UIUC Library

Sabbatical Leaves of Absence Policies and Procedures

I. Sabbatical Leave of Absence: Definition and Critical Resource Documents:

A. Definition

The University of Illinois Statutes Article IX, Section 7, states that faculty "may be granted a sabbatical leave of absence with pay for the purpose of study, research, or other pursuit, the object of which is to increase the faculty member's usefulness to the University" (Section 7.a.), and that "leaves of absence granted...are given to members of the faculty primarily for the purpose of enabling them to acquire additional knowledge and competency in their respective fields" (Section 7.e.). Librarianship is both a theoretical field of study and a practicing profession. Because of the dual nature of the field, sabbaticals taken by Library faculty can have any of several objectives:

· To make important contributions to the knowledge base of librarianship and information science or the field of the faculty member's expertise in which he or she is a practicing librarian;

· To acquire additional knowledge that will enable one to help the University Library better carry out its service goals with respect to the University or the broader applicable community;

· To enhance one's capability to carry out current or new responsibilities.

"Work toward a graduate degree does not qualify as an acceptable program for a sabbatical leave."

"All sabbatical leaves are subject to approval by the Board of Trustees, upon recommendation of the President of the University."

["Guidelines for Sabbatical Leaves of Absence for 2007-2008;" University of Illinois, Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs]

Sabbaticals can be useful to further your current program of research, or to prepare yourself as you begin research in a new area of librarianship or information science. From a practical perspective, you may choose to use your sabbatical leave to enhance your capability to carry out current responsibilities that are recognized as part of the service goals of the University Library in the UIUC community. In preparing a request for a sabbatical leave, it is important for you to determine in which of the above categories your proposal can be classified, so that the content of your proposal can be clearly linked with a contribution that is recognized as beneficial to you and to the University of Illinois.

B. Campus Guidelines for preparing Sabbatical Applications

The following policies and procedures are based in part on the following sources:

1) University of Illinois, Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Guidelines for Sabbatical Leaves of Absence.

2) Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Communication 19: Sabbatical Leaves of Absence.

II. . Sabbatical Leave Options

A. For faculty members on 12 month appointments:

1. After 9 appointment years of full-time service:

a. three-fourths of an appointment year (9 months) at full salary

2. After 8 appointment years of full-time service:

a. one appointment year (12 months) at two-thirds salary
b. two-thirds of an appointment year (8 months) at full salary

3. After 6 appointment years of full-time service:

a. one appointment year (12 months) at one-half salary
b. one-half of an appointment year (6 months) at full salary

4. After 4 appointment years of full-time service:

a. one-half of an appointment year (6 months) at two- thirds salary

5. After 3 appointment years of full-time service:

a. one-half of an appointment year (6 months) at one-half salary
b. one-fourth of an appointment year (3 months) at full salary

B. For faculty members on nine-month appointments:

1. After 8 appointment years of full-time service:

a. two semesters at two-thirds salary
b. one semester at full salary

2. After 6 appointment years of full-time service:

a. two semesters at one-half salary
b. one semester at full salary

3. After 4 appointment years of full-time service:

a. one semester at two-thirds salary

4. After 3 appointment years of full-time service:
a. one semester at one-half salary

C. Alternative sabbatical leave option

It is the norm that sabbatical leaves occur within a single academic year. Taking a short (e.g., three-month) sabbatical is considered irregular. The practice of splitting a sabbatical leave and extending it over more than one academic year is discouraged. However, for faculty in small or one-person units, or those who have unique responsibilities that the Department agrees are not easily replaced for long periods of time, a sabbatical period of three months may be justified. In small or one-person Library units, there often develops a relationship of a symbiotic nature between the Library faculty member's primary responsibilities and the community served. For example, a librarian's knowledge of the scope of the particular collection in a unit may be uniquely valuable. An acting colleague may not possess the expertise or the background to carry out these responsibilities for an extended period of time.

In order to ensure maximum productivity during a shortened sabbatical leave, the nature of the work to be carried out ought to be specifically detailed, and realistic. Taking a short leave may be appropriate for professional development or completing an article. The rationale for continuing the same project in two short sabbaticals over a period of two years, unless the project has an extended time line, may be difficult to justify.

D. Combining sabbatical leave salary with salary from project funds

A faculty member may combine sabbatical leave and salary with salary supported by sponsored project funds administered by the University as long as the combined salary does not exceed the faculty member's 100 percent salary for the year in which the sabbatical is taken and the contracting or granting agency approves such an arrangement.

III. Number of Sabbaticals granted in any one year.

From a staffing point the Library needs to maintain a ceiling on the number of sabbaticals approved in any one year. The number should be a percentage of the total eligible librarians. Three-month sabbaticals should be counted as one-half for calculation purposes, i.e. two three-month requests would equal one request. Eight to ten percent of the faculty is an appropriate maximum. As the percentage of tenured faculty increases, the percentage can be adjusted upward. When numerous applications have been recommended, an effort will be made to distribute the approval of sabbaticals equitably among the represented divisions in the application pool.

IV. Procedures and Deadlines

Notification of Intention To Apply For a Sabbatical Leave

A. After receipt of the campus communication "Sabbatical Leaves of Absence," the University Librarian will place an announcement in Libfac which will include the deadline for submissions. The deadline date is normally in October, and shall be determined yearly by the University Librarian's Office.

B. After the Libfac announcement appears, interested faculty may obtain an application form and a copy of the campus communication from the Provost’s Website.

C. Prior to submission of an application, the applicant must discuss her/his intentions of taking a sabbatical leave with her/his unit head, her/his division coordinator, and the Associate University Librarian for Services. Faculty who report directly to the University Librarian or the Associate University Librarian for Services must first discuss their sabbatical intentions with the person to whom they report.

Documents to be Filled Out and Submitted

D. The following two documents must be submitted when applying for a sabbatical leave of absence. One copy of each is to be submitted by the applicant to her/his Division Coordinator. The Library will make the appropriate number of copies needed by the library and the campus.

1. Sabbatical form "Application for Sabbatical Leave of Absence."

a. The front side of this one-leaf form should be filled out and signed by the applicant.
b. The top half of the second side is to be filled out and signed by the Associate University Librarian for Services. When answering the question on how an applicant's responsibilities are to be handled in her/his absence, the Associate University Librarian for Services will review this matter with the applicant, the applicant's unit head, and the applicant's division coordinator.

2. "Statement of Plans" - a general statement of intention by the applicant outlining work to be accomplished during the sabbatical.

3. Statement of Unit Executive Officer (pg. 2 of application).  Leave this blank.  However, for each application forwarded, the division coordinator will supply the Associate University Librarian for Services with a draft of appropriate text that answers the two questions posed.

 

Review of Application by the Divisional Advisory Committee

E. In mid October the division advisory committee will review all applications (See Appendix 2, "Guidelines for Divisional Evaluation of Sabbatical Requests."). If the committee believes further information is needed, the divisional coordinator will meet with the applicant to discuss this. Upon approval by the division advisory committee, the Division Coordinator will forward the application form to Associate University Librarian for Services. Campus policy precludes the use of additional funds to cover sabbatical vacancies. Any costs associated with the coverage of sabbatical vacancies will be provided by the Library Administration, and will vary from year to year. Under most circumstances, however, no additional staffing will be provided. If the application is approved, the Associate Unviersity Librarian for Services will sign (on the "Unit Executive Office Line") the top half of the second side of the application form.

Acceptance/Rejection of Application by the University Librarian. Forwarding by the University Librarian of Approved Applications to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

F. The approved sabbaticals will be forwarded by mid November to the University Librarian who, upon approving them, will forward them in triplicate to the Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs by December 1. A letter of justification from the University Librarian must accompany the application a) if the application is made beyond the stated deadline; and b) if the applicant is an untenured faculty member in years 3, 4, or 5 of the probationary period. The justification for an untenured faculty member must indicate the likelihood of the faculty member achieving promotion to associate professor and/or indefinite tenure. Sabbatical leave applications may be approved for faculty members in the sixth year of the probationary period only if the college forwards recommendations for promotion and/or indefinite tenure for those faculty members.

Acceptance/Rejection by the Campus Research Board

G. After receiving the recommendations from the University Librarian, the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs forwards them to the Campus Research Board for evaluation and recommendation.

Notification of Acceptance/Rejection by the Board of Trustees

H. Notification of approval of sabbaticals is made in mid-March directly to the applicant by the Board of Trustees.

Obligations of Applicant to Notify Library Personnel of the Board of Trustees Decision

I. All academic departments served by the applicant should also be informed about her/his sabbatical leave.

J. A list of all approved sabbaticals, with dates of leave, will be placed in LON (May/June) and the library telephone directory.

Miscellaneous Obligations of the Applicant Upon Returning From Sabbatical Leave

K. Upon return from sabbatical leave, the applicant is required to submit, within 60 service days of return, through the University Librarian to the Chancellor, a report in duplicate on study and travel completed during the sabbatical period.

L. According to the University Statutes, faculty returning from a sabbatical leave must remain in service to the University for at least one year

M. Persons taking sabbatical leaves should make provisions for depositing their regular annual report, since annual evaluations are made for all faculty, whether or not they are on leave.

N. Since the number of sabbaticals granted in a given year may be limited, applicants for sabbatical leaves of absence should not assume that their requests will automatically be approved.

Appendix 1: Checklist for Preparing a Sabbatical Application

The following checklist has been developed to help faculty to present a cohesive and workable plan for a sabbatical, and to complete the "Application for Sabbatical Leave of Absence" form and the "Statement of Plans" narrative that must be prepared and submitted by all applicants for sabbatical leave. Not all points on the checklist will be applicable to all requests (e.g., travel, funding).

1. What is the time period requested for your leave? Indicate the specific dates of beginning and termination of your leave. (See Section II of this document, "Sabbatical Leave Options.")

2. Describe, in a statement of not more than 25 words, the purpose for which you are requesting the leave.

Example: "To study cognitive processes during the use of information retrieval systems that allow user-defined information retrieval pathways."

Example: "To compile a comprehensive annotated bibliography of research in a particular field."

Example: "To study the marketing of books to libraries by publishers."

Example: To analyze serial cancellations at five midwestern university libraries for the period 1987/88 - 1991/92 and to examine the impact these cancellations have made on library research collections."

Example: "To examine the relationships between government information sources in paper, microform, and electronic formats, and to determine their relative usefulness."

Example: "To complete a survey of library training practices for graduate students providing reference services and to apply insights gained to revising the library's present training program."

3. Does the proposed activity require funding? For what portion(s) of your proposed work is funding required? Where have applications for grant funding been made, and what is the present status of the application(s)?

Potential campus funding sources for proposed research include:

· Library Research and Publication Committee;

· Campus Research Board;

· MUCIA (for international research activities);

IRIS (Illinois Researcher Information System) is a good source of information about potential grant funding from government agencies and private foundations.

4. Indicate the approximate percentage of time you expect to devote to the activities you intend to pursue:

Example:

a. _80__ % to conduct research

b. _____ % to engage in artistic or professional activity;

c. _____ % to develop instructional materials such as texts or laboratory manuals;

d. _20__ % to improve personal competence in a field appropriate to your University duties;

e. _____ % other (explain).

Example:

a. _60__ % to conduct research

b. _____ % to engage in artistic or professional activity;

c. _20__ % to develop instructional materials such as texts or laboratory manuals;

d. _20__ % to improve personal competence in a field appropriate to your University duties;

e. _____ % other (explain).

Example:

a. _50__ % to conduct research

b. _____ % to engage in artistic or professional activity;

c. _____ % to develop instructional materials such as texts or laboratory manuals;

d. _50__ % to improve personal competence in a field appropriate to your University duties;

e. _____ % other (explain).

Example:

a. _100_ % to conduct research

b. _____ % to engage in artistic or professional activity;

c. _____ % to develop instructional materials such as texts or laboratory manuals;

d. _____ % to improve personal competence in a field appropriate to your University duties;

e. _____ % other (explain).

("It should be understood that a leave may be justified for any of these activities, provided the Statement of Plans relates the activities in a significant way to valid institutional and professional activities." ("Application for Sabbatical Leave of Absence.")

6. Where will your leave be used? Indicate institutions, state, country, and the reasons why you will be in a particular location(s) during the leave.

7. Statement of Plans (narrative). The Statement of Plans is used by the members of the UIUC Campus Research Board, which is the body that evaluates and makes recommendations to the Chancellor on applications for sabbatical leaves. The Statement of Plans should provide a detailed explanation of how you will accomplish the purposes that you have outlined briefly above. The following information should be included in the Statement of Plans:

· Type of activity or activities planned Basic:(theoretical) research: applied(research with a practical application); professional development or further development in an area of expertise or in a new area.

· Research methods (if applicable): Quantitative--examples: survey research; statistical analysis; modeling or simulation of activities or functions; Qualitative--examples: critical essay; historical research; archival research;

· What facilities will be used, and arrangements made for search use;

· Why the period of leave will be used in a particular location;

· The general work plan;

· How this activity relates to other work in the field--has it been attempted before? If so, how will the proposed work enhance the understanding of this area?

· What is the potential significance or usefulness of this work as a scholarly or creative production or as an educational tool, or as a means of improving your capabilities and value in carrying out your responsibilities?

8. What is the time line for completing the work that you are doing? Work begun during your sabbatical does not have to be completed during the sabbatical period; however, if you are, for example, writing an article that needs to be published within six months in order to be a timely and valuable contribution to the literature, is it useful to propose a two-year time line for completion? On the other hand, if you are writing a book on a historical topic, a two-year time line for completion may be realistic.

9. If you are embarking on a project that requires special skills (e.g., statistical analysis), are you able to carry out that work, or have you made arrangements to have the work completed in a timely fashion for use during the sabbatical? (support offices on campus for quantitative research: Library Research Center, SSQL, Statistics Dept. Consulting service).

Appendix 2: Guidelines for Divisional Evaluation of Sabbatical Requests:

A. Evaluation of Proposals

The initial evaluation of sabbatical proposals is carried out within each divisional advisory committee. If the committee believes further information is needed, the divisional coordinator will meet with the applicant to discuss this. The Division Coordinator will prepare a brief evaluative statement to accompany the applicant's proposal when it is forwarded to the University Librarian, based on the comments and recommendations of the members of the divisional advisory committee. Below are several suggested areas in which comments and remarks ought to be prepared for each proposal. The goal of this evaluation is to enable divisions to use objective guidelines to assess the strength and clarity of each proposal, and to provide constructive feedback to the applicant (if necessary) and advice to the University Librarian regarding the strength of the proposal.

· Clear statement of the type of activity or activities planned: Basic (theoretical) research; applied (research with a practical application); professional development or further development in an area of expertise or in a new area.

· Clear statement of research methods to be used (if applicable): Quantitative: survey research; statistical analysis; modeling or simulation of activities or functions; Qualitative: critical essay; historical research; archival research;

· Clear statement of plan for acquiring new knowledge or furthering existing expertise (if applicable);

· When facilities will be used and arrangements made for such use;

· Explanation for why the period of leave will be used in a particular location;

· Well-developed general work plan;

· Applicant relates the proposed activity to other work in the field--has it been attempted before? If so, how will the proposed work enhance the understanding of the applicant's area?

· Applicant states the potential significance or usefulness of this work as a scholarly or creative production or as an educational tool, or as a means of improving his or her capabilities and value in carrying out primary responsibilities.

B. Prioritization of Proposals and Staffing considerations

· It is incumbent upon the divisional advisory committee to prioritize proposals submitted by each division and to determine how absences will be covered.