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3.2.8 Sabbatical Leave


The sabbatical leave program is intended to maintain and improve the quality of the educational programs of Illinois State University by creating opportunities for the academic employees to acquire new methods and techniques, to broaden outlooks, and to improve professional competency and stature through study, research and other professional development activities.

Sabbatical leaves are expected of faculty members in order to assist them in maintaining and improving their professional knowledge, ability, and skills. Such leaves are not automatically granted to individuals upon completion of a stated period of service. Each application will be judged on the basis of the benefit which will accrue to the University and to the individual. It is expected that each application will be accompanied by a detailed description of the sabbatical leave project. Projects shall be evaluated primarily on the basis of creative or scholarly merit and promise.

For those requesting a leave for study leading to an advanced terminal degree, recent and consistent prior effort toward attainment of the degree should be shown. Only under special circumstances related to collegiate needs will sabbatical leaves be granted to satisfy the requirements to achieve assistant professor status. Whether or not sabbatical leaves can be granted in any given year will depend upon the financial situation of the University.

The final judgment as to whether any leaves can be provided in a given year is the responsibility of the President, based upon the recommendation of the Provost and the Deans of the individual colleges.


Request for leaves must be submitted to department/school chairpersons/directors no later than September 15 of the academic year preceding the leave.

The President of the University approves the recommendations that academic employee members be granted sabbatical leaves subject to the following conditions:

  1. Sabbatical leaves to be granted each year shall be limited to one out of every twenty-five full-time academic employee members or major fraction thereof .
  2. No individual may receive a sabbatical leave until he or she has completed five or more years of full-time service on the academic staff at the institution.
  3. No person shall receive a leave more often than once in seven years.
  4. The timing and period of the sabbatical leave shall be left to the discretion of the President, provided, however, that:
    1. The total leave period may not exceed nine months.
    2. The total leave compensation may not exceed the equivalent of four and one-half months' pay at the salary rate in effect during the leave period.
    3. At no time shall the rate of leave compensation exceed the monthly contract salary rate in effect during the leave period.
  5. When an individual receives a grant such as a Fulbright grant, that person may be granted sabbatical leave with pay, and may accept the grant, provided the amount of such grant allocated to salary plus the amount of the salary on leave does not exceed the normal salary for the period of sabbatical.


A complete proposal for sabbatical/educational leave shall be submitted with a Request for Leave of Absence Request PERS 917 form to the appropriate department/school or other unit chairperson/director no later than September 15 of the academic year preceding the leave.  The proposal shall contain the following: 

  1. A description of the proposed leave, including:
    1. Purpose and design of projects and activities
    2. Time schedule
    3. End product (outcomes)
  2. The contribution of the sabbatical/educational leave to the employee's professional and personal welfare.
  3. The significance of the proposal to University, College, and programmatic goals (address specific goals).
  4. The contribution of the outcome of the leave to the professional stature of the University.
  5. A professional vita
  6. A copy of the written summary report filed from the last sabbatical/educational leave, if any.     

Priority Categories

Priority Categories in Order of Importance (depending upon the faculty member's University assignment, the first priority criterion would ordinarily be either item 1 or 2 below.)

  1. A project designed to enhance performance in teaching.
  2. A project which will result in scholarly or artistic productivity.
  3. A project designed to enhance performance in other major University activities such as professional service or administration.
    A project supplemented by an external professional grant leading toward improving professional performance will be given special consideration for items 1, 2, and 3 above.
  4. A proposal for completion of an advanced degree.
  5. A proposal for completion of course requirements toward an advanced degree.
  6. A proposal principally involving travel directly related to the faculty member's University assignment proposed project for professional improvement.

Criteria to be Used in Judgement of the Leave Proposal

  1. Contribution of the sabbatical to the professional and personal welfare of the faculty member.
  2. Significance of the proposal to University goals.
  3. Contribution to the professional stature of the University.
  4. Ability based upon past performance, to complete proposal.
  5. Convenience to the University, except that a faculty member cannot be refused on this basis alone more than three successive years.
  6. Seniority.
  7. Time elapsed since last sabbatical.
  8. Priority consideration will be given to faculty members with tenure. A letter from the Department/School Chairperson/Director to the College Dean and Provost regarding future tenure status of the faculty member must be accompanied by all sabbatical leave requests submitted by probationary tenure faculty.


An individual granted a sabbatical leave assumes a professional obligation to return to the University for a period of at least one full academic year subsequent to his/her leave.  Individuals who fail to return to the University for one full academic year subsequent to a leave agree to reimburse the University for any salary paid during the leave.

Within three months of the completion of a sabbatical leave, a faculty member must file a written report summarizing the purposes to which the leave was put and listing the publications or other accomplishments resulting therefrom. This report shall be incorporated into the individual's evaluation for salary increases, promotion and tenure at the time of the next evaluation for such purposes following completion of the leave.

Initiating body: Vice President and Provost

Contact: Vice President and Provost (309-438-7018)

Revised on: 12/2005

2018-12-07T11:08:03.416-06:00 2018