Sabbatical Leave

The purpose of the sabbatical program is to enable faculty members to prepare themselves for enhanced service to the College and its students. The leave is intended to provide an extended period when faculty, free of normal responsibilities, are able to concentrate on one or more projects designed to advance professional effectiveness. The sabbatical is properly thought of as an opportunity, not a right. The individual earns the right to apply for leave, but granting of the leave is based on an assessment of the proposed project and its potential benefits for the individual and the College.

I. Length of leave and related salary arrangements:

  1. Leave for an entire academic year, with one half of base salary. This may be increased to two-thirds of base salary if application is made for two outside peer-reviewed grants.
  2. Leave for one regular term (for a total reduction for the year from six courses to three courses), with full salary.

II. Eligibility:

Eligibility for the first sabbatical comes after seven years of full-time teaching. Subsequent eligibility comes after six years of full-time teaching.

III. Application:

Application for sabbatical leave takes the form of a written proposal, stating the time of absence desired and describing in detail the project to be pursued. The proposal should make clear how the project will contribute to one’s professional effectiveness, indicate the preparatory work to be completed before the leave begins, explain the activities to be undertaken, specify the expected accomplishments during the leave period, and suggest the most appropriate way for assessing those accomplishments. If possible, a timetable for the various elements of the project should be included. The proposal is to be submitted to the Academic Vice President and Dean of the Faculty not later than January 1 preceding the academic year in which leave is desired. The Program Chair and Division Chair are to receive a copy of the submitted sabbatical proposal from the applicant. Those whose projects the President approves are notified about February 1.

Acceptance of sabbatical leave entails several obligations and conditions:

  1. Continued service to Berea College for not less than two years following completion of the leave.
  2. Submission to the Academic Vice President and Dean of the Faculty, Program Chair, Division Chair, and the President a written report on the project not later than October 1 following the sabbatical period. The report is to include a summary of activities and accomplishments, an outline of any work remaining to bring the project to conclusion, an assessment of the value of the leave to oneself and the College, and any plans to modify one’s courses or teaching as a consequence of the leave.
  3. Agreement to pursue only the approved project and to refrain from any outside employment without explicit approval by the President. Since sabbatical leave continues one on salary from the College, acceptance of remuneration from another employer is usually inappropriate and unacceptable. If some employment is a necessary part of one’s project, that fact needs to be made clear in the sabbatical proposal. If such activity is likely to require more than a very limited amount of time, or to provide income beyond fairly narrow limits, an unpaid leave of absence may be more suitable than a sabbatical. Even if limited employment is approved, the level of remuneration may call for adjustment in the salary paid by the College.