Sabbatical Leave :: Northern Virginia Community College

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Sabbatical Leave

Policy Number: 406

Categorized: Human Resources

Responsible Office: Human Resources

Subject: Sabbatical leave for teaching, administrative and professional faculty

Related Policies: President’s Sabbatical Award, Fulbright Award, Educational Leave

Forms: Form 105-099 - Sabbatical Leave Request

Additional Information:

Effective Date:

Last Reviewed Date: 01/22/2019


1. Scope

This policy applies to teaching, administrative and professional faculty, and to college presidents who meet the eligibility criteria described in the policy.

2. Policy Statement

The President of Northern Virginia Community College may grant eligible faculty members sabbatical leave at half pay for professional development activities which will improve teaching effectiveness, enhance creative and/or artistic activities, improve professional competency, and provide a renewed capacity for significant contribution of service to the college and the community at large.

A faculty member granted sabbatical leave with half pay must agree to return to the College as a full-time employee for a period equal to twice that of the period of absence; if the faculty member returns to NOVA for a lesser period of service, the faculty member shall be responsible for repayment of that portion of salary, for the time not served. The outstanding pro rata portion of the note shall be paid in full within one year following termination of employment.

Faculty members must meet established eligibility criteria and follow application procedures for sabbatical leave. Sabbatical awards are contingent upon availability of funds and the needs of the College.

3. Definitions

Sabbatical leave: a compensated leave of absence of one or two semesters for full-time teaching faculty and up to 12 months for administrative and professional faculty and the College President.

4. Procedures

4.1 Eligibility

To be eligible for consideration, all applicants for sabbatical leave must meet the following criteria:

  1. Hold a full-time nine-month teaching Faculty Employment Contract or a twelve-month teaching, professional, or administrative Faculty Employment Contract.
  2. Have completed six years of creditable full-time service at NOVA at the time of application for sabbatical leave.
  3. Have completed six years of creditable full-time service at NOVA since a previously awarded paid sabbatical, Fulbright or educational leave. There is an absolute maximum of sabbatical, Fulbright or educational leave that may be taken in a seven-year period: for teaching faculty, two semesters; for twelve-month administrative/professional faculty, one year.
  4. For teaching faculty, the sabbatical project must be aligned with the four performance domains as outlined in the Faculty Development and Evaluation Plan.
  5. For administrative and professional faculty, the sabbatical project must be aligned with VCCS, College, and/or division goals.
  6. The number of sabbatical leave awards in any year will depend on the availability of funds.

4.2 Purpose

Sabbaticals shall be granted for approved projects of full-time independent study, research, and/or creative work which will renew teaching abilities, and to foster and enrich intellectual and professional growth and development. Projects may be concerned with wide-ranging interests or with work in specialized fields and should address issues in the substance of the applicant’s teaching field, research interests, professional field, or in some other area which will enhance understanding of related fields.

Sabbatical leave is not designed for planned courses of study or academic credit, including completion of doctoral research or a dissertation.

4.3 Application

Sabbatical Leave:

To apply for the award, submit Form 105-099 (Sabbatical Leave Request) to the College President through appropriate supervisors and Human Resources. The deadline for applications for sabbatical leave is January 15 for the upcoming full academic year or fall semester and May 15 for upcoming spring semester only.

4.4 Obligation to the College During and upon Completion of the Sabbatical

  1. While on a sabbatical for the entire academic year, faculty members shall advise the Provost/Vice President in writing, with a copy to supervisor and Human Resources, by February 1 of their plans to return the following academic year. Faculty on sabbatical for fall semester only must notify the Provost in writing, with a copy to supervisor and Human Resources by November 15; faculty on sabbatical for spring semester only must notify the Provost in writing, with a copy to supervisor and Human Resources, by April 1.
  2. Faculty members who are awarded sabbatical leave shall serve twice the time of the approved leave at the College after return from sabbatical leave.
  3. Faculty members returning from sabbatical leave must submit a written report summarizing project accomplishments to the President through the appropriate administrative channels. This report must be received within one semester of the faculty member’s return from sabbatical leave.

4.5 Monetary Compensation and Benefits

  1. The rate of pay while on sabbatical leave with pay will be 50 percent of the salary in effect on the last workday covered by the Faculty Employment Contract prior to the effective date of sabbatical leave.
  2. Group life insurance, the state portion of health insurance coverage and VRS or optional retirement plan contributions will be paid in full.
  3. Credit will be given for active employment for seniority purposes.
  4. Service credit will be given for purposes of calculating a leave anniversary date.
  5. Faculty granted sabbaticals will have the leave period regarded as a year of full-time employment, except that leave will not accrue. For administrative and professional faculty, the leave period counts when determining the rate of annual leave accrual.
  6. Upon returning from the sabbatical, a merit salary award shall be applied to the salary in effect on the last contractual workday prior to the effective date of the sabbatical. A salary increase will be awarded in accordance with the written guidelines developed by the College.

4.6. Repayment Obligation

  1. The individual shall execute a promissory note agreeing to repay the gross salary received while on leave if that individual does not return to the College, another VCCS college, or to the VCCS System Office upon completion of the sabbatical leave.
  2. A faculty member who transfers to another public educational institution outside the VCCS, within the state of Virginia, after receiving sabbatical leave with pay will be responsible for repaying NOVA for any portion of the required years of post-leave service which has not been completed. In the event the receiving institution is willing to repay the cost of the sabbatical leave by interagency transfer of funds, then the faculty member may be released from the repayment agreement. Lacking this consideration or on transferring outside the state service, the repayment agreement as stated on the promissory note is the exclusive responsibility of the faculty member.
  3. If the faculty member resigns prior to the completion of the obligation, the outstanding pro rata portion of the note shall be paid in full within one year following termination of employment.
  4. The individual who fails to complete successfully any portion of the sabbatical may be required by the President (or Chancellor in the case of the President) to reimburse the College a proportional amount of the salary received while on leave.
  5. In the event of death or approved disability, this note is canceled.

5. Authority

VCCS Policy 3.10.5 Sabbaticals

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