In strictly meritorious cases, a full-time faculty member on regular appointment at any of the Regents institutions of higher education who has served continuously for a period of six years or longer at one or more of these institutions, may, at the convenience of the institution and upon the approval of the president or chancellor of the institution with which connected, be granted not to exceed one such leave of absence for each period of regular employment for the purpose of pursuing advanced study, conducting research studies, or securing appropriate industrial or professional experience; such leave shall not be granted for a period of less than one semester nor for a period of more than one year, with reimbursement being made according to the following schedule:
A faculty member applying for sabbatical leave is required to file an official Application for Sabbatical Leave and sign a Sabbatical Leave Agreement by which he or she agrees to return to Wichita State University for a period of at least one year immediately following expiration of the period of leave. In the event of failure to return, the faculty member agrees to refund all sabbatical pay, or, on failure to remain for at least one year, to refund that portion of sabbatical pay which is in proportion to the amount of time not served as required by the agreement.
Sabbatical leave requests should be prepared on official forms which are available on the Office of Academic Affairs web page. Leave requests are due in the deans' offices no later than the last Friday in September and in the Office of Academic Affairs no later than the second Friday of October of the academic year preceding the proposed leave. Leave requests are then referred to the Faculty Support Committee (FSC), a committee whose charge is to review leave proposals in terms of merit, solicit additional information where needed, and make ranked recommendations to the Provost and Senior Vice President who performs the final evaluation. Each applicant is informed of University action on his/her sabbatical leave request on the third Friday in January.
Procedures and policies established for sabbatical leaves are as follows:
The scope of activities that may be undertaken by WSU faculty on sabbatical leaves is quite broad, encompassing not only the traditional purpose of scholarly research, but the more nontraditional purposes of professional development or redevelopment. At WSU, leaves have been granted for advanced study, for specific research projects, for creative projects, for curriculum/instructional development, for residencies to observe the programs and methods of other institutions, for travel related to academic and professional development, for occupational experience designed to enhance professional qualifications, and many other similar purposes. Work toward a graduate degree does not normally qualify as an acceptable program for a sabbatical leave.
Sabbatical leave programs properly serve the interests of the faculty member and the university as a whole. Faculty who have accumulated service with the University benefit from having a period away from normal campus obligations in order to pursue special interests or projects related to their professional lives. The period of renewal offered by such leave also benefits the University, which welcomes back at the conclusion of a successful leave a faculty member with new ideas, enthusiasm, and accomplishments.
The sabbatical leave application process contains some features designed to enhance the probability of successful sabbatical leaves. In the application materials, faculty are asked to demonstrate special aptitude for their proposed projects, indicating previous professional or scholarly work related to the area of activity proposed for the leave. Sufficient documentation must be presented to enable the University to conclude that the goals of the leave probably will be accomplished and that the project cannot be completed without such a leave.
A particular concern of the University is the difficulty of granting leaves to faculty in small departments. A disproportionate negative effect may be felt by students and colleagues when a faculty member who is the only person with programmatic expertise needed on a regular basis by the department takes a sabbatical or other type of leave. Faculty in small departments, therefore, need to plan their leaves in advance, and obtain assurance from their department and college that arrangements can be made to cover their responsibilities while absent. As previously indicated, Regents policy limits the number of sabbatical leaves in any fiscal year to not more than four percent of the equivalent full-time faculty with rank of instructor or higher. The University further stipulates that the number of leaves in any fiscal year may not be so great in any department, division, or college, or on the campus as a whole, as to disrupt the continued and regular course offerings, or to affect the quality of education offered to the students. Final approval of the sabbatical leave for a faculty member being reviewed for continuous tenure is contingent upon the awarding of tenure. Questions regarding the sabbatical leave policies and procedures of the University may be addressed to the Provost and Senior Vice President.
December 9, 2015
March 18, 2016