University Policies
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Office of the Provost Email 401-863-2706

Sabbatical Leave for Members of the Faculty Policy

Policy No. Issue Date Effective Date

1.0 Policy Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to establish the rules and requirements followed by Brown University in granting sabbatical leave to members of the faculty.

2.0 To Whom the Policy Applies

This policy applies to all Brown University faculty whose primary employment is at the University and who are eligible to be considered for sabbatical leave, and those administrators responsible for carrying out and administering the policy.

3.0 Policy Statement

Sabbatical leave is intended to provide faculty with opportunities for scholarly development and contacts that contribute to their professional effectiveness and to the value of their later services to Brown University. It is not intended that such leave be used primarily for the purposes of recreation and recuperation. Faculty are expected to return to Brown following sabbatical leave, ordinarily for a minimum period of two semesters.

3.1 Eligibility and Opportunity for Sabbatical Leave

Sabbatical leave may be granted only to Tenured Faculty. Junior sabbaticals (see Section 3.2.2) may be awarded to tenure-track assistant professors who have not been awarded tenure. The University may grant scholarly leaves (see Section 3.2.3) to full-time lecturer-track faculty who do not hold concurrent staff appointments.

The opportunity for taking sabbatical leave at regular intervals is not guaranteed by the University and will be granted only when the condition of the department involved, and of the University in general, is such that the absence on leave will not seriously impair the interests of the University. It is understood that consideration will be given to the special conditions in small departments, even though special expense to the University be involved.

3.2 Periods of Leave, Compensation During Leave

Sabbatical leave and scholarly leave applications will be considered and awarded and the faculty member compensated in alignment with the following principles and regulations. It is presumed that a member of the Faculty or an officer on sabbatical leave is not receiving compensation for services in another institution or organization except as allowed under this policy or with approval of the faculty member’s chair or director and Cognizant Dean.

Only in exceptional cases may a leave be extended beyond a single year, but under no circumstances may it extend beyond two years. If a faculty member on leave with financial support from Brown requests a second year of leave, it will be granted only with the understanding that no financial support from Brown will be given.

3.2.1 Sabbatical Leave for Tenured Faculty

A newly Tenured Faculty member will receive a one-semester sabbatical at full-salary or a two-semester sabbatical at three-quarters salary. Normally such post-tenure sabbaticals will be taken in the second or third year after tenure is awarded.1

Subsequent to the post-tenure sabbatical, a Tenured Faculty member will be eligible to apply for a one-semester sabbatical at full-salary after each period of six (6) semesters in residence.2 A one-semester sabbatical may be combined with a leave without pay supported by an outside grant or fellowship to enable the faculty member to have a year of leave.

One semester of sabbatical may be banked to combine with a second for a full-salary year of sabbatical after twelve semesters in residence. Any further delay will not be credited towards a subsequent leave (i.e., one year at full salary is normally the maximum that can be earned regardless of the number of semesters in residence since the last sabbatical).

1Nothing contained in this policy limits the right of the University to enter into a special agreement concerning the time of the first sabbatical leave of an eligible member of the Faculty who is hired from another institution or organization.

2Exceptions to the timing of sabbaticals as delineated in this policy will be rare and made in consultation with the faculty member’s chair or director and Cognizant Dean. Adjustments to the timing of leaves may be made to accommodate compelling personal or family circumstances, recognize major leadership roles at the University, or address pressing curricular needs.

3.2.2 Junior Sabbatical

Tenure-track Assistant Professors (Junior Faculty) employed by Brown who have not been awarded tenure are eligible to apply for one semester of sabbatical at full salary at any time during their probationary period. This may be taken as a full year at half-salary or combined with internal support (e.g., Wriston fellowship) or external support (grant or fellowship), to have the full year for research.

3.2.3 Scholarly Leave

Full-time Lecturers, Senior Lecturers, and Distinguished Senior Lecturers who do not hold a concurrent staff appointment are eligible to apply for a scholarly leave of one semester at full-salary (or one year at half-salary) following twelve (12) semesters in residence.

3.3 Time and Requirements of Application for Leave

Application for leave must be made in writing and addressed to the Cognizant Dean by the deadline set by that dean. The applicant must have a well-considered plan for spending the leave in a manner clearly calculated to contribute to the best interests of the University. A detailed written statement of this plan, together with clear indications of its professional advantages, must accompany the application

3.4 Leaves of Absence and Sabbatical Leave

Leaves of absence, without pay, may be requested at any time. Such periods of leave will ordinarily not be counted as part of the consecutive years of in-residence service, which are a prerequisite to sabbatical leave.

3.5 Required Report

Upon returning to the University after sabbatical leave, the faculty member will write a detailed report of their activities during leave and will transmit the same to the Cognizant Dean in a form suitable for publication. Less formal comments supplementary to this report will be welcomed.

4.0 Definitions

For the purpose of this policy, the terms below have the following definitions:

Cognizant Dean:

Unless otherwise specified, the term means the dean with academic and supervisory responsibility for the department, institute, center or program where the faculty member’s primary appointment is housed (e.g., the Dean of the Faculty for a Professor of English, the Dean of Engineering for a Professor of Engineering, the Dean of Medicine and Biological Sciences for a Professor of Neuroscience).

Junior Faculty:

Unless otherwise specified, the term means Assistant Professors in tenure-track positions without having received tenure.

Tenured Faculty:

Unless otherwise specified, the term means Full Professors and Associate Professors who have received tenure at Brown University as awarded by the Corporation.

5.0 Responsibilities

All individuals to whom this policy applies are responsible for becoming familiar with and following this policy. University supervisors and employees with student oversight duties are responsible for promoting the understanding of this policy and for taking appropriate steps to help ensure and enforce compliance with it.

The Office of the Provost: Responsible for interpreting this policy, resolving disputes concerning its interpretation and application, and recommending changes to the faculty from time to time.

6.0 Consequences for Violating this Policy

Failure to comply with this and related policies is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including suspension without pay, or termination of employment or association with the University, in accordance with applicable (e.g., staff, faculty, student) disciplinary procedures.

7.0 Related Information

Brown University is a community in which employees are encouraged to share workplace concerns with University leadership. Additionally, Brown’s Anonymous Reporting Hotline allows anonymous and confidential reporting on matters of concern online or by phone (877-318-9184).

The following information complements and supplements this document. The information is intended to help explain this policy and is not an all-inclusive list of policies, procedures, laws and requirements.

7.1 Related Policies


7.2 Related Procedures


7.3 Related Forms


7.4 Frequently Asked Questions


7.5 Other Related Information

Policy Owner and Contact(s)

Policy Owner: Provost

Policy Approved by: The Corporation of Brown University

Contact Information:

Office of the Provost Email 401-863-2706

Policy History

Policy Issue Date:

Policy Effective Date:

Policy Update/Review Summary: