In spring 2020, none of us knew how the pandemic would affect each of us and our university.  At that time, our Academic Deans believed that all regular faculty were needed to teach during the 2020-2021 academic year.  I then rescinded all sabbatical leaves that had been granted for the 2020-2021 academic year and postponed sabbatical leaves indefinitely. 

At this point, the outlook on the pandemic and on returning to some sense of normalcy is more optimistic.  Vaccines are developed, approved, and are becoming more accessible. To date, our state has been able to continue its support of our university for which we are very grateful.  Thanks to the hard work of the faculty and staff, our enrollment for both fall and spring semesters this year has been the same as the previous academic year.   

I am pleased to announce that we can resume our sabbatical leaves in academic year 2021-2022.  Each faculty member who received approval to take a sabbatical leave in 2020-2021 and then had the sabbatical leave rescinded will receive a letter confirming their sabbatical leave approved for 2021-2022.

As we all are aware, sabbatical leaves are on a schedule that allows faculty take a sabbatical leave every seven years.  Deferrals occur because of teaching needs, college or department accreditation needs, contract and grant obligations, student advisement obligations, or personal reasons, to name a few.  The question then becomes what happens to the sabbatical schedule—How do we catch up?  The faculty who normally would have applied for sabbatical leave for the 2021-2022 academic year have not had the opportunity to apply and others are asking if all the sabbaticals will be shifted by a year. 

In an effort to make up for missing time, each Academic Dean has committed to try to incorporate seven years of sabbatical leaves from 2020-2021 to 2026-2027 into six years.  We need to ask the faculty’s indulgence.  To make this accommodation, everyone needs to be flexible and willing to shift their exact time for a sabbatical leave to accommodate the needs of the department, college, and fellow faculty members.  Each college will accommodate the sabbatical leaves on their own schedule, based on the needs of their departments and of the college.  Some will start as early as fall 2021 to incorporate faculty who would normally have had sabbatical leaves in 2021-2022 while others will start in fall 2022.   The deans will decide the best schedule for their colleges. 

Faculty who planned to apply for sabbatical leave in 2021-2022 will be considered for sabbatical leave during academic years 2021-2022, 2022-2023, 2023-2024 and 2024-2025. Those whose applications are approved and who take their sabbatical leave will be eligible for their next sabbatical leave in 2028-2029. 


Sabbatical Leave Preference Submittal

To ensure that appropriate sabbatical leave eligibility records are kept, faculty who planned to apply for sabbatical leave for 2021-2022 are asked to complete the attached form. Please state your preferences for an academic year for your sabbatical leave and rank them. Please send the information by March 3, 2021, to Michele Kennedy in the Office of Academic Affairs, to your dean, and to your department chair.   If you have any information that you would like to convey concerning the timing of your requested sabbatical leave, please use the comment section. Please note the College of Engineering will not be able to start incorporating faculty into the sabbatical leave schedule until 2022-2023 because of the ABET accreditation schedule.

Your deans will consider your preferences as well as the academic/teaching needs of the college and will notify you of the year when your sabbatical leave can be applied for and incorporated into the schedule. As always, an application must be submitted and approved before you can take a sabbatical leave. For those who are asked to submit their sabbatical leave application for 2021-2022, the following schedule applies:

  • By May 1, 2021, faculty member submits a request for sabbatical leave to the department chair
  • By May 15, 2021, the chair forwards the applications and recommendations to the dean 
  • By June 1, 2021, the dean forwards the applications and recommendations to the provost
  • By June 15, 2021, the provost informs candidate of decision to grant sabbatical leave

For those who will be applying for sabbatical leaves in future years, the following schedule follows the traditional schedule as outlined in Faculty Handbook 9.12.

  • By December 15, faculty member submits a request for a sabbatical leave to the department chair
  • By January 15, the chair forwards the applications and recommendations to the dean 
  • By February 1, the dean forwards the applications and recommendations to the provost
  • By February 15, the provost informs candidate of decision to grant sabbatical leave

Please contact the Office of Academic Affairs at (256) 824-6337 or  if you have any questions. 

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