C200: Sabbatical Leave

Policy(Approved by Faculty on 3/12/74, 4/8/75 and 5/10/78; approved by Regents on 3/14/74, 2/1/75, 5/18/75, 8/29/78 and 5/14/04; approved by Faculty on 4/3/04 and 5/14/04)

1. The principle of sabbatical leave has been approved by the Faculty and the Regents of the University as a basic policy. Faculty who qualify have the right to apply for sabbatical leave. Its main purpose is to encourage professional growth and increased competence among faculty members by subsidizing significant research, creative work, or some other program of study that is judged to be of equivalent value.

2. The plan provides several options of sabbatical leave for service in the University under certain conditions enumerated below. It is understood, however, that such leave will not be granted automatically upon the expiration of the necessary period of service. Rather, the faculty member shall present, as part of the application, evidence of recent sound research, creative activity, or other academic achievement, including publications, to support the program of work which is planned for the sabbatical period. Also, this program shall give reasonable promise of accomplishing the major purpose of the leave, cited in item (1) above. Sabbatical leave will not be granted to subsidize graduate work or work on advanced degrees.

3. Sabbatical leaves will be approved only with the clear understanding that the faculty member will at the completion of the sabbatical return to the University for a period of service at least as long as the duration of the leave.

4. One-semester leaves ordinarily shall be taken in Semester II when loads and enrollments are lighter.

5. As a general rule, the regular faculty members of the department concerned will be expected to absorb the teaching load of the individual on leave, and the departmental chairperson (or the dean in non-departmentalized colleges) shall present with each recommendation for sabbatical a statement of the planning in this regard. A department may, for example, decide to alternate courses or to cancel certain offerings. Further, it is expected that the department shall prepare its program over a period of years so that essential courses need not be neglected because of the temporary absence of a member of the staff.

6. To avoid averse effects on the educational objectives of individual departments, the administration finds it necessary to place a practicable limit on the number of sabbatical leaves granted in any one department for any one semester or academic year (see footnote #1 below). Sabbatical leaves will be granted according to the following criteria:

(a) Normally the number of concurrent sabbatical leaves in any one department* shall not exceed one-seventh (1/7) of the tenured members of the department (rounded to the next higher whole number) or one-tenth (1/10) of the budgeted FTE faculty members (rounded to the next higher whole number), whichever is larger.
(b) The number of concurrent sabbatical leaves in any department* may be held below the maximum permitted in paragraph 6(a) if in the judgment of the chairperson, dean, and Deputy Provost such restriction is necessary in order that the program of the department* not be adversely affected. The sabbatical leave request for any qualified faculty member may not be denied more than twice for this reason.
(c) The number of concurrent sabbatical leaves in any department* may exceed the normal maximum only if in the judgment of the Provost/Vice President for Health Sciences (VPHS) extraordinary circumstances warrant it.
(d) Recognizing that small departments* often are penalized by their inability to absorb the academic loads of faculty on leave, the administration will establish a mechanism to permit appointment of temporary or part-time faculty in departments* with seven (7) or fewer faculty FTE at such times as members of the departments* may be granted sabbatical leave.

7. Other conditions having been fulfilled, it is general practice that requests for leave be considered on the basis of length of service.

8. Approval of Application: Primary responsibility for determining the merit of a proposed program from the point of view of the validity of the program and the probable value of the program to the faculty member and to the University lies in the department and should be accomplished by a departmental committee. The departmental chairperson shall forward to the dean the departmental evaluation together with the chair's recommendation and a statement as to how the teaching obligations of the department will be achieved in the event the proposal is approved. The dean with the advice of a college-wide faculty committee, shall then evaluate the proposal both on its merits and on its effect on the operation of the college. The dean shall then send the departmental and college recommendations to the Deputy Provost so that the original and one copy of the proposal together with all recommendations shall reach that office by February 1 for a leave commencing in Semester I of that year and by October 1 for a leave commencing in Semester II of the following year. The Provost/VPHS shall verify that the applicant is eligible for the proposed leave and that provisions of this Policy have been properly followed.

The Deputy Provost shall then forward all materials to the Provost/VPHS who shall in turn forward them to the President with an evaluation of the proposed leave from a university-wide point of view. The President makes the final decision.

9. Appeal: If at any stage of the approval process, the applicant believes that his or her proposal has not been considered properly according to the provisions of this Policy, that matters of academic freedom are involved, that improper considerations have entered into a negative decision, or that other demonstrable conditions prevented a fair and impartial evaluation, he or she may appeal to the Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure for a review of the matter. If the applicant succeeds in making a prima facie case in the opinion of the Committee at one of its meetings, a five-member panel shall be designated to conduct a formal hearing on the matter on the basis of the grounds enumerated above and following the provisions of Sections 6.2 of the Policy on Academic Freedom and Tenure. The panel shall deliver its findings together with its recommendation to the Provost/VPHS for forwarding to the President.

10. Sabbatical leave is available under the following four options (see footnote #2 below) to any faculty member with tenure or to any faculty member in the last year of the probationary period for whom a favorable decision has been reached with regard to tenure. Those options should be discussed with the departmental chairperson, and the application should indicate the option desired. After any period of at least three years of full-time service at the University of New Mexico.

1. One semester at 2/3 salary for that semester.
After any period of at least six years of full-time service (or equivalent part-time service) at the University of New Mexico without a sabbatical:
2. One semester at no reduction in annual salary.
3. One full academic year at 2/3 salary.
4. Semester II of one year and Semester I of the following year, at 2/3 salary for each semester of leave.

11. See item 2 under Statement of Policy Concerning Leaves Without Pay for length of sabbatical or combination of sabbatical and leave without pay.

12. Time toward each new sabbatical begins immediately after return to full-time service regardless of the semester of return.

13. Sabbatical leave is counted toward retirement. While a person is on sabbatical leave, the University will continue to pay its share toward retirement, group insurance, and Social Security benefits.

14. Upon returning to the University, every faculty member granted a sabbatical leave shall submit promptly to the Deputy Provost, with copies to department chairperson and dean, a full report of the research, creative work, publications, or other results of the period of leave. The report submitted to the Deputy Provost shall be deposited in the faculty member's personnel file.


See the Faculty Contracts Sabbatical Leave Form.

*programs, colleges or non-departmentalized schools.

1. In addition, those faculty members who receive all or part of their salaries directly from agencies outside the University will be granted sabbatical privilege with salary guaranteed only to the extent of UNM funding of the previous year, or 2/3 of that amount as appropriate; full funding is possible only when funds are available within the UNM budget.

2. When a faculty member is employed on a continuing basis on a 12-month contract, sabbatical leave options can be translated from "semester" to "6-month period" and from "academic year" to "12-month period." Faculty members on 12-month contracts may not accrue annual leave while on sabbatical leave.

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