Sabbatical Leave Guidelines
For Academic Year 2024-2025
The following guidelines are in congruence with the USF System Regulation/Policy 10.104, as well as the provisions set forth in Article 22 of the USF-UFF Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Sabbaticals for professional development are to be made available to eligible employees who meet the requirements stipulated in these Sabbatical Guidelines. Such sabbaticals are granted to increase eligible employees’ value to the University through enhanced opportunities for professional renewal, planned travel, study, formal education, research, writing or other experience of professional value, not as a reward for service.
The University will make available to each eligible employee whose application has been reviewed by the University, a sabbatical for two (2) semesters at half-pay. For each 25 eligible employees, the University will make available at least one sabbatical at full-pay for one semester. All sabbatical applications are subject to the conditions set forth below.
The employee must return to the University for at least one (1) academic year following participation in the sabbatical program. Agreements to the contrary must be reduced to writing prior to participation. Salary received during the program may be required to be returned to the University in those instances where neither of the above is satisfied.
The employee must, within 30 days of returning from the sabbatical, provide a concise written report of accomplishments made during the sabbatical, to the President or representative. This report shall include information regarding the activities undertaken during the sabbatical, the results accomplished during the sabbatical as they affect the employee and the University, and research or other scholarly work produced or expected to be produced as a result of the sabbatical.
Regular full-time faculty members may apply for a one semester full-pay or two semester half-pay sabbatical in the sixth year of full-time service or the year following tenure, whichever is later. Faculty members must be tenured in order to apply for a sabbatical. An employee shall not be eligible for another sabbatical until six years of continuous service are completed following the first sabbatical. "Continuous service" means employment uninterrupted by a break in service, that is, an absence following which the employee is treated as a new employee. Neither paid nor unpaid leaves of absence constitute breaks in service.
- Application forms may be obtained from the Faculty Success website. No sabbatical will be awarded without a completed application form. Applications need to be specific about proposed activities and include a timeline and supportive documents, as appropriate.
- Applications may be submitted directly to the Office of the Provost or to the appropriate chairperson, director, dean or branch campus chief executive officer (CEO) for additional evaluative comments, who will in turn submit the application to the Office of the Provost. If the application is submitted directly to the Office of the Provost, it must include all required signatures. An eligible applicant is free to apply without letters of support from his or her chair/director and/or dean/CEO. However, a discussion of the application with the chair/director and/or dean/CEO may be helpful not only to secure possible support but also to help anticipate necessary changes in the employee assignment patterns, etc. In any case, a submitted application must include signatures of acknowledgment by the chair/director and dean/CEO.
- If an applicant has previously been awarded a sabbatical, please attach a copy of the report from that sabbatical.
- Completed forms are due in the Office of the Provost no later than 5:00 p.m. on October 12, 2023, for consideration for the following academic year beginning in August. Completed forms are to be submitted electronically to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Sabbatical applications received after this deadline will not be considered. Employees who submit sabbatical applications to academic officers other than the Provost are responsible for ensuring that the application is submitted to the Provost’s Office by the stipulated deadline.
- Applicants shall be divided into groups according to the type of sabbatical requested. Applicants who have requested consideration under more than one type of sabbatical shall have their application considered under each type separately (regardless of preference and rating) but may be recommended and awarded only one type of sabbatical.
IV. SABBATICAL COMMITTEE
A Sabbatical Committee will be formed each year to review all applications. The Committee members shall be tenured employees with at least 6 years of full-time service who have been elected by other tenured employees in the appropriate college or branch campus. The Committee shall consist of one member from each of the Tampa campus Academic Affairs colleges (three members from the College of Arts and Sciences) and one at-large member from each branch campus. No member of the Committee may also be an applicant. The election of Committee members will be conducted annually or as needed by the college deans and/or regional chancellors. The chairperson of the Committee shall be selected by the President or representative.
V. HALF-PAY SABBATICAL PROCESS
The following will be the only factors to be considered in the determination of completeness of half-pay sabbatical applications:
- The application must include a statement describing the program to be followed while on sabbatical.
- The application must include a statement describing any anticipated supplementary income and a statement that the applicant agrees to comply with the conditions of the sabbatical program as described in these Sabbatical Guidelines.
- The application must present a clear statement of a plan designed to increase the employee’s value to the University through enhanced opportunities for professional renewal, planned travel, study, formal education, research, writing or other experience of professional value.
If an application is judged to be incomplete, it will be returned to the applicant with a specific written statement of the deficiency and of the availability of assistance from the Office of the Provost for completion of the application. A resubmitted application must be received by the Office of the Provost no later than one week from the date of receipt of the notification of deficiency in order to be reconsidered.
The Committee will submit a list of all applicants whose applications are deemed complete, identified by college and department, to the President or representative recommending approval of all contained on the list. In addition, the Committee will also submit a list of any half-pay applications not deemed complete, identified by college and department, which will include the same statement of deficiency provided to the applicant.
Sabbaticals at half-pay will be granted unless the University has determined that the conditions stipulated in these Sabbatical Guidelines have not been met or that department/unit staffing considerations preclude such sabbatical from being granted. In this latter instance, the employee will be provided the sabbatical the following year, or at a later time, as agreed to by the employee and the University. The period of postponement will be credited towards eligibility for a subsequent sabbatical.
VI. FULL-PAY SABBATICAL REVIEW AND RECOMMENDATION PROCESS
The Committee shall consider the following factors in the review and ranking of full-pay sabbaticals:
- The benefits of the proposed program to the employee, the University, and the profession. The sabbatical must increase the employee’s value to the University through enhanced opportunities for professional renewal, planned travel, study, formal education, research, writing or other experience of professional value.
- The ability to accomplish on sabbatical a task that otherwise could not be accomplished and the overall likelihood of success, including results/outcomes from any previous sabbaticals.
- The completeness of the sabbatical work plan, including a detailed timeline.
- The length of time since the employee was relieved of teaching duties for the purpose of research and other scholarly activities.
- Length of service since previous sabbatical or initial appointment.
- Equitable distribution of sabbaticals among colleges, divisions, schools, departments, campuses, and disciplines within the University.
It is very important that each application contain full information on each factor noted above. If an application is judged by the Committee to contain insufficient information or if questions are raised regarding the above factors, it may be returned by the Committee to the applicant with a specific written statement of the clarification or additional information required and notification of the availability of assistance from the Office of the Provost in providing the clarification or additional information. A resubmitted application must be received by the Office of the Provost no later than one week from the date of receipt of the notification in order for the additional information or clarification to be considered in the review and ranking.
Each Committee member will read and judge the merit and acceptability of each application based on the factors described above. Points will be assigned by each Committee member thus: a.) extremely meritorious (7 points), b.) highly meritorious (5 points), c.) moderately meritorious (3 points), d.) minimally meritorious (1 point), or e.) of no merit (0 points). An average of the combined Committee members’ ratings becomes each applicant’s overall rating. In order to give due consideration to an equitable distribution of sabbaticals among colleges, divisions, schools, departments, campuses, and disciplines within the University, the Committee may add points to an applicant’s overall rating in order to move an applicant up in the rankings but only if the applicant’s overall score is already above the median. The committee should consider USF’s Principles of Community document which stresses “excellence with equity”, “diversity with inclusion” and states that “excellence entails a responsibility to ensure that every member of our community has the opportunity to succeed.
The Committee will submit a ranked list of recommended applicants, identified by college, department, and campus, to the President or representative. In addition, the Committee will also submit a list of any full-pay applications not recommended for approval, identified by college and department, which will include a brief statement of the reason.
No more than one employee in a department or professional unit needs be awarded a sabbatical at the same time. If the list contains more than one recommended applicant from any one department or other professional unit, the President or representative will consult with the relevant chair and dean to determine the number of sabbaticals that would not cause undue hardship. If hardship would result, the recommended applicant(s) with the highest ranking(s) by the Committee will be awarded sabbaticals. In the case of recommended applicants with tied ranking, a random selection method will be used to determine the recommended applicant(s) who will be awarded a sabbatical(s). Full pay sabbaticals that are not accepted may not be postponed—they are finite in number and must be awarded to the next person on the list.
VII. AWARDING OF SABBATICALS
The Committee’s lists shall be submitted to the President or representative no later than November 9, 2023. Notification of sabbatical awards will be sent out by the President or representative within three weeks of receipt of the Committee’s rankings. With regard to full-pay sabbaticals, the President or representative shall make appointments from the list and shall consult with the Committee prior to an appointment that does not follow the Committee’s ranking.
Notification of acceptance or rejection of a sabbatical should be made as soon as possible. If an awardee declines a full-pay sabbatical offer, the President or representative may offer such sabbatical to the next ranked person on the Committee’s list without prior consultation with the Committee. A decision on acceptance or rejection of a sabbatical, or at least an expression of intention, should be made no later than January 12, 2024, provided that those whose sabbatical plans are dependent upon other factors (supplemental income, grant decisions, etc.) may indicate a conditional acceptance.
VIII. EMPLOYMENT DURING A SABBATICAL
Employment unrelated to the purpose of a sabbatical is subject to reporting of outside activities on the prescribed university form.
Salary, from sources other than the University, received by an employee on sabbatical normally will result in reduction of the University salary to bring the total income to a level comparable to the employee’s current year salary rate. However, in consideration of certain extenuating circumstances, i.e., salary received from an entity for work that is fundamental to the accomplishment of sabbatical purposes, the employee may request consideration of waiver of this requirement.
Employees on one-half pay may receive salary from USF grants or contracts at a level that would make total compensation equal to the employee’s full-time salary for the sabbatical period. The following conditions must be met if an employee is to use grant/contract funds to supplement salary while on sabbatical: 1.) the nature of the grant/contract activity must be congruent with the proposed sabbatical activities, and participation in the grant/contract activities must contribute to the accomplishment of sabbatical objectives, 2.) the granting/contracting agency must allow for such an arrangement, 3.) gross salary drawn from the grant/contract during the sabbatical period cannot exceed one-half of the employee’s gross USF salary for those on half- pay sabbaticals, 4.) the employee must be named in the grant/contract and appear as a budgeted salary line item, and 5.) the employee’s chair/director or campus chief executive officer must submit written verification to the Office of the Provost that the above conditions have been satisfied, either as part of the sabbatical application or prior to taking the sabbatical, as appropriate.