President’s Sabbatical Award :: Northern Virginia Community College

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President’s Sabbatical Award

Policy Number: 407

Categorized: Human Resources

Responsible Office: Human Resources

Subject: Policy and procedures governing application for and awarding of the President’s Sabbatical Award

Related Policies: Educational Leave, Sabbatical Leave, Fulbright Award

Forms: Form 105-100 - President’s Sabbatical Award Request

Additional Information: Personnel Services Committee website

Effective Date:

Last Reviewed Date: 01/22/2019


1. Scope

This policy applies to full-time faculty who meet the eligibility criteria specified in the policy.

2. Policy Statement

The President’s Sabbatical Award is designed to foster creative energy by providing faculty with a one-semester sabbatical leave with full pay. Each academic year, a maximum of three faculty members, one of whom can be on a 12-month contract, can receive the award. Applicants must be eligible for sabbatical leave and have completed six years of creditable service at NOVA to qualify for the President’s Sabbatical Award. Previous winners must have six years of service completed at NOVA since their last award.

A faculty member awarded the President’s Sabbatical with full 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. The maximum number of President’s Sabbatical Awards in any year will not exceed three awards.

3. Definitions

President’s Sabbatical Award: a one-semester sabbatical leave with full pay.

4. Procedures

4.1 Eligibility

To be eligible for consideration, 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, 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.

4.2 Purpose

  1. The President’s Sabbatical Award 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.
  2. The President’s Sabbatical Award is not designed for planned courses of study or academic credit, including completion of doctoral research or a dissertation.

4.3 Application

To apply for the award, faculty members should submit an award proposal and NOVA Form 105-100 electronically to the Chair of the Personnel Services Committee by November 1 of each year. Award proposals should be no more than 1,000 words and specify how the sabbatical leave will uniquely benefit both the individual and the College.

Members of the Personnel Services Committee, who have not submitted a proposal for the award, will evaluate the proposals and recommend up to three names to the College President, who selects the award winners.

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

  1. Faculty on sabbatical leave for the fall semester must notify the Provost in writing, with a copy to supervisor and Human Resources, by November 15 of their plans to return the following spring semester; faculty on sabbatical leave for spring semester must notify the Provost in writing, with a copy to supervisor and Human Resources, by April 1 of their plans to return the following fall semester.
  2. Faculty members who are awarded the President’s Sabbatical 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. Additionally, award recipients will present a lecture on their sabbatical experience to the College community during the academic year following their leave.

4.5 Monetary Compensation and Benefits

  1. The rate of pay while on the President’s Sabbatical will be 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 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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