The purpose of the sabbatical leave program is to provide professional growth for the tenured faculty member and to promote the faculty member’s academic contributions to the University. The award of a sabbatical leave is a privilege and is not guaranteed. To secure a sabbatical leave, the faculty member must have an approved program of activities that furthers the fulfillment of the program’s purposes as described more fully below.
Faculty members are eligible to apply for sabbatical leave if at the proposed start of the leave they will have tenure, are in good standing (that is, faculty member who is not in the midst of any disciplinary actions), will hold the rank of Associate Professor or above, and, will have served at least six years as a full-time Northeastern University faculty member. Once a sabbatical leave has been taken, a faculty member will only become eligible again after having served another six academic years as a full-time faculty member at Northeastern University, beginning with the end of the previous sabbatical leave. If a leave has been postponed or deferred for the administrative convenience of the Unit or College but is subsequently granted, the six-year eligibility period for subsequent leave will commence at the time when the postponed or deferred leave would originally have ended.
Sabbatical Leave Plan and Compensation
Faculty members must specify one of two plans for their sabbatical leave: (1) two semesters at 50 percent of the faculty member’s academic year salary or (2) one semester at 100 percent of the faculty member’s academic year salary. Faculty members whose locus of tenure resides in a College or School that operates on a quarter calendar, must specify either of two plans: (1) three quarters at 50 percent of the faculty member’s academic year salary or (2) one and one-half quarters at 100 percent of the faculty member’s academic year salary. A faculty member cannot be compensated for more than 100% of their academic year salary when taking a two-semester sabbatical leave without prior approval from the Provost. Both summer terms in the same calendar year are counted together as one semester for any faculty member whose base contract includes the full summer as one of their two semesters.
Faculty members continue to receive the following fringe benefits during the sabbatical leave:
- medical, dental, life, and disability insurance, unless it is covered by the temporary employer;
- group medical plan, if the faculty member continues regular contributions, either on a monthly or prepaid basis for the leave period.
- if participating in the retirement program, the University will match up to 10 percent of the portion of the individual’s sabbatical salary provided the faculty member contributes a minimum of 5 percent of the same salary; and
- tuition remission benefits for family, and dependent care assistance if the faculty member will be paid through Northeastern University for the duration of the leave.
Application for and Approval of Sabbatical Leave Process and Schedule
Each College will have a sabbatical leave committee that evaluates all proposals for leave in the College and provides leave recommendations to the dean. The composition of the committee, the criteria for evaluation of sabbatical leave proposals, and the evaluation process will be determined by procedures approved by the faculty of the Unit, the Dean, and the Provost.
The sabbatical leave applicant must submit a proposal containing a detailed plan of the leave’s activities, objectives, and location, a timetable indicating the beginning and ending leave dates, a statement identifying all sources of leave funds, and a statement concerning other essential arrangements (benefits, etc.), where the applicant will be a visitor to another organization.
The proposal, and the unit head’s recommendation, when appropriate, shall be submitted, on or before November 15, to the college sabbatical committee for evaluation. Based on the evaluation, the Committee will make a recommendation to the Dean of the College. The Dean of the College, in turn, will forward a recommendation to the Provost, together with the Committee’s recommendation. The Provost’s recommendation is submitted to the President for final action.
Each academic year, before the end of spring semester, the College Dean will notify all faculty members who are or will be eligible for sabbatical leave that they may apply in the following academic year. These faculty members will also be provided with a report that indicates, for the College’s previous year sabbatical program, the number of faculty members who were eligible, the number who actually applied, and the number of leaves granted.
At the same time, the Provost will establish the timeline for consideration of sabbatical applications and transmittal of recommendations from each step. This timeline will be distributed to eligible faculty members with the Dean’s notification in spring semester.
Applicants for sabbatical leave shall be notified of the President’s decision by January 15 of the academic year before the leave is to begin. The Provost may authorize consideration of an eligible faculty member’s sabbatical application outside of the timeline. Applicants whose sabbatical application is denied, postponed, or deferred may appeal to the Provost within two weeks of notification.
Obligations to Northeastern University
Upon returning to Northeastern University after the sabbatical leave, the faculty member will submit a written report of the sabbatical leave activities to the Dean, with a copy to the unit head. In addition, faculty members must resume their usual duties at the University for at least one academic year following the completion of the sabbatical leave.
- Original policy adopted by the Faculty Senate on 4/24/1974; amended by the Faculty Senate on 2/23/1976 and approved by 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.