Operating Procedures for Requesting Sabbatical Leave

These procedures support the policy on Sabbatical Leaves (I.A.5) at Purdue West Lafayette. Refer to the policy for contact information and definitions.

Effective date: July 1, 2022

Submit the Request

Faculty members must complete the following steps at least one semester prior to the proposed start of the sabbatical leave. If the faculty member has two concurrent appointments, they must request leave for both positions.

  1. Review the policy on Sabbatical Leaves (I.A.5) and verify that they meet the minimum term of service requirement. If granted the leave, the faculty member agrees to a minimum of one complete year of service following their return, per the policy.
  2. Meet with their Department/School Head to discuss the scope of the work and coverage of campus duties. Note that it is the Department/School Head’s responsibility to arrange departmental schedules to permit eligible faculty to take sabbatical leave while minimizing (1) disruption to the academic program and (2) the cost of substitute instruction.
  3. Prepare a written application for evaluation by their Department/School Head, Dean, and Provost (or designee). The application will be evaluated on the merit of the proposed work and the benefit it will have for both the faculty member and the University. Include the following in the application:
    1. Executive summary: Provide a brief nontechnical overview of the goal of the sabbatical, the work to be accomplished, and the location where the work will be done.
    2. Project description: Describe the purpose, goals, significance, approach, specific plans, and potential impact of the proposed sabbatical work. Identify what form the results will take and how they will be shared with others. Include letters of invitation, where appropriate.
    3. Sabbatical justification: Describe how the sabbatical project will contribute to their personal scholarly professional development and how the leave will benefit Purdue University. Emphasize how the sabbatical will increase the value of their further services to the university.
    4. Coverage plan for sponsored projects and graduate students/other direct reports: Identify how their sponsored projects will be managed while they are on sabbatical, including an oversight plan for each of their active projects and any anticipated changes in the project(s) scope. Identify how their graduate students and other direct reports will be managed while they are on sabbatical.
    5. Curriculum vitae.
    6. Report on activities and accomplishments from prior sabbatical: Faculty who took sabbatical leave after July 2022 and do not have a copy of the report from that leave to submit with their next application are not eligible to take future sabbaticals.
  4. Read, agree to, and submit all requests and forms arising from applicable university policies, including:
    1. Conflicts of Commitment and Reportable Outside Activities (III.B.1)
    2. Individual Financial Conflicts of Interest (III.B.2)
    3. Intellectual Property (I.A.1)
  5. Submit the following electronically (via SuccessFactors):
    1. Complete written application as described in item 3 above.
    2. All applicable documentation associated with item 4 above.
    3. The dates of leave.
    4. The primary country while on leave (if travelling internationally).
    5. The location(s) while on leave.
  6. Meet with their department/school business office to discuss compensation and identify account numbers.

Review and Approval

To expedite the review and approval process, responsible parties in the workflow as noted below must monitor requests, watch for comments, and actively review and approve in the system (SuccessFactors).

  1. The department/school business office enters financial information for the sabbatical leave request in the system.
  2. Department/School Head Review
    1. Review the request, taking into account the following criteria:
      1. The scholarly productivity of the faculty member and the rationale for the sabbatical.
      2. The objective(s), scope, significance, expected results, and likelihood of success of the project.
      3. The contribution the project will make to the faculty member’s professional development.
      4. The benefit(s) to Purdue University.
      5. In cases where more than 15% of tenured faculty in a unit are eligible for sabbatical the same year, preference will be given to those making significant contributions to learning, discovery, and/or engagement, and to those who have not been awarded sabbatical leaves for which they have been eligible in previous years.
    2. In the approval chain:
      1. Make comments on the request related to the review criteria and a brief statement noting the anticipated benefits to the department.
      2. Acknowledge that the account numbers are correct.
      3. Describe how the department plans to handle coverage of the faculty member’s campus duties during the sabbatical leave while minimizing the disruption to the academic program and cost of substitute instruction.
  1. Dean (or designee) Review
    1. Review the request, taking into account the same criteria noted in 2.a above.
    2. In the approval chain, note any comments related to the review criteria.
  2. Administrative Reviews
    1. Human Resources reviews request and verifies the faculty member’s eligibility for the leave.
    2. Sponsored Program Services reviews the request for funding issues or project constraints.
  3. Provost (or designee) Review
    1. Review the request, taking into account the criteria noted in 2.a above.
    2. Verify all documentation is included and all reviews are complete.
    3. Make the final determination to approve or deny the request.

Return to Campus

Within three months of completion of the sabbatical leave and return to campus, the faculty member must provide a report of the sabbatical activities and accomplishments to the Department/School Head and Dean. Faculty members with two concurrent appointments must submit the report to both Department/School Heads and Deans. The faculty member and department/college are encouraged to feature the work done during the sabbatical in a seminar series or other event. Note: faculty are ultimately responsible for retaining a copy of their last sabbatical report in a secure location to submit with their next sabbatical leave request.

Additional Considerations

  1. University funds cannot be used for activities related to personal or family travel to or from the location of the sabbatical (in accordance with the policy on Travel for University Business (II.A.3)). External funding given to the faculty member expressly for that purpose (e.g., Fulbright program) may be used.
  2. Faculty may travel for university business while on sabbatical.
  3. Refer to the conditions associated with grant and fellowship funding and with research / instructional / engagement leave in the policy on Sabbatical Leaves (I.A.5): see sections on Eligibility and Remuneration and on Coordination with Other Leaves.


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