Eastern Michigan University


Sabbatical Leave Guidelines

I.    General Information

A. Purpose of the Awards
B. Types of Awards
C. Eligibility and Restrictions
D. Components of the Proposal
E. Required Final Report
F. Other Responsibilities and Protections

II.   One Semester Sabbatical

A. Procedures and Internal Calendar for Proposal Submission
B. Procedures for Proposal Evaluation and Feedback
1. Departmental Review
2. College Review
3. University Review
4. Feedback to Applicants

III. Two Semester Sabbatical

A. Procedures and Internal Calendar for Proposal Submission
B. Procedures for Proposal Evaluation and Feedback
1. Departmental Review
2. College Review
3. Feedback to Applicants
4. Feedback to Applicants


I.  General Information


A. Purpose of the Awards

Sabbatical leaves are granted for special study, research, and/or other projects that will enhance the usefulness of the person to the institution, perform service on the local, state, national, or international level, and/or bring prestige to the University.  Endeavors appropriate for consideration as sabbatical leave projects include:

1. Community Service

Faculty may use the leave to help develop programs at the local, state, national, or international level.  For example, a faculty member’s expertise might be used in evaluating and improving existing programs, training personnel in such programs, serving in professional organizations, editing professional journals, or organizing professional meetings, provided that the time and effort required by the project justify the extended time and release from duties afforded by a sabbatical leave.

2. Professional Development

Faculty may increase their skills and effectiveness as teachers, researchers, or creative professionals, or enhance their usefulness to EMU by developing a new specialty, strengthening a current specialty, or continuing their formal education.  The sabbatical leave may be used to pursue a self-designed, structured program of individual study, participate in specialized programs, work with recognized leaders in the field, or pursue graduate, professional, or postdoctoral study including work that is part of a relevant graduate degree program.  Note:  Dissertation research is an option for full-year leaves only.

3. Program Development

The sabbatical leave may be used to develop new teaching techniques, to collect materials for new programs, to develop new ways of presenting material, or to develop new curricula for implementation at EMU, to establish linkages between EMU programs and other organizations, agencies, or institutions, or to survey what is being done at other institutions as models for programs at EMU.

4. Research, Artistic, Scholarly, and Creative Activities

The sabbatical leave may be used to pursue a variety of pure or applied scholarly projects that may be interdisciplinary or focused within a discipline or area of specialization.  Appropriate projects include creation, studies, or critiques of works of art or artistic performances; investigations undertaken to establish facts, principles, and techniques within a discipline; application of the principles and techniques of one discipline to the problems of another; the systematic collection, analysis, and interpretation of data to address a theoretical or practical problem; and preparation of books, articles, lectures, exhibitions, or performances that illuminate interdisciplinary connections or make theories, issues, or methods of the faculty member’s discipline or specialty accessible to wider audiences.

 

B. Types of Awards

There are two types of sabbatical leave:  two semesters and one semester.  The applicant must specify which type of leave is requested and the semester(s) in which the leave would be taken. Regardless of the type of leave requested, the components of the proposal remain the same.

Faculty members may submit proposals for both types of sabbatical leave; however, separate proposals and application forms must be submitted for each type of leave.  Applicants should indicate on each application that both types of leave are being requested.  When proposals for both types of leave are submitted, the scope and timeline of the proposed activity must be appropriate for the length of the leave requested.  Only one type of leave will be awarded.

 

C. Eligibility and Restrictions

1.  Applicants shall be tenure-track faculty who have served the equivalent of 12 or more semesters of regular full-time employment as tenure-track faculty with EMU since the initial appointment and since any previous sabbatical leave.  The elapsed semesters need not be consecutive, but no more than two semesters will be counted from any one fiscal year.

2.  In order to maintain the quality of instructional and research programs, sabbatical leaves shall not be granted to several members of a department concurrently.  Normally, no more than 15 percent of the tenured/tenure-track departmental faculty should be on leave during a given academic year.  Exceptions shall be considered only upon recommendation of the department.

If a faculty member’s ranked position by the University Research and Sabbatical Leave Committee was bypassed by EMU in a previous year because it was determined that his/her absence could not be accommodated by the department because of staffing needs and the sabbatical leave was granted in a subsequent year, the minimum twelve-semester period required between applications is reduced by the number of semesters of postponement.

3.  Time served by a tenure-track faculty member on administrative appointment may be credited toward the 12-semester requirement provided the faculty member has elected to count this time upon return to tenure-track faculty status as stipulated in the EMU-AAUP Master Agreement.

4.  Time served as a department head with faculty rank will count toward eligibility for the sabbatical in accordance with the EMU-AAUP Master Agreement.

5.  Time spent on leave without pay except professional or military leave will not be counted in determining eligibility for a sabbatical leave.  Time spent on professional or military leave may be counted if conditions specified in the EMU-AAUP Master Agreement are met.

6.  A faculty member may not be awarded a Sabbatical Leave and a Faculty Research and Creative Activity Fellowship award during the same competition year (September through April). Faculty who apply in more than one competition and are successful in two or more of these competitions must choose to receive only one award.  Awards that are turned down may be offered to the next highest ranking candidate, but only if that candidate has been recommended by the University Research and Sabbatical Leave Committee for an award, and its approval is granted by the Provost and Executive Vice President.

7.  A sabbatical project must be substantial enough to require a lengthy period of continuous full-time release from normal faculty responsibilities for its successful completion.

8.  Applications from candidates who do not meet eligibility requirements will not be forwarded from the department.  The department head shall seek input from the appropriate department committee regarding concerns about a candidate’s eligibility.

 

D. Components of the Proposal

The proposal narrative must be no longer than 10 numbered pages (double-spaced, single-sided, 12-point font, 1” margins), including the title page/abstract and excluding the application form, evaluations, bibliography, curriculum vitae, attachments, and appendices, which may be single-spaced and double-sided.  The narrative should be written clearly, concisely, and with a minimum of jargon.  Every effort should be made to ensure that the goals, methods, and value of the project can be understood by evaluators who are unfamiliar with the project and the applicant’s field of expertise.

The proposal must contain the following components, in the following order and so labeled:

1.  Application Form

The original application form should be clipped (not stapled) to the front of the proposal.  Be sure to use the current form.

The applicant must supply all requested information including the type of project.  Although some projects may have components that fall into more than one of the four categories described in the Purpose of the Award, candidates should determine the primary focus: community service, professional development, program development, or research/artistic/scholarly/creative activity.  Each type of project is valuable to both the faculty member and the institution, but the value is measured in different ways for different types of projects.  It will be much easier to make a strong case for a project and for the evaluators to assess its likely benefits if a single category is identified and the proposal is written with that in mind.

2.  Ten-Page Narrative

a) Title Page/Abstract

On a separate page, provide a descriptive title for the project and a double-spaced one-paragraph summary of the proposal (this page is considered part of the 10-page narrative).

b) Overview of the Project

The applicant should explain in nontechnical terms what the project will accomplish, and place the project in a context that will help the evaluators understand how it is related both to the purpose of the sabbatical leave award and the background of the applicant.  For example, the context might be the applicant’s creative, scholarly, or teaching goals; department, college, or student interest in a proposed program; history, current practices, or applications in the applicant’s discipline or specialty; interdisciplinary connections and applications; or the match between the needs of a community or professional organization and the applicant’s expertise.  This list is meant to be suggestive, not exhaustive.

c) Goals and Objectives

Describe the goals and objectives of the project in specific terms related to the Purpose of the Award.

d) Project Description:  Use of Time and Resources

Describe how the project will progress and the resources that are needed.  Where possible, provide a realistic timeline or benchmarks.  Applicants whose projects have a research component should include a brief review of the literature and should explain the research methodology.  Enough detail must be included for the evaluators to assess both the need for the extended period of full-time release and the likelihood of the project meeting its stated goals.

Be realistic.  If the period of the sabbatical leave is not sufficient to complete the project, describe what will be done before and during the period of the leave and briefly describe the follow-up that will be necessary afterward.

e) Project Outcomes

What benefits are likely from this project?  What is the value to the applicant, to EMU, or to the wider community?  Be as specific and concrete as possible.  The narrative should establish how project outcomes are related to the stated goals of the project and to the Purpose of the Award.

f) Predictors of a Successful Project:  Applicant Background, Preparation, and Track Record

The proposal narrative must describe the background and qualifications of the applicant that bear directly on the project and, if relevant, the applicant’s access to necessary infrastructure (equipment, supplies, materials, collaborators, expert consultants, and so on).  In addition to specialized knowledge and skills that may be required for the project, the applicant’s track record in completing projects and setting and accomplishing professional goals is an important predictor of success. Accomplishments in any area of professional life (teaching, scholarly/creative activity, service) may be cited to establish the likelihood that the applicant will meet the goals and objectives of the sabbatical leave project, provided that the relevance of the accomplishments is clearly established in the narrative.  If there is a deficiency in the applicant's background related to the proposed project, the applicant should state how this deficiency will be remedied (e.g., working with another person, training or education, use of consultants).  Applicants who propose to conduct research involving human subjects or laboratory animals should attach the necessary application or approval form as an appendix or, if approval has not yet been sought, include in the narrative a statement of intent to seek such approval.

3.  Appendices(not considered part of the ten-page narrative)

Items in the Vita or sections in appended material may be cited and their relevance explained in the proposal narrative.  Neither the required documents nor the materials that applicants choose to provide here should be presumed to speak for themselves.

It is helpful to reviewers if the cited items and sections are highlighted so that they are easy to find.  Applicants may highlight sections of the Vita or other appended materials by underlining, using bold or italic type, placing marks in the margins, or any other means that draw the reader’s eye to the section without sacrificing readability.  The goal is to make it easy for reviewers to locate and read cited material.

Please attach Appendices in the following order:

(1) Required Documents

(i) If a Bibliography or List of References is included, it should include only those works cited in the proposal.

(ii) Vita

A current Vita must be attached.  Where appropriate, applicants may cite specific items or sections of the Vita in the narrative as evidence of preparation or qualifications.  Although there is no page limit or required format, applicants are reminded that reviewers are more likely to find a Vita helpful and relevant if it is succinct and easy to read, and highlights relevant information.

(iii) List of Fellowships, Grants, Awards Applied for or Received

On a separate page, list all grants, fellowships, sabbaticals, or other awards either pending or received over the last seven years.  For each item, specify the funding source, amount of the award, the applicant’s role in the project (principal investigator, co-principal investigator, project administrator, consultant), and the outcome of the proposal (funded/unfunded).  For external awards, provide the ORD project number. 

If no fellowships, grants, or awards have been applied for or received over the past seven years, this page must still be included with the word ‘None’ in the appropriate places.

(iv)  Letters of Permission/Access

If permission to use materials or for access to a lab, archive, or other resources is required to complete the proposed project, the applicant should obtain and append letters granting the necessary permission or access.  Print-outs of e-mail correspondence are acceptable.  Approval forms for research involving human subjects or animals should be included in this section.  External letters (these should be attached as appendices) are appropriate only for the purpose of demonstrating that perceived obstacles to the success of the project have been overcome (e.g., a contract from a publisher; access to work sites or exhibit space, data sets, clinical subjects, supplies and equipment; agreements to collaborate; specialized expert consultation).  Letters of support from colleagues either within or outside the University are neither required nor appropriate.

(v) For two semester sabbaticals where research support funding is being requested, a detailed budget and justification for these funds must be submitted. This should include a breakdown of expenditure by category (travel, equipment, publication costs, salary, etc.) and explanation of the relevance of this expenditure to successfully completing the project.

(2) Optional Supporting Material

Applicants may submit other material that they believe would be helpful to reviewers, but each optional item should be cited individually and its relevance explained in the proposal narrative.

Applicants are asked not to include internal and external letters of support other than the letters of permission/access described above.  If such letters are included, they will be disregarded by the evaluators.

 

E. Required Final Report

1. At the conclusion of the leave the faculty member is required to submit to the University Research and Sabbatical Leave Committee a report detailing the project activities and results.  The report must be received by the Associate Provost no later than the end of the first full semester after the leave was taken.

2.  Reports may be mailed as hard copy; a more convenient and economical alternative is to send your report as an e-mail attachment in Word or PDF format.  The Associate Provost will log the report in as received, and then forward copies to the awardee’s department review committee, department head and college dean, and to the University Library Archives.

3.  The Associate Provost monitors compliance with final-report requirements.  Until a final report is filed, award recipients will not be eligible for future internal funding and, as stated in the EMU-AAUP collective bargaining agreement, may have their pay withheld.  It shall be the responsibility of the Associate Provost to report to the Provost and Executive Vice President regarding appropriate action in the event of a faculty member's failure to submit a final report.

 

F. Other Responsibilities and Protections

1. Return to Service

Faculty members on sabbatical leave shall agree to return to service with EMU for two semesters in the year immediately following expiration of the leave, or to reimburse to EMU an amount equal to the salary and fringe benefits paid by EMU during their leave, unless this obligation is specifically waived or deferred by the President.  In cases of death, accident, or illness causing the faculty member to be unable to return, this obligation shall be waived.

2. Contractual Rights

During a sabbatical leave, an individual’s contracts with the University shall remain unimpaired.  In particular, individuals shall retain the right to vote and have the same opportunity for input as other faculty members who are not on leave, and shall be eligible for all scheduled adjustments and for all other applicable benefits that would have been provided to them by the University if they had not been on leave.

Applicants should be aware that two-semester sabbaticals may impact the amount of retirement contributions because of the reduced salary amount for that period; for details, consult the Office of Academic Human Resources.

 

II. One Semester Sabbatical


A. Procedures and Internal Calendar for Proposal Submission

1.  The applicant must submit one copy of the complete Sabbatical Leave proposal with all required and optional documentation to his/her department head no later than 5:00 p.m. November 1 (or the next working day if the deadline falls on a weekend or holiday).

2.  The internal calendar for submission and review of proposals is as follows:

By November 1                                Proposals submitted to the department head for review by the department head and department review committee. This is a contractual deadline; it must be met.
By November 15 Department review completed:  department committee and department head append evaluation letters assessing the significance and potential contributions of the proposed project, the relevant capabilities of the applicant, and the likelihood that the project will be completed as proposed; proposal with evaluation letters attached is submitted to the college dean for review by the college review committee.
By December 15 College review completed:  proposals, review materials, and evaluations are submitted to the Associate Provost for review by the University Research and Sabbatical Leave Committee.
By January 31 University Research and Sabbatical Leave Committee review completed; recommendations and rankings submitted to the Provost and Executive Vice President.
By March 15 Applicants notified of decision in writing by the Provost and Executive Vice President.  This is a contractual deadline; it must be met.

 

B. Procedures for Proposal Evaluation and Feedback

Proposals are evaluated at the department, college, and university levels as prescribed in Department and College Input Documents and in the EMU-AAUP Master Agreement.  Each of these evaluations is to be based exclusively on the merits of the proposals and the perceived support at previous levels.  All other considerations, such as department staffing needs or contractual eligibility for leave, are treated administratively after the proposal evaluation process is complete and awards have been determined.


1. Departmental Review

The department head will review each application to ensure that it is evaluated on the basis of merit only and that any statements pertaining to staffing needs or eligibility are not included.  Applications from candidates who do not meet eligibility requirements will not be forwarded from the department.  The department head shall seek input from the appropriate department committee regarding concerns about a candidate’s eligibility.

The proposal is reviewed by both the department review committee specified in the Department Input Document and the department head.  Each submits an evaluation letter assessing the significance and potential contributions of the proposed project, the relevant capabilities of the applicant, and the likelihood that the project will be completed as proposed.  Any special merit and/or deficiency of the project should be noted and discussed in these letters.  (Problems related to departmental staffing, eligibility of the applicant, or other concerns unrelated to the merit of the proposal must not be addressed in these letters.)

Copies of both evaluation letters should be appended at the end of the proposal before it is forwarded to the college committee.

Departments are not required to rank applicants; if such rankings are submitted, they cannot substitute for either of the two required evaluation letters.

If departments choose to coach applicants or allow them to rewrite proposals, the process must be complete before the November 1 deadline and each applicant from the department must be given the same opportunity.  The final version of the proposal must be submitted by the contractual deadline, 5:00 p.m., November 1.  Proposals may not be altered after this deadline.


2. College Review

The college dean will review each sabbatical application and review statements to ensure that the application is reviewed on the basis of merit only and that matters pertaining to staffing needs and eligibility are not included.  Members of college review committees will score each proposal using the Sabbatical Leave Award evaluation form.  The individual reviewers’ forms will be collected and both aggregate and average scores will be calculated for each proposal. 

Individual reviewers may deduct up to 10 points for violations of formal requirements.  The committee may vote to classify a proposal that has serious technical violations unacceptable.  The committee may also vote to classify a proposal unacceptable if the proposal does not meet the minimal requirements for the award as outlined in this document.  If a proposal is voted unacceptable by the committee, a letter giving the committee rationale will be attached to the proposal before it is submitted to the University Research and Sabbatical Leave Committee.

The college review committee will rank proposals (except those deemed unacceptable) based either on the aggregate scores from the Sabbatical Leave Award evaluation form or using some other reasonable method.  If a different method is used, it will be formally adopted and communicated to faculty members in the college.  The method must be applied uniformly to all proposals and will be used from year to year.  Each committee member will complete and submit a Sabbatical Leave Award evaluation form for every proposal, even if an alternate method of ranking is used.

The college committee will submit the following to the dean of the college:

  • The Sabbatical Leave Award evaluation form completed by each reviewer.
  • A chart showing aggregate and average scores for each proposal from the individual reviewers’ Sabbatical Leave Award evaluation form.
  • A summary of the college rankings with a description of the ranking procedure.
  • Any additional comments, rationales, or recommendations.

Problems related to staffing, eligibility of the applicant, or other concerns unrelated to the merit of the proposal must not be addressed here.

The college dean will indicate approval and sign each application form.  After sign-off, the dean is responsible for hand-delivering the above materials and copies of all proposals and application forms to the Associate Provost for review by the University Research and Sabbatical Leave Committee.


3. University Review

The University Research and Sabbatical Leave Committee reviews, rates, and ranks all proposals using the Sabbatical Leave Award evaluation form.  Problems related to staffing, eligibility of the applicant, or other concerns unrelated to the merit of the proposal will not be considered by the committee members.

The committee may also vote to recommend against funding a proposal because of reservations about its significance, quality, or value, the ability of the applicant to complete it, incompatibility with the purposes of the award, or for serious technical violations.  If the committee recommends against funding a proposal, a rationale for the recommendation will be included in the recommendation to the Provost and Vice President.

The University Research and Sabbatical Leave Committee forwards its recommendations and rankings to the Provost and Executive Vice President, who makes the final decision and notifies all candidates of the outcome.


4. Feedback to Applicants

The University Research and Sabbatical Leave Committee chair will share with applicants the strengths and weaknesses of their proposal as perceived by reviewers, as well as its score and ranking.   The committee chair will not disclose the scoring forms, written comments, or identities of individual reviewers.

 

III.  Two Semester Sabbatical


Two Semester Sabbatical Leaves will be paid at 50% of salary with up to $12,000 in Research Support (this can be used for equipment, supplies, software, salary, etc.). If such Research Support funding is requested, a detailed budget and justification must accompany the application.

Please note the information given in part I of these guidelines referring to purpose and type of awards, eligibility and restrictions, proposal components, required final report, and responsibilities and protections.


A. Procedures and Internal Calendar for Proposal Submission

1.  The applicant must submit one copy of the complete Sabbatical Leave proposal with all required and optional documentation to his/her department head no later than 5:00 p.m. November 1 (or the next working day if the deadline falls on a weekend or holiday).

2.  The internal calendar for submission and review of proposals is as follows:

By November 1                                    Proposals submitted to the department head for review by the department head and department review committee. This is a contractual deadline; it must be met.
By November 15 Department review completed:  department committee and department head append evaluation letters assessing the significance and potential contributions of the proposed project, the relevant capabilities of the applicant, and the likelihood that the project will be completed as proposed; proposal with evaluation letters attached is submitted to the college dean for college-level review.
By December 15

College review completed:  proposals, review materials, and evaluations are submitted to the Associate Provost for review by the University Research and Sabbatical Leave Committee.

By January 31 University Research and Sabbatical Leave Committee review completed; recommendations and rankings submitted to the Provost and Vice President.
By March 15

Applicants notified of decision in writing by the Provost and Executive Vice President.  This is a contractual deadline; it must be met.

 

B. Procedures for Proposal Evaluation and Feedback

Proposals are evaluated at the department, college, and university levels as prescribed in Department and College Input Documents and in the EMU-AAUP Master Agreement.  Each of these evaluations is to be based exclusively on the merits of the proposals and the perceived support at previous levels.  All other considerations, such as department staffing needs or contractual eligibility for leave, are treated administratively after the proposal evaluation process is complete and awards have been determined.


1. Departmental Review

The department head will review each application to ensure that it is evaluated on the basis of merit only and that any statements pertaining to staffing needs or eligibility are not included.  Applications from candidates who do not meet eligibility requirements will not be forwarded from the department.  The department head shall seek input from the appropriate department committee regarding concerns about a candidate’s eligibility.

The proposal is reviewed by both the department review committee specified in the Department Input Document and the department head.  Each submits an evaluation letter assessing the significance and potential contributions of the proposed project, the relevant capabilities of the applicant, and the likelihood that the project will be completed as proposed.  Any special merit and/or deficiency of the project should be noted and discussed in these letters.  (Problems related to departmental staffing, eligibility of the applicant, or other concerns unrelated to the merit of the proposal must not be addressed in these letters.)

Copies of both evaluation letters should be appended at the end of the proposal before it is forwarded to the college committee.

Departments are not required to rank applicants; if such rankings are submitted, they cannot substitute for either of the two required evaluation letters.

If departments choose to coach applicants or allow them to rewrite proposals, the process must be complete before the November 1 deadline and each applicant from the department must be given the same opportunity.  The final version of the proposal must be submitted by the contractual deadline, 5:00 p.m., November 1.  Proposals may not be altered after this deadline.


2. College Review

The college dean will review each sabbatical application and review statements to ensure that the application is reviewed on the basis of merit only and that matters pertaining to staffing needs and eligibility are not included.  Members of college review committees will score each proposal using the Sabbatical Leave Award evaluation form.  The individual reviewers’ forms will be collected and both aggregate and average scores will be calculated for each proposal. 

Individual reviewers may deduct up to 10 points for violations of formal requirements.  The committee may vote to classify a proposal that has serious technical violations unacceptable.  The committee may also vote to classify a proposal unacceptable if the proposal does not meet the minimal requirements for the award as outlined in this document.  If a proposal is voted unacceptable by the committee, a letter giving the committee rationale will be attached to the proposal before it is submitted to the University Research and Sabbatical Leave Committee.

The college review committee will rank proposals (except those deemed unacceptable) based either on the aggregate scores from the Sabbatical Leave Award evaluation form or using some other reasonable method.  If a different method is used, it will be formally adopted and communicated to faculty members in the college.  The method must be applied uniformly to all proposals and will be used from year to year.  Each committee member will complete and submit a Sabbatical Leave Award evaluation form for every proposal, even if an alternate method of ranking is used.

The college committee will submit the following to the dean of the college:

  • The Sabbatical Leave Award evaluation form completed by each reviewer.
  • A chart showing aggregate and average scores for each proposal from the individual reviewers’ Sabbatical Leave Award evaluation form.
  • A summary of the college rankings with a description of the ranking procedure.
  • Any additional comments, rationales, or recommendations.

Problems related to staffing, eligibility of the applicant, or other concerns unrelated to the merit of the proposal must not be addressed here.

The college dean will indicate approval and sign each application form.  After sign-off, the dean is responsible for delivering the above materials and copies of all proposals and application forms to the Associate Provost for review by the University Research and Sabbatical Leave Committee.

 

3. University Review

The University Research and Sabbatical Leave Committee reviews, rates, and ranks all proposals using the Sabbatical Leave Award evaluation form.  Problems related to staffing, eligibility of the applicant, or other concerns unrelated to the merit of the proposal will not be considered by the committee members.

The committee may also vote to recommend against funding a proposal because of reservations about its significance, quality, or value, the ability of the applicant to complete it, incompatibility with the purposes of the award, or for serious technical violations.  If the committee recommends against funding a proposal, a rationale for the recommendation will be included in the recommendation to the Provost and Vice President.

The University Research and Sabbatical Leave Committee forwards its recommendations and rankings to the Provost and Executive Vice President, who makes the final decision and notifies all candidates of the outcome.

4. Feedback to Applicants

The University Research and Sabbatical Leave Committee chair will share with applicants the strengths and weaknesses of their proposal as perceived by reviewers, as well as its score and ranking.   The committee chair will not disclose the scoring forms, written comments, or identities of individual reviewers.

Revised 05/13

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