Sabbatical Leave Policies and Procedures

As a faculty member, taking a sabbatical leave increases your value to the university when your planned travel, study, formal education or research enriches an academic program. 


Sabbaticals can be requested for one semester at full pay or two semesters at half pay. Faculty members requesting sabbatical must have completed 12 semesters of consecutive full‐time service to be eligible.


Faculty members submit a letter requesting sabbatical leave to Department Chairperson. The letter must contain the following statements and information:

  • The semester (or semesters) of the leave, stating whether the request is for one semester at full pay, or one year at half pay
  • Purpose of the leave (study, research, writing, etc.) with a detailed description of the proposed activities
  • A statement on how the leave will increase the faculty member’s value to the University and thereby improve and enrich its program
  • A statement about additional income expected, either: "I do not expect to receive additional income during my sabbatical leave. OR I will (or expect to) receive $ of additional income from (source of funds). (n.b. additional income must be justified and a statement provided on how it will be used.)"
  • The following statement: "I will return to the University for at least one full year after my sabbatical leave, and I will submit a written report of my professional activities and accomplishments while on sabbatical leave, no later than the end of the first semester after my return. I understand that I may be required to repay all sabbatical salary if I do not return for the minimum period and/or file an activity report in a timely fashion. Further, I understand that I must obtain written approval in order for my sabbatical report to be submitted late."

Department submits the request no later than February 15th. An EPTF should be submitted to SEAS Review with the following materials attached:

  • Leave of Absence Request form
  • Letter form the faculty memo requesting the sabbatical (including the above requirements) and a letter from the Chair stating whether he/she endorses the sabbatical request
  • Faculty member's current CV

Requests submitted after February 15 must be justified by the faculty member and an exception requested. Justification should include reasons why the request was not submitted by the above deadline.

Requests will be reviewed by the Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs & Diversity and the Dean. If supported, they will indicate approval by signing the Leave Request Form and the request will be sent forward to the Provost’s Office. Sabbaticals require approval by the Provost and the President.


Faculty members submit the sabbatical leave report to their Chairperson no later than the end of the first semester after return. If this is not possible, the faculty member must submit a written request for an extension of the deadline.

The report must include a statement on whether or not any additional income was received, the amount and source(s) of any such income, and an itemization of the expenses for which it was used. If consulting income was received, the report should state so and whether consulting activities and income exceeded those normally allowed while in regular full‐pay status.

The report should present in detail the activities, results and accomplishments of the sabbatical; relate the activities to the sabbatical proposal; and must address any changes in sabbatical plans.

External earnings while on sabbatical

It is the University's policy that faculty members' income during the sabbatical period should not exceed their income had they not taken sabbatical leave. All income must be reported. External non‐salary support which serves to assist a faculty member in fulfilling the purposes of the sabbatical leave ‐‐ grants or awards for travel, research facilities, etc. ‐‐ may be accepted without impact on sabbatical leave salary. Financial awards ‐‐ fellowships, grants, etc. ‐‐ which provide general support for the individual, rather than being targeted for specific project‐related expenses, are construed as external salary support. Consulting may also be carried out while on sabbatical, provided it occurs in a manner that is consistent both with the University's normal consulting practices and with the individual's customary level of such activity when not on sabbatical leave. The faculty member should not be expected to suffer financially while on sabbatical leave; neither, however, should the sabbatical be construed as an opportunity for unusual financial gain, and, in some cases, there may be an adjustment in State compensation.

Sabbatical Leaves

This statement is intended to clarify and expand upon the University’s policies governing the granting of sabbatical leaves. It should be read as a supplement to the Policies of the Board of Trustees of the State University of New York.

The Policies of the Board of Trustees provide for the granting of sabbatical leaves to faculty with continuing appointments (See Article XIII, Title E). The stated purpose of such leaves is “to increase an employee’s value to the University and thereby improve and enrich its program.” A sabbatical leave “shall not be regarded as a reward for service nor as a vacation or rest period occurring automatically at stated intervals.” Rather, such leaves “shall be granted for planned travel, study, formal education, research, writing or other experience of professional value.”

While not stated explicitly in the Policies, the sabbatical leave program clearly presumes a complementarity of benefits between the individual and the institution; that is, benefits which accrue to the individual from a sabbatical leave are expected to benefit the University as well, and vice versa. It is incumbent upon the applicant, then, to provide a clear and convincing description of the benefits ‐ both personal and institutional ‐ that his or her sabbatical leave will produce. This description will be a critical component of the sabbatical plan which the applicant must develop. Approval of the sabbatical leave request will be contingent primarily upon a favorable assessment of the overall quality of the sabbatical plan.

A key element in the evaluation of a sabbatical plan will be the likelihood that it can be carried out given the time and resources available. Indicators shall include (but not be limited to) the applicant’s overall record of activity and the uses made of previous leaves.

Approval of a sabbatical request must also take into account the ability of the applicant’s unit (Department, Faculty, School) to cover critical teaching and research responsibilities during his or her absence. It may be necessary, on occasion, to delay or modify sabbatical leave requests because of unavoidable resource constraints.

Illness, or other unplanned circumstances, may cause interruption of an approved sabbatical. In all such cases known to the campus, the faculty member of employee shall be placed on another leave, with or without salary as appropriate when in the discretion of the Provost such action is in the best interest of the University and the employee. The Provost may establish the balance of the sabbatical leave at the mutual convenience of the campus and the employee. Such re‐established approval shall not affect future eligibility or any other section of Article XIII, Title E.

The Chairperson must certify that the sabbatical can be accomplished within the Department’s resource base. If the Chairperson is satisfied that the proposed sabbatical will be advantageous to both the applicant's career development and productivity, and to the University, the plan shall be submitted for approval by the appropriate Dean. A sabbatical request shall be reviewed by the Dean. If the Dean is satisfied that it presents an academically meritorious and workable plan, with benefits to the applicant's career development and productivity, and to the institution, clearly identified, it will be sent for approval to the Office of Faculty Affairs.

*Revised January 2023