Leaves of Absence and Vacation1

Leaves of Absence

In all cases involving leaves of absence for full-time faculty, the following conditions must be set forth in writing prior to approval of the leave request: the duration of the leave and its purposes, the extent to which salary (including merit evaluation during the absence) and fringe benefits will be affected, whether or not (if the date on which the leave is to end is stipulated in advance) the time of the leave will be considered toward tenure and/or toward promotion (where time in rank is a consideration) and sabbatical eligibility, and, if the leave is to delay such consideration, the extent to which the expectation of scholarly productivity in future evaluations will be affected by the time spent on leave.

When any of the leaves of absence listed below, if the effect of the leave on the tenure year was not determined when the leave was approved or, as is often the case with sick leaves, the return date was unknown or only estimated when the leave commenced, result in less than full-time service for at least one academic semester (during which a faculty member is assigned teaching, research/scholarship/creative activity, and/or service responsibilities), a probationary faculty member may petition the Provost to delay tenure consideration by one year. Such petition must be filed within 90 days of the faculty member’s return to full-time service. If the petition is approved, the approval shall include a statement indicating the extent to which the expectation of scholarly productivity in future merit, progress toward tenure, and tenure evaluations will be affected by the time spent on leave.

  1. Professional Leaves

    A faculty member may request a professional leave of absence to engage in career-related activities or study for a period of one year or more with Provostial approval. The college dean and the Provost may approve the leave if it will contribute to the professional growth of the faculty member or will promote the faculty member’s academic contribution to the University. The specific conditions of such leaves are determined on an individual basis. The letter granting the leave should specify any expectations for research during the leave year and, as appropriate, implications for tenure consideration and sabbatical eligibility. Unless otherwise specified in the letter granting a leave, a faculty member on professional leave must return to the University for at least one academic year after completion of the leave. Details of the policies and regulations concerning these leaves are described on the Northeastern University Policies website

  2. Leaves of Absence for Academic Study

    1. Purpose: To enable full-time faculty members to be free of University responsibilities in order to do advanced study in their fields, leading to a terminal degree.
    2. Eligibility: A full-time faculty member shall be eligible for this leave, provided the person has served at least three years as a full-time faculty member of Northeastern University.
    3. Time Limit: It is expected that leaves of absence for academic study will normally not exceed one year.
    4. Method of Application: A faculty member applies, in writing, for such leave to the academic unit head (e.g., school dean, department chair, program director) describing fully the program of study the faculty member would pursue if granted the leave. If the Dean of the College and the academic unit head approve, the request is forwarded to the Provost for final approval.
    5. Full-time faculty members are considered employees of Northeastern University while they are on such leave, and the period of leave is credited as service for purposes of retirement. While the faculty member would receive no salary from the University during this period, the following regulations would continue in force during the leave:
      1. Faculty members are allowed to continue at their own expense in any of the University’s health plans;
      2. Northeastern University continues the Major Medical and life insurance coverage;
      3. Tuition remission benefits continue (including those for family members);
      4. Faculty members must contact Human Resources in advance of their leave to arrange for enrollment in any retirement benefits for which they are eligible under the university’s leave of absence policy;
      5. The time on leave for academic study does not count toward tenure; and
      6. It is expected that faculty members receiving such leaves would return to Northeastern for at least one academic year unless some other mutually satisfactory arrangement is made.
  3. Other Leaves

    Other types of leave include Parental Leave, Family Leave, Medical Leave, and Leaves for Military. Beyond the conditions outlined above for these faculty leaves, details of the policies and regulations regarding these other leaves may be found on the Northeastern University Human Resources Management website and the Northeastern University Policies website.


The vacation policies for members of the full-time faculty who hold appointments on a twelve-month basis can be found on the Northeastern University Human Resources Management website.

  1. Original policy adopted by the Faculty Senate on 4/24/1974; amended by the Faculty Senate on 2/23/1976 and approved by the Board of Trustees on 5/25/1976; amended by the Faculty Senate on 5/19/2003 and approved by the Board of Trustees on 5/9/2009; current language approved by the Faculty Senate on 1/17/2018 and by the Board of Trustees on 4/13/2018.