The University provides a leave of absence without pay of up to one year for the purpose of professional enhancement. Special consideration for such leaves will be given to junior faculty members who obtain nationally recognized fellowships or prestigious temporary appointments at places such as other institutions, government, or industry. The leave may be renewed with the appropriate approval.
Upon receipt of notification of the fellowship award or temporary appointment, a written request for a leave of absence without pay should be submitted to the appropriate department chair. The request for a leave of absence must be approved by the Provost, with the endorsement of the faculty member's department chair and dean or campus president.
A leave of absence without pay will not prejudice a faculty member's salary. Depending upon the recommendation of the dean or campus president, when a tenure-stream faculty member is granted a leave of absence, the term of the probationary appointment may be extended and the period of the leave will not be counted as part of the term of probationary period of service.
If the faculty member elects to continue coverage during the paid/unpaid professional enhancement, the University will continue to pay its share of the premiums for the coverage.
During the leave for professional enhancement, the faculty member may elect to terminate health and welfare benefits by contacting the Benefits Department within 60 days from the start of their leave. Failure to contact the Benefits Department to terminate plan participation will result in continued coverage and premium responsibility. Upon return from the leave, it is the responsibility of the faculty member to reactivate participation, if applicable, within 60 days from their leave return date by submitting the appropriate enrollment forms to the Benefits Department of the Office of Human Resources.
During unpaid leaves of absence, all University contributions toward retirement are suspended. Upon return from the leave, participation will be activated in the same plan, unless the faculty member makes other arrangements, subject to the provisions of the plan.
For additional information, refer to University Policy 02-11-03, Faculty Leave for Professional Enhancement.