Sabbatical Policy

Recommended By
Academic Senate
Ruben Armiñana, President
Issue Date
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Current Issue Date
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Effective Date
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Contact Office
Academic Affairs
Policy number

Replaces 2007 Sabbatical and DIP Policy 

  1. Preamble
    1. sabbatical leave shall be for purposes that provide a benefit to the CSU, such as research, scholarly and creative activity, instructional improvement or faculty retraining. (Collective Bargaining Agreement 27.1). The CBA allows for two kinds of sabbaticals: one semester at full-time or two semesters at 1/2 time. All sabbatical requests will be reviewed according to merit and programmatic needs. (See also Difference in Pay (DIP) Policy.)
    2. SSU shall grant no fewer than twelve percent (12%) of the total number of campus faculty unit employees eligible to apply for a one semester leave, but one-year sabbaticals are not subject to this 12% limit.
  2. Eligibility
    1. A full-time faculty unit employee shall be eligible for a sabbatical leave if s/he has served full-time for six (6) years at that campus in the preceding seven (7) year period prior to the leave and at least six (6) years after any previous sabbatical leave or difference in pay leave. Credit granted towards the completion of the probationary period for service elsewhere shall also apply towards fulfilling the eligibility requirements for a sabbatical. A leave of absence without pay or service in an academic administrative appointment excluded from the bargaining unit shall not constitute a break in service for eligibility requirements. (CBA 27.2)
    2. Faculty Affairs will notify faculty eligible for sabbaticals by the end of the Spring semester prior to the fall deadline for applications.
  3. Application
    1. An application for a sabbatical leave consists of a statement of the purpose of the sabbatical, a description of the proposed project and the SSU resources, if any, necessary to carry it out, and a statement of the time requested, which shall not exceed one (1) year. (CBA 27.3). A final report from the previous sabbatical, if any, shall be included with the application.
    2. The applicant must also submit to Faculty Affairs a suitable bond or an accepted statement of assets and/or a promissory note that is individually or collectively at least equal to the amount of salary paid during the leave. (CBA 27.9)
    3. The applicant submits the complete application packet to Faculty Affairs, which will forward the materials to the University Reappointment, Tenure, and Promotion Subcommittee (URTPS) chair and the applicant's Department Chair.
    4. An application is reviewed on the basis of its quality (section 4.1.3), on its impact to department curriculum and operations (section 4.2.1), and on programmatic and budget implications (section 4.3.1.)
    5. By the end of Spring semester each year. Faculty Affairs will disseminate timelines for the following academic year's sabbatical proposal submission, review and notification.
  4. Levels of Review:
    1. University RTP Subcommittee:
      1. The URTPS is elected by probationary and tenured faculty unit employees.
      2. A faculty unit employee applying for a sabbatical leave shall not be eligible for reviewing sabbatical applications at any level.
      3. URTPS' review shall use the following criteria in their evaluation and ranking of sabbatical proposals: merit of the project (40%); nature of and quality of the applicant's past service to the university (30%); and years of eligibility since the last sabbatical leave at Sonoma State University (30%).
      4. From this review, a ranked list of recommendations of sabbatical requests for each School and the Library are submitted to each appropriate Dean.
      5. The ranked recommendation for all applicants from across the campus shall be submitted to the President (or designee).
    2. Department Chair:
      1. The Department Chair shall forward the proposal along with a written statement to the Dean of the School or Library regarding possible effects on the curriculum and operation of the department should the sabbatical be granted. (CBA 27.6)
    3. Dean:
      1. The Dean of a School or Library shall consider recommendations from the URTPS and Departments and add a statement on program needs and budget implications should the sabbatical be granted. (CBA 27.7)
      2. If a candidate is deemed indispensable, the Dean and the Department Chair, together with the candidate, shall devise an action plan to accommodate the applicant for the next sabbatical evaluation cycle.
      3. The statement from the Dean of a School or Library shall be submitted to the President (or designee), along with the Department Chair's recommendation.
    4. President (or designee):
      1. The President (or designee) will consider input from all levels of review prior to making a final determination regarding a sabbatical leave. (CBA 27.8)
      2. Upon final approval of a sabbatical leave, the President (or designee) will respond in writing to the applicant and shall include the reasons for approval or denial. If a sabbatical leave is granted, the response shall include any conditions of such a leave. A copy of this response shall be provided to the affected department, School/Library Dean, and the URTPS. (CBA 27.8)
      3. Once notified of the decision, a candidate may confer with the URTPS Chair regarding the review of his or her proposal.
  5. Terms of Leave
    1. A sabbatical leave may be granted for one semester (four months for 12 month employees) at full salary or for two semesters at 1/2 salary (eight months for 12 month employees) to eligible employees.
    2. A sabbatical of two (2) semesters may be implemented within two (2) consecutive years, subject to additional review by the appropriate faculty committee, administrators and approval of the President.
    3. A faculty unit employee shall render service to the CSU upon return from a sabbatical leave at the rate of one (1) term of service for each term of leave. (CBA 27.17)
    4. Faculty members on sabbatical leave shall not accept additional and/or outside employment without prior approval of the President and the justification must be clearly outlined in the sabbatical proposal. (CBA 27.15)
    5. Faculty members are required to submit a report at the end the end of their sabbatical summarizing the progress of their sabbatical project. (CBA 27.16) This report will be added to the Personnel Action File and will be posted online by Faculty Affairs.
    6. Faculty on sabbatical leave shall be considered in work status and shall receive health, dental and appropriate fringe benefits provided by the CSU in the same manner as if s/he were not on sabbatical leave. (CBA 27.13) Less than full time leave may have an impact on PERS retirement benefits. Consult PERS for details.
    7. Faculty on sabbatical leave shall be entitled to accrue sick leave, vacation, and service credit toward service salary increase eligibility, eligibility toward promotion, if applicable, and seniority. (CBA 27.14)
  6. Other information
    1. Professional Leave Committee (CBA 27.5) – a University wide committee of tenured faculty unit employees. At SSU the University Reappointment, Tenure, and Promotion Subcommittee (URTPS) serves as the Professional Leave Committee.
    2. The CBA reserves some rights and responsibilities to the "Appropriate Administrator" in the Sabbatical Leave Policy. At SSU, the Deans will serve as appropriate administrator.
    3. The CBA states that the President may delegate his or her authority for reviewing recommendations from all parties and making final decisions.

Updated May 1, 2012 by