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Faculty Personnel Policies

B19 Sabbatical Leaves

  1. Purpose

    The sabbatical leave program at Hope College is designed to encourage the professional development of faculty members. This in turn will advance the educational objectives of the institution. The program provides for paid leaves as a privilege, not as a routine award for years in service. Faculty members can qualify for sabbatical leave by submitting a written proposal which demonstrates that the above stated objectives of the program can be realized. A faculty member awarded a sabbatical leave is encouraged to reside and study outside the familiar environs of Hope and Holland for the benefits that may accrue.

  2. Conditions

    1. Tenure-track faculty members are eligible for sabbatical leave after completion of six years of full-time faculty employment at Hope College, provided that they have been granted tenure by the time they apply for the leave. Term (non-tenure-track) faculty are eligible for sabbatical leave after nine years of full-time (1.0 FTE) service. Tenured faculty members are eligible for further sabbatical leave after at least six additional years of full-time service to the College following a sabbatical. Term faculty are eligible for further sabbatical leave after at least nine additional years of full-time (1.0 FTE) service to the College following a sabbatical. Sabbatical leave time is not cumulative.

    2. Sabbatical leaves are granted either for one semester at full salary or for both semesters of an academic year at one-half salary.

    3. The salary during a sabbatical leave is based upon the salary that the individual would be paid for regular academic responsibilities that year, and the grantee is entitled to normal fringe benefits.

    4. For a faculty member on a full year sabbatical, the College will pay the cost of medical insurance for the full year on the same basis as for faculty teaching full time. The College will continue its usual contributions to all other benefit programs on the following basis: 1) For the INVEST retirement plan, contributions will be continued at the normal percentage of actual salary paid by Hope College; 2) for disability insurance and life insurance, payments will be made on the basis of the normal annual salary for 1.0 FTE appointment. If a faculty member on leave is receiving external compensation while on leave that includes contributions to these benefit programs, the College's contribution will be reduced accordingly, except that retirement benefits will not be reduced unless the aggregate contribution exceeds the amount allowable on a 1.0 FTE appointment.

    5. Normally, a sabbatical leave is not granted for work which fulfills requirements of an advanced degree.

    6. The chairperson of the department of which the applicant is a member and the divisional dean are responsible for submitting an economically feasible plan for maintaining the academic efficiency of the department during the absence of the applicant. The department must make every reasonable effort to cover the sabbatical leave without requiring additional resources.

    7. Acceptance of a sabbatical leave carries with it an obligation on the part of the faculty member to return to Hope College for not less than one year after the end of the leave. Waiver of this requirement will be considered only in special circumstances.

    8. Acceptance of a sabbatical leave carries with it agreement not to accept remunerative employment during the period of the leave unless specifically authorized by the College. A sabbatical leave for a full year at half salary normally carries with it the privilege of half time employment during the period of leave.

    9. Persons on sabbatical leave will disassociate themselves from campus responsibilities and any community responsibilities that would detract from accomplishing the objectives of the leave. They will not volunteer for nor be asked to assume departmental, board, committee, or advising and counseling responsibilities.

  3. Procedures

    1. Requests for sabbatical leave for the Fall or Spring Semesters of the following academic year or for the entire academic year shall normally be in the Provost's office no later than the first week of October.  (Spring Semester applications may be provisional with later revision.)

    2. Applications are submitted to the Provost through the applicant's department chairperson, who in consultation with the divisional dean adds a cover letter describing how the department's program will be maintained during the applicant's absence. The applicant shall either request the chairperson and dean to include an evaluation of the proposed activity or present other supporting evidence for its soundness and value.

    3. The Provost then refers the application to the Status Committee for review and recommendation.

    4. Upon recommendation of the Status Committee, the Provost and the President are empowered to approve applications for sabbatical leave. The applicant is informed of the action taken upon his or her request within two months of the deadline for application.

    5. Each application shall contain the following information:

      1. A statement of the purpose and detailed outline of the program to be followed;

      2. An itinerary and schedule of times and places where the work will be carried out, from the beginning of the leave to the end.

      3. A statement proposing the manner in which the results of the project can be evaluated by the Status Committee in considering the applicant's total performance at Hope College. Sabbatical leave proposals must demonstrate the ability of the professor to accomplish a substantial scholarly or creative project and/or execute a project that will enhance the ability of the faculty member's department or program to fulfill its mission with excellence. Sabbatical leave proposals must provide clear and compelling evidence that the applicant's previous sabbatical (if any) was successful in accomplishing its proposed goals for research, creative production or service to the college/department/program.

  4. Report

    A written report describing outcomes and how the objectives of the proposal were met shall be submitted to the department chair, dean and provost not later than three months after termination of the leave.