This policy applies to UW System’s instructional faculty who are eligible to receive sabbatical leave.


UW System’s sabbatical leave program recognizes and enhances the efforts of UW System’s faculty by awarding recipients with up to one year of professional leave to engage in intensive scholarship and research. The UW System Faculty Sabbatical Leave Program provides in-depth study opportunities for faculty members and offers opportunities for faculty in all disciplines to acquire and develop new knowledge in their fields and incorporate them into their classroom activities.

Policy Statement

It is the policy of the Board of Regents to grant leave of up to one year to any member of UW System’s instructional faculty who meet eligibility requirements under s. 36.11(17), Wis. Stats., and are selected to receive sabbatical under procedures established by the System President and the faculty member’s institution. The Board delegates authority to UW chancellors to approve sabbaticals, consistent with the procedures established by the System President and each institution.

As required under s. 36.11(17), Wis. Stats., sabbatical leave shall be limited to the following purposes: (1) enhancing teaching, course and curriculum development; or (2) conducting research or any other scholarly activities related to instructional programs within the field of expertise of the faculty member taking such leave.

Consistent with s. 36.11 (17) (f), Wis. Stats., faculty members taking a sabbatical leave shall agree to return to the institution from which the leave was granted for at least one year after the termination of the sabbatical. Faculty members who fail to return to the institution shall return any compensation received from the UW System or the UW institution during the sabbatical.

The System President shall establish systemwide policies and procedures to establish eligibility guidelines for sabbatical and administer UW System’s sabbatical leave program consistent with the provisions of s. 36.11(17), Wis. Stats., and with any other applicable laws and policies.

Oversight, Roles, and Responsibilities

The UW System Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs shall be responsible for developing systemwide policies and procedures, which shall be subject to the approval by the System President. The UW System Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs shall also provide systemwide administrative oversight of the UW System’s sabbatical leave program.

Each UW Chancellor shall establish specific application requirements and selection procedures, along with any other institutional policies and procedures as needed to administer the faculty sabbatical leave program in accordance with applicable statutes, this policy, and UW System policy.

Related Regent Policy Documents and Applicable Laws

  • Section 36.11 (17), Wis. Stats., “Sabbatical Leave for Instructional Faculty”
  • Section 36.115, Wis. Stats., “Personnel systems.”
  • UWS 3, Wis. Admin. Code, “Faculty Appointments”


History: Res. 2773, adopted 03/11/1983, replaced Regent Policy Documents 76-2 and 77-1 with Regent Policy Document (RPD) 83-1, subsequently renumbered RPD 20-5. Res. 10835, adopted 03/09/2017, authorized technical corrections to RPD 20-5. Res. 11354, adopted 12/06/2019, rescinded and replaced RPD 20-5.

See Also:

SYS 160, The Faculty Sabbatical Program (formerly ACPS 3.3)

SYS 1210, Vacation, Paid Leave Banks, and Vacation Cash Payouts (formerly BN 1)

SYS 1212, Sick Leave (formerly BN 3)

UW System Human Resources Practice Directive BN A, Faculty Sabbatical Program (formerly BN 10)

[UW System Administrative policies are included for reference and are separate from Regent Policy Documents adopted by the Board.]