Sabbatical Leaves

Sabbatical leave is granted by the University to full-time tenure-track or tenured assistant, associate, and full professors, to full-time, continuing non-tenure track faculty (see "Non-Tenure Track Faculty") and to administrators holding academic rank, with either or both of the following aims: (1) to provide time for research or other professional or creative activity; (2) to provide time for improvement of instructional materials and techniques or their administration. (Rev. Provost's Office, 12/96)

Sabbatical leave is not automatic. The justification of a sabbatical leave is determined primarily on the basis of a written proposal outlining the nature of the program to be undertaken and the benefits to the individual and to the University that may reasonably be expected. The department chair (or other appropriate administrative officer) meeting with a departmental committee to examine the proposals, shall determine their academic merits. Proposals may be rejected because of lack of merit or low priority or may be deferred because of staffing problems.

Faculty members on sabbatical leave are not eligible for extra compensation for teaching in Continuing Education or other similar assignments.

Qualifications for Sabbatical Leave: Apart from the merits of the written proposals, qualifications for obtaining sabbatical leave are as follows: (Rev. Fac. Sen. 4/95)

  • The applicant shall have been a full-time member of the faculty (or a full-time administrator holding academic rank) for six full years to be eligible for sabbatical leave salary option "a" (see Compensation section); or for three full years for sabbatical leave salary option "b" (see Compensation section).
  • The applicant shall hold a tenure-track or tenured appointment at the rank of assistant, associate, or full professor, or shall hold a full-time, continuing non- tenure track appointment. (Rev. Provost's Office, 12/96)
  • Leaves of absence without pay exceeding ninety days shall not be counted toward the minimum number of years for eligibility; neither shall they be counted adversely as in any way disqualifying a candidate's application for sabbatical leave or seriously affecting the recommendation for such leave.
  • The credit toward a sabbatical leave does not begin to accumulate until the beginning of the next appointment semester after returning from a sabbatical leave. (Rev. Fac. Sen. 11/95)
  • Research and extension personnel paid wholly from other than University funds are not eligible to apply for sabbatical leaves.

The award of Fulbright-Hays, Guggenheim, NSF, ACLS, or other extramural grants from appropriately accredited agencies shall not be construed as disqualifying a candidate for sabbatical leave; on the contrary, it may be taken, in part, as endorsing his application. Teaching appointments, especially abroad, shall also be regarded as a positive recommendation, except in the case of Fulbright-Hays lectureships, where faculty members may not agree to teach more than half-time while on sabbatical leave.

Occasionally, it may be necessary for the University to postpone the award of an acceptable sabbatical leave request for reasons that have nothing to do with the specific merits of the application itself. In the event of postponement or deferment of sabbatical leave by the University administration, the intervening period shall be counted toward the accrued time required for the next sabbatical leave application. On the other hand, if a faculty member delays the application until after the normal period has elapsed, he or she may not claim the intervening time toward another sabbatical leave request.

Application Procedure: Faculty must submit sabbatical applications using an electronic form.  Applications for sabbaticals are made through the department chair. Applications must include an outline of activities to be engaged in while on leave and a statement indicating how the leave will promote the faculty member's professional development and benefit the University of Delaware. Each case is considered individually, but in general, approval is limited to those applications that present a well thought through plan of study, research, travel, or other activity clearly related to the faculty member's professional field and duties at the University of Delaware.  (Rev., Provost's Office, 11/97).

Applications for full-year sabbatical leave should reach the department chair approximately twelve months before the leave period either in September or January, depending on when the one-year sabbatical will be initiated; notification of the action on the grant shall be made not later than the first Friday in December or May following the request for sabbatical. Applications for half-year sabbaticals should reach department chairs by either mid- September or the first Friday in February, depending upon the period for which the leave is requested, but in either case, approximately twelve months before the leave period; notification of the action shall be made not later than the first Friday in December or the first Friday in May following. The importance of early application and early notification for the University and for the individual faculty member cannot be overemphasized. Applications received with less than the lead time indicated may be accepted, but the disadvantages of risking later notification or lower priority rating should be recognized.

The department chair, in consultation with the appropriate committee, will evaluate the proposal and will indicate to the dean the rating of the project and the manner proposed to absorb or fill the vacancy thus created. The dean will study all aspects of the recommendations and make the final determination concerning the leave and copy the Provost. The applicant shall be notified of the action at each level of administrative review. Any exceptions concerning the terms and conditions of a sabbatical leave require the approval of the Provost.

Sabbatical Periods: Most faculty are on 9-month academic year appointments, with a September 1 contract renewal date. While the salaries of 9-month faculty are paid over the full 12 month period, workload is assigned only during the fall and spring semesters of the academic year. To make it convenient for faculty on 9-month academic year appointments, half the appointment year is interpreted as one semester.  This enables faculty who select this option to teach during winter session without requesting a special waiver of the University policy against additional compensation for teaching during sabbaticals.  

Faculty on 9-month appointments who select a full year sabbatical are eligible to earn up to 3/9ths from externally supported grants so long as that work is part of the approved sabbatical proposal.

Faculty on continuing 9 plus 1 and 9 plus 2 appointments may extend semester sabbaticals for one or two months during the summer respectively.

For faculty on fiscal year appointments with a contract renewal date of July 1, half year appointments may be either July 1 to December 31 or January 1 to June 30.

Compensation: The following sabbatical leave salary options are available to the University of Delaware faculty (Revised 5/00): 

Option A After six appointment years of full-time service, one year at 75% of salary, or one-half an appointment year at full salary will be granted. (Revised via AAUP contract negotiation, 3/99)
Option B
After three appointment years of full-time service, one-half an appointment year at half salary will be granted.
Option C Faculty holding named professorships or named chairs receive full salary for leave options (a.) or (b.)

Inasmuch as the faculty member on leave is still considered to be a full-time employee, all University of Delaware regulations and benefits shall apply to the recipient while on sabbatical leave. The University and the recipient shall both continue to carry on respective financial responsibilities for group life insurance, retirement (TIAA/CREF or Fidelity Investments), hospitalization and major medical insurance, and other benefits. However, if a recipient participating in the University Retirement plan wishes, he or she may elect to reduce the premium in the same proportion and for the same period as the total salary is reduced while on leave. In all instances, however, the University premium payments will remain at their usual level.

The recipient of a sabbatical leave is required to return to the University of Delaware for at least one full year's service at the conclusion of a sabbatical earned after six year's service, or one-half year at the conclusion of a sabbatical awarded after three years' service. If a faculty member resigns during or at the completion of a sabbatical leave, he or she must return to the University the salary that was received while on that particular leave.   

Accountability: Upon return, recipients of sabbatical leaves shall submit a written report to their department chair and dean (or appropriate administrative officer) summarizing their activities and accomplishments. Subsequent sabbatical leave requests may be evaluated, in part, on the basis of the achievements during previous sabbatical leaves. Therefore, any concrete indications of the value of the sabbatical leave (books or articles published, renewed requests for services, etc.) should be submitted as and when they become available for inclusion or notation in the faculty member's personnel file in the chair's office.