Original Issuance Date: May 1977
Last Revision Date: January 12, 2021
1. Policy Purpose
The policy’s purpose is to provide information on eligibility and procedures for the UW System faculty sabbatical program.
2. Responsible UW System Officer
Vice President, Office of Academic and Student Affairs
This policy applies to UW System’s instructional faculty who are eligible to receive sabbatical leave.
The policy is needed to provide information about eligibility, types, conditions, and submission of applications for the faculty sabbatical program. The purpose of the faculty sabbatical program is to enable recipients to be engaged in intensive study in order to become more effective teachers and scholars and to enhance their services to the University. This privilege should be granted to faculty members on the merit of their past academic contributions.
Sabbatical: Sabbatical refers to the professional leave program authorized by Chapter 36.11(17) Wis. Stats.
Sabbatical Leave: Sabbatical leave may be taken by faculty for a period of up to two consecutive academic terms. See Regent Policy Document 20-5, Sabbatical Leave Program for Instructional Faculty.
6. Policy Statement
- A faculty member is eligible for a sabbatical award under the following conditions:
- The faculty member must have completed six or more years of full-time instructional service, or its equivalent, in the UW System and not have taken a sabbatical within the UW System during the previous six years of full-time service, or its equivalent.
- Leaves of absence, regardless of source of funding (including personal resources), will be excluded in determining a faculty member’s years of full-time service.
- Preference shall be given to those making significant contributions to teaching and who have not had a leave of absence, regardless of source of funding, in the previous four years.
- A sabbatical will not be awarded to a faculty member who does not plan to return to the institution from which the leave is granted for at least one academic year of service after the termination of the sabbatical.
B. Types of Sabbatical Leaves
- A faculty member may take a sabbatical leave for up to two consecutive academic terms and receive from the UW university financial support at any level up to sixty-five percent of their full compensation for that period, in accordance with university policies.
- A faculty member may take a sabbatical leave for one academic term and receive from the UW university financial support at any level up to a maximum of their full compensation for that period.
C. Conditions that Govern the Faculty Sabbatical Program
- In the administration of sabbaticals, salary funds generated by academic year sabbatical leaves, leaves without pay, personnel turnover, or by personnel reassignment from GPR support may be used to employ, where necessary, temporary replacement instructional staff to maintain the level and quality of instructional services to students.
- In the administration of faculty sabbaticals, the UW System will report earnings, creditable service, and contributions to the Wisconsin Retirement System at the full-time rate, based on the rate of pay in effect immediately prior to the beginning of the sabbatical. In addition, leave benefits will continue to accrue at the rate in effect immediately prior to the sabbatical.
- A faculty member may receive and is encouraged to seek supplementary grants or other awards while on sabbatical leave, but such compensation, when combined with the amount of institutional compensation, shall not exceed the full compensation normally received from their university for that period.
- Such additional grants or awards may be received by a faculty member only if the conditions for accepting the additional resources do not interfere with the stated purposes of a faculty member’s sabbatical program.
- A faculty member may seek additional support specifically for travel or unusual living expenses incident to the sabbatical program without restriction by the full-compensation maximum (see 6.C.III).
- A faculty member may not use the sabbatical leave to accept other paid employment during the period of the leave, unless as stipulated as a condition of the leave. If so stipulated, 6.C.III is operative.
- A faculty member must specify all grants or other awards applied for or to be received during the leave in his/her application for the sabbatical program.
D. Roles and Responsibilities for Sabbatical Leave Process
- Each UW university will establish the specific application requirements and selection procedures for the faculty sabbatical program in accordance with Chapter 36.11(17) Wis.Stats. The selection procedures should provide joint faculty and administrative review and approval, should ensure faculty proposal selection under nondiscriminatory principles, should account for certification that the quality of program offerings will not be reduced below acceptable standards or that delay or interference with necessary departmental and university functions will not be occasioned by the absence of those faculty on sabbatical leave, and should take into consideration the UW university’s capacity to fiscally support the sabbatical program. The faculty sabbatical application and selection protocol for each university will be placed on file in the UW System Office of Academic and Student Affairs.
- A faculty member must submit a written report outlining his/her accomplishments during the leave within three months of returning to the institution in accordance with the process and format established by the institution. These reports are to be filed and maintained by the Provost and/or Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and be available upon request.
- A faculty member must agree to return to the institution from which leave was granted for at least one academic year of service after the termination of the sabbatical, or repay any compensation (salary, plus the University’s share of fringe benefits) received from his/her institution during the sabbatical.
E. Processes Governing the Faculty Sabbatical
The following guidelines govern the process for sabbatical leave:
- Each institution will establish the specific application requirements and selection procedures for the faculty sabbatical program in accordance with Wisconsin Statutes s. 36.11(17). The selection procedures should provide joint faculty and administrative review and approval, should ensure faculty proposal selection under nondiscriminatory principles, should certify that the quality of program offerings will not be reduced below acceptable standards or that delay or interference with necessary departmental and university functions will not be occasioned by the absence of those faculty on sabbatical leave, and should take into consideration the institution’s capacity to fiscally support the sabbatical program. The faculty sabbatical application and selection protocol for each institution will be placed on file in the UW System Office of Academic and Student Affairs.
- The formal call for faculty sabbatical proposals for the academic year 18 months in the future will be announced by the Chancellors in March of each year. University selections for the faculty sabbatical program should be communicated in writing by the Chancellors to the UW System Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs by November 15 of each year. This communication should contain:
- A brief paragraph abstract of the proposed sabbatical program and a brief updated professional vita.
- A certification by the Chancellor or a designee that the eligibility requirements, compensation arrangements and related conditions of the appointment, and the guidelines for sabbatical award selection as outlined in sections 6A, 6B, and 6C of this policy have been observed in the determination and granting of the awards. Certification must also be made as to the fiscal capability of the UW university to support the number of faculty sabbaticals being granted.
- A description of the source of support for the sabbatical, i.e., collegial coverage, ad hoc appointment, or other.
- Formal announcement of those faculty members receiving sabbatical awards will be made annually by the Provost and/or Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at each university. In addition, the list of sabbatical awards will be shared with the Board of Regents by the UW System Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs in written form in December.
7. Related Documents
UW System Administrative Procedure 160.A, Sabbatical Guidelines (note: this goes to the 16-18 Guidelines)
8. Policy History
Revision 9: January 12, 2021
Revision 8: Summer 2003
Revision 7: Summer 1994
Revision 6: Spring 1989
Revision 5: Spring 1987
Revision 4: Spring 1985
Revision 3: Spring 1984
Revision 2: Spring 1983
Revision 1: September 7, 1979
First Approved: May 1977