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Absences: Leaves and Sabbaticals

Leave of Absence

For leaves of absence that involve fewer than fourteen (14) calendar days, faculty members need to complete and submit a Faculty Request for Leave form. Faculty members who plan a leave during a quarter in which they are scheduled to teach should consult the subsection on "Planned Absences from Class Sessions."

Absences from the University during the nine-month academic year (including the quarter breaks) that exceed 10 service days (14 calendar days) must be approved by the Dean of Social Sciences, one quarter prior to departure. This regulation applies to all such absences, including personal travel and conducting business or research away from the University. Leaves of 11 or more workdays require forfeiture of one or more sabbatical credits. The Vice Chancellor of Research, may agree to grant an exception to this policy when a faculty member is conducting business on behalf of the Department.

Absences from the University that exceed one year must be approved, the quarter prior to departure, by the Executive Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs. Faculty members interested in an extended period of leave must first seek approval from the Department Chair before the leave request is forwarded to the Dean and/or EVC.

If you would like your first-class mail forwarded while you are absent, please see the CAO. Mail will not be forwarded to home addresses if faculty members remain in the area.

Sabbatical Leave

The UC Regents have affirmed the importance of sabbaticals for achieving “the aims and ends to be serve by the fundamental activities of the University” since they enable faculty “to maintain and improve teaching skills and scholarly ability and proficiency by engaging in periodic and intensive programs of research and study.” Sabbaticals exist in recognition of the fact that “(re)search or other academic accomplishment is and has long been expected” of ladder-rank faculty.

The UCSD Policy and Procedure Manual (PPM) describes the various kinds of leave, including sabbaticals—see here.

Faculty accrue 1 sabbatical credit for every quarter at 50% service or more (including non-teaching quarters).  After 9 quarters faculty members are eligible for 1 quarter leave (meaning no teaching or service) at full pay.  After 6 quarters faculty are eligible for 1 quarter leave at 2/3 pay.  (For more possibilities see Section G).  can keep track of sabbatical credits but faculty members should keep their own tally as well.

Faculty should think strategically about how and when to plan to use sabbatical credits.  In dialogue with mentors and the chair, untenured faculty, in particular, should plan how to best orchestrate sabbaticals with the path to tenure and promotion.

Faculty preparing for tenure should think about when in the process of completing their book manuscripts leave time would be most useful.  Assuming one comes up for tenure in year 6, sometime in year 5 is in most cases an ideal time to use sabbatical credits.  Faculty may also want to save up credits and combine them with a fellowship to secure an entire year of leave.

While UC documents underline the importance of sabbaticals they also note that sabbaticals are granted “only when they will not disrupt the teaching program or operation of the university” and hence the chair must ultimately approve any request. 

The Department can, however, collectively affirm that all eligible faculty should take sabbaticals and that they must be planned for and their timing negotiated.

We can also affirm that out of all discretionary scheduling priorities, sabbatical leaves are the highest priority, and when they come into conflict with other scheduling priorities sabbaticals should take precedence.

In consultation with faculty members, the DGS and DUS, the chair will use these priorities to address competing scheduling preferences.

  1. Sabbatical
  2. Individual course buyouts (Faculty Development Grant; Hellman)
  3. Course preferences and non-teaching quarters

Faculty members are encouraged to take sabbaticals but may need to be somewhat flexible in terms of timing (the same year as requested, for instances, but perhaps in a different quarter).

Faculty members are also encouraged to pursue fellowships that buyout courses but they may need to wait to use such a fellowship so the department can accommodate sabbaticals.

Finally, in order to prioritize sabbaticals faculty may not always receive their first choice for courses or for a non-teaching quarter.  NTQs are never guaranteed and we may need to do without them when they conflict with sabbaticals.

Types of Short-term Leave and effect on Sabbatical Credit

Leave to Attend Professional Meetings

Academic appointees may request leaves with pay to attend professional meetings. Department chairs have authority to approve this type of leave for up to 14 calendar (10 service) days. Please refer to the Extended Leave Policy for leaves with pay longer than 10 service days.

Leaves greater than seven calendar days in length require the submission of an Academic Leave of Absence/Sabbatical (ALAS) form, signed by the individual, the department chair and dean.

Other Leaves with Pay

Other leaves with pay may be granted to academic appointees for good cause. Department chairs have authority to approve this type of leave for up to seven calendar days. Please refer to the Extended Leave Policy for leaves with pay longer than 10 service days.

Submission of a leave form is not necessary if the leave is seven calendar days or less.

Leaves greater than seven calendar days in length require the submission of an Academic Leave of Absence/Sabbatical (ALAS) form, signed by the individual, the department chair, and the dean.

Extended Leave

If an academic appointee’s research activities and/or conference attendance require an absence from campus of more than 10 consecutive service days, and some of the appointee’s duties must be reassigned during this absence, the appointee must request an extended leave. In order for a faculty member to take an extended leave with pay, he or she will be required to forfeit sabbatical credit in accordance with Table 1 below.

The faculty member must submit a completed Academic Leave of Absence/Sabbatical (ALAS) form to his or her department chair. If the request is for a leave with pay, the number of sabbatical credits to be forfeited must be included on the form. If the leave is taken without pay, the partial month salary calculation must be shown on the leave form. The appointee’s signature on the leave form indicates acknowledgement of the payroll deduction for the days absent.

Forfeiture of Sabbatical Credits

The following chart outlines the number of credits forfeited for varying lengths of leave.

Length of Leave           Credits Forfeited
1-10 service days          0
11-15 service days        1
16-20 service days        2
21-25 service days        3
26-30 service days        4