Office of Faculty Affairs

Faculty Handbook

Faculty Leave Information

For information about expectations of faculty, including attendance, please click here.

Family and Medical Leave (FML)

The University recognizes the importance of achieving a healthy balance between work and family obligations and is committed to supporting our employees through certain measures to promote a “family-friendly” environment. The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law designed to help employees balance the demands of the workplace and the needs of their families by allowing for unpaid job and benefits protected leave for certain family and medical reasons. Faculty members who are seeking Family Medical Leave should submit a Family Medical Leave Request Form from University Human Resources (UHR). The Office of Staff Relations in UHR receives and reviews and processes the request. For more information, please see https://uhr.umd.edu/leave/fml/.

Paid Parental Leave

The UMD Policies on Faculty and Staff Parental Leave and Other Family Supports are intended to support eligible faculty and staff in balancing professional and family demands during and after the addition of children to their family (by birth, adoption, foster parenting, and legal guardianship) through measures to promote a family friendly environment. The Parental Leave workshop provides faculty and staff members who are considering or preparing for the addition of children to their family and/or those managing employees who are preparing to go on leave an overview of the University’s amended Parental Leave Policy. During the workshop we will cover topics such as when and how to request parental leave, eligibility requirements, the paid leave assurance period, and how parental leave interacts with Family Medical Leave and other leave benefits. For more information regarding the Paid Parental Leave benefit for faculty, please refer to https://uhr.umd.edu/leave/parental-leave/.

Professional Leave for Librarians

The following instructions are based on the University's Policy on Professional Leave for Librarians.

  1. An applicant for a professional leave must initiate the request by completing the Professional Leave Request Form and attaching a detailed summary of the professional project (see below) and a current curriculum vitae. Applications must be submitted at least 6 months in advance of the proposed professional leave, and the librarian must agree to comply with the university's professional leave policy. The Professional Leave Form must include the specific dates for which the leave is requested. (A librarian may request any 6- or 12-month period.)
  2. The Summary of the Project should describe:
    • the specific project or work which is expected to be accomplished during the professional leave
    • the value of this project to the mission of the library system
    • the location where the project is to be conducted and other relevant travel/study plans
    • tangible products or results expected from professional activities
  3. These materials should be submitted to the Dean who is responsible for verifying the eligibility of the applicant and completing the form. The Dean must attach a brief letter that explains why the librarian merits a professional leave and the expected benefits of the professional leave to the librarian and the library system. Professional leaves must be more than automatic awards for service.
  4. Additionally, the librarian must have completed six years of full-time (100%) service to UMCP at the time of an initial request or since the previously granted professional leave. Normally, semesters when the applicant was on an approved Leave of Absence Without Pay (LWOP) or partial LWOP do NOT count toward service toward a professional leave.
  5. The Dean must sign the form and forward it to the Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs, 2117 Main Administration Building, for review and approval by the Provost. After a decision is reached by the Provost, a letter will be sent to the applicant, with copies to the Dean and payroll and personnel officers. The original material will be kept in the Office of the Provost.

Note: Faculty on professional or sabbatical leave continue to have the same benefits coverage. They also continue to accrue annual leave and sick leave at either full rate (if receiving full pay) or half rate (if receiving half pay).

Sabbatical Leave

Sabbatical leave is a privilege accorded tenure track/tenured faculty members who meet the eligibility requirements as described below and articulated in University of Maryland Policy and Procedures on Sabbatical Leave For Faculty. Our online sabbatical leave system is designed to facilitate sabbatical leave applications. We require that faculty members initiate a sabbatical leave request and that administrators approve the request through our online system. Faculty procedures appear below; click here for administrative procedures.

Faculty Request Procedure and Requirements

Before beginning your application, you should have the following information available:

  • A PDF or Word copy of your most current dated CV
  • A brief summary (no more than 2,000 characters) of your planned sabbatical project, describing the project or work you expect to accomplish and the benefit you expect to derive, as well as the benefit to the University. You should also explain where your project will be conducted and what the tangible products or results will be. You can create this summary directly on the application form, or you can compose it elsewhere and then paste it onto the application form.
  • Any additional relevant documentation (e.g., request for approval of additional compensation, fellowship award letters, and/or relevant compliance reviews such as conflicts of interest or commitment).

Faculty who plan on engaging in activities that provide remuneration (e.g., paid consultancies, fellowships, visiting faculty positions) while on sabbatical must, per University policy:

  1. Seek approval from the President for outside compensation. To facilitate this process, we have created this template. Please complete the relevant information and submit it along with your sabbatical request.
  2. Ensure that there are no potential conflicts of interest or commitment. Faculty should check with the University’s Research Compliance Office regarding potential conflicts of commitment or interest or other compliance considerations.

Faculty members are responsible for compliance with these policies before applying for a sabbatical, and administrators are responsible for verifying faculty member compliance.

Faculty who are not yet tenured, but who expect promotion to tenured rank within the next six months, must complete the Contingent Sabbatical Leave Request form, rather than using the online application. The completed form and requisite supporting documentation (most current CV and brief summary of planned sabbatical project) must be emailed as a searchable PDF to Faculty Affairs (5-6803). After the Contingent Sabbatical Request has been received by the Office of Faculty Affairs, the chair will receive an email request for appraisal of the project.

After logging in with the link below, you will see a form that has been pre-populated with information about your college and department. If there are any errors in this information, you should contact Faculty Affairs or your department administrators.

Enter the required dates or indicate the appropriate semester for your leave, and then paste your project summary in the summary text box. If you are requesting an academic or calendar year sabbatical, please first confer with your unit's budget or payroll officer to find out how your sabbatical request may affect your benefits. Also note that you must request your sabbatical leave at least six months in advance.

Attestation

Faculty are required to attest that they will abide by the requirements of the sabbatical policy. This includes attesting to:

  • Having read the sabbatical policy;
  • Having ensured that there are no potential conflicts of interest or commitment, or any other potential compliance issues as per University policies;
  • Seeking permission to receive outside compensation while on sabbatical;
  • Committing to writing and submitting a sabbatical report within 90 days (three months) of the end of the sabbatical; and
  • Committing to return to the University upon completion of the sabbatical and to continue service for at least one year.

More specifically, faculty are required to attest to the following:

Sabbatical Leave is granted with the understanding that this leave will not substantially disrupt the academic program of the unit. I attest to having read the Sabbatical Leave policy, and that I will abide by it; ensuring that my sabbatical activities do not present any conflicts of interest or commitment, or violate any other compliance requirements as per University policies; having sought approval for outside compensation, if applicable; committing to submitting a sabbatical report within 90 days (three months) of the end of the sabbatical; and that I shall return to UMCP at the termination of the leave to serve for at least one academic year/fiscal year.

Use the browse button below the project summary to upload your CV file. Check the box labeled "I attest," which will indicate your acceptance of the University sabbatical leave policy, and then click the button labeled "Attest and Submit" to submit your application. After you have submitted the application, notification of your request will be emailed to your department chair and his or her designee if one has been named.

You can check the status of your application by logging in to the system a second time. Logging in a second time will also give you the opportunity to update or cancel your application. You will also need to return to the system to upload your sabbatical report.

If you should need to cancel or update your sabbatical application, you may do so at any time until the sabbatical has received full campus approval. Following campus approval, you must email your request to cancel or update, with a full explanation of the circumstances, to the Office of Faculty Affairs.

Who is eligible?

According to University policy, you are eligible for sabbatical leave if you have six years full-time service or service of at least 50% FTE as a tenure-track or tenured faculty member, and you are tenured at the time the leave commences. If you have already had a sabbatical leave, you must have completed an additional six years at full-time or at least 50% FTE to qualify for another leave. Please note that semesters where you are on leave without pay or working at less than 50% FTE are not included in the calculation of your sabbatical eligibility.

Submitting the Sabbatical Report

Faculty members are required to submit a sabbatical report within three calendar months (90 days) of the completion of their sabbatical. Click here for the sabbatical report template. When your sabbatical report is ready to be submitted, use the button below to log in to the system. You will then see a menu that includes a link for uploading the report, which must be a PDF file. Once you have uploaded the report, it will be automatically forwarded to the relevant parties, including your department chair and the Faculty Affairs office.

If it should be the case that you are taking a semester-long sabbatical first, and then a semester for RASA-funded work, you will need to prepare two reports. Your sabbatical report, potentially a brief interim report of progress on your project, will be due before the end of your RASA-funded semester.

Failure to provide your report within the required time frame: 1) will result in future sabbaticals not being approved by the Office of Faculty Affairs until the report is submitted, and 2) your six-year eligibility period will begin from the date of receipt of the sabbatical report.

Administrative Procedures

Administrative log in is available to department chairs and their designees and to deans and their designees. Use the same link below for administrative log in; the system will direct you to the appropriate menu.

At the department level

When a faculty member applies for sabbatical leave, you will receive an email notification of the request. Use the link below to log in to the on-line approval system. After you have logged in, you will see a list of sabbatical requests with status indicators. In addition, if appropriate to your position, you will see a link to request your own sabbatical.

Clicking the "view" link next to a faculty member's name will display the information in his or her application, including the project summary. If you feel the project needs revision before you can approve it, you can enter your comments in the text box labeled "Request Changes in the Proposal," and then click the "Return" button. The faculty member will receive confidential email notification of your comments as you type them on this form. Following his or her revision, you will receive another email notice about the application.

If the faculty member's application seems fine as it is, there are spaces on the form below for you to appraise the project, as well as to comment on how it conforms to the University's mission and how the faculty member's workload will be covered. This information is required before your approval of the leave can be recorded. Finally, your name and the date appear, along with an attestation regarding the University's sabbatical leave policy, and radio button choices labeled "I approve" and "I disapprove." Make the appropriate choice and click the submit button. After you have submitted your review of the application, notification of your action will be emailed to the faculty member. If appropriate, the dean will also receive email notice that the application is ready for his or her review.

Sabbatical reports are linked at the bottom of each faculty member's sabbatical request. To view the sabbatical report submitted by a faculty member, "View" next to the faculty member's name on your sabbatical listing and scroll to the bottom of the request to see the report link.

At the college level

When a department chair approves a faculty member's application for sabbatical leave, you will receive an email notification of the approval. Use the link below to log in to the on-line approval system. After logging in, you will see a list of sabbatical requests for the college, with status indicators.

Clicking the view link next to a faculty member's name will display the information in his or her application, as well as the department chair or designee's comments. If you feel the project needs revision before you can approve it, you can enter comments in the text box labeled "Request changes in the proposal," and then click the "Return" button. The department chair and designee will receive confidential email notification of your comments as you've typed them on this form. Following revision, you will receive another email notice about the application.

If the application seems fine as it is, simply indicate your approval by checking the appropriate radio button next to your name and the date. Click the "submit" button, and both the department chair and the faculty member will be notified of your approval, as will the Faculty Affairs Office.

Sabbatical reports are linked at the bottom of each faculty member's sabbatical request. To view the sabbatical report submitted by a faculty member, "View" next to the faculty member's name on your sabbatical listing and scroll to the bottom of the request to see the report link.

Faculty on professional or sabbatical leave continue to have the same benefits coverage. They also continue to accrue annual leave and sick leave at either full rate (if receiving full pay) or half rate (if receiving half pay). Faculty on professional or sabbatical leave with FTE of less than 50% (that is, faculty with a part-time appointment before going on sabbatical) will not be eligible for benefits while on sabbatical, and will not accrue annual leave and sick leave.

Sabbatical Login

Transitional Terminal Leave

  1. Before the faculty member negotiates arrangements for a transitional terminal leave, the faculty member should meet with a Benefits Office staff member to discuss retirement eligibility, income options, benefits coverage, required paperwork, post-retirement employment constraints, and the optimum date of retirement. A letter confirming the meeting has occurred is signed by the Benefits Office staff member and forwarded to the chair/unit head of the faculty member’s tenure home.
  2. During the period of Transitional Terminal Leave, the faculty member is required to perform services for the University at a level of at least 25% of the faculty member’s full-time commitment over the prior 36 months. As such, the faculty member and department chair should document the services the faculty member will be performing in a letter or memorandum, which will be referenced in and attached to the Transitional Terminal Leave Agreement.
  3. The department chair/unit head and the faculty member should then draw up a draft of the Transitional Terminal Leave Agreement, using the University's template. If the faculty member has a joint appointment with funding of the terminal being the responsibility of both units, each unit head must be consulted in drawing up the transitional terminal leave agreement. Note that transitional terminal leave agreements usually preclude other preretirement arrangements such as boosts to salary and postretirement returns to employment. See the University's Policy on Transitional Terminal Leave for additional guidelines.
  4. The draft of the Agreement, including the letter or memorandum describing the work to be performed during the Transitional Terminal Leave period referenced in and attached to the Agreement, and Benefits letter must be forwarded to the Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs who will, after consulting with the Office of General Counsel and the Office of Personnel and Budgetary Affairs, offer guidance to the faculty member’s unit head. Transitional terminal leaves are not offered routinely. Strong justification is required for the granting of such leaves and the unit head may wish to include a memo stating these justifications. Once preliminary agreement has been obtained, the unit head gives the faculty member the Transitional Terminal Leave Agreement. Faculty have a minimum of 21 days to consider the agreement, and are encouraged to consult with an attorney before signing. (The faculty member may sign before the expiration of the 21-day consideration period, but by doing so, they are voluntarily waiving the 21-day consideration period and warranting that they have had sufficient time to review and consider the terms.) If the terms are acceptable, the faculty member should submit the signed agreement to the chair. The faculty member has seven days to revoke the Agreement after signing, and, if they wish to do so, they must comply with the specific notice revoation provisions set forth in the agreement.
  5. The chair signs the agreement and forwards it, including any attachments, and the benefits letter to the dean. (When the appointment is joint, all participating unit heads and deans must sign the agreement.) The dean signs the agreement and forwards it and the benefits letter to the Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs, 2117 Main Administration Building. The Associate Provost forwards the agreement and attachments to the Provost for signature, and then to the President for signature.
  6. The president's signature is required in order to create a binding obligation on the part of the University.
  7. The Agreement becomes effective and enforceable after the faculty member, all necessary chairs and deans, the Provost, and the President have signed, provided that the faculty member has not provided notice of revocation and more than seven days have elapsed since the faculty member signed.
  8. Copies of the terminal leave are distributed to the faculty member, chair, dean, and the payroll and personnel officers. The original material is kept in the Office of the Provost. If the president fails to approve the transitional terminal leave, a new transitional terminal leave agreement may be negotiated.
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