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Smathers Libraries Career Development Handbook

V. B. 1. Professional Development Leave and Sabbatical Programs

Under the provisions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, sabbatical leave is available for tenured faculty. The decision regarding who is to be awarded the two-semester half pay leave or one-semester full pay leave for non-tenured faculty rests with the academic unit, however, the provisions of Article 22 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement must be considered.

One-semester half-pay leave is also available upon approval of the administration of the academic unit and authorization from the Office of Academic Affairs. This is an on-going program and is not part of this annual review and selection process.

  1. Types of Leave

    • One Semester or Two Semester Full Pay (or its equivalent)- Sabbatical Leave awarded by the University for tenured faculty.
    • One Semester Full Pay (or its equivalent) - Professional Development Leave awarded by college or unit for non-tenure track faculty. 

    • Two Semester One-Half Pay - Sabbatical Leave/Professional Development Leave  The contract language states that the two-semester one-half pay leave will be granted unless the University determines that the conditions set forth in sections 22.1 (a) and 22.3 (a) have not been met or that departmental/unit staffing considerations preclude such leave from being granted. (In case of the latter, the employee will be provided leave the following year, or at a later time as agreed by the employee and the University.)

    • One Semester One-Half Pay - Leave requests are also granted upon approval of library administration and the Office of Academic Affairs. This is an on-going program and is not part of this annual review and selection process. Please contact your dean’s office for information.

  2. Purpose of the Leave Programs

      A professional development leave or a sabbatical is granted to increase a faculty member’s value to the University through enhanced opportunities for professional renewal, planned travel, study, formal education, research, writing, or other experience of professional value, not as a reward for service. No more than one faculty member in each department need be granted leave at one time.

      Faculty applying or serving on the Selection Committee for these leave programs should familiarize themselves with Article 22 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement as it applies to the professional development leave programs. Please refer to the information and terms on the application form.

  3. Eligibility

      All tenured faculty in the bargaining unit who will have completed six years of full-time service (two-semesters of full-time service count as one year) at the University of Florida prior to the Fall term of the applicable annual Sabbatical  Leave Program are eligible for the leave programs.

      Non-tenure track faculty, who have three or more years of full-time service at the University of Florida, will be eligible for the Professional Development Leave Program.

      A faculty member employed on a contract or grant is eligible for the leave only if the terms of a contract and grant through which an employee may be compensated do not allow for such a leave.

      A faculty member who has received a professional development leave is not normally eligible for another leave until he/she has completed at least six years of full-time continuous service since returning from the previous leave.

  4. Application Procedures  

      By October 15th, each applicant must submit a completed application for each specific leave she or he is applying for with the evaluation form to the department chair. If applying for more than one leave, i.e., a one and a two-semester leave, applications must be completed for each leave requested. A brief one page description of the activities with a statement indicating the benefits of the proposed leave to the individual, the University, and the profession must be attached to the application form. The application must indicate the type of leave applied for and the date of the last professional development leave awarded. The application should indicate the applicant’s preference for the length of time of the leave, i.e. two-semesters at half-pay, two-semesters or one-semester (at full pay) and the semester(s) the leave will be taken. A summer session may be requested as one of the terms by 12-month faculty only.

      The application must be accompanied by an endorsement from the department chair (or equivalent) who evaluates the benefits of the proposed leave to the individual, the University, and the profession. If the chair has comments about the proposal being submitted from a department, the comments should be made directly on the application form, not by means of a separate letter, and the faculty member informed of the comments.

      The application evaluation process at the departmental/college level will use the following formula: (a) the number of years of full-time faculty service at the University of Florida since the faculty members last full-pay professional development leave/sabbatical at the University of Florida, multiplied by 1.75. If no previous full-pay leave, use total number of years of full-time faculty service at the University of Florida. In either case, count years of service prior to the Fall of application year. Summers are not considered; (b) chair’s ranking (1 to 10 points) of proposals; (c) committee evaluation should provide a maximum of 30 points with each member making a separate rating from 1 to 10 points with 10 being the highest. (The same ranking may be used twice if more than ten proposals are submitted.)

  5. Sabbatical Selection Committee:

      Members of the Sabbatical Committee must be tenured, full-time faculty. They are nominated by the Library Faculty Assembly (LFA) Nominating Committee and elected in the Spring Semester at the same time as other LFA elections occur. The committee members select the chairperson.The  charge of the Sabbatical Selection Committee is to evaluate all the leave applications and to select those recipients for consideration for the award of a professional development leave or sabbatical. No more than one faculty member in each department need be granted leave at one time. The report of this committee will be sent to the Dean.

  6. Selection Procedure

      The Sabbatical Selection Committee will meet once all applications have been submitted by Department Chairs to evaluate the applications and submit a report addressed to the Dean via the Human Resources Officer, of the results of the evaluation, including a listing of the names and rankings of all applicants for each of the leave programs.  If there is more than one applicant for the professional development leave for non tenured faculty then the committee will rank them as well. There should be a separate report of the results for each of the sabbatical and professional development leave programs (one for tenured and non-tenure earning faculty) and a separate listing for the one-semester applicants and the two-semester applicants .

      The Committee, in ranking the applicants, will consider the benefits of the proposed program to the employee, the university and the profession; an equitable distribution of sabbaticals among departments or units;  the length of time since the employee was relieved of duties for the purpose of research and other scholarly activities; and length of service since previous sabbatical or initial appointment.

      The listings of those recommended for each of the programs should include the applicant’s name, academic unit and department, the points awarded to each faculty member in descending order (from highest to lowest), the ranking by the Committee members, if different from the points listed, and relevant comments, if any. If an applicant is not recommended for a leave the reason should be explained in the report, e.g. the chair indicates that only one faculty member from the department or unit be awarded a leave or the proposal does not merit the award of a leave. The faculty member will be advised of the status of the leave recommendation by the Dean

      The reports of the Selection Committee’s review of the two-semester leave applications and the one or two semester full-pay leave for non-tenure earning or tenured faculty should be submitted to the Dean for approval. 

  7. Notification Of Award

      The Dean will announce the sabbatical decisions as soon as possible in the Spring Semester. The leave applications must be retained for one year after the report of the leave activities is filed for those awarded a leave and one year from the date of denial for those not awarded a leave. Then the files may be requested to be disposed of in accordance with the University policy regarding records.

  8. Confirmation Of Leave

      Faculty who are awarded leave must notify the department chair and dean or division director in writing if they are able to accept the leave.

      If for any reason a faculty member finds that he or she is unable to accept the leave or must make changes to the leave proposal, he/she should meet with his/her department chair to discuss what arrangements can or need to be made regarding the faculty member’s assignment or the leave. Once a decision is made regarding the leave the faculty member should confirm, in writing, the decision with a copy to the Dean.

  9. Terms Of The Program

      While on this leave program, the employee's salary will be one-half pay for the academic year for two semesters, depending on program awarded, or full-pay for one-semester. A summer session may be requested as one of the terms by 12-month faculty only. The leave may not extend beyond the academic year awarded.

      Please note, any administrative stipends will be suspended while the employee is on sabbatical leave.

      The employee must return to the University for at least one academic year following participation in the program. Agreements to the contrary must be produced in writing prior to participation. Return to the University of salary received during the program may be required in those instances where neither of the above is satisfied.

      An employee on a leave program assignment will be evaluated on the leave activities in accordance with the provisions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. It is incumbent on the employee to provide a copy of the written report in a timely manner to make such an evaluation possible.

      Contributions normally made by the Board to State Group Life and Accidental Death and Dismemberment insurance, retirement and Social Security programs will be continued on a basis proportional to the salary received. Board contributions normally made to other employee insurance programs and any other employee benefit programs will be continued on a regular basis during the leave program. (It is suggested that employees check with the Fringe Benefits Office to make sure benefits are continued.)

      Eligible employees will continue to accrue annual and sick leave on a full-time basis during the sabbatical.

      While on leave, an employee will be permitted to receive funds for travel and living expenses, and other leave-related expenses, from sources other than the university, such as fellowships, grants-in-aid, and contracts and grants, to assist in accomplishing the purposes of the leave. Receipt of funds for such purposes will not result in reduction of the employee’s university salary. If financial assistance is received in the form of salary, the University salary will normally be reduced by the amount necessary to bring the total income of the leave period to a level comparable to the employee’s current year salary rate. Employment unrelated to the purpose of the professional development leave is governed by the provisions of Article 19, Conflict of Interest and Outside Activity.  Employment while on leave which is unrelated to the purpose of the leave is governed by applicable outside employment/conflict of interest provisions.

  10. Report Of Leave Activities

      Within 30 days of the leave being completed, the employee must provide to the department chair a concise written report of the employee's accomplishments during the sabbatical. This report must include information regarding the activities undertaken during the sabbatical, the results accomplished during the sabbatical as they affect the employee and the university, and research or other scholarly work produced or expected to be produced as a result of the sabbatical. The report becomes part of the annual evaluation process.

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