absences for reason such as illness, periods of pure research (as defined in Section 2.1.D(2)c), and full-time non-teaching service are normally excluded in calculating sabbatical eligibility.
Faculty on a quarterly calendar may accrue sabbatical eligibility during a maximum of 3 quarters in 1 year. A fourth quarter of teaching or sponsored research does not add sabbatical eligibility.
Faculty on a 12 month calendar may accrue sabbatical eligibility during a maximum of 12 months per year.
Sabbatical leave may be accrued on a pro rata basis by regular part-time service at 50% time or more, under the same conditions of eligibility as applied to full-time service.
Service as Assistant Professor (Subject to Ph.D.) may be accrued toward sabbatical leave if the individual is subsequently appointed to an eligible rank, provided that the appointments are contiguous.
Effective 1/1/96, the maximum service toward sabbatical that a faculty member may accrue is 36 quarters (24 semesters, 12 years).A sabbatical cap of less than 36 will apply on a pro rata basis if the individual's appointment is less than 100% FTE.
The usual minimum length of sabbatical is one quarter or semester at 50% salary, or 2 months at 100% salary. The maximum length of sabbatical leave is one year, without regard to rate of pay. See Tables 1-3 at the end of this chapter to determine leave eligibility and rate of pay during leave.
A faculty member must serve at Stanford for a period of time at least equal to the length of his or her most recent sabbatical prior to taking another sabbatical leave. Sabbatical leave may not be taken during a one-year terminal extension of a regular term appointment or during the academic year immediately preceding retirement or resignation. Upon recommendation from the Dean of the faculty member’s school, the Provost may approve an exception to this policy under special circumstances. The purpose of the sabbatical leave program is to enable faculty to pursue their scholarly interests full-time and then return to their posts. Accordingly, accrued sabbatical time expires upon termination of employment with the university; there is no compensation given at that time for unused sabbatical.
The University recognizes the need to provide opportunities for junior faculty to develop their research and scholarship. To assist them during a critical period of their careers, non-tenured Assistant and non-tenured Associate Professors may, upon reappointment for a multiple-year term and with the approval of their department Chair and Dean, borrow up to three years of service credit to be eligible for a sabbatical leave of longer duration or a higher rate of pay (up to the sabbatical policy maximum). A faculty member will not normally be permitted to borrow service beyond the end date of the term of appointment.
Tenured faculty and faculty with continuing term appointments may not normally borrow sabbatical leave service credit.
A leave without salary is any period of leave that is completely without salary paid by or through Stanford University or its disability benefits program.
Leaves of absence without salary should be requested on the standard leave request form (Appendix A) for review and approval by the department Chair and Dean of the school.
In making the decision to approve or deny a leave without salary request, consideration will be given to the faculty member’s teaching and other contributions to the educational program of the University, scholarly productivity, number of Ph.D.’s completed under his or her supervision, previous leaves without salary, and any other relevant circumstances.
A faculty member on leave without salary may not take a regular faculty or administrative position at another institution of higher education. However, faculty on leave without salary may accept a visiting professor appointment at another educational institution.
A leave without salary extends a term appointment held by a member of the Professoriate, irrespective of faculty line, by a period equal to the duration of the leave, unless there is advanced written agreement to the contrary. This extension is not automatic; it must be accomplished through normal processes, usually with the submission of a Recommendation for Amendment of Professorial Appointment Form (Appendix C) by the department or school, when the faculty member has concluded his or her leave without salary. For additional information about the effect of a leave without salary on a faculty member’s appointment, see the “Extending the Appointment” sections for each professorial line in Chapter 2 of this handbook.
A leave without salary taken by an untenured Tenure Line faculty member also extends his or her seven year tenure clock. It does not extend the ten year appointment clock deadline. For additional information, see 2.1.D(2) of this handbook.
Periods of partial leave without salary have the same effect as described above, but on a
Faculty members, other than Assistant Professors (Research), Associate Professors (Research), Professors (Research) and Senior Fellows, may apply for a period of pure research, which is defined as leave from teaching and other institutional responsibilities during which the faculty member receives full or partial salary through Stanford from sponsored research.
Applications for periods of pure research should be requested on the regular leave form (Appendix A) for review and approval by the department Chair and Dean of the school.
In making the decision to approve or deny a period of pure research leave request, consideration will be given to the faculty member’s teaching and other contributions to the educational program of the University, scholarly productivity, number of Ph.D.’s completed under his or her supervision, previous leaves without salary, and any other relevant circumstances.
Sabbatical eligibility does not accrue during periods of pure research.
The following sections describe categories of leave that may be available to faculty who wish to reduce their responsibilities or take a leave of absence to meet family or personal obligations or needs. It should be noted that the leaves and other arrangements described in this document may extend the tenure clock and/or the length of a term appointment (see section 2.1.D(2) of this handbook for more information about this topic). It should also be noted that temporary instructors are frequently needed when faculty take family-related or medical leaves. When this is the case, department Chairs and school Deans are responsible for making the necessary appointment arrangements.
California’s Pregnancy Disability Leave Law allows for leave of up to four months due to medically certified, pregnancy-related disability. During pregnancy disability leave, the faculty member is expected to apply for short-term disability insurance according to established procedures. (Specific instructions are available at http://benefits.stanford.edu .) The length of pregnancy disability leave is determined by the faculty member’s physician, who certifies the number of weeks that she is disabled, both before and after delivery. The University will continue to pay the faculty member the difference between her short-term disability benefit and her full academic base salary while she is on short-term disability. Department Chairs and Deans are expected to routinely approve requests for pregnancy disability leave. Sabbatical leaves are intended for professional development and should not be used for pregnancy-related leave.
This policy is intended to provide faculty who become new parents with additional flexibility in their work schedule at the time of the birth or adoption of the child. To that end, a faculty member who gives birth may request a reduced teaching load during the quarter of the birth and/or in the subsequent quarter, if these are quarters in which she is normally expected to teach. Similarly, faculty who become fathers or adopt a child no older than five years of age may request a reduced teaching load during the quarter of the arrival of the child or in the subsequent quarter, if these are quarters in which they are expected to teach. During these quarters, the expectation is that faculty will remain on full salary and, except during pregnancy disability leave (if applicable), that they will continue to carry a full complement of professorial activities other than classroom teaching, such as research and scholarship, graduate and undergraduate student advising, committee work, etc. If the faculty member wishes to return to classroom teaching sooner, he or she may do so, but this should be a free choice on his or her part.
For most faculty in clinical departments in the School of Medicine, the closest analogy to classroom teaching with respect to time and effort is clinical service. A faculty member who gives birth may request to be excused from clinical responsibilities (as well as classroom teaching, if any) for 90 days following the end of her pregnancy disability leave. (During pregnancy disability leave, the faculty member is not on duty at all; as noted above, the period of pregnancy disability leave may be up to four months.) New fathers and adoptive parents may request to be excused from clinical duties (as well as classroom teaching, if any) for 90 days immediately following the arrival of the child. During these 90 days, the expectation is that faculty will remain on full salary and that they will continue to carry a full complement of professorial activities, other than clinical duties (and classroom teaching, if any), such as research and scholarship, advising, committee work, etc. If the faculty member wishes to return to clinical responsibilities (or classroom teaching, if any) sooner, he or she may do so, but this should be a free choice on his or her part. If advanced planning efforts of the faculty member and department indicate the need temporarily to hire a physician to provide clinical coverage, funds for this purpose will be provided by the Practice Plan. A justification of request for such funds will be required.
Eligibility under this policy is different from (and more limited than) eligibility under the policies for new parent tenure clock and appointment extensions. This reduced teaching and clinical duties policy is not intended for parents whose newborn or newly adopted child is cared for more than half-time by either a spouse/partner or a childcare provider. A faculty member using this policy would normally be the sole caregiver for at least twenty hours during the work week during the hours from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. To apply for this policy, faculty should complete the form entitled “Application for Reduced Teaching or Clinical Duties for New Faculty Parents.”
Any faculty member, male or female, who becomes a parent whether by birth or adoption, may request a leave without salary of up to one year, at full or part-time, for the purpose of caring for the child. For a faculty member who gives birth, such a leave could be in addition to pregnancy disability leave; for all parents such leave should be in addition to a period of reduced teaching and clinical duties. Requests for childcare leave are subject to the normal approval process, but department Chairs and Deans are urged to give priority to such requests. Once again, faculty members may not use accrued sabbatical leave for childcare leave.
Upon request of the faculty member, the first twelve weeks of childcare leave may be taken as family leave provided the faculty member meets the eligibility requirements, so as to continue Stanford’s usual contribution to group medical and dental health plans (see the Family and Medical Leave section below). After the first twelve weeks, a faculty member on full leave without salary must pay the University’s portion of the monthly premium in addition to his/her own premium to insure continuous insurance coverage. For faculty members on partial leave, the University’s contribution may continue, depending on the percent time of the leave. Those on leave more than 50% time are responsible for the entire cost of insurance premiums. Those on leave at 25% to 50% of full time receive a partial University contribution, and those on leave less than 25% time receive the full usual University contribution.
Stanford’s policy on Family and Medical Leave for Faculty follows the guidelines of the California Family Rights Act of 1991 (amended in 1993) and the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993. This legislation provides for up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in any 12 month period for eligible employees for certain family and medical reasons. Family or medical leave may be taken for the following reasons:
A serious health condition is defined as any illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition serious enough to involve hospitalization, in-patient care in a residential medical facility, or continuing treatment or supervision by a health care provider. In the case of a serious personal health condition, the faculty member may be eligible for short-term or long-term disability payments.
To be eligible for family or medical leave, an individual must have been employed by Stanford (within the U.S.) for at least 12 months at 50% time or more. An individual is not eligible if he/she has used the maximum yearly leave provided by law.
When the need for family leave is foreseeable, requests for family or medical leave should be made sufficiently in advance to allow the school or department to make replacement teaching and other arrangements. During family or medical leave, the University continues its contributions toward medical and dental group health plans. The faculty member continues to be responsible for paying his or her own premium. If additional leave is approved beyond the 12 weeks of family or medical leave, the faculty member must pay the University’s portion of the monthly premium in addition to his or her own premium to ensure continuous insurance coverage.
Family Temporary Disability (FTD) insurance is available to all faculty members who participate in the Stanford Voluntary Disability Insurance (VDI) Plan or the California State Disability Insurance (SDI) Plan. It provides partial wage replacement during an approved Family and Medical Leave to care for a seriously ill family member or Childcare Leave to care for a new child. Additional information is available atat http://benefits.stanford.edu.
Faculty members experiencing a short-term disability (including pregnancy disability) or long-term disability are encouraged to contact Benefits (http://benefits.stanford.edu) ) to obtain information about and to apply for the University’s disability benefits. In addition, the faculty member is encouraged to contact his or her department Chair or Dean’s Office to address issues pertaining to teaching, research, appointment dates, tenure clock deadline, grant administration and other related issues. For more information, see the Long Term Disability FAQs for Faculty.
DETERMINING LEAVE ELIGIBILITY AND PAY
DETERMINING LEAVE ELIGIBILITY AND PAY
Provider: Faculty Affairs, Office of the Provost, Stanford University